We’re Not in Georgia Anymore

In a strange and horrible turn of events, a tornado swept through Ft. Stewart, Georgia where we used to live.
No one was severely injured, no one died, but a number of places and possessions were destroyed. People are displaced.

We still have friends there, so on Facebook, we saw a lot of photos of the damage and a few videos of the tornado.

One of the videos seems to have been taken from in front of our former house.

FIL doesn’t understand how we know it’s our house, since the house number is blurry and as he said, “All the houses look the same.” Well, when you live somewhere for seven years, you know. That’s the same dead bush there on the right. The same sidewalk curve and electrical boxes where we dug Moo out of a sinkhole. The same view down the street. We know, cause we lived there.

Imagine seeing tornado footage from in front of your old house. Trippy, huh?

After determining that all my friends were safe, my first thought was, “Thank God I didn’t die in a tornado in Georgia!” I’da been so pissed!
If you’ve been reading me for a while, then you know how happy I am not to live in Georgia anymore, how happy I am to be home.

It’s not about the tornadoes; we have tornadoes here much more frequently. I’ve written about it already. I’m really glad the tornado didn’t come through while we lived there. Poor Sassy already has fear of “nornadoes.”

If I’d died in a hurricane in Gerogia, I’da said, “Oh dang.” But I can die in a tornado right here at home, thank you very much.

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indiana state capitol, kshelton, photographer

Anyone who understands my feelings on this matter, you just give yourself a cookie or a gold star or a beer, because I can offer you no reward.

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One-Liner Wednesday — The Scientist

Little Moo said, “Imma be a physicist or a scientist, or somethin that ends in -ist.”

The Mister replied, “Anarchist.”

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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Tragic Magic

As I’ve said repeatedly, The Mister and I are passionate people. Despite what other people think, that thing we do where we raise our voices and cut our eyes is not fighting. That’s merely how we communicate. We say what we mean and we mean what we say and we’ll just give you a good what for!
*achem*
When we actually fight, it’s ugly.
Apparently, when we fight, all of our children think we’ll instantaneously divorce. That makes us laugh, but then also, kinda sad for them.
The Mister says to them, “You shouldn’t worry until we’ve given up fighting for it,” but I don’t know how they could possibly understand that. I barely understand it myself.
It’s been 16 years and we’ve had 14 horrendous fights. (Yes, of course I counted, I am a woman.)

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Looking back, the early years were rough. In the beginning, frequent adjustments to pride and expectation had to be made. All that’s settled now, but the circumstances never stop changing. To me, that’s what all that marriage crap — sickness and health, richer or poorer — was about. Yes, we’ve definitely had some sickness and poorer, but it’s the unexpected turns of life, the changes, that muck it up over and over again. That’s why it’s so hard. You gotta adapt to all the changes in your own life while adapting to all of theirs as well. Sometimes, you have to do way, way more than ‘your share.’

And sickness includes the evolution of their crazy.
I can remember when my husband could still sit with his back to the door and he remembers when I loved to drive. We adapted.
The adaptation is never-ending.

I bet you couldn’t guess, but when we fight, I am the crazy one. Even on those rare occasions when I’m the logical party, I’m still the lunatic. He maintains a quiet seething rage and I do all the lashing out. Then while I wind down and weep silently, he does his. As it turns out, people like me and people like him have completely different reactions to the exact same events. Can you imagine?

“When we fight, I feel like the world is coming unglued and I am falling apart.”
“When we fight, I want to tear the world apart.”

We have to find the actual problem.

It’s my experience that the actual problem is never what anyone fights about. The fight itself is the superficial evidence of the underlying pain. Most of our fights aren’t the fault of one of us, but both of us, for failing to heed a particular principle. It can all be summed up like basic communication classes teach us.

“When you don’t…I feel…”
“When you…I feel…”

It sounds like “YOU’RE TRYING TO KILL ME WITH WRONG PILLOWS!” or “THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS PACK ME A LUNCH!” but really, it’s about how someone doesn’t feel acknowledged, respected, trusted, prioritized, valued, understood…
And underneath those desires lie all kinds of nasty things we don’t want to deal with. You know, the stuff. A good fight sorts out the stuff. Resolution doesn’t come without sorting out the stuff. To fight well, you must recognize the stuff and agree that the stuff matters.

We find ourselves closer and better informed after a fight. We don’t fight to win, we fight to get through.
In the denouement, we cleave to one another.

My marriage is many things, including an incredible paradox of frustration and joy that if I put it into words, would sound like this:

“I hate you! You make me crazy! I wish you would go jump off a cliff!

But don’t leave me. I couldn’t bear life without you, I love you so much.”

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I know, it’s terribly romantic, how we have marital problems just like everyone else. That’s the tragic magic of marriage for ya, people define their own.

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Share Your World #5

If you had a shelf for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronic devices and things stored on them, people or animals), what would you put on it?

Stuff on a shelf. Hmm. So not furniture or blankets, huh? My copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends, my cherished chicken from Drew and Beauty Queen, and of course, that painting from my grandmother’s house (bet you coulda guessed!)

 

If you had a box labelled ‘happiness’, what would you put in it?

Memories

If it has to be literal, then a box of puppies and kittens would be quite nice, thanks!

 

What do you want more of in your life?

Haha, that’s a slippery slope, wanting more. Being understood would be the top of my list. You’ll certainly never hear me say that I don’t want more energy, ice cream, time, sex, travel, or money, either.

 

Daily Life List: What do you do on an average day? Make a list of your usual activities you do each day.

Day begins with coffee and angst. Every day involves a lot of reading, daydreaming, and writing. Word games are daily. Much of the day involves maintaining relationships — the care of people and animals. There’s cooking and cleaning and laundry, running errands and watching television, walking and taking pictures. Sometimes there’s sewing, baking, gardening, DIY, or some other crafty thing. There’s no shortage of problem solving, that’s fer damn sure. Much of the evening is me trying to do things while also telling other people what to do. I always find time to worry, count my blessings, stretch, and stare at the sky. I aim for a nap most days, and usually get at least one a week. Day ends with affection and relief.

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Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Y’all will prolly get sick of me writing that I’m grateful for my husband, but that’s just how it is.
This week I get to be a dinner guest and I look forward to long talks with good friends.

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature, and all are welcome to play along.

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What’s going on in your world this week?

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Clumsy

Who’s clumsy?
Me.

I suffer from the dropsies more than most women.

Tree roots, sidewalk cracks, and steps are not my friends, thank you very much.

I like to spill food on my clothes. Alawt.

It is impossible for me to dip the sushi in the soy sauce and maneuver it into my mouth without some of the soy sauce landing on the table, or my shirt, or my pants, or my napkin, or your glasses. Whatever.

I’ve been Heimliched FIVE times.

 

I once called my MIL early in the morning because I needed to know how to get spilled coffee out of my white blouse in time to make my appointment. I was all, “I don’t have time to talk, I just need you to tell me how to get this stain out.”
Then, I called her back in the evening to thank her for her help, and while I was on the phone with her, I spilled tea on that same damned blouse.

I probably won’t drink red wine at your house.

I definitely won’t sit on your white sofa.

What hasn’t been stained has been torn.
My favorite shirt has 17 holes.

Seldom a day goes by when I can leave my own house without catching my sleeve, my purse, my coat, or the dog’s leash on the handle of the storm door.

I am on a first-name basis with all the walls in my house. They probably think I’m a bit handsy.

I regularly stab myself while cooking and sewing.

Not having my purse zipped shut can cause quite a scene.
In fact, once as I bent over to collect my exploding handbag, my glasses fell off, I reached to grab them, my scarf choked me, and I dropped my coffee cup to the floor, where it bounced open and sprayed all over me.

At least once a week, the shoulder strap of my handbag gets caught in the seat adjuster thingy and I am flung back into the car by it. This seems to happen most frequently when my husband is trying to drop me off and there are plenty of other witnesses around the front of the shop.

Have you ever been pulled into the dryer by closing your own pants in it?

I would not like to hold your baby.

I cannot use epoxy of any kind.

I take the rugs up and remove all the towels from the bathroom when I color my hair.

All my life, I’ve had plenty of scratches and bruises.

I have never figured out how to get a single pill out of the bottle and into the palm of my hand. I wish someone would create a sorta Pez dispenser for people like me.

I cannot walk and chew gum, or walk and drink, or walk and take pictures at the same time. I can walk and talk at the same time, but not too well.

In school, I dropped more cafeteria trays than I can count.
As such, I was the world’s worst waitress.

My tea cup always rattles on my saucer.

I accidentally, but frequently, shower myself with the kitchen sprayer.

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I am required to immediately despise all women named Grace.
Last week, I dropped a 12-pack of seltzer and it exploded all over the floor of the store. A woman walking by scolded me, and I pointed into her face and said, “Don’t you tut-tut me!” I bet her name was Grace. Cunt.

Are you clumsy? More importantly, are you kind to those who are?

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill

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An Earful

If this were clickbait, I’d title it SEE HOW DOING THIS ONE SIMPLE THING CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE! 
And then you’d all be like, “What? I want change in my life, too!”
And you’d click it and be all, “Fuck all. Earplugs? Really?”
And I’d say, “Yes, really!”

Sometime after the first of the year, but when school wasn’t in yet, I had this horrible, terrible, very bad night of sleep. Blasted cats with the crying and scratching.
Catticus: I want out of Moo’s room! I want to eat food!
Cletus: I have eaten the food and I want to bathe upon your chest!
Clara: Why is everyone scratching? I must put my paws under the door and call to them.
Catticus: Seriously. I’m starving. I’m down to eleven pounds now. Let me out!

So I let Catticus out of Moo’s room, Clara out of our room, and Cletus into our room. Then Clara wanted to see what Cletus was going to do, so she came back in. They began to fight, which I am sure sounded like this:

Clara: Don’t look at me like that, you little asshole.
Cletus: I’ll look at you as I please and I’ll bite your neck and lick your ears and pounce on your tail and you’ll like it.
Clara: I don’t like it. I will cry, but remain passive and put my butt on Mama’s head.
Cletus: Fine. I’ll just sit here and lick my empty sack.

Then The Mister rolled over.
SSSSSSSSSSSSSNOOOOOOOOOOOOORE
SSSSSSSSSNOOOOOOOOORE
SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE

why is it so hot in here? why is my husband made of liquid hot magma? 

Then Catticus at Moo’s door: Excuse me. Pardon me. Hello? Moo? I am full now. Full to capacity. I must lie down. I must lie on your bed and bathe now. Hello? Human? Let me in!

Having had enough of cats, hot, and SNORE I decided to take a pill.
but you haven’t had to take a pill in a long time, and you’ve done so well.
yes, but my family hates me and this is killing my nerves. how do they all sleep so freakin hard? how can they not hear that?!?

SSSSSSNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE

“ROLL OVER!”

really joey, just get up and take the whole milligram. maybe maman and reta are right. maybe it’s time to get earplugs.
someone will break into the house and no one will hear a damn thing. okay, sadie would hear it. but what if the children cry or cough in the night? oh, like they’re not going to come tell you about it? right. earplugs tomorrow. yes. i will buy earplugs. and i will muzzle the cats, and put them on little stretchers like hannibal lecter and wheel them into the garage at night! yes, that’s how i’ll do it! 


SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE

he will choke to death in his sleep. you’ll wake up with a corpse. no one will be there to tell him to roll over and he will choke to death.
i deserve sleep, too. 
i’m a good person, i deserve sleep.

SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE

“It’s a good thing you’re asleep and you don’t know how much I hate you right now.” *pet The Mister’s head*

you don’t hate him. you love him. it’s not his fault. it’s his pediatrician’s fault. and his mother’s. she shoulda trusted her motherly instinct and gotten a second opinion. stupid pediatrician. he should hafta sleep with the pediatrician every night. pediatrician prolly dead now. enjoy your peace, lucky motherfucker. 

So I got up and let Catticus into Moo’s room and then I went to get a pill. But it was night, and my hands were useless and there were no halves. I wrangled and spilled them all over the counter and for a split second, wondered how much ativan a cat can take…Then I took a pill and opened Moo’s door and said to Catticus, “Imma leave this open.” He nodded with approval.
I opened Sassy’s door in the hopes that Cletus would go sleep with his butt on her face.
I got into bed where I would spend the next three hours miserably awake but too sedated to do anything but pet my cat and cry and think about absolutely everything ever, sometimes two or three times for good measure.
I fell asleep just after dawn, just after the pill wore off, just after my husband miraculously began to breathe like a human being.

The Mister bought my earplugs, brought them to me, showed me how to squish them and put them in.

I instituted a new household rule that all doors are to be cracked at night, wide enough for all cats to pass through. Fuck fire safety. Mama needs her sleep.

I put the earplugs in every single night. Every single night, I hear the sound of my own deep, heavy breathing and the sound of my own heartbeat. My own breathing and my own heartbeat sound like I am fantastically healthy and my mind is perfectly clear. My own breathing and my own heartbeat sound like my family loves me and my cats are precious angels. I am my own white noise machine! Until the alarm goes off.

I have slept like a professional self-centered sleeper for more than three weeks now. I guess The Mister sleeps better too. He gets to sleep on both his hips and his back and no one yells at him all night. He sometimes tells me his throat is sore from snoring. I say, “Aw, Baby, that’s rotten,” and I smile because I never heard a thing.

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) and Just Jot it January are brought to you by LindaGHill

 

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A Ghost So Old, I Can’t Remember Her Name

For several years, it was hard to keep Sassy in books. Like when they grow too fast to keep them dressed? Keeping Sassy in books proved to be a growing pain. She’d read through everything age-appropriate at home and the school only let her check out x amount of books at a time and we were buying her books and we don’t own a bookstore and she’d just devour them so quickly…and really, shouldn’t all parents have this complaint?
Anyway, that’s when we took Sassy to get her very own library card and bought her a Kindle and now we can go long spells without Sassy gasping and hand-waving over which books we neeeeeed to buy her or she’ll die. She’ll just die!

I recall the summer my mother took me to get my own library card. I must have been twelve. It was the summer I had read every book at home, every book at my grandmother’s house, all the books my parents bought me and their friends loaned me. I had read all the Agatha Christies, all of North and South, Gone With the Wind, Homecoming, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, The Flowers in the Attic series, some Dean Koontz, some Stephen King, and honestly that’s what I remember — those books stayed with me — but for this one obscure little series…

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My grandmother must have bought them used, because they were well-worn paperbacks. I have absolutely no idea what they were, or who wrote them. Yes, I have Googled, thank you. My memory describes them to me as Southern turn of the century historical fiction. Each book focused on a young woman in a specific family whose surname I do not recall. Each book included a mystery and clean romance in the plot lines. The ghost matriarch of this family (Augusta? Agatha?) haunted each girl with the smell of violets. The smell of violets caused my eyes to roll after a few books, because it was predictable and annoying in that way that recurring clues often are after three or four books. Nonetheless, the books entertained me with their particular charm, and that nameless ghost remains my favorite.

If you know the books, lemme know.
Do you have books that haunt your memory like that?

 

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill

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#ThursdayDoors — Meat n’ Milk

I thought today would be a good time for somethin whimsical, so follow me.

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Do you know where I was?
Here are two more like it…

Do you know yet?

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It was time for lunch…
It was a cold, slushy-snow-meltin kinda day…

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The Mister and I sat in a cozy booth, far from the doors.

I ate this:

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Steak n’ Shake (Meat n’ Milk) is one of my favorite places to eat.
I know there aren’t Steak n’ Shakes everywhere, because when I lived in Georgia, I had to drive over an hour to get to one. We’d always go on our way back from the beach at Jekyll Island. We’d arrive so pink, crispy, hot, and wet, we’d shiver in the air-conditioning while we ate.

In Indianapolis, there are tons of Steak n’ Shakes. I live within a 20-minute drive to at least five of them.
Chili 5-Way is my favorite, and I usually order a vanilla shake as well, but I was cold. I hadn’t been warm since I left my bed that morning. (Yes, I do sometimes get cold.)
Generally speaking, Midwesterners enjoy ice cream, frozen custard, and milkshakes all year, despite the cold. We also enjoy chili on pasta, which I’ve come to understand others see as a chilibomination, but I don’t care, I still love it.
(Really, I haven’t met a chili I didn’t like. Even that weird white chili tastes good to me.)
But OH! CHILI SPAGHETTI!

You may remember me eating a similar dish at Skyline Chili?

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know I even make it at home.

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“Oooh, we have leftover chili! Let me just make some sketti quick!” Then add cheese, onion, crackers, and hot sauce.

Some people call it Cincinnati Chili, and maybe that’s where it started, but you know, there’s only a bit of road and river between Indy and Cincy…

How would you like your post for today? Extra doors, fine, but hold the chili spaghetti?

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To view other interesting doors, click the link and see what others are posting today.

This post is also for LindaGHill’s Just Jot It January.

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One-Liner Wednesday — Understanding

Sassy told me she was at school thinkin, “I miss my mama; these people are idiots.”

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One-Liner Wednesday and Just Jot it January are brought to you by LindaGHill

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Oneness

Oneness immediately took me to that ancient idea that we are all one, all connected.

Sepration

I believe this. Unfortunately, I find it’s hard to live with that belief. I mean, it’s hard for me to do my life in accordance with this belief.

Everyone likes to talk about what THEY believe and what THEY think is right or wrong and what THEIR god or THEIR conscience says about life, and every single person is TRYING to live according to those principles. I am no different.

 

When smashing fruit flies, counting their fatalities with gusto, I do not feel their pain.

When the nurse at the doctor’s office cuts me off, I enter a battle of slower and louder speech, because dammit, I am selfish and needy, and I don’t care how busy she is.

When I listen to politicians, I am certain they’ve come from an altogether different reality.

When I ask, “Is that Tom Brady’s blood?” and then say, “Oh good, I hope it hurts,” I am not living with compassion.

When I’m really close to telling the transportation manager that I hope he gets run over by a bus, I am clearly not feeling as though he is part of me.

When I am yelling at my husband for refusing to be illogical, I doubt he feels as though we are one.

When I immediately notice what makes me different, instead of what makes me same, I am creating separation.

 

 

I am aware I am far from a living celebration of Oneness in my life.

It does not stop me from believing and trying.

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Just Jotting Share Your World #4

What one thing are you really glad you did yesterday?

I’m really glad I called my mother. It’s hard for us to schedule time to talk. I always think of calling her when she’s already gone to bed.

Are you generally focused on today or tomorrow?

I’m always focused on the day at hand. I’m always trying to be in the present moment.

Would you want to have a guardian angel/mentor? What would they tell you right now?

I think I do have guardian angels/spirit guides, and I definitely have some wise friends and family.
A lot lately, I’ve been thinking of things my friend Tori would say to me if she were still here. I’d complain and fret and she’d say common sense, reassuring things to me, and I’d know she’d be right and I’d say, “But…” and she would cut me off, “Wowo, it’s like this…” and then she’d say just the right thing to make me feel better. I like that she can still do that inside my own head, but I miss her saying it.

Would you rather live in a cave house or a dome house made out of glass?

Terrible choice. It’s the word cave that gets me. I no way want to live in a glass house. Imagine how hot, how exposed…Would I just wear sunscreen all day?!? Good Gravy, how thirsty would I be?!? But then, caves cause me panic. How about a basement apartment with several exits? That’s about as close as I’d get to a cave. Unless, maybe, it was one of those caves with the one big opening, but then how do you keep the children and animals in? What’s to stop coyotes and ne’er do wells from coming in? Is there wifi in caves? I dunno. It’s good I have a house!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

This last week, I am grateful for my husband who has taken such excellent care of me. I’m also glad Moo’s regular bus driver returned today, as did her bus, AND on time. I’m glad the furnace kept running.
This week coming up brings me no expectations.

 

This post is part of Just Jot it January and Cee’s Share Your World — all are welcome to participate!

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Deal Breakers

The prompt today is compelled, and I feel compelled to tell you that per my post yesterday, The Mister announced to the children that if I get a purple mohawk, he will file for divorce. He added that if this were the case, he would not give me custody of the children or the house. He stated, “If your mother did that to her hair it would indicate she was suffering severe emotional distress and therefore, she would see you under state supervision.”

 

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I’m compelled to tell you the road goes both ways, as I told him long ago, I’d assume a return to his full beard from the early 90’s would mean he clearly never wanted to have sex with me again.
Love is one thing, desire another.

Y’all got any shallow deal breakers you wanna share?

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill

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I’ve Never Been Odder — JusJoJan & SoCS

I’m used to being odd.
I know it sounds strange, but believe it or not, I’m usually the weirdest person in the room. The amount of time I can hide my freak flag? About twenty minutes. Where I live, I’m the odd woman out. I’m the one with the least conservative opinions /the hippy-dippy-trippy ideas — potato-potahto. There was nothing typical or traditional about my upbringing, so I don’t spend holidays and weekends with my 100+ relatives, I don’t walk and talk with Jesus, and I don’t know how wholesome applies to things that are not food.

Oh yes, I do live in the 12th largest city in the U.S., but the status quo is still fairly Mayberry, which is a nice way to say you can’t throw a rock without hitting some status-seeking uptight religious bigot.

And y’all, I do throw a rock now and again.
(I gotta be careful, cause a lot of them are armed and many have tried and true athletic ability and throw really, really well.)

You cannot judge a book by its cover, because if you could, I would be the sweetest, most innocent gal in all the land.

But there was this one time, when I stopped at a brewery to pick up some things for Mr HME, where I have never felt more odd. Out of my element. Arriving on the scene like a game of ‘Which one of these things does not belong?’

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I was literally, and I do mean literally, the only person in the place who looked like me. I have friends who fit these descriptions, but I’ve never been surrounded by them en masse.

Like most places, there were all sizes and shapes, ages and colors, but they shared a common culture.

Everyone around me knew the words to the screaming, disharmonious noise that they all seemed to find musical. They did not wince and wish that someone would turn it off. Their skin did not seem to ache from the nearly-fatal din. They tapped their feet and bobbed about and ‘sang.’

I have my ears pierced. I’m sure I was wearing earrings, probably small gold ones. In contrast, the lot of them had facial piercings, facial jewelry, and gauges — some of which looked like medieval torture devices.

I was wearing jeans with a white button up shirt and some slides from Kohl’s, how mamas do. In contrast, they all wore black.  Most wore black concert tees or black tees with names or words I didn’t recognize. (Please do not patronize me with some shit about how you like Korn or Slayer or Iron Maiden — I am talking about obscure, underground stuff.)
They wore boots, mostly, although I did spot some Converse, Vans, Crocs, and Tevas — most wore ass-kickin steel-toe boots.

I have dark brownish-reddish hair of the 5RB variety. I know this because I cover my gray. My idea of a radical hairdo is getting a few inches trimmed off and highlights at the crown. I have never considered blue, purple, or green hair, and I have never wondered what I would look like with a rooster red mohawk.

I do not have tattoos. I’m not sure if there were any people there without tattoos. Lots of tattoos. Even the guy who was dressed similarly to me had tattoo sleeves.

They were all nice to me. As we waited in line they all chatted to me about the weather and the beers on my list and their favorite things about Indianapolis. They didn’t exclude me or pry into my personal life.

That was the best day to be odd.

This post is for LindaGHill’s Just Jot it January and Stream of Consciousness Saturday, with the prompt of ‘odd/even.’

 

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Felicity

If you’re one of the twelve people who know my life, you no doubt feel my sadness at the mere mention of the word felicity.

Felicity means happiness.
Happiness is what my beloved kitty, Felicity, gave me for eleven precious years.

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2008

She was a beautiful bitch kitty. Yes, she was a bitch cat. Her affections were rarely obtained by anyone else.
I loved her.
She loved me.
We had one of those bonds that you cannot explain to someone who hasn’t felt such an affinity with an animal.
She loved me, veterinarians, and my friend True (who practically lives in a zoo) — that’s it. She merely tolerated everyone else she encountered, including my husband and my children.
My nephew would ask me, “Joey, why she *hiss* like dat to me?”
“She’s fussy,” I’d say.

When I got my first place, I searched the classifieds for a calico kitten, because I’d had such good experiences with them. Calicos always seem sweeter and more affectionate to me. My mother and I went to pick out a kitten. None of the calicos liked me. But this little gray ball of fluff climbed up my chest and mewed at me until I paid her attention.
My mother said, “This one.”
“But I wanted a calico.”
“I know, but this one loves you. You don’t choose a cat, a cat chooses you.”
So I took that little gray puffball home…

felicity

1998

…to love her for too short a time.

She hid so well I thought she’d slipped out the door. Tiny kittens sleep in mysterious womb-like places humans don’t think about, like laundry baskets, under the tiny eaves of furniture, behind the books on the shelf…

She slept with me every night. We frequently fell asleep holding paws. I often woke up with her on my pillow, curved around my head.
When I came home from work, she’d cry her heart out and walk to and fro on my bed while I changed my clothes. Sometimes she did not wait for me to finish, and she’d leap onto me.

This cat would literally jump into my arms.
If I reached for her, she’d reach up for me and jump, as Clara does now. But with Felicity, I could stand tall and pat my chest and she’d take the leap.

She climbed the door jambs when she was feisty.
She hunted birds and left them at the door.
She perched on the edge of the tub while I bathed.
She never minded a her bi-annual bath in the sink.
She was the first cat I had who drank from the bathroom faucet, although all since her have done so.
She stood underfoot while I cooked.
She always came to my lap when I made one.
She’d offer up her tummy at night when no one else was around.

Felicity was perfect in her cat-ness.

She was my best companion in a way that only animals can be.

Cancer took her swiftly. Sarcoma. I asked how many months. The vet said we’d need to put her down within days.

So now, I have memories and photos. For years, I kept Felicity’s collar and tags, but every time I’d encounter them, I’d think about when I took them off, and I wanted to remember her life, not her death. I had to throw them out for my own good.

I had a kitteh-shaped hole in my heart for a long time. Yes, we had other cats. Yes, I love(d) them. As I said, she was special. She will always be special.

Clara is the cat who filled that kitteh-shaped hole in my heart. She’s the neediest, talkiest, spoiled cat ever. (I blame the half-Siamese in her.) She’s my baaa-by. With her, I went to get a gray kitten, but she’s the one who chose me.

Much like people, pets are not replaceable. But a human can be lucky to get chosen again.

Have you experienced such a connection with a particular pet?

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill 

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Smitten with the Kitten in Mittens

Aw, it’s Cletus the Dog Kitten.
In mittens.
Tee-hee!
Are you smitten?

january202016 008

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill

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#Thursday Doors — The Church on the Circle

Irvington is an Indianapolis neighborhood just off Washington Street, and its most notable landmark is the Irvington United Methodist Church. It’s sat in a circle, like so:

Audubon-Circle-Baist1916Google2009

Left, the 1916 draft — Right, Google Maps 2009 — This link is where I got the photo, and you can read more about it there.

Here’s photo as we approach the circle:

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photo taken by my assistant, moomalade the intrepid punkin

 

It was the private home of Butler University staff members James Dorsey Forrest followed by Thomas Carr Howe before it became a church in 1924. It’s commonly referred to as the church on the circle.

I know you may have wanted or expected to see a photo of the front doors to the church, but you’re outta luck, because I found the side doors more interesting. Behold the Tudor Revival in all its splendor:

 

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many attractive details

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To view other interesting doors, click the link and see what others are posting today.

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Jotting Not a One-Liner — Homework

“Finals in Spanish tomorrow. We’re studying cognates,” Sassy said.
“Hm?” I asked with piqued interest.
“Cognates. Words that sound like the same word in other languages?”
“Ooh! Like what?”

Sassy began searching her papers.
“Yes, I see your knowledge of cognates is extensive,” I said.

Meanwhile, Moo was doing proportions with 8500-calorie ice cream, of which 1500 calories were fat. Never mind the zebra slaughter.

wtf_math

Just Jot it January and (usually a) One-Liner Wednesday are both brought to you by LindaGHill

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Just Jotting Share Your World 2016 #3

What is your favorite piece of art? (it doesn’t have to be famous)

My favorite piece of art is a complicated topic. Let’s stay with one I own, and it’s that painting that hung in my grandmother’s house:

painting

What made you smile today?

It’s 6:38 am. I think we’re pushing the limits with smiles. I woke up at 5:40 because I was freezing. Found the house was 60, and the furnace wasn’t running. I changed the filter and flipped the lever on the fuse box, and heat is now blowing through the vents. I could almost smile. Almost. I am quite pleased, and may well smile when the thermostat finally reaches warm and all the bones in my hands no longer feel like they’re in a vice. Given our HVAC issues since we moved here, I have grown cynical toward our furnace, which I think is a bit of a diva.

Which place do you recommend as a Must-See? Please state which country, state or providence.

I’ve decided to be original and tell you that in the spring, on a brisk but sunny day, you should take I-70 to West Virginia’s Welcome Center just outside of Wheeling. I recommend you stare out into purple mountain’s majesty and into the valley of yellow daffodils below. I was smitten and overcome by its beauty. And then as a personal favor, take a fabulous photo of it, because mine is meh at best.

Complete this sentence: When I was younger I used to….

Take frequent risks and live without paralyzing fear.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

This last week I am grateful we had that three-day weekend. We watched a lot of movies and had some good talks. This week I just hope everything goes smoothly.

 

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill and Share Your World is a weekly series by Cee, all are welcome to participate.

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Elegance

I’m flummoxed.

Elegance eludes me.

Perhaps the most elegant solution is to explain that I have no admiration of elegance beyond the aesthetic of “Ooh, pretteh!”

Elegance is not my forte.
I recognize elegance and I’m tellin you, I ain’t got none. <– See? Seems like it takes a large dose of poise, which I was never allotted, and if you’ve ever spent time with an elegant person, then you know it takes a lot of time and energy to polish appearances and prepare for all the required decorum.

Elegance goes with a lot of terms that are lost on me: fancy, refined, ornate, opulent, proper, graceful, ladylike, delicate…

I am not a china person. I am not a careful person and the idea of owning china frightens me. For instance, I am quite fond of the Royal Albert Old Country Roses pattern. I wouldn’t own it. If I owned it, I would keep it in a box and never use it. I wouldn’t want to take it out of the box because I might break it. I wouldn’t want to take it to the kitchen, across my evil porcelain floors, which might as well announce to all fragile things, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!” I’d need to carry it across that tile to wash it, and I wouldn’t want to wash it because I am a clumsy person who has a cast iron sink and arthritis, and soapy things are slippery.
Nope, not a china person.

I am not a crystal person, either. We received crystal on our wedding day, which I still find bizarre. My MIL has that piece of crystal. It looks beautiful in her china cabinet.
My grandmother left me a crystal sugar dish, with silver lid and spoon, and although it’s quite pretty, I cannot imagine a single situation in which I would use it. Beauty Queen has that crystal sugar dish. It looks beautiful in her china cabinet.
Nope, not a crystal person.

giraffe_tea

a great find from my friend alias :)

In place of elegance, I have practicality.

My china cabinet has extra pieces of sturdy Fiesta in it. And I use it when we have a lot of company.

My home is cozy. It is not not carefully curated. In a glance, it tells you I am all about comfort. If you spend five minutes in my home, you’ll come to realize that I have a penchant for old wood and a serious cotton fetish. In addition to the absence of china, crystal, and silver, you’d notice and that every single thing is personal and purposeful. I dwell with memories as my backdrop. Everything tells a story. Much of it tells a handmade story.

My coffee table looks like it’s been through four kids, my dining table looks like the one I grew up with, and my nightstand looks like the antique school desk my mother used as a girl, and for just those reasons.

My closet lacks elegance as well. Everything is merely vaguely feminine and comes only in black, gray, blue, white, or pink. It’s all essentially timeless and classic, or boring and basic, however you look at it. I wear very few patterns, and even less lace. It’s 99% cotton, and 99% wash n’ wear.

I own plenty of good jewelry and nice bags, but none are fancy. I don’t own any ball gowns or glass slippers, either.

Sometimes people tell me I make fancy food, like that’s even a thing! I make a lot of great dishes, and some are complex, but I love few things more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I garden with my gut. I’m fairly random. No one will be coming to photograph my inelegant garden.

Elegance?
Nah.

I’m simple. I’m jeans, worn-out quilts, dog-eared books, boots and mud by the back door.

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill
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Collection

The idea of collection has certain implications. One may have many dust bunnies and it doesn’t mean one collects dust bunnies, now does it? Imagine if you will, a person whose dust bunnies are displayed proudly…

I’ve decided I’m not a collector of anything.
There are certain people to whom you cannot say you’re collecting something or they will gift you related items you do not want.

I cannot deny I often acquire Fiesta(ware) but I only like certain colors.

I have three Norman Rockwell prints and I’d love to have more, but again, specific titles.

nr3

There’s no shortage of books, herbal tea, odd socks, or kids’ art at our house, either.


We have a ton of movies and music.

We’re still in possession of all the Legos…but one day Bubba will establish a household.

The Mister must have more blades than any ten-handed goddess of war, but I don’t know if he’s collecting them so much as they just come to him…the way fabric and paper seem to come to me.

Are you a collector? You can tell me.

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill
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JusJoJan & SoCS — The Long What

What do I wanna write?
Hm. Maybe just some rambling. It’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday and I do feel a bit purge-y.

I put my canvas slip-on shoes away and I’ve rubbed oil into my skin and my bottom lip is split like winter’s really here.
But it’s not, because I went out yesterday in my jacket and carried an umbrella and had a fucking panic attack.

I was perfectly happy.

I had slept until 9:30. I had eaten a bowl of Marshmallow Mateys and had a cuppa coffee and big ol glass of orange juice. No, YOU have PMS and want sugar on top of salt with a side of sex and some bloody red meat! I had already done my bloggity things and my photo of the day — Go me!

You can tell a lot about me from how I look, and I don’t mean whether I look happy or sad or whatever, but like, I was wearing my yellow quilted jacket, which is synonymous with happiness because yellow and quilts are my favorites and the fact that I needed the jacket represents how pleased I was that it wasn’t hot and I don’t live in Georgia, where it was some ridiculous temperature like 70. Had my striped scarf on, you know, cause scarves are the kinda thing I can manage to accessorize without feeling like I’m overdone. I made up my face cause it was the first day in 12 that I didn’t have a big red mark over my lip, cause holidays are so carefree and fun that I wouldn’t dream of getting one of my infamous cold sore flares, so it was good to slide some Angel Red across my non-herpetic lips like a healthy human. My hair curled up, but it didn’t frizz or expand too much despite the rain. Not a lot can go wrong when a woman’s hair is right. There is nothing like a good hair day.

Got into Bonnie Blue, turned on Annie Lennox, cause when I’m alone, I try to listen to all the music the rest of my family is not crazy about. Sang my way to Aldi.
A nice man gave me a cart which saved me a quarter. Eggs were $1.49 a dozen; I bought two cartons.
A young woman asked me what the difference was between zucchini and cucumbers, and that’s kinda hard to explain, but ultimately I decided that zucchini is yummier when cooked, cucumber is yummier raw, and suggested she should buy some of both and try it out. Then imagined how a person wouldn’t know what either is like, and this led me to thinking about that roommate I had in college, the home-schooled one who had never watched television, because her parents thought it was evil, and I wondered if this girl’s parents thought garden vegetables were evil.
I let the lady behind me cut, because she had only broccoli and bananas and she was my elder and I had a cart full. But my cart cost $10 less than I expected and I was pretty freakin happy while I bagged my things. I was also happy that unlike the man The Mister let in front of us last time, the lady I let go didn’t come back and whisper a dirty joke in my ear instead of saying thank you like a decent human being.
I took my cart back and slid it in, but left it unlocked to save someone else a quarter. As I left, I saw a lady push it in and take the quarter from it, as well as from the one in front of it. Initially, this upset me, as this was not my intention, but then I decided Fine, if she needed two quarters, she needed two quarters, who am I to complain?

Then  I drove to the bloody buggery Walmart Neighborhood Market because Aldi doesn’t have everything. Like, why did they stop carrying my seltzer?!? Where are those savory frozen pizzas with the goat cheese and basil?!?  Tangy warm goat cheese makes me drool. So, yeah, I hadda go to another grocer.  I listened to Les Mis on the way, cause boy does my family hate that. I’m a good Eponine, not that they give a fuck about Eponine’s troubles.

Parked Bonnie Blue at the back, because they’re building something else over there now, probably something terrible, like another Walmart Neighborhood Market, only with longer lines and without any employees whatsoever, and the only way out of the parking lot is on Fall Creek Parkway (told you I drive on it all the time) and I do not enjoy trying to turn left twice in 10 seconds.
I’m still bitter about the arrival of the bloody buggery Walmart Neighborhood Market, because it literally took the place of our favorite Chinese restaurant and one of the best markets in the city. Fuckers. The pond is still there, but it’s overrun with Canadian Geese. I never see a duck over there anymore. Why are people in Canada so nice and their geese assholes? Besides, when we fed the ducks and asshole geese it was in an idyllic time when we let the children hurl cheap white bread at them and no one was there to shame us and tell us that water fowl are gluten-intolerant or whatever, like how my parents made us have birdseed at our wedding instead of rice, and clearly favored the gastrointestinal issues of birds over their own child’s fertility. No rice for us. I blame those birds for how it took us three years to conceive. Maybe birds have to explode to encourage baby souls, you don’t know.
But they’re building a Meijer at 56th and Keystone, so that’s exciting, although I bet it will be a duck-less venue.

Panic. They should just call it PanicMart, am I right?
oh did the car just move? omg, it’s vertigo! noooo! oh no my heart is going to pop out and go through the windshield. i don’t think our insurance covers that. it’s okay joey, you’ll be dead. won’t matter. oh. oh no, my neck is swelling! can’t breathe. oh for fuck’s sake joey, snap out of it! you’re okay. it’s just anxiety. you’re okay. i’m dying. you’re okay. i’m dying. you’re okay. yes, it’s raining but the roads are fine and it’s daylight and your husband knows where you are and you are going to live through this. one mississippi, two mississippi, three mississippi, but my head is about to fall off, four mississippi, five mississippi, deep breaths, you’re getting better. see you’re fine. six mississippi. that wasn’t so bad, now was it?
oh look, it’s after three. moo must be home.

I used to get to like 29 Mississippi, but I’ve gotten better, so now I’m all patronizing and condescending to myself like you don’t know what.

SoCS and Just Jot it January are both brought to you by LindaGHill and all the cool prompts sit at her lunch table

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Leadership

Me on Leadership: I lead only when I have to.

Then I begrudge the incompetence of others and resent being forced to leave my comfort zone.

I don’t like to lead. I don’t like to follow. I prefer to march to the beat of my own drum.

I will understand you, support you, encourage you, inspire you, and even help you (if I like you enough) but if you like me enough, you won’t ask me to lead.

Unless you’re this big:

fourFOUR

If you’re that big, I’ll lead as necessary, no problem.

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill
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What are your thoughts and feelings on leadership?

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#ThursdayDoors — Julian-Clarke Home

Last week I showed you my pictures of the Irvington Presbyterian Church, and I’m staying in Irvington again this week. Irvington is a historical neighborhood in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Here are the doors on the Julian-Clarke house:

1132016 155

Too blurry? I know, I didn’t want to trespass, either…
Step back:

1132016 153

Step back s’more:

1132016 152

Ooh! Pretty!

 

12. GEORGE W. JULIAN-CLARKE HOME, 115 S. AUDUBON RD (EASTSIDE OF AUDUBON, NORTH OF FORMER RAILROAD CROSSING): Italianate, 1873, built by George W. Julian, brother of Irvington co-founder Jacob Julian. An ardent abolitionist, Free Soil Party nominee for Vice President of the United States, a founder of the Republican Party, and United States Representative from Wayne County, IN, Julian championed homestead legislation. served on the Committee on the Conduct of the War, and authored the first bill providing for women’s suffrage. While residing in Irvington, he was appointed Surveyor General of New Mexico. His daughter, Grace, married Charles Clarke. Both were influential on the social issues of the day. Grace was active in the organization of the Federation of Women’s Clubs and wrote a colunln in THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Charles was active in the Democratic Party and served a term in the Indiana State Senate. Over the decades of the Julian-Clarke residency, they hosted such persons of note as Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Presidents Cleveland, .Harrison and Wilson.
(The Irvington Historical Society)

*whispers in your ear* Don’tcha hate it when you hafta cite poorly written stuffs? Also, look how this Republican cared about abolition and suffrage! Then his daughter up and married a Democrat, how smart women do.

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To view other interesting doors, click the link and see what others are posting today.

This post also serves as a jot for Just Jot it January via LindaGHill

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Just Jotting about Sacrifice

When I discovered the topic for today was sacrifice, I said to Sassy, “I’m going to write a blog post like ‘I have been sacrificing all my time for Just Jot it January,’ and just be all ‘Bye!'”
We laughed.
It’s not sacrifice, because as you know, I enjoy interacting with y’all.

giraffe-computer

But as we all wandered to the back of the house to retire last night, The Mister asked me, “Do I have some clean white socks somewhere?”
“Yes.”
Yes, of course he does. Because all of the clean socks are in a basket.
were ya gonna wait and match’em in february, joey? i dunno, maybe.

Sacrifice is not my thing.
I’ll have a head full of words while I do the dishes, take them sledding, walk the dog, sign the reading log, make the dinner, do the dishes — and I’ll think I’m sacrificing, but then my husband is white-sock-less and Sadie’s got a clump of dreadlocks behind her ear and the sink could use a good scouring and Moo’s outta dental floss and well…

Bye!

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Just Jotting Share Your World 2016 #2

1. Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?

Yes, of course. You almost kinda have to, don’tcha? It seems unlikely that we’d be the only planet with intelligent, sentient beings. Maybe they’re just like us, maybe they’re lil green men, maybe they’re space unicorns. My mind is open.


2.
 How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.

Oh boy. Lemme get some scrap paper and I’ll get back with you.

I’ve lived at 24 different addresses in 42 years, 29 if you count the residences of my mother when I did not live with her full-time. I had weekend rooms there, I’m pretty sure those count.
Fun Fact #1 With my mother, I lived on the same road twice, two houses apart.
Fun Fact #2 Drew, Tori, HME and I all lived in the same apartment complex.
Fun Fact #3 I lived with the same guy twice — once as a boyfriend and then, 7 years later, not.
I’ve lived in one dorm (two rooms, same address) nine apartments, four townhouses, and the rest were homes.
I’ve lived in seven cities, six in Indiana and one in Georgia.
gee, it’s no wonder i don’t wanna move, huh?

3. If you were given $22 million tax free dollars (any currency), what is the first thing you would do?

Make a really, really long and thoughtful list. We all have one, don’t we? I’ve never put mine on paper.

4. The Never List: What are things you’ve never done? Or things you know you never will do?

I contend that one should never say never. Life is full of surprises. I’ll tell you one thing; I don’t play Never Have I Ever anymore, because I always end up smashed. #drunkernaskunk
I see now they’ve made it into a board game for those of us who are more Boy Have I Ever. This likely prevents a lot of alcohol poisoning.

5. Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful I finally had a day alone. It was so quiet. This weekend coming up celebrates the day I met my husband, 29 years ago, so we’ll probably talk about that for two minutes and then fall asleep before we even kiss one another goodnight. Maybe I’ll bake a pineapple upside-down cake or something else the children don’t care for.

vintage joey

drew made this for me

 

I’m participating in Cee’s Share Your World questionnaire for Just Jot it January, both are open to all who’d like to join.

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Effortless

Today’s Just Jot it January prompt is effortless, which I’m happy to say, actually is. (Thanks for the great prompt, Dan!)

I grew up among three industrious parents and between them, I was subjected to a large menu of their effortless abilities. Which means, I suppose by default, I can do a lot of things with minimal effort.
I really do try to keep this blog under 1000 words, so I tried to devise a list of things none of my parents can do…and I think they’d all agree, none of them can leap tall buildings in a single bound…or maybe they do, and they just don’t tell me about it because there’s math involved.

I present to you the list of things I do effortlessly:

1. Write.
For me, writing is easier than speaking and I speak well with some effort. I feel good when I write.
Speaking is letting people look at me and being expected to respond appropriately and instead saying something awkward and incoherent while making bizarre faces at them.
I should clarify, that’s how I feel.
I write this like I’m some sorta bumbling social idiot, which I am not, having taught, having worked a great deal with the public, having been on the speech team and in debates, having never been marked “Needs to participate more in class” on my report cards. I can talk to anyone, anywhere, but I’d rather not. It’s excruciating and exhausting. I’d much rather write.

2. Worry.
If worrying bore weight, I would need a crane to hold my head up.
Present to me the most benign settings and I will point out to you all the things about which you should be worried.
The world is filled with danger.
My heart is on my sleeve and in my throat and made of glass. From bits of control, I fashion extensive fortresses of protection so that people can come at me like a wrecking ball.

3. Cook.
If I can taste it, I can cook it. Some people can play by ear, I can cook by mouth.
Now and again, I don’t know if it’s yogurt or sour cream, or if it’s cardamom or ginger and cinnamon, but unless it’s baking, I usually don’t need a recipe to recreate it.

4. Art
I’m not saying I’m good at drawing, painting, etc, but I’m not bad at it, and it’s easy for me. Lemme doodle you a doodad.

doodle_dot

my mother must have a stack of these doodles…

5. Teach
If I understand it, I can teach it. Or, if I need a 6-week position as a middle school math teacher, I can learn it well enough to teach it. And maybe that one really smart kid will enjoy showing us how he got the answer to the bonus question, because X is Your Mom, Algebra.

There you have it, my five effortless abilities.

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Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Snow Sanity

Like so many other places, we’ve been experiencing such mild, autumnal temperatures, it hasn’t felt much like winter at all.

The Mister woke me with, “You got your winter wonderland.”

As soon as I opened the curtains, Cletus the Dog Kitten jumped up to bat at the snow.

cletus_snow

Old Man Winter has finally come to his senses.

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Title — Where do the Cheetahs fit in?

I woke up on the right side of the bed, but with not enough covers, which I think is because my husband uses blanket stealing to subliminally lure me to his side of the bed so that he can wrap me in the blazing inferno that is his body.
I’m not sayin I’m grumpy, I’m just sayin this prompt had me like Wha? and then I read some today and I just don’t fucking know, and I am reminded of being in school, where teachers gave vague ideas of what they wanted so we could brainstorm and come up with something clever and unique, or so they could avoid teaching, and then when someone turned in just the right thing, they’d hold it up and say, “This! This is what I wanted!” and we’d all sit there like That? and we’d roll our eyes and sublimate our spite with fastidious notes on how some teachers really do teach because they cannot do.

But whatever, that bit right there was definitely the stream of consciousness about which every writing teacher dreams.
Title is my jot, and I shall jot to you of my recent run-in with title.

I got Adele’s new 25 cd for Xmas. Sassy and I have grown quite fond of Track 2. That’s all the help my car is: Track 2. For all the things this car does, you’d think it could recognize titles, but alas, it does not.
So, we love Track 2 and we listen to it over and over and over and we open-mouth hum mostly, because we do not know the words. One day, I ask Sassy, “What the hell is the chorus?” Sassy doesn’t know. I say Imma hafta look it up.
I’m talkin Bob Dylan, “Louie, Louie,” beginning of “Scar Tissue” level of indecipherable wtfness here.

The Mister told me that Sassy kept pushing the buttons and putting it back on Track 2. I said, “I love that 2nd track, too, but what is she goin on about?”
He didn’t know.
I’d swear the chorus is like send my love to ya lil lovelighter and somethin about cheetahs.

So when The Mister and I got into the car later, he turned the song on and gave it his best try. I had this brilliant idea that maybe, if we looked at the case, we’d see the title of the song and so we did. It’s “Send My Love to Your New Lover” and that’s exactly what she’s singing. Turns out cheetah is actually treat her.

chorus_of_what

Huh.
You know, that makes sense.

Reading titles can be helpful — as is enclosing lyrics, but I often feel that went out with record jackets.

 

Just Jot it January and SoCS are both brought to you by the ever clever LindaGHill

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#ThursdayDoors — Irvington Prebysterian Church

In terms of Indianapolis neighborhoods, I’m a fan of Irvington, because of the houses. The old, beautiful houses in historic districts make me swoon, you know how I do.

The doors on the front and both sides of the church are the same, but I frequently drive by this west side set, so those are the ones I captured.

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ic1

Irvington Presbyterian church is a beautiful building and I love its doors.
If you’re into cornerstones, a photo of this church’s cornerstone (1929) can be found at the bottom of this article.

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To view other interesting doors, click the link and see what others are posting today.

This post is for LindaGHill’s Just Jot It January.

jjj-2016

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Not a One-Liner — Writing an actual blog post on a Wednesday? What?

The prompt for today is cloud. I’ve been up for about four hours now and I got nothin to blog about when it comes to clouds.

My brain on clouds:

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
I had some dreams there were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee

So I looked at my coffee cup and it was all, “I got nothin, Joey.”

I stared out my window and the sky stared back and shouted, “What?!? You know other people actually like clear skies, right?!?”

I looked at pictures on my phone and at first, it was like, “Can I interest you in some doors, or perhaps some cats?”

But then, I found this:

moon_clouds

Jot!

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Just Jotting Share Your World 2016 #1

As a child, who was your favorite relative?
Ooh, that’s tricky. Maybe my mother’s mother. She had great authenticity and a love of adventure. She was so much fun. She was my playmate well into my 20’s.

gramma

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?
I’d be an evergreen shade plant.

What would be your preference, awake before dawn or awake before noon?
Noon. I can’t even emphasize that enough. It’s 4am and I’m writing this because insomnia has come to call AGAIN. I don’t think I’m meant to be up with the sun. I’m much more likely to go down after sunrise. It’s utterly exhausting to be a night owl in a morning people world.

Would you like to sleep in a human size nest in a tree or be snuggled in a burrowed spot underground?
Human size nest in a tree would do just fine, so long as there are no mosquitoes.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
Last week I was most grateful for my husband. This week I look forward to … hey, I don’t know, maybe naps.

This post is my jot for Just Jot it January via LindaGHill and Cee’s Share Your World.

 

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It’s Mimosa Day, Bitches!

It’s been a good long while since I’ve ranted, and it’s important to remind you every now and again that THIS IS NOT A NICE LADY BLOG, lest you begin to think I’m some simple-headed basic Pollyanna bitch.

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courtesy of la sabrosona

This one’s been a long time comin, so for your own safety, I ask that you sit down, strap in, and put yer helmets on.
Get ya drink. I’ll wait.

Bitches love my man.
Proverbial bitches.
Proverbial bitches who proverbially suck his dick all the goddamn time.
They lurve him.
Nowhere is this more apparent than on social media.
The Mister is the most beloved man that ever graced social media.

No one likes me, least of all my family and friends, and everyone loves him to the nth degree.
That’s how I feel, and it doesn’t matter what you think, it only matters how I feel, cause INFJ.

Now, before I go on, I want you to know that these could all well be fictional events, or completely hyperbolic examples but they’re totally not.
If any of these stories involve you, I probably still love you, but there’s no hope I’ll ever forget being slighted by you and I guess we’ll both have to live with that: you, glowing in your triumph and me crying and drinking stale champagne, but we’ll manage.
Also, I’m flattered you’re reading my blog. I had no idea you read my blog!

I know the sun rises and sets upon The Mister and how I know that nobody likes me, everybody hates me, and I should just eat some worms.

 

1. I am invisible next to my husband.

Me: It’s crazy hot in here.
The Mister: It sure is crazy hot in here.
All the women: Yes, you’re right! It sure is crazy hot in here!

Julie: I played violin.
Jenny: I didn’t play anything, I sang though.
Julie: The Mister sang, too.
Me: I also sang. for five years longer than he did, but whatever, Julie, you’ve only known me 20+ years

Stranger: Do you know where the paint is?
Me: Aisle 4
Stranger to The Mister: Thanks. Have a nice night, Man.
The Mister: You too.

2. If I vaguebook, it is assumed that I am speaking of my husband and only the bravest and strongest will acknowledge it.

Me: Narcissists are dreadful.
Tracey: Aren’t they though?
Cole: I had a stalkery Narcissist for years and years.
Me: I think this is one of those statuses that people think I’m talkin about my husband or somethin. No one’s sayin anythin…
Then BOOM! Lotsa comments.
Like, ‘Oh, it’s not about The Mister, so it’s safe now.’
Do other people think my husband is a Narcissist?

3. He’s the pretty one.

If I post a selfie, I get maybe 30-40 Likes. If I post a picture of The Mister, or both of us together, I get 60-80.

4. He’s the funny one.

Me: And then she fell on her face!

The Mister: Just splat on her face!
Everyone: OH LOL LOL ROTFL OH LOL LOL PMSL OH HAHAHA LMMFAO You are so funny!

5. He’s the smart one.

The Mister cuts the child’s pancakes with a pizza cutter.
“What a brilliant idea!”
“Right? Joey taught me this years ago.”
“You’re so smart!”

5. I give people things and people thank The Mister.

“This is wonderful, thank you so much!” she says as she pats his hand.
“Joey thought you’d like it.”
“I do.”
I’m right here. Hello? Am I in a nightmare?
I don’t care who you are, not once in the last sixteen years has The Mister ever so much as thoughtfully purchased a greeting card for you, let alone a fucking gift.

6. People let him sleep.

Children never wake him in the night due to bad dreams, worry, vomiting, wet bed.
If he falls asleep AT A SOCIAL GATHERING people say, “Aw, he’s so tired.”
Yes. He’s worked so hard. At falling asleep 4 hours before me, waking 30 minutes before me and having napped earlier this afternoon when I was cooking all this fucking food.

7. His feelings matter.

The Mister: I’m a little bit anxious right now.
Everyone: Why? What’s wrong? What happened?
The Mister: It is what it is, there’s no reason.
Everyone: You poor thing. Can I make you some tea? Would a backrub help? Is there anything I can do? Here, lie down.

Me: I’m havin a panic attack.
Everyone: …

8. His blasphemy sounds better and his swearing is overlooked.

If I shout, “Oh my God!” when a yellow jacket lands on my nose, I am asked if I am invoking God reverently. So unladylike, so ungodly, so unbecoming.
If The Mister says, “Oh Lord no, dear sweet baby Jesus, hell no!” then he is funny and this is the best story they have ever heard.

If I say it’s fucking hot, people think I am being dramatic and crude.
If he says it’s fucking hot, people stay indoors and thank him for the warning.

9. The children ask for him when they’re sick or injured.

Me when they’re sick — back-rubbing, cool-rag fetching, bucket-emptying, hair-holding, drink-soup-toast toting.
Him when they’re sick — “Suck it up, Buttercup! Drink water, drive on!”

Me when they’re injured — Holding them, asking them, “Can you move it? Do you feel a bump? Do you think you need medical assistance?”
Him when they’re injured — Moving potential broken bits, making them scream and cry, yelling at them, dousing their wounds with alcohol.
He has the worst bedside manner, but they want him still.

So far, I’ve protected the names of the guilty offenders and I’ve not given you substantial proof, but I submit to you, my Instagram.
My Instagram.
Mine.
The Mister isn’t on Instagram.
But on his birthday, the daily prompt was ‘My hero,’ and as such, I posted his photo.
Check it out. People actually wished him a happy birthday on my post. Did those same people wish me a happy birthday on Instagram? Nope. Like I’m runnin a fuckin fan page for The Mister.

proof

 

Do you need more proof?

I tell ya, he should run for office. Bitches would be swoonin over his likable ass, chasin him down, vyin for his attention, “I saw you on Instagram! I love what you’ve done with your hair!”
He’s bald, Bitch. God did that.
And all those political opinions? They’re mine. I gave him those, along with a host of other things, not the least of which are his love of duck confit and a better vocabulary.

You could conclude that I’m jealous, and I am; I’ve never been likable. In the words of my dear friend Orb, “You’re likable..just only to the right people. Just like me.” Takes one to know one, I guess.

But in turn, you must know, The Mister chooses me every day. He doesn’t know I’m not the pretty one, the funny one, or the smart one. He sees me at my best and my worst, and he really sees me. He values my judgment, my intellect, my insight. He listens to me when I prattle on and he comforts me when I’m panicked. He fosters my growth, finances my passions, and he is man enough to thrive in the challenges of my bitchiness. He makes me forget how awkward and irrelevant I am.
I can see why people love him so much. Everyone should have one.

I appreciate your reading all the way to the end, because I jotted the fuck out of this Just Jot It January post.

jjj-2016

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Frozen

You’d think that the word frozen would be a perfectly suitable prompt for the first week of January here in Indiana, but there’s nothing literally frozen outside. Usually by now we’ve had repeated hits of of freezing rain and our street would stay frozen for months.

I like the cold, upwards of 20F/-6C and I love the snow. This winter, if you wanna call it that, has been just plain weird.
I feel cheated.

There’s a fly on my window, for fuck’s sake.

Are my bulbs even gonna freeze?!?

As ever, I’m looking for the silver linings.
I can get out more.
No shoveling.
No treacherous porch steps.
No waddling like a penguin to the kids’ bus stops.

It can’t last forever, right?

Yesterday was 38F/3C. I put on my fleece shirt, a scarf and a hat and walked the dog for well over an hour. It will be a tad colder today and I will do the same.
It’s not often I’ll walk like that in January. Usually 20-30 minutes is all I can take, because usually it’s well below freezing, and if there’s a lot of snow, it’s quite a work out.
This is what it looks like outside.

creekwood

Has Old Man Winter forgotten where I live?

This post is part of LindaGHill’s Just Jot it January.

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Paws, Paws, Paws, Paws & Pause

 I had to get the paws to pause for photos.

 

Just Jot it January and SoCs are brought to you by LindaGHill

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Just Jot it January Meets Share Your World 2015 #52

Yes, technically I know it’s January of 2016, but on Monday, when I should have done this post, I was busy enjoying my company. I’m postin this super crazy early because later today, after I sleep, I plan to be mimosa’d and pajama’d and the only fussin I wanna do is over a big ol pot of Hoppin John.

We’re gonna count this Share My World as my launch post for Just Jot it January as well. I am not tipsy, the champagne didn’t go right to my head and someone needs to think of a nicer, non-violent metaphor that illustrates the idea of killing two birds with one stone.

jjj-2016

Tell how you are feeling today in the form of a weather report. (For example, partly cloudy, sunny with a chance for showers, etc.)
I feel 40-ish, cloudy, and blustery — this is good. You don’t want me hot (bitchy) or sunny (delirious.)

What is most memorable about your high school years?
Boys. Yep. Boys. Blue-eyed boys mostly, and lots of em. Boys in holey jeans, boys in fast cars, boys in basketball shorts, boys with guitars, and boys in fields… a lot of boys, okay?
My memory is stellar.
The memories are vivid.
I remember other things, but mostly boys.

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?
Yes. I’ve had lots of pretty rocks, but Moo has slowly stolen them from me, leaving me with one amethyst egg. I think two of my Buddhas are jade, does that count?

Complete this sentence:  I like watching…out my picture window. I love watching the behavior of trees. I know I am turning into a lil old lady, but I love my birds and squirrels, too.

grayallday

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I am most grateful for all the presence of loved ones and ironically, I look forward to peace and quiet in their absence next week. Long live The Quiet Room!

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Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly topic — Are you even sharin your world yet?
Just Jot it January is hosted by LindaGHill — Are you even jotting?

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#Thursday Doors — A Veritable Hodge Podge

Just some doors I like…

on nearby townhomes -- i like the way the wreath repeats the color of the brick

on nearby townhomes — i like the way the wreath repeats the color of the brick

in broad ripple -- about a month after i took this picture, ladders and buckets appeared on the porch -- maybe i'll get an after photo

in broad ripple — about a month after i took this picture, ladders and buckets appeared on the porch — maybe i’ll get an after photo

at the fairgrounds -- no longer a dorm, but a place to exhibit

at the fairgrounds — no longer a dorm, but a place to exhibit 4-H projects

apartment building in broad ripple -- stone and stained glass

apartment building in broad ripple — stone and glass gorgeousness

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To view other interesting doors, click the link and see what others are posting today.

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One-Liner Wednesday — Scary

 

“I don’t wanna watch The Weasel of Aw!” said four-year-old Moo.

the-wizard-of-oz-516687_640
One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill

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Lost in My Own Neck of the Woods

I thought I was lost the other night.

In my own stomping grounds.

On a road I drive two to twenty times a week.

If you live in Indy, imagine Fall Creek Parkway.

If you don’t live in Indy, imagine you have a prominent creek that runs 50+ miles through your state, and dumps into a river inside your city. Pretend there’s a primary thoroughfare that travels alongside it. Picture yourself driving on this road damn near every time you leave your house. You take this imaginary road to go to stores, restaurants, parks, the library, downtown — and since you’ve pretty much always lived near this creek and its road, you have driven on this road literally tens of thousands of times.

One night, it’s dark and rainy, and you take a wrong turn out of an exit you never use. You think it’s not too big of a deal, you know you simply need to find a right turn. You can’t find a right turn. They’re all marked NO OUTLET.
You know why? Cause creek.
When you realize where you are, cause creek, you have a big fat laugh to yourself, because you’re not lost at all. You have surely been driving on the only, perhaps two-mile stretch of this road that you don’t drive all the freakin time.

I came home and I said to The Mister, “I needed to turn right but I turned left, so I was headed north on Fall Creek Parkway and I had no idea where I was for awhile. Do you know where Fall Creek takes you north of Kessler?” He thought for a moment and shrugged.
“No. I dunno where Fall Creek runs north.”
“Past Lake Charlevoix, Brokenhurst, Johnson Road, past Skiles Test Park, to freakin Shadeland!”
Then he said, “Ah! Ahahaha!”

We had quite a laugh at ourselves. Of course, we DO know where Fall Creek Parkway runs north, we drive it all the time!!!
I have been at the intersection of Fall Creek and Shadeland Avenue so many times, I could probably paint you a panoramic picture of its trees. We not only drive through that intersection all the time, but we literally walk under it on a trail.

Now here’s a crude rendering of Fall Creek Parkway, with the key not to scale at all.

huh_pic

My civil engineering parents are scowling, but for the rest of you, it’s enough to illustrate my point.
The road is gray, houses I’ve lived in are yellow, places I frequent are red, and green is the area I travel two to twenty times a week. I’m not kidding. We really do drive it all the time. All the time. Just not that gray section there. Apparently I only do that on accident.

Have you ever been lost in your own stomping grounds?

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I am not standing on Darth Vader

It was not a white Christmas here in Indy. God knows I love a rainy day, but I would’ve loved snow.

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Weirdest Christmas weather I can recall. We even had a few open windows. I don’t know how warm it was, around 60F/15C. Strange.
Around midnight we were back outside, barefoot, gazin upon the full moon.

My family devoured my mother’s fudge, but I am an only, and therefore, I feel greedily entitled to hoard her fruitlings. She’s MY MOMMY!

fruitling

I filled everyone’s stockings with candy, and I think it helped.

I let everyone look at the snow family she crocheted, though, so that’s nice.

snow_family

How freakin adorable are they? The little one, he is French, non? Il porte une petite moustache, non? Tote dorbs.

We did all the dipping, the roll-outs, baking, icing, and sprinkling. We also did some cookie eating, so there are only about 100 cookies left now.

xmaskitchen

I’m still gonna make a Texas Sheet Cake and some chocolate chip cookies because this upcoming week we’ll have people in and out.

Some of us did a lot of dishes. Some of us did more dishes than Mama asked because listening, but Mama doesn’t mind when people do extra dishes because they didn’t listen well.
If clean the kitchen-destroy the kitchen-clean the kitchen-destroy the kitchen had been a game, I’da won.
My kitchen is big enough for Thanksgiving, but it’s not big enough for Christmas. How wonderful is life when your kitchen’s so full of cookies, you find yourself holding a hot cookie sheet without a place to set it down? That’s a wonderful life.

We watched movies, colored and gamed, snuggled, and slept-in.


I found myself slightly maudlin that Sissy wasn’t with us, but three out of four is still heartwarming. One day we may have an eerily quiet Christmas without any children at all, and one day there may be sixteen grandchildren and we’ll go deaf from all the squealing — You never know. It’s best to celebrate each day for what it is instead of complaining about what it is not.
For the days it’s not as easy to celebrate what is, may you have cookies and drink, and best of all, the imagination and gratitude to make the crappy bits better.
aren’t we lucky to have the boy one home?
what a joyous day it will be when all six of us are together again!
isn’t it nice that my husband is not in iraq today?
isn’t it grand that we live here? look at all the pretty trees! there’s a tree in my house!
perhaps one day there will be teleporters…

It was a splendid, if strangely warm, day.

Today, more rain, but ah, the chili’s on.

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#Thursday Doors — Woodruff Place Collection

Continuing with my last two posts about Woodruff Place, here and here –today I’m showing you the rest of the doors I snapped.

Here’s my favorite of the remainders:

coralfave

porch kitty watches you

This is the back porch of a huge brick home. I assume the door isn’t often used, because that kitty is made of stone. Charming, charming door. Also, the wood trim is coral, and that’s an unusually cheerful color for such a serious house. But then, that’s why color is so important. The size, the brick, the slate roof — all imposing, but the coral trim and the whimsical stone kitty tell me the owner is fun.

Many of the following doors and details are dressed for the holidays, and so of course a #ThursdayDoors on Christmas Eve seems appropriately timed.

Do you have a favorite?

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To view other interesting doors, click the link and see what others are posting today.

PS: I’ve been in a state of fury about this post. Last night I TRIED to compose a draft in the mobile app, thinkin it would be easier to upload photos. The new post editor that we all hate was supposedly designed to make posting easier on mobile app. Clean and clear, it said. Fuck that shit. I spent half an hour waiting for photos to upload, only a few showed up, and then, like that wasn’t bad enough, it published it live instead of saving as a draft. Not clean and clear enough for me, obviously. I slammed the door in Mobile App’s face. My apologies to anyone who got an error message.

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One-Liner Wednesday — Once a Marine…

I said to The Mister, “While you’ve got some time off, maybe you could blow up all the fings.”
The Mister gave me an enormous grin, so I continued, “Basketballs, bicycle tires…”
The Mister made a sad face and said, “Oh.”

war-469503_640

One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill

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Christmas Postathon — Day 22

The prompt for 22 is White Christmas or green Christmas?

I’ve been hoping for a White Christmas since I got back to Indiana and I still haven’t had one. Maybe the third time is the charm?
Probably not.

Just this morning at 3am, I was lying in bed, pondering over my endless supply of worries, when all of a sudden I heard a hauntingly familiar noise, repeating itself. Rain. I picked up my phone and checked the weather. Yep, 51 and rainy. The weather is so mild this week, there is no hope of snow.

Snow is much more enjoyable when you don’t have to go anywhere. So nice to admire from the warmth of your home —  say, in front of a large picture window with heat blowing on your feet and a hot cuppa in your hand? Much nicer to play in it at 3pm rather than brush it off your car at 7am.

one of my snowy views -- i never tire of it

one of my snowy views — i never tire of it

I’m always dreaming of a white Christmas. Actually, I’d like snow on the ground all winter.
People hate that about me.
Usually, I just get ice on my street all winter. S’not the same.

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The Rejection of Jolene Mottern

I didn’t find out my blog is offensive and tasteless until Sassy got her school-prescribed laptop and informed me my site is blocked.
Of course I don’t think I’m tasteless and offensive; I think I’m perfectly fucking delightful.
I don’t even swear a lot if you compare me to my husband.
I have a post about vagina AND pussy, but neither one is remotely mature.
I sometimes discuss the murder of yellow jackets and fire ants, but not in gruesome detail.
I marked my blog as PG13, and I think that’s more than generous, considering the vulgarity my children come home from school and ask me about.
I’ve decided it’s flattering to be labeled as offensive. Everyone knows all the best books were banned and burned. Everybody knows the most well-read people read the most controversial books.
Check out what La Sabrosona had to say about it —

my spanglish familia

IMG_20151220_134320

Yesterday, in a rather frustrated moment as I watched Cabezítas’ team get “creamed” yet again, I turned to my cell phone for solace and greedily tried to open Joey’s Christmas postathon for December 20th. Joey never lets me down. Her posts have just the right amount of humour, cursing, detail and narrative-finesse that my brain needed at that very moment.

When all of a sudden, a wifi glitch fucked up my plans and the City’s Soccer Centre wifi said “Sucks to be you – no Jolene Mottern to be had in this building cabrona!”

The message that appeared across my phone as you can see in the photo told me that Joey’s site was blocked because it’s “tasteless and offensive”. Huh? My sweet Jolene Mottern, who swears de vez en cuando? Nooooooo, not Joey! I beg to differ. Her site is faaaaaar from “tasteless and offensive”.

If…

View original post 58 more words

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Share Your World? Okay!

I’ve seen Cee’s Share Your World challenges for a long time, maybe even since I started this blog, but I really had no idea what people were on about. I started noticing my blogging buddies referring to Cee’s blog more and more, and while I’m not much on peer pressure, and I take a strange pride in the rock I live under, it’s good to try new things. Last week Cee had a challenge about doors and windows and Norm of #ThursdayDoors brought it to my attention.
It turns out Cee is a person who, among other things, teaches photography. I figured I could follow along and glean some knowledge goodies. I spent like two hours reading, because as it turns out, taking good pictures involves knowing rules and then breaking them (not unlike good writing.)  I decided I have an artful eye, I see all the pretty. I never really thought about the methods…I simply wander around, capturing bits of my life with an iPhone without too much thought. I’m convinced I will still do this. I mean, I neeeeed aspects of my life where I don’t overthink, but learning is fun and challenges are essential to growth.

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So here I am, on the 51st week of the year, joining in. Here are my responses to this week’s Cee’s Share Your World:

Favorite thing to photograph? Write? Or Cook?

Already, I sit here twenty minutes thinking about this prompt. Ugh, I like to photograph flora and fauna. I like to write anything, really, and descriptively or persuasively appeals the most. I like to cook all the things, maybe sauces, stews, and soups the most.
I cannot choose between writing and cooking. Like choosing between books and music, or food and sex, or whatever — I WANT IT ALL AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!

Did you like swinging as a child? Do you still get excited when you see a swing?

Yes, I always did love the swings! No, I do not get excited when I see a swing now. I don’t even like to sit in rockers or gliders anymore. I blame the vertigo and nausea that often accompany anxiety.

What has surprised you about blogging?

WordPress is surely the kindest, most supportive community on the internet. 

List at least five favorite desserts.

Now we’re talkin!
Ice cream, spumoni, frozen custard, Key lime pie, sugar cream pie, coconut cream pie, lemon meringue pie, my mother’s chocolate dream pie, pecan pie, Boston cream pie, tiramisu, creme brulee, butterscotch pudding, pistachio pudding, vanilla pudding, chocolate pudding, sex in a pan, pineapple delight, chocolate eclairs, blackberry cobbler, carrot cake, Black Forest cake, Texas sheet cake, wedding cake, lemon icebox cake…

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Oh wow, well, I’m grateful for a lot. I’ll go with being most grateful for my health, (It’s my health, I get to judge when it’s good!) and for all the sleep that likely makes it possible. All hail Winter Break!
I’m looking forward to baking this week.

Feel free to join in on Cee’s challenges, she’s quite welcoming.

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Christmas Postathon — Day 20

Colored lights or white lights? Nancy prompts.

Matter of personal preference, isn’t it?

I might would add colored lights if they were bubble lights!

I’m a white light person, because I love white.
This year, some of my LED lights died tragically from lyin about in a box all year. I had to buy some new LED lights, and well, they are not the same color white. I had warm white and I bought cool white.
But I tell ya, I’m not unhappy, cause guess what? Looks like silver and gold!

yuletree_1_15

 

Now I shall endeavor to maintain the warm and cool contrast.

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Christmas Postathon — Day 19

On the 19th, Nancy lists the Christmas tree.

I’d argue it’s a Yule tree, but I must admit, Christmas trees seem more popular.

We got a live tree this year.
We don’t always.
Last year we had Cletus the Dog Kitten to contend with, so we felt like the artificial tree was better suited to kittenhood.

We’ve had several artificial trees since we’ve been together. Initially, we had a gigantic one and that was cool, because we had a lot of space.
Then we moved to a smaller home. The first year, I took off some limbs and put it in a corner. The second year, I decided that gigantic tree would look better in front of Beauty Queen’s picture window, and we bought a skinny pre-lit tree instead.
I’ll never buy a pre-lit tree again. I’m just sayin.
Then we moved to Georgia and our skinny tree looked absolutely ridiculous in our big house. So we used real trees awhile, and then we bought another 8-footer, but not too full.

The real tree is where it’s at for me. Smells good. Supports farmers. Becomes mulch.

But one cannot always find the perfect live tree for the space.
Or the kittens.
Or the toddlers.
Or the allergies.
So you know, I don’t have anything against the fake trees. They’re certainly easier to trim.

Surprisingly, I’ve not caught Clara in the tree yet this year…

Two years ago, I decided to reclaim the tree from the children’s ornaments. Last year, I let them put some of their ornaments on. This year I did not. Maybe next year. Maybe not.

I’m already fighting three cats, do I really need to address the kitsch and clutter of 100 kid ornaments?
I secure the ornaments as if they’ll spontaneously combust when they hit the floor. (As I’m sure all cat lovers do.) I put some jingle bells on the bottom for the cats’ amusement.

I’ve never figured out how to have a tree skirt with cats.

This is the first year I got wise and looked for other ways to do the ribbon. Not so much a garland as what seems to be an explosion. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t have to redress the entire tree. I just stick the ends of the ribbon back in.

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I’d love to have a new fake tree. I think I’d opt for skinny again. And flocked. And maybe with some gilded pine cones.
But then, the genuine smell of pine….Ahh!

I’m one of those people who really loves the tree. I mean, c’mon, twinkly lights and sparkly things and ribbon!
I secretly wish to admire lit evergreens all year, perhaps one in every room. Maybe a lil Charlie Brown tree on the table…
Sadly, I live in a little bungalow with Mister Bah Humbug and he’d be quick to point out how many, many evergreens are outside.

Do you love tree-time, too? Do you have to be careful about getting a tree that is just right for your space?

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Christmas Postathon — Day 18

18. Celebrating the holiday with your pets

Huh?
Like, giving them presents or hanging stockings for them or whatever?
Nah.

We did, the second Christmas we had our dog, give her an enormous bone.

apuppy

It wasn’t as much a Christmas gift as it was a distraction, because the first Christmas we had Sadie, she apparently got a little stressed and chewed on one of Sassy’s shoes. Sadie was content to hang out in the back yard and chew on her bone all day, because well, we did live in Georgia. It was prolly 80 degrees or someshit.

Sadie occasionally enjoys chugging a hefty amount of pine, 7Up, and sap-flavored tea from the base of the tree as well.

Celebrating Christmas with our pets usually just deals with the cats. Like this meme I saw the other day.

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Or the fact that I had to get up out of bed in the wee hours to confiscate a small ball ornament from Cletus the Dog Kitten. He had purloined it from the tree and was jauntily batting it all over the house, no doubt enjoying the ping-y-pong-y noises it made as he chased it. I did not enjoy the ping-y-pong-y noises one iota.
He took his revenge. I woke up this morning to discover the bow from a gift lay unraveled beneath the tree. He murdered it right nice.

Then there’s Clara, doing this every year:

Perhaps Catticus is a Scrooge. He’s never involved in any merriment.

But really, we have our celebrations and the cats have theirs.
Being part cat myself, I presume they find a great deal of joy with all the ribbon, paper, bags, and sparkly things, let alone the magical tree.

Do you do anything special with your pets during Yuletide? Sit them with Santa? Fill their stockings? Put them in ugly Christmas sweaters?

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Christmas Postathon — Day 17

17. A special gift you have given or received

This topic kinda blows my mind, because when I think about gifts I have received, I get emotionally overwhelmed with gratitude. Best I focus on the material items, I reckon.
Oh but the heirlooms and the quilts and the books and the fabric!

Okay, I gotta focus on Christmas…

For a special gift I received, I’ll go with the Christmas my parents bought me an enormous stuffed Winnie-the-Pooh Bear. Oh my gosh, y’all it’s huge. We still have it. It lived with Bubba for a long time and then Bubba let his sisters take custody of his stuffies, so giant Pooh Bear, now a naked Pooh Bear, lives in Moo’s room, where, really, he could basically be a back support/arm rest pillow for her.

pooh_bear

I got that Pooh Bear when I was 18.

After all the presents had been opened, my dad asked me to go look in the coat closet and that’s where I found Pooh. Such a whimsical, timely gift. One of my favorites fersure.

I strapped him in the passenger seat and drove him back to college with me. He never once complained about my driving, perhaps because he knew I’d always have hunny on hand.

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#Thursday Doors — New Doors in an Old Place

Continuing from last week’s post from Woodruff Place, here are two doors that are new additions to some freshly renovated homes.

 

I like the yellow one. I mean, it’s a yellow door on a blue house, and that green chair is a great accessory. I’m not a fan of modern aesthetics, but this is a good-looking door all the same.
I’m sure some people prefer its newness and the clean lines of its transom and trim.

The newer traditional door is new wood, stained so dark it almost looks black, but it’s wood. I so rarely see such new masonry details on a home. I am compelled to admire the door’s surround. Also, no crumbling steps here!

I’ll post most of the doors I snapped in Woodruff Place next week, which means I’ll go back to the old stuff I so prefer.

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To view other interesting doors, click the link and see what others are posting today.

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One-Liner Wednesday — Misplaced

Facebook status from December 16, 2011
Location: Ft. Stewart, Georgia

It’s freakin hot. I’m sweatin. I just saw a woman dressed like a snowman…WHERE THE HELL IS SHE FROM?!? Venus?

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One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill

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#ThursdayDoors — Porches and Porticos

Meanwhile, back in the Indianapolis neighborhood of Irvington…


And…

 

That’s all the closer I could get without trespassing.

I think sometimes a collection of doors gives you a better feel for the community’s personality. I find Irvington charming, warm, and eclectic. What do you think? I think I should collect more Irvington doors!

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To view other interesting doors, click the link and see what others are posting today.

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged | 45 Comments