The Inevitability of Us

Today The Mister and I celebrate our fifteenth year of marriage. Fifteen glorious years of love and happiness…or somethin like that!

wedding
The Mister and I have known one another for twenty-seven years, so sometimes it feels like we have been married forever, but it’s an extraordinary feeling, unlike any other.

Not every moment of this marriage has been a pleasant one. There have, in fact, been many rough patches. Trying times for us have been typically stressful ones, like  “These children will be the death of us,” or “Remember when we used to spend time together?” and “Omalord, do we have enough money?” as well as, “Oh, please don’t die from this!”

deployments and unemployments were most terrible, and i no longer care for the word ploy

The defining moments of our marriage seem to be based on enduring. It’s as though suffering is necessary to remind us that we have one another, and often, it feels like we only have one another, and that there is no one else who could possibly understand, and no one else we’d rather have on our side, in what seems to be another batch of IT’S YOU AND ME AGAINST THE WORLD!

“Thanks, Stress, we’re like, super duper good at bein married now.”

The happiness is harder to convey. It’s a bit sickening, I admit, but it is my anniversary, so…
It’s subtle, but completely obvious at the same time. We sorta radiate an aura of ease and intimacy. It’s obvious The Mister and I are still into each other — chemistry, sexual tension, whatever you wanna call it. There’s an honest verve, a no-holds-barred tangibility to our marriage, which I would say is rare.

That vibe between us has been there for as long as I can remember, even when we were kids. We fought then, much more than we do now. But at night, we’d take comfort in the sleeplessness of one another. Most of our relationship was based on nights spent alternating between silently stroking and deep discussions in the dark. Then years of separation, followed by reunion, then years of letters, always followed by those nights, until eventually he was my person and I was his. It took him more than ten years to kiss me. It took a few months after that kiss for me to process the ramifications of said kiss. The Inevitability of Us was clear to others long before it was clear to us.

We didn’t go on a date until our wedding night. Dating is for people who need to get to know one another. We’d been friends for over a decade. This was not love at first sight, this was an evolution.

The Mister and I are both passionate, demonstrative people. We’re both black and white — for us, there is no gray. Our values are shared. We hold integrity and equality high. We both demand freedoms of every kind. We share a love for learning, for personal development, for spiritual growth. The Mister and I don’t actually share many common interests…films, outdoors, travel…
He’s a man of action and I’m a woman of words, so you know, some challenges are built right in!

If you ask me what makes it work, I’ll say “Constant communication. A running dialogue.” If you ask him, he’ll say, “We’re not afraid to work out our fucking problems.” That’s kinda the same thing.
We’re not afraid to work out our fucking problems in front of you, either. We realize it scares some people. We don’t care. We don’t go to bed angry, and would much rather get it over and done with. He who is the most passionate about it wins. Period. Yes, of course someone wins. Neither of us believe in participation trophies.

But after fifteen years, we will gladly accept any and all congratulations, well wishes, etc.

We’re not into crystal, so let’s skip the gifts this year, okay?

 

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HUH?

What exactly are the ramifications of loving a man who’s turning into his father, when I don’t get on too well with his father?

mother

 

One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill

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Social Media Troubles

1.My laptop has an extremely sensitive TouchPad. When I don’t push FnF5, it’s on, and it results in my typilike this. ng looking, because it changes the actively moving the TouchPadorder of my cursor as I type, even on purpose!though I’m not Sometimes it deletes things, entire I’ve alreadysections written. I’ve never had a keyboard like this, and after three years, it still catches me, like when I’ve been away from it and it’s gone to sleep. Sometimou’ll es y missing letters or words my comments and on that’s why. It’s not because I’m impaired. Promise. I mean, sometimes I make mistakes, everyone does, but a lot of it can be traced to the Evil TouchPad. Many of you suffer similarly from large thumbs and special phones with a heightened sense of Autocorrect, am I right?
*presses FnF5* WHEW!

preface

2. To do well on social media, I must sacrifice some aspect of my offline life, which is why I take long breaks from WordPress and Twitter, although I always catch up on my favorites. If you have a life where you somehow manage to keep your house clean, your family and friends close, and your personal appearance appealing — while also keepin up with your social media, then I declare you are a liar, or you have hired help, or while I’m meditating, you’re shootin your body up with amphetamines, or you don’t sleep, ever. I hafta DO things. Balance is hard. But it’s cool how doing those things gives me stuff to share…

3. Notification Failure. Sometimes WordPress doesn’t give notifications. I guess about a dozen of you wished me well before my trip to the dentist, but I never saw any of them until today. Thanks, y’all. FavStar fails to give notifications sometimes, too. I’ve missed trophies, and had trophies missed. Facebook fails, too, which I’ve known for some time, but I’m somehow always surprised to find someone commenting on a photo from 3 years ago, and seeing questions I never answered. The best part about Facebook, though, has got to be how it loses messages. I know I had True’s new address, but now I don’t. Fun.

404

4. Check your blog’s spam. There may actually be valid comments in there! Along with that, your Facebook Inbox has a separate box entitled “Other” wherein you may have messages from Not Your Friends. One of them might be your ex, tryin once again to talk to you, but hey, you might have one from that blogger chick you’d like to get to know better.

Tell me your social media troubles? Tell me I’m not alone? 

Posted in Random Musings | 31 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday — On Housewifery

“Never ask her what she did all day, because she will tell you, and boy will you be sorry.”

– The Mister’s response to a man who asked his advice

 

housewife

One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill

 

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The Anti-Bully

Years ago, when the girls were in first and second grade, we sat in the food court of the PX (Post Exchange) and Sassy said she wanted to go get a drink refill, but she wanted to wait til this other kid wasn’t over there. I asked her why she didn’t want to be around him, and she told me, “That’s Eric. No one likes him.”
“Why not?”
“Cause he’s so weird. He’s always roaming around the classroom, talkin to himself. He wears these patch things on his arm and they’re supposed to help him sit down and be quiet, but they don’t work.”

kindness1

How I felt was monumentally affected. Sad for Eric is an understatement. Sad for his parents, too. Grievous might be the better word.
“Sassy. That could be a little version of your brother over there. He had the same troubles as Eric, only he didn’t roam around and talk to himself, he just couldn’t focus the way you and I can focus. He was always thinking about whatever wasn’t happening. He would think about what he’d done before, or worry about what else he would hafta do, so he couldn’t pay attention to what was goin on. He didn’t wear patches, but he took a pill every day so he could focus. It was hard for him to make friends because he was so scatterbrained. He couldn’t pay attention to what his friends were sayin, either.”
“Really?”
“Yes, really. Go over there. Right now. Go smile and be friendly and talk to Eric like he is a smaller version of Bubba. Be kind to him. Show him your kindness. He might be as awesome as Bubba is, and no one has even taken the time to find out.”
Grudgingly, she went. There was some awkward smiling, and some chatter before she bounced back to the table, beaming with happiness.
“How’d it go?”
“Good.”
“Good. Now, when you go back to school, you be kind s’more. You be friendly and warm. Make him feel like you really care about him. You can help him just by doing that.”

Now and again, she would share some Eric information, like Eric also liked soccer and drawing. He had a little brother who drove him crazy, just like her sister drives her crazy. Finally, I heard the news that Eric got a good patch that helped him.

Toward the end of Sassy’s second grade year, I was introduced to Eric’s mother at a school function. She was actually a woman I’d met about a year before. On cold metal bleachers, we had sat together for hours in the dark and rain of spring soccer try-outs. I had liked her. I knew she had two boys, close in age, like my littlest girls, but we had spoken mostly about the trauma of deployments and books we had both enjoyed.
She spoke with accolades for Sassy and what a good friend she’d been to Eric.

Driving home, I asked Sassy, “Does Eric have a lot more friends now?”
“Oh yes!” she said. Said the girls all loved him. Said he was so funny all the time.
I told her how Eric’s mother had raved about her. I told her to remember how Eric’s life had changed, to remember you only need one good friend, to remember how one act of kindness can change someone’s whole life. I asked, “Remember how your teacher said if she can get you to do something, then the whole class will follow suit?”
“Yes.”
“That makes you a leader. Lead other people to kindness. Be the anti-bully.”

A year later, Eric was quite the popular kid. We went to another school function, where Eric sat in front of us, and girls actually fought over who would sit next to him.

My little girl helped that happen, just by being kind when it was unpopular to do so.

I die of pride, and I have only my son’s atypical brain to thank for that.

kindness

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Don’t Be Ridiculous

Today’s prompt for my Photo a Day Challenge is Pet Peeve.
Who doesn’t have pet peeves?

Are yours visually interesting to photograph? I suppose I could snap a photo of your which should be you’re. Fear of seeing one more “Your welcome” makes me not even want to thank some people.

ridiculous1
Most of my pet peeves revolve around other people, but I decided on lids that claim to be sealed for my protection. Sealed for my protection means if I can’t slice it open with a knife, I won’t buy your product anymore. Of course, I won’t buy a product without a seal, because anxiety disorder, sooo…

Coffee creamer is the worst one, because morning stiffness.

ridiculous4

But you know which pet peeve I really wanted to capture?
Ridiculous People who say Ridiculous Things like, “One day you’ll miss ___.”

One day I’ll miss being pregnant. No. Pregnant? Do you mean when I was throwing up and crying about everything, or when I crawled around on my hands and knees for five weeks because I had back labor from bottom-down breech?
One day I’ll miss them being babies. No. Babies? Like pooping, crying, nursing fiends? No. Ridiculous. I missed a lot of sex, sleep, and meals while they were babies.
One day I’ll miss them being so small. No. Small? As in potty training, eating pet kibble, walking at a snail’s pace, getting into everything? No. Ridiculous. I was still missing a lot of sex, sleep, and meals, while also toting around everything but the kitchen sink — and my back was killing me!
One day I’ll miss this >insert random< age. No. This random age of fighting, lying, making messes, back-talking, and conveniently forgetting? No. Ridiculous. I enjoy a clean and quiet house where people are honest and try their best.

ridiculous

I have memories of good and bad, and everything in between. I was present for all of it.

Nursing was wonderful, and surely the best part of The Baby Daze, because I got to rest and snuggle my happy babies and sniff their little heads and hold their little feet. I liked how Sissy would read to us during nursing sessions, but I would not say I miss it. I enjoy sleeping on my stomach. I enjoy dry breasts and I certainly enjoy not having them milked by machinery.

The building and creating times are also fabulous. Blocks, Legos, K’nex, Magnetix, trains, puzzles, finger paints, pottery, stepping stones, plaster of Paris. You would not believe the things Bubba could build! But oh, you should see what he can do now! Sassy drew a person one day, typical of a three-year-old, with four fingers and a thumb, long toes that looked like talons, a belly button and a smile from ear to ear. It was precious. Now I have to fight off relatives who want her art.

Really enjoy the hilarious things my kids say. I expect they’ll always make me laugh. I rather demand it!

So much good stuff has happened; reading stories, and playing games, and showing and teaching and seeing the world through their eyes — all wonderful, all beautiful memories. But you know what? I’m still making them. We’ve gone from Goodnight Moon to To Kill a Mockingbird, from Chutes & Ladders to Scrabble. We’ve gone from announcing every poop to forging some personal boundaries. We’ve gone from asking why Franklin lied to Moose, to why the National Enquirer is not real journalism.
And I like it!

ridiculous2
And there’s no reason to miss the old good stuff when there’s plenty right now.

If you can’t see the world anew through the eyes of your older or adult child, then you need to try harder. They’re still full of insight. I’m not saying wisdom, I’m saying they’re still teaching me. I don’t feel like pining for the past, I just look back fondly. I don’t want to throw them out of the house right now, but I look forward to a job well done.

I like to focus on the positives, like once everyone’s had braces, once everyone’s gotten over acne, once everyone can drive, once everyone has moved out, once everyone has had to shower without hot water…

I’m not going to miss unexpected wet pants, ER visits, suspensions, broken curfews, face cream on the windows, broken crayons, dirty diapers, lost shoes, poorly folded towels, scratched discs, nose suckers, a belly too big to drive, strange substances stuck to the floor, or farting contests.

For some reason, the world does not want you to complain about your children. If your children are drivin you crazy, you should just shut up, because you chose this. It’s peculiar, given that one also chooses lovers, jobs, homes, shoes, glasses — all of which one can exchange. One cannot exchange one’s children. One must endure. Wait and see. Hope it’s a phase.

People tell me, “Oh you’ll miss them when they’re gone.” Well, yes, of course. I miss them often. I sorta don’t ever want to be away from them. Even when I send them away, I know I will miss them.
I’ve not been raising my children to stay home to keep me company, I’ve been raising them to go out into the world and make lives for themselves.

I miss Bubba and Sissy all the time, but you know what? I’ve still got memories, and now and again they tell me good stories or make me laugh or fill my heart to bursting, even though they’re not here.

Another one to get peeved about is “Just you wait!” People are always saying this to parents. I find it odd. Are they competing about fretting over life’s stages? Because I assure you, I have worried my parents at every stage of life, and I think parenting is a frustrating job for anyone regardless of the child’s age. Furthermore, no one would do it if it wasn’t for all the incredible, unfathomable joy along the way.

“OMG Moo’s crawling!”
“Just you wait until she’s walking!”
Yeah? I got three others walking, what am I waiting for? For her to fall down? To trip? To walk faster? To run?

People have got to stop saying Ridiculous Things.

ridiculous3

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A Day in the Life of a Justified Person*

Not too long ago, my friend Meg posted the chronicles of her day as an unjustified stay-home mom, and I was so humored and inspired by it, I decided I would post one of my own days. But back to good intentions, she reminded me I hadn’t actually posted it. So here. Here’s yesterday.

4:59 The Mister checks his phone for the umpteenth time during the night. Having been sleepless for the better part of the night, again I ask him, “Is it 5:00 yet?” Immediately, his alarm sounds. We snuggle briefly, while I contemplate that I am, in fact, tired, and how useless lying in the bed has been.

6:10 I pour coffee into my cup and check my phone. The prompt for the day is Grateful. Coffee seems like a good choice.

coffee1

6:40 Put on yesterday’s clothes. Twist hair into a knot and secure with a clip. Brush teeth. Apply moisturizer. Wonder why my eyebrows are uneven and disappearing, and then quickly remember I am 40 and haven’t groomed them in well over a year.

6:50 Do the girls’ hair. Argue with them about potential hairstyles. Remind them of nit combs, olive oil, and all the hugging they’ll be doing on the first day of school, while their hairs flail about looking for head lice.

6:57 Stare in wonder at Moo, who refuses to wear her jean jacket, because it’s itchy and she’s wearing short sleeves.
“Denim is cotton you know.”
“Too many seams.”
Wait for Moo to get an organic cotton sweater. Briefly question for the one thousandth time whether she has serious sensory issues or if she’s just quirky.

7:00 Head to the bus stop, hoping and praying the bus situation will be better this year.

7:02 Hold Moo, who is cold. Listen to Sassy and Moo’s exchange about gossipy things.

busstop

7:11 Kiss the girls and watch them get onto the bus with a new bus driver. Feel delighted.

7:20 Fill bird feeder, feed dog and cats. Monitor the eating. Pet all the cats. Count blessings.

7:45 Iron all the things while Skyping with True. Run out of starch, curse the blue broadcloth shirt and leave it unpressed.

8:20 Dance and sing like no one is looking.

8:40 Refill coffee and make a bowl of Rice Krispies. Eat while playing Words of Wonder until I run out of energy points. Check all social media.

10:00 Drink coffee and Skype with Orb. Spend most of the time disconnecting, reconnecting, and hating Skype.

11:05 Do dishes. Clean kitchen. Rotate laundry. Water seedlings.

12:00 Contemplate fryin the last green tomato and ultimately decide to eat string cheese and a plum, because no dirty dishes.

12:45 Take dog out, wander around the yard. Smile. Count blessings.

1:00 Undress, unclip hair, climb back into bed, set alarm, call dog to bed, pet and rub dog, fall asleep.

2:44 Awaken to find all of the animals are on the bed, except Como, who is under the bed, but comes out to look at me every few minutes. Sort brain from dreaming to reality and question the meaning behind dreams of floods. Dress, clip hair, make bed, rotate laundry.

3:00 Unlock the door, crack open a Coke, sit in the silence. Count blessings.

3:07 Listen to two overly verbose children at once.

3:25 Assign chores to the children. Check social media. Finish the can of walnuts.

4:00 Make swate tay. Note that it is always time to peel potatoes or make swate tay. Somehow manage to break the tea pitcher with a chunk of ice. Blame everything but myself. Curse The Mister for buying enormous bags of ice. Must remember to remind him I am not She-Ra. Curse stupid side-by-side refrigerator, curse broken ice maker. Make half the tea in the lemonade pitcher.

tea

4:15 Nag the girls about the state of their rooms, the fact that their papers aren’t on the counter, their book bags not on hooks, lunchboxes not put away. Insist on order. Cannot allow them to watch tv, read on the bed, or snuggle a blanket, which will all result in sleeping, and then not sleeping at night. Holler about picking up everything that belongs to them.

4:30 A fight ensues. Take shelter in the shower. Count blessings. Shave legs and marvel at how my feet are no longer tan. Smile.

4:45 Decide the house is in order. Put beans in the oven to bake. Pour a glass of swate tay out of the lemonade pitcher. Lament over broken tea pitcher incident again.

5:00 Debate baking a cake, but don’t want to dirty more dishes. Tell The Mister to fire up the grill for weenies.

5:35 Tell The Mister to pull the baked beans out of the oven on his way out to get the weenies. Tell Moo to get out the condiments and potato chips.

6:00 Eat weenie, beans, and chips while reading and while family watches Castle. Get mustard and relish on my shirt. Stain-treat shirt. Change shirt.

6:45 Kiss Sassy goodnight.

7:00 Tell Moo, who has fallen asleep on the couch, to go to bed.
7:10 Tell Moo, who has fallen asleep on the couch, to go to bed.
7:15 Tell Moo, who has fallen asleep on the couch, to go to bed. Kiss Moo goodnight.

8:00 Rub eyes. Think about tweezing eyebrows. Think about making a hot cuppa tea. Feel too tired to get up to do either.

9:15 Accept random compliments and affection from husband, who has stopped studying long enough to notice he is still married. Get butterflies. Smile.

9:30 Rub eyes. Put on glasses. Wish I had baked the cake. Eat three cookies. Note that the generic chocolate and vanilla cookies from Walmart are not as good as the generic chocolate and vanilla cookies from Family Dollar.

9:45 Tidy up. Pet cats. Begin feeling poorly for lack of sleep.

9:55 Clean up kitchen. Begin to tell The Mister that during our unfortunate time of not having a tea pitcher, one cannot pour hot tea into a glass pitcher…and quickly realize he’s turned the coffee pot back on, effectively heating the tea. Almost cry. Rub eyes. Take glasses off. Make tea in pasta pot. Pour into lemonade pitcher.

10:10 Read papers from school, recycle them, set aside the forms out to be filled in.

10:05 Make a glass of tea, ramble through the house in a ritualistic way, fluffing pillows and gathering all my things, noting that while I have a hundred things to do before bed, and am always out of sorts, my husband is fully efficient. Take one Tylenol and one Motrin, because headache. Put on pajamas.

10:20 Get upset that the dvr didn’t record any Murphy Brown episodes that day. Realize Bridget Jones’s Diary is not on a commercial-free channel. Lie in bed watching Will & Grace until husband falls asleep on me. Get up, tell the dog to stay, drink tea, rotate laundry, peek on sleeping babies, pet all the cats, brush, floss, rinse, moisturize, examine eyebrows, sigh. Look at moon. Get back into bed, only to be upset that I’m in bed before Stephen Colbert is done recording, and I’ll have to suffer through commercials. Pet Como for what seems like eternity. Use spare pillow to wipe cat hair off my face. Fall asleep. Turn off tv. Fall asleep again.

I invite anyone to chronicle a day. I’m pretty sure your days are far more eventful and entertaining than mine!

*I say justified, because I don’t think we need to qualify our lifestyle choices

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One-Liner Wednesday — On Potato Soup

“There are too many potatoes in this soup.” — Moo, age 10

potatosoup

One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill

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On Vaping

I said I would write this post in like, June or somethin.
Of course, I thought I’d have the trim in the back hallway painted before my parents came, too, so you know, road to Hell, good intentions, blah blah blah…

At the time of writing this post, I’ve been smoke-free for two months, twelve days, twenty-three hours, and ten minutes. By the time you read it, it will have been longer, but I’m not lookin at my Smoke-Free app every hour or whatever, because I don’t miss smoking.

I have effectively replaced my addiction to smoking with an addiction to vaping.

If you don’t smoke, and have never been a smoker, you’re probably rolling your eyes, because now all the vaping people will be taking vape breaks at work and smelling of vape and blowing vape into the faces of newborn babies and vaping at concerts and in front of stores and you’ll be waving the vape clouds away and hacking loudly at vapers, so they know how much you hate all the vaping. Mmhm, I know your kind.

chicken

Anyway, it’s an extremely effective “cure” for me. I believe people who enjoy smoking will most enjoy vaping. If someone is merely chained to nicotine, and it isn’t the smoking that they so enjoy, then they maybe wouldn’t like vaping nearly as much.

I’ve stepped down in nicotine, and I don’t even think I’m addicted to the nicotine anymore. If I am, it’s certainly not to the degree that I was addicted to cigarettes. I don’t vape first thing in the morning. I don’t rush to vape after I eat. It’s actually sorta peculiar, because within a few days of vaping, you can easily identify your habits and patterns.

I had a friend who smoked more than me, who started vaping, and after she’d done it successfully for a few weeks, I did some research, presented it to The Mister, and off we went to the vape shop. Initially, it was a little overwhelming. We had to make choices about different sizes and styles of batteries, some with adjustable gadgets, all of which need coils and chargers. Then there were nicotine levels to choose from and literally, hundreds of flavors.

People at vape shops are knowledgeable and helpful.

It is important to note that we had tried the e-cigarettes for some time, with little satisfaction and quite a bit of frustration. Please know that although the two are similar, the personal vaporizer is widely preferred. Do not buy stuff at the gas station. Go to a vape shop.

my black vape. i have a yellow one, too. they come in all kindsa colors and sizes.

my black vape. i have a yellow one, too. they come in all kindsa colors and sizes.

We smoked the rest of that Friday evening, and around 11, I assembled our vaporizers, put the flavors in, and we started vaping. There is no buzz. There’s a throat hit, which smokers love. But there’s no instant hit of nicotine. Eventually your lungs absorb the nicotine, but it’s delayed. I would compare it to caffeine. When you take the first drink, you don’t feel your eyes pop out of your head like a cartoon character, but you know eventually, when you are done, you’ll have a lot more energy. I suppose people who use nicotine gum or patches experience a similar effect. It’s definitely nicotine, which is a stimulant, but it’s merely to compensate for nicotine withdrawal, not enough to make your head spin, even after not vaping for four days, per the instructions of your dentist, who is so glad you quit. (Along with your doctor, who is also thrilled you are vaping instead of smoking.)

It’s enough nicotine, at enough of a rate that smokers don’t feel like they’re dying. If that’s too dramatic, it’s enough to make a smoker feel as though they do not need to slide out of their skin, scream at everyone, hit things and crawl into a hole to die. Oh, right, too dramatic, still. It’s enough to make a smoker feel okay.

The following morning, I took the dog out, made my cup of coffee, and sat down to my computer, where I would normally light a cigarette. ah, but i don’t smoke anymore. i gotta go get my vape. And so I vaped.
And vaped and vaped and vaped.
To say that the first few days I vaped my brains out would be hyperbole, but it’s not far from those days I wish I could have hooked the espresso up via an IV, because I couldn’t possibly drink enough coffee to feel okay.
By the time Monday came, I had settled in. I had figured out how to assemble all the tanks and how to replace coils and I also decided to buy a spare battery. Like my mama always says, “All you need is two of somethin, one in the wash….”
No, wait, that wasn’t about batteries on the charger, was it? but you get it.

I actually did save a cigarette, just in case, but I never did need it, and days later, I realized I’d thrown it away in one of my over-efficient tidiness spells.

Sometime that week, I was watching Moo in the pool, and I yawned — when I swear, an entire section of my lungs opened up. That was pretty spiffy stuff.
Yes, I did experience all the joys of not smoking — like breathing all the air, tasting all the food, being able to run without panting horrendously, holding a longer musical note — all of them, positively delightful.
But the real joy is in not smoking. It’s a certain freedom. A freedom, in my opinion, that non-smokers might even take for granted.

Yeah, maybe I’m addicted to nicotine. Maybe. Don’t know. Didn’t freak out about not being able to vape after oral surgery. Surely do enjoy vaping. Think I might always vape, even when my nicotine goes down to zero. It’s a pleasure. It’s like the pleasure of smoking, only better in so many ways.

I’ll tell you one thing I so enjoy — I never have to finish a cigarette. I know! It’s an odd thing to be so pleased about, but smoking is a timing issue. Once you light a cigarette, you’re committed to it. So sometimes you don’t have enough time to smoke, or people don’t want to stand there as long as it takes to smoke it, you don’t want to waste it, or you have to finish smoking it before doing something else. None of that. The vape, is simply … there.

Within two weeks, most of our smoking friends and family had also quit smoking and started vaping, too. Isn’t that nice?
I still keep an ashtray on hand, since I’ve vowed not to be one of those terrible reformed smokers who hounds people. I will still be a gracious hostess.

There’s really nothin more to it. It’s easy. It’s cleaner, cheaper, and gosh darn it, I like it!

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It Was All a Dream…

Our mostly staycation was delightful, as one would suppose.

I made some notes and took some pictures, in an attempt to record the magical events that transpired while The Mister and I were childless.

Without further ado, I will share the incredible possibilities of a couple childless at home.

1. No one fought. It was truly amazing. Not once did The Mister and I argue over who held the kitten longer, or who last took the dog out. Not once did I accuse The Mister of stealing my hair clip, nor did I claim his drink was my own, when I had, in fact, drunk all of mine.

2. No one rang the bell or knocked on the door.

3. My MIL did not call.

4. No one came into our room at night.

5. Not one single Disney show was watched.

6. Not one single pop song played.

7. Entire conversations of a mature nature were completed without interruption.

8. I never tripped over a toy, a wet towel, or a pair of shoes.

9. No one asked to play my phone.

10. No one asked me where anything was.

Here are some of the lusty pics I snapped for my readers:

an empty dish drainer

an empty dish drainer

a closed shower curtain

a closed shower curtain

a folded hand towel, near a clean sink

a folded hand towel, near a clean sink

empty clothes hampers

empty clothes hampers

Countless times a day, we were allowed the privilege of gazing upon these rarely seen household items. In stunned silence.

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Summer Respite

Shh…*whispers*

I’m not going to be around for a few days. You won’t miss me. You’ll barely notice.

The stars have aligned and we are going to be childless for several days.

This has not happened since 2010.

I will not send you a postcard.

I’ll be back for Back-to-School Mimosa Day.

freakout

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One-Liner Wednesday — On Flattery

“Daddy, you’re so handsome this morning!” — Moo, right after she asked for Dunkin Donuts at 8:30 this morning

donuts

One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill

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What She Does

I’ve been neglecting my blog again.

What can I say?
What goes on between One-Liner Wednesdays?

Well, LIFE.

care6

I was down for about a week, because my extraction site got infected. I’m fine now, and I would rather have an infection for a year than dry socket for ten minutes, so yes, I do know how to count my blessings.
The girls were helpful and kind during the downtime. Mama’s better now…

kids1
I spend time parenting. Which, lately, seems more challenging than it has for awhile. Something wonderful happened in my living room last night. Something magical and messy. From the looks of things, the girls conjured up a great wind, using an open jar of Eucerin, empty yogurt containers, and Fireball wrappers.
After the children have been in trouble, resulting in Mama-The-Shared-Enemy, they unite for joyous ruckus and mayhem, delighting in the company of one another, and they party like it’s 1999.
Yesterday, among other grievances involving unclean pizza stones and misplaced kitchen mallets, the girls were truly naughty. Sassy did not follow directions, creating a laundry crisis. Moo went the extra mile, taking a joyride in the bed of Lily’s pop-pop’s big red truck, up and down the street, twice. Fortunately, Sadie barked madly, which alerted me to the joyride situation, but the dog doesn’t know fuck all about laundry and was unable to catch Sassy’s laundry error.

dogsong
I’ve been mitigating Como’s adaptation to our home, which seems to involve cleaning up a lot of pee. “Oh hi, I’m Como, I’m scared of everything, so I can’t make it to the litter boxes, I’ll just pee wherever!”
She has days where she’ll come out and be a fairly normal kitty, then it’s back to hiding.
I catered to her for awhile, keeping her and all her things in the bathroom, but I didn’t like the litter remnants on the floor, and the bathroom began to smell not like clean and fragrant humans, but like cat. And cat piss.
I will no longer carry food and water to her location, but rather I carry her to the box and the food, like she’s a kitten. I close off all the carpeted areas.

strep4

Our air-conditioner has a problem with condensation. The Mister cleaned out all the pipes, we cleaned the drip tray, the coils are clean, the filter’s clean — the air works splendidly, but water pours out the overflow, flooding everything about. Friday, I called the HVAC guy we used over the winter, and he can’t come out until tomorrow at the earliest. We’ve not used our air since, so Saturday was a sticky sorta day, and we were a sticky sorta people who were thankful that they don’t still live in Georgia.
Today, I woke up cold and it’s cool enough to enjoy hot coffee again. Splendid!
This week is one I wouldn’t run the air for anyway, with highs in the 70’s and low’s in the 50’s. Excellent! I do so love cool, open-window days, don’t you?

giraffeconfusion

School starts in less than ten days, and now we begin the process of teeth cleaning, shots, eye exams, and shopping. These are not my favorite things to do, but at least when it’s all over, there will be seven hours of silence on a regular basis.
Like most mothers, I hate trading in late nights, sleep-ins, and extra snuggles for 6am and never-ending paperwork. But, like most mothers, I welcome the structure and solitude. I pray the bus stop situation will be better than last year…

Tell me, what have you been doing?

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One-Liner Wednesday — Oh Dad!

“She can only see bugs.” — My dad’s hilarious, but panic-inducing joke, while my mother searched for my gray hairs.

it was smooth and straight when i fell asleep, honest!

it was smooth and straight when i fell asleep, honest!

 

One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill

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Control Freaks

New dentist’s office sure was weird about the Halcion.

blog4

First, the dentist agreed that it’d be fine for me to have the Halcion and some shots because I do not like the laughing gas.

I know, I’m weird. I hate to be high.

I prefer pain to bein high. I also prefer pain to feelin like things are crawlin on me.

pain

No, Halcion does not get me high.
It prolly gets you high, cause you’re not wound tighter than an eight-day clock, but Halcion for me, is like taking the ultimate edge off.

Maybe when gassed, your brain does groovy shit like shut down and go to a happy place, but mine does not. I would describe being gassed with nitrous like lucid dreaming, but in a nightmare, like “Oh my God, I cannot control my body, although I am completely aware of my surroundings.” It’s just too close to those dreams where you run in place, so you can’t escape the monster, or you’re stabbing the monster, but he just won’t die.

I called the day before my appointment, to ask about how the Halcion would be administered. “Will he call this in for me? Will it be at the office? Can you check with him and get back to me?”
She said she would.

The morning of my appointment, I called to ask how that whole Halcion discussion went down, and the lady said, “Come at five and pick up your scrip.”
“I cannot come at five. That’s why I have an appointment at six.”
“What time can you be here?”
[Lordamercy, is this actually happening to me?]
“Six.”
“Pick it up at six, and then we’ll just delay your appointment a bit.”
“And that will be okay?”
“Yes.”
“Okay. Thank you.”

The Mister said he’d pick it up on the way home. I called to let them know. They thought that was a great plan.

The Mister came home, and I said stuff like, “All the dishes are done…Como needs her own box in the bathroom…these jeans can actually be pulled down over my hips if I can’t undo them myself…the girls are clean…your plate is in the fridge…there are cupcakes in the microwave…they can eat all the cupcakes they like…please be sure to talk to them about being angels tomorrow…there’s ham in the drawer if you don’t feel like cookin tomorrow…Sadie just went out…the cats have been fed early…”

care5

We went to pick up my scrip. The prescription directions? Bring both pills to dental appointment.

wouldn’t it be nice to be sedated when one arrives to the appointment?!? and what do they mean both pills? i’m not takin two halcion! fuck all. they’re gonna drug me, gas me, drug me s’more…
I’m very sensitive to medication!

When I arrived at the office, the hygienist saw my prescription bag and said, “Mrs. Mottern, let me take that for you. For safety reasons.”
“Okay.”
I handed the bag to her.

I sat down next to The Mister. “They’re kinda weird about Halcion here.” He nodded emphatically.

I could actual feel my fear. I was buzzin like an electric fence. I counted my breaths and tried not to contemplate how cruel it was to prescribe the sedative and then to keep me from takin it. I waited for them to call my name. Forever. I think I actually had enough time to fear each and every worst case scenario by the time she called my name.

Once I was in the chair, they took my blood pressure. It was a little high, given the fear scenario.
They talked about me like I was not there, or as though I couldn’t hear them, I could not decide.
“Does someone need to be with her the whole time?”
“Do you think she already took something?”
“What if she already took something? What is our liability?”

I rolled my eyes so hard, I saw 1973.

“Y’all are bein weird.”
Then I got an audience.
“No, I haven’t taken anything. I haven’t taken a single medication since Sunday, when I took a Zyrtec. See, I’m used to taking the pill before I come. So by the time I get here, I’m not 130 over 90 because I’m scared to death.”
“You can’t take this medication without supervision. If you’d asked for a Valium, we could have called that in, but Halcion is different.”
“Next time I will ask for Valium.”
(Either the state laws are different, or my dentist in Georgia was a criminal, heh.)
“Someone would beat you down and take this from you! Do you know what kinda drug this is?”
I lol’d.

I made sure to tell the hygienist that I was not to be gassed, and that I was not to be given any Vicodin, or Lortab, or Hydrocodone, or any of the newest names for narcotic things that make me high, and cause me to vomit, then sleep for ten hours.  I told her I didn’t want to take the other Halcion. I would not need two, and the idea of taking the second one would make me very uncomfortable, and that I just needed to take the one, and I would like to make sure the doctor would not make me take the other one.

My anxiety disorder was surely demonstrated to each member of the staff, when, as each of them made eye contact with me, I would again tell them, “I am not having gas. Just the shots. I do not want any narcotics after.” Then sometimes, I would ask them, “Did I mention I cannot tolerate Vicodin? Do you know I haven’t even taken any of the 800 IB yet? I have plenty of that. Did I tell you I do not want the gas? You’re not going to leave me alone in here, right? I’m pretty frightened.”
One lady talked to me at length about my allergies, even though I told her it was a long list…but she got my blood pressure down to normal doin that, so that was nice. I started to think there was at least one person I could relate to.

Finally, they let me take the pill. I made sure they knew I didn’t want the other pill. Like, five times.
When the Halcion started to kick in, and I began to feel it, I felt compelled to announce the whole thing again, “You know I don’t want any pain meds, right? My husband will give me whatever you tell him to, and I will throw them up and then accuse him of poisoning me, and it will be this whole banana vomit situation, because Lortab is another word for Vicodin, and he doesn’t know that, and he doesn’t even know what NSAIDS are, or what allergy meds can be given together, and it’s very important that you don’t put my husband, or me, into that situation, because throwing up is not good for blood clots. You’re not gonna gas me, right? I mean, you’re not using the sedative to get me so loopy, I’ll agree to the gas, right? No gas. Nope. Not for me. Are y’all gonna numb me up soon? I feel like I’ve been here a long time.”

“We’re waiting for your Halcion to kick in so we can give you the shots, since we know you’re nervous.”

UH.

“The Halcion has kicked in. I am not afraid of shots. Not at all.”
“Oh! Okay, we’ll get that goin.”

Good grief, they even put a local on my gums before the shots. I didn’t mind bein babied, but that wasn’t necessary. I’ve never not felt the shots, always been happy to have the shots, because shots mean NO PAIN!

During my procedure, which involved wiggling and cutting and more cutting and more wiggling, the doctor kept sayin, “You’re doin great!” “You’re a great patient!” Afterward, he said, “I don’t even think you needed the Halcion!” I rolled my eyes. I said, “That’s because I’m ON the Halcion!”

Oh for cryin out loud!

Control Freaks.

ialac4

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One-Liner Wednesday

“I gotta write a thing, then I’ll lie back down.”

cat

One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill

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All Your Good Juju are Belong to Me

This last week, I’ve been entertaining my nephews. Okay, that’s not really true, because mostly, my nephews entertain my girls, and then no one fights and I win! I love my nephews. They’re probably better than your nephews.

While I type to you, I’m eatin a huge bowl of long grain and wild rice, and in just a little while, I’ll be takin a Halcion and goin to the dentist to have the now-filling-less, now-broken, already root-canaled #15 tooth surgically extracted. You are all cheering me on, despite what I said about your nephews.
I expect to be sedated and sleeping throughout the evening. I expect to be worthless and pathetic tomorrow. However, I’m hoping I will have the inspiration and the moxie to compose a sentence for One-Liner Wednesday, and perhaps even the capability to make my own pudding. I dream big, y’all!

Your job, Gentle Reader (despite what I said about your nephews, and your obvious jealousy about how I get to take a Halcion and you don’t) is to wish me well. It would not be terrible if you prayed to your god, or lit candles, or bound the dry socket deity, or sent healing vibes, or had your voodoo princess put a wicked fast healin on me. The moon already wanes in my favor.

f7eecc0b579838c6510e7e1a867a4290

Oooh, maybe I’ll have a cupcake before I brush…

 

 

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One-Liner Wednesday

“Mama! Look! The hot dogs are growing!”
— Sassy, age 2

cattails-21317330

One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill

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A Theory, Perhaps…

I have this new theory. I ran it by the family on Friday and got a lot of feedback. I’m checkin it out publicly, so lemme know whatcha think.

Men most want to touch women when being touched is the very last thing women want.
For instance, I stand in the kitchen, absolutely furious that I have scalded my potatoes. My husband, being the loving man that he is, thinks a hug will make me feel better. Little does he know, I would rather punch him in the face than hug him. It’s not his fault the potatoes are scalded. I’m not mad at him. I am mad at me, the potatoes, the stove, the water, the pot, and the entire universe — but not him. A hug is not what I want. I want to rage and throw a ginormous fit.
Then, when I begrudgingly hug The Mister, he is offended and goes away in a huff, because he was only trying to help and I’ve rejected his help.
I make cornbread and black-eyed peas. Nothing is scalded. We eat. I feel better. My hugs become real again, because I’m no longer angry.

Women most want to talk to men when talking is the absolute last thing men want to do. 
For instance, my husband comes home quiet. I assume he’s winding down. I think he’s had a hard day, and I give him space. As the night rolls on, he just isn’t talking. He’s not really with us. He’s gone someplace else. Into his nothing box, maybe. Or maybe, he needs to talk. “Is everything okay?” I ask.
“Yep.”
Everything is not okay. I’m not stupid.
This could go on awhile, and it could make me crazy.
Now, we’ve been married a long time, so I stifle my urge to pry and freak out, and instead I ask, “Is it me?” It has never been me. If it’s not me, then I hafta just ride it out. Generally, a few days later, we have some long discussion about what he was mulling over. On his time. On his terms.

Men want to touch women when women least want to be touched and women want to talk to men when men least want to talk.

petting-chart
What do you think?

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Being Obsessive has its Perks. Like when Dealing with Head Lice.

As a former teacher, I was instructed to look for certain issues. Some examples: Kids who squint, meaning they might need glasses, kids who frequently mix up letters like p and d and b and q, who might be dyslexic, and for kids who scratch their heads a lot, meaning they might have head lice.
How to look for head lice? They said small white bits in the hair, resembling tiny grains of rice.

Commercials on the television show you a special shampoo. They say you use it and it kills all the lice. Easy peasy.

HAHAHAHA. Whatever.

If, like me, you managed to get through a hundred of those grade school examinations by nurses with chopsticks, you probably don’t have a bloody clue what to look for when it comes to head lice, or how exactly to get rid of it.
I sure didn’t.
Until the Head Lice Incident of 2010. Dun-dun-dun! 

One morning, my littlest girls got up and they absolutely could not stop scratching their heads. Sassy actually said, “I think I have lice! My head is so itchy!” I said, “Lemme look.” I didn’t see anything. On and on the scratching went. I checked Moo’s head. “Is that a flea? What the fuck is that?! Omagod, Omagod, Omagod, there are bugs in my baby’s hair!”

All four of my kids got lice. Never did find out from where. Due to the amount of infestation, I was able to determine Sissy was first, then Moo, then Sassy, then Bubba. And it probably traveled head-to-head in that order, because that’s exactly how they pair up and that’s the exact order of how the affection flows between them.

I went next door to ask my neighbor if she knew anything about lice. She did. She was a nurse and an expert on lice, as it turns out.
Nothing I could ever do would be enough to thank my neighbor for her wisdom and guidance. She stood in my kitchen and told me what to do and when to do it and how to do it, and I did it.

It happened in July. In July of 2010 I had 23 different guests in my house. We had house guests and sleepovers and people shared beds. For over two weeks, people were sleepin here and there and with this person and that person, and Sissy had been here and there with her friends, how teenagers do.
I had to call halfa dozen people and tell them to check their kids’ heads.

Now, having been a teacher, watching the dual-six-figure-income parents come pick up their still nannied-for kindergartners with head lice, I did not share the belief that lice were something that belonged to the dirty and the poor. I was, at the time of the lice infestation, a total neat freak. I was, at the time of the infestation, not poor. But I can tell you, without even flinching, that if you are poor or dirty, it will take you a lot longer to get rid of lice, which is why the stigma probably exists.

The head lice take over your whole life. The nit-picking: combing and hunting, takes hours and hours. It can take hours and hours for one kid, if that kid happens to have long hair. Thicker takes longer. Curly takes longer. Blonde hair can make it harder to see the baby bugs, but dark hair makes it harder to see the teenager bugs.

There are a lot of things to look for, on the scalp and in the hair. Three different shapes, sizes and colors of bugs, hatched eggs, which are the tiny white bits, could fit through the eye of a needle, and unhatched eggs, which are black, and about the size of a flake of ground pepper. Basically, the task is to make sure the only thing on the scalp and in the hair, is hair. Every tiny flake of skin from scratching, every tiny dandruff, each grain of sand or dirt — all has to be pulled out.

The lice like the warmest part of the head, which is at the nape and around the ears. That’s where to check.

If there’s a bad infestation, a fine-tooth comb will tear out hair and reveal bugs still in it. Your kid will cry. A lot.
If it’s really, really bad, putting your hands in the hair will feel like your kid rolled around in a sandbox.

After you use the pharmacy product, or the OTC product, or some sort of oil that suffocates the living head lice, you gotta rinse all that out and comb it with a METAL nit comb.

Lice comb isolated on a white backgroundThe cheap plastic ones that come with pesticides WILL NOT DO IT.

The metal nit comb can actually do all the work, but it’s a little hellish when bugs are crawlin out of your kids’ hair, onto their faces, their necks, their ears, their clothes, your clothes, the comb, and your hands. It makes the ewwww factor a lot higher, so I recommend liquid intervention beforehand, whether you choose pesticides or oils. Regardless, you’ll need a bowl of water to trap the finds of your hunt.

I strongly recommend you have a bag with a nit comb, a fine comb, a pile of hair clips or bobby pins (for sectioning the hair), tweezers, hair scissors, good lighting, your eyeglasses and/or a magnifying glass.

If your kid is mildly infested and you hafta hunt for eggs and bugs, I wouldn’t bother with the pesticides. It really is best, no matter what, to treat everyone in the house until no one has had a single bug on their head for 21 days. “An ounce of prevention” and all that.

After comb-outs, you’ll want to wash everything that may have come into contact with the head lice. Their clothes, your clothes, the towels — all in hot water, or on high in the dryer after. If you’re me, BOTH, thanks.
You’ll wanna boil your nit comb between kids, or buy one for each kid. You will need to designate a comb or brush, and maybe hair clips for each child and yourself so you don’t cross-contaminate.

During this time, your head will itch. I mean, The Mister is bald, and his head itches when the kids have lice. EVEN WHEN HE WAS IN IRAQ. It is likely that your head itches right now.
Head lice are psychological terrorists.

I compulsively asked my friends to check my head. This is when my neighbor the nurse told me I had anxiety disorder. She was right. During the Head Lice Infestation of 2010, I was on the verge of collapse, wired for sound, completely edgy and unable to sleep. FOR A MONTH. I was obsessed and it was exhausting. I vacuumed the whole house daily, including the upholstery. I washed sheets and towels like you would not believe. My husband was deployed, so I was not at my best when it started, and by October, I was in the therapist’s office.

It took me about three years to stop obsessing over head lice. I am not kidding.

You can read about how lice don’t like dirty hairs or afro hairs or oily hairs, bleached or dyed hairs or hairs that smell like lavender, coconut, tea tree oil…To some extent, it’s true. They’re less likely to invade a head with a smell that repels them, but they will anyway. They like a nice clean head, the more hair the better, the thicker the better, the smoother the shaft, the easier it is to glue their eggs on.  Oily-headed grungy hipster heads are not immune anymore than coarse hair or hair that doesn’t smell appealing to lice. Moo has used coconut shampoo since she got out of “No More Tears.” Sassy and Sissy use tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner for their curls and I am pretty much made of lavender.

The heat from blow dryers and hair straighteners and curling irons can weaken the glue and kill unhatched eggs or bugs caught in the heat.

Putting a silicone product in the hair, keeping the hair up in braids, buns, and ponytails, and putting in hairspray can all deter them.

None of this is a guarantee, but it’s all worth a shot.

For the Head Lice Infestation of 2010, we started with an OTC pesticide, and we used olive oil every other day for 21 days. We saturated the scalp and hair with olive oil, wrapped the hair with plastic wrap, put a shower cap on, threw a towel over their shoulders, and they had to stay like that for three hours and thirty minutes. If it was late, they had to sleep in it. Then they washed the olive oil out and shampooed. It’s good to buy some cheapy shampoo that strips hair for this, because if you have a nice healthy head of hair like a shampoo model, your hair will retain the oil much more than someone with dry, curly hair.

The oils suffocate the bugs, which breathe through holes in their backs. Water doesn’t kill them. They can hold their breath for three hours, but the oil forces them to speed their respiration. Unlike with pesticides, the head lice haven’t evolved to resist the oils.

During the 21-day period in 2010, I also washed everyfuckingthing in the house, but I’ve since read it’s really not necessary. So this time around, I washed the bedding and the snuggled stuffies. I am not obsessively vacuuming. The Mister vacuumed the upholstery the first night, and we haven’t since. I only used olive oil on Sassy, but I had to start with pesticide on Moo, because a few minutes into the olive oil, I could see that we were in too deep. If you use the pesticide and still see a lot of living bugs, you’re going to need a prescription for serious shit, or do it the old-fashioned manual labor way.

This time around, because I know I am an excellent, over-vigilant, extremely anal-retentive nit-picker, I am only doing comb-outs every other day, and olive oil every three.

I think this has happened in two summers because I don’t do their hair often in the summer. They’re allowed to roam freely, their hair swingin like ropes for lice to attach to. This stops now. When they exit this house, they will have limited rope. We will begin a comb-out ritual one night a week, which is recommended.

I recommend this site and this site for further reading. I also read a fascinating article by an MD who was an entomologist and a specialist in parasite somethin somethin, but I can’t find the link, which sucks because it helped me relax a lot…

I also recommend having short hair or perhaps only having boys who will let you shave their heads…

Anyway, I’m hoping this is helpful to parents who hafta fight this battle, and I am living proof, through this situation right now, that living with anxiety disorder can improve dramatically.

I know, I know, your head itches. I’m sorry.

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Get Up and GO!

At first I wasn’t busy, and then I really, really was. How busy was I? I have been drinking caffeinated soda for over a week! *gasps*

Summer vacation suddenly had too many days with alarm clocks. We kept sayin things like, “We’ll take a nap.” We didn’t. We said things like, “We’ll go to bed early.” We didn’t.

Moo brought home some head lice, which rapidly formed a metropolis on her head. Moo’s head is pretty small, and the lice were forced to expand into the suburbs of other heads in the house. Sassy’s head is much larger, and can provide two feet of curls to hide under. The Mister’s bald and still his head itched. Head lice are psychological terrorists. Does your head itch now? Olive oil days and nit comb nights will not be the highlight of Summer, but the head lice will get their own blog soon.
micelice
Adoption events are held in the morning. You’ll want to get there early.

Cletus the kitten had an upper respiratory infection, so we had to get him some antibiotics and eye drops. It’s not nice to laugh at the suffering of others, but it’s cute and mildly hysterical when tiny kittens sneeze in rapid succession. It’s less cute when you’re picking fleas off of them, so all the cats have to be treated for a few months lest we live in the house of fleas.

Sorry, I just want to make your whole body itch. Apparently.

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Kittens are hard to sleep with, and as it turns out, newly-adopted Como cat might be five, but she acts like a kitten in the night. She also possesses great talent in the I-can-put-all-my-weight-into-one-paw-and-stab-your-internal-organs arena. Como sleeps in the entryway now, behind a chest of drawers, where no one will bother her with any of their adorable purring, drooling, or kneading.

como1

My parents were in town for awhile. I finally got that walk around the property that I really wanted before we bought the house. My dad kinda knows everything, cause he’s kinda old, and old people are wise. He even knew what the weird black box in ugly laundry room was. A timer. An ancient timer.
I found out that even plant experts like my parents can’t agree on what’s a desirable plant versus an undesirable one. One of my suspected garden weeds is squash, although I didn’t plant any squash seeds. Before they arrived I had been researching “squash-type weeds” and “weeds that look like squash.” Either my tomato seeds were corrupted by squash seeds, or seeds in my compost took the opportunity to sprout. I’m glad those two plants are on the end of the bed, so they have room to sprawl. I’m also glad we love squash and I didn’t accidentally grow beets.
As I feared, I’m gonna hafta dig out all of my ornamental grasses to kill the mulberry seedlings. Bastard mulberries, Man.
Have I ever mentioned my parents wake with the rooster and sleep before nightfall? They do. Without fail. So if you want to have a lengthy visit, you’ll get up at dawn.
We had three wonderful visits, and then my parents returned to the beach. I would prefer that my mother treated our home like sleep-away camp every summer, but it’s like she has a life of her own.

I lost a filling and subsequently broke the tooth, so I had the pleasure of finally finding a new dentist. That tooth had already had a root canal, so the pain was not grueling, but the infection was wearin my whole body down, so I had to get some antibiotics. It’s day three of antibiotics and the lymph nodes behind my ears have already calmed down and my energy has returned. I like to get sick after I go and go and go. It’s my thing.

gogo

Fourth of July parades are held in the morning. If you want to see the parade, you’ve got to drag your ass out of bed and head over before they close the route. Yes, fountain Coke and a bag of pretzels are an excellent choice for breakfast while you wait. Also good? huggin your dog for warmth, cause it was cold in the shade!
We had to have broken a weather record yesterday. It was the coolest Independence Day I can remember. I never even broke a sweat.

sadie
After the parade, we traded Sassy for Ace, but we didn’t really think about how insanely loud Moo and Ace would be after all the parade candy. Duh.

Barbecues with your in-laws are held in the afternoon. If you show up a little late and the food isn’t even on the grill yet, it’s perfectly acceptable to stand behind your hostess’s back and eat an entire peach in five bites. It’s also good manners to join the children on the porch, where you will devour a delicious chocolate cupcake in less than a minute, because littering the patio with black cake crumbs is better than screaming, “I’M FUCKIN HUNGRY, BITCHES!”

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The fireworks are at night, after the sun goes down. It’s not easy to explain the location of your little six-by-six-foot spot in all of downtown Indianapolis. Traffic is crazy. If you don’t know your way around downtown, then traffic is maddening. It’s not easy for people to find you in the dark. We would have watched the show from the roof of a building, but we couldn’t coordinate ourselves with those who offered and the hopes of finding those who were lost.
After the fireworks, we did manage to meet some friends, but there was no way we could direct the lost to join us.
And suddenly, it was midnight!
Don’t you know, The Mister and I got to bed and hadda talk?!?

He managed to get up and go to work today, but all I’ve managed to do is write this blog.

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

How to Enjoy Your Facebook in 10 Utterly Complicated Steps

A lot of people on my Facebook complain about how they hate Facebook, but they’re still there. *shrugs*
I assume people who hate their Facebook accounts aren’t using them correctly.
A few days ago, one of my newer Facebook friends said I have great Facebook friends. I do.

GIFSec.com

I enjoy the hell outta my Facebook, and I think you can, too.
*whispers* Lemme tell ya how I do it. 

 
1. Give yourself a few hours. Yes, devote a few hours to working on it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, y’all. The more friends you have, the longer it will take.

2. Check your Privacy Settings. If you are confused about your privacy settings, ask a geek, a nerd, or small child to do it with you.

3. Go through your feed. Any games you don’t play? Click the arrow at the upper right hand side of the box and select “Hide.” Then select, “Hide all from (that game).” It may take days or weeks to thoroughly hide all the games you don’t play.

4. Cull. When you have thousands of Facebook friends, you will miss things you wanted to see. Culling can be difficult, because sometimes, you know you’ll see someone you’ve culled, or you have friends in common with that person, which occasionally means you’re morally obligated to stay “friends.” If you really don’t feel like someone is your friend, and you are not morally obligated to friend them, then unfriend them. We’ll deal with obligation later.

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5. Hide all the obligatory friends whose posts you hate. Like, if you totally never care what Bessie BadNews does, and quite frankly you couldn’t care less if Bessie BadNews finally fell into her half empty glass of tears, then hide Bessie BadNews by choosing any of her posts, clicking the arrow in the top right hand of the box, and select “Hide.” Then select, “Hide all from Bessie BadNews.” This also works for Braggadocious Brad, Coupon Cathy, Dramatic Dolly, Political Paul, and Snopesless Sal.

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6. Restrict. You know how Betty is your mother’s best friend, and she sent you that beautiful Spode platter when you got married, and you don’t wish dear Betty any harm, but sometimes when you post memes with bad words in them, she gets upset, and tells your mother that she wishes you’d wash your own mouth out with soap? Restrict her.
You know how you love your cousin Scott, and the two of you have always been like two peas in a pod, but you can’t stand Scott’s wife? You can’t unfriend your cousin’s wife without having some bad blood, but you can restrict her.
There’s always that one friend who never posts anything ever, and we’re pretty sure he’s not entitled to see your posts, because it’s show and tell, and IT’S HIS TURN. Restrict him.
People who are Restricted cannot see your post unless that post is Public.

Many people from your past are just plain nosy. They want to see how your life is going and then they never speak to you again. Restrict them. Get into the habit of restricting them as soon as you friend them. Some of them have added you to see to whom you might be connected. No one can see who my Friends are, and if you ask me, that’s the best way to be.

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7. Make lists. To make a list, you go to your Friends list, and hover over the box next to their picture. It reads, “Friends,” but that’s where the magic happens. You will place each friend into the appropriate list.
Let’s face it, in real life, if your Facebook friends were visiting your home, you would keep some of them on the porch. Sure, there are some you’d take to bed, or at least hug, but a lot of these people are specifically porch friends.

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You can make as many lists as you want. You can call the lists whatever you like. The people on the lists will never know the names of the lists they’re on.

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You’ve probably got some people who make your Facebook a better place. You love getting together with these people. They post a lot of things you like. You find you miss these people when you don’t see posts from them. These people can be placed in Facebook’s Close Friends option.
Personally, I have a baker’s dozen I trust implicitly. I tell them anything and everything and they’re always understanding and supportive. If I have a problem, I can call these people at any time, day or night. Virtually nothing offends these people, and they never make drama. I would/do invite these people into my home. I share deeply personal things with them. I can disagree with them or even argue with them, and they will still love me. They are my actual friends. “My people.” You need to know who your people are, in case you want to vent about your family, your bowel movements, your struggles with addiction, your never-ending battle with that one long red hair that grows just a little too high on your forehead to be an eyebrow…
The rest of your friends should be left as Friends.

8. Use the lists. Every time you post, the option to choose your audience is available at the bottom right hand of the post. Before you post, make sure the audience is the one you want. Custom Settings are your friend. They’ll allow you to share specific posts with specific people. Your Cat Lovers, Your Bird People, Your Blogger Friends, Your Golf Buddies, Your Antique Hunters.

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If you’re posting about a free yoga class, you might want that to be Public.
If you’re posting about a yoga book you enjoyed reading, you might want all your Friends to see that.
If you’re posting about how while you did yoga, your child counted 18 stretch marks on your thigh, maybe you only disclose that to Close Friends and your mom.
If you’re posting a photo of the stretch marks, you should probably reduce that post to people you’d show your thighs to, like your Super Good Friends and your mom.
If you’re in despair posting about stretch marks while you type drunkenly into your phone from the bar of six martinis after visiting the plastic surgeon’s office, maybe you limit that to your Very Best Friends and your therapist.

Yes, this works. I promise you it works. 99% of my posts, including photos, are shown to Super Good Friends and my parents. And by parents, I mean my biological parents, because children of divorce must carefully tread through social media like they carefully tread through holidays, weddings, and funerals.
If using the audience settings did not work, all three of my parents would be angry about whether I prefer my father’s fried potatoes over my dad’s macaroni and cheese or how my mother’s always trying to make sweets into nutritious food or whatever. Don’t even get me started.

9. Recognize the audience of the posts you like and comment on.

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If you, Miss Goody-Goody-I-only-post-daily-scripture-and-positive-affirmation-memes click Like on a Public meme about sucking dick, WE WILL ALL SEE THAT YOU’VE LIKED IT. The meme will appear in our feed, and it will actually read, “Miss Goody-Goody likes Dick Sucking’s photo.”

If you write a poignant comment about your abuse as a child at the hands of a drunken father on a Public article, all of your Friends will be informed that you have commented on said article, including your drunken father.

If you try to Share a photo that is not Public, you will see a caution blip about the Privacy Settings. You can still share it, but only the people on the original post can see it.
People try to do this all the time with photos. If I post a photo of my daughter, my Friends can see it. If a Friend Shares it, then only our mutual Friends can see it, meaning the Friends I’ve allowed to see it. I’ve explained this to my parents ninety-gathousand times, and I really don’t think they understand. I guess right-clicking is very hard for people over 60.
But think about that…Should you Share a photo of someone else’s child without permission? Should you?

10. Realize that although the Privacy Settings work, there are sometimes glitches, screenshots are a thing, and people can still share your business the old-fashioned way. So if ultimately, you would just DIE if something was seen by the whole world, then it’s best you not post it.

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If none of this works, you should complain about Facebook while using Facebook, or head over to Twitter. Twitter hates Facebook.

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged , | 31 Comments

Black and White and Loved All Over

You may remember that I fully intend to have chickens in my back yard, and how disappointed I was to find out we cannot keep goats in the city? Non? Well maybe you remember that I had two cats and a dog, and I still want a goldfish? Non? Jeez, do you even read these posts?

Well, something happened.

Thursday, I saw Indy was having this huge adoption event at the fairgrounds. The flyer indicated that more than 750 animals had been fixed and microchipped, ready for adoption. It was this incredibly noble thing that people all over the city and surrounding areas took part in. Vets and clinics and rescues and shops and regular people like us all worked together to create this event. I said we should go. (I was going to go.) I said Sadie Dog needed a kitten of her very own. (I am on my way to Crazy Cat Lady.)

The Mister made his face.
If you have a husband, you may be familiar with the face?
It’s the same kind of face he shows me when I ask him which black shirt I should wear and the same face he shows me when I tell him I’m going to repaint the bedroom.
Do you know the face?

It starts like this:

a silent prayer that i'm not saying this thing i am saying?

a silent prayer that i’m not saying this thing i am saying?

And then it turns into this:

"i am made of stone now."

“i am made of stone now.”

So, I got up early, (four HOURS before noon!) and we headed off to the adoption event. Y’all, I didn’t even get coffee until we left. I was motivated. The line was down the building and around the building (they said at least 1500 people.) The last time I stood in a line like that, I got front row tickets.

Anyway, as we entered the building, lines of volunteers applauded and cheered us like we were victorious or famous. It was terrible and awkward and I blushed somethin awful.
Almost immediately, I fell in love with an older female who’d been found abandoned in an empty house, and had lived in the shelter for almost a month. She was so lovable. Just precious. My own cats are seven and eight now, and they’re far from old. I intended to really rescue a cat. Everyone wants shiny tiny new kittens, but people almost never want the older kitties.

rescue
I am a cat person. I can fall in love with a three-legged blind cat with bad breath and half an ear, I really can.
It was instinctual to announce, “THIS IS MY CAT! I’ll be taking this cat home now!” but we had to go look at all the cats, because I have children, and children must touch all the the kittens. Also, I couldn’t effectively communicate to The Mister because some journalist with a camera and a mic wanted to talk to us. More blushing, and silently pointing at husband while looking at a random spot on the floor. Husband said things.

blah_blah_blah

Two hundred felines later, we stumbled upon a crate of kittens who were, without a doubt, more special than all the other kittens in the whole wide world. There was an orange one, who was a feisty talker. I could tell right away that he was mischief. I can’t get down with mischief. There was a black and white one who was a lover. I’m a sucker for the lovers. Yes, yes, teethe on my shirt, claw my hair, tuck your head under my chin. Aww. But the girls loved this kitten even more than I. And Sadie Dog would do better with a kitten. Dammit.

I asked The Mister to go check on the female up at the front. See if she was still available. When he came back, I said, “I want the black and white female and the black and white kitten. Yes, I want them both. That’s what I want.” And The Mister, who is good at pleasing me, nodded. He stayed to adopt the kitten, and I went to claim my cat.

this is cletus. he is 4 months old and no one ever puts him down. ever.

this is cletus. he is 4 months old and no one ever stops touching him. ever.

 

this is como. she's 5 and she hides. alawt.

this is como. she’s 5 and she hides. alawt.

Right now, everyone is hissing and getting acquainted. Seems to be a gender issue. Catticus hates the male kitten, although he watches him constantly. Clara seems to hate the female cat, but hangs out under the bed with her like a feline spy.
The dog. Oh the poor dog. The dog loves everyone, and she just wants the cats to love her in return.

If you’re local, the Indy Mega Adoption Event is also tomorrow, although the demand for dogs is much higher than that of cats, and therefore, the dogs are adopted speedily. Today’s adoptions were Cats 302 / Dogs 219.

That’s a lot of lives saved, and leaves a lot more room in rescues and shelters.

Spay & Neuter Your Pets.
Don’t Shop — Adopt.

 

 

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One-Liner Wednesday — On Cat Litter

“When we’re talkin about which product best stores feces in your house, there just isn’t a good option.”

litter
Starting a new thing: One-Liner Wednesday via  LindaGHill. If you’d like to join in, here’s the page.

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged , | 15 Comments

“Go Outside,” They Said

I did that thing where I avoided social media for a few days. Didn’t blog for a week. Posted rarely on Twitter and Facebook. Even skipped the Instagram Photos of the Day for awhile.

I was just busy doing other things.

It certainly wasn’t because I’ve joined up with all those people who are fond of telling us to get offline and go outside.

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I enjoy going outside, with purpose. I like to piddle in my garden and I like to sit on my porch. I resent the idea that people should close their laptops and wander outdoors, as though something magical is going to happen. Trust me, I go outside. Lately, outside is hot and humid. If you’re into white girl afros and sunblock, then yes, it’s magical.

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At parties, I frequently tell young people to get off their phones so they can have experiences to share on social media later, but I wouldn’t suggest they abandon their phones, leave the party, and stroll around outside.

Because what we need are a bunch of people roaming around like zombies, many of whom would be lost without GPS, and sunburnt because they couldn’t find the UV index without their weather apps.

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It’s a sorta odd, and extremely pedantic thing to do, using one’s social media to chide other people about social media.
I always want to yell at those people in all caps, “THANK YOU FOR USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO TELL US NOT TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA!”

Before social media, I didn’t have friends all over the globe, who could teach me things about their world. Before social media, I had no idea how many conservative friends I already had, or how badly they spelled.

sm3

Recently, a media outlet posted an article on social media, about how we should close the very accounts that allow us to read their articles. Really?
— Oh, but subscribe to their articles via email.
So email is okay?

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Look, I thought I would finish this rant, but I’m not, because I’m going to Dairy Queen. Technically, Dairy Queen is outside and obviously soft serve ice cream is some kinda magical scientific foodie art. I like mine with faux fudge-flavored high fructose corn syrup — and I like Dairy Queen’s page on Facebook.

 

 

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged | 34 Comments

Blanket Girl

Last week, as we turned in, The Mister scolded me from under his blankets, “Ugh! You’ve turned me into a blanket person,” he said.
I giggled.
“It’s the quality of the linens,” I said, “Not to offend, but before me, you didn’t have delicious bed linens.”
He mumbled somethin about tee-shirt sheets from Walmart. I giggled again.

bed

My husband can sleep through anything. He can sleep anywhere. He doesn’t need a bed, let alone a pillow or a blanket.
But even he is not immune to the luxuries of a squishy pillow, smooth sheets, a soft quilt, and a heavy duvet on a really good mattress.

Somewhere around ten years ago, we realized we could not go on sleeping in the hand-me-down mattress of lumps. About two years ago, we realized we hate springs and box springs, no matter what the mattress makers put on top of them.

– But good linens always make the difference, even on the worst old bed.

The boy one crashes. He goes to his bed, falls on his face, and sleeps. He doesn’t appear to move, has no use for pajamas, doesn’t seem to need bed linens or pillows. Just, SPLAT.

All the girls are blanket girls, like me.

“so they went years and years 
like sisters blanket girls 
always there through that and this”
— Tori Amos, Bells for Her

We’re fussy bitches.
Don’t bring us acrylic or polyester. No, we want cotton. In fact, our sensitive skin demands it.

Sheets?

beds1

Y’all can keep your 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton that we know isn’t ELS. We can tell because it’s scratchy and feels starched. Also, if those sheets were made of Egyptian ELS, they wouldn’t be scratchy, but then you would’ve paid upwards of $500 or more for a set. If you have some Egyptian cotton ELS then we’ll take those, although we’re really Supima girls at heart, preferably with a sateen weave. Do you have something more in the 400-500 thread count range of 100% Pima, perhaps? We’re okay with percale, still softer than standard Egyptian cotton, but it’s not quite as soft as a well-worn linen…So, no Pima then?

If the sheets are bad, we’ll just sleep on top of the bed, with the quilts we brought.

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Oh, you don’t tote your quilts with you when you travel? I suppose you just use the hotel’s pillows, then, too?

beds

For fourteen years, my husband envied my pillow. We finally bought new ones, and he got one just like mine. He balked at the cost of those pillows, so I didn’t have the heart to tell him there are actually better pillows, if you’re into pillows that cost more than a day’s work.

I have never lain on any bed more comfortable than my own.

Why do you think we spend so much time moaning in our bed?

 

 

Posted in Personally | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Magical Day

I knew Drew was comin for a visit yesterday so I knew it would be a good day, but I had no idea it turn into a magical day.
We spent the day on the porch with our swate tay, catchin up. Magical.
“That squirrel is Blackbeard. He has a friend who’s got an all black face, and Moo calls him Joe.”
Yucca plants are terrible, we agree. We also agree the only way I’ll get rid of mine is one day when the men come to expand my porch, it will slowly wither away in the darkness.
Cottonwood blew by.
The weather was sublime. If you think it’s too hot when it’s 82 and breezy, just go live in Georgia for seven years, and come back. It sure worked for me.

magic1

Catching up is a constant battle for people who live far from one another, isn’t it? I mean, we call, and we text, stay connected on social media, but distance is a cold hard intrusion into many of our relationships.
So many of them were based once in location.

besties>insert friend montage<

I used to see Drew every day at school. Every day, she would turn around and tell me her friend was going to kick my ass. One day, she turned around and asked me to go bowling. From that time on, we were pretty much a complimentary set. We spent weekends together. Church together. Vacations together. In high school, we hung with some of the same people, but also, not. When you are friends with someone who is basically the opposite of you, you’re bound to love people she can’t stand and vice versa.
She moved to Texas. She came back. She moved back to Texas. She came back again. I moved to the far north side, she moved to the far south side. We both moved back to the east side. She moved to the country. I moved to Georgia. I came back. We’ve maintained this friendship and a running dialogue for 27 years — on the phone, in closets, behind your back, in the dark of night, on teeter-totters, in cars, under the bleachers, til dawn, from dressing rooms, in letters, from cozy pub booths, at tables, in front of roaring fires, in texts, in bathrooms, but mostly, on porches.

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HME and I dated guys who were friends with one another. We met because she needed a ride to a shop, and I had a car on campus. In addition to being liberals dating the Young Republicans, we shared dozens of other interests, but it was the importance of minute details that bound us. We both loved cold weather and snow. We both loved sweat pants and socks. We both read more than we slept. We were both in the teacher’s college. On and on I could go. Late night coffee was our thing. For a short spell, we were roommates after college. She married a soldier and moved to Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Seven years later, my Marine became a soldier, and I moved to Ft. Stewart, Georgia. I’m from Indiana, she’s from Illinois, and here we are — More than twenty years later, still hours between us.

besties1

Looking back on the evolution of my friends from girls to women is a pretty amazing thing. We’ve gone from “What are the vocab words?” and “I was so drunk last night,” to “We’re getting married!” “I’m pregnant!” “Oh my God, I’m buying a house!” “He never listens to me!” to “So, this reverse puberty bullshit sucks. huh?” and “What do you know about estate planning?”

adulty

Beauty Queen used to be my next door neighbor. No one has ever been happier than me, trapped in suburban hell with Beauty Queen. Can you imagine our families are from the same tiny little coal mine county in Virginia? Yes, let’s take our vacations there! and haul our pregnant bodies up and down Natural Tunnel and through brambles in cemeteries!
Since Beauty Queen was the first real adult friendship I made, it was a “mommy friendship” which I’ve found are absolutely essential to this mommy. The wisdom of other mothers is crucial. Conversations over morning coffee:
“Beauty Queen, why does it lie? Does it think I’m stupid?”
“Beauty Queen, why does it prefer the left breast? Can you tell I’m lopsided now?”
“Beauty Queen, what is this rash on its arm?”
We are walking encyclopedias of mommyhood.
At the time, our friendship entailed a lot of bartering and sharing. If you’ve never traded a waffle iron for four haircuts, then you can’t relate. If you never passed clothes back and forth between five growing girls, then I’m sorry for all the money you wasted. Oh, your husband never fetched two massive cups of the good chewing ice from the farthest gas station while you were both pregnant? Sorry.
Once we moved, within months of one another, we realized it was a golden age, and how precious that time really was.
Also, we have excellent taste, and a sense of propriety, so we’ve spent a lot of time (about fifteen years) hypocritically discussing how the rest of you don’t.

besties
Old friends are the best.
So much doesn’t need to be said, yet, so much can be said over and over for a decade, and understanding never grows complacent.

I’ve grown few friendships that last years and years, that surpass time and distance, that keep the running dialogue of life. But always, always, meeting up and catching up.

It’s been a year since I left True in Georgia, and still, running dialogue. I wonder what the next ten years will bring for us?

You never know when you meet someone, if they’ll be a constant.

besties2

>end friend montage <

In the middle of catching up, Drew left to collect Simon. I called my dad (who was HAPPY and CHEERFUL — omg magical wtfness!) and I ended up chatting to my mother about the garden.
This is when I truly realized how magical the day was.

I said to my mother, “I can’t wait til you get here, so you can tell me what all these plants are! You know waking up here every day is nothing short of a miracle. It’s so greeeeen! It’s June. I’m walkin on asphalt, and my feet are not on fire! I’m not sunburnt! I’m not sweating! There’s cool green grass, well, a lot of it’s weeds, but it’s still cool and green and soft.”

Drew returned with Simon, The Mister came home with pizzas, pizzas were eaten, stories were told, laughter was shared.

Simon and I discussed how he needs to come stay a while. He can do some big strong man things in my yard, and I will feed him the good foods like the olden days, and we will “Puter and music all day! ALL DAY!”

(Ace can come once baseball season is over, but he will do lil boy things like wear Moo out and reject my good foods and say, “An Joey! An Joey! You know what?!?”)

THE MISTER DID DISHES. — I told you, magical!

choreplay

Goodbye hugs and kisses. Hope we’re all together again soon.

Then, Game of Thrones and ice cream.

Lights out.

Magical day.

 

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I Believe in Sea Monsters

As a Marine, The Mister spent a considerable amount of time on boats. I mean, ships. Because you can’t say boats to a Marine. Marines go on ships, and floats.

Early in our marriage, he discovered my belief in sea monsters. We have argued about it ever since.

My theory: We don’t even know how deep the sea is! You have no idea what’s out there! Remember what happened to Jonah?!? Leviathan?!? What about The Abyss?!? Did you not read Moby Dick? Or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Have you even been on that ride?!?

His theory: Dolphins racing ships are a beautiful sight.

He says there are no monsters. If shown a photo of a monster, he just says logical and reasonable things like “It’s not real.”

not "real"

not “real”

 

not "real"

not “real”

 

not "real"

not “real”

 

not "real"

not “real”

 

not "real"

not “real”

 

not "real"

not “real”

When I was in fifth grade, I saw a giant squid at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and I have never fully recovered.

that poor baby!

that poor baby!

In sixth grade, I read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I had nightmares for weeks. Giant Squid.
20000
I thought I was okay, but my 1991 trip to Disney World brought it all back in full color and near panic.

 

20,000 02

 

So don’t tell me there aren’t sea monsters. Scientists are like, “Oh, we thought the Coelacanths were extinct, but they’re not! Yay!”

comoros_coelacanth_USNM

And there are fish that walk, ON LAND, and I don’t just mean mudskippers. Some of them are scary as fuck.

this mofo lives in florida

this mofo lives in florida

You never know when you’ll be swimmin, and some living fossil will come eat your tasty modern ass.
Y’all don’t even know.

 

 

Posted in Personally | Tagged , | 31 Comments

Swaddle Me?

I was over at Aussa’s a while ago, reading the ongoing story of the hovel baby, and her question about preparing for babies made me realize that for me, that question is a prompt.

I have mentioned before, I didn’t know A THING about babies before I had mine.

For instance, at my baby shower, I must have received no fewer than thirty blankets. At the time, I was a bit miffed, because while I realized the baby would be born in October, I doubted she would be cold in the house all winter, to the point of needing thirty freakin blankets. I mean, come on, y’all couldn’t buy more lil pink booties?

Yeah.

baby2

So I washed all those blankets, and folded all those blankets, and stacked all those blankets on the changing table.

The baby came, and I was shown how to swaddle her in blankets. You wrap em up real tight, which mimics being cramped in the womb, and it comforts them. Or, if you’re me, you wrap em up so they can’t flail about, scratching their tiny baby faces and kicking the socks off their tiny pink feet. Whatever, swaddling is like a straitjacket for babies: “I love you, now be still and calm down for your own good.”

Those 30+ blankets came in handy! Every time she messed her clothes, through her assorted bodily functions, she also messed her blankets.

Eventually, my mother left, my husband went off to work, and the children off to school. I was all alone with the baby.  The whole world was new again.

I realized, with such clarity, I am completely responsible for this person. Like, then, and FOREVER. It freaked me out completely. You would think I had realized this immediately, or perhaps even while I carried her, but I didn’t.
I thought I was neurotic before her, and even the first tender days, but no, my neuroses had come full circle with this sudden rush of feelings. “Oh my God, I just love her so much, and she’s so tiny, and she needs me for everything, and I cannot fuck this up.” Then it occurred to me that my own mother might have loved me this much, and felt the same way, and this must be what everyone’s always going on about all the love.

Awed by the impact of our six-pound human, I informed my baby that I would do right by her, and she could always count on me. I did not mention that I had ever been a Commitment Phobe, or that I was scared outta my wits about taking care of her, or that I knew absolutely nothin bout babies.

I finished changing her soiled breeches and clothes, gingerly pushed her tiny limbs into new, clean clothes. I carefully strapped her in her carseat to carry her upstairs and across the tile floors. I attempted to shower while watching the baby. It’s hard to wash your hair with your eyes open, but I did the best I could. When I was clean, but not dry, because who has time for that? I nudged her carseat to the edge of the bedroom carpet, picked her up and took her to our bed, only to discover that she had spit up. And all over her pretty pink blanket, too.

So I put her in the middle of the bed, walked backwards to the changing table, reached behind myself to grab a blanket from the pile…and there was no pile! I stopped staring at the baby and looked at the changing table, and there was no pile! There were no more blankets!

My first day alone with my daughter, and I had already fucked it up.

I had to haul my baby, blanket-less, in her carseat, back downstairs over many, many feet of hard floors, to do laundry. Fortunately, my mother had done a load before she left, and a pile of clean blankets rested on the dryer.

I tell expectant mothers, “You can never have too many blankets.”
They always say, “Ooohkay….”
You never know when your mother will leave, and you’ll hafta wash your own damn blankets.

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That’s Not a Compliment

There’s a man in my life who sucks at communicating. No, no, it’s not The Mister. So long as your words reach his good ear, The Mister could win an award for best straight man communication skills. He can’t text for shit, but that’s a blog of another color.

No, the man I’m referring to shall be called Captain Bert Obvious, because that’s totally not his name. I’m pretty sure Bert doesn’t read this blog, but plenty of his friends do, so Bert, if you’re readin, think of this as constructive criticism, cause it ain’t a fuckin compliment.

When I’m out, and I see Bert, he might say, “I see Sadie has a new leash,” followed by nothing else. Or he might ask, “Got a new dress, eh, Joey?” He doesn’t say anything negative or positive about things, he just points out that he notices.

compliment3
Every time he comes over, he notices something.
“You rearranged the living room.”
“You got a big mixer, huh?”
“Smells like somethin’s cookin.”
“Put a table on the porch, eh?”

What am I supposed to do with this feeble attempt at conversation?

“I see your senses are in working order, Bert.”

I just say, “Yes.” In my head, I’m all, what the fuck, bert? what the fuck?!?

tumblr_m6dal9UzsK1r4hwmoo1_500
It would almost be better if he insulted me, because then I could say something, anything, that might move the conversation along.

To be fair, on occasion, he does take the time to share his opinions. Like when he said, “Gee, Joey, you coulda brushed your hair,” and “I like your hair like that.” Those two sentences were about ten years apart, but these rare comments gave me a deeper understanding of Bert. Bert likes my hair after I’ve spent 20 minutes blowin it out with a big round brush and a dryer, then smoothed it with jet sets and hair products out the yin-yang, and let it sit for an hour. He does not like my hair in its natural state, which is anything but smooth or straight. Got it. Thanks for sharing, Bert.

emma
Sometimes Bert gives me a nice back-assward complimentary insult like, “Those shoes sure are fancy for a girl like you.”

compliment1
I have joked with The Mister, saying that I feel I should call Bert at every turn, “Bert, I’m about to hang a new shower curtain. I sure don’t give a fuck if hope you like it, not that I’ll ever know, either way.”

Maybe Bert lives by “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Maybe he hates everything.

Do you know anyone like Bert? How do you handle the ambiguity?

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Simple Joys

Yesterday was an extremely pleasant day.

The weather was sublime. Cool for June, gentle rain off and on. We had the windows open. Breezes swept through the house all day. The Mister stood in front of the window saying, “It sure is nice to have the house open.”
“It sure is. I love it.”

perfect1
Coffee in the quiet.
Laundry room solitude.
Watching the squirrels and Cardinal couples.
Leftover pot roast for brunch.
“I’ll make you some fresh swate tay.”
Jimmy Fallon on the DVR.
“OH MY GOD! A TINY HUMMINGBIRD!”
The four of us at home.
Laughing and smiling.
Not having any place to go.
“The kitchen has been sanitized.”

A series of fortunate events, highlighted by one moment; the moment I told myself days like this do not come along very often, and no, joey, you will not get up and go rotate the laundry. you will lie here with your head in your husband’s lap, and your cat on your shoulder and enjoy the moment. 


perfect3

So I let go, I let myself enjoy the present, I be’d in the moment, and I fell asleep with my feet dangling over the side of the loveseat.

It was delicious.

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My Perception of His Perspective

Like most wives, I annoy my husband on the regular.
Most of these things are due to differences in perception.

For instance, I think I will DIE if I don’t have a drink at all times, and he thinks I won’t. “Lemme get a to-go cup. No, I cannot make the drive from home to Starbucks without a drink! That’s like, two miles or somethin!”

He hates it when I ask the wait staff to bring to-go cups, although he might be comin around, cause he orders one from time to time.

He thought he would make fun of me with my parents, “She can’t go anywhere without a drink!”
They looked at him like there should be more to the story.
Ahahaha! Please, my parents probably own stock in Tervis, and if they don’t, they should, really.

my HUGE to-go tervis, from sissy

my HUGE to-go tervis, from sissy

I strongly suspect he hates how I take in animals, no matter how much he loves them. He’s always like, “We don’t need another cat,” or “We have two cats, we don’t need a dog,” or “We have two cats and a dog, we don’t need a goldfish, a pair of goats and some chickens.” I’m not sure he loves my Clara cat, because he’s always calling her an attention whore and accusing her of being jealous, but he pets her anyway. He loves Catticus kitty, and that dog he didn’t want me to rescue!? Oh yeah, he loves that dog more than he loves chocolate, and he spoils her rotten. Just rotten.

who looks jealous now?

who looks jealous now?

He hates how I remember every little thing, except when I remember where his shit is, how he likes to be touched, which foods and flavors he likes, how he takes his coffee, or which jeans were his favorite so we can buy another pair exactly like them, and well, just every little thing, unless it involves something he said or did that might have been a wee bit dickish.

I could go on an on, really, I’m extremely annoying, both to live with, and about making lists about how I’m extremely annoying.

But last night, I may have overdone it on annoying. Let me tell you how this went, from my perception of his perspective:

I got up at six o’clock in the morning, and took that bitch’s dog out, while she slept comfortably in the white sheets with the embroidered detail that I think are too fuckin girly.
I fed that bitch’s cats, even the white one that she loves more than me.
I made that bitch some coffee.
I drove to work, through the clusterfuck that is I-465, being cut-off by fucktards in every direction.
I put on my white shirt and my black paisley tie. Bitches love ties.
I worked hard all day, helping rich clients solve their imaginary financial problems. 
‘Ooh, did my wife just post a photo of pot roast? I fuckin love pot roast. At least when I’m done here, I can go home, sit on my couch, eat pot roast and watch tv.’
I drove home to find my house was a disaster. It looked like a bomb went off. Fortunately, my wife and daughters weren’t harmed during the incident, but my house was wrecked. 
Then that bitch told me she did it on purpose! Bitches be crazy.
I’ve got a couch, a loveseat and a chair, but there was only one place to sit, because the whole fuckin livin room was covered in books. 
Then that bitch said somethin about bein sorry, but Sassy had broken the bookshelf, and could I please fix it? Because I have to fix fucking everything.
That bitch rearranged the living room again! 
I thought I would just go hang up my tie and chillax a mo, but the bomb had impacted the hallway outside of Moo’s room, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t hafta play fuckin hopscotch to get to my bedroom.
Roast smelled fuckin good, though.
I had to eat dinner at the table, with my wife and children, without tv, because again with the book explosion.
That bitch covered my plate in gravy and didn’t even make me eat a carrot, and that’s how I know she felt really bad about what she’d done, but not bad enough, because she forgot to pour me a glass of swate tay.
I ate my dinner in silence so I could focus on making the veins in my head pop out, so as to make sure my unhappiness was felt by all who made eye contact with me.
Don’t you know that bitch wasn’t fuckin phased? She went on and on all happy and shit, talkin about what the girls did, and how much she loves her new mixer, and won’t it be nice when we can look out the windows? Fuckin cheerful bitches. Goddamn.
“We’ll just go buy another bookshelf,” she said.
After dinner, I had to balance the checkbook, because I, too, have imaginary financial problems that make me think a $35 bookshelf will ruin me.
Although my wife told me she would go buy the bookshelf, and that I could stay home in the fuckin mess she made, I told her I would go, because bookshelves are heavy. She informed me that if I didn’t go, the store would provide her with a carry-out. Since I remember that carry-out boy she fucked in 1996, I went.
When we got to the store, the item was opened and I refused to buy it, because with my luck, I’d get home and all the hardware would be missing, and my wife would say some dumb shit like, “Don’t we have cams and metal screws in the hardware drawer? Or in your man bag or somethin?” Gah, bitches.
We drove to the second store, but they didn’t have any in the right color. My wife suggested we buy two whole new bookshelves in a different color. AHA! That bitch was schemin for new furniture! Twice as much money. 
We had to buy Moo some bullshit craft thing and another toy for my dog to destroy in less than an hour. What the fuck ever.
Once we got home, I carried the one remaining bookshelf to Sassy’s room, and then I had to assemble those two new bookshelves in a totally different color. My wife can’t assemble a fuckin paper plane, for Chrissake.
Oh she said she would help, then it was all, “My hands! My hands!” Her bookshelf was all wobbly and shit.
Then, while I bolted them to the wall, that bitch got all touchy-feely, talkin dirty to me like I hadn’t been up all night fixin shit she broke for no good reason whatsoever
Eventually, at like one o’clock in the morning, that bitch got all the books back on the shelf and we sat on our furniture the way God intended
We went to bed at two, and that bitch better never rearrange a fuckin thing. She ain’t movin those bookshelves, ain’t no way she can get those screws out with “My hands! My hands!”

fuck it, look at my view!

fuck it, look at my view, y’all!

And that, Ladies, is why you must always, always finish rearranging the house before your man gets home, and why you must never, ever, break anything in the process.

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Fighting is Their Favorite

Today was the last day of school for our wee ones, and the panic has arisen. Summer vacation is wonderful, because no more 6am. Sadly, at whatever time they awaken, they will be together all day, every day, day after day after day.

kids2
The Mister dealt with them yesterday mornin, and he was quick to tell me they cannot sleep together anymore. They need time apart, he said. Then he added, “How shall we accomplish this over summer break?”
I lol’d and said we won’t, it will be like every other summer.

You see, I have dealt with all these same issues before, because Bubba and Sissy had exactly the same dynamics. Introverted Bubba could spend all day building impressive things, reading, or playing in his room, only ever coming out to eat or because his presence was required. Sissy, on the other hand, was never content to play alone, and needed nearly constant companionship. She was, depending on which phrase you can relate to, up my butt or on my hip all day, day in, day out. Other little girls might have preferred playing with their toys, but Sissy preferred to fold towels, cook, clean, watch cooking shows, garden, or eavesdrop. Some four-year-olds are very content to sit and have coffee with adults, even when they don’t like coffee, and our Sissy was such a child.

I should mention, our children are not permitted to claim boredom. Boredom will be fixed with chores, so our kids are never bored, except that one time a few summers ago, Sissy forgot, and said, “I’m bore– Nope, I’m fine,” but she was too late, and had to clean the tops of the bookshelves, poor thing.

Bubba and Sissy could never play games without fighting, either.

kids3

Bubba did not want to be bothered and all Sissy wanted to do was bother him. Just like Sassy and Moo now.

Me: Why did you poke your brother in the eye with your wand?
Sissy: Because I wanted to!

Bubba did not want to play kitchen, and Sissy did not want to play alone.

They fought most of the day, just like Sassy and Moo, and then they, too, wouldn’t shut up and go to sleep at night, when they suddenly remembered they loved one another.

This gets easier, once the younger, more extroverted child achieves the liberty that promotes a real social life, but until that time comes, it’s fairly exhausting for all parties.

Oh sure, I take em to the park, the zoo, the pool, the splash n’ play, the children’s museum, the library, and to play dates and sleepovers as well. We have other kids over. They go to day camps here and there, or VBS, and Bubba even went away to scout camp for a week. The Mister and I have “dates” with the children to break it up a bit. We take trips. We play games. We do arts and crafts. We have spa days. We have family come and stay for awhile. But all roads lead back to fighting. Fighting is their favorite.

We even got boxing for the Wii so they could virtually beat the crap outta one another.

kids8
The Mister loves to fight with the children, but he doesn’t do it daily, and he never screams bloody murder nor does he spout out hate speech. Do your kids “Stupid Baby!” and “Big Bully!” one another too?

kids5
My main goal in the summer is to get them back to school in August, intact bodily and without any soul-crushing material for therapy. My own sanity is of little importance at this point.

The only real piece of advice I have is this: If you get mad, start blathering about how you just can’t take it anymore. Try to appear a bit more emotionally unstable than you actually are. Whisper. Grunt. Randomly yell here and there. Say things about how you love them ALL so much, you just caNNN’t stand THE way they trEAt one anoTHER. Work up a tear or two by thinking about how flat your tummy usta be, or how they ruined the interior of your car. Use your loud Italian hands to wave something nearby, but non-threatening, like a book, a phone, a remote control, a throw pillow — never a hot iron, never a paring knife, and never ever a cat. Begin mumbling incoherently, perhaps even in another language, to the ceiling, the window, or to an obscure spot on the wall. This will completely freak your children out and they will leave you alone for at least an hour. The more calm and reasonable you usually are, the more time you’ll get. Sometimes they will pair off, and sometimes they will send the youngest out to test the waters. The helpful one will come to make sure you still love her. The oldest may try to escape, in which case you can say, “Huh uh, Buddy, we’re all in this rainy day together.” Talk through your teeth if you need more time. Use the crazy only as needed, in case it gets real.

Right.

Happy Summer Vacation!

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Kiddie Pools: Fun to Read About?

When you live in Georgia, you buy kiddie pools. Sure, a few Indiana years, my kids had kiddie pools, but in Georgia, it was essential.

See, in Indiana, when it’s 90 degrees, we sit in the shade and let the kids run through the sprinkler. We eat watermelon and snow cones — all that summer stuff and whatnot — but when it gets to be 105 with 87% humidity, people here generally stay in. If you did that in Georgia, you’d miss half the year. So yeah, kiddie pools every year. We also went to the neighborhood pool, and the post pool, and the beach. I now own more beach towels than is reasonable for a Hoosier.

Since we lived at The Palace of Rules last summer, we didn’t have a kiddie pool. Moo almost died. Having lived in Georgia for as long as she can remember, Moo now believes that kiddie pools are an essential aspect of childhood, and she neeeeeds a pool pronto. She’s also pretty bummed about how the ocean is several states away, but we all have our own crosses to bear.

who doesn't love dory?

who doesn’t love dory?

The last summer we were in Georgia, our pool was a hard plastic pool, but William had a big soft plastic pool, and his pool was all the rage. It was made clear to me that we neeeeed a pool like William’s.

the pool i have ordered, LIKE WILLIAM'S

the pool i have ordered, LIKE WILLIAM’S

My friend Brown Eyes LuLu sent me a link for a pool like William’s. I read the reviews this morning, and I could not get over how DUMB people are.

First of all, let’s laugh at all the people who think the pool itself is what makes the water slimy after a few days. Then let’s laugh at all the people who think halfa cuppa bleach in 300 gallons of water will poison their children. Then let’s laugh at all the people who think those floating chemical tablets are even more toxic than halfa cuppa bleach. And then let’s laugh at the fact that all these people have been in insidious slimy in-ground pools filled with chlorine or bromine, plus algae killers, and the occasional floating chemical tablet.

It’s a soft sided pool, meaning, the interior water pressure keeps the sides up. An unbelievable number of people do not understand this concept. A lot of people didn’t even attempt to put water into it, because the sides wouldn’t stay up, and a great deal more never filled it, because the sides wouldn’t stay up.
It’s not a magic pool, y’all.

cannot be shipped to your house for $14.88

cannot be shipped to your house for $14.88

Someone even complained that she had to stand there for 20 minutes waiting for the pool to fill up. This person must be young, childless royalty. I mean, just imagine 20 wasted minutes of your life, waiting for a pool to fill up! There have been times in my life I have stood there for 20 minutes waiting for a kid to pee in a cup, so I thank my lucky stars for the training and preparation I’ve been given to deal with this pool!

Then, pardon me, but if you’re using the pool as a place to grow tree frogs or baby chicks, if you’re using it as a ball pit, or to plant a vegetable garden in, you cannot rate the pool with one star, and tell us what a sucky pool it is.

not intended for shark containment

not intended for shark containment

And I’m sorry, but this pool was reviewed by people whose pets used it. A German Shepherd, a pair of Rottweilers, and a Coon Hound all used this pool without incident. One woman used it for an entire summer at her home daycare with eight kids, but you, the mommy of one human, have written, “hard plastic pools aren’t as easily destroyed by active children!” Your child is more destructive than other peoples’ hundred-pound dogs?!? Oh my Dog, I almost spit out my coffee.

 

 

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Verdant

If you have paid any attention to me since I started this blog, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that I hate to be hot, and you would be correct. Warm weather’s most redeeming quality is its production of pretty and tasty plants.

I sit on my porch, shaded from the sun. Warm breezes swirl around me. I close my eyes and listen to the wind through the trees. I open my eyes and watch the birds and squirrels frolicking, squawking, eating. My neighbor’s enormous lilac bushes and our peonies combine to permeate the air with the sticky sweet smell of Summer on its way.

Cottonwood seeds, or summer snow, falls from the sky.

summersnow
The cottonwood seeds billow about, dancing by, landing anywhere, everywhere.

like on one of my hydrangeas

like on one of my hydrangeas

The grass, the entire landscape, can only be described as verdant.

so many ferns

so many ferns

 

cornflower

cornflower

 

 

rhododendron

rhododendron

 

peonies

peonies

 

roses

roses

first one unfurled today

first one unfurled today

 

clematis

clematis

and yes, i did add some potted geraniums

and yes, i did add some potted geraniums

hostas galore, overload of lily-of-the-valley, more ferns...

hostas galore, overload of lily-of-the-valley, more ferns…

I was describing our soil to a Georgia friend the other day, since she noticed all the grass, and even better, no clay. Our soil here is Miami soil, natural loam. After years of sand and clay, it feels so good to slide a spade into that dark, rich soil. It smells fantastic. I talk to the worms, carrying them to my new divisions, “You’ll like it better over here. Plenty to do.”

I can only say how honored I am to live here.

You never know what you have until it’s gone. How lucky am I to get it back?

 

Posted in Personally | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

Random Musings of the Unamused

I’m kinda feisty lately.

My spidey-senses are keen. My bullshit threshold is low, as is my ability to give fucks. My eye rolls are exceptional.

almost as good as lucille's

almost as good as lucille’s

It’s likely related to hormones, because I also think Cocoa Krispies are incredible and I think it would be fun to have a party where everyone brings mashed potatoes and a different kind of gravy…

good gravy!

good gravy!

 

Or maybe not a party. Maybe everyone could simply place the mash and gravy upon the porch, like an offering to the grumpy goddess, and back away slowly.

look, i'm not the first person to think of it

look, i’m not the first person to think of it

People should not arrive at my house at 9am without notice.

ferreal

ferreal

 

Have I ever mentioned how nice it is that the front of the house and the back of the house are largely soundproof from one another? True. Can’t hear the house phone or the doorbell from the bedrooms.
Sorry, not sorry.

you rang?

you rang?

If you can wake us up from the front of the house, you’ll prolly wake the whole neighborhood and the police, so be sure to bring LOTSA coffee, mk?

I kinda hate holidays. All you people suddenly want strawberries and tomatoes for your holiday food, when in reality, the rest of us buy them all the damn time, and we do not appreciate your holiday zeal.

some of us just eat the fruit, without artistic or patriotic demonstration you know

some of us just eat the fruit, without artistic or patriotic demonstration you know

Moo doesn’t want homemade chicken & noodles tonight. She made herself some ramen, and then proceeded to tell me WHY she doesn’t like homemade chicken & noodles. I’m not sure I like her anymore…

i will eat all my chickynoonoo like a good girl

i will eat all my chickynoonoo like a good girl

The Mister has worked a terrible shift this weekend. 0430-1730. Isn’t that rotten?!?
It’s particularly rotten when you’re a one-car family and Simon is graduating three hours away.

yay simon!

yay simon!

My hair looks good.

I think I’ll go make myself a cocktail.

I’ll take a picture for you.
Not of the hair. The cocktail.

yeah, i sipped before i clicked

yeah, i sipped before i clicked, can you blame me? non

Cheers!

Posted in Personally | Tagged , , | 35 Comments

GoFundMYWHOLELIFE

Now and again, my friends post links to “GoFundMe” for valid reasons.

Well, that’s subjective, isn’t it? Yes, the whole concept is subjective.

How GoFundMe works: Someone needs money for something, so they set up a donation platform, and people can donate to their cause. Because you know, if they have one hundred friends who give them $5, then they have $500 for their cause. That’s groovy, except that some people will ask you to fund their whole lives, and they’ll ask you over and over and over, even posting the link in emails, on social media, and calling to ask if you saw the links, as if the rest of us don’t have things that pop up and cost us money, or like we don’t have unfulfilled desires because of money…

Well, People, We DO.

I will not mention which GoFundMe’s I have seen that strike me as uncouth, because you know, I like my friends to sit around and worry that I think their fundraising subjects are beneath me…
For instance, some of the causes sound like, “In lieu of gifts, the bride and groom request cash.” (Yes, I have seen that, embossed on 100lb paper, no less.)

LOL-Cat

Anyway, I’ll share my own, which I have only ever ranted about with my pets.

“Go Fund Me, I still have two more kids that need braces!”

“Go Fund Me, I have a hole behind my bathroom mirror!”

“Go Fund Me, I want an extension ladder! and a tree pruner! and a snow blower! and a leaf vacuum!”

“Go Fund Me, my fence is in need of repair and expansion!”

“Go Fund Me, we’d love to be a two-car family!”

“Go Fund Me, I’d like my mortgage paid off!”

“Go Fund Me, the state of Indiana said we OWE!”

“Go Fund Me, we wanna go visit HME next month!”

“Go Fund Me, vehicle registration is expensive!”

“Go Fund Me, I want prescription sunglasses!”

“Go Fund Me, the air conditioning in our van went out AGAIN!”

“Go Fund Me, I wanna buy the lot next door and build a greenhouse!”

“Go Fund Me, I’d like to go to grad school!”

“Go Fund Me, one of the diamonds in my wedding band fell out!”

“Go Fund Me, Sassy needs summer clothes AGAIN!”

“Go Fund Me, I have expensive taste in handbags!”

“Go Fund Me, I’d like to take a pastry course!”

“Go Fund Me, I want new flooring!”

“Go Fund Me, I still haven’t seen Ireland!”

“Go Fund Me, I want The Back 40 tilled!”

“Go Fund Me, my ice maker’s broken!”

“Go Fund Me, I want a deep freeze!”

“Go Fund Me, my apple trees need to be topped!”

“Go Fund Me, plumbing emergencies are outrageously expensive!”

“Go Fund Me, I love caviar!”

“Go Fund Me, I’d rather spend your money than my own!”

If y’all people wanna fund any of that, or just want to pay a fair amount for the snarky laughter I gave you, I’ll be happy to give you my Paypal, just use the Contact Me tab at the top of this blog.
Otherwise, I’ll be forced to sacrifice things and save money, like some kinda fuckin pleb.

Posted in Personally | Tagged , | 26 Comments

“I have this coupon for halfa brain…”

Some of my friends are Couponing. You’ve seen the Extreme Coupon people on television, right? I’ve never watched the shows, but I’ve seen bits about it. They leave the store with carts and carts of products, and then they pay eleven cents, or sometimes, the store pays them.
Do you ever really look at what’s in the cart? Not dinner, that’s fersure. This photo is pretty good, because cheese, eggs and juice are nutritious.

this cost $13.34

this cost $13.34

My friends come home with a dozen packages of toilet paper for a dollar. Or a pile of deodorants, shave cream, and toothbrushes for less than five dollars.

I’m like, “Neat-o.”

whoa, how many vitamins do you take?

whoa, how many vitamins do you take?

One of my friends coupons for fun, and her hoards get donated to shelters, the elderly in the community, and local food banks.

I’m like, “Awesome!”

holy processed food, yo!

holy processed food, yo!

MIL has a friend who brings her all the buy-one-get-ones. In the garage at The Palace of Rules, you will find shelves of food, like a convenience store. Chicken broth, cream of chicken, piles of ramen, condiments, canned veggies, boxes of cake mix, cereals, cookies. You gotta check the dates, that’s all I’m sayin.

and then everyone in the house begins to hate frosted flakes...

and then everyone in the house begins to hate frosted flakes…

I do not have space for this.
I can get down with Couponing if you’re actually going to use the product, otherwise, unused items in your space are just clutter. Clutter you spent both time and money to accumulate, that you must clean and organize, and y’all know how I feel about Feng Shui. I do not need fifty bottles of shampoo cloggin up my chi. Toothpaste expires. A lot of stuff expires, check that shit out.

I’ll admit that since we are a predominately female household, we could likely use 300 boxes of tampons for $6, but they will not fit in the drawer of the vanity, and I am unlikely to add a tampon room.

I love when diced tomatoes are twenty cents a can — I’ll buy ten cans of them.

I buy the ten pound bags of rice.

I buy 28oz cans of veggies and fruits. They cost less than standard size, ferreal.

Sometimes the commissary holds sidewalk sales, and I will buy canned veggies in bulk, or giant bottles of honey.

We have a membership to the wholesale place, but very rarely go. Because you really need someone to take half of the five pounds of celery and whatnot…

Just the other day, the hardware store was selling 7-Up at $1.23 a bottle or $1.46 for a six-pack of bottles, and I was like, “Hmm…That’s a good deal. But do I want bottles of 7-Up? Do I?” Yeah, no, I don’t.

I love store coupons and I belong to all the “clubs.”
I use those $10 off your next purchase of $75 or more coupons that come out with your receipt.
I cut a lot more coupons when I had four kids at home, but I was never so poor that I thought sixty bottles of mustard for $8 would help me save money.

– I don’t go to Gymboree to buy clothes my child does not need because I have a coupon for 30% off, nor do I buy twenty bottles of Tums because I have a buy-one-get-one, and that’s how lines between saving money and wasting money are drawn.

People without cats, buying cat food. Bald people stockpiling conditioner. I can’t imagine.

 

diapers are a good item to stockpile, IF YOU HAVE A BABAY

diapers are a good item to stockpile, IF YOU HAVE A BABY!

Did you ever wonder why you went to CVS to take advantage of the sale on toothbrushes and they were all gone? Because some Extreme Couponer done bought up all 80 of em!
Ever wonder why on earth your store is out of your brand of bacon at 10am? Extreme Couponers.
No apple juice in the whole store?!?
How can there be no apple juice left?!?
I can’t get a pint of cream, because some hoarder got them free with the purchase of MY BACON? That cream will no doubt rot in her fridge before she can use it all.
So much so, stores have set more limits and are cutting back coupon offers.

I cut the occasional coupon, and I grab the ones under the display when I can. I have never even considered Extreme Couponing, because there’s a problem with coupons…

THEY ARE ALMOST NEVER FOR THINGS YOU NEED!

never

never

It’s all about processed food. Packaged, frozen, canned, cupped, boxed and bagged. Well, I don’t buy much processed food.

Why aren’t there coupons for fresh salad greens, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, green beans, cantaloupe, grapes, apples, bananas, or cloves of garlic?

Where is my coupon for $5 off my water bill? — Or my gas bill, I’m not picky!

How about buy one brisket, get the second at half price?

Should anyone really have one hundred boxes of Kraft mac n’ cheese? Really?

Where can I get a coupon for five half gallons of organic milk?

Excuse me, but I have yet to find coupons for flour or sugar!

Are there any for half a grass-fed cow?

Hey, can I bring one kid in for shots and get the next kid’s shots for free?

How about buy fencing, get the labor for free?

No, thank you, I don’t need six bottles of nail polish for a dollar, but I could sure use six bottles of wine for that price!

It’s a bit of a trick. The coupons only save you money on things you would buy and use regardless of coupons. Buying things just because there are coupons actually wastes your money.
You have a coupon for gnocchi in a box, and the next thing you know, you suddenly think you love gnocchi in a box. But really, you don’t. No one does.

picky-girl
How long would it take a person to use eight bottles of Murphy’s oil soap? I ask, because I’m on my third bottle in roughly sixteen years…

I use vinegar to clean most things.

Can I have all your vinegar coupons? You only find them around Easter, and then they’re only for the small glass bottles, but I’ll take em.

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Updates

I finally gave MIL her resurrected calla lily.
You know what? She didn’t seem particularly pleased at all.
*shrugs* I dunno.

calla
The Mister finished the semester with a 3.6 GPA. I’m so pleased for him! That’s a great accomplishment for anyone who goes to school full-time while working full-time, let alone while having a family! I think the summer sessions will be even better, because he’ll have two days without work or school, wherein last semester he only had one. He has never lacked dedication, that’s fersure!
High grade point averages are hot.

smart

Sadie’s been spending considerable time in the back yard while I work in the garden. Saturday, she startled me by barking from the gate. And just look what she brought me.

squirrel.killer

She’s always proud to have killed a squirrel. Her humans are always conflicted.

Oh no, you caught a squirrel!

Yay you caught a squirrel!

So mostly, we just stand there, silently staring at them both. It’s her nature, of course. She takes great pride in delivering her squirrels. But, oh, we wish she didn’t. Good dog. See what I mean?
I was asked if it was Chubby, and it’s not, but it’s only a matter of time, really.
We have a veritable squirrel graveyard in The Back 40.

According to our schedule, what with Monday being Memorial Day, today was the last bus stop day. I realize I never fully explained the drama of the bus stop situation, and I don’t know if I ever will, but you are so happy for us. We will enjoy those two months of not standing alongside the busy thoroughfare hoping some bus, any bus really, stops to pick up the children between between seven and eight o’clock. I have never encountered such a clusterfuck of school transportation in my life, and I am so glad it’s over! I’m sure next year will be better. If not, I will blog about it. Next year will be better, RIGHT?!?

bus3

I used the power drill to hang this shelf, all by myself.

turtle: bubba, age 7 bird: moo, age 5 bowls: bubba, moo, sassy, bubba, bubba, moo

turtle: bubba, age 7
bird: moo, age 5
bowls: bubba, moo, sassy, bubba, bubba, moo  — i dunno why sissy never did make a bowl…

It only took me 90 minutes. I measured about forty-five thousand times. I am so proud. It has toggle bolts and everythin! My friends were all so proud. The Mister was like, “Cool. What’s fer dinner?”

And yes, I did finally finish sanding that back hallway. I painted it a lovely shade of soft yellow, called Honey Bear. No, I haven’t painted the trim yet, because I’m suffering from there-are-six-doors-in-that-hallway procrastination!

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“Strange Plant, is that how you do?”

I have an indoor life and an outdoor life. Both are full of wonder.

Indoor Life:

I wonder how wooden spoons keep things from boiling over?
Why would anyone use flat paint in a kitchen?
I wonder what’s under this tile?
Will she ever stop growing, like ever?
Why did I ever want anything but stainless steel pots and pans?
Do the noodles go directly to the inside of my thighs, or is that a coincidence?
Why isn’t everything wireless yet?
What the hell do they do in this bathroom?!?

Outdoor Life:

How far back can I trim this wayward rosebush without killing it?
Where should I plant this milkweed?
Where should I plant this tulip tree?
How are these trees surviving when clearly all their limbs are in my yard?
If I take the pots out of the back yard, and no one lives there, it’s not really stealing, is it?
What should I plant on this trellis?

Most importantly, I spend a lot of time asking plants, “What the fuck are you?”

Case in point, the strange plant in my front bed. Strange Plant looked like a schefflera.

Schefflera_arboricola

For awhile, I wondered if maybe the previous owner had just thrown her houseplant into the garden.
Then it lived through the winter?
(In Indiana, scheffleras do not live through the winter. One of the things that will freak Hoosiers out, is realizing that The Deep South has outdoor hedges made of our houseplants.)

Yesterday, as we left the house, I realized Strange Plant had blooms on it. Big, hot pink blooms.
In the shade?
Really, Strange Plant? Is that how you do?

strange1strange2
I took a few photos and sent them in a text to my mother. She said she couldn’t find its name.

Today, I decided to research Strange Plant.
Woody, leaflets, yes, six, waxy, yes, flowering, pink…

RHODODENDRON!

rhododendron

Just last week, I was looking at the rhododendrons on Jewels’s blog, ooh, so pretty! It left me wondering where I could put a rhododendron in my own yard.

Apparently, I can put one in the shade of the front bed.

 

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From Where I Walk

I joined Instagram last month, (you can follow me here) so I could participate in the “Photo a Day” challenges. The version of me on Instagram is like the version of me on sports, in that I’m having a good time, but you don’t want me on your team. I enjoy the photo challenges, but I’m not a great photographer. Also, I missed a day already, which is a lot like failing to return the serve.

I have two friends (krudeforth & retamckelvey) who take stunning photos, and their Instagram accounts are worth checking out. In case you happen to find yourself in England this month, Kevin actually has an exhibition at a pub in Kingston Upon Hull.

My exhibitions, per se, are not particularly photogenic, and largely involve the running of my mouth. While looking at pictures of myself, I find I am most often talking, laughing, or eating, which does indeed tell a thousand words, or at least this many: My mouth is never shut, I love red lipstick, I am indeed an epicurean, I almost always wear white, and my face is always some shade of pink.
I like that Instagram has me BEHIND the camera.

This is a photo I took today.

maple1

May Photo A Day 15. From Where I Walk

 

It’s part of the mess of Spring. I had been describing the mess of Spring to Luanne, failing miserably by talking about the red bits and the propeller thingies that fall from the Maples. I told her I would take a photo and find the proper words for them.

The seed pod propeller thingies that come off of Maple trees are called samaras, although they are also called propellers, helicopters, and whirlygigs. The important thing about propellers is that you must get them all up off the ground, because wherever they find a place to grow, they will try to grow, and I do not want to live in a forest!
The red bits are buds that fall from our Red Maple.
Also included in this photo, at no extra charge to you, are the grass clippings and twigs that get blown onto my patio.

What can I say, my lawn debris is marvelous, and never-ending!

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She Watches Me

One of the many things I love about my house is that it’s a bungalow. Even our tiny first apartment was on the second floor.
First things first, it’s awfully nice not to tote laundry baskets up and down the stairs.

My bedroom being on the first and only floor is a great blessing. In the summer, my view is a series of hibiscus, in various shades of blooming pinks, and a bit of fence. No matter the season, from my bed, I see the tops of trees.

Sometimes the moon appears. She’s merely a white light in my sheers, but she captivates me. I know she’s inconsistent, with her comings and goings from my window frame, but still she comforts me. As I lie prone, I watch her watching over me, and I can’t help but think how kind.

not my photo, but exactly how it would look if i had photography skills

this is not my photo, but it is exactly how it would look if i had ample photography skills

 

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Just Another Day

This Mother’s Day is weird.

Where should I begin?

Last night, Sassy gave me a one-armed penguin made of papier-mache, a painting of an owl, and a marigold wilting in a milk carton. Life is strange like that. Very sweet, if a bit odd.

marigold

I packed a box for my mother, and waited til I baked Challah bread to slip a loaf in, but when I went to the post office on Thursday, the man told me it wouldn’t arrive til Monday. For the cost of three hardback books, he could get it there on Friday. Saturday and Sunday were not an option, so it won’t be there til Monday. Kinda sad for my mother. Really wish I’d skipped the bread and got it to her yesterday, instead.

challah
Meanwhile, my mother’s parcel for me arrived Wednesday, because she’s got almost 30 years on me and she has a more realistic view of how the mail works…

omg, an actual photo!

yes, i cropped my father out, but it IS mother’s day!

I had a gift hand-crafted for MIL, but there were shipping issues with the materials, so that won’t be here until maybe mid-week, either.
The calla lily resurrection continues, as it unfurls and new pips pop up here and there. No blooms yet, though.

lily2
Doesn’t matter too much though, because MIL has gone to her mother’s for the weekend.

Bonus: No one to take Moo to church means I got to sleep in.

In theory.
My girls woke me up this morning, to give me a food and spa menu. Moo stopped to snuggle awhile.

oh girls, the irony...

oh girls, the irony…

Upon arrival to the kitchen, I was pleased to find that Sassy has returned five million dishes from her bedroom to the sink, no one threw away the oatmeal packets, the cereal container lingered on the counter, milk spilled here and there, toaster’s left out, little chocolate syrup dribbled on the counter…

Just another day, hmm?

As soon as I strode into the living room with my coffee, the fighting began.
“Could you just not fight today? Cause that’d be super.”

Just another day, hmm?

Oh look, she’s got dishes in the living room, too…

Just another day, hmm?

The Mister works a long shift today, so there’s no way for him to stop the madness.

It’s supposed to be raining today, dammit!
I want to get out there and level the ground under my raised beds, and fill them, so I can plant my seedlings and start a new crop of seedlings. I would like to not be hot (I know there’s plenty of that comin) and I would like soft ground.
Apparently it won’t start raining until around 6 this evening. Greeeaaat.
(And that’s if the meteorologist isn’t lying, like he did Friday and Monday and Thursday.)

Sissy text me greetings, the boy one prolly isn’t even awake yet.

Anyway, this day doesn’t feeeel like Mother’s Day. It feels like just another day, but with the subtle touch of disappointment.

drunk22
BUT, it’s all in how we react to a situation, so lemme tell you how today’s gonna go down: These girls are gonna clean up their messes and do some chores. That will please me. I think they’ll enjoy honoring their mother by emptying trash baskets and loading the dishwasher and sweeping the kitchen and then maybe later I’ll dabble into that spa menu.

Next year, I might should create a list of demands…

In the morning, you will lie in wait in the hallway, just like the dog. When I begin to stir, you will be ready to present me with a hot cuppa coffee. You will not watch television while I’m in the living room. You will not speak to your sister unless it’s with kindness. You will clean every mess you see. You will be as good at spotting messes as you are at spotting spiders. You will pretend to enjoy cleaning. You will be pleasant and polite all day. You will make it rain when I am ready to work in the garden. When your father gets home, you will immediately feel completely tuckered out and bid us goodnight. You will fall fast asleep before Game of Thrones actually starts, and will not get out of bed for water, for ice, for potty, for more cuddles, or for a band-aid for your boo boo that’s actually pink paint. 

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Surprise, Irises!

I didn’t plant irises.
There’s one by the door of the shed and four on the corner of it.

sue_iris
Sue said she loves irises, so this one is hers.

*wonders what else she will discover this year*

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Successfully Avoiding Porn Shops and Pity

It was about this time last year that I wrote about how I accidentally took my dog to the porn shop at 7am. Dogs Don’t Need Porn.

Today, I took Sadie in for her annual check-up.

Since we moved to The Mister’s old neighborhood, it’s only about ten minutes from my house now. I debated which route to take, and ultimately decided to take the long way around, avoiding any potential mishaps.

Success was mine.

I arrived early enough to *achem* enjoy chatting listen to stranger people. Said stranger people were some of those status-seeking people who go out of their way to tell you about all their dog’s achievements in this class and that, as well as how their German Shepherd came from Germany, as well as how they paid a thousand dollars for her, (they mentioned that three times) as well as how well-trained she is because of all her achievements in those classes.
I nodded along how I do, with the occasional, “Is that right?” thrown in for good measure.

pet
She was a beautiful animal. I am sure she’s well cared for, and obviously she will breed the most beautiful puppies ever. Just because her people don’t know how to breed her or when to breed her, or how many puppies there are in a Shepherd litter does not, in any way, indicate that they are irresponsible breeders. After all, they took a card from another stranger who will provide a sire, and he knows a lot about breeding, since he had a pregnant dam with him.

The fact that German Shepherd Rescue of Indianapolis currently has nine full-blooded Shepherd pups up for adoption is completely inconsequential.
We want uneducated people breeding dogs, don’t we?

pet0
Meanwhile, I sat there with my broken mutt rescue, whose “papers” consisted of vet records, for which we paid a $20 handling fee, her head rested in my lap, with her paw on my knee, and I thought about how glad I was that Sadie didn’t know anyone found her inferior. My poor bastard dog, with her abusive background and a permanent limp. Poor thing. Good thing we spend our time loving her and not pitying her lack of breeding or her previous circumstances. I mean, just imagine how her self-esteem would suffer!

pet2I’m also glad the German Shepherd couldn’t feel how much I pitied her and her people.

When Sadie was called back, she hopped down, and that well-trained German Shepherd popped up to check her out. Her people did not like that, but none of their commands could keep their dog from acting like a normal dog, and her male person got downright mad, with his face all red, yelling, “Back! No!” along with other German words and her name. (Didn’t they teach him not to use her name during discipline? Isn’t this in Dog Training 101?)
Meanwhile, I stood there smiling at how well my mutt socializes, and when the dogs were done, Sadie and I followed the lady back to the exam room.

Sadie LOVES to go to the vet. I suspect it has to do with her puppyhood, when the vet made her feel better.
She loves all the people, all the other dogs, and jumps right up on the scale, where I swear she smiles. Then the vet tells her how soft, how pretty, what shiny clean teeth, how fit, what fluffy ears — I am just a little bit jealous my doctor doesn’t do the same for me.

pet1

No porn shop, two shots, one blood draw, no heartworm, new tag, three months of prevention meds, and one mama, covered in nervous fur.
A multitude of blessings to count.

sadie 2014

sadie — may 6, 2014

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Yeah, I Hadda Take a Break!

Much like blogging Every Damn Day December, blogging A-Z was fun, but tiring.
Also, this last week was spent being inordinately social. I love the people I’ve socialized with. As much as I wish I had several versions of myself for each of my pursuits, I am only one introvert.

introvert1

While The Mister loves to entertain, I’m the one who cooks. It’s a very nice system, even if it’s one which shouldn’t be employed more than once a week.

We had a young person over on Wednesday, despite my futile attempt to convince my husband that it was not a good night for me. Said young person is a delight, and I have enjoyed her since I first met her, when at the age of five, she was tromping around the cul-de-sac, telling us that her parents didn’t love her, they only loved her baby sister, because they forced her to play outside, while her baby sister got to play inside! (Her baby sister was a baby!) She is still completely disarming.
Once dinner and dessert were done, The Mister was yawning, rubbing his eyes, leaning in to listen on with his chin on his wrist. I made several comments about needing to wash a load of jeans and how I hadn’t had a bath yet. Apparently college students do not read the subtle cues of their aging hosts. They do, however, get tired eventually, and go home.

all these people are big now...dunno how it happens...

all these people are big now…dunno how it happens…

Thursday night, we drove the children to The Palace of Rules and took a cab downtown to meet Mr. Hill. Yes, we did have a fabulous evening, thank you for asking. Yes, I did drink a lot, thank you for your support.

bar2bar3bar

I wasn’t actually too drunk to keep my eyes open, but bars are dark places, and the FLASH! almost killed me.

You probably saw me trying use a straw to stab the cherry out of my cocktail at Forty-Five, and dancing in my chair at Tini. Yes, you might even have seen me in one of those hipster bars, drinking some complicated cocktail that I can only describe as Oh-fuck-I-could-drink-these-all-night.

bar1
I was too drunk to make my phone focus, or maybe it seemed focused at the time, or something.

I’m not even going to try to describe the events of the evening once we got home.

declare2

Last night, we had my in-laws to dinner. This showed more stupidity on our part, because we had labored all day.
I made tacos and three-hour enchiladas. I call them three-hour enchiladas because it feels like it takes three hours to make them. Surely it takes three hours to do all the dishes afterward…
I made 17 of them and all that’s left is a measly one and a half, so yeah, people love them, but they’re a lot of work.
I also made caramelized pears, but my caramel seized. That’s never happened to me before, although I knew it could. Bad things can happen to you, it’s true. I felt like a failure, while everyone stabbed bits of caramel with their forks, but I was actually too tired to hate myself properly.

tired
I don’t know how to explain exactly how thrilled I am to be at home today, hair twisted and braless, with not too much to do. It feels fantastic. I’ve even had the bonus of giving allergy-ridden Moo some Benadryl, so she’s slept since lunch. Very quiet day.

surely you read hyperbole and a half, right?

surely you read hyperbole and a half, right?

Thrilled to stay home and do laundry, thanks.

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Z is for Zenia

Zenia is the antagonist in one of my favorite books.
Yes, I do have too many favorite books to list. But no, I don’t always remember the antagonists the way I remember Zenia.

Zenia is the perfect villainess. She’s so evil, you don’t love to hate her, you just hate her and hate her until finally she dies, so you have her cremated and buried — but then, suddenly she’s back, and you hate her even more!
Zenia is a brilliant, stunningly attractive, greedy, ruthless, soulless, black hole of a sociopath, whose deeds are so heinous, you shudder at the thought of actually running into her in your own life.

Most of us have known a form of Zenia. She is the mysterious woman who despite her clever attempts to match up, doesn’t quite fit within your circle. Something in your bones tells you she’s not okay and although you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, something about her is not quite right. You can’t trust her, even when she’s never given you a reason to doubt that you can.
Zenia’s background doesn’t add up, her truths don’t ring true, her ability to blend in while standing out is uncanny. She’s not real. She’s made of lies and pretense, an illusion designed specifically for you.
She’ll try on your life, sway your judgment, and then for inexplicable reasons, without provocation, and seemingly without motive, destroy you, just because she can.

You’re nothing but a game to Zenia. She’s not remotely interested in playing well with others, or even winning. She plays to find your weakness, expose it, and watch your pain.

Everything is already hers.
You realize nothing is safe from the clutches of this woman, nothing is out of her grasp.
She wouldn’t do that, would she?
SHE SO WOULD.

Zenia is not jealous. She’s not broken. She doesn’t want what you have. She doesn’t want happiness. She only wants to watch you suffer without mercy.

Zenia still gives me goosebumps and nightmares, and I haven’t read the book since 1998.

zenia
It’s drama and mystery, which doesn’t stop drawing you in, and if you’re at all like me, the world will stand still for a moment when you finally close the book.

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Y is for Yellow

Yellow has been my favorite color since I can recall.

ayellow10

As a small child, I always preferred the yellow Tupperware sippy cup, and I always asked for a yellow toothbrush.

ayellow2I carried around a Pooh Bear, and played in my yellow Holly Hobby kitchen.

ayellow1I am always the yellow game piece.

ayellow4

If your favorite color is yellow, you might be cheerful, idealistic, creative, methodical, quick-witted, enthusiastic, independent, imaginative, and highly intellectual with a love for learning.

 
ayellow5
You might also leap before you look, appear aloof, be hard to please and critical, strike with a bitter tongue, feel anxious, worry, be unable to shut down your mind, and find yourself jealous or lazy.

 

ayellow6
I tend not to have many yellow things in my home, since yellow is a very stimulating color for me, but there’s a bit here and there, because cheerful and happy. An old Pyrex lemonade pitcher, a knick-knack here, a giraffe there, a hallway painted Honey Bear.

ayellow0Oh, did I mention my house is yellow?

ayellow9
Rumor has it that yellow houses are filled with plants, board games, books, and the smell of somethin good cookin.

 

ayellow3
Yellow houses are robbed less often than any other.

 

ayellow7

Yellow houses sell fastest. They evoke feelings of warmth and happiness.

 

ayellow8

 

 

How does yellow make you feel?
Do you have a favorite color?

 

joy

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged | 18 Comments

X is for Xylophone

Last month, Sassy came home with a flyer about a music program. The flyer turned out to be much less informative than it should have been.

“Miss Alcott and the fifth grade will host a music program on Thursday, March 13th at 6:30pm. All fifth grade parents are invited to attend.”

“We will go,” I told Sassy.  Because she’s a child, she asked me repeatedly, many days in a row, if we were still going, and each time, I said, “Yes” and “Oh my God! Yes! Will you please stop asking me?”

On the day of the program, Sassy asked who all was going to the program. I rolled my eyes and said, “We are all going.”
“Really? Who’s keeping Moo?”
“We are taking Moo. We are all going!”
“Miss Alcott says we can’t bring anyone younger than us.”
“Well, Miss Alcott has failed to mention this, so unless she contacts me or provides a certified caretaker, Miss Alcott can suck it.”
“Okay. Well can’t Moo stay home with Bubba?”
“No. Bubba is going to a movie with Papaw.”

I really could not imagine why no younger children would be allowed, or why it wasn’t mentioned, and I strongly suspected Sassy did not want to share her parents with Moo, which prompted me to add one of Beauty Queen’s best quotes, “You’re not an only child and you never have been.”

I prepared myself for an evening of music appreciation. I put on a nice sweater, dressy jeans, suede wedges, jewelry, some eye make up. I took half of an Ativan too, because I knew it would be loud and crowded and I might be forced to speak to strangers in a social setting.
Off we went.
Hardly a car in the parking lot, barely a handful of people inside.

We met in the gym, where there were perhaps a dozen chairs on either side, facing center, while xylophones and drums stood on one side of the boundary lines and a music stand faced them from the other side. (The other side had a stage, so I was immediately thrown off by who the hell set this mess up, and had they ever actually been to a performance before?)

Miss Alcott appeared, and she did not chase off the smaller children that were present, nor did she chide any parents for bringing them, Hmph!

Miss Alcott began to explain that this performance was participatory.
I shot eye daggers at Sassy.

All I could think was oh fucking swell. here i am, sedated, wearing three-inch wedges, and now i’m going to participate in rhythm, music, and dancing? you really must work on being more informative, miss alcott.

First things first, rhythm. Okay, I can rhythm. Not that I understood the directions very well, but I made do, even with my sedated motor skills. *clap, slap, snap, slap, slap, clap*

Then music. Hahaha. I’m not saying I’m the world’s worst music student, but I have failed at everything since the beloved fourth-grade recorder — piano, flute and cello — badly, and pretty much stuck to singing. The Mister? Musical ability out the ying yang.
Me, on the xylophone “A….oh AA..B….AA..oh A…B..D..AAA…” like a toddler at play.
Ugh. I’m no good at xylophoning.
“Daddy will do the music, Sass. I will do the dancing bits.”
And Daddy did do the music, which did not at all sound like a toddler playing. He could play it without the notes, just by ear. Well done, Daddy. I was not surprised.

Me, on the xylophone:

baby girl playing toy xylophone

 

The Mister, on the xylophone:

Alright, not completely true, but close.

On to the drums.
The Mister sat down and immediately beat out “Sympathy for the Devil,” and the fifth grader beside him began to play back and forth with him. I was stupefied.
When finally given instruction on what to play, The Mister did, in fact, play the desired beat. I was amazed again. I actually had no idea that my husband was so talented, and I have known him for twenty-seven years. We should probably get him some drums.

On to dancing! Yay, I can dance! It was a bit like the Virginia Reel, though I don’t remember now what they called it. Unfortunately, the movements did not match the count very well, but Sassy and I managed to dance in time, even if I was a bit teetery-tottery, due to my medication and the wedges.

Needless to say, I would have liked to have been warned about the participatory events of the evening, what with the xylophones and all.

 

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W is for Welcome Ethel

This is Ethel.

ethel
She’s a “rescue.” She’s only been used twice, so it’s my job to put her to work.

Friends of ours dropped her off today, because they were feeling guilty about neglecting Ethel and thought she’d be happier here with me.
I don’t know if Ethel will be happier, but I sure will.
I’m so delighted that they thought of me! What a lucky woman I am!

I had an old Sunbeam stand mixer, also given to me, but it eventually died during the holidays of 2007. While I always said I would buy a new one, and The Mister even offered to buy me one at some point, I never did get around to it. (I do that. It took me over a year to finally commit to buying a new set of knives.)
Right about now, I feel like I’m being rewarded for my purchase procrastination!

Isn’t she just magnificent?!?

Welcome, Ethel, welcome. I promise you will never want for attention in my kitchen.

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