SoCS — She Said Sh

Should I tell you the stupid Diva Furnace stopped working while we slept Thursday night and The Mister got it runnin again around seven last night?

Should I tell you I designed and ordered our office’s holiday cards yesterday?

Should I write about how I’m shopping today? Moo’s havin a birthday shindig tomorrow. She wants pork tenderloin with carrots and potatoes and cheesy quinoa. I should totally tell you that Moo doesn’t eat much meat, but she’ll eat a pound of pork tenderloin like it’s her job.

She’s requested some fancy gourmet cupcakes.
I should tell you the sale of fancy gourmet cupcakes is quite a racket in Indianapolis. I did my research and we are going to The Flying Cupcake on Illinois today because, and I say this with great sincerity, they have the most varieties (about 50 kinds of cupcakes) and they’re the most gourmet and the most fancy, and yet, they have the lowest prices. THAT is good business and they deserve a shout out.
Some of these cupcake places offer standard cupcakes with halfa foot of pretty icing, call them gourmet, and sell them for $4 a pop. Whatta scam. Shame on them.

Should I tell you I need to get out to rake the leaves outta the drive and into the garden beds, to pull up the remaining stems, to put away the lawn chairs?

Should I tell you daylight’s burnin? Daylight’s always burnin now. Darkness comes early and stuff.

Can you tell I shoulda gotten up earlier?
I should tell you I got out of bed before noon today and consider it a victory.

Should I tell you I wanna stay home and do this instead? I bet you suspected.
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Oh well, at least it’s sweater weather. I shall wear a hat and a smile.

Saturday Stream of Consciousness, SoCS ‘sh’ is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Choose Your Lies Carefully

Over at Dramatic Momolgue (Best titles ever, by the by) you should see the incredible Tooth Fairy-Saving design she’s come up with.
I was totally jealous and immediately thought of climbin up the freakin bunk bed and diggin around under Bubba’s pillow for the itty bitty, teeny tiny teeth. Ugh.

Let me be clear: I never wanted to be The Tooth Fairy.

Drew told me (what she thought was) a charming story about how The Tooth Fairy collects the teeth to build her castle.
Disgusting and disturbing, am I right?

But see, we had another parent to contend with, and if one parent sets up the idea of the Tooth Fairy, then the child is all excited about the Tooth Fairy and you’re screwed.

So we had to Tooth Fairy for many years. *sigh*

I never liked it.
I’m a total killjoy about the imaginary characters of childhood. No creepy elves at my house, no Santa, no Easter Bunny, and no Tooth Fairy.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, magic of childhood, blah blah blah, fuck off with that noise.

I don’t think parents should lie to their children. Lies do not promote trust. I’m sure if you lie to your kids it works just fine, but I ain’t lyin to mine. much
I say terrible things to my children. Just terrible things that don’t correspond to society’s norms or expectations:
“Your goldfish died. We’re all gonna die.”

 

It’s not that hard, you can explain away the things other kids say. After all, these are people who tell your child how babies are made, or that giving the finger means I Hate You, and some of them have different gods and holidays, so you’ve already established the upper hand here.

At some point, Sissy came home and told me that her friend had a special Tooth Fairy who left presents, and she wanted that Tooth Fairy instead.
Fine. Whatever.
Presents. Sure.
We figured our other offspring were going to have teeth, but we thought we could avoid the whole Tooth Fairy Debacle. We would not espouse this ridiculous tradition.

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Of course, we didn’t think our child would be addicted to her pacifier, either. Sassy was a giantesse at three, so she looked six, walkin around with her precious pacifiers. One in the mouth, one in each hand. She’d take it out to eat and drink and to speak, but she had to have at least one pacifier at all times.
The dentist was all, “Now. Get rid of the pacifier now. It’s starting to shape her palate.”
I was a teacher, I took lotsa child development and EdPsych. It was beyond oral fixation, we had potty-trained and we had self-weaned. Can you believe my child dared to be not-textbook?!?
We grew weary of paying the older children to hunt for ming-mings.
And then, on the interwebz, I read a story about the Magical Ming-Ming Fairy, who would collect all the ming-mings from the windowsill and disperse them to all the new babies who needed them, and I was all, “YES, I WILL LIE TO MY CHILD.”

binkyfairy2So we paid extra to the older children that night. The Great Pacifier Round-Up.
We told Sassy this lie and for good measure, threw in how her cousin would be born and would need a ming-ming. She put all the ming-mings on the windowsill.
It worked.

 

 

When I was ever-so-pregnant with Moo, probably this week 13 years ago, I scraped off my car, and loaded up the baby to take Bubba and Sissy to school. My tummy barely fit behind the wheel. Ugh.
It was then eight-year-old Sissy informed me she lost a tooth.
I didn’t even skip a beat, “Well that’s just too damn bad. The Tooth Fairy is way too pregnant to go shoppin today.” Bubba laughed and laughed. I handed Sissy money. Like, all the paper bills in my purse. Like, a five and some ones. She was not unhappy.

 

Years later, when Sassy came home talkin about her loose tooth and The Tooth Fairy, I told her the charming story Drew told me, only I made it sound as sinister and nasty as could be.

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I told her like Santa Claus and Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy doesn’t visit our house. I told her when she lost a tooth, she could bring it to me and I’d give her money. For some reason, she seemed relieved.

Happy Friday! Choose your lies carefully!

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#ThursdayDoors — Return to Millersville Masonic

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In May, I swung by the Millersville Masonic Temple to snap what I thought would be great doors.
I found these unfinished doors.

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Comments followed the idea that they were temporary. I said I’d share any changes.

It turns out, they were KINDA temporary.
They are now painted.

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I think we can all agree this is better.
I think a lot of us are still disappointed.

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link.

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One-Liner Wednesday — Late Night Thoughts with Joey

“I cannot possibly be the first wife to wonder why I’m shoving foam into my ears instead of up his nose.”

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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Share Your World #48

Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?
I’m not nut-adverse, I like nuts for the sake of nuts, but I am kinda picky about nuts in other things.

If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?
It would be a drama with exactly the right dose of comic relief to keep you from a complete downward spiral. Critics would hate it. It’d be too good for Lifetime, but nowhere near good enough for an Oscar. People would quote lines from it all the time, but not remember where they heard them.

Who talks real sense to you?
The last time I remember having to be talked sense to was five or six years ago, and it was my friend Tracey who did it. I am not regularly accused of makin sense, and yet, I talk sense to people fairly often. I suspect sense is overrated.

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Do you have a favorite board game?
No, I don’t think I do. I love board games. Scrabble would be my fave, but I prefer Scrabble online, cause I don’t have to do any math.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
This last one was a BIG week for gratitude!
Thanksgiving was fab. In addition to our own brood, we hosted Master Boombastic and one of The Mister’s former soldiers and her daughter.

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Luffly weekend, the tree’s up and all aglow, pie is now breakfast food, the furnace runs and runs — I keep not dyin while drivin in the rain in the dark. I sure do love my husband.
This week, I am looking forward to the return of normalcy, whatever that is. You know, the more-often-that-notness of typical days? Regular schedules and dinners not comprised of a meat with 16 sides?

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

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What’s going on in your world?

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My Kids Are Back

I thought I’d let you know that there was a better disposition hiding in my shampoo bottle and that I did end up having a great day and a fantastic night.

The Mister decided to drive us to the shopping, and while we were in the hell that is a superstore on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, he washed my car. We bought the twins a sketch pad and twisted pencils, a plush dog (that I wanted for myself) and some Tootsie Rolls (that I also wanted for myself.) Yes, obviously that child and I are kindred spirits.
Said child has drawn this for me, for my birthday.

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Also, I bought cordial cherries, and a pretty new ornament for myself, because I love me.

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ooh, parkly!

I hadn’t thought things through well enough, that’s fersure. When your children go to a sleepover, you are childless all night, DUH.

The Mister offered to take me for a mani/pedi, which normally I would be all about, but my cuticles are all ashamed with the scabs of anxiety disorder. Don’t tell my mother.
I coulda gone for the pedi, but alas, I had skinny jeans on.

I’ve been under the weather for about three weeks now. That stupid flu with its lingering cough. While I’m getting better, still not well, just so tired all the time. Being tired all the time and then doing stuff that would normally make me tired is super duper tiring and that makes me freak out about my health and that puts me in a panic loop, and I don’t need more stuff in my loop, because this cough is brutal enough to cause momentary vision disturbances, and I think we can all agree, coughing like that when you’re tryin to drive is panic-worthy even if you’re not a member of The Official League of Neurotics.
I am the forty-three-year-old poster girl.

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raw and unfiltered

I have questioned whether I should have gone to the doctor, because my mother told me I should go to the doctor, but then mothers of sick children always think their children should go to the doctor, but that woman is always right, okay like 99.999%, and you should not tell my mother any of this.

 
The Mister took me to that yummy Turkish place I love and we enjoyed a delicious meal with a deeply satisfying conversation. I really needed that conversation with my person. I needed it like…

You know what’s fantastic about the Turkish place? Okay, freakin everything. But there are not a lot of places where I can pig out on vegetarian noms while The Mister shoves lamb in his mouth.

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He took the long way home because he loves me.

Then The Mister took me to pick out my tree, which is how I spent much of the evening, decorating my house and my tree in peace. Well, with Yo-Yo Ma, because I just learned from Laura that there’s music in my Amazon Prime tv thingy.

I know, you’re like “Lame,” cause you think this is a dull way to spend a Saturday night birthday without children, cause you’d rather party with your friends or whatever, but trust me, it was perfect.

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My birthday is always wrapped up in the holiday, so it’s never a big deal. Now and again, I’ll see what friends are doing for other friends’ birthdays and I’ll think, why doesn’t anyone… and then I remember, oh yeah, cause you’d hate that.
I have no #squadgoals. I have no squad.
I like one-on-one. Y’all wanna come over individually and play me some Scrabble or read some poetry or lie in a dark room and listen to music, that’s groovy. Group-wise, I miss Red Rover. Adulthood could really benefit from frequent games of Red Rover.

While I enjoyed my decorating, The Mister talked trash about college football with our friend Dee. Apparently Auburn played Alabama and The Mister said that’s The Inbred Bowl and then, “No self-respecting channel would show this game this far above the Mason-Dixon Line. Low Tide!” I’m not sayin he felt guilty after, but we did drive into Roundabout Land to take Dee some plumber’s tape at like 9pm.
Along the way, we yelled at GPS Voice and got Starbucks, so even though it doesn’t read like fun, it was.

I did the social media thing while The Mister watched Batman vs. Superman — I dunno, all I saw was Amy Adams in the tub, Lex Luthor grew his hair out, and then like an hour later there was a giant monster, so I can’t say if it was any good. Those cherry cordials were spectacular, though.

And then, we did the stuff you’d expect us to do, which always begs the question WHY DO WE EVEN DO OTHER THINGS?

Posted in Personally | 49 Comments

SoCS — Pretty, Was It?

(Could also be titled, Why I Never Blog First Thing in the Morning or I Done Told You I am Not a Morning Person.)

Pretty sure everyone in this house should be up making me coffee and baking me cake right now.

The wee ones have a party at two, and we have to shop for the gifts before, which means I had to set a stupid alarm on my Saturday birthday, which everyone thought was soooo funny last night.
“Gawd Joey, it’s at two. How much sleep do you need?”

 

I NEED ALL THE SLEEP, THANKS.

Well I’ll have you know when my alarm went off at 11 whatever, NONE OF THEM WERE UP. Pfffft. I ranted in the hall.

 

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It’s really too bad the prompt is pretty. Pretty is as pretty does and well —

I’d do much better with petty. Petty pity party poo.

Imma sit here mad at the world for about 15 more minutes. Sit here and mope into the coffee I made my damn self. Then I’ll go get pretty. Maybe a more pleasant disposition is hiding in my shampoo bottle.

SoCS ‘pretty’ is brought to you by LindaGHill

 

 

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Vodka Mixed with LOLZ

One of the perks of having children is that everything old is new again. Like when it’s 2012 and they tell you they want that new BonJovi song “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

At some point this summer, the boy one came over, announcing he was going to make a great new cocktail he’d just heard about, which he said sounded delicious. I was excited and so I asked, “Mmm, what is it?”
“White Russian.”
“Oh. Yes. Very tasty.”

I did not say, Boy I was drinkin White Russians before you were born…I still remember the time Big Michael got up and told me, “If the waitress comes back while I’m gone, tell her I’ll lick her muffin.” Only, he actually said, “I’d like a White Russian,” and bars can be very loud, so it’s a good thing I asked him to repeat that.

At some point, Bubba came in prattling about math, ratios of vodka to Kahlua, and it was math, so I didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about, but he can out-math me with a quarter of his brain, so it didn’t matter, right?

Bubba is an inexperienced drinker, because young.

Bubba gets chatty when he’s been drinkin. This is nice for socially awkward introverts. The alcohol restricts their editorial glitches and they get numb to things they’d usually freak out about.
Gotta be careful though. That same alcohol that allows for lil walls of safe space is the same alcohol that will push emotions through that wall like The Kool-Aid Man, which is exactly what happened.

One minute he was laughin about somethin and the next he was in a rage of trembling tears.

We are unaccustomed to this. Crying Bubba has seldom been seen in the last decade or so. Raging Bubba is rarely spotted. Drunk raging Bubba was unknown to us at all. It was a sorta tender moment, the way it is when your drunk girlfriend starts crying because, “The bartender’s never even had a dog, Joey! Is that not the saddest thing you’ve ever heard in your whole entire life?!” 

Err.

While Bubba went to the bathroom I passed through the kitchen, which is when I realized how much vodka he had consumed in a relatively short time, and then I really wished I had paid attention to the math he’d been talkin before.

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In vino veritas, or in this case, vodka is a truth bomb.

Bubba kept not coming out of the bathroom, so before bed, we went in there to check on him. Fetal position on the tile, moaning how one does. *sigh* I put a towel under his head and a cup of water within reach.

Here’s the thing about parenting boy ones: You can’t fuss over them too much when they get big. You have to let them be men. I’ve noticed that this involves a lot of balancing between me pretending to be dumb and me being emotionally available.
I couldn’t sleep.
I could only think about Bubba all sad in the bathroom.
I asked The Mister, “He’s alright, right? He’ll be okay, yeah?”
He laughed, “He’ll be fine. You want me to go check on him?”
“OH YES PLEASE! THANK YOU!”
My God, I thought he’d never ask!

The following afternoon, Bubba sat up, moaned, and asked me ever so quietly, “Do you have anything I can take for this?”

LOL LOL OH LOL LOLZ

“Water.”

A while later, “My body is rejecting the water.”
“Try again.”

It turns out, he’d never had vodka before.

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Eventually, he told me he thought maybe a nice, relaxing bath would help. I agreed.

And then…
Well, what do you listen to when you take a nice, relaxing bath? Maybe something classical, some blues, a little Enya?
Uh huh.

This is what Bubba listened to during his relaxing bath:

That bout drove me to drink.

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Happy Friday Everyone! Do your drink maths properly!

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#ThursdayDoors — Oddities

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! I considered showing you my oven and pantry doors today, I really did.

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post boxes at iupui

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frame at turkish restaurant

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emergency exit

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yes, another from ft pickens

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side of post office 

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link.

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One-Liner Wednesday — Next Time, Me First

“I’ll tell you what, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll feed you first, and then you make me some poached eggs and toast.”
We shook on it, but the dog never did make me breakfast.

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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Yesterday was My Tuesday

One day, probably a Tuesday, I woke up in a foul mood. I have no idea why. I contemplated my mood briefly and found no reason for it.

Of course, once you’re already in a bad mood, it super easy to get pissy about most anything.

“Sadie! OFF!” Moo shouted so she could take her place. Moo always wants to talk in the mornings, but on that day, she came to snuggle, quietly, sweetly. This made both of us even more reluctant to leave the bed.

I made coffee and I paused to consider my gratitude for coffee.

tired

I turned to my laundry.
I had grocery bags and a rug in the wash.
When I opened the dryer, the darks were still there.
“Fuck.this.shit,” I said to no one, because my bed wasn’t made and I didn’t want to make the bed and I didn’t want to fold and hang the darks. I slammed the laundry door.

I began my stretching. Then I sorta sprawled on the floor, staring at one of our five million nipple-shaped lights. I tried to blame my mood on my hatred of the nipple light, and then on the lady who had them installed, but it didn’t work. I flopped over and noticed two dust bunnies under the sofa table and I inchwormed my way over to those and clutched them in my angry lil hand, making a mental note not to bonk my head on the chair on the way back up, but of course, I bonked my head on the chair on my way back up.

I decided that was the most exercise I was gonna do and thought about a shower. I hate washing my hair. It takes about 30 hours for my hair to calm down, so I really try to maximize the benefits of already calm hair before starting all over again.

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With smooth and straightened hair and still a bad disposition, I attempted to word. Some post that I will one day edit and publish. That’s the trick to keeping your public neuroses to a minimum you know. Write about it while you feel it, and then edit and publish it another day.

I made the bed, tackled that laundry, and went to work.
Sometimes work is exactly the sorta thing one needs. At work, I can’t sit around and contemplate the stuff that sticks in my craw, because you know, work.

Which is why, I must say, I am not a good mother at work. I mean, yes, while I carefully nibble grapes alone in my office, I think about how I hope they’re not eating grapes, because they’re probably leaning over the counter, tossing grapes into their mouths while they laugh, and they’ll probably choke and die, but I also don’t want to respond to texts about how there are only three cookies left and they don’t know what to do, when really, I am fully aware they have the math aptitude to solve that problem.

So yesterday, I bout lost my mind, because the boy one did not listen to us last week and then wanted me to provide a rescue route today, and as I responded to his texts, I thought i will calm down, i will soon be mad only at the situation and not at the person, but that didn’t actually happen. Like when you stub your toe and you wait for the pain to subside, but instead it increases and begins to bleed? As time passed, I grew downright hostile with the amount of reasons the whole thing pissed me off.

Getting disconnected from an important call at work prolly did not help.
Drivin in the dark definitely did not help.
Shoppin for Thursday’s dinner at two different stores prolly did not help.
Coming home to discover I’m out of kosher salt definitely did not help.
Tryin to yank the frozen neck out of my supposedly fresh turkey prolly did not help.

To put the level of my anger into perspective, you should know that The Mister was calm and dedicated to handling the matter while I whisper-screamed at my dog about the insanity of it all. I’ll probably publish that in five years, when we can all laugh about it. I think it will be titled, “Grow the fuck up!” which is funny, because I am still growing the fuck up.
“How did you do that without screaming, WE TOLD YOU SO?”
“Next time.”
Ugh. Next time.

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Even though I had trouble getting out of bed before noon, I feel like this second Tuesday will be a better one than most. After all, my hair is already calm, the cookie jar is full, and well, I married the right man.

 

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Share Your World #47

What are you grateful for in regard to:

  • Your home life? This home is my favorite one ever. It’s yellow and it’s cozy and it’s shaded with beautiful trees and it has a huge yard and inside there are happy things like books and quilts and stock pots. I’m especially fond of my porcelain bathtub, my picture window, and things that work as they should. I could write at least 2000 words about how much I love my house. Perhaps another day.
  • Your family? My husband, my children, my pets — all filling my home life with love and laughter, and music and play, and wondrous joy. Heart heart heart, gush, gush, gush. Sassy’s been getting private cello lessons with a symphony pro and she’s been playing Bach every day. 
  • Your blogging community? I really appreciate my regular readers and people like Linda and Cee and Norm who give me ways to connect with others. This blog helps keeps me sane.
  • Your city or immediate area in which you live? Well, there really is a thing called Hoosier Hospitality and I encounter it every single time I leave my house. People here are more polite and friendly than many places I’ve been.
  • The regional area in which you live? My fondness for the landscape and my fellow Midwesterners is obvious, isn’t it? Don’t make me go on about corn and trees and clover, cause I will. At length.
  • The country where you live? I appreciate my many freedoms. I particularly enjoy freedom of speech and not being burned at the stake. I shall continue to hope for all that America’s best people have to offer.
  • You? Believe it or not, I’ve only been ‘sick’ four times this year and even if I get sick two more times in the next 50 or so days, this will have been the healthiest year of my life. That is no small thing.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I was awfully glad my weekend started with oysters on date night and that I got two days in pajamas. This week I am supposed to say I am glad we’ll have a houseful of great people to share our gratitude, and I am, but I’m most happy the kids don’t have school. I’m really looking forward to those dry turkey sammiches and punkin pie, decorating the tree, the long weekend, including my birthday, four days of no schedules, and oh the peace.

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

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What’s going on in your world?

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SoCS — Snow White Sky

Yes, yesterday it was seventy-freakin-five degrees and today it’s thirty-seven because I live in Indiana and that’s how we do. You may also live in a place like that, I dunno. If you live in a Celsius place then that’s 25 yesterday, 2 today.

When we woke up, the tops of the trees, no longer so leafy, were asway in the wind and the sky was white. Some people would say it was gray, but people like me know, that sky was white, the color it looks when it snows. I said to The Mister, “Sky’s snow white.” The Mister does not question my sky words.

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There are snow flurries now and again.

First truly cold day of the season. *claps hands* Oh Yes!

Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) ‘yes’ is brought to you by LindaGHill

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A Nice Day for a Math Wedding

Do y’all remember weddings in grade school?
I almost married Adam Sears in the coat cubby, but even then I got scared and couldn’t go through with it. We stayed friends for years though, talked on the telephone until 842 and 784 hadda dial an area code to get to one another, and neither of our parents wanted to pay for long distance while we talked nonsense and watched Sha Na Na.

Anyway, Moo told us the cutest lil wedding story:

“I went to a gay wedding today.”
“Didja? Did they serve gay cake after?”
“It’s just a wedding, don’t say gay wedding.”
“All weddings are gay.”
“What?”
“Gay as in happy!”
“Adam and Steve got married today. Steve wore his hoodie as a veil. We hadda use the algebra book for a bible.”
“Why did you need a bible at the wedding?”
“Have you confused weddings with court?”
“Did they have to put their left hands on the algebra book and raise their right hands to swear to love one another for as long as they both shall live?”
“No, they swore to Archimedes.”
“Hahaha! Cool.”
“Were you the officiant?”
“No, I was Adam’s best man.”
“Haha!”
“Quinn was the flower girl. She passed out math worksheets.”
“Haha!”
“Claire walked Steve down the aisle and she was the maid of honor and the priest. Joel was the usher. He hadda get everyone out the door when the bell rang. At the end, Adam shouted out, “I cheated on you with Josh! I demand a divorce!”

Forget Runaway Brides — Grooms these days!

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Happy Friday Everyone!

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#ThursdayDoors — The American Legion

I took some of these at night, in passing.

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Then another day, I walked by in the daylight…

There are many sets, I think six, but I wouldn’t swear to it.

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Definitely better in the daylight, and the front set is definitely prettiest.

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link.

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One-Liner Wednesday — His and Hers

“Set the jigsaw up for me, will ya? I’m fixina hack some shit up.”
“NO.”
“No? Why not?”
“Cause ‘Hack some shit up.'”
“Well, I’ll figure it out. Can’t be any harder than the food processor.”

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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Countdown to Tacos

The Motterns celebrated their working furnace by sleeping hot and then complaining about it in the morning.

We all want a break, and it’s only stupid Tuesday. Tuesday is so stupid.

I’ve never liked Tuesdays.

I’m makin tacos tonight. We need tacos. Tacos have always been there for me. Taco Tuesday to the rescue.

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I am full of unexplored feelings and undeveloped thoughts. I shall temporary numb myself with a taco. And lello rice. And refried beans.

It’s only about eight hours til taco time. That’s how I’m going to look at this Tuesday — as a countdown to tacos.

Do you need a coping mechanism to get through this Tuesday, too?

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged | 44 Comments

Share Your World #46

Are you a traveler or a homebody?
I am both. I love to travel, but I do require downtime. I can get downtime while I travel, too. I love to explore and experience new places. My current lifestyle involves accommodating three different school calendars, two activity schedules, plus two work schedules, as well as pets, so I don’t travel much.

 

What kind of TV commercial would you like to make? Describe it.
I’d be really good at making a satire commercial like something one would see on SNL. It’d be snarky and funny, and probably offensive.

 

Describe yourself in a word that starts with the first letter of your name.
Jealous of people whose names don’t start with J.

 

List some fun things for a rainy day.
In light rain, I enjoy gardening, walking, and splashing.
In heavy rain, reading, crossword puzzles, and naps are nice.

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I’m grateful the weather is still fall-like. It’s still pretty outside and it smells fabulous.

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Last week was too busy. This weekend was a good weekend to be invited to chili dinner, to sleep late under many quilts, to cuddle up and watch tv, to order take-out, and to bake an apple pie. 
The furnace guy comes today, so I am grateful for the space heater, hot coffee, this comfy throw, and many warm furry creatures to snuggle.

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I am grateful Cletus is a mouser. Cletus is a total asshole cat, but he is also a very good boy.

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The squirrels are back in full begging force. They enjoy apple cores and peels. We think this one is pregnant, and we have a couple of baby squirrels, too.

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This week coming up, I’m hoping for steady heat in the house, and that it’s less busy than last week. I know our family is looking more forward to next week than this one, but we’ve all got some now to do.

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

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What’s going on in your world?

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SoCS — Mem, She Wrote

Mem, bleh.

Men, sure.

But mem?

Memorabilia. Not big on it. I like postcards.

Memoir. When I’m the last one alive, maybe.

Memories. Okay, but only the good ones.

Oh, hey, I have a really good memory. I know it’s hard to believe if you’ve recently read of my search for the yellow house, or how my time in Georgia is a blur, or how I forgot the tv was on the curb, but it’s true: I have a really good memory which serves myself and others around me well.

The Mister says I am his memory.
But then, he knew the television incident happened in the summer of 2008, which was R&R.

Some of it’s just paying attention, some of it’s obsessing, and some of it is because I see things as words. When people talk, I see their words in my head like they’re rolling off a typewriter, which is why I love to read subtitles in films and why I get pissed off about bad translations, and why, no matter how much you want me to, I will never forget what you said. Brain cut, copies, and pastes moments to appropriate headers.

My brain is highly effective at storing written words. I like that about me. I can caption events to remember them better.

It doesn’t prevent me from forgetting I left the kettle on or remembering where I put a particular piece of paper, and it certainly doesn’t keep me from asking myself if I have my keys 25 times a day, but it’s still a nifty gift.

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday, SoCS ‘mem’ is brought you to by LindaGHill

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Check Your Blindspot

Y’all, I am diggin deep to bring you a smile on this Friday. Laughs are hard to come by this week, yeah? No doubt you appreciate my dedication.

Okay, well, Marian and Laura both shared stories of their accidents and I responded to them both, “If you’re gonna have an accident, that’s a good one to have.” I know that, cause I’ve had a good accident.

I’ve had an accident that wasn’t so good, because people are assholes who make blind left turns and crash their big metal truck all into Joey’s lil white Neon, causing her banana split to paint the interior of her car and ruining her plans to go through fabric with not-then MIL.
That’s what life is like. You get off work, stop at the DQ for sweets, head to Mamaw’s and then BOOM! BIG TRUCK! No ice cream or fabric for you! No invitation to stay for supper. Instead, you gotta go home and call your insurance agent and a body shop and do stupid, responsible, adulty things like find out what a deductible is and cry into your Kraft dinner.
Not so good.

 

Imma tell you about this accident cause it’s funny, and because it was my fault.

I ran over our television.

I know.

Let that sink in.

I ran over our television.

The Mister wasn’t home, but he’d been home. Was it R&R or stateside time? I don’t know when. I have no sense of time in Georgia. My husband was gone more than he was home, it was hot as blazes, and I lived in a shoe. It’s blurry. There isn’t a photo of it so I’ll never be able to tell you when it was.

We had purchased a new television. A flat screen. Consequently, The Mister carried the behemoth box of a tv to the curb. Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!

I had asked him to put it out the previous week, on trash day, but he is a procrastinator, so he put it out the last day he was home. Hot shoe blur.

I backed out of our garage, and out of our drive, and BOOM! CRRRUNCH! Initially, I had no idea what I’d hit, cause minivan. Oh. Tv.

“Mama!”
“It’s okay, Mama hit the tv.”
“Why?”
“I forgot it was there.”
“Why?”
“It was an accident. That’s why it’s good you have carseats.”
“Stuck safe!”
“Stuck safe!”

I pulled back in a bit, adjusted my angle and pulled back out.

People came out of their homes to see what happened. My friend CaliGirl asked if we were okay. She seemed to think running over a television was a bad thing or somethin. I told her I was fine. I said, “If I had to have an accident, that’s a good one to have.”

When I got to where I was going (probably the commissary, cause shoe) I looked at it, and I thought, well that’s not too bad.
It’s not as though our minivan is a … well, she’s a minivan. She’s essentially a traveling shoe.

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she has many dents, but i made the biggest one   *not pictured

At some point, I had to tell The Mister that I’d run over our television. I knew it would lead to endless, torturous comments about women drivers and a substantial amount of teasing, but I had to tell him.

So I did.
And you know what he said?
“I fuckin knew you were gonna hit it!”

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“If you knew I was gonna hit it, then why did you put it in my blindspot?!? Why didn’t you put it out there when YOU were still driving?!?”
“I even thought I should move it away from the driveway s’more, so you’d see it.”
“Then why didn’t you?!?”
“Ahahahaha! I fuckin knew you were gonna hit it!”

Happy Friday Everyone! Check your blindspot!

Posted in Personally | Tagged | 40 Comments

#ThursdayDoors — Return to the Stucco Cottage

Back in March, I showed you this yellow stucco house.

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I mentioned I’m not a big fan of stucco in Indiana, but this house is yellow and cottage-y and it has a stunning garden in season, and check out that letter box! I said I’d go back to photograph the garden AND I DID.

I was certain it was behind Twenty Tap, so I asked The Mister to drive around there in July. It wasn’t there. Then I was sure it was behind Twenty Tap and drove around there in August. It wasn’t there. Then I was sure it was behind Twenty Tap, so I drove over there in September. It wasn’t there. Then I was sure it was behind Twenty Tap, so I asked The Mister to drive over there in October. It wasn’t there. I hadda break down and tell The Mister about the yellow house and how I was sure it was behind Twenty Tap and how it was like the yellow house had disappeared or I had lost my mind. You know why it wasn’t there? Cause Twenty Tap is farther south than Joeys think.

Suddenly I remembered that time I wasn’t lookin for the yellow house, I was just pickin up food. On a hot and wet August day, I parked on College Avenue and walked all the way to the corner and got upset because Twenty Tap wasn’t on that corner.

Snapped this door along the way:
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I even remember thinking, hm, funny I don’t remember this door…

I had to walk all the way back to my car and drive farther south and walk all the way to another corner. So far when hungry.
Twenty Tap! Benson turned us on to this place and it is now one of our favorite places to eat.
We went again this last weekend, and behold the noms:

 

Anyway, Twenty Tap is at 54th and College so if you’re lookin for doors, look elsewhere, cause I love that area and I don’t have all those doors. *calls dibs*

Here’s the stucco cottage, in all some of its leftover garden splendor:

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Yes, Yes, I’m sure it was prettier last summer, but apparently I was too hot and disoriented to make it. Maybe next year!

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 38 Comments

1036 Words in Some Semblance of Order

I debated doing a One-Liner today, cause you know, I almost always do One-Liner Wednesday.

Is “Well, fuuuuck,” a worthy One-Liner? Nah?

I don’t have organized thoughts right now. I may or may not make sense, but then, you’re accustomed to that, hm? I’ve been feeling poorly since I woke up Monday. Started out with the cold achies, then it turned to achy with fever and weird dry gasping cough. As you can imagine, this has been AWESOME for my anxiety disorder. More herbal tea, please.
In terms of productivity, I voted, I chopped onions for soup, I took the girls to orchestra rehearsal. Beyond that, I’ve been down, in and out of sleep and sick. The rest of my family is picking up my slack. Even Bubba’s pickin up Moo from afters.

I want orange juice and honey and Moo is almost out of milk (!!!) I should have asked The Mister for those things yesterday, but I forgot. But now I’m thirsty again, so I remember. I should text him, but my phone is way over there. He may read this at lunch and pick some up. I have plenty of room in the fridge if any of you are motivated. You’ll have to ring the bell and leave it on the porch, because well, if you don’t know sick me…

Here’s a Control V of my FB status yesterday. I don’t know how to open Paint in this laptop so screen capture didn’t help. I could ask Ms. Laptop, but she’d probably only piss me off. She doesn’t know me. She’s always telling me to ask her to call Violet and I don’t even know Violet. She reminds me she can find music I don’t listen to or sports scores I don’t care about. So yeah, Control V.

i’m sick. like, fever broke at 4 and came back sometime around 9.
anyway, i’ve hydrated and slept. i managed to get to the kitchen, open a bottle of gatorade, AND peel an orange all by myself. obviously that wore me out, so i went back to sleep.
BING-BONG
BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK
some lady with at&t and directv bag.
i open the door.
i do not open the storm door.
she ask me how i am.
*standing there with light-socket, sweat-soaked, poodle hair and stained long underwear* i dunno what my face looks like, but i can tell you i didn’t wash my face last night because delirium does not care about eyeliner.
i say “sick.” she dunno me, i could look like this every day for all she know.
she say she sorry i’m sick and then start her sales pitch. gonna sell me service i have for three times the price. oh boy.
IS IT ME OR SHOULD SHE LOOK FOR THE DIRECTV SATELLITE BEFORE SHE RINGS THE BELL?!?
i cut her off, “no thank you. i have recently renegotiated my directv pricing and i don’t want at&t. at&t suuuucks. people who have at&t come to my house to download.”
she looks at me like I’M rude. like she invent the at&t. like i’m standin on her front porch, botherin her sick ass. i think about opening the storm door and coughing on her. maybe licking her face.
i wave goodbye to her, shut the door.

shoulda invited her in, feigned interest, asked her to heat up some soup for me, THEN coughed on her. i see that now.

 

So yeah, just drop the goods and run.

Another possible One-Liner:

Moo came to me, “How is my caterpillar?”
“Hm?”
“You’re like a caterpillar in its cocoon!”
“Heh.”
butterfly

“Maybe you’ll become a beautiful butterfly!”

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Yes, I’m sure I will emerge as a beautiful butterfly. The resemblance is uncanny, Moo.

 

This morning was hard, because sick and cold and Diva Furnace and you know, the impending apocalypse or whatever. I want the results to be fever dream, but the people have spoken. The sheer number of them rings a bell in my sternum, like oh the mindset of our country is much worse than i had expected…so many angry, fearful people…

I am a blue girl in a red state. I am no stranger to feeling odd. My county went blue, and I’ll count that as a victory.

People are talking about who to blame, or what could have been done differently. I see all those points. Still I’m just not into shoulda, coulda, woulda. This happened. This is reality.
The Mister is not terrified or surprised, which is somewhat comforting, and somewhat concerning, cause he is regularly brave and you can only trust the brave so much, always doing crazy brave things. He works in finance, so his day should be busy, interesting. Later he will go to his history classes where I’m sure his professors will be wearing black armbands.

Speculation abounds, and I’m not into that, either. I reckon not enough of America is familiar with the behavior of narcissists. Or maybe they are. Maybe they love a good nuclear winter. I dunno.

I’ve got more than my own share of worries and it does no good to dwell on the possible atrocities beyond the current situation. I mean, I can’t think about stuff that’s months away when I need orange juice right now.

To my fellow head shakers, to those who are heartbroken, devastated, terrified, ashamed, shocked — Let me remind you, we still outnumber them. More people voted against this outcome than for it. This country ain’t gettin white prouder or straighter or more backwoods religious and women still outnumber men.

Remember that progress, even when slow, is inevitable.
I’ve seen a lot of people kicking and screaming the last eight years and I believe this is their last ditch effort to hang on to their concept of America.

We must continue to move forward. We must continue to fight against inequality and fight for inclusion.

The world is still a beautiful place and people (most people) are still really good at heart.

For me, the hardest part of this was breaking the news to my girls this morning. Sassy asked me what happened. I can’t explain it. “Be kind. Love people harder. I love you.”

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How the Hell Did that Happen?

Y’all, it is time I make a confession.
I hope you’re sittin down.

I’ve told you, I’m not a horror fan.
I’ve told you, I’m a sissypants about gore.
I’ve told you, I like it here under my rock.
I JUST had a lil chat with Marian about the nice dry zombies of her youth.
Which is why…I cannot explain…How I have become a fan of The Walking Dead.

I didn’t turn it on. I came out one Saturday with my coffee and my lappy and Sassy was watchin it. “Zombies, Sass? Really?”
“Mama, it’s so good.”
“Mmhm.”

I typed and read and typed and read and LOL Cats and next thing you know, I was riveted. “What happened?”
“Why’s he doin that?”
“OH GROSS!”
“Why he’s got a fever?”
“OMG KILL IT! KILL IT!”

A few episodes in, and I was hooked.
I ran in and shouted at The Mister, “This show is AWFUL! You’ll love it!”
He said, “Mmm,” in his Unimpressed-Mamaw tone.
Then I hurried back so as not to miss anything.

Hours later, The Mister came into the living room and sat down with his coffee and his laptop and I was all, “OMG THIS SHOW IS HORRIFYING! SCARIEST SHIT I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!”
He got sucked in, too.
Next thing we knew, it was 3am and nobody wanted to take the damned dog out because dark and scary.
Then the boy one came over last weekend, and I said to him, “We’re going to watch our show now. I’m sorry, but you’ll get sucked in, too.”
He shrugged his Millennials-Are-Never-Impressed-Shrug.
And the next thing we knew, it was 2am and he said, “Oh man, I’m gonna regret this, but yeah, let’s watch another episode.”

The suspense is wretched. I mean, remember when you were a kid and the scary stuff was mostly suspense? They do that really well.
But with gore. Oh the gore. So much eww.
So I look at my drapes a lot, and hide my face in the blanket, and sometimes, from within the blanket, I yell at the people, “I told you not to go in there! I can tell by the squishing that you’re good as dead now!”

This is when I realized, I had, in fact, become my mother.

I had suspected the metamorphosis was in its beginning stages already. There had been many signs. Most importantly, that day I wrapped my afghan about me and took my dog out into the yard, I passed a mirror and I thought, omg the transformation is nearly complete.

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Sorry, Maman.

But during The Walking Dead, I scream at the people in the tv as though they can hear me. I know they can’t hear me, but there I am, just like my mother, “Girl, don’t you go in there!” and “Jesus Fucking Christ, Lori! Pick up a gun! Don’t nobody need clean laundry right now!”

Do you watch The Walking Dead? Do you scream at the television? Are you turning into your parents?

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Share Your World #45

Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less.
I live genuinely and intentionally.

Where do you like to vacation?
Haha! Where do I LIKE to vacation? I don’t know. I always have vacation in Florida because parents and child and built-in babysitter and I definitely do not enjoy Florida, although the panhandle is about ten times better than the tip. But as I said, built-in babysitters make for childless days in beach cottage and um, I LIKE THOSE. I also LIKE seeing my parents, and they have no interest in Nice Ice Hotel Sweden, so for now it is what it is. One day, I suppose I won’t have parents in Florida and we won’t need a babysitter and we’ll do wild and crazy things like vacation alone in more hospitable environments. Right now, I’m envisioning a small cabin in the woods, a fireplace, much tree, many snow.

Candy factories (sweets or treats including chocolate) of the entire world have become one and will now be making only one kind of candy. Which kind, if you were calling the shots?
Cordial cherries, although, I would miss the Tootsie Pops in the blue wrapper, whatever those are. But I want to mention that I don’t like monopolies and variety is the spice of life and I can make candy.

Complete this sentence: Something that anyone can do that will guarantee my smile is…be funny! I smile easily and love to laugh.

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I’m grateful for my family and the laughter we share. The boy one stayed the weekend. We did not go out into the woods. In fact, we only left the house to go eat yummy foods. I wore a sweater. It was sweater weather. I love sweater weather. I’m glad my cupboards are stocked-up. I’m glad I have doggy-bag lunch in the fridge. I’m glad Halloween is over.
The week coming up has us visiting friends for dinner, and that’s been a long time coming, so I’m lookin forward to that. I’m also pleased The Mister will drive us through all the roundabouts to get there. I’m looking forward to the end of the elections. 

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

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What’s going on in your world?

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SoCS — Novel Writing

I’ve done National Novel Writing Month twice and won, but still haven’t finished a novel. Since I seemed to be on a rotation for every other year, this should be an on-NaNo year, but it’s not. It’s just not. Right now, I feel the only book I could write would be a book about how hard it is to write a novel.

And then I have that weird thing, that surreal thing about the crocodile, and I don’t know what exactly THAT is, but if it ends up being something, maybe someone else will tell me.

Apparently I find it easy to start a novel, as I have started three.

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Things I struggle with that are still easier than completing a novel:

Putting Catticus in his carrier
Getting my husband to work in the yard
Trying on pants
Biting my tongue
Dealing with Diva Furnace
Icing a butter cake
Cleaning the ceiling fan
Hemming and mending clothes while people wear them
Morning blood draws
Biting my tongue
Determining which container the leftovers will fit in
Moving a washing machine from the laundry room to the back door by myself
Navigating around reality with Schizophrenic Neighbor
Rainbow Road on Mario Kart
Making the perfect roux
Blow-drying Moo’s hair
Biting my tongue
Dropping my children off with people I don’t know
Accepting compliments
Photographing the moon
Taking candy from a baby
Biting my tongue
Solving basic equations
Waiting for money
Driving in the rain at night
Understanding Bath & Body coupons
Adding my time sheet
Biting my tongue
Finding the perfect gift for people who have everything
Remembering to put socks on before the skinny jeans
Not being mad at Linda for giving us this prompt

How bout you?

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS ‘novel’) is brought to you by LindaGHill

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She’s Mean and Green and She Remembers Everything

This post has been elicited by Anxious Mom and the Picture Battle in which she invited me to participate. I’m inviting no one, but feel free to crash the party.

*achem*

 

On one of my thrifting excursions this summer, I came across a gorgeous Kelly green wool jacket, in fabulous condition, and in my size. I bought it for $6. I was, of course, thrilled. Texture queens love a nice wool, so long as it’s lined.

As is required by Shopping By-Laws, I showed The Mister my spoils and I was met with some disapproval over my green wool jacket.
I believe he suggested I wear it with a tiny green hat and maybe carry a bucket of gold.

Well, I never!

 

 

Some time later, I had the jacket cleaned and I informed him that according to the brand, the retail cost of the jacket was $225, and here I got mine for $6 and an $8 cleaning bill. He could not deny my thrift. His eyebrows raised then, and he said, “Good job, Baby!”

I mean, if you don’t praise your wife’s incredible talent for thrifting and saving, she might turn retail on your ass.

 

 

 

Time passed.

 

It grew cool, and I donned my Kelly green jacket.

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Time passed s’more.

 

 

One night, Sassy asked me if I had the feels for some actor or newscaster or someone and I looked over at The Mister in his Kelly green shirt and I said, “Nah, I’m good. I got this leprechaun lookin mofo right here.”

And we all laughed and laughed!

Behold, The Mister in his Kelly green shirt:

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Happy Friday Everyone!

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged , , , , | 43 Comments

#ThursdayDoors — Wilderness Wanderings

I’ve gotten quite the collection of doors from our recent wilderness adventures.

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We all agreed we’d like to stay in one of these little cabins.

img_1584 We all agreed the utter brownness of this building made us feel sad.

 

img_1575Is it autumn? It might be autumn.

img_1513It’s not a door, it’s almost a window — it’s a drinking fountain, a water fountain, or a bubbler if you will. I like it. I must include it.

 
Okay, so now we’ve reached the story time portion of my post. This. This is the old Peace Learning Center.

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See how it’s all sad and dilapidated? Doesn’t it seem gloomy? Poor thing.

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I mean, really. So sad. This building is all, “No one loves me anymore.” You know it’s bad when people throw orange cones at you.

But look at its door!
img_1709Ooh, I say, Ooh!
Copper and metalwork and true character!
The slate, and how!

No doubt the building is sad now. She knows she was once special. She remembers the children and their happiness. She remembers when she was power-washed and decorated with flowers.

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People, it gets worse.

She’s been replaced.

This is the new Peace Learning Center.

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Apart from the gabled roof, Bleh.

There is a lily pad pond, not exactly the height of lily pond time right now, so I’m reserving judgement on the lily pond. When the lily pads are most beautiful, I am usually still hiding in my air-conditioning, so what do I know?
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As we walked around the new monstrosity Peace Learning Center I cursed the lame-ass doors and hoped the front doors would be more interesting. Moo said she thought they’d be boring doors, The Mister said they’d be standard glass. I hoped and I hoped, but…

Nope.
But not exactly a triumph in doors, are they?

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Again, nice gable, Mr Roof, but what sad, sad doors. Tsk.
I can’t imagine what the new building cost, but I’m certain it was more than a rejuvenation of the former building. Tsk.

Tsk.
Tsk.
Tsk.

Moving on!

I was gonna get a photo of the doors to the boathouse, but…

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I got caught up in the sheer cuteness of this little guy feeding the goose,

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and then I stumbled across some fallen walnuts and well, that was a teachable moment, so no boathouse doors for you.

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link.

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One-Liner Wednesday — Catiquette

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catticus photo taken by moomalade the intrepid

Last night, Moo sat in my lap tellin me a story as Catticus stood at the other end of the sofa meowing. Eventually, Moo stopped her story to scold Catticus, “Shh, I’m talkin now!”

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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Share Your World #44

What was your favorite subject in school?
I’ll probably never love anything as much as I loved reading in elementary school. As I got older, I liked everything but math and gym. I particularly enjoyed anthropology, linguistics, and genetics, but I majored in English, cause books.

If you could have a servant come to your house every day for two hours, what would you have them do?
I truly dislike the idea of strangers in my home, can I have yard help instead?

Where did you live when you were in the third grade of school?  Is it the same place or town you live now?
I had third grade in Franklin, Indiana with Mrs. Main. I loved Mrs. Main. She was a warm and cheerful teacher who said funny things like, “Don’t squish your letters so close together. They need space between them. If these letters were in a marching band, each one would kick the next in the bottom and they’d all fall down.” I do not live in Franklin anymore, though I do drive through on occasion.

In your opinion, list some places that are great for shopping?
Shopping is ew, so I shop at Amazon.com a lot. Where else can you buy chili vinegar, headphones, a phone case, soap, and a pack of socks at 1am on Monday and have it all delivered to your door on Tuesday afternoon?
I like secondhand shops, and lil boutiques where one can find unusual items.

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
We ate out too much this past week, so I found myself grateful for a home-cooked meal last night. I let some corn chowder simmer all day, and Sassy and I made some brownies as well.
We went into the woods again this weekend. It was gray and cool. There was a moment of sheer exhilaration when a breeze blew by and gave me a chill. I love fall. I’m grateful for fall. I’m so happy I live here.



Last week I was also the recipient of a Random Act of Kindness. I’d often commented on the attractive cable knit throws in a fellow blogger’s photos, and she sent me one for my very own, as well as some tea. Something along the lines of “Just add kitty.” Mind blown! Is that not the sweetest?!? It was a most unexpected joy, and truly made my day. I’m sittin in it right now. I’ve had all the cats on it already, and Cletus The Dog Kitten’s had his photo taken with it.

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they have to claim things, you know

The week coming up indicates the weather will be ideal for kickin up more dry leaves again next weekend, and I look forward to that!

 

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

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What’s going on in your world?

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SoCS — Intermittent

In/out, Linda said.
Well off the top of my mind, there’s burgers, and there’s sex, so let’s talk about the weather instead.

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The weather’s doin that thing where you can’t fully commit to your wool poncho and your brown wedge booties, cause most days are really more of a jacket and flip flop type. Do people wear that where you live? Lemme tell ya, here, as long as the walkways are clear, people wear shorts and flip flops even when there’s snow on the ground. Even if they wear coats and hats.
Took Moo to a bonfire party last night — kid wore jeans, a poncho, and boots, but flip flops still dominated.

Last night was good bonfire weather but today we opened the windows cause it’s gonna be 75.
This is fiiiine. We’re stayin in. Tomorrow will be cooler, and we’ll get out again.
Besides, it’s good we don’t need to run the furnace.

For those of you who don’t know, we have one diva of a furnace. It requires attention, or even worship at times. It’s a whole thing that no one would want to read about. Of course, Diva Furnace works when it’s not too cold. Weeks with lows overnight in the 40s, furnace maintained a steady 68. Of course, the morning we woke up and it was 37, I performed the required rituals and eventually, by about noon, the furnace did go again.

Our furnace is maybe six or seven years old, which is close to middle age, so I personally think it’s in a state of midlife crisis. It fears we’ll replace it with a new model, it suspects it’s a matter of cheaper to keep her, and so it fusses at us.

Coupla winters ago, Diva Furnace went out on a Friday, and we spent a cold weekend in our house, til the part came in on a warmer Monday. Over that weekend, we bought some space heaters.

Space heaters are fabulous.
We have two small ones we used in the bathrooms. When it gets below freezing, we pull them back out and keep the pipes warm.

But, the piece de resistance is the large tabletop space heater. It can turn the living room into a balmy little refuge, and given the temperament of our furnace, well…it has permanent residency. I just unplug it in the summer.

Here’s the thing, having it in the living room means we can heat the living room to a higher temp, suppressing the thermostat, keeping the bedrooms cooler, while saving money. I like all those things.

Of course, me being me, I am afraid the space heater will burn the house down, so I spend a considerable amount of time paranoid about it, but it’s really fantastic anyway.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Posted in Random Musings | Tagged | 44 Comments

Real Life is Scary Enough, Thanks

For the last four years, I’ve joined some of my writery friends and their friends in writing a story for 13 Stories Til Halloween.
This year, I struggled. I kinda always struggle, cause scary, creepy, eerie is not my thing. When I was young, I enjoyed horror, but something happened, and now I just don’t.

I’ll tell you what happened — the fiction got too close to my reality.

I was reading a book by Dean Koontz, don’t remember which one, but in that particular book, the villain had gone into the family’s attached garage during the day, while the door was open, climbed up the family vehicle and into the attic to wait for the family to sleep — and then, in the middle of the night, he climbed right back down the family vehicle and walked into the house to kill the girl in her bed. So easy. And y’all, we had a house with an attached garage, and we had an SUV parked right under the attic, and I was, if you can imagine, also a girl.
I started locking that door between the house and the garage to the point that my parents had to yell at me about it, because they’d come home and have to wait for me to let them in. Parental rage be damned, at night, I’d sneak downstairs to lock it so I could sleep. Half the time, I worried the bad man was already in the house.

So my story this year is actually a dream I had, cause without a doubt, I dream the scariest shit that ever there was. I mean, I wake up and I cannot get a grip on what a sick, twisted dreaming brain I have. I often feel cheated that I can’t sell tickets to the show. I know a lot of people who would really love to watch my dreams.

Anyway, for the month or so that I sat around waiting for inspiration to strike, I read Craig’s Idea Mills, I read horror prompts, I asked my family, and I even, in a moment of desperation, considered writing a wee limerick about bats and black cats and witches’ hats. *hangs head in shame*

The Mister, ever supportive, suggested writing about what scares me.

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My brain almost short-circuited with the following thoughts from my daily life with anxiety disorder:

what time is it? where is my husband? should it still be dark now? my hands hurt, my head is fuzzy, i’m dizzy, am i dying? where is the baby? is she in those blankets? my god, can she even breathe? THE CHILDREN ARE VERY BIG NOW AND I STILL TURN THE LIGHT ON EVERY MORNING BECAUSE I NEED TO SEE THE BLANKETS MOVING UP AND DOWN BEFORE I WAKE THEM BECAUSE I FEAR THEY HAVE DIED IN THE NIGHT, probably from sneaking popcorn and hard candy and grapes in the middle of the night, choked to death. I HAVE HEIMLICHED MORE KIDS THAN I CAN COUNT, LITERALLY. I KNOW DADDY DOESN’T TURN ON THE LIGHT, I KNOW YOU LIKE IT BETTER THAT WAY, BUT IT’S ONLY BECAUSE HE DOESN’T LOVE YOU AS MUCH AS I DO. is this coffee really decaf? is the furnace running? what if it catches fire? is it going to maintain the temperature? what if we have to have the guy come out again? what if he says we need a new furnace? has anyone taken the dog out yet? are they happy enough? are they having a nice childhood? are they mad i made them eat breakfast? is it safe for her to suck on a cough drop in the back seat? if she keeps coughin like this after the frost, she’s gonna need a doctor. she never coughs like this after the frost, don’t panic. driving east in the morning is fucking dangerous. they should make special glasses for driving into the sun. i can’t see anything. i’m going to run over someone. 

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why is that guy in the street? is he a good man or a bad man? i’m gonna get hit by a car and my dog will run off and kill squirrels instead of acting like lassie. lawd why can’t we have more walkways? why the dog is barking? who’s at the door? prolly an axe murderer. she looks like a nice lady, but she could secretly be a witch who cursed my misplaced mail. why is clara eating those flowers? i better see if they’re poisonous to cats. i feel sick. maybe i’m dying. have i slept enough? have i eaten? maybe i should eat. why hasn’t my husband text me yet? omg, did he make it to work? omg, what if he fell in love with the barista? what should i wear? what if i get hot? is there going to be traffic out here? did i leave the iron on? the hair straightener? did i flip the safety switch on the space heater? did i lock the dog in her crate? did i give her a cookie? will she eat shoes? omg, what if she eats my new booties? one day my dog will die and i do not know how i will recover. is she happy enough? is she having a good life? what if a bad man snuck into my house while i was in the back yard? what if mentor isn’t in the office today? will i get my things done? will i get the mail out before the mailman comes? will i have to stop at the post office? why am i always behind the ballet of the gravel trucks?!? one day they’re going to crush me like a bug. i should drive a gravel truck.  i’m hot and dizzy. is it the caffeine? am i dying? is this a hot flash? am i dying? should i take off my sweater? should i eat a banana? why does this printer hate me? what if i can’t maintain my manners one more minute? what if i don’t get home in time to pick moo up? is sassy okay at home? what if the alarm is badly wired and explodes when she turns it off? DAILY, I IMAGINE MY CHILDREN HAVE ARRIVED AT HOME, THEIR HOUSE BURNED TO THE GROUND, THEIR DOG’S CHARRED CARCASS IN HER CRATE, AND AN AXE MURDERER THERE TO COMFORT THEM. did i turn on the answering service? did i turn out all the lights? did i lock the door? is this pain in my chest, or just sensation?

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this intersection is stupid dangerous, one day i’m going to wreck here. do all of these have postage? I MUST CHECK THE POSTAGE AGAIN. merrrrrge, omg don’t brake! are you tryin to kill us all?!? why is this pos takin so long? was i supposed to swipe or insert? omg, what if our account was hacked? where’s the baby? she’s too small. the other children look big enough to eat her. what if she went with a stranger? omg, i should never let her do anything without her sister. i should tie them together like mittens ffs. did anyone take the dog out? did anyone feed the cats? oh no, now clara’s puking because i didn’t look the flowers up! hope my husband makes it home safely. i wonder if he’s takin the interstate today? what is this red spot on my pinkie? omg, my father called, what happened? my head hurts, i hope it’s not a brain tumor. is it better for her to be challenged and make Cs or better for her to be bored and make As? what if they mis-marked this chicken and we all get sick? how do we really know where these chickens lived? omg, is the mayonnaise touching the cheese?!? is he doin that to make me crazy? i’m so dizzy. where’s the baby?


Those are the typical ones.
And here’s the truly horrific part — I’m better than I used to be, by leaps and bounds.

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So, no, I don’t think I should write about what scares me. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Happy Friday Everyone! May the weekend bring you peace of mind.

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#ThursdayDoors — Nashville, Indiana

When I wasn’t too busy smiling and laughing, or stuffing my face, I did find some interesting doors in Nashville.

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ooh texture

 

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ooh color

 

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ooh contrast

 

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mmm, fudge — but there are doors back there…

 

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the front has that bison for the bison-tennial, but the side has TWO doors AND stairs!

 

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dig that reflection

 

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i was also established in 1973 — all the whimsy!

 

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 64 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday — Scaredy Cat

“If you wanna go to haunted houses, Daddy will hafta take you. That stuff scares me. I got scared at the children’s museum haunted house, and that’s for kids! The Snow White ride at Disney World scared Mama. That witch is scary! I don’t care how old you are, she’s scary!”

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WAY SCARIER IN PERSON!

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Posted in Personally | Tagged , | 31 Comments

When I Finally Could Even

Okay, so fuck those motherfuckers, today I rant. This rant could take all day. I have hours.

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I’M WITH HER. She’s a choice I’m proud to make, because she is competent and qualified and I feel she represents my interests. She’s going my direction, (forward) so I’m with her.

 

There are Republicans I like, and even some I love. I don’t understand them, but then, they probably don’t understand me.
However, in recent months, I have come to understand some people in ways I did not want.
I had no idea I was friends with so many hateful people. Being a Compassionate Conservative must be so passé. From what I’ve gathered, I am a ‘Libtard’ and I am not to take any of it personally, so in turn, what’s good for the donkey is good for the elephant, and they shouldn’t take any of my thoughts and opinions personally. I’m sure none of this pertains to them, or anyone you know.

First of all…
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First of all, the level of cognitive dissonance is baffling.

Where I’m from, this is established. Hoosiers like their gay neighbors, because they’re polite. They don’t like other gay people, but these gay people, they seem nice enough. They don’t want them to get married or buy their pizza or adopt children, and they certainly do not want to see them engaged in any public displays of affection — the mere thought of that makes them sick! But these gay people, they’re okay.
Also okay are the Mexicans who run local, delicious businesses, black athletes, the Pakistani co-worker, their adopted biracial child, the Muslim man who married their cousin, and the dirty fuckin hippie who sells them weed. Other than that, the rest of them are unworthy of rights, let alone care.
Don’t dare mention hypocrisy.

(It’s really best to use small words whenever possible. Huge is not a bad word. Huge is a great small word. Huge might be the best of the small words to use.)

From what I can tell, there’s a section of America that feels like the nation has gone to pot.
I blame the internet.
Before the internet, all these people got to live in special little worlds where everyone’s just like them. Or so they thought.
In an effort to comfort themselves from the onslaught of progressive ideas, they consume only stuff that provides daily righteousness. They do not seek further knowledge, they do not question the source — they like it, and gosh darn it, it just makes them feel good!

Initially, I tired to argue with these people, to expose them to truth. Then I tried to explain satire. Then I tried writing a simple, “That’s not true,” to see if they would explore it further. They don’t. They surely think The Onion is a news outlet.

Daily, I am subjected to the poorly-spelled, salty outcry of people who think they’re better than other people.

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I prefer to live in a world of diversity. I believe in bizarre things like beneficence. I like the salad bowl theory more than the melting pot theory.
I found this out early in life. When the Packards were explaining we don’t vote for Democrats, I was asking them why we didn’t have better Republicans to choose from, then?
My condition worsened at university, where I studied humanities in the teacher’s college. Where my boyfriend, in the school of business, read a book about some Narcissistic icon of greenliness being next to godliness, and I read it, too, and it solidified my opinion that greedy people are trolls and was he a FUCKIN TROLL?!? He then accused me of attending Marxist meetings behind his back and it only got uglier from there.

Still, all my emergent liberal years failed to prepare me for the insanity that is today’s political realm. Unprecedented comes to mind.
Y’all, most days I cannot even.
Lordamercy, prior to this, I’d never felt true fear from a political movement or its people.

My face. All the time.

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I know you want me to tell you that the people spewing hate and ignorance are some people I don’t know well, some fringe people, but they’re not. They’re largely uneducated —  I’m no elitist, I’m just as much of a pleb, educated or not. They’re white, the lot of them — I’m white, I’m like lightest shade of foundation white. The difference seems to be in whether one feels one’s suffering is superior to all others’ suffering and whether one feels entitled to hoard privilege.

When my children ask me, “How can anyone think like that?” I have to pull out the notes from my secret Marxist meetings and tell them that life is very hard and some people believe the measure of their worth is determined by how much they have. Having more than other people makes them feel better. More stuff, more money, more power, more control.

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The hateful don’t want anything handed to anyone because goddammit, they’ve worked hard to get what they have and everyone should have to work hard, too. If you try to tell them most of the people receiving aid are working, they pull out the story of the person they know who’s playin the system. I have a theory that no one actually knows these people, that they’re a kinda urban legend, but still, there are stories.
I suppose these stories must be true, and people must be playin the system, but it’s then that you must ask yourself why you are angry. Are you hungry? Is feeding someone else taking food away from you? How much food can you eat? The average taxpayer pays roughly $36 annually to feed their fellow Americans. Are you certain you want to be angry about that? I can afford to pay more.

I don’t understand it. If I hafta pay $36 a year so some woman can sofa surf and stay drunk, but I know her kid’s eating every day, I’m okay with that. That woman isn’t my business, I don’t know her life. Why would I be angry? Should I be angry I’m not drunk sofa surfin? Cause that’s how it sounds. It sounds like people are mad they aren’t livin in poverty, gettin handouts. It sounds like some sorta sick twisted jealousy.

“Boo-hoo, I had to buy my own sofa! Boo-hoo, I had to work for this gin!”

Whenever people go on a tirade about entitlements, I launch into a tirade of my own. I’ve been on food stamps — me, my husband, two kids, and one on the way. I’ve been the expectant mother in the free clinic, and I’ve been thrilled to find fresh bread and bags of apples in the WIC office. Those angry, greedy people then tell me that’s different. Why? Why is it different? Why was my need different? Cause I’m white? Cause I’m married? Cause he’s a veteran? Cause you like us personally? No, they say, “Cause you didn’t make it your way of life.” I fucking did. I didn’t choose it, but I certainly embraced it and made it a way of life for the better part of a year. People gave us virtually everything we had at the time, and we took it. Eventually, my husband found another good job. But let me tell you, he was workin mighty fuckin hard on a night shift at the goddamned box factory and it still wasn’t enough to feed a family and keep the lights on.

The hateful people tell you I should have worked, too. And I ask them if they wanted to buy me a car, pay my daycare costs, or take care of two kids and an infant while I did that. No, they did not want to help out with any of that. You know who helped me work? Family, ie, other poor people.

The hateful people say I shouldn’t have had kids I couldn’t afford, which is where the argument gets deeper and stranger and we quickly descend into a rabbit hole of epic proportions, where the sky may as well be purple and under our feet. Don’t have children you can’t afford and don’t use birth control and don’t abort, so don’t have sex, I suppose, because sex is a pleasure and we all know that poor people don’t deserve pleasures, be it a tin of smoked oysters, the taste of beer, a state-provided iPhone, or the love of a child.

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Do you think the people who need help want to need help? Do you think they enjoy havin such little control over their own lives? Remember that time you wanted to buy your kid something, but it wasn’t in the budget? Imagine that’s an everyday, everything occurrence.
When you drive by signs that advertise fast food managers are bein hired for $14 an hour, do you think that sounds good? Do you think the people who manage fast food restaurants are entitled to have families? pets? parties?

Then those people should have better jobs, the hateful shout. What? Food service isn’t valuable? That’s not a good job? You don’t eat fast food? Managing a business should be a good job. This is America. You should be able to work your way from sweepin floors to ownin a franchise, if you work hard enough. The responsibilities don’t match the pay. The manager of a fast food restaurant should never qualify for aid. The manager should live in a modest, but nice, home with 2.5 kids and a dog, obviously.

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I’m still not certain I can afford children. They’re rather expensive, even when I feel I can afford them, which is never in August, and very few Decembers. Two are cheaper than four…

Certain groups of people are allowed to have children, and they’re ‘allowed’ to take government money. Veterans for example.
There are veterans on food stamps too — and I don’t mean only the retired or homeless vets. (Why is that even a thing? Look that shit up.) Most enlisted military qualify for aid of some sort. Almost all qualify for WIC. Did you know at commissaries there are bags of groceries for purchase to help a needy military family? What does that tell you about how much we truly respect, value, and admire our armed forces members?

I’ll tell you what, ain’t no rich people shoppin at the commissary, buyin bags of groceries for needy military families. Same as everywhere else, the poor help the poor. For takers, we sure are a generous lot.

There are some people who, when you are cold, will give you their coat because they can’t bear to see you shiver. There are other people who will tell you, “You shoulda brought your own goddamned coat!”
Every year when we have a drive, Coats for Kids, I shake my head at the people who say, “These people knew that cold weather was coming, why didn’t they save up? So irresponsible! Now they expect me to buy their kids a coat!”

Nobody EXPECTS you to donate a fucking coat, Asshole, but thanks for that wondrous display of generosity of spirit. *thumbs up*

The same people who bitch about welfare moms who go to school for free, and get daycare for free, and get housing and food for free (You know, to get those better jobs!) — the same people bitchin about all that are quick to brag to you about how the VA put a new knee in them, and with Medicare chipping in, they didn’t pay a dime!

That’s entitlement for ya, puttin new knees in when people shoulda saved up for their own new knees, or taken better care of the ones they already had!
They earned it by serving the country and then gettin old and lazy. Some old people never get lazy and stop workin ya know. SOME people work til the day they die and they don’t complain about their bad knees or have the gall to expect me to buy them new ones!
GAH!

Do you know what Medicare is? Government healthcare. Do you know what the VA is? Government healthcare. Do you know what Armed Services receive? Government healthcare. I have a bad Army hospital story, but they let me live for free. Our family of six paid less than $100 a paycheck for insurance, so listen to your Joey, there’s power in numbers.

But Oh, how the hateful people love their veterans. MORE FLAGS! And then they let some orange-faced fucktard insult a pile of veterans?!?
Cognitive dissonance!

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We gotta take care of our old people, y’all. My heart breaks watchin some lil ol woman puttin her pills on two different credit cards and then writin a check for the balance. That’s some fucked-up shit. You think that orange-faced fucktard gives a crap about your grandma?

 

Not all, but most of these hateful people claim to be followers of Christ, which is an altogether nother matter I cannot line up. Remove the planks from yer eyes and do a little introspection: You know how Christ was, you know how you are — how parallel are ya there?!?

 

 

I went to a lady’s blog the other day…Y’all I liked this lady’s posts for about a year, cause recipes and fleurs and nature photos — you know, the kinda Nice Lady Blog I remind you I ain’t runnin here? I hadda unfollow her. Cause hate speech. I’ll take my hummingbird photos without hate speech, thanks.

People on Facebook be like, “Here’s a picture of a beautiful red flower” and Facebook responds with hate speech. Nobody can have proper discourse because some asshat has to interject some apropos to nothing politics at every fuckin turn.

A longtime friend of mine tried to tell me the orange-faced fucktard had a great plan to help working parents with daycare costs. She hadn’t read the whole thing, she said, but she’d seen it and he was right. I had to tell her, “We can’t talk about this.”

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Now, that’s more than 2000 words on just social issues. Being a true blue bleeding heart liberal, I am most concerned with the social issues. I am concerned about the 1 in 7 children who are food insecure right here in my own community, but I believe in the land of plenty, there’s more than enough to share with an influx of immigrants, IF PEOPLE WOULD JUST STOP SKIMMIN FROM THE TOP!

Hand to Horus, I only have time to address praise for this rant. No objections will be acknowledged, and it is entirely possible anyone leaving hate speech will have their Gravatar cut out and affixed to the side of a Miraculous candle, lit for mercy, upon my pagan heathen Unitarian Universalist altar.

Is your blood pressure up? Here, look at the pretty trees.

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I fucking love trees. I hug them all the time.

Posted in Personally, Random Musings, Uncategorized | Tagged | 79 Comments

Share Your World #43

What are you really glad you did yesterday?
I’m glad I spent the day outdoors!

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I’m also glad I came home and fried chicken and made mash and gravy and all that, because I really love me and I wanted big Sunday dinner, even if it meant eating at 10pm!

 

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?
I like our little bungalow. I think at this point in my life, smaller spaces are where it’s at. I don’t care how many levels, really. The Mister has the bad knees, so I think the bungalow suits us, especially long-term. This is our first one-story since our lil apartment the year we married, and we do so enjoy it. I always think two-stories have more curb appeal, but I’m too practical to care, and who among us enjoys sweeping or vacuuming steps?

Have you done something you truly want to do today?
Well no, but I did sleep late, so I hope that counts as doing!

What plans did you have as a teenager that didn’t happen? Are you happy it didn’t work out that way?
Uh, not too many actually. I was awfully self-aware as a kid, never really felt like a kid, I think that was helpful. I obviously didn’t live happily ever after with any high school boyfriends, and that’s nice. My BFF is still my BFF, even if I made more BFFs along the way. I always wanted a little yellow car, but I don’t now. I accomplished a lot of my ‘must do’ list when I was in my twenties. Went to the college I always thought I would. I didn’t have any grandiose ideas about what I wanted to do or be or have, so you know, still thrivin in my mediocrity.

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
So pleased with the weather and the landscape. Grateful for central Indiana’s state parks. So grateful to have been out and about all weekend. It’s absolutely the best time of the year!
I found spring bulbs on sale, 8 for $1.99!
The Mister brought me flowers!
I didn’t need NyQuil all week!
The week coming up should feature more exploits into autumnal glory.

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

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What’s going on in your world?

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Kittens?

Mentor speaks at least three languages fluently, and English is not her mother tongue. She has no accent, which means her accent is close enough to my own that I don’t hear one.

Y’all know I’m language friendly, and I like fun with language. Mentor and I communicate very well with one another, but now and again when she twists a turn of phrase, I cannot find her meaning.

For instance, yesterday.

She sent me a message, basically, Please call to determine the status of Jane Doe’s paperwork. See if we can pick it up. She is having kittens.

I replied, Sure.

I must have read that sentence three times. “She is having kittens.”

awww. why is she telling me this?!?

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Mentor and I share relevant information. By this I mean we don’t talk about extraneous stuff. Whatever we tell one another includes specific directives, inquiries — you know, like Cut The Crap and Just The Facts Ma’am.
Now, I knew Mentor didn’t mean it literally, but I knew it had to be important, or relevant, otherwise, she wouldn’t mention it. Our business decidedly does not deal with kittens. There are no kitten conundrums to solve, no kittens to consult with, no kittens to ship. I love kittens, but that’s not what we do there.

This bit of information was a bit like your pharmacist saying, “Take these three times a day and with plenty of water,” and then adding, “The new moon is April 7th.”

 

The relevance of the kittens did not fit the directive and I am too curious to let kittens lie.

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I called to determine the status of Jane Doe’s paperwork. I called Mentor with the results of my call. After that, I asked her, “What did you mean, she’s having kittens? Like, is her cat birthing today?”
“Nooo. Did I not use it right?”
“I guess not. What does that mean to you?”
“She’s upset.”

 

think, think, think…

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“She’s having a cow?”
“Yes!”

Then there was howling laughter on both ends of the phone. I laughed so hard I cried.

I’m so glad she gave the update to Jane Doe, because me being me, I would’ve thoughtfully added, “By the by, Congratulations on your kittens! How sweet!”

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope nothing makes you have kittens this weekend!

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#ThursdayDoors — Scottish Rite Tour

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Per my invitation, Benson agreed to meet us at the Scottish Rite Cathedral last Thursday morning. It was incredible, and given the opportunity, you should take a tour.

Hello doors.

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Hello, floor.

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Let’s start with the basics. The guide said the cathedral is not a church, and never was. It has always been a Masonic building. You may recall I wrote it was built in 1927-1929 for $2.5 million? The guide added that if such a building were constructed now, it would cost about $100 million.
Its exterior is Indiana Limestone, of course. The floors, Tennessee Marble. The walls, travertine. The wood is from the Carpathian forest. I made the guide repeat that, “Did you say Carpathian?”
“Yes. I did. Carpathian. Does that mean something to you?”
I waved around at my company and said, “Yes, we are literature people.”
Benson said, “Sure. Dracula!” and I don’t think the tour guide ‘got’ us.

I tried to get the guide to join us all in a mirror selfie, but he didn’t get that either, so I got this instead.
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Great guy, very polite and personable.

Anyway, that Carpathian Mountain wood, when they were done cutting and carving it, they used the sawdust to create pressed wood features, like the frequent grapevine and the rosettes. The woodwork is amazing. The details are amazing.
I had to resist touching everything. It was hard.

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I could have written an entire post about the magnificent furniture. I say WOW.

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While the cathedral is said to be an excellent example of Neo-Gothic architecture, the guide said it’s actually Tudor. He mentioned that because it’s not Gothic, there are no gargoyles, but there are grotesques — which I had not noticed, even though they’re ubiquitous and I had photographed the exterior of the building TWICE. Once we were outside, I looked for them, and I found them, but I failed to photograph them, because I am deeply flawed.

The glass is not stained glass, it’s art glass. It’s everywhere, too, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

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The window panels open, and are handled, so they’re also kinda doors. I love the hardware on the windows.

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I had to turn the lighting up in all of my pictures, because the light in the cathedral is low. Even still, my eyes caught details at every turn.

Behold, the elevator doors. There are four sets of these beauties.

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The guide did remember we were literature people when he took us to the library and we all gasped. Again, the details.

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The library is large, and within it, my iPhone camera barely knew where to look. Benson said he’s going to go back again with his Canon.

Have you noticed all the lighting is gorgeous? Looking up, the ceilings are magnificent as well.

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I really loved the ceilings.

Here’s the ballroom, in all its splendor.

Y’all, my vertigo had me spinnin in there. I preferred the lower level. With its floating floor, you could dance all night…

After that, our guide showed us to the auditorium.
Door to the auditorium, with flash, because otherwise, you no see door no good at all.

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Yeah, I didn’t get a great photo of it, cause dark, but I did try.

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In case of fire door:

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Pretty fancy hardware compared to modern day versions.

Then we saw some less fancy, backstage sorta things — mailbox doors —

And a peek into the commissary, which we all noticed smelled like French fries. How did we know? our guide inquired. Easy enough — we are literature people, and food people.

And so, we went to lunch.

But before that, one last door.

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I hope you enjoyed our tour, and I’m very glad to share it.

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link.

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One-Liner Wednesday — I Could Live in a Snow Globe…

During one of the frequent family protests about the temperature of the house, Moo shouted at me, “You live like a polar bear!”

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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by LindaGHill

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GPS Does Not Know The Way To Grandmother’s House

I like to make an annual pilgrimage to my grandparents’ house on the lake this time of year. It’s a thing I do, like a craving I can’t let lie. It comforts me. It does my heart good, even though my grandparents are long gone and the house belongs to strangers now.

Customarily, The Mister drives until we see Smokey the Bear and then I take over. The roads at the lake wind up and down and all around. I know the roads. I know the roads and I do not know their names.

This last Friday, I put the address into Google maps on my phone and off we went.

That was stupid. Do not do that. GPS does not know the way to grandmother’s house. I mean, it kinda does, because we got there, but how we got there, I don’t even know. I had a bad feeling when we were on 135 instead of 31 and later, when the GPS said we were 12 minutes from the house and I still hadn’t seen a single thing that looked familiar, I realized that I should have listened to that feeling and headed to 31. Then I realized we were at the lake, although where, I had no idea.

“We must be on the other side of the dam,” I reasoned. (We weren’t.)

The windy-dindy part was THE WHOLE WAY. We did not know the roads. We all cried out in blasphemy as we made hairpin turns and almost died halfa dozen times.

When we finally reached the house, only then did I know, the drive is half my joy. I must see the corn, the old Edwardian house, the leaning tree, Ed’s Trading Post, the bait n’ tackle shop, Smokey the Bear, The Church of the Lakes. It’s all part of the experience.
GPS has no sense of propriety.

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Doesn’t look like much to other people, I know, but I still want it. Only about five-years-and-three-hundred-fifty-thousand-dollars-to-go…

Oh! And it needs to be for sale.
A girl can dream.

We’re a bit shy of Brown County’s fall foliage peak. Still gorgeous. Sun filtering through the trees, the warm, golden color of it all.

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Crisp leaves underfoot, hell, even soggy leaves underfoot.

I LOVE the smell of leaf mold and burning leaves and there was plenty of that.

Pardon my repeats.

We went to Nashville, Indiana to walk around and gawk at things.

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Open air dining a la barbecue. Lil slaw, lil chips, lil pickle. The experience was better than the pork. The pork was sorely lacking flavor. Do not recommend.

But there at the counter on the street, my husband wrapped his arms around me and proclaimed it was good to be out, which was akin to me enjoyin the sunshine on my face.
We were so happy, if a bit overexposed.

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So we happily walked around and shopped the shops and saw all the people and Marian, we even saw one of them there Bicentennial bison (Bison-tennial? Oh never mind.)

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…and communed with the squirrels and we were happily happy. Until we found the candy shop. Then we knew we could be happier.

Fudge has a way of transcending GPS woes and enhancing the euphoria of being in love.

The sunset was glorious, the perfect ending to a beautiful day.
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On the way home, we saw most of the things we were supposed to see on the way there. I feel like the leaning tree and I understand one another. I believe it missed me. One day, I’ll do all the driving and stop and take pictures of all the things. The Mister hates that, but if I tell him it’s for you, maybe he’ll endure it. Such precious things should be documented for posterity.

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Share Your World #42

If you wanted to de-clutter where you live, what room / space would you start with?  (And why, if you’re feel like admitting to it.)
Haha, the kids’ rooms! I did de-clutter their rooms when they were younger, but I wouldn’t now. They’re at an age where I merely say things like, “Clean your room,” or “Perhaps it’s a good time to get rid of some things.” They won’t live here forever, so I just insist they keep the common spaces tidy.

 

If you want to remember something important, how do you do it (sticky note on the fridge, string around your finger, etc.), and does it work?
At home, I’m my own boss, so I just obsess about things until they’re done. Lists are helpful if I need to purge my memory. I insist my kids take responsibility for their own activities. I’ll have them pin scheduled events on the bulletin board, and issue reminders to me. For my own appointments, I sometimes put a reminder in my phone, but usually I just keep the appointment cards in my purse and the date in my brain.
At work, we have software to input our tasks, but I also use sticky notes for pressing matters, absolutely.

 

If you could create a one room retreat just for yourself, what would be the most important sense to emphasize:  sight (bright natural light, dim light, etc.), hearing (silence, music, fountain, etc.), smell (candles, incense, etc), touch (wood, stone, soft fabrics, etc.), or taste (herbal tea, fresh fruit, etc.)?
This sounds like such a treat, I don’t know where to begin. A silent room, lots of long, narrow windows, but with heavy curtains, cotton, cotton, cotton — overstuffed chaise, no electronics, smell of old books and lavender, plates of fresh fruit and cheese, orange tea, please.

 

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?
I think I’d go for the Seminole, Concha, and seek her lost wisdom, but only if she’d come here. I am not going to Florida in the fall.

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
This last week was a good one. I’m most grateful for Friday, because it was especially cool and lovely and I got to drive through the forest and play outside with my family. It was just a fantastic day. This week coming up has temps in the 80s again and I’m not pleased, but good things may still happen.

 

 

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

What’s going on in your world?

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SoCS — Screening

Yes, of course I screen my calls, and my texts, and any messages, really. I do it for the benefit of others, I promise. I’m not a phone person.

I love my friends, even the morning people, but I am incapable of polite response until a certain amount of wakefulness has developed and it would be bad to start the day with, “Why the fuck are you callin me at 8am? What the fuck is wrong with you? It’s like you don’t even know me!”

My mother does not call me anymore.
My mother has been on the wrong end of too many sleepy conversations.

Sometimes I get text messages that I don’t know what to do with. They seem intense and complicated and I need more coffee and time or I’m liable to reply, with stuff like, “Sucks to be you,” or “Told you so” or “I really don’t know what the fuck you’re goin on about but I’ll talk to you later.”

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(I actually have lovely phone presence, but I reserve that Fake Bitch for less personal circumstances. For instance, The Mister asks me call teachers and parents, or to renegotiate charges. At work, Mentor often asks me to make the unpleasant phone calls because it’s pretty hard to get mad at the soft-spoken girl on the phone, and if you do, she’ll get haughty and snippy and you’ll realize how rude you’ve been.)

It’s not always a morning thing, or a grumpy thing, sometimes it’s a busy thing.

I am, in fact, sometimes too busy to deal with my phone.

I am one of those people who ignore my phone when I’m out and about. I need to save my battery for photos, of course.

On the weekends, I’m terrible about looking at my phone, because generally, my family is here.

If I’m busy and my phone is blowing up, I actually reply with, “I have company right now” or “I’ll call you when I leave here,” and if it continues, I’ll turn my phone off. I feel like the people in front of me deserve my attention.

I have friends that think it’s rude not to answer or reply immediately. I can tell, because when they’re with me, they do immediately respond to the sounds on their phones. I could write a much longer post on how rude I think that is. Rather at an impasse there.

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Overall, I’m conserving energy, waiting for a better frame of mind. Are you a solid screener, or are you more easily accessible?

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SoCS ‘screen’ is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Friday, Fall Break

While you’re reading this, I’m out exploring our natural world.

I’m probably wearing sneakers and being glad it’s not hot.

I’m probably eating food at some picnic table type place.

I’m probably watching the sun shine on my babies.

I’m probably holding my husband’s hand and laughing.

The point is, right now, I’m probably happy.

Happy Friday TO YOU!

Posted in Personally, Random Musings | 20 Comments

#ThursdayDoors — Woodruff Place Town Hall

Last winter three of my #ThursdayDoors posts were from Woodruff Place (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3). Historic Woodruff Place is one of Indianapolis’s lil neighborhoods. This summer, I captured its town hall.

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I love the doors, but as ever, I find Woodruff Place charming.

#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link.

I may be late getting to your #ThursdayDoors posts today. The girls and I will be touring the cathedral (doorscursion perhaps) and lunching with fellow blogger Benson. And the high is sixty-freakin-two, Woooooot!

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One-Liner Wednesday — Good God

“Y’all, someone on Freecycle is givin away ‘God clothes’. They’re mostly large shirts and 32/34 pants from Old Navy. You know, in case you wondered.”

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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by LindaGHill

 

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In Which Joey Is Given The Day Off

Mentor rang me at nine-somethin in the mornin. I answered, “You are aware it is morning, yes?”
“I am. But I am calling to tell you you don’t need to come in today.”
“Really?!?”
“Really! Enjoy your day off!” She cackled as she hung up the phone.

A day off.
Hm.
I had like, ten years off, so you’d think I’d know what to do, but for about five minutes, I just sat on my sofa and smiled at my trees. And then I sneezed one of those sneezes that rattles the windows and snot flies — somewhere…

I’ve had a cold, well, I have a cold, but like, the worst of it is over. I thought (for about fifteen seconds) about painting the back hallway before I remembered that in my current condition, hangin clean clothes in my closet causes my arms to shake with fatigue.

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So I read. I drank coffee and read things and contemplated stuff. It was pretty fuckin wow.

I should have been workin on my 13 Stories piece, but nah, I had the day off. Spent it with my brain.
And after the long mulling, I realized two important things.

One, going to work is a GOOD thing. I realize that I have been working in my home forevah, but more manual labor than applying my brain to things that don’t concern me. It is GOOD for my brain to deal with someone else’s business. There is no room for neurotic brain at work. Okay, there’s room for OCD, maybe it’s even a playground for OCD, but there’s no room for anxiety there.

Two, I don’t know how much longer I can chew on my political outrage. I turned to The Mister last night and said, “You haven’t written anything in a long, long time.”
“I know.”
“Bout time for a good political rant, ain’t it?” I asked sweetly.
His eyes widened, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA!”
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“I can feel it! I don’t know how much longer I can keep it in!”
Sassy started laughin.
I tried to show her how the words try to escape, and how I have to shove em back in.

Y’all know how it is, you like people, but they say the damnedest things, and you start to twitch, and then you hear your mother, “If you can’t say anything nice…” and you’re like, “BUT MAMAN!”
And that’s when it’s good to be Daddy’s Little Girl and Mommy’s Little Basketcase because Fuck Those Mother Fuckers, it’s not like they give a fuck about sparing MY FUCKING FEELINGS!
Of course, “the best way to protect yourself from other people’s bad manners is by a conspicuous display of your own good ones” or someshit. That’s how I’ll be remembered you know, as ever-polite and oh-so considerate of other people’s feelings.

I just don’t know how much longer I can go without flailing and word-spasming in all my liberal glory. I really don’t. My chest might burst. It’s probably how I got this fucking cold. Last time I had a cold, President Bush had just taken office.

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What say you, virus or repression?

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Share Your World #41

Do you believe in love at first sight?
I don’t know. Just because it hasn’t happened to me doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I sure think people know what they want when they see it.

Your first car?
Plymouth Horizon — If you’re too young to know, it was a four-door hatchback. Mine was baby blue and I appreciated it for five years. The extent of my true weirdness emerged around the time I started driving. I know this because I was afraid my parents would buy me the red Firebird. I’m not kidding.

Who taught you to ride a bike? How did it go?
I do not remember. I had learned to ride at someone else’s house and when my father picked me up, I showed him I could ride a bike and then he bought me one of my very own — The Prairie Flower, Ooh!

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Ugly and rich or beautiful and poor?
Haha, how ugly, how poor? Flash to me livin in a bell tower! My happiness would probably still depend on the capacity of my mind and the quality of my soul.

What was the first dish you could cook?
Toast? Bacon? Biscuits? Grilled cheese? Apple bread? I don’t know, I could cook quite a bit in elementary school. How about something more interesting, like when I got to college, I had no idea how to work my coffee pot, and when I got my own apartment I had to call and ask my dad how to boil eggs, and I was 30-somethin before I figured out how to properly cook rice.

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drew made this for me

 

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
This last week, I am grateful The Mister has taken such good care of me while I’ve had this stupid cold. He’s been really, really helpful and super nice, which if you know my husband…well, I’m just grateful.
This week coming up has Sassy playing 80s tunes in concert, the girls and I meeting up with Benson, and hopefully our family will take a trip to the countryside for fall foliage-viewing rituals and whatnot.

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

What’s going on in your world?

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Baby Food

For as long as Moo has been eating table food, I’ve admonished the other children, “Don’t take food from the baby!”
Little Moo was underweight, so this “Don’t take food from the baby!” phrase had been well, crucial.
I had enough trouble with the criticism of pediatric nurses, I didn’t wanna hafta say things like, “Her sisters steal her food.”
“No, we’re not food insecure.”
“No, I don’t need a home visit.”
“My children eat all the time.”
“Do you even have children?!”

 
Moo barely spoke until she was three. There was nothing wrong with her, she could say the perfunctory amount of words, she just wasn’t particularly fond of it. She preferred to scream and cry and grunt. Mostly her sisters spoke for her. Sometimes we still need Sassy’s translation. Y’all probably think Moo words better than I give her credit for, but I present to you, messages from Moo.

 
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Even Sassy couldn’t make heads or tails outta that. Considering Moo had worn pantyhose, not leggings, to school that day.

There were times that Sassy decidedly abused this situation. Like the time Sassy ate all of Moo’s cottage cheese in addition to her own and told me it was because, “My Moomy no likey chottage cheese.”
UH HUH.

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As I told you, this had been advantageous for the others as well. Say for instance I gave them all two cookies… Some children, I’m not naming names, might would steal the baby’s cookies, because well, she’d just run to me in a total cookie loss meltdown. It’s not like she’d use her words. No one would ever know her cookies had been stolen. Besides, we all know the baby is the spoiledest of spoiled. Just ask them, she gets everything. Why should she get cookies on top of all the love and affection her parents provide?

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There may have been other things I’ve had to say along with “Don’t take food from the baby!”

Such as…

“I realize your sister is not eating at a rapid pace, but let’s give her some time before we hijack the ravioli from her highchair, okay?”

“You may clean up her ice cream cone, but no, you may not have it.”

“She’s eating peas! She likes peas! Give the baby all your peas!”

You can really only understand this if you’ve had an underweight child. Don’t be petty.

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“Don’t take food from the baby!” is a thing I still say, although less often.

So last week, as Sassy nibbled her precious potato chips and Moo stuck her hand in the bag, Sassy cried out, “Mama! She’s eating my chips!”
I looked over, and I saw the chips were orange and loaded with fat.
I said, “Let the baby eat!”

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And we all laughed and laughed.
Except Sassy.

Happy Friday Everyone!

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#ThursdayDoors — Black & White & Brick Sometimes

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#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link.

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One-Liner Wednesday — Moo Says It Right, And How

“You need to have your ears flushed,” Moo told her father.
“You smell the hibachi,” he replied.
“What?!?” we all asked.

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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Home

Manja inspired me. If you didn’t read her post last week, well, that’s sad, but it’s not too late.

I’ve been home for three years, six months, and twenty-one days and I still thank God for that every single day. Notably every time I take the dog out. I like to stand in my back yard and marvel over the clouds or the stars or the trees or the flowers or the fireflies — you get it — and say aloud, “God it’s good to be home.” This time of year is particularly easy to be grateful, because it’s cool and pretty, but even in the dread heat of August, I still do it. In Georgia, it was never so green.

Home is decidedly green.
I could likely make a home anywhere green.
Were I ever to leave this place, which I cannot imagine, green would still be my number one criteria. Four seasons. Hard freeze, cause tulips. If tulips can’t grow there, then neither can I.

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Home is where you know all the places in time frames. All the places mean something, contain a memory. The neighborhoods that were once yours, schools you attended, places your parents took you. Home is full of nostalgia.
You can learn all a place’s places and make a home and still never find home. Trust me, I know.

I spent seven years homesick, every autumn a misery.

For me, I was a stranger in a strange land.
Would I have felt such a stranger in New England or in other parts of the Midwest? Probably not. But in bleak, flat, brown landscapes, I know I don’t belong. Where palm trees grow beside stucco homes, I do not belong. In places where scheffleras grow out of doors and pansies are winter plants, I do not belong.

I have always known this. I need grass and trees, and most importantly, I need the snow and ice.

 
There were times I prayed I wouldn’t die in Georgia. Beggar’s Prayers. please god don’t let me die here.
Did I long to return to my roots? No. Did I need nostalgia? No.
I longed for those four seasons. Familiar landscapes that make my heart sing.

But as a parent, I had other yearnings as well. I said to Beefy once, “Imagine your kid has never built a snowman, or found a buckeye, or held a woolly worm.” Unfathomable to those of us who live in this region.
As a parent, I felt insufficient about teaching them their natural environment, because that environment was unnatural to me. I had to call my mother, the southerner…

“What the hell are these trees with the yellow pods?”
“How big do horseshoe crabs GET?”
“A dragonfly took my baby!”

We actually didn’t choose to return to Indy. Not that we don’t love it, it’s a part of us, and we do love it, but we’d planned to settle elsewhere in the region, not that the job market cared.

Now and again, a friend of mine says she can’t understand why people stay where they are. She’ll ponder over how some people never left her hometown, while she herself has lived all over the country.
I counter her by saying some people belong to places. Those people who never leave, they’re the backbones of their communities. It’s always been this way. Natives, formal and otherwise, are essential.

I don’t know that I belong here, but I know I don’t not belong here, and that’s a reason enough to count my blessings.

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Have you found or made a home? What’s home for you?

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