Sassy was goin on about boyfriend texts — texts all sweet and romantic.
I said, “Ya know what I like when Daddy texts?”
Let’s do this thing.
Happy Friday Everyone!
Sassy was goin on about boyfriend texts — texts all sweet and romantic.
I said, “Ya know what I like when Daddy texts?”
Let’s do this thing.
Happy Friday Everyone!
Years ago, I met with a realtor about selling our house. He walked through and made his assessment and then joined me and my notepad at the dining table.
What did I need to do to get ready to sell?
An entire legal pad’s worth of work.
Who would do this? Me.
Bubba, 12, Sissy, 10, Sassy, 3, Moo, 2.
Where was my husband? Serving his country, with orders to report out of state.
This realtor, a man then twice my age, a family man, a man of faith, so kind, saw how overwhelmed I was and said to me, “Thinking about something is much, much worse than actually doing it.”
Now, that may sound like a small thing to say, but it impacted me immediately, and I’ve never forgotten him or his words because of it. It’s so true. I got everything checked off that list except the weird ceiling tile over the basement steps. And I did it in a few months, with all those kids.
I use this to motivate myself all the time. That realtor lives in my head and I still listen to him. I listen to him when it’s early spring and the garden is a mere concept, when I plan a vacation, when I need to speak to important people. He’s there, in my head, reminding me I can check it all off.
Speak to me of this truth, Realtor. Remind me of the Buddha’s teaching, Realtor.
I regularly tell other people this thing he told me. I’ve said it to two people in the last four days, and thought about telling another, but then I decided I should just release this draft into the wild. This is for Joanna.
“All these things” feel like “Everything”.
Strangely, the realtor in my head is helpful for much smaller tasks as well.
There are things I dread like they’ll take all my strength and forever to complete. I may die if I have to _____________. These tasks weigh on me, stress me out, if only for a few minutes.
And these are not big things. Oh, yes, I’ll tell you what they are for me, but then you should tell me yours because sharing is caring.
1. Filing. Now, I don’t mean filing like I have a stack and a filing cabinet. That is Work-Filing, not Mom-Filing. Mom-filing isn’t tidy and relaxing like Work-Filing. Mom-Filing is scattered and house-wide. It starts at the desk, yes, but where it goes depends. Whose paper is this? What date? Is this expired? Ooh, I gotta mail this! I wondered where my takeout menu was! Who got this out? All over the house I go, her room, his drawer, my purse, the address book, the folders, the bulletin board, the recipe box…
2. Shaving my legs. How this can be a thing, I do not know. I always shave. I shave all the time. I shave for my own comfort. Two days, I get itchy. Three, I scratch myself bloody and bruised. Seriously, every two days, minimum, I shave my legs. But there I am in the shower, all I hate shaving. I have this lil talk with myself about the itching and the prickles and I summon the energy to spend two minutes shaving my legs like it’s a momentous occasion and I deserve accolades for this because I thought it would be horrendous. What the fuck is that about? I can wash my hair and shave my legs in the time it takes my husband to shave his face, and I don’t hear him whinin about it!
3. Doing dishes. I’ve written about this before. I act like doing the dishes is going to take me all night, hours and hours of dishes, such a waste of time. And then I’ll have to clean the stove and the counters and wipe out the sink and can I even pull through? Then I do that, and think about Thich Nhat Hanh and gratitude and it takes me twenty minutes which are not entirely unpleasant and I think Oh My God Joey, you’re such a big baby! A big baby who makes her kids wash the dishes.
4. Making the phone calls. Chatting to the help desk. Ordering the things. Getting served. Well, you just never know what you’re gonna get, do ya? When I get good customer service, I do go on about it. Write glowing reviews, thank the person endlessly, but still, I dread that initial reaching out moment. And I don’t care how fast it is, it takes too long, because the amount of time it should take is a split second.
Sometimes you just gotta do all the things that feel like everything.
Sometimes you gotta do piddly shit that feels like everything.
Either way, Realtor’s advice is good.
As they do, retailers have all kinds of cheap gadgets online, check availability at local store, choose three to look at, arrive there only to be told the most expensive one is the only one available at brick n’ mortar despite online claim. Pfft. We’re on to your tricks, retailers.
I will not be swindled, fuckface retailer.
I was delighted to have a girl salesperson. I suppose she may be a woman, but looked like girl, so…
Bought Chromebook. Is tiny. I have tiny fingers on the ends of my tiny hands on the ends of my tiny T-Rex arms, but it’s tiny.
Is also light. I likey that.
My girls have two Chromebooks each — one for school and one for home. Whenever I use them, I giggle, “Hehe is like toy puter!” and now I have one.
I’m breaking it in with pecan pie crumbs.
Clearly I live well.
Am sad about tiny keyboard, not adjusted to it. Could plug my other one in, but best to work it out, hm?
Am absolutely mortified by photo options. May die of emailing myself photos or whatnot. Dunno yet.
However — already happy in an unexpected way, and my goodness, isn’t that the best sort of happy?
That’s a Moo bump — best surprise I ever got! (Not the bump *shakes head* the Moo)
There is no set-up. No 400 questions about who I am and what purpose this device will serve. Nope. No updates. Enter email and click, off to the races!
Y’all, Chrome KNOWS me. I signed in and all of my bookmarks and stuff are here. All.Of.Them. Lemme be clear, bookmarks I lost in the reset six months ago are back. That’s right. Would I like to see Marian Allen’s Rice Pudding for Joey? Hells yeah! Would I like to search the Indianapolis Public Library? Absolutely! What an exciting night to be alive! Would I like to check my bank balance? Nah, I’m good.
Okay, but it’s Thursday and I had no doors. Poo. I’m behind 110 posts. Boo. I had to hurry home to change clothes, take Moo to a thing, then go to two shops, then walk the dog and feed the cats, open boxes, make some sammiches, fetch some pies, and later I pick Moo up from the thing. See, when you’re not the early bird parent, you gotta do the night owl parent shit. Tit for tat, eh?
BUT THEN, then I’m gonna have a long, hot, single girl kinda shower and put on my striped pajamas and get into my warm bed and sleep my face like it’s 1973.
For tomorrow is Friday and on Friday we work. With a full-size keyboard. And two monitors.
Any Chromebook users? Tell me.
Lappy lies on her deathbed, unable to get enough power from life support. Her screen shudders and where there was once a green bar, there is now a white line and a red x, as she tells me, “No more, no more.”
I’m not going to tell you mercury is in retrograde just one more day. I’m not going to tell you this is how two of my lappies died before. I’m going to tell you that before I could even type this on my phone, I had to go get my charger and I had one of those moments like, gah! why life is so hard?!
At least I never got around to ordering a replacement keyboard, so no wasted time or money there.
I’d be looking at new laptops online if my laptop could get me there … No, you’re right, this isn’t the best time to buy stuff for myself, but I will anyway. Well, soon. I dunno. My husband isn’t home right now and I’m trying to maintain my composure until he is.
It’s his birthday.
You guys, it’s his birthday and yesterday was Moo’s birthday and he’s had two days off work right in the middle of the week and he’s spent a considerable portion of it spoiling me! I know, I’m spoiled enough as it is, but seriously, he followed me to work yesterday because I left without my coffee, then he had Blanche serviced, filled her up, and bought all the cupcakes — and today he drove me to and from work! Tomorrow he’s going to the deli counter. So romantic. For me.
Yes, I am a good wife. It would be odd to blog about what a good wife I am but I’m like, the best wife my husband ever had…
The Mister deserves better than to come home from volunteering on his birthday to hear bad newses.
“I made chicken and noodles and green beans, but Lappy dies now and she must be replaced. Happy Birthday. I love you. Chocolate cupcake?”
I’d better sit on this post until he’s home.
Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you… Maybe not, cause I didn’t write that song and I don’t really need you, but I do so enjoy you and I miss you when we don’t read and write for a while. First thoughts count, though, right? Maybe I’m afraid of the way I love you. Again, no, not so much.
I hope y’all know that song, or now you prolly think I’ve really gone bonkers, but I’ve not really, I’m holding steady at slightly bonkers, which in my opinion, is where it’s at, because without a lil bonkers, who would ever do deep introspection, random asides, or untoward allusions? Would there even be gasping or laughing til we cry? Who would write the poetry or cook the food or paint the art? Honestly, I don’t wanna live in a post-neurotic utopia. I feel a little outside myself when I am more reasonable than those around me. Or when I straighten my hair. I like that whole salad bowl, box of crayons kinda metaphor for living. It really does take all kinds.
Recently I was at a swim meet thinking that you would think in a collection of barely dressed humans, you’d think it’d be easier to find someone. Your kid, really, any kid you know, on deck, should be easy to identify, but it’s actually not easy at all. Yes, yes, they seem to be all different shapes and sizes and colors, there’s plenty of variety, but while they mill around, they are virtually identical. My kid is a white one, no, no, like, there are plenty of white ones, but mine is the whitest one, and you need other light white kids to gather in hopes of singling out the one who has the whitest skin. They’re divided into swimwear for male and female, so that helps some, but in uniform swimsuits they’re kinda all the same, hence UNIFORM. They do the same lil dances and shout all the same sounds. If you can imagine, they all have feet, legs, torsos, arms, hands and heads in all the same places. Not a one of them is missing a nose or having four arms or a big back tattoo. The thing is, I’m tellin you, they’re all wearing caps and goggles and they all have swim shoulders and they’re not as different as they appear to be when they’re having exposed hairdos and wearing their own clothes. I am always losing my kid when she is right in front of me. Sharpies, anyone?
And I thought, as I scanned the group, this is not unlike humanity overall. We express ourselves with our choices from what we do with our hair to what we wear on our feet and you would never mistake your postman for your uncle, anymore than I would mistake Betsy for Sassy, but if your postman and your uncle both wore only a Speedo and a cap and goggles in a pool of other men dressed the same, you might.
I was thinking this is a big job for our brains, finding differences, seeking them out. This is a crucial tool in assessment — for instance situations in which we may need to adapt, let alone finding our children in a crowd — but we seem to overlook the part where we’re all so close, so damned close to identical. We’re all just similar versions of the same shapes, sizes, and colors.
Maybe it’s good to remember we’re all on the same team.
Privacy is important to us. I grew up with privacy and my husband grew up without any and we decided early on that privacy is a good thing and worth teaching as a family value.
We are not a snooping family.
We do not pry.
We don’t believe in TMI, but we don’t ask for it, either.
We are also a largely immodest crew and generally, an open door people. In the house. Amongst ourselves. When you are not here, we are half-naked, blasting music, and having wildly inappropriate conversations, so you can see why we don’t want to stop doing that and behave ourselves when people come to call. At any given moment we are sporting Bioré strips, eating ice cream like hogs at the trough, and talkin shit about you, and that’s why you should always, always call ahead.
That being said, certain events do require closed doors. AND THAT’S PRETTY MUCH THE ONLY TIME OUR BEDROOM DOOR IS EVER CLOSED AND WHEN WE CLOSE THE DOOR, WE LOCK IT.
When the children were smaller people, we would answer sweetly from behind the door, “Yes, Baby, what’s wrong?” and as they grew more verbal, we were nice, but specific, in our direction that they should not bother Mama and Daddy when the door is closed.
Reasons to knock include and are limited to:
When they’re small, you gotta get creative. You gotta buy new video games and put out snack food. What a special night! You gotta go wrap presents. Ooh, presents! You gotta get the big ones to take the little ones to the park. Park! Park! You gotta wear those kids out so they’re asleep early. Big day!
They get older and wiser and they hear the door close and lock — they all automatically and voluntarily hightail it out to the living room to play video games and eat snack food with the clear understanding that only in the event of FIRE, EXCESSIVE BLEEDING, BROKEN BONES, OR CHOKING, should they ever knock on that closed door.
You come out smiling at food wrappers and empty cans. You feign interest in the worgly whatsits in the game. You think you’ve done a good job as parents. Your children understand privacy is an important element in their family structure.
Until one night, when your door is shut and locked and someone knocks,.
“My phone is dying and I left my cord at Sophia’s and I really need a cord.”
“Are you kidding me? No. Go away!”
“It’s at four percent!”
HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!
I’ve taken you to Monument Circle many times, but maybe some of you weren’t aboard then, so lemme tell ya, Monument Circle is the center of the city, The Circle City, Indianapolis. It’s a real circle, with a monument to soldiers and sailors in the center. We’re big into patriotic monuments here. I’ve read a few times that we’re only second to Washington D.C. in terms of patriotic monuments.
We’re a decidedly landlocked state, but in addition to Army, Air Force, and National Guard, we managed to have a naval base, a Coast Guard base, and a Marine Corp armory. We may have more, I’m no expert, but if you’ve ever served, I can tell you Indianapolis is crucial, because here in my community is Fort Benjamin Harrison and on Fort Benjamin Harrison is DFAS and DFAS (that’s dee-fass) is where military paychecks come from. Here, they call it The Fort and The Finance Center. I dunno why, they just do. In the 90s they were all, “Well, it looks like the south will not rise again, so why don’t we go ahead and open up this fort and turn it into a groovy place where we can have a mini community with civilian businesses and housing, which will boost the fuck out of our revenue, but maybe let’s keep The Finance Center” and everyone was okay with that because The Finance Center is roughly the size of Pluto, and everyone likes sidewalks to ice cream and donuts. On The Fort.
So you’re clear on the prominence of these sorta things in Indy now, yeah?
Okay, you’re ready.
I really should tell you a few more things. One, when you are young, you race other young people to the top on hot summer days and then you get older and you do it again because you were too young to remember that it was absolutely sweltering and stifling and the stairs seemed to never end and then you get a little older still and remember that and pay a dollar to take the elevator to the top until eventually you get old enough that you’re like, “Nah, I’m good, thanks.”
And two, if you’re old enough, you may remember ice skating at the bottom and if you are young, you’re very tired of your parents telling you how you usta could ice skate at the bottom. There’s no app for that.
Okay, now you’re ready.
Here we go.
They light the tree in a celebration called Circle of Lights the Friday after Thanksgiving. I went to that once. In 1996. On a date. My date knew a guy and we had a good view without the crowd. That’s how you should do it if you’re not into en masse celebrations.
I like to go late on the Saturday night after Thanksgiving, when the events are done and I have decorated my tree. This day is a holiday to me.
Here’s one with humans to help you with the scale.
And me, also human, and truly happy.
I love twinkly lights.
View of The Statehouse. (Hoosiers love The. We give article The to everything.)
Wanna see another side?
Reflections of twinkly lights!
And check out the lamps, y’all.
It’s a tradition.
#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 and find the frog.
I was gettin born.
This is 45, hashtag no filter.
However, I’m having a lovely rosacea flare, and going to work, so there’s a bit of makeup there. Sometimes it’s just one pink or red splotch, but the last 4-5 days have been like a scourge of scarlet freckles. Please note the white hair blowing across my nose is my own and not a kitty hair, but don’t think for a moment that I’m not covered in pet hair, cause I am. Further, that is actual snow in my hair.
I bet it’s our sixth or seventh snowfall of the season and finally it sticks some.
Is baby snows.
Look what it did to Blanche’s window.
It did that for me, I’m sure of it.
I really wanted to take a better selfie today, but the light wasn’t in my favor, the skin wasn’t in my favor, and y’all, it was not a good sleep night for anyone in the house. We don’t know. We just don’t know. I got three real good hours between 2am and 5am, Woot!
I continue to age naturally, and hopefully with some grace. I started this at 40 but most of you weren’t reading me then. You can watch me grow older every year, growing being the key point.
I hope to inspire others to embrace the whateverness they’re experiencing as time goes on. In my case, drying, crinkling, the appearance of old sun damage. This year, I notice my eyelids are droopier and I’m growing a substantial fuzz. Ya know what I’m gonna do about it? Hellanothin. Okay, I am gonna try to get more sleep tonight. I should prolly hydrate, but it’s my birthday and I have SODA. I am not alarmed. Try not to be alarmed when your face does the things it’s supposed to. That way you’ll have more energy to put toward truly important endeavors, like filling the house with readers.
Well I am just so grateful. I tell you what, I have quite a list!
I talked to my mommy on Sunday for two-and-a-half hours. I love my mommy. I miss her so much. Stupid Florida.
The boy one is home. He’s such a good kid. I love him, too.
Course, I love the people who are here all the time, too. Love my girls. Love them to bits. Smart-assed and foul-mouthed, we dunno where they get it, oh but how wonderful they are.
The Mister may have gotten frisky with me multiple times this morning when I was NOT ready to be awake OR frisky, but he did many kindnesses today. He peeled potatoes, drained potatoes, basted the bird, and did all the dishes. I should probably thrust myself upon him later. Ain’t nothin boring about 20 years of monogamy, I’m just sayin.
We spent the day in our pajamas. I am legit wearing pajamas and a cardigan. It’s a look. I have a clip in my hair. Like from the 90s. When you’re heavy into gravy AND I AM you hafta clear the path.
I am not wearing socks as the hot box is set on 76. Diva Furnace has given us some worry again, and what we do is not touch the thermostat. No touchy. No touchy, no worry.
I day drank. I night drink, too. Bubba got some plum brandy, which I am having the darndest time remembering the name of. Lemme ask him again. Slivovitz. If offered, you must try it.
I am typing this on my new keyboard. When my keyboard isn’t working, I can just plug this one in and type so nice. Since this keyboard fixes the problem, I will order a replacement keyboard for my lappy.
I do not go to work tomorrow. This flipped my happy switch like you would not believe. First, they said go home early on Wednesday and I said “OKAY!” Then they left and as we locked up, we realized we did not know when to return. I text to ask. I also text to ask about Columbus Day when no one else wanted to. I tell you what, the next “Do we have X off?” is on someone else. I don’t wanna be that girl. Also, maybe someone should calendar that stuff.
I didn’t think I cared if I worked tomorrow. Meh. The Mister works tomorrow, cause as he says, “Greed never takes a four-day.”
Sassy has swimming.
As it happens, I really did care about not working tomorrow. I’m giddy as can be!
I think it was the four-day thing. FOUR.DAYS. Last time I had four days off, I spent them looking for a job.
Gawd, I love my job.
Also, we had an ENORMOUS sheet cake — well, a whole sheet cake — in the office this week, and they were all, “Take the rest of the cake home,” and I was all, “OKAY!”
Cake is so happy. Ask yourself, when is the last time you saw your name in icing? Cause I mean to tell you, I could not recall. Let’s have more of that. Cake and our names in icing. I tell ya, next time I have a sad, Imma go to the bakery, pick a cake and tell the lady, “MY NAME IN ICING!”
I think I’ll finish my plum brandy and go lounge in the tub like I have all the time in the world.
It’s Tuesday, let’s bitch!
Let’s start with how my shift key on the left keeps going out. ya know, typin along and then i wanna capitalize and i can’t do it naturally because the left one just poops out now and again, and when i get mad about it, i can’t even use an exclamation mark to show my distress111 without stopping and pushing the right shift key like some kinda child typist!!! So I gotta push the shift key on the right, or no caps for me, and no symbols, and not a lot of punctuation.
It comes and goes all the time. it’s completely inconsistent and it annoys me somethin terrible.
vSometimes it does this. vLast time it did this, vI ended up doing a reset and lost all my bookmarks and so many passwords vI almost lost my mind as well. vIt’s not always a V, sometimes it’s an R or trrwrrorr.
vSee how much you appreciate my efforts?!?vRr
vSome of you may have noticed vI have on occasion abandoned my shift key altogether because i get flustered and i just cannot be bothered to type and then backspace or arrow and delete and the other option is CAPS LOCK111 WHICH I FIND UNBEARABLE FOR LONG STRETCHES OF TIME WITHOUT EMPHASIS BECAUSE THIS IS NOT THE YELLING BLOG, k?1? mostly not, k?
vI wanna buy a new laptop, but I don’t want to do the whole set up thing and the moving of pictures and I just keep hoping it goes away, because sometimes it does.
And now, Blanche:
I’m really bad at controlling my power windows. I’d like you to know that I don’t even want power windows in my car. I still want a key, too. I am not ginger enough with my power windows and it’s a constant battle for me to get the wind control right. Blanche has an all-or-nothing attitude about her windows, okay? Moo and The Mister have teased me about my comical up, down, up, down routine and when I brought it up to Sassy, she said, “You do really struggle with that, now that you mention it.” I so do. Further, there’s something wrong with me and I keep rolling down the window behind me. I’m special.
Blanche has Apple Car Play and Bluetooth and she plays songs all the livelong day. She starts when I start my car in the morning, and often my phone is still in the house, where I am alerted to Apple’s concern for me trying to stop the music or send a text when my eyes should be on the road, which has them sending me SAFE DRIVING warning displays and I’m all, “I’m in my fuckin kitchen!”
Further, I have something like three days of music on my phone and apparently, Blanche has favorites, so who cares what I want to listen to? She likes Coldplay and U2 alawt, okay? She also leans toward Vivaldi’s Adagio for Strings, Feliz Navidad, and Eleanor Rigby. I swear to you, for three days straight, I got in my car to go home and she had Eleanor Rigby on tap so that’s not exactly random, now is it? Don’t even get me started on disappearing and reappearing song choices while I drive. Apple be all, “Ooopsies!” and that is not okay.
There is no temperature gauge on my dash. Being born and bred here in the midwest, I am highly dependent on my temperature gauge. Ya gotta know when the car is warm enough to crank the heat. I am upset with this and all I can think is, well that’ll be one nice thing about summer. It’s a short list, but it matters. I guess if my car is about to explode of fire, it may trigger a warning light on my dash, and maybe unlike the low tire/ice cream cone icon, I will recognize it for what it is.
And now, my phone:
I haven’t mastered the volume on my phone. Here’s the thing: I want my phone to do what I want, but without me telling it to do it, which I realize is in sharp contrast to all the opinions I hold about unhelpful meddling map apps and assorted other ways our data is used to ‘assist’ us in madness. I want my phone to be quiet at work. I don’t want to hear the pinging or vibrating of the Fam Chat all day. I think Sassy has study hall when The Mister’s on lunch. Have you ever tried to work while your phone vibrates all over your desk? I silence it and then miss texts from people I work with, sometimes my bosses, and that’s no good. Get an email from your boss, “Did you see my text?v” Oh shit! Sometimes I leave it on and then I have to stop working to take a call from Ashley the robot who wants to talk to me about my Mastercard account and I don’t have a Mastercard account. And then? Why can’t the alarm be really loud, the ringer be quiet, and the apps be silent? Why doesn’t technology understand my subtle needs?!?
Fuck you, Photo App. Why I gotta ask you to look and look and look for the pictures? It’s your job. Import is not a suggestion, it’s your actual function. SOMETIMES I GET SCREAMY!
Go online to order delivery or carry-out, they say. Not one time in all the many years I have used a phone to call and place and order for food with a human being, have I ever not received my food, but the online food ordering has failed me no fewer than five times in the last coupla years. Also, NOT faster. AND SOMETIMES I AM HANGRY!
And the motherfucking piece of shit Amazon stick in our bedroom:
I swear to gravy, every fucking night, and alllllways on Sunday, it cannot connect to the blasted internet or it’s connected with problems, meanwhile, the one in the living room works just fucking fine and every other device in the same goddamn bedroom works just fucking fine on the same bloody signal and I GET VERY TIRED AND I JUST NEED MY OLD SIT-COMS TO PUT ME TO SLEEP THE WAY THE GOOD LORD INTENDED!
Ugh. I feel better. Your turn. Bitch at me.