Bounce Back

The boy one moved out and into his apartment, with lower rent than he was told, with a fireplace that wasn’t in the unit he toured, and with two outdoor chairs left by the last tenants. Quite nice.

As for us, we’ve put our house back in order. I have always taken pleasure in clear surfaces, but oh my goodness, it’s even better than I remember. We sit at our dining room table with delight. We enjoy open doors and pantslessness. Our dog has stopped stress-chewing her paw. Everyone has an agreeable shower schedule. It’s a grand time for the Motterns in their yellow bungalow. The yellow bungalow is not situated on Easy Street, but it is shaded by pretty trees and filled with love. Right now, it sounds like football and smells like banana bread.

My sense of structure was dramatically displaced. It’s humbling to be reminded our behavior is so incredibly predictable. It’s how we accidentally train our dogs, or you know, how our dogs train us. I forget how long it takes to form a new habit, and I sure don’t know how long it takes to return to old ones, but I’m trying, so it might be the same timeline.

I have gobs of stories to tell you. My go-with-the-flow may be runnin low but I’ve still got my bounce!

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Labor Day Blip

Every time I think I will post about Labor Day 2001, I think I will do it over Labor Day (duh) and yet, here it is, late on Labor Day…

No time like the present.

On the Friday preceding Labor Day of 2001, The Mister and I found ourselves childless for the weekend. We threw stuff in the trunk of our car and drove northeast. We left with important things, like a cell phone, a map, some food, and a tent, but without a plan. The idea being we would find a place to camp, what with road signs to campgrounds and all that.

Spontaneity — before smartphones, it was a bit of a risk.

After dark, we pulled into a campground somewhere. The campground’s proprietor said they were full and it was illegal for him to let us camp without a designated spot, but if we were open to roughing it, he’d find us a spot. We were open. We set up camp. The Mister roasted weenies and I toasted marshmallows and we enjoyed the evening staring at fire. Goodness, we do love to stare at fire. We crawled into our tent and slept the good sleep.

We awoke early and as I wandered about while brushing my teeth — who can just stand there?! — I roamed over a bit to a drop-off, to see what was there, and HOLY CRAP! IT WAS LAKE ERIE! 

We had no idea we camped next to the lake. And in case you’re not knowing, I should tell you Lake Erie is a Great Lake. It’s big. Lake Erie is one of the smaller Great Lakes and it’s still frickin huge.


Maybe maps aren’t the best way. I mean, when you look at a map like this, you may think Indiana and Wisconsin are pretty close together, why don’t Joey and Mary meet for lunch in Chicago?

Anyway, we woke up next to Lake Erie and that was amazing luck. What a view!
We went to Niagara Falls, spent the day walking and hiking, taking in the falls and the gardens. Then we checked into a hotel and drove back the following day.

We had a right good time.

We’ve accumulated heaps of travel and Labor Day memories over our twenty years together, but few surprises have been better than waking up on the shores of Lake Erie.

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Well, He Ain’t Eight

I lived through Bubba bein eight. If you have had an eight year old, you may recall. YMMV. If you know parents whose children are eight, you should probably do a kindness for them. They need it. Eight is a terrible age. Eight is the age children realize they know everything and regardless of their age, adults don’t know anything. They actually,  literally say “Literally” “Actually” and “Whatever” all the time or whatever.

All summer long, patrons of the pool told Sassy “Never have children.” The first time it happened, she told me, “This woman yelled at her kid and then looked at me, and said, ‘Never have children’ and I oop!”
“Was he eight?” I asked.
“Yeah, probably.”
At eight, Bubba engaged me in psychological warfare every damn day. Daily deliberate defiance, constant debate, unrelenting attempts to negotiate. I prayed and I prayed. I’d wake up in the morning, all tra-la-la, today is a new day, tra-la-la and then by 8am, I’d wave to him as he boarded the school bus and I’d mumble, “Good riddance.” God Bless his second grade teacher, Mrs. Roth. God Bless all the second grade teachers.
And living through Bubba being eight is how I know I can live through two more weeks of him living on my couch, cause this is better.
I love him dearly, but he’s on my couch. Now. Later. All. The. Time.


Lemme be clear, it’s not like he’s doin anything wrong, he’s just THERE.

At this point, I’m not sure who could be on my couch this long without disruption. I mean, after eight weeks, even Winnie-the-Pooh would annoy me.

“The couch smells like bear. Pots of honey fuckin everywhere. Sticky, icky, eww! Honey pots all over the coffee table and the dining table and on my kitchen counter, takin up the refrigerator, spillin out on every surface of the bathroom! I can’t hear myself Think! Think! Think! because you’re always over there exclaiming, Oh Bother! All we do is talk about Heffalumps and Woozles and I cannot possibly endure another game of Poohsticks and for the love of thistle, put some pants on! Do you hear Tigger calling for you? I think I hear Tigger calling for you!”


Sometimes the smallest things grow up to be really big and tall and live on your couch.

In case you’re curious, at eight, in addition to literally actually whatevering all the time, all my girls fully embraced their inner bitches and got smart with me. I, like my own mother, had grown into my breeches and had the good fortune of being an older, smarter bitch and that shit did not play.

But the boy one? So hard. So hard for Joeys. I know as parents we don’t always know what we’re doing, but I’m tellin you…

Happy Friday Everyone! 

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#ThursdayDoors — Indiana State Fair


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Yes, it’s that time again! I went to the fair some weeks ago. Time is blurry. I was a bit poorly. Even I was too poorly to eat ice cream at the fair!!! Still, I walked five hot and sweaty miles because I love the Indiana State Fair! Do not fear, I have since gotten better and had plenty of ice cream.


As I do annually, I shall show you my primary motive for visiting the state fair:

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pork tent

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cheese curds

And how could I not show you this year’s dairy sculpture?

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I should tell you it was just Moo and me at the fair this year. Don’t tell the others, but Moo is THE best fair companion, because Moo and I like all the same things and not other things. We like art and photography and quilts and animals and the making of things. Moo told me when she grows up, she will come home and go to the fair with me. You don’t know Moo, but that was really such a tender, sweet thing for Moo to say.

Further, because Moo likes horses, I spent substantial time staring at horses, and although horses terrify me with their majestic vitesse and puissance, I think I experienced a breakthrough in my equinophobia because I think one of the horses kinda liked me and I kinda liked her. Fenced. I liked her fenced. I’m not saying I wanted to touch her, or that I could be near her were she free, but I think she maybe liked me a little bit.

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not my horse, also photo credit moo

Cows, I pet. I pet cows. Without cows, there would be no ice cream! Look at his beautiful face! (He is not an ice cream cow, but dang, he’s cute!)


And quilts for my parents and Judy. I mean, y’all can look at em, but when I snapped em, I thought of my parents and Judy.


And doors for all the door peoples.

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gate love

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hawt hardware


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my fave – a door by a door with a door in the background


less fancy, but still nifty

And the steam engine, because my, what a pleasing sound!

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I hope you enjoyed this year’s trip to the fair!
I’ll try to blog again before the next one.

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

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The Weekend Whooshed By

Do you guys know I still blog just about daily? I do. I just don’t post them. Some of them don’t feel like they’re ready to be released into the wild yet, some should maybe be deleted, and others, well, DO I EVEN HAVE TIME TO ADD PHOTOS? and also, I often sleep too late to link up.

School started last week. Is the officer out there to control the intersection lights in the morning? No. They send out emails, “Make sure your kids cross here.” What a joke. Cars can’t even cross the street, so much chaos. I can’t wait until all these people tire of driving their kids to school. When they lose their motivation, the situation improves greatly. Like how annoying the gym is in January.

Annnd, when in your life have you ever needed a 2″ or 3″ binder for school? Did you need two of them? They’re huge. We could fold Moo in half and slide her in one. I’m a much happier mama now that I don’t get a long list, but I still shake my head a lot and ask, “Are you SURE?” The Mister’s entire military career fits into a 3″ binder with room to spare.

Also? I remember absolutely nothing about chemistry. It’s like the chemistry went into my head and then fell out. It was 1992 and I had Dr Jay Wile, who was jacked-up on Diet Coke and paced the entire time. He blew things up every Friday and pop-quizzed us on it every Monday. I loved his class. I got a high grade, no retention required. Apparently.

The boy’s still on the couch. He took his father apartment hunting Saturday. I couldn’t go.
I had to have a date with Sassy, who took me out for a pedicure and sushi because she wanted to do something nice for me. I DO feel special.

Moo went to a birthday party, for Moos are social creatures.

The Mister and I went grocery shopping Saturday night. Alone. We had not bought groceries alone in many months. It was rather sexy. Yes, I’m serious. I do so enjoy his company, my goodness we do have fun together…

Sunday we cleaned and he laundered and I baked and prepped and he grilled and he ran errands. (Rumor has it he filled my car up.)

All of that went too terribly fast. I would like another weekend, but instead I will take the girls to school, where the officer will not work the light, and then I will do the workee work. I may well live to see another weekend.

In the meantime, here’s hoping this week is kind to us all.

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SoCS –Clean v Dirty

Have y’all seen the commercial where the couple climbs into the backseat during the automated car wash, presumably for a quickie? My husband said the woman’s smile is false advertising. I said prolly now people are buying Corollas, deeply disappointed every time they go through the car wash. I definitely like my car clean, and speedily. Someone needs to vacuum my car and sadly, I’m someone. I don’t mind to get dirty, even I don’t mind gettin my hands dirty, but then, I like my hands clean, clean, clean. I like my hair dirty. Tis true. It’s a whole hair thing. In 2016 I went eight months without using shampoo and then I took up a bar shampoo that’s composed entirely of oils. Yes, that’s right, it’s true, three years, oiled hair. After I oil it, I put more oil in it. It’s not for everyone but it’s definitely for me. I like my body clean. If I don’t have to oil my hair, I prefer baths. I swear, I’m half-human, half-sponge. Hydrating from the inside is absolute rubbish. Good for all my internal organs and functions, but for the skin, oil. And more oil. I like my house clean. Remember when my house was clean? It was tidy, too, with everything in its place? Was it May? I think it was May. Now it’s somewhat clean on some days and almost never tidy. We spend a lot of time in our bedroom. Where the sheets are washed on Sunday because clean sheets are the cat’s meow. I like my clothes to be clean, except jeans, which are better dirty. I prefer my husband dirty. Just a lil. Man smell. Mmm. Which takes us back to the car wash.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday — SoCS ‘clean/dirty’ is brought to you by LindaGHill

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Friday, Once More, With Feeling

I am having a weird summer. I had mono one summer. This one’s better than that one. It’s a strange time in my life. It’s mostly not about me, which is abundantly clear to me, and which is as it should be, roots and wings and fledglings and all that, but they’re called growing pains because ow.

Let me tell you the best medicine for my growing pains — sleep, ice cream, cocktails, and what True calls Dippy Fings. Any fing you can dip into another fing to make the first fing flavored. Chips and salsa, bread and soup, fries and chetchup, pita and hummus, apples and peanut butter — Dippy Fuckin Fings. I’m pretty sure those are also the best remedies for the menopause. You know what women don’t need during menopause? Being subjected to the mood swings of young women.

People comment on how loving and fun we are around here, and we are, but there’s been a lot of tension in the house lately. Sibling rivalry or someshit. There was a screaming fight about cake. Passive-aggressive squawking about television usage and dishwashing. I’ll be away from it all, getting texts like, “Don’t tell Mottern1, but …. ” and “Will you please speak to Mottern3 about her….” and people are all sarcastic and snippy and avoidant. Three is an unhappy number of siblings, cause Tag Teams.

I don’t spend much time on my sofa. It’s in the boy’s room. He doesn’t have another room. Because he’s twenty-fucking-six.

Remember how in March he had to go in and out of hospital and they’d partially mend him and pass him on to the next better hospital? Well, praise be to puppies, we live in the city proper and the boy went to one of our best hospitals with one of the nation’s best surgeons and they fixed him right up on the first shot and he does not have to endure a more invasive worst-case-scenario procedure. He even recovered faster.

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No offense to people who enjoy rural living, but have y’all thought about maintaining your body beyond the fresh air and scenic hiking? As my husband put it, “Redneck General” : not an optimal medical facility. So, on day three of recovery, when Bubba no longer needed his pain meds, I said, “Oh good, does that mean they don’t need to live on my coffee table anymore?” He smirked and asked me, “Where do you want me to put them?” and I said, “In your apartment.” He smirked again, but he’s looking at apartments.

I know somewhere there’s someone thinkin I’m not as supportive and compassionate as I should be. Anyone who thinks they have more support and compassion to offer, more clean surfaces they’d like cluttered, well, they can hit that Contact Me section and submit an application. It takes a village, you know. I joke. You can’t have him, he’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I am tremendously proud. You can’t tell, mea culpa.

We had a cold front. We slept with the windows open. It was DIVINE. Still, my hair is like a Chinese finger trap, and other proof it’s summer.


Work is good. I’m almost through a momentous pile of rusting projects left by predecessors. I have one more struggle of this sort. From where I sit, my metal’s all shiny and hot. I like this metaphor. I’m a blacksmith. I forge swords. Mentor wields them. Haha, occasionally I wield a lil bit, but then I run back to her quick, sometimes like, “Didja see me? Didja see me?!?” and other times, like, “Oh dang! Cover me!”

The Mister and I are feeling old and tired. He’s old and I’m tired. Still, every weekend is a holiday and we sit around smugly enjoying the chaos.

Happy Friday Everyone!

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#ThursdayDoors — Smoke in Your Eyes, Mud in Your Eye

Remember that one Friday in June when The Mister picked me up at work and swept me away from MommyWorld and took me downtown to be free? I DO. One of the things we did that night was go to a cigar bar. Well, martini-slash-cigar bar. We went for martinis within walking distance.

I had been there more than twenty years ago, but The Mister had never been. We had to pay a cover charge. The last time we paid a cover charge, I had a flat stomach and he had a head full of hair and we went to a club, to sweat to a dj, all glowsticky and strobed-out. That was a whole nother life, eh?
Anyway, because of the cover charge, I didn’t photograph the main door, but I got the actual entrance.


It’s exactly the same as I remember it. The major difference is that I am now more *achem* demographically suitable to this venue. And sitting. And enjoying speakeasy tunes at a reasonable volume.

The Mister and I sat on a leather loveseat and struggled to choose martinis. I mean, struggled. And then we chose and we drank and we talked and smiled and laughed. Five stars, would recommend. If you can handle the smoke.

We did not partake of the cigars. This time. There is always next time. Perhaps if we get there before midnight. They’re open til 3am. But see, next time, we could have excessive numbers more than a few many, many martinis, maybe a few bourbons, maybe then we’ll make time to cigar, and that big dude who took our cover charge? He can carry us back to the hotel.

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

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#ThursdayDoors — Florida Home

Always I saw great doors. Sometimes when The Mister drove, I’d snap shots. Rarely, they came out well.


Bit crooked. Best one I got, though.
Can we marvel over real shutters in use? I love that part. I really like the door and the windows, and the gate.
Of course, the flora is hideous because it’s all tropical and pokey-spiky-ick. Also, as we all know, Florida is inherently evil and full of fire ants.
But you know, this is still a pretty house and a good door.

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

Posted in Random Musings | Tagged | 36 Comments

How to Go to Bed Like Joey

I have already provided a tutorial on How to Make a Sammich Like a Bitch, so I’ve decided not a how-to-cook post. In fact, given the defensive, combative comments some readers leave, it’s likely best I don’t tell you how to do things I do exceptionally well. I’m a big picture person. I care about results, not processes. It would be infinitely more joyful and much more fun to tell you how to do something I’m bad it, so you can either feel superior or commiserate.

First note that time after dinner is moving rapidly and your list of things to do and read and watch will keep you up til 3am, but you have to rise to work in the morning, and you’re not down for that kind of tired. At that point, you should pout about how being an adult who is not independently wealthy is a tale of woe. Pout only to yourself, because everyone feels the same way. Momentarily dream of a life where you can rise at will and do all of your best work before dinner. Then note the increasing frequency of your husband’s yawns. Type faster. When he turns off the tv, type rapidly and tell him you will join him shortly. Take your bottles/cans/glasses/mugs/plates/wrappers/silverware, kleenexes, and napkins to the kitchen. Go back for your phone. Stop to hug Moo. Walk into the bedroom, see your husband in bed. Undress/dress for bed. Wash your face. Forget you have glasses on your head, watch them fall into the sink. Pee. You’re very old now and every time you run water, you need to pee. Moisturize. Get some in your hair. Brush your teeth, floss. Sit on your bed and try to scroll your Instagram. Check your bedside for specs, because you can’t read a fucking thing. If you have readers in the there, you get one gold star. If not, go in search of one of the five pair you cannot find when you need them. You have already forgotten there’s a pair on the bathroom sink. Don’t look now, but there’s another pair on the dresser and another on the chest of drawers. Once you have your glasses, like and comment on your Instagram and plug your phone in. Remember you need to take your medicine. Get your medicine. Stop to hug Moo. Question whether you have water in the bottle at your bedside… From what you can recall it’s mostly just kleenex. Odds are not in your favor. Get water to take your medicine. Walk around holding pills in one hand, trying to make a glass of water with the other. Try to drink water and take pills while walking back to the bedroom. Choke. Trip on cats who are rushing to the laundry room to be fed. Feed the cats. Remember you have a load of towels in the wash. Rotate those. Turn around, hug Moo. Sit on the bed again. Balm your lips, cream your hands, and maybe lotion your legs and/or feet. Find clickie. It’s probably under the bed. Turn on shows. Cuddle husband, being sure to flip and flop to acquire the perfect position. It’s hot. Get up, walk to the other end of the house, and turn the air down. Moo wants another hug. Moo will follow you to the bedroom. She will want to talk to you about what hurts on her body now. Sassy will arrive, to lie between you and your husband, to demand petting and to talk about her feelings. Moo will be jealous, and will stick her leg in your face so you can tickle it. The cats, having eaten, want to be part of. While Catticus perches at the end of the bed and begins his nightly bathtime ritual, the other two cats climb over whatever body parts are bridges to where they can best situate their bottoms in your face. Meanwhile, the dog, beside herself with jealousy, licks the leg you just lotioned. As you do regularly, announce to the children that you must get some sleep. Hug and kiss the children at least three times. Repeatedly tell them you love them. You love them, too. No, you love them more. Lie upon husband. Flip and flop again, because that perfect position is long gone now. Yell about how your door is too open and there’s a light on in Tibet. Begin to relax. Realize you forgot to set your alarm. Do that, but yank it, so that it comes unplugged so you may spend considerable time trying to plug the damn thing back in. Lie on husband. Do you have to pee again? Go pee. As soon as you lie down and get comfy, the dryer buzzes. Do not get up and fold it. That can be the thing you remember before bed tomorrow night.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday — SoCS ‘instructions’ is brought to you by LindaGHill

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