Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hey, hey it's Mother's Day

Today was mother's day. It still is, I suppose. I should try to get something additional out of it while the getting is still good. I think Chris is making coffee. Hopefully he will bring me a cup with a splash of milk and 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar so I don't have to go downstairs and get one. I already had to go down and get pajama pants while in sans pants mode. Hopefully the neighbors didn't see and if they did...sorry. I'm working on working out.

Last night Sadie offered to bring me breakfast in bed for this morning, but that would mean she'd have to wake up before 6 a.m. and she can't seem to see this side of 9:30 a.m. on the weekends. And I don't like eating meals in bed. It's like eating in the bathroom. Or wearing pajamas to work. Or anything else that you normally do one place and do it somewhere else. I can't think of any examples, so feel free to insert your own ideas here. I ended up making yogurt pancakes and sausage with hot maple syrup because it needed to be done. And it was delicious.

We went to church and there was a drawing for a Mother's Day gift basket that had a candle, coffee mug, Starbucks gift card, and some other lady things. I think just general lady things and not "lady things" although I would certainly appreciate a good stockpile of free tampons. The only requirement for winning was having pushed something out of your lady bits, so I qualified but I only got to put my name in once. I didn't win the basket, so Mother's Day was pretty much ruined. I wonder if they'll give away a Father's Day basket. What would be in there? Spark plugs, hunting magazines, dirty shop rags, random computer parts, Corn Nuts, Big League Chew, and neck ties? I hope they ask me to make a gift basket. It sounds like I really know the male species.

After church we went to Aldi because It's What We Do. And the kids get mad when there is no more food in the pantry. We reach riot status when I fail to buy "good snacks." Well, "good snacks" leads to "childhood obesity." Instead I buy cheese crackers and dried fruit, cereal, plain yogurt, fresh fruit. I did buy sugar infused granola bars. It's like I'm barely fit for motherhood. 

We came home and unloaded the groceries, watched the approaching tornadic activity. It got a little scary while Chris and Sadie were making a chocolate pie for dessert. I like inclement weather until it starts to get real. I had to put on shoes, Internet. Ben said they had to shut down Whataburger and everyone went into the bathroom since the tornado sirens were going off. When it calmed down, Chris visited his mom while I prepared dinner for everyone since we were all going to be in the same place at the same time for dinner. Wheeee! I never got to take my Mother's Day nap but I did finish watching Music and Lyrics, so it was not a complete waste of a day even though I didn't win the gift basket from church.

After dinner I got to open my present of a Starbucks gift card and reusable cup because I lurve the environment. I let Ben open my last present since he was the only one not to know what it was as Chris and I purchased it together and Sadie wrapped it. Someone should get to experience the element of surprise. It was a glass tea pitcher with matching glasses in case you were wondering. I'd been wanting one FOR YEARS but never got around to buying one because I'm not Martha Stewart, instead using my plastic one from 1973. I think it's plastic. It might be lead. Or asbestos.  Sometimes my tongue tingles after I drink tea and I can't remember my name. Well, no more. Moving up in life.

Chris and I took the dogs for a walk and had to cut it short because 1.) clouds were gathering and made me nervous and 2.) the dessert was making my stomach very stabby. It was a most uncomfortable sensation because everything upsets my stomach. Things always seem like a good idea -- donuts, beef jerky, whipped cream, pizza, hot chocolate, milk shakes, hot dogs, soda, anything fun or delicious. Then it's an angry pit of fire unleashing fury on my digestive tract. I love getting older. I hope I've passed this on to my children as well because I like to be a giver. Happy Mother's Day, kids!
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Friday, May 8, 2015

Who hugs pizza to their boob?

When I went to the bathroom to get ready for bed tonight, I noticed that I had a smear of pizza sauce on my shirt. I must have pressed it to my chest in earnest as I was going upstairs. Internet, this is exactly why I can't have nice things because it's also on the shirt on which I previously squirted tomato juice during dinner prep one evening. I can't even fathom how I would feel if I spent more than the $1.29 I spent on this shirt. I'd pretty well be devastated.

Sadie is having a gaggle of girls over for a sleepover. I see all the girls in her 5th grade class, and I don't remember ever being so full of poise and grace as some of them are. Some seem to just glide down the hallways. I gallumped along in my matronly clothes and library books, trying to impress the adult set with my vocabulary and "sense of humor." Childhood was such a painfully awkward phase. It got good for a little while between the ages of 17 and 19, but then it just descended into madness again. I'm one step away from elastic pants and white orthopedic shoes. I do have some white Keds. I'm pretty sure they're from the Old Lady line because they're super comfortable. 

We went to an instrument selection for band the other night. Sadie is going to be in band in middle school. We put her first choice as flute and second as clarinet because we didn't know what we were doing. When we went back into the band hall, the lady was super excited about All Things Band and was very welcoming to all these strangers. I'm not even that welcoming to friends and family when they come to my house. I want to be like Band Lady when I grow up. Sadie tried the flute and the clarinet, then just because we were there she tried the trombone and the tuba. It was a lot like test driving cars only less scary because she's only 10. She said her first choice would be the clarinet. Band Lady said, "Because I have to have one, what would you say is your second choice?" I felt like my life was unfolding like a dramatic twist in a novel because Sadie said, "The trombone." I did NOT see that coming. It was kind of exciting.

Mother's Day is this weekend. You know what I would like? A nap. A delicious untimed nap in a cold dark room in a clean quiet house. No mowers or edgers or drills or saws as my sleepytime music either. I would also like something yummy to eat. I was going to make apple cinnamon pancakes and sausage in the morning, but with 1100 extra children in the house I don't know that I have enough to feed them all so they get Apple Jacks and bananas. Perhaps this is why we never had a large family even thought buying in bulk brings me great untold joy. As it is, my noise tolerance only allows for two quiet children at a time. Turns out I become a little unsettled by chaos.
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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Like winning the jackpot EVERY DAY

I suppose if I wrote even slightly regularly then I wouldn't have to keep calling posts updates. Then they'd just be "posts." Does anyone even care any more? Does anyone even read blogs?

I continue to try to get into the wrong car. Stupid generic black sedans. They all look the same. The Altima looks like the Sonata looks like the Honda Something. I tried to get in whatever Honda has that looks like the Nissan. After lugging out my armload of groceries, I put the beer and gallon of milk down on the ground to fish my keys out of my never ending purse. I kept digging and digging for TWO WHOLE MINUTES only to find that I'd conveniently and helpfully put them in the front zipper pocket of my purse. I love when that happens. Then I start pressing the unlock button on the fob and yank on the door handle. I hit it again because you have to hit it eleven times to unlock the non-driver doors. I yanked again. Still nothing. THEN I noticed a high end car seat in the back and THEN I realized that it wasn't my car because I would never buy a car seat that nice. We just stacked up phone books until the seat belt hit just right. It then dawned on me that Sadie hasn't ridden in a car seat in like 5 years so it was a pretty good bet that it wasn't my car. My car was NEXT to the one I was trying to enter. And it looked exactly the same. I also did not consume any alcohol at this point. That came much later. Why didn't someone accost me and accuse me of trying to break into their car? I could have saved so much time if they'd redirected me earlier and spared me this ridiculous spectacle in which I continue to find myself.

I don't know why I tell you these things. Perhaps to make you feel better about yourself.

I haven't washed my work clothes in going on three months. I'm not sure if I'm proud or horrified of this fact. It just means I have a ridiculous amount of clothes. Yesterday I wore a skirt that I've owned for about 8 years but haven't worn in about 6. It's brown and has sort of a bandana pattern. Bandana, not banana. I paired it with a lime green t-shirt that I also haven't worn in about a year because other things were clean. It was my Just Shy of Desperation Outfit. It was also one of the most well received outfits I've worn on this Journey to the Bottom of My Closet. I should be lazy more often. Turns out it suits me.

I cleaned the house today. No, like for real cleaned it. I even cleaned out hall closets. It just got real, people. If I were pregnant I would call this nesting but since I'm not I just call it hey quit being such a gross slob and clean out all the things you don't use. I still wish I could clean the kids' rooms, but they'd only be left with a bed (maybe) and a...nope. That would probably be it. I WANT TO KEEP CLEANING. What will I do when I reach the end of the dirty? Will I feel satisfied or will I feel like I need to clean another level? Is it like a video game where there's a different and more exciting level of dirt? I hope I collect some coins for the change jar. That would be euphoric.

I feel like I'm becoming a little obsessive about this. That should pass, though, come May 18 when The Bachelorette starts back and I rediscover my love of reality television and pinot grigio. That should pretty much take care of any responsibilities.

I started reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower today. I hope it has some helpful hints to integrate into my daily wallflower living.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Update No. 2

There was a snack station at one of my campuses today. There was an assortment of fruits, cereal bars, bagels, and juice. You know what I ate? Powdered sugar donuts. Why, Internet? Why? After all the weeks -- nay -- months of eating healthy and trying to focus on "losing weight" (puh), do I undo it with donuts? Delicious, crumbly, powdered sugary confections of perfection? It's not even real food. Just arid highly processed starches covered in finely ground modified starches. It was so good. I only took three because I wanted to appear dainty, but I'm sure the snack hall monitor knew the score because I scampered back to my office, covered the window and decimated them. The evidence was clear as a drug bust on my desk. Powder was everywhere. And then, as if I didn't feel bad enough about myself, I convinced myself that I needed the waxy chocolate donuts as well because, hey, free donuts. I went back when the monitor had her back turned and took two chocolate donuts. I love donuts. Almost as much as I love beer. Beer and donuts. Staples of an American pantry.

I haven't washed my work clothes in weeks. Probably a couple of months. And you might be thinking, That's gross, Rachel. You should keep your disgusting habits to yourself. Never fear, naysayers. I HAVE THAT MANY CLOTHES. So so many clothes. I've gone through all the pants that I even wore several times until a noticeable spot appeared and it would be evident to all and sundry that I was indeed not doing laundry. Never give away your hand until forced to do so, right? So now I've moved on to skirts and dresses. The only down side to that is having to shave my legs every day that I expose my alabaster skin to the world. First world problems, sure. But still. It's a hassle. No one wants to mess with that nonsense on a daily basis. I think I can still go about six more weeks with all the skirts and t-shirt combos I can make. I feel like I'm living in a fairy tale.

I do have it on my to do list this summer to get some sort of a tan. Although I don't really tan so much as beige. It's a slightly less startling pallor than Sleepy Vampire or Death Came to Roost.

When we sold our last house a couple of years ago, we got our asking price within a day of it being on the market. It was a wee house of only 1300 square feet. It was a fair price. It's for sale again for $25,000 more than what we asked two years ago. You want to know my first thought? Eff that noise. That's bananapants. $25,000 more for a 1300 square foot home. I wonder how much we could get for ours now? We'd all have to live in our car, sure, but think of all the money! And Ben has his own car, so it would really be like he'd have his very own house. I really think this could work. Wait. I have all the clothes. I would probably need my own car for my clothes. And then another car for all the food. And then another car for hanging out in that's not filled with food and clothing. Suddenly this seems like I haven't really thought this home selling process all the way through. Beer and donuts should solve this conundrum.

Dogs licking my hands while I type still hasn't gotten helpful overnight.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Update of sorts

I've been trying to watch the movie Intolerable Cruelty for the last four days. Watching this movie has intolerable cruelty. I can't imagine on what level anyone in this movie thought, Hey, this is a good idea. I can't figure out if it's really boring or...nope that's about it. Boring. So stupid. It's finally, mercifully over. Wait...this thing got three stars? There's no hope for humanity.

I found 55 cents on my walk. Two whole quarters and a beat up nickel. I love finding quarters. I love finding $5 bills more. Why can't the street proffer larger forms of currency? I would even settle for lids to all the plastic bowls under the counter. I wonder if when the kids move out and we clean out their rooms if we'll find all the things we've been missing over the years. Cups, bowls, sleep, money, TV time, quiet, matching lids, missing socks, last pieces of cake. I have already found some questionable food dishes in Ben's room on several occasions. It's been a mystery as to what I would have served that looked like moldy vomit. I don't remember making that for dinner, but it's not to say I didn't. And we'll totally need to burn his room when he moves out.

Why do I have two furry dog shaped shadows follow me every time I go anywhere? Every time I get up to go upstairs, they launch themselves with fervor in pursuit of another location. Then they both insist on laying RIGHTNEXTOTME and lick my hands as I type. It's not exactly helpful, but I also don't understand the animal kingdom.

Ben is rounding out his junior year of high school. To me that's a little weird. Is it to you? Do you remember when I started this blog and he was a mere 9 years old? He was such a baby. You read that, Ben? A baby. So wee. I try not to think about the fact that he'll be a senior and what all that entails. It just makes me sad. But also glad that he's so awesome. Is that what parenting is? A constant grab bag of mixed emotions? This sucks. 

Sadie goes to middle school next year. She's so tiny! She's not ready! She's only 10! She asked the other day if she could buy her lunch more at school next year.  More as in more than the two times I let her this year. Why buy lunch when you can eat already purchased food from home? I don't understand kids. I do understand spending money. It's my favorite hobby. 

And reading. I love reading. In the last two weeks I think I've read about 6 books. My brain can't process words fast enough and get to the resolution quickly enough. I wanted to eat a couple of them they were so good. I need words to be edible.

I need this blog to do something more than suck.
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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Oh, blog.

I don't think it's been warm on Easter in years. It seems it's been cool and rainy for the past several years. What do I know though? I could be completely wrong. It worked out well today though because the dress I wore to church might have been 1.) a size too big or 2.) I don't have all the right parts to fill it out appropriately or 3.) I do have all the right parts but they aren't big enough. I think it was a combination of all or part of the options. The dress was too big on top but I found if I blew up some balloons and stuffed them down the front of my dress then no one would mistake me for a 12-year-old boy because I finally looked like a real woman. Taking the balloons out, however, resulted in the the back of the dress bagging and looked like I needed boobs in the back. I don't think that's how it works? I don't know. I don't have a medical degree. It all worked out though because I wore a jacket over the dress and no one was the wiser. Until now.

Perhaps taking a break from blogging was a bad idea. Now I've forgotten how to write. Wine would probably make this better.
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Grout should be a four letter word only it has five letters

Because I worked all day, ran two hours of errands, sat through 11 bouts of traffic, cooked dinner for an hour, and then cleaned the kitchen, I figured I should tackle cleaning the bathroom. The day wasn't nearly busy and/or frustrating enough.

I think one of the worst types of decision are the ones that involve tiling and grouting any surface ever. Why, people? Why? Do you hate mankind? Do you hate free time and doing other things like sitting on your back porch drinking beer in the waning spring sun? Do you hate easy cleaning projects that allow you to get done quickly and move on to other things like binge watching reality television? Do you hate the people who will move into your home months or years from now and you want to repay them for getting you out of your mortgage by flipping them the bird and giving them the parting gift of various shades of grout? I have two words for you but they're not nearly appropriate for this blog and you could probably guess them even if I censored it with strategically placed asterisks.

Our first house we built new and were blessedly forced to have a shower stall of fiberglass or whatever they make shower stalls out of. Epoxy? Plastic? Noodles? I don't know. It definitely wasn't papier mache although I think I would have preferred that to the tile/grout situation we have going on now. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't step or look into the shower and raise and angry fist to the grout and say, "Effing grout!"

I have no earthly idea why the previous home owners thought this would ever in a million years would be a sensible idea. No one comes in there but Chris and me, so why would I need something so boring like white tile and grout for which the only purpose it serves is to take years off my sanity and television time? It's not even fancy Travertine or...hell I don't know. Whatever tile is fancy. It's just boring white ceramic square tiles. Ergh.

Not only is there tile and grout, there's a garden tub which I still haven't figured out how to clean gracefully after a year and a half of living here. Am I supposed to wear shoes and step into the tub to clean the wall side? I'm still not sure, so I usually end up laying across the width of the tub with my arm propping me up either on the wall or the bottom of the tub. One slip and I face plant into the side. My back also hurts because of the stupid bridge I have to make across the span of the tub.

I've decided that the next house we get I'm going to cover all the surfaces of the bathroom in truck bed liner material so it can just be hosed down a floor drain like a locker room. Walls, floor, bathtub, toilet, and counter tops will all be seamless hard plastic sheeting that is impervious to mildew and wasting time.

Grout ranks right up there with marshmallow Peeps, cantaloupe, leggings as pants, aspartame, and stiletto high heels as one of the worst inventions ever.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Dear Ben -- You're no longer 16 going on 17

Because today you are 17 and I can no longer serenade you snippets from the Sound of Music. Remember when I sang to you, "You are 16 going on 17..." in my best Movie Musical Voice the other day in your bedroom? It was just the other day. And none of us were uncomfortable.

But the day is here when you're 17 and no longer a baby bird. I haven't even seen you today because you're out there in the real world. It's weird to know it's your birthday and I've yet to wish you happy birthday for real because you did NOT seem pleased when I woke you up at 6:50 and sang in my happy birthday voice, "Happy birthday, Ben!" I'm guessing you were wishing it wasn't your birthday until much later, like 10:30 or 11.

Perhaps this just gives us a taste of what's to come with you getting older. Katy asked me if I was crying all day because it's your birthday and you're getting older. But it's not sad. It's only sad the first couple of years when kids are little and the baby days are over. Then it's really cool to see the big person you become. And you're such a wicked awesome big person. You are hands down one of my favorite people ever. Seriously. 

You know how when you come home after work and you lay at the foot of our bed in the Ben spot, just shooting the breeze and imparting the smell of the Whataburger kitchen into the fibers of our bedspread? I love that. And when you talk to us for 30 minutes and then go get your dinner and bring it up to our room and sit in the arm chair and eat your dinner so you can talk to us some more? I cherish those moments. You are so wonderfully chatty and witty and have such a good sense of humor.

I realize that these days are fleeting. I know that when we make plans for the future they usually include statements like, "When Ben goes to college..." or "After Ben moves out to college..." These conversations are so abstract in theory but the days are evaporating so so quickly that college is becoming the reality. It makes my heart hurt to know that I won't see you on an everyday basis or see your big man shoes under the coffee table or see you devour three pounds of mashed potatoes in a sitting. 

Great. Now I'm sad, Ben. I was happy for you since it's your birthday and all, but now I'm sad that it's your birthday and it means you will be leaving us in such a short amount of time. It's quickly approaching when the memories of your childhood will be what fills the halls rather than the sound of your footsteps or the rumble of your voice. You were the first best thing that ever happened to us, Ben. You're a keeper. Happy birthday.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Living in a sepia-toned present day

I just dropped a handful of popcorn bits down the front of my shirt into my bra. I hope I do not find myself in a situation in which I encounter emergency personnel and my clothes need be cut away from my body for some such emergency. That would be awkward for all involved. Surely a lady would clean out popcorn bits from her undergarments. Perhaps a lady wouldn't be eating popcorn out of her hand like you would feed goats at a petting zoo.

To counteract the 210 calories I'd just eaten, I went for a 5-mile walk by myself. I tried to get Sadie to go with me but she was talking to a friend. I suppose at this age, friends trump boring old moms with their long walks by the beach and hot cups of coffee. I even wore my ankle weights to hopefully burn 3 additional calories. I'm not sure how much they weigh. One pound each? I don't know. I want to work up to 10-pound weights. When that becomes too easy, I'd like to use toddlers. One on each leg. I might be less scared to wear shorts this summer.

Chris had class tonight and Ben was...somewhere. Work? School? I don't know. I should probably find out. I proceeded to make dinner alone because Sadie was still...somewhere. I don't know. In her room? Asleep? I should probably find out. I set about making pizza dough for the -- you guessed it -- pizza, grating cheese, pureeing the sauce, slicing olives. The normal. Perhaps cooking and cleaning is my hobby? I seem to put so much time and effort into that. Surely devoting two hours to cooking and cleaning should count as something more than "chores." That's so deflating. It would make sense to dub it a hobby and be done with the meaningful fulfillment pursuit.

I also cut up strawberries and kiwi for a fruit salad. I dressed it with juice from a clementine and honey so it would be extra delicious. Delicious-er than usual. I removed the moldy strawberries from the bunch because I'm a considerate cook. This was the result of dinner that no one was present to enjoy:
I totally cleaned my stove top just for this picture. The crust is homemade, hence its wonkiness.

As I was standing alone in the kitchen, I looked over and saw this:
I mean we don't live in a sepia-colored reality obviously. But it was like I was already looking at a memory, seeing remnants of these really awesome kids of mine. There's this:
I did not ask Ben to model it for his stinky old mom's blog because moms and mom cooties and bleh bleh ack pbbbbttthh. If you'd told me that I'd one day have this totally kick ass 16-year-old who has accomplished enough to earn a letter jacket in cross country, I'd have said you were cuckoo. He even earned a captain patch. Internet. Seriously. One of my favorite, funniest, hard workingest people I know. What did I do to deserve him? A big fat nothing. Luck of the draw. Doesn't even seem fair to other people who get not awesome sons.

Then there's this:
This is Sadie's box for Valentine's day. Crazy part is she doesn't even think it's good enough. Like...whaaat? I know that at 10, *I* would have never come up with that. Pretty sure I can't even do that now. She covered a shoe box at the bottom, toilet paper rolls in the middle, a heart-shaped box with glittery lid on top, and a flag of kebob skewers. If you'd told me one day that I'd have this wicked awesome girl with razor sharp wit and a heart for others that feels everything so deeply, I wouldn't have even come close to believing you because I wouldn't think that girls like that even existed. But she does. And she's mine. I do not know what I did to deserve her, but I feel sorry for moms who get boring compliant daughters who aren't part-time engineer hobbyists.

I cleaned the kitchen for Chris so he would love me more. I also made coffee so he will buy me pretty things AND not get mad when I buy things on eBay. Ahem. But also because he deserves the very best. And a clean kitchen and hot coffee. Big things. Little things. All of it.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Way to go, Reality. Just crush all my dreams.

It dawned on me recently that I'm approaching the age in which I need a hobby. The kids are growing up and the baby cooker is out of business, so that leaves me to my own devices. Turns out my devices are really boring. There's only so much buying and acquiring of things before you reach the end of eBay and you don't need another Precious Moments figurine. 

My top two choices in Hobby Pursuit 2015 were:

1.) singing and 
2.) taking piano lessons

You know how when people realize that they can sing or have a moderately decent voice and think, I could really make a career with this melodious gift that's been so graciously bestowed upon me that I should unleash it on the world?  Right. Well, I'm living the opposite realization. I've long known that I can't sing pretty much at all. Suuuuuck at it. 

I tried to find some sort of CD or DVD tutorial that could help me learn pitch and breathing and posture that could launch my recording career but it was to no avail. I asked Sadie's music teacher if she thought that people either could or couldn't sing and if it was or wasn't something that could be necessarily taught. She said I could try but it doesn't always work. I've tried singing along to songs in the car but I still sound horrid.

I then moved on to my interest in piano lessons because that doesn't require that I inflict my voice upon unsuspecting or unprepared audiences. I mean I took piano lessons for a good portion of my formative childhood and teenage years, so the transition in to adult virtuoso should be pretty seamless. Turns out we don't have a piano. We don't even have a reasonable facsimile. Strike two on becoming a more interesting person. I was really looking forward to my first recital, too.

As I was leaving for work this morning (at least I still get out of the house, right? that's kind of like a hobby), I saw that someone had put some counter height bar stools in the alley free for the taking. That's when I thought that I could pursue a furniture refinishing business hobby. When unveiling my Great Plan to Chris, he was less than enthusiastic.

Chris: "Should I just move these chairs up to the attic like the last two or should I let them sit in the garage for 7 months before I do it?"

Me (there's no sense in procrastinating on anything): "Sure. They can sit there until I get some supplies."

Chris: "Where are you going to get all these 'supplies?'"

Me: "The store."

I think my new hobby is going to be purposeless furniture acquisition just to mess with Chris. This should be fun AND worthwhile. It's like a bonus hobby.

I need them to build an Aldi in front of the neighborhood so I can get a part time job to support my hobby. I don't know who "them" is but they need to get busy. I have things to buy.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

I don't Pinterest anything and I don't know how long I've been married

I wonder if anyone ever eats at Golden Chick and says to their inner self afterwards, "That was really a good idea. I'm glad I made that choice." I like eating and all, but seriously. Dairy upsets my stomach, so greasy fried chicken tenders with gravy probably isn't the best decision without being under extreme duress or the influence of alcohol. Maybe if you were in jail. Then it might be appealing.

After complaining to Chris for the last 14 years of our marriage about how cold the coffee is right after brewing and how it's cold before I even get upstairs to our bedroom to enjoy a formerly lukewarm cuppa joe and as real world college educated adults who deserve hot coffee, we finally broke down and went to Sam's to buy a coffee maker. It was touted as having 6 hot water jets and coffee spinner. It's like a jetted coffee whirlpool it's so fancy. It also makes the coffee blistering hot. Like...really hot. It burned my tiny baby girl mouth with all its hot heat that rivaled the surface of the sun.

Me (knowing how Chris likes loves to hear my status updates): "This coffee is hot. Maybe too hot."

Chris (he's the best): "Good grief. Maybe we need to brew half the coffee in our old coffeemaker and half in the new one, then mix them together to get the optimal temperature."

Me (that sounds like he's mocking me): "Your plan sounds ridiculous."

If it weren't so labor intensive, I might consider it. 

Confession: I don't think we've been married 14 years. I'm really not sure how many years it's been. We might just be on 12. With all the being married twice and the early aughts that all run together, I can't remember what happened in what year. I'll have to ask Chris when he gets home. I always forget in which year we were married and the running tally on total years of marital bliss. I wonder if it's been blissful for him, too? I should ask him that when he gets home.

Q1. How long have we been married?
Q2. In what year were we married?
Q3. What percentage of those years would you say you were happiest? Moderately happy? Not happy at all?

We should all know where we stand, right? I could stand to improve my wife skills. I would be willing to bet they fall below the national average. I don't Pinterest anything. Search, pin, make, browse...nothing. Surely we all know how deficient I am at doing anything that requires womanly skill. You've read this blog before, right? There you go.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I wonder if Pavlov's dog was named Pavlova

If there is any place on earth equivalent to hell, it has to be the dentist's office. Now before you get all up in my grill like, "What about puppy mills? What about bathrooms with no toilet paper? What about Starbucks when they've sold out of vanilla scones?" I have five words for you: Den. Tist. St's. Off. Ice. A veritable torture chamber. I dreaded the whole day, thinking that surely I would be on the other side of 6 p.m., I just had to actually make it through the hour of 5 p.m. I made it. Barely. The dental hygienist was very eager with her tools. Very jabby in her craft. I'm pretty sure she delighted in my discomfort.

I finished another book. It was The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. So good. See how much I can get done without the facebooks? I also cleaned the bathroom last night. I still haven't gotten around to mending a shirt and Sadie's skirt, but you can't overcome slackerdom just by cutting out a huge time waster. True slackers will always find another way to waste time. 

All this reading has introduced me to new ideas for food. In The Husband's Secret, one of the characters makes a dessert called a pavlova. Thinking it was made up because the author is from Australia and I have no idea what goes on there, I used the google and sure enough. It's a real thing. Ina Garten even made one. Now I have to make one. Is this not the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?
Why isn't it in my mouth? Life is very, very unfair. I'm not sure how you say it. Pavlov like Pavlov's dog? Or like pav-loave? I wonder if God hears my thoughts sometimes and shakes His head.

I also learned about macarons. Turns out she didn't misspell macaroon. No. They're actually a type of cookie. Crazy Australians with their sugary confections from France. Now I need one of these, too.
It's like my life keeps getting worse and worse the longer I go without eating six of these in a row and washing it down with a hot cup of coffee. I think I saw some at Market Street one time. Why aren't they open 24 hours so I can go look? Stupid selfish gourmet grocery store.

Perhaps I should try to socialize. Oh. With cookies. I need adult conversation apparently.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Do you want to build a snowman?

No. But I do need a snow day. A whole string of them. Remember when I was complaining about being stuck at home with nothing to do and how I wanted to get out? Strike that from the record. I want those days back. This winter I'm going to stock up on toilet paper beginning in October and enough supplies to make 7 loaves of breakfast breads and untold pots of coffee. We won't have to leave the house for months! I have a stack of 7 books next to my bed just waiting for their lovely pages to be turned. I also need to clean the bathroom, take in a shirt, and mend a ripped skirt. It looks like I'm going to need three snow days. 

I did manage to read three books this week. I'm not sure if that's a testament to my superb reading ability or a sad commentary on my state of being. Books are so delicious. I read:

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes and

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

I'd most highly recommend One Plus One. That was a good story. I would not recommend Confessions just because it's embarrassing to even admit I read it. It's schlocky chick lit in every sense of the word(s). It's like admitting you regularly watch The Bachelor AND eagerly await its January return. If you're going to read one of Kinsella's books, you should read Undomestic Goddess. I liked the characters better even though it still followed the contrived plot pattern and character development of all of her books. Tonight I'm starting The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. I've been looking forward to reading this for a couple of weeks. You should try What Alice Forgot. So, so good. I could give you a whole list of books you should read. They're not hard hitting but they're good stories and loads better than sitting on the Facebooks.

All right. The coughing has to stop. It's taken off the crazypants and gone full commando. All day long I can feel my lungs squeezing fluid onto my bronchial tubes and making them irritated so that I hack and wheeze all FREAKING DAY. Earlier I had a horrific headache thanks to this body function that's a by product of a sore throat. I thought my head was going to explode just sitting still, so when I was trying to put the back of a computer on over all the cords, I very nearly had an aneurysm from all the pressure in my head. I took my 634th pill in the past 3 days, and now -- YAY! -- my headache has gone away, although now it's been replaced by the feeling I'm about to bust through my carotid artery. Perhaps I've just pulled all the muscles in my neck. Or my jugular vein is about to blow. It's a three way tie of probabilities. A trifecta of possibilities. A lottery of statistics. I'm not sure what that last one is. I just made it up. It's probably not even a real thing.

What else is there? I'm sure I'll think of something. Hopefully I won't die from all the coughing. That would definitely be something.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Interacting in the real world and not behind a computer screen

My first day Facebook free started to be a productive one. I'm not saying FB is bad or evil or of the devil, but it is definitely implied. I also recognize my own failings in relying upon it for social interaction and passing time.

I cleaned up the kitchen and went through my recipe binder. For years and years I've been hoarding collecting recipes for a day when...I don't know. I suppose I wanted to be prepared for any situation, much like the Boy Scouts if they hosted impromptu dinner parties. I took clothes upstairs that were hanging in the laundry room for weeks. Turns out all the time I wasted on the computer was time I should have spent cleaning. Ahem.

I cleaned out a tube of lip balm that had melted in the car. Now it's good as new. I showered and shaved my legs to go to a cross country booster club meeting. Maybe they're not a booster club yet. Perhaps I'll find out at the meeting. I normally wouldn't go to anything like a booster club meeting with people I didn't know, but my lack of reliance on Facebook has forced me to seek alternatives for seeing actual, live human beings. I met one of the moms at a parent meeting the other day, and she was so lovely and I thought, hey! I'm interacting! 

We ran errands and ate lunch at Sam's because I'm incredibly cheap frugal. Yes, let's go with frugal. That sounds way less stigmatizing. Chris, Sadie and I wandered the aisles of Sam's and the library and...I think we went somewhere else. I was really tired so it's all slightly fuzzy.

I took a nap because Saturday afternoons were made for napping. Then we went to visit Chris' parents for dinner and football. The whole time I was present and engaged in the moment and with the people whose company I was keeping because I knew I couldn't run home and hop on the computer to interact with online personas. I had to make the most of my time with people because, I'm telling you, THIS IS IT. This was real life.

The whole day I felt heady and so alive, practically giddy that my time felt like my own. I wondered if this is what it was like for smokers after they quit smoking and can taste real flavors again. My senses were heightened in that I was no longer in bondage to a virtual reality. I had zero desire to return to my previous state. My desire for such things had been conquered by an all-consuming Savior.

That sounds like such a dramatic thing to say, but there are only two states in life that matter: Dead and alive. And I'm not talking about whether you're alive and breathing or dead in the ground. It's whether you're dead or alive in Christ. Nothing in this world matters more than whether you are conducting yourself with the knowledge and grace of Jesus or whether you're pursuing things of this world and the flesh.

I am chief of the latter. I am ashamed to admit how much time I wasted on Facebook. Ashamed. I want to fall on my face on the floor and weep for the beautiful moments I threw in the trash because I was a slave to my own sin. I have deliberately neglected tallying the amount of time I've spent on FB because I don't know how I would live with myself knowing that number. I'm already ashamed of my gluttony, numbers add nothing but more remorse.

Today we went to church and I had to consciously think to myself, Make this time count. This is your interaction with people. THIS IS IT. I loved it. People matter. Relationships matter. Relationships on the other side of a computer screen are empty and unsatisfying. It's looking like I'm on my way to becoming a hugger.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Big bowl of word salad

Sadie: "One time when I was in 4th grade and we were sitting on the carpet, I farted in front of the group. I started laughing, and it smelled SO BAD."

Me: "Sadie! I would have been mortified if I farted in front of anyone in 4th grade!"

Sadie: "Well, luckily, it was a group of boys, so they didn't know any different from them. If it had been a group of girls, they would have been, 'Ewwww....gross! Stinky!'"

Me: "If a girl farted would you have been like --"

Sadie [raising her fist for girl power unity]: "I would be like, 'YAY TEAM!'"

Ben is at the point where he has expressed a vague interest in dating.Ugh. Dating. What a horrid thought. Well, really just the asking out part. What a wretched rite of passage for anyone of any age. I do not envy them at all.

Well, sometimes I do. I wish Chris and I could go back to our dating days and have that excitement of getting ready and riding in someone else's car. The excitement of a new person, no idea where you're going to go or what you're going to do. You know, when described like that, it almost sounds like an abduction. Now we're all old and married and have a kid who's interested in dating and we're just old brown shoes.

It's almost dinnertime and I've yet to start making dinner. It sounds so very, very hard. I had the brilliant idea that I should make chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. Chicken nuggets are homemade but the mac and cheese is Pirate's Booty, so it's from a box if you didn't make that connection. It all sounds like so much work with the cutting and breading and zzzzzzzzzz. I'm over it.

We have a date night coming up. We go on approximately 1 date night every 6 years. We don't even have little kids or babies that need to be sat upon. Somehow we just never find the time? Maybe we're waiting until the kids move out and every day is a date night all. day. long. I'm sure Chris is looking forward to that and all the talking that has the potential to occur. There's a Greek restaurant I've been wanting to try and then I want to go to Half Price Books. I'm telling you, old brown shoe dating.

Me: "I need another baby so I can have some more writing material. What if I run out of things to say?" 

Chris: "I don't know if having kids for writing material is a sustainable model."

Me: "You don't like that? How could I improve my pitch?"

But seriously. What if I run out of things to say? That why I keep this running commentary of a blog so that the words keep flowing. I tried using alcohol once to keep the words flowing but that lead to just wanting to go to bed after one glass of wine and then a wicked upset stomach the next day. Hemingway I am not.

I want to start a new dating site. It will be Old Brown Shoe Dating and will focus on people who just want to get married and settle down into blissful yet predictable married life. Your house, your cars, your job, your chicken nugget dinners. None of that flashy Match[es to Burn All Your Hopes for Finding Compatible Mates] or eHarmony [was the Name of My 10th Shelter Cat] or BeautifulPeople [don't Put Their Profiles on This Site]. A quick Google search returned a list of dating web sites. Sounds like the market is open to new ideas.

I pulled it together and made dinner. Then I helped Sadie clean out her crayon/colored pencil/marker box. I like sharpening pencils. Nothing is happier than a big cup of sharpened pencils. There's so much potential.  

I took the dogs for a 4-mile walk to offset the cracker weight I put on today. Now I smell like one of the dogs.

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