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.

Love,
Mom

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Because I've got the mom thighs

I finally received my old lady bathing suit. Or swimsuit. I'm not sure what you call it. I will certainly not be bathing in it. I might not even be swimming in it. Still though, it will suffice if I need to jump into the water in some sort of water-related emergency. Or maybe someone will need me to eat a cheese sandwich and drink a Dr Pepper while watching them play in the sand. I want to be prepared and comfortable in my blousy swimsuit. Seriously. I hate swimming. I wonder if I can be included in some sort of swim therapy that would hypnotize me into liking water. Perhaps that study would best be conducted over several glasses of wine.

I've started exercising in an attempt to get swimsuit ready. 

Me (hopeful after doing my thing): "Do I look thinner?"

Chris (he knows how this works by now): "Mmm hmm."

I love instant results. I exercise semi almost partially regularly so much so that you can almost see some muscle tone. The weather needs to get with it and get warmer so I can go for a daily walk. Yes, yes, I know they make coats and scarves and winter wear just for the sole purpose of going outside for a walk in the cold, but it's so much easier to put on pajama pants, a housecoat and fuzzy socks and nap in warm blankets with a box of hot donuts.

Have you watched any old episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 lately? Was my hair that awful back in the 90s? Were lace-trimmed slips really considered outerwear? Were shiny satin fabrics really a good choice for entire ensembles? Did this constitute good television? I seem to remember it being a lot better. Maybe this is where "wisdom" comes with age.

I was talking to the librarian at Sadie's school today, and there was a substitute teacher in there. She asked if I had a child at the school and I said yes, it's Sadie. She said, "Oh! Sadie! I know Sadie. I should have known. You look exactly like her."  I didn't want to explain that that tends to happen when you push living creatures out of your lady bits. I figured she could check out a biology book if she wanted to know about genetics. After all, we were standing in the library, the epitome of a learning environment. I just said that yes, we do look alike. Perhaps one day people will mistake me for her older sister. I do use a lot of moisturizer, so it could happen one day. Until they saw me in my old lady bathing suit and it then would all make sense.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Back to life, back to reality

The arrival of today brought a great amount of disappointment I suppose. After being promised either 1-3 or 4-7 inches of snow for our area, we were greeted with a big nothing. A scant dusting that quickly melted by noon. By the end of school, it was sunny and you didn't even need a winter coat. I don't understand. There was so much pontificating about snow and getting everyone's hopes up, it was just a big let down to have to get up and make lunches and breakfast for the day and for the love of all things sane put on pants. It was all lies, though. Lies. I love how sketchy meteorologists are when all their grandstanding is for naught. They're like dodgy boyfriends trying to get explain where they were last night. "Oh, uh, yeah, so about that snow. Turns out...it was nuttin. Just forgetta 'bout it. Sorry to get your hopes up, toots." I had to shave and wash my hair, Channel 5 News. Thanks a lot.

I managed to wake up at 2:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m. and 4:15 a.m., waiting for the gentle sssshhhhhing of the show. I explained to Sadie that while I was ready to go back to work just so I could quit eating Aldi cheese crackers every 6 minutes, I was looking forward to sitting on the front porch and listening to the sound of the snow falling.

Sadie (clearly she doesn't know anything about meteorology): "Snow doesn't make a sound."

Me (indignant because I don't either): "Yes it does. It makes a sssshhhhh sound."

Sadie (she's really over me): "Maybe you should be a librarian since you love that sound so much."

I think I'm going to see if I can get a CD of white noise with a track of snow falling. There was even a book written about it. Snow Falling on Cedars I think it was called. See? I'm not the first to make this connection. I know things.

I saw this post tonight:
Do you think she would believe that I had her dogs? Or at least a reasonable facsimile? 
They both answer to Penny. Nickels doesn't care. I wonder if she thinks they're the pennies and not the dogs.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Do you want to build a snowman? Not really.

So here's my question to those who stay home every day. Do you even bother getting dressed in clean, matching clothes or do you generally slum it because hey, you're home all day? Sometimes I've seen moms at school wearing anything from literal pajamas to regular schmo outfits to date night attire to just-got-back-from-tubing-on-the-lake cut offs and tank tops. But if no one is even going to see me...what's the point? 

Chris and I went to the neighborhood workout room this morning because it looked like another day of sitting was in store. As I was picking out my outfit for the day, I thought, Why am I even bothering? Who says I can't just put on the same clothes I wore yesterday that I also wore to bed that I also just wore to the workout room as well? Do societal rules come into play when no one will see you? I'm a little confused as to how it all works since I generally have a purpose each day to go to work and show people that I have more than two outfits in my closet. That's really why I go to work. Just to show people that I have a wardrobe. And to socialize. Everyone has to have a calling.

So I put on real jeans just to make sure I could actually still button them. No need in going back to work 10 pounds heavier because I was locked in a pastry case the entire time. I must admit I have enjoyed the two snow days so far. Turns out I really like lounging about, drinking pots of hot coffee, and looking at things on the Internet. How can I turn this into a career? The kids are grown enough to sequester themselves in their rooms ALL DAY LONG. On Monday, Ben went to his room at 10 a.m. and didn't emerge until 6 p.m. for dinner. 

Me (spotting Ben is like finding Waldo): "Where did you go?"

Ben (confused as to why he's still at home): "I kind of fell asleep."

Yeah, a little bit. Ben doesn't have the inclination to stay home for long periods of time any more. He took the first opportunity today to go into work on a nonscheduled day. He wasn't supposed to be there until 5, but he left at 1 to run an errand and then was just going to find stuff to do for the next 3 hours. I wasn't much better because as soon as I saw that our alley was clear, I made a run for it to Next Big Town. Sadie and I dropped books off at the library and went to the mecca for bored people: Wal-Mart. I even saw someone from work and I had to refrain from telling her I was wearing pants. She might have been proud or she might have been scared. That wasn't a gamble I wanted to take.

I don't think people even cared what they bought as long as they were buying bona fide randomness. But we were purposeful and resolute in our mission: Milk and cold medicine for Sadie. No, might as well get two boxes of medicine while I'm here. Oh, and Nature Valley Nut Crisp Bars. Oh, and these mini eclairs that are on sale for $1.16. 

Chris (confused as to why I have a large grocery bag): "What's all this stuff?"

Me (the kitchen confessional): "I SHOULDN'T GO SHOPPING BY MYSELF."

I really would have gone thrift store shopping as well while we were out, but Sadie looked like she felt like the bottom of a shoe. I don't need any party poopers while shopping.

I bought this lotion at Big Lots a while ago thinking that it smelled exactly like sunshine. I thought, This is how I want to smell for the rest of my life! I will smell friendly like people will want to be my friend and kids will want to be like me when they grow up. I've started using it recently and came to the realization that it really smells more like stinkweed. I turned it over thinking that maybe Big Lots customers are supposed to smell like they just came from their store all the time, but the label on the back said KOHL'S. What?? KOHL'S makes an inferior product. Color me shocked and stinky.

We came home and I felt a hormone headache coming on, so I took a nap punctuated by a screaming headache and nausea. I love getting old. Hey, you don't have enough to deal with what with your graying hair and extra jiggles. Here's wacky hormones to help you out. I took an ibuprofen and felt better, Chris and I took the dogs for a long walk. The cold air felt good in my brain. We walked past someone's trash can that smelled like death. I briefly thought about opening it to make sure there wasn't a body in there, but then thought better of it in case they came out demanding to know what the hell I was doing. I don't know how you explain "looking for incriminating evidence" in a neighborly nonthreatening way.

We made dinner together because it gave us something to do. And it was easy. Now we wait for 3 a.m. to see if the next weather system dumps the forecasted 1-4" of snow. Sure. Why not. It would almost feel like a let down now if I had to go back to having a daily purpose.
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Snow day, schmo day


My eyes popped open at 2:25 a.m. because why not? It's a snow day. On all the days I'm hating life that I have to get out of bed and just wish I could sleep five more days, I'm WIDE AWAKE at 2:25. And I know the reason. I was waiting for the sleet. I kept waiting to hear the plinking against the windows, secretly hoping that it would be a big in-your-face-weather type of event. The news has been carrying on for the last 30 minutes about road conditions, the grooves in the roads, and the properties of ice and how the sleet "is coming. No, seriously. It's coming people. I mean it this time." And yet...nothing yet. It's a lot like waiting for Santa. It's a big mind game of, What was that? Who's there? I'm waaaaaiiiiitiiiiinnnng. Someone better bring it.

I love big cleaning projects. Big messy projects that need to be sorted, trashed, organized, cleaned, fumigated, scrubbed, vacuumed, laundered, folded, neatly stacked, and put away. The kids' rooms have been calling to me for the last 10 years to just come in and get started on the job. Ben's room is particularly heinous, so I decided on Saturday (no need to ruin a perfectly good Saturday) that in the instance that school was out on Monday (given all the grand prognostications of sleet), it would be the official Cleaning Day. Since the snow day announcement came to pass, I announced to the kids that today would be Cleaning Day. Like real cleaning. Open house cleaning of their rooms.

I took a shower and got dressed because it might be a snow day but I'm not an animal. I made my yogurt oat pancakes for breakfast and ate something like 17 of them and drank copious amounts of coffee. I should be protected from skin cancer and Alzheimer's and radiation poisoning and whatever else they discover is thwarted by coffee's magical properties. It's a snow day. Why be reasonable when you can be absurd? 

I finally cajoled the kids into cleaning their rooms. I studied a CompTIA A+ certification book because I should be marketable/knowledgeable in something at some point down the road. This doesn't seem to be cutting it. After eating lunch for which I was not even hungry, I became incredibly bored. I tried watching the news to get updates on the weather, but it turns out everything was still cold and covered in a thin layer of sleet. You'd think the newscasters would finally reach a breaking point and be like, "You know what, folks. It's cold and slippery. We can only say it so many times for 14 hours. If you don't understand the weather conditions, there is no hope for you or the entire human race. We'll be back at 6 to update you on the cold and icy conditions."

In my boredom and an effort to burn calories, I cleaned the kitchen for the third time, vacuumed the living room, upstairs, and our bedroom. Then in a moment of desperation, I cleaned the kids bathroom. I'd been itching to clean it for weeks and weeks because it hurt my eyes when I was in there. It was so scary. Like locker room in abandoned warehouse scary. But again, I also love big cleaning projects. The mirror alone was calling my name with its hazy white film and mysterious splatters all over it like a Jackson Pollock painting. It was pure bliss to cover the counter with cleaning solution and wipe away all the funk. It was beautiful when I was done. I walked past it several times, glancing in at the quiet serenity of the clean bathroom. It brings literal happiness and joy to see clean bathrooms. 

All right. Clearly I have too much time on my hands to be waxing poetic about clean bathroom and states of euphoria.

I didn't even take a nap today. I did look for a bathing suit because what else would you think about while sequestered in your house by arctic tundra just outside your door? I decided to get over myself and this summer take the plunge to go swimming. I hated swimming as a kid, I hate swimming as an adult. Hate being wet, hate wearing tight clingy materials that show off my 16 pack and mom thighs. BUT I want Sadie to have the best childhood possible, so I've set out to find a bathing suit I do not despise and do not wish that every second we are at the pool why aren't we anywhere but the pool. The bathing suit industry is an interesting game. This was the range I found:
 ^^ I'm guessing this is not your most elegant moment.

Logistically, I don't even know how that monokini would work. How do you get out of a chair?  Is there no bending for the whole day? Do you get to eat anything at all? How much sunscreen do you need to plan on taking? It just seems so impractical. I'm leaning toward the one on the right. Chis said it's awfully old lady-ish. Maybe I said that. I don't care. See how happy she is? I can be that happy in that swimsuit. I just want something that will keep me from hating life and instead enjoy tea and sandwiches with Sadie whilst lounging at the pool like high society. Conservative old ladies unite.

Public School called another Snow Day. I'm sure it has something to do with safety and road conditions and blah blah blah. I'd like to shove a pencil in safety's eye.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

'Twas the night before Snow Day

'Twas the night before snow day and all through the house
All the creatures were stirring, even the mouse
The movies were playing on the big screen downstairs
In hopes that all could sleep late and abandon their cares

The children were playing the X-Box not thinking of beds
While visions of snow days danced in their heads
I kept hoping the news wouldn't say it and I kept watching the app
Hoping there would be no need for a scarf or long winter's cap

I'm pretty sure I was the only one hoping it wouldn't happen, but they went ahead and called it at 6:40 p.m. Public School said that due to inclement weather, there would be no school tomorrow. All day long, I was willing the clouds or storm front or general winter mess to either divert to Oklahoma or fall apart and no one would be the wiser. I would much rather have the 4-day Easter weekend in April when I could actually get out and do stuff. Important things. Big things. I really want to go thrift store shopping, too. 

As it stands now, we will be home. I cleaned the bathroom today to be able to "enjoy" the day in a clean environment. Might as well get something accomplished. I also bought a bottle of wine. That should last me through Tuesday afternoon, right? That's probably the next time I'll be able to drive if this "winter weather" develops into anything at all. See? It could still fall apart. I'm still holding out hope. One of the local stations had this on its front page:
Is what you need to know the fact that you don't need three gallons of milk to make it through the next two days? Or perhaps seven dozen eggs might be overkill? I can't even imagine what went into that thought process. "Crap! If I'm going to be iced in, I need to eat 44 scrambled eggs for breakfast!" I did manage to go grocery shopping this weekend when the weather was warm and sunny and nary a hint of Impending Inclemental Weathery Doom. I had to make supplemental trips for Sadie's soccer gear, foil, a can of chicken broth, and the requisite bottle of Winter Weather Wine.

Perhaps I can capitalize on all this free time tomorrow (and [eyes closed] possibly Tuesday) by catching up on all my missed exercise opportunities over the last six months. I think I actually felt my ass increasing in size the other day. I figure if I can exercise all day for the next two days, I should be back to my pre-pregnancy weight when I was 18. I weighed a scant 105 pounds then. I have not seen that number in a looooooong time. That's not even a reality any more. My fleshy stomach flab just laughs and laughs and says, "Girl, you so funny. Get us another cookie! Nom nom nom!"

I've only had 1 glass of wine tonight and that was HOURS ago. Maybe I should have had more. Then this blog might be better and reach Ernest Hemingway proportions. Or whatever American writer strikes your fancy.  I'd be that one.

I am looking forward to watching the umpteen hours of reporting on icy road conditions in the morning. I've got nothing better to do after making yogurt oat pancakes. Might as well spend it watching scads of reports on weather and ice and cars and road conditions. Morbid confession time: I like when they show the cars sliding into everything. Is that too gruesomely inhumane to admit that? I suppose not since they put together entire video montages with music for those up at 5 a.m. on a snow day. Other people must enjoy the decision making skills of motorists on days like this when they're SPECIFICALLY WARNED IN AN OMINOUS ANNOUNCER VOICE to stay home and avoid icy bridges and overpasses. So what do they do? Attempt to climb the icy bridges and overpasses. Bless you, man in your Ford Fiesta who thought you could overtake the highway overpass covered in 1" of packed sleety ice. You've made my viewing pleasure.

Too bad I can't use this day off to go thrift store shopping. I guess that's why eBay was invented.

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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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Friday, July 25, 2014

I should talk to more people (outside of my head) on a daily basis

I have this fantasy where a small town newspaper editor runs across this here blog. Think Texas or Iowa or Arkansas. Or the east coast or New England. Small town. He sends me an email or certified letter if they don't have internet inviting me to write a daily column for their small town newspaper. Like a day-in-the life feature of small town living. Then I get to write about small town living and I will know that I have officially made it in life. This fantasy is really sad. It's also very real.

I can hear the dogs breathing outside the closed bedroom door. Their noses are pressed up against the door, and I can hear, "Hsssssshhhhh" through the crack. Is that exasperation? Desperation? Hopelessness? Sometimes I hear soft pawing. Now that I think about it, I really hope it's the dogs and not monsters, vampires, zombies, aliens, small dinosaurs, centaurs, or minotaurs. When I open the door, they're always there, just waiting like big stalkers. I try to tell them that there are other live humans in the house and to go stalk them, but they don't understand because they lack the ability to reason with logic, understand higher math concepts, love conditionally, and open cans with opposable thumbs. After all, they're dogs.

Swype has to be the most ridiculous texting invention ever. It never ever ever ever gets it correct.  It's not even trying 159% of the time. It's like trying to get a lazy teenager to run errands for me.

Me (to Swype): "Pretty please text Ben to get some beef fajitas."

Swype (lazy ass): "Get neef Fayyad."

Me (for the 6,000,000,000 time): "No, beef fajitas."

Swype (going to his room): "Gah! Neef, beef. Close enough. You're such a buzz kill. I HATE YOU! YOU ALWAYS RUIN MY LIFE!"

Maybe I should switch the translation language to English.

I think there's only so much staying home I can do. Every time I turn around there's yet another basket of laundry to be folded or load of dishes to be loaded in the dishwasher for washing. Seriously? Didn't I just do all this two weeks ago? Being a productive member of the workforce is a good way to avoid doing everyday chores every day. Why do today what you can put off until two weekends from now when you haven't had clean underwear for three days and you're eating pot roast off party napkins because you still haven't started the dishwasher?

Sadie and I got out today. Wheeeee! We went to the thrift store for the 50% off sale, but the dressing rooms were closed during the sale. While I normally wouldn't mind whipping it all out in public to try on clothes outside of the confines of a dressing room, I wore old granny panties so my options for killing it at the thrift store were severely limited.  I saw Person I Know No. 1 there as well. Then we went to Target where I saw Persons I Know No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4. I talked to three of my four encounters. Is this what it's like out in public? I forget that people are out there. I should go out there more often. That was nice. Humans = good.

I'm pretty sure I ruined dinner. I made what was supposed to be vegetarian stuffed zucchini, but I took out the corn element and replaced it with sausage. I tasted it a little while ago and it tastes a lot like dookie. Even I'm not sure I can convince everyone that it's delicious. We might have to resort to hard boiled eggs and smoothies.

The two baskets of laundry have still not been folded all day. I should probably fold them before Chris gets home to dispel any rumor he might have heard as to my daily productivity. We'll see. Pretty sure I'm not fooling anyone.

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