Friday, November 27, 2015

SERIES: Jen's Library (#9)


Truth be told, the first time I “read” this book it was an audio book Hubby and I got to listen to on a long car ride from Tennessee to Connecticut and, though I wasn’t actively flipping pages, it was an excellent read.  I’ve read the physical copy since then and it didn’t lose anything by reading vs. listening.  

I love Garrison Keillor.  I love the way he speaks (and he narrates the audio book) in such monotone with minimal inflections as to make even the most mundane sentence hysterical and the most hysterical sentence even more so.  Maybe because I read the physical book after listening to it in audio format, I read the book with Keillor's voice in my head, which was great.  And honestly, I don't know if I'm recommending you read first and then listen, or the other way around, like I did.  I guess it doesn't matter.

This book is a story of a young, teenage boy named Gary who hails from a suffocatingly religious family in fictional Lake Wobegon, Minnesota.  Gary is a writer, loves baseball, his slightly older cousin, Kate, and dirty magazines.  He hates his annoying older sister and the Sanctified Brethren influence of his family.  The story follows Gary through the daily trials and tribulations of his young life.  It’s not exciting.  It’s not a quick read, but it doesn’t plod along, either.  It is well-written and uproariously funny.  I can almost guarantee you will snort whatever beverage you are sipping on out your nose.  (Hubby and I have never laughed so hard on a car trip before...or since.)  And, of course, it’s by Garrison Keillor.  If you don’t read any other book by Keillor in your life, you need to read this one.  You might be offended (in multiple ways) but I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Alphabetical Thankfulness

Below is a list of things for which I am thankful - in alphabetical order.  This wasn't easy for me to do.  I had trouble coming up with something for each letter, and had trouble sticking to one thing for some of them.  I figured posting this on Thanksgiving would be a good idea.

Warning: This is long.  Longer than I expected it to be when I set out.  I was originally going to simply list things (letter - word of thing I am thankful for) but I understood quickly an explanation was necessary for each in order for you, my dear reader, to understand, too.  And, though I didn't use it, understanding is something I am thankful for and supposed you may be thankful for it, too.

So, without further ado:


A - APPLES.  Not all apples, though, because I'm particular, but particularly honey crisp and granny smith apples.  Yum.  I'm thankful for them because they are always a good go-to snack for girl-child to eat.  Since we just figured out boy-child might have a legitimate allergy to them, we're avoiding them for him for a while, though he loves them and is bummed about it.  Add to that hubby's homemade apple pie, which is just perfect.  Yep.  I'm thankful for apples.

B - BOY CHILD. I am thankful for boy-child because he is loving and kind and wants to learn.  Because, at nearly twelve years old, he still likes to hang out with me and still occasionally wants to snuggle.  Because he is super-quick on the uptake and I don't have to explain much to him.  Because he talks to me - maybe especially for this reason - and I want to make sure he knows he can talk to me about anything, any time, forever and always and he seems to be on board with this.  And, last but not least, because he's kinda cute and I think I might keep him.

C - CATS. I am thankful for cats.  Because they are warm and furry and have a mind (and attitude) of their own.  Because they are excellent therapy when I need a little boost and because rubbing my face in their fur makes me feel better - even if I sneeze my head of afterward.  That's why God invented allergy medicine.  COFFEE.  I am thankful for coffee because it's my Life Juice and the thing which allows me to speak to people in a civil manner.

D - DOGS. I am thankful for dogs.  Because they are silly and sweet and love you unconditionally.  And for the same reasons I stated under "C" - including the sneezing.

E - ELEPHANTS. Yes.  Elephants.  I just love them and I am grateful they share a planet with me.  Because they remind me of my mother, and because they have so many different meanings for me.

F - FOOD. I love to eat.  Dieting is hard.  I am thankful today is Thanksgiving and therefore I get to eat so many of my favorite things including stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce - from a can.  Sliced.  FRIENDS.  Because I wouldn't be who/where I am today with out them and they keep me sane.  FACEBOOK.  Because it's a good way to keep in touch with those friends.  And FAMILY.

G - GIRL CHILD. I am thankful for girl-child because she is loving and kind and wants to learn.  Because she is always excited for girl's night, even if the only thing on the agenda is hanging out with her old mother.  Because she loves you so effusively she sometimes needs hug you, hard, and to squeeze you until you can't breathe.  Because, at eight years old, she already loves to cook, is an amazing singer and always remembers the words.  Because she loves her stuffed animals almost as much as she loves real, alive animals.  And, of course, because she's cute and I think I'll probably keep her as well.

H - HUBBY. Because he's an amazing daddy to our children.  Because he can change the oil in the car and fix things which need fixing.  Because he can mow the lawn in a straight line.  Because he likes to cook and cooks so well that I don't have to.  Because he can sing.  Because sometimes, when he hugs me, he makes me feel like all my broken parts are back together.

I - ICE. For beverages.  Because I couldn't think of anything else which started with an "I" to be thankful for, so I'm running with it.  Because there's not a whole lot nicer than an ice cold drink on a hot day.  In tea.  In lemonade.  In water.  Not the stuff that falls from the sky, though.  Or the wet stuff on the ground which freezes and makes things slippery.  I'm not thankful for that kind of ice, just so we're clear.  Hey, ice is clear!  See what I did there?

J - JUNIPER. Because it smells good, and because one of my favorite people nicknamed me "Juniper" a long time ago and because every time I think about Juniper I think of my friend and it makes me smile.  JEANS. Because if I could wear them every day, I would.  JOB: I am thankful every day that I have a job I love and am good at.  Some folks are not as lucky as I am.

K - KITES. Flying kites with my kiddos is keen and one of my newly-discovered favorite activities.  I am thankful for wind to fly the kites, too, but maybe I need to put that under "W"...?  There is a nearby church with lots of unimpeded sky room, up on a hill above the surrounding trees, which is perfect for this pastime.

L - LAUGHING. One of my favorite books has one of my favorite quotes: "I dearly love a laugh...  I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good.  Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can." (Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice)  I am thankful for laughter, and all the things which amuse me enough to make me do so.

M - MACARONI AND CHEESE. I am thankful for macaroni and cheese's amazing.  It's comfort food.  It's simple and wonderful and satisfying and it makes me happy.

N - NIGHTTIME. I am thankful for nighttime.  Not only as a time for rest and recovery from the day, but for the stars and the way the air smells and the way the darkness looks blue on some nights and deepest black on others.

O - OSCAR. This is silly, I suppose, but Oscar was a great and strong bulldog owned by a neighbor when I was a child.  Oscar would get so excited when he would see me, or my brother, he would wiggle from nose to stubby tail so violently he would vomit.  Today, I can't see a bulldog without thinking of Oscar, and I can't hear the name Oscar without thinking of the bulldog.  I am thankful for this memory - even if it involves vomit.  OUTSIDE. A wonderful invention.  People don't go there enough anymore.  I am thankful for the outside, and everything in it.

P - POTATOES. I love potatoes.  They come in lots of shapes and sizes and colors.  There are lots of ways to cook them, too.  But, rather than sound like Bubba from Forrest Gump (listing all they ways there are to cook shrimp) I will just say how grateful I am for potatoes.

Q - QUIRKS. I'm a quirky person, therefore I am full of quirks.  I like the way the word "quirk" sounds.  I like sharing my quirks with you, dear friends.  Therefore, I am thankful for my quirks.

R - READING. I could have listed this under B for Books, but I didn't because it doesn't just stay in one category like that.  For example, I like reading things on Facebook and in blogs and newspapers an magazines and email.  I just like reading.  Period.  And I am thankful for my sight and my ability to read.

S - SHELTER. Yes, I'm grateful for my home, but that's not actually the shelter I meant.  I meant the local Animal Shelter and the folks who work or volunteer there.  They work so hard to find homes for the fur babies who come through their doors.  They are a no-kill shelter.  They have volunteers who truly love the animals and do everything they can for them.  I'm thankful to be part of something bigger than myself, and thankful girl-child is my apprentice.

T - TENNESSEE. Of all the letters and things I am thankful for on this list, I struggled most with the letter "T" and coming up with something to elaborate on.  I arrived at "Tennessee" because it, of all the states in which I have lived, eventually became my true home.  Connecticut and Michigan both have too many bad memories attached to them and, while I still have friends and family in each whom I love dearly, I would not (could not - and now I sound like Dr. Seuss) move back to live in either one of them.  Visit?  Yes.  Live there?  Nope.  I lived in and around the Washington, D.C. area for a few years, but thinking back - diverting as that may be - I couldn't really make that area my home either as it was simply too busy for me.  Tennessee has, after just sixteen years, become my home.  I love the pace, I love the people and, at this point, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.  So yes, I am thankful, in so many ways, for Tennessee.

U - UMBRELLAS. It's just a cool word, really: umbrella.  And, an umbrella is a very useful tool as it keeps one from getting too wet when it's raining or too burned when it's sunny.  Although I suppose that kind of umbrella is really called a parasol, but who's counting, right?  I'm thankful for my umbrella.

V - VOLUNTEERING.  Tying on to "S is for Shelter" and echoing yesterday's post regarding girl-child's and my time volunteering last weekend.  I'm grateful to be able to give my time as I see fit, and help where the need is greatest. I volunteer at church, too.  And, though sometimes I'm overwhelmed myself and wish someone would volunteer to clean my house (who am I kidding? That's all the time!) I am thankful I am able to do for others, and do unto others.

W - WRITING. Because...reasons.  Lots of them.  That's why.

X - XENON. It's a chemical element and it begins with X.  And, since I didn't want to go with the usual "X-ray" or "Xylophone", and since I work in Chemical Sciences (in a manner of speaking), and since it makes me seem like I know far more than I do, I'm thankful for Xenon.  Although it should be noted that I did not have to look it up to know how to spell it or know that it is a chemical element, so I suppose that could be evidence of a smidgen of smarts on my part, right?

Y - YELLOW. It's not a color I normally gravitate to, but it is the color of my favorite flower: yellow roses.  Yellow roses remind me of my mother, who died too young and whom I loved very deeply.  So, therefore, I am thankful for yellow.

Z - ZZZZ. Well, sleep, of course! I am thankful for catching some zzzzz's.  Sleep, when I get it, and especially when I get enough of it, is another wonderful invention.

"Now I know my A, B, C's - next time won't you sing with me?"


PS: I'm not copying her on purpose, I promise! I started writing this several days ago and didn't get very far (this really is harder than it looks) but then I just saw that Ree Drummond (a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman) posted just about the same thing.  Hers is cooler though, because it has pictures.  So, officially, I cannot say I posted this first - but I may have thought of it first.  I guess we'll never know.  And it certainly doesn't matter.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Socializing Small Humans Around Canines

On Saturday, girl-child and I volunteered with the local Animal Shelter's dog adoption drive.  Though we've been to other shelter events, and gone to the shelter a dozen times or more to visit the cats and walk the dogs, this was the first time helping as an official volunteer.  I filled out paperwork and everything.  (While girl-child couldn't officially volunteer, she could be there because I was there.  She had adult supervision.  Me!)

I've got to say: what a wonderful, amazing experience.  Not just the dogs and the much-needed fuzz therapy, but those ladies we hung out with are something else.  Just such an amazing group of women.  Dedicated, loving and full of purpose.  I can't wait until I know more about the processes of adoption so I can speak with some authority when someone asks me a question, but for now, I'm just grateful to be involved.

We were "assigned" a dog; a puppy, really.  He was (approximately) 4 month old hound/lab/sneaky-neighbor-dog mix with amazing eyes.  He was completely laid back; thought he was a lap dog.  I spent the majority of our time there with him curled up on my lap, which was completely fine by me.  And, when his Forever Mommy showed up and decided to adopt him, I couldn't believe how excited I was!  What an awesome feeling!  And how wonderful for sweet doggie!

Girl-child had fun, too.  After our puppy went with his new momma back to the shelter to fill out paperwork, girl-child went and hung out with a senior-aged black lab mix with big, pitiful eyes.  This dog wasn't particularly fond of other dogs, and didn't like to have his tail touched, but he was just fine with people and he (we're pretty sure) decided girl-child should be his person.  He rolled right on top of her legs and just lay there looking at her like, "OK - pet me, will ya?"  She obliged.

Since our own sweet dog died a couple of years ago, girl-child hasn't spent too much time around dogs and was a little bit shy (but not afraid) around them, so I figured it was a good idea to "socialize" her among our canine friends.  She doesn't really want them to lick her face - that's OK, lots of folks who love dogs don't like to have their faces licked - but she's really good with them.  She's gentle and sweet, but also smart.  These are all good qualities of a future doggie momma.

Anyway, it was a fantastic experience and I can say with honesty that girl-child and I will help out again.  When we were leaving the event to go feed a now-starving girl-child, she said, "Mom!  That was AWESOME!  I want to volunteer at the shelter EVERY weekend."


Monday, November 23, 2015

The Tale of the Good Queen, the Hapless Princess and the Magical Morphing Mac and Cheese

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a wonderful queen who was good to her subjects and made sure they had shelter and blankets and food in their bellies.  This modest queen settled arguments, gave of her time and funds to the poor and needy, and was well-loved by all who knew her.   The queen did not believe in servants, but she was so kind, her loyal subjects lined up every day to win a chance to help her around the castle.  Only a few were chosen every day and it was considered a great honor to sacrifice time to assist the queen and her family.

The one thing the queen would never allow anyone else to do was cook for her or her family.  She preferred to do it herself, not only because cooking was a particular passion of hers, but because she was petrified of poison.   (Which, truth be told, everyone thought was silly since she was so beloved by all.  Who would poison her?)   Her favorite thing to make was a humble pasta dish which (though pasta was rare in those times) was a family favorite.  The ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness paired with pasta was particularly pleasurable to her family’s palate.

But, as fairy tales go, tragedy struck, and the noble and gentle queen was struck with a wasting sickness - poisoned by her own body - which eventually stole her from her family and delivered her to the great realm in the sky.  Her family was devastated and struggled to move on after the horrible loss, but they did so in their own separate ways.

Many years later, her oldest daughter, the princess (who was never meant for the throne), was married and had a family of her own.  She remembered the queen often and fondly, though the princess had been very young when her mother had succumbed to cruel fate.  One of the best things she remembered about the queen was her pasta and cheese dish, but, though she’d tried several times to recreate it herself, she proved to be a hapless, dismal failure in the kitchen.  The princess certainly had not inherited her mother the queen’s talent for mealtime magic.  She could, if given time and left alone, prepare perfectly palatable – and on occasion, even pleasurable – meals for her family, but her husband (times were more modern so it was not strange) was an excellent cook.  No one went hungry and no one ate burned toast unless they wanted to.

After years of defeat and distress at not having been able to provide the pleasant pasta dish for her family, the princess discovered a magical repository of virtual information and began researching and testing in earnest.  Finally, she had it!  The princess was able to create a perfect reproduction of the queen’s popular pasta repast and it was an immediate hit with her own family.  Now, with a few tweaks and super-secret ingredients she has made this dish her own, but with enough of the original recipe as to be able to think of her mother the queen whenever she makes and consumes it. 

And they lived happily ever after...with pasta.  And cheese.

Friday, November 20, 2015

SERIES: Jen's Library (NOTES)

I'm finding it hard to believe I've already told you about eight books I love!  Time flies, does it not?  Granted, I wrote all of the previous posts at once - weeks ago - and then separated and scheduled them to post at times and dates I chose.  But look - it's eight (well, nine, now) weeks later and, though I don't know what kind of influence these little blurbs have made on anyone, I'm still enjoying myself.  Are you?

Since I've already posted my favorites, I now need to consider other books to share with you.  I already have several in mind, but I'm feeling like I need to re-read them to make sure I can accurately review them for you.  And really, I don't really want to call these Jen's Library posts "reviews" because though they are, they're not.  OK, I realize that was probably confusing and contrary and I apologize.  What I mean is, though in some ways these little snippets are reviews - because I do tell you what I think about the books in my own words - mostly what these posts are is: "Hey, I've read this book and I really enjoyed it.  Here are a few thoughts I thought of.  This is my opinion, feel free to make it yours.  I hope you enjoy it, too."  

You'll further notice I don't post too terribly much about what actually happens in these books.  You may have thought, "I wish she'd tell me a little bit more so I can decide if I want to delve deeper," but that's not the point, either.  I want to give you just enough - a hook, if you will - to make you want to go read the book on your own, without giving anything away.  Allow you to make your own, well-informed decision, without my influence.  I want to influence you to read them, but not influence your opinion.  Does that make sense?

Coming up on Jen's Library we'll have books from the following authors: Elizabeth Kostova, Nora Roberts, Jane Austen, John Steinbeck and more.  But, though I've been spacing these posts out at one-week intervals, you may begin to find a little more time in between.  Do you care?  Does it matter?  Probably not, but I'm going to do it anyway.

So, no book review this week in an effort to allow myself a little more time to gather my thoughts and rearrange my library.

Love ya!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

One Mom's Honest Wish List

It bears repeating: Piss poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine!  (Maybe I just wanted an excuse to use this graphic.)  Yeah, I guess I'm being snarky.  I feel like the last few weeks I've been in emergency-management-mode rather than my usual, and preferred, mode of planning things out (to the best of my ability) ahead of time.  And, quite frankly, I'm tired. 

I guess being a parent (and, sometimes, a wife) automagically means you're in a constant state of crisis.  Mom!  I can't find my...  Mom!  I'm hungry.  Mom!  Can you help me with...  Mom!  I hate these pants!  Honey?  Have you see my...?  This crisis-mode sort of spills over into other aspects of my life (like work) and at this point, I'm kinda over it.  (I've been using that hashtag a lot lately, it seems.  #overit)  Below are a few things which, were they to occur, would, with minimal effort on the part of the others in my home, make my life so much easier.  **Fair warning, this could also be considered a list of Mom/Wife Peeves.  I'm certain I'm not the first person to come up with this list.


  1. I don't want to have to uncover the dining table in order to be able to use it.  Your dishes should have been put in the sink after you were done eating.  This isn't difficult, really.  Just a matter of habit which you should be in already.  Breakfast dishes, especially.  Those icky, congealed bowls of leftover milk are disgusting.
  2. I do not want to have to empty the dishwasher before I can fill it.  The dishwasher is not storage for clean dishes or a drying rack for wet ones.  Please put the dishes away, in the cabinets, where they belong.  If you can't reach, ask for help.
  3. I do not want to empty the washing machine before I can use it.  Clothes which have been washed and have been left to sit - wet -  in the closed confines of the washing machine, have this awful habit of starting to stink (or wrinkle horribly) after a couple of hours.  This is the best reason to move the laundry along in a timely manner.  However, the other reason - the honest one - is that it just ticks me off when I go to use the machine and there is another load in there waiting to be dried.  I wash, you wash, I wash, you wash - we cannot wash at the same time.
  4. I do not want to put away the ironing board so I can get to the dryer.  The small room which houses the dryer is not the place to iron your clothes.  Further, it is not the place to leave the ironing board set up.  The excuse that you were waiting for the iron to cool down is a weak one; there are other options.
  5. I do not want to step on it.  If you spill it or drop it, pick it up.  Period.  If I find it on the floor, it will become mine - to do with as I please.  Up to, and including, throwing it away.  (This includes change.   If I find your forgotten or discarded nickles and dimes, they will become mine, too.)
  6. If you pee in it, spit in it, or bathe in it, don't leave stuff on it.  Meaning, rinse out the sink after you're done brushing your teeth (or shaving your whiskers).  Wipe off the seat if you sprinkle when you tinkle.  Ring around the tub?  Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work wonders.  Just sayin'.
  7. If you take it out, put it back.  Or, if you remove it from where it was, put it back where you found it.  This includes laundry which may be hanging up to dry which will not get dry lumped into a pile on the back of a closet door so you can shower.  This also goes for food, toys, games, and other items.
I've gotten to a point where I am just not doing anything because whenever I do something, someone goes right behind me and messes it up again.  I don't expect to live in a perfectly clean home; I have children and am aware that a clean home, at this point in my life, is next to impossible.  I do not want to live in an untouchable museum.  But I do expect the home I pay for (and all the stuff in it) to be treated with respect and taken care of.  Plus, treating my home (and all the stuff in it) like crap kinda feels like you're treating me that way, too.  And no, I'm not projecting your animated feelings onto an inanimate situation.  I know you love me - I love you, too - but I'm tired now, OK?

Please clean your own rooms, clear off your own dishes, wash your own clothes, etc.  Everyone in the house is now old enough to handle these things.  You are not too tired.  You are not too sick.  You are not too busy.  You are too lazy.  I will try to do better, too, because I know I'm not perfect. 

Exasperated Mom

Friday, November 13, 2015

SERIES: Jen's Library (#8)


Published in 1997, The Red Tent is based on the biblical story of Jacob and his sons, his wives, and his only daughter, Dinah, who is the voice of the novel.  Biblical Dinah first appears in Genesis 31:21.  Then, in Genesis 34, Dinah is said to have been raped while afterward, her brothers exact revenge.  There’s more to it, but Dinah’s entire Biblical story is only one small chapter of a huge, widely believed and widely circulated book.  Diamant’s novel expands on Dinah’s story, giving voice to a nearly invisible female character and giving her an opportunity to tell the world what really happened.  Dinah’s story is so richly realized, at times I find it hard to separate Biblical Dinah from Novel Dinah.  There is no way, in one small paragraph, I could do this stunningly beautiful novel true justice.  Even if you are not a Christian believer, this novel is one you should not miss.  (Note: This novel was made into a two-part miniseries of the same title, adapted by Lifetime, which premiered in December of 2014.  I have yet to see it.  I may never see it.  The book is too wonderful and I can’t believe the miniseries would be any better than my own vivid imagination.)


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Life Skills Resume -OR- Mommy Magic

I was thinking about what my resume might look like if I were simply honest.  I mean, not that my resume isn’t honest – it totally is – but it’s honest work stuff and not necessarily honest life stuff.  Does that make sense?  I mean, resumes are supposed to be all about how awesome you are at your job; the stuff you do that earns you a paycheck.  But what if we got paid for knowing and doing and being other stuff? 

For example:

SUMMARY:  Hard-working, committed mother of two with over 42 years of experience in the field of General Life.  Extensive background in service and commitment with a well-established ability to sacrifice for the sake of others.  Ability to meet important deadlines and complete homework projects.  Solid Internet research skills and a familiarity with multiple technical medias as they relate to networking and child appropriateness levels.  Child-friendly with ability to entertain biological children as well as children of others in a trusted, safe environment where they are encouraged to thrive.  Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal skills coupled with an ability to win in a family- or self-driven environment. 

EDUCATION: School of Hard Knocks


  • Proper coffee making
  • Proper table setting
  • Proper bed making
  • Basic Mathematics
  • Strong English Language vocabulary and grammar
  • Proficient reading
  • Excellent table manners
  • Good hygiene, oral and body
  • Above-average technical
  • Quirky fashion sense
  • Don’t have to keep up with The Jonses
  • Extensive knowledge of Alone-Time benefits and recuperative powers
  • Deep, enduring and life-affirming animal appreciation

I could add stuff like:

  • Can make a campfire
  • Can make macaroni and cheese
  • Can pour without spilling
  • Can color within the lines
  • Can be serious or silly, depending on need
  • Am thought to have certain magical abilities to include: having eyes in the back of my head, Extra Sensory Perception, Trouble identification, Boo-boo Care, and the ability to make red lights turn green with a wave of my fingers
  • Am known to have a direct line to Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny (et al) and can contact any and all on short notice with behavior updates

I wonder what one would get paid for skills such as these?  Should my General Life job be considered my second job, or should it be considered my first job, and my job-job would then become my second job?  Am I confusing you yet?

Something to consider.  

My brain hurts.  I think I need coffee.  Or a glass of wine.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When Life Happens...

I took a day off today (Monday, as I write this).  Not for any reason other than I needed a mental health day.  I think we’re allowed one of those every now and then.  I talked to my boss well in advance and we agreed this was acceptable, I got someone to cover the phones and handle any administrative-type things that might come up, so all my responsible little ducks were in their happy little rows.  I had intended to spend a good portion of the day doing absolutely nothing.  Yes, you heard me: Nothing.  No thing.  Not one thing.  And it was going to be good.  Plus, the story I was making up in my head was the day would include copious amounts of coffee.  So…excellent plan, right?

Then, life happened.

Get kids up and ready for school, showered and completely dressed, hair dry, breakfast in bellies, teeth brushed, backpacks ready, lunches made, planners signed.  (We do this every morning, except most mornings I’m gone by 6:30 so whatever happens after that is a mystery to me.)  And then I got to go with them to drop them off at school, and it was nice for me to be part of the routine my kids are so used to and flow through so well.  (To answer your question: Yes, I did get coffee.   Hubby drove to McDonald’s and went inside – in the rain – to get me a large cup of the black brew that flows through my veins and keeps me alive.  Boy-child didn’t dub it my Life Juice for no reason.)

We went home, and then the frenzy began.  First with the living room – because I couldn’t stand looking at it anymore; then with girl-child’s room – for the same reason.  At some point late morning hubby and I went to see SPECTRE (“Bond, James Bond.”) which was awesome.  It prompted me to go back and start watching all the Bond movies again; more on that later.

Then hubby went to get girl-child (I later went and picked up boy-child because he had a Cross Country party and didn't get done until 4:30) and when she came home, she almost flipped out about her room suddenly being mostly clean, but checked herself before a Full-blown Flip actually occurred and decided to help.  I think she decided to help to make sure nothing else got thrown away, but I’d been kind and hadn’t relieved her of anything she truly loved even though I was sorely tempted.  (Remember that hashtag?  #overit.) 

Anyway, we sorted books, stuffed animals, dolls, clothing…  It occurs to me the kid has more stuffed animals than she does clothes.  Is that a bad thing?  (Maybe if I could get her to wear stuff normal kids wear – like jeans – we would be OK but she’s so sensitive about her clothes and how they fit and the way they feel it’s hard to buy her anything she’ll actually wear.  And sometimes we buy something she loves but when we get it home and try to actually wear it, she decides it won’t work and will never touch it again.  This occurs after we’ve washed it and thrown away all the tags so returning it isn’t possible.  So frustrating.  Ok – I just left the tracks in true Tangent style…)

Boy-child had Scouts, so while he and Hubby were off doing boy-stuff, the girls (that’s us) hung out.  I taught her how to properly make her bed (including hospital corners), and then we played checkers, where she promptly – solidly and legitimately – beat me.  Little stinker.  She wanted to learn how to play chess, and at some point in my life I knew how (Grandma Tennie taught me) but it’s been so long I couldn’t remember.  So off to the good old inter of net and I started teaching girl-child about the pieces; what they’re called and how they move.  Memory served me pretty well, but the internet helped where my memory failed.  We didn’t actually get into a game, because by that time it was late, but we had fun.  She giggled – a lot – when I called the Bishop “The little frowny dude.”  I think that’s what he’ll be ever after in our house.

Anyway – with the cleaning and the normal life stuff and just hanging out with kiddos it was late before I knew it.  I did watch Dr. No (Hubby, who tried to watch it with me, fell asleep) but after that, and typing up this post, it was lights out.  Back to work tomorrow (Tuesday, as I write this).

I like it when life happens.


Saturday, November 07, 2015

Ten Things I Love Today

In the past 6 months or so, I've started following Ree Drummond's blog, The Pioneer Woman.  She's fun, funny, and uplifting.  She is an animal lover who also has great taste in food and housewares and, probably, tchotchkes.  (I just like that word.)  I'm quite enjoying myself, thank you very much.

Anyway, she posted Ten Things I Love Today, which made me grin like the madwoman I am, only more Cheshire Cat like.  I swear, my cheeks hurt.  Make sure you check out what Ree loves, but in the meantime, here are Ten Things I Love Today.  They may be different than the ten things I will love tomorrow, but I love them - in no particular order - today.

~~ ONE ~~

My kiddos.  Though I suppose I could count them as two, I won't.  They are the absolute lights of my life.  They are my reason for getting up each morning.  They are the reason I work so hard and the reason I know such enormous, all-encompassing love.


Hubby.  He's equal parts funny and foolish and fun.  He is half grizzly bear and half honey-loving, tummy-tickling, sweet-voiced Pooh Bear.  (I hope he doesn't smack me for that.)  He's whiskery and wiry and somewhat Sasquatch-like.  He is an excellent daddy and a great outdoors man, though he'd probably disagree with me, and I luv him.


Cats.  Their do-it-yourself-no-I-want-to-help-no-leave-me-alone-no-I-want-your-attention-no-wait-maybe-not ways.




Wine.  I admit it - I love a good glass of wine after a long day.  I don't drink every day, though sometimes I might like to.  For the longest time, I preferred an ice-cold white wine.  A Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay, or even a Riesling when I want something a tad sweeter, but lately reds have been winning.  Not sure where this is going


Cheese and crackers.  And hummus.  Oh, and maybe pita bread, too.  Ooooh!  Bread in general.  Wait, I got distracted.  What were we talking about again?


My girls.  Kit and Stacy and Beth and Kasi.  We shall grow old together, make fools of ourselves, and wear hot pink when the dress code clearly said black.  They are the ones who understand me perfectly when the words which come out of my mouth are exactly what they were when they were in my head - with no filter.  And further, they are not offended.


Music.  Of just about any kind, except the random stuff I don't like.  Nine Inch Nails to Helen Reddy and just about everything in between.  Today, I am singing a medley of tunes from Disney's The Little Mermaid and am perfectly happy with my inner iPod on shuffle.


My blankie.  Yes, you heard me right.  I am 40-something years old and I still sleep with a blankie.  My daughter and I sometimes argue over who it really belongs to, but it's mine, I say!  Mine!  It's a thrift-store blankie and it's pink (which is really not my color) but it's soft and reminds me of easier times.  It makes me go, "Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh....." at the end of a long day.


This blog, and the, like, five people who actually read it unless I force them to.  I am not sure if I could function without this blog as an outlet for my weird.  This blog has allowed me to get things off my chest that no one else (except possibly my above-mentioned girls) would listen to or care about.  I love that this is a place where I can legitimately say what is on my mind, know my opinion is my own, and not have any expectations about differences of opinion.

Which I guess brings this post to a close.  My Ten are definitely not as interesting as Ree's Ten, but then we are not the same person and her loves are not my loves, and mine are not hers.  Wait, I think I got confused again.  I'm so glad it's Friday (as I write) and the weekend is upon me.