Friday, December 19, 2014

TToT57: Injustice and General Mental Fuzziness

Poor, poor me. Will you indulge me in a little self-pity? I've had a free-flowing nose and general peakiness for a three days now (I know, I know, for all those who have experienced or are experiencing genuine illness, I am truly sorry for my egotism). I am sure it is just a cold, just as I am sure my inability to record myself for longer than twenty seconds on What's App has to do with (a lack of) finger stability, but these certainties make the situations no less tiresome and irritating.

And so, for the third night in a row, I am already in bed at 7:15, cold medicine in my system, hoping, hoping, hoping tonight will be the night I get a good night's sleep and turn this d*#n bug around. I'd better, because I'm due to sing tomorrow morning, and can't back out because I've been told there's a lack of my particular part at this particular sing-out. In other words, I asked for an out and was told "Um, no."

So, I'm not going to bother counting, but just list some thankfuls I can think of and hope the SGV will grant me mercy as I drowse with tissues stuffed in my nostrils.

In spite of Brian being sick as well, he is stepping up his game and taking the kids as much as he can.

It is officially the holidays. Maggie has school Monday and Tuesday, which I, as a person of Southern Christian origin, find this borderline blasphemous. So I've said, "Eff that, you're staying home to play with your grandparents!"

In spite of my weak and wasted state, I actually started holiday baking with the expectation that the heat will kill off all the germs. Right?

I've taken this bedridden opportunity to discover Serial, a podcast I keep hearing about. Really, the perfect thing for a cold. I'm on Episode Three, and it is positively riveting. No spoilers!

Let's see...I've discovered mincemeat actually contains no meat. I didn't know this fact. I was a bit put off by Lizzi's mincemeat pies dusted with powdered sugar until I read the "meat" was from fruit and nuts. So much better. I still think she should change her name to something like Amity Diggidge and don a hoop skirt.

Speaking of Facebook, I am thinking of starting a petition to get Lisa to join Facebook. She just needs to understand pseudonyms are acceptable (may I recommend this site).

And speaking of shoulds, I had an odd encounter this week.

I was at Goodwill, shopping for frames and nightstands while my daughter was at gymnastics (PT). My son loves the "play area," a semi-walled corner full of toys, and I will often drop him there and run off to shop for a minute or two before checking back. Well, on this occasion, I went to check back on him after finding the size frame I needed and passed two women looking at a artificial Christmas tree. As I watched Leo play, I realized I would need to blow my nose and so reached in my pocket for the tissues I have found need to keep handy.

After the fact, I placed my dirty tissue back in my coat pocket, and I noticed one of the women shopping for the Christmas tree staring at me. Not one to be cowed, I stared back (though puzzled). After several seconds, she said, "Most people find a private place to do that."

She went on to say, "We are thinking of buying this Christmas tree." I did not blow my nose on the tree, nor was I above the tree when I blew my nose. I would describe the tree as partially next to and behind me when I blew my nose. Highly irritated, I responded in a matching tone, "And I need to stand here to watch my son." With noticeable exasperation, she and her friend moved away with their tree.

Now if I were a person who acted out of love towards my fellow beings at all times, I would have been nicer. But I'm not. This episode reminded me that when someone shoulds me, my reaction is to say, "Watch me!" In this case, I wanted to blow my nose on her.

(In other words, if Lisa says, "Eff you, I won't join Facebook," I would understand.)

Fortunately, I have What's App, and Lizzi supported my actions and reactions, albeit explained in short bursts of (what I am can only imagine is) uncontrollable finger twitching. So I am thankful for What's App, self-understanding, and friends who feel the same.

Does that get me to ten? I'm not counting.

I understand there will be no HTML this week but we are linking on Facebook (Lisa). I don't see anything up yet, but I am going to bed. I'll link up tomorrow. Or sometime in the middle of night when I am tossing and turning.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

TToT56: Tis the Season for Glitter

It's been a good week. Butyet, the thankfuls are not flowing. Let's see:

1. Tree's up.

2. Most presents have been purchased.

3. They're also mostly wrapped.

4. After a strangely difficult order process, the holiday cards are in and addressed (mostly).

5. Leo has some new vocab: glitter glue. He loves the stuff. He's had too much fun with it and some popsicle stick stars this week.

6. Speaking of glitter, the highlight of my week was my discovery that glitter in a spray can is something that exists. Which leaves only one question: What can't be improved with a little gold glitter? Sarah and Leo, tree and apple.

7. Our old toybox was decrepit and tended to litter wood and wicker bits and pieces in its general area. I found a new one on someone else's curb. I painted it and recovered the top bench.
What you can't see are the scuffed bench and stained material in the 'before.'
8. As a result, I now own a staple gun, something I have wanted for some time.

9. I also now know how to cover buttons. Granted, it's not at all difficult, but I didn't know how to do it before.

10. This season is full to the brim with "sing-outs." Today, my chorus sang at the National Christmas Tree, on the Ellipse behind the White House. I admit to getting a kick out of singing in the shadow of the Washington Monument.

Red hat in the left-middle. Closed eyes. That's me. And yes, the National Christmas Tree es muy llame.

Ten Things of Thankful

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

TToT55: The Stripper and Me

Have you ever started a task and a little ways in realized you were crazy? I did this week. And I'm guessing in this retelling that you'll all realize I was crazy long before I came to the conclusion.

I have a high and probably far-too-generalized regard for that which is old. This is why I always end up in an old house, why my furniture consists of hand-me-downs (well, one reason), why I treasure ragged Tshirts. And then if it's pronounced old and highly valuable? I'll do a lot to keep it good enough shape to keep it going.

But that bit me in the ass this week.

If I have a pet peeve it when people paint over items like vent registers and grilles, lightswitch plates, or outlet covers. COME ON! It never looks nice, and it's just plain lazy. It takes all of 30 seconds to take one of those off and put it on again after painting. And the effect is so much better.

Rant over.

The former owners of our house were willing to pull out the screwdrivers for the lightswitch plates and the outlet covers but not for the vent grilles and registers (I just learned these terms, and I'm going to overuse them). So as I've been painting my house, I've been stuck with the choice of painting over these items again or buying new ones. And in the interest of saving money, I've just been painting over. That stopped this week.

I measured carefully, placed an Amazon order, and received a bunch of new ones that...did not fit.

So I gave in, faced the traffic, and hauled Leo, the old grilles and registers (grilles for the return vents, registers for the air that flows out), and myself to the Home Depot to buy new ones. And, unfortunately, worked with an employee who used the magic words: You know, you can't buy high quality ones like you have there. The new ones are much lighter. You should strip the paint off and spray paint them white again.

And you're all thinking, That cannot be worth the effort.

It's not.

I have no idea what inherent value a old, heavy vent grille or register has over a modern, lightweight one. I do know it is an enormous pain in the ass to strip paint out of all those teeny-tiny crevices using that nasty, nasty paint stripper (ha! got you with my title, didn't I?)  that eats through your plastic gloves and burns your skin, but once I got started I wasn't going to quit. I'd put down money on the stripper (ha!), I'd found use for all those stripping sponges I'd bought and not used years and years ago, and I was going to persevere.

My ten things are that the job is done. They're not all back up on the walls, but they've been stripped, they've been repainted, and the mess is cleaned up. That's ten, I promise.

I should just buy new screws, huh?

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

No Boundaries

I wasn't thinking of participating in the FTSF this time 'round. Nothing was coming to me, but then this afternoon happened. And I think it's fair to say, if there were a reality show about my life it would be called No Boundaries.

What mother hasn't complained about not being able to use the bathroom in peace? What mother hasn't written about those moments that she realizes she's fully invested in this mama-business, doing and saying things she never imagined doing or saying?

I had a couple of those moments today:

Some sort of mild digestive ailment hit my children today. My son woke up from his nap having fouled his diaper and sheet. I got him and his bed set to rights in time for the bus, the rush to gymnastics, the rush home, the rush to get supper on the know the drill.

I was sliding the tray of chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries (judge me, I don't care--that's Thursday nights after gymnastics), when I heard my daughter scream. I called to her to come to me, and she came with her coat and boots still on but her pants and panties around her knees. I pooped in my pants! she wailed.

Since she's five and long past her "accidents," I simply tried to calm her and walk her to the bathroom where I could get her cleaned up. As we moved, my two-year-old son followed closely behind in a crouch, pointing at my daughter's verynotclean rear end and shouting, Whoa! Whoa! (picture that as about three syllables per word) with great enthusiasm.

And, it was at that moment that I thought, I never pictured this part of motherhood. One so distraught, the other so entertained, and the subject? Poop.

Oh, and that was not the end of our digestive trials. Oh, no.

However, they did not dampen my children's appetite for chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries, and we had a perfectly pleasant supper with both of them earning a dig into the leftover Halloween candy bucket.

It was only after supper, after I'd washed dishes and cleaned the kitchen that I looked at my daughter with surprise. Where are your panties?

I didn't want to put any on.

Well, go put some on now.

OK, Mommy. 

And as she departed, she kissed me on my hiney.

And, at that moment I thought, I never pictured this part of motherhood. But it warmed me to my core.

with hosts Kristi and Stephanie