Posts Tagged ‘life’

2015: the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.

January 2, 2016 Leave a comment

2015 was a pretty beastly year for me.  I struggled through a vague and undefined funk most of the year, filled with discontent and the idea that I needed to do more.  More that matters, more that makes a difference to people.  Less laundry.  It has been suggested to me that the low-key depression has something to do with having celebrated my fortieth birthday and beginning to keenly feel the passage of time.  Whatever.

Truth is, I do feel like the years are ganging up on me and slapping me around a little.  I can now count on one hand the years until my youngest will be fleeing the nest and I can’t even bear to think of how short a time I have left with my oldest.  And I’m not very sure I have used the time I was given very wisely.  So, it’s probably time for some changes, none of which I have worked out yet.

In any case, life does go on, and 2015 brought many lessons, as life will do.  Without further ado (or babbling), here are the top ten bits of wisdom that 2015 gave me.

  1. Extend grace.  The more I extend grace to others, the less anger and discontent I have to carry. Everyone is dealing with a thing.
  2. If a homeless kitten finds her way to you, take her home.  She may be an incredible nuisance at times, eat aluminum foil, ride the dog like a horse, and try to live in the shower, but that’s a lot better to live with than the knowledge that you could have saved an animal, and didn’t.
  3. Regardless of what is going on with your eyeliner situation, or lack thereof, don’t be tempted to borrow your teenager’s liquid liner.  She has a steady hand and a lot of patience.  You’re late for work and about to look like a panda.
  4. Most of your daily stresses can be easily dismissed with one of two phrases.  “Not my problem.” and “No one cares.”  Warning, this will not win you any friends at work, but when you have a certain level of job security and the vague feeling that getting fired might be a blessing in disguise, you gain a glorious feeling of freedom.
  5. When your dog wants to sit in your lap and have a nap, make time to sit down and let the dog have a nap.  No one else loves you like your dog, people, and besides, if she doesn’t get her lap nap, there’s an excellent chance that she’ll repay you with poop on the floor.
  6. Counting to ten to manage your anger is a lot more effective if you sing the Sesame Street counting song in your head.  Granted, they count to twelve, but it’s a lot more likely to make you forget what made you angry.
  7. If someone calls you out on your funk and you really, really don’t want to talk about it, “I’m just tired” is an acceptable answer.  Because you probably are tired. Tired of a whole lot of crap.  And people like me don’t always want to talk about their feelings.  We just want to figure out how to fix them, and we’ll do that inside our own heads, thankyouverymuch.
  8. No one really and truly cares about how clean the floors are.  (refer to number 4.)  Stop worrying about it and do something fun.
  9. There’s a certain kind of person who always wants to do things for others.  To the detriment of her own health and well being.  Just say no.  No, no, no, I cannot do any more for you, I have nothing more to give you.  Just, no.  Trust me, it’s great.  You have absolutely no obligation to do things just because people want you to do them.  Especially when those same people would never do anything for you.
  10. Understand about seasons of life.  Everything that we go through shall pass, both the good and the bad.  When you’re going through a difficult or uncertain season, you must understand that it’s meant to ready you for something new.  Something greater than what you have now.  Something more.

things to let go of happiness

At my last doctor visit, my doctor asked me how life was going, and what I had going on to look forward to.  (He’s got some borderline obsession with my state of mind, it’s almost as if he can see all the crazy hiding right behind my eyes.  I mean, seriously.  I was there because I had a bad cough and this is what we had to talk about.)  I really didn’t have any answer for him.  So that’s my resolution for 2016.  I’m going to get something to look forward to.  Then I’m going to do it.  Then I’m going to get something else.

Life is way too short for all this laundry I’ve been doing.


author’s note:  Wordpress has changed their format a tiny bit and right now at this moment, I cannot find the spellcheck.  So….sorry about the typos that are undoubtedly right there where I can’t see them.


How Did This Happen?

May 20, 2013 6 comments

I try to be respectful to my husband and not write about his quirks, as he does not blog and has no opportunity to tell the world about the many ridiculous things that I do.  However, I have to speak on this particular issue, because I’m led to believe that it’s a widespread phenomenon.  Also, it probably reflects much more poorly on me, so therefore it’s fair game.

I’ll start by admitting my clumsiness.  I get in a hurry and I hurt myself.  I have a toe that has been broken so many times that it’s barely a toe anymore.  I have closed my front door on my hand.  I have broken my thumb trying to get a bottle of water out of the fridge.  I regularly close the car door on my hair, without realizing it until I try to move my head.  I own this peculiarity of mine.  I’m a klutz and I get ridiculous injuries.

Now, since this is not a new thing about me, you might think that my husband of seventeen years might be used to it by now.  You might suspect that when I get a new injury, he will rush to my aid without question.  You would be very wrong on that front, my friend.

A couple of weeks ago, I was getting something out of the refrigerator.  Things went downhill rather quickly and before I even knew what was happening, an avalanche of bottles fell out, a shelf fell onto my hand (a direct hit on that previous broken bone…SCORE) and one wayward water bottle was steadily pouring 16.9 ounces of water directly under my oven.  Trapped by the shelf and hypnotized by the flood of water, I couldn’t do anything but call for help.

Hubs arrived at the scene promptly and I breathed a sigh of relief, waiting for my rescue from the wayward shelf.  I was sorely disappointed as the scene before him was apparently more than he could process.  I didn’t hear, “Oh, let me help you from that salad-dressing induced trap.”  What I heard was what I always hear when these things happen.  “What the hell happened here?  How did you do this??”

I don’t know, I don’t know.  I never know how I did that.  It’s as if I black out while aliens and/or malicious ghosts wreak havoc upon my life and all I know is that something stupid has injured me yet again.  Now, I understand that my catastrophes are laughable.  I don’t, say, fall down the stairs and sprain my ankle like a normal person.  I get thirsty and my refrigerator attacks me.  I don’t know why and I certainly don’t understand how this happened.  All I know is that I now have a mini-flood under the oven, which is, incidentally, busy cooking and I have a heavy hunk of appliance resting on my abused thumbbone.  The very last thing I am capable of at this moment is any coherent explanation.

To his credit, he has, over the years, gotten much quicker at springing into action.  He just needs a bit of prodding in the form of “I don’t know!  It just happened, please just help me.”  I have tried to include this in my original cry for help, but it’s not terribly effective.  He’s always frozen for at least a split-second when he arrives at the scene.

Recently, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my children.  My son asked me for at least a week after this event, just how that happened.  I still have no answer for him, no more than my daughter can answer just how she fell down while walking across a room.  I have come to believe that both of my guys possess an orderly type of brain that can’t process the chaotic events that seem to stalk my daughter and me.

So this is my message to the world of orderly brains who encounter people like us.  Bizarre things happen to us.  We get into inexplicable situations from which we require rescue.  You are wasting everyone’s time by asking how that happened.  It will forever be a mystery.  Please just extricate us from the part of our home/car/world that has attacked us and try not to laugh too loudly.

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Pug Hunting

May 20, 2013 6 comments

Hubs and I have recently decided to get a puppy.  We’re fairly locked in on a pug puppy.  When I say fairly locked in, I mean that Hubs actually spoke the words, “We will get a pug puppy or we will have no dog at all.”  Before anyone jumps on me about adoption and rescues, I feel I must mention that we have two cats and two kids and, for a variety of reasons, it’s important for us to have a fresh new puppy that we can bend to our will socialize from day one.  So, as much as I know about all of the older dogs who desperately need homes, that’s not going to be a successful story for our situation.

Let me tell you about pug puppies.  People who have pug puppies are PROUD of them.  Like, $600-$2000 proud.  These numbers may not shock you, but as a cat person who has never paid for a pet in my entire life, I’ll tell you, they floored me.  Hundreds of dollars for a dog.  I just can’t see it.  It makes me re-evaluate my whole dog plan.  Cats are free, you know.  You can practically walk around the neighborhood and find a couple of kittens who need a home.  Sadly, there are probably no kittens on earth who need a home with a cranky, seventeen-year-old Queen cat who hates every other feline on earth and just barely tolerates the one with whom she shares living space.  And if the kitten could win her over, it would still have to deal with our monster cat, who literally does try to eat everything that doesn’t eat him first, humans included.  This is much of the reason that we’ve decided that our new pet should be of the canine variety.  A kitten would just be an annoying snack around here.

So, here I am, longing for a pug puppy and resolutely unwilling to fork over hundreds of dollars for one.  What’s a girl to do?  The way I see it, we have a few options.

  1. Decide that a pit bull is an acceptable substitute for a pug.  This town in covered up in pit puppies.  Hell’s bells, people, have you never heard of spaying and neutering?  Was Bob Barker just talking to himself all those years?
  2. Find a reputable breeder that offers payment plans.  I jest, although this is a real thing.  I will finance a house, I will finance a car, I will never, ever finance a dog.  A dog that must be bought in installments is a dog that is way too fancy for me.
  3. Scour all pug owners in a 200 mile radius for one who is expecting a litter and doesn’t know that they can make money on those babies.  In other words, a pug owner who is a hermit with no internet connection.
  4. Find a nearby pug breeder who likes to give bargains to close friends and make him/her my new BFF.
  5. Find a pug owner with a cake addiction and work out a cake-for-puppy barter.
This tastes better than a puppy.

Tastes way better than puppies, I assure you.

Okay, okay.  I know what’s going to happen.  At some point, I’m going to come off the checking account and pay for a puppy.  I know that.  I’m just not at that point yet.  It’s going to take a month or two of searching the interwebs and fielding “when are we getting a dog” nagging from my firstborn before I reach that point.

Now come on, isn’t there someone out there who has a pug puppy who wants to come live with us?  I have cake.

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Now I Have to Lie In It

April 29, 2013 15 comments

You’ve all heard the saying.  You’ve made your bed, blah blah blah.

Okay, so I’m going to make a confession today that is sure to shame me and my whole family.  I only ask that you don’t judge me too harshly.  I’m speaking up for all the others like me, who are too ashamed to speak of this.

I don’t make my bed.  Furthermore, I don’t require my children to make their beds.  Our whole household is just a mess of tangled sheets and blankets dragging the floor.

Before you start thinking I’m just a horrible housekeeper, allow me to assure you that I am not.  I’m not great at it, but I do a passable job.  I don’t keep dishes in the sink, I clean floors on a regular basis and I pay my children a handsome allowance to do the things I really detest, like dusting and bathroom cleaning.  I just can’t bring myself to care enough about making the bed to even mention it to anyone, let alone require anyone to do it.



Point 1:  How many people are going to see my bed each day?  Of that extremely small group of people, who consist of Hubs and me and two kids who don’t belong in my bedroom anyway, how many of them care if my bed is made?  And if they are offended by the unmade bed, what are the odds that I’m going to suggest that they do it themselves if it bothers them so much?

Point 2:  When I finally fall into bed at night, I am exhausted.  Who needs the hassle of decorative pillows, blankets, or anything encased in a sham?

Point 3:  Hubs and I are both out of bed by 5:30 every weekday morning.  The cats strongly and vehemently object to rising at such an absurd hour.  Surely you’re not suggesting that I should oust my cats out of their peaceful morning slumber in order to move some blankets around?

Point 4:  I am chronically and incurably late every single morning of my life.  I don’t have time for this nonsense.

Point 5:  You get a visual reminder to wash the sheets.  When it gets too tangled and untucked, or when the fitted sheet literally starts crawling off the mattress, you’ve let it go too far.

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that there are no good things about making your bed each day.  I just don’t really know what they are.  I also feel a need to come to the defense of my mother and let you all know that I was not raised this way.  I was taught to make my bed and I was required to do it on a regular basis.  However, when we grow up and move out on our own, there comes a time when we make our own way in life.  My way is in a rumpled and unmade bed.

Stop Laughing and Clean up My Mess

April 22, 2013 Leave a comment

I’m annoyed right now.

Here’s the short version on what has kept my away from my blog recently.  My house was stinky.  I don’t mean regular stinky, I mean that special kind of something has died or someone has pooped in a corner kind of stinky.  My husband ventured into the crawl space under the house to investigate.  (For this, he has earned a permanent title of the best/bravest/most fearless husband in all the land.  I would not go under there to fetch a million dollars, especially if I had to crawl through a flood of funk.  It was a very Shawshank Redemption moment.)  We had a broken drain pipe.  What this means is that all water going down the drains in the sinks, tubs, dishwasher, washing machine and garbage disposal (gasp!) was under my house.  It was putrid.  It was repulsive.  It made ladies faint and children cry.



So, while the broken pipe itself was a pretty easy fix, we still had a mess under the house that was just shy of toxic.  So we called in the big guns.  Professional cleaning service.  They came right out and proceeded to clean out the most awful, disgusting mess that I’ve seen since the time my baby daughter’s diaper leaked right up her back and got into her hair.  The worst of it was handled the first couple of days.  Today they’re under there finishing up and they’ve got a huge crew under my house to do it.  So, why am I so annoyed?

There are two girls under there who will not shut the hell up.  And they must be a couple of comedians, because every muffled word I hear is accompanied by shrill giggling.  It’s making me a little bit crazy.  First, I am trying to focus on catching up on my recorded episodes of Chopped and they’re louding.  Second, I have concerns about how much they’re focused on my crawl space because it sounds more like a slumber party’s worth of twelve-year-old girls under there.  Granted, digging contaminated dirt from under my house probably doesn’t require that much concentration, but still.  Here’s my take on the situation.

This company is being well-paid to provide a service at my  house.  They should do so in a professional and unobtrusive way.  I am home.  My neighbors are home.  We should not be disturbed by a bunch of noise just because I had a broken pipe.  I understand the need to sometimes cut loose at work.  It breaks tension and passes the time and makes what must be a really awful job seem a little better.    I get all that, but it’s still irritating.  I mean, I’m already annoyed that the plumbing in this house has failed so catastrophically.  I’m annoyed that I can’t use my washer or dryer because they need my laundry room plugs for their under-house drying machines.  I’m irritated that this has already taken a week and we’re not done yet.  It bothers me that I don’t feel free to use my own bathroom because I know a bunch of strangers will hear my toilet flush and know what I’m doing.  I don’t think it’s so much to ask to not have to listen to a giggle fest under my feet  on my day off.

I know I should be grateful for them.  If left to our own devices with that crawl space, our best option would have been to just put the house on the market and sell it as-is.  It was really beyond the scope of what regular people are equipped to handle.  But when I hire professionals, I really, really want them to be professional.  I want them to be sober and somber and distant.  I do not want to have a conversation with you about my cat or your upcoming career change.  I don’t want to hear your conversations while you’re two feet under my floor.

I want you in and out as quickly as possible.  Quietly.

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An Open Letter to Other Men’s Wives

April 8, 2013 10 comments

Dear Other Wives,

The purpose of this letter is to express my gratitude to you.  You don’t know me, nor I you, but our husbands know each other.  And they talk, oh, how they talk.  Whomever first started the rumor that men don’t talk about their problems must have never actually met a man.  I, personally, have never met a man who could shut up about his problems.

But to my point.  I would like to genuinely offer my thanks to you for being bad at the things I’m good at.  Thank you for being unreasonable about the things which I brush off.  Because when your husband tells my husband about it, it makes me look really, really good.  And, you see, I have to take it where I can get it.  I have long since passed the phase of “trying to be a good wife.”  This is defined as trying to show a genuine interest in the dumb things your husband likes to do, making an effort to fix yourself up for him, asking his opinion on things (and caring), and not pooping in front of him.  These are things that I am not good at.  My husband knows this and he’s made his peace.  He knows there’s not a chance in hell that I’m putting on makeup on my day off.  He knows that I am not really listening if he waxes poetic about golf or the Playstation 3.  He knows that when I ask his opinion, I am really just telling him what I intend to do, and giving him an opportunity to agree with me.

This is not to say that I am a bad wife, or inconsiderate or a complete, stinky slob.  It’s just that we’ve been married for so long.  After a while it’s easy to become complacent and stop appreciating what you have.  And although he never speaks a bad word about our relationship, he sometimes forgets what a prize he’s got.  So, when you are hypersensitive to your husband’s (constructive) criticism, and I accept such criticism with grace (one of the very few things that I can do with grace), he really appreciates me.  And he tells me how much he appreciates it.  When you keep secrets from your husband, my incessant chatter about every minute of my life suddenly becomes very valuable to my husband.  When you pick a massive fight with your husband, my “whatever” attitude fills my husband with joy.  Suddenly, I’m looking pretty damn good.

And so I thank you for this.  For reminding my husband of the great catch that I am.  Don’t get me wrong, you are not a bad wife.  Not at all.  You just aren’t the right wife for my husband.  And that really works out for both of us, doesn’t it?  In the spirit of sisterhood, I shall return the favor, if I haven’t already, because I am sure that I’m very bad at many things at which you excel.  Perhaps your husband has expressed his appreciation that you share his interests, don’t have a filthy truck driver mouth, or rarely have room-clearing gas.

You’re welcome.



Where’s Bill Murray When You Need Him?

April 8, 2013 7 comments

There’s a peculiar thing going on in my back yard.  It’s wild freaking kingdom out there.  Granted, our yard butts up again a wooded patch, but still.  We live in town.  We are in a well-developed part of town right near a major highway.  Why the hell are these animals gathering in my yard?  There is a fence to keep them out, but they’ll not be discouraged.  To date, we have had the following animals in our back yard:

  • neighborhood cats and dogs
  • a snake
  • a mole
  • a skunk
  • 35,246 random squirrels
  • a brown furry thing that looks like this:


Which makes me feel like this:



I can’t say for certain that the little beast is a gopher.  I’m a town girl.  I don’t know about wildlife.  I know that he lives in a truly mind-boggling patch of weeds that my neighbor maintains right next to my fence.  I know that he has dug a hole under the fence to access my yard and I know that the cocky little sucker likes to run right under the edge of my storage building and mock me.

To date, the kids and I are the only ones who’ve witnessed the triumphant sprint into my yard.  When I tried to tell Hubs about it, he asked me (I’m not kidding) if it was a squirrel.  This is when I began to wonder about the private opinion that my husband holds of my intelligence and skills of observation.  Okay, my skills of observation may be lacking, but I do know what a squirrel looks like.  I also know that if I ever encounter a squirrel the size of a small dog who can dig under my fence, then that is the day I burn my house down, because that is going too far, squirrels.

So I have a massive network of underground tunnels in the yard and I’ve got this little brown animal who likes to stare me down when he knows I’m too occupied keeping my children from trying to pet him to give chase.  So it seems like it’s probably a gopher.  Or the mole has returned and brought an above-ground friend with him.  Either way, I’m not totally sure what I want to do about it.  I don’t actually want to kill him, I just want him to go away.  He’s got quite a bit of personality and, while I don’t appreciate it, I’m not comfortable being his murderer.  I am soundly blaming my neighbors for this travesty, since he’s living in their yard, but clearly finds mine more satisfying to destroy.  A gopher with a grudge?  Maybe.

The real question is, what is so attractive in my yard to all the world’s wildlife?  There’s nothing back there.  The trash cans aren’t back there.  I don’t have any delicious edible plants back there.  There is nothing, except the thousands of mothballs that I littered around after I saw the snake.  Maybe gophers like mothballs?  I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m glad that Hubs does the grilling.  It’s getting scary to venture back there, especially when your gopher is a smart ass.