Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I won't buy the boys Halloween costumes.

Seriously - have you seen the prices on those things? They sell great looking costumes all over the place, but they're made so cheaply, and they each go for about $50. I have three kids. We've got years of costumes left to go. I'm not doing it.

So I either tell them they have to buy their own, or make them up from stuff we have. This is good. It teaches responsibility and gets them to use their imagination, get creative... Of course, some times I help them out. We got choir robes at GoodWill last year for the Harry Potter costumes. Yes, I had to pay for them, but they weren't that expensive, all told.

This year, Andy was going to be a skunk. I even bought him a black hoodie and small spray bottle so we could put the costume together. But we needed a white boa to complete it. I took some things to GoodWill, and while we were there we had a look... I found a boa for two dollars. I bought it. Of course, Andy found this Pokemon costume for seven dollars. And he suddenly didn't want to be a skunk anymore. I couldn't say no. He was so excited!

He wore the costume for the next three days. It already has yogurt all over the pokemon's forehead.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

So Waspy

Our screened porch was getting to be overrun with wasps.

I couldn't figure it out. I looked all over the place for the nest, to see where they were coming from, but nothing. They were also outside the porch, buzzing all over the house. I figured they probably had a nest on the roof, between the shingles. Or maybe behind the shutters? There were just so many of them, and I couldn't really figure out how they were getting into the porch.

When Larry was here he tried to stopper up the entry point with a rang and some paper towels. It seemed to work for a couple of days, but then they were back. I bought wasp spray, but without a nest it was just like spreading poison into the air.

And it was kind of annoying because this was such a great time of year to spend on the porch! And we were missing it. Because who can relax when screened in with eleven frustrated wasps?

And then, one day, Andy came running up to me. "I found the nest!" he said. "Come with me!" and he led the way outside, down the porch steps, toward the swing... and pointed up.

Can you see it? No? How about this?

There. I zoomed in. Is that better? Still no? OK, I'll just...

There. I know you can see it now. But just in case, here's a different angle.

Yup. it was up in the tree.

So I waited until just before nightfall, just as the instructions on the wasp spray say, and then went out to the tree, pointed it at the nest, and hit the spray button.

Only to have a huge cloud of poison spray go halfway up before gravity set it and pulled it all back down on top of me. Think spitting into the wind... if one spat vast amounts of poison.

So then I changed tactics. I went to my bedroom and climbed out onto the porch roof. "Never, Never, Never do this!" I kept saying, as Andy watched me, wide-eyed from the safety of my bedroom.

I crept out to the almost-edge of the porch. It's a pretty flat roof, so I was stable, but suddenly the grass and the swing seemed very, very far away. I realize that I have a fear of heights which I usually keep in check by staying on the ground. But these were extraordinary circumstances. I just didn't want to hit it enough to anger the wasps, but then not disarm them enough to follow the invading poison back to me, attack me, and cause me to plummet to the hard earth.

I inched my way out as far as I dared, pointed the spray bottle at the next, and hit the button.

The spray was pretty direct. It went right toward the nest until it was about eighteen inches away, and then gravity did it's dirty work and the spray curved downward, again soaking the same spot I had hit before.

Meanwhile, the wasps circled their next making "nyah nyah" buzzing sounds.

I was so frustrated, and had now wasted four spray bottles (counting the ones I sprayed in the porch pre-next discovery) and hours of my time trying to get these suckers.

Well, a few days later we had a lot of wind and some rain. Go back to that photo of the tree. See all those lovely yellow leaves? Gone. The tree is now naked.

The thing about leaves is, they protect everything that lives IN the tree. Including the nests that wasps live in.  It took two days for half the next to get ripped off.

And then the following week we had the first frost.

I kind of regret the time I wasted hunting them down.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Living Alone (kinda)

There are certain advantages to living by yourself, or at least to being the only adult in the house.

I get to decide what to make for dinner without anyone complaining. I don’t have to worry about other people’s clutter – sure, the kids have clutter, but I can bug them about it without an adult getting snippy or accusing me of anything. I also don’t have to worry about my clutter getting in anyone else’s way.

I decide how loud the music is, the temperature of the thermostat, and if the bedroom window is open or closed.

I decide which side of the bed to sit on, and how the kitchen table is angled.

I decide when to turn out the light, when to turn off the TV, and in the morning I don’t have to worry about waking anyone up if I need to find my socks.

But there are drawbacks to living alone, too.

Yesterday I was having a grand old time with Andrew. I had removed the air conditioner from the window in the den. It’s 30 degrees in the mornings and the room was frigid as the window was basically wide open. It took me a little while to figure it out, and a lot of lifting, pulling, maneuvering… that thing is really, really heavy. I tried to turn on the heater (the house heat isn’t hooked up to that room, which is over the garage) but the heater wouldn’t turn on, so I used the electric heaters on either side of the room. This required pulling the ugly white couch – which came from Steve’s old house and is currently stained yellow and brown from a dripping something – away from the far end of the room so it wouldn’t catch fire. I took a look around the room and though about how I was going to change it.  The couch would go along the wall currently occupied by the DVD’s. The DVD’s would go between the other windows. The cabinet would get filled with board games and other things…
Anyway, I had a lot on my mind.

At some point I ended up walking into the toy room, one day possibly Nate’s room, and sifting through the blankets and stuffed animals left on the floor.

I have to describe this room. It is a small room. Once there is a bed in there, the space will be even more crowded. But Nate likes it because there is a long, narrow hallway to nowhere along one side, with a slanted ceiling. It’s the perfect nook. Unless, however, you are tall, as in over 5 feet tall, and you are bending down to pick up blankets and stuffed animals and toys, and then you stand up thinking you are out of the hallway, only a lot of your head didn’t quite make it, and instead of bumping the top of your head, you whack the side of your head, mainly your ear and the spot right behind it, parallel to your ear canal if you are looking straight forward.

I went from being a normal human being to sobbing on the pile of blankets and stuffed animals in less than a second. But not until after I screamed how I hated this stupid house and hit the slanty part of the wall with my fist, knocking a chip of red-painted plaster to the floor.
But that’s not the scary part.

The scary part came hours later, after I had taken a nap and started dinner. I was in the parking lot at the karate dojo, trying to write, and I realized I felt ill. And also that I had a really bad headache. When I turned my head to speak to Andy, I realized that I had a pain behind my ear, and when I touched it, I felt an extremely very  tender lump the size of a large jelly bean.

I felt like I was going to throw up.

I had a concussion once, and the thing that made it really bad, aside from not being able to read anything printed and no one letting me sleep, was that I was throwing up all over the place.

And I immediately started freaking out about possibly having a head injury. What if I had a concussion? What if I needed to go to the hospital? What would I do, with the boys all at home? How would I manage? Who would I call? I could call Steve, but he was away for the weekend, and even if I called him, I’d need someone to take me to the hospital. I wouldn’t be able to drive myself.
And what if I ignored it and something happened to me later What if it was really late at night and suddenly I stopped being able to read and was all alone with the boys? They would be so scared! Would they remember how to call 911 if I didn’t wake up in the morning because I fell into a coma during the night?

In the end, I drove home, took some advil, made nachos and ice cream sundaes, and we watched a movie. Then I went to bed, fell asleep, and woke up. I was fine. But it did make me think about how I needed to add a few more numbers to my phone list. I should have some neighbors I can call in case I really do fall off a ladder and the boys need help.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I never wore makeup.

I went through phases where I decided I would be a ‘real’ grown-up and took the time to smudge some of the stuff on my face each morning. The truth is, though, I never quite knew what I was doing or why I was doing it. One morning I would get rushed and forget, and before you know it I would be heading out into the world each day with a naked face.

I was comfortable with that. I never felt as though I needed any help to look like myself. When I put on the slightest amount of lipstick I’d get startled when I looked in the mirror. “Wipe it off!” my brain would scream at me. “We have no idea who that is!”

I had a friend in college who always wore makeup. She never looked garish, never over did it. But every morning she’d put on eyeliner and lipstick before she left her room. I didn’t even realize she did this until the morning I showed up early to walk her to breakfast.

Her face looked different. I had that odd shyness you get when you’re a kid and a favorite teacher suddenly shows up without her glasses, or a familiar uncle shaves his beard. It’s the sensation of knowing the unfamiliar, or of not recognizing something that is yours. This person was the same person, but I didn’t feel as though she was at all. Five minutes and a few strokes of mascara later, everything was rectified, back to normal. Only the face I knew wasn’t her real face at all.

I still don’t like putting on makeup, even as I get older and “need” it more. I use cleansers and exfoliators. I use pore minimizers and scrubs. I use creams to moisturize, tighten, protect, and reduce wrinkles. But until recently, no makeup.

Around the time I started looking for a job, I began applying eyeliner daily.

I didn’t want to overdo it. I don’t look good when I put cover up, concealer, base, whatever you call it all over my face. Unless I’m going on stage, there is no need. Instead, I’d put on a quick dab of eyeliner, a smudge of shadow, some mascara, and probably a swipe of a tinted lip gel. If I’m going out or seemed shiny from moisturizer, I’ll dab some powder on there.

It takes four minutes, if that.

The thing is, I turned around one day as I went to get into the shower, and I was started when I saw my reflection in the mirror. My eyes were different. They were… washed out. Flat.

There are three possibilities.

One is that I have become so accustomed to seeing myself with the thin line of grey eyeliner under each eye that I cannot recognize myself without it.

One other is that, as I am getting older and my body is aging, my lower lashes are fading. I finally need the eyeliner to accentuate the lower lashes.

Or, a third option, I have applied so much makeup to the lower lashes that I am rubbing them out, they are falling out, and I am creating the need. Please don’t make it so…

In any case, this topic is on my mind because, for the first time in the history of the world, I have run out of eyeliner. That’s right. I didn’t lose the eyeliner I had. I didn’t let the eyeliner I had get stale and gross. I actually used it all up until the tube was empty. There is no more left. It’s like using a box of crayons down to sharpened stubs. Who does that?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happiness Is...

A pair of silly glasses?

At least we know his throat is healthy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Doing Something Right?

Yesterday I got the electric bill.

I have been paying the electric bill for years, ever since we moved into this place. A few years ago, when I became aware of how everyday things were affecting the planet, I started paying attention to how much electricity we were actually using.

Well, that's not quite true. Actually the bill has a little graph in one corner that shows you how many kw were used in the past month, how many were used the month prior, and each month going back a year. It gets really exciting to see the amount go down,  and really frustrating to see the amount go up.

In my most active "going green" stage I used to despair and do all I could to make the number go down even more. Some of the things I started doing I still do. I unplugged the coffee maker when we were done with it and only plugged it back in to make coffee. I turned down the heat. I tried not to use the dryer if I could hang something to dry. And that's basically it. There really wasn't much more to be done.

So I had kind of accepted the fact that our electric bill was as low as it was going to get, until we stopped using the fridge, the microwave, the TV, the dishwasher, and heat. In the winter the usage went up and we paid more and that was that, unless we were to freeze.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the bill this month and found it was half what I expected.

OK, not half. It's only half if you use my faulty math of rounding up in one case and rounding down in the other....still. It was a lot less that I expected it to be. I was sure there had been some mistake - perhaps they checked the meter after only 3 weeks for some reason? Maybe it was an estimate - they have done that a couple of times if the dog is out and they can't get close to the meter, and then they make up the difference in the next reading. Or maybe some tax or service charge wasn't correct?

Then I looked at the little graph.

People, the little black line for October was very, very short.

I went and dug out the last two electric bills (yes, I filed them away, shut up!) and it turns out we used half the electricity we'd used in August and September. Almost half.

What have we done differently?

Well, air conditioning, for one, I guess. Steve used to run the air conditioning in the den. He's been used out for weeks now, but half of the September bill is actually the end of August. Even so, it hadn't been running that often.

Then I thought - Steve's computers. Steve's computers run 24/7. It's one of those things I didn't think too much about because 1 - Steve wasn't about to shut down the whole system every night because it was impractical and 2 - how much electricity could they be using anyway.

Steve's computers lived here until the beginning of October, when he came and moved them to his place after being kind enough to make sure out internet was still up and running.

I can't help but feel it has something to do with Steve leaving. It's too much of a coincidence. I knew we'd be using less, but I just didn't expect such a drop. I know it will go up again, as we move into winter and the days get colder. Maybe it is an error and next month they'll tell us they only billed us half?

Whatever the reason, it made me giddy. And happy. And almost forget about the trip to the vet I had later that morning which cost me just as much as the August, September, and October electric bills in total.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

For Want Of A Scooter

I wrote this post about getting a divorce.

It was strange and cryptic and vague, and sounded waffly. It was not specific. I was trying to put emotional things in there without being emotional or specific (hint - it doesn't work!). I promised a more concrete and relatable pst the next day.

Well, here it is, three days later.

I tried to write something. I did. I even wrote half of something, but I was unable to finish it. So I saved the draft, and walked away.

Just in case you were worried, this is not the concrete post I mentioned. I know it is also hard to read, so far. I apologize. It will develop into something, I promise.

It's just hard to write about somethings. Especially when people want details and / or might judge you and / or another person. Especially when tension runs high and you don't want to offend anyone. Not just to avoid conflict, but because you really, honestly do not want to hurt anyone's feelings. But as things are so tense, there's a high probability that that will happen, because things can be taken more personally.

Take this Friday. For example.

I always pick Andy up from school. Kindergarten is half day, and he gets picked up at 11:15 every single day. Even when the boys go to Steve's that afternoon, I pick him up and spend time with him until the older kids get home.

Friday I realized I had to go to the vet to pick up a refill for one of the kabillion medications our pets are on. On the way home, Andy started talking about how his dad should pick him up from school sometimes. "Wouldn't it be good if you picked me up and took me right to his house?" he said.

Now, this had actually been MY original plan, but because of work schedules (I don't have one and Steve does) we've been doing it this other way. But I told Andy I thought that was a good idea, and that they should try it sometime. And then I asked if he missed his dad.

Mind you, I was looking for a yes. I'm not playing my kids against their father. Since Andy brought it up, I thought I'd help him put any emotions he was feeling into words.

So we talked about it a little bit, and it turned out that, yes, Andy missed his dad, but he also missed his scooter, which was at his dad's house. And it would be really cool if he could just go there so he could ride his scooter all afternoon.

I told him I understood, and that it was OK to miss his dad and the scooter, but that this was the time we would have lunch together, so we'd have to find something else to do.

And Andy began to cry. Not just fake sobbing, but actual tears and rubbing his eyes.

I didn't even think about it, but just then I realized we were passing the street Steve's house is on. So I turned and drove over there. "We'll get the scooter and take it home, OK?" I asked.

Steve was there, and was happy to let Andy take the scooter. Or, he said, Andy could just stay there for the afternoon.

Andy was thrilled. Yes yes yes! He jumped up and down and ran around like he'd been told he was having a party.

So, I said OK, kissed Andy goodbye, and left.

And in the car I cried and cried.

I cried because Andy had been crying and having a hard time. I cried because I know he really missed his dad. I cried because I was hurt that the boys think their dad is so much fun while I am the boring lady who makes everyone clean and do homework and practice piano.

At no point did I actually think Andy had chosen his dad over me. I would never blame him for feeling the way that he did. He wasn't trying to hurt anyone. He's five. He was just being very honest about what he was thinking.

But still. It hurts. He didn't do it on purpose. Which is what I don't want to do with this blog.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Elephant?

I am getting a divorce.

I mentioned that here, on this blog. I didn't give any details, and probably won't, not the kind that you'd be looking for. But this event is central to my life right now, so there's no way I can avoid talking about it forever. So I will, in a round-about, non-specific way. The only issue I'm facing at this moment is where to start. I've put this off for so long that I now have quite a few observations to expound upon.

First of all, I feel as though I've been "getting a divorce" forever. Not counting all the heartache, inner deal-making, actual deal-making, the up-close picking apart and examination of certain emotions or thoughts, the outright dismissal of others..... not counting the months leading up to this actual decision, we have been in this process for over four months. I will save my tirade on "the system" for a later date. The end result is that I am caught somewhere in-between. I am still legally married. But I no longer live with my husband. Some people have known since June that our marriage was over, but others still do not, and each time I tell someone it's like picking the scab on a wound.

But it's healing. What I had often heard was that divorce can be a very liberating experience, and some women even declared it should be celebrated. Woohoo! Throw a party! While I find that to be inappropriate in this case, where young children are concerned, I have come to the point where I can see why people say it. There are still many things yet to be settled and determined. However, I am rediscovering myself in a new way. In many ways it sounds selfish, as though I just don't have to think about that other person anymore. But that isn't it.

See, I've always thought about myself within a certain context. I placed myself in a box, if you will. I climbed into it myself years ago when I got married, then got pregnant, then quit my job. We all have our little boxes we have created ourselves out of "can'ts" and "needs" and after awhile we forget that we chose our own limits...

Am I sounding like a bad self-help book? I'm sorry. I don't mean to.

What I'm getting at is that, when I was married, and even when we began this divorce process, I had the idea that there were so many things I couldn't do. Life was supposed to be hard and complicated and now, tragic. I was going to have to give up so many things, such as time spent with my kids. For some reason I feel much more confident in myself these days.

I promise tomorrow's post will be much less wishy-washy and more concrete.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Even Trade

Yesterday, Andrew said "I really wish I lived at Zane's house."

Zane is a kid my children are fond of. He is in Nick and Nate's karate class, and rides the same bus. Or at least he used to, but this year he is on a different bus. While his little brother still hops on the same #bus as my three, Zane now takes an earlier bus to The Middle School. Because he is now in the 6th grade.

You can't pick your children's friends, no matter how hard you try. I guess at a very young age you can not let them hang out with undesirable other-kids, but when they all get into karate class, nothing is there to prevent your crazy 1st grader from bonding with that crazy 5th grader.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I went to a meeting at the school, an open house night, and I took advantage of this mother's offer to watch the boys while I did that, so I wouldn't have to pay for a sitter just to listen to an explanation of the new grading system and sign up to bring cupcakes to the valentine's party next February.

Andy apparently had a good time.

"Andy," I said. "You want to live with Zane? You want to LIVE with him? All of the time?"

"Yeah, I do."

"Well, I don't want you to. I'd miss you too much and I won't let you go."

"I know," he sighed. "But he sure does have a lot of fun nerf guns."

This is what happens. I jump through hoops dragging the kids to after-school activities and making it to school functions, and they dump me for the family with the nerf guns.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Season Change

What do you think of when you hear the phrase "change of season?"

No matter what time of year I hear it, I always picture leaves falling off trees. Fall always seems like the most clear-cut sign of season's changing. We're too busy enjoying the last days of summer to notice the gradual coloring of the leaves or the first few to hit the ground. And then suddenly we look up and...

Backyard October 2013

Winter just gets colder. Yes there's snow, but not always. And I'm so impatient for spring that I scan the ground daily for little specks of green from February on. It's more gradual than I care to think about right now, at the start of the long cold lonely winter.

The thing is, I often forget about the other changes that come with fall. Waking up in pitch dark, for instance. Even when one forgets to set the alarm and wakes up an hour later. It's still dark.

And the heat. Well, the lack of heat. Because this house, people, is COLD. In the afternoons I open windows to warm the place up. No joke. The other day I woke up the furnace and turned up the heat for the first time. Now I've got all thermostats planted at 60, figuring it will turn on when we really need it. We all end up huddling under blankets reaching out every few moments to place a hand on the heating unit. Is it warm? No? But it Must be under 60 in here, it's freezing! This will go on until February, when I will give up and turn everything up to 75, and that will last until June.

The boys sleep later in the fall, because of the dark, yes, but also because the windows are shut and they can't hear the early commuters. Also, it's warmer in the bed.

I can't speak for the boys, but this morning I had that first winter shower. In the summer one can take time removing one's clothing, pausing to turn on the water, pin up one's hair... Winter showers involve steam, the rush of tearing off whatever in on one's body and quickly immersing one's self in the hot water. Shoulder's relax and breathing eases as parts of the body heat up that you hadn't even realized were cold. You hadn't realized you couldn't feel your toes before now.

It's a little depressing, in the "seasonal depression" sense, because it's the very start. It's the beginning. After this there will be many days of waking up to darkness, taking rushed showers, feeling the heaters to see if they are really on. My advice? Tea, sweaters, and lots of fun music. Make a soup once a week. Whenever the sun is out, go for a walk. Sometimes, go for a walk even when it's cloudy.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Year Ago

A Year Ago.... we were on our way back from the vacation of a lifetime. As I've had many vacations of a lifetime, or many vacations of many lifetimes, I shall be more specific: DisneyWorld, people. Disney. World.

It was warm, and sunny. We swam in the pool and ate really wonderful food and went on tons of rides. It was spectacular. In some ways, the trip seems like a million years ago. On others, it seems like it just happened.

I told the boys it would be another 5 years before we made it back to DisneyWorld again. For one thing, it's expensive. For another, you need to take enough time to make it right.

But now 5 years is only 4 years. And if you consider that it took me over a year to plan the trip, It's really only 3 until I need to book. So, you know. If anyone wants to come with, let me know before it's too late. Fall of 2017 will be here before you know it.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


You wish you had this view, with the beautiful colored leaves.

Actually, I wish I had this view. Since then we had a lot of wind and then some rain, so now a lot of these colors are already gone.

It's kind of nice, though, for the two days we've got it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Best Pen Ever

I don't usually plug products on this blog, but occasionally I run across something that is so exciting I can't help myself.

So, I use Sharpie fine tip markers to label my boys' things. I'm talking clothing, jackets, things like that.

But there are some things that don't take the Sharpies. I mean, things that are dark. Like karate sparring gear, or lunch thermoses, or even lunch boxes.

So I got this:

It's a white-out pen. I know this isn't a new product, but it's newly re-discovered by me, so Whoo-hoo! Official Mommy plug. And it's so much less expensive than those personalized pre-printed labels. 

Also, did I mention that the printer-fairy sent me a new printer? Thank You, Printer Fairy!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Honey Bear and The Plan

My brother had a dolly.

I'm not teasing, he really did. It was a Fisher Price cloth... it was this:

He named it Honey Baby.
After the bear in the Lillian Hoban book Arthur's Honey Bear.

Because of this, I will always have a spot in my heart for that book.

I read it to the boys tonight. They couldn't possibly enjoy it as much as I do. But when I got to the end, when Arthur decides to be happy about being Honey Bear's UNCLE, the boys did give a grudging giggle.

"Being an uncle is pretty cool, huh?" I said. "Do you think that one day you guys will be uncles?"

All three said yes.

"Do you think that any of you guys will be daddies?"

There was a pause. "I don't know..." Nate said.

"It's easier to be an uncle?"

"Yeah," said Nate. "Or a grampa."

"Well..." I explained, "You have to be a dad before you can be a grampa."

"Yeah, "said Nick. "And get married."

"I have a plan," said Nate. "I need to go on seven whole dates before I get married."

Nate / Andy October 2013

Monday, October 07, 2013

Sun Power

It's not so much the heat. It's the sun.

I'm still trying to dry all my laundry like this.

It's best for my bank account, and best for the planet.

And it's days are numbered.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

A Dog's Life

Gunther 2013

He doesn't even get up anymore. He just lets them put things on top of him until they get bored. Then he moves on.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Playing Possum

Have I mentioned the dead opossum that was across the street? I know I did, but you might not have caught is, as it was buried in a whole lot of complaining type words.

There was a dead opossum across the street. It wasn't right by our mailbox, it was closer to the neighbor across the street's mailbox. But still, we could see it from the end of the driveway, where the school bus comes to pick up the kids.

I'm not talking about a creature the size of a kitten. I'm talking about a creature about the size of a three month old baby. Still a small creature, but large enough to be not tiny. Bigger than your average cat. Not something a crow would find and carry off and you wouldn't have to think about.

And then on Thursday, the day I made like the government and shut down, the friendly mailman drove right over it as I was trying to convince the boys to go look at something else.

Well, the 'possum saga isn't over.

It isn't over because this morning I tried to catch a peek, just to see if it was still there, if the dead-animal fairy had come in the middle of the night and removed it.

Of course it hadn't been removed.

But it had been moved.

Some wonderful person decided it belonged across the street. In our yard. On the lawn in front of our house. Not too far down, mind you, but far enough in to officially NOT be on the road. No car will accidentally run this thing over and scatter it around for the crows and flies to eat. No. It's on LAWN.

I spent some time thinking maybe it was an animal? Maybe some dog or fox was trying to eat it, but dropped it instead? Across the street?

I'm trying really really hard to come up with a scenario that is NOT the people across the street scooping it up to get it away from their mailbox and dumping it on our property, when there is a perfectly good clump of trees RIGHT THERE they could have hidden it in, along with the downed electrical wire nobody ever seems to want to fix.

I had a hard time removing the dead mouse from my deck a couple of years ago. How will I ever get that decaying possum up? It's just... there's so much else to deal with right now. Why would you do that to another person? WHY? It simply isn't fair.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Wine and Snickers

I actually have a list of things I mean to write about and then post on this blog. I'm not telling you what they are. There are no spoilers here. You'd only become disillusioned and stop checking in.

Anyway, this post is not one on that list. This post is about why I haven't written any of those other posts yet.

See, I just don't make the time anymore.

It's funny. I don't have a job. You think I'd have oodles of time, that I'd be wading around it in, up to my knees, my waist, waving my hands through it and letting it drip off my fingers. "Time! LOOK at all my TIME!" cackles maniacally. 

You'd be wrong.

I don't know where it goes, it just does. And I don't get anything done.

Today is one of those days where I wish I kept a supply of snickers bars and red wine. I don't keep any of these things in the house. For a very good reason - I'd consume them. But then, on days like this, when I NEED them, I don't have them. I had to write it down on my grocery list. Tomorrow night I do not have the children. On my dinner plan I wrote Wine, Snickers.

Today I made 3 different lunches for 3 boys.
I spent the morning paying my bills - and I don't talk about this too often here, but I am getting a divorce. When you are unemployed and getting a divorce but still have a joint checking account, it's a little bit like playing a giant game of chess.
Speaking of chess, I went over my calendar to make sure we'd RSVPed to all the birthdays, and that Steve was aware of all the parent teacher conferences, most of which I managed to schedule at the same time as dentist appointments.
I received 3 calls from the school, one which I brushed off, one to tell me a child of mine threw up in his classroom, and one requesting that I come to the school to meet with the teacher that afternoon.
I killed 8 wasps that somehow got trapped in my bathroom window, and admitted that I have a problem. With wasps.
I spent the afternoon mediating arguments and picking up odd items, tracking down the missing library book one boy picked for his book report but lost before he'd finished reading. I rolled up the unrolled 30 foot scroll of paper Andy has been drawing on for five days and JUST TODAY decided it would be a good idea to unroll it outside, in the driveway, where Nate could plainly see it.
I yelled 23 times for the boys to get away from the end of the driveway, even though there was a very interesting dead opossum on the other side of the street they wanted to look at. I managed not to curse at our mail carrier, who, while my boys were watching, thoughtfully drove over it once more, even though he was only going 5 miles an hour.
I locked myself in the bathroom to get 5 minutes of peace because, even though I needed to be alone, one child obviously did not share this sentiment, and I couldn't gather the courage to tell him I didn't want him around just then.
And now I'm tired, and I just want to read and eat process caramel and chocolate and drink wine. We don't have those things, so I had a bowl of oatmeal instead. NOT the same.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

How D'ya Like Them Apples?

I was fortunate enough to be able to chaperone Andy's kindergarten field trip to the local apple orchard, where the kids got to see how they peeled apples for pies, washed them, squashed them into cider, and then go on a nature walk through the orchard, pick their own apples, go on a hay ride, and finally have some cider and donuts.

It was such a perfect day. I went on this field trip with Nate's class. Back then, they didn't have the same requirements for volunteers as they do now. It's only been two years, but now to even go on a field trip you need to complete the Bully Training Video and also get fingerprinted. I'm not making this up. Getting your fingerprints taken makes it much less likely that you'll run off with the wrong child at the apple orchard. Or perhaps abscond with a tractor that isn't yours.

I'm sorry, not everyone shares my sense of humor or distain for this particular subject. Moving on.

Anyway, Nate field trip had one adult for every two children, that's how many parents had volunteered. It was also pouring rain, which put a damper on the nature walk and then the teachers decided it made more sense to bring the snack back to the school.

Andy's trip was so, so lovely. There were only a few parents there. The sun was out. It wasn't too hot or too cold. There were donuts and cider for everyone, and afterwards I went and bought a half dozen donuts from the shop and they were WARM. They were supposed to be for the boys, but THEY WERE WARM! WARM DONUTS IN MY CAR! I KNOW I'M SHOUTING! BUT WARM DONUTS!

If you come visit, perhaps we can stop by this lovely place. And have warm donuts.