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I am positively CRUSHING 2018, in case you were wondering. Why, I made a new vision board on January 1st—as I’ve done for the past howevermany years—and I finally took down last year’s board and hung the new one this week. In April. LOOK AT ME GO. (Okay, in my defense: It has to be sealed with some spray stuff and I couldn’t find my old can of it, or maybe I’d used up the old can, I don’t know, and then I didn’t buy any until my 57 trips to the Big Home Improvement Store during Dressergate, and then I had to find the Command Strips, and… yeah, okay. That’s not really a defense.)

The hanging of my New Year’s Plan (such as it is, in collage form) promptly during the first week of April was perhaps a perfect metaphor for the overcrowding and disorganization in my life of late, so I started making some hard decisions, too. For example: Easter was this past Sunday, so this should be the week I plant my garden. But after a survey of my current life circumstances and the dozen projects I have yet to complete, as well as a quick review of how much I hate tomato-thieving squirrels, for the first year in a decade, I’ve decided not to put in a vegetable garden. Instead, I signed us up for a CSA, like the crunchy hippie I aspire to be. I mean, the cost is probably about the same, but this way I get more variety, less work, and 100% fewer tomatoes pilfered by overgrown rodents. Plus we watch a lot of Chopped and so I’m looking forward to opening a week’s haul and going GOOD LORD WHAT IS THAT HOW DO I COOK IT OR IS IT HERE TO EAT ME. Adventure!

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Tech Week

Or, Snot: The Opera.

Or, Tell Me Again Why I Thought I Liked Doing Theater?

Or, My Children Moved Out And All I Got Was The Plague (Twice).

Or, Someone Hates Me And It’s Hurting My Delicate Feelings.

Good morning! Gosh, this is early for me to be blogging. (As in, early in the day. I realize I disappeared for a month, again.) But WHY NOT, I say, because I am 1) awake and 2) far too cranky to do anything else. I’ve already gotten out of bed, made myself some tea, irrigated my nasal passages with saline (sexxxxxy), taken some of the good, meth-making kind of decongestant where you have to go to the pharmacy and hand over your license and a bag of magic beans, and whined to my husband about how much I hate everything. Now I’m here to share it all with the world. LUCKY YOU!

First things first: The children are both away at college and doing well, by which I mean that both of them are still alive. Both of them would like me to leave them alone, except of course for the twenty times each day they contact me to ask such burning questions as “should I take Advil for a stomachache?” (answer: no, do not do that, are you kidding me right now) and “do I own a three-hole punch?” (answer: I don’t think so, but what a great opportunity to talk to some of those other humanoids living in that large building with you as you try to locate one, P.S. it might be time to stop asking me what may or may not be in your room). They came home last weekend to hassle the dogs and complain that there’s no food in the house, and I assume that if I had been home at all to spend any time with them, that would’ve been nice. Maybe next time. (more…)

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2017: What. A. Year.

Chickadee has been home—intermittently, to be sure, as her college pals are mostly elsewhere, and as often as not, that means I’m kissing the back of her head as she leaves for a day or three to be with them—and that means certain things are assured:
1) Her “debris field” (as Otto likes to call it) is a constant reminder that my child may grow and mature but will always be comfortable and, to some extent, toddler-esque in her childhood home,
and
2) The time will come when she is lounging on the couch, looks up from her phone, sighs with disappointment, fixes me with a baleful stare, and says, “WHYYYYY don’t you ever blog anymore???”

I don’t have a good answer for her, just like I didn’t have a good response for the reader who recently felt it necessary to post on this blog’s Facebook page to let me know that she couldn’t be bothered to follow me any longer if I wasn’t going to write more often. I come away from both interactions feeling chastised and vaguely defensive, although in the case of Facebook my inclination tends toward “Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out!” whereas with my own kid I try to find an actual answer.

There isn’t one. I mean, there’s no one thing I can point to and say, “This is why.” It’s a lot of little things and a few hard-to-quantify things and life and time and dogs and doubt and fear and happiness and having just plain gotten out of the habit. I cannot promise you I’ll go back to writing regularly in 2018. I mean, I might. I don’t know. But I did think a wrap-up of 2017 was in order, if only to appease my daughter.

I never was known for my brevity, even when I wrote every day, and I haven’t written here since… October. So, um, buckle up and maybe grab a snack. (more…)

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News you can use (for… umm… something?)

Chickadee has been giving me a hard time lately about the blog. “You never write,” she complains. “Why don’t you write anymore?”

I look at her, and she looks at me, and I shrug. Sometimes I follow it up with the usual excuses—I don’t want to violate anyone’s privacy; my life is pretty boring; there’s other stuff that’s more important right now. Those things are true, but another truth lies between us, unspoken: It has been a hard summer, for all of us, but especially between her and me. And the kids are theoretical adults (or close to it; heavy emphasis on “theoretical,” too) and whatever I may struggle with relative to them might’ve been a funny anecdote when they were little, but not so much, now.

Still. She asks more often when things have been difficult between us. She wants affirmation that I still love her, but it is easier to needle me about my blog than to admit she is affected by anything I might do. Dear Chickie: I still love you. For the love of all things holy, please clean your room and the bathroom and maybe eat something with some protein in it and perhaps consider generally working on taking care of yourself and being kind to those around you. Love, Mom.

Anyway, she is right, a number of things HAVE happened, and we are long overdue for an update, so I will try to hit the highlights here as best I can. I do not promise that any of it is interesting, but what can I say? You always get what you pay for, with me. (more…)

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We are all my little dog and her coat

It’s a very good thing I never actually promise to come back to writing here regularly. I think about it—a lot—but in the end, it doesn’t seem to happen. Oh well. Hey! This blog is worth EXACTLY what you paid for it! (So there.)

Things are rolling along, here, and everything is both going WHOOSH TOO FAST and also OMGGGGGGG SO SLOW. You know how Hermione has a time turner in the Harry Potter books so she can be in multiple places at once? Imagine I had one of those time turners and then I somehow ran it over with my car and tried to use it, anyway. Everything is taking too long but is over before I had a chance to pay attention. It’s an odd place to be, with everything in flux and me never sure what day it is or what’s going on. I mean, tomorrow is December. How did that even happen?

Thanksgiving was a cozy affair with enough food to feed an army, and I gained several pounds this past week while I sat at the computer working and eating ALL THE STUFFING AND GRAVY. I need to stop gorging on leftovers. The best way to make sure that happens is to eat all the leftovers so there are none for me to eat, right? Right! (#LOGIC) Chickadee came home with a carful of laundry and germs, and after sleeping and generally swanning around for the week, headed back to school and left her little brother hacking and wheezing with the crud she’d so thoughtfully shared. Otto and I are both run down and feel like we’re fighting off illness, but maybe we’re just tired. Hard to know. The stuffing is all gone, now, so I have switched to endless cups of ginger tea and whispered exhortations to the universe that I would really rather not be sick right now.

Let us have a brief State of Casa Mir Address, shall we? (more…)

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It was a pretty good run

I cannot remember the last time Duncan bit someone. Rather: I couldn’t remember, BEFORE THIS WEEKEND. He’s so sweet! So calm! That whole “biting people” thing is but a distant memory…

… which came back again while we were watching football this weekend. Otto and I cheered over a play while Duncan snoozed between us on the couch; Duncan leapt awake from the commotion and began barking; I tried to rub his head to calm him down, and he was… uhhh… not calm, it turns out, because I put my hand on him and he promptly snarled and CHOMPed down on my fingers. So. Had to set the “XX DAYS SINCE BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS ME” counter back to zero on Saturday.

He’s so old and cranky and confused, this dog. But also really cute.

extreme-dunc-closeup

“Look at me, so cute and adorable and harmless-seeming. Bring your fingers over here, I’m hungry.”

Anyway, I lived. But Duncan may be getting some coal in his stocking this year. (What do you mean, it’s weird that my dogs have stockings?) This is the closest I’m going to get to a segue today with my still-sore bitten hand, so now if you’re thinking about Christmas (or other holiday shopping), you should head over to Alpha Mom to get some holiday shopping ideas for teens, because this time of year tends to fly by in a blur.

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Blood, sweat, and tears. Mostly blood.

“Hey Mir,” you say, because you think it’s funny by now, “is your bathroom renovation done?”

“Ha!” I reply. “HahahaHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” I howl, and eventually you run in the other direction because I am a little deranged at this point, and frankly, scary.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I find Snapchat useful for staying connected to Chickadee, but there was something immensely satisfying about sending her this snap yesterday, childish though it may have been. (Listen, I was told the drywall guy was coming first thing, then when I inquired around 11 as to what was going on, I was told he’d be coming at 2. I worked out and got into the shower at 1 sharp, and of course my doorbell rang at 1:05. The dogs went ballistic and I answered my door in my robe in the middle of the day like some sort of dilettante.)

So, no, BUT THANKS FOR ASKING, the bathroom isn’t done. We’re closer, though. The tiling is complete (the third time was the charm, it turns out, though the fact that they had to undo/redo some of the tile twice is something I want you to bear in mind if I am murdered any time soon), so we have a floor and a shower and a toilet, and today the painters are coming, which THEORETICALLY means that tomorrow we can actually start using the bathroom again, provided that no one is too bothered by the fact that we don’t yet have a sink. (The vanity was backordered, apparently. Hilarious, because we literally ordered the cheapest possible option and standard everything. Either the whole world is as cheap as we are, or something else is going on. Best not to ponder.)

Bearing in mind that my role in this renovation is limited to shopping—perhaps my favorite sport—and very little actual physical labor, it may be surprising to learn that I am sustaining reno-related injuries, but I’ve always been an over-achiever. (more…)

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Two turkeys, no waiting

Remember when I used to write here regularly? I can’t decide if my life is less interesting now or if I just finally realized my life is not nearly as interesting as I once believed. It’s probably best not to dwell on it.

Today we are trying to Return To Normal Life, only that’s working about as well as you might imagine when my entire family returned on Saturday, over-stimulated and under-rested. Otto is a pretty good sport, as you know—plus when he’s tired he’s not mean, because he is a fully evolved human—but the kids spent most of Saturday in bed and then grumbled around for a while on Sunday and this morning they’re both sick. Because of course they are. (In fairness, Monkey told me he wasn’t feeling well on Saturday, I was just trying to wish it away because that’s a thing that’s worked so well in the past. HAHA. Kid made it 15 minutes at school today before I had to pick him up. Now he’s home with an ear infection and a lot of guilt-inducing comments about how he TOLD me he was sick!)

Chickadee is at school, though, because (quiz time):
A) She is a conscientious student.
B) She is paranoid about falling behind in her AP classes (read: all of her classes).
C) She wants to see her friends.
D) She fears I will give her a hard time for staying home.
E) She’s doing me a solid because she knows Monkey is sicker.
or
F) Some combination of the above.

This was all a fitting end to my few days of solitude, I guess. (more…)

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Because reasons, that’s why

It has come to my attention that my perception of “normal” may be… a little off. Weird, right? I—and my family/home—am the picture of boring normalness, surely. (Voices in my head: Yeah, no. Also, don’t call me Shirley.)

I mean, doesn’t everyone reassure others about their competence by announcing that they’re a dog door? No? Or own their stupidity by exclaiming “Gorgonzola!”? Also no? Weird.

For some reason, this morning, I started thinking about all of the weird little things which happen around here and strike me as perfectly normal even though it’s POSSIBLE that they’re not. Or maybe they are and I’m just really confused. That’s also a plausible explanation because let’s face it, I spend a lot of time being really confused. A day where I’m NOT confused is probably… a day when I’m asleep. (Wait, is that an option? I would like to be asleep right now.)

So for my own amusement (and maybe yours?), here’s an assortment of things which I’m sure are perfectly normal: (more…)

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Snippets in no particular order

I remember when preparing the kids for the start of school was practically an Olympic event. You’d get the list of school supplies and head off to your local Big Box store to buy your assigned allotment of glue sticks and whiteboard pens, and if you were supposed to have a magenta with teal striped 2.5″ 3-ring binder for a particular subject, well then, you had best find yourself that exact magenta with teal stripes 2.5″ 3-ring binder OR ELSE. Plus the clothes shopping. LORD. Uniforms, for the uniform years, or just replacement of what’s outgrown (him) and stocking the latest trends (her) before the big day.

Preparation for school this year:
Me: Does anyone want to go shopping for clothes? Do either of you need anything?
Monkey: No.
Chickadee: I’m busy.

I picked up some loose-leaf binder paper one day when I was getting groceries and they had a B1G1 special at the supermarket. Then I ordered a box of pens and half a dozen spiral notebooks from Target. Later that same week Chickadee deigned to go thrifting with me (first day outfit: procured) and I gave Monkey a haircut. Done! I LOVE HIGH SCHOOL! (more…)

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