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Shhh … it’s SOMEONE’S BIRTHDAY

Today is a Special Day That We Are Not Allowed to Talk About here. But I wanted to share some things I love about my wife. (more…)

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Comments { 132 }

Otto and Goliath

Longtime readers know that one of the joys of summer, for me, is my little backyard garden. What started years ago with a few containers on the deck has steadily expanded into a series of boxes where I spend half my July wrestling with vines that need to go UP THE TRELLIS, dammit, UP.

Some plants I grow from seeds. Zucchini, for example, is perfectly happy when you stick a seed in the soil and then completely ignore it for the next two months. Provided you do anything less traumatic than run it over with a car, zucchini will happily flourish until you have zucchini muffins coming out of your ears. (Or until you make zucchini fritters for dinner, like I did last night. Monkey’s comment: “YUM! These taste just like FRENCH FRIES!” It only took two cups of oil to find a way he likes zucchini, folks.)

Other plants, I go to the garden store and buy little ones, either because growing from seed is complicated or because I’m lazy. This year Otto was headed out to run some errands around Easter and I said, “Can you pick up a few tomato plants? I forgot to start seeds so we may as well.”

“Sure,” he said, because he is swell. “What kind do you want?” (more…)

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Comments { 47 }

Love embellishes on the sly

I thought there was nothing I like better than when a reader so totally gets my family, they feel the need to call my attention to something that would make us happy.

Alert reader Jamie did just that: She emailed me earlier this week with this link to say she was thinking about me. In case you don’t feel like clicking, that leads to this little DIY gem:

Awesome, right? (more…)

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Comments { 21 }

Memories, plus bonus Otto

Yesterday I read Liz’s post about her step-grandfather and it got me thinking about MY step-grandfather. So today you get to read about him over at Off Our Chests, if you’re so inclined. He was a character.

Unrelated, here’s an actual, unretouched conversation that happened here yesterday:
Me: Honey, I love you SO MUCH.
Otto: I… love you, too…?
Chickadee: She wants something.
Me: No! I just LOVE YOU!
Otto: I know what she wants.
Me: You do?
Otto: You want me to stop at the store and pick up sweet potatoes.
Me: See? THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU! You’re the GREATEST!

(I always said a big part of the reason I wanted to remarry was so that my children could grow up seeing what a healthy, loving marriage looks like. Now they can see that when two people really love each other, their love magically produces veggie chili EVEN WHEN they are unexpectedly out of sweet potatoes.)

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Comments { 19 }

True romance, camping style

Actual unretouched conversation preceding this post, over breakfast:

Me: Is it okay with you if I blog about last night?
Otto: *raises his eyebrows in the classic “Are you on crack?” gesture*
Me: No. No! Not, you know, ALL of last night. But… you know, the early parts.
Otto: *shakes his head slowly, wide-eyed, conveying that I’m trying to kill him*
Me: Otto! I just mean… you KNOW what I mean. I’m not going to say anything… inappropriate. But I know you’re descended from Puritans and easily embarrassed, SO I’M ASKING. If it’s going to mortally embarrass you, I won’t.
Otto: *sighing* It’s your site.
Me: Yes it is. But I don’t want to make you unhappy. If you really don’t want me to, I won’t. I can write about… squirrels.
Otto: It’s your site.
Me: You said that already.
Otto: *sighing again* I trust you.
Me: Do you?
Otto: Yes.
Me: Excellent.
Otto: *dropping his head into his hands* Oh, God. (more…)

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Comments { 31 }

On the road agaaaaaaain…

The whole situation with the fence has gotten so intolerable, we’ve run away from home.

Okay, fine, STRICTLY SPEAKING that’s not quite true. I mean, sure, we ARE on Day 25 of our one and a half day fence job, and it is absolutely true that it is not yet done, and it is also true that Fence Guy, after offering to rip down the fence and build us a new one then had the BIG GIANT BRASS ONES to come back and ask for a materials deposit, and when we pointed out that we’d already put down thousands of dollars, remember? (subtext: OH HELLS NO), he emailed Otto and said “Well then we’ll need another solution” and we sat on that for a day and then he realized that maybe, just maybe, while we were not answering him, we were talking to a lawyer (we were), he MAGICALLY came up with a way to do it without additional money (imagine!), but technically speaking, we were already planning to leave home, fence or no. It’s just that the whole fence thing makes me FEEL like setting fire to the house and driving away.

Thanks to Otto’s calming influence, I didn’t torch anything. We just drove away, instead. (more…)

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Comments { 18 }

This is love

I feel like I haven’t talked too much about darling Otto, recently, and this is not because my adoration for him has waned in any way. In fact, I would have to say that during my recent bout of The Crayzee he continued to be nothing less than a pillar of strength and support.

It’s funny; I was talking with a freshly-divorced friend the other day, and she asked me how I ever managed to get to a place where I could even consider trusting a relationship again, much less remarrying. And I had to confess that Otto and I have known each other for over half our lives; I’m not sure I ever could’ve done it, otherwise. I truly believe that history is the glue in our relationship. That’s not to say that our history is nothing but rainbows and sunshine, but that having known each other for so long—having seen each other make mistakes and be jerks and still somehow recover from those things—THAT is what allows us to look at each other every day and know that whatever it is, we’re going to be okay.

We’ve agreed to love each other for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health, through endless fence debacles (NO THE FENCE IS STILL NOT FINISHED, THANKS FOR ASKING) and whatever else life throws at us. (World without end, amen.) (more…)

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Comments { 50 }

Traditional; modern; cerebral

We have arrived once again at the portion of our program where life needs to pause, briefly, so that Otto and I can contemplate our life together. The fact that I have been half-joking for weeks that thinking too hard about this past year can only lead to madness was not a deterrent to my handsome husband; today’s our anniversary/familyversary and that means CELEBRATION.

Regular readers may recall that last year on our anniversary, Otto looked up the traditional 3rd anniversary gift and found that it was leather. Not wanting to deal with a vegetarian-staged protest over his gifting attempt, he elected, instead, to buy us all crystal sun catchers for the kitchen (crystal being the “modern equivalent,” though I’m still wondering how leather turns into crystal, exactly).

I had a feeling that perhaps a tradition had just been started, but I didn’t know for sure until this morning. (more…)

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Comments { 58 }

Point happy, point to sad

I currently have this book sitting on my desk for review, and I hope the authors don’t mind me borrowing from their title. (The book is great; it gives kids on the spectrum practice with identifying emotions via facial expression. I can only assume that the correlating adult book would feature such directives as “point to socially acceptable” and “point to pretty,” instead, but I prefer this version.)

My folks headed back home, yesterday. In the middle of the afternoon I got a helpful automated phone call from their airline, letting me know that their flight had been canceled. As they were currently stranded in Philadelphia I’m not sure how useful that was, but it sounds like they eventually made their way back to the homestead. While I was sorry for their complicated, longer day, I was not sorry they didn’t take the call, as the voice on the other end was just so downright chipper in regretting to inform me that the flight had been canceled. That’s the sort of thing that can spark a good rage, you know.

I am somewhat prone to those sorts of rages. Sometimes I think I majored in righteous indignation in college. As we muddle through helping Monkey and the school deal with his meltdowns, every bewildered “He just gets so ANGRY” from someone who doesn’t quite get it is a little knife in my heart. Anger is a shielding emotion. It’s much easier to be angry than to be sad. Misery is vulnerable; outrage is invincible. I know why Monkey gets mad—being pissed at everyone still feels like being in control, while admitting that you feel lost and hopeless is a free-fall. (more…)

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Comments { 62 }

Special Guest Post: It’s Mir’s Dad!

You asked (over on Facebook) for the famous Mir’s Dad to come and write so, while my lovely bride (oh, hey – this is Otto tapping at you now) is off getting lovelier, he was ordered to hunt and peck his way through writer’s block (hard, when you’re an architect by trade and nature, to problem solve in your kid’s realm) and create the following missive.

So, some rules:

  • We love Mir’s dad. He’s awesome. You must agree to this before clicking through to his post.
  • No nasty comments or he’ll leave mean ones on your blog.
  • The chances of him registering “mirsdad.com” are pretty slim, but you can ask.
  • He has kids already and, while he’s sure you’re a perfectly nice person, probably won’t adopt you. Sorry.

That’s it, click on through to read …
(more…)

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Comments { 78 }
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