Would you believe

Would you believe that my first entry here on ye olde blog was written when my oldest was six years old, tiny and sassy and chirpy and endlessly chatty, and on Saturday that little bird of a girl graduated from college, tall and lovely and grown and measured and oh, lord (this is no time for humility, right?), loaded down with cords and medals and other symbols of how she rocked the last three and a half years like the utter boss she is?

Would you believe that for years I prayed every day, multiple times a day, that she would just make it through one more day, please, God, I don’t know if I even believe in you but IF YOU EXIST or if there is some sort of overarching protective force in the universe, whatever it is or you are, please, please please please, just keep her safe and whole for one more day so we can get closer to figuring out what she needs and how to help her?

Would you believe that Saturday felt like a dream and a miracle, and that watching her friends and her professors swarm around her with the same pride and exhilaration Otto and I were feeling made it somehow both more and less real, and that for the first time in a very long time, I believed down to my bones that she really is going to be okay—better than okay, even—and that while I will always worry, it’s a Normal Worry or no longer a Panicked Dread Worry? (more…)

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Baked halfway into a coma already

Hello, and happy cooking frenzy before Thanksgiving! Just to give you an idea of how I’m doing: a few minutes ago the husband and I were having a positively RIVETING conversation about how to reconfigure our dining room to fit the approximately eight billion (slight exaggeration) people showing up here tomorrow, and upon its conclusion I headed back into the kitchen and took a deep swig of my coffee. Except I am lying; that’s not what happened. What actually happened was that I brought the coffee cup up to my mouth and TRIED to take a deep swig of my coffee, and instead I poured coffee all over my face, my shirt, and the floor.

So everything is right on schedule, in other words. May I offer you a Shout wipe? They’re good for coffee stains. Ask me how I know!

I have been cooking in stages all week, as I usually do on the run-up to Thanksgiving. Our guests are also bringing food, but Thanksgiving is Otto’s favorite holiday in the whole world, and Otto is nothing if not someone who loves tradition. So it’s all good and well that other foods are coming, we have to have certain foods without which Thanksgiving would be woefully incomplete and wrong and bad and possibly create a wormhole in the space-time continuum which results in all the Puritans being sent back to England. Or something. This means a week of prep for me, oddly enough. (Otto is in charge of the turkey. That’s a big job, of course. But I am in charge of everything else.) (more…)

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An update and some rain

Hello! A couple of people have asked and I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging after you were all so sweet about my jerkface of a dying dog. Duncan is indeed still with us–after the first couple of days home he started eating again (but picky-like, so now he’s getting canned food like the prince he is) and perked up considerably. We all spent several days watching him in amazement and commenting to one another, “He sure doesn’t ACT like he’s dying” and although I publicly declared I wasn’t going to get my hopes up, lo, my hopes were up, because the medication was clearly working and he seemed to feel pretty good. Aaaaaaand then yesterday he peed in the house three times, and this morning when I picked him up to put him back on my bed after the breakfast he’d refused, he did the honking/coughing thing that started all of this. Which—BONUS!—was followed by gagging and then puking an impressive amount of water slime all over my comforter. So! I’m doing laundry, Duncan is still alive, still an asshole, we still don’t really know how long this will continue, and I talked to our regular vet to see if he makes house calls (he does), so we are enjoying (? maybe not the bodily fluids parts) the present and preparing for… you know. Sigh. Thank you all so much for your kind words and sharing about your own beloved pets.

Switching gears (because there is only so much time even I can keep talking about the wonders of canine effluvia): We are currently experiencing some Weather. I mean, we ALL experience weather, but right now the greater Atlanta area is experiencing Weather, by which I mean that water is falling from the sky and people are losing their fool minds. (more…)

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Never ever ready

So this is not a fun post, but I do promise one little funny bit before it ends, if you’ll hang in there with me. Okay? Okay.

Six years ago we added Duncan to our family, and he has been an inordinate pain in our collective backsides ever since. He was older than we were told, he was sicker than we were told, and while I firmly believe I could pick Licorice up and twist her into a pretzel without so much as a single growl from her, Duncan has never, ever hesitated to show you displeasure with his (freakishly strong) teeth, and in the first two days he lived with us, he’d bitten three out of four family members hard enough to draw blood. He has allergies. His skin is sensitive. He’s hypoglycemic and prone to growths and no, I absolutely will NOT add up what this dog has cost us over the years because it defies my frugal sensibilities, defies any logic whatsoever. This damn dog has been sick and/or worrisome for most of the time we’ve owned him and just a few months ago capped it off with a you-could’ve-bought-a-car-instead level stay at the local vet hospital.

Through it all, I’ve said he was on borrowed time. I said I’d be happy with whatever time he has left, because he was, after all, our undead zombie dog, the dog who came to us having had a hard life, but learning the magic of being spoiled rotten, and whatever we could give him, however happy we could make him in whatever time he had, that would be enough. But I’m a liar. (more…)

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The saga of the new bed

Perhaps you recall that wayyyy back in August, I spent a significant amount of time digging out our master bedroom so that my husband wouldn’t divorce me because it had become quite cluttered. This, naturally, led to multiple discussions about What We Should Do In Here, with Otto never even once agreeing with me that “set fire to everything and walk away” was a good option. (Hmph.) We agreed that Real Furniture—not the “half of my bedroom set from my first marriage plus random other pieces” assortment we currently have—would be great, and we even agree on what sort of furniture we would like. We have great taste, Otto and I do. SUCH great taste. Expensive taste. “Never gonna find what we want in our price range” kind of taste.

But no worries! We have been scouring Craigslist and local Marketplace ads and remain hopeful that someday, somehow, our furniture shall present itself. I have a dream, people, and that dream involves… matching nightstands. (Aim high, that’s my motto.)

Sure, there have been a couple of false starts. One promising set of furniture turned out to be in pretty rough shape, so we passed, and then another time we found a couple of amaaaaaaazing matching dressers, but no nightstands, and the design involved was so unusual we just didn’t think we’d be able to find anything to coordinate. Oh well. We kept looking.

And then I found it. (more…)

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All things baffled and borkening

Yesterday the temperature hit the high 50s here, and there was much rejoicing. This has been the longest, hottest summer I can remember, and allllll through September we joked about how fall would be arriving ANY DAY NOW, and yet the next day the heat index would crack three digits, and that sucked, sure, but when it was still happening the first week of October, well, then it’s just ridiculous. But yesterday—glorious, cool, wonderful yesterday—when we got up, it was actually cool outside. I don’t think it went over about 72 all day.

Today it will be over 80, but RIGHTTHISSECOND it’s only 62 degrees—sweater weather!!—and I’m wearing jeans, because fall is here now. Damnit. IT IS. I am clinging to that as comfort.

So much has happened since I was last here! (Not really.) And so many people have given me so much grief for being absent during that time (DAD)! It’s just that it’s so hard to type anything coherent while shouting insults at my dog. Uhhh… I guess I should probably explain that. (more…)

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Mama Grizzly mode, activated

I wanted to share a picture of Chickadee’s shoes on her first day of the semester, because for those of you who’ve stuck around for a long time, shoe pictures and the first day of school are a tradition ’round here, and this would’ve been a very significant picture, because… it will be the last one (at least for a good long while, anyway). Because—I hope you’re sitting down, people who started reading here when my darling Chickie-pie was 6 years old and sassy beyond her years—my once tiny and chirpy firstborn is graduating from college in just a few months. Graduating. From. College.

It’s okay, take a minute. I know I need to, every single time I say it out loud.

Anyway, that was… a month ago, and it never happened, because first she was all “Why?” and “You’re the worst” and “Fine, LATER” and then eventually when she texted me a picture she also told me I had to edit it before I could use it. You see, she was wearing booties and a pair of cropped pants and you could see a few specks of rash (remember The Rash Chronicles? GOOD TIMES THAT NEVER END) between the two and eventually I just gave up and never posted the picture. But trust me, she’s adorable. Except I have begged her to throw those shoes away multiple times because they’re falling apart, and I even bought her a replacement pair, which is sitting in her room upstairs here instead of in her apartment, so I guess that’s why she’s not wearing them. Whatever. Now it’s mid-September and no one cares about my kid’s shoes, I know. Which is fine, because that’s not even what I want to tell you about. (more…)

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If you give a Mir a basement

If you give a Mir a house with a basement, eventually the basement will experience catastrophic flooding, and everything will be terrible, and she will be sad and rent a dumpster and throw away tons and tons of ruined things.

If she throws away tons of stuff, you’d think it would be easy the next year to pack up what’s left and move 1,000 miles away, but—amazingly—she still has a ton of stuff and it takes forever.

If it takes forever, once she moves she will actually be relieved to end up buying a house which has no basement at all, because no basement means she cannot 1) fill it with stuff or 2) experience any sort of flooding.

If she doesn’t have a basement, she’ll just fill up the attic! And the spare closets in her son’s room! And the regular closets! And also the master bedroom! (more…)

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Back and even productive

My favorite thing to do after a trip—by which I mean, the thing I most often do just because I am a poor planner and also lazy—is to come home and swear at least twice a day that I’m going to unpack in just a little bit. I mean, I don’t want to brag, or anything, but I have been known to leave my suitcase in the corner of the room, untouched, for up to a month. And really, I thought that was what would happen this time, too. Somehow, though, I was both so buoyed from our trip AND so excited to return home to my dogs and my own bed (is there anything better than that first night back in your own comfy bed after being away?) that I came down with a bad case of Adultitis.

Digression: We had boarded the dogs along our route, so after packing up a gajillion things into our car yesterday morning (that’s only a slight exaggeration, as we’re the only ones close enough to drive this time, which meant we had all the food leftovers, and also somehow quite a lot of booze), we needed to kill a little time between rental checkout and pickup time at the kennel. We drove to an adjoining town where there is a 100% gluten-free crêperie and I capped off the five pounds I gained last week (not even kidding, also don’t even care because #worthit) in style. Then we headed homeward, stopping to get the dogs.

Licorice, as per usual, lost her goddamn tiny walnut-sized mind because CLEARLY we had abandoned her and were never coming back, yet here we were and OMGSOEXCITING and there was a lot of barking and prancing and licking. Duncan, on the other hand, was all “Oh, hey” nonchalance, which I suppose I’ll take over what happened at drop-off, which… involved a mop. Ahem. (more…)

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And then we went on vacation

You may or may not recall that every few years my father and stepmother gather up their collective children and grandchildren and take us all somewhere to sit around eating ourselves silly and telling embarrassing stories about the past. It’s magical. My little nuclear family missed the last trip (which was three years ago) for Reasons and so this is our first time all together in five years. In preparation I went back and read my posts from the very first trip, which was a cruise, so it was fresh in my mind that when the cousins first met, Gerber had just turned one, Banana was a painfully shy preschooler, Chickadee was in middle school, and Monkey was—though we didn’t know it at the time—ten and about to have a really tough year. (And if you’ve been reading here forever, allow me to blow your mind by pointing out that now when we sit around and play cards at night, Chickadee drinks with us—legally!—and Monkey had to request time off from work and also trim his beard before we left. Yeah.) So when we arrived this time, Banana remembered us but is now a nearly-13-year-old gazelle who is entirely unaware of how beautiful she is and huffs and rolls her eyes at everything her mother dares to say or do, and Gerber is now the age Monkey was on the first trip, tall and enthusiastic and impish and remembering us not at all. I told Gerber that the first time we met, he wasn’t even walking yet and Chickie carried him all over the cruise ship with a pocket full of Cheerios, popping them into his mouth whenever he got fussy, and his eyes got big and he laughed and laughed.

All of this is to say: It is a Very Good Thing we’re doing this now, because I think I didn’t even know how much I needed it. (more…)

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