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I think I mentioned that Chickadee moved back home with allllll her stuff, and the idea is that she’s taking this semester she should’ve still been in school to kind of decompress and tend to her health (HAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA because 20-somethings are notorious for taking good care of themselves, amirite?) and figure out what’s next, and then around May or maybe before (she said, trying not to sound too eager), she’ll move back out to another apartment, taking all of this stuff with her. We’d cleaned out the attic, some, but let’s just say that organization is not my darling daughter’s strong suit, and as a result, her entire bedroom is filled with various boxes and bins and her closet is a hazard zone and she regularly has to go into the attic for something we stored which she needs, etc.

This is all fine, by the way. First world problems, for sure. It will all get sorted. Eventually.

Approximately once a day when I’m feeling content and loving, I offer to help her go through her stacks and piles and get organized, and every time she tells me “later” or “tomorrow” or “not yet.” (Conversely, approximately three times a day when she’s driving me nuts, I ask when she’s moving out.) And so here we are, nearly two months after graduation, and everything is still a huge mess and I don’t know about you, but I am TOTALLY SHOCKED by this state of affairs. (more…)

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Tales from the un-emptied nest

It’s a weird thing, having everyone back at home again. And not just because I will periodically look around and yell “Who ARE all you people? Don’t you have adult lives to pursue elsewhere??” There’s some driveway Jenga to be done with everyone’s cars here. There are more dishes (OMG SO MANY DISHES) lying around. It’s both louder (at times) and quieter (at times; turns out that young adults like to nap an awful lot) than I expected. The dogs are delighted. Otto is… resigned, I’d say. And once again I’ve taken out the step basket that lives on the stairs so that I can toss things into it which belong up in the kids’ rooms so that they can… ignore those items on their way up the stairs. Old habits die hard, it seems.

I am learning to let things go, though. For example, there was a time when I would’ve lovingly prepared a dinner acceptable to everyone in the house (harder than it might sound, with three picky eaters and various dietary restrictions) and then gotten my feelings hurt if it wasn’t consumed and appreciated by everyone as planned. Last night I made one of our family favorites and… Otto ended up coming home very late, Monkey went and ate at a friend’s house, and Chickadee “napped” and then went to bed for the night. You know what? No biggie. The leftovers are in the fridge. Someone will eat them. Eventually. Maybe I’ll slip them under someone’s pillow. (New more-mature me still has some odd fantasies, but whatever.) (more…)

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The little blue car that could(n’t)

I just went back in my archives to see if I ever wrote about getting a new car a few years back, and apparently I did not. It was Chickadee’s senior year of high school, and there was a lot of other stuff going on, and also I vaguely remember my ex making a snarky comment about it to me (which immediately sent me into a reflexive shame spiral of “I don’t deserve nice things” because a traumatized brain is a complex and stupid thing), and so somehow, I never talked about it, I think. But: just before Christmas of 2015, Trixie, my trusty old Corolla, became Chickadee’s very own car, while I became the proud new owner of a Prius C (the smaller Prius; and the salesguy kept saying “People think it stands for Compact but it stands for City!” to the point where Otto and I said that to each other for a solid year before it stopped being funny) we named Gemma. Gemma is a perky little blue car that fulfilled all of my hippie liberal dreams to the point where I couldn’t believe it didn’t come with a bonus bag of ethically-sourced granola and a hemp shopping bag in which to carry it.

I have never loved a car like I love Gemma. We have a very special relationship. (Not that special, ya perv. Sheesh.) (more…)

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In further weird news

First: Thank you all for the kind responses to my last post. It warms my cold, dead heart to know there are so many folks out there who were, in a way, walking along with me for so many years while we ushered my oldest through All The Scary Things all the way to (theoretical) adulthood. It’s lovely to have a virtual army on call. (One especially generous longtime reader—and I am not suggesting anyone should feel they should do the same, or that it wasn’t a huge surprise—actually contacted me about getting an incredible gift to Chickie. While the gift itself is awesome and much appreciated no matter how much the giver tried to minimize it, the inclination and thought is what left me on the verge of grateful tears. You people are just the NICEST, and that’s all there is to it.)

Second: As of this morning, I am no longer the mother of teenagers. This is, if possible, even weirder than Chickadee graduating from college. But here we are! If you ask me now how old my children are, I will pause, suffer a small coronary, and tell you the truth: 20 and 21. Mah BAYYYBEEE is 20, and no amount of incredulity will turn back the clock. (more…)

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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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