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. read more…
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. read more…
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. read more…
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. read more…
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! read more…
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 crÃªperie 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. read more…
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. read more…
Whoops, I left another one of those long gaps, huh? I didn’t mean to. I’ve just been so busy crying, you see. [Sidebar: EVERYTHING IS FINE. It’s so fine, it’s all-caps fine. I have to keep reminding myself of this. EVERYTHING IS FINE.]
When I last left you, my awesome rainbow chairs were finished, but also so was our fridge. I was trying to just go with it, you know? Because the rainbow rockers truly are awesome. (In fact, they’re so awesome, recently a gruff, busy-on-his-cell-phone UPS man embodying every stereotype you might imagine came up the walkway, saw the chairs, and when I greeted him at the door, grinned and said, “Those chairs are AMAZING.” God bless you, UPS man. You are, as the kids say, lit.) And the new fridge is lovely, what with its ability to keep food cold and everything. So it’s all really fine and my particular mental illness about spending large amounts of money would just have to cool it, because everything was fine.
And then Chickadee came home for a few days so that I could shuttle her back and forth to some specialist appointments in Atlanta (because parenting doesn’t end at 21, especially if your supposedly-adult child is afraid to drive in the city), and THAT was all fine, except for the pretzels. read more…
Oh my goodness, it’s been a week. Or two weeks. I’m not even sure. It all starts to blend together, you know?
When last we spoke, I was enthusiastically embarking upon Project Rainbow, or—more specifically—the “simple” task of repainting the rockers from our front porch with some actual rainbows, and although it was slow going I knew I would triumph and be pleased. Well. At this point in time I definitely AM pleased, and one out of two isn’t bad, right? I mean, look, they came out pretty okay:
I once worked a temp job for a small organization where I handled the copyediting for their newsletter, and I quickly learned that my boss’ biggest pet peeve was the correct (or, I guess more to the point, often incorrect) usage of “less” vs. “fewer.” I already had a college degree and was dismayed to discover no one had ever explained the difference to me, but explain she did, and I have never forgotten. You use “less” if it’s not a thing you would quantify by number. You use “fewer” if the item in question is something you can (or, more importantly, logically would) count. At some point in her teenagerhood, I explained this differentiation to Chickadee (no doubt after she used the wrong word in a paper), sure she—like me, so many years prior—would experience it as a lightbulb moment and never get it wrong again.
She listened and nodded and thought about it for a moment. A sly smile twitched up the corners of her mouth, and she looked me in the eye and said, “Fewer sand.” Her argument was that you COULD, theoretically, count grains of sand. But of course you do not. Should not. (Would not, Crazypants.) Still, to this day, if she feels an urge to yank my chain, a cheerful trilling of “FEWER SAAAAAND!” can be heard.
So. Perhaps you can count bullshit, somehow, but that would be crazy. Less bullshit it is. This is my mantra for now: More rainbows and less bullshit. I am doing my best to make this a reality these days. read more…