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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

...and the countdown continues

July was crammed with swim team, family drama, and BOYS.  It was great.

ICK! August took us back to school, gave us Breaking Dawn AND Elvis week, and brought my mother for a visit.  We did a lot of chatting.  A lot.

By the time September got here I really could have used a vacation, instead I got Sarah Palin, a visit from my in-laws, and the weirdest Relief Society dinner EVER.

October really brought out the political ranter in me.  Whew.  I'm surprised anyone is still reading after all that. You guys should really tell me when I'm getting carried away.  When I wasn't going on and on (and on) about the election, I seemed to just be going on and on about pretty much nothing

Ah, November, an historic election, a new James Bond movie, my stinking 40th birthday(which I am SO over by the way), and some serious art appreciation. 

I'm not going to bother with December, I mean it's not even over yet, how could I possibly? 

PS~We went to see Doubt this afternoon.  I highly recommend it.  My husband gives it a so-so.  Men.

Almost as interesting as a Barbara Walters special

Just in case you are looking for some entertainment while you count down the hours until 2009, here are the highlights, in my opinion (and what with it being MY blog and all, I think my opinion should count for something, if not everything), of my exceedingly, and sometimes irratic, blogging performance of 2008.  I'm no Dick Clark, but neither is Ryan Seacrest. Trust me, this will be way more fun that watching some silly ball drop.

January was a good month, and clearly the start of my annoying obsession with all things election related, I think if an intervention had been staged at that point my children may not have had to witness their mother talking back to the television while she took notes (I took NOTES, what kind of a nut am I?!--If you are my brother, that is a rhetorical question, I already know what kind of nut you think I am) during ALL of the debates. My favorite January post has suprisingly nothing to do with the election and everything to do with my daughter, which, if you ask her, is just how it should be.

In Feburary I continued to talk about politics and Amish Friendship Bread, but the my break-up with Blockbuster has unfortunately remained the thing that affected me the most.  We never reconciled and I will probably never be the same.  Hollywood Video has tried to be a substitute, but they don't even have any season of Dexter on DVD, so without meaning to, they will always fall just a little short.

March brought Spring Break, Mike Huckabee, and the end of sweater season, but most importantly a valuable lesson about vanity.  One that I have not forgotten.

In April I discovered Flight of the Concords, no, I don't live under a rock, we just don't have cable, which everyone knows is about as close as you can get to actually living under a rock. Just ask my kids.

There were plenty of high points in May, but none even came close to this.  I really needed it after that whole tanning business in March.

Girls Camp was scheduled for June and my seperation anxiety kicked in making my kind of whiney, but knowing that I am raising funny kids really helped to put everything in perspective.

Okay, there are the first six months, it's only taken me an hour and half to put that together.  Now I must run to Target for Happy New Year tiaras and party snacks.  I will be back with the second half of the year this afternoon.

So, New Year’s Eve

I remember staying home with my little brothers while our parents (or my mom and whoever she was married to that year) went out to fancy grown up parties. We would watch Dick Clark and wear party hats, I, of course, being the only girl, got the glittery Happy New Year tiara, we would toss homemade confetti at midnight and drink ginger ale from plastic champagne glasses.  It all seemed very exciting at the time.

Later, when I when I was a drinking girl, the party would start early in the day and continue way past midnight. Which generally left me the ringing in the New Year feeling quite nauseous, and usually with the uneasy feeling that, while I didn’t exactly remember that last club we’d been to, maybe that was for the best.

It’s been years since I’ve been to any kind of crazy party on New Year’s Eve. We either hang out with our kids or go to boring adult parties. After last year I swore we would not spend another January 31st in agony, so tonight we are staying home and have invited our closest friends to come to our house where we will ring out the old by watching rented videos and eating ice cream and possibly going to bed around 10:00. I can’t even make it through an entire episode of Saturday Night Live anymore, I’m not even going to pretend I will be awake at 12:00. I’m old. 40, remember.

Our children will stay up, or try to. They will wear hats and throw homemade confetti and drink sparkling cider from plastic martini glasses. One or two will even go out with friends, just to other homes where some mom waaaayyy nicer than me has agreed to host a Flight of the Concords marathon (it doesn’t hurt that there is no fun wrecking little sister on the premises either, some people have all the luck).

Everyone will sleep in tomorrow, except me. I hardly ever sleep in. I will wake up early and crack open my new 2009 planner.

I love the idea of new years and fresh starts. I’m optimistic like that.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

is it really Christmas Eve already?

I’ve had a hard time feeling festive this year.

It’s really not like me. I am usually all about the baking (of which I have done ZERO this year and my kids keep asking when we are going to do it and I keep buying time with cookies from Trader Joe’s and now it’s getting down to the wire …………….) and the watching of the Christmas movies (of which I have only watched one-Stalking Santa{it rocks}, although I did sit in the same room while the yucky Jim Carrey version of the Grinch was on last night, does that count?) and the decorating (of which I have done the minimum and I still have a small pile of lights that I was going to use to make the upstairs feel all Christmas cozy but are lying in a corner in the family room because I didn’t get that far) and the torturous family photo Christmas card (of which I have not even forced my family to pose for, much less order, address, write a clever letter, and mail out to all of our loved ones near and far).

So today I am taking the day off. I’m not going to work or check e-mails or worry about, well, anything. I am dedicating this day to the Grizwold Family Christmas. We are going to be the hap- hap- happiest, most jolly, carol singing, treat making, light hanging, White Christmas watching, family in town.

Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hallelujah

Thanks to what we shall forever refer to as “The Soldering Miracle of Christmas 2008” I have finished all 30 charms in record time. Victory is mine!!

*Special thanks to my sweet husband who cut all the glass for me, thus making this miracle possible, and not once did he ask me when I would learn my lesson. That must be his gift to me this holiday season.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Because I am a woman who knows not my own limits, and because I have apparently sustained some sort of head injury which I have forgotten about (because, duh, that’s the way it goes with those stupid head injuries!) I have committed to MAKE (with my own two hands) 30 charms for Young Womens.

By Sunday.

HA! HA! HA! (that is the sound of me NOT crying over this stupid stupid not humanly possible thing I have agreed to do)

Saying no is not a concept I am well acquainted with.

I’m pretending I can’t hear you asking me why I waited until the last minute. It’s not funny.

*the charms I'm making look like this, but they say believe instead of LOVE

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And the winner is........

Before I make the announcement I just want to take a second to tell you that this having a contest thing is no piece of cake. It was super hard. I really wanted every one of you to have some delicious Joe Joes, so I hope you will believe it when I tell you that, in my heart, you are all winners and your suggestions and stories have provided not only me, but my entire family with a wealth of ideas, thus ensuring that this year will be the best white elephant gift exchange ever (or at least, the most entertaining). I promise to post pictures of the extravaganza, it’s the least I can do.

With that said, the winner of 16 servings of Candy Cane Joe Joes is---

Ward who suggested –

You could make a cool sweatshirt with bubble-glitter-paint that reads: My Favorite Relative, and has an iron-on picture of you.

What could be better? It’s fancy AND practical.

It was really a tie between that and the Syrup Bottle Angel that June suggested, so I hope he will share his gourmet cookies. It’s Christmas after all.

Congratulations!! They will be in the mail this morning.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's an exchange, you give me something, I give you something. We all win.

I have never given away anything on my blog before but I am in serious need of the vast knowledge and combined cleverness of my best internet cronies and have decided to reward them with the next best thing to a Red Rider BB Gun. At stake is an entire box of Candy Cane Joe Joes, the most fabulous Christmas cookie available for purchase in all of the world, for you, the lucky winner to share with your family or devour secretly in the privacy of your walk in closet, the point is- The ENTIRE BOX, all 16 servings, could be yours, to do with what you please.


Every year at our family Christmas party we have a gift exchange. Long ago we used to give gifts to everyone, then we all went and had a bunch of kids making it logistically and financially impossible to give individual gifts, so we began giving a family gift which evolved into each family bringing one family type gift and playing the present stealing game. It’s been fun and we have come up with some clever gifts as well as ending up with some clever gifts but it has gotten harder and harder to be original, so this year we are changing it up again.

We have decided to hold a true White Elephant exchange.

I don’t think I can begin to tell you how much this thrills me. White Elephant exchanges are on my list of favorite things, along with really good April Fool’s Day pranks and legend worthy practical jokes

I love a good gag gift and see horrid things all the time that I want to buy, just so I can see the look on someone’s face when they open it. Unfortunately, the receivers I would most enjoy giving a “fun” gift to are the ones who are least likely to appreciate one. Like an Alice Cooper Christmas ornament. You don’t come across one of those everyday. It’s a shame more people don’t have a sense of humor. I mean a good one, like mine

What’s your idea of a great White Elephant gift? What’s the best one you’ve ever given or received or heard tell of someone receiving? It does need to be in somewhat good taste, as there are children involved, but this is an individual event and I feel my competitive side coming out. I must have the most hilarious gift of all.

The only rule is that we cannot spend any money, it must either be something we have hanging around the house or something we make from things hanging around the house. Being married to Fred Sanford puts me at a huge advantage here because I have TONS of things hanging around the house (well, technically my husband has tons of things, but what’s his is mine, right?)

To be the winner you must leave a comment with your idea of the ultimate White Elephant gift, between now and Tuesday evening (Dec. 16th) at 10:00p.m. I will then choose one of your fantastic ideas to use as my coup de holiday and announce the winner first thing Wednesday morning.

On you mark. Get set. GO!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh, Nat....

This is so 80's

I can't help it.

Where the tree tops glisten

Each every year they bust Christmas Carols

Sing along if you know the words

I give you a countdown, in no particular order, of the best Christmas songs EVER!
Enjoy!!
What are your favorites?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

There’s more to life than being really really ridiculously good looking…

….and I have a feeling one poor teenage boy is finding that out the hard way as he walks the halls of school this week in his new look.

My son has a friend, Tad, who has a big mop of curly hair, it’s bouncy, or it was anyway. Two nights ago, our son, Edge, who is not a licensed stylist (or any other kind of stylist for that matter) offered to shave Tad’s head. Considering the fact that our son has zero experience in that area I was interested to see the events play out. Let’s just say it was, um, entertaining.

The victim arrived with his bushy head of hair (think Carrot Top, but not orange and without the crazy eyebrows) excited by the prospect of hairstyles heretofore unknown. The two of them proceeded to the back yard where our son had set up his salon; the family hair clippers, a pair of left handed kindergarten scissors (he is left handed after all), a comb (like the ones they give you on picture day) missing a few teeth, a kitchen stool, and a garbage bag with a hole ripped in the bottom for Tad to “drape” over himself.

On a side note: One thing I’ve noticed about boys is no matter how old they are the best adventures still take place in the back yard. In the last year we’ve had fires, forts, gun battles, Mentos explosions, silly string, barbequed Totino’s pizza, and now a salon.

Edge began by cutting some of the length off with the scissors, you know “so the clippers don’t have to do all the work”. I could hear our daughter asking Tad if he was really going to let her brother shave off ALL of his hair, which was answered with a nervous little laugh and “well, not shave exactly”. By this time though, it was too late to ask for testimonials from former clients, the makeover had begun, nothing could be done but wait for the results. Poor kid, he must have been having second thoughts as the younger brother and sister gathered around to watch and ask questions, not to mention saying things like “Wow, did you see that big hunk he just chopped off?” To Tad's credit his lower lip never quivered, he has a cheery disposition for sure.

After they had been at it for about 10 minutes I ventured out to see how it was going. It was going hilariously. For starters, the boy was wearing a kitchen garbage bag, which was about 3 sizes too small, it looked like a plastic straight jacket, which is what I would have needed to be restrained in before I let my son go at my head with scissors and clippers. But hey, I’m not seventeen; I guess I have gained a little wisdom in my 40 years. I tried not to laugh, well, I tried not to let them see me laughing-much.

Tad (cautiously) – “I’m not sure how short it’s supposed to be on the sides.”

Edge –“Dude, it’s already pretty short.”

This is an exchange that would only take place between boys. You would never find two seventeen year old girls in the back yard chopping each other’s hair off without very specific instructions and full knowledge of the consequences if things went badly, not to mention an oath signed in blood that if the styling went south being BFFs would never be an option again. Not boys. They’re all “dude, you didn’t say how short you wanted it” and “man, do I have to wear this garbage bag?” and “wow, your hair is a lot thicker than it looks” and “ouch!”.

Me (unable to control my uncontrollable laughter)-“Bwahh hahahaha! You know he doesn’t cut his own hair right?”

Edge (annoyed)-“Do you want to do it?”

Tad (meekly)-“Would you?”

I’m no professional either but I couldn’t, in good conscience, let the tragedy unfold without least making some effort to rescue what was left of Tads locks. I gave him the same haircut I used to give our boys when they were young, short all around with a little to comb over on top, I didn’t really have many options after the Demon Barber of Mesa had his way with things.

Tad seemed pleased with his look. Like I said, he has a cheery disposition. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

To those of you who are sick of looking at library guy…

…I honestly didn’t mean to leave that last post at the top for so long. Sorry.

I have a thousand thousand “first drafts” in my blog file, but nothing I feel like has been edited enough to post or they are topics whose relevance has passed, for me anyway. I’m the kind of girl who gets excited or annoyed or just worked up in some way about something and I am completely passionate for a period of time then most of the time the fire goes out and I am on to the next thing. Just like a three year old. Which is not to say I cannot be sparked again on the same topic, it just hasn’t happened lately with any of my half written posts.

I also feel like taking Prozac has stunted my blogging mojo. (Are you thinking that I didn’t have any blogging mojo to begin with? Because that is NOT nice and I am emotionally fragile which is why I am taking drugs in the first place- so watch it!) Fortunately, largely thanks to the Prozac, my perception has cleared enough that I know better than to stop taking it just so I can return to my former overly dramatic blogging self. I am hoping my wit will return on its own soon. If it doesn’t I may have to submit a claim to the pharmaceutical company requesting that they list “may cause lack of ability to write anything interesting or grammatically correct” as a side effect.

Your patience is greatly appreciated. Really.

Friday, December 5, 2008

All the books in town can't help this guy.

So, this morning I took my son to the library.  We selected our books and went to the self-check out, one of our books wouldn't scan so we got in line to have a real live librarian help us. Imagine our suprise when we (my 10 year old son and I) saw this- --
We were in the LIBRARY people.  The PUBLIC library.  There were old ladies and small children galore and I thought to myself, surely this man does not know that his entire butt is showing. * Before you are too horrified, what you are seeing is a man with his underwear showing, when my husband saw this picture he wasn't sure. *  I was wrong, apparently that's the look he was going for, because at no time did he ever look sheepishly around and exclaim-"Holy Cow!! My pants have fallen down!"  I know everyone thinks I'm awful to have used my camera phone for this kind of evil, and maybe you're right, I can't be trusted with technology.  I've never done it before, though I have thought about it many times, but I was laughing so hard and I knew that my brother-Mr. You ain't gonna believe whut I'm lookin at- (I swear he calls me 10 times a week saying that) wouldn't believe me without evidence.  Plus, I personally think if you go around with your pants down in public buildings having your picture taken and being ridiculed on the internet is a risk you obviously don't mind taking.

The hardest part is coming up with a clever title everyday.

Last week I went to my Book Group.

I have a love/hate relationship with my book group. Sometimes it’s fun and enlightening, other times it’s dull and a drag. Last week it was good—and not just because my book groupies remembered my birthday (but they did, and it was super sweet and they even got me a gift, which I totally did NOT deserve.  They also did not humilate me by having the entire staff at Chili's sing Happy Birthday cha!cha!cha!, thus making them truly the BEST Book Group EVER).

Our book last month was The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I wasn’t that excited about it, I had seen part of the lecture on PBS and wasn’t that impressed. I did end up reading it though and I was glad, it was a quick read and actually not too bad. What I was especially drawn to was the idea of being able to prepare for your death. It made me really think about the concept of what if…. What if I knew I only had, say 3 months to live? What things would I want to finish? What would I want my family to know? And how would I want to spend my days?

For the past 6 months off and on I have been reading Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott). It’s a great book. In it she writes about writing as if you are dying. What would you want to leave behind? What kinds of stories would you want to make sure wouldn’t be forgotten?

Is the universe trying to tell me something? Nah.

All of the members of my book group are mothers. We often find ourselves comparing horror stories, relaying our maternal exhaustion to one another, or just offering that “been there, you’ll live” kind of support. Women can be hard on each other and even harder on ourselves, so last week as we discussed the book and tried to reconcile the idea of “living in the moment” while “crossing everything off our to-do lists” I wondered if it is even possible? I don’t think I’m dying, but it couldn’t hurt to live like I am a little more. I mean, technically we’re all dying. It just takes some of us longer. I don’t think you can literally live each day like it’s your last, though some people do, they are so carefree and spontaneous (which is also sometimes known as “irresponsible”), but I do believe it’s possible to find a balance between embracing the day and preparing for the future, possible, but, at least in my case, hard to do.

I want to be “joyful”, but sometimes I just don’t think it’s my nature. Sarcastic, yes. Joyful? I’m working on it. Do you think we can change our natures? Some days I think so, other days (when I am completely worn out from life) I think not. I’m trying anyway. Things happen and you can either cry and make it all worse or laugh and get over it, I definitely believe that the way we react to things makes all the difference. I think most of the time I am pretty good at finding the humor in things and not dwelling on the negative (yeah, yeah, I was singing a different song yesterday--I’m over it, keep up), but I could be a lot better about being realistic in my expectations of what really counts in the long run.

How about you, do you balance well? Have you always? Do you know people who do? Talk to me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gather 'round while I get all preachy.

This year before you go shopping I ask you to consider a couple of things. I realize not everyone is as behind on their shopping/crafting/the whole dang stinking list as I am, but if you have any shopping at all left to do consider this; our nation is truly in a financial crisis, I have read more than one article JUST THIS WEEK about hungry children in America. America!!! Here, on our streets, probably in the elementary school down the street from your house.

So, before you go out and buy a bunch of stuff that will just be part of your yard sale inventory in the spring, please check out a couple charities, or better yet, do a search for needs in your immediate area. There are many organizations that value your time as much as your money, so if you are thinking you can’t afford to give anything, think again.

Second, if you are going to buy gifts check out Esty, everything for sale there is handmade or vintage (which means used or recycled, which everyone knows is a GOOD thing), and I promise you could find something great for everyone on your list. Pledge Handmade is a great place to check too. Buying local is another way you can make an impact on your immediate community.

Lastly, I LOVE this, Books for the Holidays. How can you ever go wrong giving books? It’s not possible I tell you. I always buy books for my kids. They expect it now and have all actually given me unsolicited suggestions this year, even the ones that don’t love to read. Merry Christmas to me!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I find it best to kick the holidays off with a good old fashioned meltdown, don't you?

Let it be known throughout all the land that I am the queen of unrealistic expectations.
Lord have mercy on my soul it’s true. I have no concept of how many things can actually be accomplished in a day. You would think the fact that I have NEVER finished everything on my list would be a clue, but you would be so wrong. So very wrong.

As always I began the day Thursday optimistically making a list of the things that needed to happen before dinner. As usual my list was too long and sometimes the line between “need” to have done and “want” to have done gets a little blurry for me.

We had planned to eat at our house but a couple of our kids got the flu so we moved dinner to my brother’s house which meant technically I didn’t even have to dust anything before we ate. If you think I fell for that trick- HA! You don’t know me very well.

I decided that since I was going shopping on Friday and now I had extra time because we were eating somewhere else I could add a few things to my list. Don’t bother asking why I would assume I had more time, I was still cooking the same amount of food and now I had to have it ready and transported to my brother’s house an hour earlier than we had planned to eat at our house, AND two of our children were not feeling fabulous, but somehow I decided that Thanksgiving day would be a great time to check a few things off that I had been meaning to get to.

I don’t think it will surprise anyone to find out that I ended up near tears when I almost forgot to do my hair because I was so busy working on my "chores", and when my husband told me I should just enjoy the day and try to not worry about the fact that my serving dishes didn’t compliment each other (he wanted to leave the food in the pans—THE PANS!! Have you ever heard such nonsense, on Thanksgiving of all days?!!) well, I almost had a breakdown.

Fortunately I was able to see reason just in the nick of time, through the guiding hand of a Diet Mountain Dew and half a box of Candy Cane Joe Joes, I found solace and pulled my sorry self together. (I actually think those Joe Joes contain a little crushed valium along with the pieces of crushed candy cane. It’s a combination that honestly can’t be beat.)

We ended up having a lovely day. I’d like to think my matching bowls made all the difference, but I’m not THAT delusional.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's my party I can take the day off if I want to

It’s my 40th (ugh!) birthday today and the weather has decided to be gloomy and rainy. I could take it as an omen, but I happen to like a rainy day every now and then, and since it rarely rains here, I’m thinking it’s my lucky day.

I was going to edit a serious post and work at my incredibly rewarding job but I have decided to take the day off, a decision I am sure to regret on Friday when I have to pay the piper and make up the hours, but what’s the point of being old if you can’t do whatever the heck you feel like doing, right? (That is right, isn’t it?)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Because having good role models is vital

For my son’s Literature class (he’s a sophomore) he had to pick a biography to read and do a presentation on. My sweet child decided there was no one more interesting to him than Jimi Hendrix. Be honest, when you think of all the people who have made significant contributions to society I know he’s on your list. You can’t fool me.

In order to receive the best grade possible the students were asked to bring props that represented their famous person. My son left the house this morning with an electric guitar and a ziploc bag full of oregano.

I fully expect a call from the principal any minute.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't start with me.

I had a hard time blogging last week. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to say, I always have something to say. I just couldn’t seem to get it my thoughts together enough for public consumption. (By the end of this you might be wondering just exactly what my standards are for public consumption, and all I can say is you should thank your lucky stars I didn’t post much last week.)

I’m thinking of asking the government for a bailout (do they have any idea what a joke this whole bailout business has become-or was from the start?). I just need to figure out what my industry is. I’m thinking something along the lines of “Overworked overwhelmed women”….. The headline will say something like-“Millions of Women Who Haven’t Been Taken Seriously for Years Asking for Aid”—

Usually I hate playlists on blogs----I know, everyone else LOVES them. I like to have several pages open at once and if you get 2 or 3 of those things going at the same time it’s not pretty. BUT, this morning I went here and what to my wondering ears should I hear but Modern English. If everyone had a playlist like that I wouldn’t mind them so much.  Melt With You is one of my favorite songs ever.  I knew you were wondering.

As you can see, my thoughts seem to be flowing quite freely this morning so I think we are back on track. (that was a close one) I have all kinds of half written post from last week, I’m getting them all tidy and will be posting about things like, book group, sad movies, Pat Tillman, my dreaded birthday, and fashion (which I know NOTHING about, so that should be incredibly amusing). Try to keep up.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

As long as you are sending Christmas cards anyway......

I just read about this organization that sends cards to the families of deployed soldiers-

Dear Army Family

Click on the link to read a post about them and to get the details about how you can help.

Also-

Any Soldier  sends mail to the soldiers themselves. 



 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's all fun and games til you're staring down the barrel of a loaded birthday cake.

Once upon a time (like when I was 35) I used to go around saying things like, I look forward to turning 40, and things like, women of 40 represent wisdom and experience. I even said things like “I look forward to turning 40.” I wasn’t scared of it at all.

I will be 40 in one week.

Somehow I’m not feeling as wise as I thought I would.

Funny how that works.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dear Door to Door Windshield Repair Guy,

I know the economy sucks, and I am sorry if this is the best employment you can find, but I just have to tell you that when you keep talking after I have nicely let you know I am not interested through the small crack I have opened the door so my large barking dog cannot eat you, I’m serious. I’m not trying to make you work harder for the sale. I’m not trying to get a better deal. Windshield repair is not the sort of impulse buy I’m known to make.

Sincerely,
The lady who hopes you find a better job soon

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Black Friday, do you or don't you?

I usually don't, because I hate crowds, but I keep hearing that this year is going to be a jackpot.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Like I don't have anything better to do.

Garnet Hill has the BEST sweaters and boots. The problem is they are pretty expensive, well, out of the range of my budget anyway. I still like to get the catalog and plan my dream wardrobe. Did you do that when you were a little girl? Or boy?

Back in the olden days, a few times a year, my mom would get a Sears or a JCPenny’s catalog. They were the big ones, with not only clothes and shoes but furniture and tools too, I loved it. I would pour over the pages, planning all that I would buy if I had the most successful lemonade stand in town.

It was always kind of bittersweet, dreaming of all I would buy but knowing I would never be able to.…………..If your lemonade stand hit the big time what would you buy?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I’m kind of a jerk.

Several years ago my mother-in-law gave us this painting.


She had taken some art classes in the 70’s. She explained how she had never really liked it all that much and that she thought the frame was really ugly, but she hated to get rid of it. There’s not much of anything she doesn’t hate to get rid of (she once had me throw away a broken plate while she closed her eyes because she “couldn’t bear” to do it herself.) My husband inherited this quality and is also super sentimental and keeps everything (I’m not kidding, he has a STACK of programs from his grandma’s funeral that he’s hanging on to “just in case”). A real work of art created by a family member was a total jackpot in his eyes. I knew it was pointless to fight it so we took the painting home, a compromise was reached, and it has been happily hanging in our laundry room for years.

This afternoon the shoe dropped on the other foot, you might say. I received several paintings that were from my grandparent’s home. My grandmother died last year and my grandfather is living with my uncle now so the house is being cleaned out and their possessions divvied up between the grandchildren.
As I unwrapped the frames memories of summers spent on the farm came rushing back to me and I was so grateful to have these mementos. Granted, their value is more sentimental than Antiques Road show, but to me they are priceless. I was trying to decide where they would be best displayed when my husband came in to have a look and asked me if I planned to hang them in the laundry room with his painting. Suddenly I felt like a big meanie for banishing his treasures for all this time.

It looks like our laundry room is on it’s way to becoming quite the showplace.

Like CNN only more accurate.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plains.

We moved around a lot while I was growing up, four states just during my second grade year. My dad was a little undecided career wise. He finally settled on the Army which led to more moving around. My parents divorced when I was 13, we happened to be living in Kentucky so that’s where most of us stayed.

Most native Kentuckians have a pleasant southern drawl which I picked up as a child, but I suppose not having been born and bred there it didn’t really take because when I left Kentucky at 19 it wasn’t long before I left my sweet southern accent too.

When I joined the Army my roommate was from Massachusetts and I soon found myself sounding like a Kennedy. Not to worry, after basic training I headed off to North Carolina and fell back into the comfortable twang of my youth.

I stayed in North Carolina until I was married and we moved to Arizona. Once again I took up the language of the natives. A language I thought had no identifiable characteristics. I was wrong. It seems that in this part of the valley we are so relaxed that we leave the endings off of words. For example, shopping becomes shoppin, and so forth. There are a few other little things that I have noticed myself doin lately that bother me, mostly because it just sounds sloppy and lazy. I’m now making an effort to trade my Arizona accent for a neutral way of speaking, but I’m starting to wonder if there is any such thing as “plain english”.

What do you think, do you have a regional dialect? Do you wish you did? Which do you enjoy? Which ones drive you up a wall?



**P.S. Hooray for pharmaceuticals. I am feeling better. Lighter. I’m not entirely out of the dank dark forest, but I am getting there. The icky thing (ha, one of the icky things) about depression is the physical symptoms that you think are in your head because you can’t think clearly. The exhaustion and the heaviness, not being able to concentrate, the irritability, all so real, yet seemingly out of my control.

I’m not so tired and, I am happy to report, not so irritable. I’m still feeling a little heavy. I did read a whole book over the weekend, so that’s something on the concentration front, right?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Let’s have a theme week, shall we?

Sorry Becky, I hate to disappoint, I guess I embellished a little, I don’t really know any bank robbers, this will have to do.

Do you borrow? I try not to. I’m not sure why, well, that’s not entirely true. I have issues about lending, which makes me uncomfortable borrowing. There are plenty of people in my life that I feel fine sharing with, but others……………not so much.

Like people who borrow my books but don’t return them, then I have to make excuses to get them back—like “hey my sister wants to read that book if you’re done with it” ( I don't even have a sister!) or “do you have ….. I can’t remember who I lent it to?” (which is totally not true, I never forget). One friend, who I used to think was great, but she’s on yesterday’s list too, maybe I need to reconsider her, she and I have the same taste in books, so I love for her to read what I have read so we can discuss it, BUT either she doesn’t return my books, she forgets to or she lends them to someone at work OR she returns them but they look like they have gone through a wash cycle. It bugs me.

How about this? Once I introduced two of my friends who had a mutual hobby, their only connection was me. Friend A borrowed a tool from friend B and never returned it. When I asked her about it she said “Hmmm, I know that thing is around here somewhere………….” But it WASN’T. I was so embarrassed that I bought a new tool to replace the lost tool, because I felt like a tool for introducing them to one another. It just seems so disrespectful to me to have no regard for someone else’s possessions.

What do you think? Am I too attached to my worldly things? Should I adopt an attitude of “easy come easy go” (right, like that would ever happen)? Do you only lend things that you don’t mind never seeing again?

Monday, November 10, 2008

The truth is

Do you embellish? I’m not talking about with a bedazzler, what you do with rhinestones in the privacy of your own home is none of my business. I mean, you know, do you add a little here and there to make things more interesting? James Frey did it, and I have heard it claimed that most memoirs have been spiced up to make them more appealing to the reader. It makes sense, I suppose, not too many people’s lives can be captivating all the time.

I know someone who has a signal she uses to let those “in the know” –know that she’s adding. She’s not at all embarrassed about the fact that when she’s telling you a story it’s been tweaked. In fact she thinks she’s doing us a favor, no one wants to listen to a boring story right?

I have another friend who tells about all of these outrageous things that have supposedly happened to her. The first couple of times you think “wow, she has an interesting life.” But after a while it wears off and you think (or at least I think) “nobody has this many crazy experiences.” The thing is, most of them are feasible, but the embellishment gives it away. Normal life is not always outrageous.

When I’m writing or telling a story, I try to stay within the lines, my fear is that someone could read this who attended the same event and call me out. How embarrassing would that be? (Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!!)

Then there are those who are just flat out liars.

One of my friends openly admits that she’s a good liar. She’s almost boasting when she tells you. She doesn’t feel guilty at all. The problem is now I don’t believe anything she says. I mean, why would she lie to everyone else and not to me? I think I would rather not know that she’s an excuse maker upper (among other things).

I just realized that this is making me sound like my friends are a bunch of losers, maybe I need to get out more, or join a support group, though it seems like you’d be more likely to meet dishonest people in support groups, but that’s probably just my skewed perception.

Anyhow, now that you know I spend my time with fabricators, one more. I have this friend who has for years told me what a great guy her husband was, to the point that it was almost too good to be true, not to mention if you spent anytime with the guy you had your doubts. Now they are divorcing and she is telling me all of these horrible things about him with the excuse that she didn’t want me to know before because she was embarrassed, which I buy, but now she’s angry and I think she might be exaggerating his faults to make him look worse (which believe me is not necessary, he does a fine job of making himself look like the creep that he is).

I am a nervous person, I would rather be boring than have to worry about keeping track of who knows what. How about you? Do you pretend to be something you’re not? I’m obviously not going to think less of you, I mean, really, all of my friend are phonies. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my cronies who are bank robbers.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm amazed

*This was (I thought) scheduled to post Sunday. oops!

As I watch my fearless girl swim across the pool, with its temperature a brisk fifty degrees, I am overcome with gratitude. I am in awe of her confidence. I bask in her sweetness and her strong will wears me out. She is so many things that I never was and for the life of me I can’t find a way to take the credit for it. I have done nothing special. She’s the last, the bottom of the totem pole with four brothers above her. If you were to ask her though, she’d tell you she’s the eagle on the top.

I hope so much for her. I hope so much for all of them, but she’s my girl. I know how the deck is stacked, and I want her to have choices. Choices I didn’t have or choices I didn’t have the courage to make. Being a parent is so joyously heart wrenching. I love it and it terrifies me at the same time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What I did today

Let's just say, it's not Grease.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

it's good for you

I’m trying not to blog about being depressed because it’s, you know, depressing. I can’t seem to get my mind to focus on anything else though. It just feels like I am saturated with it. Really, I am just waiting for the Prozac to kick in like it always has before, then I should be able to think a little more clearly.

In the meantime how about some art? These were painted by Mark Rothko.

Orange and Yellow
Red, Orange, Tan and Purple
I love them. Yes, I realize that to some people they look like “just a couple of colors of paint slapped on a canvas” (thanks honey), but when I look at them I feel happy and “warm”. Rothko wanted people to engage on an emotional level with his paintings, he wasn’t trying to make a statement, he was painting his feelings. I get that. I know not everyone does, and that’s okay. Unfortunately his paintings got progressively darker as his depression worsened and he eventually took his own life. ---------------ALERT -----------there is no hidden warning here, just compassion for a man who wasn’t able to overcome his illness.


*I am actually feeling a little better today and I appreciate all of the supportive comments.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This just in.....

On the brightside it's finally election day.

After a weekend that included using all of my super powers to not cry over, well, everything and nothing, then giving up and spending the ENTIRE day Sunday in tears and scaring the crap out of my kids.---It hasn’t been that quiet and peaceful in our house in 17 years, I could hear them arguing in whispered voices so they wouldn’t bother me, and they kept patting me and asking me if I needed anything. It was quite pathetic really.

The grand finale was last night when I had to sit them all down and tell them that it wasn’t their fault I was crying, I’m just nuts -except I didn’t say “nuts”, I said things like depressed and serotonin, and medication. The older boys seemed pretty relieved that there were drugs for my condition,  but then my 10 year old asked me if it was like on the commercials when they say “can cause thoughts of suicide”? (He has also memorized the entire Plavix commercial—we are so proud). I started crying again, of course. Wouldn’t you?

For 5 years I have controlled my depression without medication. It felt like a really big victory to me, which of course is silly, but seriously, depressed people are seriously silly; just not in that 6 six year old knock- knock joke kind of way.

So today I started taking Prozac again. My shrink thinks it’s a good idea. That’s comforting. Therapy alone isn’t going to cut it. I really thought I was past needing medication, but here I am, three weeks away from turning 40, falling apart again. It feels like failure. Whether or not turning 40 has anything to do with it has yet to be determined, but it aint helping (I don’t let my kids say ain’t).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fourth

I have been tagged. This is the fourth picture from the fourth file.

Unlike some people I do not love to be tagged, but I am being a good sport and playing along. I will not however be tagging anyone else. Let this be a warning---Tags and chain letters find the end of the line at my house. Sorry.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It smells kind of like........

A couple of days ago my husband and I were going somewhere in the car, and he asked me if I was wearing perfume because there was a smell that was taking his breath away, and not in a good way, more like a choking him to death way. Well, since I don’t OWN any perfume I assured him that wasn’t the problem so he must be imagining it. He put his window down, got some fresh air and I forgot all about it.

Until……Last night he told me he had figured out what the “odor” was the other day when he couldn’t breathe in the car. “It’s your shampoo. It’s horrible.” Good to know.

I’ll be switching shampoos immediately. Thanks.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or treat

I am still having a hard time believing I did it, but last night I acutally wore the "worker bee" costume and went to the ward party as part of a hive. There was a queen bee, a killer bee, a spelling bee, and 2 bee or not 2bee. Whew! We made an entrance with the Bee Gee's on the sound system.
People looked at us!!!
For lots of people it's probably no big deal, but for me the combination of wearing a costume AND being the center of attention was almost more than I could stand. My husband made fun of me for being such a ninny. Anyhow, I survived it and was rewarded when I arrived home and found that the gods of trick or treat had smiled upon me and left this in my mail box.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween!

It looks like one the scariest parts of today is going to be my "to do" list.  I still have supplies to gather to make sure everyone's costumes are just right (things like fake fur and "bullet straps"-whatever those are),  I have not purchased even one bag of trick or treat candy yet (because neither I nor the rest of my family has any will power), and  I have visiting teaching deliveries to make (on the last day of the month, go figure). 
But the very scariest thing is that I have agreed to wear a costume.  I don't dress up.  I wear spooky t-shirts, or braid a couple of skull beads into my hair, maybe I glue a cockroach to the back of my neck or wear funny socks, but I DO NOT dress up.  This year a friend has conned me into being part of a "themed group dressing up scenario" and frankly I'm getting a little anxiety over it.  I'll let you know how it turns out.
I hope your Halloweens are super spooky and you end up with loads of Almond Joys. (my trick or treaters always give me all of the candy bars that have nuts in them, it's my reward for making the best costumes ever.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cheaper than therapy, and more convenient too.

Yesterday morning when I woke up I felt like I had an anvil on my head. I was so stressed about the politics and judgements and if my brother would make fun of me for having a crush on Daniel Craig, but then I wrote a whole bunch of posts, and released my negative karma to the universe and I felt so much better. Loads in fact.

I did worry a little about commenters not agreeing with me and a little more about my bishop finding my blog, but mostly I just felt relief. I think I might like my blog almost as much as I like James Bond.

And that is A LOT.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fiesta Nacho Meat

Souptacular08

This is so good, we eat it over tortilla chips topped with cheese and sour cream.

3lb beef roast
1 medium onion diced
1 envelope of taco seasoning
3/4 cup dry pinto beans
4 c water
2 cloves garlic (I just peel them and put them in whole)

Put the everything in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. Shred the meat and return it to the crock pot. You can use it for tacos, or taco salad or nachos or ..................

Have I mentioned.....

.....my enormous crush on Daniel Craig?
Best. Bond. Ever.

I feel all swoony now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Because danger is my middle name

Did I mention that I was alone this morning? For 3 HOURS? I was. It was glorious. As in I could almost hear the angels singing.

Wanna know what I did?

Since we are having our family pumpkin carving party tonight, naturally, I cooked and cleaned and prepa---------------Nope!!

I did this-
Ate breakfast, in silence.
Watched 2 episodes of The Office
Wrote a letter (you remember, that old fashioned form of correspondence) to our friends far away in exotic Switzerland, and I used actual stationary.

Pretty exciting isn’t. What can I say? I live on the edge.

Shhh....

Do you hear that?

My entire family is gone, I am alone. Alone, as in, the only one home. I will be all by myself for the next 3 hours. For the first time in 3 weeks. I'm feeling almost giddy.

Maybe I'll watch The View.


Just kidding!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

This is probably how Mary Kay got her start.

My daughter and her friend just came in the house very excited. They had this little bag of shells they found on the playground at school today and they wanted to go sell them to the neighbors. I like my neighbors, but I also like my girl and I remember having similar schemes at that age so I told them they could go to three houses. (Thus limiting the amount of annoyed neighbors and also the amount of inevitable rejection.)

Well, wouldn’t you know they found the biggest sucker on our street behind the first door they tried. He gave them a dollar for four broken little shells. They are planning to be millionaires before dinner.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

But it doesn't look anything like me.

*Thanks for the input. I'm going to go with photo B. for now, at least until I can get some glamour shots taken.
So, my husband who never looks at my blog, looked at it this weekend and he had this to say-

“That picture is awful; it doesn’t look anything like you.”

Yep, that’s the review. I guess it’s better than “Why did you say all that stuff about me and my mother?” But now I can’t decide what to do about the picture. I hate all pictures of myself. The ones he likes I don’t, and well, there really aren’t any I like. I’m thinking of going photoless. The only reason I decided to have a picture is because I like to see other people so I thought it was only fair. But now I am hearing that it doesn’t look anything like me. UGH!!

So, could the two of you who know me please tell me, yes or no on this picture the one in the corner, for the profile?

Or ---I can’t believe I am doing this ----


One of these? Vote. Please.

* Even if you don't know me, I can (obviously) use the help.


A. Long hair, no make up.
B. Make up, bangs need a trim.
C. Make up, goofy self portrait.
D. Me and Ivy
E. Bill's portrait.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I love to be helpful.

This morning I was telling my sister-in-law about some “news” I had gleaned during my regular morning “site check” and I was surprised to learn she didn’t know about this particular fountain of information. So, since I love to help, and since you may have missed some of these excellent sites, because maybe you are not as devoted to wasting time scouring the internet for knowledge as I am; now you don’t have to be. I am going to help you out by giving you the low down (never ever to be confused with the DownLow), here are 4 places I check out every morning. I recommend them all highly.

Ready?

I love PDP. I myself have never been to Paris, but have always wanted to go. The photos are great here, but the best part is the way he explains each photo, just enough, but not too much. I feel like I go to France, just for a couple of minutes, everyday. It’s dreamy.

Wonkette. It’s like TMZ, for people who wear underwear.

The Pioneer Woman. I know not everyone loves her, and I’m not as smitten as I first was, but you never know what she will have going on over there and would hate to miss a good giveaway.  Not that I ever win, but it could happen, someday.

Her Bad Mother’s Basement. Other peoples’ secrets. Need I say more?

I also check most of those on the link list over there---AND all of the blogs I follow, plus our family blogs a couple of times a week.  It’s honestly a miracle that I get anything else done at all.

Your turn. What are your top out of the way places to go everyday, or every other day, or even just every once in a while? Please enlighten us, because I have like 15 minutes of free time a week that is not being wasted used wisely. 

The eye of the beholder

I have a post, that will hopefully be ready for public viewing later today, but right now I want to tell you about this.

Yesterday morning I went to an orientation meeting for this great program-Art Masterpiece-(you can read all about it there), so I can be a volunteer at my daughter's school.  The coordinator of the program told us about the art, and how it had been approved by the district and been deemed both "Masterpiece" and unoffensive.  Important qualifications when you are presenting in the public school system.  She then stressed to us the importance of ONLY using the approved works, and NOT deciding on our own that something else would make a better presentation.

"Any questions?"

A hand went up in the FRONT ROW "My mother-in-law is a renound local artist, would it be okay if I occasionally took some of her paintings?"

I really think the coordinator lady thought it was a joke, but alas......So then we all got to hear the approved works only portion of the speech for a second time.

Seriously, what is with people?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One man's trash.....

I have developed an irritating habit. I have started saying things like “Well, that was just a HUGE waste of resources!” Or “I can’t get over how they have wasted their resources.” Or “blah, blah, blah with the resources.” On every occasion I am right (naturally) whether I am talking about Sheriff Joe using a SWAT team to take down the cleaning crew at the public library or the excess of political flyers in my mailbox (once I received 3 in one day from the same candidate!! Waste I tell you!) My problem is not my ability to sniff out inefficiency, my problem is, I say “…………….wasted resources…………!” and almost instantly in my mind I see this-





And hear this “Well, I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.”


Help!! I'm turning into Clark's mother-in-law!!!


But, do you want to know what is NOT a waste of resources? Okay, I’ll tell you.

Yesterday afternoon as I sat on my front porch bench trying to soak up some sunny disposition, the mailman arrived with the usual- bills, election propaganda, magazines, catalogs, you know what I mean, you get mail. I began to go through the pile, because if it’s not worth bringing in the house it never crosses the threshold, I take it straight to the recycle can, I never waste my resources, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but this-

A big bumpy envelope from Virginia.


And inside this-




I don’t know if it’s a riddle (I have been racking my brain to solve it), a Christmas wish list (you want things that end in O-camo, ammo, Elmo?), or just clever recycling. Either way you made me smile. Thanks tricky mail sending relatives. You rock.




Lastly, yesterday I was all doom and gloom. What a ridicules waste of resources. Thanks for your kind comments. I really loved what sue q said “There are days that the best we can expect is to just keep breathing. And deeply. And then we blog about it, and go on with our life.” Exactly. Last night I watched the Biggest Loser, which I don’t usually do because it always makes me cry, and I felt so awful for the woman (Amy?) who had to leave, of course I cried. Like a baby. She said something though, about being a half-full gal on a half-empty team, and I thought it perfectly described me lately. I’m a half-full girl having a half-empty month, I just need to breathe and keep going.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If you're having a bad day, this might not be the place for you.

How about a little honesty, anybody wanna play? My weekend sucked. Yep. Really, really, a lot. I haven’t posted anything for a few days because I’ve been feeling a little sad and weepy. By a little I mean, well, a lot. That is not to say that I haven’t written anything for a few days, let me assure you, if I am having emotions of any kind, I write. It’s just not always the sort of thing I want to post here in the sanctuary of my own private blog.

Friday was grocery day. For me that means two different grocery stores, plus Target, and Costco. My husband is STILL home with his back injury, it seems to be getting better, it’s just taking a long time. On Friday he was not feeling well enough to work, but he was feeling well enough to tag along with me as I ran errands. He’s not a good shopper. It makes him cranky on a good day, imagine two grocery stores, Target and Costco, all the Vicodin in town couldn’t make him enjoy that route. I tried to convince him to stay home but he insisted that he needed to get out of the house. I’m sure he did, unfortunately by the end of the day his crankiness had rubbed off on me, and I haven’t been able to shake it.

Saturday was worse. Our dog has a tumor, the kind that is going to make her die. There is nothing to be done but wait. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain, and she can still walk around, go outside, eat, all the important dog stuff, but the end is near and I can hardly walk by her without tearing up.

There’s more, but I have some dignity so I won’t post it all here. Let’s just say, when it rains it pours, you know?
~
We used to have this quilt. It was ugly. The top squares were all cut from the same kind of polyester my granny’s pants are made of and the bottom was some kind of sturdy canvas. I don’t know what the batting was but it was heavy. We called it the lead blanket. For years we took it on camping trips or used it to line the trunk of the car, it was solid.  If an arctic cold front had blown in, the lead blanket would have come in handy.

Lately I feel like I am wrapped in it all the time, or like I am wearing a suit lined with a  thick layer of warm sand.

For as long as I can remember I have fought against her; my arch enemy, depression. Since I was a young girl we have known one another.  I can see her coming from a mile away, I convince myself her visit will be short and I can fight her off. Sometimes I can and I do, other times I am not so lucky. For the past couple of months I have been getting post cards from her, sometimes she's been out in my yard hanging around, but this weekend she came right in the front door, without ringing the bell, she's rude like that.

Having her here now, when I have all this crap going on is scaring me. What if I can’t get rid of her? Also, I don’t have time to be depressed and if you’ve ever been depressed you know it can be very time consuming. All of the sitting around staring at nothing, thinking about all of the stuff you ought to doing. It’s exhausting.

Anyway, don’t feel sorry for me, I’ll get over it. Either on my own, or if that doesn’t work, in a week or two I’ll call up my doctor and get me some Prozac. I’ve hosted my pal depression enough times to know if I am going to be able to get rid of her on my own, or if I am going to have to call the sheriff to evict her.

Thanks for listening. I know that this is going to be one of those posts that makes me feel nauseous as I click the publish button, but just having this saved as a draft isn’t therapeutic enough for me. I don’t know if that makes any sense, I’m not sure I get it, but for some reason it’s helpful for me to “get it out there”.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just for fun.

This morning I got up at the crack of dawn and ran (not literally, who do you think I am?) down to 7-Eleven and bought a whole stack of blue cups. I don't even drink coffee. I'm going to use them at our Halloween party. You know, to make it a really scary night for my conservative friends and neighbors! HA!HA!HA! Then I'm going to dress up as Tina Fey being Sarah Palin, just to throw my liberal friends for a loop.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

While you're at it, what do you think of the Girl Scouts?

No less than 3 times yesterday I caught myself thinking that I can’t wait until the election is over and all of this tension over different opinions can go away. Yeah, yeah, I know you are sick to death of me talking politics here. Unfortunately for you this is MY blog, and the only place I speak completely unmuzzled. It’s therapeutic, and my mental health is important to me, I’m selfish like that. Come back the middle of November, I should be settled down by then.

Also, apologies in advance, this is long, it got away from me. Oops!!

Anyway, like I was saying. …After biting my tongue for the 17th time, it occurred to me (I’m a little slow) that just because the election passes and we stop talking about issues all day, doesn’t mean suddenly we will all live in harmony. In fact, in my case anyway, my eyes have been opened to just how many people in my life I fundamentally disagree with.

Most of them I knew didn’t see things as clearly and rightly as I do (I’m JUST KIDDING!!), but there are a few who are (in my expert opinion) just narrow minded and wrong. --Still kidding (kind of). I’m going to see these people just as often after the election, only now I see them differently, and they me.

The worst is my husband, you know, because we live together. I feel like we are at opposite ends of so many things. He is very conservative and I am pretty moderate, with some liberal leanings. We both tend to be passionate about our beliefs, but we express our passion in very different ways. I like to haul out the facts and try to sway you to my side in a “playful” debating manner. My husband likes to state his opinions as common sense and the “right thing” and dare you to spew that lefty propaganda at him, lest you force him to explain why he thinks you are such an idiot while he makes that face where his forehead gets all wrinkled up. Sometimes I say something like “Maybe you’re right, I should put a little more thought into that.” Just so he will smooth out his face. I don’t want him to get a cramp between the eyes. Can you imagine how that would feel?

Last week I was at lunch with a friend and we were talking about a mutual acquaintance (NO, we were not gossiping and I don’t think I like your tone) anyway, we were discussing some of the personality traits of this person (for clinical purposes) and my friend said “Do you think she even knows who she really is?” At the time I thought, and said, that if you live and act a certain way for so long, you become that, thereby having that phony self become your real self.

Are you still with me?

Well, I have been living the life a fairly conservative person. I’ve been busy being a mom. The last time there was a general election our youngest was four years old. It’s been that way for the last 17 years (I don't mean she's been four years old for 17 years, I mean, I've had young children or babies for 17 years, keep up.). My biggest priorities have been diaper changing and getting small people to eat enough green vegetables, while thoughts of politics and foreign policies may have crossed my mind, I just didn’t have a lot of time to spend on them. Mind you, I realize that being busy is no excuse for burying my head in the sand, it honestly wasn’t intentional, some things were at the top of the list and others were farther down, a few I didn’t get to at all.

If we use the argument I used about becoming the person you pretend to be I would be someone else. I haven’t been “pretending” exactly, I have just been hanging out with other mothers and our conversations centered on dinner menus, our callings, and who is the best 3rd grade teacher at the local elementary school. Most of those mothers, I am finding out, don’t share my views on lots of things. It turns out, current events aren’t such a hot topic at Park Day.

So what I’m saying is, I’ve always been this liberalish person (just ask Mr. Campbell my AP English teacher) but I guess that side of me has been lying dormant. I didn’t become June Cleaver just because I was leading her life. I have opinions; anyone who knows me will tell you I have opinions, lots of them. I just haven’t felt a need to drag them out and show them off, and now that I have time to use my brain, when these topics are raised I don’t have to do much soul searching; I just have a feeling in my gut which is the right way to go. Which must be how my husband feels, only our guts send us in different directions.

Tell me, please, do you and your husband agree on all things political? And if not, how do you handle it? What about your friends, are you all on the same page? Are you a debater or a peacemaker? Or a peaceful debater? Do you discuss these things at all? Is this too many questions? Humor me, it’s Tuesday, what else do you have to do?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

All this was crammed in my head, now it's out. Thanks.

Apparently the folks over at Bank of America don’t watch the news because this morning I was e-mailed an offer from them to apply for a credit card. Are they serious? I’m half tempted to apply, just for laughs.

What exactly does it mean when a carpet cleaning company advertises that they are experts at “removing RED stains”?

I’m thinking of heading up to the McCain’s ranch in Sedona this weekend. They won’t be home and with us being such good friends and all, I’m sure they won’t mind. (I wonder if Cindy would care if I tried on her shoes?)

Contrary to what you may have been told candy is not a balanced breakfast, or any other meal for that matter.

Has anyone read this book, The Secret History by Donna Tartt? It’s the book my book group is reading this month, I started it last night and I’m finding her writing style a little annoying.

How many times can you ignore phone calls from a "friend" (no, it's not John McCain) before they start to feel blown off?  Because some people require a lot of energy, and some days I just can't spare it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hello...Crazy over here.

I feel like I’m cracking up. I’ve been getting crankier and crankier and more and more gloomy. I knew it, but I didn’t realize that everyone else could see it. Last night some friends came over and I love them but the wife is notorious for her negativity and I got the feeling I was bringing her down. That’s bad.

I hardly slept last night and I woke up early this morning thinking about why I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach. I realized that it’s fear. It’s not fear that the stock market is going to crumble or that my family will have to eat turnip soup or that I will soon be learning how to darn socks. If those things happen I will deal with them and press forward. We live in Arizona, who needs socks?

I’m scared of other things.

I am afraid my daughter will not make it home from school. She walks now. She’s in the 3rd grade and thought it was time I let her. I’m not so sure and everyday at 2:30 I feel like making up an excuse to go pick her up anyway. I mean, what if something happens? Not just “bad guys”, I worry plenty about that, but what about the other things, like bullies or that her backpack is way too heavy and 3rd grade is the last year she ever walks upright?

I’m frightened that my son who is a junior in high school doesn’t take his future seriously. (Because, you know, I did. And I’m so incredibly successful now because of it.) I worry that he won’t decide to go to college, then I worry that he will and I won’t be able to help pay for it.

I worry that I will wake up in the morning with a migraine and be unable to fulfill my obligations.

I’m afraid my winter grass won’t grow and ours will be the only house on the street with a brown lawn.

I’m concerned that I never seem to get caught up. There is always one more thing. Another load of laundry, an undusted room (or eight), a meal to prepare, or we’re out of milk….. It’s a long list, and I feel almost frantic in my need to cross everything off.

I worry constantly over what others think of me, all the while pretending that I don’t.  Which makes for all kinds of awkward situations.

I am afraid that my dad will remarry and our newly formed fragile relationship will be ripped out from under me once again.

I'm scared I will always feel like this, that it won't go away and that my kids will think it's normal to be stressed and worried all the time.

I’m in a constant state of nervousness, which is not entirely new for me, I’ve always been anxious; I just think I used to be a little better at hiding it. I really used to be able to outwardly project a positive perspective. How do I get that back? Most of these things I am worried about are out of my realm of control. Is there a way to let go but still be in control? Does that even make any sense?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Heaven help me.

I know I am a horrible wife, but if my husband doesn’t get well and go back to work tomorrow, I may kill him. Did that sound harsh? Gosh, I hope not.

Listen, I love him, but there is NOTHING worse than a sick husband. Not sick kids or a sick dog, I would rather have my own mother here with a sinus infection for a week than have my husband laid out on the sofa for 2 long whiney days with a back injury.

I’ve been kind to him. I drove him to the chiropractor, I made him lunch and delivered it to him in bed. And when he needed more ice in his water I came downstairs and got some, and when I got up there and he remembered he needed another napkin I hurried right back down and I brought that up too. I was sweet and asked it there was anything else—I didn’t even use the slightest twinge of sarcasm.  I swear!

--oh, that’s him now. He can’t reach the remote. Gotta run.

 
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