Wisdom Comes Suddenly

If You Can’t Be A Good Example…

October 1st, 2014 · No Comments

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Greg and I have long felt this picture best represents the MO of our apartment complex. This electrical pole has been sitting in the center of the turn lane into our complex for many months, along with the brilliant concrete barrier that keeps drivers from plowing into it. When we pass it, we like to say, “Welcome! Where execution requires zero planning whatsoever!”

In a few short weeks we’ll be driving out of this hell hole for the last time. I won’t cry, I promise. But where will we find our too-hard-to-believe stories now? Just this past week we were given a spry 12 hours notice to move our cars, lest they be towed during the repaving project. As I parked far, far away on the day of the repaving, the maintenance team hollered through the tar-soaked air that I had 3 days to once again, “secure my pets”. It was time for annual maintenance. Annual? As opposed to the daily I receive now? It involved the furnace, repainting my front door, and other invasions of privacy that caused me to take off and hang out at the coffee shop for a while. It wasn’t nearly as loud as the city crew in my back yard, who are ripping out the sidewalk behind our newest abode; at least those guys don’t randomly poke their head in my front door, yelling out random names of missing crewmen. I finally shut and locked my wet door. Screw it. I wanted to make my soup in peace.

But my favorite event this past month has to be our meeting of the new Property Manager (even more fun than our 6th visit from the cable company, when the exasperated technician said, “Honestly, nothing in this complex ever works correctly.”). Greg had reason to stop by the office, as they charged us $50 for not moving our utilities “in a timely manner”. I guess moving the utilities the same day you are notified of the new address isn’t fast enough.

Manager: I’m not sure how this happened. I’ll credit your account.

Greg: I’ll take it off the rent as you still haven’t credited our account for our moving expenses. Which I’ll be withholding from the rent check as well.

Manager: Sure! And how has your stay here with us been? Has it been pleasant?

Greg: The last manager didn’t tell you?

Manager: Tell me what?

Greg: We’re SUING you. This has been an unlivable nightmare. Horrible summer of misery.

Manager: OH. I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.

Greg: Let me give you a piece of advice: whatever you do, avoid my wife.

Manager: Oh, no. I definitely want to meet her.

Greg: No, you don’t.

Manager: But I do! I want to hear from her about her concerns.

Greg: NO….you DON’T. Trust me. Stay…away…from…Lori.

Manager: Tell her I’m here, and she is welcome to stop by anytime.

Greg: You should hope that doesn’t happen.

But it did happen. I did stop by. I did hand over the now 4-page list, detailing our summer adventures. I smiled politely, and told them if they change anything, they should keep the electrical pole at the front entrance. Because if you can’t be a good example, you can at least be a horrible warning.

 


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My 9 Non-Regrets Of Being A SAHM

September 28th, 2014 · No Comments

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When I try to think honestly about  how long it has taken me to write this piece, the truthful answer is 5 years. I started writing it on paper 2 years ago, after 3 years of stewing. And I erased it. Erased it again. Screamed at it. Let Greg read it. Agreed with him it should be erased…

Last summer a writer named Lisa Endlich Heffernan wrote a piece on The Huffington Post, covering her regrets for choosing to be a Stay At Home Mother. I was floored. I talked to all of my friends about her article, trying to make heads or tails of it. I have many notes scribbled on restaurant napkins, most covered in pizza sauce…it’s not pretty.

Finally, my friend of many decades, Melissa, said to me (as we stood with our feet in a creek watching our children hunt for crawdads), “You HAVE to write it. I need you to write it. You CAN write it.” So I did, every single day for 2 months. I wanted my words to come from love. I wanted to join us together, not split us apart. I wanted to be OK with walking away from my career, not just in my heart, but in my head. I’ve always been at peace with leaving my job, but honestly? I’ve never been able to put words to these emotions.

Until now…

My 9 Non-Regrets of Being A SAHM, published at Indy’s Child, Dayton’s Parent, and Cincinnati Parent online magazines.


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A Field of Mums

September 26th, 2014 · 1 Comment

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I would plant for you a field of Mums, and turn away anyone so lofty as to add the chysanthe- to the front (unless they were referring to the great literature of Kevin Henkes, in which case, we would become fast friends). I would build over-sized vignettes of Indian Corn, pumpkins, and disgustingly mutant gourds on your front porch, so you could greet both fall, and your visitors, in high style. We would sit on the porch and drink spiced cider, giggling our inside joke that ALL corn is actually Indian Corn. City folk make us laugh. Then we’ll sigh and complain the 73 degree sunny days are too few, because we know 30 degree mornings will be upon soon. Mums don’t last long enough, and neither does autumn, but one truth remains the same: Indian Corn is forever. Ha!

Get up off that chair, or we’ll miss the Fall Festivals! I’m not going to miss the chance to see the predictable painted saws (who buys these, and where do they hang them?) and crocheted toilet paper koozies. There is nothing I hate more than lonely, cold toilet paper, just waiting its turn. We’re not leaving until we’ve seen at LEAST 15 different scarecrows holding “Happy Fall Y’all!” signs, and 200 sweaters handmade in Peru. It’s our PROCESS. It’s TRADITION.

Maybe we should stop at the orchard on the way home. It was too cool of a summer for the apples to be very sweet, so I’ll get double the Jonathons as I did last year. RATIO! You can’t make a decent pie without thinking through your ratio! Wouldn’t fried biscuits with apple butter taste just right at this very moment? We could stop by the pumpkin patch, and marvel at how children always choose pumpkins double their body weight. Every.single.time. Ain’t no way we’re hauling those things. Buy it at the grocery and they’ll take it to your car for free.

Beautiful Fall. Beautiful friends. Beautiful times spent marveling at the abundance of it all. I would plant you a field full of mums, so you could have them in every color. Just because….just because.

 


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Finally.

September 24th, 2014 · No Comments

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Finally. Swimming has started. Everyone has been so kind as to ask if Sara has started in the new swim season. It felt as if it would never begin, due to pool renovations, etc. But she has 3 practices on the “big kid” team under her belt, and I can SEE her spirit centering.

Today she reported giving up a few minutes of recess in order to complete a math worksheet with her swim buddy on the playground. They asked the teacher if they could finish it up, rather than take it home, as they had practice tonight, and it was very important to them to get their work done. WHO? WHAT? I don’t….there are no words….

Or to quote Sara’s response to my stunned expression, “What’s the big deal? It only took us a minute to finish, which is way faster than lugging it home, pulling it out, remembering what we were doing…geez. Easy peasy….1 minute and a clipboard and DONE.”

I then requested my alternate Universe ticket be punched for a return home fare, because I had clearly left my home planet.

Everyone has been so kind to ask if Sydney is on the mend. The world’s healthiest senior cat has clear Xrays and perfect labs, which means she has stress-induced gastritis. Why? Just because the city is now ripping up the sidewalk behind the apartment with jackhammers all day? Just because we were given 15 hours notice the entire parking lot was to be repaved, and we’ll have to park and walk for the next week, surrounded by the odoriferous joy of hot tar? I think she’s OK. She puked all over my pants last night, but seems better today. The lines between sleepy, happy, and just flat-out dead are very fine lines with Syd.

Everyone has been so kind to ask about my Grandfather. In a very unexpected turn of fate, he survived a very unlikely set of intensive care events. After being removed from life support, and living, he next had to survive two risky procedures to save his legs. They worked. He had some mild cognitive impairment from his prolonged Code. He all but walked it off. He wouldn’t eat. I cooked some food. He ate. He is now home from rehab with part-time live-in assistance (aka, my mother), and when I called today, he was playing the guitar. He’s down to 2 Physical Therapy appointments per week, because he’s been kicked out of Occupational Therapy. Too healthy. Tomorrow he’ll turn 89, and just to write those words, I think I must be dreaming. Again…punch that return ticket to reality! Or not. It’s nice to see him happy and home where he wishes to be.

And last, but not least, I receive daily questions about the house. The sunny, wood floors are in, front door is on, fireplace is up, bathrooms are finished, even the doorbell works…house. It won’t be long now. In fact, we’re in the last-month home stretch. There’s so much living left to be done before we pack the boxes and go, but we’ve come so far. We’ve been through so much. Surely the sun will wait for me until I can get us home…

Finally.


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Infinity Pool!

September 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

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Gotcha! You didn’t really think I put in an infinity pool? Well, I WOULD HAVE, except Greg has this “value system” which includes ideals like “we don’t empty out our 401K’s to put in infinity pools”.

We compromised. As we built on the only hill in central Indiana, we put in an infinity driveway. It’s the newest thing. Well…I’m turning it into a thing. Seriously. It’s going to be BIG. HUGE. Look it up.

Or look DOWN, because you can actually dive off our driveway, into sweet, sparkly gravel. Refreshing. As the girls and I peered over the edge I had only 2 thoughts:

(1) This is going to be dreadful when we have teenage drivers. I see a lip around this driveway in the distant future.

(2) SLEDDING HILL. Awesome! I’ve wanted my own sledding hill my entire life. Roxanne and Stacey from the block were super great about letting me sled on theirs, but man-oh-man, did I want one of my own. OH. Wait. Were you thinking it would be cool for my kids? Get in LINE. I call major DIBS on that hill!


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The Gnomes Did It

September 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

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Don’t you just love the morning conversations on the way to school?

Momma: Who might have gotten into my makeup and pumped an entire bottle of primer into the cap?

Kelly: The gnomes did it! And then they went looking for a bowl of cream. They are always looking for cream.

Momma: So you’re saying Sara did it?

Kelly: Yep.

Sara: Wait, how did you know I did it?

Momma: Because Kelly is 7, and 7 year olds are specialists at lying. They don’t lie about gnomes. They make up ridiculous tales about how the candy wrappers get under beds, but they don’t incorporate gnomes unless they have no idea what I’m talking about. You, on the other hand, have a test in Art Class today. I was waiting for you to do something messy and unpredictable, as you generally do on the day of a test. It’s an odd way of checking to see if I’m tuned into your anxiety. YES, indeed, I am tuned in. Now look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you can take the test because you studied and know the material.

Sara: Wow, you’re good.

Momma: I get lucky on occasion, but yes and thank you. I am very good.

Kelly: Are we done talking about the bathroom GNOMES? I think we should get back to my gnomes, and their weird need for cream….

Sara: Kelly! There are no such things at gnomes!

Kelly: AH!!! OF COURSE THEY ARE REAL!

Momma: We can talk about gnomes, but only if we’re discussing their hues, tints, shading, and whether or not they’ve been painted with a triacta of colors. Work monochromatic and analogous into conversation, and I’ll buy you a donut.

Sara: No. Seriously. You’re good.

Momma: Thank you! Kelly, I know what’s coming, and no, I’m not buying cream-filled donuts for your gnomes.

Kelly: AH!! That’s not fair!


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“I’ll Get By With A Little Help From My Friends” -The Beatles

September 21st, 2014 · No Comments

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Our grand plan to move a 30 foot blow up obstacle course indoors during a rain storm. GENIUS.

Thank you to EVERYONE for the kind messages, texts, and phone calls. I won’t lie…I was feeling just a little cranky by Friday evening, so those messages really helped. The eye drops sting, and I started to secretly rethink the whole thing.  And then there’s the remembering to take them…blah, blah, this was not on the brochure…blah.

But the jokes started rolling in, and I couldn’t stop laughing. The “don’t ask the blind girl” jokes go back with some of my girlfriends for 20 years, and they ALWAYS make me feel better. Nobody gets through life unscathed. No one, no how. Better to laugh, and to let the act of “being known” warm you up inside.

Here’s how my friends roll:

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Kellie via text: Eye drops are important. The condo in Boca may not accept seeing eye dogs so you have to take care of yourself. And your Cadillac ain’t gonna drive itself to go get more prune juice at the Winn Dixie :) You can do this!

Me: Ain’t nobody want to see a dog at the Early Bird Buffet in Naples. Not to mention, being blind AND afraid of dogs is a horrible combination. Greg is getting me a seeing eye giraffe.

Kellie: OH, Naples…you must plan on us winning the lottery in 2030. I like the way you think. Giraffes are awesome, but might clash with all the other animal prints you’ll be sporting on your tufted vests…

*******

Lydia sent me an email about decorating her new home, except she accidentally sent it to Greg instead:

Lydia: Roman shades have been shipped, and I have two more candle pillars on the way.  The idea with the candle garden is to ultimately have the heights of the candles mirror the slope of the stairs above them.  Then, I thought I could weave some seasonal greenery around the bases for fall or Xmas.

Greg’s reply: For the love of God, why would you send this to me? Did my wife hire you to be part of some sort of aesthetically-manipulative cult?

Lydia: I’m really hurt, Greg.  Are you saying that you don’t care about my living room decor choices?  I thought you were my friend, but I see how it is.

Cuts me to the bone, man, cuts me to the bone……..
Greg: Any “friend” of mine who sends me an email referencing “Roman Shades” and “Pottery Barn” is either drunk, no longer my friends, or is sending a coded message for help.

Oh my God – do you need my special skills?  [Greg inserted a link to Liam Neeson's monologue in the movie "Taken"].
Lydia: I don’t know what you are talking about.  I don’t need help.  I don’t have a problem.  I can stop decorating any time I want to.  It’s just recreational.  Besides, everyone else is doing it.  Just yesterday I saw a post of Lori and Jenny at the fabric store.  I mean, if everyone else is doing it, it can’t be that bad.  It’s not like I NEED to decorate or anything.  I only do it once in a while, anyway.  You just don’t understand me.

*******
Taken from a Facebook conversation between my sister, Jenny (aka, La Decorateur), Lydia (our roomie from college), and me:
Me: We did the front room in a fresh, cottage mid-century, and therefore, as much as we love it, we couldn’t turn the living room British with the Houndstooth. The first floor is too connected not to flow.
Lydia: What does fresh, cottage, mid-century look like? I am picking curtains today for my “Nantucket Cottage with a hint of English Traditional That I Inherited From My Ancestors That Sailed Over on The Mayflower” home. Haha!
Me: You want a pre-Revolutionary War Nantucket theme? First, you’ll need old paintings of whales…
Lydia: No. I’m going for “I’m so blueblood East Coast that I don’t even NEED paintings of whales to prove it. Oh, do I live on Cape Cod? I didn’t even notice. Why don’t we have that nice Kennedy boy over for dinner sometime? I used to play tennis with his mother, you know.”
Me: In that case, you only need a copy of Town and Country (publication date irrelevant), and a glass of wine. Leave only a sip, and appear slightly inebriated at all times. Decorate in ALL white, because it’s beachy, dammit.
Lydia: Well, I have the all white sofa set, and I am indeed always slightly inebriated and drink lots of wine. Headed out to buy a magazine and we will be all set. Be right back.
Jenny: The Lydia I know would never put a picture of a whale on her walls. No matter her chaotic pre-Revolutionary War, East Coast tennis playing with Momma Kennedy on Nantucket and Cape Cod and sitting on white upholstery style choice. Glad to help anyone who doesn’t want white upholstery and old fashioned pictures of whales getting harpooned on their walls.
Me: What’s with all the whale-hating? Next I suppose you’re going to say “No canoe paddles on the walls”, and “No blinking neon Christmas lights”, and “No ducks dressed in seasonal wear on the front porch”.
*******

From there, I fell over in stitches talking to Greg, imagining myself with a seeing eye dog (I am not going blind, btw!). As I am horribly afraid of dogs, my perma-conversation would be:

Me: Greg! Is this dog biting me? Does it look mad? Does it look like it’s about to bite me?! What was that sound? Is the dog growling?
(I think we discovered my own version of hell. However, for some odd reason, Pomeranians do not frighten me, and I think we can all agree they would make for a disastrous helper dog.)
Me on the phone: GREG! I have no idea where I am! I told Pinky to walk me to the grocery, and now I’m surrounded by a mob of people speaking only in Turkish! How the hell did this happen? WHY WON’T THIS DOG STOP BARKING?! ALL THE TIME…THE BARKING!
*******
And to end the week, I wrote a stand-up comedy act about a Catholic School doing a trash bag selling fundraiser/contest, and performed it in front of 400 kids. At a Catholic school. Where they just finished a a trash bag fundraiser/contest. Dressed entirely in clothes I made out of trash bags. When I open myself up to the Universe, I never know where it will take me. Life…it’s just so thrilling…good and bad, but worth the trouble it takes to survive it…Godspeed my friend. Godspeed on your own journey.

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What You See Is Up To You

September 18th, 2014 · 2 Comments

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I started the day with not unexpected news, but a story I have sidestepped for many, many years. This morning, I agreed I have glaucoma. I’ve probably had glaucoma for a while, but I wasn’t ready to face it until now. Almost 30 years ago a virus wrecked my left eye, and gently maimed my right. Those pressures go UP. They go DOWN. They go UP a little higher. They go DOWN. Glaucoma was finally mentioned for realsies last year, but I wanted to do ma’ rounds. Meditation, shamanic healing, what-have-you. I bought myself a really good year. But my corneas have thinned, so it’s time to let go, and stop the waiting game. 30 years is long enough. Let’s face it: I gave it a good run. My orbs are tired. Enough Lori…enough.

It was time to play the “cheer myself up game”, so I tried to pick out fabric for a sofa with dilated eyes. That was a super dumb idea, but I was entertaining to the interior decorators who witnessed 2 truly ridiculous hours of my life. If you stand at a window and SMASH your face into a grasscloth fabric with dilated eyes, can you SEE IT? The answer is no. I repeated this unsuccessful method with every brown grasscloth in a 4000 square foot fabric showroom. I’ve seen schizophrenics with faster insight into their madness.

I went to the house, and stood in my sunny kitchen. Bright Cantina music was playing, and men were surrounding my house and singing. I felt like I was on my honeymoon in Mexico, and it was just what I needed. Did I dance? Lil’ bit. Not going to lie. I was feeling pretty grateful. After all, these eyes are the same eyes I had yesterday. Aging sucks for everyone; I don’t get the Brownie Badge for doing it with flair. Glaucoma at 42? Get in line. Crap that happens after 40 doesn’t even count. My Sister-in-Law said it best, “In the world of “omas”, you’ve had worse.” AGREED. This is like…the permanent marker of “omas”, but it’s not melanoma! It’s a middle oma at best. I ate a Big Mac (don’t judge me, it was prescribed), and decided to move on. Nothing to see here. Literally! HAHAHA!!

When I gave up and collapsed into the mindless internet for the evening, I read that a blogger I follow passed away yesterday, leaving 2 young children. A child I’ve been praying for since 2009 has a return of her brain tumor. A 3rd recurrence for a brain tumor with a zero percent survival rate. What can I say? I’m a sucker for miracle praying. Put off glaucoma for 30 years…you’ll believe in miracles.

Kelly walked around the corner as I was reading and said, “Cursive requires bravery”. I got to hear that. While were reading together, she said, “I don’t think truer should be a word. It’s too odd. I’m going to say more true instead.” I totally agree. I was there to witness this revelation. The girls avoided bedtime by making up study songs for Sara’s upcoming Art test. “I wish my eyes would turn the color of my fate”. Deep, my children…DEEP. I got to hear their melodies about tertiary colors: “t-u-r-s-h-e-w-a-r-y, that’s our agreement on how you are spelled. You are hard to spell, and even harder to understand…”

I haven’t missed a moment. I haven’t appreciated all of them, but I’ve been there. I’m a walking-talking-still-seeing history book of my family’s days together. My fingers are stained with the failed Kool-Aid hair dye experiment for Crazy Hair Day at school. My living room is covered with random craft pieces, because I’m not attending just ONE Spirit Week Assembly tomorrow. I’m attending TWO. I’m the MC at my Niece’s school! I’m a sucker for an audience of kids celebrating the end of a successful trashbag selling season. What can I say? Hand me that microphone and let’s ROCK this CATHOLIC TRASHBAG SELLIN’ SCHOOL! As a gag, did I make a wardrobe out of trashbags?  MAAAAYBEEEE….

I get to be a part of ALL of my life, and the amazing people who fill it to overflowing. Now, I’ll just do it with eye drops. But I told my doc the eye drops are temporary. I’ll only take them until a cure is found. In the meantime, he agreed around me, he’ll call my diagnosis “glaucoma-esque”, or “glaucoma-like”. Either way, I’m cool with it. I’m diagnostically flexible.

In the celebration of seeing, please leave a comment telling me about the beautiful things you saw this week. With your heart, your head, your eyes…doesn’t matter. It’s all love. And while I never turn down prayers, please think of it this way: God answered this prayer for 30 years. In my opinion, I already got my miracle. Godspeed to you and yours this weekend, my friends. Godspeed.

 

 


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The Graffiti Artist, The Ninja & The Blind Cat

September 17th, 2014 · Comments Off

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It’s Spirit Week at school. YEAH SCHOOL SPIRIT! When I was a kid, we didn’t have Spirit Week, and maybe as a result, we had less spirit. But we did have homemade chicken and noodles at lunch, and mmmboy, do I love me some poultry and sticky dough, soaked in flour and broth. Midwestern roux…good stuff. Keep the spirit and pass me the carbs instead.

So as the case may be, I do not have the necessary background to steer my children through the quagmire that is “Spirit Week” with its assigned “Dress Up Days”. These days require last minute planning and ridiculous styling on behalf of the parents, because no child puts enough thought into “Hero Day” or “Dress As Your Favorite Character Day”, until the last second. We only have 43 planning days until Halloween! FOCUS PEOPLE! Sara wants to be half human-half peacock! GO MOMMA! GO! (If you doubt me, revisit last year’s costume when she asked to be how Beyonce’s character in the movie “Epic” made her FEEL…)

For “Hero Day”, Sara wanted to be Kim Possible, and Kelly wanted to be Tricky from Subway Surfers. Obviously, Greg thought this was AWESOME! (Sing it in your head as you say it). The fact that my precious daughters wanted to be a Ninja with a sass-mouth and a Graffiti Artist being chased by cops all over the world, meant I have officially flunked parenting. Handing in my textbooks and my coordinating lunchbox tupperware containers…I have failed.

But not before I yanked the spray paint can out of Kelly’s hand, because that was NOT a good idea. NO GREG. IT WAS NOT.

The girls awoke in a funk, as both realized they were indeed not…cartoon characters. Even in cargo pants, high top tennis shoes, a beanie, and wearing fake glasses, they were still humans. After having had enough of Sara’s “why didn’t you dye my hair orange like Kim Possible’s?” rant, I laid down the law:

Mommy: Sara! Are you upset that you didn’t wake up as a 5’8″ teenager with perfect hair, bright green eyes, and huge boobies?

Sara: Um…(insert Daddy popping his head around the corner and laughing hysterically)…well, yes.

Mommy: That was never going to happen, along with Kim Possible’s half top. You look wicked cool in those cargo pants. Now roll with it.

As it turns out, they both did, and while they were truly obscure, a dear friend came dressed as the Pizza Delivery Man. Her Mom is my best friend, so to celebrate our “F” in Motherhood, we went out to coffee and had a good laugh. Almost a laugh, maybe a bit of a cringe, and a couple of tears thrown in…because DUDE. Parenting girls is HARD.  We couldn’t tarry long…we had to buy dye because tomorrow is Crazy Hair Day. I HATE YOU AND YOUR INHERENTLY RIDICULOUS ERRANDS SPIRIT WEEK! Although I met some very helpful ladies at the beauty supply store, and I have decided this year’s nail polish color will be “COPPER”. You read it here first.

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In the meantime, Syd got sick. Probably not world-ending sick, but enough that we had to find a Vet, STAT, in our new area of town. Go HERE Lori, they said. THEY are the BEST Lori, they said. As it turns out, THEY have a rescued cat room. THEY invited us into the Kittie Rescue Room after Sydney’s insanely expensive stomachache was quelled. Kitty Crack Room is a better name for it. See the tiny cherub above? No, not Sara…the other one. YES….to that I said NO. NO SARA.

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That goes double for you Tricky. RUN TRICKY! The Beijing police are chasing you! Put down the kitten and your paint spray can and RUN!

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Including Sydney in her carrier, there are no less than 4 cats in this picture, all somehow engaging with Sara, the cat whisperer. Sara is holding a beautiful cat with one eye. Did I mention all cats were rescued to this location because they needed life-saving medical care? And now they need homes? The one talking to Sydney is BLIND. 3 were missing one eye. Oh the heartstrings, they hurt.

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And then my old friend Max appeared, so full of love, she licked both girls’ faces until they collapsed into giggles. She isn’t Max in this scenario; her name is Esther. She was thrown from a car at a very young age and needed surgery on her broken leg. She’s healed, and ready to go home. Home…oh good heavens.

Pass more chicken and noodles, please. This week has done me in, and we can just forget Crazy Hair Day. We may have our hands full with Crazy Cat Lady Day…


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The Tipping ‘O’ The Scale

September 15th, 2014 · 1 Comment

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Some seasons end quickly, rushing out, as if it were late for a party. But some make their entrance more surreptitiously, only allowing you see bits and pieces at a time. And so it seems it will be this way with our move…the fact that it’s taken a year should have given this away earlier? Hey, wisdom takes what it takes.

The week started in it’s usual rhythm: Greg took a shower right after the cats dropped a stinky one in the bathroom. We got ready to the stench of litter so strong, it was changed before breakfast hit the table. Speaking of things hitting the breakfast table, I had to stop the dryer before I served the eggs, because those things cannot go hand in hand. The dryer shakes the ceiling fan to the point we fear it will fall out of the ceiling, so no one is allowed to eat at the table when we’re doing laundry. All loads still have to be dried twice, so we usually just eat in the living room. Of course eating in the living room has its challenges. Whenever the furnace fan kicks on, we have the double the volume on the TV. But at least we got ready faster this morning as we didn’t have to open any closet doors. They all fell off yesterday. Sorry…I’m being dramatic. Not ALL of them…only 2 doors fell off yesterday. I told the family for the next 5 weeks, all closet doors are to remain open. Safety first!

But on our commute, I couldn’t help my excellent mood. It’s sunny. We get up a full HOUR later than we used to, and I spent our short drive calculating exactly how much time I’m NOT spending in the car these days. Sometimes I go so long without needing gas, I forget when I last filled up. If you were to calculate the time savings for our entire family, cumulatively we are spending 31 fewer hours in the car per week. I spend part of that time at the house. I like to wish it good morning and tuck it in at night. I can get to the new house quickly, because I get everywhere quickly these days. I live here, where my life is located.

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On my way home from school this morning, I stopped in the village for a cuppa Joe at my favorite little coffee shop. The streets are brick, and the ambiance is like stepping into a painting. The picture above is where I meet my gal pals for wine on the occasional warm evening. We walk into this painting on Friday nights for pizza and ice cream, and it’s just too lovely for words.

My trials as of late are in the hands of a friend we shall call “the advocate”, and I no longer worry about ghosts, or water spewing through kitchen ceilings, or whether or not a behemoth apartment company stole my rent money and used it to buy a spider farm. Whether or not we settle our dispute with the summer from hell is no longer “haunting” me (ha!), because capable and kind professionals are showing me the way. That feels freeing, to say the least.

The house is entering its final stages, thanks to our Realtor, who seems to be at the house as often as I am. I bump into her (and her checklist) every week. She is usually walking around with a level, a measuring stick, and a bullhorn. Kidding! Sort of. She measured the floor board trim last week and called me immediately to make sure they were tall enough. One day she walked through the house and measured the ceilings to make sure the can lights were centered. Oh yes she did. They are centered now! Every time I look at my ceilings and thick, gorgeous trim, I’ll remember the long summer when Jennifer had my back. I stood behind the trim carpenters last week and let a few tears of joy drop to the dusty floor. One turned around and asked me, “This is your dream house, isn’t it?” Covered in smiles, I said, “If I could choose any dining room in the world, I’d choose this one. I’m just thinking about the dinners that will take place here, and yes…this is my dream.”

The book titled “The Summer of 2014″ is a long one, full of mayhem and mystery. But it’s almost time to put it away, and let it collect dust on the shelf. The seasons are changing; the pumpkins are mums are out, and the autumn sun is shining bright. I have Lily Allen’s “Littlest Things” on repeat on iTunes, mostly because I keep forgetting I’ve already purchased it, and I own several copies. But that’s good too, because I can never listen to it just once. Let’s enjoy this turning of events, shall we? Godspeed, my friends. Godspeed.

 

 


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