Wisdom Comes Suddenly

Raising Monkeys

September 9th, 2014 · 2 Comments



The list below won’t surprise anyone with school-aged children. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that anyone with kids will say these exact phrases several times during any given year. What I find astonishing is that I’ve said this entire list within the last 24 hours.

(1) Stop hiding your homework in the freezer!

(2) Who got syrup on the toilet seat? Forget it. I don’t want to know.

(3) How have you outgrown your underwear again? Do you slurp growth hormones in your sleep?

(4) How on EARTH do 20 pairs of socks lose their mates?! My head is going to pop off if you lose one more sock!

(5) It’s 95 degrees outside, so NO, you are not wearing a full-length wool coat to school.

(6) No, you can’t sleep underneath your beds on a school night, and that’s final.

(7) Why is there a half-eaten granola bar stuck to the bumper of the minivan?

(8) Stop putting lipstick on the cat.

(9) You got kicked in the head? Did you deserve it?

(10) You took a shower? Did you use soap? Let me smell your head. Oh heavenly sticky honey, you forgot to wash out the conditioner. And I’m checking your toothbrush at bedtime. It had better be wet.

(11) Is that a half-eaten hard-boiled egg on the floor of the car? Ah! Someone grab my head, quick! Before it pops off!

(12) Excuse me, but there are gym shoes on my kitchen table. Where I eat. Smelly, sweaty shoes ON the table. Is my head popping off? Because it feels like it’s popping off.

(13) Where are the leaves for your leaf project? The ones we picked in St. Louis and hauled back across two states? You didn’t pick them up off the floor. The cat ate them, and threw up all day. I think you found a new creative spin for your assignment, although gluing cat puke may be difficult.


(15) You lost your recess for throwing…dirt? At whom? Why? How much? Whose idea was this? Why? What…you know what? Go tell your Father. And no more telling me you keep forgetting the rules of the playground. If you’re clever enough to shower without soap without getting caught, hide your laundry in the toy basket, and eat candy under your bed, you can remember “NO THROWING DIRT AT YOUR FRIENDS”.

Good God I love these monkeys. Life would be so unimaginably boring without them.




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Some Weekends Are Longer Than Others

September 7th, 2014 · 1 Comment


For Crimes Against Technology (broke her sister’s tablet; although accidental, restitution has been mandated by the courts).

For Crimes Against Her Sibling (tried to steal her ice pack).

For Crimes Against Homework (was sent to her bed 4x during Sunday homework session to work on her attitude).

For Crimes Against Her Momma (felony back-talking).


For Crimes Against Technology (sneaking an iPad into bed to watch forbidden Disney sitcoms).

For Crimes Against Her Sibling (after losing her ice pack, she kicked Sara in the chest; punishment revoked as she was acting in self-defense).

For Crimes Against Her Homework (refusing to engage in her leaf project, assuming her parents will do it for her. WRONGO, Bunny. W-r-o-n-g-o).

For Crimes Against Housekeeping (failing to deposit dirty laundry anywhere NEAR the laundry basket, and repeat offender of hiding laundry under her bed).

Both girls are also charged with harboring a biological weapon. They brought home a cold which my immune system has somehow morphed into a treatment-resistant superbug. Fear the virus that can’t be taken down by Nyquil…fear it people.

Cheers from my desk, clinking Theraflu tea cups with you, dear Readers. Godspeed. To every parent entering Homework Season, Fall of 2014, Godspeed.

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Just One More Spin

September 4th, 2014 · 1 Comment


The girls and I stopped by our favorite place this afternoon for a little pick me up. The walls were primed and the ceilings were in. So sunny. So very bright. The girls found it all to be so very perfect. Isn’t the morning room the perfect place to spin?

Suddenly, this house felt very different to me. The ceilings were textured. Had I planned that? The bathroom tiles are so…brown. Is that just because they are up against white walls? Every where I looked I saw dollar signs, and decisions, and second-guesses.

I told myself it was the head cold talking, at the end of a 95 degree day. I needed some honey tea and Nyquil. I needed to step away from the worries that this is all just too much. When did I wake up as a middle-aged adult, capable of putting together an entire house? I’m usually surprised when I pull together a successful outfit.

So maybe just one more spin. Let me hear just one more giggle from the girls who think this is the world’s coolest adventure. I was a child of parents who loved to build and remodel. I remember being 9, and thinking nothing was better than watching a home come into being. Spinning isn’t just a nice-to-have in these situations. It is required.


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Eating My Childhood

September 2nd, 2014 · 2 Comments


I saw “The Hundred Foot Journey” last week (lovely, slow in a purposeful way, thinking I should redo my entire wardrobe to look more like a young, French chef on my day off, riding a bike through a village), and I learned a new phrase about cooking, “Food is memories”. Of course it is. I suppose I’ve said it one hundred times on my own one hundred foot journey. But it gave me pause.

Food is memories. Eating certain foods will unlock parts of your brain, and it will also share its own story, so listen to your food. Taste closely. Now closer still. Pay attention to the messages being shared.

Over Labor Day Weekend, we visited my summer childhood home in Southern Illinois. I decided to bring back as much as I could carry, so I could prepare it myself…and listen.

One bite in, and there it was: the apple wood smoked pork loin was different; I’d even say much different than the Indiana pork to which I am accustomed. The smoke was deeper, more pungent. I topped it with a very spicy apple salsa…again…spicy, not sweet, which I usually make. I was zipped back in time to my Aunt Susie’s dinner table, my cousin Brian across from me, and Uncle Goober next to him, the hot August sun setting behind their yard we so affectionately called, “5 Acres”. Everyone was tired from working hard on the farm and at the grain elevator. I could even smell the grain on Goob’s shirt, and hear the hogs in their pens, contentedly grunting after an evening meal.  There was no mistaking the detail in every bite.


The green beans were sweeter than Indiana beans, which I had not anticipated. Corn is sweet in Indiana, but green beans are not. Ours are just a bit crunchier, which I thought I preferred, until I ate these. These were just right. I could taste the earth that grew them, and it felt more coarse, but less full of clay. I guess you could say the St. Louis beans had far less of a metallic taste, and bordered on a smoothness I found surprising, contrasted against the profound presence of the smell and flavor of the dirt. It’s hard to describe how I could taste the dirt, but I could. It rounded out in the back of my nose and throat, and I could almost feel my bare feet running through the summer fields after the rain. I could SMELL it, even more than I could taste it.

I took my first bite of corn and black beans, again, anticipating the wrong flavor. You could try 10 ears of corn and pick out Indiana corn every single time. It’s like eating yellow sugar. It jumps right off your tongue. Illinois corn is mellow, and it’s subtlety lets you know you’re headed west, where the sun is hotter, and the soil is different. Mixed with beans, tomatoes, and cilantro, it wasn’t the least bit unpleasant. But I looked at Greg (who had devoured the rest of the meal), and we both put down our bowls, unable to finish it. It’s hard not to prefer Indiana tomatoes and corn. They are the brightest flavors we grow.

Mild corn brought back memories of my sister and my cousins, heading off in the early morning to detassel. Detasseling is a very physically demanding job, and it was an unstated understanding that I simply didn’t have the stamina or heat tolerance. On the bell curve of cousins, I knew I fell far into the left edge of the curve. On those summer weeks when my compadres worked from sun up to sun down, making their untold fortune by chopping the tops off of corn, I felt left behind. I read my books, and sat in the shade, anxiously awaiting their return so I could hear stories about mean girls who wouldn’t share the water, and the endlessness of corn fields. I tried to imagine myself in the long, hot shirts and jeans, walking the rows…but I couldn’t. I knew I’d never make it to the first water break.


The tomatoes reminded me of my Mother, planting off the back of a tractor, earning extra money for my school clothes. My sister and I sometimes followed along, trying to walk gingerly between the newly planted rows. Sometimes we just waited at the edge of the fields, watching the slow pull of the row of seats, full of women, planting crops. Those evenings in the fields felt exceptionally lonely, and in hindsight, I wish I’d had the wisdom to suggest I’d prefer not to have the fancy, new clothes. But I was a child, unable to put words to the sadness of the adults around me. The tomato harvest would come, and my Mother and Grandmother would slice them, sprinkle them with salt, and eat tomatoes as snacks. They’d eat tomatoes until their mouths had sores, swearing it was worth it. I don’t know why this particular food memory makes me curl inside, but it does. Just the phrase, “sliced tomatoes” makes me cringe. Even now, I hesitate every time I buy a Big Boy, thinking maybe I’d prefer a Roma instead.

But those are memories, and I’ve said too much. This one dinner plate unlocked years of memories, as only food can do.

I brought back as much produce and goodness as Greg and the girls had patience for me to buy. A black diamond watermelon, blackberry cider, Honeycrisp apples (they are in season…RUN! Get them now!), peach salsa, fig preserves, apricot butter, sweet beef sticks, apple coffee cake, and the dinner I shared with you here. Most of it is gone already, as 2 young ladies with terrible head colds stood at my feet, begging for just one more glass of blackberry cider. It’s full of Vitamin C! What was I to do? I was to join them, that’s what I was to do.

Please tell. What foods bring back detailed memories for you?


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August 28th, 2014 · Comments Off


Sara is imitating an eyeglass commercial, but all the same, I find her humor to be original. For as rough as yesterday was, today was the polar opposite. Was it the nice, long swim after school? Maybe. Was it the warm shower, the full belly, and getting the homework started much earlier? Perhaps. In a surprising twist of fate, Sara sat down with her math homework, and independently walked through it like a champ. I dare say, I think she thoroughly enjoyed it.

It doesn’t hurt we started with her grabbing my reading glasses, and making me laugh until my sides hurt. “I’m a serious business woman. Where are my charts?!”

And it hit me I’ve been quite dismal at saying the good things, which is so sad. There are so, so many good things to say:

The upper management of this apartment complex may care very little for their tenants, but the people here on site clearly do. It’s true I’ve never lived anywhere infested with such a wildly differentiated variety of bugs (today I found a dead toad in my watering can, but that’s a story for another day). But I’ve also never had a maintenance team stop by and help me wash my windows, or just check in to make sure nothing else has exploded (and then we laugh until our sides hurt, because we can’t think of anything not yet broken). Despite the nightmare we’ve been through, our day-to-day repairs were shared with very decent people. There have been blessings in this oddly comical horror story. I’ve been grateful for every last one of them, even if I failed to say it here.

The house we are building is my favorite place to hang out these days. It may be covered in drywall dust, but it’s home. Yesterday I had the pleasure of walking through each room with my favorite painter/remodeling/closet/if I can dream it, he can build it guy (Tim Edens, and if you’re in Indy, you won’t find a better team). My realtor stopped by, “doing her rounds”. (Jennifer Goodspeed, and if you’re in Indy, you simply won’t find a better realtor). I was standing in a sunny house, surrounded by people with my best interests in mind. How can that not feel great? I wanted to hug that muggy air, because when this is all said and done, our family has someplace to go.

The girls are having a fantastic start to the school year. Their academic maturity is starting to show, even if only in fleeting glimmers. They love their school. I love their school. We have a strong community that has cheered me through every moment of this adventure. Without these witnesses, I would be lost in my own thoughts, instead of screaming with laughter over coffee with people I love. They have equally ridiculous stories of building dream homes with unplugged sump pumps that flooded a brand new basement, which then caught on fire. Stories of building, discovering game-ending flaws, moving out, rebuilding…”persistently starting over again and again” seems to be the theme of families who dare to move. I love these women, and I love how their stories make me feel. Unalone. I feel held up and more importantly, held together.

Someday, the 4 of us will look back on this 6-month stretch, and we’ll recant the incredulous stories. Son-in-laws will sit with their jaws wide open, swearing we are exaggerating. But here’s my trump card: I recorded every last tale…right here. And you read it. You’ll vouch for me. Or to quote my friend Kathy, “You can’t make this stuff up.” Sometimes we remember phenomenal stories. I climbed the Great Wall of China! But often, our best stories are full of unpredictable woe. Tales of misfortune so uncharted, one must laugh at the sheer act of survival. We marvel at our own tenacity, and ability to endure together, as a family.

Together. Always together. Not even a ghost story beats the history of how we went through this together. Godspeed, my dear witnesses. For your Labor Day adventures, Godspeed.





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Such A Buzzkill

August 27th, 2014 · 1 Comment


Completely unrelated to my post, but here is a picture of my bunny trying to kiss a bunny. Cuteness alert!

YEAH, so like, GUESS WHAT?! 3rd grade has homework! DUDE. Such a buzzkill for ‘ole Sara. You mean you’ll want her to do more than look at the awesome sharks hanging from the ceilings? You’ll want her to learn new things? WHAT-EVA’! Her annual campaign titled, “Taking my frustration out on Mommy” has begun in earnest. Bravo, Sara. I like your commitment to tradition.

In other buzzkill news, our shower sprung a healthy leak, and came spewing through the kitchen lights last night. Greg put his hand to the ceiling to check for wetness, and his hand went right through the drywall. BUZZKILLER! The repair was fairly low drama, and required I remove everything from only one closet. I find all repairs start with me clearing out a closet, so panels can be accessed. One of these things leads to Narnia, I’m just sure of it. Or an ancient Indian burial ground, which I think we can all agree has been unearthed this summer.

In so doing, I discovered my daughters had followed ZERO-POINT-ZERO of my unpacking requests. Times 5 days. And then multiply my frustration by the number of clean laundry items I discovered they had stashed about the room. Those toys I moved so Narnia could be reached? Those are MINE ladies. My loot tonight was rich: an entire Calico Critter village, a Kidz Bop CD, and a Nerf Gun. BUZZKILL!

And now the apartment complex (which has given me FABU material for a horror novel) has decided paying for our move was “optional”. Oooohhhh. The ultimate buzzkill. Now we gettin’ crazy up in here. I fear things might truly unravel, so if I disappear into a panel access door and find it difficult to find my way back…Godspeed my friends. Godspeed.

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Those Are My Marigolds, Asshole.

August 25th, 2014 · 5 Comments



Happier Times On The Back Porch From Hell


Reader Lydia is worried if I leave the haunted apartment, we will lose so much material. True, true. BUT, in the long run, it’s a net-positive, because I get to LIVE. If there were ANY doubt that the apartment was haunted by a spirit who wanted me the move out, please…read on…

With the temperatures above 90, along with the humidity, I received the key to the new apartment less than 24 hours after the neighbors’ bed bug notification. I already had the minivan packed. The key slid into the lock with ease, so I knew right then this apartment was better. Not fighting the lock? That saves me a ton of time each day! I walked into an IDENTICAL apartment, and knew immediately, it was completely DIFFERENT.


Hey, I know! Let’s build a PIAZZA back here!

First, I was overwhelmed by the smell of my Grandmother. Not a dead guy stuffed behind the furnace. Lavender old lady powder beats dead guy any day. Look it up.

Second, the door on the downstairs bathroom shuts.

Third, when I put things on the pantry shelves, not a single shelf fell to the floor.

Fourth, the drawer underneath the stove doesn’t fly off it’s hinges whenever anyone breathes near it.

Fifth, the TV and microwave can be on at the same time.

Sixth, the washer holds a full load, and the dryer actually dries things. Every.single.time.

Seventh, the fence is a brand new bright white, not black, molded wood.

Eighth, the A/C cools the entire apartment.

Ninth, the shower recovering isn’t cracked, and the backstops on the handles are all attached to the tile.

Tenth, the shower can be run at the same time as the washer. Or a sink. AND a toilet can be flushed with someone IN the shower. MIRACLES!

Eleventh, this apartment does NOT back up to massive industrial building project. I wonder if the 50 guys who hang out at my back door every day are going to miss me? I thought it was only fitting to swap gifts, so I left the ghost behind, and in trade, I took a hovercraft.

Twelfth, and I think we can all agree the most important feature of this new apartment: NO GHOST.

The night before the move, I may have gone overboard with the sage smudging. And by “overboard” I mean Greg walked into the apartment and choked from the stench and smoke. What can I say? Big ghosts require A LOT of burning sage. Needless to say, I’ve been banned from all sage burning in his presence, and I’m pretty sure he and Sara have hidden my stash from me. NON-BELIEVERS!



Wood stain + Flowers + Potting Soil + Mulch + Elbow Grease – Ghost – Industrial Construction Project = Piazza

The move went smoothly (as I anticipated because Spirit John clearly wanted us to move out). But Sunday, when I went back to clean the apartment and clean up the porch, he was there to greet me. A third day of moving adventures and 90+ temperatures and humidity meant the girls were not in the mood to be helpful, and I sent them away with Greg. It was time I face Spirit John alone, one more time. I tried to assure him I was leaving, and merely wanted to leave the place as I found it, but the heat had him equally ill-tempered. After reaching my spotless goal, I locked up and moved to the dreaded porch. Yuck. The stain work I did on the fence looked beautiful, but I had a few boards left to finish. The way the summer had panned out, I just never found the motivation to finish it. As I took my first swipe of stain, I found myself eye to eye with nothing other than a….


Not scary enough? It was EATING ANOTHER SPIDER.

Back away. Slowly…back…AWAY.

Enough of a sign to drop my work and run? Nope. After a spider-covered-summer, I had grown numb to their presence. I put the stain away, and decided to take my marigolds with me. The countless other flowers the girls and I planted never took off, but the marigolds were stunning. No way was I leaving them for John. He can move bugs, but I doubt he can lift a watering can. I FOUND YOUR ACHILLES HEEL, JOHN!

At the first marigold plant, my trowel broke in half. Sign? No. Just a cheap trowel. HA! I have a second! This idiot trudged forward.


You’re building WHAT back here? Wait! Where are my trees?! WAIT! This is supposed to be the PIAZZA SUMMER! LOOK IT UP!

I dug and I dug, keeping a careful eye on the black widow, who seemed quite content with her prey. I carefully stacked the flowers across a drop cloth in the minivan, and returned one, last time for my pots. As I dumped the dirt, the last pot was absolutely FILLED with ants. So, so many ants. I had no hose to wash it out, so it was destined for the dumpster. When I walked with stacks of pots in both hands, those ants turned into angry, wildly tenacious creatures. They crawled up my arms, biting and stinging as they went. I threw the ant pot inside the other pots and decided they must all be tossed. Screw it.

Did the large stock of pots protect me from the ant pot? NO. I lifted the stack again, and the entire set was swarming with ants. More stinging. More yelling. I dropped the stack and RAN. It finally hit me: I wasn’t having YET ANOTHER day of back luck. I was facing down Spirit John, and he wasn’t taking no for an answer.


Oh gosh guys. I’m going to miss you too. A bulldozer? For me? You shouldn’t have!

In memory of my haunted summer sans my piazza, I now know, Spirit John likes marigolds and the smell of burning sage, and this makes sense, because marigolds smell horrible, and he smells like a dead guy himself. Stinks loves stink. He also loves his apartment, and hates guests, especially on his back porch. Not much of an entertainer. He dislikes the Today Show, the smell of cooking bacon (weirdo), and is quite the entomologist. I, for one, will never be returning to the haunted apartment. I’ve informed the girls they aren’t even to look in its general direction. We’re now 5 buildings away, and we can’t see it from here…thank God. I assume the gates of hell will open up and swallow it whole any day now. Swallow it, its busted appliances, the insectarium it has become, and last, but not least…Spirit John. Adios nightmare.

P.S. to S.J.: The marigolds are MINE, asshole.


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Adios Spirit John

August 21st, 2014 · 3 Comments


Even the background on this picture will freak you out! (*Read below)

If you don’t believe in spirits or ghosts, you may wish to look away. If you fear bed bugs, you may wish to keep reading. I know announcing this piece is only for readers who both believe in poltergeists AND fear bed bugs truly narrows my demographics, but we don’t choose these things. They choose us.

First, our area of town had a 15 hour power outage this week which necessitated the tossing of not only our entire fridge, but the ginormous tub of ham and beans I had made for my Grandpa. And the chilled cookie dough…his wife’s recipe. That was hard. As we lay sweltering in the humidity at 3 am, I decided this apartment is most certainly haunted. Greg doesn’t like to speak of such things, so maybe we should say, “This apartment is occupied by a tenant WE CANNOT SEE, but is very good at letting us know HE IS HERE.” In my exhaustion and dehydration, I started calling him Spirit John. I don’t know why. Delirium doesn’t come with a guide book.

Second, even after repurchasing a fridge full of food, I had made up my mind to look for Zen in this unlivable situation. SURELY there is a lesson for me in this. WHAT could it BE? I tried telling Spirit John this morning I wanted to go as much as it seemed he wished for me to leave, when I heard a knock at the door. No one visits us here. My friends are fairly certain this apartment is haunted (sorry Greg, “containing prior occupants”). There stood the Property Manager, looking…? Full of bad news. Of course it was bad news. He never has GOOD news. “Congratulations Lori! You have been on Candid Camera all summer and you win! It was a gigantic game of Apartment Survivor and here is a check for ONE MEEL-EON DOLLARS!”

No. That wasn’t the purpose of his call. The dishwasher sent up smoke signals last week, and I should have paid attention. Our neighbors have a wicked infestation of bed bugs, brought in by furniture arriving from Chicago. And guess what? Bed bugs can crawl through walls and come in through outlets! WHO KNEW?! I didn’t know! I know NOW! Luckily, the Inspector (we’re on each others’ Xmas card lists at this point) found absolutely no sign of bed bugs in our apartment. Whew.

But that was my last bullet. Zen, sorry ’bout your luck. Maybe another go’round. This time, I’m pulling up stakes and we are OUTTA HERE. Tomorrow, we start the move, and by Saturday evening, we should be in new digs. Not on a construction zone, and hopefully not with a less-than-friendly ghost. I decided to call a Shamanic Healer and complete any recommended checklists titled, “How to make sure the bad luck stays behind”, which may seem outlandish to some, but not to anyone who has faithfully read this blog all summer. My sister signed off our phone call tonight with, “Hey…before I forget…Good Luck getting rid of your Poltergeist!”

Greg just wants to get out, even if he has to put up with my pan-belief-system, so our conversation tonight went something like this:

Me: I ordered 3 sage smudge sticks tonight, and they will be here tomorrow.

Greg: That is coming out of your allowance.

Me: Oh no it isn’t. It’s a moving expense. I’m going to unstick any spirits attached to our stuff, and then I’m using one to clean the aura of our new apartment.

Greg: And just what budget category does “sage smudge stick” come out of? OH! Sorry! I remember! You’ve been asking me to create a “Hocus Pocus” category for years. Or would you like to take it out of the Voodoo fund? The Hooey money we’ve saved perhaps?


I tell you this story not to bring about a jinx on our move, but rather to ask for your good wishes. The girls are obviously upset by the upheaval this is causing, and quite frankly, Kelly says she’ll miss Spirit John (proving they never sleep at night, and sit at the top of the stairs listening to everything Greg and I say). The stress of moving with such short notice has given Sara a migraine (which she is blaming on Red Dye #40, because heaven knows she won’t accept real emotions without an internal battle). Both are certain our world is covered in bed bugs, and who can blame them? I’ve been scratching my arms all day, just thinking about it. YUCK! We’ll move into an apartment in a building nearby (but away from construction), and we’ll move again in about 7 weeks. Not our best case scenario, but what would that even be at this point?

I KNOW! A check for ONE MEEL-EON DOLLARS! Just kidding. We’re blessed beyond words and will be home sweet home before the first snowflake falls. Hang in there with me. It’s going to get fun from here.

*I had no idea what picture to pair with this post. I thought I would do something random, and I looked over my last download from the State Fair. It would seem the girls got a hold of the camera in the recent past, and I found several silly pictures, clearly taken by my children. I found this one in the mix. I don’t even know if it’s Sara or Kelly under that blanket. Maybe it’s Spirit John! Somehow, I thought he’d be taller…


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How Does My Hair Look?

August 20th, 2014 · 3 Comments


My friend Lydia is in love with my hair, so this picture is actually porn. We’re getting old. It doesn’t take much.

A few friends have asked me how it feels to be NOT the PTA President. It feels amazing. Not in a regretful, I’m so glad it’s over, kind of way. Definitely quite the opposite. It’s more of a “I can’t believe it’s over and I loved it so much” kind of way, and HEY! LOOK AT ALL THIS FREE TIME! What am I doing with myself? Nothing, really. No, honestly. Nothing. Ask Greg…he’ll validate my current amoeba-like state. And could someone pick him up some bananas when they are next at the store, because the definition of “nothing” includes “not running errands”. It’s 2014! Who leaves the house JUST to get bananas these days? Don’t we have 3D printers for that sort of thing?

I might be depressed. Or ridiculously happy. It’s hard to say. Let’s hold all judgement until the ride is over.


Many friends have gently told me I’m not a hat-person, but I still say they’re wrong. It’s all about finding the RIGHT hat.

However, as “Immediate Past President” my picture still has to go up on the PTA Bulletin Board at school…only slightly more than nothing, but still…a little something. To-Do List for First Week of School? Email ONE picture to the Bulletin Board Chair. And HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN LORI GETS BORED. The following conversation is partially true, partially fabricated, partially a conversation between myself and the Bulletin Board Chairman (we’ll call her “BBC” and protect the innocent), and partially a conversation between me and my iPhoto files. Let’s smoosh it all together and have some fun:

BBC: I need a picture of you for the Bulletin Board. I’m happy to take one, or crop something you have.

Me: Oh fun! Here’s one.

BBC: I wasn’t able to crop the girls out of this one, and you’re sticking out your tongue?

Me: I didn’t even notice! Oops. Try again!

BBC: The rest of the pictures submitted are in color. Do you have this one in color?

Me: Oh, sorry no, but that makes sense. Ooooh! Do you like this one?

BBC: Maybe not in costume?

Me: We’re going serious this year? OK, I’m not making a goofy expression in this one.

BBC: You are holding a goat. An actual, real, live goat.


Me: No goats. Got it.

BBC: Is this one even you? How much hair do you have?!

Me: It simply cannot be measured. I could make rugs on a daily basis, just on what falls out. OK, OK! Serious. One shot. Of ME, not just my hair. Got it.

BBC: That’s you with a mustache. Can you just meet me after school and I’ll take your picture?


Me: I’m kind of funny about having my picture taken. I really can’t stand it. Let me try again. I’m SURE I have something!

BBC: This is you in a very large wig. Are you feeling OK? We’ll be standing together in the lobby in ONE HOUR AND I AM HAPPY TO TAKE ONE.

Me: Dude! Am I making this overly complicated? I feel like I’m over-thinking it. What are the requirements again?


In the end, I sent 9 pictures. Partially because I’m a goof, and partially because it was informative for me to realize I rarely take serious pictures. Or pictures without live animals (that statement includes pictures with my monkey children). Today was a great exercise in structuring my newly-discovered free-time:

(1) Buy Greg bananas. (Proving I’m “Wife of the Year” because I don’t even eat bananas.)

(2) Clean out the 18,000 pictures in my iPhoto files.

(3) Get a head shot for my next job as? Next job….hmm…”Chairman of banana buying and iPhoto file cleaning”. And you thought I’d go stir-crazy…


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Modern Art Au Shitbox

August 18th, 2014 · 1 Comment



This piece of modern art was recently installed at my back door. At first I thought Ray lost his favorite box, so I called the number he printed on the side (smart thinker, that Ray). I let him know he’d left a treasured box at the Shitbox, and how ironic was that? He didn’t get my joke, because as it turns out, Ray is a serious ARTIST.

I have such an amazing front row seat to the presentation of Ray’s art, so I have taken some time to ponder its significance. What is Ray trying to say with this piece? Obviously, my first interpretation is concrete: Ray thinks he is FULL of garbage. It’s a statement about the gradual, yet overwhelming, erosion of America’s collective intellect. This work indicates a need for transformation; America has lost its way, academically-speaking. Basically, this art is a silent (or is it?) protest piece directed at the Kardashian family.

But that felt too easy. Modern art is rarely such a “gimme”, deconstructively-speaking. WHAT RAY?! What are you saying?! I think he’s making a statement not about garbage, but about gar-BEIGE. We are all trash, so how can we change our mindsets towards an appreciation of a permeating anti-aesthetic? If we look within, and still, there is just more trash, how can we support our fragile sense of selves? What if there is no beauty skin deep or otherwise? WHAT THEN, PEOPLE?! Should we allow the death of hope? Should we fight the ugly? Should we accept that solid refuse is our lot in life, and our best bet is to embrace the waste, and simply seek containment? And if “containment” is the point, what’s the symbolism of the red paint? Angry containment? See? I’m lost again. It’s like I’m just going around and around this big, red rectangle, yet it’s giving me so little. Damn you Ray! Are you are a genius or a madman?!

I feel certain more thought is needed, but therein I am blessed. I have been given more time to digest this thought-provoking work of art. Our house has been delayed by another month, and I’m certain Ray’s box isn’t budging anytime soon. I thought, “That’s it. My dance card is full. I can’t take on additional critique projects at this time. Life can’t get more exciting.” But, per my usual, I spoke too soon. Guess what was delivered at 7:00 am this morning? That’s right guys….


The hovercrafts are here.

Oh my Lord, it’s a good thing they lock up the keys in a rickety trailer at night, with no security system. Games are afoot, my friends. You in?

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