Friday, July 10, 2020

The Wildlife Is Out To Get Me

A couple weeks ago, I was sitting on my couch, binging on Netflix productively working on my book when I heard a thud against the patio door behind me.

SIDE NOTE - The present participle of the word BINGE is binging. This bothers me. It looks like it would rhyme with ringing. Although some sources claim that BINGEING is acceptable also, that looks even more demented than BINGING. Stuff like this keeps me up at night.

Anyway, I was sitting on my couch when I heard a thud behind me. I had a mini heart attack and jumped up expecting to see one of my kids outside banging on the glass door. Because that's the kind of thing we do in my family. Scare the crap out of each other for fun.

Instead of one of my kids, I saw this:


That's right. A big ole hawk flew into my window. What the heck is it with these birds??? There was the mockingbird that kept me awake for months READ HERE. And there was the committee of vultures that congregated outside my classroom. Did you know a group of resting vultures is called a committee? Now you do. A flying pack of vultures is called a kettle, and a feeding group of vultures is called a wake. 

NOTE TO SELF: Stop giving random vocabulary lessons in the middle of your posts.



In short, birds creep me out!

Then, a couple days ago, when Clay opened the front door, he inadvertently let in a lizard. He let a lizard IN the house. I'm okay with lizards. They don't generally freak me out which is a good thing because there are approximately 3 anoles per square foot in this state. But when they come INSIDE . . . well, that's another matter.



Then today as I sat here once again, working hard on my book and not at all playing Words With Friends and procrastinating, I heard another thunk against the patio door. I jumped up, my heart palpitating and looked over the back of the couch expecting to see that stupid hawk again. Nope. No hawk. Instead, I saw this:



It made me remember the glitter frog that infiltrated my apartment. READ HERE.

I tell ya, it's like living in Jurassic Park down here! The wildlife is out to get me!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Preparing To Vacuum

I saw this on Facebook recently.


I glanced across the room to where my vacuum sat immobile. 
I had actually gotten my vacuum cleaner out a couple days prior, but it was still sitting there untouched in my family room, an avant garde decoration adorning my living space. When I first grabbed the vacuum, my kids were sleeping because, as I mentioned before, they're now nocturnal animals. I parked the vacuum intending to wait until the kids woke up before doing my chore. That was almost a week ago. Ahem.

So today I finally turned on the vacuum cleaner. I pushed it across the carpet a couple times, but it didn't seem to be picking up anything. I turned it off and set it down so I could see the roller.


Well, that would be why it isn't picking up anything. I shed more than a Siberian Husky. I truly don't know how I'm not bald. So every couple months I need to cut out all the hair that gets wrapped around this roller.



THIS is what it's SUPPOSED to look like.



This is the small wig I pulled from the roller.

And THIS is what happens when you want to start blogging again, but half your kids are grown and out of the house and the couple that are left, sleep all day so they don't provide you with nearly the amount of fodder they used to. And there's a pandemic so you don't go anywhere or do anything. And so you blog about hairy vacuums. That's where we're at. Thank you, Corona.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Might As Well Be Walking On The Sun


The little gym and the pool at my apartment complex have been closed since the beginning of March. When I walked up toward the office to get my mail yesterday I noticed there was a different sign on the pool. I walked over to see that it's now open with a limited capacity of 10 people at a time. Yay, I thought! I have a reason to get my lazy kids out of bed! If the pool's empty, we'll go swimming tomorrow, I planned.

So around 11:30, I opened Clay's door. "Come on! Get up, Bud! Let's go swimming!"

I was met with a grunt.

"Come on! Let's see the sun! It'll be fun! Fun in the sun!

He cracked one eye open to glare at me.

"Come on! This sleeping all day is ridiculous! Get up! Let's do SOMETHING!"

"No thanks," he dismissed me.

I weighed my options.
1.  Try to wrestle him out of bed. (He's stronger than me.)
2.  Dump a cup of water over his head to encourage him to get up. (Probably not wise to poke the bear.)
3.  Admit that he's now nocturnal, walk away, and try my hand with Brooklyn. (Check!)

I opened Brooklyn's door. "Hey baby! Let's go swimming! Come on, get up!"

Apparently I freaked her out as she jumped, her eyes flying open at the sound of my voice.

"Let's go swimming! The pool is open now. Let's get out in the sun. I'm going to put on my bathing suit and then we'll go."

She grunted, but got out of bed.

We put on our suits, grabbed some bottles of water, and walked over to the pool only to see a sign saying, "Pool closed." Wait, what? A maintenance guy walked by and I asked him, "Is the pool just closed today for cleaning or something?"

"Nope. It's closed indefinitely."

"What? I swear it was open yesterday!"

"Yeah, we just closed it again today because of the virus."


Dejected, we starting walking home. "Can I go rollerblading instead?" Brooklyn asked.

"It's like 100 degrees outside!"

"I don't care," Brooklyn insisted.

"Okay. I can walk while you skate."

So we drove over to a trail that runs near us. I told Brooklyn that she didn't need to keep pace with me; that she could go ahead and we'd meet up when we were ready to head home.

Actual footage of her skating off:


via GIPHY

So I trudged along because
1. The most strenuous thing I've done in months is walk to the kitchen to look for chocolate.
And 2. It's roughly the temperature of the surface of the sun outside.

Basically, I leisurely strolled along while stopping periodically to take pictures because I thought I might have a heart attack if I didn't stop I LOVE photography!

I walked about a mile and a half then texted Brooklyn to let her know that I was going to turn around and head back soon.

"Do you want me to turn around and head back too?"

"Nah, if you want to skate a little farther, that's okay. If I get back to the car before you, I'll just pass out wait in the AC until you get back.

A minute after I started walking back, Brooklyn called me.

"Mom, can you pick me up? I just threw up."

"I was just going to call you and ask YOU to pick ME up. I may be dying."

"Mooom. I can't drive."

"Oh who will know? You can figure it out."

"Mom!"

"Oh fine! Are you okay? Where are you?"

"Yeah. I'm by the post office."

"Okay, well sit down in the shade and take little sips of your water. I'll come pick you up, but it's going to take me a while to get back to the car."

I lumbered toward my car as little bugs swarmed around my face. As I futilely swatted at them, I envisioned hordes of flies teeming around animal carcasses, and briefly wondered if these bugs knew something I didn't. I did feel a little near death . . . I swished my hand around my head, attempting to shoo the bugs away, but they were now glued to my face with sweat. Lovely.

I finally made it back to my car and picked up Brooklyn.

"How are you feeling?" I asked.

"I feel better after throwing up a couple times."

"Oh yeah, puking always makes me feel better too," I returned, my voice dripping with sarcasm.

She spent the drive home arguing with me that it wasn't too hot to exercise outside, and throwing up while skating is normal. Because she's 14 and knows everything. I spent the drive home making a note to myself - don't go out skating/walking with Brooklyn again. At least not until November.

Here are the pictures I took along the trail while I was making up excuses to stop walking.






 

















Thursday, July 2, 2020

Good Morning! Er, Um, Goodnight! I Mean, Morning. I Mean Night. I Don't Know What I Mean!

I was searching for a picture on my blog when I ran across this post I wrote ten years ago, in June of 2010. 


I sat on the floor of the girls' room while Clay, Brooklyn, and Lexi gathered around to hear me read them a story. Actually, they didn't so much gather around as they just tried their best to remind me why some parents eat their young. Clay bounced up and down on a suitcase because he has a genetic defect that doesn't give him the ability to sit still for more than a nanosecond. Brooklyn whined repeatedly that she couldn't see the pictures. In between the whining she interrupted the story with her questions. Lots of questions. In fact, I left her in her room two hours ago and I think I still hear her asking questions.

"Is that the owl?"

"Yes."

"Why is the owl sad?"

"Because the monkey landed on her baby owl."

"Why is there only one monkey?"

"Because there just is."

"Where are the elephants?"

"There are no elephants in this book."

"Why aren't there any elephants in this book?"

"Because it's not an elephant book."

"Why not?"

"And they all lived happily ever after, goodnight!"

"That's not the end, Mom! You have to read about the lion! (Duh)"

Hey, can't blame a tired mom for trying. So, after I gave Brooklyn her traditional "fishy kiss", I kissed Lexi and then threatened them to stay in bed told them goodnight. I left and went to Clay's room where I played the same game I play every single night of my life. It goes like this - I walk over to his bed and lean over to kiss him goodnight, but instead I kiss his stuffed monkey. As giggling erupts from the corner of the room where Clay is hiding, I exclaim, "What the? Hey! This isn't Clayton! This is a monkey! Where's Clay?" Yep, that never gets old.

After getting the youngest three tucked in, I usually head to my room to read email or write. Before my butt even hits the chair, Clay has gotten out of bed.

"Can I have some water?"

"Same as every night of your life."

He fills a cup, drinks half a teaspoon (yep, he really needed that water), then jumps like a kangaroo back to his bed.

Twenty-eight seconds later, he's up again.

"Mom?"

"Yes, Clay?"

"Ummm, I just want to ask you a question."

"Yes?"

"Ummm, Mom?"

"What?!" I snap because I get cranky when I hear my name repeated again and again for no particular reason.

"Ummm, Mom, is tomorrow going to be a good day?"

blink blink pause

"GO. TO. BED!"

This continues for the next five hours with each child taking turns getting out of bed just to be told to get back in bed. They don't tell you this part when you fill out the Mommy Application. Grandmas tell me I'm going to miss this when they're all out of the house. But I never hear these grandmas offer to come tuck my kids in to bed. Coincidence? I think not!

I laughed as I reread it, remembering those days. It seems like a lifetime ago. And you know what, I DO miss it. I totally long for those days. I'm not sure if it's because I truly miss those times with my kids when they were little and they adored me, or if it's because I have a selective memory and have conveniently forgotten the horrors of those never-ending days of messes and craziness.

Today, with only Brooklyn and Clayton still living at home, our evening routine is a little different. Especially amid a pandemic, things are um, quite different. Bedtime generally goes like this:

ME  AT 11:00PM:  Oh good "morning," kids. You just get up?

CLAY & BROOKLYN: No, we've been up since about 7:00PM, just hanging out in our rooms on our phones.

ME: Okay then. Well, goodnight. I'm going to bed.

The end.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Mirror, MIrror on the Wall

(This post was originally written, but not published, last year.)



Self-deprecating humor is my thing. I didn't set out to make it my thing; it just sort of happened. I open my mouth and a stream of sarcastic put-downs aimed at myself rolls off my tongue with absolutely no effort. I suppose, if I'm honest, I'd say it stems from a lack of confidence. It's somehow safer to preemptively make myself the butt of a joke before someone else does. Humor covers a multitude of insecurities, and really, this works fine and dandy for me. Or well, it did. Until I heard Lexi say, "I'm ugly."

"What??? Why would you say that? You're not ugly at all! Don't say mean things to yourself. Would you ever say that to a friend? No. So why would you say something so awful to yourself?" I asked, shocked and saddened by her proclamation.

"You do it. You say that you're fat or stupid or old or ugly all the time, Mom."

Punch to the gut moment.

She's right. I do. I put myself down all. the. time. Friends at work get on my case about it regularly and tell me I need to stop doing that. I tell them to relax; that I have a sense of humor so I don't take myself seriously; that I'm not hurting anyone. But apparently I am. And I'm disgusted that my kids have picked up on this bad habit. I always try to model the behavior I want my kids to emulate. It doesn't always work. But I try. Unfortunately I really dropped the ball on this one.

I just don't know how to be one of those people who exude confidence. I made a comment to the deputy at my school (who most people agree is an attractive guy) about another deputy who had covered for him one day last week. "You should have that guy come back again, "I told him. "He was really cute," I said referring to the other officer who had filled in. Our deputy looked puzzled, and eyebrow lifted in incredulity, matter-of-factly responded, "What? No one is cuter than me." 

Seriously, how does one go about attaining that level of confidence? Or well, maybe not quite that level of confidence as I'm pretty sure he has trouble walking through doorways what with the size of his head, but maybe somewhere in the vicinity of that level of confidence.

I've been making a conscious effort to try, but I kind of suck at it. Even when I avoid putting myself down aloud, those negative feelings still permeate my thoughts. And I wonder what it would be like to have an abundance of confidence. [After I wrote this paragraph, I noticed that I put myself down in that first sentence where I talk about trying not to put myself down. How sad is that?]

Have you ever seen the movie I Feel Pretty? The protagonist played by Amy Schumer is an average girl who feels unattractive and lacks confidence until an accident where she hits her head causes her to see herself as drop-dead gorgeous. Suddenly, feeling like she's beautiful, she has the confidence to do all sorts of things she never did before - apply for her dream job, get a boyfriend, join a bikini contest, etc. I really liked this movie. It's funny and hits close to home. How many of us can relate to standing before a mirror while critiquing all that is "wrong" with us? :::Raising my hand:::



How great would it be to look in the mirror and see not your flaws, but see yourself as God must see you? Especially if you didn't have to endure an embarrassing spinning accident in order to see yourself as the jewel you are.

Now how does one go about doing that?

I went searching for some scripture that would encourage those of us who might have a difficult time with self worth and I found this article HERE with 25 encouraging Bible verses.

1 Peter 3:3-4  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

I'm going to try, really try, to see myself in a different light and stop berating myself lest I pass those ideas on to my kids. I definitely don't want them viewing themselves with such a critical eye. 

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