Posted in Family, Grammar Nazi, Just Funny, Uncategorized

To Whom it May Concern


My daughter texted, “Knock, knock”

I returned, “Who’s there?”

She replied, “To”

53140214230f1e85e4f8b99ac4e70126So I typed, “To who?” but I couldn’t do it. Before I hit SEND, my Zero Tolerance Approach to Bad Grammar required me to correct the blunder, so I changed it to“To whom?” and pressed the green button.

Her next text stated flatly, “DANGIT” and then she proceeded to curse me with extensive PG-rated cursing while I laughed my goofy head off.

Apparently I ruined her joke.

Come on, it’s not like she didn’t know.

Posted in Family, Quirks and Other Weirdness, Starting Over, Uncategorized

Do the Opposite

Today’s life advice:  ALWAYS MAKE THE HARD CHOICE.

About everything.

Remember the episode of Seinfeld, where George decides his life sucks because he always makes bad decisions?  

George CostanzaGeorge: It’s not working, Jerry. It’s just not working.

Jerry: What is it that isn’t working?

George: Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but … I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party. It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat … It’s all been wrong.

Waitress: Tuna on toast, coleslaw, cup of coffee.

George: Yeah. No, no, no, wait a minute, I always have tuna on toast. Nothing’s ever worked out for me with tuna on toast. I want the complete opposite of tuna on toast! Chicken salad, on rye, untoasted, with a side of potato salad … and a cup of tea!

Elaine: Well, there’s no telling what can happen from this.

Jerry: You know chicken salad is not the opposite of tuna, salmon is the opposite of tuna, ’cause salmon swim against the current, and the tuna swim with it.

Yeah, this is kinda what I’m talking about, only without the coleslaw.

If you don’t want to do it because it’s too hard, that’s exactly what you need to do.  
~ Cook or grab take-out?  Cook.
~ Walk away from the new jeans or buy them on credit?  Walk away.
~ Watch tv or work out?  Work out.
~ Study for an A or wing it for a B?  Study.
~ Coke or water?  Water.
~ Be comfortably introverted or introduce yourself? Come on, make a friend.
~Accept what’s in front of you, or wait for what you know is right?  Wait.
  For heaven’s sake, wait.

I’d love to tell you that’s what I always do, but OBVIOUSLY it’s not.  MUCH TOO OFTEN I take the easy road, sometimes out of laziness, sometimes out of impatience, sometimes out of thinking it won’t matter in the long run.   I can tell you from more years of experience than I care to admit, those are the decisions I have regretted.  But the times I have been intentional… the times I have been disciplined… the times I have thought through the consequences… THOSE are the times I can look back on and see the results and feel good about life.

Do the opposite of what your lazy self wants to do.  Sure, it’s difficult, hence the words “HARD choice”.  But today you’ll have taught yourself a little discipline and tomorrow you will like yourself a little better if you just keep at it.  

bed unmade.jpgExcept, of course, when it comes to making your bed.  (Even though my mom required it be done every day growing up.)  I just don’t get it. Nobody is going to see it except me.  Like Jim Gaffigan said, “It doesn’t make sense.  It’s like tying your shoes AFTER you take them off.”  So even though I won’t likely MAKE the bed today, it’s Monday, which means I WILL wash the sheets today.  

Even though I don’t wanna.

 

Posted in Birth Stories, Family, Quirks and Other Weirdness, Uncategorized

Sew Frustrating

 

Okay, I have this quirky brain. It has a hard time “seeing” certain things…like how to read a sewing pattern, or how to correctly miter corners, (trust me, the inability to properly miter corners becomes an issue at least once a decade), or these horrendous IQ test problems:

spatial relation 2
Which solid could you make by folding the pattern on the dotted lines?

Oh… I don’t know.

E.  A Chinese take-out box???

 

Apparently I have “mental rotation” and “spatial relation” issues.  The Medical DIctionary defines it as the inability to locate objects in the three-dimensional external world by using visual or tactile recognition. I choose to think of it as a genius flaw, much like wearing my shirt inside-out all day long. Only more frustrating. Much, much more.

When my youngest was still in-utero, I was sewing this snuggly-thing for him. Basically it was a fleece wrap with feet, wings and a hood. I TRIED to follow the pattern. Really, I did. But after sewing the stupid hood on backwards at least three times, I gave up. Then at 35 weeks pregnant, I had to put myself on bedrest. (The frustration with the snuggly and having to be put on bedrest are supposedly unrelated…I have my doubts.)

Anyway, after a week off my feet, the nesting instinct got the better of me and I had to vacuum the house and FINISH that obnoxious snuggly which had been spread out on my kitchen table the entire time. Vacuuming, I am happy to say, went well. Sewing however, did not. After multiple times of attaching the hood in various incorrect ways, I yelped a scream of attack, much,snuggly I imagine, like a Viking warrior cry, and threw a spool of thread against the wall. (This is, VERY UN-ME-like.) My husband came in to console me by asking, “Want me to finish it for you?”

Finish it FOR me?!?!?! NO! This is a matter of principle! A matter of pride! A matter of doggone-it-I’m-an-intelligent-human-being-and-I-am-capable-of-sewing-a-stupid-hood-on-a-baby-snuggly!!! He had never used a sewing machine before, much less read a pattern. On second thought, “Sure, finish it for me.”  I was certain he would mess it up as well and I would at least feel vindicated, if not accomplished.

He sat down to the Singer, put his foot to the pedal, and zapped that sucker right on the first time. Took him all of 45 seconds.

Ugh. It’s hard to be grateful and exasperated at the same time.

Within a couple of hours contractions began, so…grateful won out.  

Posted in Family, Minimalism, Quirks and Other Weirdness, Uncategorized

In the market

After completing a three-hour road trip where an antifreeze leak kept us smoking a good deal of the time (I should clarify: the car was smoking, Kevin and I were not), and also left us driving in 27 degree weather with no heating capabilities, I am reminded that I am in the market for a vehicle.

Now, when I say ‘in the market’ for something, this merely means I am beginning to think about a purchase. I tend to think and plan and shop for an item so long  by the time I decide to pull the trigger, I’m mentally tired of it and change my mind.  I’ve been ‘in the market’ for new living room chairs since this time last year and still have yet to purchase any appropriate seating for said room.

That being noted, I am in the market for a perfect vehicle.

It should:

*Have seating for 8. Or better yet, 10.
*Have a relatively short wheel-base so it’s easy to parallel park next to the coffee shop.
*Have cup holders wide enough and deep enough for my 32-oz Contiga flip-top water bottle and my 16-oz latte-to-go.
*Come with voice activated heat/air and stereo controls. You know, Distracted Driving is Deadly Driving.
*Get 30+ miles to the gallon. In town.
*Be self-cleaning, like my oven. Although, in all fairness, I actually USE my vehicle, so that gives the oven an unfair advantage.
*Cost less than the remaining mortgage on the house.
*Have a nifty little compartment specifically for my diva sunglasses.
*Have a center console large enough that my daughter doesn’t inadvertantly buckle my purse straps into the passenger seatbelt, leaving me frustratedly fumbling for my lipgloss while driving.
*Be a pretty color. Not like a “SWEET, there goes Stephanie!” pretty color, but more like
“That vehicle is nicely understated and Honda-Odysseyis unobtrusive in the driveway
and doesn’t at all clash with the shutters.”

There. Like I told daughter-face earlier this week, “I am not that picky”.

“MmmmHmmm,” she replied, as she buckled my purse strap into her seatbelt.

Posted in Family, Just Funny, Uncategorized

Dirty Santa and the Great Mystery

The way I see it there are three good gift types:
1. Something you need that you can’t afford. (Furniture; new car tires; stainless steel cookware; etc.)
2. Something frivolous you love that you would not likely buy for yourself. ($100 hurricane lamp; rabbit-lined leather gloves; 600-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets)
3. Something fun that suits your personality and interests. (a massage; tickets to a concert; a first-edition book)

This leads me to question the “Dirty Santa” game we play with my husband’s family each Christmas. The girls bring a girl gift, the guys bring a guy gift. The girl stuff ranges from spa gift cards to jewelry to chocolate. No problem there. It is the guy stuff that perplexes me. This year the gifts were as follows: wire-ties4Electrical tape; Duct tape; garden hose roll-up thingy; plastic rain gauge; wrench; box cutter; a dozen pairs of work gloves; and various colors of plastic cable ties. Seriously. And they grappled over these things like Hungry Hungry Hippos going after marbles.

Now, I gave this some thought. The girl gift equivalents would look something like: A travel sewing kit; box of safety pins; nail clippers; twelve pairs of yellow dishwashing gloves; spatula; a curling iron caddy; and an old lady clear-plastic rain bonnet.

Am I the only one who sees the humor in this? These are not gifts. These are the purchases of 5 men who do not have a clue how to shop and were equally relieved that none of the other guys knew how to shop either.

Gift cards make sense to me. Big boy toys I can appreciate. Electronic gadgets I understand. Game systems I even like myself. But plastic cable ties remain a mystery to me.

Posted in Family, Hippy-Dippy Stuff, Parenting

Visions of Sugar Plums…

I did not feed my children anything sugary until they were 2. I figured, why give it to them when they don’t even know what they’re missing? Besides, no candy for them meant more for me.  🙂

Anyway, for Kevin’s first Christmas (he was 11 months old), his sister (7) wanted to decorate our tree with a candy-cane motif. So we hung candy canes, candy cane treestrung homemade peppermint garland, wove in red & white striped ribbon, and adorned the very top with our traditional Santa hat. It was super cute!

Now, because we were “family bed” people, Kevin didn’t have a nursery.  For that matter, he didn’t even have a crib to confine him.  He was, what I call, a “wandering baby”.  You just never knew where he was going to be when you woke up.

One morning during the holiday season (pretty sure it was “7 Swans a Swimming” day), I woke to odd noises emanating from the living room. Remember that sound your great uncle made when he was trying to suck a piece of pork chop out from between his front teeth?  Yeah, same sound.

A quick investigation revealed those wet, slurpy noises to be my barely-steady-on-his-feet baby boy, standing as high on tiptoes as footie pajamas would allow.  His neck outstretched like a Serengeti giraffe as he nursed the end of a no-longer-decorative candy cane.

He had bitten off the plastic wrap, then sucked the peppermint to a dangerously sharp point. The slurps and groans grew increasingly louder as he neared the end of his height range in relation to the dwindling stick of candy.

He pivoted quickly when I asked, “Kevie…whatcha doing?”

Verbal communication was not exactly his strong point, but the cuteness factor told me everything I needed to know.  He broke out in a 6-toothed grin, pointed at the candy stripes and enthusiastically implied, “Dearest mother, it’s not that I don’t appreciate your generous and abundant breastmilk, but woman…you’ve been holding out on me!”

Posted in Family, Parenting, Uncategorized

the calm before the storm

We are entering the season: traveling, Christmas shopping, decorating, the early December “calm before the storm.”  I love the holiday season.  Really, I do. I just want it to last twice as long and be four times less hectic. And while I’m not generally a procrastinator, except when it comes to Christmas shopping. I haven’t even begun to think about it, much less actually do it. (sigh)

 I love the cold, the dark, the white twinkle lights, humongous bows on packages, snow, boiled custard, holiday get-togethers, timers that automatically turn my trees on and off, Christmas music, my rabbit-lined leather gloves, appetizers, holiday movies, sweaters, and reminiscing about previous years as we hang each ornament on the tree . . .

aalights (2)I’m not so crazy about wrapping gifts, turkey in any form, pulling boxes out of the attic, property taxes, vacuming pine needles, “Santa Baby”, pumping gas when it’s 18 degrees, or, one of the great mysteries of life: untangling Christmas tree lights which were most definitely NOT tangled when we put them away 11 months ago…

Mostly I just love the whole “being together” thing – the dropping of everything else that clutters our lives every other day of the year to munch on maple bacon and boiled shrimp the size of your palm, play cards, and laugh at each other.  That’s my favorite part of Christmas.

Well, that and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”