Posted in Hippy-Dippy Stuff, Just Funny

See the Ball, Be the Ball

Dryer balls.

They are, unquestionably, at the pinnacle of “The List of Things I Will Not Miss When My Girls Move Out”.  

If you aren’t familiar with them, they are the “green” alternative to Fabric Softener sheets. My daughter loves them.  I, not so much.

snuggle (2)Wool tennis-like balls used in place of dryer sheets to fluff, minimize static, and speed up drying the laundry. And while they are somewhat less creepy than the Snuggle Bear, they are the epitome of All Things Annoying.

schweddy ballsAdmittedly, outside of Alec Baldwin’s recipe for the Schweddy ones, I’m not really a big fan of balls in general, be it bowling balls, footballs, matzo balls, melon balls, Lucille Ball, ball bearings, ball bags, or Magic 8 balls.

But I especially despise The Dryer Balls.  Bouncing around in your dryer, they create the noise equivalent of a team of construction workers reroofing your house.

Plus, they don’t REALLY do anything about static. Not an issue in the summertime when the house is essentially a sauna, but in the crisp winter air, when I cross my ankles, my leg hair is in danger of spontaneously combusting, so static control is kind of a deal.

dryer ballsHowever, the real pain-in-the-you-know-what about
The Dryer Balls is that they are never where they are supposed to be. Oh SURE, six of them are residing in the dryer when I start the load, but when I go to remove the clothes, I’m lucky to find even one still in the drum.

Dryer Ball 2  makes itself known as it rolls from the pile of clothes in my arms, causing me to trip and do a Chevy Chase pratfall over the coffee table.

I discover Dryer Ball 3 in-between the double layers of a canvas bag. The bag has to be unzipped, inverted and given a fetchgood Heimlich maneuver to unlodge the ball.  I quickly, but unsuccessfully, drop to all fours in an effort to catch said ball, then speed-crawl across the floor like a puppy playing fetch.

Wedged in the sleeve of a dress shirt is Dryer Ball 4.  I fish it out by squeezing from the cuff upward, but it pops out and rolls under the bed.  And not just under the edge, but all the way to the top middle so I have to lie on the floor with a yardstick to retrieve it, only the toddler broke the yardstick trying to pole vault the ottoman, so now it’s not long enough to reach, causing me go on a scavenger hunt through the house for something – anything – long enough, and I know the broom would work only the cowboy absconded with it to sweep out the horse trailer and never returned it, and so there I am on my belly, clamping a shish-kabob skewer with the salad tongs, trying to rescue the fourth stupid wool ball like a First Responder trying to save Baby Jessica trapped in the well.

I finally give up looking for the last two, though the following morning as I make the bed, I find Number Five in the pocket corner of the fitted sheet that wasn’t even in the same load of laundry.

The Last Dryer Ball comes and goes mysteriously.  Nobody really knows where it’s been or how it finds its way back into the dryer. Sometimes though, after a load of underwear has finished, the lint filter is dislodged.  I think it’s possible that Number 6 just might be smuggling freedom-seeking socks through an Underground Railroad.

Posted in Just Funny, Quirks and Other Weirdness

Keep Calm and Be on Time

I like to be on time. Early even. I never hit the snooze alarm. I rarely engage in activities outside the “Getting Ready to Go” framework. I have Time Allotment down to a science. I pride myself on being punctual.

I’d love to pride myself on being a size 8, but punctuality is what I’ve got.

Most of the time.

Occasionally though, Murphy’s Law comes into play. Two weeks ago was one such morning:

7:15 – Pick up buzzing phone. Turn off alarm.  Lament the decision to play Jelly Splash last night until 2 a.m. Check weather app. Blink slowly while checking the temperature and doze back off.

7:16 – Awake seconds later to phone colliding with bridge of nose.

7:17 – Stumble to bathroom. Start water in tub. Make good use of wait time by brushing teeth. Can’t find toothbrush even though it was here last night.

7:20 – Three-minute search reveals toothbrush just below Middle C.  Apparently the toddler used it to clean piano keys last night.

7:21 – Degermify toothbrush in kitchen sink in case she scrubbed more than ivory.

7:22 – Panic and run to turn off bath water just before surface tension hits critical mass and overflows.

7:23 – Drain 4 inches of water. Get into tub.

7:23:15 – Get out of tub, drip water across floor, get washcloth.

7:30 – Wash hair. Lather, rinse, repeat. Reach for conditioner. Also missing. Ugh. Mentally accuse toddler only to discover later the cowboy took my coconut conditioner out to the barn to make the mustang’s manes shiny.

7:35 – Dry off and apply homemade essential oil deodorant. Feel proud I made an aluminum-free deodorant that actually de-odors. Feel stupid I forgot to shave my under pits. (Note to self: No demonstrative praying or cab hailing today.)

7:37 – Pick out clothes. Black pants, aqua top. Attempt to zip pants. Can’t. Lie down on bed, suck in, try zipping again, albeit unsuccessfully.

7:42 – Have a good “I hate my body” cry. While eating a doughnut.

7:45 – Look for abstract maxi skirt to go with aqua top. Instead, find a second pair of black pants and rejoice that the pants I just failed to zip are ones I bought for when I eventually lose the 15 pounds I just gained for the umpteenth time.

7:48 – Apply make-up. Moisturizer. Foundation. Mascara.

7:53 – Sneeze and get mascara schmutz on aqua top.

9faf274d409742d75d1d991f0c0b1d477:57 – Finish make-up. Change dirty top to coral one. Throw aqua one on floor. Think coral is too orangey and looks too Halloweenie with black pants. Change to aqua striped top. Throw coral one on the floor. Stripes make me feel fat today. Who am I kidding? Stripes make me feel fatt-er today. Change to gray top. Throw stripey one on floor. Gray top requires a bra change. Throw first bra on floor. Top off with silver earrings and necklace.

8:06 – Go downstairs and turn on Keurig. Hear rodent. See rodent. Shudder.

8:08 – Bait and set mouse trap.

8:11 – Realize the need to leave in three minutes to make it on time. Detangle unconditioned hair and blow dry.

Hipster-llama-l8:15 – Curse humidity, blow dry some more, contemplate chopping hair off.

8:18 – Blow-dried hair looks like an angry llama today. Tame the brunette beast with a straightener and spray. Heavily.

8:23 – Rush around collecting shoes, purse, glasses, car keys…that are still in the pocket of jeans I wore yesterday under the pile of today’s runway wardrobe malfunctions.  Forego coffee as there is no time now.

8:26 – Rethink jewelry. Can hear Daughter-Face saying, “Matchy-matchy makes you look old, Mom.” Throw silver jewelry on floor and replace with turquoise beads.

8:28 – Start van and squeeze garage door opener. Remote battery dead. Seriously. Sigh in frustration. Jump out and punch opener on the wall before carbon monoxide levels become toxic, back van out of garage, go back and punch button to close door, play Chinese Jump Rope with the invisible motion sensor. Drive.

8:29 – Set cruise at 7 miles over speed limit. Dig through purse for lipstick.

8:30 – Voice text a reminder to self:  Pick up another Bare Minerals Berry Remix Lip Gloss ASAP.  First lipstick I’ve liked in years, so it’s a given they will discontinue it.

MjAxMi00MmI0ZmEyYzAzYjRkNTFk8:36 – Calculate lateness. While doing mental math, space out and miss parkway entrance. Forced now to take longer route through town.

8:38 – Check face in rear-view mirror. Must be a full moon as the lone chin hair has grown in. Dig through purse for tweezers.

8:40 – Attempt to pluck chin hair without looking. Really wish two guys in car next to me had also not been looking.

8:45 – Feeling anxious. Hate being late so so much. 15 minutes over already. Stop at stop sign. Almost there.

8:46 – Wait for stop sign to turn green.

8:47 – Oh. My. Word. Stop SIGNS don’t change color, idiot. Proceed through intersection.

tumblr_inline_nn5tfnePx61qfb043_5008:49 – Pull into parking lot. Ridiculously late. I blame the toddler. And the cowboy. And the mouse. And the humidity. And the sneeze. And the full moon.

And possibly Obama.

Posted in Just Funny, Quirks and Other Weirdness, Uncategorized

That which we call a rose…

My mother calls me “George”.

We’ve had a cat named “Puppy”, a Mustang “Sally”, and a “Charlie” horse.

I have a pair of stuffed animal racoons from high school days dubbed “Smokey” and “Bandit”.

My iPod is named “Soma” after the addictive drug in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Kevin named his “Life Support”.

You already know about the cow called “Patty” and her offspring, “Slider”, and the two calves christened “Norman” and “Mailer”.

For her 4th birthday my daughter received her first Barbie. She could have named her Buffy or Ariel or Jessica, but instead, she chose the prettiest name she knew: LEONARD.

Our vehicles have had the following names:
“Stella!!!” (An ‘old lady’ Buick)
“Tank the Sable Tooth” (The 1992 white Mercury)
“Fiona” (The green monster Taurus)
“Armadillo” (Kevin’s little gray Dodge)
“Lucille” (Kacey’s current van because, and I quote, “She drives like she’s drunk and she’s always kind of angry and loud.)
And, of course, my beloved “Eddie van Honda” Odyssey.

My kids answer to “Daughter-Face” and “Kevie-Poo”.  And Mayah and Charlotte are affectionately known as “Yaya” and “Latte”.

But of all the weirdly-named things in our little world, my favorite was Kevin’s first Beanie Baby. It was a lobster, which, as a preschooler, he pronounced “lomster” and christened it with the biggest word in his little vocabulary: APPARENTLY.
Appawently the Lomster.
Posted in Uncategorized

half-past what?

I have an artsy doula client whose extreme right-brainedness makes even my hippie self look like an accountant. When making our last appointment before her due date she texted: “Let’s meet at the coffee shop on Friday sometime before darkish.”

“Sure!” I replied.  Then I began to contemplate our arrangements:  Darkish? WHO SAYS “DARKISH”? Exactly what time is darkish? Is that as the sun is actually setting (which I googled and is apparently at 7:35 p.m.). Could it be the half hour previous to sunset?  Or…did she mean the few minutes before total darkness when everything loses its color and fades into silhouette?

And even if I COULD decide exactly what time darkish is, how much “before” darkish IS before? Half hour? Ten minutes? I had no idea. But I didn’t want to text her again and come across as uptight to this free-spirit, so to be safe, I showed up an hour and seventeen minutes early and waited in my minivan.

One of the barristas kept coming to the window and staring my direction.

Pretty sure she thought I was casing the joint.

Posted in Just Funny, Minimalism

Real. Simple.

We were discussing the discipline of simplicity.

The concept of living simple lives…
1. Don’t “buy” things just to “have” things. (Like all those empty Rubbermaid containers I have in the utility room, just waiting for me to get one of my overwhelming urges to organize.)
2. Take joy in giving things away. (It would make me very happy to give you the bills for my eye surgery.) 
3. Develop a deeper appreciation for creation. (Like the weeds in the flowerbed?)
4. Reject anything that oppresses others.
5. Get rid of the distractions that keep you from staying on task.

The question was asked, “How can we be more intentional about simplicity?” A lovely, professional mother-of-four commented that she tries to limit her schedule to three things a day. She said anytime she tries to squeeze in more than that, it makes her a “grouchy mommy”.

Well, I don’t want to be a grouchy mommy either.

So today I got out of bed, shaved my legs, and drove to the coffee shop for a Cinnamon Latte.

One, two, three. It worked. I don’t feel grouchy at all. Mission accomplished.

Simplicity is good.

Posted in Hippy-Dippy Stuff, Quirks and Other Weirdness

Call me Sybil

I just took a Myers-Briggs personality test because I’d already had dinner and I needed an excuse to not do the dishes. One of the questions was:

  • “Regardless of what other people say, deep down do you feel that you are kind of weird?”

Kind of??

I haven’t always felt this way.  Once upon a time I was a completely normal, self-conscious, easily-embarrassed, “just wanna fit in” kind of girl who spent two hours every morning trying to make her hair look like Farrah Fawcett.(#bighairfail)  But then I gave up my hot rollers and moved to new places and lost people I loved and read Upton Sinclair and developed personality quirks…and embraced my weirdness.

ENFJwordleMyers-Briggs classifies me as an ENFJ (Extraversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judgment). ENFJs only comprise 3% of the population, so there aren’t that many of us. However, ENFJs are statistically the most likely of the 16 personality types to have a Facebook account, so we do make our presence known. Ha.

A few of my test highlights:

  • It is more important to be: tactful. (Tact over truth. This does NOT mean my pants are on fire.  It means the Feeler in me is more concerned about making you feel all warm and welcome than telling you the “truth” about how your haircut makes you look like your dog.)
  • In everyday life: it is rare to meet someone who seems to be on the same “wavelength” as me. (Yep. Show of hands: how many of you are wanna-be hippies who wear sandals in the snow or birth your babies on the bedroom floor or dream of living in a Tiny House? That’s what I thought.)
  • I think rules and regulations are: necessary for other people.  (True. I fully admit my rebellion. Rules are for toddlers and beginning drivers and people who are incapable of governing themselves. I’m good on at least of those.)  
  • 4c67673e980a15c9a1193ee2a95b700cI am at my best when: my surroundings are clean and uncluttered.  (I know what Einstein said about messy desks, but my inner minimalist NEEDS things neat and orderly and at nice right angles lest she feel completely out of control.)
  • I take pride in being: dependable. (You can count on me, the people-pleaser. Ask me to go back into the burning building to rescue your favorite Kate Spades, and I will risk my life and leg hair to make you happy.  I’m accommodating, generous, helpful…to the detriment of my own well-being.   )

Anyway, I’m weird.  I’ve known it for a long time. My children remind me often.  Even my mom has been known to ask, “When did you get like this??”

I’ve decided it’s because a Feeler, a Hippie, an Anarchist, a Minimalist, and a People-Pleaser all live in my middle-aged body.  It’s crowded in there. And sometimes confusing (like when my mother felt STRONGLY that I should wear a skirt to my Granddaddy’s funeral so Granny would not have a cow.  Now, the Feeler in me did not want to cause Mom further anguish, and the Hippie relished the idea of a flowy skirt, but the Anarchist did not want to adhere to societal conformity, and the Minimalist agreed because she already had a perfectly good pair of black pants in the closet, but the People-Pleaser acquiesced and bought a $40 black skirt that was never worn again.)

So it’s crowded and confusing living in my body. The Anarchist has some very radical opinions about mainstream behaviors you will likely never know because the Pleaser doesn’t want to isolate you, and the Hippie has grandiose “DIY” ideas that stress out the poor Minimalist, and with all that inner conflict, the Feeler just keeps eating mashed potatoes trying to make it all better.