Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Roars Of Change

The last few months have seen some changes, some challenges, some new horizons.  My company merged with a bigger company and my job changed.  My husband traded a shore side job for one out at sea, gone for 40 days at a time.  And this whole time we've been gearing up to high school graduation and half an empty nest and a newly licensed driver.

The changes in our life aren't softly singing.  They are roaring and ferocious and I've got to say, I'm exhausted.

Yet, as I came home from work and started mowing the lawn, I felt strong and capable.  I can do this.  I can kiss my husband goodbye, straighten my son's cap and gown, see my daughter take her first solo drive and survive.

Those changes haven't heard a roar until they've heard mine.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dear Seaside

Dear Seaside,

Tomorrow we will be reunited.  I can't wait!  I'm not ready physically (still working on laundry and the house is a disaster for our poor house/dog sitter and I just got called to work all day) but emotionally I am beyond ready to drop our things off at the hotel and feel the cold sand under my bare feet, to spread out our beach towels and wrap up in blankets and give the kids shovels and buckets and kites and snack food as we sit and let the beauty of nothing to do soak  into our souls.  I'm ready for the laughter and the visiting, for the memories that will be added to our family lore, for the fun and food and salt water taffy!

Dearest Seaside, thank you for always being there and for always giving us a place to visit that is truly magically.

Me and Company

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sticky Floors

Sticky floors are the way of things due to kids, dogs, life, and it turns out, husbands.  I discovered the reason I have perpetually sticky floors when I walked into the kitchen and saw my husband spaying whipped cream in three cute swirls on the floor in front of our three dogs.

I, of course, asked what on earth he was doing, and his reply, reasonably, was that the dogs love whipped cream.

There you have it.  Those three random tacky spots, that catch the bottom of my shoe just enough for me to know that something icky had been there before me, are actually because I have three whipped cream loving dogs.  And one soft hearted husband who can't resist puppy eyes!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Procrastinating Gardener

I always have grand plans for my weekends; lists of things I want to accomplish.  Garage sale shopping, early morning walks, weed out the flower bed, catch up on laundry.  I usually get everything done except one horrible job that is so overwhelming, I just keep putting it off, as any good procrastinator would do.

My flower beds are once again a nightmare tangle of grass and weeds.  I can't seem to get motivated to go out there and tackle it.  I was able to say the weather wasn't very nice on my day off, but this last weekend was super wonderful and instead of weeding, I spent some time lying in my hammock with a a good book....

This is not a new problem for me.  I face it every spring!  This year's plan was to dig it all out and start fresh with sun loving, drought resistant plants (because not only do I not weed very often, I always forget to water my plants).....and by plan I mean I looked at a magazine and liked the pictures of hardy plants.  I've got some work to figure out what to plant and where it should go, but first, I better get the weeds out.

Sigh.  It's a vicious cycle.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Am Not The First

When I was in the final weeks of my first pregnancy, I remember looking down at my belly and thinking, "Oh no, this was a mistake."  Not that I didn't want a baby, because I did, but because it suddenly became real to me that the little person rolling around inside, giving me the feeling that an alien was trying to burst out of me, was actually going to have to come out.

First time mother nerves.  Big time.

But I looked around and suddenly had the realization that every single person I saw had a mother.  I was not the first woman to do this whole thing.  That gave me quite a bit of comfort!

As I start planning graduation parties and college preparations and a baby bird leaving the nest, I had that same realization.  I am not the first mother to do this whole thing.  Thinking back to how my own Mom helped me move to California, and left me in a strange city, waiting for my husband to come home from a Coast Guard patrol, and did it all in a such a way that I knew she would miss me but not feel an ache in her soul that her baby was old enough to try flight on  fragile wings, I know that I can do this too.

I will smile and help pack and never let him know that when I look at him these days, all I see is the tiny baby we brought home only did 18 years go by so fast anyway?

Friday, May 10, 2013

My 10 Cent Dogs

I am crazy in love with a handful of things: my husband and kids and family, buttered toast, good books and dogs.  The dog part might cross over from crazy in love to obsessed.  When I first started to really shop in the local antique towns, I decided to limit myself to dog related items.  I was slowly building up my collection and it was cool.

Then I started garage sale shopping every weekend and discovered I didn't need to pay $8 for a ceramic dog when the chances were very good that I would find one for $1.  Last weekend, my sister and I were digging through a box of 10 cent items when she pulled out a bag of plastic dogs.  It's a pickers world, with finds going to the eagle eyed, but I wanted that bag of dogs desperately.  

It's cool, I told myself.  I probably grabbed up tons of stuff she'd wanted but I saw first.  All's fair, I reminded myself.  And yet, I wanted!

The wonderful thing about my sisters is that we know each other pretty well, and shortly thereafter, her bag of 10 cent dogs became my bag of 10 cent dogs and now they sit on my shelf, high enough to not be considered chew toys for babies or real dogs.  I love them! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Case Of The Missing Bread

The other morning I decided I would have toast for breakfast.  I got out my loaf of Dave's Killer Bread, which is seriously the best bread I've ever eaten.  I was thrilled to find it comes in smaller "60 calories a slice" loafs because I feel less guilt when I toast up two slices.  It's full of whole grains and nuts and my daughter likes it while my husband and son hate it.

I toast it, it was delicious, and when I got home for lunch, I decided to go bread crazy and eat a sandwich.  I reached for the bread and it wasn't there.  I looked by the toaster, I looked by the bananas, I looked in the cupboard and in the fridge and it was gone.

Half a loaf of bread disappeared  and as far as I knew, no one had been home between my breakfast toast and my lunch sandwich.  I looked in the yard for any evidence of the bag, as in, our dogs have been known to drag whole loafs of bread outside to gorge themselves and remnants of the plastic bags always remain, but no chewed up bag was to be found.  I went upstairs in case a kid was actually home, which has been known to happen when one didn't feel good and didn't feel like going all the way back to his house, he just crashed on the couch upstairs and I got a prickly feeling all morning that someone was in the house with me but was actually too freaked out to go upstairs to check, but this time I sent the dogs upstairs first, then slowly crept up the dark stairway (burned out light bulbs don't you know) and it was empty.

Okay, someone came in and stole our bread.  When the kids came home they laughed at this, and quickly pointed out that I should feel sorry for the person that needed that half loaf of bread so badly they didn't take anything else, and my son was quick to add, that bread is super disgusting so that poor thief actually didn't get a good steal at all.

I bought another loaf and life continued on, except for that nagging question of where that bread disappeared to....

Which, turns out, was  the saran wrap drawer.  Worse, I must have opened and closed that drawer getting out chip clips, sandwich baggies, tin foil, and never once noticed a loaf of bread.  Luckily, it survived its confinement in the drawer without any flattening and still will make a very nice piece of toast.

Case closed!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Thing To Scare Future Grandchildren

At my Grandma's house, she has two Swedish trolls.  She keeps them under a glass box and my kids were scared silly of them when they were small. Apparently, shriveled apple head trolls with shiny red eyes and bodies dripping with moss is a scary thing to walk past in a dark hallway.

I always thought they were kind of cute, myself, but then again, I was the kid who glued rocks and twigs and tons of moss together to make people.

My son is taking clay and ceramics this last semester of high school.  My china closet has many of his previous clay and ceramics creations, but this year, he has made my favorite of all time.

This is the thing that will scare my future grandchildren, with its one bulging eye, gleaming white horns, janky teeth and no arms.  I will put it under glass to  keep it safe.  Which, my daughter was quick to inform me, makes it seem more like I am trying to keep it from getting out to do harm.

 Six of one, half dozen of the other, I always say!  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Don't Be Alarmed

Don't be alarmed, but there is something hanging from the inside lip of the toilet bowl that looks and moves and seems like a tail.

I know, I know!  That tiny space where water flows down the bowl isn't big enough for a thing with a tail that size, but I'm telling you, it looks like a tail.

It all started in the middle of the night, as all good stories do.  I got up to use the facilities and as I flushed, the handle let go of the inner workings of the tank, and flopped around uselessly.  Now this is a situation I know a little something about.  I've taken the lid off and hooked the arm back to the thingy so many times, I can do it half asleep, but when I took the lid off this time, there was no hook, no inner thingy with holes.   I did the next best thing at 3 in the morning.  I found a shoe lace in the junk drawer and tied one end to the flapper and dangled the other end outside the tank.  Whenever a flush is in order, pull the string up, the flapper pulls up, the toilet flushes, let the string resume its resting place outside of the tank.

My husband fixed it for reals when he got up at 5.

But when I got home from work that night, there was the tail, wiggling and wagging, hanging in the toilet bowl.  I told my husband something was not right.  I said it was broken or something.

I didn't want to say it's a tail.

I didn't have to.  My husband's first response was a startled one: it's a tail!  Then he realized it wasn't a tail.  Just part of the inner thingy that had worked it's way out of the tank, on a Saving Nemo type journey.

Now I know it wasn't a tail.  I know it for a fact.  That does not ease my concerns every time I look at the toilet.  It feels like it could have a tail in it for real, and whatever creature said tail would be attached too probably wants to bite!