Archive for March, 2010

Caden-6yr’s Very Healthy Life Lesson

March 31st, 2010 at 1:42 pm » Comments (2)

These are photos of Caden-6yr. (none were taken today.) In case you can’t tell… he’s  a real stinker.  He gets that from me, I’m afraid (the monster truck on the slice of birthday cake says it all). Of all of the boys, his personality and mine are probably closest.

Today he’s home sick.

But he isn’t really sick. What a stinker.  It started last night at baseball practice. His friend Kevin really WAS getting over being sick. And Caden-6yr found this to be somehow… glamorous. Or fun. Or in some way, very very positive and yea for ILLNESS and let’s invite that into OUR lives by whatever means possible, including using his frighteningly honed acting ability to convincingly act sick. Even though, you know, he’s not.

So I pick him up from one baseball practice and am taking him to another baseball practice for Ethan-9yr, since our whole lives suddenly revolve around baseball and how did that happen…? Caden-6yr sits in the backseat and tells me – as soon as we are driving – that he might throw up.

I question him and remember that Mike did not mention any of this when I saw him just a few minutes ago, and Caden-6yr had been in Mike’s very capable care and there’s a good chance this is just an act, except that he looks green. But Caden-6yr is such an actor he can turn himself green if he wants to. And he wanted to. I decided it was an act. And maybe the tint in the rearview mirror. I have learned to NEVER underestimate this child’s acting abilities.

So I told him to get his batting helmet and throw up in that if he needed to, instead of all over the car. (I told Mike that later and he freaked. out. Apparently batting helmets have holes in them and it would just be a bit of a Vomit in a Noodle Strainer Kinda Thing before it ended up all over the car anyway. Well. I’m new to baseball and its equipment. That’s been established already, thankssomuch, Mike.) I wasn’t really concerned. I mean. He’s faking. Because his buddy Kevin made sick look so GOOD and all.

We get to the 2nd baseball practice of the night and Seth-4yr begs me to run with him. The child loves to run. I love to run. He loves to run with me. So we do. I lay out an ugly gray hoodie of mine on the dirt and let Caden-6yr sit on it while I run with his brother. Caden-6yr moans and asks what would happen if he threw up on my hoodie.

“Babe. You’re outside. Throw up on the dirt.” And I know what he was thinking. Because I was thinking it, too. If he really were sick – which he isn’t – he could throw up all over that hoodie and I’d get rid of it in the nearest Dumpster and never wear it again and that might be a good end to the story because that awful hoodie is ug.lee.

I left him and ran with Seth-4yr. We ran to a fee, far far away. ‘Fee’ is how Seth-4yr says ‘tree.’  Then we ran to another fee. Then we ran out of fees, since it’s West Texas and it was kinda surprising we had two fees in the first place, and we ran back to Caden-6yr. And repeat. And repeat. And then Caden-6yr thought that Seth-4yr and I were making health look…. kinda good. So he asked if HE could run.

I shoulda said yes.

But I said no.

I’m mean like that. And have I mentioned his acting skills? I wasn’t completely sure.  But he seemed fine all last night when he was chasing his brothers while brushing his teeth. I hate it when they do that. I’m so afraid they’re going to ram  a toothbrush through their throats or something.

And then this morning. Seemed fine.

I was at a store buying photo albums  when the school nurse called. Last week my mother printed out photos and told me I had to put them in albums. I would normally backtalk that sort of maternal directive – and I thought about it – but I’ve been meaning to print photos for years and put them into albums and never have so maybe I should just shut my mouth already and do it and say thank you.

Have I mentioned I never answer the phone? Unless it’s a school nurse. I have a special “OH MY GOSH ANSWER THE PHONE, KELS, IT’S THE SCHOOL NURSE” message pop up with that number on my cell phone just so that I don’t forget and let my phone phobia get the best of me. I’m crazy like that.

She said she had Caden-6yr in her office and he wasn’t feeling well and he said that he threw up in the bathroom but no one actually saw him…. but the policy says… if you throw up… you HAVE to go home….

There were lots of pauses in her delivery, and each one of them silently but effectively screamed, “Your kid is real cute and he is really lying. Lying up to his eyeballs.  But this particular lie means he has to go home anyway, but we’re both mothers you and I, and we both know what’s going on here.”

So I picked him up. He could barely keep a straight face. What a stinker. We got out to the car. I asked him what the three rules are. There are just three, all encompassing but easy to remember rules in our house.

“Be honest, be obedient, be respectful,” he said.

“Yes. And keeping those in mind, babe, did you really throw up in that bathroom?”

He looked at his lap. Then he shook his head. “No, I am SO sorry I lied.” He looked like he was going to cry, and not in his Totally Fake But Real and Wet Tears way.

I kinda melted. I love a kid who is quick to own up to his own faults and try to make them right. Caden-6yr does that SO WELL.

Turns out he sorta didn’t feel well, and so he decided to go for broke. And not knowing how true THAT was, I took him home. I thought about marching him back in there and making him apologize and stay – but what if he just felt some awful virus coming on and it wasn’t quite here yet…? Knowing him, Caden-6yr would go back in, apologize, and then do his Look I’m Turning Myself Green trick and then I’d have to make a u-turn and go get him again.

So I took him home. What I didn’t tell him was that I planned to kiss him and hold him and love him and only give him crackers and bananas and not let him watch television and make him take long naps and write a letter of apology to the school nurse for lying and do whatever else I could to thoroughly drive him crazy with my mothering and nursing until he never wanted to do this again, no matter how good Kevin makes sick look.

Kevin is  a sweet, really cute kid. He could make anything look good. Caden-6yr needs to learn discernment, though.

Ha! Score one for Motherhood. He just came out from his room and said  - and I accurately and gleefully quote – “that is the most longest, boring nap EVER and WHY  can’t I watch television like Seth…?! MOooOOOOm!”

Heh heh. I think we’re learning something today. It might not be what the REST of the kindergarteners are busy learning, but that is okay with me.

What a stinker.

Minor Multi-Sensory Disaster

March 30th, 2010 at 12:55 pm » Comments (1)

I was thinking about the five senses earlier because today…? I made a horrific discovery. In the kitchen. (Of course it was in the kitchen.)

In preschool, the kids study the five senses. I love it when they come home with bits of sandpaper and cotton  balls and talk about how stuff feels. All the boys have had the same preschool teacher (at my request), and I’m kinda familiar with her curriculum by now.  Anyway.

The discovery:

If I sing Barbra Streisand’s “A Woman in Love”*  really loudly in the kitchen


burning a ciabatta thing into a sad looking,  blackened crust

and then try to eat it ANYWAY and painfully sear the skin right off the roof of my mouth since it’s still 425 degrees and all…

I can offend all five senses at once.


Way too easily.

*I do this for dramatic, fun purposes – not because I can sing or because of any great attachment to the song. And I looked up the lyrics, and I’ve been singing** them all wrong anyway. “But it’s a riiiiiiiight….. I defeeeeeeeeend…..”

** that’s really the wrong word, but let’s go with it.

A Day Last Summer

March 29th, 2010 at 1:55 pm » Comments (0)
Last June, we went to my dad and stepmother’s house in North Texas, as we do a few times a year. There are acres of gorgeous land, a garden, a pond, trees, a creek, animals, snakes, spiders, and loving parental and grandparental types. It’s a great place.
My dad is PawPaw, and his wife is MiMi. Together, the two of them can grow almost any fruit, tree, plant, flower, or vegetable you could ever want. MiMi makes her own goat cheese. From a lady nearby with real live goats. Y’all.
I burned a frozen pizza in the oven the other day, following box instructions.
Each summer, on what always seems to be the hottest, most humid day ever, we harvest in the garden. It is SUCH fun. My dad tirelessly digs potatoes for the boys to unearth more easily. I stand around, nag my dad to drink something already, and wonder why I wore black.
Caden-6yr challenged me to an onion picking race.  Have I mentioned that Caden-6yr is a bit competitive? Or that I am?
His technique – actually bending and pulling – is far more effective than mine (strolling past the shed looking for shade)
And his strategy paid off.  He won, big time.
I’m not the most gracious of losers.  And I was not offering heartfelt congratulations here, I think I was trying not to faint.
We’re going back soon, and I’m really looking forward to it! (Can you tell? I mean, disregarding the about-to-faint photo?)

I just called…

March 26th, 2010 at 1:01 pm » Comments (1)

Mike just called. He said, and I quote this directly with complete accuracy: “I’m just calling to see how your day is going.”

I sat up straight, bugged out my eyes, and closed the laptop – which had been put to really good use right at that moment to search for Steve Madden shoes on eBay (because they actually fit my bizarrely post-ballet and otherwise genetically messed up feet). I leaned forward on the couch and squinted.

Because when Mike calls in the middle of the day and starts a conversation with those words – well. Pay attention. He has something to say and he’s not going to just call and say, “I am calling because I have something to say.” He isn’t like that. But he does have something to say. Because he called. And he doesn’t call just to call, even if he says he does.

And that is FINE. Really. He’d bug me if he did.

So, because I was no longer distracted by Steve Madden ballet flats and sitting forward and squinting, which somehow helps – I didn’t miss it when he slipped the whole point of the call past me. Good for me.

It was  business-y thing he was – and should be – quite pleased about. Pleased enough to call and tell me about it, even. Yea for him.

Then we talked baseball, since our lives are All About Baseball. We have FOUR games in the next 30 hours. FOUR. And that’s with one small boy being too little to play yet. And I’m very grateful for that. Not that Seth-4yr would know that I’m very grateful for his youth, today. I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to talk him into wearing Appropriate Seasonal Clothing.

I don’t know why I do that. I don’t really care how silly they look when we go places. But I DO care if they’re cold. I am chronically cold, and I hate it that Seth-4yr never ever wants to dress warmly enough and he peels off whatever layers we talk him into as soon as he gets to the car because..? He says his seatbelt won’t go over a sweater. Really now? Sweater or seatbelt, this is my choice? When did your dad teach you to negotiate like that? That’s crazy. Talking the kid into a sweater is hardly worth it if you can only get him to keep it on til he gets to the car. And then it’s off, as fast as he can threaten me with the seatbelt.

But still I feel like Kenny Chesney’s mother  must feel most days. “Baby, just put on something with SLEEVES FOR ONE TIME IN YOUR LIFE. Please? Can you just TRY IT for your MOMMY? Just this ONCE.”

But no.

At least it’ll be summer soon.

A Saturday with Snow, a Sale, and an Egg

March 24th, 2010 at 1:54 pm » Comments (2)

This past Saturday morning, the snow was falling. Again. Even though it’s West Texas and we’ve had enough snow this year to match the last five years. And my mom really wanted to go somewhere. In the snow. Early.

A few days before she had put on an almost-never-used voice I will call the Guilt Trip Voice and said, “There’s this mother daughter thing that I want us to go to…”

At which point I thought, ooooh I am SO gonna hate this. Whatever it is. I’ll hate it.

And then she turned the computer toward me and showed me an article about a Very Large City Wide Type Garage Sale.

I am NOT a fan of garage sales. eBay? Oh yes, please. Garage sales? No. Things tend to smell funny. And there are people there you have to interact with.

So that’s why she needed the Guilt Trip Voice. And to sell it to me like it’s a “mother-daughter” thing. It’s not. It’s a big garage sale. But she’s my mom. And I’m her daughter. So we have to give her that on a technicality.

If we got there at 8 am, we could pay more to get in, but there would be fewer people. So we did. At 7, I called and told her I was on my way and would she PLEASE poach an egg, mmm, so hungry, please Mom?

She did. I got there. It was still dark. And icy and snowy. And her cat was NOT happy to see me, and kept looking behind me to see if I’d brought three small boys, but I didn’t and he was relieved. As was I.

And you know? It was not that bad. I don’t want to do it again anytime soon, but it wasn’t that bad. My favorite moment was when my mom picked up this leopard print, C shaped, neck warmer looking thing and it started vibrating in her hands and she couldn’t turn it off and I was facing a wall and trying not to fall over laughing and ended up doing that painful stomach clench thing that’s real effective when you’re trying SO hard not to laugh audibly…? You know that move? And then I spit. By accident. Since I’m never an intentional spitter. (It’s hard even at the dentist’s office, yaknow?) But I just couldn’t help it since she couldn’t turn it off, and I still don’t know what that leopardy thing was and I”m just glad I wasn’t the one who picked it up and I hope they gave someone a real deal on it, what with the spit and all.

But I really do think it was just a neck warmer thing.

But we bought books and blocks for the boys and other things that start with B. My mother bought a book for Sandra Bullock. She and her sister had talked the night before, at length, and with great empathy and sincerity about what the two of them could do for Sandra and they hadn’t come up with any ideas. But then Mom found a book. She’s sweet like that. Any time my sister or I have a problem it’s only a matter of time before Mom very sweetly presents us with a very thoughtfully chosen book that she thinks will be helpful. It’s just what she does.

We decided the morning had been fun. It was all okay in a very mother-daughter-plus-Sandra Bullock sort of way.

By the way. You know what happens when I try out that particular Guilt Trip Voice on Seth-4yr to get him to give me a bite of his pizza? Nothing. It doesn’t work. Which is ridiculous, because I all I wanted was ONE bite of pizza and not too long ago he breastfed around the clock every few hours for a whole YEAR.  I mean… come on.

ONE bite of pizza. That his own little body did not even have to produce.

But whatever. Maybe that voice doesn’t work on 4 yr olds.

Smell the Flowers. Or at Least Look.

March 23rd, 2010 at 1:43 pm » Comments (0)

oooooh my gosh. this DAY.  Already. With the whole day.

i’ve :

made a giant list of where to be and what to take with me for the 896 places i need to be in the next 7 hours.

most notable on the giant list: ‘take codpieces.’  because i knew i’d forget what ‘cups’ meant and grab water bottles. also on the list.

cried during an on-the-phone therapy session with Kim-15yr  (and not in a good way) – more like a ‘dude. fetal position would be nice but i’m TOO BUSY TO LIE DOWN” kinda way

made myself take deep breaths and go look at all the blooming daffodils. pretty. my favorites are the light yellow ones with the ruffled, deeper yellow trumpets.

tulips soon.

geez i need tulips. pink ones in flowerbeds, and soon.

according to the Giant List I have someplace to be right now. It involves 3 boys, and a high school drive by, using GPS or else I will surely mess up a whole lot of other things on the giant list later.

i suspect that didn’t make sense.

i’m sorry.

it’s been a DAY.

(this was not on the list. but I’m rebellious like that. defying my own list as soon as it’s written. it pretty much makes the whole process pointless.)

Emergency. Sending Help. (That’s you.)

March 22nd, 2010 at 1:34 pm » Comments (0)

if anyone very tech-y is reading, could you please just click HERE and help a person in need? It’s an old post from the time when I got my num lock stuck and, and lots of wayward numlock prisoners find it and it usually helps. I think. But not this time.

And although I don’t really understand the message, it does seem kinda urgent. The commenter is SANNAA, or whatever that translates to when you can’t turn off your num AND caps lock it seems.  OR else there’s some frantic yelling. Either way, if y’all can help, please do. Been there, and that is SO frustrating.


Cups: Of the Plastic Variety That Do Not Match Plates or Bowls.

March 19th, 2010 at 1:00 pm » Comments (5)

A week or two ago Mike called me from Caden-6yr’s baseball practice and asked me – who was across town at Ethan-9yr’s baseball practice, “Does Ethan-9yr have a cup?”

I should point out that I am big on children avoiding dehydration.  Anyone, really. It’s bad. Gah. There was this one time about 7 days before the arrival of Seth-4yr and I got WAY sick and dehydrated and was sprawled across the bedroom floor — nevermind. It gets worse. But that was a long time ago, and there were hospital IVs and Seth-4yr was fine, and at one point Mike opened the bedroom door into my head when he discovered me there and THAT kinda hurt but he didn’t know I was there. Again with the nevermind. Dehydration = Bad.

So of COURSE I said, “No. He doesn’t have a cup, he has a water bottle.”

Mike laughed. Because that was not the right answer.

I might have 3 boys, but my original family is mostly women. No little boys were around. No one played baseball. And you know what a cup was? It was a cup.

Fast forward to now. And suddenly, it has a new meaning I am not entirely okay with. I mean. Really? Geez. Is that really necessary, or is it just the male way of macho elbowing into the otherwise feminine world of accessorizing? But fine. Sure, they say it’s important and I guess I can believe them and learn the new vocabulary.

What I SHOULD have done immediately after this little revelation was to say, “Nope. And YOU can buy him one, honey.”

Instead, guess who the cup-buyer was? Mmm. And the Cup Buyer forgot to explain the general cuppiness of the errand until we were already there and walking by them and OH MAN TOTALLY GOTTA DO THIS GREAT. I thought we were there for something else, and we were, but then we had to do this and a quick conference in the car would have been so much better.

So there was a minor conference with 3 boys and one mom in the Cup Department the other day. And 3 employees who had nothing better to do than listen in and smile and nod and laugh at the clueless mom who was trying to explain the concept (who doesn’t necessarily understand/buy into the concept) to 3 little boys who were amusing themselves by NOT listening – which ensured lots of confusion and meant I had to repeat the whole thing a few times – and stop the boys from grabbing all the packaged cups off the display. So there we were. I’m grabbing handfuls of the packages out of the kids’ hands and hanging them back up as fast as I can and Seth-4yr is looking at the backs of each package and yelling, “I do not get it. WHERE DO YOU PUT THE TWINKLE THING? WHERE DOES IT GO? WHY DONT I GET ONE? This one? This one is GREEN! HOW DOES IT WORK?”

Ethan-9yr looked ready to faint from embarrassment. Particularly when I sshhed Seth-4yr and said, “You know what? I DON’T KNOW. I have NEVER seen one of these and I don’t have any IDEA how it works and we’ll all just figure it out later, ‘KAY?!”

Seth-4yr nodded and said, “Maybe you should have asked Dad.”

“Dude. You are SO RIGHT.”

The three least helpful employees in the store enjoyed this mom conference way too much. One of them called out, “Good luck with those,” as we walked off. And I did not have it in me at that moment to smile and say thank you. Although that would have been nice.

I barely refrained from a Withering Mom Glare that would have set his eyebrows on fire as I corralled the kids and the ‘cups’ and the shopping basket and the purse and the car keys which some kid had grabbed and you know? That amount of self control was admirable in that particular moment, so I’ll just go with it.

Some days I manage to hold myself to higher standards. That wasn’t one of them.

*thanks, crickl’s nest for wondering about the conclusion to the footprints in the snow. However. There is none. The snow melted. I got very flippy for a bit and armed the alarm system every two minutes, then had to disarm it to let the dog out. Then I calmed down. And no one ever broke in and no one ever solved the mystery (although at one point I was sure it was someone from Dubai and it made TOTAL sense at the time and still kinda does but I was probably wrong and you don’t want me to explain) and I’m just glad that whoever looked in the windows was not impressed enough to come back. But, I coulda saved him some time by putting a note out there that read: “Hey. I have a lot of laundry on the table, a lot of  Legos lost in beige carpet you’re welcome to round up for me if that’s your thing, not much else, and I REALLY KINDA HAVE BEEN WANTING A REAL LIFE OPPORTUNITY TO PUNCH SOMEONE FOR AWHILE NOW, SO COME. ON. IN.” But I didn’t. Instead we put up security system stickers on all the windows that we got from a friend. That works better probably.

My Impersonation of a Bottle of Febreze

March 18th, 2010 at 12:58 pm » Comments (7)

Something very minor happened and it messed with my head and this is all about me sorting it out. You’re welcome to read along through the craziness but don’t feel obligated.

I’m not real big on what other people say or think. I’m not really one to care. I’m the little sister of an overachiever, and I grew up LIKING that she could handle all the world’s expectations for both of us all on her own. I took great advantage of it. Still do, as evidenced by all the times I catch myself saying, “I don’t know, ask LaLa, she is crazy-smart,” to one of the kids any time they have a question I don’t know the answer to. Which is a lot.

Sometimes I intentionally let people think the worst of me because I don’t mind at all when others have very low expectations of me. It’s a relief.

Anyone with a blog has probably inadvertently offended someone along the way and been called AWFUL things. Over the years, I have, and it kinda amused me. Like the time I mentioned my genuine dislike for the music of E l t o n  J o h n, and you wouldn’t believe the nasty things that were said on this site and other sites. That? That cracked me up. Shocked me to pieces, but cracked me up anyway.

Not too long ago, on my old site, a guy left a comment that was absolutely obscene in his description of me. (he was waaaay mad at me. and a bad speller.) I deleted some of the letters, but ‘cleaned it up’ a little and left it instead of deleting the whole thing. I really don’t care if someone wants to say stuff like that.  It was a real and honest opinion,  regardless of the content.

So? I thought I had this issue all figured out. Isn’t that cute? And dumb?

And then someone came along and wrote a brief, but very forthright and honest and real summary of her thoughts of me after spending some time on this, and another, site. And it wasn’t obscene. Or offensive.  And she made some REALLY good points. Even said some nice stuff.

And it bothered me. But that confused me, since I normally DON’T care, and I pretended that it didn’t bother me until I could figure it out. And now I have. And that’s why you’re along on this blog-post trainwreck of crazy analysis with me, and i’m almost done. Hang on.  The ride will end shortly and we will return to our previously scheduled chaos involving kids and poop and whatever else I usually talk about.

I am an Air Clearer. Like Febreze.

I cannot just go on with the life and poop stories til I do this.

I don’t care if people like me. A lot of the time I genuinely hope they don’t. It makes my life easier. But I DO care if they think I’m honest or not.

I wondered what it is specifically that she doesn’t believe. Although, as I explained to her, I understand that. My life is weird. And weird things happen. But I don’t just make stuff up. (When I do make stuff up, I call it  fiction, and it goes into small, apparently overpriced books. But here? This crazy stuff is all true)  I would have rather she said she disliked me intensely. Or called me awful, obscene names. Or said she hated my shoes. Pretty much anything else.

Now – since then –  any time something happens and I start to file it away in my brain in the file labeled “Maybe I’ll Work This Into a Blog One Day” something odd happens in my brain’s filing system. All those things refuse to go into that file and now go into one labeled, “Anna Will NEVER Believe This.”   I think that file eats up and destroys everything that comes close to it.

So I haven’t been writing. And that is the insanity behind WHY.

As I have officially Cleared the Air, I think maybe I’ll be fine now and just. move. on.


This is me moving on.

So I’ve decided that I LIKE that I’ve always been good with people who leave comments that argue, disagree, question my character, or even insult me sometimes. And I still am. I really LIKE it when people just say what they think, even if it bugs me and messes with my head for a week. I can handle that.  Maybe not well, but whatever. I’ll get there.

And this is me getting there.

* Anna, if you’re reading this, hi. You gave me a lot to think about. I suspect you give a lot of people a lot to think about, regularly, and I really don’t mean that in a bad way. I really do like it that you say what you mean. But please, when you read my book and if you hate it, don’t leave a real plainspoken review on amazon. com detailing all the reasons why it sucks and thank you so much!

Now. I’m going to go do laundry.

Ahh, crap. Even I don’t believe that.

I’m SOOO Helpful

March 15th, 2010 at 2:30 pm » Comments (3)

It’s the first real day of Spring Break here in Texas, and the rain that was coming down hard has turned to snow coming down hard. I know. I just came in and am now trying to thaw by the fire while popping Cadbury mini eggs (ooohmygosh so good in a once a year kinda way).

Mike is home, supervising the fixing of the heater. Very important, what with all the SNOW and all and the really cold house and the coldnaturedness of ME and the oh-I-really-hope-it-gets-fixed-today and all.  So about an hour ago Mike looked out the back window and said, “So. You put a bunch of dirt in a hole, huh?”

I was delighted. Mike had clearly noticed a new detail in the overwhelming manner in which the boys and I cleaned the backyard last week. Always good to have hard work recognized. “Why, yes! All that dirt from when I made that flower bed in the way back over there….? That was extra and sitting by the door for, forever, because I was sure I’d figure out what to do with it because I DO love my dirt and all… and then I noticed that hole by the back fence and the boys and I carried it all out there and filled it right on in. Took us forever. Very heavy.”

“Yeah. That was how the water drained out of the backyard. And now it can’t.”

I went to the window to see for myself. Since our fence sits on a little concrete base, all of the day’s torrential rains were held in quite effectively. A large part of the backyard was quite flooded.

“Oh. I didn’t want to lose the dog.”  I used to love the Pokey Little Puppy. Didn’t you?

Mike looked at the 80 pound labrador and then back at me.

I should probably mention that the hole I filled might be enough for the 13 pound cat to escape through, but probably not. Not that I’m worried about him anyway. When he wants to get lost, he just runs right out the door when we’re not looking and doesn’t bother with holes under fences.

“Well,” I said. “I’m real sure no one ever mentioned how important that hole was. But fine. I’ll go fix it.”

“Maybe not. What with the knee and all. You’ll slip and fall and it’s not a good idea.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Like when you wore heels recently and hurt your knee?”

“I won’t wear heels. That would be dumb. I’ll wear tall pink rain boots and get a shovel and just go take care of it. I kinda feel responsible.”

“Do ya, now?!”

So I put on the tall pink rain boots, and I THOUGHT about a coat, and decided not to wear one. Sure, it was 35 degrees and snowing heavily, but all my coats are REALLY cute and don’t tell Mike, but there was a REAL good chance I was going to slip and fall into the small lake in the backyard. I am kinda clumsy.

I first went outside the fence and dug a hole. It instantly filled with water, and although I was bracing myself to be swept down the street by a tidal wave, that didn’t happen.  But a nice member of GATMIPTA stopped anyway to offer assistance. I suppose I looked ridiculous standing in the snow in my tall pink boots,  no coat, and holding a shovel bigger than I am. I waved him off and went inside the fence to dig from the other side.

This is the Other Side. Note the floating things that might be important and have something to do with a well.

So I sort of balanced on the concrete base under the fence and dug around with the shovel. That did not work. But here is my right foot, and the shovel.  I almost dropped my phone in the water when i took these pictures because my hands were red and practically frozen solid and all, so I figured I better use them. Huge snow apparently does NOT photograph with my phone. It was there. Really.

So THEN I decided I’d use the shovel as a big paddle and just WHOOSH all that water up and over the concrete base and under the wood fence. And that was fun. I did that for a very long time. And sort of lowered the level of the lake, but not substantially.

And then I slipped and fell right in. I am kinda clumsy.

And I was SO glad I was not wearing a cute coat and wasn’t that SO the right decision after all?

And then I went in and sat by the fire.

Mike asked how it went. I told him. And he said something very much like, “Told ya so.”

I sputtered. I hate it when he says that. Even if he CAN rightly say it. He shouldn’t. So he puts on his own boots (not tall or pink) and goes out and fixes it in about 14 seconds flat.

Perhaps I should have swooned. Or said thank you. But you know what? That made me MAD.

I was still half frozen in front of the fireplace. “You know, you did NOT have to go out there and make that look so easy.”

“YOU didn’t have to go out there at all.”

We were smiling. Sort of. But we were both pretty annoyed.

“I know! But I wanted to fix what I messed up!”

“I thought the snow ALONE would have kept you from going out there,” he said, as if I had not said anything at all. (Mike kinda does that well sometimes.)

“Mike. It. was. mud.”

And then he seemed to understand.

I have a close relationship with mud. Sure, I felt bad about the sabotaging the ridiculous Top Secret Stupid Drainage System in the backyard that no one ever told ME about. And I wanted to fix it. But really. It was probably all about the mud.

I am spattered and covered in mud right this very second. I got most of it off.

These little spots and clods are just harmless souvenirs.