Archive for September, 2011

yard art

September 10th, 2011 at 7:17 pm » Comments (7)

Today there were three soccer games and one glorious session in which I got to try out the new riding lawnmower.

This was VERY fun. Also? I am SOOOO awful at it. (Totally predictable, but maybe not to this degree.)

Y’all should see the yard. It doesn’t look like a yard that just got mowed. It looks like someone came and did Grass Vandalism. There are figure 8s. There are paisleys. There are swirls and curves and ovals and almost no straight lines anywhere. The grass is sculpted into various heights and all the shades of brown and green used really highlight the various inappropriate shapes.

The amazing thing is that all of this is purely accidental. I was trying hard to do it right, and just failing that badly. I was TRYING to be all boring and correct and straight lines and professional. Instead it looks like a Vera Bradley print.

Mike was very nice about it. (Mike is actually being VERY nice about everything I do and say and think and write and mow and screw up and I am suddenly brilliant and insightful and perfect in every way and frankly it’s disturbing and maybe he’ll go back to ignoring me soon because all this attention is weird and exhausting.)   He didn’t even fix it after I was done. Because it was perfect. I think. His friend, who gave me the mower, came over for another reason and just happened to arrive right after the sculpting was completed and he was very nice also. Totally getting that the fun of it far outweighed that initial result.

And OH, was it fun!

I can’t wait for it to grow and then I can try again.

I bet the neighbors feel the same way.

tropically depressing

September 8th, 2011 at 11:00 am » Comments (10)

It wasn’t exactly the week I’d planned. Not bad, necessarily. Just different.

I thought I’d go to Florida by myself, learn to surf, paddleboard, read, write, and lie in the sun. And eat too much amazing sushi and seafood and come home needing to go to the gym  and work it off.

There would be emerald water, hot sand, and sun.

I refused to waste any time on  internet or turn on the television while there, so I really have no idea if it was a small hurricane or just a tropical depression that interfered with those careful, sunny plans of mine.

Whatever it was, its timing and mine were unfavorable, both closing in on a common destination with plans that were at odds with one another. A match up I lost, obviously, against the controlling forces of an ever-present storm.  I’d look out the window of my condo and see the beach below. Two red flags indicating danger. Water closed. Look if you must, but don’t touch.

The water that was supposed to be green and calm and beautiful, was instead a muddied slate color-  full of roaring, angry waves that would come ashore and spit out lifeless jellyfish all over the cold, white sand. The skies were varying shades of gray and poured varying amounts of rain.

I’d packed all wrong, of course. Duke had flopped on the floor while I stood in my closet, throwing items to pack out into the hall. He insisted on lying right in my line of fire, and so this was how he came to be photographed wearing a black bikini. The other things I threw his way were floaty, thin, small items intended for a beach vacation. They all came home, still folded. Smelling of damp and maybe a little of labrador.

On my second day I went shopping for jeans, sweaters, a waterproof purse, and a waterproof jacket. The other women had beaten me to all the waterproof jacket options, so I bought one in the little boys’ section and figured I’d give it to a boy when I got home.

I read. And wrote. And was constantly wet and cold, venturing out to the beach in my little boy jacket the second the rain slowed to a drizzle, or out to eat if hungry.

I don’t mind going places alone. (Obviously.) But it must be strange on some level to other people, because it became clear pretty quickly that it was going to be questioned. Surprising. It would never occur to me to strike up that particular conversation with anyone. The answer I eventually settled on was, “I’m here alone because I want to be alone.” Said in a friendly tone. Then watching, listening as that simple truth makes an impression. On whoever it was directed. On me.

I came home and the weather is practically cold, here, as well. I’m wrapped in a chenille blanket even now. Not sleeping or eating and in a state of general anxiety about life. Thinking back to that storm and wondering if it would have been better to change course. Realize I was showing up unprepared for a situation I could weather and survive – but instead choosing to go somewhere more pleasant to make the best of those precious few days. That might have been the way to go.

This is all terribly depressing. I know. I’ll be fine soon. I was going to attempt to elevate the mood with the photo of Duke in a bikini, but he nixed that idea. Something about not being okay with his beautiful furry dog body being exploited for comedic value when he was only trying to express displeasure that I was packing and leaving. Or something like that.

Also, a chocolate lab in a black bikini in a dim hall doesn’t really photograph well.



Orange Really Is The New White

September 1st, 2011 at 6:37 pm » Comments (8)

I said I’d tell you happy news that wasn’t MY happy news.

And I like to do what I say I’ll do.



my sister…

is engaged!

We all knew it was coming. She and the now-fiancee have been VERY serious about their relationship and future and decision making and it’s been pretty fun to watch from way far away. He’s very nice and will be wonderful for her and she’s just as wonderful for him – and he has two kids and she’s really good with them and I know it’s kinda predictable… but they’re just one big sweet happy family.

I’m happy.

More importantly, so are they.

So LaLa called to tell me the news last weekend and we squealed and talked and after awhile I said, “So. You’re not really the traditional type, but really, now, is your wedding dress going to be orange?”

LaLa likes orange. But don’t worry, y’all, she has the personality and the skin tone to pull it off.

There was a LONG silence after I asked this question.

“Oh, geez. You already found a dress, and it’s orange, huh?”

And she did. Kinda.

I may be in orange too, because she asked me to be her maid of honor. (We agreed not to use the word ‘matron.’ If the bride can wear orange, all rules are out the window and the married sister can be called a maid.)

The last time I was in a wedding, I was 5 months along with Seth-5yr. But no one knew. We hadn’t told anyone, and for some reason I didn’t show until 7 months with him. Very weird, but ideal for wedding wear purposes.  (Sage green satin that time. A bit uh, bare, on top.)

The FIRST time I was in a wedding, I was maybe 6 years old and I was the ring bearer. I was horrified. Not only did I have a boyish haircut, but I had the BOY job of being what i thought was called the Ring Bear and my older pretty sister had long curled girly hair and got to be the flower GIRL. Ugh.

But it was a night wedding and I ran through the church yard in the dark and sunk up to my knees in deep thick mud that I hadn’t seen and i had to pretend to be upset that I had done this to my white tights and lavender dress when really I was all, “OH MY GOSH, MUD, THAT WAS SOOOOO FUN, SQUISH SQUISH, SORRY MOM.”

In hindsight, I was clearly not the right choice for Flower Girl.

So last night I was talking to the Bride. That would be LaLa. And I said, “You know I’m really awful about social stuff. But I’m so touched that you asked me to be the maid of honor and I will do WHATEVER that entails. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, whatever that means.” And in a really serious, quiet voice, “If you want me to hire a stripper… I–”

And that’s when she interrupted by screaming something loud and unintelligible and outraged.

Like I knew she would.

Like, that’s the only reason I even said that.

LaLa can really scream.

Then we exchanged stripper stories – surprised that we both even HAD stripper stories.  They were equally wildly inappropriate, but maybe all stripper stories are. I don’t know.

I really wish I had thought through the organization of this post a bit more, (Like I do that. No. I don’t. For you new people? I don’t do that) because I started off with a ‘here comes the bride’ vibe and am ending on a stripper note. and that’s not good. that was not the goal.

But I’m leaving in the morning and I really need to go finish packing and do other stuff besides figure out how to fix this.


Congratulations to LaLa and the Fiancee!

(I don’t know if I can use his real name here! Because my sister’s real name is not LaLa, either! So we’ll just go with that!)