Archive for November, 2011

It’s a “Gift” I Have. (Because I’d Rather Not Say ‘Curse’)

November 11th, 2011 at 9:55 am » Comments (6)

dogs are good. platonic. i mean, they lick each other’s ears and hold paws and snuggle and stare into each other’s eyes. But it stops there, and all the previous inappropriate behavior that was freaking me out has stopped. I’m SO relieved.

Message on answering machine: KELSEY!!! WE! ARE! BACK! IN! BUSINESS!  from the company who used to come and pick up Duke’s poo once a week. I was so upset when they stopped showing up. My mother was all, “well…? maybe they got a better career opportunity than coming to your house for dog poo. I mean, RIGHT?” Yeah I guess. But now they’re back and I am so very happy. Two weeks ago I ended up covered in 2 different dogs’ pulverized poo when I had to unclog the big tube on the riding mower. have you ever been covered in two kinds of ground up poo? OH WOW. That was quite a day.  (it only LOOKS like I blog every disgusting thing I do as soon as it happens. really. i don’t.)

which reminds me. i am one big walking wardrobe malfunction.

#1: last night. at the kids’ annual patriotic program (which always makes me cry) I wore a stripe-y gray sweater dress, wooly gray tights, and ballet flats. what could POSSIBLY go wrong?  Seth-6yr. SETH-SIXYR COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG. He was sitting behind me on the pew while I stood with everyone else. He got a bit curious about the nature of these gray wooly tights, because they look like socks and I wonder how far up….? they…? go….? Only one way to find out, and that of course involves hiking up dress and checking.

Frantic behind the back arm chopping motions and glaring and then refusing to look and see who all had seen this. Gah.

#2 But the next one I managed ALL BY MYSELF. I was at the bank. In my car. Because I was only going through the drive through to make a deposit. I wore paint-y jeans and an oversized paint spattered shirt. What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Well. A lot.

You know those bank cylinder thingies with the tops that swivel OUT and you put your stuff inside and then swivel that top lid thing back on the cylinder? Well, if you accidentally do that too close to, say, your left boob, then you end up with your shirt REALLY stuck in that cylinder. And if it’s an oversized shirt with all kinds of extra fabric, when you pull it away from you it looks as if you have one HUGE pointy breast and the shirt won’t come free and there you are playing tug of war with a bank cylinder thingy and looking really deformed and lopsided and THEN you turn and there’s the teller. Watching. On the video screen right next to your window and she CAN SEE THE WHOLE THING and she has one hand over her mouth and looks so horrified that of course you start laughing and pulling and just DYING because oh my gosh, REALLY? THIS IS MY LIFE? EVERY?! DAY!? How is it that I have to be THIS person? Why can’t I be the person who always wins the lottery? Or the person who can sing, cook, dance, and invent cool things all the time? Why am I the Boob In The Bank Thingy girl?  (Ignore me. I’m blessed. I know it. I’m just griping.) So I get COMPLETELY lost in my laughing and crying and I canNOT get this thing off me and so I say to the teller, “Happens ALL THE TIME, right?” And she says, “Oh, no ma’am.”

It occurs to me that all the tellers could be watching this insanity on the screen by now, so I sort of turn my back and lean over the center console and it takes a LOT of concentration and hand strength and willpower to pry open that lid and extract the twisted wrinkled paint shirt, but I do it.

Some people have to work REAL hard to be this idiotic and it just comes so naturally to me it’s hardly fair, right?

I’m staying home today. I should be okay. I think.

Baby News

November 7th, 2011 at 5:39 pm » Comments (1)

Jenn S is REALLY in labor this time.




I didn’t just get all excited over someone else’s baby and accidentally jump to that conclusion this time. She sent a text that said that she was SUPPOSED to go straight to the hospital but instead she was going to go home and get her laptop and THEN go have the baby.

She sounded very upbeat. Will keep you posted if I hear anything else.


Paint and Puppy Love

November 7th, 2011 at 4:32 pm » Comments (3)

I’ve been busy. Painting. You’d know that if you could see me, because I have a Kate Spade-ish green spot on my right forearm and a streak of the same color running through my hair. Oops. That’s the color I’m painting Caden-7yr’s room. Ethan-11yr has settled on an orange-y gold color that is spattered across my stomach. It’ll be a colorful week for me.

Last week i painted 2 bathrooms, and then Seth-6yr’s room. He requested a very pale blue. When this particular shade of very pale blue is streaked through my boring brown hair, it looks as if I have had a major life crisis and turned gray in sudden and dramatic ways.

Tip: do NOT show up to a counseling session like that if you can help it. It’s potentially alarming to mental health experts.

The change of the household from a One Dog Family to a Two Dog Family is going fairly well. The two dogs ADORE each other. When they can be around each other, they hold paws and lick each others’ ears and snuggle and play and gaze at each other lovingly. Most of the time.


Callie is a younger woman, and she has never heard of the concept of ‘hard to get.’ She actually may be a little bit of a dominatrix. Duke was at first scared. He’d look at me all big-eyed like, “she’s really great… but she’s ALL OVER ME ALL THE TIME AND SHE’S KINDA WAY TOO MUCH WOMAN FOR ME, HALP.”

And then he got over it. What a dog.

I’ve tried to lay down some rules for appropriate dog behavior. Callie got ‘fixed.’ Then they were kept separate so that hormone levels would drop and then there would be no… inappropriate dog behavior. But I’ve still used the word “humping” way too often for one lifetime (as in, ‘NOOoooOOO HUMPING!’) and then yesterday I had a long conversation with Callie about how oral sex, sorry, IS still sex, and therefore prohibited.  (you want to do that? get your own living room and invite Duke over, honey, but THIS is my carpet and I just don’t think so.)

I try to say these things when children are not around.

Or anyone else.

I’m hoping they’ll decide to be “just friends” REAL soon.

It has gotten better. Much. But we’re not there yet.




A North Texas Weekend

November 2nd, 2011 at 8:00 pm » Comments (15)

I spent a wonderful – REALLY wonderful – long weekend at my dad and stepmom’s place. It’s 11ish acres. I wanted to show up and help out with all of their ongoing, numerous, WAY ambitious projects and just spend kid-free time with them.

It worked out exactly like that.

We had considered building what my dad called a ‘dog run.’ But after further questioning, it became evident that his definition of a ‘dog run’ meant fencing in a few ACRES and building large gates so the tractor could get in and mow in there. This was not a surprise. When he had said a few years ago that he wanted a dog house, one day we showed up and there was a one-room, gorgeous, big enough for several humans, LOG CABIN. With windows and a front porch and furniture inside. And that was the dog house. They think… big.

Which is a lot of fun. And a lot of work. And they’re more than up to finishing all of the stuff they dream up without my coming and getting in the way, but they were nice about it. My stepmom never stops moving. She is a blur of hard work and amazing cooking and I really don’t know how she does it. I watched, but still, I have no idea.

The first ‘work’ morning I assisted my dad in various vehicle repairs. “Assisted” being a really nice way of saying that I stood around and made a mess of stuff. I tore off the cover of a carburetor and my dad said – in a voice full of wonder and patience – “wow. you broke the very first thing you touched.”

It prompted him to half jokingly tell me many times over the next days “don’t break this” – after handing me something that was fairly indestructible. Like a bolt. Or a nut.

Then I managed to dump gasoline all over me. Twice. Maybe you knew that there would be gasoline in a carburetor but I did NOT, ‘kay? And I wanted a closer look. I smelled really fume-y all day.

I should explain that even though I’m 36, I will always call my father, “Daddy.” The reason for this is that HIS father, my grandfather, was always called “Dad.” So to say “Dad” refers to someone else completely and it would be very very weird for me to call my dad “Dad,” so I don’t. No one does.

Daddy took me out to his giant shop and said, “Let me show you all my Lucky Stuff.”  If you’ve ever met my dad, you’d know that this was your cue to get OUT of that shop. But I was there largely for the Quality Father Time, so I just took a step back out of arms reach and tried to be polite as he showed me a whole badger head that one of the dogs had brought him, a hummingbird nest, a ‘special’ snakeskin, and then I was thrilled when he couldn’t find his ‘dead bat.’ The man has a lucky dead bat. A small one. And it was missing. I was glad.

Daddy can fix anything. It might take some staring and some grunting. And some pacing. And countless trips into his ‘shop’ but it’ll get fixed. He got the four wheeler running again, after the new carburetor went in. And something called a Skag Turf Tiger, for which I will forever be grateful because that thing is FUN.

OH MY GOSH. Steering with levers. Speed. Mowing. Zero turn (geekwif!) capability and you just zoom off and have an adventure. Love that thing. Daddy soaked the carburetor on that one and… other stuff. I don’t know. Something about a hydraulic pump leak on the right side.

While he was doing all of that I got to mow. On a REAL. BIG. TRACTOR. A New Holland something or other. VERY BIG. Blue. Pretty, in a check out my tractor sort of way. (these details are all for you, geekwif. if i’m boring the rest of you to pieces, just skip it, i’ll never know.) I don’t know how many acres of pastures I mowed. But it took around five hours and I loved every minute of it. Well. Every minute except the one minute in which I ran over a pecan tree and then it came down and smacked me REALLY hard on the head. Which I deserved. But it still hurt. Actually, it still hurts. And I suspect that it was during those five hours that I got bit on the butt by something spider-like.


I don’t know what it was or when it was, but it was um… truly awful and gross and I told my stepmom the next morning that if I died, she should just save the medical examiner some time by telling him to start by looking at my right butt cheek.

[Spoiler Alert: I didn't die. It was way painful for awhile and now it's fine.]


There was the Watching of the Rangers Losing The World Series, Game 6. Go ahead and thank God right now that you were not in my dad and stepmother’s living room when that happened. Go ahead. Praise Him for that. Because whoaaaaah. At one point i said to my father, “you are SO loving and patient and forgiving with the Real Live People in your life, but you’re WAY HARSH on athletes.”

My stepmother quietly said, “you should see him on the golf course.”

I’m glad I do not play golf. That night there was stomping. Swearing. Grunting. Coaching. Criticizing. Lots of sound effects. Stomping off to other rooms because it is all just SO unbearable.

It was kinda funny. Not that I was laughing. Nuh-uh. I was wrapped up to my nose in a Snuggie and keeping quiet and DEFINITELY. NOT. LAUGHING.

This was waaaaay too serious for that.

The next morning they dropped me off at a mall. I had my hair done. Which hurt, thanks to the sore spiderbite butt and the pecan tree/tractor injury. Then mom and LaLa met me there. I tried on a thousand and three dresses and had my surly picture taken in each and every one of them and I didn’t leave the mall until NINE hours later. But with a really pretty maid of honor dress. Navy.

Actually, I mighta bought two really pretty but different navy dresses, but I’m still not sure. I’ll know soon enough when one does or does not show up in the mail.

LaLa had an old school shoe salesman who looked like an elf fall all over her feet and give her the total Cinderella glass slipper treatment. Which was fine, but I didn’t like the way he was touching her leg. She didn’t notice. The three of us had a wonderful time, which i attribute to how fantastically funny and wonderful they both are to be around. Even for 9 hours in a mall.


There was the Watching of the Rangers Losing the World Series, Game 7. Go ahead and thank God that you were not in my dad and stepmother’s living room when THAT happened. SERIOUSLY. GO ON, NOW. Write a psalm of thanksgiving real quick. GAH.

The next day my stepmom and I climbed VERY tall ladders and we caulked the siding and scraped paint up at the top of the gables, and repainted. I don’t know how tall that is. WAY. TALL. When caulking while way high up on a ladder, just go ahead and shove the paper towels in your bra to save you trips up and down the ladder. (But remember to take them OUT later if you don’t use them all. Because, um, yeah.)

I wanted to get my hands on the ‘thin set’ mortar stuff and work on the new shower my dad is putting in. And they let me. Fun!

And then we pruned all the trees and shrubs.  ALL.

And then the Cowboys were supposed to play. And… I asked Daddy if they were supposed to win. “Daddy. I NEED TO KNOW.” I couldn’t take 3 nights in a row of Painful Losses.

He gave his standard answer:

Sigh. “Well. It depends on which team shows up. Sometimes they’re great. And then sometimes…”

That was all I needed to hear. I took a bath and went to bed and did not hear the My Team is Losing and I Might LOSE IT TOTALLY, TOO, Noises, so I figured it was all going well.

They lost, of course, but he was so drained emotionally by the previous 2 nights’ losses that he sat and watched this loss in near-silence. How sad.  How very un-Daddy-like.

The next morning I trimmed his eyebrows. I’ve wanted to do that FOREVER. My stepmom made Egg In A Hole. My new fave. I bought star and heart cookie cutters just for this purpose.

They dropped me off at the airport and I got my standard Daddy hug. Whoooaaaah. Not that I’m complaining. My dad has a unique hug. It’s exceptionally sweet, but very fierce. He means well, but he crushes into you every last bit of otherwise possibly unexpressed affection. Emphasis on ‘crushes.

The lady behind me in line asked me if I was all right. She hadn’t seen the hug. She hadn’t even seen Daddy. She just said that my whole right ear was really red and scraped up and she wondered if I was okay.

“Oh yeah. My dad just hugged me on that side.”

“He’s a large man?” she asked.

“Nope. He just hugs… um… weird. Is it bleeding?” (perfectly reasonable question, and if you’ve ever been hugged by my dad you know what i mean.)


I don’t suppose she’d understand. It’s a hard thing to explain. But I loved my weekend. And my family. And I wouldn’t take back even the painful sporting events. Or the hugs. Or any of it.

It was exactly the weekend I wanted. The weekend I so very much needed.

Maybe next time I go, we can build a “dog run.”


Update. Correction. Or Something Kinda Like That.

November 2nd, 2011 at 8:08 am » Comments (5)



I get really excited about babies. Mary isn’t here yet. I was a bit too eager and read too much into a post and had also just ASSUMED she’d be here by now and she isn’t and then I had my own false alarm labor that I spread across the internet on Jenn’s behalf, oops.

I did that with my own babies, too. Always being like, FINALLY! And then making the trek to the hospital just to be told, “yes, you are having contractions, and yes, you are overdue, but that does NOT mean you are in labor and we can’t keep you. even if you say please over and over, you are not having this baby tonight, now go away.”

So i’m THAT kind of weirdo internet friend, too. The Tell Everyone The Baby Came When She Didn’t Weirdo Internet Friend.


Um. Yes. Jenn was lovely and put me on her “i’ll text you when I ‘m in labor list” which she said only has SIX other people and I think that I’m probably her only Weirdo Internet False Alarm Friend on that list so I feel VERY special.

And it kinda prevents me from telling the internet AGAIN that a baby came too soon. Which I could so easily do by accident. Obviously.

I’d tell you all about my trip, but I need to go paint a bathroom. I painted another one yesterday. And Ethan-11yr’s is today’s project. I told him yesterday to go clean it up since i might get around to painting it and he said, “Oh thanks! I’d like red and black, please.”

Like I was taking requests? How optimistic.

“Um? I bought a beige.” I didn’t elaborate on the resale-minded ‘beige is boring but better’ bathroom decision.

SO. Off I go. Unless I get a text. And then I might stop painting and give you baby updates.


Big News Out West. (Depending On Where You Are)

November 1st, 2011 at 4:30 pm » Comments (1)

i have SOOO much to tell y’all, but really all that matters right now that can’t be delayed a second longer is…


Mary is here.


I’m so happy.

Congratulations, Jenn S!