Archive for March, 2012


Ping! Ping! BAAAAAAM!!!!!!!!

March 29th, 2012 at 4:51 pm » Comments (5)

Y’ALL are some seriously awesome well armed, knowledgeable shooting type women. I was SO proud when i read your comments on the Gimme a Gun post. And a little scared. And a bit intimidated. But mostly, just real proud.

Y’all also educated me on the issue of yellow post it notes. Fascinatingly well rounded, y’all are. And i mean that non-literally.

I went and saw my dad and my stepmom and we painted furniture and she cooked delicious meatless stuff for me, and I mowed most of a pasture, and my dad fixed a table for me, and we shot.

My dad broke out the big guns for my arrival. Actually, I now realize how much they need a gun. A real one. They’re planning on getting one, but haven’t yet.

For MY purposes, my dad’s current supply of firearms was more than enough. (Firearms being used a bit tongue in cheek.) But I had only ever shot a nerf gun, so this was BIG STUFF for me, and y’all may have noticed how accident prone I am and so it was a very wise start to my weapons training.

I shot a pellet pistol.

NO laughing.

I mean, I SHOT that pellet pistol.

I shot it in the house, unloaded, at the ground, because my dad said I could and a cat disappeared for an hour. But there are plenty of cats, and no harm was done.

I dont know what pellet pistols are usually like. I’d never seen one. But THIS one required you to pump it up about 6 times before EACH little shot with the itty bitty rice-grain sized pellet. And that was QUIIIIIITE an arm workout. I couldnt’ do it from a sitting position and keep my feet on the ground. I had to put legs into it in order to get it done.

After we shot that for awhile, Daddy brought out the BIG gun. I suppose I hadn’t killed anything yet, although one pellet did ricochet dangerously near my stepmother, and I was trusted with the big guy.

The pellet RIFLE.

Shut UP, y’all, I will one day understand what it was y’all were talking about in that comment section, but clearly it won’t be this month. Baby steps with weaponry, y’all. It’s the only safe way.

Daddy said it probably cost $10 and the more he looked at it, the more crooked he thought it was. BUT I LOVED IT.

OH MY GOSH. GIMME A PELLET RIFLE.

I shot. And shot. And shot some more. We had diet coke cans and miller lite cans balanced on a beam on Daddy’s sawhorses. we picked them off. Then started again. OH SO FUN.

Daddy said I could shoot the feet off anything.

That’s because I shoot low, apparently. WHATEVER. There were holes in those cans. Those cans were SCARED. No, they were DEAD. And then DEAD AGAIN.  If a 12 pack of diet coke ever goes rogue in this house, they better WATCH OUT because I will shoot tiny holes in their lower regions and they will make puddles.

Well, if i had a $10 crooked pellet rifle.

THEN Daddy gave me a Remington .22 power nailer thing and even though i loaded the little bullet-y things into it myself, i did NOT quite understand that this was way more gun than the guns I’d been shooting. I just thought we were nailing a board to the compost thing. BUT NO. I had my face waaaaay too close and it scared me to pieces and then there was this glorious smell. I mean, HEAVENLY. It was gunpowder! Hadn’t smelled it all day! Didn’t really even know what it WAS that I was smelling. OH WOW, I need a Remington power nailer!!

Before i left, my stepmom loaded up a cooler with frozen blocks of sushi grade salmon and tuna. They were too big for one serving, so Daddy cut them on his band saw out in the shop. Bits of frozen fish went flying. It was weird. But effective. We washed off the nastiness from the band saw, and you can’t even taste it.

I drove home and it’s a VERY good year for bluebonnets. They bloomed roadside much farther west than usual. Nice.

 

This was going to be longer. There was more. But I’m trying to get out the door to a baseball practice and seth-6yr is having a missing cleats issue that is promising to be very time consuming. (i can just tell. that, and he swears off baseball twice a week now for the BEST reason ever, but that’s another post.)


more of a retro square yellow post-it than a blog post. but eh. it’s fine.

March 29th, 2012 at 12:53 pm » Comments (6)

hey… can you see this?

 

one of you please leave a comment so i know you can, please. i was playing with the password protection part and alarmed folks. sorry, folks.

 

it was a good week not to write. and now it’s a good week to write.

i will. soon.

but it’s a gorgeous afternoon and i have to clean a catbox and work on the closet. i’ve been holding off taking over any of mike’s drawers in the bathroom or closet. out of a sense of… i don’t know. but whatever it was, it’s gone. and i’m finally ready to claim the drawer space.

but i’ll write soon and tell you all  my shooting news. because OH YES, i shot stuff, be very afraid.

 

(why were those post-its always yellow? i mean, for like FIFTEEN years or so they were always yellow?)


Gimme A Gun. Im in That Kind of Mood.

March 21st, 2012 at 10:40 am » Comments (8)

it’s raining. it’s cold and gray and so am i. (gray lululemon  hoodie. but my hair is sure to follow soon, though. i can just tell. it’s one of those weeks.)

I never answer the phone. I’ve had to get better about this because sometimes it’s a craigslist seller saying, “yes – come get my nasty dresser with the white spider egg sacks underneath that will make you SCREAM and reach for Lysol and it’s all $10 right now if you still want it.”

And I am interested in those calls. So that’s how I happened to answer the phone a few weeks back when the pastor called. If I’d known who it was, I most certainly would not have answered. NO QUESTION. There’s just NO way that woulda happened.  I would have gotten extremely social anxiety-ish and listened to the phone ring while imagining all the terrible things he was going to say, but in a nice quiet voice that sounded all holy somehow and then i’d never go to church again because he was probably calling to ask me that I not return anyway. And maybe if I did,  I could also please mark myself with a large, scarlet ‘D’?

that’s not how it went. except the nice quiet voice part. he wanted to know what happened with Mike and I. i told him. without getting into any details, there were broad brushstrokes covered. and then? he was nice. helpful. completely supportive. kind.  the judgment or the plea to do something more or different or anything of the sort… didn’t come.

there’s nothing about him or that church that would make me expect anything less than kindness. it’s just that i don’t really expect that of people, and i forget the low altitude of my own expectations.

I won’t be there this week though. Letter D, or not. Last night I put the kids to bed and was watching Top Shot and my dad texted and said he’d teach me to shoot this weekend. I was SO excited. SHOOT STUFF?! OH YES PLEASE. He said something about making really big targets (and I didn’t realize what he was saying until later when i was too excited to go to sleep) and setting up our own Top Shot stuff and I am SO looking forward to this. Mike has the kids, so it’ll just be me. (my 3 babies are not going to be near guns. but hey, i am FINALLY old enough to hold one, right?!)  LET ME SHOOT SOME THINGS. I’m SO ready.

When I was 15 and my dad was teaching me to drive, he was afraid. He’s not afraid of the large poisonous snakes all over his land. Or the other stuff there that would scare me, like coyotes and skunks in the HOUSE sometimes. But he was definitely afraid of my teenage self behind a wheel and there’s no other way to put it. Maybe he knew how bad my depth perception is. Or that I tend to break everything I touch. Or that I tend to get a little reckless. Or the combination of those.

But he would get a newspaper and hold it up so that it took up the entire front passenger area and he would either read it or pretend to read it. he’d tell me where to go, where to park, what to work on, but he would NOT LOOK.  His voice was calm and quiet and he’d laugh nervously when the car would jerk, but he would NOT look.

So! This should be interesting, right?! GUNS! With Daddy!

 

I jammed my left elbow yesterday. I hope it’s okay before the weekend. It was a stupid injury. (Most of mine are.)

I fell off the MANTEL.

YES. That kind of mantel. It’s a normal mantel-y thing. Five feet off the ground. In the living room. Over the fireplace. I was sort of perched up there because there’s a gigantic clock that needed a new battery and it’s extremely difficult to get on and off the wall and it’s easier to just get right on the mantel and reach behind it.

And that’s where I was when Duke woke up from his nap on the living room floor and saw me up there and freaked out. He only barks about 3 times a year. Whenever he does bark, we all stand around and discuss how unusual and interesting that was, like it was a full solar eclipse or something.

And when Duke barks, it’s a Big Dog Bark. When he’s freaked out because he just woke up and saw a person halfway up his living room wall, he lets out a REALLY scary Big Dog Bark.  I jumped and screamed and fell off and smashed into the floor because i was wondering if he was going to recognize me before I hit the carpet – or not – and what would happen if THAT were the case… and so I wasn’t really focused on my landing technique.  Jammed elbow.

(He recognized me. He licked my face.)

Next time I’ll make sure the dog is awake when the clock battery needs to be changed.

Now I know.

I hope I’m good to shoot, and paint furniture with my stepmom and drive across Texas and back! There’s stuff to DO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


More Sun Ahead

March 15th, 2012 at 1:19 pm » Comments (10)

All fairytales end. Even fairytale divorces. Ours ended before it began. I’ve been holding off on officially filing for divorce until Mike can rearrange a lot of things financially. (don’t cringe too much. i think it’s OKAY. really. in everyone’s best interest and all of that)

he did not say the words, “And in return for this favor, i will not date local beauties and spend money on other women from our joint account where you can see all the details.”

and clearly… he did not THINK those words.

and somehow… I just heard them anyway.

Weird, huh?

Anyway. It was an excellent opportunity to see how the news affected me, and wonder why, and then put on my $7 tiara and look to the One whose love and perspective actually does matter.

What Mike does should be of little concern to me now. I just want a separate financial arrangement so that it really isn’t any of my concern on that level, either. I wish him every happiness. I just didn’t expect him to, uh, realize EVERY happiness quite so soon.  But he’s always been an overachiever.

It is a GORGEOUS day here. I’m going outside to paint furniture. I have a Queen Anne headboard that is begging to be painted emerald green. I should probably oblige.

I urge y’all to look at exactly where your self worth comes from, and I hope that you are completely satisfied with ALL the answers that come to mind. If you’re not, let this be your own opportunity to re-think. That’s where I am.

(It’s not a bad place to be, and the weather’s great.)

 

 


Paint Break

March 13th, 2012 at 2:25 pm » Comments (3)

Someone asked what exactly I am doing. The boys are passing gas and play fighting. But what about me?

Well.

I’m staying REAL busy. I’m buying tons of cheap nasty broken furniture at thrift shops. Then I’m stripping it or repairing it or painting it or all of the above. What repairs I don’t know how to do, I learn. And teach the boys. Seth-6yr removes all hardware and sands. Caden-8yr and Ethan-11yr help me move stuff. Ethan-11yr tells me exactly how I should do everything, but that’s just Ethan-11yr.

When I’m really stuck, i ask my dad. Which is how I ended up on my butt in Home Depot a couple Sundays ago for twenty minutes while I studied every available drawer guide mounting system and figured out what the differences were and what a “European system” was and what I needed and what I most definitely did not need for my trashed out craigslist dresser which will very soon be GORGEOUS and with working drawers.

I’m thinking it might soon be distressed turquoise with clear glass knobs.

I want to paint everything in peacock colors. I just can’t help it, it makes me happy.

Today Seth-6yr painted a desk for his room. It’s an old school desk Mom and I found at the Habitat for Humanity store. It’s laminate on top and metal on bottom. Annie Sloan brand chalk paint sticks to even THAT, y’all! And we’ll leave the desk top chalky so he could use it like a chalkboard if he wanted. The top is red and the bottom is blue. (Emperor’s Silk and Greek Blue, if you are an ASCP fan and want to know.) It’s looking really great, and he’s thrilled to be doing it himself. He even scraped the old gum off the underside all by himself, using a paint scraper, and then gagged. I was so proud.

Caden-8yr’s desk is also in the backyard right now. It’s getting a first coat of green and the desktop will be a darker green, also left to be chalkboardy if he so desires. (desk bottom: 2 parts ASCP Old White to 1 part Antibes green, desktop: Antibes green)

Ethan-11yr wants to paint a darling barley-twist nightstand I found last week, but he’s not thrilled with my current color selection and so I put him to work changing all the lightbulbs instead.

Some stuff I’ll sell eventually. If it turns out okay. If anyone would buy. But for now, I’m having a wonderful time learning a lot and brightening up old stuff that was destined to be trashed and forgotten.

There’s just something so rewarding about that.

 

(Annie Sloan chalk paint link – colors.) no financial gain if you click that – and that’s not a good link to use to buy, if you’re in the States.  I’ve used a couple of different suppliers, since no one sells it locally here. if you’re really interested, ask and I’ll tell you which one takes forever to ship and which one is quick. : )

 


Ah, the smell of home.

March 12th, 2012 at 6:38 pm » Comments (5)

We don’t fight or play-fight or wrestle. Mike isn’t the type, and I hated it because of past violence/kid issues that were real and not play. (And my punching and kicking was always away from home and not in front of kids)

BUT.

I sorta thought maybe it’d be a good idea now. They’re boys. THREE boys. There’s aggression and all they can do is pass gas in order to release it. And that’s probably inadequate. Perhaps you see my motivation in re-considering the no tolerance nonviolence policy.

I set up some ground rules and walked away. FAR away.

Grunting, laughing, walls being smashed (I do drywall repairs, no biggie), brothers coaching brothers on what to do in a mostly positive sounding manner, and then….

then there was wailing.

I’d said not to come to me with injuries.

I meant minor ones. Because there better not BE any major ones.

And I suppose it was minor, but Sethie and I ended up covered in his blood because Caden-8yr kicked him in the teeth and split his lip open. “by accident, mom, by accident.” I didn’t say anything. because really, I was thinking that it is extremely satisfying to be able to kick teeth, and that wouldn’t be appropriate of me. one day I’ll teach him how to do it right, and how to practice it without drawing blood.

I had NOT given ground rules and instructions to the dogs.  But I should have. Callie is our rescued shepherding nanny-dog who helps me take care of the kids. They are very much her herd. She tucks them in at night with me and comes to get me when someone needs me. If it’s an issue she can take care of just by sitting next to a kid’s bed, then she does that, too. She does not sleep at night until they are all asleep and then she will go off-duty. She does not sleep well when they are at Mike’s.

Callie decided the split lip was very serious and came and got me, jumping up and down until I followed her. Then she laid down on the hall floor right next to Seth-6yr and watched him with concerned eyes until he stopped crying and he was cleaned up and kissed and brothers had hugged him and apologized and made their various peacemaking offers.

Even now, she’s at his side and she’s probably quite annoyed with me for the experimental policy change.

But it SEEMED like a good idea.

Or maybe I was just tired of all the gas. I don’t know. Difficult to say. The house does not smell gassy now.

It smells like sweat and blood.


No Need to Curtsy

March 9th, 2012 at 4:24 pm » Comments (2)

I’d write.

BUT.

I’m mid-revelation and am really too busy processing to write about thrift store shopping with my mom, or testicle discussions with the boys or spring break non plans or anything else. The brain cells are just too busy with the very important task of figuring out the meaning and purpose and all connotations and implications of ‘honor.’ The how and why and the importance and the lack thereof, and God’s perspective on it all and the topic is rather endless.

I have books and scriptures and a purple sequin tiara (LOVE!) and an urgency to devote myself to really getting this.

It’s what I’ll be considering and reading about during a baseball practice in the sleet here in a little while. I will not be wearing my purple sequin tiara, but that’s only because i have a giant melon head and it is too small for wearing for long periods of time. I have a sparkly headband that has been purchased in order to serve as my Everyday Tiara. (World Market, $7, BARGAIN, considering it stylishly holds hair out of face in stiff winds AND reminds you to expect and require basic respect and standards.)

It turns out I’m a princess. A princess with an oversized melon head, but STILL. I haven’t been terribly princess-y. There’s much to change.

Fortunately, tiaras come in all sizes.

 


Boys, Testicles and The Biblical Discussion Thereof

March 6th, 2012 at 5:35 pm » Comments (107)

Friday night Mysti and I whooped it up for FOUR hours. We hadn’t ever met before. But we got together over tacos and beverages and laughed until we lost track of four hours of an evening. My stomach ached from the laughing, but in a really good way.

I was reminded of that today. On the way home from school. When the boys were being completely ridiculous and I wondered what Mysti would say, since she has boys, too.

Caden-8yr was telling me how a little girl in his class had kicked him in the “no-no’s.”  I immediately asked him what he’d done to her or if he had touched her in any way. Caden-8yr LOVES girls. But he hadn’t. So THEN I told him that of course that wasn’t acceptable. We discussed the entire event over and over until the whole picture became clear and I was glad to hear how the teacher resolved it.

It was a good time to remind the boys to keep their hands OFF girls because lots of fathers will teach their daughters to kick any boy who touches them. (It’s West Texas. YES, that’s common here.) They need to hear this.  Ethan-11yr asked if PawPaw had taught me that.

“No. I don’t think so. Not ALL dads tell their daughters that. But a lot do, so keep your hands to yourself. It’s an important way to be respectful, whether you’re going to get kicked or not.”

Ethan-11yr looked completely panicked. “So. Not ALL dads say that?”

“Right. Are you relieved?”

“YES.”

Poor baby. Looked like he’d pass out over this news. I had no idea he didn’t know this, or that he’d be so affected. But he was.

Once that was covered,  I moved onto the vocabulary. That’s what was really bothering me. “No-no’s?” UH……… NO.

The negativity of it annoyed me. So of course I went a little overboard with the Scripture. What it means to be “fearfully and wonderfully made” was discussed and analyzed.  What it means to be made in His image, as well. And how obviously there is nothing wrong with any body part designed by God and it shouldn’t be called something like a “no-no.”

Caden-8yr corrected me on this.

No-no‘S. Because plurality is important to boys when discussing their testicles, i suppose.

So I suggested the use of the word “testicles” instead.

Caden-8yr was appalled. “I AM NOT SAYING TESTICLES!? MOTHER!”

“Okay. But nothing negative, please.”

And I waited.

“So… today I got kicked in my chicken tenders.”

OH.

I suppose the possible negativity of that phrase hinges upon your view of chicken tenders. Or opinions about size. I don’t know. It wouldn’t be discussed, because Ethan-11yr quickly amended it to simply ‘tenders’ and Caden-8yr agreed.

There was much discussing in which they tried out their new word.  Tenders this and tenders that and on and on and on about the tenders.

Then Caden-8yr remembered the time he’d run up to me from behind and I’d kicked him across the kitchen (because I thought he was an intruder) and exactly how that had felt. Then concluding that if there ever were a bad guy in the house, he should probably watch out for his tenders.

Seth-6yr had remained completely silent for all of this. He’d had a hard day, although no one had kicked him.

And then when everyone was finally through discussing scripture and testicles, he simply said, “I do not want chicken for dinner.”

I think that’s reasonable.


In Which I Swear. And Stop.

March 5th, 2012 at 11:23 pm » Comments (7)

We’re all dealing with life in our own unique ways.

The boys, for example,  are extra gassy. Yes, literally. There’s been no change in diet or lifestyle that would otherwise account for why the house suddenly is peppered with the staccato sound of boy toots. Or the cloud. In which we live.  And the giggles. Theirs. Not mine. I am not giggling. I’m threatening. Even though I suppose it is a ‘release’ of some sort which could be beneficial to them. It’s like the skinny wraps where you wrap something around your fat and then lose inches in minutes and just flush away the toxins in your body (and that sounds so good!) – well, so it is here. Just fart out the stress of your parents’ divorce, boys. It sounds a little too good to be true, but HEY if it works, let’s just try that out.

The other night I was fulfilling Seth-6yr’s request to read “the one about the man who gets swollen.” Swollen, you say…?” Well. Jonah. Swallowed. Swollen. Who cares? Not Seth-6yr. Made perfect sense to him. I sat between Caden-8yr and Seth-6yr and got thoroughly gassed from both of them so many times I had HAD it.  I’d stopped reading about Jonah – who very well MAY have been swollen, now that I think about it – and asked them nicely to STOP.

But no.

And then we’d gotten to the part of Jonah’s mighty expulsion onto land and– STOP IT. IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS THEN YOU WILL STOP FARTING ON ME OR I AM OUT OF HERE. I DO NOT HAVE TO SIT HERE AND TAKE THIS I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

They found this hilarious. And the next day there was much whispering about how mom had used the F word.

Those are gloriously sheltered children, who sincerely believe that  fart is the F word.

Unfortunately my language HAS taken a turn for the worse. I’m a little old to start swearing. I know. And it’s not like it was a conscious decision. But sometime within the last six months a lot of silent mental swearing started up. Okay, it was usually related to men, I admit it. And then every once in awhile, usually to myself, someone would invariably be deemed an unsavory name.

And then on Saturday my mother mentioned that she started watching a television show, partly because she likes a certain judge and I went OFF about NO! MOM! YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS! HE’S A TOTAL A**HOLE!!! YOU JUST CAN’T POSSIBLY BE FOOLED BY THAT MAN. THE BIG BLUE EYES AND ALL THE STUPID CHARM IS JUST A FRONT. HE’S AN A**. AN A**. AN A**HOLE. REALLY! DON’T FALL FOR THAT! NoooOOOOOO, MOM!

Now. To be fair. My mother was not planning on running away with this deplorable creature. She was only guilty of tuning into a show I’ve never watched and not being similarly repulsed.

So perhaps that was an overreaction on my part. I’m doing that lately. Overreacting to the tiny details of life and taking the bigger stuff in stride. Although I do feel badly about my swearing. I’m confessing it here and plan to improve, and telling y’all first. This, too, is an improvement. Before I had almost felt a little convicted about it and then remembered that Matthew 5 only says not to call people idiots. And I’m not doing that, after all. I’m too busy calling people a**holes.

In case you’re wondering, my mother is not offended by the word ‘a**hole.’  She is probably greatly offended to learn that I used the F word last week, as I had left that out when I told her this story before.  She very seriously said to me once, “I did NOT raise you to say that word,” and it might be one of my most favorite times I was ever mothered. It’s still hysterical to me. I was in my thirties when that happened. OH, it still makes me laugh.

So. I will in the future deal with life without using the F word or the A asterisk asterisk words.

I just hope the air quality improves soon. We don’t have smog in West Texas, so we don’t have those big city rating systems for breathability included in our weather forecasts. But we SHOULD. I might need to implement one.

Although I suppose if I were more openminded, i’d be grateful that one quick whiff of the house can accurately tell me how the boys are coping.

(I’m not feeling that openminded lately.)