Are y’all the new year’s eve party until midnight and beyond types? the black eyed pea eating new year’s resolutioners?
i’m thinking i’m the enjoy the solitude, snuggle the dogs and paint a chair until ten. ish.
maybe. nine doesn’t sound that bad right now.
so many wonderful things happened this year. awe inspiring to think about – the births, the successes, the sweet moments… the moments that weren’t so sweet but that brought a deeper faith and level of gratitude… when i look at it in that way, it was a VERY good year. so that’s what we’ll do.
2012 was VERY good.
and 2013 will be VERY good. but hopefully VERY different from 2012.
Y’all stay up and have fun. I’ll gladly take your extra couple hours of sleep for ya.
This is not the sound of me packing. I’m leaving in a few minutes on a little road trip. Be back in a few days. No, I haven’t started packing.
THIS is the sound of me KICKING ROACH BUTT. You should SMELL me. I am SO FRICKIN NASTY. I am coated in diatomaceous earth and three other kinds of roach killing substances and I LIKE IT.
I smell like the really unhealthy smell in a health food shop mixed WITH the nasty Ortho department in the hardware store after something leaked. I mean, WATCH OUT, roaches! I’ve done everything everyone has told me to do within the last three months, ALL AT ONCE within the last thirty minutes. There are bombs waiting to be deployed. AGAIN. And I’m using twice the recommended amount of them and NO I DON”T WANT TO HEAR IT ABOUT FOLLOWING LABEL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY, SHUT UP, I AM BEYOND THAT STAGE.
I look nasty. I smell revolting. I smell like a roach’s worst nightmare. I AM COMING HOME TO A BUG FREE ZONE, AND THERE WILL BE NO ARGUING WITH ME.
The problem is that the roaches don’t really bother me anymore. and HELL, but that’s when you know you have a REAL roach problem. There I was, drywalling in Caden-8yr’s room (i was negotiating a rent discount by offering my own drywalling services) and a big ol’ roach just ambled right on over into my joint compound.
And i started TALKING to it. I didn’t jump. Didn’t scream. Didn’t even flinch. I just started discussing how if he really wanted to do that he was going to have little cement like boots and then he’d die, heavy feet up, like a tiny roach mafia victim. And then I flicked him off the wall and didn’t even look to see where he landed. AND I DID NOT GO WASH MY HANDS, EITHER. I. AM. A. MONSTER.
I am hardened. Like the ends of those little roach’s feet. Legs? I don’t know.
I have toughened up. There is no messing with me. I’m a brave and smelly roach flicker. AND I LIKE IT.
But my cousin is driving us and I’m a little concerned about her tolerance to my fumes in a small enclosed space for a few hours. i hope she’s okay.
I better pack.
I’m home, chilled solid, and have turned up the heat because no one else is here to complain. Except Duke, who disagrees, and who is panting. But I can ignore that.
There’s much to be grateful for, besides free reign over the thermostat. For example:
Jesus: birth, life, and death and all that this means.
I was not thrown in jail on the 23rd or the 24th of December. It was looking iffy. I gleefully and unlawfully withheld a chocolate labrador in silent, peaceful (though unlawful) response to a seriously broken financial agreement which I happened to think was a far bigger deal and all since humans were involved (no offense, duke). There was much drama and texting and snorting over this. Then emails with attorneys, saying, “WHOAH. I am laughing. Like, HARD. Tell me if I need to take this seriously though, because it MAY TAKE ME AWHILE TO GET THERE.”
My dad gladly offered to bail me out of jail if needed. He mighta even been a little bit proud.
I looked into Duke’s eyes, lovingly, and kissed him on top of his hairy head and told him repeatedly I’d go to jail for him on Christmas because he was that good of a dog. But then I got freaked out about what jail bathrooms might be like and I wondered if I really meant it. Also, I was supposed to have the kids on Christmas. And I didn’t want to miss that. And then I was glad I didn’t have to know for sure if I really would have gone to jail for the dog.
It sounds like a bad joke. Like, “you might be a redneck if…. you have ever been held in contempt of court and jailed on CHRISTMAS over the custody issues of your hunting dog.”
I stopped laughing when I found out about my friend who died. I can’t quite get my head around not ever hugging him again. Not that I’d seen him or talked to him or hugged him in ages. But still. It makes my arms ache. It makes me think of all the other people I’d hate to lose so suddenly like that and want to hug them, hard, too.
Some of those people are you. I love you.
if you and i have a mutual dear friend (with whom I’d lost contact) and he died – suddenly, recently, and you might be attempting to contact me in regards to such a wonderful person… please do. i’m interested in any details of his life or death or upcoming funeral that you may have and wish to share.
my email is simply the first and last names at the top of the page followed by a t gmail.com without any spaces or dashes.
(i don’t facebook.)
I am dangerously close to opening my mouth and telling everything that goes through my head and NOT EVER STOPPING.
I mean, DANGEROUSLY. CLOSE.
I just let out a primal scream and scared three animals and one of them peed on the floor.
That was not a well thought out plan. In hindsight.
I had to sign something that made me SICK and leave it with one of Mike’s attorneys. He has three. That I know about.
And that’s why I screamed and scared the twinkle out of Callie.
Before I can do any more damage, I’m going to officially disappear offline for a little while.
I’M REALLY ANGRY.
REALLY. really. Really.
I’ll be back when i am more coherent. And not until then. (Go ahead and pray if you’d like. My dogs would appreciate it.)
Yesterday I got up, washed and dried my hair, made a glorious smelling pot of coffee and played Bocelli and sat on the middle of my workmat and painted chairs… various pleasing and loud and fun shades of yellow and purple and coral and pear. I was awaiting a plumber, who came and fixed a fairly major disaster, and I sat humming and painting. For hours. And hours. It was a good day.
I didn’t turn on a radio or a television or a computer or a news app or hear about the children in Connecticut until early evening. Mike sent a text, simply asking how the boys were.
It was a highly unusual text. I looked for context and couldn’t find any. I tried to think of what the motive might be. Finally, I realized he must be making that inquiry because Caden-8yr had just told me he’d been sick the night before, sleeping with a trashcan next to his bed in case of recurrence, and maybe Mike was feeling bad about not having told me. Maybe he was wondering if Caden-8yr made it through the school day without going home early with an upset stomach.
I didn’t recognize that Mike just wanted to be assured that his kids were safe. That parents everywhere yesterday were wanting the same thing, and some would sadly not get that assurance.
My dad and stepmom had come to town and turned my world upside down. My dad replaced all the awful electrical outlets, planed the back door so it doesn’t stick, hauled furniture, fixed stuff I’d broken, tore up carpet, took out countless bags of trash, and chased the cat back in the house. My stepmom brought food, cooked more food, and WORE ME OUT with her tireless chipper attitude toward organizing EVERYTHING and she re-did the kitchen and then we took every single thing out of the garage and organized that and put it back and she chased the cat back in the house a few times and never, ever, stopped. She’s overwhelming. She’s a tornado. A miraculous tornado of cleaning and organizing and fixing and cat chasing.
The house looked, smelled, and felt completely different after two days of those two visiting. (By visiting, I mean “GET UP AND WORK AND STINK AND GET SORE AND DO NOT STOP UNTIL YOU COLLAPSE AT MIDNIGHT THEN GET UP AND REPEAT.” That is what I mean by ‘visiting.’ And boy did this house need that.)
They left me food, money, and bought me an airline ticket so I can spend a few days with them after Christmas.
So yesterday was my first morning in my house alone since it had been whipped into shape. And I was so blessed to just sit there and paint, unaware of the horrors unfolding in an elementary school in Connecticut.
The cat was blessed just to sit. He was sore.
The day before on Garage Makeover Day, he had forgotten he is a 13yr old fluffy large indoor cat who does not often run. He kept getting confused and thinking he was an outdoor cat who must chase the neighborhood cats – lithe, young, athletic creatures who know how to run AND how to jump fences. Poor Charlo looked like a fat lamb loping after small zippy cheetahs.
I haven’t watched the news. I’ve read the stories. Seen the pictures. But I haven’t watched what must be extensive news coverage. And maybe I should. I’m pretty focused on my own little world right now. I have… stuff. Stuff to figure out, or wait out. And my mind and prayers are often on my own small and petty problems, I admit it, even right now.
I feel like the out of shape animal trying in vain to keep pace with someone far too fast who knows all the shortcuts. It’s an exhausting and ill conceived match up. And i quit. I’m not playing. I know my lines well, but I will not say them.
I’d rather remain silent, no matter what, than petition and beg for what is legally owed. I cannot be broken like that. It simply can’t happen. I refuse to give anyone that much power over me. I’d rather cheerfully say “that’s just not in the budget” forever about everything than fight this particular unfair fight. I’d rather make all new (free) Christmas traditions and gifts and memories than try to create a false illusion of intact small scale materialism. I’m just not like that. Maybe I used to be. More than I thought. Maybe I used to be someone who would pretend it was all fine, at my expense, and just let everyone else enjoy the pretty illusion.
What an idiot I was. That whole martyr crap is so lame and overdone.
Now I’m beyond broke, but there won’t be any place for pretense in this house. I like it better. Feels so much more honest and real. It’s worth it. We are worth it.
These three sweet boys are fine, thank GOD, and I am so blessed to be here watching them grow up. I don’t want to waste any of these precious days on stupid dramas and roles I no longer choose.
I was never meant for that anyway.
Little things are changing. Unexpectedly. Without planning. Without thought. Just… changing. Fast.
*I ate a cheeseburger today. I think I’m done with the whole vegetarian thing. i don’t know how many years that was. But… eh. I think I’m just over it. The first half of the cheeseburger I kept trying to chew it without it touching my mouth. (which looks REALLY disgusting, i’m sure) And then after that it was fine. Unnervingly… meaty.
*People are suddenly nice. I keep meeting and talking with all kinds of nice church lady types. I’m shocked each time that I like them. I always thought I didn’t really like people. But I do. Like these people. Wonderful, smart, funny women. I guess they’ve always been here. (I do hope they’re not suddenly more visible out of a collective churchy pity thing. Because I don’t need that and it isn’t warranted. I keep thinking, ‘oh I hope that person isn’t suddenly reaching out just because they feel sorry for the confused broke divorcing mom type who can’t remember how to chew a cheeseburger, because that would really be awful and i’m fine don’t feel sorry for me please even if it is christmas, whatever, it’s OKAY because no one awesome is dying this year (RIGHT, GOD?) and that’s so much worse than this whole divorce stuff and that is what is usually awful this time of year in my family but everyone is just fine and healthy, divorce shmivorce, it’s nothing compared to death.’)
*And the neighbors! I know them and like them and talk to them and feel so much more at home on this little street already than I ever did in nine years at the last house. I don’t know why that is. They’re just LOVELY. We stand around in yards and watch kids and pets and just TALK. Like, chit chat. Like, neighborly crap and all of that. And I LIKE it. I took the boys back to my previous house last week because Caden-8yr needed something for school. I waited in the car while he ran in. Mike lives there now, but he was out of town. I handed over the keys (yes, I still have keys – it’s a long story that may not have an ending for a few years) and looked around the neighborhood. Even just sitting out front for those few moments seemed surreal. So… “i don’t belong here” but not in a bad way. Kind of “soooo not my home… and it already is hard to imagine that it used to be.”
*For as long as I can remember, I could only sleep perched on the very edge of the bed. Hanging off the left side of the mattress, about to faceplant into carpet was the only way I slept. The middle of the bed, or even inching away from the edge made me instantly too claustrophobic to relax. Now… i’m a shameless middle of the bed sprawler type. A few times I woke up that way and was completely disoriented. And somehow it quickly became the new normal. I like it. (OH! i was probably afraid of the roaches that kept getting in bed with me and that’s how it got started. Like they can’t stroll over to the middle of the bed or something. eh. whatever. i still like it. I haven’t slept like this in ages.)
*I put up the Christmas tree. I didn’t have a shim, so I used blue foam snowman pedicure toe separators to try to prop the tree up straight in its stand. It didn’t really work. It leaned. I didn’t care. It was a raging success compared to the other tree I helped put up this year. A friend’s tree. We were FURIOUS about something and swatting and slapping and swearing and slinging a hundred prickly fake tree boughs every which way until we got it put together, one stupid limb at a a time. We had a kid-free window of only 15 minutes to accomplish it and it was the LEAST festive and merry tree assembly ever. No Christmas music and hot cocoa – just expletives and big eyes and wild flailing hand gestures to accompany our heated discussion. But that’s kinda where we both are this year. It was funny later. But at the time, I mean WATCH OUT, two toxic feisty angry women who don’t really swear well were trying HARD. I tripped over a very large flower pot thing (I had half a giant Christmas tree box in my arms and it obscured my view) and the prickliest ickiest tree limbs ever reached up and scratched my face while the very large flower pot damaged my lower already bruised from falling through a bookcase parts. And that was just on our way IN the door. It was downhill from there. Fa la la la la. And *&$###**.
*I asked my mom to come decorate the leaning tree. And then I sat there and stared and fell apart because DANG it is hard to be the Christmas Fairy when you really can’t even function normally as it is. The CF crap takes a TON of extra energy and there’s a shortage of that. So I held the cheese puff container while she strung them on a threaded needle (no use in both of us getting orange fingers). But i wasn’t very good at that job either and I kept bending over or leaning forward or just collapsing out of angst and then the cheese puffs would spill all over the floor and confuse the animals. The cat thoroughly enjoys cheese puffs. He eats them as gracefully as i eat cheeseburgers. It’s pretty nasty. We should only eat these foods alone. Or just the cat and I together. He might like that. I might like that. It might be our new normal.
To the Person Who Sent Me An Amazon Gift:
Your card was blank. The navy wrapping is fetching, and the snowflakes do indicate it’s a Christmas-y gift. The standard yellow envelope reads: do not open this until after you open your gift in order to keep it a surprise. You addressed it to my first initial and my real last name, and my current brand new address that no one knows. I have asked the only likely senders, who claim not to be the sender.
Here’s the deal with me: I’m patient. I can be TOO patient. I have been known to wait around for far too many years for something that I really wanted and was never ever gonna get. So. Yes. You sent me a Christmas-y gift on Dec. 5. I assure you I will not touch it before the 25th when it is okay to do so. I’m like that. No peeking, no touching, no nothing. I will not be able to thank you or acknowledge this gesture for a few weeks so I thought I’d attempt to let you know why I’m silent. It’s because I don’t know who you are.
on the off chance it’s actually something awful from someone who wishes me ill (and there are a few more than usual this year)… eh. whatever. it probably won’t work. save your money next time.
Last night i was in the deep recesses of my scarily overcrowded garage. a friend and I are trading Christmas trees. I needed to get mine out from where it still sat in its box on the far side of the garage, buried deep behind, well, everything. After we got it out, i made my way back across tabletops and chairs and dressers and the cheap particle board bookcase i’d also walked across on my way to the tree in the first place. But this time I fell through in a spectacularly dramatic fashion. Particle board gave way beneath me, splintering, and I crashed through the shelves and an old nail slashed my leg as it whizzed by.
I was SO pleased. Sure, I have swollen bruised knees and an ugly long bloody scratch centered over a large blue bruise, but i just kept thinking, “Well DONE! That was the BEST timed tetanus shot EVER that I got a couple weeks back. AWESOME. SO unlike me! YAY!”
This is a strength. To immediately be grateful for the bright side of something. I don’t think I ever gave myself credit for the spiritual superpower that is within that particular habit. I do now. Sure, it’d be better if I could just keep my flesh from ripping apart, but THAT is not a strength of mine. Gratitude and joy no matter the circumstances… are.
*I washed the cat. He needed it. I was at mom’s house and she has a sink with a sprayer and I do not, and it was warm and the formerly white cat was gray. He got a bath. He’s still angry. He isn’t grateful or joyous or anything. Just clean. And mad.
*I slayed the roaches with bombs while at church yesterday. Multitasking. Spiritual/pest warfare. I gladly hung out with a beautiful little baby girl and a met a woman I really like. And the whole time, roaches were dying at home. It was good.
*Kinda almost got divorced but not really, but closer than we’ve ever gotten before. There was paperwork. There were hours of final negotiations and there were SIGNATURES, SHUT UP, YES REALLY. But I don’t know when it’ll all be final in a truly final way. January at the earliest. Much later is also a possibility.
*At the end of the four and a half hour almost-a-divorce meeting with attorneys, Mike was feeling the effects of Benadryl and allergies. My attorney (LOVE. HER.) was holding her nose and fighting sinus issues and said that it was probably just “the time of year when no one feels good.” I, however, felt GREAT, and loudly said as much. “RIGHT NOW I FEEL SOOOOO GOOD!” And I held out my hand for Mike to high-five, which he did without any enthusiasm whatsoever and I beamed at them both and realized it would be so much more tactful if I could just sort of hide my feelings occasionally. But I haven’t learned how to manage that yet. Since it is possible I never will, I keep to myself.
*whispered swear words at someone i was very angry with. there was a financial arrangement that was not being fulfilled, or even close, and even though the consequences were quite… pervasive…. it was apparently not a topic open for discussion. I reacted with foul language, whispered, and an all out ugly argument between two people who normally don’t engage in such things… did. It was spectacularly unproductive.
*There is definitely a bright side to all of that. I see it. Just can’t get into it. i admit it, I did NOT see it when I was whispering inappropriate, but completely appropriate given the scenario, words. Also, if I have to save money fast, one of the first of many things that gets canceled is therapy with the lovely therapy lady. And y’all KNOW i need her. And if we’re saving money by neglecting mental health maintenance, well, it shouldn’t really be a surprise when one appears to lose her mind on the front lawn, all trashystyle. There goes the neighborhood. I’m sure that’s what the neighbors thought. (I think it was overdue and I’m shockingly unremorseful. It cracks me up. I shoulda done that, just once, years ago.)
*My mom just came by and gave me money and a hug. She’s offered for months. So has my dad. And friends. And I’ve repeatedly declined. It wasn’t offered this time. Just HANDED over in cash. It came with a mom style subtle guilt trip about how I could pay my bills and not get my electricity disconnected and she wouldn’t have to wake up at night and not be able to sleep because of this disturbing thought. I cried, we hugged, and then the electricity company called and left a loud “HELLO, you are about to be disconnected” message on the answering machine and the whole thing seemed so funny to me. No worries. Taken care of.
*The furniture business IS doing well. Just not enough to pay all the bills yet. I’ll get there. Big custom order out of town in January to look forward to as well. Other financial arrangements should also be fulfilled. Everything will be okay. Almost there. So close.
*Seth-7yr has bugged me for blinds in his windows since we moved in. I’ve put it off for a few reasons, but today I attempted to install cheap vinyl miniblinds. Then my drill battery died. The charger for this drill is somewhere in the garage. I’m afraid to look. I’ll hang sheets in the windows again and forget it. The bruises are just too new. I’m hopeful Seth-7yr understands.
*I swear when I rented this house there wasn’t a possibly sexually oriented business about to open a block away. REALLY. I googled, and I think it’s just trashy lingerie. This is better than what the sign led me to believe. It’s still under construction inside. Ew. (No. I’m not going to try to find the bright side of that one right now. I just started driving a slightly different route home because we all know that is the LAST thing Caden-8yr needs to see right now.)
*He started reading the books. On bodies. And yet it still confounded me when he yelled, “HEY MOM! WHAT’S A VAGG- INN-UH?”
* I thought immediately that it is a type of car. And then realized I was thinking of Volkswagon. Vagginnuhs….. OH MY GOSH. Yeah, I think maybe you’re pronouncing it wrong, sweetie.
*I love this little house. This TIME. These kids. This particular phase of life is certainly not easy, but it’s precious, and I never expected easy. No regrets. I’ve looked forward to this for so long. My peace cannot be taken away or shaken. I’m too grateful, too size-2-stubborn-vegetarian-love-this-life to be starved for anything, literally or otherwise.
*I’m all bruised up but the lights are staying on and life is still so good. I’m about to get all happy christmas fairyish also. It’s sunny and gorgeous outside, but it’s still time. : )