Archive for February, 2013

Seth-7yr’s Disastrous Social Experiment

February 27th, 2013 at 4:42 pm » Comments (4)

The first time this week Seth-7yr tried a weird pick-up line on me, I froze. Completely immobilized.

His brothers both gave him a, “NUH UH, BUT YOU DID NOT JUST DO THAT” look.

There he was, leaning in a doorway, slouchier than usual. He gave me his best cool kid nod, lowered his voice an octave, and said, “Whaaaaaasup, pretty-guhl?”

The tone and the posture and the dimple and the eyebrows were more offensive than those little words. It stopped me in my tracks. I tried to think of what to say. But my thoughts froze in my brain. I tried to blink and breathe, but I couldn’t. It was just THAT debilitating. Certainly no words would form. I was WAY FAR from words.

Then he ran off, laughing.

I swore I’d be ready when it happened again. And i WAS.

It was barely out of his mouth when I whirled around and scooped him up and began a fiercely serious discussion about inappropriate vs. appropriate, respect vs. disrespect, honor vs. not honor, YOU ARE MY BABY, DON’T YOU DARE TALK TO ME LIKE THAT.

Sometimes i do things like that and the kids think I’m kidding because it LOOKS like the kind of stuff I do when I’m kidding with them. But it’s NOT and then they’re in even more trouble because they LAUGH AT ME and then the fierceness doubles down and it’s a steep steep spiral down from there for all of us. BUT. Everyone is real clear on if I’m joking or not by the time I’m finished. Everyone is real clear on JUST how big my eyes can get and how many thousands of  words and scripture references can be effortlessly crammed into an indignant mommyfit lecture by the time I’m finished.

Lesson FULLY learned: do NOT try out pickup lines on Mom. Like, ever. 


I’ve Had a LOT of Coffee. In Reference to the Frenetic Phrasing Which Follows.

February 25th, 2013 at 11:26 am » Comments (6)

The drawback to being the only adult in the house and having COMPLETE control over the heater is that the children types are often so overheated it’s impossible to get them to put on clothes. Like, even more than usual.

It’s a snow day and the word ‘blizzard’ is recklessly being tossed around, and my 3 boys are just in their undies.



We are TOAST-EE.


I’d like to belatedly strike the word ‘drawback’ from that first sentence. There is no drawback. I’m so glad the heater works in this house. AMEN.

On our agenda today is vacuuming, laundry, picking our First Ever Family Song of 2013  (we’ve made a list and I thought we’d choose one around january 1st but i think non-divorce depression had overtaken me and we still haven’t done it even though it’s the end of February). I’ll announce our winner later.  The boys are leaning toward anything tobyMac, and I didn’t nominate Alan Jackson’s version of Ring of Fire or Insensitive by some fantastically wise wail-y person in the 90s because I think we’re trying for a different and more meaningful direction. Fortunately Seth-7yr did not nominate that song he heard about being ‘so sexy and he knows it’ because that would also not make the cut. 

Yesterday a friend and I made it through yet another marriage sermon. It was GOOD. It always is. It’s just…. Uuuuuugh.  She was sitting in the pew in front of me and over a few people and when it was over she turned and looked at me and I angrily mouthed the words WE DID THAT CRAP. ALL OF THAT? WE DID THAT CRAP. There was also angry finger jabbing into the air.

The lady next to me said, “well that was really good!”  She hadn’t seen my angry silent tirade at the choir type blonde in front of us.

I plastered on a wide smile and raised my eyebrows in silent faux-agreement. And it WAS faux agreement. Although it WAS a really great sermon and I learned and reviewed MUCH-ETH. But mainly that wasn’t what i was reacting to right at that moment and it was just making me mad because WE DID THAT.  ALL OF THAT? DONE. CHECK. CHECK. CHECK. And yet look at us. Neither one of us can manage to get legally divorced and free when it did NOT work for reasons I won’t get into. i KNOW. Like, CLEARLY God has some stuff to talk to me about. I KNOW.

I don’t want to move on and find some new male person to try all this great sermon stuff out on. OBVIOUSLY. Like…. EEeeeewwwww, nothankyou. I just want to be legally alone. FOR LIKE FOREVER AND EVER STARTING N OW.

I’d like for when the kids tell me about their dad’s new girlfriend… for him to be legally divorced and not MY husband in ANY way at the time. I don’t think that SHOULD be too much to ask. And yet it is.

I don’t think you date when you’re married. Even when you’re separated for a year. And maybe that’s just really easy for me to say because I also don’t WANT to date. But if you’re not divorced, you’re married, and maybe that’s too black and white but I tend to go that way. It’s a quality a lot of people certainly do not appreciate about me, and i understand that. It’s inconvenient.  I’m inconvenient. An inconvenient woman. Wasn’t that a movie? I don’t think i saw it. But I like the title. I’d like to be An Even MORE Inconvenient Woman. One who must be divorced immediately, because she’s so dang inconvenient and black and white, and REALLY there’s probably nothing wrong with dating and the kids knowing I mean it’s been a year, geeez I’m so unreasonable about everything lately.

(I’m not bothered about the dating. That started ages ago. It’s that the kids know about it. And we’re not divorced. And…? Eeeeek, but that’s so hard I’m incoherent. I’ll move on.)

Songs. I’ll get back to you.

Snow on, y’all, and take the opportunity to tell your kids to change their undies.



Requesting a Do-Over.

February 22nd, 2013 at 7:28 pm » Comments (3)

I naively expected something really wonderful and fairly specific to happen TODAY. I started off with parent-teacher conferences at 730 this morning, and then worked all day and baseball practice after that and somewhere in the middle of that all of my focus and anticipation was directed at one particular place.

Nothing came of it.

Except I was exceptionally disappointed and then couldn’t help but think that I probably had missed out on everything good that DID happen today. I was just too busy in my own little world to notice.

I just want to go to bed and start over and get it right. Minus the parent teacher conferences. They were great, but I’m done for awhile on those. (I learned that all 3 boys have problems with neat handwriting – NO KIDDING – and Caden-9yr prays often in class about the drug buyers who come to our door. One just left, actually. So I’m perfectly fine with that of course, pray ON little dude. Seth-7yr is doing great with his reading and Ethan-12yr has done some serious growing up, according to his teacher. I agree.)  

Anyway. I messed up. I’ll get it (more) right tomorrow. Love y’all.




Sethie Takes Aim

February 19th, 2013 at 9:41 pm » Comments (4)

Yesterday Ethan-12yr said, “coal is an EXCELLENT fuel.” No context.  We were in the car. I thought for a moment and belted out the first part of  I’m Just a Coal Miner’s Daughter.

Ethan-12yr jumped, completely startled at this. MOM, STOP IT YOU SCARED ME.

I don’t really break into song often. It’s a special torture just for my children. It’s not frequent, but it’s ALWAYS painfully off key and terrible. I asked if he had ever heard that song. He said no. I said it was particularly awful sounding today even for me and it confirms that singing really isn’t my thing. Ethan-12yr gently said, “but mom… we have well established that already. That really… SCARED… me.”


WOW. yeah okay. I LOVE the phrasing there. NOT bad for 12 years old. 

The other morning – Valentine’s morning – he was far less coherent. Seth-7yr had announced his finding of a ‘croach.’

I think that’s a contraction he has invented for ‘cockroach.’

I told him how to address the issue in a completely sanitary hands-off manner and then wash his hands anyway.

But ten minutes later Ethan-12yr is SCREAMING  and Seth-7yr is standing nearby, wearing only his underwear and a proud grin.

Apparently it takes 10 minutes to conceive and execute the idea to load a dead croach into the hollow center of a nerf bullet, aim it, and shoot it at the brother who will provide the best reaction at 7 am.

There were no words. Not from me. I was stunned. BOYS. WHERE DO THEY GET THIS?! No words from Ethan-12yr, who was just making odd wailing noises and gesturing frantically, and no words from caden-9yr who was silently thrilled with all of it except the part that it wasn’t him who had pulled this off, and nothing from Seth-7yr who was by now laughing so hard he couldn’t stand up much less speak.    

Take that, cupid.

It was a good day.

The boys made me rings and tiaras made from pipe cleaners and hershey’s kisses. ADORABLE.

I’ve Missed Ya’ll!

February 17th, 2013 at 8:29 pm » Comments (4)

But I just  wrote this whole long thing and then realized it was all stuff I was mad about or stuff that was horrifically depressing and then i thought i couldn’t possibly show up here and tell y’all all of that and so i deleted it.

I miss you. I’ve been working a lot. I’m good. Apparently I’m mad about a whole lotta stuff. I don’t think i knew that until just now.


(And if the male individual who left me that nasty token on my porch should see this? I SO don’t care. I am NOT wasting my mad energy at you. WHATEVER. There’s enough real problems to worry about without getting worked up over stupid symbolic disgustingness so YEAH. Also? Not afraid. Like, AT ALL. You do NOT want to mess with me, and it was really good for your sake that I wasn’t at home when you came by.)

I will say that if you read that article recently, the same one my mother read, that said that someone uses maxi pads on her feet instead of comfort shoe inserts…? Don’t. Just DON’T. Dogs look at you weird, you feel dumb, and they’re so thin these days that they don’t help in the slightest and you rip them off and yell, “OKAY. I WON’T DO THAT, STOP FOLLOWING ME, HAPPY NOW?” at your dogs and then they feel unfairly targeted for their keen observation skills.

If you’re on your feet all day, just go with Dr. Scholl’s and be done with it. Really.  I’ve diligently compared the two products, you’resowelcome.



update: 30 minutes after writing this, I decided I’d finally go clean up the porch issue. I didn’t earlier when I got home  because I was hungry. And I thought AFTER dinner would be better. And it’s gone. Someone else got it all taken care of, somehow. Thank  you.  Whatever. This is me forgetting it.

Divine Timing

February 10th, 2013 at 8:48 pm » Comments (1)

Tonight, just now, I was rushing three boys in and out of the shower while I vacuumed. The thought behind this is if everyone is going to get clean at the same time, they have to hurry because the hot water runs out really fast. Also, I don’t like to spend forever vacuuming. It all worked together.

I wanted to read about Daniel tonight during our super sweet devotional time. It’s even better when the boys are all clean. It’s especially nice when they sit where they can’t touch or kick each other. But tonight they all piled on the couch and I waited while they fought over blankets. I sat across from them, my back to the window that looks onto the street.

Just as I was trying to get them to REALLY see that the same exact God who protected Daniel from the lions loves and protects THEM just as much… Seth-7yr pointed and said, “Um. There’s a cop behind you.”

I asked him to repeat that.

It didn’t make sense.

It’s night. The blinds are closed. And no one is behind me. But his brothers nodded, so I turned and saw that there were flashing red and blue police lights, and evidently RIGHT behind me.

I left them there and went to my bedroom, keeping the light off, and peering out the blinds. A few moments later the police car turned off its lights and left.  A few moments after that the boys ran in there, and pulled down the cheap vinyl  miniblinds on top of themselves in the dark and screamed and flailed and freaked and fell and it’s a wonder the police did not hear them and  return. Also, I saw how disgusting those blinds are and I’m soaking them in the bathtub now but I’ll probably just replace them tomorrow. ICK.

We returned to the living room and I finished reading about Daniel and it seemed different than before.

Same God who loved and protected Daniel… yeah. He’s looking out for those three.

Nice timing.

No Transitions Ahead. NONE.

February 8th, 2013 at 10:13 pm » Comments (4)

Some of this won’t make sense. That’s fine. There’s some of it that doesn’t even make sense to me. (thank you, Seth-7yr)


1. I spent much of the day looking for someone else’s cat.

2. I’m catsitting the cat.

3. Okay, not very well.

4. She’s an outdoor cat, but normally easy to find.

5. I wanted to take her to the vet for an ear issue, and had three DIFFERENT vet appointments that I had to keep calling and canceling and saying, “Um… I’m SO  sorry. I still haven’t found her.”  So I missed a 10:45, a 2:30 and a 4:30. The cat showed up at 8.

6. She’s REALLY cute. Her ears are REALLY not.  I’ll take her first thing Monday.

7. I know my neighbors well enough to be their not so great catsitter already. WHAT?! I know. It’s crazy.

8. I SO heart Greg Abbott and his glorious minions! YAY!  THANK YOU! Significant things changed overnight when his office became involved.

9. There was a RAGING crazy game of dodgeball in the hallway today at home between Caden-8yr and Seth-7yr. Lots of smack talking. Lots of loudness. Injuries. Laughing.

10. Somewhere in the middle of that, Seth-7yr yells, “I GOT A WHITE MAMA!!”

11. An inquiry was immediately launched. I am quick to ferret out any beginnings of prejudice of any kind and calmly discuss. I have been known to be overzealous.

12. And that was not the case here.

13. Although I don’t really know what the case REALLY is, I do know what it is not.

14. Seth-7yr calmly explained that in “old fashioned words” I would have been called white even though my skin is not really white but it is also not brown or black. He pointed out that he was describing my skin when he said that.

15. “Um. Yes. I get that. But why yell, ‘I GOT A WHITE MAMA’ right before you throw a ball as hard as you can at your brother?”

16. Seth-7yr sighed, pointed to my arm, and said, “Because I DO.”  And then he went back to his game.

17. I do not understand.

18. Feeling rather February style extra pale, though, thanks.

19. If you type searches into that box over there on the side? I can see it. No one else can. But I can, if I bother to check.

20. And I’ve had enough.

21. It’s been…. 6 or 7 years…? I’m DONE.

22. I know your name, I know where you live, and I know what completely non-sexual thing that is your fetish that interests you and I do NOT welcome your online presence here. You check in every once in awhile to see if I’ve written about it again. I HAVE NOT. I WILL NOT.

23. Never have you before searched anything else. But this time there was a LOT of interest in my personal life and specifically my divorce. And that is why I address you almost directly now. I’m done. Go away.

24. I believed you all those years ago when you had some bizarre work research project on this exact subject and needed someone to discuss it over the phone ‘for research purposes.’ 

25. I wondered why if this was your job you sounded so nervous and weird. AND YEAH – YOU DID.

26. It clicked. Finally. After I hung up and realized I had just answered all your endless questions about something SO INCREDIBLY BORING and then I got just how dumb that had been of me.  That is why you did not get my personal information when you asked so you could send me a thank you card. That is all so very CREEPY.

27. It’s been a long time. It’s been long enough.

28. I will not threaten you, embarrass you, or out you in any further way. Only you will recognize yourself in what I’ve just written. So take a deep breath, be glad for that, and just go away. I’ve been patient. And now I’m done.

29. Safety Levels are high here. And I like it. I will fight for safety from roaches (we’re at 99%!!), drug buyers, and any other perceived threat of any kind, EVERY time.

30. So. Watch out. I hear Seth-7yr has a WHITE MAMA!!!  Whatever that means.

31. The dogs have not adjusted well to my new work schedule. It bothers the kids. But Duke has taken it the hardest.

32. He needs his stay at home dog mama. Stupid as that sounds.

33. He is a delicate flower, that beautiful chocolate-y dog. Not only does he need grain free, organic food for his sensitive skin, but he’ll freak if he gets near water by accident, and he’s allergic to grass.

34. So. I went to work and the dog had to go outside.

35. You see the problem, right? There is GRASS outside.

36. His paws swelled with a horrific allergic reaction and he could barely walk and not run at all. He hobbled, limped, and hopped.  He really needed his stay at home mama, ow.

37. I took him to the vet and he was put on steroids and benadryl and he began a strict routine of being taken to my mother’s house during my work hours so that he could be a supervised, indoor delicate flower of an animal still. Doggy day care. Camp Grandmother.

38. Callie attends, too. They have it sweet over there. No undue outdoorsiness for those two. No bothersome blades of grass between their canine toes. No excessive contact with nature. Just a clean home with lots of places to nap.

39. He’s improving. His paws are healing. Camp Grandmother is a great place.

40. Seth-7yr does hear all sorts of odd things he retains and then spits out, without comprehension. Now that I think about it.

41. We were on the way to school the other morning and he asked, “Mom, would it be okay with you if I said [and here his voice changed completely, but he was still speaking and not singing]: I’m sexay and i know it and I’m not afraid to show it. Ahhh, look at that body. Ahhhh, look at that body. I work oooooout?”

42. “Thank you for asking! NO, I do not think that is appropriate, but I do appreciate the question!”

43. I looked over at Ethan-12yr in the seat next to me, and he gave me the big sideways eyes right back.

44. “Uh… where did you hear that song?”

45. “SONG? I was not singing. Someone at school said it.”

46. Ah.

47. And… Huh.

48. That is WEIRD.




February 4th, 2013 at 8:07 pm » Comments (4)

Yesterday a friend and I sat shivering and shaking through Sunday church service. It was FREEZING. But we held on. we leaned closer to each other than usual for combined body heat because we were determined NOT  to be the two divorcing women who got up and left in the middle of a sermon about marriage. GSW would NEVER do that. So we froze. Right there in our pride, we froze solid. And BOLTED as soon as we possibly could, the first two icy blue people out the back door, already arguing about which one of us had parked closer and if all the seat warmers really worked or not.

Clearly, I don’t pay attention well when I’m cold. Or when people are discussing marriage. Right now. It’s just a little much.  I was completely distracted by the manicure on the lady to my right. Her nail polish wasn’t gold, or silver, but an interesting champagne color. Also, I watched the other people in church who were really fidgety and wondered if they were cold, too, or perhaps also somewhat perplexed by the subject matter. Probably just cold.

I was at work later, trying to figure out the correct response when talking to a customer and one’s earring falls off and disappears behind one’s neckline, then sticking out in the bra area like a giant cold nipple. STUPID earrings I had on KEPT doing that. And I kinda HAVE to wear earrings there and GAHHHH. So frustrating.

I finally decided that it is best to ignore it completely, even if the person SAW what happened, and then casually place a hand on one’s mouth or chin in faux deep thought with the arm of the same hand thus strategically blocking the mutant foreign body part. Then get it out by whatever means appropriate at first possible opportunity. Then maybe don’t ever wear those earrings again. I took a pair of pliers to them, but I still don’t trust them.

The SECOND time that happened I was pricing bracelets and someone came in I have known forever but haven’t spoken to in ages. She asked how my husband was.  I gasped and choked and then coughed and then my earring took a swan dive and did its totally inappropriate nipple impersonation thing.  Right side, this time.

She was ALARMED at my reaction.

“MMmmm, I’m sorry. Divorcing. Um. Like, for a LONG time, and I think it was the phrase ‘your husband‘ that got me there, I’m so sorry, gosh, I’m just not used to that phrase anymore, how interesting, ummm, yes I’m fine, how are YOU?!” And then I turned a half turn and shimmied (because it could NOT be worse than it already was) and the earring shifted to a less offensive place.

It was good to catch up with her.

I’m not good at accessorizing. Obviously. Never have been. But this was an all time low.

Also, it’s difficult for me to empathize when someone REALLY gets worked up over the exact color of earrings she’s looking for. Sweetest lady on earth, probably 75, came in holding a scarf and she wanted earrings the EXACT same shade. There were a zillion that looked great. Nice. Same color family. But not good enough. And I can understand if someone wants to spend 20 minutes of their Sunday discussing this with a stranger whose earrings keep falling off. I mean, I would never make such a decision, but sure I get it. But what I DON’T get is the mental and emotional energy she gave to the earring color dilemma. I was cool with it for about 10 minutes. Whatever. And after that I kept having to rely on my manners and not my common sense because what I really wanted to do was yell, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I MEAN, REALLY – ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS? ARE WE REALLY GETTING WORKED UP OVER THIS? DO YOU NOT HAVE ANY BIGGER PROBLEMS THAT DESERVE THIS ATTENTION? BECAUSE IF THAT’S SO, PRAISE GOD, WOMAN, DON’T STAND HERE AND COMPLAIN ANY LONGER ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEAL AND TURQUOISE. I! DO! NOT! CARE!  I ACTUALLY HAVE BIGGER PROBLEMS YOU CAN BORROW FOR 20 MINUTES IF YOU NEED A FEW! WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ROACHES?”

I’m not really a people person. In case you can’t tell.

I went back to my little area where I was working and prayed for that sweet little lady until I felt my blood pressure regain balance. I decided she clearly DOES have issues and I needed to pray for her life and all the things she wasn’t addressing because she was too damn busy with the teal/turquoise issue.  I decided she was in DENIAL. Yes. Denial, and she was using earrings as a way to divert her emotional energy to someplace safe. So I blessed her sweet little self and all her unacknowledged conflicts and prayed that she would NOT come back in and ask for me because I am so sweet and helpful like she said she would. PLEASE NO, GOD. I’m not sweet or helpful.

I’m just polite and believe in unfailingly gracious customer service. And there is QUITE  a difference.

Also, I have that whole issue with not recognizing people. I just forget a face as soon as I see it, with very few exceptions. And perhaps this is why I’ve never worked in retail. Have you ever been in a store and the lady with extra nipples keeps asking if you’re finding everything okay? and then two minutes later she does it again, as if she’s never seen you in her life? and then again? And again? RIGHT. I have since started focusing on people’s shoes. I do NOT forget a shoe as soon as i’ve seen it. So I glance at the shoe, then address the totally forgettable face, then check the shoes before addressing anyone else again to be sure it’s not a shoe I’ve just seen.

It’s not a flawless system, but it’s better than nothing.

I have much to learn, yet.  Ages ago I waited tables and didn’t realize how great it was not to have this problem. When people sat at a table, they STAYED PUT. You didn’t have to recognize  them every time they moved. So much more manageable that way. THAT guy in THAT seat is the one drinking THIS and eating THAT and will be for the next however long it takes him. AWESOME.

So. yes. Retail is not like that. people come in and flit around in circles and swoop in and out and zigzag and mingle and there is NO way of knowing who is who really and it’s absolutely AWFUL if you go get something for someone and you come back and they MOVED and they just think you’re going to remember what they looked like and then you don’t…? OH WOW. That’s what inspired the shoe method.

I’ve been known to tell my close family members what I’m wearing so they’ll know me when they pick me up at the airport. And they’re like, “UM? I WILL KNOW IT IS YOU BECAUSE IT IS YOU.”

Well that must be NICE. Here, let me describe my shoes, just in case.