Friday, May 31, 2013


Sometimes I need a distraction, and other times I need a distraction from the distraction. Sometimes I just procrastinate. When the dishwasher decided to no longer drain effectively, I was able to set my concerns aside by busying myself with getting read to travel last weekend. Plus, I ran a rinse cycle and was pretty certain that the water was gone. Upon returning home, despite my best efforts to will the dishwasher to work, I found that things were most likely terminal. I did not have it in me to try to nurse a twelve year old kitchen appliance back to health. I also remembered that I do not mind washing dishes by hand, but drying them is completely unacceptable, and I was running out of room to effectively place items to air dry. Yes, I considered going to buy a dishrack, but then stopped to consider all of the things around the house that I was not giving the appropriate attention to.

Once I set my sights on a new dishwasher, I felt compelled to consider some of the other issues that have been present for far longer. Do you ever manage to put things off for such a crazy amount of time, but then need them done immediately when you finally do spend five seconds pondering them? I think part of the urgency for me, is the fear of knowing how easily I can be distracted and not being sure when my next burst of interest, let alone energy, might come.

Here is a little run down of what needed to be done, and by that, I guess what I basically mean is that these are items for which I needed to make phonecalls to find other people to complete the task. I am pretty sure it is the involvement of other people that hinders my progress, or more specifically the lack of any idea just how much money these folks will all want. Of course, I will also include a few notes that I am pretending excuse my delay.

My van - tire pressure light seemingly has a mind of its own (easy to ignore when it decides to go out), weird noise possibly related to steering that comes and goes (making it easier to ignore), and a shimmy when braking (that I was trying to ignore until someone else drove the van and questioned it)

Washing machine - my selection of a washing temperature seems irrelevant to what temperature water the machine uses (the clothes were clean, and does anything around here do as I say?)

Refrigerator - making more noise than usual (food is cold...for now)

Driveway - after having the bottom of the driveway saw cut to make repairs, we need to have another topcoat put on. Noticing more cracking starting, uh-oh. (not a fan of calling for estimates, also thought the great outdoors fell out of my jurisdiction)

House - needs to be power washed (tendency to pretend that I am qualified for this job, plus I just got the porch looking so nice and would have to move everything)

Okay, so you get the idea of how my beautiful mind works. I temporarily appreciated the fact that these items distracted me from the fact that my son will be turning sixteen in six weeks (and should have a safe van to drive...aaaaaaack!), and that I need to remember to order that book about paying for college that my friend told me about (I hope it's on sale?), and just the rest of what parades through my mind at reckless speeds. Then the distractions just morphed into actual concerns, which I already had enough of, so I took action!

Let's see how some of that turned out...

On the way to drop my van off at the car place last night, my husband pushed the button to put his van window down and it slammed down into the door as if someone dropped it. Suffice to say, it would not "roll" back up. He stopped in at the car place this morning, and that will be $300 to fix. My van is suffering from some brake needs and has one worn tire. Odd, especially since all tires were replaced less than one year ago. Apparently they were replaced with three different styles of tire. (Remind me again why I hate having estimates or work done.) Last I knew we were up to $800 for that van, but I don't think all issues had been addressed yet. I stopped getting text updates after informing the husband that I wanted to vomit. His last text simply said "Please do."

Since I had two appliances ailing, I figured it was worth a service call. (Yes, I almost put the dishwasher on that list, but the other two appliances are only five years old.) I am stranded at the house today with no van and waiting for a dishwasher to be delivered, so the guy might be able to fit me in.

When I was looking at the unreachable spot on the front of the house that really needs to be cleaned, I noticed that this was going on over the porch...
Not sure if he is a tenant or a visitor, but then pondered whether I should have the house sprayed for bees (if it isn't too late), and realized that would need to be done after the power washing, which makes little sense as then the bee stuff will be all over the place. I once again stomped my feet a bit claiming this news story was certainly not supposed to land on my desk. I suppose I could find some big girl underwear and go get some sort of spray...if I had a van!!!!! 

The barn swallows are back to heckle me, by flinging mud at my front door. I cleaned the mess, and they repeated the violation, and that IS personal (see here, here and here for that recap) so I responded by replacing some of the beautiful tin foil deterrent system.
Yes, I do see now what a shoddy job I did. However, there was no mud on the front door today. Oh geeze, I just looked outside though, and it appears they mustered up some bravery and lifted an edge of the tin foil. 

I would tell you the point of all of this, but I am too distracted now! (And yes, there is a chance that there was no point.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Huh...must be the random

Let this be a warning that there is some random adult language ahead. Plus, there are these two badass gnomes for you to contend with. My friend, whose garden gnome we kidnapped a couple of years ago (since returned), texted me this pic. I took it as some sort of scare tactic to keep me away from his lawn decorations. Consider yourself warned as well!

Perhaps you remember my soon-to-be eight year old friend from random pics of her signs around her house. There was the request for mail that was "serese bisnise". There was her "spirul" sale at the holidays. I took a minute to ask her mother what she was trying to sound out on this note...

As I put the note back in her basket of papers, I saw another creation that immediately clarified what she and her friends were trying to spell...

Suffice to say, she was not pleased when confronted with these letters, nor was she happy about the mail her mother left telling her that she would not be allowed to have sleepovers if she didn't stop the potty mouth. These pics have been on my phone far longer than I care to admit. I decided it was finally time to share them so that you could appreciate the wooden block photo her mother recently sent me...

We had another concert last week, which meant the good dishes came out again for more fancy food. Thought you might appreciate a peek at the rest of the collection. While there is just an m&m cup on the table, I feel compelled to tell you that the matching cups for these plates are in the cupboard, as are the bowls. No wonder I don't seem to have enough space! Sorry if our DiGiorno pizza is in the way of the fine patterns. I just realized that Blue did not make it to the table.
Do you like how I keep the nice tablecloth on? 

We were out of town and went to the grocery store over the weekend. This particular store managed their express lane a bit differently than what I am used to. Do you have a definite idea of how many items this would be?

As if to further clarify things, the next aisle had this sign...

Still trying to get ourselves in shape for the final stretch of school before summer vacation. Key word in that sentence was "trying". (Another key word would be "procrastinating", or perhaps "pretending".) Not sure this was my finest attempt at pulling together the random, so to apologize, here - have a cookie!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Oh hey! You're back, and so is Iris...
She started in my great-grandmother's garden, and then was shared with my grandmother, then my mother, then me!

There is so much mental clutter to tackle this week! It doesn't help matters that THIS was handed to me across the kitchen table the other day...
Oh I have fallen in monkey love indeed! How could I not? These are fully functional...FULLY FUNCTIONAL...shakers. Every time I think I can move on with my life, the creepy monkeys pull me back. (If you are new here and need a recap, click here.) Set two is coming soon, so obviously there is no escape in my immediate future.

When I am not browsing for simian treasures, you might find me perusing the lingerie clearance racks. This little number was still $9.00, even though it claimed to be missing a piece, which Mary claimed was probably a halter strap. I just couldn't comprehend the proportions of it.

There is a parent meeting for those of us who have children entering the junior high in the fall. I had no intentions of going, since we've been there done that. However, then I spotted an item on the topics to be covered that made me wonder...
I asked my tenth grade son what he could recall about the "LUNCHROOM" that I might need to know. I am sure it is code for something very suspicious.

Speaking of very suspicious food related items, this was the meal being delivered today from my volunteer post...
We aren't allowed to use salt, but clearly do not concern ourselves with GI health. No bean left behind, with five represented. (I drew the line when it was suggested I add some lima beans to that three bean salad, thereby making it four bean salad...and gross.) Not sure why all of the bang and adventure had to go on the same tray. Oh, and I should mention that the cold sandwich delivered along side of this was egg salad.

Speaking of bang...
Bang-bang shrimp? Yes, please, and cheers to you!

Get yourself a cocktail and go see what Stacy's up to!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Honest isn't always pretty

Sometimes I take comfort in the fact that my computer keyboard can act as a filter that only lets a certain amount of my crazy make it to your screen. Then there are other times when I am so preoccupied that I just hide in the corner, but sometimes I get lonely there and have to come out. (I get hungry too and have to search out snacks.) At the end of the day though, there is really no reason to be here unless I am going to be honest. There is a chance that my honesty may amuse you, which is fantastic. There is also a small possibility that the truth in my tales will bring a split second of awkwardness, as you identify with my plight, followed by a rush of relief as you realize that you are not alone in your lot as a worrier, which is also great. (My only hope is that I do not give you new things to be unsettled about.)

Current setting: Fifty hours into my thirteen year old daughter's trip to DC with student council at school. This means I have been worrying for well over fifty hours. I have about six more to go.

As I prepared my mind for this journey, I got some preliminary apprehension regarding actual road safety out of the way. I don't really like to get bogged down with uneasiness about obvious things though. I started to move through other topics like packing the right clothing to maximize her comfort, but I knew I could dig deeper. I spent some quality time concerning myself with the very real potential for girl drama and hurt feelings during the trip. I also devoted a few minutes here and there to wonder whether or not my daughter would get enough sleep.

The actual departure date brought a bit more distress as the reality of the situation solidified. It was much better for me to discuss things like sunscreen with my daughter, in an attempt to conceal how fast my mind was starting to spin. She actually seemed to think that  a little SPF wasn't a bad idea, or is more intuitive than I realized and was afraid there might be worse battles ahead. When I saw the duffle bag full of snacks her friend was bringing, I kept my mouth shut about trying not to get a stomach ache. I also maintained silence about how knowing they would eat food while unsupervised in the hotel room got my choking paranoia senses tingling.

I did not shed a tear at the departure, and my only extra gesture was a tug on her pony tail to say good-bye again.

What if I didn't send her with enough money, or what if she loses the money she has? Why can't I have more faith in her being a responsible person? What if she doesn't have fun? What if she gets a headache? (OK, maybe I gave some Advil to the chaperone just in case...and I know for a fact I was not the only one to do so.) Why is there so much walking on the itinerary? What if there are shenanigans and somebody falls off a bed? What if they don't sleep well, and then have to do all of that walking? Upon arriving back home after the drop off and seeing all of her essential pillows and stuffed animals for a proper night's sleep, well, you know what that made me ponder once again.

Just to sort of sum things up, here are some texts from Thursday morning...
I had actually packed some of her snacks in a plastic bag, so this was not just a random reminder. What? Not the point?
In my defense, I could not recall actually ever having a conversation with my daughter about not putting shopping bags over her head. Oh, who am I kidding? I am just grateful for friends who check on me!
(oops, that should've been "choking", but maybe "cholking is something else I should consider)
I try to tell myself that no matter how ridiculous the crazy train running through my mind gets, the important thing is that I let her go at all. Gosh I hope she had fun...(and slept, and isn't sunburnt, and...)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Randomly we roll along...

I had some other odds and ends of random rattling around, but then today proved to be enough on its own! Any day that starts with cupcakes is a fine day indeed, no?
Um, not if this is how all of them turn out, sticking tongues, or various other body parts at you. I had seventy-two of these things staring at me. It was not a total loss though, due to the amount of laughter and commentary they generated from the other volunteers.

Besides, it kept us from wondering what the alternative method for separating is, and what the bits were being separated from...

Today was my daughter's last orchestra concert at the middle school, thus ending a six year run of my attending concerts there. You can tell it was a special night just by my fancy dinner plate, and meal, alone...
For inquiring minds, the pattern is Woody's Roundup and I believe it was purchased at the Disney Store (ten years ago). Sorry I neglected to photograph the eclectic mix of the other pieces on the table.

Anyway, I had been contemplating getting the orchestra teacher a little something to mark the occasion. I thought about picking up some flowers for days, but then forgot to do it - TODAY. Late this afternoon I came to my senses regarding what the calendar was shouting at me, and ran to Walgreen's for some candy. I was so thrilled when I found this...
Really? This just happened to be on the shelf, saving me from having to make do with a Symphony bar (as I was having trouble pretending a symphony was the same thing as an orchestra). I love it when you really do want someone to know you care, and a last minute gift is even better that what you initially forgot to go pick up!

Stacy is still rocking the random over at her place too, as the hostess with the mostess!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

It's funny how so many of us wish for a bit of peace and quiet on Mother's Day, yet here I am, the only one awake, and it just feels a bit off. I guess for me it is hard to feel like a mother without those two extra sets of eyeballs peering at me. Don't get me wrong, the dog was up ill at 2:00 a.m. so there was that fulfilling moment. I suppose it is greedy to make special requests for precisely when my time to relax will be today, and I should just be glad I found one.

Happy Mother's Day! Be good to yourselves!

And now a moment for my mother...

I know these were rockin' looks back in the late seventies. I can't even complain about being forced to wear that gauzy doily of a shirt because I know it was one of my favorites. I am relieved that only one of us tried the afro. I do remember that blue is your favorite color, but cannot say I've seen you run so hard with that theme in recent years.

You are such an incredible gardener, so this sad looking fake rose just cracks me up. Nothing can quite capture the love we had/have for one another like the floating head, but we tried. Here we are yesterday, out in public, wearing the jackets we bought at L.L. Bean together after saying "It's okay, it's not like we'd wear them to the same place on the same day".

I love you Mom! The sound of your laughter continues to be one of my most favorite things.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I have this friend...

I have this friend who I talk to every single business day. I suppose you could say that the majority of what we discuss may seem unimportant, but some days that seems to be what makes the chatter so vital. I will let Mary tell you where she was today (via her facebook status from last night):
My bag is packed, my house is clean, groceries are stocked. You've made me happy, you've made me sad, and now I'm done with you. My uterus and all her crazy fibroid friends are getting evicted tomorrow.
For some crazy reason, having her surgery written on my calendar kept making me think I was busy today, so I made no plans. She knows this is me in a fairly bad place, but she was not available to guide me out, and so I spent a good portion of the day feeling untethered. I did have plenty of time in between shuffling papers on the kitchen counter and facebook messaging with Misty (thanks for keeping me sane with the emoticon tutorial) to reflect on some fine friendship moments to keep me smiling until that "drinking my ice water and feeling snoozy" message came through.

Not sure if anyone has been reading here long enough to remember when Mary first burst onto the blog with her knee scooter back in March of 2010? I have all of these other tales to tell, but am pretty sure that they are the "you had to be there" sort of things. Regardless, this is one of my favorites...

About five years ago Mary was taking a double batch of Chex mix out of the oven when the pan flipped sideways so that the top oven door was the only thing holding all of the cereal in the hot pan. We just sort of looked at each other as we realized there was no way to rescue the entire contents. It was kind of surprising just how much landed in the oven and on the floor. We debated for a bit about when the last time the floor had been swept and then did what any two rational adults would do; we sat down and started eating...

Happy healing dear friend! I promise I will do my best to actually sit still in your house while you recover, except for when I am protecting you from any dust bunnies...even if you are still telling me in September that you can't vacuum yet. Oh, and I will bring snacks!

Please share and celebrate a fun friend memory!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dipping a toe into the random

Hey there! It is Tuesday, which may or may not be a news flash to some of you. I considered trying to sing my way back into the random, but finding the right tune just started to seem like yet another procrastination tool. Let's ease into this slowly and talk about the weather, shall we? It was over eighty degrees here today and the annual flying of the white fuzzy things has begun. The only positive thing about the grip seasonal allergies have taken on me is having an excuse for why I look like hell. Yes, I am even blaming the poor judgment I exercised today in wearing a lime green sports bra under a pale yellow shirt on either the lightheadedness caused by the sneezing, or the medicine head once I broke down and took something. (I wish I was kidding, and also wish I had actually been exercising.)

I saw a large sign advertising gift cards the Ford dealership. I am pretty sure I know what I am getting for Mother's Day this year!

I was looking to purge some old emails and ran across this gem I had texted myself back when I worked at the coffeehouse...
Maybe one more reason the place went out of business was because we not only wasted coffee grounds, but also time in collecting them. As I am sure you can imagine, I put every last ground I wasted right into that bucket to make sure I was held accountable.

I was slightly perplexed, as I took my apron off, as to which part of the UNDIVIDED laundry bin to throw it into.

Are you enjoying a springtime worm festival where you are? Do you fear they are taking over? Just to give you some idea of the steroid giants meandering across my driveway, my daughter's sneaker is a size 9!

Perhaps you are enjoying spring, but having a hard time letting go of Christmas? Apparently Santa has an off season job this year...
Only $119.99? For unlimited nightmares?

I was just zoning out for a minute here, and then realized that I was staring at a pile of my son's toenail clippings right here on the desk. Yes, I am the one who put them there, but that is a story for...never! On that note, I think I'd better move along...


Friday, May 3, 2013

A-Z Reflection Post

I was not completely convinced on March thirty-first that anyone would be interested in the theme I had chosen to go with for the a-z challenge. I was pleasantly surprised by all of the supportive and commiserating comments. Ah, the much angst, so few letters to try to contain it in. A huge source of my angst when I was a teenager was the notion that I was somehow alone with my feelings, and was the only person bumping into walls half of the time. It was such a great experience for me to set aside any of the embarrassment that was still hanging on to my inner fifteen-year-old self to tell a story meant more for finally laugh at myself. The friends, new and old, who chuckled
with me or shared their memories of a particular song were truly the best background vocals I could have imagined.

I visited far more blogs than last year and was all at once inspired and humbled by the creativity. I panicked a little bit each time I followed someone new because I was worried that I would be overwhelmed by my blogger reading list the next day. I admit that there were some folks whose blog addresses I jotted down to check out at a later date. I lost track of all of the movies, books, and  television shows that I felt compelled to check out after seeing people write with such passion about them. I have not lost track of the blog address for the person who did a different cookie every, no, no I have that written down somewhere safe.

I was driving around yesterday, a time when I typically do some of my finest thinking, but instead just felt sort of defeated. Out of nowhere a song came to me that I have not thought of, let alone heard, in years. Have you ever had ...

Something at the edge of your mind 
You don't know what it is 
Something you were hoping to find
You're not sure what it is
Then you hear the music 
And it all comes crystal clear
The music does the talking
Says the things you want to hear
Or maybe, like me, you were...
Thinking it over 
But you just can't sort it out
Do you want someone to tell you 
What they think it's all about

Thank you for indulging me as I share another eighties classic, to celebrate my "Triumph" in completing the challenge, and to ease the angst.

Magic Power...Triumph, 1981.