Friday, November 30, 2007

Fearless woman, dives eagerly into new adventures.

Man, a lot of the bloggers i read are in a mood lately. Me too, but i'm not going to talk about it, because i know it's partly the dark and the time of year. This too shall pass.

I have realized recently that i need to get some more things going in my life because next year Em will be gone, and i will miss her, and her company, and i will be alone even more than i am now.

I like being alone, but not all the time.

So i have my net out for things. Today i might have joined a book group. A women's book group. This is amusing for two reasons;

1) I don't like to talk about books i have read, unless i don't like them. The more i like a book, the less i like to talk about it. I'll just have to hope they pick books i hate.

2) (This sounds so awful, but it's true) I usually don't like groups of women, especially if they are earnest women. I find myself bored all to hell by earnestness. I like a little smart-assedness (is too a word) with my conversation. Sometimes it seems that women are too fucking concerned with convincing each other how nice they are. Yawn.

See what a great attitude i will be taking into this venture with me?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Supper time, supper time, sup sup supper time.

When i was growing up, we ate dinner all together, pretty much every night. While i can't say it was always that great of an experience (what with the lima bean* and the table manner fights) it is what i thought families did, ate together, every night.

So i brought that expectation into my marriage, without even realizing that it was an expectation.

I held on to that expectation for a long, long time. The Mister tried to accommodate me, but after we had Em, things changed. (Understatement of the Century.) He worked a lot, and i was home. So he would tell me what i wanted to hear, that he would be home by, say, 6:30. And then he was late, almost every single night. That made me mad. So i was mad at him, almost every single night.

After we were separated, and then weren't, i realized that i would have to give up my image of our family having dinner together most nights. Because being mad at my husband almost every single night was not good for our relationship (duh).

Giving up that expectation has freed me. In fact, the sad thing is now that i kind of prefer it when the Mister isn't home for dinner, because Em and i will eat pretty much whatever is around, and if the Mister is home, i feel like i should make an actual meal.

Although i am happier without the family dinner expectation, i still feel that it's his loss.

*We used to drive my mother wild when she served those awful frozen lima beans for dinner by popping them into our mouths and swallowing them whole, like pills, thus avoiding the need to chew and actually taste them. I thought it was brilliant, my mother, not so much.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pure Bragging. Deal with it.

One side effect of having friends (me) who have children (Em), is that sometimes you have to listen to them brag or complain about their kids.

Hi friends. I will be bragging.

Parent-Teacher conferences were last week. It was pretty much a love-fest about Em. Em's English teachers have always loved her, and that love has been returned. I knew that she was a good writer, but (in my mind) decent writers are not uncommon. It's not a skill to be sneered at, but it's not exactly unique. Of course shitty writers are as ubiquitous as gum on the side walk.

This is Em's senior year. Her English teacher told us that Em is the most outstanding writer that she has ever seen in high school.

I got a little teary with pride.

I haven't wanted to think that she might really be unusually talented. Because of the kind of person i am, not wanting her to have expectations that are too high, not wanting her to get a big head...Blah, blah, blah. Silly mommy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Em, four days old.

See this quilt? This quilt became Lammie, Em's blanket. I think of
someone who's baby lost her own Lammie recently, at the hands of a careless relative.

Lammie is still with us, 17 years later. Em is 17 today; no one is more surprised than me at this event. She still sleeps with Lammie every night. On weekend mornings, she comes down with Lammie wrapped around her body, or her head. Lammie does not look as good as he (Yes, Lammie is a boy) did in this picture anymore, but Lammie is still all of a piece.

Lammie was made by a friend of my mother's. I know she had no idea that this quilted blanket would become so precious to my child.

Lammie has traveled all over the country with Em. A few times, when we thought we might have lost Lammie, she has had to sleep with a "substitute Lammie." But Lammie has always been located.

This picture was taken on her first Thanksgiving. The Mister and i were still in the fog of "Oh, shit, what is this thing we have done." The Mister went to the store on Thanksgiving morning and bought a turkey breast and some potatoes, and we fixed a meal and the three of us, all alone, ate our meal in wonderment. Em did not have any turkey, except maybe second hand.

It remains a favorite memory, this first Thanksgiving, and our baby, wrapped in this item that was to become a legend in our family.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sew what?

This is my sewing machine. It is well over 50 years old. I find it compellingly beautiful in its art deco simplicity.

My mother guilted (is too a word) her father into buying it for her right after my oldest brother was born. He had forgotten her birthday one year and she told him that she would feel much better if he bought her this fancy new sewing machine. It cost $100 dollars.

When i went off to college, i sort of appropriated the machine, because right about then my mother had bought herself a newer fancier Bernina sewing machine that could do things like zig-zag and embroider. The one above goes forward and backward, and that's it.

Over the years i have sewn some wonderful Halloween costumes. One year i made a dragon, including silver and gold lame wings. It still exists somewhere deep in the depths of chaos that is Em's closet. Perhaps i will mount an expedition sometime soon and try to find it.

Last year my mother asked me if i ever used this machine, because her fancier Bernina had bitten the dust. She was trying to get it back! HAH! As if. She was forced to go out and buy another machine to replace that cheap piece of junk.

Soon i will show you what i have been sewing on it. Because i know you care.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


A young Em, sitting pretty at about 4 feet above the floor.

My to do list today is long:

1) Vacuum

2) Put vacuum away (if i do vacuum, i can never seem to manage this last step. Makes it easier to get the vacuum out if i never put it away, right? Tripping over it for a week seems a small price to pay.)

3) Clean kitchen (this means mopping the floor too, as the cats are NOT neat.)

4) Move laundry along (I never say "Do Laundry" as the laundry is never ever truly done.)

5) Grocery shop: zucchini, hamburger, mushrooms, good bread.

6) Even up quilt blocks for table runner.

7) Cut sashing for said quilt blocks.

8) Make bed (AWWWW, there are sleeping puddy tats on it. Mustn't disturb.)

9) Go to bank (where they will try to cross sell me some shit. I hate banks, not least of all because i worked in one for YEARS.)

The list sits there and mocks me while i play
Text Twist on msn games. How many words can you make from the title of this post?

The good news is that i am having a good hair day. I am growing my hair out a bit, not from any real desire, but because the lady who USED to cut my hair started charging $60 for a haircut. With tip that's $70!!!!! I can't bring myself to justify that.

The bad news is that the only people to see me today are Em and the lucky peeps at the grocery store. Yesterday, when i went out in the evening, i was having a decidedly mediocre hair day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yes, but.....

The interaction between me and a friend, who is complaining about her weight and not getting any exercise;

I suggest walking. I offer to go with her. "Yes, but that hurts my knees."

Swimming? That's easy on your joints. "On no, my skin is too dry to tolerate chlorine."

Sit ups? "They kill my back."

But sit ups will help your back, really. "Yes, but i just hate doing them."

How about biking? "Yes but the seat hurts my fanny." (Yes, she used the word fanny.)

I give up.


I wrote the above a few days ago, thinking to be all superior. Maybe you would comment about how great i am, and after some token arguing i would agree.

Then came the part where i realize that i'm an ass.

There are a few things that i need to work on, but my very own "Yes, buts" get in the way. Not so superior am i. I will try to say goodbye to my "Yes, buts." Then, when i am perfect, probably by the middle of next week, i will feel free to criticize others.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

a small scene

The Mister and i were loitering at the appliance store yesterday waiting for a service person, when i heard a woman say "Hi Mister" to him. Seeing who it was, i suddenly became extremely interested in a display a few feet away. The Mister chatted with her for a few minutes, and i ignored them. After a while it was our turn so i said "hi" to her and we left the area.

It was a woman that used to work for us around the house. She bugged me because she would flirt with the Mister. When he wasn't around she would often bring him up to me by saying something like, "I know that the Mister likes ____" or "I know how ____ bothers the Mister." As if they were best friends.

I didn't not like it in a jealous way, since the Mister didn't flirt back, it was just stupid and i felt a vague sense of embarrassment for her.

Our next stop was lunch and i was telling the Mister that she annoyed me and why. He said that on his part, he felt as if she disliked him, and it was creepy to talk to her.

I don't see why we aren't both right. Flirting as aggression.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A truly beautiful story

Today something so rare and so beautiful happened to me that i just have to share it with you.

I was driving in my car, headed straight through a light, when some person in a minivan shot over from the right turn only lane so she could get ahead of me at the intersection.

I swore at her, annoyed but impotent to do anything about it.

The next intersection was a four way stop sign, at which she failed to stop.

But wait, there was a cop sitting a little way back from the intersection, monitoring. I look over at the cop and think, "Oh please, oh please, oh please." The cop pulled out, lights blazing and stopped the minivan.


I passed the cop and the van pulled over on the right and looked right at the pinhead driving.

I smiled and waved.

I think i probably didn't use all of my fingers when i waved, but my smile was genuine and heartfelt.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


In my dream last night:

  • airplane crash
  • missing cat
  • broken glass
  • bleeding arms
  • abandonment
  • food spilled all over, twice
  • crying
  • dead baby birds

I woke up at 4 am feeling heavy and sad. I moved over closer to The Mister so i could reach out and touch him. In my sleepy state, i wondered why i keep having these dreams the past few weeks.

Then i remembered that it was during this time of year that the worst thing that has ever happened to me began. In the cosmic scheme of things, it's not all that bad, but it was a disaster for me.

This happens every year, and every year i get to figure out what is happening all over again. I wonder why i do this to myself. Something about it must work for me, but i sure as hell don't know what.

Monday, November 05, 2007

When i grow up

Deb, at Tired Mummy asked me to do this here meme:

Write five things you want to be when you grow up. Big dreams that seem like folly, but in your heart of hearts are very real and dear to you. Things that maybe you have forgotten about in the ebb and flow and toil of the everyday, but that never really leave your soul. What you would do if anything was possible?'

1.) I want to sing, to be able to sing. I feel sorry almost every day that i can't sing. And i really can't. Even i can hear that i'm awful. I don't want to famous, i just want to sing, beautifully.

2.) I will write a novel. A science fiction/fantasy novel. Set in a world that makes sense, but has some mystery. Maybe underwater. As an example, i love John Varley's Titan, Wizard and Demon. I want to have written them. I don't write them because i lack the drive and the discipline. Oh, and the writing skills. Maybe someday.

3.) I might study to become a physical therapist. I have always been fascinated by the body and how it works. In biology class, when the teacher was showing those open-heart surgery movies, and everyone else was gagging, i was leaning forward in my seat to get a better look. I love those posters of the flayed human, showing all the tendons and muscles and ligaments.

4.) I will open clinics for women all over the world that will provide them with free birth control, free knowledge, free adoption services, free abortions, free fertility treatments, free medicine. It disturbs me to think of all the women in this world who do not have basic control over their bodies.

5.) I want to be more serene, less reactive. I want to understand more quickly how little of what happens is about me. I want to express curiosity in the face of criticism, rather than defensiveness. I manage these things sometimes, but it is not my natural bent. When i was younger, i saw my future self in this way, but i'm still working on it.

I don't usually tag people, but if you are a NaBloPoMo-er, TAG, you're it. I mean, if you want to, you know, because it's not required or anything.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Case of the Missing Pants

When i went to bed last night, i had on pajama bottoms.

This morning, they were missing. (Cue Twilight Zone music.) During the course of an extensive search, I found them within throwing distance of the bed.

In order to get to the bottom (Hah! Bottom.) of this mystery, this evening I will round up the usual suspect and interrogate him.

It's a sad thing when one is not even safe in one's own home.