Posts Tagged ‘life’

There are dishes to wash, laundry to move from the dryer to the bedroom floor where it goes, and toys to move from the middle of the floor to the corners.

A lonely Gazelle sits in the living room, longing for me to decide exercise was an actual New Year’s Resolution. Maybe I should put the never-opened Yoga-Kickbox Fusion DVD on it for company.

There are gigs on Odesk just screaming my name. My inboxes (yes, there are several) are full of flagged, “get to this later” messages.

My boots on Ebay need checked. Selling, not buying. I want to buy. Buying stuff is fun. I think…it’s been a very long time.

I’ve finished work for my actual job for the day, but there are a few things I need to write ahead on. I also have a few hundred photos I need to work on.

I should take out the trash, dust, and vacuum.

I desperately need to buy groceries, which means I desperately need to sell a few things on Ebay, write some articles for someone, or find something else to do for money.

What I really, really, REALLY want, though…is to sit down with my fuzzy blanket and pick up a book. I used to read 2 or 3 a week. Now, I keep having to start one over because so much time passes between reading the first few chapters and picking it up again, that I lose track of the plot.

I am a bookworm without “the stuff,” going through withdrawals…

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Road trips with minions are never boring….hair-raising, loud, and stressful maybe, but never boring. The tallish minion and I have come up with a game. When we’re in the car for a long time, we work on our dream house.

Our dream house is entirely made up, and we decided that if we ever win the lottery, this is what we will build. Every trip we add rooms, colors, decorations, pets, and anything else we can come up with.

It’s going to be a rainbow of color, because we just can’t agree on anything. Since there are so many rooms, it is a sprawling structure with several wings. There will be a lime and black zebra wall, a turquoise wall, and an entirely mirrored wall, as well as sides of every other jewel-tone there is. Hot pink trim will grace the entire thing…which includes turrets.

Inside will be rooms to suit any taste, and we will rent them out like a hotel. When you book a room, you don’t book by a number, you book by style. Victorian Powder Room, anyone?

The minion has a few rooms added that will take some ingenuity. A treehouse room that has to be an actual treehouse is on the list. A treehouse with access to the rest of the house by slide, zipline, and rope ladder.

There will be two ballrooms. One of the traditional kind, for dancing, modeled (of course) after Beauty and the Beast, Disney version. Another will be a ballroom in the literal sense. No furniture, the entire room will be a ball pit. Plastic colored balls. With a disco ball chandelier, round mirrors on every wall, and port-hole windows. The walls in here will be yellow with pink polka-dots.

Of course there will be an indoor pool, shaped like a crescent moon, and a star-shaped hot-tub. The gym will have all the traditional equipment, except in neon colors. A ballet barre will line one wall, and a gymnastics mat will stretch through the center.

The playground room will be just like it sounds. Think McDonald’s, without the creepy clown and the hamburger dude.

I have (silently) decided on a fully stocked bar. A gameroom will probably go well with that.

The minions both voted for a movie theater.

The list of pets is almost as long as the list of rooms. There will be ferrets and flying squirrels, one naked cat, a team of huskies, fainting pygmy goats, and ponies. Outside there will be a small zoo with ring-tailed lemurs, a few monkeys, and a Zebra named Zed.

One wall of the kitchen will be the side of the salt-water aquarium with the dolphins. They will be trained to let the minions ride, and they won’t eat fish…that would be “soo friggin’ gross.”

The whole structure must be on stilts, since we took a trip to Corpus and the tallish minion became fascinated by the houses on sticks.

I’ve decided that this is all feasible. I just need to win the lottery a few times, get a fairy godmother, and find some magic beans.

It started with a simple desire to do a little cleaning while the tallish minion was in school, and the smallish one was on vacation with his dad. Nothing major, just a little Spring Cleaning without their input and hysterics when I tossed half of the 137 stuffies in the donation bag and threw out a few dozen Happy Meal boxes.

It ended with a destroyed kitchen, a pickup with the bed overflowing, and a storage room emptied and repurposed. Throw in a sprained knee, 9 new bruises, and a sore back. Add the help of two WONDERFUL friends.

The ultimate result was that the minions’ shared room became the tallish one’s room, and the storage room became the smallish one’s room. He finally has a room of his VERY OWN, and the video I have of him screaming I LOVE IT is completely worth the hassle.

I thought I was done for a while, except for the storage stuff purged into the kitchen and the poor truck that needed emptied.

I was wrong.

The first night gave me a new respect for nurses in nursing homes where each grumpy patient has a call button. One needed medicine, the other chocolate milk. While I was in the opposite room, Orange Kitty decided to somehow unplug the smallish one’s TV. Screaming ensues.

While I’m fixing the TV, the tallish one shrieks from her room. The medicine I’d just given her included some oil for an ear infection, complete with cotton ball. The panic was…”my cotton ball just got lost down my ear and is stuck in my throat.”

Ummm…

I fished the cotton ball out of her sheets, assured her that cotton balls will NOT travel from her ear to anywhere else inside her. This was about the time something touched the back of my knee.

I screamed, she screamed, and her little brother bolted, yelling “I just wanted night-night kisses!!!”

Sometime a couple hours past bedtime, I finally peeked in on two snoring minions, in their own beds, in their own rooms. It was a tough decision not to take a photo of each, because they were just too darn cute…I’m pretty sure the flash would have woken them up and worn out the cuteness real quick.

 

Travelling with minions is not for the weak. Murphey, or Newton, or whichever smart guy of the olden days said “whatever can go wrong, will,” nailed it.

I took a trip this past week to Corpus, with some friends and of course the tallish and smallish minions. They loved it, I loved it, I’m pretty sure I’ve dissuaded at least one friend from ever having kids…and I learned a few travelling lessons along the way.

Be sure you pack at least one backpack of “things to do” for each child. A shared bag of entertainment is unacceptable, and not nearly big enough. You need, at a minimum, gadgets with apps, chargers for said gadgets, coloring books and crayons, games, a digital camera, something that plays music…and be prepared to still have to give up your cell phone.

The trip WILL take twice as long as you plan. Takes 11 hours to get there (and you know this because you’ve done it more than once)? Nope. Better plan to get there in about 24, including camping out at a budget motel somewhere along the way, parked next to a pedophile van, trying to dissuade your friends from telling ghost stories about haunted motels.

Avoid pizza places. They ALL have games and money-sucker machines that are irresistible to minions.

Bring trash bags. You’ll discover a ton of different uses, besides the fact that 2 minions on a road trip can create more trash than a family of 4 in a week. It WILL rain, and you can put your luggage (suitcases and all) in big trash bags for the back of the pickup. Put extra pillows and blankets in one, because there will be some point on the trip that it will become necessary to create one giant pallet full of sleeping little ones in the back of the cab.

…wait. Everyone travels in a pickup, right?

Then, you should also brace yourself for the music. No matter that there are 2 tablets, an mp3 player, a couple of iPods, and 14 pairs of earphones floating around…you WILL be giving up radio rights. You WILL be listening to Kidz Bop for hours on end, and you WILL memorize the Gummy Bear song before you get home.

When you’re at your destination, driving around exploring and taking photos, the local police will pull you over for making a sudden uTurn for a shot of the Shrimp Crossing sign you just spotted. And when said cop hits his lights, your minions (who have memorized Despicable Me 2) will “be a siren” for him by yelling “beedo, beedo, beedo…” until you threaten them with jail time. Thankfully, lots of cops in touristy towns are pretty patient with tourists.

…or they feel sorry for the poor idiots hauling around the Beedo Kids.

You’ll also need snacks. 37 bags of chips, 20 suckers, a container of trail mix, some doughnuts, crackers, apples and bananas, and assorted cookies. You have to resist the temptation to mix sedatives into the snacks. It’s frowned upon…although I’m not sure I understand why.

I also don’t understand where this new gray hair suddenly came from…

It’s that time of year again. The time the tallish minion shows up waving around the much-anticipated Little League form. Time to bust out the Barbie bat and pink glove, locate a handful of the 137 practice balls that are floating around here somewhere, and get our big girl panties on…because “there’s NO CRYING in baseball.”
That’s my mantra through March and April every year…and by May, I give up because I’m usually crying by then, too. The minion thinks that baseball is the greatest sport ever for the first few practices and about the 3rd game. Then, someone gets stung by a bee, sunburns, or gets sore and tired of running, and suddenly it’s all my fault for signing her up for baseball yet again.
THIS YEAR though, it’s going to be a whole new ballgame. Pun intended.
The smallish minion has been telling me for two years that “Momma, I big enough to play batheball.”
This year, he is finally big enough for real. And a hand-me-down Barbie bat just ain’t gonna cut it. So, I am in search of a Batman bat, which I am pretty sure they don’t make, and a smaller than extra-small glove, because the smallish minion is tiny.
He also wants real baseball pants, which I am pretty sure don’t come in toddler sizes; and cleats, which I am pretty sure would land someone in the emergency room somehow. He has allowed that in the absence of cleats, his new (smooth-bottomed) cowboy boots shall work nicely.
I’m not sure who his coach will be this year, but I hope it’s someone with the patience of a saint. I coached the last two years…and I am now braving the world of single-parenting with an extra job and an EMT class. So when I was asked to coach again, I laughed and laughed. Then I ran.
So, whoever tackles the role that resembles herding Patriot-clad cats has my respect, and my sympathy. I guess I should warn them that my son is a leftie…
BW Set 5

I listened to a radio show that made me livid. My favorite voice-personalities were reading a list of things that The Boss looks for in a job interview that most people don’t think is ever an issue. They apparently polled a few hundred company owners, and these people revealed the things they judge you on that you might not know about.

Potential bosses can be evil, cruel bastards. Don’t get me wrong, most of the interviewers you encounter will be friendly and pleasant…but there are apparently some sadistic ones who don’t have a heart. Those who sounded off in this poll really made me glad I have a very cool boss and a string of freelance projects.

The following “red flags” these people look for were at the top of the list, meaning that approximately 25% of all interviewers are looking for them.

Split Ends.

Turns out they aren’t just checking to make sure you have a decent grasp of what “business casual” means. Many job interviewers are examining your hair for flyaways and split ends…which can apparently indicate a lazy person who doesn’t have enough responsibility to care for themselves.

Seriously!??

Ok, let’s try out a scenario…I am out looking for a job because I’ve been living on Ramen Noodles for a month so that I can use every spare dime to pay for dry cleaning for my one and only nice suit to go to job interviews! Paying for a haircut is probably not high on my Blow Money On List.

Mister Interviewer, shouldn’t your attention be on my job skills, and maybe the fact that I am dressed appropriately and I don’t smell like a gym or a French hooker?

You know, if I came to a job interview wearing a purple and teal Mohawk, I could see the concern…but my dry from the West Texas weather hair shouldn’t be a problem.

Smudged Mascara.

Apparently, mascara and eyeliner smudged underneath your eyes (even a little, according to polls) gives your interviewer a glimpse into a party-girl persona. These interviewers admit to knocking perfectly qualified candidates to the bottom of the list if they can spot an imperfectly lined eye.

Geez…this one is wrong on so many levels. See, I could understand if these people got upset at Goth-worthy streaks of black running down our cheeks. But they’re talking about a bit of smudge under the eye.

What if it’s summer (which meant 104 degrees around here), and the interview is at 2 in the afternoon? No makeup can stand up to that!

What if it’s a person’s third interview of the day, or they had to dash from class/work/dentist straight to the interview? Want them to show up late because they stopped to retouch their eyeliner?

My favorite is my own reason for the constantly “smoky” appearance of my eyeliner…I wear contacts. Which means if a gnat sneezes, my eyes will water, rendering my perfect makeup a bit smeared. Simmer down, most people think that’s sexy!

Another contact issue: the wind. Dry eyes. Little drops you have to put in your eyes to see where you’re going. Again, moisture that destroys makeup.

This bears repeating…shouldn’t you be more worried about a person’s qualifications??

Cheap Suits.

Ummm…

Ok, if I could afford a $400 designer suit and new shoes, would I be here interviewing for an internship that pays peanuts while paying half of what I hope to be making from you to some teenager to keep my kids alive while I sweat it out with you, worried about my makeup and split ends??

 

Geez. I am so grateful for my random writing-for-a-stranger freelance jobs, my photography business that I run all by myself (thankyouverymuch), and my kick-ass editor at the paper…

I have been accused of multiple personalities. My husband claims there are seven, and has them named (Roxy, Tuesday, TJ, Willow, Sparky, Oscar, and iAm…someday I’ll write their bios). I’m not sure which personality is the PackRat, but she’s there…and the nemesis of Oscar, the one with OCD.

It makes for an interesting combination.

Oscar vs. The PackRat

See, the laundry HAS to be clean. Absoposilutely, no getting around it, GOTTA be washed…then it can sit in the laundry basket until we wear it again.

Dishes? Must be washed. Then they get used right outta the dishwasher until it’s empty enough to set out the two clean bowls and a spoon (on top of it) and it gets loaded again.

The floors are non-negotiable. They must be swept and mopped every two days…and I still wear shoes and/or socks even to get up at night to pee. The bed is in the same obsessive category. I cannot function with a messy bed, it gets made with military precision every day.

My desk, on the other hand, is a full-scale, war-zone disaster area…and Heaven help the person who moves so much as a pen.

General clutter can stay out in full view, but must be stacked neatly and without flaw. Shopping bags are perfect for storing junk, but cannot – CANNOT – sit on the floor. They are hung. Anywhere, everywhere, but they are hung.

Things We Will Never Use but Must Keep

Those things go in the garage, the spare bedroom (dubbed the eBay room), or in closets. They are usually marked for sales and get occasionally listed on eBay or some random trading site, or traded off for other things that we’ll never use.

Except for that compulsive Oscar-Fit twice a year…

Those are the days the PackRat dies.

The Day the PackRat Dies

I tell myself (or rather, Oscar) that the clutter in the corners in its neat stacks and hiding in its shopping bags can stay. That the “sale stuff” isn’t hurting anything hidden away in the various Outta Sight-Outta Mind areas…

But I’m lying.

I cope, I deal, and I ignore…about 362 days out of the year.

That handful of days happen at complete random, when Oscar becomes homicidal and slays the PackRat in the middle of the night, and I wake with a sole purpose in life, to rid the house of any extraneous item.

Junk gets purged out of all the corners, closets, and hiding spots, clutter gets dumped on the rug in the living room, and the Guru usually gets asked to leave with his own PackRat.

Everything of value over about $25 gets photographed, labeled, and listed somewhere to be sold.

Everything else disappears into black trash-bags never to be seen again. Some are bound for charity, others are bound for the dumpster. My kids look on in horror as stuffies, Happy-Meal trinkets, and clothes they never wear (but suddenly love) go poof.

If I manage to get the Guru out of the house, his things get raided for stuff he never uses and will never miss…but that is happening with less frequency, I think he’s on to me. Lately he stays to “help,” meaning he hangs around on the fringes “rescuing” things from the bags and hiding them when my back is turned.

No, I don’t throw out the Good Stuff!

Meemaw’s jewelry and silverware are forever safe. So are the kids’ baby keepsakes and all their t-shirts with interesting or memorable logos (for a quilt someday, if I ever figure out the sewing machine again…btw, anyone know what to do if it’s breaking strings and/or making loopy/BIG/ugly stitches on the bottom side?)…

The Guru’s collection of thousands of PC CD’s are safe (hey, he IS the Guru…apparently the loss of a single disc means my computer might not get fixed next time I kill it).

The photos and letters are exempt, as well as the wood carvings Pop made.

The rocks can stay.

Rings and necklaces that were gifts will forever remain in the jewelry box.

Guns are safe…but only because I might find myself divorced for selling those.

When it’s all said and done…

…the truckload (I don’t stop until the Chevy is STRUGGLING) of stuff gets cleared out of Oscar’s universe, the house looks great, I am sore and tired but elated, and you know what?

No one misses a damn thing.

My son has a radar…

There is apparently a silent alarm that goes off somewhere in his little head when the following happens:

  • Mommy sits at the computer
  • Mommy has a deadline looming in the very near future
  • Mommy thinks he is asleep and runs a bath
  • Mommy kisses daddy

This alarm sounds and immediately spurs him into action…it is suddenly time to either have a walleyed hissy fit or climb something. If the alarm sounds after bedtime, it is his cue to come running out of his room like a banshee on cocaine, careening across the hardwood driving a popcorn popper machine with an Easter bucket on his head.

This is what I deal with every minute of every day…even “at work.”

…an amazing occurrence, considering that both are hidden at least 5 feet from the floor every night as a part of the bedtime ritual. The bedtime ritual that includes 4 hugs, 3 “I lub you’s”, and 2 kisses on each cheek (ours and his).

The Deadline Radar is the worst, especially considering that my “office” is in the living room. Working from home is great in theory, and to those who argue that I “am so lucky” are right in that I don’t have to pay $45 a day for childcare. However, have you ever tried to complete a college-level essay on dental procedures with a two-year-old IN the chair behind you, drawing on your neck with a Sharpie and playing Angry Birds on your ringing cell phone?

It’s no wonder I’m crazy…

Any of you work from home? What are your coping mechanisms?

Hello, Blog!! Been a while!

Yeah, yeah…I know. I am a neglectful blogger, but life has been hectic and crazy. Want some updates?

Well, when I logged back in I found that I still have quite a few visitors (thanks y’all!!!), and some new peeps who’ve found me in search engines. I just had to click over and see some of the search terms that they’ve used to find me…

And found a GREAT addition to my Odd-and-Crazy Search Terms archives:

“Shake me like a monkey”

Yep. Someone typed THIS into their search engine and it brought them to me. I’m pretty sure this one scares me more than my Bandaid-Butt fans. At least I know which post brought those guys to me.

But when did I ever write a post about shaking monkeys??? Literally or figuratively!?

Freak.

So what else has been going on?

I coached a tee-ball team. By accident (although I had a blast with a great little group of guys and girls)…

See, I checked “yes” on my daughter’s sign-up form, stating that I would be willing to help out and volunteer. I figured I’d be asked to bring some snacks to a game or two, and maybe sign up as team mom for a few games or practices.

Ooooh no…they called me the next day to let me know I’d been “given” a team. At least the rules for tee-ball are pretty lax. My softball playing years didn’t exactly prepare me for explaining the fundamentals to a group of 4-5 year olds.

And I never got to sing and dance in the outfield when I played.

Another high-light of the last few weeks…my husband launching us into a whole new realm of Redneckery.

There was a Rattlesnake Rodeo his peace officers’ association decided to hold. They needed snakes of course. In lieu of buying snakes, they handed a catcher out to the officers in the area and told them happy hunting. (we do live in West Texas, but still…)

So the Guru comes home one day with a lidded (thank God) 5 gallon bucket, a 4 foot long catcher stick, and a shit-eating grin.

“Honey, look what I caught! There are four of ‘em in here!!”

 This began the scramble to find something of an appropriate size and secure enough to hold multiple live rattlesnakes until they could be taken to the event.

After some digging, he comes up with a white plastic barrel (with no lid), a metal-grate lawn table, my concrete stepping stones, and a handful of bungee cords.

I was concerned.

It grew as he dumped the snakes into the barrel, placed the tabletop on the top of the barrel, and weighted it down with the stepping stones.

Then he bungeed the whole thing to a tree in the front yard… ”So the dogs won’t tip it over.”

Great. I took that moment to come to the computer and put out an APB (via Facebook, of course) to anyone who had a cage of some sort that might be a little more secure than the Guru’s Bucket-O-Snakes.

My cousin’s girlfriend (Dude, MARRY this one!!) saved my sanity by donating a rabbit cage to the cause. I reinforced it with metal fabric and forced the Guru to take it (and the snakes) to our kennels…which thankfully are about a quarter mile from the house.

In the meantime, he did attempt to make it safer for trespassers by using a magic marker and marking it with “DANGER: LIVE RATTLEBUGS!”

Although, if someone HAD come up to burglarize the house, we’re probably the only ones around who had guard-snakes in the yard…

Has anyone else reached any interesting levels of Redneckery? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

My son’s shoes are broken. There are rocks in them.

The sippy cups? Broken…the lids are off and they are empty.

His hot chocolate (“chocky”)? Broken…it is too hot.

His sister? Broken…she dared to take Puss in Boots out of the DVD player and replace it with <gasp!> Cinderella.

No, I am not staying up late smoking crack, and there is no Red Bull in my coffee.

I am referring to my son’s newest (and new favorite) word, “broken.” Anything and everything that is not in its usual state of being is now “broken.”

Pudding on a shirt, a recliner with the footrest extended, a TV that changes channels (according to DVR presets), me when I’m on the phone and ignoring him…all broken.

I actually like the concept.

My house is no longer messy or cluttered…it’s just broken!!