Friday, January 3, 2014

One of My First Brain Sifts of 2014

Peeking into the lives of people who have lost one of their babies always blows my mind.  I kinda sorta follow a blog by a woman who lost her son.  It's called It crushes parts of my heart every time I read it.  It does put things in perspective.  So what that my Middle Guy leaves all of his clothes on the floor and never turns off the TV when he leaves a room? So what that he has a brilliant brain for funny and a little bit of everything but this is often not conveyed to his teachers because he leaves his homework under his bed?  So what that First Born and Middle Guy are complete opposites?  So what that First Born can't sleep until he's checked his backpack a couple times to make sure he has not forgotten anything?  And that First Born cannot stop harping on Middle Guy? So what that Twin A, oh hell, she is pretty much perfect.  So what that Twin B is the sassy one?  And she has ulcerative colitis; yes, SHIT!  OK, bad pun, but still.  She can be quite sick without medication.  But it won't kill her.  As long as we stay on it and she gets checked for cancer often once she is in her 30's.  So what that Husband forgets to ask how my sometimes-crushing depression is?   He knows it's there, and he is usually there for me and my gloom.  The asking shouldn't count as much as the doing.  Right? Right.  I am just an asker, so the nonaskers kinda piss me off sometimes, ya know?  Catholic-raised people with OCD are much better at updating each other on health issues; otherwise, guilt ensues.  Husband comes from a mutt Christian background, with a mom who sings, "Nothin' to it but to do it."  GAhhhhhh!  Positive mental attitudes are 2% attitude, I say.  Positive mental attitudes are genetic and involve a general obliviousness to world's major flaws.  Obliviousness is just not one of the tricks in my bag.  Reading and seeing tragedy around me strikes fear in my heart, 'cause it's only a matter of time before something like that happens to my family, according to my calculations. 
BUT!  BUT! BUT!  I can rejoice when my family is all home at night and my bed is warm and my belly full (too full, BTW).  
I should work on the friend thing, so your checking in on my blog was very much appreciated.  Yes, we should hang, chill, drink some wine, eat some chocolate or cake together.  Well, since we are cyberspace friends, we might have to settle on some words back and forth.  Back and forth words that heal our hearts and satisfy our brains and tickle our funny bones.
I hope your year is off to a great start.  Our year up here is fucking cold, but we'll deal.
So much more to catch up on, but I need to take my dogs out before the weather stops me.  It's my way of exercising and clearing my mind and my helper dog reminds me that I must do it.  My simple dog, not so much. anyone? I love Allie Brosh and I love my dogs.  I don't know why, but burying my head in my dogs' furry bodies always makes me feel better. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Blog, I have not been here in quite a long time.  I think about you, Blog.  I wish you and I were a thing.  I see others hit it off with their blogs.  They make magic together.  Someday, maybe that will be you and me.  In the meantime, I need to just stop by once in a while and leave you a note or two.  Maybe that will spark some magic.  I really need to update those books I am supposedly currently reading over there on the right, too.  I just read The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  Interesting, what those high schoolers feel and experience these days, yet not soooo different from my good ol' high school high days.  I guess this leads me to my photo up there.  I packed one of those when I went off to college.  I am thinking that my nephew, when he packs his things for college this summer, will not be packing one of those.  It makes me think about what else will be different.  I think most college kids have their own laptop.  No more endless nights in the computer lab.  Hah!  Now I am thinking about the phone in my dorm room with that twirled up cord.  The only way I could call my boyfriend who was states away.  And those phone bills: oh my!  Do dorm rooms even have phones in them anymore?  Alarm clocks?  Come on, Grandma, there's an app for that!  Cassette collection?  As if!  Now that one is kind of a shame.  It was nice to look at a someone's music collection.  I guess now you check the facebook to see what they "like."  That's really not the same.  Boo, I say to everything being so digital.  Yay, I say, though, that I will be able to text my kids often when they leave me.  And they better text me back.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Where Am I Now?

Confused is where I am.  Everyone has a bag.  That is what I have told my kids when we are talking about how some people are good at some things and some people are not good at some things.  That is a translation.  Other words such as , "slow," "mean," lazy," etc.  were used.  I KNOW, mean, right?  But not outwardly.  My girls don't want to wear "dainty" clothes.  Dainty is my boys word for, I guess, fashionable clothes.  My boys are not THE athletes of the grade.  We all pick quiet people to be friends with.  Not the tier 1 social groups.  Many things about my family sends the message that we are humble, sweet people.  But listen in on dinner and you will see that we are kinda, well, I guess, meanies.  I do try to correct this confidence AKA arrogance of my brood.  I say that everyone has a bag with some tricks in it.  Some people were not given the run-fast trick.  Some were not given the math-clicks trick.  Some were not given the relatively-attractive trick.  My kids were given those.  Husband and I are blessed and lucky that God gave us kids with some pretty marketable tricks.  Now, before you get the wrong impression, we are not snobs.  When we pick, we always pick on the tier 1 social group who thinks they have all the tricks AND THEY DON'T.  I don't have too much of a problem with this kind of picking.  You know, Football Star can't write a paper like First Born can.  What we struggle with is when we also sometimes pick on the kids that are not tier 1, and seem to have real potential, but seem to be such JERKS that they don't reach that potential.  This is the group I strive to understand and have my kids understand.  At least a little bit.   Even though kids are supposed to do so many of the same tricks in this American world, some just don't fit.  Their bags have tricks that are not tested at school or out on the playground.  Their bags may have some tricks that make them remarkably creative and so on, but not in a write-it-down-grammatically-correctly way.  Those kinds of disconnects.  Let's hope that the world finds a place for these kiddos so that they feel valued.  Reader, if any are here, please forgive our nonconstructive criticism.  We keep it amongst ourselves and we try to sort it out.  Gosh, I am lost here.  Bags.  Everyone has one.  Everyone has some tricks.  In school and in life, it is difficult to see some other kids' tricks, especially when it seems that the kid doesn't even want to work on that trick or uses his trick to seem cooler than the other kid.

If I lost you at the "tier" discussion, it is my new way of talking cliques.  Looking at First Born's Facebook stuff, the tiers become quite clear.  Tier 1 has the football basketball stars with pretty pretty dates.  Limousine rides to the dance.   Cool, sexy clothes.  Way too sexy for 14 or 15 year old girls.  Tier 2, similar story, but not quite.  More braces, a few more zits, more moms involved in the pictures.  First Born is no where to be found at this dance.  Didn't go, didn't want to go, and is proud to not be a part of these antics.  His tier is not numbered because no one really notices it.  Just a bunch of kids who get outstanding grades, play sports but are not the stars, play in the band, will be one of the last tiers to try all that teen stuff.  Thank God!  Unless they are fooling ALL of us.  : /

So what's the deal with this post, anyway?  What the point?  My point is that I don't know what is in my bag.  And maybe part of why I don't know what is in my bag is because my tier has fallen apart.  My tier from high school is living all over the country, doing many different things.  We don't get together at homecoming and strengthen each other with our memories and lasting love for Breakfast Club and each other.  (I am soooo doing another post about watching Breakfast Club with First Born.  It was a blast!)  My tier from college was, frankly, never that strong.  I had a tier, but it was small.  These peeps are all over, doing very different things.  We can't all get together and chat about our trick that binds us, like I imagine teachers and nurses can.  I have no clue where all the peeps from my first-real-job tier are, and I could care less.  That whole mess of a first job paid my bills and saved me from having to live at home after graduation, but that's all, folks.  Computer programming, NOT in my bag.  Don't know why anyone paid me good money to do that.   After that, no real tiers have formed.  I don't know exactly why.  Many reasons.  Partly, we moved a bit.  Partly, I would not leave my kids home with sitters, so no socializing really happened until, maybe last year because First Born can now watch himself and his siblings.  I think Husband and I have a hard time trying to figure out which tier we enjoy.  We tend to enjoy the introverts, and that tier doesn't form that easily.  So I get lost without that group of besties reinforcing who I am. 

NOW, we have gotten to the reason for the post!!!! Who I AM!  I can't figure it out.  Many of my tricks are rusty, and let's face it, lost.  I know that I am using the mothering trick.  That is working out pretty well.  But now my brood goes to school, leaving some hours to work on other tricks.  Cleaning-the-house trick needs to be done, but really is not that inspiring.  I have considered seeing where my gardening trick can lead me.  Not sure.  Cooking trick, meh.  It's ok sometimes, and other times, I really really wish my family would stop demanding food three plus times a day.  Then I get stumped.  I think there are other tricks in my bag, but I am unsure of those.  I am also unsure of how much I should try to use those tricks right now.  So my days are mish mashes of a little trick here and there and the mothering trick.  I won't compromise the mothering trick for anything else right now, and I am lucky that Husband and kiddos want the same.  But that still leaves me wondering, as I peruse Facebook and the like, why don't I seem to have a really BIG trick and really CONSTANT tier to brag about on Facebook?  Yes, I am letting some snide sneak in here.  Facebook can kiss my ass because it really is a bunch of BS, but still, I need a big trick and a constant, nice tier. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

That Did Just Happen

I will call this day a success.  First, we all took one sort-of long bike ride, including some serious hills.  It was a hot day.  90 something degrees.  I do have a thing on my pinterest board that says sweat is fat crying.  So, yes, crying fat happened today.

Second, we biked to a lake.  We found a place to play in water that was not crazy busy and there was no smell of pee kinda lingering around, which is usually a pool phenomenon.  Also, we saw blue gills (I think) and Husband swam through some weeds to catch the turtle I spotted so we could all pet his shell.  He was pretty cute.  The turtle was.  Husband was brave to swim through the weeds.  I know you know that weeds hiding in water really do feel creepy.

Third, and this is the most important happening of the day, I just saved my family some money.  I don't know what the fine is for 6 overdue Ranger Rick Magazines, but I don't have to know.  See, it goes like this: I did write on the calendar that the magazines were due today.  The day before, I told Twin B that we needed to return them today.  It was the only thing on the calendar today.  I know: crazy.  So, 11 pm-ish strikes and as I try to tidy up a little bit, I see the magazines.  Only thing on the calendar and we forgot.  So, as I see the magazines, I tell Husband that I reminded him that they needed to be returned today and obviously he forgot because there they sit.  I think I totally lied about reminding him, but at the time I knew I had told someone.  So I get on the computer to try to renew the magazines so as to minimize the fines.  (Who knows how many more days we will forget to return them.)  I enter the bar codes of my kids' cards and try using the pin assigned to my other kids' cards since I can't remember any pins for the cards of the kids that took out the magazines.  Ding!  Works.  Then I see I can renew the magazines.  Cheering!  Then, I click on over to fines and see that we owe nothing.  I look at the clock and see it is before midnight of the day they are due.  I really don't know why this matters to me so much.  I am pretty sure that I would have had to pay less than one dollar for the late magazines.  But it isn't about the fines.  I guess it's a little like printing off a good paper right before it is due.  If I couldn't have renewed the magazines, it would have bothered me.  If I couldn't have figured out the pins, it would have really bothered me.  I get hung up on these things.  But this post is about success. So, hooray!  A pretty good day!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

First World White Knuckles

Yes, I am privileged.  I live in a house that is warm in the winter.  Water flows freely and clean enough to drink when I turn on my faucet.  I go to a great doctor when I am sick.  I worship freely.  My kids are taught by intelligent, motivated people.  Food is there for my taking.  No one in my family is battling a fatal disease.  But damn, those dandelions are pissing me off.

I do try to keep my world green.  Try in that I am a lessatarian (see my fav blogger at )  I try to avoid shampoo sometimes, and use baking soda, water, vinegar, and essential oils.  I try to not eat animals, especially ones that have been treated badly and with antibiotics and some crappy feed.  I don't run the AC very often.  I don't buy plastic crap from China if at all possible.  I use cloth napkins more often than paper.  I buy organic produce.  I use my guinea pigs' old bedding for garden compost.  I compost like a queen when it is warm enough to actually compost.  I do fail at being green, often.  I drive too often.  I have not switched all my light bulbs to the mercury-containing ones that use so much less energy ( OCD induced freak-out).  I throw my garbage in plastic bags.  I sometimes take plastic bags from the store to reuse for walking the dog or lining my bathroom garbage.  I occasional use a disposable wipe for really icky things.  Or more than occasionally.

But lately, the green-housekeeping dilemma I am having is the dandelions.  I look outside my sliding door with white knuckles on the handle.  When oh when will they pass?????  I can't stand it.  I garden quite feverishly during the summer.  I would like to spend every waking hour gardening.  I don't, since my kids still demand kinda clean clothes, clothes that kinda fit, food to eat everyday, activities to some extent, yada yada, yada.  So, I care about what my house looks like.  I don't garden just for the look.  I don't know why, exactly, I am obsessed. I am drawn to the earth when it sprouts up beauty in my yard.  But, the look of the gardens and my home, it matters to me.  So why or why must the dandelions be so obtrusive?  I can't live with them, and I can't live without them, because in my book, to live without them is to poison my yard and the water I will eventually need to drink.  I love to see the dandelions in other yards.  It makes me feel a sense of relief that I am not the only one opposed to chemicals.  Or maybe those people are too busy with other matters than to spray a little bit of cancer on their lawn every spring and fall.  Husband agrees about the dandelions.  He really appreciates the gardening, and sometimes he feels like he is failing as a man to let our lawn look worse than some abandoned field in the projects.  Luckily, when I have had it with the dandelions and am ready to buy a little cancer, he says, "No, it'll pass."  And then it goes the other way.  I stand firm on a green but yellow-dandelion yard when he is ready to go cancerous.  Also, when I see all the lovely birds that come to our house, and butterflies and big ol' happy bees, I feel a sense of relief: they have a safe place to go.  Yet, those dandelions might drive me to drink.  They make me feel so crazy.  Let it pass, right?  

When I really can't stand it but won't use cancer, I go out there and spend valuable time pulling the dandy flowers.  Oh and those puff balls.  And the ugly stems.  Please, stems, stop.  The worst must be the bald puff ball, you know, after the seeds have blown away.  A million, ugly, skinny bald guys in my yard, saying, "This lady has really let her house go.  Some homemaker!"  It makes me a better mama, yes.  I am sure of this, because I really know that my kids need to grow up in a greener world.

Let it go, Franny.  Remember the kids!!!!  Remember clean water and happy, pollinating bees.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Brain is Trying to Kill Me

I have ten minutes until the kiddos come home.  Not enough time to get into anything productive.  So ten minutes to play.  But I don't feel like playing.  I feel like dying.  I don't know why this hits me so often.  Just tired, freakin' so tired I could cry.  I push through it often.  But not in the morning.  I take a "nap" after my kids go to school.  I know, I am a loser.  So I should not be this tired, tired, tired.  Being tired makes everything suck, and everything suck really bad.  What am I doing, what should I be doing, why is this piece of mail still on the counter, what can I sort of make for dinner that won't be too awful, why is my stomach so blahhhhhhh, why am I so lazy, when will the weather change, why do so many people not like me..... And it goes on and on.  Now I hear the kiddos.  Now they will barrage me with the highlights and lowlights of their day, and will badger me for snacks, and then more snacks.  And they will complain about the other kid getting more snack than they are getting.  And the hours will turn into dinner time, when there will be more food issues.  Sometimes to break up the blah, I bake, and eat a shitload of dough before I bake it.  It works, sort of, for an hour or so.  Sometimes a baked treat on my counter actually makes me feel better for the rest of the night.  Then I can wake up and do this all over, but sometimes with a very different attitude.  I don't know why sometimes my brain works nicely, and sometimes it feels like my brain is trying to kill me.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Poopy Boot and Green Speck

It was a great day for walking, you see.  So, of course, Spousey had to encourage more walking.  I have dreams of being only 10 pounds more than I was when I graduated high school (not really, no dreams of that at all.  Just want to get back a few stomach muscles that were punched out by babes in the womb), so I agree to more walking today.  We walked to get the kiddos from school.  I am a constant poop watcher.  I watch for poop everywhere.  Just one of the extra cute manifestations of my OCD.  Right now, pretty sure, poop is at an all time high 'round our hood.

My Middle Kid: Can we walk through the soccer fields to get home?

Me: No.  They will be riddled with poop.

Middle Kid: You always totally deny me of all my ideas.

Me:  I know.

A few seconds later, Spousey: Don't step on that (while kind of blocking the turd and pointing to it).

My youngest girlies, being so much like their mother, avoid the turd.  Middle Kid proceeds to step directly on turd, as Spousey watches.

I think Middle Kid says: Watch out for what?

Spousey: The poop you just nailed.

The entire walk home was an attempt to get the poop off the boot by walking in snow, stomping, and a little stick work.  The boot still needed a little bleach and nail attention (not my finger nail, eeewww.  I find that those picture-hanging nails really get in the groves.  I know, I know: very cute manifestation of OCD).  Now, you could eat off that frickin' boot.

A couple of hours pass of boot cleaning, snack eating, homework doing, food making.  I made some quiche today with some leftovers and some improvisation.   What does it mean to "scald the cream?"  Anyway, DINNER TIME!!!

As the kiddos, spouse, and dog gather in the kitchen, it seems that the quiche will be well received.  One quiche is a ham and cheese kind, the other has chicken sausage and cheese.

First Born: what is that green speck on the quiche?

Me: Oh, just something that will probably kill you.  (I think it was actually a bit of green pepper, which probably could kill my extremely finicky First Born.)

First Born:  Oooohhhh, that sucks, 'cause I really didn't want to eat something that would probably kill me tonight.

Me: Don't worry, things that will probably kill you really don't hurt you.

All dinner guests (my family), less one, ate the quiches.  You really didn't expect everyone to eat the same main dish, did you?  Oh, also, my doggy couldn't get enough of the quiche, so he was extra beggy at the table.  So I have that, which is not nice.

All in all, a pretty good evening.  How was yours?  I am encouraging comments.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?