Because it really is personal…


The past few weeks have been raucously active. For me, anyway. I mean, I know people who’s daily lives are mapped by the minute because that’s the only way all of it can get done. I am more of the “one thing a day because any more than that confuses me” type of person. Also I have a lazy streak about half a mile wide and more than one thing a day harshes my mellow. (harsh’s? Whatever)

Anyway…we now have new floors on the main level of our house. The old ones were irrevocably damaged by an assortment of water-related issues. mostly involving people taking the filter basket off the front loading washer in search of spare change, then not putting it back on right, so the entirety of the water in the machine pumped onto the floor the next time it was used, and of course that wasn’t discovered until later in the day, when walking across the floor included squishing water up between the seams of the old flooring. Now that the searcher lives elsewhere, there hasn’t been an incident since. We felt confident enough to replace the old with new and did so. And it is lovely. The house isn’t put back together yet, as the baseboards aren’t in place and the furniture, which will be radically rearranged (translation: relocated to entirely different rooms in entirely different configuations, which makes it feel like we have moved to a whole new house and is also an excellent time to get rid of unnecessary shi…er…stuff) has yet to be radically rearranged, as it will take Grown Men to do so, and all the Grown Men around here have stressful day jobs.  However, the 3 month mark is a long way off, and as long as it is done within 3 months, I can say “it didn’t take as long as it took to do the new kitchen, so I am ok with it.”  3 months of cooking with a hot plate on a card table will do all sorts of things to one’s perspective on stuff.  The floor installation was, as with anything involving any sort of renovation, Not Straightforward. It appeared so, at first. Take Up Old Floor, Put Down New Floor. Easy peasy, 1 week job. We dealt with most of the furniture so the floor guys wouldn’t have to. Take Up Old Floor was a snap. however, there was Moisture, The Devil underneath. Also, Older flooring underneath, that had to come up. That added about 5 days, as once the Older floor came up the concrete slab had to dry.  Then as the new stuff was installed, the dudes doing the work (Nice guys, Scooter and Fred. Did a great job in spite of circumstances) got sick. Like….Bad Cold w/coughing and kleenex. Which meant they didn’t work as fast and what normally would take a day and a half took 3 days. Not to mention my paranoia and lysol wipes and hand sanitizer. BUT, it all got done and now we have new floors, AND, in conversation with Fred at one point, I asked what they did with old carpet removed from other places and he asked why did I ask and I replied that the stuff makes the BEST groundcover under mulch (seriously! Weeds do NOT grown through it yet it is permeable for water and if it’s old likely most of the formaldehyde has gassed off and it’s FREE) so he brought me a huge pile of it, conveniently cut into 4 foot wide strips…which is a WHOLE ‘NOTHER PROJECT FOR HIMSELF! Because Himself has way too much spare time these days.

Ok so there’s that.

Then there’s this Wedding Dress which seems to be in a near perpetual state of “Almost finished!” Only now, it’s truly Almost Finished. I ought to get it done today, since it is going to rain. Except for the train, and that is on the agenda for the upcoming week. In fact, I am going to do all I can to completely block out a couple of days for that. Tuesday and Thursday both look good so DON’T CALL ME, OK?

Then there is all this school stuff and the dogs stuff and the constant guilt of looking out in the yard that has crossed over from lawn to being a Meadow w/ Wildflowers (pink oxalis and yellow dandelions and a clump of blooming dewberry vines), (also all the pine cones I didn’t pick up all winter), (which I am sure irritate the snot out of our neighbor who takes care of his yard religiously but he doesn’t have anything else to do and I do).  Normally #4 does the lawn but between rain on the weekends when he usually mows, and play practice and soccer practice/games every afternoon, and homework, and all the other trappings of a normal 15 year old (oh crap, I still haven’t gotten him in to get his learner’s permit!), time has been nonexistent.

plus every single time there is TIME to mow, it rains. Yep, Today is a Day Off and #4 has/had every intention of mowing but we are predicted to get 3 inches of rain today, which means not only can he not mow today, he won’t be able to until late next week due to Mushy Yard Syndrome (which also will elicit harsh words and lowered Greek eyebrows from the neighbor, who is convinced that all water runoff down our driveway is overflowing sewage, never mind the septic tank and drainfield are not located in an area that would runoff down the driveway. Apparently gravity is irrelevant in this situation). Also, all that rain will cause the Meadow to grow. By next weekend we will need a bushhog instead of a lawnmower.

For some reason these days everything is taking longer to get done. Time was, many years ago, predicting how long a thing would take was easy and accurate. Getting in the car and going somewhere, even with 3 preschool kids (22 years ago) wasn’t difficult and I was able to be punctual. Now? With just me and no one else to deal with? Being prompt is difficult. It can still be pulled off, but only with the building in of an extra 15 minutes because of “I can’t find my phone!” and “It’s too cold and where’s the sweater that matches this shirt?” and speaking of phone I just remembered that it was honking it’s “Fixing to Die” sound last night and it never got put on the charger because I stole the charger for the Kindle even though we have about 20 spare chargers around here and none of them can ever be found except when they aren’t needed and are tangling up something else.

I thought things were supposed to get easier as the kids grew up and left home.

My house is Heidi Montag
April 5, 2014, 1:31 pm
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Have you ever noticed how work begets work? There are even sayings for the phenomenon. “One damn thing after another”, “It never rains but what it pours.” Oh I know those are intended for runs of bad luck (or whatever you call it), but they are entirely appropriate for having work done.

It might be plastic surgery. First, the crows feet are dealt with, but then you decide your lips look too thin, so those get get plumped up, then your face looks too young to have sad boobs, and so on.

No, I am not having work done on my body.

The house is getting it’s crows feet dealt with. Actually, it’s the floor. The main level flooring was destroyed in an assortment of water related issues involving the washing machine and someone forgetting to turn off the tub then leaving. What happened there (because you’re thinking “who does that?!”) was that the water main was out of order, so when he turned on the tub nothing came out. Then he left, forgetting to turn it back off. When the main was fixed, the water came on and no one was home. Several hours later I got home to find a waterfall coming down the stairs and an inch or so of standing water on the main floor. With #4 sitting on a couch so his feet wouldn’t get wet, reading a book.  He claimed not to notice, which I believe since he was 12 at the time.

Anyway, crow’s feet. The flooring is being replaced. They are about 1/4 done. The wall colors are wrong for the floors. Terry’s new office, which I just painted in a color chosen with a piece of the new floor stuff in hand, isn’t right. So it needs a new color. Also, the ceiling looks dingy now. Why couldn’t this be figured out BEFORE the new stuff was in? Now I have to worry about drips!

New floors (a slate tile) in the entryway has called to attention the color of the wall (to the chair rail) is wrong. It looked great with the old stuff, but not-so-great now. More painting. Same with the dining room, which is an inoffensive Builder’s Cream due to the idea a few years ago that the house would be put on the market, but now inoffensive has become BORING, and needs a color. A COLOR color, not a version of white.

The space needs to POP! (barf. I hate West Coast DesignerSpeak. HGTV sometimes makes me want to throw things.) When did “room” become “space”? What is so great about POP? If I want POP I’ll go to a video arcade. Home requires calm and serene. Something like a lakeshore or that mossy spot next to the creek. If something POPS there I panic because it’s likely someone is shooting at me.

Where was I….Oh yes, I was busy contradicting myself. I like color, not bland.However, the dining room will not be painted the Serene ColouresduJour like Posh Celery and Waterside, because…bleh. I don’t know what color to paint it. Inspiration will come, eventually.

And another thing….the names of colors…who does that? Yesterday I was revisiting colors for the office, and there is one called Adolescence. I will let you guess what that is. Pantone, which is the Thing That Chooses The Colors has a Color Of The Year every year. I don’t know who chooses that, either. This year it is Radiant Orchid, which is a pinky lavender bright sort of  washed out fuschia. NOT using THAT anywhere. It’s a great color, if you have a 12 year old who’s into Lisa Frank stickers. I suppose it would look good in a dining room with silver painted French Provincial furniture and a zebra striped rug. Not my taste, but I’m not knocking it…just not my taste.  Himself would warn me right here about offending someone due to this being their taste, but please refer to the name of this blog.

radiant orchid

Ok…once again, where was I…Oh yeah, work being done. Fresh paint is required throughout. Don’t you love the way a house smells after it’s been freshly painted? Once the inside work is finished, the outside will get some stuff done too. Currently it looks like Someone Doesn’t Care, with a bit of rotting wood and a messy landscapingish type of maybe theme going on. The intention was to get all the outside done last Summer…no, Really, we were, but it rained and rained and rained and rained and rained, and when it wasn’t raining, the ground was so soggy from the rain that it wouldn’t support the necessary scaffolding, and since it is work that will take several days and require much sunlight and dry-ness and we never went more than 2 days without rain, it simply didn’t happen. So, we’re going to try again. Once the inside work is done because honestly, it all feels like surgery to me and having work done all over the place would be like doing a Heidi Montag and having a facelift, boob job, and tummy tuck all at one time. Ain’t happening.

Outside work will be nice due to the way it won’t cause much upheaval in the household functions. A bit of wood replaced, a lick of paint or two, all with fervent prayers that the guys don’t come to the door with a polite knock and “Uh…we discovered that your entire roof is about to cave in and you might want to see about that.”  Once all that is done, and some evaluations as to the future have been committed, 32 pine trees will be removed, Yes. 32 of them, in a 1/3 acre yard. Shady, no? Yep, shady. And pine trees ooze and drip and shed and drop pine cones everywhere and cause the neighbor to give us dirty looks and wonder why we can’t do a better job of keeping the yard nice. Once those trees (I call them the cockroaches of the plant world) are gone and there’s no more limbs to constantly pick up and cones to pick up and pine straw to rake, it will be easier to keep the yard nice.

Anyway. Yes, we are having Work Done. Lots of work. And someone else is doing it this time. We have always done all of the work ourselves. From roofing to hanging drywall to building the kitchen cabinets and caulking bathrooms. This time…someone else is doing it all and darned if it doesn’t feel nice.

Ok sure, I can throw in some After pictures eventually, but there aren’t any Befores. And During? getoutatown. That would be like putting up pictures mid-surgery.

Spring Cleaning
March 23, 2014, 8:26 pm
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It’s a tradition, right? Springtime in the South means pollen, and lots of it. Not just pollen-my-nose-itches but thick visible clouds of yellow billowing out of trees with a breeze, yellow dust covering cars that turns to a paste when it’s humid…which is almost always. Cleaning during Pollen Season is pointless. Really. Yesterday Himself and I drove past the local car wash place and cars were lined up out in the road and we pondered the wisdom of that, since in 3 hours the cars would be yellow again. I kind of understand it, I guess. Some people are kind of compulsive about their cars being clean, as I am compulsive about the kitchen. However, in The World According to Rootie, cleaning during this 6 weeks is pretty much an exercise in futility.

However! Once the trees quit their vigorous acts of reproduction all over the place it is safe to clean again. And The Toot Household is preparing for this with much enthusiasm as can be mustered between sneezing and yellow eye boogers. O yes. We are getting New Floors. Also, because stuff has to be shuffled for floors, might as well organize at the same time, right? RIGHT! There is this utility room, which houses the hot water heater and a bunch of shelves on which many things were randomly piled with no thought to anything except “I can put this here and close the door and ignore it.” But, because the freezer was going to be moved in there, the ignored piles of stuff had to be dealt with and so it was. You know those clear boxes with the lids, the big ones? I love those things. Those were bought and put to use. Himself moved his shelf full of handtools out to his shop. Freezer was emptied and cleaned…because of course. One cannot move a freezer into another room without first taking it outside and bleaching it. That Is How It Is Done. Moving the freezer resulted in the discovery of God Only Knows How Old It Is…as well as WHAT it is…packages of something unidentifiable. If one doesn’t know what it is, one should get rid of it.

Have you ever noticed how, as you get older, nothing is ever straight forward anymore?

The cleaning of the utility room has me in a mood to clean and organize other things. Closets, #4′s Dark Hole of a bedroom, with it’s funky odor of adolescent shoes and weeks-old ham sandwiches; and the patio. Now that is something else that isn’t straight forward.

What is there to cleaning a patio? Sweep it, right? Maybe a wash with a pressure washer or something…not so complicated, eh. Phhpt. I wish. It’s brick ,with weeds growing up through the cracks. Roundup. There’s pine trees, thus pine straw and cones with the weeds, oh and loose bricks from the pine tree roots heaving them up (not my idea to have the trees. talk to the guy who planted them 47 years ago when he built the house.) Also lots of furniture, like any kind of room. A grill (and not a small weber either. A massive many burner JennAir thing), a smoker (ditto), dining table and 6 chairs, easy chairs, fire pit, etc. Sigh.

And then there’s the attic. We discussed it a bit ago. no one has been up there or inquired about it’s contents for several years. Perhaps we should go away for a few days (or weeks) and ask the local university Fellowship group to go up there, and sell everything that’s up there to raise funds, and simply never tell us anything about it. I don’t even KNOW what’s up there and there is concern amongst us that if we find out, there might be reminiscing and a desire to keep this or that and obviously that stuff isn’t THAT important or it would be down HERE and not up THERE.

There is a closet full of double bed sheets. We don’t have a double bed. Another closet full of old toys that might be great for grandkids but we don’t have any. hopefully one day, but do I want to hold on to stuff Just in Case, when half the fun of toys is in the getting of them?

So much to do, and only one of me to do them. And no. I don’t really want the men involved.

But there is a lot of satisfaction to getting the house in order. Standing in the door of a room just finished, and seeing everything in it’s place is kind of…inspiring. It doesn’t have to be a fancy room, with color coordinated everything and Pottery Barn Martha Stewart-Approved Deco-Balls. The sheets can be 20 years old, but if the blankets are folded and the books are in a row, it’s satisfying.

now THAT is a satisfying way to clean. ^^^

Matlock is on and it’s time for Jello*
March 19, 2014, 1:37 pm
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*Thank you, Barbara, for the line.

Bifocals, y’all. I have them. I am tripping over my feet and can’t figure out which way to tilt my head to read.  The foresight to get reading glasses as well is recommended. Sewing is much easier when the entire lens is useful and not just a wee crescent at the base of the distance-seeing lens. Of course, I can’t see squat past the length of my legs in them, but since ballet dancing or skeet shooting isn’t done in readers, no big deal. Readers also gave me the opportunity to buy big thick tortoise-shell frames, which are fun in that “Lookit me, y’all! I’m a hipster!” kind of way. Plus they were only $20. I may get a couple more to keep by the bed and downstairs at the computer.

I have resisted bifocals for several years now. Vanity, maybe….ok. Vanity definitely. It’s silly, really, as vanity isn’t one of my strongest traits. Pride yes, but vanity, notsomuch. But somehow getting bifocals was an admission of something unwelcome. Even though I have never been sensitive to age stuff, somehow getting them was like a final step. I’m Old, by culturally accepted standards. Without bifocals, somehow being Old wasn’t quite happening yet. Even with salt-and-pepper hair, crows feet, and bingo wings I could pretend, somehow, that Old wasn’t quite happening yet.

No more. It’s here. All the symptoms are here. All of them. Heartburn caused by the most innocent foods, orthopedic shoes, multiple prescriptions on the automatic refill plan, a preference for 8:00 pm bedtime, and instrumental music recor…I mean…CDs.  I mistrust microwave ovens, using them only to reheat coffee. Police and firemen look like 12 years olds, as do college students. Physicians (even specialists!) also look 12. In fact, anyone under 30 looks 12 and anyone under 12 qualifies for infancy.

The good part of it is that no one intimidates me anymore. Not doctors, professors, or corporate CEOs.  If someone, anyone, no matter their education or vocabulary, says something sketchy I can look at them over the top of my bifocals and make them realize how foolish they sounded. Ask the boys, they will tell you the power of a good look over the top of glasses. Combine it with a subtle cock of an eyebrow and…who needs laws or guns? Maybe that’s what this country needs, a Granny Patrol with bifocals and eyebrows.

reading glasses

I need to stop and take a breather….
February 11, 2014, 9:38 pm
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It’s been a while, hasn’t it. Sorry ’bout that, but between the malware/adware/underware o the computer that makes it nigh upon impossible to do anything without cursing and wanting to throw things, and the cold that morphed into bronchitis that turned into a raucous and debilitating cough, and the EXCITING NEWS about #3 and his sweetheart deciding to get married, well, I have been busy. Either coughing or cursing or cheering or researching lace options because….

#3′s sweetheart asked me to make her wedding dress. Or rather, #3 told her I could and she, being practical and recognizing the financial advantage as well as the cache’ of having a one-of-a-kind couture wedding dress for only the cost of the fabric, thought it was a fine idea.

Pictures eventually.

In the mean time, the very idea that one of my sons is getting married has been emotional. I mean, this is the little kid with the long blonde curls and the big blue eyes and the charm and wait, isn’t he still 7 and likes mac and cheese from a box? Since when has it been acceptable for 7 year old boys to get married around here? Ok yeah we tend to marry young in the South but even here 7 is pushing it.

He’s not READY to get married!! But really, who ever is? Himself and I were 21 and 20 when we got engaged, and married just 6 months later. Were we READY? He didn’t have a good job, nor did I. He was a student in college and had no money, I was a steak-house waitress and had only what I made in tips more than he did. He lived in a shoe-box and I lived with my parents.

Now I look at #3 and his sweetheart. He’s 22 and she’s 20. He lives in a shoebox and she lives at home with her parents. He is a student and she works in a veterinarian’s office. When you put it all side by side, we were no more ready than they seem to be, and we have been solidly married for 27-1/2 years.

But who is ever ready? How much is enough money? When is it convenient or expedient or The Right Time? Some of the best times of our marriage were the times when we were down to $8 in the checking account, because it meant we could go to the Pizza Hut buffet.  The prettiest Christmas tree we ever had was bought at half price because it was Christmas Eve, and it was very much the sad Charlie Brown type.  The best gift he ever gave me was the box shaped like a button, made from scavenged materials because we had no money for buying gifts that year.

Struggles are important. They are the stuff memories and relationship muscles are made of. If everything is always wonderful, if you start out with the perfect house and the new furniture and shiny fabulous car and all those clothes, where is the struggle of scraping by and how do you learn to lean on each other when there is nothing else to lean on?  I know my child kid son and his sweetheart will struggle. I don’t fear for them with that.

Learning to live with someone, figuring out their habits and weirdnesses and noises are all apart of the learning curve. I firmly believe the learning should happen within the confines of a sanctified marriage relationship, one that makes it too difficult to get out of if you decide you can’t live with the aroma of the bathroom after the other one has been in there. Or the way s/he chews. Or farts in their sleep.  Not that any of those things have ever been a problem here.  Just examples off the top of my head.  I remember when we had been married about 2 weeks. I woke up to find Himself changing the sheets on the bed, with me still in it. He was asleep. A couple of days later, I woke up in the night to the aroma of bacon and eggs. Himself was in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. At 1am. And he was asleep.  Fortunately I assumed he had a very valid reason for those nocturnal activities, even asleep, so chose not to be terribly concerned.  Eventually the nighttime stuff settled down and hasn’t happened for many, many years. I figure (in retrospect) it was the anxiety and stress of being newly married that caused it all.  It could have been cause for a walkout, but it wasn’t. We were married, and the very idea of walking out wasn’t in our realm of thinking. Thank goodness for that, because several years later he would have his own reasons that would have had many men riding off into the sunset.

I am not a believer in ‘trial runs’ or ‘practice marriages’ or whatever you call it. Living together “to see if we’re compatible”. That’s nonsense. Like I said above, if you are living together to make sure there are no irritating habits, then you don’t have much of a commitment.  If you want to live together in order to get whatever- regular sex, or share expenses, or someone to watch movies with- then be honest enough to say that. Don’t call it a practicing or a trial run, because marriage is not something you can take on a test drive, any more than borrowing a baby to see if you want to have one is a trial run for parenthood.

Anyway, the emotional roller coaster of realizing I might be losing a son, or I might be gaining a daughter, or maybe something in between, has been kind of rough. Mainly because I have no idea what to expect. The thought of one of my children kids sons embarking on a…whatever you call it…my brain keeps comparing it to Magellan’s Voyage…is very exciting. I know it’s not like that because no one had ever done what Magellan did, and lots of people have been married, but it’s the first time HE has ever been married (and hopefully will be the last) and for him, that is a Magellan’s Voyage.

The whole making of the wedding dress has me in a loop as well, because 10 years ago I resigned myself to being The Mother Of The Groom, wearing beige and having nothing important to do, wedding-wise. Himself’s only role was to be signing a check for the rehearsal dinner.  But now, I get to make The Most Important Dress she will ever wear, and that is a big responsibility. Yes, I am up for it, and am looking forward to it. I get to be a real part of this ceremony, not just the beige wearing mother-in-law. How cool is that?


Old Friends
January 21, 2014, 5:54 pm
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What is it about familiar things that brings such great comfort?  Comfort food- never anything fancy, rarely made of expensive ingredients or from something hard to come by- usually something warm and creamy and probably rich. Macaroni and cheese, chicken and dumplings, maybe chocolate pudding (the cooked kind, eaten while still warm because who has the patience to let it cool?). Food for the soul, sometimes it’s called that. Being sick means not having much of an appetite. I tried some tomato soup and gave up after a couple of mouthsful. Tuna salad and crackers, usually a guaranteed palate-pleaser, also didn’t cause much excitement. Tangerines are about it, the only thing that really tastes any good these days. Thank goodness they’re in season.

Since comfort isn’t coming in a bowl right now, it has to be found in other ways. Books seem to work. Not just reading them, but the real, honest, books. The kind that kept me company when I was growing up. You know, BOOKS. With pages that you turn and can flip back when you realize you missed a part. The kind where you stick a piece of paper to mark the page when your eyes get too heavy and you realize it’s 1 am and you have to get up in 4 hours to get the day going. Those kinds of books. It has been a while since I sat down with a real book and actually turned the pages.

I have never been able to keep up with bookmarks. I like them, the pretty ones with tassels or maybe the fancy metal ones with a doo-dad at one end or a little can of copper clips. But I never have one when it’s needed, so resort mainly to whatever is closest, a scrap of paper or perhaps that string from a set of earplugs. Whatever works. Right now it’s a post-it, folded in half so the sticky part doesn’t stick to the page.

Himself got me an e-thing for Christmas a couple of years ago and it has been a right handy e-thing to have. Instead of schlepping a massive Bible and it’s Oxford Intellectual SmartPerson Reference, when going on trips, the e-thing tucks right into my purse and still has all that stuff, and weighs much less. Nice, huh.  I have heard that with the e-thing people can read books that they don’t want anyone else to know they’re reading, but I haven’t tried that one yet.  But the e-thing, useful and practical as it is, lacks the charm and comfort of a real book. I use to for getting the stuff that’s free, the out-of-copyright old books, or maybe the books I want to read once but won’t particularly want to read again later. Mysteries and such. So I like it well enough, it suits for reading on an airplane or whatever.

It’s the familiarity of a book, the tactile comfort of actually holding this hefty chunk and turning page after page, that is so important. For me, all that with a book that I know like an old friend, one that I’ve read so many times the cadence of the author’s words are familiar like a family member. I like knowing that just a few pages more and Jane will have her Mr. Rochester, or that Christy will open her eyes, or that Scarlett will indeed return to Tara. These are books I’ve read so many times I know exactly what will happen, and there is great comfort in those familiar words.

Oh sure, I like to read new things. I like to try new foods as well. But when I am sick and wobbly and whining, I don’t want the newest thing on the menu at Emma’s featuring scallops or truffle butter. I don’t want to wonder who’s going to die or what sort of distress the latest Stephen King novel will heap on an unwitting Maine village. I want chicken and dumplings, and the safety of Christy and David and Cutter’s Gap, and I want food in a bowl and words on a page I can turn.

The turning of pages acts like the turning back of time, somehow. When I am reading a book that was first read as a much-younger person, it feels like I am back there, somehow. Instead of being 48, it feels almost like I am 12 again, sitting on my bed, or under that big tree, with my nose buried in the book. I am back in the world of the book, and the setting is wherever I was the first time I read it. I like that.  It’s like a vacation of sorts. Time stops, sets itself over to the side while I get reacquainted with old familiar friends.

Do you have books that you return to, time after time?

Here are some of the ones I love:

Christy, by Catherine Marshall

Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray

The Big Fisherman, by Lloyd C. Douglas

All Creatures Great and Small, by James Herriot (also the sequels)

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain


January 16, 2014, 10:03 pm
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When I was a kid, it was called ‘having an epizooty’ or maybe ‘the creeping crud’. I remember how much fun it was to be sick for a couple of days, getting to lay in bed and drink hot jello and eat chicken soup from a can.  I don’t remember feeling horrible. i don’t remember aches and creaking and the way even the softest sound is magnified and bangs around in your head like pebbles in a tin can. I don’t remember even  eyelashes hurting, or fingernails, or the hairs on the back of my hands.

The problem with being The Mom, is that in order to have someone to wait on me hand-and-foot the entire day, I have to do it. Don’t get me wrong, Himself does everything he can but he has a job to go to, and the kids are at school, so while I lay in the recliner under a pile of blankets and moan, eventually if I want a glass of cold water or a mug of hot tea, well, it won’t get itself. I suppose it is indeed a very good thing that there are no little kids in the house, only dogs and mischevous (however you spell that) cats.

I remember many years ago, having a bad epizooty and 3 preschool children, including a small infant. I remember laying on the couch surrounded by a pile of Thomas The Tank Engine VHS tapes, and handing them to the oldest, who was 4. He was very proud of himself, for being in charge of the tapes. Cereal boxes provided sustenance, and Himself made up a bunch of bottles for the baby, and the 3 yr old was in charge of fetching them as needed.  One works out systems when one must, I reckon.

Today, tho, and yesterday and beginning the evening of the day before that, I have been laid out flat with the bronchitis. A cough invited itself to stay, like the weird aunt who smells of old cheese and won’t take a hint, right before Christmas. The cough stayed on but I didn’t feel bad. Until the evening of the day before that. Thanks to an hour of walk in visits to the Dr’s office, an antibiotic was prescribed, because he determined that the Aunt That Smelled Of Old Cheese needed to go.

I still feel like crap. Achy, painy, whiney-baby and I just want someone to be here and wait on me, with hot tea and lemon jello and ice water and an occasional back rub.  I don’t want to be 48 today. I want to be 8.


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