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ok. I am fine. really. no, don’t worry about me, for I am just fine. I will be, eventually, anyway.
The morning was spent in a futile attempt to get #3 to the orthodontist. I did all the required work, driving around, making phone calls, being assured that they would be there at 8:30, which they were not. So #3 was delivered to Gran’s truck at the Winn Dixie, molar band unattached,(I told him to stick it in place with some wax) and contraband food was duly hidden under the passenger seat after they went into the store. See, Gran, for all her virtues, is a stunningly lousy cook. #3 complained of a subsistance level diet comprised of salty peanuts, grilled chicken and egg beaters. Because Gramps is on a low cholesterol diet, it means everyone is. So I stopped at Walmart before dropping him off and bought him a tub of yogurt covered pretzels, a can of Deluxe Salted Nuts (no peanuts) and a can of Slim jims. He will hide them under the bed until rodents and insects are attracted, then he’ll claim complete ignorance.
Once he was dropped off, I spent some time utterly for myself, renting chickflicks (Emma, Mystic Pizza, Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason, and one other I forget the name of but it has Julia Roberts in it.) Can you believe how many teeth Julia Roberts has? I believe she has at least an extra set of molars in there, and amazing how her mouth can open up to show every last one of them. I am particularly impressed because my mouth is Small. When I was a teenager I pondered the feasibility of sort of slicing to either side, to make it bigger. I realized, however, that my lips would remain small and I’d just look really strange.
The only time I wish we had cable is when I am sick, but I can’t see spending $40 a month for 1 week quarterly of marathon HGTV.
After renting aformentioned movies, I went to Kroger and purchased a basket full of comfort food: potato leek soup, roasted red pepper and tomato soup, Cheetoes, sesame crackers, and a tub of spinach dip. And a box of Honeycomb cereal which was disappointingly not as good as I remember it being. It’s not as sweet, more like Kix than Corn Pops. Everyone went and got all healthy on me when I wasn’t watching. I’ll let the kids have it, they’ll think they are getting away with something.
So, while I still feel like I am walking the banks of the Styx River…ok so it’s not that bad but it’s bad enough to make me really whiney and the only audience I have is a pair of very silly dachshunds. They are currently at my feet eviscerating a toy snake. There are fluff, rattles, and squeakers all over the floor. They will probably convince me to share the cheetoes, because they are good at that.
The “good” news is, the house hasn’t shown today. It’s pouring rain all day,not exactly househunting weather. It’s supposed to be like that all week. I am going to go surfing soon for ideas on how to make the house more buyer friendly. RIght now, my thought is that we should paint over all this fabulous color with plain vanilla, so people won’t walk in and think “oh that won’t go with my furniture at all”. The wonderful rich gold and cinnamon in the living room and dining room, dark red of the kitchen, dove grey of the family room. Sigh. I love those colors but, I have to think about this house as belonging to someone else. It was vanilla when we moved in, and, while I am not a vanilla person in general, it was nice to be able to move into a house that didn’t have to be painted right away. So I guess that’s what I’ll have to do. I’ll ask the realtor.
After I get over my disease, that is.
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Ok. The weekend happened. We went to New Town, then drove to Savannah to peruse the beach and riverfront. Very nice. Then I drove home in a medication induced fog, nothing more pressing on my mind than the idea that I would be able to crawl in bed for a couple of days and get over this bug. Yah right. #3 has a loose band and must be at the orthodontist in the morning. My mother wants me to spend all my time at her place which would involve NOT being in my own bed around my own stuff. #’s 2 and 4 want to come home and I just want to crawl in bed and vegetate for a couple of days. Ok. I can do this. Tomrrow, after I take #3 to the orthodonist then to my mothers. Then I can come home and sleep the sleep of Nyquil. I predict this desire…no. it’s not a desire, it’s an all-consuming NEED to sleep in my bed, undisturbed will unleash the tsunami of real estate agents upon my house, requiring me to NOT BE THERE hours at a time. Oh well. If disease and infirmity are what is needed to sell the house, then call me diseased and infirm. I’ll cough up a lung hourly if necessary.
I think one of the reasons the house isn’t selling is it’s lack of curb appeal. The garden across the front has every impression of being high maintenance. I think if I were to remove all of the roses and about half the shrubbery it would look more like that which ordinary people can handle. Right now it looks like it was planted by a manic english gardener. Everyone is coming home this weekend, so perhaps I’ll call the real estate agent and ask her opinion on the matter. I am not even sure I am allowed to change the landscaping once the house is listed.
For right now, a cup of hot tea, a comfortable chair, and the latest Maeve Binchy novel will have to do, as I am too sick and whiney to do anything else. Except that the said novel is in the back of the car which requires me to get up and walk ALL THE WAY OUTSIDE and retrieve it from the miniscule trunk of Little Martha. heave ho. I’ll turn on the kettle and maybe the water will be hot by the time I get the stuff from ALL THE WAY OUTSIDE and trudge back into the house.
poor poor pitiful me.
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I was, as usual and to my amused chagrin, up at 5. When there is no one to cook for or clean up after, 5 am is a very quiet part of the day. Cool, too- 54 this morning, and lovely on the deck with a hot cup of coffee and doggies nibbling my toes.
I meet #3 at the orthopedist at 9 (Gramps is dropping him there) then the 2 of us are off to Georgia to spend the long weekend with Sweet Daddio and #1. Since over half the drive is some backwater state road frequented by tractors, log trucks, and little old ladies on their way to Circle, I will drive with the top down. I have developed a bad case of farmers tan, and wish to even things up a bit by wearing a sleeveless top and putting high-test sunscreen on the tanned parts. I’d go topless if I thought I could get away with it, but I can’t, not here in the buckle of the Bible Belt. I won’t even wear a tube top, as I have yet to see one with underwire supports and boning. Well, I guess there is the whole corset thing. But really, do I look like the corset type to you? I didn’t think so.
Anyway, the weekend looms and my sinuses are making known their presence. Post nasal drip is making my throat a bit sore, and I am shouting internally at the unfairness of it all. Here I have an entire week ahead of me with no responsibilities, one where I literally could stay in bed without moving if I wanted to, and I have to start feeling blicky on Friday. In what way is this fair? I have 2 entire days to spend with Sweet Daddio, locked in the privacy of a hotel room if i wish, and I am going to spend the majority of it blowing my nose and whining. Ok, not whining. I am trying to get that out of my system right now. Tylenol, sudafed, hot tea. If I keep them coming I’ll be fine. Oh, and to top it off, my blow dryer died.
But! The dogs are good, the cats are fed, the sun is shining and the weather is supposed to be fabulous all weekend. I may try to talk SD into taking the kids (and the wife) to Savannah on Saturday. We can watch the humongous ocean liners come up the river, and the tugboats tugging, and street musicians. Go out to Tybee Island, maybe, and waltz between scantily clad women (the boys would like that) and geezers with metal detectors.
I hereby refuse to acknowledge my sinuses, beyound the 6x/day dosing with OTC meds. I’ll worry about them Monday afternoon, when I can crawl in bed and drown my misery with gin.
That is my remedy for colds, and so far it has worked very well. When I feel one coming on, I drink gin in various forms: martini’s, gin and tonics, etc…I get nice and sloshed and when I wake up the next day the cold has retreated with a whimper and I feel fine. That’s right…alcohol has antiseptic properties, right? So what better to fight disease than with a dose of alcohol? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
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ok. The kids are all farmed out to grandparents, etc. Sweet Daddio is 5 hours away in Georgia. I am alone, except for 2 silly dogs. I am, at the moment, experiencing bliss. Tomorrow I drive to Georgia to spend the long weekend there. The bet starts Monday.
The bet is this: How long will it take Rootietoot to get mind numbingly bored?
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1. Roundup. I’m too lazy to weed.
2. Already made meatballs and jarred spaghetti sauce. A Tasty Meal In Minutes.
3. the library. I’m too cheap to buy my own books.
4. Liquid bath soap. Nice on my skin, no weird film, rinses off completely.
5.cell phones. I can contact anyone anywhere anytime, or turn it off and be out of touch on purpose.
6. the timer on my coffee maker, so I don’t have to wait for it in the morning.
7.that 6 disc cd changer. I can put in enough cd’s to keep me singing all day long.
8.Simple Green. The best cleaner there is. It works and it smells good.
9.children. Ok. I know you are wondering about that, but without children I’d have to mow the lawn and dump the noodles and feed the dogs and take out the trash and empty the dishwasher. All my hard work of the past 17 years is paying off. My children are useful. What will I do when they all move out?
10. Sweet Daddio. Boy does he ever make my life easier. He’s an interesting companion, willing to work so I can stay home and do whatever it is that I do. He’s also hairy, and I find that highly appealing. All I have to do is whine about wanting something and he jumps up and makes it so.
So. Lots of things work well to make my life easier, and I am highly grateful for all of them. I don’t wish I were someone else, or somewhere else, or somewhen else. Except for the 50 pounds or so I find irritatingly attached to my body, life is good.
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11:30 am. #4′s lunch, a tv dinner he picked out for it’s colorful box and candy sprinkles to apply to the pudding, is warming in the oven. I am trying to decide what to fix for #2 and myself. He wants fishsticks. I want a mixed baby greens salad with candied walnuts, cranberries, and raspberry vinagrette. That or O’Charleys pecan crusted chicken salad.
I’ve spent the morning Cleaning: scrubbing the grout with a toothbrush, packing the bathroom items you only use once in a blue moon but want around when you need them, scrubbing the unmentionable crusty stuff off the hinges of the toilet seat. All this in preparation for not being here for a few days. Tomorrow I take #’s 2 and 4 to the grandparents in North Alabama. They’ll stay there as long as they want to, or for 3 weeks, which ever comes first. #4 has to have an allergy shot in 3 weeks. Friday #3 and I will go to the New Town for the weekend. He hasn’t seen it yet. He’ll like it, he likes everything. I predict he’ll have a whole new posse of friends within a week of moving in.
He’s like that, charismatic and charming. We often wondered where he came by that, but I (just this very minute, thinking about it) have decided it comes from his paternal grandfather, who moved to a new town (population 250) upon retirement and within a week was well established in the local Old Farts Coffee Club at the Chat ‘n’Chew.
Sweet Daddio’s parents have been an education for me. I am essentially a snob. I have, in the past, been quick to look down on people I perceive as inferior in upbringing or education (silly, I know, this coming from the person with a high school diploma and a little technical training). SD’s parents were a source of great anxiety for a long time. I didn’t understand them , want to understand them, or make any effort to relate to them. I had it in my head that I wasn’t going to like them. Then I realized…these were the people who brought SD into the world and made him the wonderful person that he is. For that alone they deserved the respect I wasn’t giving them. Then I watched his mother apply for college at the age 50 and learn computer programming. I watched his father build a perfect 7 sided table out of the finest cherry. This is the man who’d never even heard of the pythagorean theorem, and here he is reinventing geometry. So he’s not highly educated. He’s smart. Now, if I could just….no. Never mind. I’m not going to change the man. I am going to be grateful that they are wonderful grandparents. That they Get It. I am over getting pissed at my children being fed a steady diet of untoasted poptarts and potato chips when they visit. Now, I am glad my kids have something to look forward to. I wish I had grandparents like that.
I really have never known my grandparents. I met my mothers parents once, for about 15 minutes when I was very young. I saw my fathers parents a handful of times when growing up, not enough for them to have a profound impact on my life. I see them once every 3 or 4 years, and to be honest, I look forward more to the place than I do the people. I think when they die I will be a little sad, perhaps mourning the loss of something that never existed. I really have no clue what grandparents responsibilities are. SD grew up very close to his grandparents, spending entire summers with them and his cousins. SD gets it, he knows what it’s all about, and has been very firm with me about our grandkids. When they are visiting us, they WILL be the center of the universe.
That’s the problem I have with my parents. They don’t get the grandparent thing. They try, and sometimes manage, but mostly they don’t. 2 of the grandkids are violently allergic to cats, and this has been known for 3 years. My mom refused to get rid of her cats, saying that we should just give the kids some benadryl if they want to come over. Finally tho, now that we are moving far away, she got rid of the cats. Sometimes I think my parents see #3 (the one grandchild who wants to spend time with them) as something of an unpaid farm hand, He does work for them, hauling and cutting and stuff, in exchange for ammunition and free time to wander through the woods. He’s told me that he does what he does because he is afraid of disappointing Gramps. I wish the motive was different. I wish they’d treat all of our kids like it’s a pleasure to be around them, rather than something to be tolerated and only at their convenience.
At least the kids have 1 set of grandparents they can depend on for junk food and satellite tv.
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Nothin, absolutely NOTHING interesting is going on right now. I watched the entire 6 hours of Pride and Predjudice yesterday, went to walmart for some groceries, packed a few things, did some laundry…yadda yadda yadda. Today: more of the same.. . ho hum. I am running out of things to pack. A certain amount of stuff has to be kept out to keep the house looking nice, and a certain amount will be left for the movers to pack, and I think I have reached that certain amount. Maybe I’ll sew something.
The house didn’t show yesterday. *whine*
Sweet Daddio got some information about the Horse’s Ass who owns the house we ant to buy. Mainly that he is indeed, a real Horse’s Ass. We had a tree surgeon come out and give an opinion on how many trees needed to be removed from the yard. He said 13. Then HA said Hell No, I’m not taking out more than 5. The the agent had a 3rd one come out who said there are 10 in immenent danger of damaging significant property: a swimming pool, a huge RV, 3 houses. Basically what I had counted originally minus 3 trees in the very back yard who threaten only a chain link fence and the right hand side of the 18th fairway. Well. It’s ok. We have a little time. We can’t buy that house until we sell this one anyway.
Is it foolish to pray for something interesting to happen? Is that asking for trouble?
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6:30 on Monday morning. The first real day of Summer Vacation. What the heck am I doing up at 6:30? I was up at 5, frustrated and amused at my inability to sleep late. Oh well. It sure is quiet, all 2 of my remaining children sound asleep after staying up who-know-how-late watching every single one of the Star Wars movies last night. They all went to see the newest episode with Sweet Daddio on Saturday. He was getting them out of the way so we could be interviewed without background noise.
SD and #1 left yesterday morning. I was still being filmed for the documentary. I hated not being around to give them a hug and a kiss when they left, but he was understanding. Next weekend will be a 3 day version, so we’ll get some good quality time together. Maybe even send the kids off to do something for a couple of hours, doncha know.
THe filming yestersay was fun, if mildly embarrassing. I did some pistol shooting, she tactfully never asked to see the target. After 30 shots or so my pistol jammed, so we joined #3 at the pond to shoot tutles. That was fun. I am a much better shot will the lovely little Browning than I am with the Oh So Cool revolver. #3 has a .22 semiautomatic rifle, so he hits things through simple volume, where this single action Browning requires skill and finesse. Turtles are hard to hit, they are a small target-all you see is their head above water from 25 yards away and it’s the size of a golf ball. Plus you are shooting down toward them, instead of straight ahead, so you have to aim about 10 feet in front of them to actually hit one. It takes a little trial and error at first, but once you figure out how, it’s not hard. There is a huge snapper that lives there. He’s the prize that no one can get. Mom has offered a reward for his capture and demise. Anyway, Cathryn filmed the competition between #3 and me, showed us swapping guns, me whining about #3′s gun not being as accurate as the Browning, the general friendly competition between a Mom and her Boy spending time together. She asked if I would do anything with my son. I said “heck no. Can you see me on a skateboard or playing baseball?” Golf and shooting give us plenty of time to spend together, provides an opportunity for compassionate competition, keeps the lines of communication wide open.
I am operating on the assumption that the house will be shown today. I have a little laundry to do, and general Monday Cleaning of toilets and tubs. SD graciously rearranged the basement yesterday, putting the vast majority of the packed boxes into the miniscule office, thus opening up the main room of the basement (“the Playroom”) so potential buyers can be impressed with it’s size and efficientcy. I may pack a few boxes of toys or something.
I am being glared at through the window. Apparently the Princesses of Entitlement believe I am required to let them in. It’s a lovely morning, Let them stay out.
ok. 7 am now. I am getting up and at ‘em. Have a nice Monday.
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SItting in my shabby yet comfortable chair, coffee close at hand, dachsund looking at me longingly,desiring my lap for a bed. It’s blissfully peaceful.
We managed to get arrange to farm all the kids out this week. #1 will return to The New Town with Sweet Daddio. #’s 2 and 4 will go to North Alabama to spend a couple of weeks with SD’s parents, #3 will go to my parents indefinitely. I am alternately looking forward to it, and thinking I may get lonesome. At least the house will stay clean. I plan on renting chickflicks.
The interview for the documentary went well. The person making the film, Cathryn, is a very pleasant young woman with all sorts of equipment coveted by #’s 1 and 2. The interview was fun. I had a couple of friends come over and it was sort of a round table discussion about our feelings and opinions regarding women and guns. I think the general consensus was that we don’t really think of it as being any more significant than owning a car or a food processor. Cathryn’s metrosexual assistant was interesting. He kept getting tickled by something one of us said, and would hunch over the camera, turning red and shaking. He was sweet. His name was Pippen. Anyway, we wound up talking for over 2 hours, and had a delightful time of it.
Later this morning, Cathryn and I are going to meet out at my parents house to do some actual shooting of guns and making of noise. I will probably underwhelm her with my prowess, but I never claimed to be a good shot, only that I knew how to use a gun. She can get footage of me looking like I know what I am doing, holding the gun and wearing bright red earmuffs. We may do some turtle mayhem while we’re at it. The pond has too many of the critters and Mom requests that we thin them out.
About 2:30, while we were at Mom and Dad’s scoping out the scenery, an agent called wanting to show the house RIGHT THEN. SD did an admirable job of getting the house cleaned up, then they cleared out. He called me, we met at Dairy Queen for sundaes, and were home by 4. At 4:30 the agent called again and said “sorry, they didn’t show up til just now, can we come over right now?” *stony silence from the Southern White Woman up to her elbows in chicken and fresh pineapple* “Well. I am having a dinner party for 12 tonight and if you come over you’ll just have to show the house around me and my chicken.” That was really irritating. It’s awkward for the people looking, and for the family living there. Not only that, it appeared that it wsa 2 sets of parents and 4 college aged girls. Damn.
Why do people feel obligated to buy their college children $160,000 houses in neighborhoods with families and children and stuff? Do they really believe it when their kids say “Oh, it will be so much easier to study here, so quiet and all” Reality is, the kids think “Damn, look at that great big deck we can party on! Look at the bedrooms in the basement we can rent out by the hour to the BTP’s and KA’s. Look at the neighbors back yard we can throw beer bottles and condom wrappers in!” I know that’s what they’re thinking because a house full of college students moved in next door and that’s what happened. Parties, parades of Z-71 trucks with BTP and KA stickers all day and night, beer bottles and condom wrappers and frequently what appears to be the contents of assorted digestive tracts deposited on our lawn. Fortunately we are trying to sell the house in the summer when activity is minimal.
The dinner party was lovely. Our best friends, good food, and conversation until a late hour. Here’s a tasty dessert idea: Get you a nice ripe pineapple (sniff the butt end, if it smells like sweet pineapple and is still firm all over, it’s nice and ripe), cut off the outside, quarter it lengthwise and cut out the core, then cut into 1/2 inch thck slabs. Drizzle with melted butter (not margarine) and sprinkle with cinnamon. Then grill it over a medium-hot fire. I use a vegetable basket, but you can do it right on the grill if you don’t have one. Cook them until they are softened a bit and have toasty grill marks on them. Serve it up with vanilla ice cream. Yum.
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Yah! That big empty hole in the bed will be filled with his comforting presence and furry self. #1 is “home” as well, tho the reality is he will be gone the whole time, galavanting with his friends, doing illegal things, perpetrating mischief and mayhem in the woods of Saugahatchee. (“Mom! I’ts a barbeque! What could possibly happen at a barbeque?”)
The guy from the moving company showed up an hour late, right after the real estate agent called and wanted to show the house right then. So I sent the kids to the park (in spite of ominous clouds and rumbling), ignored the agent and prospective youngish couple, and dealt with the Guy. That was awkward as hell. He got the time fouled up, him being on eastern time and me being on central time. Anyway. It’s done. The couple wasn’t here long enough to really see the house good. I have decided some folk can’t see past the decor to the basic house underneath.
I figured out exactly how many groceries I can get into my Beetle. I got 3 kids (2 of them quite large) and an entire large buggy full of food in that car. It’s all how you pack it in. #2 declared that I was a logistics officer in a past life. I fit something along the lines of 15 bags of groceries in that shoebox of a trunk. Aren’t I special!
You know, right now, I love my life. There are parts that are annoying, but they are far and away outweighed by the good bits. Interesting things keep happening to me. We are all healthy. We have a roof over our heads, food to eat and plenty of it, and I found an acceptable source for Mojito mix. Life is good when you have an icy cold mojito.
Do you ever get this feeling of contentment, like you realize all is well right now and you’re simply going to enjoy it while it lasts? At the moment I am listening to my all time favorite song (Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin) and when I’m done with that I’m going to put on some Ravel or maybe Holst. Or Grofe. This music makes me want to spin around the room, dipping and swooping, pretending for a little while that I am graceful and willowy like a dancer.
So tonight, since we are all together, I am going to grill hamburgers. I bought some lovely tomatoes, extremely fresh yellow corn (probably from some unamerican place like Chile or Nicaragua), taters, and stuff. Tomorrow the gal from New York is going to interview us for the whole gun thing. I’ve invited people over for supper tomorrow night, where I will seek to impress the Yankee with my culinary skills by grilling massive amounts of chicken, boiling corn, making slaw, and baking a lovely peach cobbler…oh…I forgot to get vanilla ice cream for the cobbler. Well., maybe I can send #1 off on an errand to fetch us some.
See, the thing with the interview is this. I told her I didn’t know what she was expecting, but that none of us she was going to talk to wore combat boots or camoflauge. She said that was great, as she was seeking to dispel stereotypes. I said good, I’d wear a pink blouse and a bow in my hair, and maybe even giggle a bit. Well, maybe not giggle, but I certainly don’t want to perpetuate stereotypes.
Time to go make burgers…big and juicy, plenty of cheese and other fatty stuff. I am thinking I may grill us a pineapple for dessert. I bought a lovely one today, just right. I’ll slice it, baste it in butter and sprinkle on a little brown sugar, then throw that puppy on the grill.
alrighty then. You know how when something happens there are consequences you might not have thought of? #3 broke his finger yesterday- the ring finger on his right hand. So it’s hard for him to use that hand now, as his fingers are taped together and rather sore. So. He comes up to me just now and says “could you unbutton my pants please?” He says no when I ask if he wants me to button them back, that it’s easier to just walk around with his pants unbuttoned. He sighs and announces that he wants to die because he can’t do ANYTHING. Poor lil knot. Can’t do nothin. Can’t play his trumpet, or his bass, or golf, or the nintendo, or the computer. Lord. He might just have to actually read something this summer! Now there’s a thought!