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but I am going to whine anyway.
I can’t sleep.
I haven’t had an unmedicated night’s sleep in 12 years.
It’s gotten to the point now where at least 1 night a week I simply Do Not Sleep, medication or no. My esteemed doctor has prescribed The Big Gun, and yah it works great but when I take it I sleep until 9 am, and I have to get up at 5:30 during the week. The option would be to take it at 6 pm and just skip the only time during the day when I get to be in the comfortable company of Sweet Daddio. Relating is important to married people like us. Plus, if I went to bed at 6 then he’d be responsible for baths and dinner and all that stuff that falls squarely in my job description.
When I’ve gone a night without sleep, the air turns to thick molasses and my mind has all the substance of cotton candy. Forget trying to make a decision. People can speak to me and I just look at them, as my mind processes what they’ve said and tries to form it into something that makes sense.
So, today, I am walking with 50 pound concrete shoes, buying groceries and attempting to contact the DMV to see what’s required of #2 to get his license. The DMV is uncooperative. Negotiating the obstacle course of StuffMart, thanking God every minute that I made a list yesterday when my mind was clear, and coming out with only a couple of things not on my list (eggnog to spike, microwave soups for SD), was a chore, but I am glad it’s done. It’s one less failure to perform my duties that my mind can commit spiritual flagellation with.
I think I’ll put on Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and take a nap.
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I guess it’s time to start preparing for Christmas. I admit that I am a little at a loss this year. For the past many years- 15 or so, I guess, I have always made an assortment of biscotti- these crisp, twice baked cookies full of nuts and dried fruits and all sorts of good things. I could do it with great success because, for the past 15 years or so, I have had a lovely convection oven, perfect for the low temperature baking so necessary for perfect biscotti. Alas, I left the convection oven in the old house, and now it belongs to someone who will probably use it to speed bake frozen pizza.
So I am not making cookies. The ovens in this house are the original ones installed in 1967, and are tooky in the extreme. I don’t trust them for much more than carefully monitored chex mix. I certainly won’t risk ruining a double batch of hazelnut-dried cherry biscotti. Lord, that stuff’s $20 a batch!
The problem is this: I don’t know what to make. I always make gifts for family, and I am completely at a loss. It’s too late for herb vinegars, and they all make their own anyway. I am not good with the decorated cookie concept, and besides that they go stale. That’s what I always liked about biscotti- it’s already stale, by design. I’ve thought about cutting lots of greens and making floral arrangements, but I’ve always made food and I doubt not that my sometimes confused relatives would see a box from me and try to eat the contents, no matter what color or texture.
I could make ornaments, I like doing that, but half my relatives are pagan and a little clay nativity would make them roll their eyes and accuse me of trying to convert them.
I have a plethora of pinecones, perhaps I could come up with something made from those. No one has a fireplace, so dipping them in scented wax and copper salts to make poisonous yet colorful fire starters is pointless.
I think I’ll plead financial shortcomings due to medical expenses, weinerdog aquisition syndrome, and recent homestuff…or whatever other plausible excuse I can invent…and send everyone a card.
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We have 2 new members of the family, as of yesterday and $600 ago. Pay a visit to Weinerdog Bliss for pictures and intoductions.
Dogs iz Gud, iz Bery Bery Gud.
I love dogs, especially bossy little ones that act like you’re their personal slave-for-life.
They let you dress them up in silly collars and act like like they’re your children. Better, really, as I’ll let them sleep in the bed with me but won’t never EVER let kids do that. I won’t boot them out if they poo on the floor either. No one lets kids get away with that.
That’s all I’m going to say for now, as there are several human children breathing down my neck in anticipation of computer generated mayhem. If I don’t get off they’ll go do something inappropriate and I’ll have a mess to clean up.
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Thanksgiving dinner was good, even if I did completely forget the Green Bean Casserole As Per Sweet Daddio’s Request, and the cranberry sauce. Can you believe I forgot the cranberries? Utterly and completely until sometime after dark-30 whilst not sleeping when I wanted to be. Then I was laying there, grumpy as a cat with a sore tail when it hit me: I Forgot The Cranberries. Then another thought hit me. No one noticed. Oh well.
Sweet Daddio is getting all impulsive on me again. See, for a while now he has been making noises about an additional pair of weinerdogs, since 2 are so much fun, 4 can only be fun squared. Now he’s already made an appointment with a breeder to go look at a pair of adult females- about 2 yrs old, that she has decided not to breed due to one of them having a kink in her tail and the other one not liking boys. We go tomorrow and I am nearly convinced we will come home with them because that’s the kind of guy he is- a sucker for a puppy. Tomorrow I will dig out a crate for the car and make plans as if we will most certainly aquire aformentioned dogs.
I, on the other hand, have a cold and am finding it difficult to get wildly enthusiastic about anything. My parents are here for the holiday so Mom and I drove the short trip to Savannah for some Holiday Shopping Cheer. We went to Michaels where I purchased some agressively festive ribbon to fashion cutesy collars for the doggies. Naturally, they are adorable in them, with the metallic red and green and ruffledy frou frou girly things. When I regain my enthusiasm I will photograph them to post on Weinerdog Bliss so you can all look and be wildly impressed with my dog-decorating skills.
Here’s what I know about the 2 weinerdogs SD is interested in. One of them is a longhaired type in a dark red color with the advertised temperment of sweetness and affection. The other is a short haired red with a more reserved temperment but is best buddies with the first one. SD is loathe to split up friends. He’d feel like a cad if he did that, so naturally we are obligated to get both even if we only want one. I also know that they are advertised as being “not housebroken” but that’s ok because dachshunds are notoriously hard to housebreak and I’ve done it 3 times so 2 more times is No Big Deal. Maybe if I can get them to pee on the carpet enough we’ll get it replaced with lovely easy care laminate
But until tomorrow, I’m suffering deeply from a cold of the bones and muscles, sleep deprivation, and tryptophan overdose.
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It’s Over! The house is now in possession of another family. It’s their’s, not our’s. It’s their house payment, not our’s. Their yard, not ours. Whatta relief!
I drove to the Old Town Monday morning, then spent the day buying obnoxious University football related products and large pieces of unfinished furniture. I love my van, when I need to. I also bought myself a new Christmas mug from Target. And a box of chocolates for my best girlfriend. And dog toys.
Closing was at 4. I got there a few minutes early, as did one of the people buying the house. We chatted politely, I wished him well with the house and told him it was full of happy memories. His wife showed up and wanted to know why did I paint over the red paint in the kitchen, and she was going to paint it back to red immediately. It’s nice to know the house we put so much effort into is going to someone with good taste. Except that she did tell me she’s always wanted an orange room, so she’s going to paint a bedroom or maybe a bathroom a color I’ve always called “ORANGEDAMMIT” Go for it, Shelley. You paint that room orange. It’s your house.
Today, the day before Thanksgiving, will be a day of absolute Preparation. The boys are home from school and will each be given a task involving cleaning products and bed linens. I will supervise from the control tower whilst roasting garlic and peeling assorted root vegetables. I checked the turkey just a few minutes ago and it’s cold but nicely thawed and ready to brine for smoking tomorrow. I’ve got to run to Ellis’ at some point and get some fresh link sausage (they make their own, wonderful stuff) to smoke with the turkey. I’ll hang it over the bird and let the sausage juices baste it as they cook. I’ve never done it like that before but since my mother constantly conducted mad culinary experiments on us as kids, I think she can stand one tomorrow.
ok. I’m off to do work. I have cramps and I am cranky as hell so those ingrates that pose as my children better get the hell off their computers and game thingies and say things like “yesmother” and “mothercaniscrubthebathtubwithatoothbrushplease?” and “mothercanifetchyousomehighqualitychocolate?” I think I’ll put #4 to the task of picking up pinecones. It will get him out of my hair and since it’s windy today there will be pinecones falling all over the place so he could pick them up all day long and stil not have them all. #3 will get the honor of operating the new, Highfalutin JumboDelux Washer and Dryer. He’ll like that and probably won’t even notice that I suckered him into doing laundry until he’s done. #2 has the honor of giving up his bedroom for company, so will tidy it thoroughly and put clean sheets on the bed. It will be easy, for he is a phenomenally messy child, but it’s all clothes so he only has to shove them in the closet and close the door. #1 will clean 2 of the bathrooms and vacuum the 2 rooms with carpet. I think with everyone working and smiling cheerfully and if I keep a few filthy cigs in my pocket as incentive for #1, the house should be in order tut suite.
You all have a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving. May all your kinfolk behave nicely, may Great-Uncle Bart’s digestive system remain quiet, may your turkey be genetically altered to contain 3 times the normal amount of L-trytophan, and may your children be uncharacteristically diplomatic about Aunt Mae’s odor. Have a great holiday.
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We are supposed to close on our old house on Monday! Huzzah!
Apparently there are some minor hitches. The people buying the house are sucking wind, financially speaking, and want us to foot all the bill for everything.
We are already: Paying all the closing costs
Making repairs even tho the house was being sold “as is”
If they can’t meet the closing requirements we are SO keeping the earnest money. I am not being mean, but we’ve turned down 2 other offers to allow these folks to set the closing date way off, plus we’re paying THEIR closing costs for them, including the realtors $12,000 commission. Not to mention we’ve been making DOUBLE house payments for 5 months. Yesterday the realtor tried to give me a sad song about how they’ve had problems with their house and had to make $1000′s in repairs, and how the insurance agent wouldn’t insure the new house until the roof was replaced. FIND ANOTHER INSURANCE AGENT! That’s what we did!
So I told the agent we had our own sad song :5 months in dual house payments, recent serious medical problems with a child resulting in $500/month medical bills not covered by insurance, blah blah blah so spare me the sad sad song. If they can’t afford the house then maybe they should have looked for a cheaper one. Maybe He shouldn’t have quit his reliable job as a teacher to go into business popping dents for car dealerships, Maybe he shouldn’t have spent $35,000 on a flippen’ pickup truck right after he quit his reliable job. I know their story, they were in our Sunday School class and we got to here the whole drama about how God was leading them to do this. I’m sorry. I believe God wants a man to do what is best for his family, and I don’t think saddling his pregnant wife and 2 yr old with all the financial burden so he gat salve his wounded feeling because he can’t get a job in another system is the kind of thing God wants. Not that I know what God wants, but it would seem out of character, in my opinion. I also want to know whay the boy would choose this weekend to go on the Emmaus Walk when so much is up in the air about the house and Decisions Need To Be Made and he can’t be reached.
I find it hard to respect the boy, and I really really feel for his wife.
I’m leaving Monday morning, with papers in hand and a very guarded expectation of actually being able to close.
I don’t understand why people think, just because something waves in front of their face, that it’s a Sign from God.
I’ll give credit to Sweet Daddio: he’s had plenty waved in front of his face, but has always had the good sense to know when something is feasible. He has never put us in a position of hardship, or risk of deprivation. We have always had a roof, food, and reliable transportation. While I have never bought clothes from Neiman Marcus, and sometimes bought them from Goodwill, we have always been warm, neat, and had plenty to choose from. I don’t know if he is aware of how much all that means to me, but I find it far more attractive to be well provided for than to be married to some diletante stupid dreamer type.
So there. nyah.
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I got started on Thanksgiving Dinner today. I finally decided on a traditional meal: Smoked turkey (I’ll do that wednesday whilst cleaning the house for company), dressing the Rootietoot Way, roasted parsnips (yum), collards with ham, mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, and Green Bean Casserole as per Sweet Daddio’s request. I haven’t decided how to rub the turkey before smoking it, but it will be something that goes with the herbal quality of the dressing.
I got the dressing made and in the freezer. My mother in law taught me the basics of good dressing, that is, stale biscuits and cornbread, boiled eggs, and chicken broth. I fancied it up extensively with caramelized onions, garlic and celery, toasted pecans, and a secret blend of 7 herbs and spices (oregano, thyme, sage, parsley, black pepper, kosher salt…ok….6 herbs and spices. Does salt count as a spice? It’s a seasoning, right?)
The grocery store was a mildly hallucinogenic trip. There were these 3 gentlemen, middle aged+, whose pattern of shopping mimicked mine, so I kept running into them in front of the soup (scuse me, can I get to the Expensive Organic Chicken Broth, please), in front of the olive oils (Can you help me please, whats the difference between Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil?) I was taken aback, thinking that the gentleman had just made some sort of veiled come-on, and I was too dense to catch it. I still am wondering that. BTW, the difference between OO and EVOO is flavor. EVOO has a more pronounced “olive” flavor and is darker green in color. That and EVOO has never been molested by Tuscan shepherds. That’s one of those comments I never think of at the time, only hours later when I am undistracted by the perception of come-on-idness.
So, not only did I make 2 massive pans of dressing, just waiting to be baked and smothered in gravy, but I did 5 loads of laundry including folding, and cooked a dinner when I probably could have whined and begged for pizza. SD is home now from transporting #1 to his misbegotten friend’s house, so we will eat my carefully prepared meal of Fried chicken (from scratch because I’m good like that), crowder peas cooked with a hambone, and steamed cabbage.
No wonder we’re all fat.
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I love glitter. It’s happy stuff. Have you ever failed to smile at a mother in the store, oblivious to the glitter in her hair from a child’s craft project?
Glitter is also Girly. Sweet Daddio gives me the hairy eyeball whenever I innocently apply glitter to the cheeks of one of his young boy-children. I think it’s cute, it makes them look like elves. He think’s it makes them look like fairies.
I have a large assortment of different types of glitter. My favorite is the Ultra Fine, it’s almost powderlike in it’s consistancy, and not as garish or obvious as the regular stuff from Walmart. Spray glitter is good, too. It’s much easier to apply than painting on glue then sprinkling glitter. It has the unfortunate quality of melting plastic, tho, so you have to be careful about what you apply it to. I tried spray-glittering a styrofoam snowman, with tragic and grotesque results.
You can get these designer colors as well, wonderful blends of clear, white, and colored bits. I like to make these clay snowflakes to put on gifts, and the multi-hued glitter gives them an artistic quality appreciated (most likely) by me an no one else. I think they’re pretty, these sparkly pink and purple snowflakes. Unfortunately my boy-children think otherwise, and make rude noises when they see them. Philistines.
Glitter glue is good-with a fine application tip you can do some right fancy stuff, and since it goes on cloudy and dries clear and brilliant, you get the double satisfaction of seeing something nice turn really lovely.
There is nothing like the satisfaction of using good ol’ Regular Glitter, little plastic squares of metallic plastic that get everywhere and on everyone. I love it. I love the mess of getting in into the carpet and your hair. It’s incredible on the leetle doggies, as they have these glossy black and copper coats. Their endorsement of glitter is the canine equivalent to Tammy Faye endorsing Maybelline Long Lash, a Perfect Match.
So this holiday season I will embrace glitter and use it indiscriminately. I shall OWN GLITTER. #4 and I started in with it today, assembling pinecone turkeys for the Thanksgiving table and covering them with a wide assortment of opalescent paints and glitters, and they are festive indeed. Sometime around December 1 I will concoct ideas for more glitter usage, we will dip things and spray things and twirl them around, because even tho I am the only woman in the house and everyone else would be content with old socks for Stockings, and a bag of Cheetoes and the remote for Christmas Dinner, it is my job to civilize these people, and make them acceptable as a spouse for some other glitter-loving, purple and pink-wearing girl-person.
Glitter Rules, and they’d better just accept it.
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It has hit me, Thanksgiving will most likely be a Compleat Bust. I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday of all, because there are no financial expectations, no worrying about who I forgot to get a gift for, no requirements to dress up, just the simple pleasure of a table full of good food and the company of family. Which may not always be the best thing in the world, but it gets you out of the obligation to spend Christmas with them.
My problem is this: I have to go to the Old Town for Monday and Tuesday next week, to sign papers and hand our house over to a new family. Nice people, I’ve met them. This means I won’t be cleaning the house or doing prep work on Thanksgiving dinner. I won’t be pre-baking sweet potatoes, assembling dressing and pies, or brining the turkey. I also won’t be cleaning the bathrooms, mopping the floors, and otherwise making the house presentable for my inexplicably censorious relatives. Not only that, The Men of the House willbe present while I am gone, throwing socks and all sorts of flotsam on the floor, peeing on and around the toilet seat, and continuously passing enough gas to peel the wallpaper off the kitchen walls.
I won’t be there to stop it. Making a list for them is futile. I’ve tried it and they invariably read it wrong and end up brining the sweet potatoes and coating the turkey in crackercrumbs and brown sugar. Sweet Daddio is the only one I could trust, but he is in the midst of a massive and Very Important Project with a ridiculous deadline, so he’s working late and to ask him to do these things would be unfair and unreasonable.
I can’t start stuff now, because to clean now would only doom myself to cleaning again on Wednesday, and since I have to clean then, why clean now? It’s too early to start the food, I haven’t bought anything yet, nor have I even decided what to fix.
SD and I discussed the menu last night. he understands my predicament and came up with a couple of really good ideas.
One is to get some New York Strip steaks and grill them, make twice baked potatoes and a green vegetable. Bi-Lo has some lovely asparagus (probably from Argentina or New Zealand) for just $1.29/lb. Or I could make a mixed greens salad with a homemade fried garlic vinagrette.
Another idea is to do a Lowland Boil: fresh Atlantic shrimp, new potatoes, corn, onions and celery cooked in a pot of water seasoned highly with Tony Cachere’s or Zatarains. This is particularly appealing because of it’s simplicity. One pot, and dump everything in the middle on the table on some newspaper, eat with your hands, then wrap it up and throw it away. If you serve beer in a bottle, then the only dish to wash is the pot. Plus we have a big fish cooker so the whole event could take place outside. The weather this time of year tends to be wonderful, and eating outside is a definite option.
Both ideas have a large amount of appeal. I am thrilled to be selling the house. but I was wanting to do Thanksgiving dinner with flair. I even found a recipe for a bourbon-glazed smoked turkey, and I love to smoke things.
Maybe I’ll make Christmas Dinner something large. Not likely, because I believe Christmas Day should be spent playing with your new toys, not cooking endlessly.
So, instead, I sit in my shabby and well-sprung recliner, computer warming my lap, and do some Christmas shopping.
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I love dogs. I have had a pet dog all my life. The first one was a retired racing whippet my brother named Beans. When we moved from the country to the city we gave beans to a hyperactive veterinary student with a motorcycle. He would ride the motorcycle around this huge field and Beans would race him. Bliss!
My second dog was a short-lived and very neurotic little black schnauzer we called Rags. Rags was afraid of men, and would pee everytime she saw one. Dad, a veterinarian, had an extremely low tolerance for neurosis of any sort, and Rags Disappeared.
Then there was Daisy. Daisy was a black lab mix short on legs and long on personality. She only weighed about 45 pounds, but had the deep bark of a 350 lb German Shepard Guard Dog With Long Fangs. Her favorite perch was on the roof of our station wagon, and her favorite trick was to bark ferociously at strangers, deeply and from Very High Up. To the uninitiated, we seemed to have a 7 foot tall dog. She also figured out that ringing the doorbell would make someone open the door and let her in. Her favorite inside places were under the table (at dinnertime. My mother isn’t the best of cooks, so there was always plenty to share with Daisy) and on my bed. One Halloween someone shot Daisy, she didn’t die, but was terrified of loud noises after that. When walking the woods with me, she loved to go to the swamp, lay down in the water with all but her nose submerged, and blow bubbles.
After Daisy came Red, a 1/2 german shepard 1/2 irish setter. He got the german shepard build and coat, only red like the setter, and all of the setter brain, which is to say, Not Very Much. He had 3 brain cells: eat, copulate, and fetch things. Red would fetch anything you threw. Once we set up a relay to see just how long Red would fetch. 6 hours later we gave up, but he was still going strong. My parents had a friend who was enamored of Red. Red knew this and always greeted him with great enthusiasm, as Red knew Dr R was a sucker for throwing balls. One day Dr R drove up, Red bounced and yodeled a greeting, and Dr R threw a sack of 20 or so tennis balls all over the yard. Red panicked, cried, sat down and looked around, then proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes picking up every single one of those balls. Once, before Sweet Daddio and I were married, SD was over at the house visiting and messing with poor, addlepated Red. SD picked up the biggest rock he could find- about the size of a medium watermelon, and hurled it down the hill. Red chased, worried, and yodeled. Then he turned backward and rolled that fool rock between his legs, all the way up the hill to SD’s incredulous feet. My parents eventually decided they had neither the time nor enthusiasm for a dog like Red, so he was gifted to a veterinary student, where he spent the remainder of his days fetching beer kegs and golf balls in the back yard of the OTS fraternity house.
After SD and I married, dogs weren’t allowed in our apartment, but birds were, so we got a pair of ducks. The landlord thought we were pushing the envelope a bit, but when we showed him our ducks and their uncanny cockroach routine, he relented. They would stomp the roach, throw it up in the air, and eat it with all the enthusiasm of a redneck with fresh pork rinds. They were eventually assimilated into a flock of ducks on a pond.
We had an odd assortment of short-lived dogs, victims of cotton defoliant, allergies, and who knows what.
Then, after Suzy the Rottweiler died of lung abscesses from really horrible grass allergies, I received a call from the local animal shelter, run by a close friend. “Rootie”she says, “There is a dog here who has been here too long and we can’t bring ourselves to put her down because she is so sweet and I was…now, I am not saying you should adopt her, but I know you have a nice fenced yard…do you think you could let her live with you for a while, until we can find thr right home?”
“Well…k” sez I. So I got to the shelter to pick her up and she is the sweetest amber eyed pink nosed long haired pointer you ever did see. She had a litter of puppies 8 weeks before and they had all been adopted out, so she was rather sad. I took her home, instantly in love. Our cat, who 3 weeks before had given birth to 2 1/2 siamese kittens in our dryer (on top of a load of clean towels), took great exception to a DOG in the house, and ran away, abandoning the kittens to starvation. Lucy (that’s what we named her) was still lactating, and in that intuitive way she had, gathered up those 2 kittens, parked them on her bed, and proceeded to nurse them. For 7 MONTHS. She was the SpokesDog for La Leche League. I believe she would have nursed them forever if she could, because she got that Nursing Mother Blissed Out look whenever those kitties attached themselves. Crossed eyes and all. Lucy died recently, at the fine age of 15. I miss her terribly but I know if there is a heaven, Lucy is there and she’s putting her paw on God’s knee, asking to be tipped. (SD would tip Lucy, when she was young, just roll her over on her back and she’d jump up asking for more)
When Lucy had been with us a few years, We got Rebeccah, a red miniature dachsund with the imperious personality of Queen Victoria. If you didn’t do what she demanded, she’d squint at you and make you feel like a doofus. Lucy and Rebeccah together were like Thelma and Louise. Rebeccah was definitely the brains of the outfit, but Lucy had the ability to climb the fence and take herself on a constitutional. I think Rebeccah resented that, so she’d hog the food bowl or come inside and laugh at Lucy through the window.Rebeccah liked to dig, as most dachsunds do. She assisted #3 in the project of digging a hole in the backyard 6 ft deep x 6 ft wide. She handled the latitudinal excavations, whilst #3 the longitudinal. She adored that hole. #3 put a ramp in for her to get in and out of it, once it became too deep.
When Lucy died, Rebeccah was despondant. There is nothing sadder than a depressed weinerdog. So we got Rosie. Rebeccah squinted at us frequently for that, and I don’t think she really ever recovered her spirit once Lucy was gone. She died of a stroke about 4 months after Lucy left us. Then we got Daisy, for weinerdogs require companionship.
The rest is already public knowledge.