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ok. to solve the mysterious issues with the look of my blog, I’ve just posted it on a new template. Of course, because the code for the new template lacks the cues #1 cleverly installed for me (things that said “put image for header here” and “put links for other sites here”), I am unhappily returning to the canned format. It escapes me how, with my innate intelligence, I am completely unable to graps the html concept, yet malaysian barbie dolls with all the intellectual prowess of their plastic namesake can make these pages with irritating animation and all sorts of custom bells and whistles. OH well. My intellect is being used elsewhere.
Now for the meat of my post.
Recently I had one of Those Dreams. You know the kind, everyone has them. I mean the kind where you find yourself in a heavily populated area and you’re wearing naught but a t-shirt and some undies. My dream always ALWAYS find me in a high school, one where it’s the first day and I’ve never set foot in it before. I am standing amongst the swirling, chattering population in an unhappy state of undress and I am being completely (and thankfully) ignored.
As I have gotten older, the tenor of the dream has evolved. 20 years ago, the dream would have me waking in a panic, and I’d suffer insecurity and anxiety for days afterward. Now, happily, I find myself in the same situation, but I am completely unconcerned about it. I’m not bothered a bit by adolescent humanity. I don’t care what they think, whether or not they like me or think I’m hot. Instead, my anxiety comes due to an inability to find my locker or classroom. So there I am, in my dream, wandering the labyrinthine corridors of a nameless school, in my panties and shoeless, feeling nothing more than irritation at the architect who designed the place. Every now and then my id will throw in an ill-fated attempt to unlock a locker. I never get it open and that serves to make me even later for the class I can’t find.
I had one of these dreams just the other night, and I woke up with a feeling of intense satisfaction, like I had successfully navigated a series of Herculean tasks. Throughout the entire dream, even though I was improperly dressed for public, I found my locker and opened it, made it to class on time, and even had the teacher speak to me. Amazing. Such a sense of accomplishment, like my brain was letting me know I’d grown up and didn’t have to worry about it anymore.
I understand that this sort of dream, in all it’s myriad variations, is one of the most common in mankind. Apparently it has to do with insecurities and failings. Does this mean I’m not feeling insecure anymore? Maybe. I know I tend to be unconcerned with other people’s opinions. I’d like to have their good regard, but it’s no longer necessary for my wellbeing. It’s comforting.
Now, if the nature of my undies would improve, in these dreams…I’d love to be caught in public wearing something from Victoria’s Secret, but alas, they don’t make them in my size. In a dream, I should get to wear what I want, right?
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Something has happened to my blog! It’s been taken over by aliens or teenagers or some neferious yankee jealous of my fan base! I don’t know what to do! I need my 18 yr old son to work his HTML magic and fix this mess! Maybe I’ll pay him.
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I have a cat, his name is Junior. He’s also known as Bubba, Cooter, and You Dumb-Ass Cat. 9 years ago Sweet Daddio gave him to me, because I’ve always wanted a Siamese, and Junior was available, for half price, because he was born without a tail. He’s a biggish cat, tho not fat, and he is evidence that a cat’s brain and physical coordination center are located in his tail, because Junior has neither.
He’s a good cat, as cats go (I am a dog person usually). He’s affectionate and entertaining, and a stellar conversationalist.
Last week, we found him in the driveway, badly injured. My guess is he was hit by a car because he had no bite marks. He was also desperately unhappy. I did what I could to make his as comfortable as possible, and went inside to consult with the resident veterinarian, and to fetch Junior a crumble of aspirin for his pain. When I came back outside, Junior was GONE. How he disapeared I know not, because one of his legs was completely disabled, and his abdomen was tender and painful to the touch. I hunted all over for him, but no luck. I decided he’d gone into the woods, either to heal or to die. Most likely die, given the extent of his injuries. I was really sad because I can’t stand the thought of an animal in pain, and Junior was my buddy and now he was gone. All that happened last Friday.
Last night, when we came in from the back yard after messing around with #4, I heard a yell “HEY YOU..DUMBASS HUMAN…Can a fella getta canna tuna??” And there he was, thin, ragged, but most vehemently alive. I picked him up, his tummy wasn’t bothering him, and he was putting a teensy bit of weight on his injured leg. A poke and a touch later, I decided his leg injury was nerve related, in his shoulder. His leg acted floppy, not painful, and didn’t seem to have breaks. Cats have remarkable nervous systems, faster and more interesting than human’s nervous systems, with a phenomenal ability to heal. Go Junior!
So, after being in a foul mood for the past 3 days, suddenly I am cheered by the appearance of 8 pounds of irritable redneck fluff, blue-eyed and a flossy puff of a tail…you know, with his disproportionatly large back feet, he looks rather like a rabbit with a cat’s head, and the personality of a 70 yr old 2-pack-a-day Boston bartender, garrulous yet opinionated. Go Bubba! Thanks for not dying under a scrub pine at the edge of the golf course!
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At the beginning of July, I went to #’s 2 and 3′s school, to aquire their class schedules, books, lockers, etc. I was told their schedules weren’t ready, come back on Wednesday. So I did. They said “not ready, come back on Wednesday” again. 3 times this happened. So today, the last Wednesday before school starts, and I deeply desire to avoid Open House Chaos, I go to the school. Guess what. County-Wide educators meeting. No One Available. Come back Next Wednesday. except that school starts on Tuesday. Gawd. I’ll have to go to open house. I’d rather brush my teeth with battery acid. I hate crowds. I especially hate crowds where everyone knows everyone else except me and I am right back to being the wallflower.
See, #3 had to go to summer school, so his schedule was later in the mix than most others. I have this deep and abiding fear that we’ll find out, the day before school, that he wasn’t promoted to 9th grade. That would devastate him and piss me off most royally.
Is it too early in the day for vodka? Surely it’s 5 pm somewhere.
I’m not so worried about #2. He’s fairly level headed and will work it all out on his own. But #3. He’s an airhead. He’s like “hey mom, did you know that..oh look! a nickel!” He’s not an airhead about everything. I trust him with guns and fishhooks, but when he gets around people, especially the estrogen enhanced type, his brains turn to foam and he struts. Keeping up with him at Open House (particularly because he’s vertically challenged)will be hard. Neither one of us knows our way around the school, and my presence will not be a socially enhancing experience.
Oh well. I reckon I’ll just suck it up. It’s only a hour or two, or maybe three, depending on the dubious efficiency of the school staff. Or (happy thought) I could just send him on the first day, completely unprepared, and let him sort it out.
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It’s here! Today is our 20th anniversary! Whee! I’m gonna fix Sweet Daddio a pot roast, because he is a sentimental sort of person, and would appreciate the significance.
Our rehearsal was held at home, with dinner following.It was pouring rain when the time came for the practice, so Rev. Miller stood on the deck with an umbrella, and pointed where each of us needed to go. SD’s parents aren’t wealthy people, so the dinner was a chicken BBQ, with SD cooking and me serving, and I don’t think any fancy restaurant meal would have been more appropriate.
I got up that morning, put on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, and spent the day with my friends, just hanging out and drinking cold drinks and being nervous about the weather. Around 3pm, I drove over to the apartment SD and I were moving in to, to iron his shirt and brush off his suit coat. He hid in the bedroom and talked to Rhonda while I tidied up and made sure the food was packed for our honeymoon.
Our wedding was in the evening, and held in my parents front yard, full of trees and lovely blooming things. It had rained a couple of hours earlier, and cooled things off a bit. Alabama in July is a torrid place, generally, and the late afternoon shower was a real blessing.
It was a smallish event, about 50 people were there. I didn’t have bridesmaids, and both of my parents walked with me and gave me away. I figured, they both raised me, why should Dad get all the glory while Mom stands to the side and wipes her eyes? SD’s father was his best man, but his mother stood up with him as well.
I wore a 1920′s style garden party dress,ankle length and made of fine white batiste with delicate lace. SD wore a navy blue suit, and looked very handsome. We had 2 friends who were classically trained guitarists, and they provided music. When they asked what I wanted them to play, I said “make something up, kind of Bachish”, and so they did. Our wedding music was one-of-a-kind, lovely, and Bachish, played on electric guitars and even my Presbyterian grandparents approved. The two of them played together frequently, so they ad-libbed the entire time, and it was perfect. Exactly what I wanted.
The reception was simple as well, fruit and cookies and finger foods, non-alcoholic punch, and a lemon wedding cake.
The funny thing about it all, SD has a cousin, daughter of an Extremely Wealthy Uncle, who had a $150,000 wedding with 2000 guests, etc. She told SD that she liked ours better. We knew everyone, there was no pressure anywhere, even the photographer was a friend with a camera.
I laugh about the whole thing. The entire event, from dress to flowers to food, cost less than $500, and look how it’s held up. It was a celebration, a public declaration of our future intent.
You know, I’m thinking maybe not pot roast for dinner. I’m thinking maybe BBQ chicken, baked beans, and potato salad. With lemonade. Just like 20 years ago.
For our honeymoon, we went to Lake Martin. My parents had friends who owned a small house there, and they offered it to us for a week. It was a geodesic dome, comfortably furnished yet unairconditioned. That was ok. It was right on the lake so we’d get in the canoe and go where the water was 1/2 mile deep, jump out and swim. We went to an island in the middle of the lake, and looked for crockery bits and old bricks from a settlement that was there once. We did other things, too, but..well…you know. Personal.
We didn’t stay the entire week. It was hot, and I was anxious to start playing house in our new digs. See, we were (and still are) a relentlessly old-fashioned pair. We didn’t live together, we didn’t go off for weekends together, none of that sort of stuff. Not because we disapproved and snooted of people who did, but because it just didn’t seem like the right thing for us to do. Once we were married, then we found out what sort of irritating habits each other had, and by then it was just too much trouble to dissolve the marriage, so we worked it out. Not that there was anything so egregious that dissolution was warranted, mind you, not by a long stretch. It was just a matter of each of us retraining, unlearning old behaviors (like leaving the drill in the middle of the living room floor, or figuring out how to make biscuits). Besides, if we’d broken up over piddly things, we’d have to return all those wedding gifts, and I LIKE the crystal bowl and don’t want to give it back!
So there we are, married and clueless, but willing to figure it all out and make it work. Just about the time we think we’ve got it down, something changes and we’re as clueless as before. Next thing you know, SD will be retiring and THEN I’ll have to come up with something for him to do!
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When we bought this house, almost exactly a year ago, it came with many fine features, including hardwood floors upstairs, a huge room suitable for a pool table, and a large brick patio with a lovely brick privacy wall. Sweet Daddio and I could, if we chose, smoke cigars in the nude.
It also came with a few features that caused my inbred Presbyterian nose to turn up. The downstairs has icky flooring. It has brick patterned vinyl tiles, poorly installed, and White Carpeting in the office and living rooms. New white carpeting. Unsullied by juvenile feet and dog paws. I understand that the people we bought the house from had no children, and were prone to throwing loud parties fraught with all manner of immoral activities. I suppose if one only serves clear drinks, and forbids red jello wrestling, one could keep the carpets white.
Then we moved in, with our multitude of male children and thundering herd of weinerdogs, and the carpet suffered. Within a week of arriving, red kool-aid was spilt behind the recliner. The dogs felt the need to answer the call of nature in various hidden places, on the white carpet. Mud was tracked, as was engine grease, pine tar, and a dead bird. The carpet was looking tired and sad. After only a year, it looked like a French prostitute after the War of 1812.
So yesterday, Sweet Daddio and #2 moved a largeish piece of furniture out of the office, to facilitate my endeavor to create a comfortable place for SD and I to have our coffee and chat, in the event of rain. Under that piece of furniture was an unsullied patch of carpet. It was white. Which the other, more public regions were not white, being more of a piebald dirtish-grey with other, less definable colors. It was stressful for me to realize just how unbelievably nasty my floor was.
So, today, I resurrected the carpet cleaner, and loaded it with boiling water, bleach, and Pine-Sol. My carpets are (for the most part) CLEAN! They match the patch! There remain a few browny-dirtish spots, but they are markedly paler. I believe, also, that the bleach and pine sol combination put the squash on The Odor. You know the one, that Odor that people with multiple children and multiple pets and multiple excuses, that’s the one. Now my house smells like bleached lemons and the skin is peeling off the bottom of my feet, from walking on wet (Clean! Sweet Smelling! Sanitary!)carpet.
SD is probably giving birth to kittens and watermelons right now. He trusts me with bleach like he’d trust Nigeria with his bank account. I have a long and illustrious history of ruining his clothes with bleach splashes and inadvertant drips. I have, however, found a SOLUTION to his anxiety. Clorox Splashless Bleach! It’s thickish, almost a gel, and it do not splash. So, SD, rest easy. I only ruined 2 of your shirts and no one will see your underwear anyway. At least the carpets look better and smell lemony-fresh.
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I hate flies, and they know this. There is always, despite my strenuous efforts, a fly in my kitchen. They know me, and recognize my bright yellow fly-flap. When I come into the kitchen, they begin a frantic buzzing around, making it impossible to swat effectively.
I hate flies even more than I hate cockroaches, although it is a different quality of abhorrance. Cockroaches incite feelings of fear and loathing. Flies command action, leading me to abandon whatever homely activity I’m involved in, and stalk them.
There is a method to stalking a housefly. They see vertical movement better than lateral. They also recognize sudden motion, and ignore slow, methodical movement. So, to swat a fly, one must first wait for the fly to land on a hard, flat surface such as the counter or a window. THen one moves slowly in, preferably from behind, holding the fly-flap in an upright position, so as not to alert the fly with vertical movement. Most likely the fly will startle and remove itself, but if one is patient and methodical, one will find oneself in just the position to move in for the kill.
I am fairly sure the flies are getting in through the pet door. The alternative would be spending 90% of my day letting 4 demanding canines in and out and in and out and in and out (like a Madeline Kahn character)and frankly, I’d rather spend 5 minutes 2 or 3 times a day with a fly-flap and a bottle of disinfectant.
Once we have a good cold snap (say, January) the flies will go dormant and won’t be much of a problem until Memorial Day. Unless something crawls into my miniature orange tree and dies.
I looked up “hate” at Thesaurus.com and here’s what it said (grand words, all):
32 entries found for hate.
Main Entry: hate
Part of Speech: noun
Synonyms: abhorrence, abomination, anathema, animosity, animus, antagonism, antipathy, aversion, bete noire, black beast*, bother, bugbear*, destination, detestation, disgust, dislike, dog-eye, enmity, execration, frost*, grievance, gripe, hatred, horror, hostility, ill will, irritant, loathing, malevolence, malignity, mislike, nasty look, nuisance, objection, odium, pain, rancor, rankling, repugnance, repulsion, resentment, revenge, revulsion, scorn, shudders, spite, trouble, venom
I think they all apply to the emotion generated by flies.
Main Entry: hate
Part of Speech: verb
Synonyms: abhor, abominate, allergic to*, anathematize, be loath, be reluctant, be sorry, can’t stand*, contemn, curse, deprecate, deride, despise, detest, disapprove, disdain, disfavor, dislike, disparage, down on*, execrate, loathe, nauseate*, object to, recoil from, scorn, shudder at, shun, spit upon*, spurn
This is a little trickier. “allergic to”? I’m not allergic to flies, I just don’t like them. I can’t stand them,I spit upon them, and wholeheartedly disapprove of them.
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As a creature of extreme habit, Monday’s are predictable. Laundry and cleaning. Cleaning and laundry. Did I mention laundry?
Because this morning’s fare featured clouds, I did some work outside, where the humidity was only 90% and the tempurature a brisk 85. Postively icy! Break out the polar fleece! Our driveway was a mess, with months worth of Shi…uh…stuff piled agains the wall, including (inexplicably) a ripening pork chop and a soggy bag of cat food. I sorted, returned stuff to rightful places, and congratulated myself on my efficiency. Once finished outside, I came in, hung some pictures, shuffled laundry, and prepared to vacuum our nasty carpet.
The vacuum felt funny. Soft, like a ripe peach. This is not a condition I equate with vacuum efficiency. So I zipped open the bag and 5 pounds of That Stuff, fluffy stuff spiked with small pieces of plastic and an occasional screw, small clouds of polyfil from eviscerated stuffed animals, crumbs, pine cone bits, who knows what else, spills out. Onto the floor. Where I can’t pick it all up because the vacuum cleaner has a stomach virus and just threw up.
There is no Kirby repair center closer than an hour away. I would be better off going to StuffMart and purchasing a $50 Bissell, seeing how we’re going to take the carpet up in a year or so, and replace with lovely, lovely rock-hard Pergo laminate.
Kirby’s are great vacuums, repairs are cheap to free, depending on the need, and they will flat suck the padding through the carpet. They’ll suck the tail off a dog. And the nearest repairman is in Savannah. It’s been a good vacuum, relatively trouble free until now, when the internal hose decided to unwind itself. When Sweet Daddio called, I whined about my difficulties and the wretched condition of the floors, and he, ever efficient, went to Vacuumparts.com, and ordered a new hose.
Have you ever tried doing that, typing in a potential web site name to see what happens? That’s how he found vacuumparts.com. There’s a usedcar.com, and a pianotuner.com, but no oldrags.com. It’s an activity for a rainy day, when one’s vacuum is on strike and you’re in between laundry loads.
One more week until school starts. I look forward to it with great anticipation. It’s worth it to me, to get them all off and away by 7 am, getting up at 5:30. I can live with that. I have been Making Plans, like I always do this time of year. Now that #1 lives elsewhere, I am taking that spare room and making it a pretty guest room, with a rose and maroon quilt and my myriad rose botanical prints, collected over the years. I want to shift books around, put them in some semblance of order. Medical stuff here, psychology there, mysteries downstairs in the game room. I’d like to paint our bedroom a mellow shade of tan, and get a medium blue bedspread and espresso brown curtains. And maybe a new headboard. Or not. When it cools off I’ll do some gardening, plant some bulbs and a winter crop of salad green and snow peas.
I’ll find a study to get into. Maybe look into auditing a class or two at the university. Whatever I do, I need to meet people. I like people, knowing someone new is like opening a gift. They teach you things. I know very few people here, being basically a solitary sort of person, I don’t make the effort some do. I like people, I just…don’t want to interfere with their business. I get nervous when people drop in on me (the floors! am I wearing a bra? do I need to make some tea?) because the social niceties some folk come by naturally, they don’t come by naturally for me. I have to practice.
NOw it’s later in the day, and laundry is done, and folded tho not ironed because I put that off just as long as I can. Having fresh clothes, clean towels, crisp sheets, it’s a feeling of security and freedom. Secure in the knowledge that we all have something presentable to wear, I have the freedom to pursue other endeavors. I could, if I wish, pick up nameless crap out of the carpet with a pair of tweezers. I could pull tiny weeds from the cracks between the patio bricks. I could flea-dip the dogs, or play game after endless game of Monopoly Junior. I could sort through all those papers and arrange them chronologically. I might alphabetize our books. I won’t go up into the attic, not yet, not until late November. Yeah, those are the things I’ll do, now that laundry is done and dinner is a meatloaf out of the freezer. Now that I have all the time in the world…
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Today was oppressively hot. Even the bugs were tired. The air conditioner wheezed and roared, giving a grand effort and almost succeeding. It was too hot to do anything more strenuous that dragging to the freezer for another glassful of ice.
Pity Sweet Daddio, working in a steamy textile mill where the ambient temperature hovers around 120 degrees, and the humidity is so high they have indoor rainshowers. You think I’m kidding, don’t you.
He got home tonight, exhausted from the day, as I was setting up the sprinkler for #4. We sat down together to watch the boy frolic, and SD opined that, with proper motivation, he might be persuaded to put on his swimsuit and frolic in the cool water. I told him his clothes would dry, why didn’t he just do it? So he did, all 6’3″ 250 lbs of 42 yr old self, went out into the yard and played in the sprinkler. “Oo! that’s cold!” said he. So I joined in. The 3 of us, laughing and dripping and having a grand time and not caring about loss of dignity, and we all cooled off.
And it was Good.
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If I were the United States, I think my mind would be Oregon, if Oregon ever had Republican tendencies. I’m not quite California, no matter how many people accuse me of generalized flakiness. I’m Oregon. West Coast, practical shoes and clothing, several Starbucks stores. My body would be Texas, skinny up top with a generous arse.
If I were a cartoon character, I’d probably be Shrek. I like people reluctantly, and mistrust readily. I enjoy dirt and find a good long fart most satisfying. I’m not green, but after working outside in this ridiculous heat, I smell like I could be.
If I were a dog I’d be something pedigreed, naturally. I bet you thought I be all humble and say something about being a mutt from the pound. Sweet Daddio will testify that I come from a long line of women with letters after their names, letters like DRT, DAR, DoC, not to mention the educationally related letters, but those are earned, not inherited. I am not sure what breed of dog I’d be. Nothing willowy and long legged, like a wiemeriner, or prissy like a papillion. I’d be something that looks like a mutt, but isn’t…something high maintenance, some Japanese breed that eats only shrimp, perhaps.
I try to be an uncomplicated person, but I’m not. When I’m upset about something I make people try to figure out what’s bothering me, instead of just coming out with it. It bugs the hell out of me to see someone doing something the wrong way, even if there really isn’t anything wrong with what they’re doing. I am overcome with the ammonia-like fumes of their utter wrongness, and must correct them before I rupture a gut and make a mess. It’s a terrible quality, but the fact is, I usually AM right. I’m getting better about it, by telling myself they are adults and capable of figuring things out. I also make sure I only associate with people who are as smart as I am, so save us all the frustration of having to deal with me. It’s not snobbery to do so, it’s a courtesy to the rest of the world.
So, tonight, I am a 41 year old woman with 1 spoiled child and a husband who works very hard. #1 is living elsewhere, #2 is working, #3 is shooting small woodland creatures with high powered rifles, deep in the forests of East Alabama. I am making spaghetti and meatballs, per #4′s request, and have grossly overestimated how many meatballs are required to feed 3 people. Fortunately, they freeze well. Maybe, if I am feeling generous and I don’t smell smoke of a non-tobacco origin in his apartment, I’ll give some to #1. Maybe. I have learned that salad in a bag is a wonderful thing for 3 people. It won’t work for 6, but for 3, it’s grand. I can purchase a 6-pack of ice cream sandwiches, and they last 2 days! A pitcher of lemonade serves enough for a meal and then some! Amazing! I haven’t cooked for less than 5 in 14 years…phenomenal!