Filed under: *whinge*, Dewicate feewings, family, Holidays! | Tags: Coping mechanisms, Home and hearth, Oh for pete's sake, Oversharing, solving personal problems
In spite of the worlds best efforts, in spite of cheery commercials that tell me if I give/get expensive electronics and sparkly jewelry I will be showing/receiving proper love to my family, in spite of a massive stack of catalogs arriving daily in the mail that exhort me to purchase woodstoves/goats/free trade pistachios that benefit less fortunate people…I ain’t feelin’ it much.
Everyone else in the house is respecting that, bless their hearts. I love them for their sensitivity to my mercurial moods. Terry and the boys climbed into the attic yesterday and got down the boxes of Christmas decorations. I poked at them in a desultory manner and grumbled at the strings of lights that wouldn’t light up. Upon finding a string that DID light, Terry cheerfully went to Walmart and purchased a step stool and those Command stick on hooks, to make it easier to hang them. I have a rather contemporary kitchen, and like to hang a string of colored lights across the top of the cabinets. So that got done. I felt slightly more cheerful.
Then dug through the box of Santa mugs. I started collecting them 25 years ago,when I discovered they are usually very cheap, they’re cheerful and festive and Christmasy. The thinkng was “this is very cheap, festive, and Christmasy. It will give the boys something they can both give me, and can use for their morning hot chocolate,and being a little bit silly, the mugs are…y’know…cheap, festive,and Christmasy.” Every year I get at least one, unless they come across another one that they like. This year I got 3, because Eli spied a very silly one that looks like Santa doing a handstand.
So there’s That. I am drinking the morning coffee out of a Santa mug, in another attempt to jump start the mood.
I guess the problem is that there’s the STUFF going on at Terry’s job. STUFF I can’t really talk about, but there is a huge amount of uncertainty and that is squashing the ability to cut loose and enjoy the holidays at the moment. NO, he’s not at risk of losing his job (Thank God!) but…well. Uncertainty. A resolution would make it a lot easier to relax.
In the mean time I am muddling through on autopilot. Fortunately there’s 26 years of Christmases to call on, so I know what to do, which noises to make, how to comment on other people’s festive decorations.
You know what else would help? Maybe a bit of Winter weather! It got up to 78 yesterday. Open window and ceiling fan temperatures. Ridiculous. How am I supposed to wear an ugly Christmas sweater when it’s t-shirt temps?
Filed under: *eep!, family, home and hearth, kids, Moving drama, outlaws | Tags: Coping mechanisms, Kids, responsible adult
Our eldest son is moving out (again) today. I am….not sad. Mainly because once he’s out, the room he was in will get a serious scrub down, a fresh coat of wax on the floor and paint on the walls. A pale rosy pink,very feminine and lovely, then I am going to move all the stuff in my sewing room across the hall into that room, which is twice the size. The smaller room will also get a coat of paint (color as yet undecided), a bed, an antique dresser, and a comfortable chair (as yet unpurchased, but I’m going to look for something vintage),and turn into the guest room. It will be a little bitty guest room, but right next to the bathroom.
Why am I doing this?? Don’t I love my child enough to maintain a room for him in case he needs to move back? Like some sort of shrine? Of course I love him. Of course he can (VERY conditionally!) move back if he needs to. And, he will get the itty bitty room if he does.
My sewing business is becoming enough that I
need want a bigger room. I have rolls of cloth and many, many lovely shelves that are full of patterns and books on color theory and pieces of esoteric equipment and…I need want more room. Terry has put in a request for a second chair up there, so he can sometimes sit with me when I am working, just like I sometimes sit out in the shop when he is working. I would like that.
So, how do I feel about Eldest Son moving out (again)? I am…well I am happy about it, and I am anxious about it. I am not sure how he’s paying for it all. However, he is doing it, and since he is nearly 25, it is time to let him be a grown man and deal with it all himself. I know he is fully capable of it. We let him move back in when he started school, so he wouldn’t have to deal with working full time while getting back into the swing of education. That was 2 semesters ago, and he says he is ready to move back out. I say “ok then, best wishes and come by for a meal once in a while”. There is no acrimony, which is really, really nice. Just a bit of anxiety on my part, but I will get over that.
Probably the biggest source of irritation with the whole affair is…well…Mother In Law related. For some reason, whenever one of our kids moves out, it’s not that they are adults and moving on with their lives, it’s that we “threw them out with the trash” and “don’t love them properly” and “will regret doing that.” Because, y’know…young men in their 20′s apparently still need their mommies. Because yes, we totally dumped all their shi…er…stuff in the front yard for them to contend with. We didn’t find them boxes and let them use Terry’s truck and stock their kitchens with staple food and invite them for a weekly meal and make sure they have enough blankets and towels. No. We threw them out on their naked butts in the cold, cold Winter to starve and fend for themselves because we are lousy parents who Don’t Do It Right.
Scratch that. I am not complaining.
How’s that for passive aggression?
The simple fact-o-th’-matter is that we love our son very, very much, and we are both anxious and excited for his future.
Filed under: Dewicate feewings, Dream a little dream, family, I feel so smart!, kids | Tags: Dreams, fashion and sewing, responsible adult, sewing
I have been a housewife for 25 years.
When I was a child, I dreamed of various things. I wanted to be a physician- a neurologist or maybe a psychiatrist, then decided no, the sight of blood made me faint . I wanted to be a fashion designer, then decided no, I didn’t like the culture associated with it. I decided be be a housewife, even when the culture of the time (late 1970′s, early ’80′s) said things like “you’ve come a long way, baby” and “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan”. I still held on to the dream of working in fashion, because I loved it. I loved taking a plain piece of fabric and making it into something that flatters a person, makes them look interesting and fits them well. I still do.
Every now and then I read a website called Secret Regrets. Often on this site, someone’s regret will be about having allowed their dreams to fall to the wayside. I kind of know the feeling, but I also want to shake them, because they will indicate that their age is something I consider very young- 25 or 30. They seem so full of despair because they think they are stuck where they are and will never be able to dream or pursue a passion ever again. Are you ever too old to do what you really want to do?
I am a housewife. I have 4 children and a husband and a big grubby house and too many pets that shed everywhere. My children are mostly grown, save one who’s 13 and he likes to think he’s grown until he doesn’t, and needs a hug. However, none of them require around-the-clock care and they are all capable of feeding themselves. I want to tell young mothers who fear their dreams have all disappeared into diaper pails and minivans that it is temporary. I know how it felt to set everything aside and tend to the needs of others. I know the frustration and angst of forgetting my own desires and aspirations for the sake of other people. I also know it does not have to be forever.
I used to love to sew. I mean really, really love it. I designed and made one-of-a-kind historically accurate clothing for reenactors. I made square dance outfits for husband and wife dance teams. I even made a square dance wedding dress that went to a national dance. I made my own patterns, worked off drawings and photographs and paintings…I KNEW WHAT I WAS DOING and I was very, very good at it.
Then children started happening. And happening, and kept on happening. I loved my kids but there was no time for creating. No one to sew for others because we moved, and moved, and moved. I didn’t resent it, it was the way things were and resentment would just just make me…y’know…resentful. Eventually the babies turned into toddlers and little kids and there was a bit more time for creativity, but no room for sewing. So I cooked, and learned to sculpt small things (which could be done on the dining table, and cleaned up quickly), and garden. Creativity was necessary. The times I was unable to create, I became depressed, sad, and lonely. Terry recognized this and kept me supplied with materials and time (as best he could).
I still wanted to sew, but it was frustrating to go to a fabric store, and wind up spending $50+ on materials to make one blouse I could buy for $15, so that didn’t happen anymore. For many years I didn’t sew at all. It felt like that dream was dead and gone.
Then the kids were (sometimes it seemed suddenly, sometimes it seemed to take forever) grown. Then paying $50 for the stuff to make a blouse was no longer out of the question. I still kind of balk at it, but all it takes is going to the store, even Dillard’s or Belk, where supposedly the Good Stuff is found, and seeing the poor quality of the clothes there, to know that what I make is far, far better and no longer does $50 for a blouse seem ridiculous.
Now. it feels like perhaps a dream is fixing to grow. I have no desire to be a designer. There is no interest inside in having to market a product, hoof it around to stores and hope someone likes it enough to buy it. I don’t want to look for a production facility to make 1000 of them. The logistics of all that do not appeal one single bit.
But…there is a designer. I met him through a friend who is also a designer. My friend makes heirloom children’s clothing and he (the designer) wants her and me to make stuff for him to hoof around to stores and show and take orders. This is kind of exciting.
Now, my typical pessimistic (I call it realistic) self expects that we will make the 3 dresses he wants and that will be the end of it. However, there is potential for more. If he really likes what we do for him, and wants us to continue working for him…where could that go? I have a dream about that (will I get to go to a fashion show and work backstage?), but it’s just a fantasy right now.
The thing is (and I guess this is the point), I am 47 years old, and getting to work on a dream I had 25 years ago, and had to set aside. I thought it was over, packed up in mothballs and forgotten about. However, with the encouragement and cheers of this family I’ve taken care of, the dream seems to be out of mothballs and is hung up in the sunshine to air out and look at. Maybe that is all that will come of it, I don’t know. But there it is.
If I can do it, anyone can.
Filed under: *eep!, Dewicate feewings, family, God Stuff, Sometimes she thinks too much | Tags: Coping mechanisms, Oversharing, perspective, solving personal problems
One of the things I have trouble with is perspective. I get caught up in the problems and issues of family, and how THIS CRISIS seems overwhelming, and THAT SITUATION is intractable but the reality is…it’s all kind of small, isn’t it.
When I am feeling overwhelmed (like right now…things are a blooming roller coaster), if I can remember certain things…like how BIG the whole of everything really is, and how in the grand scheme of things I am just a tiny thread in the tapestry of God’s great plan…it’s easier. I don’t like being all-important. I want my situations and issues and problems to be a blip on the map of life.
One of the things I am doing, in order to (hopefully) get a better grip on things, and maybe put it all in proper perspective, is give up the alcohol. The truth is, I have been drinking. A lot. 2 or 3 very stiff ones nearly every evening, and I think of them as sandpaper smoothing the edges of a rough day, when the reality is it’s been more like a set of blinders helping me to ignore the real issues that need to be dealt with. That’s no way to handle things.
I am nervous about it, letting go of the security blanket that was keeping me comfortable. I can do it, though. The crutch is purely psychological and one of the things The Good Dr. H has said is that I am very determined and one of the most self controlled people he has ever met. I guess that’s what the drink does, allows me to let go of the self control for a little while.
So for today, I am going to try to remember that I am a blip. I want to be a blip, not a supernova. I want to be able to remember that in the grand scheme of this life on this planet, the issues I am dealing with are small. They are important, yes, to my life and the lives around me, but they are just that thread, not the entire tapestry.
I need a clear head and strong resolve. I need to be able to communicate coherently with the people around me, so they will know that even in the midst of STUFF, they are loved deeply. That will not change.
This is where I am going in my head today. It makes me remember how vast God’s creation is, and just how small I am. I will feel the wind and sun on my face, and listen to the rattle of the cottonwood leaves. I will smell the cedar as the sun beats down on it, and I will probably cry, because it really overwhelms me. I will pray, constantly, for wisdom, strength, and courage. Those are things I cannot have on my own. I can’t do any of this on my own, but with God’s guidance, and the reassurance that He is always there, I can do this.
In 1927, The Family Letter was started. My grandmother’s mother’s family, the Cunninghams, started this letter so all the cousins and descendants could keep up with each other.
It is still going on! I received the letter on Saturday. When the person receives the letter, she/he removes the one she/he wrote last year and writes a new one, and puts it on the bottom of the pile. Then it is sent on to the next person on the list at the front of the letter. Also included are addresses and (now!) email addresses on everyone on the list. If someone wants to join the list, they simply write a letter, put their name on the bottom of the list, and send it on.
It is amazing to read. Our family has a very strong Presbyterian heritage, and the Christian faith runs through the family like lifeblood. Missionaries, pastors and pastor’s wives run through each generation. There are 3 generations of Cunninghams writing now, and I am trying to get #4 to join in as the first member of the 4th generation. It is encouraging to read what my grandmother’s generation has to say about politics and religion (essentially: not much has changed) and how they mourn their spouses and loved ones who’ve passed on, but are comfortable knowing they’ll be together again.
I really look forward to meeting them one day. I feel like I have gotten to know them through these letters.
What a treasure it is, this huge family. Grandmother loves to talk about the character of the Cunninghams, the qualities passed down through the generations. Generosity, a strong faith in God, a quirky sense of humor, and a love of practical jokes. Last time I saw her (in June) she told me how important it is to take lots of pictures of family, because one day someone will want to know what you look like. It’s interesting to look at pictures of her when she was young, because I look very much like her. One of the assistants at the home where she lives commented on how she and I have the same profile.
So now I have The Letter…or Letters, I suppose. It is about 50 pages long, with photographs and funeral announcements, graduation pictures. Most of them are typed and printed from a computer, some of them are handwritten by a shaky hand in what used to be a beautiful script. Some of them don’t have much to say beyond “I’m still alive” and some of them go into detail about daughters in Greece and sons getting married.
It is…I am not sure how to say it…honoring, I suppose…to be a part of a family that believes the past matters, but also that the future matters, and that no matter what happens, faith is strong, family is strong. I love that. It’s encouraging, like there’s this long line of people behind and beside me?, all sharing a heritage and a belief system…I reckon that’s what a family is, right?
Filed under: Awesomeness, Dewicate feewings, family, In The Southland, oh you self indulgent hussy!, Sometimes she thinks too much | Tags: a weekend away, Being Southern, Hotlanta, NASCAR
ok,first, a recap of the weekend. Saturday we drove CJ (our 21 yr old) and #4 (13) up to Terry’s parents house in Madison-about 3 hours north of here and 45 minutes east of Atlanta. Then Terry and I went back into Atlanta and met some people at The Georgia Dome, an indoor stadium, for the Auburn-Clemson football game. We had tickets for Box seats, which I was kind of excited about because I’d never been in an indoor stadium and never been in a suite. On Sunday we had tickets for the NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Since it was a night race, we had time to go back to Madison, pick up the boys, and get to the race in plenty of time to tailgate, take in the sights, and all that. The race lasted until about 11:30, and we got home around 3am.
Now for the details.
The event at the Georgia Dome was…pretty much a typical college football game. Auburn and Clemson’s team colors are similar, and the mascots are the same, so it was kind of hard to tell immediately which fans were which, but the rivalry between the teams is a gentle one, with very little obnoxiousness. The running joke was “So, who do you think will win?”…”probably the Tigers.”…”Yeah, you’re probably right.”
We got to the stadium easily. Terry’s extremely practical plan was to park at the outermost MARTA station, pay the $5 per person for a round trip pass, and ride the train in, which deposited us at the door of The Georgia Dome. Parking was free. For $10, we parked and it took us 20 minutes to get from car to stadium. Genius!
We met our people there. One of the women was from Michigan, and had never been to an SEC game. Thus, she was woefully underdressed and recognized it immediately. She dressed as one (who did not know SEC culture) would think one would dress for a football game- casually in jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers. However, in the SEC (SouthEastern Conference, to those of you not from around here) women DRESS for the football game. Nice clothes, good shoes, jewelry (all in team colors, of course)are the rule of the day. Even many of the men dress up a little- you’ll see the younger men in button up shirts and ties, pants in team colors that are embroidered with little team flags. Older men will have on polo shirts and khaki pants, nice hats, that sort of thing. I wore a navy blue scoop neck t-shirt, a floaty white skirt, an orange multi-strand beaded necklace, and navy blue wedge heeled sandals. Terry had a navy blue shirt and khakis, and an Auburn pin on his pocket. Anyway,we got there and made our way to the box. Very fancy. There was a VERY well stocked bar, a buffet, a cheese bar, desserts, etc. Outside the room on a balcony were 16 leather theater seats (cupholders, etc) that looked out onto the field. We had an excellent view of it all. It was so…Polite. Genteel.
and boring. People clapped when a touchdown was scored. Who the hell does that? You’re supposed to jump up and accidentally dump your beer down the back of the person in front of you! Not CLAP and take a sip of your Merlot! Good grief. Eventually I wandered back into the room and sat with the woman from Michigan, who was watching her team on the big-screen TV in there, as they were busy being made in to cream-of-mushroom soup by Alabama. Once the score was something like 32-3 she gave up and we talked about babies. By mid 4th quarter of the AU game, I was getting seriously nervous, almost agitated even…I hated being there. It wasn’t fun. The other women in the box were sipping their merlot and eating their stilton cheese and trying to arrange their well tanned legs to the best advantage for the men to see and all I wanted was to get out of the noise (indoor stadiums…NO THANK YOU) and away from the air that was so thick with pretention. Terry, bless him, noticed this and suggested that we leave ahead of the crowd. Half a xanax and 3 stations down the line later, I was feeling better and had a conversation with a gentleman about hip surgery. By the time we were at the hotel I was feeling happier and slept well.
Sunday, we got up, drove back to Madison and picked up the boys. Judy (mother in law) fixed a nice lunch then we were on our way to the track. When we got there around 2, parked in the back field near the exit (another VERY wise move on Terry’s part), and there were shuttles to the entrance of the track, PLENTY of port-a-johns , and people setting up for tailgate parties…tents,grills, cornhole games, etc. It smelled good- several people were making barbeque. One guy, a couple of rows over, was opening his smoker and it had a pair of beautifully prepared boston butts. (that’s a pork shoulder roast. Here in the South it is the cut of choice for making pulled pork BBQ). We hung out for a bit, drinking beer (Coke, for #4) and waiting for some friends. The people on either side of us set up tents and got their grills going. A little bit later a guy wandered over and asked if he could buy some charcoal, as his gas bottle was apparently empty, and the people gave him some, refusing his money for it. He was a big strapping man of about 20-something, and was wearing a t-shirt that had an ear of corn on the front and said “F*ck you, I’m from Nebraska.” on the back. That struck me as really funny (maybe it was the beer…)because he was so polite when he asked for the charcoal.
Eventually we met up with our friends, one of them, John, is a 68 year old who was really worried about being the only black man at the race, but we pointed out all the other people of color (blacks and Latinos) all over. We drank some more, started a betting pool on who was going to win and place, made noise, and around 6 ambled over to the track. Shuttle buses, people, Very nice. Old school buses picking you up, dropping you off, making the circuit around the track in a lane marked “Buses Only.” I TOLD CJ there would be a bus lane. He didn’t believe me. On our shuttle was a man with a braided beard, braids colored red, white and blue, and wearing a top hat with an assortment of small flags stuck in the band, leading everyone on the packed bus in various children’s songs (The Wheels On The Bus, etc), in a slurred and gravely voice. Guess what I didn’t bring…my camera. I’ll know better next time.
I noticed that people do not dress up beyond wearing their favorite driver’s number and colors. Comfort is the rule of the day. I saw one women carrying her high heeled shoes and wearing what were probably her boyfriend’s flipflops. Everyone else had on sneakers or sandals…bluejeans, what ever felt good. I was wearing loose linen pants (COMFORTABLE!!), a tshirt, and sneakers.
Once at the gate, there were many many trailers selling things. Driver’s trailers selling paraphernalia, Chevy trailers, Ford trailers….not little ones either, but semi-truck trailers. CJ bought himself a Carl Edwards shirt (he’s the one who does the backflip off his car when he wins) and #4 got a Ryan Newman shirt (he’s a Purdue engineer and Terry’s favorite driver) I couldn’t find the Mark Martin trailer, so didn’t get a t-shirt or hat. We saw it later after entering the track. I’ll know next time.
We were allowed to bring in small coolers and beer as long as it wasn’t in a glass bottle. Food was fine too. This morning Terry said “Did you notice the one thing that wasn’t there? Metal detectors.” There were no metal detectors going in. Bags were briefly searched, if you had one- coolers were checked for glass, but that was it. Thinking about it, it is very hard to hurt someone by hitting them in the head with an aluminum can, I guess. I reckon if one person brought in a gun, so would half the other people and if someone pulled a gun, everyone around them would have enough liquid courage in them that that person would get taken down before they had a chance to squeeze off a round. Kind of self-policing…there were security people, but they were all pretty relaxed. As it was, I saw NO belligerence or ugliness.
Once in, it got NOISY. You could hear the cars being worked on…revving up,etc. Ho.Lee.Cow. Seriously, you have to be there to appreciate what those engines sound like. I mean, I’ve always known what they sound like…but…well. You have to be there, that’s all I can say, to appreciate the sound of 43 cars of 850+ horsepower each with no mufflers or power
surpression (I can’t spell that, according to spellcheck) suppressing (there, after 3 cups of coffee, I CAN spell it right!) stuff like catalytic converters and the like. I regret that I never got to hear that when the cars all had carburetors instead of the fuel injection they have now. We found our seats, settled in, and started with the serious people-watching. By 7, the stands were full, the requisite Patriotic Songs sung by a really GOOD men’s Gospel Quartet, a bunch of Army guys were sworn in to service and cheered by the people, drivers introduced- they all take a lap in the back of a pickup truck and wave to everyone- and got in their cars to start the race.
Terry said he was going to listen to the first couple of laps without the earplugs, to get an appreciation of exactly how LOUD 37,000 horsepower can be when it flies by. It’s LOUD. earplugs really are necessary. The only one I saw who didn’t have them was Ms Thing sitting in front of me…more on her later. And you can feel it- not just the high pitched scream of the engines,but there’s a lower, sort of subsonic rumble that you can feel in your chest as well. It’s very much an adrenaline inducing sort of occasion.
In front of us were Ms Thing, her boyfriend, her husband, her son, her husband’s son, and a seemingly bottomless cooler of beer. She did not sit down the entire time, and every time her driver roared by she flapped her arm as if to push him by….every. single. time. A beer in one hand, arm flapping every 45 seconds as the driver went by. Every now and then the husband or the boyfriend would reach over and give her left boob or her butt an affectionate squeeze, and she would giggle and take a chug of her bottomless can of Miller Light.
At one point I went to the Ladies Room (another thing done right- there were a MILLION stalls, NO WAITING), and as I was leaving the stall, this…STUNNING young woman came in, looking slightly panicked. AS she turned the corner coming in the door, she already had her black miniskirt pulled up to her waist and was in the process of pulling down her lacy thong underpants. Several thoughts went through my head, all at the same time:
“Well…ok” and “I’ve been in that big of a hurry before” and “my word, she has the most incredibly perfect body I have ever seen” while noticing the desperation on her face. I was laughing as I came out, and Terry and the boys wondered why. I said “never mind…” I was also thinking if I had a body like that, you can bet I’d probably be in a miniskirt and an American Flag bikini top ,too.
Toward the end of the race, Ryan Newman and Jimmy Johnson were involved in a dramatic wreck (FLAMING CAR! SPARKS EVERYWHERE!), and Carl Edward’s engine blew up, and poor CJ was so disappointed he looked like he was going to cry, and since Our Drivers were obviously not going to win, we decided to leave. As we were walking toward the parking lot, we were stopped briefly because the fireworks were set up for the end of the race, and we got to watch them! We were RIGHT THERE underneath them as they went off! SO COOL! Then we hustled to the truck and made it out in less than 15 minutes. This was 11:30 Our friends,who waited until the very end of the race to leave, said it took them until 3am to get to the highway. As much fun as it had to be to see the very end, it was worth missing it to get to stand under the fireworks and be out of their well ahead of the over 100,000 other people there.
You really do have to be there to appreciate how FAST those cars are going, and just how loud it is.
Here is the Self Awareness part…
I have always kind of thought of myself as a fairly sophisticated person. I prefer Phillip Glass to Montgomery Gentry. I’d rather wear linen than denim and prefer expensive vodka to cheap plonk. But honestly, the race was 100 times the fun of the football game, and the people, those ones who had missing teeth and smelled of beer and Marlboros were infinitely more pleasant to spend time with than the ones with the manicures and expensively highlighted hair and Ann Taylor dresses. I still don’t consider myself a redneck. I’m not going suddenly get a tattoo or whatever, but I am likely to quit trying so hard to be something I am not. I don’t care anything about going to a ballgame and having luxury seats. You can bet I am going to another race. We’re talking now about possibly renting an RV, and taking the kids to Bristol in a year or two.
Filed under: bits and pieces, childhood, dogs!, family, Good grief | Tags: Home and hearth, Kids, Spouse
The trip to the grocery store…oy vey. It was Big Groceries, too, a whole buggy full. I was nearly checked out, maybe 5 items left, and…the cash register computers died. All of them. The cashier said “uh boy…last time this happened it was 3 hours. You might want to just unpack your bags (I use cloth totes for myriad reasons) and reshop later.” So that’s what I did. And it has been discombobulating, because all day yesterday I would set out to do something and think “Oh yeah! I have (this thing I bought this morning) and can do this!” only I didn’t. Even supper turned into Default Dinner due to confusion about what I had and what I didn’t. So I am going to try again this morning. If it happens again, I’ll go to a different store.
Ok, this morning Terry and I were sitting there, having coffee, and he recalled an event of 20 years ago that was hilarious then and still is today.
Will, age 4
The dog (I don’t even remember which one)
The setting: In the living room of our house in South Alabama. The dog is asleep, Terry and Will are just muddling around.
Will: “I am going to go piss in the dog’s ear.”
Terry: “um…..what do you mean?”
Will: “You know, go up to her and go ‘psssst’ in her ear.”
Filed under: *whinge*, Dewicate feewings, family, God Stuff, Sometimes she thinks too much | Tags: Coping mechanisms, Oversharing, solving personal problems
There are things about myself which I hate (this is my attempt at not ending a sentence with a preposition.)
There are things I hate about myself…(I don’t like that either)
I hate some things. (how can I write that without sounding self centered. Which I totally am, read the title of this blog to see that)
I need a refill on the coffee cup (looks around, sees no one to do it ok FINE I’LL DO IT MYSELF)
ok there, refilled. I love a good cup of coffee (or 3) in the morning. It’s even cheerful with this cup Will gave me for my birthday (insert picture here) (ok then don’t…it’s tall and rosy pink with white spots and holds about 16 oz)
I have decided that my biggest problem is that I am not happy unless I am worried about something. If I am not worried, my mind will search around like the Eye of Sauron until it finds something nasty to focus on, latch on and worry it to pieces (or a satisfactory resolution, or until something Bigger To Worry About comes along).
This morning, I woke up feeling…worried. About what? At the time I did not know. Everything is going well:
- Have you noticed the increase use of bullet points? I actually just discovered them and I like them.
- Terry’s work is going pretty well. His hours are not as brutal, and he has a weekend now and then, and is able to do some woodworking.
- All 4 of the boys seem to be in a good place. They’re healthy, getting various sorts of educations, and keeping up with their laundry.
- I have plenty of fun stuff to do to balance the housework, which also isn’t that bad but I’m not exactly…well, most of my friends (by most, I mean ALL) are better at keeping clean than I am. I just don’t really care that much and would rather be sewing than dusting. Or mopping the floors. The kitchen is clean tho. And the dining room. And it’s not like a Hoarder lives here, the house is tidy, just not CLEAN. There’s a difference, you know.
- Money is ok, we have the bills covered and a little left over for an occasional weekend away or eating out once in a while. I am not interested in a $10,000 trip of 2 weeks in Hawaii, and we don’t have time for a trip to The Grand Canyon or whatever…the boys’ school tuitions are covered, no worries there.
So I don’t honestly HAVE ANYTHING to worry about! except…
the cat is acting funny, like she doesn’t feel good. OH NO SHE’S GOT FELINE PANLEUKOPENIA! WORMS! FELINE DISTEMPER! SHE’S DYING!
Well no…Terry said “she was probably out rambling all night and is tired.” Or maybe she’s got a cold. Cats get colds, you know. Maybe she got in a fight (there’s no tufts of fur missing, and I poked around on her and she doesn’t seem to be bruised and in pain), she’s just more lethargic than usual. Except for her tail. Her tail is like my left foot, always moving.
But that’s what I have to worry about right now. So I am. This stupid mind has glommed onto that stupid cat (not so stupid a reason to worry, really, I’ve spent $1700 on her what with the broken pelvis and surgery and such… she’d damn well BETTER not get sick and die!) Plus, she’s a really SWEET cat who loves laps and is (usually) very playful and smacks the dog upside the head and such but right now she’s just sitting there with her eyes closed and if that damn cat DIES on me I will KILL her. Or something. No not really, I just hope she feels better. If she is still puny tomorrow I will call the vet.
But that is something I hate, the way my brain has to have something to worry about. Since we moved here 7 years ago I have scaled back tremendously on the stuff I could possibly worry about. Social interactions are limited, and I am cautious about getting out there. I don’t make the sort of obligations that are difficult or painful to fulfill (like hosting a tea or a shower, tho I will agree to make a tray of appetizers for someone else who is hosting), I limit the number and type of people I associate with, having learned that it is far easier to manage one or two friends than to try and have 20. I also am choosier about the people I try to be friends with. I have little patience with whiners or the types of folks who think it’s important that your house is clean. consequently, I don’t worry about interaction with others very much. It used to be an enormous part of the energy I spent- worrying about what this person thought or how my house looked to that person, and now…nope. I don’t worry about it much at all.
Now I worry about the damn cat. Which I suppose in the grand scheme of things, compared to the worries of 22 years ago,when David was constantly sick as an infant, or 10 years ago, when Will was being bullied in school, or 6 years ago, when Terry was working 14 hour days/7 days a week…it’s not much to worry about, and here I am worrying about THAT as well.
This is when my Reformed Calvinist Preacher’s Wife fusses at me, for not trusting that God has it all worked out since the beginning of time and in the grand scheme of things all of this is something meant to happen and when am I going to realize that God has His hand on the master control knob of the universe and my life is just a thin thread in the tapestry of Eternity and I can’t possibly see The Whole Picture to Let Go and Let God…or something.
Filed under: childhood, Dream a little dream, family, I feel so smart!, oh you self indulgent hussy! | Tags: fashion and sewing, perspective, Projects, responsible adult, Spouse
I got another skirt put together yesterday. I have now made so many of these skirts I can do it in my sleep, which is kind of nice.
You see, clothes and I have always had something of a…well, not a very good relationship. I was raised with the philosophy of “less is more”. Growing up, I had a small dresser, and was only allowed enough clothes that could fit into it, plus 2 or 3 dresses to hang in the closet. Since my closet was the default Storage Closet, there wasn’t much room in it. I also had 2 or 3 pair of shoes. Mom tried to let me have more, but Dad would veto that, by asking “doesn’t she already have a skirt (or church shoes, or a white shirt).
That philosophy stuck with me all through adulthood. why would I need more than one pair of jeans, or one white shirt, or one skirt?
Then one day, not that long ago, it occurred to me that…maybe…it would be ok if…I had…(REALLY?!) more than one skirt. Or one pair of jeans, or one white shirt. And, it’s ok to have…y’know…NICE ones.
Not only that, I don’t have to SHARE my CLOSET with ANYONE and not only that if I need a bigger dresser TERRY WILL BUILD ONE.
So all Summer long I’ve been making skirts. All sorts of skirts out of a pattern I love that fits well and looks good. It’s an 8 panel skirt that buttons up the front and I can make it long out of something lightweight or short out of something sturdier or mid-length out of a classic seersucker. I can use pretty sunflower shaped metal buttons or plain wooden buttons or navy blue buttons the same color as the cloth or WHATEVER I WANT and there’s no Dad there to say “are you sure that’s practical? Why do you want more than one? Those buttons are a little unusual,why do you want to attract attention to yourself like that?”
AND…I bought lovely soft lawn fabric (a very thin and fine cotton that is amazing in this Southern heat) in a variety of ladylike prints (I never wear prints. They scare me.) to make blouses go with the various colors of skirts. I HAVE OUTFITS. WITH PRINTS. Prints really are pretty, aren’t they…
I never have outfits. Normally I buy the most neutral things possible, mix-and-matchable, because when you only have 1 or 2 skirts and 1 pair of jeans and 1 pair of khakis, you have to make sure everything goes with everything else. And if all you wear is demin and a white shirt, no one ever accuses you of always wearing the same thing because they don’t even notice what you’re wearing.
But now I have OUTFITS. The blue skirt with the sunflower shaped metal buttons had a lovely print lawn blouse with small flowers in it the same shape as the buttons on the skirt. The navy blue skirt has another lawn blouse (I love that stuff! It’s like wearing nothing only you’re not wearing nothing!) with a bit of navy in the print. On the sewing table is still another lawn print, totally different from the other 2, with several colors that will not only go with the 2 aformentioned skirts, but also 2 more in the plans, including a RED one. I never wear red! It’s scary! I hear my father’s voice when he said “Why are you wearing that color? You’ll attract attention to yourself. Why do you want to do that?” He said that the first time I wore a hot pink shirt I’d bought with babysitting money.(I was 13) It was a plain styled button up shirt, very conservative, only VERY bright pink. I loved it until he said that. When I told Terry that story (he has asked why I don’t wear more bright colors), he was appalled and immediately went out and bought the brightest turquoise dress I’d ever seen…which I loved and wore for years. Since then he has always encouraged me to wear strong colors, and every now and then I will, when I’m feeling very brave.
So, now there are 8 skirts (WOT!? EIGHT?!) hanging in the closet, and 2 of them are WHITE! 4 of them are BLUE! And a SEERSUCKER one! There is fabric for a RED ONE and a GREEN ONE and a KHAKI ONE, and before you know it there will be options all over the place!
So self indulgent.
Filed under: Awesomeness, family, food, Hooray!, oh you self indulgent hussy!, Rest and Relaxation, spouse | Tags: a weekend away, Hotlanta, Spouse
I can’t help it. I don’t like surprises and I am not one of those spur-of-the-moment types. I don’t like it when someone just drops in for a chat (unless it’s someone I know VERY well, whom I am confident won’t judge my floors or the pile of laundry) (Jerseechik…)
Because I am not the toothbrush-and-a-pair-of-panties traveler, plans are being made. O yes. Terry’s as non-spontaneous as I am and we both enjoy the process of planning. It’s not a Big Trip as time goes, but it is a Big Trip philosophically.
Thursday is our 26th anniversary,and also CJ’s 21st birthday. Yes, the child had the poor taste to be born on our 5th anniversary but I have forgiven him for that. Due to circumstances outside of ANYONE’S control, Terry has Work Things on Thursday, that will take him out of town until late that night. CJ is off that night, and also 2 nights following, so he is going to my parents’ place in Alabama, where 2 of his brothers (David and #4) are staying for the Summer. Which leaves me and Will here…maybe he and I can go to dinner or something. That decision will be made that day.
Anyway, Terry and I are going to Atlanta on Friday and staying until Sunday. We have a lovely room in a very nice hotel in Buckhead, and plans to visit Our Favorite Places, ones that simply aren’t anywhere else.
Terry wants to go to Highland Woodworking because they sell fancy tools and have great ideas and he needs a couple of bits for a thing so he can do something exotic and make a lovely and unique piece of furniture. This is an endeavor of which I highly approve. Also, I want to watch him in this Grown Man’s Candy Store because it’s fun to see him excited about something.
I want to go to Gail K because I have been saving up all the money I’ve made from sewing so I could spend it there on fine fabrics and interesting buttons. I have a list, and samples of the fabrics I already have so the purchase of matching stuff for blouses and linings can be made. And buttons. They have the best selection of non-typical buttons anywhere, ever. Buttons will be purchased, I guarantee you that.
And also The Dekalb Farmers Market, which is a food lover’s paradise O yes. I have a nice long list of spices and flavorings and grains and cheeses and maybe, just MAYBE, this time they’ll have Westphalian ham. They haven’t had it the last few times we’ve been there, which has been mildly disappointing. The stuff is the Beluga caviar of hams. The Napolean Brandy, the 30 yr Glenfiddich of hams. If they don’t have it, I’ll have to suffer with cappricola instead. O well.
See there, all plotted out, with a hearty breakfast at the hotel (they have what they modestly call “continental breakfast” which actually means there’s a guy standing there to make your custom omelet, and a pastry chef in the back making croissants, and probably a cow and a milkmaid churning butter and creme fraiche. We’ve eaten there before and it ain’t the breakfast you get at Motel 6. Not that there’s anything wrong with a cup of yogurt and a plastic wrapped muffin if you’re hungry and on a tight budget…anyway, now that I’ve offended someone…
We’re planning a trip. I love a trip. I love Atlanta. Even in late July. Which is why God put air conditioning in cars…Or someone did, anyway.