Hello Silence My Old Friend

Linking up with my people today at Five Minute Friday.

The theme?

 

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Guys? Do you know why silence is an OLD friend? Because it had children. And they proceeded to beat ever-lovin treble out of it. And now it’s really tired.

The other day, my husband and I were in the car, with the kids in the back seat, as they usually are.

The radio was blaring static because hubs was searching for his football game and, as we all know, we must first listen to a lot of static before we alight upon it. It’s just the rule. Also, once the golden ticket is achieved and we actually CAN hear a football game then we must make sure to turn it UP really LOUD because it is SO important. As football games always are.

And, in the back seat, the boys were discussing something.

Oh, scratch that. They were just yelling at each other.

Meanwhile, back in the front passenger seat, I was slinking slooooowly down, wondering if there were some of those headphones available… the ones that those dudes that help planes land wear? What are those things called? I dunno. I CAN’T REMEMBER BECAUSE THE NOISE IS KILLING MY SYNAPSES.

Also, there was a possibility I had a sinus headache because allergies have it out for me. And everything is awful.

And… I was a little hungry. And tired. So, you know, I was HALT except I am NEVER LONELY I WONDER WHY.

(For those of you who wonder: “HALT” is an acronym that I learned in my recovery circles. It stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, and basically? If you are over two of these at a time? It’s apocolyptic at a def con level 500. Maybe 600. You get what I mean.)

So, I think I might have yelled.

I ADDED to the noise. Yep. Because that’s logical.

And then, we played the Quiet Game, which is just the BEST game in the whole world.

And I stared out at the fields and the trees and breathed in deep. I used to live in silence all the time. My house was … just for me. I had a dog, but he didn’t talk much. I had a cat, but you know, they’re ninjas with fur.

I used to sit and read, in a bed by a window with a huge tree outside… and sometimes a sweet little birdie would come and alight there and sing to me, sweetly, as I read for hours.

And then, I would go up and get a snack and I WOULDN’T HAVE TO SHARE IT WITH ANYBODY.

And, as I stared out the window, at the clouds skudding across the skyline and the sun that hit the leaves and set them aglow, all pretty and fall and glorious, I heard snickering from the back seat.

And then… someone farted.

And lo, the Quiet Game was all over. And with it? The sweet perfume of my past.

But, I just didn’t mind. I belong right here, wedged in a car with all the windows down and now is REALLY loud because massive jets of wind, but you know. I belong here. My hair is now a tangled mess and both kids are basically yapping in the back seats like puppies on crack.

And it’s the best. It is so freaking loud, but it is just crazy good.

 

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Quite Possibly, I Am the Best Wife Ever.

First of all, the day started with me trying to give two of the three cats in our household medication.

The third one is meds free. Probably not for long, though. That’s how we roll.

And, just bear with me, this does actually pertain to the wife thing.

Anyhow, one cat in the household (Steve) is a darling fluffy fat furball of deliciousness, and he just sits on me as I put the pill in his pink mouth. Like, he sits STILL, and then he just swallows it. And purrs. Because, did I mention, Steve is JUST THE MOST ADORABLE LUMP OF FURRY GOODNESS?

Seriously. He swallows the pill. No problems. We get in; we get out. Over and done in seconds. Then, he gets up and offers to help with the laundry. (Not really, but I know, I KNOW, if he had opposable thumbs, he would.)

Perhaps all this lead-up would give you a bit of foreshadowing for how the second cat deals with medication?

Second cat: Hi! I’m all furry and purring and rubbing up against you! Cuteness is here!

Me: It’s time for your pill, Second Cat.

Second Cat: I SHALL SMITE THEE WITH A THOUSAND CLAWS.

Me: I’m ready for that. This time I have a towel.

Second Cat: THAT’S NO PROBLEM JUST LET ME GO GET MY CHAINSAW. AND SOME DYNAMITE. MAYBE ALSO A NUCLEAR DEVICE. THIS IS SO ON.

Me: I think perhaps you are over-dramatizing the whole situation, Second Cat. You could, you know, just take the pill and we’d be over this in seconds. Like, oh I don’t know… your buddy-

Second Cat: Don’t do it.

Me: Like your buddy, STEVE? The preshus?

Steve: Dude. Every time you compare me to one of the other animals, or children, in this house, you break their spirit. You know I’ve set some impossible standards here.

Ok, I promise I’m going to get to the wife thing. The issue here is that I have now been treated poorly by a cat, and my feelings are hurt. THEN, when the husband came downstairs, this happened:

Husband: Hi honey! What’s with the bandaids?

Me: DON’T SPEAK TO ME EVER AGAIN.

It’s possible I too was over-dramatizing. Forty million tiny slices from a tiny ninja cat will do that to you.

A lot of times, when you are Mom-ming, you should be able to shake it off. Like, all of it. Shake off the furry disasters, the endless laundry, the fact that no matter what I cook for dinner it always ends up being one color.

My friends, I am not much of a shake it off kinda girl.

So, perhaps, just maybe …  as I was preparing the mashed potatoes for dinner, I overheard Blonde’s commentary on his dislike of such a dish:

“Ugh,” Blonde said,  “I don’t LIKE mashted potatoes. They’re kinda tasteless. And squishy.”

And then, maybe… just maybe I said:

“Huh. That’s exactly how I feel about your father. Kinda tasteless. And squishy.”

I know. Tbe ninja snark is strong with this one.

After copious apologies and kisses on the husband, I then decided to add this to the menu for dinner:IMG_7185.jpg

Note the strategic coffee cup placement. Foreshadowing.

We had BLT’s with fresh tomatoes from my mom’s garden:

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Along with squishy and tasteless mashed potatoes. And at the table was seated a husband who forgives me on a daily basis. Also present were two kids who ate a lot of bacon, after delicately removing any trace of the T or the L, and bread. And the heavens smiled.

Because carbs and bacon will solve all the world’s problems.

Problems like:

  1. Snarkitude
  2. Mashed potatoes (Also, add cheese. Oh my goodness.)
  3. North Korea
  4. Mullet haircuts
  5. Reality television
  6. The deep sucking void that is, basically, 2017

So we end this little tale happily.

My cats are medicated.

We’ve had our fill of pork products.

And I am, most surely:IMG_7185.png

 

 

 

 

Story time.

Linking up with my favorite Friday people today. The theme?

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I just got off the phone with my sister. We slipped into our easy conversations about food and planning for Thanksgiving and who will bring the potatoes. It’s what we do.

And my other sister, well I had to leave her a message. This did not deter me as I left a long, rambling message that involved me singing Stevie Wonder. Nothing too abnormal here.

My sisters and I don’t spend too much time with story-telling. We chatter on about what’s going on right now, bits and pieces of information. Mostly, we tell each other our to-do lists so the other one can commiserate and offer to bring the potatoes.

We don’t tell each other stories, because we know each other so well. Who wants to listen to a story when you can finish the other person’s sentence? Where’s the suspense in that? It’s like when I check out a book at the library, only to find I’ve read it once before. As I travel the pages I start to feel that weird deja vu, and then, it hits me: Scandalous Love is a page-turner, yes, but I already know the ending. He runs off with her and they are fabulous. And in love.tumblr_n2i1d5NmqY1r37w3co8_500.jpgOk. Granted, I didn’t really read Fabulous Love. Like, ever. Not really my genre.

ANYWAY.

Sometimes I wonder… don’t we need to ask, every once in a while…

“Hey. What’s your story?”

Even my sisters, who lived part of my story with me, don’t know it all. And I don’t know theirs.

A story can shift and change and it doesn’t end until we do. Do we really ever bother to ask? Is that just too hard or uncomfortable? Or weird, perhaps. Might be a bit weird. And I do love my chatter with my sisters. It’s comfortable, and we laugh a lot, and it’s easy. Story-telling isn’t so easy. It takes a comfy chair and a good sit down and time. It takes time.

But, I wonder. What if we asked for stories more?

What is your story? We all have one. And they’re all important.

 

 

 

Depend on it.

Linking up with my favorite writing community – Five Minute Friday!

The theme?

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I have to admit. The first thing that came to my mind were undergarments. We’re going to skip that one, ok?

In fact, I would like to forego any attempt at something spiritually encouraging. Instead, I would like to talk to you about my cat, Steve.

Some of you know Steve. He has his following. Steve is a large white cat who came into our family a few years ago. He adopted both boys as his own, and his large girth has been a well loved pillow, blanket, toy, attraction, distraction, and mascot, ever since. And then, he became quite sick.

Very sick.

I know. He’s just a pet. Just a furry white behemoth that lounges about and kind of reminds me of a slow-moving, furry barge. But there was this moment, when I was carrying him across the room to the bath, he looked up at me with such patient love. The poor dear was in pain, and tired, and covered in filth, and I had bathed him, without incident, a few times already. He never complained. He never fought. He allowed me to lower him into the water and wash his soiled fur, and then gently wipe him dry. He allowed me to administer pills at numerous times during the day. He watched me through all of it with a sigh and shrug, like, “All right, get on with it then.”

So, as Steve and I were working on getting him well again, I was reminded how much this small(ish) creature depends on me, for his food, for a warm place to sleep, for water in which I put ice cubes every morning, because God forbid my sweet babies not have nice, chilled libations for them.

He depends on me, and I am so very grateful for that. We call him Biggie Meows. Or, Sir Meows A Lot. And he depends on us.

This is a good thing.

Steve is all well now, and seems to have gravitated to my side more so than normal. He comes to me whenever I am seated at my computer, and sits next to me, waiting for me to pat his wide head. I swear I see a smile on his face when I do so.

I just love that cat. And that’s all. I have no moral of the story, or bible verse to tie in, or a Jesus moment for you. I just have this:

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Poor dear. He’s tired. And too big for the couch.

And that’s more than enough.

 

 

Acceptance is Key.

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Linking up with my buddies over at Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?

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I know this post is really late. I like to get the words out to the masses by 1 ish. Or maybe, if I’m really frazzled, 2. But, you know.

Acceptance.

I accept that today has been like I released a bunch of monkeys into my house and into my brain and both places are now totally destroyed. I also accept that all the while I just sort of walk from room to room (literally and figuratively, mind you) picking up monkey garments and such and saying, “Now, whose is this? Monkey #45? Is this yours? Would you like me to wash it for you?”

Or something like that.

I would also like to add that no feces was flung in this analogy. Not that kinda blog.

On Fridays, I usually do well until around four pm. Then, I collapse into a nap that also morphs into a coma and I wake up wondering who I am and if Reagan is still president. It’s ok. The hubs brings home pizza and we all watch American Ninja Master Olympics or some such.

But today… TODAY I DIDN’T GET THE NAP. And you know, I accept that.

I accept also that my weekend looks like a sports calendar walked up to it and barfed every type of outdoor activity it could all over it. I would rather stay at home and read, but you know, my spawn like to play sports.

I accept it.

I also accept that said spawn are currently bickering over who has the most hair on his legs.

Y’all. Acceptance is key.

In fact, I have it on good authority that acceptance is the key to ALL things. It is magical.

No, no that’s not right. Acceptance isn’t some sort of sparkly fairy dust you sprinkle over the monkeys that are hell bent on messing with you. Acceptance takes some work and a little bit of grit and also, a whole lot of prayer. Monkeys could care less about fairy dust, but they do listen to prayer.

And, yes I totally accept that. Because the payoff is a miracle. That’s where the magic happens. That I am a walking, talking, monkeys-in-my-house but I’m gonna be ok, straight up, no chaser, MIRACLE.

IT’S A LOT TO ACCEPT, THIS DAILY, ONE DAY AT A TIME, MIRACLE THING.

And it’s awesome.

“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation — some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”

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Learn Your Place.

 

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I don’t remember when I learned this phrase. “Learn your place.” It isn’t the most pleasant. It doesn’t sound all that kind. It smushes down, instead of raises up.

It says, “Figure out where you fit and then sit there. And don’t raise a fuss.”

My dad is a fuss-maker. He never learned his place. He is a farmer’s kid, raised in Missouri, worked hard his whole life. Attended night school. Ended up in a job that was way beyond what he ever expected simply because… well I think he was replacing a guy that left and he was the only one around and so, boom, he’s doing a job he doesn’t really know how to do.

And he never once blinked an eye. I think that’s because he never learned his place.

Also, now he makes more money than some small countries. And he lives in the same house and still wears clothes that were made in the 1970’s. I am not kidding. Look for him mowing the lawn and there’s some shorts there that might have celebrated the bicentennial.

He doesn’t like a fuss about him. But he is a fuss-maker.

I wish I could be more like him in this regard. If there is an injustice or a problem or someone who needs some truth directed his way? My dad is the man for the occasion.

Yet, also, he is so soft hearted. But you would never know it under all the John Wayne.

I have been thinking how Dad never really gives in. This world says so many different things – “Adjust. Do enough to get by. Just give in. Don’t shake it up. Don’t ripple those waters. Give up on your idealogy – it’s useless. While you’re at it, give up in general – all is lost.”

And so on.

I think Dad hears this a lot and each and every time he says, “No.” Sometimes that is paired with other specific and very zingy words, but we’ll spare those here.

You see, he never learned his place. God said instead, “You’re with me, son. That’s your place.”

My dad has courage.

And so does my mom, for being married to him all these years. But, don’t even get me started there.

Wow, this post was going to be about something else, but look where it ended?

With my dad. Whom I love. He is my hero.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today. And yes, the theme?

 

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If at first you don’t succeed… blah blah blah.

Linking up with my people today at Five Minute Friday.

But, I don’t want to.

My fingers are tired. So is my head. Yesterday I had a meltdown so epic with my kids that even the dog left my side for a whole ten minutes. Which would have been kinda nice because honestly being followed constantly by Mr. clicky toenails guy is a bit annoying, but not in this case. In this case, I felt major dog-mom guilt. And basic mom guilt. Just, guilt. Loads and loads.

The theme for today, you ask?

 

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Good one FMF. I see what you’re doing there.

Ok, so pretty much every single free minute of my existence has been spent writing The Big Fat Second Book.

Here are some facts:

  1. That which won’t kill you will make you stronger. Maybe.
  2. It’s always darkest before the dawn. Or all day. Take your pick.
  3. If at first you don’t succeed, oh just put a sock in it.

Brace yourself. Whining is coming.

WRITING ABOUT HARD THINGS IS HARD. The past three chapters have been about hard things (good news! it’s still funny! don’t forget to pre-order!!! it will still be funny!). The hard things are there because Newsflash: LIFE IS HARD.

That’s kinda the premise of the whole book, actually. Dana finally figures out how HARD life is and she writes about it. I know, right? Should be a bestseller. I can just see the droves of people at the Barnes and Nobles:

“I can’t WAIT to read this book! It’s all about how life sucks the life out of you and is so very hard!”
“My gosh, that’s totally new information to me! I must read about it! It sounds wonderful!”

Perhaps I’m being a bit hard on myself here, but words are all stuck up in my craw and it’s making me… what’s that word for when you are upset and want to hit things?

Anyhow. The other day I broke our coffee grinder because I dropped it. It was a really nice coffee grinder and I hate hate HATE it when I break things. I also hate it when people say, “Oh well. I’ll just go buy another one,” because that just seems wasteful and the poor kids in India who made the coffee grinder probably could use a break. But, I really do LIKE ground coffee. It makes my heart sing a little. So – I was all smart and good for the environment and I bought a cheap little hand grind grinder thingie on the Amazons. Boom! I can work out my arms and save money AND electricity! I AM SAVING THE EARTH AND ALL THE THINGS!

Guys. To grind about one cup’s worth of beans takes forty five minutes.

Well, maybe not quite that many but it feels like it. I ground and ground and ground and… ground and ground… and ground… and checked and ground and ground…

I WANT MY ELECTRIC GRINDER BACK.

All of this is to say: keep trying. Don’t give up. Don’t give up on yourself as a momma, and also as a really bad hand-crank coffee bean grinder person. Because, you know, I am KEEPING that #@@%$ grinder and I’m gonna crank the ##$$ out of it. JUST KEEP GRINDING THE BEANS.

And, you, my sweet children, I will keep trying. I will come up to you and say “I’m sorry. Please forgive me?” and you will reach your little arms around my neck and we will all keep trying. We have to. We’re stuck with each other.

And YOU, book. Yea, I’m talking about you. I will keep trying. I will. I will write about the hard things and the funny things and dance around the parts that I think sound like the world’s worst writing since the history of writing, and I will not give up.

Or, as my son put it: “I forgotted yesterday anyhow, Momma.”

Press on.

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