You’re Only As Old as You Feel. Or something.

Linking up with my happy place today over at Five Minute Friday!

The theme?

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It’s my birthday today. I’m forty eight. Which is impossible. I kinda feel like that “Sunrise, Sunset” song, only all that sweet nostalgia is not about my children growing up. I’m all… “Is this the little girl I carried… Is this the little boy at play?”

NO. NOT IT’S NOT. IT’S ABOUT ME AND I AM REALLY OLD AND I CAN’T CARRY ANYTHING IT’S MY BIRTHDAY.

I walked to class this morning and the sun was all crisp and cut, coming through the trees, and it was so cold. It was the perfect winter day. And THEN a small deer came out of the woods and waved and a bird came and alighted on my shoulder and sang to me. A chipmunk handed me a gift card.

Not doing drugs on my birthday, I promise. This really is just how I am.

I arrived at my classroom, and one of my friends came in, singing happy birthday to me. (No, she really did. She was real.) And then, she told me this:

“You know you’re only as old as you feel.”

“But, what if you feel sixty-seven? Like… I have things on my body heading south. Things on my body are traveling to places where they are not supposed to go. There is sagging. Sagging is not good.”

“Well. Just keep looking up. That’s all that matters.”

(This was not the exact conversation. I don’t remember it exactly because I’m too old, and your memory’s the first thing to go.)

Here are my top ten reasons why it is a happy birthday:

I REALLY NEED TO EMPHASIZE THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.

1. Larry, Moe, and… Bob.

Note: The image of Bob in this picture is not actual. I didn’t want to go search her paranoid little furry self out, and so there you go. Also, I would like to note that Steve and Vader are giving kisses in this pic because they are preshus woodum coodums.

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2. This morning, Red greeted me with one open eye from his top bunk, and said: ‘Happy birthday mommah” then rolled deeper into his blankie.

3. From the bottom bunk, Blonde swung his hand out and hit me right in the crotch, meaning to spank me, I guess? So, you know. Love is painful. But I thank you for Blonde, and, I thank you that my crotch is still ok.

4. Did you know, if you write “crotch” more than once in a few sentences, you start to get really obsessed with that word and it starts to sound all weird? And it’s just an awful word anyway? So from hereon, I will now refer to it as The Honorable Lady Fagina.

5. Don’t really know what #4 was all about but let’s keep moving. I am ALSO grateful for the fact that I woke up this morning. Boom.

6. My book. The second one. I am editing it right now which is kinda like having a hang nail and then pulling it off so your finger starts weeping blood all over and then you try to put a bandaid on it but that just gets soggy and then you accidentally spill a bottle of lemon juice on your hand and you get the idea.

I realize that doesn’t sound very grateful. But, it’s always darkest before the dawn. And what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Also, when God shuts a door somewhere he opens a window?

Cannot you just SEE how I got a book deal in the first place?

Anyhow, the book is all about perfectionism and so of course editing it is going REALLY well. Irony is just coming up and bludgeoning me over the head with this whole thing. “HA!” says Irony. “You gotta perfect a book about being PERFECT!” *SMACK!*

And then Irony snaps and sashays away. Such a jerk.

7. My husband. I was gonna post his as #5 but that seemed weird. I love it that he gets me. That I can bed-shame him (no, it’s not what you think).

This morning, I came upon the bed looking like this, and so I did what I had to do. I texted him about it:

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And then, later we had this conversation:

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He gets me. Which is so very necessary because otherwise I don’t think we woulda made it past date #1. And then, there would be NO Blonde, or Red… and I would probably be living in a van down by the river.

Whoa. This is so very It’s a Wonderful Life. This will be a future post, I promise. I bet you can’t wait.

8. A Muppet Christmas Carol

Although, the first time I tried to watch this movie with the boys Red was about three and he took one look at the opening number and ran, kind of bleating, from the room. I never really got it out of him, what terrified him so. I think somehow he still thinks that this whole real people/ muppet people universe is really out there, just waiting for him to happen upon it, and he is so creeped out. I have tried for FIVE years straight to watch it with him, and each time he sort of shudders and avoids looking at the dvd, like its a portal to the netherworld. Who knew that Fozzie could cause such stress?

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9. I forgot the rest. I feel the need to go lie down and watch Golden Girls for a few hours. Maybe drink some Ensure.

10. You guys. I just love you.

In the span of I don’t know how many years now, I have gained so many readers, written for all sorts of magazines, published a book, am working on a second one, and a partridge in a pear tree. None of this (maybe excepting the partridge – debatable) would have been remotely possible without you.

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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

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

I’m the Dog. I’M THE DOG.

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Best. Movie. Ever.

So, in today’s post, one of us is going to be the dog.

And, as so often the case, I really REALLY think if you just stay with me, it will all make sense at the end.

That’s how I feel.

Really.

Today I’m linking up with my oh so happy place, favorite people: Five Minute Friday!  The theme??

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Right now, I am writing this on the couch, because I can’t move. I can’t move because of two neurotic and highly co-dependent beasties have wedged themselves in on either side of me so closely that I can use one as an armrest and the other ones heartbeat is thumping up against my thigh. That sounds kinda weird, but she has a really pronounced cardiac rhythm going on. I am kinda impressed. She must have just finished her bootcamp  workout.

I give you… exhibit A:Photo on 4-28-17 at 11.59 AM #2.jpgI loooooooooooove you. That shiny, silver thing has come between us, yet again, but still, I loooooooooooooove you.

And, also, exhibit B:

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I loooooooooove you too. Not quite as effusively as the Missing Link dork-dog to my left, but you know.

Anyhow. Here I am. Stuck in the middle with you.

And, as I am typing away, I hear it: A sort of squeaky rumbling. It’s a weird sort of gurgling, actually. I look around the room for the culprit, but my living room doesn’t house a lot of things that… gurgle.

It’s the dog. I’ll just take the suspense away, right here. Hosmer’s stomach is jangling with such intensity that, clearly, he’s hungry. Like, LOUD hungry.

Honestly, it’s hard to type over all this racket.

But, yet… he remains varnished onto my side. His precious bowl of Doggie Lickums is right there, in the other room, but he’s seemingly content to sit here and rumble.

It is rare that I ever allow my stomach to get to this stage of gurgle (Hosmer is at, like, DEFCON level light red or two or whatever is really, really highly bad), but if I did… and about ten steps away was a bowl of chips? I would get up and go to the chips. It doesn’t really matter if I was cuddling with the husband prior or not. Food wins, when the stomach is in high alert.

Besides, I know too that I can always eat a few chips and then GO BACK to the husband on the couch.

So… basically? The dog would rather starve to be near me.

Perhaps I am exaggerating a little, but you’re not here. The rumbling is like that scene when the T-Rex finds the poor people in the jeep in Jurassic Park. Ominous. Thumpy. Has its own soundtrack. Jeff Goldblum is involved. That sort of thing.

Ok, so HERE IS MY POINT (Hallelujah!)

We need to be the dog. We need to be like this with God. And… since I am so happily wedged into my Congo fast these days… I get it. I am needing to be more dog like. Content. In the moment. Furry and sacrificial. That sort of thing.

I apologize for making you the dog. It’s the best I’ve got today. And truly? Dogs are awesome. We all know that.

 

And then, there’s this guy:Photo on 4-28-17 at 12.13 PM.jpg

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Weak

Linking up with my favorite people today!!

It’s Five Minute Friiiiiiiiiiiday!!!!

The theme?

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Ok, the so obvious route to go here would be the plague-sickness that had descended on our family since what feels like Christmas. The weakness, you know. Wee tired cherubs, and one taller version (the husband) weakly asking for juice and popsicles and Tylenol all around.

But for some reason I am tired of writing about… being tired.

So, instead, I am going to write about my cat, Steve.

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Steve has serious swag.

Steve is a large. Like, if he was a car, Steve would have passed comfortable mid-sized sedan a long time ago. Steve is a Hummer. With fur.

In the morning, when I head downstairs to some coffee and quiet, I hear Steve get up. What I mean by this is: He is upstairs and I CAN HEAR HIM WALKING DOWN THE HALL.

This is no delicate flower, this cat.

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He’s holding my hand.

But, there is something about Steve that is a bit… lacking in natural cat-ness.

He can’t purr.

Somehow, Steve totally missed the bus on the purring thing. He emits this sad whispy sort of wheeze, instead of a purr, when he is petted (which is often). It makes me feel like I should offer him an inhaler, or at least some Vicks Vapo Rub or something.

Here he is, the king of the house cats, but when he purrs he just loses all credibility. He sounds like a squeaky toy.

Ok, so my point here…

What looks strong can sometimes have a really weak end game.

But also this: weakness is SO not the point. It’s what we DO with the weakness that matters. Steve does not seem to care two claws about his death-rattle purr thing. He still struts around like he owns all the kibble in this house. Also, he lives his life like this:img_6120

Steve is a cat of love.

He is giving his human a hug in this picture. I mean, just look at him. His whole body is purring. Pathetically, but you know.

I think I have a pathetic purr too, in many areas of my life. Like, my wimpy attempts at keeping the house clean. And my parenting skills after 8:30 at night. Or my battle with my squishy tummy.

That sort of thing.

We don’t honor weakness.We should. We get to give it to God, after all. He WANTS the weakness. And anything that He wants, I am more than happy to give.

If he wants our weakness, he must want us. We are pretty weak on some days. It’s ok.

At least you don’t sound like a squeaky toy when you purr. That’s just silly.Grumpy-Cat-Purring-Meme.jpg

Paws on the Path

6ir5kBdbT.jpgI was watching Steve the cat this morning. I was sitting on my couch, waiting for my child to figure out how to dress himself because he forgets up until 8 am. He also forgets how to eat, brush his teeth and walk in a purposeful way. But that’s another post for another day.

Anyhow, as I am sitting, rather dejectedly, on the couch, mainlining coffee, I watch as Steve saunters past. He head butts Red, as if to say, “Dude. Don’t rush. It’s all good, brah.” And then he heads for our dining room table which has become The Table of Tiny Legos That You Must Not Move, Clean or Touch. That Means You, Mommy.

And then, our four hundred pound, linebacker of a cat, proceeded to daintily leap, like a whispy ballerina, right into the midst of the Legos. I gasped. Red gasped, and then I yelled at Red because FOCUS FOR PETE’S SAKE WOULD YOU GET DRESSED LOOK AWAY FROM THE CAT. DON’T LOOK AT HIM. DON’T. STOP. YES I KNOW HES CUTE YOUR SHIRT’S ON BACKWARDS. MOOOOOOVE.

Steve turned to me and I swear, winked. And then, he flitted across the table, on soft little cat feet, without even LOOKING. And NEVER TOUCHED ONE LEGO.

I don’t know how he  does it, with the Legos. You know Legos are magnetic, right? They find feet with deadly accuracy, as pretty much every five am walk across our living room floor will prove.

Steve just sauntered about, like a boss, and then proceeded to smush his fat furry torso into a box the size of a postage stamp and purred away. All content and smushed up on the sides, like a  ball of dough rising up in a bowl. A furry ball of dough.

So, it was then that Steve said to me:

“You know. I’m a symbol.”

I lifted my coffee cup to him, and decided to book myself some therapy, real soon. Red flitted past with his shirt on, no longer backwards, but inside out.

And Steve gestured with his fat furry paw at the Legos. “I can do this, without even looking. You humans. You crash through stuff, all day long. Always complaining. Your feet! Your work! Your schedule! Your feelings! Why don’t you just, you know, slow down? Look around and sniff at something? Watch where you’re going?”

“You didn’t watch where YOU were going, Steve. Remember?

“Yes. But but I’m a cat.”

I’m linking up with my happy place today, Five Minute Friday. As I like to have deeply symbolic conversations with a large, white cat, The Five Minute community might not invite me back anytime soon. But today’s theme?

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Slow down. Look around. Sniff at things little. The path is rocky, and filled with tiny sharp things. We do best when we watch where we’re going.

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“Hey, did you know that goats don’t like leashes?”

This is my vantage point:

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Look closely. The cat is also helping.

 

Chair. Coffee. Lots of coffee. Oatmeal. Computer. Listening.

Four small boys are circling the table in dining room. The table looks like Lego Land walked by and puked all over the table. Like, all over it. Also on the floor. Maybe also in the living room too. A bit.

They are discussing various things. It’s pretty technical at times. “No! I LOSTED MY HEAD! Do you guys see my head anywhere? It’s ok, though I still have powers. *whispers* In my tiny hands.

Then the conversation takes a rather interesting twist:

“GUYS. GUYS. Did you know? If you put a leash on a goat and try to walk him? He’ll chew your face off.”

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting that either.

I don’t know how the goat thing started. Is there a Lego goat? Is there a teeny tiny leash in there that can of course get lost and then become REALLY IMPORTANT?

Then, one poor soul says: “Cats. Cats don’t like leashes either.”

They all look, as if on cue, at Steve, Mr. Sweet Fluffypants, who is lounging by the table in all his furry glory. He eyes them with the cool confidence. “Bring it, small people,” he says.

And so, they put a leash on him. I am still watching from the chair, wondering at which point I should get involved. Prior to the face chewing? Or maybe after just a small nibble?

And then Steve allowed himself to be drug across our wood floors, like a kitty Swiffer. It should have been on film. Instead, I watched in awe as he actually put one paw up to groom his ears while being dragged around.

Like a boss.

I did put a stop to the dragging after one full rotation of the room. For one, poor Steve’s fur was now coated in dust bunnies and I needed to squeegee him off. I did consider taking him upstairs and throwing him under our bed a couple times, though. He really picks up dirt and lint with amazing finesse!

I could market this.

Anyhow, also, the leash thing was morphing into, “Hey! Lemme put this on you! I’ll take YOU for a walk! Around the block! Outside!” to the littlest brother and we have enough rumors, about general parenting practices at our house, thank you. We don’t really need leashes added to that mix.

Also, safety. Basic safety. Don’t email me. I shut the whole leash thing down, I promise.

And then, the boys just kinda stared at each other. Bereft. Their weird game had been snuffed out and what to do? I, always helpful, pointed out there was basically the population of China in Legos within two feet of them. One of the boys melted to the floor in despair. The Legos were old and tired. They had just drug a cat across the FLOOR, woman. You CAN’T GO BACK FROM THAT.

Until one of them* said,

“Hey, I can make a bubble with my own saliva.” And they were off to find a mirror and set up the Disgusting Saliva Bubble Olympics 2016.

I would like to say, just for the record, that usually I would intervene on this because EW and We are a Nice Family, and we Don’t Do That. Etc.

But it’s been raining for the past two hours and it’s August. You get the idea, you moms of huddled children at the End Times of Summer. You know.

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Notice the way this cat likes, literally, to live in the edge.

*This was not my kid, who said that, about the saliva thing.

*Well, it might have been.

*Not sure. I can’t recall exactly.