Monday, December 26, 2011

Sam Cooke Says There'll Be No Second Time

(NSFK)

He walked down the sidewalk, head down and straining against the sweeping winds that were seemingly most prevalent on this particular stretch of sidewalk on the Main Street. He was layered against the weather and despite the cold he felt nauseous, over heated and he wished he had worn a lighter jacket instead of the thick green workman's hoodie he had grabbed off the bedroom floor that morning in his usual sleepy fog.

He caught his reflection in a giant glass window of one of the many abandoned store fronts on Main Street and turned his head quickly away from the man he saw there. His eyes were sunken, even more than was usual for his long, thin face. His eyes, usually a light brown, seemed black and hooded. Every full feature on his face had been reduced to bloodlessness with a serious departure of color and lightness. He looked a very stolid sort and felt that way endlessly lately, much to the chagrin of his family and co workers. They walked on glass around him, impervious to the deep, sad reasons for his recent melancholy.

He thought of her constantly and consistently and swallowed every single painful gulp of her absence, bottling it all up in his gut like a chunk of hard tack. He gave excuses to people who were concerned like “I’m just feeling blue”, “I’ll be OK, just give me time”, “It’s a passing thing” and eventually they believed him because he was considered a sometimes mercurial and solitary man.

Waiting at the crosswalk he took at his phone and stared at it, willing it to buzz in his pale lean fingers. He rubbed his thumb across the screen of the phone and winced as he thought of his thumb on the pulse of her neck while he held her face in his hands, rubbing his nose against hers, staring into her eyes that matched his once.

Later in the evening after he was good and drunk on some randomly chosen lager he pulled out the phone and tentatively composed text messages to her. “I miss you” was the only one that made any sense at all but he couldn’t bring himself to send it to her, out across buzzing electronic lines of modernity to wherever she was. He felt a pang of disgust for his emotional state and shoved the phone back in his pocket.


He had told her once in an effort to help her grieve after losing someone she had loved fiercely that it would always hurt but the hurts fades over time from a thumping throbbing pain to a vague aching feeling. His own words gave him comfort this night and although he slept fitfully without dreams he awoke in the morning with the thought of her soft lips on his chin, the strange and loving way she would brush them all over his face.

He had been happy once, fairly certain of his life goals, needs, wants. Things had been cemented for him until she jolted him out of this contented cloud of commonplace existence. A couple words on the screen of his phone, a few conversations that made them entrenched in each other so quickly and recklessly. She was the first to exhibit signs of melancholy, of strain, of sadness at their situation and in the beginning he was oblivious to it, or at least he tried very hard to be. At first he could handle her unhappiness at their situation with words and caresses, stolen moments. Over time she wasn’t happy with those moments alone and became restless and cranky. She pouted like a child and demanded his attentions and the more he withheld them the more she stared in the distance and let the tears rolls down her round fair cheeks waiting without any joy for him to wipe them away.

It wasn’t long until he met her melancholy with anger.

He ignored her more and more, smashed her pleas with silence and made her certain he was a fickle man, that everything he said to her, all the wistful romantic treatises and promises had actually been ploys and play.

They met one more time before she gave up and turned her back on him forever, arms wrapped tightly around herself and shuffling away, her chest heaving with sobs. He watched her leave with regret and a sour stomach, stood stock still and remained dry eyed and resolved.

When she started her car the music that had been blasting when she pulled up to their spot started again. Even at the distance he was from the car he could tell it was one of their shared songs, songs they had picked for one another to describe their non existent relationship, songs they cooed over and giggled at for their blatant romanticism. She looked out the windshield at him, narrow eyes swollen from crying and with one indiscernible movement of her right shoulder, right arm, the music turned off. As she pulled away he saw her throw something out the window and when she was far enough away he trudged out into the parking lot with dread at what she had tossed from her car. It was a silver CD and written on the front in her scratchy childlike scribbling was ‘My True Heart’.

Somewhere in space and time a dark couple is standing in the center of some old wooden building, a secret cold place, cold and damp. Her hands are in the pockets of her warm wool peacoat, her head is on his chest, his cheek and lips alternatively rest on the top of her head, brush her cheek and her neck, his hands are inside her coat, squeezing her waist with his finger tips. Around them are thick swirls of what looks like gasoline in a puddle, the couple oblivious of the polluted bubble thickly circling them within an orb, encasing them in that tender moment forever. A childish gesture like throwing a CD out of a car window carries enough weight to pop the greasy bubble, coating the couple in goo and separating what seemed like an endless embrace.

And like that the spell was broken, their connection was ripped and torn into ragged pieces and there they were to remain for all their separate lives, hoping the pain of being apart would fade over time from a throbbing thumping pain into a vague achy feeling.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Obsessing Over My Hair For Months and Months...so unhealthy.

Remember when I got my hair cut the shortest I've ever had it and I thought it was a really big freaking deal?

Such an innocent child I was all those months ago...

It turns out that the length of my hair was the only thing preventing me from looking like a total and complete douchebag and/or Ronald McDonald. Because I'm obsessed with myself every once in a while I'll snap a webcam photo of myself and then post it on Facebook to share with everyone how very much I am unhappy with my hair and it's growth progress.















Now if I could only get someone to braid the rat tail growing down my back. And I know you might have just rolled your eyes but yes there is one.

I do have some more fiction posts coming to those of you (all three of you) that emailed me and asked for more but all three are entered in different contests and have to be released before I can publish them anywhere. I suppose I could write some more but then that would be entirely too productive.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Confusion of Betrayal

(NSFK)

This is my featured post from last month at Studio Thirty Plus, The Confusion of Betrayal. It's short and not sweet.



Her voice was strained and remarkably unpleasant at first, something in her current situation made her angry at everyone, even people completely unrelated to it. I gulped her words down and let the anger roll over me and behind me, felt it’s heat retreating away like a winding trail into the distance.
Angel sighed and over the miles and miles of electronic waves I felt her pain and sadness.
“I’m so sorry.” She began to weep in thick snotty gurgles, the sick kind that get stuck in your throat and make you feel like a child, looking to wipe your face on anything and anyone near you. I imagined her blonde hair sticking in thick swathes to her face, weaving knots in her already unmanageable mane.
“Angel you have nothing to apologize for, none of this is your fault.” I felt the words pouring like waste out of my mouth, how pointless to parrot the cliche words meant to comfort in times like these. Couldn’t I think of something more original, more beneficial?
The sobbing continued and I could think of nothing to say. My flight instinct made me want to just hang up the phone, walk away from her and her situation, pretend like it never happened. Because the one thing about situations like Angel’s that would really get to you; once you examined them you realized that it could happen to you just as easily. I hung on and gave small sentences of encouragement, I tried to be as forthright and strong as she was weak and cowardly.
“Listen to me. I will come to you, just let me finish up my work here and I’ll just pack everything else up and come to you.” I had made a decision, that was a start.
“No! Oh God. What if he comes back?” The sobbing turned into deep and sharp intakes of breath, caught in Angel’s chest like heaving hurricanes of hysteria. She hung up the phone.
I called her back immediately and there was no answer.
I called her husband’s cell phone and there was no answer. The anger that I had dealt with so very well just a few short minutes ago now welled up in me like a surge of bitter bile.
“You fucking worthless piece of shit. You mother fucking dumb ass idiot. I wish your drunk ass didn’t have the excuse of your disease to fall back on. You knew what you were doing and I wish you would have killed the bitch you did it with, in the car that you fucked her in, while you were supposedly blacked out. I wish you were dead too.”
How very sad I was, how low I felt at this moment. I meant the words I said, I did wish he were dead for a minute, but I also wished that Angel and I were dead too. And that had nothing to do with a drunken child cheating on his lovely and perfect wife. It was about the sadness in the world and the strength and possession it takes to live with the bleakness of existing.
I called into work, rescheduling all of my clients and appointments. I felt a chill and an ache like the phantom impending flu I knew I did not have creeping up my spine and laying itself down in the base of my skull. The tears came as I packed up my stuff and continued to the car, in the car, on the drive and up Angel’s driveway. They were dried up by the time I parked the car, took notice of her husband’s car and crept around the house to the back deck, up the stairs and to the outside door to Angel’s bedroom.
I listened guiltily, almost afraid that I was in the midst of some sordid crime TV show, about to become the second victim of a husband’s rage. Instead of fear or panic I heard soft moans and sighs, something I knew from sharing a room with Angel for four years of college meant that she was being screwed by her husband, the only man she’s ever been with.

Instead of hearing her delicate pleas for more of his dick and more of his mouth from across an attic dorm room, her sighs and pants bouncing off wooden rafters in our ancient space, I was now hearing them from outside her grown up home, her house with her husband who had just betrayed her as horrifically as one could betray another. I fled their home and flew back out of the driveway and on to the road.
The tears came once more but this time they were for me alone.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'll Prove I'm not Dead with a Couple Photos

I'm not dead and although I've been consistently depressing and morose here at Blogging is for Dorks and over at Studio Thirty Plus I also have been quite busy with the oh so very bright lights of my life.


Olive, this sweet little beast...



dropped my camera last month on concrete two seconds after this photo was taken...



and it shattered all over the ground in dozens of pieces.

Rosey, this dear little girl had four adult teeth removed one day and the stomach flu the next...

she is still pretty gorgeous regardless...

and she took this photo of me that my Mom says makes me look like I have a piggy nose...



Speaking of taking photos and my Momma, she took this photo of my baby sister in the patio of my childhood domicile. I love it...



Jeremiah channeled Luke and Max channeled Yoda...both pretty successfully...



...Elijah was Spiderman for Halloween and also obviously a freaking giant, he's half as tall as me...



and this girl who's name is Maxine Jane...



...makes me proud everyday not only with her consistently excellent straight A work at school but also with the fact she no longer shits her pants and throws fits that cause me physical harm in grocery stores...




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Featured Post at Studio Thirty Plus

Although my blog is much, much less popular than the good old days (damn you work!) I still have a real life freelancing job and also still get the chance from time to time to write some fiction.

The Confusion of Betrayal is a short piece I wrote for Studio Thirty Plus and I'd like you to check it out and tell me what you think, if you have the time of course.

And my Keurig broke and they're sending me a new one but I have to wait three to seven days! OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! French presses every day are a pain in the ass. A delicious pain in the ass though.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sisters

They were an odd pair, the two of them. Familial circumstance had joined them in blood but their affections joined them in their hearts. And their hearts had been full.

She missed her sister. She cried at night, swallowing thick gobs of sadness with each deep breath.

She was old and weak. She didn't want to be alone anymore. She didn't want to gather the strength up each day to to pull her body out of bed.

She walked out into her yard with every inch of dignity she could muster in her flowered night gown. She fell to the ground and died with a violent spasm.

Her children mourned and her friends hoped they wouldn't die lying in their front yards dressed in an old pair of pajamas.

She walked with a proud, straight back for the first time in decades across her yard, not even stealing one glance at the sad lump in the distance behind her. She kept strong, quick strides up to the point of the vista in front of her and met her sister in a warm embrace.

They spoke no words and shed no tears. They held hands and walked into the abyss.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Went into the Wilderness and Survived.

Packing for a trip is always stressful for me. The promise just over the horizon of whatever relaxing destination awaits me is never enough to assuage the bile of tension that is rising like butterflies soaked in syrup and then put on a rickety conveyer belt that stretches from my pussy to my throat, the butterflies able to move in the confines of the syrup but only in tortured twitches and sticky thrusts.

Yep. It's that bad.

Regardless Jeremiah and I took Elijah on a weekend trip to the mountains. It was mainly uneventful, generally wonderful and very much needed. Jeremiah conquered his fear of horses (somewhat) and befriended a very old horse named Toro that wandered free around the vast acreage of our 140 year old farm house. We fished in a pond and didn't catch anything, had to drive for thirty minutes just to find a farmer's market, hiked through woods along a creek and marveled at the fact that people actually live an every day existence out there away from everything with horses and turtles and strangely the sound of non-stop gunfire all night long.

We cooked out on a bonfire and I was so proud and impressed by Jeremiah's fire building skills, we watched movies by the wood burning pot stove/fireplace thingy and I was again impressed by Jeremiah's fire building skills and we ate apple cider donuts and talked about how very dark it was outside.

At some point something magical happened in my stomach. Right after we put Elijah to bed, after I turned off most of the lights and after Jeremiah made room for me on the couch something went pop in my tummy and the grinding rickety conveyer belt with the sickly, sticky butterflies stopped. I felt Jeremiah's warmth behind me and we watched Pacific Heights on HBO and laughed at the silliness of it. We brushed our teeth together and went to bed together. We made love in the ancient bedroom of this ancient house where generations of love had been made, babies had been born, people had died.

Jeremiah went to sleep and despite the chill I went outside and sat in the pitch dark just to revel in the amazing life I have been granted and the gifts I have been given. Trials and tribulations have come my way but there is always good that comes out of the bad. I sat there contemplating these things until the gun shots resumed again in the distance and I high tailed it inside, locked all the doors and woke up Jeremiah just to be sure that he was aware of my frightening experience.




Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Love Makes You Crazy in the Head (thus spaketh the six year old)

And now on to something completely different...

If you've read my blog from time to time you might notice a reoccurring "I have a hard time with Maxine Jane" theme. She's is my six year old daughter, the sometimes bane of my existence, always the love of my life but most often difficult and precocious.

The other day she got in trouble and wasn't allowed to go somewhere with Jeremiah, Elijah and Olivia while Rose was at soccer. She had to stay home with me which is tantamount to being gravely punished. I decided to take her for a walk just the two of us and five blocks away she said she had to pee. We turned around and walked back to the house.

"Maxine Jane, sometimes you make my head spin like crazy." I looked at her and smiled goofily to let her know I wasn't mad, just crazy.

"Hmmm, that just means you love me a lot." She's crazy smiling now too.

"Oh yeah?"

"Yep and that means you must really, really love Jeremiah because he makes you the craziest in your head."

Six years old and wiser than I am. I wonder when that wisdom starts fading? I'm guessing 11 because when Max recounted the story to Rosey she just rolled her eyes.

"Making someone crazy in the head isn't going to make anyone like you more ever. They're just going to be annoyed and nobody likes someone who is annoying." Rose speaks these words with the emphasis on words like AN-NOY-ing and NO-body.

Is Rosey more or less wise than Max? Or is it just dependent on personality? It is a dichotomy and maybe even a mystery.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Grief

The sun glared through the windows and into my eyes but I did not look away. I did not close my eyes. They watered and even hurt a bit and I still did not care. The spots formed and I felt nauseous and faint.

I finally closed my eyes and sat down on the pale yellow window seat, the cool painted wood under me woke me a bit from my state and I tried to form thoughts.

Nothing came.

The days' consistencies meant nothing to me. I spoke words to concerned people and did not know what I was saying or remember why I was saying them. I went to bed, got up and vomited in the toilet and got back into bed over and over again for days on end.

Or at least it felt like days, it could have very well been moments, seconds, fleeting incalculable snippets of time flying over my head like electric beams of fast moving nothingness.

When this melancholy lifted I began to see small random things in focus. The water I drank for sustenance seemed so much better when I mixed orange juice and lime juice in with it, I remembered I loved that so much.

I changed my clothes and got in the shower, used the kids coconut shampoo and scrubbed and scrubbed my body with Dove soap over and over again until the water started to turn cold. Dove soap reminded me of being in the hospital after giving birth. That first tender shower with a nurse outside your door and your mother just beyond her, making sure you were OK. The sweat and the medicinal smells of labor and delivery wash over you and are replaced with Dove soap. Your breasts ache and your asshole aches and you feel like you might just pass out. Thinking the posted nurse outside your door wasn't such a bad idea, gingerly stepping out of the thickly tiled shower without lifting one leg too high.

After the shower things were clearer. I turned on the small cream lamp on a very short table next to my bed and laid myself down. The sheets smelled of spit and greasy hair. I got up, stripped the bed and put new sheets on, took a basket of clothes to the basement and began to do laundry.

The sun outside had turned to clouds and rain in an opposite rendering of my present state of mind. The clouds in my head were clearing, but I was not sure of the weather that would present itself once they did.

I went back to my room and laid in bed once more. I smelled nothing but coconut and Dove soap. The tears came again but this time I did not vomit. I sobbed gently and fell asleep.

When I awoke the sun was again in my face, but this time I looked away. I turned my back to the window and stripped off my clothes, let the warmth play across my naked back. I took another shower, brushed my teeth and drank more orange juice with lime. The bitterness of the first few sips mixed with the remnants of tooth paste made me aware suddenly of the day and the time.

I made phone calls and plans to begin my life over again. I never felt the same again.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sara

Bob Dylan was a confused young man who did a lot of drinking and drugging and sexing and then one day he met Sara. He loved her so much he gave up that part of his life and made a home with her. He wrote this song for her:

With your mercury mouth in the missionary times,
And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes,
And your silver cross, and your voice like chimes,
Oh, who among them do they think could bury you?
With your pockets well protected at last,
And your streetcar visions which you place on the grass,
And your flesh like silk, and your face like glass,
Who among them do they think could carry you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

With your sheets like metal and your belt like lace,
And your deck of cards missing the jack and the ace,
And your basement clothes and your hollow face,
Who among them can think he could outguess you?
With your silhouette when the sunlight dims
Into your eyes where the moonlight swims,
And your match-book songs and your gypsy hymns,
Who among them would try to impress you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

The kings of Tyrus with their convict list
Are waiting in line for their geranium kiss,
And you wouldn't know it would happen like this,
But who among them really wants just to kiss you?
With your childhood flames on your midnight rug,
And your Spanish manners and your mother's drugs,
And your cowboy mouth and your curfew plugs,
Who among them do you think could resist you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

Oh, the farmers and the businessmen, they all did decide
To show you the dead angels that they used to hide.
But why did they pick you to sympathize with their side?
Oh, how could they ever mistake you?
They wished you'd accepted the blame for the farm,
But with the sea at your feet and the phony false alarm,
And with the child of a hoodlum wrapped up in your arms,
How could they ever, ever persuade you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

With your sheet-metal memory of Cannery Row,
And your magazine-husband who one day just had to go,
And your gentleness now, which you just can't help but show,
Who among them do you think would employ you?
Now you stand with your thief, you're on his parole
With your holy medallion which your fingertips fold,
And your saintlike face and your ghostlike soul,
Oh, who among them do you think could destroy you
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?



They loved each other very passionately and fiercely which we all know results in some fighting and making up. He went back on tour and left her and how ever many children they had with promises of a clean life on the road and returning to her the same sane good man. He never came home. He started up with the same lifestyle and told her horrible things late in the evenings when she finally could get him on the phone. He wasn't coming home.

He got in a horrible, horrible motorcycle accident and Sara rushed to his side. Some people might think she was idiotic, I think she was brave. She nursed him back to health and they had more children and more idyllic years together in their charming home in Woodstock NY. Then he went on the road again and he didn't come home again. This time she followed him and confronted him. He agreed to let her out on the road with him.

The drank and fought and were messy and unhappy. Sara returned home and he said he didn't want to be with her ever again, he was never coming home. He hated her. She told everyone, even her children that he was never coming home again. Then he came home. She relented and said just one more time. Then he wrote this for her:

I laid on a dune I looked at the sky
When the children were babies and played on the beach
You came up behind me, I saw you go by
You were always so close and still within reach.

Sara, Sara
Whatever made you want to change your mind
Sara, Sara
So easy to look at, so hard to define.

I can still see them playing with their pails in the sand
They run to the water their buckets to fill
I can still see the shells falling out of their hands
As they follow each other back up the hill.

Sara, Sara
Sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life
Sara, Sara
Radiant jewel, mystical wife.

Sleeping in the woods by a fire in the night
Drinking white rum in a Portugal bar
Them playing leapfrog and hearing about Snow White
You in the marketplace in Savanna-la-Mar.

Sara, Sara
It's all so clear, I could never forget
Sara, Sara
Loving you is the one thing I'll never regret.

I can still hear the sounds of those Methodist bells
I'd taken the cure and had just gotten through
Staying up for day in the Chelsea Hotel
Writing "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" for you.

Sara, Sara
Wherever we travel we're never apart
Sara, Sara
Beautiful lady, so dear to my heart.
How did I meet you ? I don't know
A messenger sent me in a tropical storm
You were there in the winter, moonlight on the snow
And on Lily Pond Lane when the weather was warm.

Sara, Sara
Scorpio Sphinx in a calico dress
Sara, Sara
You must forgive me my unworthiness.

Now the beach is deserted except for some kelp
And a piece of an old ship that lies on the shore
You always responded when I needed your help
You gimme a map and a key to your door.

Sara, Sara
Glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow
Sara, Sara
Don't ever leave me, don't ever go.

Of course he did it to her again, but this time she didn't let him come home. Why this time? What made it different? Did he wear her down? Was he prone to self destruction and she just got in his way? What if he had stopped drinking and carousing? Maybe she wasn't as good and wonderful as I just made her seem and did wretched things to him so he did wretched things back. We'll never know.

I do know that I love those songs. I know that he loved her and she loved him. That they made a happy home and cherished each other. That addiction is horrid and a menace. That nothing is ever simple and things are always changing. People are always changing and then changing again. There is no end and you just have to try and try again. Again and again and again.

You need something to open up a new door, to show you something you seen before but overlooked a hundred times or more. -Bob Dylan

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Garbage Gnome

Over the years of blogging, networking and making friends a few people have mentioned that I have nice skin. I'm pretty sure that totally and completely jinxed me because around the time of my 30th birthday I started getting zits all over my face. I've tried a bunch of different shit and it seems like nothing works.

There's this avocado mask thingy though that doesn't really get rid of my zits but does make my skin feel very soft, so about 30 minutes before I take a shower I apply the mask and then my kids all go crazy about how funny I look with green shit all over my face. It never gets old for them either. I only shower a couple times a week, so maybe that's why it remains hilarious.

Regardless, last night I applied the mask, sat and talked with Jeremiah for a bit, withstood the children's taunts and then locked the door behind Jeremiah when he left to go skate. I settled the kids into Olive's room with the Wii and apples, got my favorite towel out, undressed and got ready to start the shower. There are two large tall windows in our bathroom facing the street and something behind the blind caught my attention.

Jeremiah had put the garbage out the night before but because of the holiday the garbage collectors were running a day late. A white minivan was crookedly parked in front of our garbage and inside the minivan I could see many, many garbage bags filling the interior.

"What the fuck!" I was kind of startled and ran into my room to grab my robe. Back in the bathroom I peek out the window again and now found the driver of this trash laden minivan going through our trash cans. The perpetrator's appearance was almost as shocking as her actions; heavy and wearing a plum purple sweatsuit, brown hair in a perfect bowl cut, of an indeterminable age somewhere above age 35 and one arm and hand much smaller than the other. I stared in wonder as she began to actually tear open bags and pull out trash.

I don't know if this is exclusive to families with children, but our trash is freaking disgusting. Maxine still wets the bed and there are often urine soaked pull ups in the trash, not to mention Jeremiah's recent sardine fetish and Elijah's recent stomach flu which resulted in two shopping bags full of vomit. And this lady is ripping open these bags and sticking her hand into them.

I could not rip myself from the window but felt I should do something. My avocado green face mask and threadbare robe (which I've had since Rosey's birth 11 years ago) made it impossible to go out and confront my Garbage Gnome. And yes, I very well could have put some clothes on and went out anyways but I am most assuredly a coward.

Instead I called our neighbor and buddy Donnie to go peruse the situation. I see him exit his house and talk to her in low concerned tones. From the window I could see her wipe her mouth with her good hand, the hand that has been rooting through our disgusting filth. Donnie leaves her at it and he calls me a minute later.

The Garbage Gnome has given him a very sad story about how her back was broken, her husband left her and she had no money. She was going around trying to collect cans to hand in for money. She assured him she wasn't an identity thief and he warned her about how potentially dangerous garbage could be. This worry for her was made even more serious by the fact that he espied maggots crawling on her arms. MAGGOTS FROM MY TRASH!

Although I felt some sympathy and at one point even considered running her out some cash, I was still concerned that this was happening. I mean an identity thief wouldn't admit to being one. But my cowardice prevented me from doing anything other than calling my Daddy to tell him what was happening and watching her throw cans into her car madcap. *do not yell at me for not recycling this month, it's a long story*

My Gnome finally finished thoroughly soaking herself with urine and vomit from my garbage and painfully spent another two minutes just getting into her minivan. The car literally lurched off into the distance and I was left with mixed feelings.

She had put the garbage back so it wasn't strewn everywhere, but there were still open garbage bags sitting out in front of our house. I'm pretty sure she wasn't trying to steal information and considering I did see her taking cans kind of confirms this. Also, her minivan was fairly new and in great shape. Except for the mountains of trash inside, of course. This further confused me.

What would you have done? When I told Jeremiah about the incident he half jokingly said I should have called the police.

But then the police officers, my neighbor and the Garbage Gnome would have joined my children in mocking my green face mask and my late onset acne.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Purple is Depressing for the First Day of School?

This year's first day of school was especially poignant for us because it was one of my Grandma's favorite days. She loved either being here to see them all dressed and ready for school or the phone was ringing while I was walking in the door from the bus stop to hear about who was wearing what and which shoes and how their hair was fixed.

My Grandmother passed away this June and it still is a very tender subject for myself, my children and my extended family, being that she was above and beyond just a Grandma...but alas.

Rose and Max decided to wear purple today to commemorate Grandma because purple was her FAVORITE color. Trust me folks, have you ever seen a deep purple painted bedroom with matching deep purple satin comforter? I read once that purple in a bedroom is depressing and I told my Grandma that. She laughed pretty hard and then said, "I have medication for that."

Olivia didn't have anything purple and said that, "Purple looks better on them anyways, I like pink!" Hot pink it is Olive.



Elijah isn't going to school this year or the next and was pretty sad to see his sisters go. I packed him a lunch last night while I packed the girls' and he's keeping it by his side until lunch time. It's propped up against his bat cave where he is playing as we speak.

Happy First Day of School to anyone out there with children that started today! It will be chaos when they come home and start shoving papers in your face and complaining about how their new shoes hurt their feet. Ah. School.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Golem

I sat in the dark, late into the evening on our grey porch shaped like my favorite Tetris piece. Atop an uncomfortable green plastic chair, my short legs wrapped under my body slightly numb from the strange position, I stared out into the night. In my right hand was my Kindle, but my thoughts were not on the fantastical words of a strange, fat man in a cap on the digital page. I was instead thinking of my Love, slumbering fitfully one wall and two rooms away from me. I was pondering on his disposition and his variable thoughts and found myself wistfully longing that I could read his mind. Not every moment and never over intrusively, but perhaps for just fleeting seconds so I could feel how he feels, see how he sees.

It was while I was contemplating this sought after supernatural gift that I noticed the creature perched on our porch ledge like a long, lean gargoyle. Like a gargoyle in stance but more like a shadow in form, it sat still as a dark puddle on a black top in an empty parking lot. I thought at first it was there to remind me of something, like the rubber bands my father wears on his left wrist and yet I could not place what it was that I should be remembering. Maybe instead it was a forewarning, but like the lack of epiphany about the remembrance, I couldn’t decide whether it was a ominous warning or a auspicious one. Not wanting it to grow any larger there in front of me, feeding it with my interest or my fear, I stood up and turned my back on it, walked with a steady gait to our front door and let myself into to our bright house. For no reason I can decipher, I held the door open and let it creep in behind me. I set my Kindle down on the front desk, turned off all the lights around our first floor, locked the front door and made my way up the stairs to bed.

I know the golem is here with me somewhere and I know I let it into our home, but I don’t know why.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sleepless, Restless

12:15 AM
I finished watching Mad Men Season One Episode Nine, put the finishing touches on an order and packaged it, turned out all of the lights, locked all of the windows and doors and made my way up to bed.

I went into each of the kids' rooms and checked that each one of them was sleeping comfortably, brushed my teeth and washed my face. Jeremiah had fallen asleep watching TV in a swath of sheets in our gameroom and I hated to wake him so I had the whole bed to myself. After sharing a bed on and off with various small beast like children I finally have a no kid bed.

12:30 AM
I laid down in bed, set the alarm on my phone and carefully placed it under Jeremiah's pillow and turned on the TV. I tossed and turned, flipping restlessly through the channels. Ancient Aliens? No.

Scarface? Again? Really? How many times can one watch Scarface?

Teen Mom? Fuck you.

1:00 AM
I got out of bed, got a glass of water, turned on the lamp and set my laptop up to watch more Mad Men in bed.

2:00 AM
Maxine Jane starts screaming bloody murder from her room. I run in to find her on the floor, wrapped and writhing in layers of sheets.

"Max! What happened? And why do you have so many sheets?"

"I was cold and I went into Rosey's room and then in the closet and got more sheets."

"Max, there's a whole pile of blankeys next to your bed, within your grasp for that reason!"

Why am I arguing with a six year old at 2:00 AM?

"OK Baby, back in bed."

2:30 AM
After folding the many sheets Max had thieved from various rooms around our house, tucking her in with her own blankeys, getting her a drink and kissing and hugging her goodnight many times, I finally am ready to get back in bed. Put away the laptop and realize my Kindle is downstairs. Go get Kindle, see lights flashing in front of the house. The police are across the street and down three houses where there have been many numerous incidents before. Mostly a couple and their drunken friends fighting over indecipherable topics. I become entranced with the hullabaloo, unable to leave my perch at the front window.

3:00 AM
The police disband and I go back to bed. Forgot my Kindle again, decide to try and force myself to sleep with complete dark. End up getting extra pillows from the linen closet and lining them up all around my body. Fall asleep almost immediately, enclosed in a pillow fence, just like as if I had any of my loved ones in bed with me. So much for loving the freedom of a no kids bed.

7:00 AM
Wake up to Maxine perched beside me on the pillow to my left.

"Momma? Why do you have all these pillows in your bed?"

"I don't know Max, why did you have all the sheets in your bed last night?"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Most Royal Servant

I went to my Grandma's house to visit my Pappy for the first time since the funeral last month. The kids and I were at the park and I just started driving there like we were going to stop for a snack after running around in the sun and playing in the crick. I pulled up in front of the house and a cloudy veil of tears lowered itself in front of my eyes before I even realized the real truth of the matter. My Grandma wasn't there, she wasn't even still walking this very earth.

I weathered through it so I wouldn't make the kids sad and sat on the couch and visited with my Pappy. I didn't do my customary walk into the kitchen to ransack the fridge, I didn't go upstairs and lay in her bed on the giant silky royal purple comforter, I just sat there and talked and shushed the kids and told them to be calm.

Olive wanted a drink ten minutes in and it had been a hot day, so I went into the kitchen and lost it. My chest shook with sobs and my face burned red. I don't know if I am just sad or mad as well at my inability to get over this loss, maybe I never will. Rosey came in after me and hugged me, my darling serious 11 year old daughter comforted me and told me it was OK to cry. I sat down for a moment and looked around the room and cried some more. I had sat in that room and helped my Grandma cook great feasts, small treats, saltines and butter, pickles and american cheese. She had a TV mounted in the top corner of the room and listened to the news, different cooking shows or religious broadcasts, sometimes I would wake up in the morning in her bed and just listen to her below me in the kitchen, praying to herself or cussing out some stupid politician.

I was snapped out of my moment of grief by a yell from the living room:

"MOMMA! WHERE IS MY DRINK!?!?" Olive is whining to the point of tears herself.

"MOMMA! CAN I HAVE A DWINK TOO?!?!?! WHY DOES OLIVIA GET A DWINK AND NOT ME????" Max chimes in lovingly.

"MAGOO! GET THEM CHOCOLATE MILK, IT'S ON THE FRIDGE DOOR!" Pappy is the loudest of them all...

I guess maybe I have a little piece of my Grandma to carry around with me forever at the bidding of my family. The Most Royal Servant.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rethinking Working at Home and Another Major Giveaway!

Right now I am supposed to working on a RUSH assignment in my makeshift studio/office space Jeremiah set up in our bedroom for me. It's cluttered and fairly disorganized and since I work at home it's probably not the best setting. Rose is lying on my bed next to my work area playing DS with the headphones on, Elijah is attempting to make a ladder off of my bed with sheets from his toddler bed tied together, Olivia is in the bathroom down the hall looking in the mirror and singing to herself and Maxine just entered the room arms laden with various bags of cheese, salami and crackers.

"MOMMA! Can we have a picnic in your room?"

No Maxine Jane, you can not.

I'm really rethinking this whole working at home thing. I thought I would save money on food, clothes and gas (not to mention the fact that I have made a conscious decision not to have a car, also rethinking that) working at home. Also I wouldn't have to find someone else to care for my kids, which saves money as well...plus there are enough kids here to be a small daycare regardless.

So when I decided to finally get a job at age 30 and put to use some of the education I worked so very hard receiving, this became my work space:




If you aren't in the 'know' (ha) and are wondering why a translator/transcriptionist needs a thousand buttons and boxes of yarn, I also have a shop where I make custom stuffed animals, baby gifts, blankets and more: Dork Designs



My only decoration is this strip of photos from the wedding Jeremiah was best man in and I just now noticed there is an amp hidden under my desk! Jeremiah!

Lunch. I love owls, I'm so 2010.

Notice some super cute custom stuffed creatures in the above photos? Kristine from the infamous Wait in the Van is doing a beyond awesome giveaway featuring one such stuffed monster from my shop! Go and enter so you can win your own Dork Designs creature handmade by me and some other super fun summer kids items! Cure for the Summer Blues Giveaway!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not a Whore Giveaway and a Summer Monster Sale!

Right now Rose is screaming at Maxine to leave her alone, Olive is on the home computer downstairs endlessly using doggelganger.co.nz to find all of our dog counterparts and Elijah is pacing back and forth in front of my desk in my office telling me how hungry he is. Ahhhh the joys of summer.

After I finish my work for the day we will clean the house and take a walk to the store and the library, which will also be excellent and relaxing, I am sure.

In other news Trista is doing a Giveaway for a tee from my shop Dork Designs over at her newly designed site: Tristachio: Just a Family of Nuts

In further even more complicated and involved news I have more stuffies available! A job really complicates stuffed creature making, doesn't it?

I am offering these two monsters to you for a discounted price before I put them up on my website so be sure to tweet this or share this on facebook!
You can buy one for $28 or both for $50! If you would like to custom order a monster with your own colors and input it will be $40. All monsters are made with all natural supplies and vintage buttons. Maxine sleeps with hers every night (photo of her with said monster below)! If you are interested in either one that is currently available or in ordering a custom monster, you can contact me one of many ways. Email me at oliverosetree@yahoo.com, use the custom order form on my actual site or you can comment here with your email and I'll get back to you! I make things so easy for my loved ones, don't I?




Maxine with her birthday monster, it has fangs and a black soul...just like her!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Brave Hair Cutting Act

I am by no stretch of the imagination a brave person. I am incredibly afraid of spiders, brake the whole time I'm riding down a hill on my bike, I stand on the sidewalk and motion all the drivers to keep going and wait till the road is clear before I cross...the list is practically endless.

I get my hair cut very, very rarely and when I do it's usually the same medium length, just above the shoulders bob that I've been getting since high school. Under the influence of a very pushy friend I decided to do something I considered brave, I chopped off all of my hair and got the first 'hair style' I've ever had in 30 years. This might not seem like a big deal to most of you out there, but to me it was rather huge. I took in a recent-ish photo of Michelle Williams and told the girl to do to me as she saw fit.

This is the result:


To those of you who are my Facebook friends, forgive the over use of this photo, I haven't taken any others yet!

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Maxine, Scarier than Audition

Some of you might know that the now six year old Maxine Jane is a huge Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli)fan and a fan of a lot of other kid friendly animation and characters from Japan as well.

But what you and I both didn't know is that when Maxine Jane is alone with a camera she becomes a feared creature straight from Japanese Horror movies!

Steel thyself!





Okay, so this one is not so scary...

Monday, June 13, 2011

In Memoriam: The End

Thanks to everyone for sticking with all of my sad and morbid posts regarding my Grandmother and her decision to discontinue the transfusion treatments that were keeping her alive. She passed away on Tuesday June 7th around 6 pm with all of her daughters and two of my cousins with her. Her memorial ceremony was emotional and I overcame the urge (somehow) to grab her urn and run out of the church and hide them somewhere so I could keep her all to myself forever and ever. I'm sure my kids and everyone else there (except for maybe Jeremiah) would have been pretty shocked to see me run headlong out of a very crowded church into the neighboring fields in my funeral garb clutching the urn against my chest.

I had the honor of speaking at the memorial service, 'honor' meaning my Grandma asked me to do while on her death bed, so how could I really say no? It went better than I thought, I didn't blubber through it and I hope she would have enjoyed it very much. I'll share it with you today and then I promise, no more depressing death posts!

Thank you everybody for joining our family today to celebrate my Grandma Bert’s life and the fact that she has a new life in heaven with God, something she’s been looking forward to and talking about all of my life. My Momma tells me that this eulogy is supposed to be more than about my own personal relationship with my Grandma, but it’s hard to see beyond that for me. She was a big part, one of the biggest parts of my life and I feel like most everything I do is contingent on something she taught me, or taught my Mother to teach me.

I have compiled a list of things that your Mother, your Wife, your Aunt, your Cousin, your Friend, your Grandmother, my Grandmother was the best at.

Painting nails. She always had this magical collection of nail polishes on her dresser, flanking the perfumes and the powder compacts, like pawns marching in a perfect colorful order.

Putting up/Taking down wall paper. If anyone in our family, extended family or hell, anyone we knew at all needed help with their wall paper, my Grandma was on hand.

Putting together the perfect outfit. My grandma was always dressed impeccably, she took such pride in her appearance she would usually change into a housecoat as soon as she came home from whatever she was doing to properly preserve her clothes. I’ve seen all of my aunts do this. I know that my grandparents didn’t have much money when their children were small, but if you see photos of my aunts, my uncle and my mother, you would have thought they were very rich. New socks and shoes, ironed smocks and dresses, coordinating church outfits. Pappy Jack’s hair was always cut right, Grandma probably spent more money on her hair and her shoes than I could ever in two or three of my lives.

Act like a lady. She might have been loud and crass with us kids or when she was mad at Pappy Jack, but she was always a lady. “Sit like a lady!” she told me so many times at church or out visiting on our weekends together. I say it at least once a day to any of my three daughters and sometimes to my baby sister.

One of the best things you can do as a person is make people feel good by waiting on them, taking care of them. My Grandma loved my Pappy with a fierceness and loyalty that was unmatched. She might have swore at him, given him a little swack, argued with him more times than I can count, but she still made his breakfast, lunch and dinner, cleaned his clothes, took care of his house and raised his children to the best of her ability so that they became the excellent people who raised their own children with the lessons she taught them. One time when I was pregnant with my youngest child, my son Elijah, Jeremiah and I went to the store and left my youngest girl Maxine Jane with Grandma and Pappy. I was nervous to do this because Max is considered a difficult or spirited child, but Grandma was insistent. We came home a short time later and Max had been bathed and perfumed and was laying in a sea of sheets in front of the TV, one arm propped up on a pile of pillows so that her hand could reach the bowl of cheese crackers next to the pillows with the smallest possible effort. (mimick the scene) The woman fed me till I was 13. She rocked me in her lap until I was too big to hold. I’m sure a lot of people in this room, especially all of my many cousins, know what it is like to be loved unconditionally because of the adoration and attention she gave us all.

Babies are God’s gift to us, take care of them. She taught us all how to swaddle a baby, how to rock a baby, how to bathe a baby. Can I see a raise of hands if Grandma has bathed your baby? She gave my two oldest daughters their first baths and even bathed Katelynn in the hospital because there was a baby boom and they were short on nurses. The doc handed Kate to Grandma and said “Do you know how to bathe a baby?” I can only imagine the brightness on her face at that moment. “Of course I know how to bathe a baby!”

So it’s obvious to anyone who knew her that she was the type of person who could make you feel so special, so unique that you felt like you had her all to yourself, that she was just yours for however long you had to spend with her. I thought this until I would go to church with her, or when we were visiting Great Aunt Lula in the nursing home and it dawned on me that she was the type of person that everyone loved, that everyone wanted in their life, that everyone remembered and set apart as someone special. I learned that I would have to share her with the world and now we all with have to share her with God.

She’s told all of us here that God has been building a giant beautiful house in heaven for her with rooms enough for Pappy Jack all of her children and grandchildren to share someday. I’m thinking of her right now in heaven hanging out with God in the giant kitchen she always wanted, drinking coffee at the kitchen table, making pecan tasseys for me, halupki for everyone and liver and onions for Pappy Jack. It will be a wonderful day when we can all share that house together and get to be with her forever.

Thank you for coming and before you leave, give my Mom, my Aunt Pam, my Aunt Lori, my Aunt Robin, my Uncle Dubby and my Pappy a big hug. My grandma was a loving, hugging person and would greatly appreciate this gesture. Just go up to one of them and squeeze the crap out of them, it be well worth it, considering she taught each one of them how to hug just right.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Straight A Students!

Well she's not dead yet and it sucks and it's painful. That's my Grandma update.

In other happier and less completely demoralizing news, my three school aged children have finished their 4th, 2nd and Kindergarten years of school with a fabulous splash of success.

All three got straight A's (or the Kindergarten equivalent of 'secure') and I couldn't be more proud.

Rose's teacher was a first year teacher and was more then complimentary in the comments section of Rose's report card:

Your work ethic is just one reason why the rest of the students look up to you. You were an absolute joy to have in class and I am extremely proud of you. Have an awesome summer!

Rose and I were reading this together and gloating over how wonderful it was of the teacher to say those nice things when we both look up to a crying Olivia. The only comment anywhere on her year end report card or papers was:

Have a great summer!

I did my best to cheer her up, but was very conscious of the fact that her teacher had problems with her from the very start of school. I had a few phone calls and notes and finally a conference about the fact that Olivia had a hard time concentrating, listening and following directions. "She's just always off in her own world." I laughed when I heard that, because I feel like Olivia has a mark of an awesome person, a day dreamer...I suppose what might help would be a change in her work ethic and I suppose I'll have to work on that with her. I would just hate to change her any. She's maddening at times, but she's just Olive and that's awesome.

Maxine could have cared less what her teacher said about her and that's kind of a good thing. Her teacher has sent many notes home to me that Max is talking too much, not listening and being too bossy with the other kids in her class. After countless talks with Max about this, I've come to the realization that there is nothing I can do about it. She has no idea what the teacher is talking about at all. Her teacher's end of the year comment was:

Thank you for being a unique and exceptional child. Please work on your bossiness and make me proud in first grade by being nicer and quieter during the school day and by not getting in trouble with your teacher!

I read this to Maxine and she just shrugged her shoulders.

"Momma, I think that note is for another kid. Maybe Brianna. She's the bossy one."

Oy vey.

I used to ask my Grandmother in times of panic about something Max had done or when she wouldn't eat for days or when she would cry for hours for no apparent reason: "What am I going to do with her?!" And my Grandma would say, "Love her, Erin. That's all you can do."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Special Thanks AND an Update-ish Thingy

I wanted to say thank you so very much to all the people who commented and emailed me about my last post. It means a lot to me and is so very appreciated.

A special thank you to my kind of boss Jules from Mean Girl Garage for her support.

and

To Logical Libby, the Libster herself, for thinking of me.

and of course

to my B.I.F. Beckerino from Steam Me Up Kid for being kind of less douchey to me lately. I said less, but she's still a complete tool.

My grandmother has stabilized for the moment, but because she can not survive without the transfusions, she could pass away any day. My heart aches and I'm not sure why I can't feel better.

Getting back to some work this week has helped, but of course in my rush to fill my mind with something other than mucky, murky sadness, I double booked all of my time and I've now been working straight through everyday. Jeremiah has been a saint taking over the child stuff. Now if only he could type 80 plus words per minute so I could take a nap.
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I did, however, get back to writing for Sprocket Ink this week and regaled the site with some interesting information on philandering politicians who like to embarrass their families by spreading their seed...over and over again. Check my pieces there and all the other hilarious writers work as well!

As I mentioned before my grandmother has been a very integral part of my life and I've written about her before, if you would like to revisit those posts and see a little bit about this great woman I'm currently losing to death, have at it.

Breakfast Memories

Not so Funny Story About My Grandma

This is one of my favorite photos of my grandma, she bopped me over the head with the pictured wand after I shot the photo of her, mad that I had snuck a photo. But you can see in her face she's not really mad...

Monday, May 23, 2011

They Tell Me My Grandmother is Dying

My grandmother announced last week that she is right with God and wants to stop receiving the blood transfusions that are keeping her alive. Within a day of hearing this, shaking it off and assuming she'd change her mind, she was entering a hospice and had met with her children and her doctor about DNR's, morphine and just how long she might live. The prognosis was not good, no more than a few weeks.

Despite all this very logical and purely factual information, I'm operating under the belief that she will not die, that her body will miraculous overcome the rare and supposedly fatal blood disorder her genetics have so cruelly bestowed upon her. Jeremiah seems worried about me, about how I feel, about how this type of thinking is harmful to me and to the kids.

The girls have thankfully been at their Dad's house all weekend. Jeremiah, Elijah, Rosey, Olivia, Maxine and I met my ex husband at the hospice on Friday night so the girls could visit Grandma in case she would die over the weekend. Rosey was so brave, laid in bed with Grandma for a very long time, crying silently. Olivia was not so brave, but you can't really blame her. She was inconsolable and even chocolate cookies couldn't cheer her up. Her Dad finally carried her away in a bundle of tears, red splotches and snot covered red tangles. It was strange watching him walk away from that place, carrying that tall, limby 8 year old like a little baby.

Maxine said, "Bye Grandma Bert. Can we leave yet?" She was pleased, however, that my Momma gave her cookies, cheez doodles and pop in the hospice's family room/kitchen area. Just writing this made me cry more than watching Olive in the throes of despair, my Grandmother should have been in the family room feeding Maxine junk with her own hands like a mother bird and a baby bird. This woman literally fed me my lunch until I was 13, would rock me in her lap when I was bigger than her. She's not very old for a great grandmother, just turned 75 on March 4th. Her mother in law was a 100 when she died, still gardened almost until the very end, that of course has nothing to do with my Grandma Bert. Her genetics are tainted by the very early deaths of both of her own parents.

I know I should be glad I've had all this time with her, I know I should be glad that she was there when I was born (and missed Bingo that night too!), I know I should be glad that she was there when Rose was born 11 years ago today (Happy Birthday Rosey!), I should be glad that I got to sing her so many songs, I should be glad that she and I slept together in the same bed and talked for hours on end, I should be glad she was there to talk to when Maxine had colic, or wasn't gaining weight. When I think of my Grandmother, I see her with one of my new babies in her arms, swaddling them tight against her and humming to them in her strange guttural tones. Or waking the baby up so she could see their eyes open, peeling off their clothes and running her painted fingernails across their tummies, just waiting to gaze into their eyes.

Right now I am sitting in her rocking chair, which my Pappy Jack gave her when I was born. "Every Grandma should have a rocking chair." I'm going to ask my Momma if I can have the photo of her rocking me in that chair.

If my Grandmother ever dies, of course. I'm fairly certain she will not.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Strange Things People Say to Me...

Going to weddings or even doing brave things like leaving the house for more than a walk around the neighborhood might be a big part of other people's daily existences, but is certainly not part of my life. My fun outings consist of walking to the post office or taking a drive with Jeremiah to get groceries.

So last weekend attending a rehearsal dinner, staying at a stranger's house, spending the day with more strangers and then attending a wedding and reception freaking blew my mind. I also came to realize that people say the strangest things to me. Maybe I look like the type of person who won't be offended, or maybe I look like a good secret keeper? Regardless of why, here are some things that were said to me last weekend.

"OH MY GOD! You're 30? I thought for sure you were no older than 28!" -drunk girl at our reception table of people the Bride and Groom didn't want anywhere near them

"You do have that extra Mom padding back there, good for you!" -older women who befriended me at the wedding, remarking about how I look too young to have four kids


"You're not married? Well honey, if he ain't asked you yet, no way he's going to."
-evil 2nd cousin of the bride's 2nd cousin

"Oh yeah, but it's no big deal. Some men don't want to get married to women who have kids already." -another evil cousin


"What's your name again? You're seriously my best friend and the coolest person I've ever met."
-drunk groomsman

"You don't do shots? Fucking pussy."-same drunk groomsman

Also, one other weird thing, we went to bed much, much earlier than everyone else that came back to the Bride and Groom's house with us. They were up till dawn doing God know what, but I know it included Heavy D and the Boys and the Charles and Charge TV theme. The next morning I heard the drunk groomsman mentioned above stumble into the bathroom. I happened to look at my phone for the time right after he started peeing. I was laying back down with Jeremiah when I realized that the dude was still peeing! I looked at my phone and two minutes had past. Then I was totally enraptured. Two minutes might not seem like a long time, but time how long you pee next time and compare. He continued peeing for an astounding 4 minutes and 24 seconds. He also grunted ALOT. Poor fellow.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This is How We Do it....

If you've been keeping up with this site you'll have noticed two things:

1: I'm a total bummer and a whiny turd headed turd. I spent the last two months complaining about going to a wedding, which was this past weekend, and ended up having a pretty good time. Illustrated by my extremely red cheeks:

And no, I don't drink. That's the hilarious thing.

2: My posts have been sporadic and uninspired.

It's because I entered the world of grown-ups finally and have gotten a bunch of paying jobs to supplement our family's income. I'm writing and editing for three sites and working as a transcriber for two marketing companies on top of that.

Oh yeah, I'm still running my site Dork Designs! Be sure to check that out as well. I've had some pretty happy and adorable customers lately. Jen from My Tornado Alley ordered her daughters handmade bunnies for Easter bunnies and loved them! Read all about the bunnies and their journey here: A box of bunnies.

And although not this best photo ever here is my darling Meg, Libby's daughter wearing one of the tees from the Dork Designs shop:


Yes, that is a giant photo. Enjoy every pixel of cuteness.

Finally Maxine Jane turned six years old on Thursday...I was working immediately before the party and Jeremiah was in charge of making sure she was dressed appropriately for the gala (which included myself, Jeremiah, our kids and my parents, so not very gala-ish). This is what she ended up wearing:



Aside from all of that jazz, I'm also writing for Sprocket Ink! I'll have posts going up every Tuesday and Friday, but also just take a chance to peruse the site and read some other pieces, everyone is doing a great job over there and are uber entertaining.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Maxine Jane Turns Six

Today is Maxine Jane's 6th Birthday. 6 years ago at this time I had already been in labor for 12 hours. 6 years ago at this time I was in a hospital bed and my Doctor was telling me that Max was breech and that I should have a c-section. 6 years ago at this time I was crying and hugging him and begging him to try to turn her. 6 years ago he called his friend, a midwife and together they successfully turned Maxine around. Then more tears when I was in horribly painful labor for another 12 hours.

Below is a repost in honor of my precious angel, the dawn of my day and the demon haunting my very existence's birthday.

I’m sitting in our game room, Elijah in bed, Jeremiah sprawled on the couch next to me, yawning and comfy. The rain outside is pouring down over our street, over our small town, washing away the grimy trash, making the ugly cars gleam under the sheets of effortless water.

I am longing for Maxine, missing her spindly legs lying over my own much less spindly ones, her tiny hands looking endlessly for crevices of flesh to dig in to. The thunder and lightning are beyond my windows, filling the night with a drama much adverse to the calm of our quiet house.

Maxine hated the rain as an infant. She would cry in terror if it would hit her baby head and she would shake and cringe at the cold wet when it would touch her body.

Thinking of her great dislike of the rain makes me keenly remember her first thunderstorm. On a night much like tonight I laid a tiny uncomfortable Maxine, finally sleeping, next to me on my bed where Maxine, Rose and I would sleep every night. I dare not leave the bed, for if I moved my body from the space next to her she would wake and begin crying, the jagged spine chilling cry that haunted my days with infant Her. The lightning began to brighten our room and Rose and I counted the time between the lightning and thunder in hushed tones. Max woke to a considerably loud thunder clap and I immediately started to pick her up before she could wail. Instead of crying she looked curiously around the room, listening to the pitter patter of the rain.

I turned off the t.v. and sat with her and Rose in the dark room, lit by a small nightlight, listening with Maxine to the storm outside. When it thundered again I watched in amazement as a smile began to erase the usual scowl that painted Maxine’s face. The storm outside gathered more fury and soon the gentle rain sounds were replaced by furious winds. Max was still enthralled.

I laid her down between Rose and myself, pulled the blankets around us and soon fell asleep. It was a wonderful experience, Maxine at peace, not strangely tense, or stressed. There was nothing other than a sweet embrace and a gentle slumber, accompanied by a musical storm raging outside.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Birthday Girl Blues

I am now 30 years old. I though I would feel different or I would sense some sort of change come over me, like mystical bits of sparkly age dusting down upon me from a sailing chariot in the skies above.

The only difference I've noticed now, on this 10th day after my Birthday is that the malaise I was suffering from has finally lifted it's gloomy veil. I feel semi-normal now, although stressed and under pressure, normal as someone as strange and ridiculous as me can be.

Because I was under this veil, I think I ruined my Birthday party, which was so nicely planned by my Momma and although on the weekend, attended by all of my children. I just sat there and forced smiles onto my face like trying to force a baby's fat feet into it's first pair of shoes. Delicately, yet forcefully and with a sense of remorse and regret, I made my way through the happy people, the pats on the back and my many children clamoring for my attention without feeling much of anything at all.

I didn't take much notice of this delightful cake, made special for me because of my love of bows and polka dots:



The usual onslaught of tears did not come when my Momma gave me the bunnies I had been coveting most of my life. She received the Momma Bunny and the first pink baby when I was born, made for her by her Grandmother and then one for each child after that except for Hannah. But we all know that nobody likes Hannah, so that makes perfect sense...



I didn't delight when Olivia gave me a handmade ninja fan with a built-in self destruct button or get mad when Maxine threw a horrible fit and launched herself into a basement bookshelf.

And now I'm feeling regretful and apologetic, with no real reason to apologize. I will move on though, this weekend Jeremiah and are will be away from Elijah for two whole nights, the longest we have ever left him. We'll be attending a wedding, I have dresses to wear thanks to Becky and newly purchased accessories, so there is a little bit of fun on the horizon (I hope!).

Although looking forward to being out of this house and away from my work and motherly duties, I can't help but feel a sense of dread, thick and oozy, sitting on my shoulders, drizzling it's muck into my head. When with this malaise come again? Why is this happening to me?