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“I could cover it in Bougainvillea,” she whispered during the throes of sleep-deprived madness.

September 15th, 2014 · 13 Comments · Daily

Because the past few nights have been spent not sleeping well, I’m starting to think about a television and whether or not I need one of them in the room where I sleep. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m really great at falling asleep during television shows and movies. Something to consider.

Three months ago I would never peg myself as someone who would Google, “Talk to me about pergolas.” or “What’s that thing on top of a pergola called? Canopy? Awning?” or “Where can I get a pergola cover for ten bucks?” (There is no such pergola cover.) Also, “DIY pergola cover?!”

I finished my February Lady Sweater, and I finally blocked it on Friday. It’s still slightly wet, but I’m wearing it anyway.

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I like the length, but I wish it was bigger around so I could wrap it a bit. BUT, I’m unwilling to compromise length for width, so it’ll do. (I’ve decided to NOT put buttons on the sweater because I sort of like how it looks without. SO, it will be a sweater with buttonholes, but nothing to fill them. It will be my metaphorical sweater.)

(For all of you knitters out there, my friends Tempe and Chrystal have started a video podcast. It’s called Lighthouse Buddies, and if you knit while you watch, it almost feels like you’re in the living room with them, although their living rooms are about 875 away from each other.)

I have registered to be a Girl Scout so that Harper and I can attend a troop meeting on Thursday evening. This will be Harper’s first run in the Girl Scout rodeo, and I’m not quite sure if I’ll laugh or cry when/if the word Camping is mentioned. (A friend of mine once gave me this luggage tag, and it really was the perfect gift.) I’ll keep you updated.

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All talk of circadian rhythm.

September 13th, 2014 · 4 Comments · Daily

I know I said I would write every day this month. I KNOW I did. However, now that I’m 44 1/3, I’m finding that other things tend to pop up and I lose track of time and all of a sudden I’m sitting on the couch and knitting or reading or I’m working on freelance, and absolutely nothing notable has happened. (Notable things have happened, but not to me. Also, they’re singing songs of love, but not for me.)

I *did* find my old Rubik’s cube a few days back and last night I (ate a bunch of pizza and) solved it with the help of an online manual. That felt like something.

Meredith has a friend over and the friend just read us a news article she’s working on. It’s about Ebola. I love watching kids who spark each other.

My plans for today include walking to the library to pick up a book for Harper, registering Harper (and myself, apparently) for Girl Scouts, and purchasing a switch plate to replace the Thomas the Train plate currently hanging in Harper’s room. If I’m feeling brave, I may switch out our back porch light for something a little more bright. Also, I might finish the second side of the cardigan I’m working on as I join Jeff for the Mizzou game. I’ll probably eat apples and almond butter. I’ll definitely listen to some R.E.M. Unplugged, because I can’t get this song out of my head.

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Judas was a Shih Tzu.

September 10th, 2014 · 15 Comments · Daily

When I was in junior high, we had a church camp that involved spending the weekend at church members’ houses. My age group went to Pat and Dave’s house, and the weekend was filled with activities like reading the Bible, staying up late to see if we could make anyone pee in the bed (by dipping their hand in warm water as they slept), and washing each other’s feet. I was mostly good with all of this, except for the feet thing. If you know me at all, you know that I’m not really a foot person. I don’t want to see your feet, and I don’t want you to see mine. There. Now we can be friends.

Anyway, as we sat in our evening circle, the camp leader started reading from John 13 and because he had asked Pat for a basin of water, I knew exactly what he was getting at.

Leader Guy: Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

Me (to myself): No. Please, no. I don’t want to take off my shoes.

Leader Guy: Because we are all disciples of Christ, I think we should take this opportunity to go around the circle and wash one another’s feet. As you wash the person next to you, please feel free to tell them that you love them in Christ.

I honestly felt one of my very first anxiety attacks coming on during that circle. Watching my friends (who 18 hours earlier had been trying to make each other pee) suddenly appearing somber and taking off their shoes threw me over the edge. When it was my turn for a washing, I just shook my head and said, “I can’t.”

Leader Guy: We’re all friends. This is a special moment at camp. I wish everyone would participate.

Me: I’m wearing tights. I can’t take them off.

Leader Guy (eyeing me suspiciously): Oh. Well, can Julie wash your shoes, then?

Me (clearly wearing Tretorns with those pom-pom ankle socks and no tights): Um, yes.

Julie (whispering): You are NOT wearing tights.

Me (whispering): I’m also not having my feet washed with a washcloth that has touched everyone else’s feet!

When Julie was done washing my big stinking liar shoes, I jumped up and went to the bathroom so I wouldn’t have to wash the next person’s feet. (I’m crafty like that.) I killed enough time in the bathroom to make sure that all washing was done by the time I returned to the circle.

Thirty two years later:

This morning Scout went outside in the rain and began digging a hole in the pond that is forming in our back yard. (We’ve had some crazy rain.)

Me: Noooooooo!!!

I quickly ran out (with a grocery bag over my head and I’m not really sure why, other than the fact that I’m always trying to make a good impression) and grabbed her. We ran back up the stairs and into the house where I placed her in our utility sink and began to wash her feet. And as I washed her feet she licked my nose, which was her way of telling me that she will soon betray me. Again. Because that’s what she does.

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I hear it may snow in Nebraska. Time to knit.

September 9th, 2014 · 13 Comments · Daily

I purchased some pretty amazing yarn at Stitches last month. Because I won’t allow myself to begin a new project until I finish two current projects (that’s a new rule I just made up, and I may or may not abide by it), I’ve been working on a few oldies but goodies. (I hate the word Goodies.)

I started this scarf in July of 2010:

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I know. I’m finally nearly halfway finished with it, which means when Christmas rolls around I’ll finally be able to NOT say, “I wish I had a red scarf.” (It will eventually look like this, except it won’t because I messed up a little and I’ve decided to continue my accident throughout the scarf which means it’s not really a screw-up, but a MODIFICATION.)

I started this sweater in September of 2012:

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I’m a half of a front, two sleeves, and some finishing away from it looking like this, and I picture myself wearing it with a white t-shirt, faded out jeans, and my black fabric Mary Janes. I also picture myself with a sloppy ponytail and I may or may not have chopsticks or a paintbrush holding the ponytail together. I’m drinking hot tea. With Rainbow Rowell. This sweater sure as hell better deliver.

Did I tell you that I bought this shirt while in Chicago last month?

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It seems that I’m becoming more and more okay with being the lady in her mid-40s who wears funny t-shirts. (After having my frozen lemonade order taken by not one, but TWO teenagers with pierced noses a few days back, I returned home and removed my nose ring. Five minutes later, I put it back in. I’m afraid I’m going through one of those things again where I feel old and I’m not very happy with the fact that my shape has changed a bit since the hysterectomy in May and my journey to lose the ten pounds that I gain every year begins tomorrow. (If all goes well, my sweater will fit just in time for Thanksgiving.))

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Riff-Raff is a 1947 black-and-white film starring Pat O’Brien, Anne Jeffreys, and Walter Slezak.

September 8th, 2014 · 9 Comments · Daily

The people across the street from us are moving. All I know about them is that the man of the house is often shirtless, and I was told (by a different neighbor) that they’re downsizing because all of the kids moved out, yet there is definitely a kid living there. In other words, what I think I know about them is probably not true (except for that whole shirtless thing).

Wait. Here is an actual photograph that I took this morning of the man of the house. (Let’s keep the publication of this between us, because he hasn’t signed a model release form, and I definitely can’t afford a lawsuit right now, as moving is very expensive. Like, putting a cap on a sewer costs $269 and this I know is true because I wrote a check to a sewer place less than six hours ago for a cap that’s apparently made of crushed up Fabergé eggs.)

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Anyway, two moving trucks pulled onto the street this morning and the moving guys jumped out and immediately started packing the trucks with stuff from Cranky NoShirt’s garage. They packed and they packed and they were total horses and at around 1:00 or so, I heard yelling. I decided to stay where I was because we live in a house of windows and I didn’t want to be seen. BUT, yelling. Lots of yelling.

When I left the house at 2:00ish to pick Meredith up from school, I noticed that two fairly large pieces of furniture are broken and lying on their sides in Cranky NoShirt’s front yard. Sad Dresser’s drawers are hanging out, and Dismal Bookshelf doesn’t have the strength for any more arguments (or Danielle Steel novels, if you know what I’m saying).

When Meredith and I returned from the school, NoShirt was in his garage yelling at someone I couldn’t see. All of this to say: When the new neighbors move in, I believe I will present them with a loaf of pumpkin bread and a sprig of sage with instructions for smudging.

(Did I tell you that we smudged sage before we moved into our house? We did. And, I won’t tell you WHY, although I WILL casually look up to the right and mutter something about differences in where we get our news…)

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We prefer noodles.

September 7th, 2014 · 12 Comments · Daily

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I took a pass to tub it out.

September 6th, 2014 · 12 Comments · Daily

I meant to write yesterday. I really did. BUT, I spent most of the morning hauling trash to the street (TONS of it, and that’s only a slight exaggeration) and then I spent most of the evening hauling trash to the street and then we went out for burritos (as we do) and then I drove home in wind and rain and all I really wanted to do at 9:00 was this:

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So that’s exactly what I did.
This morning we spent a little more time at the house cleaning out the garage and shack, and tomorrow we’ll do the floors and on Monday we’ll sign our closing papers. Done.

Every time I crack an egg, I crush the shell before throwing it into the trash. AND, when I crush the shell, I say the following words to myself: Always crush your egg shells, because kitchen witches use them for boats. I remember kitchen witches being a thing when I was a kid, but no one else seems to remember them.

The temperature is twenty degrees cooler today than it was yesterday at this time. A friend of mine told me that all she wants to do is knit, and I couldn’t agree more.

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Even Morrissey wouldn’t put my words to music.

September 4th, 2014 · 11 Comments · Daily

I started writing in a journal when I was in the sixth grade. My sixth grade teacher presented everyone in the class with a Mead notebook and told us that she wanted us to write at least a half page every day. After the first few weeks, I was writing at least three pages each day, and every time I finished a notebook, my teacher would present me with a fresh one.

I wrote in my notebooks all through high school and all through college and I’m sure if I was able to stack them, they would hit me above the belt. (Sadly, many of them have been lost along the way and a few were damaged beyond repair in a flooded basement.)

Here’s the weird thing. For many years, I’ve been telling people (and when I say “I’ve been telling people” I’m not really sure that I’ve mentioned it to anyone other than myself) that I burned my college journal, mainly because I didn’t like who I was back then—not focused, not very bright, too worried about what everyone else thought about me, etc.

This morning I was clearing out some of the final boxes at the old house, and I came across the journal that I thought I had burned. (I actually have memories of burning it. What in the hell did I set on fire that night?!) I brought it home with me, and this evening I read over 100 pages of it. It’s horrible. HORRIBLE. I actually considered sharing some of it here with you, but there is honestly nothing to share. As I read I kept thinking, “Where is the funny part? Is there ever a funny part? Is there even a HAPPY part?” Every single page of that thing is filled with jealousy and insecurity and ugliness and self-pity and when I first saw it at the house this morning, I actually gasped and smiled and thought about how I’ll share it with the girls someday.

The girls will never see the inside of the journal. In fact, I’ve already put it aside to feed our first fire when the temperatures start to cool down. (I’ll remove the plastic reflector from the front cover first because I Love The Environment.)

I always say (not always, but sometimes) that my high school years were my worst years (I rarely left the house and spent most of my free time practicing for piano competitions) and my college years were my best years (I rarely stayed in my room and spent most of my free time dipping French fries in ice cream and going on adventures with my best friend). The college journal is not about ice cream and shenanigans. The college journal is a story about a girl who desperately craves attention that she honestly doesn’t feel she deserves.

I’m not sure what else to say other than: I’m glad the Fluid Pudding thing happened. I still puke ugly into a notebook when I need to release steam, but I mainly collect the good stuff for you. I’m bummed that I didn’t collect the good stuff from 1988-1993. There really was a lot of good stuff from back then, and it sucks that my memories are fading as the years speed by.

I *did* write a poem (as one does) titled The ABCs of Angie back in 1990. I can’t share all of it (because I NAME NAMES), but here are some highlights:
A is for Angelic. I should be a nun.
B is for Boys. But why? I have none!

G is for God. He thinks I am neat.
H is for Ho-Hos. My favorite treat!
I is for Immaculate. Pure beyond compare.
J is for Jolly. Happy everywhere?

Q is for Quality, and mine is okay.
R is for Reality. It gets in the way.

U is for Understanding, whether happy or battered.
V is for Vomiting on the way home from Shattered.
W is for Wanting, and it never pays.
X is for Xerox. Don’t copy my ways.
Y is for Yes. Something I want to say.
Z is for Zebra.

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Specs, Pups, and Tacos

September 3rd, 2014 · 11 Comments · Daily

Meredith’s glasses broke in half last night, which forced Jeff and I to explore the 4,392,594 moving boxes that remain unopened in order to locate her glasses from last year. (Jeff was the winner who found the glasses. He’s perfect in so many ways.) The breaking of the glasses occurred approximately 37 minutes after we met another neighbor during our evening walk to the library. (In terms of FitBit success, the walk to the library from our house will score you approximately 1,000 steps. Yep. We live THAT close to the library. What’s that you were saying about a wonderful world, Louis Armstrong?)

We’ve met around a dozen neighbors so far, including Barefoot Mom and Son Who Don’t Like Pine Nuts and Lady Whose Husband Wants Her to Retire but She’s Not Ready. The woman we met last night is the person who I think will be our Gladys Kravitz.

Gladys Kravitz: Welcome to the neighborhood!

Us: Thanks!

Gladys Kravitz: I’m Gladys and I live down the street in the blue house. The people who used to live in your house had one of those pod things in their front yard and then the people across the street had their pod put in, and pretty soon it seemed like a race to see who could fill their pod the fastest!

Me (because I always get nervous and say goofy things): IT WAS A POD-OFF!

Gladys: So, are those dogs I hear barking in your yard during the day?

Me (regretting “pod-off”): Yep! Two dogs.

Gladys: Well, if you’re out walking, I would think that you would bring your dogs along with you! My daughter works with dogs and blah, blah, blah, blah…

Me (unmedicated): They run around in the yard all day and ALSO, just so you know, they are RESCUE DOGS! Both of them! Supporting the local rescue organizations is very important to us and we’re not walking the dogs only because we’re going to the LIBRARY and NO DOGS ALLOWED! We love animals!!!

Gladys: Hrm. Well, welcome to the neighborhood!

So, today I feel guilty for not taking our crazy unsocialized dogs out for walks. (Please know that there is a man in the neighborhood who walks two of his dogs without a leash. Because Scout and Henry are nuts, I really don’t want to even TRY walking them knowing that we might cross paths with No Leash Man.)

Do you think they look depressed?

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This evening we’ll be attending a marching band event at the new school. The marching band event is also a food truck event and one of the food trucks will be selling tacos, so it’s almost like this event was designed to welcome our family to the district.

Edited to Add: Thank you to my friend Janet for kindly correcting my Bewitched reference!

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And we’re all just entertainers, Jay-Z.

September 2nd, 2014 · No Comments · Daily

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(Pssst! If you’re hanging out here for the first time, please know that despite what you think I think, animal welfare is VERY important to me. When we do buy meat for the kids, it’s never from Tyson. Ever. Also, I’ll never wear Nike shoes. Don’t even get me started.)

((You know I love you, right?))

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