Although I intended to have all of my Christmas stuff taken care of well before the holiday arrived, I’ve once again failed. It’s not a big deal, because Christmas will happen regardless of my (in)ability to hit everything on the list. (I just had a long talk with my mail lady, and she told me that she often asks herself if she’s doing something because it has to be done or if she’s doing it just to get a pat on the back. If it’s a back-patter it can be skipped to give more time to the necessary things. In other words, sometime between now and Thursday, I need to go to the grocery store. Also, sometime between now and tomorrow the mail lady needs to deliver my migraine pills because right now I have only one to get me through the holidays. The End.)
These guys. Dear Lord. They run around and play all night and it’s ridiculous and adorable. Keepers, for sure.
I’ve missed hearing the sound of a cat jumping from the bed to the floor. I haven’t really missed the whole litter box thing, but sometimes I have to do things I’m not really into like chopping a bunch of apples for a weird salad or shaving my knees.
Just in case I’m not back before Christmas, I hope you have a good one and that you’re able to sing or hear Silent Night in German.
Our adoption application was approved, meaning Graham Cracker and Chocolate Chip Cookie now have last names. They’re moving in tomorrow and I’m nesting like an ostrich, meaning I’m unpredictable with a goofy face and sheepish tendencies and could probably kick a hyena to its death if I tried (not that I ever would).
Today is a day for baking and cleaning and finding the litter box and filling it with litter and taking Meredith to the orthodontist and picking up the audiobook version of Avenue of Mysteries at the library (I’ve been reading the book for over a month, and I’m less than halfway in. Time to turn it on in the car so I can finish it before the end of the year, because I have reading plans for 2016!) and winding down at Harper’s choir concert where I hope to sit on the edge of a row because I have my reasons.
The tenth and final Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert went live yesterday, and my entry is way long. Also, my piano is in need of a tuning and several small repairs. (Three of the keys won’t play unless I bang them, which introduces a Pop Goes the Weasel feel when I’m not trying for that vibe at all.) Also, I will go to my grave making excuses as to why things that I’ve done are not as good as I wish they were. (I really need to start journaling my journey. Journaling My Journey is a phrase that provides a similar mouth dance as the word Tiddlywinks.)
Here. (Wait. Turn your sound down.) ((If you don’t have time to deal with this, just start the video at 2:45.))
What I was TRYING to do was be all “CHRISTMAS! In your FACE!!! Bustle and deck halls and cuss a little and don’t even THINK about what Christmas is about!!! But wait! The world is having cycles of suck right now, and just imagine (IMAGINE) what would happen if we could all just be peaceful and NICE to each other (and to ourselves). Okay then. Look up at the sky. Now go to bed.”
One week from today is Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is my favorite, but you know what? Today’s not so bad.
Yesterday morning I went to the grocery store to load up on sweet potatoes and lunch supplies. (You needed to know.) Afterwards, I went to a different grocery store because Meredith prefers pear sauce to apple sauce and not all of the stores carry pear sauce. (The story just keeps getting better.) After that, I went to the pet store because our dogs have blasted through yet another 33 pound bag of food. (Because dogs eat.)
When I walk through the pet store, I always stop and talk to the adoptable cats for a few minutes because I like to whisper hopeful messages to living things who spend time in tiny cages. (I suppose that’s not exactly true. I’ve never visited a prison. With that said, I would like to put out some hopeful messages to Adnan Syed, but that’s a whole other bag of different colored horseworms.)
All four slots were filled with cats, and it broke my heart, as my heart is easily broken.
Me (to Toby): You’ve been here way too long. I just know you’re going to find a home soon. You’re so smart!
Me (to Gingersnap): You have an odd name for a boy cat, but the fact that I’m saying that says more about ME than it does about you! I hope you’re able to wake up in a house on Christmas morning. You’re so sweet!
Me (to Graham and Chip): Hey. Whoa. This might sound weird, but I think you are meant to be my sons.
I put my hand close to their window and BOTH CATS REACHED THROUGH THE HOLES TO TOUCH ME.
I immediately texted my patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, et cetera husband.
Yesterday afternoon I called the rescue agency and left a message to ask if Chip and Graham are cool with dogs.
At 8:30 last night as we drove home from the band concert, Meredith announced that she was craving a baguette from Panera. As we made our way into the Panera lot, I picked up a message from the woman at the rescue agency telling me that she was at the pet store and that I could call her back.
The pet store shares a parking lot with Panera, and some things are just meant to be.
We went to the pet store. We met the woman from the rescue agency and told her all about Sidney and Ramona and how we think they were poisoned by the formaldehyde in our new carpeting. We told her that Ramona had died a year ago, so we were starting to have the conversation about adopting another cat. We told her that we would keep Chip and Graham together. She opened the door to their cage so we could interact with them. Meredith fell in love with Graham. Harper fell in love with Chip. (We found out that Toby was adopted yesterday!)
This is what I know: Chip and Graham were living in a house with a number of other cats when the owner died unexpectedly. The cats were all taken to the pound. Chip and Graham were selected to spend a semester in a vet tech school, where they did very well.
In other words, Chip and Graham are homeless kids who persevered and went on to college.
This morning I filled out the forms so that we can foster them before finalizing an adoption, and I’m going to pitch this entire story to the Hallmark Channel because they haven’t released anything decent since A Cookie Cutter Christmas.
I made moonbeam cookies and then I donated the heck out of them because they’re better than a baked sweet potato. Earlier this week I made ginger molasses cookies, and I sent most of them off to a friend because: 1. She was craving them, and 2. They were also entirely too good.
I made a bunch of cards with quotes that I liked and while making the cards I realized how much I like making cards.
I had a hoop installed in my nose and both of my kids hated it and I took it for a trial run this morning at a Breakfast With Santa event, and I felt like everyone was staring at my nose, so I came home and put the blue opal back in. My ego is a self-conscious jackass who constantly slaps me and tells me that I can’t be who I want to be, and who I want to be right now is a card maker with a hoop in her nose.
Back to Breakfast With Santa. Before we moved into this school district, I was one of those moms who helped out in the classroom and held a PTO office and attended (and helped with) nearly every event at the school. I loved the school, I loved the teachers and staff, and I loved the students. When we moved into this school district, my volunteer spirit went from 10 to 0. I haven’t attended a meeting or party. I haven’t volunteered or helped with any field trips. I’ve become the sort of parent that I used to resent at the other school.
Last week I took a deep breath and put the word out that I was willing to help at this morning’s Breakfast With Santa. The woman organizing the event has become a good friend of mine, and she placed me exactly where I needed to be: In the cafeteria with a rag and cleaning spray. My job? To wipe down tables and benches when people were finished with their pancakes. I put on a goofy shirt and a smile and prayed for my Celexa to ward off my fear of people.
Although I often feel the need to run to a sink at the mere THOUGHT of touching something sticky, I did fine in the cafeteria until this happened.
Some tall bald guy dressed as Dieter from Sprockets was there with something like 82 kids. (There may have been only four, but they were noisy and fast.) One of the kids was ripping his Styrofoam cup into tiny (TINY) pieces, throwing them into a pile of syrup, and then wiping them onto the bench and the floor.
The kid’s sister: Hey! You need to clean that up!
Tall Bald Guy (LOOKING RIGHT AT ME): No he doesn’t. The clean-up crew is right here.
Me (wishing I had the nerve to say): Are you shitting me right now?
Me (with a rag in my hand, a raised eyebrow, and a feeling of frogginess): Yep!
Twenty minutes later, Tall Bald Guy brought all 82 kids back in for another round of pancakes and because I wasn’t thrilled to see him, I detained him using reasonable force until the police arrived which is slang for “I rolled my eyes into the back of my head and once again wiped up their syrupy mess when they were done.”
All of this to say: The Celexa seems to be working, although I’m still ruffled by approximately 7% of people. Also, the tables and benches in that school are currently sparkling and I’m back home getting ready to dive into a baked sweet potato. Figuratively. I hope your weekend is a good one.
Yesterday morning I went to the ophthalmologist for my annual exam, and we discovered that my enigmaticy has spread to my eyes. (Is there no noun form of enigmatic? Do I really need to rewrite the English language to include the words I sometimes use, or do I just need to start using real words? Saying that my enigma has spread to my eyes sounds like I have a problem. I have 99 problems, but an eye enigma ain’t one.) Anyway, I’m 45 years old and my vision is improving which probably means that it’s only a matter of time before I can see what you’re thinking.
Is my vision improving because I sold my soul so that the painting of me in our attic can age as I continue to indulge in libertine impulses? Probably not. Is it because I switched things up at the intersection of Food Street and Peace of Mind Avenue? Probably? Maybe? Let’s say yes.
This has nothing to do with that: A few years back, Jeff had to drive me to the hospital because I thought I was suffering from gastric dilatation-volvulus, which is something that mainly affects dogs, but never say never! Anyway, I left the hospital (against medical advice!) a few hours later after having the following conversation with the emergency department nurse.
Nurse: Can you tell me what you ate today?
Me: For breakfast I had corn on the cob. Lunch was corn on the cob again, but on a spinach salad. For dinner I was feeling off, so I just had some popcorn.
Once I verbalized my food, I realized that I had spent the day eating like a factory-farmed cow while living less than five miles away from Monsanto! I went home to ride out the storm, thereby saving us millions of dollars in hospital fees.
Yesterday after having my eyes dilated, I drove home (CAREFULLY! SQUINTING!) and had some coffee. I then fixed myself a huge bowl of roasted Brussels sprouts. I washed it down with more coffee. Three hours later as I drove Meredith home from school, I wondered if eating razor blades would have been less painful than flushing my innards with a Coffee-Brussels Sprouts-Coffee cocktail. Some lessons are learned in the most memorable ways because those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
This morning I received a very exciting invitation, and I’m being intentionally vague, but please know that I’m going to have a smile on my face for the next three months and beyond.
I’ll just say this: Santa Claus isn’t the only one coming to town.
This morning after Harper got on the bus I decided to walk circles around the mall. On the way, I stopped at the store for a banana. (Our only banana was unacceptable, as I can’t deal with brown spots. I’m a princess when it comes to bananas.)
Guy Bagging Groceries (GBG): Paper or plastic for that banana?
Me: Neither. I think I’ll just carry it.
Guy Working the Register (GWR): Will you be needing help out to your car with that banana?
Me: It’s a pretty heavy banana, but I think I can manage.
GBG: It’s the peel that weighs so much. That’s how they get you. That’s why it’s 26 cents! It’s bananas!
GWR: I hope the banana is appealing! A-peeling!
GBG: Leave her alone, Phil, I think she needs to split!
People are mostly good.
I spent most of the weekend sleeping, but I also managed to eat waffles with a friend who inspires the heck out of me because she’s a fearless activist, volunteer, and writer. I left that waffle breakfast wanting to carve lino blocks and write stories and fill jars with M&M’s. I love feeling the urge to create and I love people who make something out of nothing, which is completely different than making mountains out of molehills.
Lady working the register at the grocery store (LWtRatGS): You work here, right?
Me: No, but I’m here all the time.
LWtRatGS: That’s right. You’re the one who needs help out to the car.
Me: No. I’m the one who opens the doughnut case just to smell the doughnuts.
LWtRatGS: I didn’t know that.
Me: I have lots of secrets. Paper bags, please.
Yesterday was a tornado day. I dropped Harp off at 8:00 then went straight to my B12 shot, to the mall for my new favorite tea, to a diaper store to pick some stuff up for a friend, to the grocery store for an envelope and bananas, to a diner for lunch with a friend, to the post office for stamps, to the drugstore for drugs (wheee!), to home for freelance, to the grocery store for dinner supplies, to school to pick Meredith up from jazz band, to another drugstore to pick up our Christmas cards, and back home where I immediately started yelling at everyone because no one knows where to put their shoes.
A few months back, my Fitbit broke. I told myself that it was a suicide of sorts because I was such a disappointing owner. When the new Fitbit arrived (free, because Fitbit customer service is amazing), I vowed to not drop below 10,000 steps per day more than once each week. As a result, if you drive by my house at 10:30 at night (Don’t do it. Seriously.), you might see a shadow in the upstairs window and it’s a lady and she’s running in place and that lady is me. In penguin pajamas. Feeling unstable yet determined to keep the Fitbit happy. After the month of NaBloPoMo, I’m feeling that same vibe of motivation for Fluid Pudding. Also, I want to spend more time with actual pens and actual paper. I need to bake more. I need to stop all of these mass shootings from happening. (Seriously, what if I have the power to do that, but I just don’t realize it? What if you do? I can bake some pretty amazing biscotti. What if that ability could somehow transfer to stop some craziness in the world?)
I watched The Wiz last night and I loved it just as much as I thought I would. (That is not a trick sentence. I thought I would love it a lot. I did love it a lot.)
A few weeks back, I ordered glitter powder to apply to my cheeks for those days when I feel like being especially sparkly. (Tempe recommended it. She sparkles during the holiday season, and sometimes beyond.) Along with the powder, Sephora sent a sample of My Philosophy: Truthful eau de parfum and I don’t believe I have EVER typed eau de parfum before! Anyway, this morning I glittered up (It’s the final Monday of the month, and I’m feeling like Mariah Carey on a sane Mariah Carey day!) and decided to spray myself with Truthful.
Shortly after The Scenting of My Neck and Wrists, I began to freak out a bit because: What if Truthful was actually scopolamine spray, and I was about to be kidnapped and interrogated by the Czechoslovak communist state security secret police? What if I was unable to control myself and suddenly I began to confess things that I’ve managed to keep hidden until now?!
Years ago, I took an ACT test for a friend (after being not-so-gently persuaded by her parents) so that she could apply to the education department of her university. She ended up getting kicked out of the university, and I ended up crying a lot and purchasing The Dance of Anger.
When I worked at the ice cream store as a teenager, I once took money from our Salvation Army jar to pay for a pizza. Because of my lingering guilt, I nearly always give money to the Salvation Army bell ringers, even though I don’t always agree with the Salvation Army. (I’ve reimbursed them for my pizza several times over.)
One of the main things that Oprah taught me is to drink enough water so that all pee is clear. Because of that one Oprah episode, clear pee is always one of my goals. (Similarly, I strive to always have exact change plus two dollars for a tip when buying frozen yogurt.)
I took an African American History course in college, and a friend of mine wrote my final paper as a 20th birthday gift so I could go out and see a movie with my best friend. He got an A. (My grade was already strong. He didn’t need an A. Yes. I still feel guilty.)
I used to control my weight with Slim Fast and laxatives, and I would never recommend that ride to anyone. Ever.
I once worked in an office supply store at the mall. I was in charge of the scissors display. When the owner’s husband called me at home to tell me that he was getting ready to take a shower and wanted to hear my voice, I quit my job and reported him to the police. I then found out that he had been harassing other employees at the store, too, and my call was the call that finally got him banned from the mall. (That was my first and final job where I was required to wear a skirt and/or work with scissors. Wait. I worked with scissors at the yarn store. But the skirt thing? Yes. That.)
Now that you know everything, let’s close NaBloPoMo out with one of my favorite songs. (Thank you for sticking with me.)
If it wasn’t NaBloPoMo, today would be one of those days that I would stay far away from Fluid Pudding.
I have nothing to report.
We went to church this morning, and someone complimented my fingerless gloves and mentioned that he has always wanted a pair, but he can’t find them in his size. I immediately made a mental note to knit some fingerless gloves for him.
After church, the girls went down to my parents’ house to help them decorate for Christmas. Jeff and I had lunch and then I worked on freelance for a few hours.
We picked the girls up, ate dinner, and now we’re home. 7:03. I’m yawning like someone who yawns a lot, but this is my B12 week so I’m about to turn right onto Open Eye Boulevard.
I smell like a Christmas tree, and in a few weeks I’ll smell like a lemon.
One year ago today I took a nap with Ramona Quimby, and I had no idea that she would be gone in less than two weeks.
Tomorrow is the final day of NaBloPoMo, and I promise to do better.