Monday, May 31, 2010

And I Ain't No Fool For Love Songs That Whisper in My Ears

Here's me with Mr B. and FMDM.

Okay, wow. This was an incredible, long weekend. So, I'm just going to have to break it up into one day a blog post. I'll start with Friday (which seems like a month ago) and move on to Saturday tomorrow. Is that confusing enough for you?

Anyway, I left work at noon on Friday, rode my bike home and then had a nice relaxing run. Right before I left work, G. told me she had a solution to my broken lawn mower problem. She knew a guy named, J. who has a knife sharpening business. She told him that I had two lawnmowers, a gas powered mower that wouldn't start and a push mower that might need its blades sharpened. He said to bring him the two mowers and he'd sharpen the one, look at the other to see if he could fix it and in the meantime lend me his super nice, new mower that made me very, very envious of him. G. got off work early on Friday too and after my run, she drove over and we did the lawn mower switcheroo. How nice of J. I had only met him once before, and his girlfriend was one of the realtors I worked with when I bought my house, so I feel like I owe him a HUGE debt of gratitude.

This is what metal karaoke looks like...Now, new and improved with extra added air guitar. You know what's fun to do? Go to a metal show and when everyone's talking about his death, say really loudly, "Hey, who's this Ronnie James Dio guy, anyway?" And watch all the RAWK! boys' heads spin around until they realize you're just messin' with them.

So, I mowed most of my lawn and then got a call from Radio Shack telling me my iPod was back from getting a new battery installed. Hurray! But then I got it home and my computer didn't even recognize it to synch it to my iTunes. Boo! I'm not sure how to fix it, so if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Thank you in advance.

Stinky and I went to the store to get stuff we needed for the grad party and I got some cleaning done, before the girls both took off to different grad parties and I went to meet some friends out. I wasn't going to, but I got so much done during the day and my girls weren't home anyway, and a friend's band was playing and there was going to be metal karaoke after that and I'd have most of the next day to finish everything else up...And apparently, I had a million excuses to go, so why not?

Here is a gam check. Look! I got all girly and painted my toes.

There had been rumors that Mr. B. would be there, but he's not the most reliable person you'll ever meet, so I doubted I'd see him. Now that I'm over him, it's fine for me either way. He's more fun than I can handle sometimes, so I know I'm going to have a good time when hes' around, but I won't fall for his crap either.

Turns out, he showed up after all. He texted me when he got into town and after some friends of mine and I stopped by the Foxhead to bug a friend of ours who was working there, K. texted Mr. B. to tell him to meet us at the Dublin. He showed up and finally met my friends (he went to high school with K., so he already knew her). Then we all went to see the band and the karaoke. It was a great time, but Mr. B. kept trying to get us to go back to the Dublin for some reason. We finally headed there for last call and then I drove everyone to K.'s house for after hours. I knew he had been trying to get me alone for most of the night. So, we finally had THE conversation. He told me he had just broken up with his girlfriend and really cared about me and wanted to try again. I told him I couldn't trust him, and I could really only be his friend right now. He asked me what he'd have to do in order for me to believe him and I said how about he talked to me about all of this sometime when he was sober. He said, "touche'!" and assured me he would, but I know he won't and that's why I said that. Like I said, I'm all for being friends, but even I'm not dumb enough to want anything more than that from him. I was surprised that he was still trying after everything. He definitely gets an A for persistence

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Trail of Ruby Red and Diamond White Hits Her Like a Sunrise

Here is a pic of the girls when they were younger hanging out by the fire escape at Pagliais Pizza.

Well, Coadster had her first free day after high school. She spent it registering to vote and getting a consult from my friend Kris for her first tattoo. Yup, it sounds like typical 18 year old behavior to me.

Sooooo, this is THE weekend. It's a long one, thank god and I plan on packing it full of crap. Tomorrow I get off at noon again. I'll run and take all my recycling in and start cleaning the hell out of my house.

Saturday will be more cleaning and shopping and finishing most of the things up, before we go to the actual graduation at 6.

Sunday I'm sure will find me breathing into a bag until the party starts at 3. I have no idea what to expect. I know a ton of my exe's family is planning on coming. Of course, my ex isn't helping in any way, shape or form, but he's always good about showing up, eating and ACTING like he did the whole thing. I suppose it's his last stand, so I just have to suck it up and deal with it. The girls and I were just talking about the food and how much we should get. Coadster seems to think that not many people will eat, and no matter what we get, we'll have a lot of leftovers. We also all agreed that we weren't letting people linger after 5. We all have things to do afterward, and so I might think about getting a cattle prod, just in case. My, but we're a hospitable lot, aren't we?

On Monday, I'll FINALLY be able to relax. I figure I'll run, and then some friends of mine and I are tentatively planning a longer bike ride to some small town and back.

Now it's your turn, how will you spend your long weekend? Will you be getting ready for a big shin dig, or scheming as to how you can get rid of your guests in a timely fashion?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And Life is Like a Song


I know I probably say this almost every day, but this could very well be the lamest blog post I've ever written. I only have a few days before the grad open house and I've been scrambling. The good news is that I don't have any more school functions to attend (aside from the actual graduation) and I only work a half day again on Friday. It will all get done and then it will finally be over. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about Coadster's graduation, but I've been putting so many things on hold until it happens.

So, as soon as it's over, I am ready to get some play time in. I'm going on long bike rides with friends, I'm learning how to kayak and I'm going to spend some time on my back porch reading a book and drinking a beer. I'll still get work done around my house, I'll just balance it better with fun things. I am soooo ready for Summer now.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Backed Against the Wall, Got You In a Tight Place

What say I put up yet ANOTHER pic from my garden. This time it's a bloomin' lily. Isn't she pretty?

So, yeah. Today was a weird day. First I went to ride my bike to work and it was raining, but there wasn't one cloud in the sky. Then in the afternoon, I went across the street to get some computer print-outs and while I was in the tiny, creepy basement room there, all the lights went out. I felt like I was in a bad horror movie. Scary. When I got back to my office, I realized that the electricity was out there too. I never quite got the whole story, but I think someone screwed-up at one of the many construction sites around campus and maybe snipped a power line or something. It only lasted an hour, but I forget how crippled we become without all of our little electronic gadgets and gizmos.

Tonight was Coadster's very last choir concert. It was great. Coadster had a solo and I talked to some of my other favorite parents. I sat kind of in the middle of the row of seating, and about 3/4's of the way through the concert, some guy who looked to be in his twenties came up and sat next to me and leaned into me. There were tons of open seats, so he could've parked himself somewhere else and we both would have been more comfortable. Oh, yeah...And he smelled bad. He was a decent, normal'ish looking guy, so I was surprised that he was being such a horrible space invader. I leaned to my right, so he might get the message and move over the other way. It just made him lean further into me. I had no idea what to do, so I ignored him and was glad that there were only a couple of songs left.

The weirdest part of the day came after the concert when Coadster told me she was going out for a bit to help a friend celebrate his birthday with a bunch of the other kids and I said, "Okay. Tomorrow's your last day of school, so I doubt you'll be doing anything anyway, but just text me and tell me where you're going when you're leaving and when you'll be home....Wait. You're 18. I guess you can do whatever you want...." But She cut me off and said she would text me anyway, just so I didn't worry. Good girl. This whole having a kid who is a legal adult will take some getting used to.

Monday, May 24, 2010

This Heat Has Got Right Out of Hand

Does it ever feel like the birds in your neighborhood are out to get you? They did this to me less than a half hour after I washed my car. Stupid, dumb, ignorant birds...

Well, kids. I'm not sure where any of you live, but it is hot as hell here in Iowa. This is the first really hot weather we've had since we moved into our house. Of course, the lack of air conditioning didn't seem like that big a deal when we moved in in November.

Tonight I gave plasma after work, but didn't dare run, since I would have been too dehydrated even if I had all of my fluids. Instead, I came home and Coadster and I finally took care of the last form for her financial aid. It's due June 1st, so we're pushing it...As usual. Then Coadster went to her dad's and Stinky came home and I made some more fresh de gallo salsa that we had with guacamole and lettuce on quesadillas. It was about all we could get ourselves to eat when it was so hot.

This weekend I started reading Graham Greene's The Quiet American. Coadster suggested it and she's been really good at recommending books I wouldn't have chosen on my own, but am so glad to have read after the fact. So far, The Quiet American is good escapism. I've always been interested in the history of Vietnam and this book takes place during the French occupation and war, but before the Americans entered the picture.

Okay. I better try and hit the hay. I sleep even worse when it's this hot.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Don't be Shocked by the Tone of My Voice

Yet another pic of my garden...but look how pretty it is.

I think what I really need, is at least one whole day to myself. My half days on Fridays seem to get eaten up so fast, I don't get anything done. Both my girls have last period free, so by the time I get done running, I have about a half hour before my girls get home and the taxi rides begin. I've complained about this before, but I spend so much time running my girls all over town, I just don't get much else done.

So, you know what that means, don't you? I didn't get my cupboards even started this weekend. I actually got so stressed out at one point, that I decided to sit down and figure out what I could stand not to do. It looks like my kitchen will have unfinished cupboards for the grad party. I also decided to simplify the menu for the open house. I'm no longer making chili or soup. I'm sticking with sandwich fixin's, chips, salads and cake (of course) and calling it good. If people don't like it, they can just go to the 500 other grad parties going on that day and eat pulled pork sandwiches there. How's that for an attitude?

Okay. So Friday night I just stayed home and watched The Lovely Bones. I'm sorry if you liked that movie, but I was bored as hell through most of it...Until I got really annoyed at the end. There's two hours I won't get back...

On Saturday I spent the morning running my girls even more places. Coadster has a ton of grad parties and recitals to go to. She gets rides from friends to some, rides her bike to others, and then I take her to some too. By one o'clock, I got Stinky to work, Coadster to a recital and had the rest of the afternoon to myself. I started a compost pile, mowed my lawn, planted some more flowers and weeded my garden. Later in the afternoon a friend texted me to see if I wanted to come over for steak and margaritas. Of course, that was exactly what I wanted to do. So, I went over and ate and drank some and had a great conversation. At around 8:30, K. called to see if I could give her and my lovely friend, S. a ride downtown. I met them at my house and hauled them to the Dublin.

Erik was there, but so were a million of his other friends, so we only chatted briefly. It was still nice to see him. At some point one of my friends suggested I play some songs on the jukebox as an antidote to whatever 70's crap someone else had played. There was a table full of guys by the jukebox, and as I've said before, it's almost impossible for a girl to play songs on a jukebox, without some guy bugging her about what she's playing. One of the guys at the table gave me shit for playing a Spoon song. Then he continued to criticize every song I played and asked me if I could rid the world of one band or singer, who would that be. I said Michael Bolton. He got so obnoxious that I had to threaten to play the last 10 songs by The Cure, if he didn't shut-up. It didn't last long, but I at least got a couple of minutes to choose my songs in peace.

Today was Coadster's choir picnic. I got some work done around the house, but then I had to make chicken enchiladas to take there. We were there for over two hours, but Coadster won the most valuable singer award, as voted by her classmates, so that was really nice. Now, I better go get some cleaning done and go to bed.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Did My Best, It Wasn't Much

Here is my salvia plant.

Oh, kids. This has been one insanely busy week. I feel like I could sleep the entire weekend. Of course, I won't. I get off work at noon again tomorrow. I've been so spoiled with that, and I do really appreciate it. This week there's no way around it. I have to finish my cupboards. When E. was here last weekend, he pointed out that my brother bought me the wrong kind of sander. I still haven't taken it out of the box, so I'm going to Lowe's tomorrow to see if they'll let me exchange it for an orbital sander. I doubt I have the receipt anymore, but it's worth a shot, right?

There's a 50% chance of rain tomorrow. So, we'll see if I get a run in or not. The rest of the weekend is supposed to be really warm. As you all know, I love hot weather. I usually get all crazy and full of energy. I hope I get as much done as I need to, since I only have a week until Coadster's grad party. Eek!

Tomorrow night I'd like to stay home and just relax. I hope that works out for me. Stinky babysits for my friend Heidi's friend and on Saturday, Coadster will babysit for my friend Heidi herself and Stinky will have a friend spend the night.

There are rumors that Erik will be in town to visit. I haven't seen him since last November, so if It works out, it will be nice to catch up. If not, I have enough to keep me busy throughout the weekend and then some.

So, how about you all? Will you be energized by the heat or reconnecting with old friends?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Behind the Image Was Ignorance and Fear

My Irises are almost ready to pop.

It's time for another installment of my continuing rough draft writing exercise:

The training academy was located in an old minimum security prison in Angels Camp. There were way more guys than girls, and the extra attention made her uncomfortable. Especially, when she had to walk past a line of men on the way to the cafeteria and try not to hear all the things they said to her. She had often wished she was invisible. She didn't want to look like anything, didn't always want to have to participate, and like Chance in Being There, she liked to watch.

The training academy forced her to be very present. She had spent the last month mostly by herself. It was only a week ago that she was stuck in a motel room, faced with all of her demons and no way to escape. She remembered one particularly bad night where in just a few moments she went from entertaining thoughts of suicide, to freaking out that she might have cancer. Here, in the middle of the day, she could laugh to herself at the ridiculousness of fearing and hoping for the same thing.

And so all of these people and rules and schedules, finally making her so aware of her external world, probably weren't such a bad thing. She just wished she had some kind of cloaking device to get her to the cafeteria for every meal.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Time is Precious, I Know

Here is another pic of the old neighborhood kids.

One of these days, I'll actually get to hang out at my house after work....Maybe even tomorrow. Tonight, I rode my bike home, went running, heated up leftovers from Sunday dinner and went to Coadster's choir concert. It was very nice and it's the second to last one of her high school career. I have no idea how many I've been to since Coadster started in the Iowa City Girl's Choir in 4th grade, but I'd wager it's been at least a shit ton. It will be so weird next year not to go to any.

The concert ended just as Stinky was getting off work and we all finally got home at 9:30. It's also weird to think that after this month, I'll start having time to do things...Not just work around the house things either...Leisurely things. I plan to appreciate the hell out of every bike ride, canoeing expedition and extended run in the middle of the day. Stinky also mentioned that she'd like to go fishing again. When the girls were little, we used to go with a guy I dated and his father and Stinky really loved it. So, I told her we could get licenses and I'd ask around for decent fishing holes around town. When's the last time any of you have gone fishin'?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Those Were the Happiest Days of My Life

Here is a really bad pic of Coadster's honors assembly.

I'm finally home. I never thought I'd get here..And be able to hang out. I went to give plasma right after work, came home and ate a bowl of cereal. (It's a good thing I made stuffed pork chops, wild rice and corn on the cob for Sunday dinner, because I might not have time to eat anything decent for a few days here) Stinky and I then had to run out and get to Coadster's seniors honors assembly.

All of these lasts for Coadster this year will turn into firsts for her next year. But now it's a little sad. I remember her last day of kindergarten. Back then I still worked two jobs. I took off my day job to go on their field trip, where we walked from their school to City Park. It was such a nice day and I stayed and played with them all until I had to leave to get ready for my second job. As I was leaving, almost all of the kids wanted to give me a hug goodbye. I got a little teary thinking that none of these kids would ever be that sweet and openly affectionate again...And there I was tonight, watching half of those kids going up to receive their scholarships and awards. They may not have been as sweet and openly affectionate, but I was happy to see that so many of them had really grown into interesting and hard working adults...Again with the slight tearing....All these endings and beginnings in the next year could get a little emotionally messy for me. Ahem.

The saddest part was saying goodbye to the girls' principal. I've never really been clear on the story, but it seems the much beloved principal got ousted by some bullshit politics within the school board. All the kids are wrecked. Every community member who came up to hand out the out of school scholarships, gave him his props and there were at least 2 standing ovations for him, with a couple of the senior boys chanting his name. I guess the good thing is, he just got a job in the big O and if my sister's kids are lucky, he'll be their principal when they get to high school in ten years.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

You Were Right About the Stars, Each One is a Setting Sun

Coadster rubbing the belly of the pooch we were dog sitting.

So, I was going to do the big sappy birthday post tonight, but I looked over the ones from the last 4 or 5 years, and I don't know if there is much different to say this year about Coadster's past. All I can do is borrow a line from Mork and Mindy and say, "...Fly. Be Free!" She has a good head on her shoulders, she's smart, has a great outlook and looks at her life as an amazing adventure. I think she's set and ready for action. I can't wait to see what she does with her life.

I fought the saw and the saw won.

This weekend was insane...In a good way. It started out with me wrecking on my bike on my way to work. I rode on this grassy area and couldn't see the huge hole in the ground, until it was too late. The crash knocked my chain off my bike, so I got to go to work all scratched and bruised with chain grease all over my hands. I was fine, though. I hoped it wasn't going to set the tone for my weekend, and it didn't. My weekend just kept getting better and better.

I got off at noon and went running. Then I ran some errands and got gas for my lawn mower and cut my grass and the girls and I went for an early dinner. Once we got home, Coadster went out with some kids and Stinky had a couple of friends over upstairs. I decided I was in dire need of some escapism, so I watched the movie Up and love, love, loved it. Then when that was over, I watched Avatar. The writing and plot and stuff were all kind of cheesy, but it was definitely visually stunning.

What I done found in my backyard. It's the biggest morrell I've ever seen.

I mentioned last post that some guys I knew were going on a big bike ride but that I couldn't do it. Well, one of the guys riding was someone I kinda sorta dated a couple of years ago. I hadn't seen him in forever. He texted me a week before he came, to see if I needed any help around my house, so he would know what tools to bring with him. So nice. I told him that he shouldn't worry about that. He should just come down here and ride his bike and drink beer and hang out with his friends, and if it worked out, we'd try to meet at some point...But if he had a chainsaw, I'd love it if he could bring it down and I could cut up some tree branches.

E. was nice enough to bring his saw down for me. We texted a bit on Friday night after he got into town and agreed that he'd try to stop by my place in the morning before his bike ride. It was really nice to see him. He checked my place over and since he restores houses for a living, he had some great suggestions and advice. He left and called me about a half hour later to ask if I could watch his dog while he went on his ride. I was happy to. His dog is the sweetest most well-behaved pooch I've ever met. My girls were thrilled to have his dog around and were really sad when he left.

The rest of the day, I ran and worked in my backyard and planted tons more flowers. I couldn't get the saw to work, however. E. checked it later and said he got it to work but it had a bunch of issues. The good thing, is that while I was in the backyard, I found a giant morrell mushroom. How cool is that? I looked around and couldn't find any others.

The first night back in the Dublin in about 2 months.

On Saturday night, Coadster went to some grad parties and Stinky babysat for a friend of mine. I originally planned to stay home and read my book. I was feeling a little restless and my friend K. called me and invited me over to her house for a fire. Then E. called me to tell me they were finally back in town and were going to the Deadwood for a drink, but he would be home around 10 to get his dog. I told him I'd be happy to drive over and drop the dog off and if they wanted, I'd give them a ride back downtown after they had showered and changed. E. asked if I'd go out with them so he could buy me a drink for watching his dog. I decided what the hell. I hadn't been out in forever and I knew G. was out and would be happy if I met her down at the Dublin. I texted K. and she said she'd be up for going out too. It was a great night. I'm so glad I went out. I guess I really needed to blow off some steam.

Okay, this post is already way too long. Basically, I had a great weekend, my little girl is all growed up and I feel like I'm in a good place to start the work week. Keep your fingers crossed that I make it to work safely.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon

Coadster in a pink tu-tu when she was three'ish.

Oh, man. This week was so much better than last week. I tried to calm everything down and was successful for the most part. I'm going into the weekend with the house fairly clean and I only work a half day tomorrow. The weather is finally supposed to be beautiful too.

Tomorrow, I'll run as soon as I get off work and try to do a few errands. I'll either do yard work or kitchen work and then I'll take the girls out to celebrate Coadster's 18th birthday. Holy shit! 18! My baby girl is all growed-up. I'm saving my sappy mom post for Sunday night. Coadster loves shrimp, so she wants to go for an early dinner at Red Lobster, then I'm sure she'll want to go out with some friends and get a jump-start on celebrating her birthday.

Saturday will be another day of getting crap done. I was supposed to do the duathlon this weekend, but had to bow out due to many constraints. Then some other guys I know are going on a long bike ride/beer drinking extravaganza that I was invited to, but I can't do that either on account of all the shit I have to get done before Coadster's grad party. It's okay. I keep thinking as soon as this month is over, I'll be able to do more fun stuff that comes up.

Since Coadster's actual birthday is Saturday, I'm assuming I won't see her much this weekend. Stinky has to work both days, so I should actually have some time to myself during the days, anyway.

So, what are your plans for the weekend? Will you be bowing out of activities in order to get some work done, or will you be celebrating all weekend long?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Words Like Conviction Can Turn Into a Sentence

This is what I see when I look out my living room window.

Tonight I'll just go ahead and continue with the old writing exercise. Ready for the rough read?:

The first time she moved to California, it was to chase a fantasy. Her college roommate told her about how her sister joined the California Conservation Corps. and got to live in the Redwoods and loved it until she met Dinah Shore's son in a laundromat in Eureka and left the Corps. to move in with him. She didn't have anything else going on and she was 19 and she wanted to make a difference somehow. Working at two different restaurants wasn't doing much to foster her need for adventure and community service. Since living by herself in a shabby motel room in Santa Rosa made her restless and lonely, she headed down to Arizona to stay with her sister and wait until she got her confirmation.

The second time she moved to California, she had an actual job and destination and chance for structured adventure. Her loose ends felt tied up and that provided her security, but still felt a little stifling. She would like to think of herself as a person who didn't need that security. She was quickly made to realize that she was again delusional.

This time her destination was Sacramento - some kind of processing station, where they took all of her information and would later use it to place her in a site after she finished her training. The woman looked over the table at her and seemed to struggle with her words, "I see you've been to college. I'm not sure how well you'll fit in here. Most of the other kids are lucky to finish high school. They're either from poor rural towns or inner urban areas. And you're from...Iowa? Hmmm. I just don't know how well you'll fit in..." She explained to the woman that she had also lived in Chicago and Phoenix and would be interested in helping tutor people to get their GED's. "Well, okay. I guess we'll just see how it goes. You're done with me then. Go over and stand with that group there. A bus will take you guys to the training academy. Good luck..."

She walked over to the group. Most of the girls were from the L.A. area. Apparently, the style there was to wear their jeans inside out. Two of the girls stood waiting for the bus with their pockets sticking out like tongues, lolling from each hip. She had never seen anything like that in Iowa and it made her wonder if the intake woman was right to worry.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Slow Demands Come 'Round, Squeeze the Air and Keep the Rest Out

The girls' friend did a project for her English class where she recreated a picture that was taken 7 years ago. Here are a lot of the neighbor kids and one of the moms. This is the original...

As we get closer and closer to Coadster's 18th birthday, I've been doing a lot of thinking about my parenting throughout the years. I became a mom in my 20's, when I was too young, and immature and didn't have the self-esteem to pick a better dad for my girls. I was the sole financial provider for the girls for most of their lives, which meant that I continually struggled to pay the bills and day care and food and we lived above a bar for the first few years of grade school because it was the only place I could afford and it was close to the store and their school and we could walk whenever my 1981 Toyota Corolla broke-down. I didn't have parents to ask for advice, and I just had to figure it out as I went. I can guarantee you that I made a shit ton of mistakes, I was cranky, I spoke in a harsh tone sometimes and said things I didn't mean. There was a divorce, a move out of the only home they knew at the time, there were nearly fatal accidents and illnesses and much, much, much flying by the seats of our pants.

To my credit, I've always tried to be fair and open and honest and affectionate and compassionate, and if sometimes my initial reaction was one of impatience and annoyance, I always tried to come back and apologize and let the girls know that I was having a bad day and not to take it personally.

...And this was taken this weekend. Pretty cool, huh? It's so weird to see how much everything has changed in that time. Most of the facade of the house was ripped away by the tornado...And the little kids were ripped away by age, hormones and experiences.

The other day, Stinky and I were driving by her grade school. She went to preschool there as well, so she was there for 9 years. Stinky started talking about some of the proposed redistricting the city is considering. Since her school is the oldest in the district and most of the neighborhoods around it are full of college students, they bus a lot of kids there and they're considering closing it down. Stinky said that she would be really sad to see it vacant, since she spent most of her childhood there. I asked her if she had a happy childhood, with more than a little trepidation. You never know how anyone perceives things and she may not have thought the positives outweighed the negatives. But she responded by saying, "Oh yeah. I loved my childhood. That's why I'm scared to grow up a little..." I told her that for me, everything keeps getting better and better as I get older. Adult life can be hard and a lot of work, but just like having kids, it's always worth it and the positives have always outweighed the negatives. I hope it's the same for her and Coadster too.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

It's the Words That We Don't Say That Scare Me So

Our friend showing us his best side....

This weekend, this weekend...This weekend was a blur. I had my half day on Friday and I was super exhausted from the week and when I got home it was rainy and cold and I didn't do very much, but I didn't beat myself up about it, because it had been a frantic week and I needed a break. At night, both the girls were off doing their own things, and I hung out at home and watched Sherlock Holmes while the winds raged all around outside. It was really nice, the movie was okay. I've never read Sherlock Holmes, so I don't know how well it translated, but Robert Downey Jr. is always pretty great, and it was dark and moody enough for me.

...And his sister showing us hers.

Coadster and I went to Project Green on Saturday morning. I finally found some Black-Eyed Susans or African Daisies or whatever you want to call them. I got a couple of them and fully expect them to take over my garden by next year. The rest of Saturday was cold and blustery and I got some cleaning done and made a friend of mine a SUPER cheesy dance mix CD and then got ready for D.'s Birthday party.

The party was a lot of fun. Most of my favorite Dubliners were there. I ate, I danced around and annoyed people, I drank my 2 beers, I sat around by the fire, I found some teal colored duct tape and got as much use out of messing with that as possible, and then went home at around 11. It was kind of a perfect night.

Today was finally a great, sunny Spring day. I got a lot more planted. I still have more to go, but I then I did buy a ton of bulbs and seeds, so it could take a while to plant them all. I had an amazing run today. It made me want to get back into the kind of shape I was in last Fall when I was training for a triathlon. So, I might start training for one again, even though I don't have one I can do in the foreseeable future. In other words, I had a great Mother's Day and I hope all you other muthas did too.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

We're Going to Dance and Have Some Fun

Here are a bunch of ferns growing on the side of my house.

Okay. Here's how it all went down with the pest guy today...He looked around and had a hard time finding any signs of termites. I had to show him where the swarmers were and he went outside in that area and found some evidence of termites out there. He told me that his company did the original termite clean-up and said because of that, he'd only charge me 10% of the original cost to check it out and spot treat the bad areas. It will have to be done every year, and that will be a drag, but it's way better than letting termites eat my house up and at least I won't have to pay over a thousand dollars to take care of it all.

Soooooo, now lets' talk about something more fun, like the weekend. Tomorrow is my half day. Yea! My house is pretty clean and I mowed my yard tonight after work, so I shouldn't have a lot of cleaning to do. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, which might mean I won't be able to run, but it could be good for me to just stay inside and get my cupboards taken care of.

Coadster is babysitting on Friday night. I'm not sure what Stinky's doing, but I'll probably do my usual, hang out by myself at home and relax and be mellow gig.

Saturday I'll try to check out Project Green. I was going to plant more, but there's a chance of frost on Saturday night, so I'll wait until Sunday for that. Hopefully, I'll keep chugging along on my cupboards until it's time to get ready for my friend D.'s birthday party. The girl crush's birthday is Friday (happy birthday, girl crush!) and word on the street is that she'll be here on Saturday. I'm hoping it turns into another ridiculous dance party. The plan is for everyone to go to the bars at 11, and that's when I'll head home.

Sunday will be a yard work day. Stinky has to work most of the morning, so I'll get up early and get going. I would be so, so thrilled if I could get everything finally planted by the end of the weekend.

....And now the question is posed to you all, good bloggers...What are your plans? Will you be suffering from post termitic stress syndrome, or getting ready for a ridiculous dance party?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Believe Me. Believe Me, I Can't Tell You Why

Here is some Lupin I just planted this evening. Remind me not to take pics when it's getting dark. The flash on my camera totally washes out the color.

Sooo, the bad news is that those creepy crawlers turned out to be termites. I'm not sure exactly what that means. I talked to the pest control guy and he was really nice. I told him I didn't have the kind of money it would probably take to get rid of them. He said not to worry yet. He said he'd need to come over and check things out in person, but it could be that I just had some swarmers and sometimes swarmers came with soldiers and the soldiers were what we had to worry about. It sounds like I could have a battlefield within the walls of my house.

Now, I'm trying hard not to blow things up in the darker places of my brain. The best way I know how to avoid that, is to keep busy, so I don't give myself a license to stew. Tonight I gave plasma and read my book. When I got home, I made dinner and Coadster informed that she was getting a humanitarian award in about a half hour. Huh? She said she forgot to tell me before that, but since I had already seen her receive humanitarian awards in the past, she didn't think it was a big deal either way. She was wrong, but I didn't have time to get Stinky dinner before her youth group AND go see Coadster get her award at the Englert Theater, so I guess I'll have to catch the next time she receives a humanitarian award.

By 7:30, both the girls were gone and I had about an hour of daylight left. I used that time to plant any of the flowers in containers I had. Except for a few of the border patrol Marigolds I'm planting around my tomatoes and basil to protect them from the critters, I got all of them planted. I still have to plant all the bulbs and seeds I have and to create a couple more beds in my backyard, but it was a start, and it kept my mind off of the ugly things I shouldn't let myself dwell on until I find out for sure.

Okay, now all that's left is for you guys to wish me luck and hope all I had were some swarmers that died off and didn't start any colonies in the wood of my house. I'm supposed to meet the bug guy during my lunch break. I hope I don't lose my appetite.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Don't Tread on an Ant He's Done Nothing to You

Here is a picture of some daisies I'll be planting in my garden this week. Because I need to see something pretty right now.

Sometimes you have a fine day and the weather is amazing and work isn't all that bad and you spend your 3 o'clock break out on a sunny bench reading your book. Then after work is over, you have a pleasant bike ride home. You run for an hour after taking a couple of days off and you feel amazingly strong on this warm and windy day.

You come in the house and the first thing you hear is, "Mom! I'm gonna puke. LOOK AT THIS!" You are high out of your mind from endorphins, so you try to stay focused. You think your daughter must have the flu and you wonder why she doesn't just get a bowl or go to the bathroom if she feels like she's going to be sick. She points to the kitchen and she says, "Look in there. Gross!"

What you see when you peek into your kitchen is a floor covered in little flying bugs. What the!... You reach under the sink and spray every inch of the floor with Raid. Later, after you check things out on the internets (as suggested by your sister) you realize the bug spray spaz, while quite satisfying, was actually a bad idea. Because the web has instructed you to pick-up one of these creatures, now dripping in poison and look at its wings and its body to see if it is a termite or an ant. They're pretty tough to distinguish. So, you find a few that aren't quite so drenched and put them in a tupperware container. You hope to bring them to a pest control place as early as possible, in order to quell your bad habit of creating bizarre scenarios in your head. If you know the damage of a thing, one way or the other, you are generally much less likely to spaz.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I Think About the Implications of Diving in Too Deep

This isn't the most flattering pic of Coadster, but I love her t-shirt. Also, the USB port is working, but it seems to be making all my pics kind of short and squat for some reason.

Kid's, I'm just exhausted. I got off work, gave plasma, ran some errands, made dinner and it was suddenly 10 o'clock. I'm still not quite sure how that happens. The good thing is that starting this week, I won't be working a full 40 hour work week until some time in August. I only work half days the next three Fridays in a row. I know it's only 4 extra hours, but you'd be amazed what you can do with four hours. It will be so nice for it to be 4:30, when I normally get off work, and I'll have already run my 6 mile route and hopefully have some yard work or kitchen work done.

Right now, though? Right now, I'm going to take my leave and try to rest up. It always seems like that the first time I give plasma during the week, drains (get it?) me the most. Night, night.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I Wanted to be With You Alone and Talk About the Weather

Look what I found on the side of my house on Saturday!

Have you ever noticed how time consuming your life is? I'm always amazed how fast every weekend goes. This one started so great, but not exactly how I envisioned. The storms ended before I even got off work. Once I was home, both my girls asked if I could go pick up their friends. So, we did some driving around and then Stinky and her friend went to watch movies at someone else's house and Coadster took her friend (who's boyfriend had just broken up with her) to one of the school playgrounds to swing on the swings. I thought that sounded like a brilliant remedy for heartbreak.

I washed dishes, cleaned the kitchen and did some laundry, and then Coadster came home after cheering up her friend. We ordered a taco pizza and watched the movie, It's Complicated, which I thought was pretty damn funny. I had a couple of beers and then Stinky and her friend came home and we all went to bed. Perfect night.

Is it a good or bad sign when your weekend ends with a rainbow?

Saturday was crazy hectic, but really nice. Coadster babysat for a friend of mine who is almost done with grad school, but has three kids and a group project due and a husband who was out of town on business. So, Stinky and I went down to the farmer's market and then to the comic book store to get our free comic books and then to Prairie Lights to drool over books and then stopped drooling and ate lunch at Bruegger's Bagel Bakery. We went from there to buy very cheap flowers for the garden.

After we got home, I went for a run. I came back all full of runner's high and then proceeded to do a TON of yard work. I raked up five more HUGE bags of leaves and kept working on trimming up all the tree branches and putting them in tidy piles to burn in the fire pit. I got most of my flower beds turned over, so now all I have to do is rake and plant. FINALLY. After all of that I was exhausted. The mushroom hunting party ended up being a bust, so that was one less thing to do. Instead, I let my friend G. and C. talk me into going out for a bit on Saturday night. I warned them that my brain had exhausted itself and not to expect me to be able to think of the right words or to finish sentences or anything really difficult like that.

A long time ago when I was in college there used to be these crazy May Day parties at a house where Kurt Vonnegut lived when he was in Iowa City. So, someone organized a Facebook group to get a lot of those people back into town for May Day. C. and G. knew a lot more of the people than I did, but I was just happy to hang out with C. and G....Especially since C. was the one who wrote a great letter of rec for Coadster to get her scholarship. Anyway, it was nice, I drank my two beers and I was home around 11.

Today, I was going to spend the whole day planting, but of course, life got in the way...Again. Coadster said we should go to Walgreens to get very cheap grad party invites made. We ended up spending 5 whole dollars for 50. Nice. The only thing is that it took forever to get them made and then we got groceries, and then I was going to go running and THEN do some planting. Right as I was getting my running stuff on, a car pulled up in my drive way. It was my friends Stacy and Joanne. I love them and haven't seen them for a while. They came over to give me some wind chimes as a housewarming gift and they also gave me their gas powered mower. We have a push mower, but it doesn't quite get everything and doesn't work well when the grass is wet, so it will be nice to have both. Of course, they stayed a while and that was nice, but then right when I went to work in the garden, it started raining and foiled that plan. I'll just have to work on it during the week and be happy that I got to have a great talk with good friends who helped me identify a lot of the plants already coming up in my garden and after it stopped raining, there was a really pretty rainbow. Awwww.