My name is Stephanie and I am addicted to string lights.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Cat doll, made for my cousin's 3-year-old daughter. Scrap fabric, some from an embroidered shirt that had to be retired. I was looking on Etsy for handmade fabric dolls and found some great ones, but I just couldn't fight the feeling that I could make one myself. Even though it's been a long, long time since I made anything like this.
Paw detail. Same fabric that made up the permanent "dress"
She knew right away that it was a cat (she likes cats). I was glad of that; I was worried it looked a little like a pig.
The face is my least favorite part, but I'm out of practice and didn't want to take on more than I could handle by trying to embroider or paint the face, so I just used buttons. It is what it is. The ears are the corners from the shirt collar. I do think that was pretty clever of me :)
Friday, December 23, 2011
I was almost afraid to follow this link because I did a fair portion of my (moderate) holiday shopping on Amazon and I didn't want to learn that it was causing bad working or living conditions for the people behind the scenes. But on balance, I think the situation is pretty win-win.
Welcome to Amazon Town
The Williamses migrated from their home in Hurricane, Utah, to take the two-month warehouse gig...
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Text convo with my husband...
Dan: What you want for dinner?
Steph: You ;)
Dan: I don't know. Tacos.
Steph: I meant I want YOU dumbass.
Dan: Well be more clear.
Ah, the subtleties of texting. You [wink] is NOT the same as You [question mark].
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
My parents have moved in part-time with my grandparents to be there at night in case anything happens with Grandpa. He's had a rough couple of months. My mom and I text back and forth about when they are heading home, when they are going back, whether I need to get their mail or feed the cat (that used to be mine). The whole crew went out to dinner last night and he is so very frail looking, but still living. Still bruised from his fall a month and a half ago. Still giving each of the kids $5 every time he sees them. Still eating and sleeping (sometimes) and waking.
The husband of one of my coworkers just died. He was maybe 50 years old. I am so heartbroken for her and her family, their kids and grandkid.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
I went down the road apiece to the closest town that has a mall. I didn't go into the mall itself, mind you, just around the outskirts of it. I had ordered something online for my mother that arrived chipped and I panicked and set out on a mission to find a replacement gift... and inadvertently remind myself why I do the lion's share of my Christmas shopping online to begin with. I was debating whether I liked anything well enough to wait the gawd awful line in Cost Plus World Market when I heard a couple arguing about whether some piece of junk would be better for the dinette or the dining room and I decided I'd rather kill myself.
So I may just take some paint to the chip and call it good.
This sign is hanging in the hallway at Austin's school. While I appreciate the [intended] sentiment, I'm fairly sure that because bully is crossed out, that means no bully. So NO 'no bully' means bullies are encouraged, right? Or worse yet, all the kids are required to be bullies (as in no kids who are NOT bullies). The fuck?
Yes, I realize I'm being overly analytical. Can't help it.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
It was not my baby. It was my baby's baby. One of my biggest fears in this life of mine is that my intellectually disabled daughter will become pregnant. The thought of it terrifies me. I had her too young and it was hard. Like -- HARD, man. It's fucking hard to have a baby before you have your shit together. But if the young mother in question were mentally retarded? Shit.
Maybe I wouldn't be so concerned if she wasn't so freaking interested in sex, but she is. (Interested, that is, not doing it.)
I already have plans to put her on the pill the minute her cycle starts. And my OB/Gyn is behind me 100% on that. But it could still happen. I have had the hypothetical conversation with myself -- if she were to become pregnant, would I? Could I? Force her to terminate? I don't think I could.
But this dream. The baby was a miniature version of Whoopi Goldberg. Don't ask me why Whoopi. I have no idea. But the love that filled my heart in this dream for this baby was overwhelming and continued to overwhelm after I woke up.
But I still don't want her to get pregnant.
Austin met Santa on Friday and was SO EXCITED!!! When Santa asked him what he wanted he shrugged and said a present. Hilarious considering the many things he has asked me for and then breaks down crying if I tell him you just have to wait and see. (He knows where his bread is buttered.)
Maya was too cool for it all and would NOT get in the picture.
She did take a picture with Santa Jack Skellington though. Ain't nobody too cool for Jack, just ask any emo kid.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I had been trying to get my mom to start texting. It is so damned convenient when you just want to let someone know something quickly, but don't want to interrupt them. She was resisting though. She had it in her head that the only reason you would text a person is to avoid actually talking to them. I tried to explain to her that that wasn't really the case; it's not a great way to have an actual conversation anyway. But if you want to let your spouse (or kids or whoever) know that you already took out the trash, or picked up the mail, or let out the dog... or just to say 'I love you,' it's great.
For some reason last night she started texting me out of the blue. Er, rather, TEXTING ME. It took me forever to get through Target because I had to keep stopping to look at my phone. After a few back-and-forths, she told me that I may have created a "momster." I know she meant to type monster but I thought that was the most awesome play on words ever. I hoped that she had just coined a new phrase, but alas, I googled it and it's already a thing. Damn it.
Updated to include:
Kidding! I want her to text. AND NOT BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO HER.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Grandpa's on his way home tonight (home like his house, not back to meet his maker... the one I don't believe in anyway). This dying business is tricky, you see. It doesn't happen as quickly sometimes as you think maybe your body wants it to, even if your spirit doesn't really want it at all. He says he's going to die soon. "Not much longer now," he told me tonight in the hospital. But he's a stubborn old SOB. And strong. He's weaker now than he's ever been in his life, but considering how strong he was at his strongest, well, it's all relative. He feels as bad as he's ever felt, but considering he used to be as able bodied as a horse, well, you know. It sucks. He hurts. But he's not going anywhere tonight. Probably not this month. He may well make it to his 93rd birthday in January. Beyond that? Who knows? Not me.
Austin: Mom, you're not sad, are you?
Mama: Why do you say that, bud?
Austin: You can't be sad, you're just so beautiful*.
Mama's just worried about Great Grandpa.
*I'm a bit off my game today. First, it occured to me sometime after the conversation above that Austin may have said useful where I heard/typed beautiful. He has recently rediscovered Thomas, and the highest compliment an engine can be paid is that they are a really useful engine. So it was still sweet of him. I think.
Second, I set out to make myself some green tea. After it steeped, the color seemed darker than usual, but I didn't think too much of it. But it didn't taste right either. I had to go confirm that I had in fact made black tea by digging in the trash can for my tea bag.
After being home just a few days, Grandpa's back in the hospital. He told the ambulance guys that he thought he was dying. His pulse and blood pressure are good though, so we don't really know what's going on right now.
Today I'm sure that there is no god. Why does an old man have to suffer and be in pain all the time? He's been a good man. A good father. Not perfect, no, but no one is. There is no god and Nature is a heartless bitch.
Friday, December 2, 2011
The two above are from spring 1998. Dig the faux wood panelling and rust colored shag. Good Lord, that house was dark before we painted and replaced the carpet.
This is one of the few photos of myself that I actually like. I don't know why; it's really not that flattering. This is either 1997 or somewhere around 2000. I am guessing based on my hair length.
There have been some crazy winds in Southern California the last couple-few days. Our power was out for a bit yesterday but we didn't have any damage here. This afternoon I discovered that the wind delivered unto us some of the biggest tumbleweeds I've ever seen. Dan said we should make a snowman out of them. Er, a tumbleweedman, as it were.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
My list isn't this list exactly, but it is damn similar:
If anyone out there doesn't know what to give me for Christmas (Dan), this light fixture made out of an old guitar body caught my eye.
I'm mostly kidding. I LOVE the idea, but NO ONE should spend that much on me for Christmas. Especially not anyone who has a joint checking account with me.
And this is why I'm hard to buy for. I say I like something, but don't you dare buy it. There's just no winning.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Dan informed me that the chili I made today was NOT chili at all because it had no chilies or chili powder in it (I had none in the house and preferred to improvise rather than go to the store). He said it was bean stew. I argued that that is what chili is (assuming your chili has beans in it). My CHILI contained the following:
green bell pepper
canned diced tomatoes
Come to think of it, maybe it was pepper stew. Whatever.
It's a clear, sunny day today and I am channeling my inner earth mother/domestic goddess (aka Ms. Moon) with beans on the stove and sheets on the line. The beans will be made into turkey chili later.
I have to go buy some ice, so... signing off. Have a good Sunday.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Grandpa spent his Thanksgiving being admitted to the hospital with colitis. It felt wrong to have Thanksgiving without him and my grandmother and my cousin David who drove them to the hospital, but it felt wrong to cancel too. I asked my mom what she thought and we charged ahead with the dozen people who were still here to eat all that food. We sent a batch of food home for Grandma and David and another batch to my neighbor who had to work while the rest of her family ate with us. It was good, but sad too.
Today I was loading the dishwasher for the fourth time in 24 hours and remembered I was thankful to have a dishwasher.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
People all over the interwebs are sharing recipes these days, so here's my super simple cranberry recipe. It could not be easier. It retains a beautiful red berry color and is very yummy, just the right balance of tart and a little sweet. It's based loosely on a recipe I got out of Sunset magazine many years ago, but I shortened the cooking time (which improved the texture) and made some other tweaks, mostly eliminating things (the original called for orange zest, orange liqueur and more sugar).
12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
Heat oven to 350°. Rinse berries. Mix all ingredients in an 8x8 baking dish. Bake for about
30 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a pretty bowl and serve at room temperature.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The dining room is cleaner than it's been in at least five months (Austin's birthday in June). This is where I had some covered wire shelves for a pantry, but my mom called them 'less than attractive' and I couldn't look at them anymore. Thanks, Mom. Hahaha.
That Tree of Life wall hanging is from Urban Outfitters (click through for a better look at the color). You can find Tree of Life tapestries just about anywhere that sells that type of thing (hippie crap), but I really liked the color of the blue one from UO, it looks like twilight. And oooh, look at my pretty table :)
In the corner I combined two of my favorite things, vintage glass (my Arrowhead water bottle) and string lights (stuffed inside the bottle) for an accent light.
It gives a nice soft glow, and the imperfections in the glass almost make the lights look like they're moving or twinkling.
Monday, November 21, 2011
My grandpa fell in his garage. Was it a week ago? I don't remember. He was trying to do something out there and ended up smack down on the concrete. His arm and face were very swollen and he is still very bruised. It's heartbreaking to see him like that. In fact, I did a very good job of not seeing him. I am such a chickenshit. I only just saw him last night. I hear from my mom and grandma that he looks "much better!" I can only imagine what that says about how bad he looked a few days ago. He was incredibly lucky to not break any bones or do any permanent damage to his eye which was swollen shut the first couple days.
I've written some before about the fact that my grandpa was the closest thing I had to a father for most of my life. My dad was gone (left, not dead) before I was a year old and my mom didn't remarry until I was 16. She and I spent a few years in the middle of that time living with my grandparents and it was a very happy time for me. I love them both so much.
I laid awake in the wee hours this morning composing a letter to my grandpa in my head. I wanted to thank him for being a father to me and for just being himself and teaching me so much about responsibility and faithfulness. But when I got up this morning, it seemed silly to write it all down. I wish now that I had gotten up and written it in the middle of the night. I think I still will write it. I need to.
Friday, November 18, 2011
My family and my parents have a unique situation in that not only do we live right next door to each other, but we used to have each other's addresses. My mom's address used to be mine, and mine used to be hers. And to make things just a little more confusing for people, our house numbers are different by only one odd numbered digit -- so people have a hard time remembering which is which. This means we occasionally still get mail addressed to each other's houses. When we do, we just set it aside to give to the other person next time we see them. Today I was cleaning off the kitchen counter, trying to get ready for Thanksgiving and I found a Christmas card addressed to my parents, but with my house number on it. This would be unremarkable, except the envelope was postmarked 2010. That card has set on my counter for 11 months. I hate to think about what that says about my housekeeping efforts. We won't talk about the mummified mouse I found on the floor between the fridge and the wall in a trap that had obviously not been checked in quite some time, though it probably hadn't been anything like 11 months. I hope.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Jeebus H. It's everywhere already! I go to Super Target about 20 times a week (OK, I'm exaggerating, but 20 times a month wouldn't be far off) so I'm working really hard at desensitizing myself to all the CRAP they are trying to sell. I have no more room for CRAP and no money to buy it with ANYWAY. I did get a good feeling in my insides when I drove into my local shopping center the other night and they had begun to light up the trees. It's always the lights that light me up. Heh. The other stuff? The music and all the things? Gah. Not so much.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
She was allowed to be in the Veteran's Day Parade - waving from the rumble seat of my parents' 1929 Model A - so she didn't clean house on Friday [eyeroll].
Saturday we picked up her new bestie and braved the rain to play mini golf and arcade games, then she and Austin stayed overnight with their grandparents.
We knew that my parents had a meeting they had to go to on Monday night, so we had a big family dinner on Sunday with homemade mac' and cheese, meatloaf, buttered asparagus and an ice cream cake.
Monday, her actual birthday, one of the classroom aides at her school brought in a cake and her classmates sang Happy Birthday to her. Then Monday night we went to her favorite restaurant where the wait staff sang to her and she got an ice cream sundae (which she shared with her brother).
But I canceled that party and the trip to Disneyland! That'll teach her. Right.
Monday, November 14, 2011
15 years ago today, Dan and I woke our asses up early and headed to the hospital before the sun was all the way up. Maya was scheduled to be born by C-section, having been breech and “growth-bound.” We had tried something called a version a couple-few weeks before, but it was a miserable failure, due in no small part I’m sure to my unbearable tension. There is little doubt in my mind that if I had been older and more mature, her birth may have been very different. I was just barely 19 and scared out of my everlovin’ mind.
Well. You can’t change the past. She was born the way she was born and the result was the same. A baby. A family.
The day of her birth was in some ways, quite frankly, horrible. I have a violent vomitous reaction to things like codeine and morphine. Morphine is the first thing they give you after a C-section. I spent 12 hours after surgery vomiting and then dry heaving. Have you ever thrown up repeatedly after abdominal surgery? It hurts.
If I held Maya at all that day, it wasn’t for more than a minute. I cried that she wouldn’t know me and my mom chided me that of course she would. My mom questioned me again whether I was sure I wanted to give Maya her dad’s last name. Dan and I wouldn’t get married for another year and Maya was going to be on my mom’s insurance. She said she was worried that the insurance company might give her a hard time if the baby had a different last name. I told her she was full of shit. But I still loved her and she still loved me.
Maya was a fairly small baby at 5 pounds 14 ounces. I could tell immediately that she had her father’s Native American nose. She was a beautiful baby.
And now she is a beautiful 15 year-old. You would never know she was ever such a little baby. She is just about taller than me now (I’m 5’5”) and solid as all get out. Not overweight like me, just strong.
Strong and beautiful. You can’t ask for more than that. She’s got her issues. But chugging ahead full-steam.
Happy Birthday, my girl.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I followed the good doctor's link over to the 5 Love Languages Assessment. A friend of mine who comments here sometimes (Hi, Kristen!) had recommended that book to me sometime back, but I hadn't gotten around to reading it... this assessment tells me I maybe should. (I took the assessment 'for wives'. Now I would like Dan to take the one for husbands.)
|5||Words of Affirmation|
|5||Acts of Service|
Interpreting and Using Your Profile Score:
The highest score indicates your primary love language (the highest score is 12). It’s not uncommon to have two high scores, although one language does have a slight edge for most people. That just means two languages are important to you. (Physical Touch and Quality Time are CLEAR winners for me. This rings true, but still surprises me to see it so clearly in a score.)
The lower scores indicate those languages you seldom use to communicate love and which probably don’t affect you very much on an emotional level. (Um, hello, no gifts for me.)
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I try to not blog about work. I succeed most of the time. But this one is weighing on me.
My employer has a small handful of locations where we do our business (educating the local masses). And for the last three and a half years I have been fortunate enough to work at the location that is just under four miles from my house. What a blessing it has been! But yesterday I found out that a plan that had been tentative for some time is now for sure. I am being moved back to the campus that is about 25 miles away.
I know this isn't the end of the world. I am grateful to have a job at all. And it is a very good job with good people and benefits and so much more. Really.
But I do not relish the idea of spending more money on gas and giving up an hour of my day every day driving back and forth. So I am pouting. I am mourning the loss of the convenience of having home and work so close together.
If I were to look for and name a silver lining or two to this development, one would be that the time I will have in the car will likely be the only quiet, alone time I will have on any regular sort of basis. Another is that I will see some good people at that other location that I haven't seen much of these last few years.
But I'm still pouting. For now.
Friday, November 4, 2011
I know this is 5 days old now and in Internet Time that's like a year. AND my digital camera seems to have taken a shit right along with the camera in my phone. But this is all I got from Halloween. Princess Leia and Batman.
We were gonna do Maya's birthday up right. The plan was to have party on Saturday the 12th and then she and I were going to play hooky on Monday the 14th (her actual birthday) and go to Disneyland, just the two of us.And then Dan and I got this email from her teacher:
Maya says that she was too busy cleaning the house to do her math homework last night. This is the 3rd or 4th time that Maya has been too busy to do her homework. She loses 10 points per assignment.
Would you please speak to her about the importance of doing and turning in homework?
Cleaning the house? Ha-fucking-HA!
I wrote back and explained that we ask Maya every night whether she has homework and she says no. I thought she was getting it done during her study period. I also told him that if he came to the house he would see she was busy doing no such thing! It's a freaking pigsty. I was disappointed that he waited until the "3rd or 4th time" it happened, but can only imagine that he thought he was contacting the evil slave-driving parents of poor little Cinderella and implying that we need to change our parenting ways of prioritizing chores over homework.
I thanked him for letting us know and told him to contact us any time. Dan told him to give her more homework.
I talked to Maya about the importance of doing her homework and of NOT LYING TO HER PARENTS AND HER TEACHER.
So skipping school on her birthday is OUT. Disneyland is OUT. And the party is canceled. I couldn't not to anything for her birthday, so we decided we would go to a place that has mini golf and an arcade and she can take ONE friend. I said no friends, family only, but Dan said she should take a friend and I told her she needed to thank her daddy for that.
Oh, and we'll be spending the holiday on Friday the 11th CLEANING THE FUCKING HOUSE. (We would have been doing that anyway, for the party. But you know, I'm PISSED now so it will be extra fun.)
So much for the rainbows and unicorns.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Mmmkay, differences in politics aside, this is exactly how I would behave at the podium and why I (and Rick Perry) should never EVER run for office. SRSLY. Dude was drunk on life. Er somethin'.
I can't stand here in front of this crowd and not love on you a little bit.
I might have to vote for him just for the comic relief. [I'm kiddding!!!]
I find myself in a bad place today. Again? Still? This fall is kicking my ass and I usually like fall.
I sat up in the wee hours this morning thinking very dark thoughts. And now I am tired.
The other day my grandma told me that I am too young to be tired all the time. I told her no, I am exactly the right age to be tired all the time. I am a working mother. I may be tired until I'm dead.
Fuck it. Tomorrow is another day. Even if I sometimes wish it weren't at all. The sun will come up again and my mood will shift and I will clean house and so on and so on.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I am jumping up and down like a little girl over this one (on the inside, at least). A movie about wee-folk by my beloved Miyazaki! One of my favorite daydreams has always been that I am the size of a bug.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
The youngest of my first cousins is well into his second extended trip to Japan. He has taken literally hundreds of pictures of millions of trees. There are also some photos of samurai and buddha statues. And these incredible stone stairs that seem to go on forever.
But it's the trees that get me. (I was born in Oregon and transplanted to the Southern California chaparral where native trees are few and far between. Trees still whisper to me.)
I think the sound of birds calling must be constant. Oh yes, and the lights...
Monday, October 24, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I have this recurring dream that I'm in the passenger seat of a moving car, but no one is in the driver's seat. I'm trying like crazy to control the car and not kill myself or anyone else. This morning this dream was set on a winding mountain road and my son was in the backseat (I'm usually alone). I couldn't manage get myself into the driver's seat without risk of running the car off the road, so I just tried my damnedest to pull over and stop.
Next thing I knew, we were at a family gathering, only I didn't know half of the people there. I was getting very disgusted with that fact, but for some reason didn't just go introduce myself like a person should. I just sat there getting pissed off and eyeing all these people that were collected in little groups, but not intermingling at all.
Next we were walking down a hallway, on the way to an art gallery, but the gallery was hanging an exhibit and we couldn't go in, so we decided to go to my friend Lori's house, but no one was home and I set off the burglar alarm.
Some years ago I told my mom about my recurring dreams of being in a moving car when no one is in the driver's seat (I've been having them since I was a kid). She thought it was a reflection of her as a single mother, struggling and failing to manage our lives. I really don't think that's it though. I think I just recognized from an early age that you can't control life. You can do your best to be prepared and able to react and cope, but shit is going to happen that you won't see coming.
(I imagine some people would interpret this dream as me needing to surrender control to God. Take the wheel, God. Isn't that a song? Yeah, sorry. I'm much more in the Random Shit Just Happens camp. Sometimes it works out better than others. Sometimes if you're lucky and your eyes are open at the right time, it's actually pretty freaking awesome.)
Monday, October 17, 2011
On Saturday I made penne rigate with meat sauce for me and the kids (Dan is still at Hallween camp 4-5 nights a week) and we had quite a bit left so yesterday I tossed the leftovers into a baking dish, covered it in shredded mozzarella and baked it into a melting, crispy batch of warmth. Then I called my grandparents to ask if they had dinner plans; they did not so I said we'd be over shortly.
On the way to their house we stopped and picked up dinner rolls and salad fixin's. We dug in at the table in the kitchen and then indulged in ice cream and off-brand twinkies for dessert (apparently the real twinkies are just too pricey for Grandma, this would be funny to you if you saw their enormous house).
After dinner, Grandma and I got to talking about buying things like bread and milk that we don't use much anymore, but our husbands still expect to find in the house. For example, both of the last two gallons of milk I bought got poured out nearly full because nobody drank it and it spoiled. So I stopped buying it. But now Dan complains that there's no milk in the house... Grandma informed me that drinking curdled milk won't make you sick (that is how they make cottage cheese after all). This woman is 91, so she may be onto something, but still... gag.
My dad wrote back. I won't post his whole message here, that would be crossing a line (I think). His mother died a few years ago. His wife (#4 I think) left him. She was the first to do such a thing. His sister died of cancer (she and I had the same birthday by the way). His younger kids (from marriage #4) are grown and living life, with the good and the bad.
He said he has regrets and feelings of guilt about not being the father he should have been* [to me from marriage #2 and my older brother from marriage #1].
I wrote back and told him that you can't change the past. I told him that he will have to deal with his guilt on his own, in his own way. I told him I wished him the best in letting go of it and I meant that. I said the best thing he can do for me now is not call me. I said I was sorry about losing his sister too soon and I'm sorry that his son, my younger brother who I haven't seen in at least 20 years, has serious health issues. I told him I wished him the best and what I tried to get across, but didn't say in so many words was: have a nice life, there's no place for you in mine.
I try to look at myself objectively and wonder if this makes me a cold, harsh person, to brush him off this way. But what I've come to is that it is what it is. It hurts too much to talk to him. All those hurt-little-girl feelings bubble right up and come spilling out of my eyes and my shaking voice. I don't need this. I've worked too hard at letting go of my anger and trying to be gentle with myself and trying to learn that some men *can* be trusted. They don't all let you down. I've been working on all this for so long and the only way I know how to move forward is to turn my back on him. It just hurts too much.
*By the way, this part about guilt and regrets is very nearly the same conversation we had the last time he contacted me around 11 years ago. I shut him down then too (after a few exchanges). My heart is closed to him.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
This post is a follow-up to Thursday's. I had received a phone message from my dad who I had not heard from in something like 11 years. The message went approximately like this:
Hi Stephanie. This is Jim. Jim [last name omitted]. My work cell phone number is [number omitted]. I usually have that phone with me. My personal cell phone is [number omitted]. I hope I have the right Stephanie.
There was no mention of whether there was some important issue he needed to tell me about, or whether he just wanted to catch up. I had no desire to actually talk to him, but I did wonder what was going on, so I messaged him on facebook. Three days later, he responded. I was a little bit baffled at the brevity of his response and my reply in turn stopped just short of go fuck yourself.
I got your voicemail. I can't talk right now, but I wondered why you called. Is everything okay?
Nice photo. Hope all is well.
Are you kidding me? We haven't talked in years, you call me out of the blue and that's all you have to say? Is your mom still alive? Are you and [name omitted] still married?
I'm fine. My family is fine. Mom's parents are starting to have a hard time doing things on their own.
That's about it really. To be honest, I don't want to talk to you.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I wrote sometime back about my so-called father. In my experience the only thing you can count on with him is that you can't count on him. That includes not being able to assume that just because you haven’t heard from him in 10 plus years means he will continue to leave you the hell alone [like I asked him to] and you won’t hear from him out of the blue on a random Wednesday.
This isn’t making any sense, is it?
I got a call from him yesterday. He found me at work of all places. Thankfully, I was out for lunch when he called and didn’t have to talk to him. I don’t want to talk to him. I can only assume that he found me on facebook (Ms. Moon may be right about facebook being evil) then Googled me and found me at work (or facebook may not have been involved at all, maybe it was just Google if he remembered my married name). I’m not really surprised that it happened. I wasn’t hiding. It’s usually just a question of when, not whether I will hear from him. He does this sort of thing.
I had already found him on facebook, but had not “friended” him. I just like to keep tabs on where he is in the world. How close he is living at any given time has a lot to do with whether I may hear from him. He has spent many years in Texas and Oregon. Now he is in back California. About 2 hours from where I live. I am hopeful that that is too far for him to make the trip to show up unannounced. But again, I can’t count on that.
I have no idea whether he has found this blog. I don’t much think so though. Making the connection from here to my page on facebook is much easier than the other way around.
My husband suggested that he was calling because it was my birthday (the day before he called). I told Dan that I doubt very much that he knows when my birthday is. Unless he saw it on facebook.
He didn’t say why he called. He wasn’t completely confident that he had the right person. He said in the message, “I hope this is the right Stephanie.” I briefly considered the fact that I could not respond at all. Let him wonder whether it was the wrong Stephanie he called.
Knowing him the way I do (for what it’s worth) I’d guess the reason he called is one of the following, in this order.
- He was “thinking of me and wanted me to know that he loves me.” I’ve heard this one before, and considering how little I have heard from him in my life, the proclamation that he loves me cuts like a knife. He can stick it.
- His mother may have died. She must be ancient by now but she was a feisty southern lady. She may outlive us all.
- He may be sick and wants to connect before it’s too late. (Okay, this one is wishful thinking on my part. Not that I want him to connect, but I’d be fine if he dropped dead.)
Like I said, I don’t want to talk to him. I was curious why he called though, so I messaged him on facebook. Then I spent the rest of the day checking to see if he had written back. Big surprise (SARCASM!) he has not written back. It could just be that he doesn’t check his email and/or facebook as often as I do. It’s considerably more likely though that the spirit that moved him to contact me has simply vacated, only to reappear in anywhere from two months to 12 years.
I’ll keep you posted.
For anyone who's curious, this is what I wrote to him:
I got your voicemail. I can't talk right now, but I wondered why you called. Is everything okay?
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I'm wearing all black today, to mourn my lost youth.
Not really. I mean, I am wearing black, but it's just what was clean. And most of what I wear is black.
It's my birthday. 34.
My parents are right now on their way to the airport to visit my stepdad's family in Kansas. When she was planning the trip, my mom told me she wanted to wait until after my birthday to leave. But I told her no, do what you have to do, Tuesday is a cheap day to fly. And I meant it, at the time. Now I will confess that my inner child is pouting a bit that my mama is leaving on my birthday. That added to the fact that Dan is so busy all month with all that Halloween bidness means I'm having to work pretty at not having a little pity party over here by myself.
I'm a big girl. I can do it.
Austin's been working on a pretty hairy cold for the last 12 days and last night he did that thing where all the mucus and crud hits your stomache and he threw up his whole dinner all over the dining room. I may never eat another tuna sandwich. So I was cleaning up and trying to keep the stupid dog from eating what Austin had just uneaten. I moved the table and cleaned the floor. Then when I was moving the table back, a water glass fell off the table and broke all to bits (I realized at this point that I should have taken the glass to the kitchen before moving the table, but I'm lazy) and I had to move the table aside again and I swept and swept and swept and still didn't get all the damn glass up. I got a piece in my foot this morning.
It's not really that bad. I've been sort of happy this week in spite of myself. Probably because I haven't been eating so much crap. I hate to write about that though because I always jinx myself. In fact I'm having to fight the urge to celebrate today with Mtn Dew because as much as I love it, I know it will make me feel like shit.
Somebody at work sent me this Debbie Downer clip from SNL. They know me too well! Hahahaha
Monday, October 10, 2011
If I lose my job, deplete all my resources, then maybe. Last resort.
You know why? It occurred to me that they have paws. The paws gave me pause. (Good Lord, I apologize, that was terrible.)
Scales? You bet.
Feathers? Bring it.
Hooves? Lemme light the grill.*
Paws? Um... I dunno.
Too cuddly I guess. Fuck me.
*Yeah, I'm still lying. I don't care for steak or any meat on the bone. I prefer my beef ground and my chicken shredded. It should look as little like it came from an animal as possible. That should tell me something. I really don't like the idea of eating animals at all. Just not ready to give up my (occasional) hamburger, canned tuna and chicken tacos. Again.
The kids and I were watching Nickelodeon, as we do so often, and they played a sound bite from Victoria Justice about being a Latina and how Latinos/Hispanics "really" like food. Um, doesn't everyone? Is there a culture out there that says no, no food for us. Some religions require fasts for different reasons at different times, but we all like food. Don't we? We just like different foods. Our food.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
After his swimming lesson tonight, Austin wanted to stay for a few minutes and watch the next, more advanced class. I told him no, I left the lasagna cooking in the oven and I wanted to get home before the house burned down.
He spent the entire ride home (a very long five minutes in this case) freaking out that our house had burned down and we would have to build a new one. I apologized and told him that I never should have said that, I just wanted to get home because the lasagna was in the oven. The house was fine I said over and over again. And of course it was. We got home and he said, "There's our home. Our home is fine."
The house is fine but mama is a dolt.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
that remind me why I like working on a college campus.
Walking from my office to the cafeteria today I passed a PE class doing a military style run (with whistles and the whole bit) and a physics class doing an egg drop. The egg drop scene was pretty emotional. When a team did well, they celebrated. When a device failed, everyone said awww.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
I didn't notice it happening, but I got all turned in on myself again. Quiet. Closed off. I missed a therapy appointment. I've been missing Lori again.
The last time she wrote to me she questioned again why I was writing to her. She said she couldn't imagine that she had been that big a part of my life. I was tempted to print out one of the emails she wrote to me years ago about what a good friend I was to her and mail it to her. But what's the point? Maybe it is time to let go. Navigating a friendship, if that's what it still is, through this just feels too hard sometimes. It's just that I've never stopped feeling beholden to her. Not in a keeping score kind of way. But you know, there are people who are in your life and you love them...
I hate October anymore. Dan volunteers all month at a local haunted house and I don't see him at all. Halloween is his holiday and he doesn't even spend it with the kids anymore. Last year his mom went with me to take them trick-or-treating. Two days later she went into the hospital and a week after that she died during surgery. I suppose that's part of my sadness too. Remembering this time last year and what was to come.
Fuck, I have to end this on a better note than that.
I never spend money on myself. I buy things for my house, but not my person. I rarely buy clothes. The only shoes I wear are Crocs. I cut my own hair and I've only had one manicure in my life, for my wedding. The work pants I have now are the same pants my mom bought for me when I went back to work after Austin was born. He's five now. All this to illustrate what it took for me to order myself a bunch of clothes today. I know I'd be better off going in and trying things on, but I keep putting it off and avoiding it. So if I can look online without feeling self-conscious and they have free returns if anything doesn't work, then why not?
In short: YAY, new clothes!!!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
To be honest, I watch it just as much for Squidward Tentacles. For those of you who don't watch the show, Squidward is a miserable, cranky, self-absorbed, sarcastic pain in the ass. And sometimes the things he says sound a lot like... me.
I can't help but laugh at how miserable he sounds. How much he doesn't want to be around the people who care about him. Spongebob really does want to spend time with Squidward, but Squidward finds Spongebob incredibly annoying. And this somehow both endears me to Squidward (or is it endears Squidward to me?) and makes me want to be more like Spongebob.
I watch the show and think to myself, crap, I sound like that miserable SOB... I would be a much happier person if I were more like the #1 Goofy Goober.
In the next episode of Stephanie Likes Cartoons Too Much, we'll learn about how my parenting philosophy is summed up in four lines of dialogue from Finding Nemo.
Screw it, here are the lines:
Marlin: I promised I'd never let anything happen to him.
Dory: Hmm. That's a funny thing to promise.
Dory: Well, you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.
This bit is good too:
Marlin: How do you know if they're ready?
Crush: Well, you never really know, but when they know, you know, y'know?
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
This video was made by a father who, like me, was so very glad to find Dan Zanes' music to share with his young child.
Though I do think you can just as well share Jack Johnson and some other popular musicians with young kids.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
I had decided to return to the family farm. There was some sneakery required on my part. I had to be present by a certain date to claim it, and someone didn’t want me there. I pulled my wagon full of supplies (seeds and various implements) up to the back gate and had to make a run for it. (There must have been horses involved...)
Unbeknownst to me, as my wagon rattled over the ruts in the fields, rotten, malicious spirits the size of garden gnomes were being scattered all over the fields, spilling over the sides of my wagon as I raced toward the farm house.
It was getting dark as we gathered around the dinner table in the farm house. I took some time looking at old family photos and antique furniture; feeling satisfied that I had done it. I was there.
I looked out the window and saw the damage that the malicious spirits were already beginning to cause on the fields. In great distress, I asked my advisor and elder what was happening. She told me that she knew that this would happen, but didn’t tell me because it had to be done -- I was meant to be there and whatever damage the spirits caused was something I would just have to deal with.
I was not confident at all that it had been the right thing to do and blamed myself for what I was afraid would be unrecoverable.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Upton just won the most votes on American Apparel's plus-size modeling contest for her series of satiric binge-eating photos, but the clothing label isn't giving her any prizes.
All Upton has done (by eating a turkey in a pool), is open up a conversation about how differently companies market to women depending on their body types.
I know you guys probably get this spam all the time just like I do, but this one tickled me and I thought I'd share. And I quote, "this is not your everyday scam email."
From: Vladimir Kalinin [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
I am an Investment Lawyer/Consultant, with a firm in America, Middle East, Europe and Southern Africa. And all this years I have handled investment fund for “Private Individuals” that in one way or the other want complete anonymity We have this client, that has large amount for investment and we are looking for trust worthy individual with viable project in areas of (Real Estate, Agriculture, Oil & Gas, and Construction).
Please note, that this is not your everyday scam email. If you are interested in handling and managing these huge funds kindly send your full details (Company's profile or personal details including telephone number) on my email address for more information, please do not bother to write back if you are not interested.
Vladimir S. Kalinin.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
It has finally started to cool off enough at night that we can open the windows and get some fresh air. Which means I hear the neighbor's rooster first thing in the morning... or all night when there's a full moon. That rooster must not be as smart as Elvis. Anywho, I get this song stuck in my head every stinking morning now. Good thing I like Los Lobos so much.
A red rooster crows
A little Mexican tune
On the chain link fence by the gate
Somebody's daddy's out there
Honkin' on the horn
Hurry up, you're gonna make him late
I gotta say one, two, three more things before I go on
Good Morning Aztlán
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Maya's birthday is a little over two months away. Which means she's been planning it in her head and out loud for about 9 and half months. There are basically two options when it comes to birthdays in this family (as far as kids go). Amusement park or party. She's been waffling quite a bit about which way to go, but we found a tipping point when I told her she could only invite one friend if we go to an amusement park (I'm poor), but she could invite pretty much everyone she knows if we have a party. DING DING DING DING. We have a winner.
Parties in this house tend toward the formulaic, but everyone has a good time.
- Jumper (one year we swapped this out for video games and Karaoke)
- Cupcakes (decorated to the theme)
- ice cream
- chips, dip, veggies, fruit
- beer (for the grown ups)
- pizza or a more finger foods
- music (DUH)
So the next step is to figure out the theme. I am proud to say that we have never repeated a theme*. (I know it's not much to be proud of, but I'm an underachiever, I'll take what I can get). Past themes have included pirates, Tinkerbell, Hello Kitty, Spider-man, rocker girl, Thomas the train... so on.
Maya found a new one she likes for this year and it is simply... well, AWESOME.
UNICORNS AND RAINBOWS. It doesn't get any cheesier than that, people. And it is making me ridiculously happy. Just imagine all the ways to work this theme in -- rainbow sherbet instead of ice cream, lots of LGBT type rainbow paraphernalia...
Unicorn farts. This is going to be FUN y'all.
*Both kids had their own Blue's Clues party... but that doesn't count as a repeat, right? Austin wasn't even born yet when Maya had hers.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
This is the longest strawberry season in the history of California.
Actually, I have no idea if that’s true, but it is a longer season than any I can remember. It’s like an embarrassment of riches. The red treasures just keep coming. And it’s September! Sometimes they peter out by late July. And the stand we go to opened the first of March. So if they stay open through this month, that’s seven months! Holy crap, that’s awesome!
I think I’ve been afraid to say anything here, lest I jinx it, but Austin is in swimming lessons and LOVES it. I was worried because we tried T-ball earlier this year and he just wasn’t having it. No, no and no. It was a real exercise in not being able to make your kid like something they just don’t like.
But the water. This boy loves the water. The pool at the gym is huge and very chloriney (spell checker says that’s not a word, but I disagree). He’s still working out the kinks of doing “big arms” and “kick kick kick” at the same time, but he’s getting a little better every lesson and it’s such a joy to watch.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
The good doctor over at Grady wrote an amazing post (as usual) and finished it off with a song that made me think about my grandmother and that in turn made me think of the music my Grandmama likes, which brings us to the one and only Nat King Cole.
PS. I think it just this minute occurred to me why I like trumpet music so much.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
My dentist may have been a little overzealous with the Novocain. I am still numb from my forehead to my neck from my lunchtime appointment.
My arms hurt from the death grip I had on the armrests of the torture chair. What on earth possesses a person to become a dentist? The Nazis aren’t hiring anymore, I guess.
At one point, while I was trying not to focus on that god awful wail of a noise coming out of the drill, I noticed that my lip was sort of pinched between his finger and my front teeth. “That would hurt if I could feel it,” I thought to myself.
Then I couldn’t help but laugh at myself when it occurred to me that if I could feel it, my lip would be the least of my worries.
BUT! While we were in there taking care of my new cavity (aren’t I a little old to be getting new cavities???) we swapped out my old metal fillings for the nice tooth colored ones. My molars look freaking awesome!!!
Monday, August 29, 2011
If ever there's a reason to be swept up in the season
Of the fallen leaves
And if the days grew shorter
And the darkness drew its order
From the autumn grey
If ever there’s a need to watch
the afternoon just roll into
the evening sky
find comfort in the finer things
That keep you close that keep you safe
Within this room
Is it fall yet? :)
My oldest child is of an age where she is very curious about the – ahem – pleasures of the body. She is exploring this curiosity on her own (for now, anyway, thank god) with great confidence and abandon. Like, she could teach lessons at conferences. There must be conferences about that sort of thing somewhere in the world.
Anyway, I find myself as a parent walking a bit of a tightrope. I respect her curiosity and desire as a normal part of growing up. Meanwhile, I’m freaking out in the corner willing her to STOP GROWING THE FUCK UP ALREADY.
And then there is the not so small issue of her specialness. Her particular brand of specialness has been rebranded from MR to Intellectually Disabled. No joke.
Words and people, people and words. Sigh.
And one of the areas where the Intellectually Disabled are often really and truly disabled is that of an awareness of when and where a particular activity might or might not be appropriate.
Well, that’s enough of being cryptic for today. Feel free to tell me if I’ve crossed the line and should delete this. I really don’t know right now.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Anyway, I found this post about using our *real names* online, specifically on Google+, interesting.
Bless the Internet.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Dating for 50+ Singles
I'm 33. And married.
Free Viagra Samples and/or Penis Enlargement
I don't have one to get up or enlarge.
If you're going to cram up my email box, send me something I can use. Thank you.
UPDATE: Just got one for a Maid Service. Now we're talking! Ask and ye shall receive.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Singing? I dunno.
I wish I could tell you there's an app for that,
but my camera's just jacked.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
A little over a week ago, my husband hurt my feelings. (No, I did not and will not blog about what he did.) And then I went from hurt to furious in 1.2 seconds. I somehow managed to keep my head on straight and not say the hurtful things I wanted to verbally fling at him. I called my therapist instead and made an appointment for later in the week, and then Dan and I talked calmly and got through it. And after that I still fantasized about killing him that night.
But since that night, and the therapy appointment I had two days later, I am gradually becoming more aware of how much time I spend being angry. Angry at my dad. Angry at myself. Angry at my husband, my kids. Angry at the whole MOFO world. Sometimes even angry at the Buddha.
I don't have an action plan for my anger issues at this time, other than to observe it and be honest about it when I feel angry. Not blame my attitude on being tired, or saying that it's anxiety, but owning up to it when I am just pissed off.
Further exploration of this aspect of myself may include the connection between my weight, food and anger, feelings of self-worth and the lack thereof, and that theory/saying that depression is anger turned inward.
Should be fun!
Monday, August 15, 2011
Austin is now a kindergartener.
My camera is still being bipolar and dicking around with the colors. My son is still being stubborn and only smiling when he damn well wants to.
PS. I just noticed that he magically got taller between these two photos :) I was standing when I took the first and sat down on a dining chair to take the second. It's all about perspective.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
We ended up with a houseful and backyard full of people yesterday. A man that Dan may end up doing some work with is a singer and musician and he and his people used our backyard to practice while Dan ran the mixing board. There were calls from neighbors to quiet down.
Along with the people playing came some of their family members. I didn't know that that was the plan before hand, I thought it was just practice. When I learned that it was turning into a mini party I went into a sort of panicky anxiety. I wasn't emotionally prepared to be friendly with people I didn't know and I didn't have any food to put out. I pretty much freaked out for a bit, but managed to get it together and go to the store for some fixin's.
One of the people here was the mother of the man mentioned above. She is an old Italian mama and she is a riot. I ended up being so glad to meet her and glad to have people over after all. This is a woman who still cries about her daughter's divorce somewhere around 20 years ago, but when talking about family members that had pissed her off, said "fuck them, I don't give a shit." At one point, when one of the musicians outside switched from a saxophone to a flute, I asked his wife what all he played and she said, "anything he can blow on." I said, "lucky you." Then the Italian mama said, "oh, she blows on him too, believe me." I haven't laughed so hard in months.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Maya is right this very minute embarking on her first ever day of high school. I waited until she found a friend to walk to class with before I left her on her own. You could recognize the freshmen by the look of shear terror on their faces, some with the slightest suggestion of a tear in their eye. I was very happy to get hell out of there.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
She waited until she heard him snoring and slipped out of bed. In the kitchen she grabbed the biggest clean knife. Standing over him she remembered her anatomy classes. The angle of the ribs. The location of the lungs. If he woke before he was dead, he wouldn't be able to scream if his lungs were punctured.
She called 911 and told them they needed to come get her, but to tell the police not to turn on their sirens, she didn't want them to wake up the kids. While she waited, she called her mom across town to come and stay with them. As bad as it was going to be for the kids in the morning, it was going to be just as bad for her mom, and she felt bad about that. She thought she better go pee while she could and as she sat on the toilet looking at her panties, she figured her period would start in the next day or so. She wondered if they would give her pads in jail.
Monday, August 8, 2011
I've been half jokingly threatening to eat the hundreds of wild rabbits in my yard for years now. But gradually the possibility of it has become more and more realistic and less of a joke. Financial markets crumble. Green, sustainable living becomes more and more a priority. Why not take advantage of free, lean, local protein and live more off the land?
One thing that tipped me just a little closer toward butchering Thumper was reading Dooce the other day. (Dooce was NOT talking about killing innocent, precious animals.) She was talking about being on the Paleo Diet and I found a list of recommended foods and foods to avoid when following the Paleo Diet. Right there, in the recommended foods list, was rabbit. Huh.
Now, I'm not whole hog in favor of the Paleo Diet. Any diet that lists pinto beans as a food to avoid when pinto beans are an excellent source of fiber and provide pretty well rounded nutrition and grow on a plant... any diet that says you should avoid pinto beans (and all other beans) should be regarded with serious skepticism, in my opinion. There are many good things about the Paleo Diet, I think, but I would never personally observe it exclusively. But I digress.
Back to the rabbits... just the other day I bought a Rose of Sharon for the garden partly because the tag on it said "deer resistant." I thought maybe, just maybe, deer resistant might also be rabbit and squirrel resistant. I was wrong. Very very wrong. Every leaf, every blossom, gone in less than 24 hours*. And that was WITH a wire cage around it to protect it. In my head I kept replaying that scene from Bambi when Thumper would eat the flower and his mama would scold him for leaving the greens. If only.
Then today, Dan emailed me a wikihow page about killing and cleaning wild rabbits for food. (That link should be followed with extreme caution; there are photos.)
Thumper is gonna be Dinner. Not tonight, but soon.
*Yes, I do realize that in eating my plants these critters are only doing what they have to do to survive a long, hot, dry summer. Still, in my yard, they are fair game.