It’s the Little Things that Get You

I went to the storage unit yesterday. I’d bought a hammock stand and wanted to find the hammock. It’s also past time for the girls to change over from winter to summer clothes. In our shuffling and looking I noticed two things, one I haven’t seen for nine years and the other I didn’t know I had.

Early this spring, my college friend contacted me wanting to get her hands on some tomato plants my parents sold at their nursery. It was a type of tomato they had propagated themselves, it was trendy in their town in Idaho. They sold thousands of tomato plants every year. I told her I didn’t know if they existed anymore. Mom didn’t sell the seeds, and I didn’t know if the Witch has any at the house.  I spent a moment being annoyed over losing yet another thing of mom and dads then let the feeling go and forgot about it. Until today, today, I looked through an old Tupperware container filled with bags of seeds. All the wildflower mixes we once sold at our garden center. A quarter pound of only Dames Rocket seed! I’m a serious flower child. I sorted out packets of sunflower seeds (I was going to grow sunflower playhouses for my kids when they were young, never happened.) California poppies, Hollyhocks, and Sweet Williams and then, right there, just lying in the bottom of the mostly empty box I found this.img_3428

I remember the day mom handed them to me like it was yesterday. I was waiting impatiently at the kitchen counter as she scraped a few seeds off the parchment paper where she was drying them. As she dumped them into the tiny bag and carefully labeled it with a permanent marker, she admonished me. “I don’t give these to just anyone!” She smiled at me.

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“I know mom.” I bounced my tired eight-month-old on my hip. I was thinking about the long drive and even longer flight in front of me with my two kids.

“Start them in a south-facing window in March, maybe February. You could probably get away with that in Pittsburgh.”

I never got around to it in Pittsburgh.

To be honest, it’s the handwriting.

It gets me every time.

Other things on the list-

I bought myself some Chanel No 5 because my birth mom preferred it. Every time I spray it on, I smell the subtle (cheap?) notes that they must have used to make the perfume Charlie. I’m pretty sure Charlie was some kind of an attempted knock off of Chanel No 5. Charlie was mom’s favorite perfume growing up before she became unable to tolerate scents. It’s like wearing both their favorites.

Facebook memories, ugh. I don’t use FB a lot, but when I do, it remembers. Her messages were like bits of conversations.

You didn’t stay long enough! I wish you lived closer! I love you!

How did you manage to forget the box of jams I set out? Dad and I will bring them to Christmas.

This reminds me of you.

You have memories with Arlene.

Strawberry Milkshakes. The only food that makes chemotherapy tolerable.

Uncontrollable swearing, Shit for spiders, shit shit shit for fast spiders, Hell for snakes (the rubber ones she hid in her own strawberry patch to scare away birds), Dammit to Hell, ED! when he pretended he couldn’t hear her.

It’s the little things.

 

Coming soon on the blog!

The trip to Arkansas

Was it Murder?

Carly grows Tomatoes

 

 

Enviable Innocence

 

the real thing
Many years ago…

 

 

My youngest is twelve.

She loves BTS as only a twelve-year-old girl is capable.

She will defend and adore them to her last breath, happily annihilating all of your protestations.

You will LOVE them. There is no reason not to.

Resistance is futile.

Resisting her or them, both impossible.

Last week I saw this tweet, and it made me laugh, I shared it with our little Family Army, the girls and I.

Okay, I was thinking of all the women (and men) trampling each other to get a chance to teach Jin a naughty thing or two. I admit it!

Youngest child’s reaction-

(Laughter) But what could I possibly teach Jin? He already knows Korean.

Mom laughed a little harder, but her heart expanded mightily!

In this world, in this day and age, with everything out there trying to strip a child’s innocence and humanity, somehow this one still retains that childlike joy and pure love.

 

Coming soon on the Blog

It’s the Little Things that Get You

Arkansas Trip

Murder?

 

 

 

Feedback Month

We’re down to less than twenty days of school left, here in NoDak. For me, this signals my least favorite meeting of the year is coming. I hate the end of year meetings with the Principal where we talk about how the year went and he asks what I think needs to change for next fall. But thanks to my little friend, Pocket, this year might be less painful. Yesterday, Pocket sent me this article The Six Qualities of Good Feedback .

Turns out, if I tweak my words a little, I can still complain bitterly about what I hate only this year it might actually make a difference. Our principal is a good man, he wants a happy and hard-working staff and he seems to honestly welcome suggestions and some criticisms, from some people.

To me, it’s like high school all over again. The dreadful walk to the principals office. Every single thing you’ve done wrong this year, rattling through your head with every step. If I was hip and cool I’d insert a picture of Dumbledore here but no, this is what’s in my head when I think about the principal.

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And my spot in line here-

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So, back to feedback. In truth, there are some things that must be dealt with if I’m to continue working in some areas. It includes pointing out an employee or two and the differences that make it really hard for us to do our jobs together. Always with the underlying concern that I’m the different employee. I feel naked when I complain about others. I chant my mantra of change, be the squeaky wheel, be the squeaky wheel, be the squeaky wheel. I hate squeaky, self promoting, bitchy wheels. I love quiet, greasy, smooth running, hard working wheels, that’s what I like. And being the stick that breaks the spokes in the squeaky wheel, I love that.

 

Metal Head

In 1986 it meant this….

Well, I was going to put a picture here of me with braces. Apparently I never opened my mouth the entire year I had them. The closest I could find was my senior picture, get out your magnifying glass, ’cause there’s no way anyone was getting the full glare of my metal.

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That was then, today I became the other kind of Metal Head.

Today I heard this for the first time.

I clicked on it for fun, I like Conan, maybe I would laugh, what’s Disturbed?

Less than five minutes later, I was addicted.

Growing up, hard rock was a no no, heavy metal was a he** no. My parents said it was the music of the devil and made teenagers prone to crashing their cars and running into trees while skiing and listening to it on their Walkman. Don’t even get them started on the swear words. If we listened to Heavy Metal we would certainly hear words we shouldn’t. So I’ve never listened much to metal and never heard a song by Disturbed. Granted, this cover of The Sound of Silence, isn’t metal, it’s acoustic, but the voice of David Draiman, how have I never heard him sing before? My ITunes has just received a much needed shot of life with titles like Inside the Fire, You’re Mine, Indestructible, and Stricken.

It’s been years since the sound of a voice has stopped me dead in my tracks, gripped until the song ended. I’m gratified I still have it in me, that part that can be moved to stillness by a single voice. I love how he’s taken a song I’ve known as long as I can remember and vitally changed my emotional response to it.

Such a gift on an ordinary day.

 

Pervert

I admit it. My sense of humor is perverse at best. I love to laugh and nothing gets me smiling quicker than a wink and nudge. So today as I looked through my Twitter feed I noticed a particular tweet that made me laugh out loud, certainly without meaning too. I wanted to re-tweet it with my response but I don’t want to offend the Tweeter, I really don’t.

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I cannot be the only one who read this and laughed her head off, right? I mean, it is pure gold!

A Facebook friend of mine offered a description of himself when I teased him about one of his posts there, he said, I have a dirty mind but a good heart.

Me too.

 

Friday

 

It’s snowing. On my spring break, it’s snowing.IMG_0843
Maybe that’s why the kids and I are feeling lazy today.

Yesterday it was 59 degrees Fahrenheit. I took the girls swimming and watched them jump the hell out of the diving board, it was glad to see us leave; we went out to lunch and stopped at Hobby Lobby to look for a giant teddy bear. We didn’t find the teddy bear but all their spring stuff was 40% off and we found a giant metal sun to hang on the front door.

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these mermaids

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a couple of Beanie Boos

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and some spatulas that you can imagine.

We barely got out of there for under $100. We should not be allowed in that store unless we are escorted by a verified left-brainer.

By the time we got home, we were tired and a bit snippy with each other. However, the sun was shining and we were in our shirtsleeves, with all our doors and windows open.

It’s easy to be optimistic on beautiful days in NoDak.

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But not so much today.

The girls and I talked about going to the movie, I considered, briefly, scrubbing carpets, but we all settled on letting me write in mostly undisturbed bliss. So her we sit, all still in our warm fuzzy pajamas, wrapped in fleece blankets, all on different electronic devices; the silence disturbed every once in awhile by the boy, cursing the Bonneville Salt Flats as he races his virtual Lamborghini Murcielago across it’s salty crust. He’s talking on his earbuds to his best friend who is racing with him, linked up by the magic of wireless.

To some this may be snapshot of a world gone very wrong. But on a cold snowy day with the wind rattling the windows, we are enjoying being all together in the same room, happily doing what we each enjoy. Like a good, pain in the ass, mom, there are days when I require everyone’s participation in a game at the dinner table, or all electronics off by seven or some other onerous requirement.

Today is not that day.

Later on I will go out to the new Superman Vs Batman movie, yes, despite the critics. I like Zack Snyder. He made 300, I’ll always give him another chance to make me smile.

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I’ve discovered that most times the critics widely pan a movie, I know I’m going to LOVE it! So, if you get there before me, save me the seat closest to the middle and I like butter on my large popcorn….