Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Advice, Please

You what practically no one does on the Internet? Ask for advice! (Wait, they do, whatever, pretend.) So, here are some things I've been needing feedback on. Let me know what you think. Pretty please. I'll likely ignore you, but maybe not. Maybe you'll completely turn my life around and I will owe you for everything. Really, all the things. Maybe.

This is a Frankenstein picture depicting what I'd like my
house to look like. I know that I probably won't fill a window
box with mutant, giant Gerbera daisies. It's just inspiration.
Also, my house doesn't lean, but it turns out the best picture
I have of my house is the one I stole off Google Street View.
I've been thinking a lot lately about landscaping. (Also, my inner teenager is cringing that I even wrote that sentence with a straight face.) Here's the thing with me and "gardening:" I love planting. I love getting out in the spring and digging in the dirt and stepping back from my tiny flower beds with love and joy in my glistening eyes. Unfortunately, then I'm done. I don't weed, I don't water, I don't notice them half the time. By June, I have huge overgrown weed beds. I don't want to do that anymore. Here's what I need: plants that are kinda hard to kill, plants that will grown outside in KY, full sun plants, and preferably big stuff - like bushes that will make the house look more finished without requiring I learn a lot of new skills. Also, does anyone have a mountain laurel? I'm curious. I've read lots of great things about them and it seems like a no brainer (except for the poisonous part) but almost no one sells them. I'm wondering why.

I've been cooking. I made bananas foster, strawberry scones and a great big pot of failed chicken noodle soup. I mean seriously, I gave it to the cats, that's how bad it was. I tend to settle into about 10 or 15 go to things to make and I'm trying to branch out. Both because I like to cook when it's not boring and tedious, and because I'm hoping to get my kids to be more adventurous eaters. (I realize that nothing I've made so far is adventurous, baby steps, people.) But Brynna and I were talking the other day and we realized that my veggie repotoir is sad and pathetic. I love spinach and put in a lot of things. Green beans, corn, peas and broccoli are all pretty much staples. That's about it. I hate brussell sprouts and the kids hate asparagus. I like raw carrots but can't stand them cooked. What are your go to veggie dishes? What should I be making for my kiddos?

Okay, that's all I need right now. Let me know what you think about my completely mundane problems.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

All the Little Things

My Granddaddy died. This Granddaddy. The Granddaddy of legend. Everybody asks if it was unexpected and I think, "Of course, no one expects a super hero to die."

The first few days were rough and ragged. Everything seemed to sting and since then, it's settled into a dull ache. But it's the little things, you know?

Last night I went to the grocery. For just my house. For the past couple of years, I've shopped for him as well, pushing a mounded up cart and trying to keep straight my cat food and his cat food, my toilet paper and his toilet paper, my orange juice and his orange juice. It takes time to do it this way. Lots of time. A couple of hours usually. And last night, I flew through, wrapping up the trip in a little less than an hour. I will still shop for my Grandma, but this week it just didn't work out.

But I have puzzled over his terrible handwriting on a list for the last time. I have told him to go sit down and let me unpack the groceries for the last time. I have listened to the lecture on how the vegetables have to go into the little fridge and then totally forgotten and put them in the big fridge for the last time.

That's a gut punch. The grocery was so lonely and that seems so silly. It's not like he ever came with me.

The house, though. The house is nearly unbearable. It is hollow. My Grandmommie is there and I feel terrible for not spending more time over there with her, but it's the stupid, empty house. It's his chair. It's the calendar from the company he used to work for. It's the empty, rattly quality it seems to have.

He's always on my mind right now. I think about how much he would hate that show I'm watching. How much he would love that soup I'm eating. How much he would smile at Maren's antics.

I miss him.

I know how death works. I know that every day is a little better than the one before it and soon, I won't think about it all the time, soon this will be my normal. But right now, I cannot fathom a normal without Granddaddy.

I can't even manage to remember him in any coherent way. But you guys understand. And that's why I'm telling you.

I miss him.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stream of Listness

  1. I started this post at 11:11. Make a wish.
  2. Did you realize that Christmas is two weeks from today? I mean, is it just me or is time stuck in fast forward. How did we get here? It's what year? What are you wearing? 
  3. So, I've been wearing a lot of scarves lately. Does everyone who wears scarves take them off when they eat? I've been doing it because I don't want to wash my scarf and potentially ruin it, but then I feel stupid. It's like a reverse bib. Just wondering if normal people do this or if I just eat like a three year old.
  4. I am really looking forward to this weekend. Not because I have anything to do, but because I don't have anything to do. The house is (relatively) clean, my Christmas shopping is (mostly) finished and I have no engagements until Sunday afternoon. I'm debating if I'm going to go do something or if I'm going to stay home and bake and wrap presents and act like Suzy Homemaker.
  5. I really, really, really want a nap. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. I didn't get enough sleep last weekend, but I should have made up for it by now. The struggle is real, folks. I can't seem to stay all the way awake no matter what I'm doing. I guess that's what I'm doing this weekend.
  6. I know I am like 10 years late to the party, but jeans and ballet flats are my new favorite thing. Also, those weird socks that aren't supposed to show in your ballet flats. Love those. Although I'm still looking for the version that just stays on all day.
  7. Sometimes I shred for stress relief. I just think about all the time and energy that went into whatever it is that I'm feeding into the shredder and how now, just a few years later, it's getting eaten up by tiny blades and it takes some of the pressure off. I kinda think that's weird, like how when I was little I would comfort myself and put myself to sleep by imagining that I was dead and everyone was crying at my funeral.
  8. I've been thinking about how sometimes you just need to feel appreciated and so I decided to invent a random compliment generator, but I had no idea how to do it and so I googled hoping to find instructions on building some other random generator and it turns out there's already one. So, I quit trying to do that. If you're feeling insecure:
  9. I don't believe in ten item lists. Love you guys. You're all rockstars. Learn something cool today. Peace out.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I Think I'm Too Old To Rebel

So... You may have noticed I've been missing for... a while. And you may think that this is going to be one of those periodic, "Oh I'm so sorry and I'll do better posts," but it's not.

Here's the thing. November. Well, November sucked. Right and properly. I've been up, I've been down and I've been all around. Sometimes I don't know that I'm really having a rough time until I start to come out of it a little. And then I realize that I've been barely holding on for so long my fingers are bleeding.

Figuratively and literally (I'm a horrific nail biter.)

It's come to my attention that I am over stressed. I say this knowing that 90% of the population is over stressed. Stress is the elevator music of our lives: annoying, familiar and ever present. But lately I've been more. It hasn't been elevator music, it's been teenage boys living next door blasting their music at all hours until your foundations shake.

And I wonder why. I mean, I know why. I have a stressful job, I'm a single mom, I volunteer too much and then feel guilty that I'm not volunteering enough. I'm a natural caretaker and I worry about everyone around me.

But I really think that it's not what I stress about that's the problem, but how I deal with it. Which is to say that I don't. I tamp it down and tell myself I shouldn't worry so much and keep right on stressing. What I need to do is to step away from the stress, from all the things that worry me.

And now we're back to where we started. This blog. This blog has become stressful. I started out just writing because I wanted to write and then I decided that I wanted the blog to be good. I began to worry about what was entertaining, what was interesting and what was the right thing to say.

I began to worry about "how to write a blog." I tried to write even when I didn't have anything to say because the experts say that consistency is king. I didn't write when I did have something to say because the experts say to avoid certain topics. I didn't write when I had something to say because I didn't want to worry anyone or make anyone mad or hurt anyone.

And a little at a time, I shriveled up and died. Because that's not what this is for. My original name, Notes from a Scattered Mind, was exactly what I wanted to do - just random, all over the place, notes about everything. And my new title, Saving My Sanity for Posterity, is accurate too. I'm just trying desperately to get it all down, to get it all out.

To remember how Brynna begs me to read books she loves because she wants to share that with me and how Maren swears she hates books while begging me to read another chapter of Bunnicula. But it's more than that, too. I also want to get out there how I feel, who I am. I want to put it all out there, because one day I'll be gone, or I'll be someone else and I want to be able to remember me the way I am. Not only the way I want people to think I am.

So, this isn't an apology. It's a warning. I'm coming back. It won't be regular or methodical. It won't be perfect. I'll talk about everything. I'll cuss. My posts will be too long and too short and too angry. I'll have all caps and no caps. I'll have embarrassing admissions. It will be a mess. Because I'm a mess. But this is one mess I don't ever want to forget.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Once upon a time, a long time ago (well, six years), a baby was born. She was a sweet baby, a good baby, she was one of those mythical trouble free babies you hear women talk about and you wonder why they want to be murdered by stressed out, sleepless, borderline crazy mothers.

Her name was Maren. 
Then, in an astonishing twist of fate, I looked at her one day and she was a toddler. She was whip smart and capable of just about anything. She was always happy and always ready for an adventure. She also had a head full of the most amazing, perfect curls you ever did see. She was breathtaking.

She started school, and if she hadn't, we'd have all gone crazy because she was so incredibly busy and she learned faster than I could teach. Someone who spent a lot of time with her told me that they thought I was crazy for starting my kids in school so young, but Maren totally needed it.
She was good at school. She made friends easily and she sponged up all the knowledge that she could manage. She got so big and so amazing that sometimes I would just stare at her and wonder where in the world she came from. She is so much kinder than her dad or I have ever dreamed of being, so much more generous and affectionate. I am constantly proud of her, not just what she's accomplished, but who she is, naturally, without even trying.

You know how some kids develop personality and one day they are just a kid, like any other kid and the next they are an individual person? Maren wasn't like that. She was always all personality. She is as girly as they come - princesses and baby dolls, pink and glitter. She is as tomboy as they come - covered in grease and mud and never too scared give something new a try. She loves cars and trains and things that go. She loves cooking and crafting and making things just right. She loves glitter and bling and butterflies.

She is a whirling dervish. Never stopping, never even really slowing down. She hits the bed and 90 miles an hour and by three a.m., she's been up, to the bathroom, given the dog a pep talk and climbed in my bed. Then up at six (at the latest) and it all starts again, a roaring, frantic, excited mess of happiness and love and kisses and hugs and art and running and jumping and swimming and playing and soaking it all in.
I'll admit it, sometimes I forget. I forget that she's only six, because she talks like a ten year old, understands like a teenager and can carry on a conversation like an adult. She reads and writes and does math problems for fun. She knows a disturbing amount of things about an amazing amount of subjects.

But sometimes I forget she's already six, too. She's my baby. The last baby. And there she is, pudgy cheeks, crawling in my lap, holding my hand, calling me Mama. There she is all smiles and never a worry. There she is, my girl.

I went to her "birthday celebration" at Montessori today and I managed not to cry through the whole ceremony of walking the Earth around the sun. And then, her teacher reminded the children that this would be Maren's last birthday celebration at Montessori and the tears ran.

That baby, the one that I can't seem to admit is growing up and can't seem to realize isn't already grown, she's six.  I've had six beautiful years with her and I have no doubt that all the ones yet to come will be just as lovely. Because it's hard to not be happy when she's around. It's hard to not smile when she laughs. And it's hard to forget you're loved by someone who never stops telling you.