Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Why I Can't Actually Move to Alaska

I have this lifelong dream of living somewhere really cold. Somewhere where a white Christmas is all but guaranteed and spring does not mean 90 degree days in April. (Although, with the help of global climate change, I think I'm gonna get that without actually moving.)

But the last two winters have taught me something. I like spring.

I never really thought about it. I love fall and winter and hate summer and it always seemed like spring would be nice if it lasted longer than a couple days. (A lot of people think KY has lovely springs and I guess it does if you don't have allergies and hate all weather above 80 degrees. I'm sorry, but if it's 90 and the humidity is 89%, it's summer. It just is.)

But last year's epic cold and this year's late cold and epic snow has taught me that I just want to see the freakin' ground. I want grass and blue skies and an end to the eternal gray. I want to walk outside without bundling up like the little brother in A Christmas Story. I can't put my arms down, ya'll.

Today, we have something that looks very much like spring. The snow is melting, the rain is falling in a pleasingly ground soaking fashion (and okay, yeah, with the runoff we've got flooding) and it's a balmy 45 out there. And yet, we're going to have snow by the end of the day. Around a foot if the forecasts are right.

And then I'll cry. Because seriously, I just cannot with more snow.

I'm going to be snowed in with the kids again. I'm going to bundle them up and kick them out to sled and then be making hot chocolate ten whole minutes later, because - Newsflash - snow is cold.

On the bright side, free day off work. And maybe I'll sew. And get some cleaning done. And stay in my pj's till noon. I mean, it won't be all bad. I hope.

All I know is that this year, I am going to enjoy my two days of actual spring to the fullest. I am going to party like it's March 21.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dear Me

In celebration of International Women's Day, the hashtag #DearMe has been making the rounds, followed by notes to the author's younger selves. I wanna play...

Dear me,

My impulse here is to say, "It gets better." The truth, though, is that it does get better and it also gets worse and then it gets better all over again. The truth is, that graduating high school, graduating college, getting married, getting a real job, having kids (all things that happen) are not magic bullets. There is not a moment when it really becomes all uphill from here or all downhill from here. It is always a roller coaster.

Some things get better: as adults, people tend to spend less time making a concerted effort to make you feel bad about yourself. Some things get worse: after all that, you can do a delightful job on your own. Some things just change: you will need glasses and your hands will get cold. Some things never change: you still love to write and sleep late.

One of the things that will never change is that people will always want you to be something else. They'll want you to be dumber or prettier or smarter or funnier or lazier or more athletic or more together than you are. If you don't play along, it will make them uncomfortable and they will probably just pretend you are anyway.

Don't play along.

Don't ever pretend to be anything other than what you are. And stop right now lying to yourself about who that is. You are a pretty fabulous kid. You are unstoppable. Stop telling yourself that you're not all that smart and that you're not as pretty as your friends. Stop telling yourself that no one will ever fall in love with you or that you'll never get that book written. Stop saying that you're just not that special, that you're just like everyone else, that you're more or less normal. You. Are. Not.

You are amazing and talented and you don't need any of them. You don't need anyone who doesn't treat you like a totally phenomenal human being, because that's what you are. You need to stop believing what they say and standing up for yourself.

Don't worry about not liking what everyone else likes or reading what everyone else reads. Don't worry about wearing the right things and fitting in. Don't worry so much about everyone else's feelings and worry just a little more about yours.

It's tempting to just fit. I know that. But I am here to tell you, there's a lot of pain coming your way and most of it is down to settling and believing that you aren't worth better. You are. You are worth so much better. Don't let the assholes win.


P.S. Really, love yourself. You're pretty lovable.

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.