A Spoonful of Nothin’

I’m insane and I’ll be the first to admit it. To borrow an exclamation from Cam of Modern Family, “I can’t turn it off. It’s who I am!”

It will definitely be the inscription on my headstone. I’m cool with that.

To put a more accurate label on that, I’m a neurotic control freak. I’m not of the highest order, but I’m damn close. I’ve actually met a few freakier than moi. Hanging out with those nutjobs is really nice because they make me look easygoing and carefree.

Anyhoo, this installment of “What’s Your Crazy?” involves my kitchen. I am one with my cooking space. I know everything that is supposed to be in that space and exactly where to find it. Of course, items don’t always get returned to their proper spaces when others clean the kitchen.

My husband does like to screw with me in that he puts the drinking glasses and coffee mugs back willy nilly on purpose. It’s his little rebellion against law and order. What he doesn’t realize is that it’s really cruel. I could just let the cabinets be. I should just walk away. But. . . . . . .the obsession over the disarray and anarchy going on in my cabinets would eventually make me catatonic. And, what would that solve?

Being a master at regimen and structure is a blessing and a curse. I know he secretly likes having an orderly house, a good credit rating and his underwear folded just as requested (I do this because I love him – clearly, it does not go both ways).

Back to the kitchen – something very, very strange is going on in this room.

Our spoons are disappearing. Not just any spoons, our teaspoons. I’m seriously losing sleep over it. I think about the missing spoons as I go to sleep and as I wake.

The Flatware Tally - See anything strange???

You will notice the following:

Dinner Forks: All accounted for plus 1 (did I steal someone else’s?)

Salad Forks: Missing 2

Dinner Spoons (aka big spoons): Missing 2

TEASPOONS – missing 11

Knives: All accounted for.

[And, YES. I did take inventory today (just for this post) when my family was gone and couldn’t watch me! So what!??!?!?!]

I brought this heinous situation to my family’s attention this weekend and what response did I get?

The Hubs:

“What’s the big deal?” 

“What do you mean, ‘What’s the big deal?’ Where the freak are all of the spoons – the small ones? You don’t just misplace spoons. Your keys? Sure. Your favorite pen? Sure. Your shoes? Maybe. Your car? Temporarily in a parking lot maybe. Your children? No. Your spoons? NO.”

 “We never had that many spoons to the begin with.”

Now, he’s in denial (in the beginning, we had 12 big spoons and 12 little spoons). He just wants me to shut up about it and talk about something else (which, of course, I can’t because I’m obsessing at the moment).  LISTEN UP, PEOPLE! In the span of about 2 weeks, we’ve misplaced 16 spoons! Spoons that we’ve had for yeeaaarrs. Isn’t he the least bit curious? Doesn’t it make you wonder? Can’t he indulge me a bit? No wonder he doesn’t like mystery shows. He just doesn’t care. Cest la vie. Que sera sera. (If I ever go missing, I’m hoping that some of you will notice that I’m gone and come looking for me because I don’t think the hubs will. Cest. La. Vie.)

The Madster (my 15 yo):

“Mommy, (as I’m going to the computer to order more spoons) can’t you wait to see if they turn up? Why are you acting crazy? They’re just spoons.”

Huh? Turn up? Sixteen missing spoons are just going to turn up. Like. . . . . .in the car? In the office? In the freezer (we have found keys there before)? In the pantry? In your underwear drawer? In my closet? In your daddy’s gym bag (ewww, I’d have to buy new ones anyway)? In the couch cushions? Wait. I have found spoons there before (the hubs eats ice cream and somehow the spoon lands in the cushions without him noticing. Don’t ask me.)

Where? Where would they turn up? Seriously. I want to know. BTW, in answer to the question floating in your head, I have checked under all of the couch cushions.

Spoons don’t travel like keys or pens or phones or books, etc. Spoons leave the silverware drawer to be placed on the table when you are dining, get transported back to the kitchen to enter the dishwasher, and then leave the dishwasher to rest in peace in the silverware drawer until they are needed again at the table!!!!

Then, during my rant, Madster goes upstairs to her room just to placate me and get me to shut up. Then, she sheepishly comes downstairs with 3 of the 16 missing spoons (all big ones). [So, I’m not quite as loony as she pretends I am. HA!] She is a teenager after all. God knows what else is in there. I don’t look anymore.

So, the count is now 13 missing spoons instead of 16. Ok, that’s better. NOT!

Is there a black hole above our house? Are the spoons with the missing “other” sock that mysteriously disappears in the dryer? Maybe. IF I acually put my spoons in the dryer.

Since no one else cares but me, I guess I’ll have to shake this one off, let it go unsolved (I may need some Xanax to get me there).

I’m a little reluctant to order more – what will happen to them?

We Loved NYC!

New York City – we absolutely love you. We can’t wait to return.

For my daughter’s last high school fall break this past October 2011, my sister and I took Rachel to New York City. We had such a great time – that city is indescribably fantastic, exciting, brave, accepting, beautiful, bright, quirky, fascinating. . . .Anyway, you get the idea.

Click here to see the montage (with music!) of the pictures from our trip.

This is for you, Ray. Love you!

Cookies & Communists

At swimming yesterday, my swimming buddy asked me if I had seen the article below (in full) about the Girl Scouts. After reading it on  www.theindychannel.com, I can’t ignore it and can’t stop thinking about it.

Seriously? The Girl Scouts are working for Planned Parenthood, feminists, communists and the LGBT community?

Well, wait one doggone minute…

Hmmm….You know, it’s all coming together for me now. I have to admit that I was surprised when I got a free pack of birth control pills and a coupon for 50% off an abortion with our cookie delivery last week. I called my friend to inquire. She apologized for not leaving us with the flier which explained the following promotions:

**With every purchase of 5 boxes of Thin Mints, you get one month’s supply of birth control pills.

**With every purchase of 2 boxes of Samoas, you get a coupon for half off an abortion at the Planned Parenthood clinic of your choice. (I asked my friend why only 2 boxes of Samoas? She said that they have warehouses full of them because of the coconut (not a lot of fans out there). They needed a promotion to move them off the shelves. Since there are a lot of communistic feminists willing to overlook coconut and desiring abortions, the ad campaign is apparently considered a success.)

**With every purchase of 1 box of Trefoils, you get one free class on lesbianism entitled, “How to Liberate the Hidden Lesbian in You”.

I’m a little bummed that I didn’t buy a box of Trefoils. That free class sounds interesting.

Seriously, folks. Where did Fort Wayne get this guy? Was he really voted into office? People in Fort Wayne actually selected him over the other candidate? (Who was the other candidate?)

Wow.  I just realized that we are going to hell in handbasket and you know why? It’s not because we let a transgender girl become a Girl Scout, it’s because we elect closed-minded morons like this guy and let him have any say in our government.

Indiana, we had our Super Bowl Moment, but, sadly, it’s over. We will now be known as the hotbed for the lunatic fringe. No wonder the Artiste (see prior post) is bitter that his bitchy wife made him move here.

And, for the record, Mr. Morris’ “Conservative Hoosier Upbringing and Values” are not my values. It seems that all he values is bigotry, discrimination, hate and divisiveness. Yep, that’s the stuff that will move our country forward.

No. Thank. You. 

Lawmaker Condemns ‘Radicalized’ Girl Scouts / www.theindychannel.com

Rep. Bob Morris: Organization Supports Abortion, Homosexuality

POSTED: 3:17 pm EST February 20, 2012
UPDATED: 8:22 pm EST February 20, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana lawmaker won’t support a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts because he believes it is a “radicalized organization” that supports abortion and promotes homosexuality.

Rep. Bob Morris of Fort Wayne has sent a letter to fellow Indiana House Republicans explaining why he opposes the nonbinding resolution.

He said he found online allegations that the Girl Scouts are a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood, encourage sex and allow transgender females to join.

 

“Many parents are abandoning the Girl Scouts because they promote homosexual lifestyles,” Morris’ letter reads. “In fact, the Girl Scouts education seminar girls are directed to study the example of role models. Of the 50 role models listed, only three have a briefly-mentioned religious background — all the rest are feminists, lesbians, or Communists.”

He also wrote that the fact that first lady Michelle Obama is honorary president should give lawmakers pause before they endorse the Girl Scouts because the Obamas are “are radically pro-abortion and vigorously support the agenda of Planned Parenthood.”

I challenge each of you to examine these matters more closely before you extend your name and your reputation to endorse a group that has been subverted in the name of liberal progressive politics and the destruction of traditional American family values,” Morris wrote.

Last fall, the Girl Scouts of Colorado accepted seven-year-old transgender child Bobby Montoya as a member, prompting some troops across the country to disband in protest.

Ashley Sharp, spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana, said Monday in a statement on the group’s website that it leaves sex and reproduction questions to parents. The group accepts transgender youth on a case-by-case basis.

In his letter, Morris said his two daughters had been active in Girl Scouts, but said they would now join a group to “learn about values and principles that will not confuse their conservative Hoosier upbringing.”

Those Five Little Words

Do you know what can make me go from absolutely fine to insanely crazed faster than you can blink?

“You just need to relax.”

It doesn’t matter who says it either – my husband, my dad, my friends, my kids, etc. If you’re in the mood for a fight, then just go ahead…….

Who said it this time? Let me backtrack a bit.

My sweet husband bought me a coupon from Living Social for a 3-hour art class. You see, I had a painting that’s been half done for about a year and it’s been haunting me (and others, apparently). Since I’m not a trained artist (I’ve created a total of 2.5 paintings in my entire life), I got stuck and couldn’t move forward. Simple as that.

I finally decided to go to this instructor to see if I could be helped (wait, I know I can’t be helped, but maybe my painting can). How did it go? Just let me say that I’d rather have hot pokers stuck in my eyes than go back to that class.

Let me give you some samples:

“Um, are you happy with your sky?” {He was subliminally trying to get me to say, “No, I’m not.”}

Yes, I LOVE my sky.

“You know, I offer classes on just mixing paints and brush techniques.”

Really? Well you can kiss my ass. It’s not rocket science and I think my mixing is just fine.

“Don’t be so rough with the brush. You want long smooth strokes.”

Again, kiss my ass.

“You just need to relax. Painting should be fun.”

Aaaarrrghhhhhh! Did you just say, “Relax?”  You want me to RELAX? Then quit sitting across from me staring at me haphazardly mixing my paints and roughly smacking the canvas with my paint brush!!!!

{Shit, has it really only been 45 minutes?}

“I absolutely don’t let anyone paint flowers for their first painting.”

Huh? I didn’t realize this was a dictatorship.

“You need to add more black.”

Got it.

“You need to add more black.”

I heard you the first time.

Do you really like oils?

Yes, I like how you can smoosh (It’s a painting term. Look it up.) the colors together. {Clearly oils are wrong and acrylics are right.}

Meanwhile, in between his blurts stated above, he shows us another one of his paintings (ooh, aah), visits the three other painters-in-training and murmurs helpful hints. Then, one of these murmurs catches my attention.

Artiste: “Would you like a glass of wine? There’s only enough for one glass.”

Huh? What about the one that needs to relax?

Mrs. Flirty (sitting behind me): “Sure.”

Then, I hear, “How did you end up in the Midwest?”

It’s a legitimate question. I mean how could a bunch of unrefined, dumb hicks ever appreciate his sheer acrylic brilliance? They don’t even offer Art Appreciation class in Indiana anymore because we all flunked it. There is an ugly rumor circulating that all the cool stuff hits the coasts first and then eventually trickles inward to us poor Midwesterners. I personally don’t think that’s true. I just heard a new band on the radio – Hootie & the Blowfish. Ever heard of them? They. Are. Awesome!

It continued:

Mrs. Flirty:  “You should be in New York or an artist colony somewhere.”

Artiste:  “Blame it on the wife (wives can be such bitches!). She wanted to live in the Midwest so we moved here.

Wow. Wow. Wow. When is this class going to end?

When I finally got home, I was so wound up that Mike was confused (because I was supposed to be relaxing) and then eventually amused by my irritation.

The only true bright spot during the entire ordeal occurred at the end of class. The sweet 14-year-old student sitting next to me looked at my painting and said, “Wow, your painting is way cooler than the actual picture.” Take that, Artiste!

Too Old to Sumo Wrestle

“Babe, let’s do it. Let’s wrestle each other.”

Shake of the head (no).

“Come on, p-l-e-a-s-e?”

“No.”

A silent “fine” from moi.

The picture to the left is of my daughters getting ready to rumble (this family party occurred sometime over the summer). Isn’t that a great picture? Don’t they look like they are ready to have some F-U-N?

This seemed to be a pivotal moment for me. I thought, “What just happened? Are we really too old to have goofy fun?  Really?”

Is this going to be the rest of my life? No more goofy fun? Just boring middle-age whatever?

The incident made me sad. I don’t want to be too old or too stuffy or too proper to sumo wrestle. But, it was only one teeny tiny episode, right?

Wrong.

I recently attended a Chris Isaak concert (Chris Isaak Wicked Game YouTube video). HE. WAS. AWESOME. 

Once Chris started crooning, I wanted to do what most fun people do at concerts – stand up and dance all night! But, NOOOOOO.

There was no dancing – just like Footloose. I wanted to boogie, but due to peer pressure (we were on the floor in the middle of the middle), I had to settle for chair dancing (and not the sexy kind as in let’s say, Flashdance – Sexy Chair Dance). My version of chair dancing probably looked more like squirming as if  I were discreetly trying to fix a wedgie.

Poor Chris. He’ll probably never come back to my stuffy, proper city that doesn’t groove to the beat (dead inside, the entire lot of ’em). Why would he? How fun could it possibly be to play for a crowd that acted like limp, wet rags? About as fun as getting poked in the eye with a hot poker I would imagine.

So, is that the way it’s going to be? No sumo wrestling? No dancing? I’m not quite ready to play dead yet.

Who’s with me?

Liebster Love

I love the blogging community. I have “met” some really cool, interesting people and one of these very sweet people gave me an award!

It’s the Liebster award. Apparently, Liebster (is it German?) means “beloved” and it was given to me by the Knowledge Maven. She always writes supportive comments to my posts and has a really great blog of her own. She’s funny, serious, and thought-provoking. You’ll find yourself nodding your head in agreement when reading  her musings.

This award is presented to those blogs that have 200 or less followers to aid in gaining readership. Very nice! Despite my prior post, I would enjoy adding some new subscribers!

The rules are:

1. Show thanks to the blogger who gave you the Award by linking back to them.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment at their blog.

3. Post the Award on your blog.

4. Enjoy the love of some of the most supportive people on the Internet!

I don’t know about their subscriber counts, but here’s my list:

bridgetstraub | Author, Artist, Mom

scrollwork | quirkyisms from a tropical transplant to California

Writerly | by Beth Bates

Recovering Dawn

Totsymae.com | Living the Average Life of a Writer and Artist Trying to Get Her Hustle on. Period.

Enjoy!

Come, Follow Me

What’s been rolling around in my brain recently? An article I read in the New York Times. The title of the article is “Confessions of a Tweeter”. With a title like that, I couldn’t pass it up. If you tweet or blog, I recommend reading it.

I’m not a prolific tweeter as most of my followers know. I’m more of a voyeur because it’s hard to be interesting all of the time. When I first opened my Twitter account, I tried it and just couldn’t manage being quippy and funny even 5 times a day (unlike the 20-30 times a day like Mr. Carlat). I think too much and mull things over too long.

What kind of pressure would feel if you had 25,000 followers? I would feel a huge burden to be entertaining all of the time and could see how that could turn into an addiction.

As I was reading the article, I was thinking about my blog. When I first started it, I tried to blog every day or every other day. It was exhilarating when someone would visit my blog and better yet, leave a comment! “Wow, someone wants to know what I have to say!”

Validation and adulation from strangers! It’s like a drug. I was checking my site stats every day and thinking about my blog all of the time. “What should I write about today?” “Should it be funny or serious, tame or controversial?”

It had begun to consume me. It wasn’t earning me any income, making me any healthier or contributing to my family’s well-being in any way. I actually did have a life, a job, a family. . . the people in my life still needed me to do the things that made their worlds go around. This tug between my new obsession and my life was causing my blog to become a burden, another item on my To Do list.

That’s not what I wanted because I really enjoy blogging. So, now I blog when something strikes me. Sometimes two or three weeks can go by before I feel driven to write. It’s hard to admit, but I can’t be fabulous and compelling all of time!

I’ve struck a balance between my blog and the rest of my life so I’m not ready to give it up cold turkey like the author of the article. I know intermittent posting is not a WordPress recommended way of garnering subscribers, but I’m okay with that. I’m not sure I could I handle 25,000 subscribers!

Has social media hijacked your time? What did you think of the article?

Kenny

Who is Kenny? He’s someone I don’t know very well, but I will tell you that he makes me smile every time I see him.

You see, I am one of those rare grocery shoppers that makes a weekly meal plan, a corresponding grocery list and a weekly trek to the store (this usually occurs on a Saturday or Sunday). I want to get it done all in one trip and never go back (well, until the next weekend). I really hate grocery shopping – as much as I hate cleaning the bathrooms.

I described myself as a rare grocery shopper because I don’t usually see many others in the grocery store filling their carts to overflowing and then, watching their baggers navigate two carts across the parking lot. I feel like a rare breed. One time, a fellow shopper asked me if we were having a party and I said, “Nope. This is my normal weekly grocery trip.” She looked horrified (really, I’m not kidding). I wasn’t sure how to respond to that so I didn’t. We just waited in uncomfortable silence in the checkout line until my groceries were bagged and ready for transport.

So, you’re still saying, “Who’s Kenny? And, what does this have to do with food?” Kenny is my grocery bagger. Okay, he’s not really MY bagger, but the poor thing is usually the lucky duck that ends up bagging the seemingly endless stream of food that I buy.

I want to say that while bagging groceries isn’t rocket science, it’s still a science of sorts. Not everyone is good at it. You have to have good spatial skills. There are definitely great ones (fast, efficient use of bags, perfect food placement within the bags and smash-free bread & chips), good ones (somewhat fast and efficient, okay food placement within the bags and smash-free bread & chips) and bad ones (slow, wasteful with bags and smashes your bread & chips). When picking out my checkout lane, I’m not looking for the shortest lane, I’m looking for a good to great grocery bagger. Since I shop at this store every week, I know who’s who and what’s what.

Kenny makes the trip worthwhile. Besides being a fantastic bagger, he is always happy, always has a smile on his face and always has really nice things to say. For example, he often asks about my kids and when I tell him their ages, he always responds with, “Wow! You look too young to have kids in high school!” (Thank you, Kenny!)

Kenny is probably in his early 50s and I think has been working at my local O’Malia’s for about 25 years (give or take a few years). In making small talk out to the car, he will be the first to tell you that he was hit by a car when he was a toddler (2 or 3) and suffered a brain injury in that accident. He loves skiing with his aunt in Colorado because they have a great skiing program for the disabled. He also has a sister in Dallas whom he visits at least once a year (from what I have gathered). His sister has three or four kids and he LOVES them tremendously. He talks about them as if they were his own.

I really admire him – his outlook on life is wonderful despite the cards dealt to him and he seems to find the joy in the moment.

I strive to mimic his perspective and his ability to live in the now.

He always ends the visit with a “Thank you for shopping at O’Malias!”

I hope that Kenny’s coworkers see what I see and take away something positive after a Kenny-encounter. I know I do.

The Middle Life: Making it Real

Hey, everyone! How’s it hangin’? Where have I been? I guess I’ve been on a writing sabbatical and not sure why.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since the school year started. So much so that I’m having trouble putting two sentences together to express myself.

What is the predominant thought swirling in my brain? Middle Age. At 46 years old, I have to admit I’m smack dab in the midst of middle age. By the way, when does middle age evolve into old age? . . . . . . . . You know what? Never mind, I’ll worry about that later.

How did I envision this stage of my life? I don’t have an answer. I’d never really thought about it much until I arrived so I can’t say that it’s not what I thought it would be. I’ve been going through my life like a freight train racing through the farmlands of the Midwest. Everything a blur. Until now. The train has now come to a screeching halt awaiting directions.

It’s so weird not to have plan. I’m a planner. I’ve always had a plan – get through high school, go to college, get an awesome career, get married, buy a house, have wonderful kids, . . . . . . . . Then, the plan is blank. The items listed so far have been completed, but now what?

Obviously, the next stage is . . . . . empty nester. Yikes.

Why am I dwelling on this now?

Rachel got accepted into the first of five colleges that she is considering (yay!) – we found out a week ago.  Reading the formal written acceptance letter was like seeing a Technicolor rainbow while getting pelted with ice-cold rain. Then, the rainbow disappeared. I thought to myself, “It’s really happening – she will be leaving.” I cried the entire day and still can’t talk about it without sobbing. I really need to pull it together, but I’m struggling.

Of course, I’m always thinking waaaayyy too far in advance. Since Rachel got accepted into college, I’m seeing my future with no kids at home (I sure can make the leaps, can’t I?).  What the hell am I going to do with myself when that happens?

The hubs is always saying to me, “Don’t under estimate the value of you quitting your full-time job and being around more for our kids.” I’m sure he’s right, but it’s also easy for him to say. He has a career that he enjoys and will still have this career when the kids are gone. Most of my day revolves around managing the kids. (Holy crap! I’m going to have a lot of free time.)

This next part of my life journey is like an unformed lump of clay. I’m scared of that – I really don’t know what to do with clay.

I need a plan. Any ideas?