Category Archives: Life

Upcoming Birthday Shenanigans

I have an idea.

Scary, I know. But I’m really excited about this. 

My mama’s birthday is coming up in November and she truly needs some fun in her life right now. And today on my lunch, it hit me: an intervention.

Don’t get me wrong. She doesn’t have a substance abuse problem. It won’t be that kind of intervention.

It’s for shooting opossums.

Let me explain: she owns a farm that’s about 70 acres and keeps getting stray cats dumped on her. She feels terrible for them, so she leaves food out so they don’t go hungry. Of course, since there’s food around, it attracts scavengers like raccoons and opossums and they attack the cats. So my mama shoots them. 

Let me tell you, I have seen my mother run across a house with a gun and no pants waaay too many times. #farmerproblems?

I’m just in the beginning stages of this little plan, but so far I plan to have friends and family writing letters explaining how her “problem” has affected all of our lives (mine is going to be about having to help with body disposal) and consequences if she doesn’t stop (I’m going to make her bag up her own dead critters), a cake in the shape of an opossum that’s been shot – not in the head though (gross!), and varment-themed snack foods.

I’m ridiculously excited to put this together!

Those Wedding Bells Finally Rang


Except they didn’t because we didn’t get married at a church because they tend to frown on people like me.

What can I say about that day? It was exciting, it was nerve-wracking and stressful trying to get everything done. We made it, we got married, and then I almost starved because they made me get pictures done while everyone else was eating. I had a great picture of me taken while trying to cram a whole cupcake in my mouth for that first-dance thing. I haven’t seen it yet,but I bet it’s a thing of beauty.

For the wedding, we rented a shelter at the park where we had our first (this is so not a date) date. Here’s my brother helping with setting up our decorations:

And my fabulous sister-in-law:

​My un-biological sister:

​And my lovely aunt, who hurt her foot and leg a few days before the wedding, but came anyways to help decorate:

All of whom I owe massive thanks to for helping me pull off my wedding. They showed up early, they showed up injured, and what they pulled off was better than I imagined. They hung lights, they hung paper lanterns, they hung balloons, they stapled down tablecloths and wrapped ribbons and made centerpieces. It was amazing! You can see some of it here:

​The wedding itself was short and sweet, but very Christian – Darrick did have his requests after all. I figured I owed him since he puts up with my shenigans. Like slapping him with raw bacon.

I haven’t gotten all my pictures back yet, but here’s some teasers:​

I’m trying very hard not to laugh in that one because Sophie had just farted.​

​That sign says “lost my balls.” I’m so proud.​


It was an amazing night, and everything I could have asked for except one thing – my dad. I held it together all day. I was too busy and nervous for anything else. It wasn’t until the ride home alone with Darrick that I let myself feel that missing piece and started crying.

He held my hand and said nothing. 

I Want a Love Like Carrie and the Girls

Who else likes to sit around in their jammies late at night and settle in for a Netflix or Amazon Prime marathon while they drift into (ahem…postpone) sleep? I’m sure I’m not the only one. Lately I’ve gotten into Sex and the City, which my fiance is still making fun of me for. “It’s just all about sex,” he says, “there isn’t anything else to it.”

But he’s completely wrong when it comes to this show. Yes, it features sex sometimes, but that isn’t the focal point. The focal point is Carrie learning about herself through her relationships. She’s continually questioning everything and in a very public forum – a weekly column in a New York newspaper – and judging by the popularity of that column and her ensuing book deal, her curiosity and explorations resonate with her readers.

Personally, it isn’t just the show I love but also my memories of watching the show in bit and pieces as it was being aired years ago. I was in high school and in the beginning stages of my own explorations. It was exciting to me. Inspiring. It was the first time I considered the possibility of being a writer and I took steps toward my interest in journalism to try it on for size. I took a year of journalism in high school writing for the school paper and even went away for a week one summer to a journalism camp at Ball State University (shout out to my Indiana homefolk!). It wasn’t the right fit for me. It turns out, I only like writing about things when I’m actually interested in them.

It was also the first time I realized that adults don’t always have their shit together either. They each go through their own set of problems that is reminiscent of the real world asskicking that happens when your expectations don’t live up to what actually pans out in your life – and it all works out ok in the end anyway. You make it work, one way or another.

And the main thread through the whole storyline is the girls’ friendship with each other. They may fuss and they may fall out over some pretty big issues at times, but they are always there for each other and always make time to be together. Wouldn’t it be nice if real life was like that?

Instead, it’s more like the end of How I Met Your Mother – all the closeness fades away as some have kids, some pursue their dreams at the detriment of everything else, and some just plain don’t change but your opinion of them does. That’s just life. It boils down to “being there for the big moments” and the next thing you know…you’re missing those too. In the end, everyone is just trying to survive their own lives while hanging onto the bits of the people they’ve been throughout the years.

I think that’s one of the many reasons audiences are drawn into tv shows the way they are. You get pulled into the lives of a core group of people. You evolve with them through their struggles, you grieve the loss of some and celebrate the joys of others. It reminds you of times in your life when you were those people on the screen. The adventures. The laughter. The heartaches. The friendships. The family you make for yourself.

So yeah, I’m gonna keep watching the same old tv shows in my pajamas and wax nostalgic about the way things used to be.

There are some damned good people back in those times.

 

 

Morning Shenanigans

I got up at five this morning to shower and try to do something with my face to make it more presentable, and had a little bit of time before waking up the girls.

I got bored.

I had already slathered my hair with the  plethora of products to try to tame it down and still had the hair gel by me. I look at it.

I look back at Darrick, looking comfy as all get out with his arms propped up behind his head and snoring like it pays him money.

He has no hair on his head….but he has armpits.

This morning, he woke up to teeny, tiny dreadlocks in places I’m pretty sure he never expected.

L is for Look, An Idiot

I love to make people laugh. It’s just how I’m wired; it must be the Sagitarius nature.Today, the new materials planner at work came over to my square of the plant floor.

I think he was sorry.

I happened to be speaking to the receiving coordinator at the time, and he joined in our conversation. At one point he said, “I’m quick!” and we both heard, “I quit.”

The receiving coordinator freaks out and the poor guy immediately backtracks to correct our impression. Then he gets to joking around and says, “What would I do with my three kids?”

I chip in with “Well, you eat them.”

He looks at me aghast. I have to continue.

“That way, you can survive longer since you have no money for food, and you don’t have to worry about feeding them or what they’re doing.”

Probably not the right thing to say, but boy was his face hilarious.

F is for Forgetting

My father passed away ten years ago yesterday. I’m not much of a talker. I’m a writer by nature. I’m a bit random for a blogger. But I can write.

It’s how I’ve kept my sanity.

…………………….        ………………………

F is for Forgetting.

Forgetting the shake in the voice on the phone as I was told my dad was sick and going to the hospital, forgetting the frantic phone calls to my mother and brother trying to figure out what was happening, why in the world my dad would go to the hospital over being sick when he would barely go to the doctor for a broken bone.

Forgetting my sister-in-law’s panic as she realized I had no idea and had to break the news that he had been taken by ambulance and that he wasn’t breathing and had no heartbeat.

Forgetting the annoyance on the desk clerk’s face when I rushed in asking where he was and she said she had never heard of that patient and I needed to calm down.

I didn’t realize I’d beat the ambulance there since I was closer. I waited outside.

Forgetting them pulling my dad out of the ambulance, breathing bag over his face so I couldn’t really see it, but oh god, his arm. His arm was just hanging off the gurney and he would never do that.

Forgetting running back inside and flipping off the desk clerk who insisted that I WAIT and running to the back, yanking open curtains until I found them. Shirt cut open, cuts in his skin as they did I don’t even know what, he didn’t look right, they were shocking him and prodding him.

Mom. Where’s Mom?

Running back to the waiting room and taking her back to him, but they stopped us and had us go into a room to wait.

It was too quiet. There were too many tears and too much silence and nobody with any answers. Other people were coming and we had more to call to get Dad’s shift taking care of grandma covered.

Forgetting the doctor coming in and telling us what we already knew but didn’t want to admit and the cheerful nurse coming in right behind him to ask if we’d ever given organ donation a thought and how my dad would’ve felt about it.

Forget the itch under my skin to leave, forget the hugs and the crying and the keening noise I didn’t realize I was making as I cried.

Forget going outside. Forget how beautiful the day was, sun shining and birds singing. Forget how traitorous that was.

Forget waiting as his brothers and sisters came, breaking the news to them. Forget the disbelief, the grief.

Forget going back inside.

Forget the hospital letting us see his body, forget the tilt of his head and the way his mouth was just slightly open. Like it was when he snored. The way mom ran her hand down the side of his face, kissed his forehead.

Forget the ride to her house. It didn’t matter where we were. My mouth would still taste like pennies and my hands, I didn’t know what to with them.

Forget all of it.

I survived, even if pieces of me didn’t.

E is for the Elephant in the Room

This is a little embarassing to admit to, but I have bad credit. Most of it stems from when I was right out if high school and just into college (hello, student loans), but I’ve continued to let it go on for a long time now. It seems like every time I start living beyond paycheck to paycheck, life kicks me in the teeth to remind me just who’s boss around here. For example, things were great with my littlest one’s dad when my student loans came due. I wasn’t worried at all…but then that blew up and I wound up completely heartbroken, living with my mother with a six-year-old and a six-month-old, and working about twenty hours a week as a waitress. It was one of the worst times of my life, and my credit was the very last thing on my mind.

I met Darrick, and it took months for me to even admit to myself how much I liked him. We moved in together over a year later and it took a while to find our groove (joint checking is hard, people!). We both got great jobs and started looking at our future and what we need to do to be able to get into our own house.

And then he started getting sick. His diabetes spun out of control, he started being in a lot of pain, and he was so ill that he lost over 150 pounds in less than a year. He missed a lot of work through that, and then his doctor out him off work while we try to figure out what’s going on with him.

Now we’re in a position where we know a lot of what he’s not sick with, but still don’t have a solid answer on a diagnosis and he’s out of time off. He’s about to return to work, and while I worry my head off about him and how he’s feeling, there’s no denying that we’ll be able to breathe much better financially. And now we can start looking forward to our future a littke more.

And that means getting our credit lined out. It’s scary and it’s going to take a lot of work, but I’ll be glad to get the ball rolling and watch my credit score climb. And hopefully in a year or maybe two, we’ll be able to purchase our own home.

I just wish I had some idea of what I’m doing when I’m trying to fix all this mess! Lol. Everyone has different advice and sorting through it all is tricky, dang it.

C is for Challenge

If you’re wondering what’s with the letters lately, it’s all about this:

image

26 blog posts this month, keeping track by using the letters of the alphabet. I haven’t utilized my blog properly for a long time and it seemed like just the kick in the pants I needed. I have a lot of challenging things in my life I can’t do much about right now. This one I can.

I’ve thrown down a few more gauntlets for myself this month as well. As mentioned in previous posts, I am not the greatest of housekeepers. My house isn’t gross or anything. Just really messy is some rooms. Ok…maybe all if them. I seem to have a magic ability to obtain and keep things that we simply don’t use. I also tend to let the housework pile up and then get mad that no one is doing anything about it.

Apparently that’s what makes sense in my brain.

So I’ve decided to also challenge myself to do more around the place. At least one thing every day to make a difference.

Of course, I also have children. That one thing a day is probably pointless, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

B is for Beauty Disasters

I am not a girly girl. Hell, I never even realized clothes should match until maybe fifth or sixth grade. I had no idea about hair products until junior-highish. It’s pretty safe to say I don’t really know what I’m doing.

I’m also one of those people who will spend two hours looking up hairstyles on Pinterest before having a “Eureka! I can do that!” moment.

I should really know better by now. Remember my Minecraft birthday cake? It’s just a few entries down if not. It was so bad I actually looked for a toy dinosaur to blame the wreckage on.

So I really shouldn’t have been surprised by my morning experience two days ago…but I was.

I had a plan to use a round brush while blowdrying my hair so I would have these big, bouncy curls instead of confused, almost corkscrewy Medusa-like creations that I just try not to anger in the mornings. It was gonna be great. I washed my hair, I had all my stuff together, and I even had a brand new brush all ready. I was so excited.

I took off the towel and picked up the brush, started at the end of my wet hair,curled upward to my scalp, and started blowdrying. I was almost trembling with excitement (yeah…it doesn’t take much to thrill me. I know).

And then I tried to roll the brush back down.

It was stuck.

I don’t mean a little bit. I mean it was stuck so bad there was no give. In the next five minutes, I go from “what the hell?” to “omg, how did my hair somehow wrap around this thing in both directions?” The next fifteen minutes are spent yanking and wiggling and trying to pry my traitorous hair out of the bear trap disguised as a hairbrush. It was so bad I almost woke Darrick up and tell him to get some butter or something. Anything. I was desperate.

It was starting to look like my choices were either a new pixie cut or go to work with it still in my hair and act like I meant to pretend I was a demented unicorn, but I finally got it out. I did.

I lost a big handful of hair, had a horrible headache from yanking my own hair, and had some swollen places on my scalp…but I got it.

Lesson learned. Don’t try to normal people when I am NOT one of them.

A is for the Antihero

I admit it – when Jessica Jones hit Netflix a few months back, I binged. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Fans and critics alike were writing like crazy about it. I even saw articles from a psychological perspective on the characters and their unique quirks, for crying out loud. And don’t get me wrong – I liked it. I wanted to see what would happen next, but I wasn’t hooked on it and felt no connection whatsoever to the characters. 

Jessica isn’t a good person. She’s a drunk, she’s viscious to other people most of the time, and she’s out for vengeance most of the season more than she’s out to rid the world of a bad guy. It’s like, ok, she did a good thing, but it doesn’t make her a hero like people come to believe she is at the end of the show. She’s definitely the antihero.

And I think that’s why people were so adamant Jessica Jones is a good show. Very, very few people in this world are genuinely out to help others all the time. Most of us are just struggling to make it through the day. There’s work, bills, and problems. Jessica deals with all of it too, in some not-so-healthy ways. She’s got her reasons, but then…so do we. We get in shitty moods. We lash out, we push people away, we hole up and try to forget about the rest of the world in various ways. We doubt our worth, and we question anyone who seems to care about us.

People like to think they’d always do the right thing, but you never really know until you’re facing the fire. And even then, your choice may not come easily. And sometimes you don’t do the right thing for the right reasons, like Jessica.

I keep thinking about the last moments of the last episode in season one, where she’s listening to all these sad messages from desperate people with a faraway look on her face like she’s trying to decide if she even wants to help them.

But she will. Sometimes when people put their faith in you, you can’t help but step up to the plate.