Thursday, April 30, 2009

Love Thursday: Home is Where the Heart Is

painting by Michelle H. Filer

"Where we love is home, home that our feet may
leave, but not our hearts." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Rakes and Rocket-Dogs


My son is really starting to speak clearly. Today, while waiting for his french toast, he looked me squarely in the eye and said forcefully, "Eat. Me!" Awesome.

I feel guilty as hell. I dropped the kitten off at the butcher's vet's to be spayed and have her front paws declawed. I don't even agree with the practice of declawing cats, but she can climb over our privacy fence and we live on a busy road, so in the interest of her safety...There's something wrong about spending hundreds of dollars to drop off a perfectly healthy animal and bring home a convalescent. The guilt is killing me!

Has anyone else noticed that Sonia Manzano (Maria on Sesame Street) doesn't age?! WTF?! Plastic surgery? The blood of virgins? I'm just sayin'...

I'm feeling like a frickin' genius today, because not only did I check the weather yesterday to determine whether or not a frost was likely, but I remembered to pull the plants inside before going to bed last night. This morning, sure enough, there was frost on our windshields. Crisis averted! Go, me.

Speaking of plants (and when aren't I?) the Linder's parking-lot nursery has opened for the season across the street. They are carrying three (3!!!) of the plants that I requested (needed) last year, but at the time could only find online for a kajillion dollars. In bulk. I bought one of each the other day, and I am trying really hard not to go back to pick up 6 more. They call to me, and I am tortured by thoughts of them being sold to someone else. I=fat kid, Ajuga reptans v. "Chocolate chip"=cake.

I can't stay inside any longer. It's too fun watching Walker whack things with his little plastic rake while Katie rocket-dogs through the yard and Dom basks in the kids' play-tunnel. I'll come back tonight and read all of your great RTT posts. Promise.

For more Random Tuesday thoughts (and to visit that cool chick Keely), click on the lovely purple button at the beginning of this post. You're welcome. :p

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday's Muse: Pay It Forward

I came across a cool (and creative) swap over at Krissy's blog Thinking of Blue and decided to play along:
Pay It Forward
Making handcrafted items is a dying art, but they are so fun to make and get! So, here's a little game to encourage the handcrafting to live and thrive. The first 5 people to leave a comment on this post will receive, at some point during the year, a super-duper handmade gift from me! What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise. The catch is that you must participate as well :) So before you leave your comment here, write up (or copy and paste) a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going. Then, come back, let me know you are going to play, and anticipate the arrival of your super-duper handmade gift! Remember that only the FIRST FIVE comments will receive a gift from me, so be quick!
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1. I make no guarantee that you will like what I make. But, I will try my best to make sure that you do. :p
2. It will be done this year (hopefully sooner than later!)
3. You will have no clue what or when it will be. Please make sure to leave your e-mail address too so that I can get ahold of you.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


When I say, "Van"
I do not mean "car"
and when I say, "Please bring this upstairs."
I do not mean, "Please drop this on the floor in the hallway."

When I say, "Please be quiet for a minute"
I do not mean, "Please continue to yammer incessantly"
and when I say, "Our appointment is on Wednesday"
I do not want to hear, "You never told me that!"

When you said, "Adult ADHD"
I did not hear, "Curse passed on to our children
that will cause you to seriously consider the merits of alcoholism."
I should have listened better.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spin Cycle: My Best West On Manners

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Add Wife and Stir


My husband keeps buying huge plastic jars of animal crackers from Costco, which is making me resent the hell out of that store, because I only like the kind that come in little train-car boxes and are more cookie than cracker.

My husband just called to apologize for being a jerk this morning (we are NOT morning people) and I forgave him. I also threatened to beat him to death with the alarm clock if he pulls the same shit tomorrow.

I just found out that my husband gets Caribou coffee at work once a week. I never want to hear him complain about his job again!

My husband finally completed his art order, which rocks, because now I don't have to hear the word "deadline" for awhile, and I may actually get to spend some time with the man.

I wish that my husband would come home. I want to take a nap.

This week my RTT post is decidedly unfunny. If my husband wrote this, it would be fricking hilarious (because he really is THAT FUNNY. Srsly.) Unfortunately, Jesse is at work sucking on a cup of Caribou, so you'll have to head on over to Keely's for laugh-inducing examples of RTT!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Letter to the Degenerate Fuckwit that Stole My Lilacs

Dear Thieving Loser Stupid Head,

Did you watch my husband putting those pretty baby lilac plants in for me this past weekend? Did you have some rejected objection to us beautifying the roadside by planting 4 feet from where (I can only assume) you walked past? Did you know that it would've been smarter to kype the more established bushes, as they cost $25.00 a pop and can't be purchased in the Twin Cities as opposed to the ones you stole (which can be purchased at any Walmart for $5.50 each?) Fuck, get your own damn lilacs!

Far be it from me to deny that all gardeners are prone to a, moral flexibility when it comes to swiping a few bulbils or a scape off of a lily, or even plucking a sprig of jade or a wee chick from a houseleek, but one doesn't dig up and cart off the whole damn plant mere hours after it's been planted in a stranger's yard. Finding the gaping black holes glistening like wounds in the landscape when we took the garbage out last night had my husband and I returning to the house in silence, mind-whacked, thinking "Who does that?!"

I'll leave you with this:

May your thumb turn black (and by that I do not mean, "May your plants die." I mean, "May your thumb develop a virulent necrosis that blackens and shrivels your thumb into a noxious black stump, and may the rotting flesh spread over your entire hand, up your arm and over your shoulder, flowing ever upward until it melts your features and you die screaming, 'What a world, what a world! Who would've thought that a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?!'" Savvy?

When you reach the pearly gates, may you be met by St. Fiacre (the patron saint of gardening, you fucking heathen) and may that misogynist saint curl his lip and pull a lever like Izma in The Emperor's New Groove that sends you straight to hell where a thousand demons wait to carve out your soul with dull spoons, you bastard.

I am going to replant my lilacs...oh yes, I am... and I've a mind to sit outside in the dark on the off chance that you're dumb enough to try to steal from me again. Because I would love to beat you to death with my mag lite. Because I hate you...and my little dog hates you, too.

~ Shangrila

I don't know what's wrong with me, but...

I haven't been posting, or even online for that matter. Instead I've been beating my yard and gardens into shape, reading Nora Robert's Tribute (and then watching the movie on Lifetime), fighting with my husband, buying my mother's birthday cake, celebrating my mother's birthday, compromising with and going out to dinner with my husband, washing my kitchen floor, daydreaming about renovating my house with a budget of a katrillion dollars, worrying about my bella (moody, preteen) get the drift. All this and I've still found time to miss my bloggy friends. Ducks! Get in a row!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter, Everybody!

Hare Spray
One day after work a man was driving home when he ran over a poor little rabbit. The man immediately jumped out from his car to see if the rabbit was alright. He knew it was dead just by looking at the flattened creature. He felt guilty, and just stared at the poor rabbit.

About three minutes later a lady saw his car stopped in the road, and went over to see what was a matter. The man said " I hit this poor rabbit and I just feel terrible!" The lady went to her car and came back with an object in her hand. She told the man not to worry, took out an aerosol can and began spraying something on the dead rabbit. The man asked "What are you doing?" The woman replied " You'll see!" The man was thought to himself "Man, this woman's crazy. that rabbit is dead as a doornail! What on earth is she doing?

Suddenly the rabbit rose, looked around, got up and begun to hop away! The man was amazed. The rabbit then stopped, turned around, and waved. It hopped another four feet, turned around, and waved again. This ritual lasted until the rabbit was out of sight. The man, desperate for an explanation, looked at the woman's bottle and read " Hair Spray. Brings damaged hair back to life. WARNING MAY CAUSE PERMANENT WAVE."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spin Cycle: Repost

My sister has a bumper sticker on her Facebook page that says, "One of the toughest things in life is deciding when to give up and when to try harder." A shameless perfectionist, I can totally relate. Somewhere in my early years I developed an unwavering policy, an absolute refusal to participate in any activity that I did not clearly rock at. You can't make me roller blade, just try! I tried it, I sucked at it, I moved on. (I can do a great jazz square, though. Like Ryan in HSM would say, "Everyone loves a good jazz square!") "But Angela," you say,"what about practising, improving, being proud of your progress, however meager?!" Uh, no, sorry, couldn't possibly.

The razor edge of this vain and impatient side of me drives me to madness. I have spent the majority of my life telling myself that if I just work longer, try harder, everything will be...perfect. My sisters and I share a strange personality trait. We have a tendency to plan everything out in our heads so intricately, in such minute detail down to what will be said and who will say it, that every accomplishment, every event, party and important moment can only pale by comparison, falling flat in the shadow of our lovely fantasy world.

Painful and frustrating, these "lacking" moments incite me to push ever harder until I break, only to begin the cycle again almost immediately.Even now that I recognise this behavior as the self-torture that it really is, I spend far too many moments struggling against an invisible brick wall, because while I know that this will not bring me peace or happiness, I do not know how to re-wire my brain. My husband tells me to, "Stop. Let it go. It's okay." A dear friend of mine has a saying that was a revelation to me the first time that I heard it: "You're just gonna have to love me where I'm at!" she said, stepping over kid's toys and a plate with buttered toast on her living room floor. It felt like I'd been struck by lightening upon hearing it. My brain quickly translated: "The people who are most important to you love you regardless of all this external crap, and the people who don't can go f!@* themselves!" Wow. In trying to be all Mary Poppins-like (Practically Perfect in Every Way) I'd overlooked that at the end of the story she is alone (unless you count the sarcastic talking parrot's head on her umbrella, which I don't.) No Bert. No Banks' children. Right.

I used to hear, "Let go and let God" and sneer. I've always been more of a, "God helps those who helps themselves," kinda girl, but now I realize that the moments when I stop trying so hard, when I sit back and let it go, let it flow, when I stop selfishly focusing on my own expectations and desires and look to the people around me (you know, the people that I'm trying to be perfect for, because I love them so damn much) is when the magic happens.

Michael J. Fox says, "I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business." I'm trying, Mike, I'm trying. (Seriously, how great is this guy?! First he provided the women of my generation with Alex Keaton and Marty McFly to moon over, and then he matured with us into this amazing example of strength, intelligence and wisdom.)

I'll end by saying that I know these things are true:

1) The more/better you do, the more those around you will expect of you, leading ultimately to the high likelihood of disappointment all around.

2) There is no such thing as "getting everything done," and I should be grateful (I'm trying to be grateful) because each new day and new goal brings purpose to my life.

3) Those who've come before me have already developed concepts to see me through. Embracing concepts such as hozho, a Navajo-honored quality that incorporates intentional imperfections in textiles and more as a reminder that only the Divine is perfect, can bring a measure of peace and grace to my reaching heart.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

To Dye For

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Srsly.


I can't sleep. I've gotten so much done this last week, but it's mostly because you can get so much more accomplished when you've eliminated that pesky time-thief, sleep. I lay in bed, and it takes forever to fall asleep. I wake up before the alarm (unheard of!) I've had bouts of insomnia before, but this is weird because it's like a really mild version of it. It's also the only reason that this post is going up before 5pm. I'm the only one up and it's so quiet.

I did something last night that I'm feeling really conflicted about: My daughter (10) and my nephew (6) have Nintendo DS Lite units. Actually, my nephew had one, brought it to Kinder care and had it stolen immediately, and just received a replacement (a new, improved DSi) two days ago. My daughter received hers from us as a birthday present 2 years ago only because her godfather offered to pay for part of it and give it as a joint gift. My middle kid has spent two years looking over his sister's (and best friend/cousin's) shoulder(s), grateful when he's given a turn. Last night I couldn't stand it anymore! We had planned on getting him one for his next birthday (he's only 5, for God's sake!) but his birthday is in DECEMBER. He looked so wistful, and my heart just broke. I cleared it with my husband and went straight out and bought him his own goddamned DS (not the DSi-no kid needs 2 cameras!). The long-term mother in me says that this was not the right thing to do (doesn't teach resourcefulness, patience, may lead to a sense of unwarranted entitlement, et cetera.) Also, it was a dumb and unnecessary financial move. But my baby was killing me with his big brown eyes and silent wishing. (The look on his face when he got it was awesome, though! I reminded him that he is my Best West and let him reach into the bag for it-here's a picture of the 3 W's vegging out on the couch when we should've been making them play outside:)

Winter, Warren and Willem (West)

I took Katie to the groomer the other day because the cost of a shampoo/nail clipping far out weighed the hassle of wrestling with her myself like usual. It didn't occur to me that I've never left her anywhere before. She panicked when the attendant removed her sweater, collar and leash and handed them to me. I had said goodbye, but didn't realise how it might seem to her until I was walking away, the sound of her crying echoing through check-in. She has been so devoted since I picked her up. It's so sweet that I may drop her off every once in a while just to keep her in line-lol!

My sister is finally dating someone awesome. It doesn't hurt that he's a dear family friend, and that they are disgustingly young-in-love. Last night as the four of us lay on my living room rug (actually the guys were playing Ben 10 on the Wii-take my son and nephew and fast forward 25 years-lol!) I thought about how well this guy fits into our family and looked at her smiling face and felt so happy for her.

I love the bloggy shorthand for the word "seriously." Srsly.

Why do manufacturers make the insides of most purses black? It makes searching for your crap impossible. My purse is a black hole. Speaking of anti-matter, I learned more about science from this video than I did through all my years in school:

I was watching Nova: Last Extinction with everyone last night (after the Wii receiver ran out of charge) and learned that scientists have found nanodiamonds in the Younger Dryas boundary sediment layer. It just occurred to me that this may sound like I'm into science. Sadly, not so. I'm into goofy rap and micro-glitter. (I mean Martha Stewart glass glitter? When microscopic diamonds are available?! Puh-lease!)

Jesse and Luke put the kitten in the hedgehog's exercise ball last night. They're going to hell.

The quality of this post is fading fast, so click that pretty purple button to visit Keely at The Unmom to read more randomness!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Quotable Sunday: Living

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. ~ Emily Dickinson

People living deeply have no fear of death. ~Anais Nin

I think somehow we learn who we really are and then live with that decision. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. ~Mark Twain

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. ~Oscar Wilde

For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life. ~William Blake

You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now. ~Joan Baez

I intend to live forever. So far, so good. ~ Stephen Wright

3 Things Meme (Tagged by Lizard!)


THREE JOBS THAT I'VE HAD: Restaurant Manager, SAHM, Customer Service Rep.

THREE PLACES I HAVE LIVED: Milwaukee, WI-Andover, MN-Fridley, MN

THREE TV SHOWS THAT I WATCH: Mad About You, Heroes, occasionally Oprah.

THREE PLACES THAT I HAVE BEEN: Under the weather, up a crfeek without a paddle, Ohio.

THREE PLACES I WANT TO GO TO: Easy Street, (back to) college, Greece.

THREE OF MY FAVORITE FOODS: Pasta, cheesecake and Ckn/artichoke Lean Pockets.

THREE THINGS THAT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO: Tamara's Wedding, blooming dahlias this summer, retirement with my husband.

THREE PETS THAT YOU HAVE OWNED: Iguana (Mary), Cats (Sylvester, Shiva, Max, Domino, Snowbelle), Dog (Katie).


THREE FAVORITE BANDS: Rubber, head and belly.

THREE FAVORITE TEAMS TO WATCH: Does not apply-Three favorite musicals: Hello, Dolly!, Mary Poppins, The Boyfriend.

THREE FAVORITE DRINKS: Pepsi, Iced Chai Latte, Pomegranate anything.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spin Cycle: The Longest Time

"If you said goodbye to me tonight
There would still be music left to write
What else could I do,
I'm so inspired by you
That hasn't happened for the longest time"

When I met Jesse, I thought that he was the most beautiful, talented boy I'd ever met. I'd stand in front of his artwork in the gallery and wonder what he thought about when he made each piece.

"Once I thought my innocence was gone
Now I know that happiness goes on
That's when you found me,
when you put your arms around me
I haven't been there for the longest time"

I put myself in a position to be used by everyone I met. I had learned that if someone could gain from you, they would and they wouldn't sweat the mess they left behind. Jesse made me feel calm. He didn't make the hair on the back of my neck raise. I sat next to him for hours in the computer lab as he worked, just to be near him.

"I'm that voice you're hearing in the hall
And the greatest miracle of all
Is how I need you,
and how you needed me too
That hasn't happened in the longest time"

Now we've been together forever. We are so different. The only things that we really have in common are our children and the memories we've made together. He still needs me to mother him sometimes, and I need him to make me feel truly safe. Sometimes I wake up next to him and remember what it was like when we were teens, and still a mystery to one another. When we could hold each other without knowing what the other was thinking. When we weren't thinking about the dishes in the sink, or the mortgage, or a deadline. When our answer was almost always, "Yes, baby."

"I had second thoughts at the start
I said to myself, hold on to your heart
Now I know the [man] that you are
It's wonderful so far
And you're more than I'd hoped for"

I read somewhere that the secret to staying married was simply to stay married. I get it. Every few years or so, we'll let an argument go just a little too far and I'll think, "Oops. There may be no coming back from that one." The next morning always brings a new day, and my husband's love with it.

"I don't care what consequence it brings
I have been a fool for lesser things
I want you so bad,
I think you ought to know that
I intend to hold you for the longest time"

Sometimes home can't be found where you think you'll find it. Sometimes love isn't what you thought it was. For me, it's all wrapped up in one handsome, crazy talented, moody guy.

"Whoa Oh Oh Oh For the longest time
Whoa, Oh Oh Oh For the longest time"

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Click here to read more spins about "Time" at Sprite's Keeper.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: "A Mama, a Walker!" by Walker Cash age 2 yrs 3 mos.