Friday, May 28, 2010

Delusionally Illusional

I feel the call of an old friend. Whispering from the distance. We've shared many moments. Our relationship has molded my opinions, experiences, life outlook, attitudes, and personal connections. The simple thought of our friendship warms my heart. This friend knows me better than I know myself - speaking directly to me.
"Your friends know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years"
I'm not a reader. I don't hate reading, it just takes a lot of time that I don't seem to have.
"The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, 'I've got responsibilities'"
Before, when I had time, I filled it with other things. I would read to fall asleep - sometimes -- when I thought of it. Then Twilight came along...I read the series in a matter of days. But that was when I was pregnant and I could still afford 14 hour binge reading fits. Anyway. Mostly, I'm just not a reader.
"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours."
The smaller a book and larger the print - the more likely I'll give a book a shot. I just get overwhelmed with huge hefty books. They don't end, and just add to the "to be continued" pile of books on the lower shelf of my nightstand. Also, my reading-time contortions are limited by muscle fatigue with massive volumes. Pocket sized books are my friends.
"Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully."
Years ago in a galaxy far, far away - I was told about a book that would change my world. Granted, in this galaxy I was a poem writing freshman in high school who'd never really dared to venture very far from comfort for fear of punishment from daddy or de Debol.
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."
I took the leap, it was different and lovely. Simple and complex. At least once a year return to my 192-paged, large print friend. The pages have long since yellowed. Many pages marked with scribblings, highlights, and notes. A reminder that things aren't always what they seem. It's a light, fast read.
"A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed. It feels an impulsion...this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all the clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond the horizons."
You are welcome to join my circle, meet my friend, Illusions by Richard Bach. So on this long weekend or during a summer break. Take some time to explore.
"You teach best what you most need to learn."
It is full of post-it note worthy quotes to both center and inspire. Although written in 1977 after his famed Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which is assigned to and fake-read by high schoolers nationwide, Illusions's messages still ring true.
"Live never to be ashamed if anything you do or say is published around the world - even if what is published is not true."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Anti mom hair sentiment begets short hair begets need for super diet begets need for bronzy tan...this is going to be a busy week

When my little one was born, I had long hair. Past my shoulder blades long. Now, my hair has seen more than it's share of box dyes and abusive rubber bands over the years. By the time it gets to be that long - well, let's just say that Demi Moore has nightmares about hair like mine. I had perpetual "mom hair" tied in a knot at the base of my neck - falling out at all points.

Once the babygirl was able to really reach and grab my hair, I learned that hair unrestricted by hair paraphernalia was easier to untangle from fingers. I've gone short-short-shorter. I enjoy the freedom of short hair - and always have. At first, it is hard to not have the fall-back ponytail, but it isn't all bad to not have a crutch. Additionally, I just got my hair highlighted - and no not with the little brush that comes in the box that inevitably results in only half of my head with huge chunks of orangy-blonde. I got it professionally done. I like it - not love it. I'm not a blond anymore. I have tended toward very dark, mostly red tones for a long time. It's out of my comfort zone to be blond like I spent most of my high school and college years. It's growing on me though. I see short hair as not-so-new mom hair. Hair's greatest danger of getting chopped is after your wedding and after the first born is born. Check and check.

Of course with the current bob, it accentuates my headneck. This means I need to lose 5 pounds yesterday to have a long sinewy neck as opposed to the log that currently supports my skull. I have boxes of Little Debbies to blame for this. Posture has a bit to do with that as well. Screw posture.

The other realization that I had sitting in the beauty chair is that I need a tan. I spend all day - every day in front of my damn computer. Granted it's been 90 degrees outside for the past week and that's not the best weather to have a baby out in, but still. With blond comes tan. Not crazy dark, but enough to confirm with passers-by that I indeed do not live in a cave (although my eyes are surprisingly more sensitive to the sun than ever before). Translucency is no longer an option.

I refuse to do the coffin, so don't suggest it. Those damn things work too well, and I turn into a crispy orange-tinged freak. That is glaringly obvious when I'm holding my lovely olive-tone skinned baby. It's all natural for me.

Plus being tan makes me look skinnier which will in turn reduce the need for me to throw away all of my Little Debbie's still hidden around the house.

Monday, May 24, 2010

There's nothing more degrading than haggling over bargain basement prices

We had our garage sale this weekend. The weather was - well - shitty. Friday morning, we opened the sale. My dad brought his enormous high-school-open-house-y tents to cover the driveway. We set those up and then began to set up the sale.

That's when the panic attack started. Heart racing, eyes blurring - I think to myself "why in the hell am I unable to cope with this?" I still don't know the answer. The combination of chaosy toddlers, my crying baby, the fact that I hadn't priced over half of my shit, SO MUCH stuff to unload, and not trying to intrude on the sales of my stepmom and stepsister who so graciously invited me to come. Luckily, my sister-in-law was there to take the crying baby out of earshot and my brother helped run interference as I lost my shit literally spinning in circles with one tiny box in my hands.

I am a put-together kind of person - and proud of it. I am normally the one that can jump up and take charge of a chaotic situation. Instead I melted down like an M&M in a hot car - still holding its shape, but attempt to make contact and it turns into goo.

I'm sure it's the combination of lack of sleep, too much driving, and the fact that I had been thirsty just minutes before and CHUGGED my cooled nonfat latte before getting out of the car. Whatever the case - I was just inches away from tears...AT A GARAGE SALE!

Anyway, tents up - boxes unloaded - pink stickers on everything ... then it started raining, nay, pouring. Wind was blowing, tents were effective for only 4 square feet in the dead center. YUCK. We actually had the most customers of the weekend during the deluge. Saturday morning, we experienced dense, cut-it-with-a-knife fog, then drizzle, then scorching sun (tents had been removed Friday night because of high wind threats) and heat.

To top it off, the baby would not go to ANYONE but me for more than 4 1/2 seconds. She was only happy being held - all day. Oh, and napping was out of the question. Dammit.

I understand that garage sales are for the cheap (both buyers and sellers) but the aggressive car buyer haggling was completely uncalled for. I actually had a guy who leaned into my face to try to beat me down on my price for items from my failed attempt at MaryKay sales. Holding 5 lotions in his hands (valued at original price to be $100+, and pink sticker priced at $30) he walks up to me and says "I'll give you $5 for all this."
Me: "No"
Cheap-ass with a wife cowering in embarrassment behind him: "$6"
Me: "No, that stuff is worth much more than that, $25"
Man with anger issues and stick up his ass with a now elevated voice: "I'll only pay $7"
Me: "I'll take no less than $20"
A now much quieter, less fiery-eyed human: "Wow, you drive a hard bargain - but ok $20"
Me - pointing at my father at the other end of the driveway - happily taking his money: "That man took me used car shopping at a very young age."

In all, I managed to sell some stuff. Granted, most of it was what others had me bring to the sale and not my own stuff.

With my forehead sunburned and left shoulder screaming in pain - I netted $95 ($60 of which went into the gas tank for the round trip). I also went to Kohl's after we were rained out on Friday and spent the day's earnings. I drove home - sans shit - and went to bed.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The past year of my life - sprinkled with pink 25 cent stickers

This is a garage sale weekend. Time to purge our house of all things cluttery. We've lived in our house for 2.5 years now (longer than we've lived anywhere else in our 8.5 year relationship), so it's time to pseudo-move and keep the two hoarders in us from burying us alive.

Unfortunately, I don't have time to dig into the backs of closets, so I'm just ridding myself of everything that has accumulated in the last year or so.

Pregnancy and new babiness has literally doubled the shitpile factor in our home. Afterall, the kid did move into the spare bedroom that doubled as the "oh shit [fill in the blank] is going to be here in 15 minutes" catchall room.

Granted, all things accumulated in the last year have been necessary in their own time. Maternity gear (most of it having been passed down) that - if given to GoodWill would cost someone upwards of $5 a pop, can go for $1 or less on a table to someone who needs it. I'm not a fan of GoodWill for that reason. Yes, in the past I have contributed a lot of stuff to them - simply because I'm too lazy to find other outlets. I just struggle with knowing that my stuff - most of it loved, but still wearable (by someone 2 or 3 sizes smaller than me) - will be sold at a ridiculously high price for used fabric! I'm charitable like that...keep from the poor, sell to the poorer, and keep the change...

GoodWill does have a pile with its name on it in my house right now though. The anonymity of ridding oneself of amazingly outdated styles or late night "ooh, I want a nightgown" internet order faux pas is appealing at times.

So, this weekend, I'll be splaying 100s of newborn and 0-3 month clothes (which my baby fit into for a mere 6 weeks) on big tables with hopes that someone will bite.

Part of me is hoping for a strong return on investment. $200 could go a long way in my pre-vacay splurges on new socks for the fam and mini 3 oz bottles of all things toiletries because I'm afraid of depending on my checked baggage's late arrival to the party. In reality - I'm just hoping to cover my costs - $30 in gas plus the inevitable fast food plus the time it takes to pack, unpack, display, cover from rain., uncover from rain, repack, and drop the remaining shit on GoodWill's front step.

Either way, the baby will have part of her room back so that overzealous grandparents can fill it with stuff to sell next summer.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Time credit...which I'll probably never be approved to receive.

I give my self a "D-" in the learning to say "no" category on this term's grade sheet. I've spent the last (count 'em) FOUR weekends away from my house. Not just doing outings, but literally staying somewhere not in my bed (>2 hour drive away) with my 7 month old daughter. On top of that, she's got a cold or allergies or something that is making her nose cloggy and runny at the same time AND she's teething. fanfuckingtastic.

I haven't slept for four continuous hours in months.

Ok, thanks for coming to my pity party - here is your party favor. Sorry it's a bag of stale cheerios and gooey diced banana hunks -- but that is currency in our house and I haven't been to the grocery store in weeks.

So in my extended driving times, late night "where the hell am I and what the hell was that noise" insomniac episodes, and non-stop nursing sessions, I've decided that time should be sold on credit. I need two extra hours of sleep, and I'll repay by zapping out two hours of driving time when I take to the road yet again this weekend. win win!

Of course, as with anything there is a problem. Credit involves the nebulous credit score. I'm sure it would be based on questions like: How well do you use the time you are allotted in a day? How much time did you spend last night sobbing over the Biggest Loser instead of sleeping when the baby was? How many trips to the kitchen/bathroom/living room does it really take for you to decide that you aren't really hungry but you'll eat the last two toaster strudel anyway? As with anything, I budget time very poorly. Case in point: this blog I'm writing while I should be working AND while the baby is napping. Ok, now that I typed that I feel bad.

I'm going to go work - or stand with the fridge door open until something yummy and sinful makes itself.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My twenties: a decade in review

In the next six months, I'll be closing the door on my twenties. I've thought about this a lot. Not an "oh woe is me" thought but more nostalgia, topped with a sigh of relief.

My twenties were spiked with peaks of joy and pitted with troughs of sadness. Weddings and funerals, finals and graduations, the shifting tide of family and friends.

My twenties (as a whole) are a juxtaposition within themselves.

Racing through college to get the hell out...then sticking around for graduate school.
Going to college for six solid years focusing on an outdoor-based profession...later, to become a computer geek who hardly leaves the house.
Pissing on a stick and praying for one line...later, pissing on a stick and praying for two.
Deciding that I didn't want to be a parent...later, dedicating two years to trying to become one.
Choosing to "earn my wrinkles" in the later slapping on the wrinkle cream with the most convincing commercials.

I've disproven almost every "I'm never gonna..." statement I have ever made.

In the past decade, I've fallen in love and been engaged (twice over), earned a bachelor and master of science degree, bought a new car, gotten married, held three professional positions, bought a house, and had a baby (and thus fallen in love all over again).

The 10,000 foot view. My life has been sprinkled with experiences - memories made and lessons learned.

I've learned hundreds of latin names for plants that I can't always remember how to identify, I've learned to drive stick, I've held the controls of an airplane in flight, I've ridden horses, I've been kicked by and developed a strong fear of horses, I've driven tractors, front-end loaders, and skidsters, I've herded bulls on a 4-wheeler, I've cared for a wolf and tigers, I've shot an killed a rabbit - and not the dog following behind, I've butchered countless deer on my kitchen table, I've plucked chickens, I own my own bow and arrows (and am not a terrible shot), I have learned to mushroom hunt, I know more constellations than I'd ever dreamed, I've (mostly) overcome my fear of public speaking by doing it repeatedly, I've taught myself Photoshop, HTML and database management, two people are tattooed with my art, I have made over a dozen quilts, I stood beside my cousin and best friend as she married - and then she stood beside me a few months later as I married, I've held my newborn nephews, I met and married a man who is my perfect counterpart, I've kept in touch with those who forgive me for who I was in high school, I've met the most amazing people along my journey - some of whom I consider my dearest, closest friends.

My twenties were fantastic in some aspects and heartbreaking in others. I've survived, and could probably write three books that no one would believe were true. My twenties were tumultuous and full of moves (I moved eight times in 10 years), new jobs, and new experiences. I love that about my past, but I'm happy to settle into my thirties in MY house, with MY car, doing MY job, and raising MY daughter with MY husband.

Life is good, and you couldn't pay me to go back and do any part of it differently...

Ok, the impulse baby puff the magic dragon-ish tattoo on my ankle that never quite covered when I had a new tattoo put over it...I'd go back and NOT spend that $40...