Conversations:

When MD was little, I would write down nearly every conversation we had. How could I not, considering the hysterical things he sometimes said.  For instance, one evening, he came home and said that he couldn’t wait to go outside with his telescope and look at the beautiful constipations in the sky.

Yep.

Or when he came home from school declaring, “Mom! Fried Oprah is my new favorite food! Will you make it for me?” 

There was also that time he shoved several small rocks in his nose at daycare.  When he told me about it later on that night, he had the cutest most worried look on his face.  “Why did you put rocks up your nose sweetheart?” I asked.  “Because I wanted to poop out gravel.”

You see where this is going, right?

A few weeks ago, MD, Bill and myself were laying about in the living room.  MD had walked into the kitchen, only to return with the video camera going on my phone.  He stated we were going to have a “de-bute.”  A what? I asked, holding in a snicker.  “A de-bute.” 

Oh, I see.  You mean DEBATE.

I think he comes by this honestly.  I mean, just today I posted on Facebook a little quip about my key fab at work.  Do you see what’s wrong there? Apparently it’s a key fob. No one is letting this one go either. Hear me out though- key fab. Long A. Faaaaaaab. If it was an O, would it not be pronounced, Fooooooob? Also, I realize I’m about to catch some serious schooling for my lack of correct grammar.  Come at me.  I’m too lazy to Google that shit or ask Kyle (who actually has a copy of his junior high grammar book on his desk).

I pronounce words differently, what can I say.  Also, in case you’re wondering, I cannot say electricity. I can spell it and I know how it’s pronounced, but when I try to say it?

ELECK-TRO-SISS-ITY.

I know. 

The other night MD was sitting at the kitchen table doing his homework.  It was getting late in the evening and I could tell he was getting frustrated.  He snapped at me when I told him to quit staring at the light bulb and finish up his math, “Well, if I wasn’t the last one to be picked up today, I could have had more time to…”

I cut him off right there, because I’ve been to this conversational rodeo more than once you guys.

“Fine. How about I quit my job and join every Mom function/pot luck/volunteer/Helpy McHelperson project your teachers throw at me? Then I can pick you up first in the car line too. You know what? I gave BIRTH to you. Out of my VAGINA.  I can’t even begin to tell you how long that took to recover from.  I buy you food! I cook said food! I let you stay up all night long on weekends, because hello! It’s the weekend! And how many other Mom’s KNOCK on their son’s bedroom doors and actually WAIT for a response before opening? Go ask your buddies at school.  So you know what? Just calm your tits bro.”

Without breaking face, my son look at me and says, “I can’t calm my tits because I don’t have any.

“Yes you do!” I said, hands on my hips.

“I have nipples!” he says back.

“FINE. Calm your MIPPLES then.”

I was actually still in frustrated Mom mode when I said that, but after I thought about the word I just created in my mind, how could I keep my poker face? I couldn’t.

We both erupted into laughter.

I gave him a hug.

He hugged me back.

Life is good you guys, mipples and all.

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I Have The Traffics

My afternoon commute for the past week has looked something like this: 

and then

image

also this:

Yep.

That pretty much sums it all up right there. Oh wait, I did scream and punch the steering wheel at 6:30 this morning when I got stuck behind a PARKED city bus. In the right hand lane. No where near a bus stop. Would anyone let me over? No. 

Screw those people. I hope they all spilled hot coffee in their crotches. 

Most days I’m able to keep my shit together.  I use traffic as a time to listen to NPR, jazz, if I’m feeling extra PMS-y, I’ll pop in some Barbara Streisand and cry it out. Most afternoons I call family and catch up with them and some days? Well, those are the profanity ridden, scream filled drives. 

All it takes is one five pm Braves game, a convention, a holiday weekend (traffic started today) or a dark cloud.  I’m serious. If there’s a cloud that’s dark gray, forget it. You’re sitting around in one of six to eight lanes of traffic.  Pick your poison. 

Public transportation is a wash for me as well. The buses never run on time or run period. The “subway”? Mmm. Yeah. I’d have to drive half way to work to get to the nearest station, to take it five miles away from my office.  It’s just not user friendly. Which is a damn shame because I bet people would actually use them.

This city has the most jacked up, mind boggling, rage inducing traffic I’ve ever sat in.  I have no idea how folks in L.A. do it (and I’m not referring to Lower Alabama either). So aside from screaming, crying and flipping people the bird, what do you do to pass the time in traffic? 

Here’s to tomorrow’s commute. 

Wish me luck yo. 

Omit

Not too long ago, we were younger than we are now, laughing about what we’d be like when we are at the age we currently reside in. Rather, I was, you had already surpassed that age.

Do you remember that?  Seated at the corner table, in the pocket of the restaurant. Yes, like a pool table.  Even though there wasn’t one at the bar.  My hair was short and unruly. Yours was long and in a ponytail. Underneath the table, I crossed my legs over and back, while sitting on my hands.

After I’d ordered an iced tea, I leaned in and said, “What’s it like, to be ‘In your thirties?”  I said this with a mocking tone and you rolled your eyes at me before a laugh escaped your thick mouth. “It’s not bad.  Nothing is bad really. Even when you think it is, it isn’t. Make sense my little flower?”

I leaned back when the waitress brought my tea.  Opened the straw.  Plopped it in the glass, watching as it bobbed up and down, before I leaned forward to take a sip.

“Did you have a meltdown when you were thirty?” I asked.

I watched you ponder this a moment.  When you wanted to tell me the truth about something, I would watch your eyes slowly roll to the left as if you were searching the card catalog in your mind labelled “Shit I Did Wrong In My Thirties.”  Before you would answer me, you wiped foam from your beer off your mustache.

“Yes, I had a meltdown. But not till thirty five. I was just a moron at thirty.”

“Did you feel it coming on- y’know, like the flu or a sin?”

“Yep, both.”

“How’d you fix it?”

“I never did.”

We ordered lunch: greasy sandwiches with bagged chips.  I ordered another iced tea. You ordered two beers (one for me). You asked if we could discuss something else besides your thirties. 

“Cliche poets then?”

“Such as yourself?” you quipped back.

“Touche.”

A laugh came about us and I drank the beer you ordered and choked down my greasy sandwich while leaving fingerprints on my papers. 

You loved to point and make imaginary lines across my words while saying, “Omit, omit, omit.”

I did, so did you

And now I am the age that you were when we had this discussion and I want to so desperately ask you, “What cliche should I omit?”

 

 

 

Subconscious Perceptions

I carry you with me,

subconsciously.

In my pockets, I carry you, as crumpled up receipts.  There’s the one from the cafe, where I had coffee and a croissant. I sat by the window and watched the traffic through large, overgrown bushes.  When the sun became too bright for me to keep staring outward, I moved my gaze inside, but it was blurred.

In the soles of my shoes, I carry you, as crushed rock and dirt that makes its way from the industrialized streets into my cozy home. Where I fold laundry cross legged on the floor. It’s only when I stand to put away long sleeved work shirts, that I feel the pinch of a rock between my pinkie toe that I remember you.

In pens, I carry you. The fancy ones that I buy, the ones I hide from everyone in the house, because the fancy pens are a secret treat. Eventually though, they’ll leak out onto the bottom of my purse. I suppose this is your cruel joke, leaving a blue inky mess over my lipstick, rosary and the receipt from the cafe. 

I have and probably will continue to drag you throughout my days. Throughout each event in my life.

Throughout, throughout

Its as if you are a tiny yellow parakeet and my mind is the elaborate golden cage in which you stay perched.

I carry you, but you also carry me-

into a place that I can retreat when I start to bemoan the very existence of days. You allow me to disengage, dislodge, disarm.

On a good day, a daydream.

When the night sneaks up on me, tip toeing into the living room and casting a shadow across my chest and onto my lap

and my body is too exhausted for much more,

I carry you up the stairs,

coiled tightly in my arms

as I unpin my hair and it spills onto the pillow,

I open the door to my mind

and let you escape-

knowing you’ll be back again when the sun is ready

to peek in my window, it’s wicked dance leaping onto my face

into the corners of my eyes, screeching for me to get on with it already

There you’ll be,

asking me to carry you

and I will.

 

 

There Was Other Stuff Too

Lately it seems like I’ve been writing too much about the house.  The leak, the gaping (now closed) hole that had to be repaired, the fact that there still needs a ditch to be dug, and that there is no drywall in the man cave.  Or carpet, for that matter. 

It’s true, yes.  This project is consuming nearly every waking thought I have.  Almost maddening really.  I suppose in a way it feels as such because I lack the carpentry skills to really assist my husband and brother in law.  Seriously. I think my junior high shop class teacher passed me because he felt sorry for me. 

Anyway, 

With all of that shit going on, I did go out and do other fun stuff this weekend!  

Friday night, MD and I went out to the late showing of The World’s End. When we got up to the ticket counter, I asked for two to see the show.  MD mentioned that he couldn’t believe he was allowed into an R rated movie. I said, “I can’t believe they just charged you as an adult.” 

The movie kicked ass, to say the least.  Also, the theater wasn’t even packed- it was MD and I, along with some middle aged dudes down front.  We of course, took over the very last row, feet propped up and candy in hand. It was epic! I won’t say much more considering I have friends who haven’t seen it yet and I don’t want to give any details away.  🙂

Saturday wasn’t an entire wash.  While I did work in the yard, I also went to Home Depot a few times, just praying to run into the dudes from Yard Crashers.  No such luck.  Although something tells me if they ever did come out to our place they’d be all, “Screw you guys, we’re out.”  

It’s that bad. 

This upcoming weekend will be just as busy.  Family is coming in town, there will be more repairs to the house needed, the garage will be cleaned out and at some point, I might finish up a knitting project or two, take a nap, fold some laundry, so forth and so on. 

While I was sitting in traffic this afternoon (at 12pm none the less. The hell, Atlanta!) I started thinking about all the days and weekends that have filled up with things to do: trip to the beach, band concerts, drama practices, birthday parties, finishing the house, painting our bedroom, taking my Mema on a special trip downtown, trips to Nashville… that’s just the tip of the iceberg too.  Before you know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Years, then the birthday months roll in and holy hell!

I gotta stop, my brain is throbbing. 

 

Adventures in Cooking

Friday afternoon, I chanced upon a recipe for chocolate chunk cookies.  My mouth started to water a bit (okay a lot).  I’m a sucker for cookies, cake, pies and the like.  I’m a junk food junkie, I can’t help it, it’s in my DNA.  So I started to read the recipe and felt a wash of disappointment come over me. 

The dough was made of chickpeas? The hell you say. 

I still bookmarked it and figured I’d give it a shot anyway.  My husband has been wheat/sugar/gluten/ free for several months.  He’s lost quite a bit of weight, no longer suffers from heartburn and feels really great.  If anything, I’d make them for him. We’ve had a long weekend of digging in the dirt, slicing open fingers, being eaten by bugs and all sorts of other lovely nonsense, so why not have a treat. 

The original recipe is over on The Hairpin.  The “I Dare You” cookie is one that satisfies, that’s for damn sure. I was pleasantly surprised to find that when you grind up chickpeas in a food processor, they make a dough.  WHO KNEW?! I added the peanut butter, honey, pinch of salt and baking powder.  Once I mixed that some more, I gave it the “raw cookie dough” taste test. 

Dude. 

It tastes like raw cookie dough. 

I actually clapped my hands in the kitchen, that’s how happy I was. 

The 1 1/4 cups of chickpeas made about eight medium sized cookies.  I had opened two cans of chickpeas, so I was able to whip up another batch of just peanut butter cookies for MD seeing that he hates dark chocolate.  Popped ’em in the oven and cooked for 14 minutes on 350. 

End result? 

Deliciousness!  See: 

Image

The only thing I have to say about these is that they are really dense. One cookie satisfied my sweet tooth, that’s for sure.  I don’t think I could eat more than two, which I guess is pretty good for me, right? Right. 

Now that I know this recipe is legit, I’m looking forward to making the zucchini brownies that I also found on The Hairpin site.  If you make these cookies, let me know how yours turned out and if you tweaked the recipe at all! 

Happy Eating! 

We Could Be Heros

As I’m sure you remember, last week we had a little issue with some flooding in the Man Cave. Typically, I’m the one who remains calm, cool and collected in moments of crisis. For whatever reason, this time I was the one flipping out. We had no idea there was a leak of any kind. When Bill went downstairs one afternoon, he thought maybe MD had spilled a drink, only to discover the carpet was soaking wet. Upon pulling the carpet back a bit, he discovered black mold, rotting drywall and rotted frames.

Cue my freak out.

He and his brother donned those sexy hazmat suits and went at the room. Friday I came home from work and pulled into the garage. As I walked into the smallish doorway to go up the side steps that lead into the kitchen, I noticed the Man Cave door was open.

My mouth was agape.

The drywall was gone. All of it.

I heard Bill rustling upstairs in the kitchen and he came down to meet me. He calmly explained that he took the day off to take care of the drywall and rotting frame issue. I began to cry. It’s so overwhelming.

What happened was, there’s a leak in the foundation. Later on in the evening as the rain rolled in, I watched it pool outside the house and then, I watched it cascade from outside to inside our house. I choked back sobs and my husband, sensing my impending breakdown, suggested we all go out for hot wings. I knew he was trying to lift my spirits, but all I could think about was the enormity of what we had to do.

This morning, we slept in a little and then headed outside to get to work. A few summers back, Bill scored some antique bricks that are about 150 years old. He and his brother built this beautiful patio right below the deck. We put the iron table and chairs out there, built up the fire pit and really loved to sit out there with our friends and drink wine.

Today, we dug it up. I didn’t cry, but I felt it brewing inside me.
photo (4)

This is a quick view over the side of the upper deck. Baxter’s husband Jason came over to help with the demolition. It took just a little over an hour to remove all the bricks, patio stones and sand to the other side of the yard. It wasn’t the back breaking work that bothered me, it was just steamy outside. Steamy and living in the woods means one thing: mosquitos. It also means that I was wearing thick socks, pants, an undershirt and a long sleeved shirt. I was roasting:

photo (3)Covered in dirt and mud! I made it until about 3pm out in the yard and then I gracefully bowed out.  Seeing that the patio had been removed, it was then onto a more daunting task:  removing the dirt away from the house to see what the hell was going on.  Turns out we found a mystery catch basin that was completely covered by dirt.  That may explain why the water run off had no where to go.  Once the guys got the dirt moved off, it was time to start checking the damage to the hardy board and underneath.

photo (2)Turns out, shit was rotted.  And what’s that? You can see into the basement from the outside? UGH.  Just kill me now.  Bill had to remove three boards up to really see what the hell was going on.  So  that led to this:

photo (1)I had walked outside to see what was going on and had to go back in.  I don’t suffer from panic attacks or anything like that, but this shit right here is stressing me out.  Currently Bill and his brother have everything under control and actually are almost finished.  Thank God they know what they’re doing around here.

With all that’s happened in the past two weeks, it took us no time to figure out our next plan of action.  Bill and I were laying in bed one night, when we decided that we’d sell this place.  It really does break my heart.  I love our house, our backyard, the way we’ve made it our home.  But it’s time.  We bought this place thinking we’d have more kids.  While we don’t, we have been able to help out family who needed a place to live while transitioning into college, new jobs or new homes.  So I suppose there’s a reason for us finding our dream home when we did.

Hopefully within the next year and a half, we’ll have finally put the finishing touches on a place that we’ve made so many memories in and move on to the next great adventure:  a townhouse somewhere in the city right as our son enters high school.

GAME ON.