Have you ever noticed how nobody lets you say you stink at something anymore?
Is it midwest nice? Has the ugly and pervasive habit some people have of saying they are bad at something just to hear others tell them that they aren’t seeped into our souls so we think it’s expected of us? Have we swung to such a stupidly positive culture that we can’t admit our faults anymore?
For instance. I am a bad housekeeper. However if I say this I am immediately met with claims that my house is in fact nice, tidy and clean. Since I can count the times I’ve washed the floor in this house on both legs and don’t believe in dusting these claims are ridiculous, uneducated and clearly false. My housekeeping has maxed out on the level of “not a hoarder”. And I am for better or worse totally fine with that.
Neither am I one of those who will claim to be poor at something just so that I can be praised. I’m not a huge fan of telling people my faults. I’d rather run with the idea that I can do anything, but of course I can’t, or in terms of house cleaning, won’t. So if I humble myself to admitting that I’m terrible at something don’t try to talk me out of it. That’s terrible for my ego and John still has to live with me.
In an effort to once and for all say, “I am a terrible housekeeper” without trying to be talked out of it I give you Exhibit A:
This tenacious little plant grew in my sink strainer under a large pile of clean dishes. Yes, I was home the whole time. (No, John was not, which is certainly a factor in its appearance.) Yes, it does have a root that goes down just as far as it is stretching up for light and yes I did transplant it into my greenhouse next to the other tomatoes. And yes, I can tell you, after raising many tomatoes from seed, a tomato plant doesn’t grow that fast overnight!
Now, next time you hear me say I stink at cleaning the house you can sympathize, you can tell me about your own plants you accidently grew, you can tell me it doesn’t bother you but please, for the love of sprouting tomatoes, don’t try to argue that I have a clean house!
She chose to spend her birthday skiing with a group of families where she is the oldest girl by far but Ivy loves skiing with her five year old buddy.
Then we had a family birthday party with Grandma, Grandpa, one Great Uncle and Great Granny. The festivities ended in a card game where she happily crushed her grandpa’s game and gracefully lost to her dad.
Ivy chatted with everyone from 2 to 96 today and while she has a special birthday treat planned with a friend in the future, John and I couldn’t help but glow with pride at the way our young lady handled herself today.
Perhaps you remeber my futile foray into guided meditation? Well, I didn’t give up completely. Instead I decided to try (in that same afternoon brain rest time) just concentrating on my breathing while listening to my favorite non-music.
So back to my “meditation time”. I block out the light, turn on music found to lower listener’s anxiety by 65% and focus on my breathing until I either fall asleep, get bored but feel well rested enough to get up or actually achieve something like successful meditation as I fall asleep into a dream where my relaxed mind has let a demon crawl through the song into my realm and it’s now sucking the life from my body and it’s imperative that I “snap out of it” or die.
Meditation continues to not be my thing but I do recommend the music. Give it a try sometime and let me know what you think. I’m fairly confident it doesn’t always come with life sucking demons.
In my quest not to overdo it since the concussion I say no to things a lot, even by pandemic standards. It’s important I not get too tried and I do my best to meter out my energy carefully. But it’s hard to explain to anyone exactly what happens when I get too tired making invitations awkward to turn down.
Yesterday I got too tired but not pass out over dinner and go to bed early tired. It was a different kind of tired.
Last night I managed to flush an egg down the toilet. This is a bad idea. Plungers were required. I laughed about it.
I also licked my phone. This is a bad idea for obvious reasons that get more obvious mid-pandemic. I laughed until I cried wondering what I had just done.
Then I laughed hysterically about everything the rest of the night.
When I tried to put the girls to bed they looked at me and made up public service announcements about why you should avoid concussions and delivered them in poor Scottish accents while I howled and tears poured down my face.
I was too tired.
This morning I have rested and eggs went in proper places and I’ve brushed my teeth three times thinking about the phone tongue incident. I still have no idea how to describe what happens in my head when I get too tired nor do I know what kind of too tired will hit me next.
Even when I’m not tired it makes it tricky to respond to those invitations. “Sorry, I can’t come to your bonfire. I may flush an egg down the toilet.” Is probably the worst way to get someone to believe that you have a legitimate reason not to attend but, “Sorry, I’m too tired.” doesn’t quite catch the gist of the situation.
Fortunately my friends are understanding and I help insure life around here is never boring!
As I write this I can confirm that we have officially survived the first day of virtual school. I am happy to report that things went smoothly and even our sometimes temperamental internet behaved. All in all, I would say it was better than we feared.
Of course before the day started, we had to take the traditional first day of school photos even if it wasn’t a traditional school day. While other mothers manage to post smiling faces with cute signs delineating grade on their children’s first day, I feel that our girls’ pictures often tell a broader story. Here is my interpretation of this morning’s quick photo shoot…
Clara: School at home means I don’t really have to pay attention- or wear pants!
Jane: New things are terrible, also I can’t find my pants.
Ivy: Seriously? Just pull up your pants like this, it’s almost time for me to log on.
Clara: I don’t want to do this so I’m not wearing pants, also I’m still in my pjs under this sweatshirt so pppbbbbttt.
Jane: I can’t do new terrible things without my pants.
Ivy: If I smile like this can I go log on now?
Clara: Fooled you I have shorts on!
Jane: I can’t smile because new things are terrible, also I still don’t have my favorite pants.
Ivy: *through gritted teeth * I’ve been smiling forever can I go now?
Clara: Just kidding. I don’t have pants!
Jane: I can’t believe this is really happening without my pants.
Ivy: I’m done.
I may never have a picture of them all smiling at the same time but I’ll not be short of memories looking back at photos like these!
One day the Little Red Hen set out to set up a swimming pool for her family.
Who will help me level the ground so the pool does not tilt to the side and collapse said the Little Red Hen.
“NOT I!” chorused her family.
So the Little Red Hen set to work with her little red tractor.
The next day her children said, “Momma Hen, Momma Hen! When can we go swimming?” And the Little Red Hen said, “After we set up the pool. I’m not done leveling the ground who would like to help me?”
“NOT I!” chorused her family.
So the Little Red Hen set to work with her little red tractor and her big brown shovel.
The next day her children said “Momma Hen, Momma Hen! When can we go swimming?” And the Little Red Hen said, “After we set up the pool. I’m still not done leveling the ground, who would like to help me?”
“NOT I!” chorused her family.
So the Little Red Hen set to work with her little red tractor, her big brown shovel and her shiny silver level.
That day was very hot. The Little Red Hen sweated as she drove her little red tractor, she she started saying very bad words as she used her big brown shovel and the light from the bright sun hurt her eyes as it bounced off her big silver level.
Suddenly The Little Red hen stomped away from her almost level circle of ground and found her family in the shade.
“All right guys. You remember what happened with the bread right?” squawked the Little Red Hen.
“Yes.” said her family warily.
“Well I’m just letting you know that I am going to enjoy my pool ALL BY MYSELF” said the Little Red Hen and she went to get a cool drink of water before returning to work.
When she came back to pick up her big brown shovel she found her chicks waiting to help. Some of her chicks moved rocks, some brought cool drinks some shoveled and raked and soon the ground was level.
Then the chicks and her rooster helped pull all the pieces of the pool out of the deep dark basement and soon with all the help the pool was filling with water.
When it was finally time to get into the pool all the chicks yelled “Hooray” and splashed and laughed and splashed and chased each other in circles and splashed some more.
And the Little Red Hen, trying to enjoy the cool of the pool closed her eyes against the splashing water and thought, “maybe I shouldn’t have reminded them about the bread.”
Moral of the Story: Be careful what you wish for. Or. Family time is great, until it isn’t.
It’s not that John dislikes the poultry so much as that he doesn’t love the poultry like I do.
Being a wonderful tolerant and handsome husband, as well as my number one blog post editor, he doesn’t do more than put up a manly bit of bluster when bird numbers expand and varieties increase.
Mostly he sits back and watches the madness and kindly takes care of them when I am unable. There are a few hard lines I won’t cross when it comes to adding birds (I didn’t even really consider bringing home a peacock and I’d never bring home a four legged creatures without a serious consult). He has alluded to other lines I’m confident are just… guidelines… wishes… attempts to not let the females in his life run rampant with animal husbandry.
And the females in his life know that boundaries are made to be pushed.
Which is how we ended up with three silkie chickens.
Because John is a fantastically tolerant man he rolled his eyes when he saw that they brought us joy and when the rooster grew a crazy comb he announced that his name should be changed from “Fluffy” as Jane called him or “Spike” as I called him to “Magma”.
And because we know you can only push boundaries so far…