Thursday, August 30, 2018

Exciting And New

Ignore that title. The theme song from "The Loveboat" popped into my head and I had to share.

What am I doing? Oh, nothing much, just missing my college kid and working 3 part-time gigs (how did this happen?) and cooking meals for whoever happens to be living in my house on any given day and trying to put the upstairs back together, which is hard to do because one kid (Brian) moved out and dumped the stuff he didn't want on my bed and then another kid (Susie) moved into that kid's room and dumped the stuff she didn't want on my bed and then I tried to move all my yarn from my bedroom into Susie's old room and OMG it looks as if the entire upstairs threw up on itself.

It's been hot here.

Yeah, that was my week. And now I'll be working at the yoga center all weekend - I sit at the desk and smile at people and try not to charge the wrong amount on their credit cards when they sign up for a class. True story - I charged someone $2000 once. He wasn't very zen about it, either, I'll tell you that.

(It just occurred to me that the owner of the yoga center reads this blog. Don't worry, we fixed it!)

And the elderly client I drive places had 2 doctor appointments this week and she still needs to go to the grocery store tomorrow to stock up on Lean Cuisine. In case you didn't know, the entire Lean Cuisine business model is dependent on senior citizen women who live alone. And with the aging of our general population, I'm thinking buying stock in that particular company might be a really smart move.

Is that insider trading, my telling you that? I'm not sure.

That's 2 jobs. The third job I have is relatively new - I'm working as an editor for an online editing company. It's not bad, insofar as I work as much or as little as I want and when and where I want; but it does make me feel a bit like the editor version of an Uber driver: I make less than I think I'm making (after taxes and such), and I never know who is getting in my car, as it were.

But, hey, FLEXIBLE. You can't beat that when you still have kids at home who need rides and meals and such. Did I mention the 2 orthodontist appointments we have this week?

And then there was the monthly board meeting for our HOA tonight, which I had to host and therefore clean up my house for. Susie helped a lot with that, luckily, or I think I would have cried.

I did cry over my knitting this week. I was making a perfectly lovely lace scarf in lace-weight yarn (think really skinny, like thread, okay?) and I messed up and went to fix it, because I'M PRETTY GOOD AT KNITTING, if I do say so myself, only I messed it up more and now I just have a tangled alpaca mess of broken purple dreams.

This is what disillusionment looks like, people.

It serves me right, really - I KNOW that lace-weight yarn can turn on you like that. Only...I thought this time would be different, you know? Apparently I'm nothing but a yarn-struck fool.

So I considered giving it up. ALL OF IT - the laceweight and the bulky, the sock yarn and the worsted. Only, I couldn't figure out what I would do instead. I mean, what do people DO who don't knit? How do they wait at the DMV for a new driver's license? How do they survive the pre-Christmas rush at the post office? How do they fight off feelings of existential angst without using a pair of sticks and some woolly fiber? 

Beats me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

If Life Could Just Slow Down A Sec...

Oh, hi! Yeah, it's me. I got back from the beach 4 days ago and it's been crazy ever since. Got home, unpacked, grocery-shopped, cooked dinner (oh, yes, I did, because there were 7 hungry people in the house), unpacked some more, did laundry, took a walk - I felt as if I had run a marathon by the time I fell into bed Saturday night. Did I mention I had gotten up at 5:30 that morning so we could clean the beach house and head home early enough to beat the traffic?

Chicken bought pre-cooked, because
I have my limits, people.

I don't know why people say vacations are relaxing.

BUT we had great weather and many days on the beach and ice cream cones whenever we wanted, so I would call the trip an overall success. Here - have some seashells:

This is supposed to look artistic.

For reasons beyond my comprehension, the owners of our beach house rental saw fit to hang the following sign directly above the master bath toilet:

Um, okay...

Here's my failed attempt at capturing the morning sun shining on the waves:

But all this - beach and ice cream and travel - was eclipsed, I'm afraid, by the fact that Brian, he of the awesome tech skills generously shared with his confused parents, left home yesterday. He's at college now, in fact, living in a dorm and being an artsy design major. He allowed his dad to take a zillion pictures of him putting spiffy new linens on his dorm room bed, and Brian himself even sent me a few photos of the amazing food ("Tastes awesome!") at the spiffy new dining hall on campus.

Really, college? You couldn't even let him miss my cooking?

He's gone, and I swear to God, it's (again) as though 18 years of my life walked out that door with him. Remember the tornado costume? The dumb accidents? Oh, and look - here I am worrying about Brian turning into a teenager! How...quaint. Because now I get to worry about his turning into a college student.

He was up late packing the night before he left, so I decided it would be a good idea to walk into his room and impart my wisdom about drugs and alcohol and sex. Oh, yes, I did. And yeah, that went as well as could be expected, given my eloquence at such things. I ended with, "Look, just don't be stupid, all right? And if you realize you're being stupid, remember, you can stop being stupid at any time."

I should write a parenting book: How To Talk So Your Kids Will Squirm. I think I have the technique down by now.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Just Beachy

Just a quick note to say I'm leaving for a week at the beach.

Knitting's all packed!

That's right, the beach. And get this - we're NOT CAMPING. Yes, we actually learned from our stupid experience 2 years ago, when we said, "Hey, why not camp near the beach? Wouldn't that be great?"

Never again, people, never again.

So we spent more money than we should and rented a little house in the center of a cute little beach town that Susie and I visited last year with a friend and, yes, now it looks as though it will rain most of the week, but I don't really care. Because, as I've mentioned, we're NOT CAMPING.

There's a washer/dryer, too, so I won't have to trek to the laundromat every 3 days. And have I mentioned the ice cream place across the street?

So we spent the entire day packing and I'm bringing way too much stuff and we surprised the girls by having their friend who moved away 2 years ago show up at the airport to join us for our week of not-camping fun.

It's been busy, is what I'm saying. I'm looking forward to finally getting in the car and not trying to organize things. I'm DONE.

Don't worry, I packed clothes, too. And my
 somewhat warped version of summer beach reading...

I'm leaving the laptop at home. So I'll see you on the other side, folks. I mean, if the seagulls don't get me...

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

First World Blog Post

Well, that week off, with only 3 kids in the house, is OVER. David and Theo both showed up on Sunday, so I had to get off my butt and back into the kitchen. I've been cooking peach cobbler and brisket (not together) and banana bread muffins and I don't know what all. And we all know that lots of cooking means LOTS of dishes, but that's okay, my dishwasher just got fixed and...uh...wait a sec, what have we here?

Yup, my dishwasher went wonky again, and we had to cut off its power again, and really, who needs a dishwasher when there are 7 PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE and did I mention my brother visited, too?

Wait, I just scrolled back and realized I never regaled you with the broken dishwasher tale from July. It kept turning itself on every time we closed the door, so we finally decided it was possessed and threw the circuit breaker on it until the repair guy could get here. But the super-smart Geek Squad guy on the phone had mentioned that we MIGHT be able to fix it ourselves by running the dehumidifier in front of it for a couple of days. And he was right!

Only now it's doing that possessed thing again, and I'm sort of tired of this. Someone's coming to look at it this week or next, but he already told me that Samsung knows it's a common problem and they don't know what to do about it. Which is nice to know, but really, just give me a different dishwasher then, all right?

And Jennifer doesn't even have a dishwasher OR air conditioning, so she probably cannot stand to hear me complain like this. She and her husband and 4 kids are volunteering with the Mennonite Disaster Service down in Puerto Rico for 4 months, helping to build houses for people who lost theirs in the hurricane last year, you see. Air conditioning is nonexistent, the humid air is laden with Saharan dust, and she and the kids wash dishes by hand, all the livelong day.

So I read her blog posts, as I sit here in my air-conditioned (albeit dishwasher-less) comfort, and vicariously enjoy their adventures. Because when it comes to roughing it? Vicariously is definitely the way to go.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

August, Huh? Well, How 'Bout That?

August. As in, one more month until we start that inexorable slide toward the holidays. I just don't know how this happened.

Anywhoo, I've got the week off (sort of). Just the 3 youngest kids here, since Theo and his girlfriend (sorry, but she has to stick around for a bit longer before I gift her with a blog name) took off on Sunday to visit her family in Florida. While she was here, though, Larry and I did a marvelous imitation of a happy suburban couple with a thriving social life. We attended a neighborhood party at someone's house on Friday evening, and then there was Saturday, when we walked down to the local plaza to drink wine and listen to a neighbor's band. "Toodle-oo, kids!" we'd say, as we sashayed out the door each night on our way to the latest event.

This was us. Really.

The kids probably didn't even notice.

Anyway, Theo and his girlfriend are gone now, and we're back to living as usual. "Make sure I don't sleep through my alarm at 6:30," I said to Larry last night. "I have to take the van to the garage, so they can fix the leak."

"Oh, thanks!" he said. "What time again?"

"6:30," I said. "I set my alarm, but I'm scared I won't hear it."

"Okay, 6:30," he said.

"Yeah, just come upstairs and make sure I'm moving. 6:30's early for me. But I have to get the van there by 7."

"All right," he said. Then, "6:30?"

I should have known then. But all I did was say, "Yes, 6:30," and go on with what I was doing.

I went to bed late (due to my new job - more on that later), secure in the knowledge that Larry and I had, for once, communicated effectively. 6:30We've got this, I thought, as I closed my eyes at half-past midnight in anticipation of 6 solid hours of sleep.

My beloved woke me at 6:10. After I groggily came to grips with the fact that my alarm had not even gone off yet, I asked him why he was waking me up early. That man had the nerve to look confused, as if he'd never heard nor said the phrase SIX THIRTY (twice) the evening before.

And, yeah, I know 20 minutes of lost sleep is no big deal (well, maybe a little of a big deal). It's not the lost sleep that's the issue, really. No, what astounds me is our apparent inability, after 28 years, to communicate with each other like normal human beings who share a native language.

But then, that's come up here before, hasn't it?