A Word of Thanks…I Think

Dear Similac,

Hahahahahaha, you delightfully quirky folks!  What is there to say other than ‘thank you’ for enrolling me in your Smart Moms program and gifting me with my very own membership card?  Does it come with a coupon for at least one child-free pee for me per week?  Yeah, I thought not.  

Someone in that program has an epically awesome sense of humor, especially at a time like this.  I love people with a sense of humor.  Beats trying to make jovial with folks who believe tree branches are for carting about in their nether regions

I digress.

But seriously, last week’s mailbox offering of aforementioned card and breathless recitation of everything I have to look forward to was plenty for moi.  You see, I’ve been there, done that twice.  Well, I’ve done it more than that, but you know, two kids.  Anyway, the youngest is twelve and I’ve no intention of birthing any more mini-mes.  I have the stretch marks, sagging rack and bladder that cannot/will not make it on a round of errands without visiting at least one public toilet.  I’m good.  Really.

Cue today’s mailbox offering.  Someone, somewhere is laughing.  Hard.  I hope they pee themselves or at least blow soda out their nostrils, because really?!


Next Thursday, I’m finally getting what I’ve always wanted.  No, not Tom Selleck, dammit.

Yes, it’s a hysterectomy!  Score!  I win!  

So you see, I do not need your infant formula.  I don’t want to know about fussy eaters, gas (newsflash: I need help with the husband and the dog on this one), or colic.  I don’t want tips on finding me time, getting plenty of rest, or a cure for cracked nipples.  Seriously, I’m good.

In lieu of formula, please send any and all manner of liquor and chocolates from which I may partake while I’m laid up.  Thank you in advance for this splendiforous act of corporate generosity.

Yours truly,

The Mrs.

Revisiting Mary Ellen’s Sunflowers 

You remember this quilt top?


It’s the one my great-grandmother made, the one desperately in need of quilting, the elephant sitting squarely in the middle of the quilting room.  Since that blog post in 2011, I haven’t touched this baby.  I decided this was the time.

Luck and an escape from work allowed me to hit the road to Brazos House in Rainbow, TX again for the second time this year.  Squeal!  The Diva claims the chuckle I emitted and happy dance I performed were just this side of pure evil.  Something told me this wasn’t kid code for cool.  So I did what any self-respecting mother would do.  I hopped on my broom and blew that popcorn stand, leaving behind His Awesomeness who may or may not have marked my departure as his good fortune; The Diva who bemoaned being left behind with two testosterone laden beings; Himself, whom I’m fairly certain I kissed as I blew out the door; and the dog, whom I’m sure is planning a retaliatory poop for my return home.  Be sure to flick it onto the carpet like last time, you little schnitzel!

Himself just stood there and looked like he’d been shot out of a cannon.  

There may be carnage when I get home.  At the very least, the house will look like a merry band of marauding Vikings encamped in the living room.  But for a few days of quilting in the country, I’ll take it.

The Diva and Himself (before becoming cannon fodder)

The more I make this trip, the faster it is to get here.  This may or may not have something to do with my willy-nilly adherence to posted speed limits and my general disregard for my own personal safety.  I like to think of it as survival instinct.  Only in reverse.  Because, even though I love ’em, sometimes a little distance makes me love them even more and want to kill them a little less.  Mommy loves you guys!

My mission this go round was to make headway with quilting the sunflowers.  You remember them?  Go back and read the beginning of this post.  I’ll wait.  Yes, I got sidetracked, but I’m back now.  Keep up.

The going is slow and tedious and requires significant snackage.  Yes, that’s a word because I said so.  Don’t argue with Mother.  Here’s a bit of progress.  I’m not showing it all because I’m mean and I want you to come back for more.  Plus, I haven’t had coffee yet so I’m not even human.


These colors aren’t true, but I’m making do.  They are, in fact, lighter and more toward the pastel side of things.  Eww.  Again, I digress.

There are twenty (pause for dramatic sobbing and liberal use of tissues) blocks.  Twenty.  Like what I was twenty-two years ago.  

I am going to die before I finish this thing (more sobbing and perhaps a fit of the vapors.  Where’s my fainting couch?) !!!

I did have a nice walk yesterday morning, with two lovely escorts.  I bet their bathroom business isn’t vindictive.  Take note my dictatorial dachshund!


And there was a trip to Babe’s for chicken fried steak.  Yes, that’s leftovers.  In my purse.  You can never be too prepared.


I’m not so Pollyanna or delusional as to think I’ll actually get this whole thing quilted, but a quilter can dream.

Until next time.

Of Quilts, Kids, and Questionable Odors

Mine is a world filled with the wondrous wonderfulness that is beautiful fabric: its softness, its supple textures, its exorbitant price tag.  Pretty fabric, lovely fabric, jump into my stash.  

I always say this weekend I will sew, which roughly translates to after tending to everything else.  

This weekend, ‘everything else’ has amounted to a plethora of experiences, some of which I’d just as soon avoid.

First up, letting His Awesomeness get behind the wheel. 😱  

This child, like his father before him, is a curb hugger.  I cannot tell you the times I’ve shrunk toward the driver’s side in an effort to, please, sweet baby Jesus!, don’t let us hit that mailbox!!  He doesn’t seem to appreciate that there’s plenty of asphalt for all to enjoy.  Never mind the fact that there is no oncoming traffic.  Meanwhile, my posterior is doing something my Mama nicely refers to as ‘working buttonholes in the seat’.  As much clenching as my butt cheeks have done, you should be able to bounce a quarter off ’em. Not that you’d want to since we’ve never formally met, but, you know.  Frankly, driving lessons should fall to the father, I mean biological here, not God, but boy have God and I had some pretty intense conversations during those drives.

In an effort to relax, I turn to Lennie the Featherweight.  Sewing for me is like a wonderful night on the town with a good looking man without all those pesky expectations of what happens when you get dropped at the door.  Lennie doesn’t care if I drink or swear, wear undergarments reminiscent of grannies and he certainly doesn’t expect to be invited in for a nightcap.  

On that note, I finished one flimsy and have moved on to another.  Clearly, quilting it isn’t high on my list of priorities, like shaving my legs in the dead of winter.

I don’t name my quilts, but this one reminds me of water flowing over rocks.  I love it.   

 
I’ve started another one that’s all flannel, because obviously, when the temperatures start to climb, you want to work with fabric that’ll  make you sweat like a hooker at a Saturday night tent revival.  Idiot. 

   

This past Friday, I said goodbye to my favorite volunteer who is moving to be closer to family.  I’ll miss you, Mr. Todd.  

And to round out my week, our newest furbaby decided it would be epically delightful to roll in something that smells of a wonderful dichotomy of sewage and death.  My Lulu never did this.  I can only guess that it’s a hound thing.  Bad Ziva!  

I’m hoping this next week leaves out the surprises and just leaves me with a tighter tush.

Gettin’ Busy at Retreat

Well, here I am again at Brazos House in Rainbow, TX.  Hallelujah!

This week is The Co-Defendants’ Spring Break.  Most parents (at least the ones my kids claim are the parental units of their school chums), take their curtain climbers on awesome ski or beach trips.  For the record, I’m firmly convinced most of these folks exist only in my kids’ dreams.  Anyway…

Smart parents (like quilting mothers), throw some dinners in the freezer, bribe the darlings with some bucks for books (my kids are geeks like that…two thumbs up!) and give a saucy sayanora as they burn rubber peeling out of the driveway.  Yes, that’s me, pumping my fist in the universal sign of ‘Hell, yes!’  Shield your eyes while I do my happy dance.  I got no rhythm.

Do I feel guilty for abandoning Himself to the occasional grunts that pass for communication from the sixteen year old or the mood swings of the tween girl?  Considering he didn’t suffer through hemorrhoids the size of Jupiter, bladder control that left the building with the first kid and stretch marks that could qualify as superhighways, I’d say he’s getting off pretty easy.

And what perfect weather for sewing it has been.  Dreary, overcast, gross.  I love it!  

Before I left, His Awesomeness declared the worst part of retreat was me coming home.  Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.  Man, this chick must really suck as a parent.  What he meant was I always come home with more than I departed with.  Well, duh, I have to hit the quilt shops, don’t I?  Or it may just mean I suck as a parent.  Take your pick.

Frankly, I don’t think I brought enough to do.  

The Diva carried on like I was headed for a leper colony.  You’d think I was never coming home. 

And I’ve already finished a project.  Hot snot!  

I’m pretty pleased with it.  I think the star’s my favorite part.  

At this point, I’m pooped and figure it’s a pretty smart move for me to head on to bed.  Tomorrow is another day.  Night all.

Hijacked Accounts, My Email’s Whack and Offers I Can’t Refuse

Mail.  

As a kid, something in the mailbox meant a number of exciting possibilities: an invitation, a birthday, Christmas…a rubber snake.  Ahem.  As an adult, it means bills, credit card offers and the occasional postcard offering me a discounted rate on Playgirl.  Yay, me.

In my mind, email at least means freedom from someone wanting me to pay up…after all, I gave birth to two of those.  Sure, there’s the daily detritus in the form of school grade reports (grab the Xanax), little ‘just checking in’ notes from teachers (almost as bad as principal phone calls), offers for dates with hot Asian ladies and marriage to Russian brides and, my personal favorite, offers of male enhancement products.  Personally speaking, I’m looking for something  to shrink my badonkadonk, m’kay?  I’d like to know what triggers this deluge of horse pucky.  Is it me searching ‘kilted hotties’ on Pinterest?  Gawd!

Lately, I’ve been getting email wanting me to confirm my Friar Lawrence Twitter account.  I’m sorry….whaaaa?  Then there’re the Instagram updates from some redneck I’m not acquainted with who spends quite a bit of his time waxing rhapsodic about his girl and life in general, turning my account into something of an enigma.  Where’re the offers for Dr. Hardy Wood’s Root Stimulator?  Poof, gone.

Anyhow, in an effort to keep an eye on His Awesomeness and his many varied social media accounts, I decided to reactivate my own account and commence snooping.  I tried Instagram for five minutes several months ago and decided I’d have more fun ripping out my eyelashes, but a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.  

Eight follow requests awaited me, evenly split between pimply-faced dudes and buxom twits.  ‘What form of madness is this?‘, I asked His Awesomeness. ‘You’re just awesome, Mom‘, came the immediate retort, forcing my b.s. meter to full tilt.  No male on the planet’s that on his toes in the face of female skepticism, amiright?

By now you’ve reached the same conclusion I had.  My own son hacked my deactivated account…linked to my personal email, may I just add.  Criminy!  At least he had the grace to look chagrined.  It’s a wonder they make it through puberty.

Himself offered to patrol His Awesomeness ‘s account, a sacrifice he assured me he was willing to make.  I took him up on the offer.  At least now there’s time to place that Canadian Viagra order.

The Great Intimidator 

Move over, Dale, Sr.  I’m coming through!  

Don’t I look intimidating, especially with that mouth full of metal.

Attempting to fix Lennie the Featherweight

Intimidating is not a word that comes to mind when I describe myself.  Let’s face it, I’m a forty-one year old pudgy mom with more than a few gray hairs (the hairdresser, bless her heart, says they’re highlights) crows feet, a bosom that is rapidly heading toward my toes, a potty mouth and a side of sass.  

But I must bear the visage of one mean mutha because intimidating clings to me like a crop-dusted fart.

Case in point: 

The other night I e-mailed The Diva’s teacher about an incident at school (don’t ask) and asked her to call me the next day.  I wanted to say a lot more, but I tend to be blunt (another clinging fart I can’t shake) so I kept it short and sweet.  Hey, I said please! Imagine my surprise when the phone rang about an hour and a half later and it was the teacher.  Hmmm, that’s quick, I thought.  This can’t  possibly turn out well.

She started off by saying she’d prayed for quite some time before returning my call.  

Seriously?  While I’ll admit I may drive some folks, well, Himself anyway, to drink, I don’t think I’ve ever driven anyone to pray before picking up the phone.    Usually it’s me doing the praying when I hear the words ‘Mrs. Bowen?’ on a call from the school.

I think this is something I should work on a bit harder.  If I’m intimidating at my current age and state of physical awesomeness (hahahahahaha), how far up the scariness scale could I get with a few modifications?  Perhaps a facial piercing or spider web neck tattoo….

Good grief.

I Got Your Excitement Right Here

As a soon-to-be high school graduate, I had a rather nebulous vision of what my future held and it went a little something like this…

Find a calling, one that would pay the bucks for minimal work in a faraway land (preferably tropical but without those pesky vector-borne illnesses) where the hip folk eschewed all things involving razors and soap and water.

It was peaceful, purpose-filled (whatever the hell that means nowadays) and lovely, if you didn’t stop to consider the gorilla armpits and two-day old corpse smell wafting from all the hot bods.

I wonder whatever happened to that freak?

Ah, yes, I beat her to death with my mom jeans.

Whomever said motherhood was a cop-out, a bending to traditional old white man standards of keeping ’em barefoot and pregnant, has never experienced the fun and games that is parenthood.

Tell me your life is richer for having missed those experiences and I’ll call you a liar.  Sure, I’ll say it under my breath and just smile but it’ll be the one I reserve for those asshats who don’t know how to comport themselves in the school pickup line.  But that’s another post.

How could life be complete without these little gems…

* Rolling out of bed at the call of a child with a tummyache only to step in the still-warm inadvertent personal  protein spill on the way down the hall

* Sniffing that suspicious stain on the arm of the recliner only to discover that, yes indeedy, it’s poop

* Discovering inexplicable drip marks down the side of the dresser with accompanying bleached-out spots on the hunter green carpet…  it’s pee, yippee!  As a side note, did you know ancient cultures used urine to keep their whites white?  Consider yourself educated.  Moving on…

* Crunchy underpants, underpants teaming with more stool than a sewage treatment plant, and socks that have bred like minks between the sofa cushions

I’m practically giddy with excitement just typing this!

Now, I’m no Polly Homemaker, but I’ve learned a thing or two about getting our humble abode spic-and-span.

* Cleaning up any sort of icky bodily expulsion is far easier when you think of something else.  Like baseball.  When the dog leaves a cold, gelatinous lump complete with dry kibble bits as physical evidence of her gastrointestinal displeasure, I can almost convince myself not to launch my own lunch by saying ‘It’s filet mignon’ as I scoop that stuff up with a spatula.  Never mind the fact that I can no longer eat this cut of meat.  And don’t ask which spatula ’cause it could be the one I mixed up the brownies with last night.

* Boogers, especially the ginormous caked on, been-on-the-wall-so-long-it’s-practically-an-artifact-from-an-ancient-culture, will, when eventually discovered and cleaned off the wall, strip paint faster than a pole-dancer can shuck her skivvies.

*You’ll never get that oatmeal puke stain out of the carpet.  Invest in a potted plant for that spot and call it a day.

This list doesn’t even begin to cover the topics of conversation involving such things as where tampons go, why it’s socially unacceptable to whip it out on the playground to pee and why some people look like men but sound like women.  There’s funny stuff, like explaining it’s the ‘Gorton’s fisherman’ and not the ‘Gorgeous fisherman’ and the stuff where I get to try and explain why our faith means we’re generally thought of as a bunch of raging homophobes, islamophobes, get-our-jollies-from kicking puppies douchebags and that, yes, we will have and adhere to higher personal standards than those of the asshats in the federal government.  Yes, I did just discuss God and managed to curse all at the same time.  It’s a gift.

Go ahead and tell me what I’ve missed out on by buying into the whole wife/mother/worker bee role and try to shame me for my choices with your war-stories of nightlife, drinking ( I do that from the safety of my sofa with my flannel-clad hunk of burnin’ love right next to me and there’s no cover charge, thank you very much) and your hookups.  Whatevs, amateur.

What an exciting Saturday night?  Come by my house.

I’ll be Monistat-ing the dog for the next week.

Good times, y’all.  Good times.

Finding Jimmy Hoffa But Losing My Mind aka Cleaning The Teen’s Room

I bet Mary never had to put up with this crap from Jesus. No sirree, I bet that boy’s room was spic and span from the get-go. A clean room and he could walk on water (not to mention that whole water into wine thing)?  I challenge you to top that with your hooligans!  Not so with my teenage son, His Awesomeness. Granted, I am not what you’d call domestically gifted. The sink is overflowing with dishes as I type this.  I hate to clean and I see no harm in there being a foot’s worth of dust accumulated on most surfaces. Hey, it gives the Co-Defendants a place to doodle (and it saves trees to appeal to the environmentalist crowd).  Besides, disturbing all those resting dust mites is bad for my health. Ahem.

Most times I am content to simply keep his door shut but being on a feel-good, post-acupuncture high, I had energy to spare and attitude to match.  Behold.

Jimmy, Jimmy, wherefore art thou, Jimmy Hoffa?

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Are you hiding under the blankets, Jimmy?
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Are you squashed under the beanbag, Jimmy my boy?

You know it’s a dump when the dog doesn’t even want to enter The Pit.  She sits at the door and gives us the look that says I’ll never crap on the carpet again just get me outta here!  Trust me sweetheart, in there, they’d never know.  Poop away.

So in roughly two and a half hours, I accomplished this…

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Sweet mother of pearl, look y’all, it’s CARPET!  I bless my Nana in heaven for the gift of the Kirby vacuum cleaner because one of those wussy-assed Dyson’s wouldn’t have lasted in here.  And look here…

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Shudders of domestic bliss, it’s space, yes SPACE under the bed!  Who says cleaning can’t give you a tingle like leaning up against the washer during the agitator cycle?!  Oops, did I type that!

And those DS chargers that he can never find and, meanie mom that I am, I make him pay for himself to replace?  Yes, I found them, too…ALL OF THEM!

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I wish you could’ve seen the look on his face when he got home from school and saw what my hands had wrought.  It was probably the same look I had on mine when I opened up this little baby…

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What, it’s educational software, I can hear you intone.  Oh, you simpleminded nincompoop!

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He didn’t even have the good sense to look chagrined.  I suppose I should be grateful it wasn’t Ron Jeremy’s Hitlist of Hottest Porn Highlights.  I will say, the lad is quite clever.  Takes after his mother.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  How’d you find space for all that shit treasure?  Simple, I pitched it in the garbage.  Four empty boxes, three garbage bags, one full box and a partridge in a pear tree.  You know I’ve lost it when I can sing about it.  I also managed to find half his wardrobe in amongst the blankets and pillows on the bed.  All dirty, naturally.

I can hear my mother saying something about me being just like him when I was younger.  Button it, G. Ma!  Not a word.  Yes, I was a packrat, however, no one needed a tetanus booster just to get into my childhood room.  I’m surprised this little escapade didn’t require a passport, I dug through so much crap.  I give the results of today a 25% chance of lasting through the weekend, although, I’ve already made my threat of vacuuming up those friggin’ Legos with my trusty Kirby!  He’s a bit put out with me and I had to lie color the truth a tad when I said Heck no I didn’t throw anything away.  I just filed it.  Say what you will, but I’m convinced that little white lies in the name of preserving humanity and the family line are totally worth it.  You think this doesn’t qualify as life changing?  Sugar buns, have you ever stepped on a Lego in the dark of night?  Makes you want to commit a homicide, my friend.  See, preserving humanity.  You’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Hate Open Concept

Sally H, this one’s for you.

I posted here about my intense dislike of having my sewing space in an open concept home.  Granted, most homes these days are of the open concept variety especially out in the ‘burbs.  So be it.

When we first saw what is now our humble little abode, Himself and I knew we’d found The House and after we’d exorcised the spirit of Elvis (the previous owner looooved The King and no room was spared his presence), we set about making it our own.  At the time, I was not a quilter so who cared if the living room flowed to the dining room and then flowed to the kitchen?

Fast forward a few years and one kid later (and another bun in the oven) and I’d discovered quilting.  My dining room, heck, my house has never been the same.

This is  what greets you when you walk in.  Mind you, I’ve cleaned it up a tad.

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One big space with a nice view of the pigpen that is my sewing area.  I’m an extremely messy quilter.  There’re threads all over the hunter green carpet.  I pick up only when I can’t find a tool I’m after…or when the dog’s gone missing.  Things would be so much better if I had a closed off space.  A quiet space of my own…ahh!  No reruns of James Bond flicks or marathon sessions of Barrett Jackson car auctions.  Just me and Sirius XM.

There’s my stash and the ironing board crammed in behind the sofa.  Don’t even think of opening those cabinet doors!

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There’s my Granmommie’s dining room table that may see folks sitting down to a meal at Thanksgiving and Christmas…unless my mama’s cooking those meals.  Yay for mama!

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There’s the stove that has to be unearthed if we want a hot meal.  Any other time, the design ‘wall’ takes up space in my closet.  The books I cram in there resent its intrusion.

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So, Sally H, what would I change about my home to make my sewing space better.  I’d add one of these.

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And if I were to dream, I’d add a deadbolt, soundproofing, a designated phone line, a potty and a small kitchen.

They’d never see me again.