Throwback Thursday

I know I shouldn’t post this, but it took me back to the days of potty training the Squishy. She put me THROUGH IT, let me tell you. I’m sure I lost some very valuable days off my life expectancy just in following her around and trying to determine when her self-imposed constipation would finally end. If you don’t like gross stories, don’t read this one. It’s Throwback Thursday.

Just now I was dancing like a fiend to Somebody to Love by Justin Bieber. While trying to dance my flab away, SnuggleMonkey had to “go.” Since she refuses to do her business in a potty she could fall into, she uses the $22 Target training pot. It is difficult to clean a bottom while still dancing. I did.

Then, still dancing, I carried the “success” (though in many ways it was horrific) to the actual pot to flush. In…

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If I ever get a pet, I’m definitely getting it on Craigslist

Well, I couldn’t help myself.
I just had to go to the Pets section of the Craigslist community. Usually I have to search through more ads to get to anything that furrows my brow. Today was easy. The first three I looked up were kinda fun. Not life-changing fun. Don’t require that of me now. Just kinda fun.

The first little nugget was apparently written by the nugget himself, a small dog who calls himself Clyde and seems to trust his mother implicitly and have a decent self esteem. He isn’t much on grammar, though. They never are.

my name is Clyde and I am the last one out of a litter of 7. I have  eyes to die for when you look at me. I love to be head and will sleep in your bed most of the night. I am mostly potty trained. I have been with other dogs and cats, but will also take time to sit in your lap. I have been to the vet 3 times and the humans got my shots and had me dewormed. I will be about 5lbs when I grow up. my mom says it is time for me to go to a new home and to leave her side. she said even though she will miss me its time for me to find humans of my own to take care of me. so if you would like to be my new human plz email and find out what you will have to do to have me in your home.

First of all, Clyde, you ALWAYS start a sentence with a capital letter. Always. Doesn’t matter what your breed is or who your daddy is. If you don’t start your sentences with a capital letter, you are attracting the wrong kinds of humans. What does “I love to be head” mean? Head of what? The human’s household? Other dogs? MOSTLY POTTY TRAINED. Oh, Clyde. I have children. I KNOW what that means. That means you are going to pee and poop on EVERY.SQUARE.INCH of my house. Every blanket. Every towel. Every piece of furniture. Either you ARE or you ARE NOT potty trained. Mostly means that people are pretending until the moment they walk into the grisliest scene ever. Been there with a non-furry 2 year old. Still taking meds to forget that one.

So I scrolled down and found the human posting of Clyde’s listing.

he has just the eyes to die for. you will want to take him home when you look at his eyes. (I’m sorry, but I’m just finding this whole eye thing to be a bit creepy. They talk about it a little too much for my comfort level.) he loves to be held and loved on. he is looking for a new home. somewhere he could have a lap to sleep in. he will be about 5 lbs. I am asking a rehomeing fee but he comes with his first shots and 3 vet visits.

Now I know where Clyde got his grammatical skillz from. The “lap to sleep in” bit threw me off. Does that mean I get to sleep sitting up in a chair all night, so that Clyde has a lap? And can we talk about “rehoming” fees? Really, people. Just tell me you’re selling me your dog. Sell him to me and charge me for him. Don’t call it a “rehoming” fee. Did you have to put handicap ramps in your home? Are you having to repaint and recarpet because of all the “mostly potty trained” accidents that were happening?  Indeed.

My final post just reinforced the ugliness of the guinea pig. Horrifying creatures, really.

Cute Male Guinea Pig Looking for Loving Home

I have a baby guinea pig looking for a new home. he is a pretty boy in asking 10 for him.

He is a pretty boy in asking for $10 for him. Um. Pretty boy? Pretty boy is Ricky Nelson. This guy will show up in my dreams tonight. Carrying a splintered club and wearing a backwards ball cap.

There was also a bearded dragon for sale….I mean for REHOMING FEE of $175. He came with everything but crickets, because he had run out that morning. If I’m going to rehome your dragon for $175, I’m for doodle sure going to get me some free crickets. Umm…

On second thought, I’ve decided to call all of these people and offer them some red-pen edits for a small re-grammaring fee. They’ll thank me later after they’ve found their human.


Observations on a Rose

It’s been a strange few weeks. I’ve been in a personal fog that related to organizational things, visitors, sickness, and the fallout of a post contagious house. Life has been leading me around by the nose. I’ve just been reacting.

That’s exactly the problem.
This has always been my problem.
In quiet moments, I have bursts of inspiration. Grandiose ideas of what I can do to serve my neighbor and teach my children well.
Then someone spews something that I have to clean up. Or the school calls with a volunteer request. Or the Today Show comes on. And stays on. For 3 hours.

There’s not a lot that I can do about the spewing part. But most of it, I do have SOME control over. But I’m not controlling it. It’s controlling me.

So at the end of the day, nothing looks any different than it did the day before. At the end of the month, those ideas that were chiseled and colorful and swelling in my mind are now watered down by time and doubt and chores that I won’t remember doing tomorrow. I begin to wonder if the notion ever had any merit in the first place.

And then I forget I ever even thought it.

Until someone dies.
In that moment, it all comes flooding back. In one instant and in the instants to follow, I remember every wish, every thought, every unchecked item on past to-do lists, every regret with total clarity. Total clarity.

I see it clearly. I resolve again to do life differently. I plan. I try. Someone spews. Someone calls. I get tired. I forget.


On Sunday, an older lady who was special to my church family, and to me, died peacefully at home. Then, on Monday, another woman, also getting up there in years, took food to the grieving family. This second woman was named Rose.

I don’t know what time Rose got out of bed on Monday morning and I don’t know what she did first thing. What I do know is that at some point that morning, she took food over to the grieving family without being asked to do so. No meal list was posted. No requests had been made. She just went, because that’s who she was and what she did. After that, she took food to two other families and dropped off desserts for our college students. And after all of that, I am imagining that she went home. I don’t actually know where she was when it happened, but that afternoon, Rose had a sudden heart attack and died. On her last day on earth, she was providing for others. That’s a pretty good way to go out.

I’m not sad for Rose or for Mrs. Pickup, because they have finished their race and earned their reward. I’m mostly sad for me. I’m sad because I’m afraid I’m not learning the lessons quickly enough or permanently enough. I can’t just keep rethinking the same thoughts or relearning the same lessons. I’ve got to build on this. I wish I could tell Rose how much it meant to me that she bought my oldest boy a remote control car on his first birthday. Never mind that he broke it in less than a week. She paid attention to him. She paid attention to everyone. I know I said thank you for that gift. But did I really tell her the impact?

I regret that. It doesn’t matter to her now and she doesn’t need anything from me now. But there are others who do. Other words unspoken, other letters unsent, other intentions sitting under a heavy pile of have-tos.

This sequence of events really caused me to think. Why can’t I seem to stay in the driver’s seat? Why do I have intentions that I don’t fulfill? Well, the why part isn’t that difficult. Life moves at a ludicrous pace and most of us move with it with our faces bent toward our smart phones. I know WHY I haven’t mastered it yet. What I need to know is HOW to break the pattern and become a Rose. Or half a Rose. Even a petal would work most days.

(1) I need to stand and observe my day before it even begins. What’s coming today? What HAS to be done? What did I already commit to? I need to try to look at the whole thing from the start and have a firm grasp of the “knowns.”

(2) Once I’ve got a grip on that, I need to ask myself what I can do to provide service or joy today. Who will I see on my day’s path? Who needs to hear from me? What kind of free time do I have and what needs to fill that? If I’m asked to do something, what will I say? If I say yes, will important things be neglected? If I say no, what better thing will I do with my time?

(3) What obstacles are preventing my progress? I need to REALLY KNOW the answer to this one. If committing to unimportant things is causing important ones to stay undone, I need to change this. If a bad habit is standing in my way, I need to avoid that. I need to defuse the bombs before they have a chance to go off. I did this rather successfully last year when the hub was out of town for a month. I realized during the first two week stint that I had accomplished NOTHING. And after looking hard at why that was, I realized I was lonely, was turning on the TV for “friends” and noise and then getting sucked in to whatever came on. So, the second 2-week-stint, I made a rule that I could not watch any TV between 8 a.m and 8 p.m. Instead, I turned on Pandora for music and hammered away on my task list.

This is really how I need to live my life. I can’t just wait for the empty snippets of time to appear and hope to fill them with big important service projects that have been on my mind. I have to carve out the time and make sure first things really do come first. Maybe today I just need to do something small. Something small is still something. A lot of something smalls makes a pretty big life.

It’s so totally NOT brain surgery. But for some reason–for me– it is hard.

So for today, I’m going to try to be a petal. And if I keep my focus and string together enough moments of trying, then maybe someday I’ll be a Rose.


Well, it’s been an embarrassingly long time since I even READ another blog, much less attempted to write one. I considered giving up altogether, but it didn’t seem right to just skulk away. So here I am.

Not surprisingly to anyone who knows us, there’s been some vomit. So much vomit. So many people. So ridiculous that it doesn’t even bear retelling. It wouldn’t seem real. You wouldn’t believe. It all started with the youngest and some special houseguests. The houseguests had never been in my house before. In fact, no one but my in-laws and crazy Cousin Chuck have ever stayed in the farmhouse. People think we’re haunted.

Now I know why.

Our friends got into town from the West at around 11 p.m. eastern time. Their kids were shot. We got everyone settled down and then said good night and figured we’d all catch up in the morning. At 1:15 a.m., not even 2 hours after their arrival, my youngest shows up crying by the side of my bed. By this point in my life, this scene should cause my blood to run cold, but somehow it didn’t. I thought it was a bad dream, or a need for water, or an innocuous request for a hug.

“I just threw up in my bed,” she said, instead. Not a hug. Just a big ole vomit 2 feet from the poor little child sleeping on her floor.

In that moment, my past life flashed before my eyes and my future weekend did also. I just knew the next four days were going to be nightmarish and grisly. I was already looking around for the emotional scar cream. But then…move on, woman, your kid is standing here covered in throw-up.

So, 1 hour, a load of laundry, a new set of pajamas, a large McDonalds cup, a can of Lysol, 2 paper plates (think backhoe, people) and a whole lot of praying and gagging later…I was ready to lay back down for the night.

Hmm, though. Hmm. Now there’s a conundrum. Where should I lay down? Typhoid Mary was flat-out in my spot. Her spot upstairs was DE-FILED. The guest room was filled to 4x its capacity. Plus, I needed to be the cup holder for Typhoid Mary. I couldn’t exactly escape to the couch.

My bedroom is about the size of some people’s walk-in closet. No joke. The queen sized bed IS the whole room, with a narrow walking path all the way around it. Until 3 a.m., I sat on the floor on a throw pillow and did the whole cup-holding, chin-wiping routine. Then, when I thought I’d pass out from deep vein thrombosis, I climbed up onto my bed and curled into fetal position against a footboard I now cursed. This is where you’d sleep if you were a hairball coughing, mangy cat. I am almost 5’9″. This wasn’t working for me. I got kicked in the head at least twice.

I was never more grateful to hear an alarm go off before 6 a.m. That was one of the longer nights of my life. There have been 2 others in the last week, but I feel a certain confidence that this round is over.

I don’t know why people don’t want to stay with us.