Thursday, March 29, 2012

Total Truth Thursday - Procrastination

I have to say that I am, perhaps, the worst housewife in the world. I know I've written a short post about this once or twice (or more) in the past, many, many moons ago, but I think that my homemaking skills have only decreased with age.

I know that it has to do with procrastination, distraction, and the inability to stick to one task and see it through. I'll see a paper towel that my puppy chewed up, and I'll think, "I'll pick that up once I've finished cleaning off the table." However, while I'm cleaning off the table, I'll keep looking at that paper towel, and before I know it, I'm not cleaning off the table anymore because I've decided that I need to open the windows to let in the fresh air. Then, I'm looking at the table and the chewed up paper towel, and ,with half of the windows open, I'll begin wondering when the last time I washed the curtains was. This of course leads me to the goal of washing laundry. If you can't tell, it all spirals downhill from there. Suddenly I find that it's 4:30, my husband is coming home from work, and I've accomplished absolutely nothing.

Really, I've been meaning to clean this for nearly a month now. But, since my craft room looks nearly the same, I don't have any idea what to do with all of this! Well, I guess I CAN find a place for the trash...
The strange thing is, that this doesn't happen anywhere other than at home. At my past jobs people have always commented about how organized and detail oriented I was, and how great my follow-through skills were. But, it's like my house is a giant hole of distraction. The Adderall I've begun taking for my recently diagnosed ADD has helped a bit, but only enough to get the laundry down from the top floor and into the living room where it sits. Perhaps for all of eternity.

I can hear my mother telling me that laundry doesn't belong on a chair, or next to a sewing machine for that matter.
 I guess it's time I picked up the paper towel.

I did it! I actually did it! Now, when my husband comes home and asks me what I did today, I can tell him I picked up a paper towel. I'm sure he'll beam with pride. ;)

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Carnival of Me

I understand the call of carny life. I love the colours of the carnival, the crazed, lilting music, the wild, twirling rides, and the house of mirrors that is both terrifying with its distorted images and beautiful with its reflected, glinting rainbows. During the day a carnival is asleep, but at night the dusty fairground transforms into a place of magic. These things seem to speak to me.

If I were a Carny, I'd be a fortune teller. I'd set up shop with a dark, velvet table cloth, and the most sparkly crystal ball I could find. I would wear deep purple and maroon, and I would speak with a phoney Eastern European accent. My eyes would be shifty, as if I were busy taking in all of the spirits in my candle-filled tent, and I would take long, drawn-out pauses between my sentences. For the people I liked, I would predict bright futures filled with love and happiness. For people that irked me (men with mullets and women with overpowering perfume), I'd predict tailbone boils, and strep throat. Of course, I'd make these people pay in advance.

If you were a carny, what would you be?

Monday, January 4, 2010


I've spent a while trying to write about my father. The eulogy at his memorial service was strange. It was as if the minister was speaking about a man I never knew, a man I never would know.

My relationship with my dad was always troubled. We were so different once I grew to young adulthood, and I can hardly remember a time we weren't clashing over some subject. He told me once that having children was the worst mistake he ever made. He played golf rather than attending my wedding. He kicked me out of the house on my 16th birthday. He took $600 from me and claimed the bank stole it. He introduced me to drugs. He bought guitars rather than food for his children. He never paid child support unless the state garnished his wages. I spent a third of my life not talking to him.

But I still loved him. I still love him. With all of my heart. He was my father, and while he wasn't perfect, I am a part of him. He is a part of me.

I remember when I was a child and he would tuck me in bed, he would rub his beard stubble on my face and tickle me. I would squirm and scream, and he would tell me he loved me. He took me fishing and he would always put my worm on the hook. I loved his laugh. It was deep and full of humor. He told terrible jokes with the worst punch lines. I'll never look at a lawn chair without hearing his voice, "What do you call an Irish lawn chair? PATI O' FURNITURE!"

I remember when I was 14 and having a difficult time at my mom's, he gave me a place to live. He told me then that he would always be there for me when I needed him. I believed that.

My father taught me to love myself, and to accept and cling to the differences that made me who I am. He told me that there was never a reason to feel inferior to another person. I was as worthy of a person's respect as they were of mine. He taught me to challenge the norm, and to fight for what I believe.

I am who I am in large part of my father. Although our relationship was always tumultuous, I wouldn't have given up a second of it.

I love you dad, and I wish I could have said that while you were still here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The disappearance of Andrew

I still believe Danny Abernathy ate my cat.

About six months prior to the disappearance of Andrew, Danny was doing well. He had a nice job, a wonderful girlfriend, and an apartment to die for. Everything seemed to be going great for him. Then Danny discovered meth and started staying up for days in a row. Eventually he was fired from his job. Flash forward three amphetamine-filled months and Danny had lost his girlfriend, his apartment, and he had wasted away to a shell of himself. It was insane to see such a good friend lose so much so quickly, so I offered to let him live in my tiny, one room house until he could clean himself up and get a new job. He declined the offer to live in my house, but decided that he was not above living in my tent, camped out in my front yard.

Yes, I said tent. And let me also tell you, it was November in Oklahoma. November was cold there, that flimsy tent didn't offer much shelter. Still, Danny scrounged some blankets, and was never without a heavy coat and fingerless gloves. He picked pecans from the tree in the back yard and sold them at the local market for money. He gathered the neighbor's beer cans to cash in at the recycling plant. He snuck into my house to take showers, and when he left he would leave the door unlocked and dirty, grime-filled soap in the shower. When I would tell him to lock the door if he went into the house or to buy his own soap, he would claim he wasn't in there. He constantly annoyed me because he was always talking about how he was an Eagle Scout and therefore, he was able to survive outside.

He also complained incessantly about my cute little Andrew The Cat. Andrew was a tiny, gray fur-ball who loved to play. He also loved to squeeze out the broken window of the house and haunt Danny's/my tent. He would stalk through the fallen leaves and pounce on the tent when he saw Danny's shadow move. I thought it was adorable and funny, but Danny did not. When Danny started to gripe about Andrew or the lack of pecans, I reminded him that perhaps he should stop doing drugs, get a job, and move out of the tent. By the time January rolled around, Danny and I hated each other, and we were no longer on speaking terms.

The last time I saw Andrew, Danny was yelling at him and I was laughing. I should have picked him up and put him in the house, but I thought it was more fun to let him torment Danny.

When I came home from work that day, there were policemen outside of my house. I thought that Danny had screwed up and bought drugs from the wrong person, but no. Danny had dug a pit in the ground and started a fire. He was cooking a small animal on the open fire when the police arrived. Danny claimed that he had made a sling shot and killed a squirrel that was climbing a tree.

That evening, after the police had left, I climbed into the tent and threw all of Danny's things onto the lawn. I remember I was screaming that he had to find his own place, and that he was banned from picking pecans from the tree. I was sobbing like a rage-filled mad woman when I nailed the broken window shut so Danny couldn't sneak into my house anymore.

Despite my tears and anger, I never saw Andrew again, and a few days later Danny disappeared too. A friend told me he had moved to Arizona or New Mexico to look for aliens. It's possible. I still miss Andrew, but if I ever see Danny again I hope to be armed with my own sling shot. I may not be an Eagle Scout, but I have good aim.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Can a class make life more interesting?

The other day I had a long, drawn-out conversation with my sister about how bored I am with my life. Of course I cried and felt guilty for saying that my life, which really is wonderful, is suffocating me, but it was one of those days when I felt like unzipping my skin and stepping out to become an entirely different person.

During our conversation, my insanely supportive sister didn't judge me. She didn't scold me and state the obvious about how lucky I am. No, she listened and then asked a very poignant question. What would make me happy?

I thought about it all night, and to be honest, I still don't know. And the truth is that I'm not unhappy. I'm just restless. I crave some kind of change.

In the past when I felt like this I would do something that completely obliterated my ability to return to the life I was living. I once left college and ran off with a group of traveling sales people from Jordan to sell gold jewelry and refurbished electronics. Another time I packed a cardboard box with things I couldn't live without, boarded a greyhound bus, and left my first husband. Those kinds of things are major bridge burners.

Now, I'm not looking for a bridge burner. I'm just looking for some excitement; something that can feed my desire for change without ruining my life. Per Sarah's suggestion I'm going to start taking some classes to search for new interests and new friends. Next week I begin a class on book binding. I'll let you know how it goes. Even if I don't find it to be exciting, at least I'll have a new journal to add to my book collection which will one day end up on the A&E show, Hoarders.

As for you, have you ever felt this way? If so, what did you do to make life interesting again?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Strange Folk

Today I awoke to a bright and cheerful morning. It was a beautiful day which I was thankful for because on Friday I decided I had to go to the Strange Folk Festival. I drove over to pick up my friend Katie, and off we went to O'fallon, IL.

First, I have to state that I have never purposely driven into Illinois. The only exception to this self-imposed rule was when I was in college. In my early college days, my friends and I would stay out until the bars closed in Missouri. Then, we would shuttle across the Mississippi to the Purple Crackle which had dim lighting, stayed open until 4am, and most importantly, contained more alcohol than any one place would ever need. It was a sleazy club (it is even sleazier now), packed full of drunken college students and 45 year old cougars all looking for the same thing - "love". There, relationships were made and broken, and it wasn't uncommon for a relationship to end and a new one to begin all in the space of one Purple Crackle evening.

As the Purple Crackle was my only experience with Illinois, I've never felt the urge to drive across the river and visit the great land of Lincoln's birth. That is until today.

To my utter dismay, the portion of Illinois directly across the Mississippi is not the stinking cesspool I pictured it was. During the day it is not composed of women covered in too-tight animal print mini skirts and men still bearing the beloved mullet of the late 80s. It is not rife with stumbling drunkards or groping college co-eds. No. In fact, it is just like home. The people are normal, which once and for all proves to me crossing the river does not automatically turn a person into a vodka swilling lunatic.

The trip to the Strange Folk Festival was great. I purchased a new wallet from Dammnatation Reclaimation, five very interesting buttons from Pumpkinbear, and an adorable gnome pin cushion for my sewing projects. The best part about all of these items is that they were all handmade by crafty people making exciting things out of ordinary materials. It was a wonderful time to commune with people like me, and it has really inspired me to begin creating again.

Now it's time to unleash my inner artist. To my craft room I go. Perhaps I can make a Purple Crackle inspired plushie...

Friday, September 25, 2009

The here and now

It seems like lately I have often been reflecting on my life. I'm not sure if this review has been spurred by growing older, my mother's illness, or if it's simply a transition I'm going through that everyone faces at some point or another.

I've recently been contemplating where I've been, where I am, and where I'm headed. My life thus far has been such an interesting journey, and I'm wondering where I'll be in 10 years. 10 years ago I would have never thought that I'd be who I am or where I am today. I was such a jumbled mess of a person, and now, while I'm still a mess at times, I like who I've become. Sometimes I still feel the restless energy I felt when I was younger. At those times I want to throw a change of clothes into a case and set out on a crazy adventure that may end up back at home or, alternatively, somewhere among moss covered trees dancing in the moonlight with a group of people I hardly know.

I was telling my husband about how I may be going through my mid-life crisis. I've realized that there are several things I dreamed of doing that I won't ever do now. I won't study in Germany, I won't join the Peace Corps, I won't be an English teacher (or a German teacher for that matter!), and I'll never, never become a prima-ballerina-surgeon-archaeologist. While it makes me sad to know this, when I was speaking with him, I came to the realization that there are so many things that I've done that I never expected to do.

I've traveled all over the world. I've seen countries I never knew existed, and shared meals with amazing people that have changed my views on life, spirituality and what joy really is. I've married an amazing, kind and supportive man, and one day I will have his children. We will snuggle them silly until they can't stand us and begin to slam their doors in our faces. We will giggle behind their backs and joke about who is the most hated at the moment while simultaneously feeling the odd mixture of pain, hope and sheer exasperation all parents must sense at those moments. We will live and laugh and love, and eventually we will grow old together. When we retire we will cup tea in our hands on the porch while rocking in our chairs. We will bask in the twilight or the sunset or the bright, cheerful light of a spring afternoon.

These are things that I never imagined I would experience, and despite the dreams I had at 20, I'm so thankful I've made the decisions in my life that have brought me to this point.

I wouldn't trade the here and now for anything.