We Are Completely Ridiculous

Bryan got a promotion and a raise this week, so we celebrated by spending all the money up front on a new camera: a Canon SD400 Elph.

I mean, why wait, right? Just milk it dry before it even hits the bank and pray you don’t get fired.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this type of financial planning, but there seems to be a washer missing on our cash flow lately.

We’ve got ourselves a gusher.

It all started when we got a phat tax return earlier in the year. We spent the money on some assets for our home, such as a new couch, we paid off the furnace we had to buy when the old one broke down on the coldest day of the year, and we splurged a little.

Boy, did we splurge.

And we keep splurging.

I do like the new camera, though, so I can’t complain. That’s the problem: something in me says, ‘Don’t spend the money!’ Then another voice says, ‘But that camera is wicked cool!’

I have only one complaint about the camera itself, though. I think it might be too big and clunky to carry around. I mean, really, if it’s not small enough to hide in your cleavage then what IS the point?

“Oh, and by the way, I think that’s got caffeine in it.”

This will likely be an endless and rambling post since Bryan ‘accidentally’ forgot to order my evening latte decaffeinated. He claims my drink was too complicated, and he forgot.

What, like it isn’t NORMAL to get an iced nonfat mint chocolate decaf latte?

Fortunately for me, it’s Complete Bond month on AMC, so I have Roger Moore to keep me company. Not that he’s my favorite James Bond. No, I would have to be cliché here and claim Sean Connery to be my favorite. There’s just something so Cary Grant about Connery as Bond. Last night I watched Thunderball and it was fabulous – every scene started with Sean seducing a blond nurse, and ended with him leaving her to go kill someone. I can’t figure out why Bryan isn’t into my Bond obsession.

Tonight I tried on a pair of pants at Old Navy, and it was a little disappointing. Why do clothing makers automatically assume that fat people are tall? Is there anywhere I can buy a pair of plus petite jeans?

So I have to interject here and testify that I just saw Roger Moore kissing a woman’s abdomen in order to investigate something that was in her belly button. Sean Connery kissing a woman’s belly button… SEXY. Roger Moore kissing a woman’s belly button… NOT SEXY! In fact, he reminds me too much of my father, and that’s just… wrong.

So as I was saying, I’m 5’2” and have an extra twenty pounds I attribute to each of my two children, a gift which I thank them for on a daily basis. Since I have yet to find a Plus Petite section at any clothing store, I usually end up buying Capri length pants because they hit me at the ankles.

[I just saw quite a lengthy commercial for an innovative kitty litter box called “Shake ‘n’ Fresh.” That’s late-night t.v. at its finest.]

Here’s a little known fact the internet told me: did you know that Ian Fleming, the creator of the James Bond legacy, was also the author of the book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which later became a movie starring Dick Van Dyke?

Well I just yawned and my eyelids are feeling heavy, so I will not prolong your agony any longer. There is really no point to this post, and you will never get back the five minutes you just wasted reading it.

Ruthie the Cat

If you’ve ever owned a cat, or spent any time around one, you already know how they love to curl up on the newspaper you have spread out in front of you.

If you’re reading it on the floor, they’ll sidle up under your chin, make a few passes to get your attention, then lie down on the newspaper and begin to purr. If you’re reading at the table, they still jump up and flaunt their same dance in front of you.

Much like a toddler, they believe they are the center of your world, that the sun rises and sets for your adoration of their existence, that nothing could possibly be more interesting or more beautiful than they are. It’s as if they are proclaiming the newspaper has no significance apart from their connection with it.

When I am working in the garden, Ruthie is like a cat.

Today as I sat on the ground pulling weeds around me, Ruthie plopped into my lap, right under my chin. She felt she was helping me weed, when in actuality I couldn’t see what I was doing because her cute blond head was in my way.

Surprisingly, I was rather good natured about it. I’ve been trying to overcome my impatience and perfectionism for the sake of raising a daughter who still speaks to me when she’s old enough to realize she doesn’t really have to anymore. In this attempt, what I’ve realized is that Ruthie will jump in to “help” me accomplish my task, but quickly lose interest and move on to something else.

She has learned, along with the rest of us, that chores can be rather boring and monotonous.

As for her other catlike qualities, Ruthie is an excellent snuggler.

The Picture

So I suppose now would be a good time to explain the profile photo I recently posted. After all, when one has writer’s block regarding her vacation recap, why not talk about bad picture days?

In this photo I am six or seven months pregnant – whatever March minus December equals. It is Christmas morning; I have just opened a spa kit bigger than my car; and I have bed head.

Yes, I am wearing a bubble gum pink bathrobe with cocktails embroidered on it.

Let me explain: I have a wonderful, lovely husband who, like most husbands, needs a little help when it comes to gift ideas.

We have an arrangement: I give him a clue, and he goes hog wild.

Take, for instance, the bathrobe you see in the picture. One year for my birthday I said, “I would like a bathrobe.”


I stated no conditions as to what said bathrobe was to feel, look, or function like.

Beautiful, lovely, witty husband returned with the bubble gum pink bathrobe with embroidered cocktails all over it.

He knows me well.

My Coming-Out Party

I have a friend who likes people.

I know this because I’ve seen her talk to them. A couple weeks ago we were walking together on a trail near my home, and she actually smiled and said “good morning” to every person we passed. I walk this same trail several times a week, and it never occurred to me to speak to any person I encounter along the way.

I do not like people.

I’m so incapable of small talk that I let Bryan hold our stationary three month old after church so I can busy myself with chasing our two year old around the building and not be committed to any particular conversation (“Oh, excuse me, I think I just saw Ruthie throw herself in front of a truck.”)

I envy my Friend Who Talks to People.

Lately there has been a homeless woman who camps out in the parking lot across the street from my house. She has two or three shopping carts full of belongings that she moves around town with her. The first time I saw her I didn’t know what to do about it. She talked to herself quite a bit, but seemed harmless so I didn’t want to complain to the police about her. So in my attempts to be more compassionate and people-oriented in the vein of my Friend Who Talks to People I tried to come up with something to say to this woman.

But what do I say? Do I bring her food? Do I offer to help her find a shelter? How involved should I get, and is it wrong for me to have to think so hard about it?

In the end I caved to my own weakness, chickened out, and decided to call my Friend Who Talks to People because she will become this homeless woman’s best friend from the first warm smile and the sort of hug that only my Friend Who Talks to People can give.

Wouldn’t you know it, before I even had a chance to tell her about the homeless woman she had already sat on the curb to chat with her, learned her name, her life story, and how she became homeless. The next thing I knew, my Friend Who Talks to People was loading this woman’s belongings into the back of her minivan so the woman could check herself into a homeless shelter!

Now, why didn’t I think of that?

When I lived in New York I had a friend named Grace who was a gregarious Italian from Brooklyn. She loved people so much her husband used to tease her that she’d strike up a conversation with a light pole: “So tell me Light Pole, how long have you been standing there?” I found her magnetic personality refreshing and entertaining, if not a bit tiring at times. She was more than just my muse, though. I watched her. I paid attention to what she did and said to complete strangers. I found that she was compassionate, that kindness oozed from her like honey.

The other day as I walked the trail with my two kids in the double stroller and my dog, Scout, on her leash, I got the usual amount of comments regarding how full my hands must be (blah blah blah), and I started to think about my Friend Who Talks to People, and my friend Grace, and even my sister who visited from a whole other state and STILL said hello to people she FOR SURE wouldn’t know.

And I thought to myself, How hard can this really be? I mean, it must be in my genes if my OWN MOTHER can become best friends with the labor nurse over the course of my daughter’s entry into this world (picture a lighthearted chat about how hot the weather is this time of year in Minnesota while I am naked, squatting on a ball, and groaning like a boar in heat).

So I started saying “good morning” to the people I passed on the trail that morning, and a strange thing happened… people smiled at me! And they said hello, and they didn’t shoot poison darts at me or punch me in the nose or laugh at me!

THEN I got all crazy and everything and asked for this gal’s phone number who’s daughter was in the same tumbling class as my daughter because I thought we could get together for a play date once the class ended. But whoa, that ended up to be WAY too much friendliness for me and I have yet to pick up the phone to call her because what on earth would I SAY?


Like Bill Murray in “What About Bob?” I’ll just have to take baby steps.

Coldplay Is My Pink Floyd

For some reason I can only write while listening to Coldplay, and it needs to be played REALLY LOUD. And I mean, REALLY LOUD, like, the kind of loud where you can’t even hear the phone ring or your husband sneak up on you from behind. I think because all their songs sound the same they blend into the back room of my consciousness and drown out all the distractions in my head.

Currently I’m slightly buzzed on vodka and orange juice – just enough to make my lips numb and to make Coldplay sound REALLY GOOD. Sometimes I think I would make a great alcoholic because I’m a nicer person when I’m buzzed. I was just reading about the Comfort Zone of toddlers in The Girlfriend’s Guide to Toddlers – things like blankies, binkies, and thumb sucking – and I thought to myself, What if my Comfort Zone was a strong margarita? Would that be socially acceptable?

What if, when playground politics stressed me out or I thought there were monsters under my bed, what if I chucked the blankie aside and poured myself a stiff one. It sure does comfort me, and isn’t that the point?

The things that toddlers get away with….


Last night I had a disturbing dream that my house was overrun by hordes of people as if everybody in the entire world either lived or worked in my home. The house was so packed it was like a night club dance floor without the benefits of sweating away the calories. For some reason, in the midst of all this chaos I was trying to fill out some kind of form.

So I did what any mother knows to do when she can’t think to remember her own name… I shut myself in the bathroom.

But just as I thought I had a moment’s peace, people started barging in on me one by one to ask me questions. I wish I could remember now what those questions were, but all I remember is feeling like I wanted to launch an escape pod into outer space because at least out there I’d get some peace and quiet.

Ironically, the thing that woke me up out of this dream was my two-year-old crawling into bed with me. Again.

Virgin Post

Being that I love to write, that I never have time to write, that I therefore never do write, and that there are many people who would like me to write, I saw the wisdom in setting up a blog.

Now, there are only a few things I know about blogs:

a) I can write something once for everyone to read — no more multiple email updates

b) you can reply to what I write and tell me I’m the wisest person you know, or that I’m completely full of bologna, or that you like cheese toast.

c) in a particularly stressful time for my family, we can all communicate in one forum without the round-robin of phone calls or technically challenged email users.

However, d) this may be the most important to note — this will be posted on the world wide web, which makes it possible for the whole wide world to know our business.

Point d) can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who you are and what you post, so keep that in mind.

All that being said, I’m now feeling a bit gun-shy about writing in a forum. I liken it to two respectable ladies entering a public restroom at the same time, who each enters her own toilet stall, then sits in complete silence while waiting for the other to make the first tinkle. So perhaps I won’t dive in just now with all of my thoughts and musings on grief, healing, and faith. But know that as of late these thoughts are always with me, and I have missed sharing them with my pen and paper.

So this is my Big Step for the day — to commit to writing again — and I have the community of the World Wide Web to keep me accountable to that commitment. Please, go easy on me — I’m a virgin blogger.