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Everyday Magic

November 3, 2017

P’khan’s 2 year Well Baby was yesterday. Measurements confirmed what we already knew: he’s small for his age. He’s still in 18 month clothes, mostly because 2T pants fall off of his hips. It worries me a bit, but his mental and physical are otherwise development is right on track. He may just be my tiny baby for a while longer.

P’khan also managed to pull the ball off of one of my ear piercings. Naturally, the thing fell out at some point last night and has fallen into the the Realm Of Lost Things. I’ve been meaning to replace them with Mother’s jewelry for a while, but it’s been ridiculously tough to find ones that met my exact specifications. I want them to be ball and hoop or threaded end hoops. I want them to have stones or crystals. I want to be able to get a set in blue and a set in purple. And I’d like them to look somewhat fancy, rather than just the colored metal hoops I currently have. The weirdest part is that every time I find something I like, it will come in blue or purple, but not both.

I stepped in a hole at my brother in law’s house yesterday while waiting for Rainbow to get home from school.  So on top of everything else, my right ankle, right hip, left knee, and left wrist all hurt.  It has made running around after the kiddos less than optimal.  Rainbow and Dragon went to go stay with their mother for the weekend which puts us back down to two kiddos, but I’m also down a couple of helpers.

Everyday Magic: The Ritual of Finding Lost Objects

Go stand in the room where you feel the object is most likely to be. Loudly declare “I can’t find [Lost Object]. I guess I’ll have to go buy another.”

Go purchase a replacement for Lost Object.  It doesn’t have to be identical, just close enough to serve as a suitable substitute.

The replacement object must cross the threshold of the room where you declared your original object lost.  You must then either destroy the receipt for the new object or remove and destroy any packaging.  The Lost Object will appear in an adjacent room within the next 48 hours.

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Becky With The Bad… Well, Everything

November 2, 2017

Disgusting University of Hartford Freshman Expelled After Being Accused of Rubbing Used Tampons on Black Roommate’s Bag, Contaminating Her Living Space  – Every disgusting roommate story ever has just been upstaged by Becky here. Although I would like to point out that two weeks from accusation to expulsion is a pretty good turnaround for a university.

And since I swiped out this whole explanation as a comment on a friend’s post, I figured I might as well share my reasoning as to why it might have taken the university two weeks to expell Good Ol’ Becky:

The no contact order is pretty standard. Becky with the gross hair was probably given the same instructions. By [the victim’s] own admission, the person who claimed she might lose her housing was from the RA’s office, and she was told the very next day that the person from the RA’s office was wrong. Someone was wrong. It was cleared up. It happens. She repeatedly says that her professors are supporting her and that the hold up is coming from Health and Safety. I guarantee Health and Safety spent at least one of those days going “WHAT THE FUCK? WHY THE FUCK? WHO THE FUCK DOES THIS KIND OF NASTY SHIT?” 

Then they came by and picked up all of the contaminated products. Again, she admits this. All of that gets processed and sent out to labs. The University probably doesn’t have an Abby Shuto in their basement, so that may have taken a day or two.

And then there were tests. Growth cultures at the very least to figure out what exactly Bekkay contaminated her roommate’s stuff with. These were probably combined with the throat swab the she implies was done at the health center. The health center went “We are not equipped to deal with this level of bullshit” and sent her off to doctors in New York. Again, by her own admission.

All the while, people in administration are sending emails with titles like “What the fuck, re: Bekkkiye.” Arrangements were made to meet with Health and Safety to review their reports. University lawyers were called. Every person who saw that Instagram post and was within the university’s jurisdiction was called in and Sat Down For A Conversation. Screenshots were shared. There were probably binders of paperwork passed around. And of course, Behkkkey gets her hearing. Because despite openly admitting to this literal shit show, the bureacracy still demands its pound of flesh.

Source: Been there, done that, still have the binders.

~~~

TL;DR: Someone at the University clearly fucked up when they told the victim that the matter had been settled, but that fuck up was corrected right away. And while it must have sucked for this young woman to wait for the machinery of the university to grind into gear, it did do right by her in a pretty short amount of time, relatively speaking.

Also, mad respect to this young woman for handling this whole ordeal with so much strength and grace. I know I’d probably still be a pillar of horrified screaming two weeks after finding something like this out.

Sugar Crash

November 1, 2017

Halloween went pretty well around here, despite the weather. Rainbow and Dragon are staying with us for the week, so I had a little help with the walking around part. At the same time, we have two pre-teens in the house, so the daily mess quota is doubled. I love them both dearly, but they are a regular reminder that I should call my mom and thank her for putting up with me when I was their age.

The rain nearly did us in last night, but one of my fellow home school moms came to the rescue with a post about a Trunk or Treat going on at a church across town. It was pretty small, but it wasn’t raining on that side of town, so we ducked into the neighborhood next to the church for some door to door time. Acorn was absolutely thrilled by the whole experience. I’m a little sad that I didn’t get the face time I wanted with our neighbors, but the kids had fun and that’s what really matters. I got them some smaller buckets for this year and it really helped cut back on the amount of candy they were given. But since Moose didn’t get many trick or treaters, there was an excess of candy back at home.

Today is my favorite day of the year. Some people celebrate Half Price Chocolate day on February 15th. I celebrate Half Price Costumes day on November 1st. Acorn has a toy chest in her room filled with costumes I’ve bought in previous years. I try to spread them out over the next six months of holiday gifts, so there’s always something new to wear. I drove back across town to The Good Walmart and managed to snag a pretty decent selection. The superhero costumes were heavy on the muscle shirts, which I haaaate. And some lady grabbed the only Moana costume just seconds before I did. But over all, a resounding success.

I really need to organize the costume box. I spent a good half hour yesterday trying to find Acorn’s Wonder Woman bracers before giving up and whipping up some sequined bracelets. The rest of her outfit came out great and I feel inordinately proud of myself for making her entire costume out of pieces she can wear over and over again. P’khan wound up in a Batman sleeper. It’s not quite what I was looking for, but it worked better than I could have hoped. The only thing I didn’t get was to put him straight to bed after trick or treating. Ah well. It will wash and he’ll wear it again later.

I’m tempted to start up Tasteless But True again. The major problem being that I would be all too tempted to get political. And frankly, I just don’t have the energy for that sort of thing.

Adventures in Austin

October 26, 2017

Apparently in Austin, a blinker means that the car in the next lane should speed up to keep me from getting in front of them. Some of these people met the girl who learned to drive in Houston.

We got to visit the Thinkery twice on Wednesday. They are open late on Wednesdays, so I took the kids once before lunch time and again after their nap. The Thinkery relies very heavily on kinesthetic learning, so it’s a great way to wear the kiddos out.  But they also have a train table right at the front door, so it is nearly impossible to get P’khan past that point.  The first time, I carried him up to the water room and only got him to stop screaming by showing him the boats.  That kept him happy for long enough to make him forget the train set. The second time, I hauled him out to the outdoor water feature and he screamed right up to the point where he found a floating plane.  So…  I think my son is a teensy bit obsessed with vehicles.

On the way back to the garage after our second trip, Acorn let go of my hand while we were crossing the street to go run after a puppy. I Mom Voiced at her so hard that I think I scared her, the puppy, the lady walking the puppy, two people hanging out by their cars, and possibly the occupants of several of the apartments across the street. And then, after explaining why I yelled and apologizing to her, my precious baby girl started saying “It’s not your fault, Mommy.”  Broke my damn heart.

Things That Went Wrong On This Trip:

– I forgot to bring the diaper bag. Thus the trip to Whole Foods for the guilt trip inducing diapers and wipes.
– I managed to get locked out of the hotel room with a luggage cart full of groceries and two very cranky toddlers. We were saved when a woman in a neighboring room came back and called the front desk for us.
– I very briefly lost my credit card. Fortunately, it turns out that it fell out of my pocket in the car.
– While at Torchey’s, P’khan managed to knock a full cup of lemonade onto the floor.- While visiting the state capitol, both Acorn AND P’khan knocked over their orange juice.

Things That Were Amazing On This Trip:

– Acorn saw a cathedral and called it a castle.  I drove around for a bit the next day to try and find it again, but had no luck. So I took her to see the capitol building.  She was suitably impressed by the rotunda.
– Moose’s work trip was pretty much a 9a to 9p deal, so I got to have Indian food with Mira and her honey. One of the great things about Austin is that just about every restaurant has every single ingredient listed in the description.  So I got to have hot, fresh vindaloo for the first time in a very long time without worrying about having an allergic reaction.
– Acorn: “Knock knock!”
Me: “Who’s there?”
Acorn: “Knock knock!”
Me: “Who’s there?”
Acorn: “Knock knock!”
Me: “Who’s there?”
Acorn: “Knock knock!”
Me: “You’re supposed to say interrupting cow!”
Acorn and P’khan: “MOOOOOOOOO!”

Partial Thoughts On Whole Foods

October 25, 2017

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a Whole Foods. I’d forgotten how much more expensive everything is. It stuck me as somewhat like a rich persons Aldi. You’re not going to find many of the mass market products that other stores have. And frequently there’s only one of each kind of product. You want a small package of mini coffee filters? Fuck you, you have to buy a hundred.  And the packing will guilt trip you every time you don’t properly compost. You want plain apple juice? Sure, here’s a dozen different kinds! Oh wait, you didn’t want a glass bottle full of organic cold pressed juice have picked by elves? There’s one. Still, it’s one of my favorite places to go because it’s one of the few stores where I can be overwhelmed by cheese options that won’t make me sick.

During my brief stint as a couch surfer, we used to go to Whole Foods for lunch. Not to order lunch. Just to cruise through, snacking on the samples until we were full. At the end of the store, we’d buy something small like a soda or a few olives. A salve to our feelings of guilt.

Whole Food offers whole new options for people to give me judgy looks. Are they judging me for buying disposable diapers? The mac and cheese I clearly plan to feed my children? My lack of reusable bags? Or is it just because my son has a giant bandage on his head and is screaming bloody murder from the seat of the cart?

Whole Foods is proof that even if it’s responsibly resourced, hand picked, ethically grown, certified GMO free organic coffee, it can still taste awful.

October 24, 2017

I have to admit, I miss the Livejournal days. Back when I would just keep Semagic open in a corner of my screen and drop random thoughts into it as they came. Now those sorts of things go on Facebook, posted in the moment, instant feedback, instant engagement. Posting on WordPress feels like it had to be A Thing. Something Important. Something worthy of hauling out the laptop and taking the time to write. Now my thoughts are scattered across the net, Facebook for family and friends, Twitter for things I don’t mind sharing with the world, and WordPress for the Important Things.

Except that somewhere in between are the other thoughts. The ones that are too long for Facebook, but not quite Important enough for WordPress. Which is stupid, when I stop to think about it. The only person who gets to decide what goes on WordPress is me. And me thinks I should write things down more.

~~~

I’d pretty much been confined to the couch all summer. My general state of “Everything fucking hurts” was exacerbated by a double dose of plantar fasciitis. I was able to mostly keep up with the house through the grace of a couple of amazing helpers, but a lot of things fell by the wayside. Particularly the garden.

The front flower bed wasn’t exactly in great condition to begin with. At best, it could be described as in a state of gentil neglect. By the end of the summer, the HOA had some considerably less kind words to describe it. And they weren’t wrong.

A professor I used to work with once described a weed as any plans you didn’t want growing in that particular location. The front flower bed was overwhelmed with plants we didn’t want growing in that particular location. Some of them up to two feet tall. It was so bad, there were three entire species of plants we did want growing there that you couldn’t even see.

Fortunately for us, two things happened right around the time the HOA got cranky enough to send a postcard. The weather started to cool down, and I switched to a new medication. The first medication I’d tried was not so good. That’s a story for another time. But the new medication was working really well and I better than I had in a very long time. So Moose and I got to work.

I marked off the areas where I could find plants I wanted to keep and Moose took a weed whacker to the rest. This is probably the absolute worst way to get rid of unwanted plants, but it was the quickest. I pulled plants from around the stuff I did want and grabbed as much of the other stuff as I could manage to get decent leverage on.

Once the bed was mostly cleared, we started to lay down mulch. About halfway through the bed we realized two things. We probably should have laid down gardening fabric. And we weren’t going to have nearly enough mulch.

Another day and another trip to the hardware store later and we were good to go. During the second half of the project, Moose repeatedly lamented my descision to finish transplanting the flowers I’d planned for the front border. We carried on. Many hours and many tiny holes later and we were done. It wasn’t going to win any awards, but at least it looked intentional. 

On Sunday as we cleaned up, I realized something. I was tired, but it was a good tired. It was an accomplished tired. And it felt good.

~~~

Things I Am Totally Not Being Paid To Advertise

I can’t remember which Facebook thread these showed up on, but these pants are amazing. It’s like wearing a long skirt without the thigh rub. And they have pockets!

My Facebook fam knows that my Keurig coffee maker broke a while back. I was limping along on cold brew for much too long while I waited for a French press to arrive. Of all the methods I tried, Community Coffee Cold Brew was my hands down favorite. Considerably tidier than throwing my own grounds into a jar, a lot better tasting than some of the other options, and throwing one bag into half the required water make exactly the amount of coffee I needed each day.

My Feet Are Stealing My Spoons

April 14, 2017

On the top shelf of my shoe rack, there is a row of high heels.  A pearlescent beige, a velvet red, a deep maroon with grey straps, and several more.  They have sat there, untouched, since we moved to this house a year ago.  Truth be told, they sat untouched in our old home, too.  They are the last remnant of someone I once was.  Someone younger.  Someone stronger.  Someone much less broken.

The pain in my joints was strongest in my hands.  Or perhaps merely most noticeable.  I had twisted and wrenched my ankles multiple times over the years and I was used to them hurting.  The pain in my hips and knees was avoidable.  So long as I didn’t climb stairs or otherwise stress the joints, I did just fine.  I could even wear high heels on occasion.  I couldn’t walk very far in them, but I didn’t wear them much any ways, so it didn’t really matter.  But my hands…  The pain would come on like a burning heat deep inside the joints, curling them up and making them shake.  I would plunge them into ice baths, press them onto massaging tools, and wore gloves to allow me to keep working through the pain.  Eventually, the pain became a constant.  Something that simply was.  Background noise to everything else that was going wrong with my body.

I turned my ankle again one day and realized that was going to have to be the end of it.  I wasn’t even wearing high heels, but a coworker pointed out how much worse it could have been if I had.  So I put all of my heels aside and switched to ballet flats alone.  Heels would only be for special occasions.  Over time, those special occasions grew fewer and fewer, and the collection in my closet grew smaller and smaller.  Until the day I looked up at them and realized that I hadn’t worn them in a very long time.  And now, probably never would again.

It was inevitable, I suppose, that my feet would get in on the act.  I joked that every joint from the hips down was damaged, but in reality, my feet were mostly fine.  An occasional twinge in the metatarsal a doctor once described as “not quite broken.”  The joy and thrill of my smallest two toes popping out of joint if I flexed them wrong.  Pain if I stood or walked for too long.  But “too long” meant “a couple of hours,” so it wasn’t like my mobility was all that limited.  I adjusted, adapted, and kept moving.

The pain started in the middle of the ball of my foot.  Not on top, not on the bottom, but somewhere deep inside.  It was razor sharp and only hurt when I walked.  I rested and tried to wait the pain out.  Sharp pains in various joints is not an uncommon occurrence, so I wasn’t too worried.  But the pain didn’t go away.  So off to the doctor I went.

For now, the diagnosis is “probably two metatarsals rubbing together.”  I’m to stay off my feet for two weeks as much as possible, increase my daily dose of pain medication, and change my foot gear habits for the duration.  No more ballet shoes.  No more flip flops.  And no more walking barefoot on hard surfaces.

That last one is pretty inconvenient.  I like being barefoot, most of our house is hard surfaces, and while I like my house slippers for when my feet are cold, it’s only been a couple of days and I’m already tired of wearing them.  All of which is minor compared to the inconvenience of staying off of my feet.

When I was on bedrest with P’khan, the enforced rest was difficult, but easier to bear because the exhaustion from getting up was immediate.  Now I find myself most frustrated by the fact that I could be on my feet if I really wanted to.  I could get up and clean the kitchen.  I could put away the toys.  I could make dinner. I could be doing those things. I just can’t do all of them.

Right now, my feet have their own personal set of spoons.  Every trip to the bathroom, every diaper change, every chase after a mischevious toddler… every single one costs a spoon.  I can rest and restore a spoon or two, but those spoons are stolen from the rest of my body.  By the end of the day, I am exhausted, despite spending most of the day sitting on the couch.  And everything I wanted to do is still left undone.

I have a follow up appointment this afternoon.  I stubbornly refused prescription pain medication the first time and the over the counter stuff is just not doing the job.  Not only is the sharp pain still there, all of my usual pains have decided to pile on.  Sitting too long has started to hurt my hips, and my hands have apparently been feeling left out of the party.  Moose and I have also decided I need to have someone come in for a few hours each day to lend a hand.  Hopefully with a little extra medicine and a little more rest, I’ll be back on my feet.  If not…  well, I suppose I can always get a snazzy flag for my scooter.