Monday, February 24, 2014

Cold-cocked is a great word. Oh and I'm selling the pets.

I’m an emotional basketcase today. 

Those of you who just said under your breath, “How does she think that’s different than any other day?”…can just shut it.  Today it’s legit. 

Rambo is far, far away in some God-forsaken back woods where y’all is an actual word and bacon is one of the major food groups.  He’ll be gone for 8 days.  It might as well be 47. 
I mean on my own – I can deal with my sadness of missing him.  But when I have to watch it through the eyes of my little girls….holy Jesus.  Forget it.  The little one isn’t doing well.  She just plain misses him like it’s a physical hurt.  When he called last night, she could barely speak because she was trying so hard not to sob on the phone with him. 

Yah – I couldn’t watch.  She uses my phone to text him and I read one she wrote last night and it said, “Daddy – I need you home.  Come back now.”
Yes - just stab me in the heart with a spork.  That'd feel about the same.

Lest you think that I’m being all mopey and sad and constantly talking about missing Rambo to feed her growing sorrow - I want you to know that I am not.  I’m upbeat, happy and goofy around her.  She doesn’t know that on the inside I want to break out into the ugly cry. 
When she starts to cry, I simply say he’ll be home soon and we all miss him but we’ll be okay.  And won’t it be fun to hug him tight when he gets home?

And then I go cry in my room.  I’m kidding.  I don’t.  For me, every minute just feels empty.  He’s sending me pictures constantly and texting me often and I’m frankly – not quite sure if that makes it better or worse.  I haven’t really slept since he left.  I stay busy pretending to be crafty Martha Stewart and I curse the TV Gods for not having anything decent on to take my mind off of him.
I remodeled and repainted my older daughter’s entire bedroom this weekend and all 3 of us can only think about showing it to Rambo when he gets home.

My youngest daughter asked, “Mom, who is going to take out the garbage?”  Ugh.  Yah.  About that.
I told her I’m going to do it and she simply said, “That oughtta be funny to watch.”

Jerk wad. 
As she deserved, I then tickled her until she cried.  Not only do I have to do that but I also have to clean the kitty litter, do laundry, dishes AND put gas in my own damn car.  It’s all a bunch of bullshit.

But the truth is – I’d do it 80 more times if it meant Rambo got to get away and do something he loves.  The man works sometimes 40 day stretches without a day off and he treats all of us like princesses and if we can give him 8 care-free days…well then…I’ve kind of taken it on as a personal challenge. 
We won’t wilt and die or starve or walk around in filthy clothes.  Nope.  We’ll make it.  And then some.

We’ll just maybe be emotional dopeheads for 8 days but still – we shall survive. 
I just keep thinking about the homecoming.  I am 100% sure both my girls will throw themselves into his arms and barely let go long enough for me to do the same.  They’ll both be sobbing.  They’ll both have had a lesson in how much he does for them and how much they probably take him for granted.

It’s good for all of us.  Even though while he’s gone I can’t watch so much as a Snickers commercial without tearing up. 
None of us do well without each other and in some ways that’s freaking scary because we’re not immortal and some day it’ll come to that. 

Also, on a separate note - there are a few girls here at work who won’t shut up about how much weight they are losing and all their workouts and I’m sitting in my office eating ice cream.  I’m about to throat punch them both.  Mostly because I’m jealous.  And by mostly I mean completely. 
Rambo better hurry home or I’m afraid someone’s gonna get cold-cocked.

Isn’t that a great – highly under-used – word?  Cold-cocked.
Wow.  Emotional and can’t stay on topic. 

Just nod your head and give me your best pity look.  Tonight is kitty litter night. 
Jesus Lord.  Never ever shall anyone doubt my love for Rambo.  I mean hey – it ain’t all bad.  At least while I’m gagging and throwing up I’ll already be holding a bag of shit so no one will care.

Then again….I might just sell the cats.  There'd be way less vomiting involved, you know?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rag balls vs. donkey balls.

I am still Martha Stewart these days.  Hard to believe, I know.  It’s my personality.  I get ideas and then go batshit crazy about them, stick 150% of my energy and money into them, become an expert on them and then after a few weeks – I’m over it. 

So yah – much to my own surprise – me being this crafty Martha girl still yet - is pretty cool.  Of course – I’ve gone over the top and made a notebook listing the décor I need to make or have for each month of the year.  There are 6 spots in my house that change with every month.  5 inside and 1 outside.
Seriously – stop rolling your eyes.  I never once said I was a sane person.  Anywhoozle…each month has it’s own large pennant saying things like “Gobble” or “Easter” or “Old Glory” that stretches across the fireplace mantel.  Each pennant has tons of long ribbon pieces tied to it's end in lace and vintage material and fabric to match. 

The antique dresser gets its own mini pennant with a smaller saying like “LUCK” or “FALL”.  It has a hurricane glass container on it that needs to have something in it to match the theme…like glass stars for 4th of July or right now I have pink rose petals in there for February.  I have glass clovers for March and glass leaves for September and glass eggs for April.  You get the idea.
On the other cabinet I change out candles only.  Pillars and tapers of all different sizes and shapes to match the month.  Right now I have a mixture of purples, pinks, reds and golds.  Above that is a shelf my dad made and on that hangs a paper chain that matches the candles.  I make a paper chain for each month that hangs on the bottom of the pegs on the shelf. 

Then the cabinet by the TV has a small tree on it.  Obviously, this month the tree has heart ornaments, cupids, pink lights and red heart tinsel.  Another hurricane is there with red and silver balls in it…all on top of Valentine’s fabric as a tree skirt.
The mantel always contains the large pennant with the large holiday saying and the antique dresser is a side note to that.  Like when it’s my kid’s birthday months for example…let’s say April.  The fireplace pennant will say EASTER and be decorated with pastel ribbons and eggs.  The antique dresser however, will then have a mini Happy Birthday pennant and pictures of the birthday person set up and a large number of the age they’ll be and things that person likes all over.  Rambo’s birthday pennant will be camo and I’ll put pics of him on the dresser probably with bullets in the hurricane and blaze orange candles.  Probably set out a toy semi too.  The dresser items will highlight the person…just like the wood burned calendar on the wall does.  I’m all about birthday MONTHS and this just adds to that.

It’s sick and twisted…but seriously – it makes me deliriously happy. 
I made a huge wood burned changeable calendar that takes up an entire wall a few years ago and it all matches that.   It took forever because I had to make a wood piece for every month’s name and there’s a changeable piece on each side of the month and then the calendar is below.  Each day of the month hangs on a tiny gold nail so we can change them.  There are large wood pieces on each side of the calendar that say things like Happy Valentine’s Day or Happy Birthday Banana or whatever to go with the month.  One piece below the calendar changes as well.  The history of our family is wood burned into all the edges and our last name is wood burned in large letters on top.  My kids change it every month and they love it.  On special days, I can make a special wood number piece that says their birthday or whatever. 
Outside I change the wreath on the door and a couple items on the porch.  I make a wreath for every month and when I can, I make one that’ll last a few months.  Like I put out a grapevine wreath with tons of flowers and a bird’s nest on it in May and I use that for June and August too.  July has its own.  I make a fall one for Sept that I use for November too.  You get the idea.

I have this obsession with changing things monthly.  I don’t move furniture much or rearrange major pieces a lot but I do change these little things literally with every event/holiday of the month.
Last night I finished the mini pennant for September that said FALL.  I also finished the mini pennant for March that says LUCK.  I made May’s paper chain in all bright, primary colors too. 

I’m debating on whether or not I want to make rag balls and rag trees for each month too.  I made some St. Patrick’s day rag trees and they’re cute but I’m not in love with them.  I haven’t made a rag ball yet but I bought a cool glass jar to put some in when/if I do. 
Why am I writing about all this ridiculously, boring stuff?  Well – mostly because it’s my life right now.  I’m constantly putting ideas in my notebook for each month and then shopping for the items and seeing what I can make myself.  Then I go home at night and make them if it’s a night that Rambo works…and the girls get to help me.  

And yes…I’m taking pics of stuff as I go along.  My plan is to do a month by month picture collage when I’m all done.  I promise. 
My life is simple.  Nothing fancy.  But fun.  And I’m in love with it.  There’s something about sitting and creating and not thinking about anything else but that.  It quiets my mind.  In between all of this, I’m still clearing out our house a ton.  4 totes are going to a consignment shop this weekend and I sold all my daughter’s furniture in her room to make room for her new stuff.  We start painting this weekend. 

And it’s Valentine’s weekend too.  I got a huge bouquet of baby’s breath and red roses today and I don’t care how cliché it is…it makes my heart swell.  The card from Rambo written by him is just another one I’ll keep forever. 
I like simple.  I like channeling Martha.  I like just about everything these days.

What’s not to like about rag balls, you know?  They are better than donkey balls.  Yes?

Monday, February 3, 2014

There is pride in detentions.

I think I’ve mentioned it here before but in case you didn’t know…I was a goody two shoes.  Like bad.  As I get older and ponder life I realize that it wasn’t because I was inherently such a “good” person that I couldn’t help being somewhat perfect….oh no.  It was because I was afraid of what would happen IF I weren’t good or great or perfect for even a second.  I could not handle consequences or conflict or the thought of disappointing anyone.

I probably missed out on a lot of things in life because of this fear of what would happen if I broke a rule or got in trouble.  Well not probably…I’m sure of it.
Shitloads of teachers and adults and parents were shocked when I started dating Rambo…and then stayed dating Rambo.  You can’t even begin to count the conversations adults had with me about how he was bad for me, a terrible influence and was going to end up nowhere in life.

Rambo did all kinds of bad things.  He was the proverbial bad boy and I suppose it was part of why I was drawn to him.  He did what he wanted when he wanted and damn the consequences even when he got caught.  Which he did.  Many times. 
But he didn’t care.  He faced the consequences and went right back to it.  For the simple joy of living.  And because he damn well knew his parents loved him anyway.  He knew that I did too. 

I had no idea then but now I can see that that was a part of him I admired because I knew it could never be me. 
I didn’t drink or smoke.  I didn’t stay out past curfew ever.  I didn’t go places I shouldn’t with people I shouldn’t.  I wasn’t promiscuous.  I didn’t leave home for college.  Didn’t spend money.  Didn’t get in trouble.  Never had a detention or a B- for that matter.  I got every job I ever interviewed for.  I never missed church.  Blah blah blah.

I did every single thing my parents asked me to do and even if they didn’t ask.  All they had to do was hint at it.  I did it.
The very few times I got in trouble were usually with Rambo and they weren’t pretty.  The devastation of knowing my parents were mad or disappointed in me nearly killed me.  I can vividly remember each of those times as they were so few and life altering for me. 

I equated someone being mad at me with them no longer loving me.  Being in trouble wasn’t just trouble to me…it meant they stopped loving me or loved me less or could never love me more.  I never understood that anger is temporary and that it is separate from love.
I get that now but as a young woman…I never knew that.  So to be sure I would stay loved – I did right.  99% of the time.  Again, not because I was good but because I was afraid.  Kind of a shitty realization but it’s true.

Why am I thinking about this you ask?  Well, my oldest kid got two detentions in one day last week. 
And I just realized something because she just texted me about a bad grade she got too. 

She isn’t afraid.  Of any part of it.  Do you know what that means to me?

Everything.  It means she isn’t me…back then.  I don’t want that for her.
She told me about the detentions.  She’s actually pissed about them.  Doesn’t believe they are valid.  Voiced her opinion.  Served them as a part of life that she can’t run from.  Didn’t cry.  Didn’t freak out except in anger…not fear.  She wasn’t an asshole but she spoke her mind.  She stood up for herself instead of nearly begging people to walk on her like I would have done.

She’s an all A student and today she texted me about a bad grade and again – she’s pissed.  Not afraid to tell me.  Or afraid of the consequences if there are any. 
My God.  She knows that even if she tells us and we’re angry – that life will go on and we still love her.  Grades don’t determine our love.  Her actions don’t determine our pride.  Detentions don’t change that she holds my heart. 

My love is not dependent on anything else in this entire world.  If I had known that or felt that…I’d be a totally different woman today.  I still shove shit down rather than speak it – just so I don’t make anyone mad at me or disappointed in me.  I still back down instead of standing up.  I still think who I am and what I do or don’t do shapes how much or how little I am loved.
If I’ve even been slightly successful in teaching my kids not to fear conflict or consequences or more importantly fear that our love is based on anything they do or don’t do…then I’ve done an amazing thing. 

I’ve done in them what I could never do for myself back then.  And even a little now.
We love them…even if and when they are not perfect.  And we never expected perfect anyway.

We separate the behaviors from the feelings.
What a novel thought.  As a near perfect child – even then – I felt invisible and unloved.  When that happens you start to internalize and believe that if you can’t be loved for your perfect life and perfect actions…then there’s something wrong with you and who you are.  There’s something unlovable about you – on the inside – because you made damn sure the outside was perfect.

No matter what you do or accomplish…it will never be enough.  There will still never be love.  You just keep reaching for the stars and live a life trying to upstage yourself and it never matters.  So you realize you are flawed. 
And not worth it. 

Strip away the perfection and under that - you are barely nothing.  Keep the accomplishments and perfection and at least you have something to stand on.  Right?
When I was a little girl, my mind only knew of conditional love.  Unconditional love was a fairy tale I spent my life searching for.

I hope to God my girls feel like they’ve found it already. 
So yah – my kid got two detentions in one day.  And me? 

Well, I’m damn proud.  So proud I can’t even explain it.