Monday, June 30, 2008

In Summertime, When a Girl's Thoughts Turn To Track and Field


I watched the Olympic trials for track and field on tv Sunday night, held at Eugene's Hayward Field. A man broke the world record for the 100 meter dash - 9.68 seconds! But it won't count for the record books. Apparently there was "too much tailwind". He's going to the Olympics and that is well-deserved. These athletes are amazing, I am completely fascinated.

Since last Saturday's late night post, Sable has pooped in his litterbox and the stray cat howled once before going away. Ha!

I'm coping much better today. I want to say again, I know things are really quite good. These little annoyances are present in everybody's life, that's the way it goes.

On that note, it's in the upper 90's again today, and so I unveil my coping strategy: large pitcher of mojitos! Extra ice, extra mint, extra rum. Bon appetit, mes amis.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Having Much in Common With Camels

Outrageous circumstances catch our attention. Let's say that in one day, a woman's home burns down, she learns she has breast cancer, and someone steals her purse. If she loses her marbles, it's a highly understandable result to a dramatic situation. I am afraid that my own life does not warrant the same sympathy. Despite difficulty keeping my marbles in one basket the circumstances surrounding their rolling away are not dramatic in nature nor sweeping in extent.

No, my marbles are in danger of leaving me for more desirable residence due to a series of small yet constant annoyances all day, every day. The lack of drama is so low that if I ever were to lose my fragile sanity, I can hear people wonder aloud to each other that I seemed normal enough, but it sure didn't take much for her to turn cuckoo.

It could be one of a number of things to finally send me over the edge. The stray cat which arrives promptly at dark each evening to yowl in our yard at perfectly synchronized intervals which coincide with my attempts to fall asleep. He'll be quiet long enough for me to be on the doorstep of dreamland before he starts bellyaching again. Every night, the same thing.

We have three cats of our own. Because they cannot read I will tell you that Dakota is inarguably my favorite. He is my buddy, following me around nearly wherever I go until he gets bored with that. This is great, except when he follows me around wherever I go. Makes me think those statistics about most injuries happening in the home are because home is where we keep our pets.

We have Rum, a very independent cat except for her highly perceptive radar. She can decipher down to the second the moment Dakota loses interest in following me around, and she takes up the endeavor. I don't know what makes these cats think I don't enjoy a moment where I am not giving some living being some attention, but this is what they think.

There is my aged cat, Sable. I love that cat, but I don't like him very much. He has taken to refusing a clean litterbox for the kitchen floor each and every time he eliminates. True, this is not as bad as cleaning the carpet, it's the repetition that's killing me. That, and the fear of stepping in it. My kitchen is far from the homey place to pull up a chair and have a mug of coffee. It's full of land mines, and this has been going on for months.

During the years I worked full time, I dreamed of spending my days home with my daughter. Now that I am so lucky to be home with her, I can't help but wonder what was the big attraction? I kid. Of course I love it, but it is more complicated than that. It's hard and frustrating because kids are these wonderful little bundles of sweetness and love which are wrapped up with demands and needs. That's how they're supposed to be. It's just that sometimes my capacity to give dries up before the day is over.

I love my family, wouldn't trade them for any amount of money. BUT. Sometimes I think I would trade them for a studio apartment in some rainy city with a view. This would be the place where I only have to clean up after myself. I have taken to staying up later in the evenings. The summer is a season which is suited to this activity, but I have ulterior motives. One, I can avoid the stray cat/yowling-at-bedtime routine but the real reason is to have some time where NO ONE NEEDS ANYTHING FROM ME. Good god, I had no idea when I was wearing the fancy white dress that something as simple as time to one's self would become so important to me.

See what I mean? None of these things are terrible, dramatic, or would make anyone think "that woman is in danger of having a fit and possibly needs medication". And yet, there are times when I get SO MAD because of these stupid, annoying things simply because they DO NOT CEASE! My child is a funny, sweet girl who is thoughtful and helpful and completely deserving of more of my time and attention, or possibly a more capable mother. Everything I normally do - the finances, cooking, shopping, cleaning, and gardening is enough, but add to that the gas prices, hot weather, and cat problems, and it's not a question of one thing driving me nutso but rather how it all works together in one day to do it. The straw that broke the camel's back is a saying with particular resonance.

And so, here I sit, blogging away in the blissful quiet of the late evening in my home where everyone else has gone to bed. The stray cat was here, but left after I encouraged his doing so by throwing a coffee pot full of water his direction. Oh no, I spoke too soon. He's back. The washing machine is at work cleaning my running clothes for the morning. Sable may or may not have left a mess in the kitchen, but for now I don't care. Right now, I can do anything I want, and what I want to do is go check on my sleeping daughter, then go to bed and think about what fun things we might do together tomorrow as a happy family. The question I always come back around to is this: How much time do I need to recharge, so that I can be a reasonably happy, well-adjusted person for an entire day? I'll have to get back to you on that.

Friday, June 27, 2008

It Looks Like That Because It Is Like That

Ahhhh, summer. 70 degree temperatures, swimming lessons, stomach flu.

Not long ago, we were going to have a yard sale. We did, in fact, have a yard sale. Quite a large portion of our offerings went to new homes with families who could take better care of them than we could. OH and I spent the day resting between making exhausting sales, because the stomach flu was coming into our lives that day and would stay for the next four days or so.

There's nothing quite as wrong as chicken soup in the summer.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Who Knew Summer Could Be This Obnoxious

Summer as a kid seemed to last forever. As an adult, it is flying by. Just like every other season.

I tried not to overload the schedule, and so OC is only taking tennis lessons and swimming lessons every day, and gymnastics once per week. Ostensibly, this is because I want to "expose her to many activities", but it also could be that I want to "wear her out" so that she sleeps well. Quality parenting strikes again!

The most challenging thing in my life at the moment - thank everything good and holy - is to find time to go running in the morning. Obviously, OC can't go with me, unless she rides her bike. And guess what? Precious doesn't want to ride her bike! If I run, she wants to run, too. I don't blame her, it just makes life more interesting to have this kind of restriction. I've been going while she has her tennis lesson, but I have to fit in a couple of long runs (1 hour +) and the lesson is only an hour.

Believe me, I'm glad I have this problem. It could be worse.

Then there's our yard sale this weekend. I'm not quite ready but whatever, those things are crazy anyway. And guess what! This is the high desert, where there are 488 days of sunshine per year, and it's going to RAIN ON SATURDAY. Hello, irony.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Problems with Obvious Answers are My Specialty

Summer has arrived in the desert. The warm days mean a lot of water for anything you want to stay alive.

From the files of woe is me, the garden hoses are driving me nuts! They all have holes, leaks, or a joint where the hose has been cut and reattached. It's summer, right? Who doesn't want a nice cooling spray on a hot day? It sounds refreshing but what ends up happening is the water splashes onto the dirt and the dirt splatters onto my feet. I end up a dirty, wet mess. I need a new hose.

And finally, from the files of it's official, now I've gone crazy, we're having a yard sale this weekend. I am excited because of all the things that may be sold, but also, it's a lot of work. People will be here, judging my stuff and therefore, judging me.

The amazing part is that I've gotten OC to agree to part with a few things. We haven't finished going through her room yet, and so haven't done the beloved stuffed animals, but the progress has been painless so far. I told her that if she wants that stuffed bunny rabbit from Goody's, she's going to have to thin the herd at home first.

Friday, June 13, 2008

How Quickly the Mighty Fall

It's the first full day of summer vacation, and I'm thinking of calling the babysitter.

Parents of young children have a challenge when it comes to the summer schedule. Older kids can stay home alone, or older siblings can watch the younger ones. Due to incredibly bad planning on my part, neither type of child exists in our household.

In preparation for the 10k I signed up to do again this year, I've got to keep up my running schedule. This is the challenge, to run four times per week while my young child is with me. This year, I'm prepared to reach out even more than I did last year. It doesn't hurt that I know more people now than I did last year.

Other parents are the great resource to parents of only children. God bless 'em.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Novel Idea

Today is the last day of first grade. I remember those last days of school throughout the years. They were exciting, but also a little sad. We lived five miles from town and I knew I wouldn't be seeing my friends for three months. My parents used to wonder why I was always on the phone!

OC had a good year. I'm so glad we switched classrooms, even with all the trouble that came with it. I am happy with her teacher for next year, no surprise. The school didn't want to upset the troublemaker. Sometimes a reputation is a good thing, I suppose.

Here's looking forward to an entire school year at the same school and with the same teacher.

I've been sitting here thinking what OC and I will do this afternoon and I think we'll go to the bookstore. We haven't been there in months, and OC's babysitter has a birthday coming up. She (babysitter) likes to write, so I've been thinking of getting her a book of essays and some kind of reference book, such as a style manual. I like the Elements of Style by Will Strunk.

Party on, dudes.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Math is over! The final was last night. True to form, the test contained a major error on one of the problems, exceptions because of material we didn't cover, and interruptions during the test. The entire class went like that, a sad reality of what was possible from an instructor who obviously knew her material but who lacked organization and focus.

Speaking of focus, mine has been divided for the past few months between math and listening to French language audio cds. I will begin formal French classes in the fall, but I am so old I figured that getting a jump on the language would be a grand idea. Listening to the language is great, but I need to see the words in order to know what I am saying. French in particular is one of those languages with words that do not necessarily look like they sound. Un mystère!

What will I do with my time without homework due and tests to study for? Possibly read one of my dwindling stack of 44 library books. That, to make my mom sigh at my pathetic use of the library when Amazon will ship things! Right to my door!

Actually, I do have work to do. My husband needs to put together marketing packets to send out. Graphic design work will be a welcome change of pace.

Next week, French II! Should I be that excited about it? It's getting hard.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sunshine and Lollipops

I have a math final next Monday. Eek! To counteract, I found out that officially, I do not need any more math to get my degree.


Today has me back to my glamourous real life. My geriatric kitty cat, Sable, the most beautiful kitty cat in the whole wide world, smells like pee.

I have sympathy for his plight. His eyesight isn't the best, and he has idiopathic neuropathy which means he stumbles around like a frat boy at the end of pledge week. After he pees, he often steps in it.

Because his other faculties have degraded, his sense of smell has taken on bionic properties and he refuses to use the litter box unless it has been treated like a hazmat cleanup site. My bottle of Bac Out is never far out of reach and that does the trick, unless I don't get to it before His Majesty has to go again. He will pee in the box, get out, and minutes later he'll poop on the floor.

I stuck him in the bath tub this morning and wouldn't you know it, he purred. I mean, he was pissed and all, but now he's in my lap, wrapped up in a towel, purring. I think he knows that the bath makes him smell better. Plus, it's further proof that I am his inferior.

What a magical post! I hope your day is pet accident-free.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I found a new one for this blog.

I had a bad day last week, and because of it I had some things to say which I expressed here, publicly. I am not the first blogger to run up against the question, what do I write, and what do I leave out? There is the fact that this is a personal journal, but it is not private. Because of that, I have to respect other people's feelings when it comes to their wishes about what remains private about them.

I will say that I am proud of my husband, he's a hard worker and deserves a lot of recognition for his dedication. He is supportive of me and he cares about his family.

I had a bad day. They come, they go. It's time to move on.