Mambo Number Five

In CategoryNavel Gazing

So a couple weeks ago, Jim had to go out of town again. That, for those keeping track, was trip number FIVE. Five trips in nine weeks. FIVE. From my perspective, work basically held the entire summer hostage, since he was either gone or getting ready to go somewhere since the end of June. Even though he was gone constantly, life went on, and I was left in charge of all kinds of things that I don’t like to be in charge of.

Like The Guy. You know – The Guy. The Lawn Guy, The Handyman Guy, The Tree Guy… This particular week, I was forced to deal with The Tree Guy. I hate dealing with The Guy.

I kept Jim apprised of the situation –

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In any event, The Guy and all associated Guys eventually left and in spite of everything, did a good job. The next week we had a huge windstorm that knocked branches down all over the neighborhood and I was able to sit back and feel smug that we had done the Responsible Thing before a giant branch had a chance to fall on our house. Which frankly, is not generally how things go at our house.


Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday


This article – Why Early Learning Does Not Help – is excellent, albeit looooong. It contains some very firm language, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. For example –

When asked what are the gains from early learning for small children, Dr. Neufeld simply replies: “I don’t think there is anything to be gained except parental emancipation.”

• This is high-larious – Toddlers are A**holes. I’m not swearing, I’m just quoting. And anyway, it’s true.

This is interesting, but the one sentence that really speaks to me is this one –

“Why do something hard today when you can do it easy tomorrow?”

• This I loved. Won Over by the Battlefield.

• I know Neil deGrass Tyson has a lot of loyal followers, which is probably why I find this whole business about him lying/fabricating/embellishing in his speeches AND his subsequent efforts to silence everyone who points it out so intriguing.

**I know it’s not Monday. I was busy. 

Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday



• I thought double-digit multiplication was going to kill me today. But then it didn’t! I live to fight another day (to Big’s regret, I’m sure.

Little, who’s always hummed cheerfully through her schoolwork has recently started whining and fussing at me during math. What is this? I cynically suspect she wants in on the patting and encouraging and soothing voice her brother gets. Hmm. Sometimes I think they lie awake at night and plot against me. Is that too suspicious?

• Speaking of kids, on Saturday morning after a night of strange dreams, I woke wanting to cuddle my kids. I nudged Jim on the shoulder and said, “I want a baby.”

I didn’t even realize what I had said until all the blood drained from his face.

• A few weeks ago, my local homeschooling group on FB had a giant virtual fistfight about whether or not to allow political and religious posts on the Facebook Page. It started one afternoon, and continued all the way until midnight. It was horrifying. People stopped juuuust short of name calling. Like, they didn’t actually call names, but managed to leave no doubt as to the ones they would call, if they weren’t so civilized.

It was bizarre – and sad. They are all friends! They KNOW each other. I thought for sure I’d wake up the next morning and everyone would be contrite and apologizing and blaming it on too much wine… but no. They started right back up again. It went on for THREE DAYS. Eventually, one faction decided to split off and start over and the faction that stayed behind squabbled among themselves for a few more days before settling down.

Have you been through this? Is a Homeschool Group Split a rite of passage?

• This is awesome – This is What Brave Means at Momastery.

• Also this, about guarding the gates of your heart, which I am a huge believer in – Guard Your Gates.

• And one more – The Four Levels of Friendship. Very interesting. Lots of good points. INTJ Deb likes to be able to quantify things and make logical little charts.

• Happy Monday, y’all!

When the cat’s away, the mouse paints everything

In CategoryAdventures in Decorating, Navel Gazing

Jim was gone AGAIN all last week, making the 4th week out of the last 8 he hasn’t been here. This is very trying. I would complain about this more, but a lot of my friends have endured year-long deployments and I am a sissy in comparison. How you guys did it, I don’t know. It’s only been a few weeks and I already feel myself becoming sullen and resentful – “what’s it to YOU, you don’t even LIVE here!” and so on. I am such an awesome wife.

While he was away on the most recent trip (apparently a horrible one which afforded me the chance to crow about making the best pot roast ever while poor Jim endured awful group take out from the cheapest place the company could find (see also: Awesome Wife)), some things happened.

First, in the week he was home, he managed to catch a cold and infect us all. Naturally, the minute I realized Little was sick was the very instant stories of this new virus hospitalizing hundreds of kids started making the news the very week we were scheduled to start a class at the local museum where there would be a whole bunch of germ-riddled kids.

Second, I managed to lock the three of us out of the house. Why do these things always happen to me? At least this time I had clothes on. In any event, it wasn’t too bad, since we had access to the garage – where there are like, 47 keys on a hook which open exactly zero of the doors in this house – and Big was only too excited to go find his pocketknife so we could pry off a screen and shove him through the window. They couldn’t wait to rat me out to their dad that night when he called.

Third, since he wasn’t here to stop me, I did this –




I realize these pictures are pretty bad. I will apparently never be a Lifestyle Blogger who is featured in Domino Magazine. How does she get the top of the picture straight but the bottom stays crooked? I don’t knoooowwwww.

I am going to paint the inside with some black high-heat paint and also probably do something to those hideous tiles. And maybe get something for the big, stupid, inoperable black hole of a firebox. Dried hydrangeas? Pottery Barn says Yes.

I’d show you the whole room, but it’s basically covered in blankets and stuffed animals and used tissues. Fancy!

** The wall color is Sherwin Williams Quietude, which is a fantastic blue-green that manages to look different on every wall in every room. You can see way better examples of it on Pinterest.