Saturday, November 3
Since I’m not posting on Facebook, I’m shopping in stores. A friend reminded me that the goal isn’t to replace one addiction with another. I was mindful of this as I strolled through Michael’s and Pier One selecting new ornaments for our Christmas tree.
However, I’m starting to think that a turquoise and orange color combo isn’t a great idea. I don’t know of any other person who coordinates a Christmas tree with an area rug. Yet, this is how I’m wired. Everything must match. I did invest in new white lights, clearly identified as “CONSTANT ILLUMINATION” on the box, so Mike can’t stick a blinking bulb in the socket to drive me crazy. I absolutely hate blinking lights, and I get abnormally upset when I walk downstairs on a Christmas-y morning to find one strand flashing. I then spend an hour trying to find the culprit bulb, which leads to a shorting of the entire strand.
It’s an annual event to watch me redecorate the tree after I’ve jerked the bulbs loose trying to get to that one.
Somehow this is called a “happy” marriage.
Sunday, November 4
I know what it feels like to be placed in a coffin, and it isn’t as peaceful as one might think. Mike is out of town (but he’ll be home by the time this is posted), and as predicted, Ava crawled into my bed around 2:00 a.m. Maryn soon followed. When this happens, I lay perfectly still; my hands folded on my stomach; my feet connected at the ankle bones.
My aunt hasn’t been feeling well lately and I’m worried. This woman is as strong as an ox to weigh 95 pounds, but she’s fragile in other ways. She doesn’t get the flu – she gets pneumonia. She doesn’t fall down and bruise her shinbone – she suffers a compound fracture. She doesn’t get a kidney infection – she launches into stage 3 renal failure. That’s where we are now.
Dehydration is a major concern because of her weight. I fix all of her meals, but by the size of her Welsh Corgi, I’d say he’s getting most of it. I buy groceries by the cart loads, and half sits and spoils in the refrigerator. I have to make her eat and drink, and I have to check in several times a day to make sure she isn’t sicker than she lets on. There is a ton of laundry to do, particularly bed linens. This is a full-time job on top of the other two I have. I’d hire help, but my aunt feels like she’s already hired it. Still, I’m behind and my own laundry needs to be washed, dried and put away. But, I have to laugh or else I’ll cry myself into dehydration, too.
Auntie’s Grocery List
1 qt. buttermilk
1 qt. sweet milk
1 loaf Heiner’s bread
1 pkg. Milky Way bars
Dog food – dry
Cat food – dry
Dog biscuits – big bag
Frozen orange juice – 3 cans
Frozen cranberry juice – 1 can
Deli chicken (FRIED)
1 lb. Longhorn cheese
1 pkg. pickle loaf
Apple cider vinegar
When I lugged the bags into the kitchen, put everything away, handed her the receipt and waited for permission to leave, she asked if I remembered to buy 7-Up.
I’ve spent an hour this evening sorting orders placed by friends and family for the girls’ school fundraiser. Out of all the Cool Yule Tote Bags, Festive Tissue Paper Packs, Silver Wired Ribbon Spools, and Sparkle Tree Gift Wrap, my aunt ordered the Honey Mustard Dip.
And she thinks she feels rough now – just wait until she finds out it cost $12. She really will be sick then.
Monday, November 5
My emotional eating binge has kicked in. I ate hot ham and cheese on a bagel, potato chips, blue raspberry licorice twists, four mini Snickers, some pretzel sticks, and then I got ready for lunch.
Before my class this afternoon, I suffered a major carbohydrate crash. So, I gulped a salted caramel mocha and flew through 2 hours of lecture in 15 minutes.
Tuesday, November 6
Mike left at 7:30 a.m. to cast his ballot. He was #42. I drove to our polling place at 10:30 a.m., stood in line for the first time in years (about 20 minutes), pushed my ballot through the scanner, and heard that I was voter #142 (after the volunteer swallowed a Ritz cracker topped with spinach dip).
Now, we wait.
Given that I’ve been in a terrible mood for a week, Ava and Maryn have kept a safe distance from me. I’ve screamed “GET OUT OF THE CANDY!” more times than I’ve tried to log onto Facebook, and they dart into the closest room when I walk down the hall. So much for more togetherness — especially on a day off from school.
I challenged the girls to unplug themselves, too. They’ve been very good about playing without arguing. Their favorite game is to put empty laundry baskets on their heads and crash into each other like rams. And I thought I had girls.
This evening, I learned that we have an arsonist in the family. Ava came downstairs to tell me that her new hot pink butterfly lamp from Ikea (thanks, Uncle Steve) was smoking. I ran upstairs to find that yes, it was indeed smoking. The light bulb was black, so I jerked the cord out of the wall and noticed charred bits of something in the floor.
After 15 minutes of questioning, our youngest confessed to putting “Brown Bear” on top of the butterfly lamp to see if his bare bottom would light up. It did…and then some.
Auntie called to ask how I voted. I told her. She hung up on me.
Wednesday, November 7
The morning after.
I stayed awake until the last numbers were reported (Florida, for the love of Jimmy Buffett, get your act together!). Part of this commitment was due to sheer nerves; the other was due to the assignment issued to my students. I asked them to watch the concession and acceptance speeches so we could draw out techniques used in effective public speaking. Since the hoopla wrapped up at about 2:30 a.m., I am willing to bet that 49% of the class wished I could be voted out of office.
Along those lines, I haven’t taught a college class since 2003, and I’m surprised by now nervous I am — several days into the quarter, too. I always thought mothers had the hardest jobs, but now I think teachers – mothers to kids that aren’t their own – have the next hardest occupation. It’s very difficult to be articulate and “alive” on three interrupted hours of sleep. This is quite a switch from staying at home, writing all day. Yet, I really enjoy it.
I’m dog tired and I need a cat nap.
Thursday, November 8
A few pals have sent emails to me announcing their own interests in a Facebook fast. Apparently, people have been so nasty to each other over the election results that it’s becoming quite the negative place to be. I always thought of Facebook as my sandbox, where I went to play for an hour (or four) to chat with friends. Now, it seems like we aren’t sifting through the grains but throwing handfuls of grit into people’s eyes. I don’t like that. Perhaps it’s time to play someplace else — for good.
Friday, November 9
Before I went to bed, I finished Christmas shopping for Maryn, and I’m pleased to report that nothing contains parts this year. This year’s theme (if not One Direction) is ONE PIECE ONLY. Instead of Whole Foods, I think someone should open a “Whole Toys” store. No parts, no pieces, no tools, no assembly required. One toy in one box secured by one tie or one piece of tape. Genius.
Observation after week two:
“Fakebook” is changing. It’s just a matter of time until we’ll be able to ”Dislike” a post or a comment. Forget red state/blue state. People’s true colors are shining through, and because of this, we’re ”blocking” and “unfriending”. We’re no longer connecting — we’re disconnecting. Is this the beginning of the end?
Evil parenting tip:
What’s one good way to stir up anxiety in your child? Remind her that it’s spirit week at school and you think it’s Pajama Day. ; )
But wait…there’s more! Read the rest of this mom’s adventures in Katy Brown’s notebook: http://katybrown.wordpress.com/.