Sea Salt for New Years

I had to stop at the local grocery store to get some sea salt for Dear Sir's popcorn. The regular stuff is just not cutting it. The Girl came with me. She always puts it upon herself to search for the thing we are about to buy, so once we hit the spice aisle, she was frantically reading labels, looking this way and that. I crouched down to take a look at all the available salts. The Girl did too.
"I can't seem to find it," I said.
I immediately sensed her frustration.
"Sea salt!!! Show yourself!" she yelled.

I almost fell on my butt laughing. We laughed all the way to the check out line.
Oh, and we did find it eventually.


Le Football American

If Dear Sir would just be convinced that football makes no sense, we wouldn't spend so much unneeded time apart. I tried last year to watch college, which doesn't seem as fake as the NFL, but then I tried watching a little bit this year and was sourly disappointed with Notre Dame. Dear Sir could not bear to watch the games so he watched the Redskins, who he hates. Hey, I hate them. I just hate football. He watches the Redskins so that he can watch them lose. It doesn't matter who they play, he roots for the opposing team instead. There was a guy at his old workplace that was such a huge Skins fan that he would buy the whole office donuts the morning after they won. Dear Sir loved the donuts but always hoped that the donuts would not come the next morning because he was sick of the guy rubbing the Skin's victories in his face.

I have a good friend who is a big Steelers fan, and one day I decided to call her while the men in my home were watching the Steelers game. She wouldn't pick up her phone. I imagined she was at the store or something, who knows. Dear Sir scoffed at me when he heard I tried to call her. "You think she is going to pick up when the Steelers are playing? What are you thinking calling her during the game?"

I didn't think about that. It was hard for me to imagine a girl watching a football game period. In fact, it sort of bothers me but I won't tell my friend that. No, it doesn't really BOTHER me, it just seems like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or something.

The next day my friend called me back. "Sorry I called during the game," I said.
She laughed at me, "Yeah, I NEVER pick up during a game, are you crazy? I don't think I can be friends with you anymore!" She laughed a good bit.


Here are My Eight New Books:

1. The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins
2. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
3. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
4. I Say No by Wilkie Collins
5. A Rogue's Life by Wilkie Collins
6. Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin
7. Through a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu
8. Blind Love by Wilkie Collins

Mind, all of these books are classics and all of them will have me planted on a couch reading for weeks. While at Borders tonight Dear Sir consented to me purchasing the Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Gee whiz, I will have a field day with that. Endless book titles at my fingertips. Hardy had a column of his own, the scoundrel. This is good for my future in expertise of the tragic Victorian novel.

So there you have it, Shealy.



I am so sorry, if there in anyone left who bothers to visit me lately. I just have no drive to write, although I have some time. I mean, I am busy like the rest of us, but I just have nothing to say right now. I have plenty going on, but nothing to say, really.

Dear Sir got me eight books for Christmas and I am only 1/3 of a way through the first book. I mean, the book he got me for my birthday. I got books for my birthday too.

The neighbors who destroyed our mailbox invited us over to their house on Christmas day because they said they are "terrible" neighbors. I was sick, the Girl was sick, it was sort of strange, but we went. We stayed a little over an hour and left a bit disturbed. I mean, they are nice people, but it was quite strange and awkward. Their little three year old boy took my hand immediately as I walked in the door and said, "YOU will play with me!" and led me downstairs to his lair of Toys R Us. It was pretty much chaos because the kid talked incessantly, the couple talked over each other, and then she had family who were quiet, but kept interrupting too. Dear Sir and I just smiled pleasantly and let it all trickle down. Our kids were complete quiet angels. Their house was sort of dark and dank; well taken over by the ruler-child. The carpet was a nightmare, the house cluttered so badly that walking around was laughable. If I spilled my red wine it would not have made a difference. Sudafed kept me calm enough to maintain balance while descending the steps as the child clasped my hand and led me to a matchbox race track. Heaven forbid I put my car in his slot. He would scream and attack my hand. I knew my place quickly; I was to be the Venom car, he was to be Spiderman. Heaven help you if you mix it up.

I imagine they must think Dear Sir and I are a fascinating couple. We never argue (at least in public like they do), we homeschool, we look sort of different, and our kids are well-behaved. I must admit, Dear Sir and I are pretty happy. Very happy. They are not. They look and sound miserable. This is what was the most disturbing. I feel very bad for them.

We had many homeschooling questions. They asked about competence but stated that I looked absolutely competent, so they weren't questioning my abilities, but questioning others. Huh.

I am glad I look competent. That sort of made me laugh---and wonder. When visiting a church recently someone asked me (and this is the second time this has happened) if I was Dear Sir's daughter or wife, they could not tell. They were totally not trying to flatter me, they were embarrassed to ask the question and were embarrassed to get the answer. I just looked at Dear Sir and thought, "well, gee, he doesn't look that old!" Then the man, for unknown reasons, goes and shaves his beard. Took care of that. Now he looks like a baby.

I must depart. The Oldest is begging me for coffee and the treadmill is calling me to it, pleading with me to finish what I have started.

I am now thirty and the grave has engulfed me, for now I only speak from the lips of a corpse. But I look competent. This is a relief.


Times for Laughter

After I posted yesterday's post, I couldn't stop crying. Is that not pathetic? I still feel bad, I just don't think that I will cry at the drop of a hat today. Good. It was getting hard to just function yesterday! Weeping while you are making Christmas Cookies is not a good combo.

I have been waking up every morning to my son playing his heart out on the piano. Which reminds me right now of my Oldest. Good grief, this is funny.

First off, I don't give a rip what any of you think about the idea of spanking. I do it and I could care less if any of you do or don't and think I am terrible on account of it. In my house it works, in my parents house it worked, and in most homes I see it done properly (without anger and strife mixed with it) it definitely works. My two cents. So, with that nice preface, here is my story: I was about to spank my Oldest (yes, I did say my Oldest---gasp, yes, he is eleven---he needed it too) because he so major back talked that the parental gods of justice screamed out when as I lifted his sweat shirt I realized that his jean-covered butt looked strange. As I actually bore down with my spoon I realized that I was spanking my own jeans.
"You are wearing my jeans," I said to the Oldest.
"What?!" I am sure that was the furthest idea from his mind at the moment.
"You are wearing my jeans!" I exclaimed in horror.
"These are yours?"
They fit him perfectly.
He messed with the waist line and tugged them up a bit. "I wondered why they fit all weird."
He walked off.
"Get them off!"
"Because they are my jeans!"
"Yes, mom."
I burst out laughing, I couldn't help it.



I have not been able to function right lately because my guitar has taken a bad turn. It has suddenly (with the change in weather, etc) developed another crack continuing from the old one. This new crack is nearly all the way to the bridge. This is all I will say about the detail of how I feel. Things will get cleared up, I hope, but please pray for me. Since I have bought it I have not been able to enjoy it hardly at all as it was damaged after nearly a month or two. The sad thing is that this new damage is just a continuation of the old damage. My poor guitar truly got messed up. The man that fixed it (who did a superb job---I do not believe this damage is his fault) is going to investigate this further, so once the guitar is out of my hands I will feel better. I think. I am just sick about it. At this point I just want a new guitar, this one is thoroughly ruined. I can not abide that before the damage was done, it was brand new, literally a few months old, and then it was stepped on and whatnot to where now I have continual problems with it. I just need a new guitar. I can't handle this anymore.

The kids keep approaching me in my state of despair to hug me and offer their sympathy. The Oldest is playing songs on the piano to "get my mind off it" and asks me from time to time, "are you thinking of your guitar, mom?" It has been bothering me so much I feel like throwing up, I don't want to eat, I wake up in the night thinking of it. I know it is just a replaceable instrument, but this is my dream guitar, ruined in one minute while I was on the other side of the room. Even before I played guitar and I was a teen, I wanted to learn how to play and own a Martin acoustic. In a stupid way, I wish had not bought it. It has caused me a short amount of joy, but nothing but grief soon after.

I have never even owned my own car before. It is stupid, but it was the one thing I prized and it is ruined. The story is worse than this, but I can not talk about it here. Sorry to be a downer, you should have skimmed, I guess.



I am going to continue to take a blogging break this week because I have so much to do. I am going to also take my dear friend, Shealy's advice and not school very much this week so I can get things done and maybe read for once in my life!

See you all next week.


I am getting prepared for this weekend already since I am going with Dear Sir to Chicago and we are meeting friends. Saturday is going to be busy for recluses like us, walking the Magnificent Mile for TEN freaking hours. I am not complaining, as shocking as that sounds. I am so thankful to walk for ten hours with my dear friends. That part is great. It is just shopping for that long? I am not a shopper. I avoid it consistently. Most women would be thrilled to go out and buy a new coat, etc, and Dear Sir encourages me to do stuff like that, but I just find no happiness in it. At least I will be with Dear Sir, and he is my right hand man when it comes to shopping (if we indeed partake in that activity). The man has great taste.

Here is the Oldest's Christmas List, which I thought was funny:

(he then lists a few he wants)
A game controller for {the Girl}
football cards
weapons (like guns and swords and stuff)
Star Wars figures (get some clone troopers for Eraser Eater)
A giant candy cane that I can eat
flower seeds for the Girl
Newsboys CD for Eraser Eater
Hotwheels for me and Eraser Eater
(now here is the bomb he is slipping in at the end):
electric piano (a good one)
Garfield comics

Sneaky, huh?

I can't find Eraser Eater's, but his was pretty funny too. At least to me.


No Talking, No Singing

I put up one stupid set of Christmas lights yesterday. I tried to put others up but it was difficult. I am a woman of little brain at times. The kids fought a lot yesterday over decorating and whatnot, so I was a little frazzled. I made some soap for Christmas and truffles last night. I was so spent that when Dear Sir wanted to start talking to me I just said, "I am sorry, no offense, but I can not possibly speak right now. Can we talk later?" Earlier on the phone I told him that I was going to quit motherhood shortly---and then a child yelped in the background and I said, "gotta go. I'll talk to you when you get home." Guess I didn't do much of that.

I think he took it well. He didn't talk to me the rest of the night. But he is so darned polite I think he must have been waiting for me to say something. What a guy.

I did get paid the highest compliment of my life (to my memory---I have a very bad one) yesterday, so there is something to put into the archival drawer. I put on some Christmas music and I played "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings" by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan. When Sarah started her verse my Oldest said, "Is that you?!"
"What do you mean, is that me?"
"Singing---is that you singing. That has to be you."
"It does? No, that's not me."
"You're joking."
"Nope, it's Sarah McLachlan."
"What?! I hate Sarah McLachlan!"
"But you said that I sound like her or she sounds like me!"
"I know! She does! But I would like the song if you sang it, not her!"
"Well that doesn't make much sense," chimed in Eraser Eater.
"It makes perfect sense," said the Oldest, "I don't like Sarah McLachlan's singing, but I like Mom's."
"But they sound the same!" Eraser Eater said.
"Oh forget it."

Hey, if someone can mistake my voice with the most gorgeous voice on earth, I am happy until I die. Forget turning 30, I just achieved a lifetime of work.


Christmas Lights

I opened up the Christmas box that sits in the shed with all the decor in it. I don't have tons. The movers broke most of my stuff that I really liked (well, it was the one thing I liked a lot---I must be exaggerating). So---I went to get the Christmas lights from the box (we have about four sets) and two of them were not working. I started to get depressed thinking how I had to go to the store and get new lights, buy wrapping paper, emerge from my tunnel. Not good. Then, by a miracle, I remembered going into the crawl space last year and seeing a tupperware box that said, "Christmas Lights". It was etched in my mind. I put my coat on and went down there. Sure enough, I found this big box and pulled it out and brought it into the house. Looky what I found:

Score, big time. I mean, it doesn't look so grand in the picture, but there are so many lights I can't even express to you the utter wealth. That box is nearly full too, as it is lying there. I wonder what other things are down in that crawl space. Huh. I found a sink. And some blinds, some hardwood, sleds. Lots of cool stuff.

Congratulate me, I won the Christmas Light Lottery.

Also, my boys keep trying to make up a lethal dude named "X-Mas" that goes around and murders people on Christmas. Like, the polar opposite of Santa Claus. I hate the term "X-Mas" anyway. I try my best to never use it.

Let's bring back Boxing Day.


My Boy

The Oldest had a piano recital on Saturday and he was quite nervous about it, seeing as how it was his first time playing IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. He is a great pianist, actually, very good for his age, 11.

On the way there he kept talking about how he felt strange in his stomach and maybe perhaps he would throw up and what was wrong, he was perplexed.

"You are nervous," Dear Sir called back, "It is called 'butterflies in your stomach.'"

"Oh," said the Oldest, "I don't feel so good."

"Pray about it."

I looked back at him and he was bowing his head, folding his hands and praying earnestly.

Once we got there I sat next to him in the front with the other participants, a number under 30. As we got closer to his performance, the Oldest got more comfortable and I got more nervous. I was so nervous I was feeling sick, a total pit in my stomach. Once he actually ran up on the stage and bowed at the piano instead of the audience, I clutched the pew (we were at a church) and clenched my teeth. Why the heck was I so nervous?

He played a ragtime song from his performance book, and then when he finished he put his hand on his chin in contemplation, scratched his head, and half got up and sat down again. Closed his performance book, knit his brow, and then began to play his original piece written in the program as The Great Song in E minor. I was so utterly nervous the whole time, he played so fast and furious, but it was fabulous. It sounded like a song straight from the eighties. It was rockin. And I noticed how he played at the piano. He played like a crazy lunatic, loose, shaking a bit, rocking to his own music, bouncing slightly on the pedals. He played like flipping Chris Martin. When he finished everyone burst into applause and my child's eyes went wide in surprise.

I later asked him why he paused so dramatically between songs. Dear Sir thought that he was about to bolt off the stage (which I think that was part of it), but made himself start his next piece. He said, "I thought for a second, 'I am not sure that The Great Song in E Minor is such a great song---what if no one likes it?'"
I laughed and said to him, "Well, it was good you played it because everyone said how 'great' it really was."

Now he can't wait to play his next recital. I am so proud that he played in front of people. I would be just as proud if he played terribly. The first step in performing what you love is actually doing it. And it always helps when your kid composes his own stuff. Coolness.


It is December First. I know, I am going to whine. As most of you who are familiar with me know, I am afraid to turn thirty. I am not afraid of the number, as silly as that sounds. I am not afraid of entering true womanhood or any of those benefits of being thirty. Youth is not what I lament in a general sense. I lament the youth that was lost in failure to selfishly become what I always thought I would be (I confess): a singer with a recording contract. To me, turning thirty means I bury it forever. The good thing is that I look ahead to still being youthful enough to have quite a future before me, but not young enough to have the future I had in mind from the time I could open my mouth and sing the very songs I wrote in my brain. So there is some good to it all. Just because my music will most likely never be produced for the masses (how vain of me to think that I ought to be chosen by God to do such a thing?), does not mean that I don't have other things that I can do. There's always the bright side, right? I am a great cook (and I mean this as fact, not as a praise to myself) but I don't use my talent in that area much. I suppose my talent is wasted.

I very much feel that my musical talent is wasted on me. I made a mistake somewhere down the road and took the wrong turn or just didn't take a turn at all and went straight ahead. I do not regret being who I am; don't get me wrong. I just do think there is such a thing as squandering a gift God has given and realizing that is depressing. I don't know what I could have done. I wish I could literally take it from my body and pass it on to someone else younger than me who can make use of it. And I don't mean to say that I am all that and a bag of chips either. I really can't take ownership of what God has given. I see myself as His vessel, and it is like having a beautiful guitar given to you but your fingers are cut off and you haven't the faintest idea how to play the thing even if you had fingers.

I realize that what I fight against is God's will. He alone has reasons for the path that He has led me to. And what right have I to question it? There is no one to blame. Who am I to say to the Potter, "Why did you make me?" He just did.