Children all over the world will be upset, but really, when the creative energy hits, it must be acted on. If it helps, my pumpkin carving came out lame.
So here it is, my Halloween present to all of you:
|Living with Gleigh!||
Okay, I admit it. It was my idea and my idea only. My oldest did help me pull it together (the beauty of having a grown child at home), but it came out of my head. As my youngest daughter said when I texted her the picture, "That's so messed up! And amazing."
Children all over the world will be upset, but really, when the creative energy hits, it must be acted on. If it helps, my pumpkin carving came out lame.
So here it is, my Halloween present to all of you:
I am so much more than our pets. Really I am. I am also laundress and chauffeur, appointment maker and grocery shopper. I made homemade chicken soup for dinner last night for heavens sakes! I write, I create newsletters, I am unique! Darn it!
But the way the pets look at it, all I am is feeder, door opener and a hand to pet them. They all have their weird quirks and idiosyncrasies and I kowtow to them all.
The lab, Cedar, is afraid of the dark, so I try not to put her out before it's light and I bring her in before it's dark. She must have her bedtime snack the moment she comes in at night and not a second later. This becomes difficult when it gets dark at 4:00 and she's just eaten at 3:30. The snack is to keep her tummy full through the night so she doesn't get sick in the morning, so we listen to her grumblings until we can't stand it any longer.
The terrier, Pip, hates laughter and joy and must not be anywhere where it happens or she gets upset and runs away. She sleeps in my room to avoid it, but creeps out of the room when I've left to go do something, then acts like she doesn't know where she's supposed to be. I have to shut the bathroom door to keep her out of the tissues in the bathroom garbage and the hall door to keep her from wandering out into the rest of the house. I had to get a pedal garbage for the computer room and shove it between the desk and shelf so she couldn't tip it over to keep her away from discarded tissues.
Chops, our bird (sun conure) is quite demanding with her loud screams of dissatisfaction. But it's not me she wants attention from, it's my oldest daughter. She only wants my food: the tip of my banana, a piece of my apple or pear, a sugar snap pea when I have them.
Cally our older cat is the queen of the house. She thinks nothing of coming in the back door and walking across the house to the front door to be let out. She barfs when she's mad, upset, disgusted, or just wants to irritate someone.
Then there is Lucy, our rescue cat. She's insane. She falls into deep sleeps several times a day, then goes racing around the house finding new places to hide. Most recently she crawled into and behind my daughter's closet drawer. She loves to be petted, then will bite you when she's had enough and jump up like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde terrorizing the house, jumping out at unsuspecting passersby. You can take the cat out of the street, but you can't take the street out of the cat.
But I am so much more than my animals.... am I?
I was scolded yesterday by a friend because I wrote my blog late.
Okay, I confess, I came home from dropping my daughter off at the bus and crawled back into bed. I kind of did it out of defiance, not because I was tired.
I had been tired both Saturday morning and Sunday morning because I didn't get enough sleep. My schedule got off with my sister visiting for my mom's birthday weekend and we stayed up late talking; midnight the first night, just after 11:00 the second night.
Unfortunately, I can't fall asleep quickly. I either fall asleep saying my nightly prayers (sorry God, but my mom told me my guardian angel would finish for me if that happened) or I fall asleep reading.
I'm used to falling asleep around 10:30 and I wake up naturally on weekends when it gets light. It will be later and later as winter comes on, I know. But when I don't go to bed until after 11 or 12, it takes even more time for me to fall asleep, which then means I don't get enough sleep. Once the light is up, so am I.
I usually have to answer the call of nature several times before I can completely fall asleep (I looked up this phenomenon; we have to pee more at night because when we lay down, the fluid that has collected at our feet disperses throughout our bodies and makes it's way to the bladder). I'm usually in the state between sleep and awake when I go to the bathroom and I'm surprised that I'm not still reading, even if I had taken my glasses off and put the book down 20 minutes before.
I usually look at the clock and don't count it as sleep when I'm half way in between; and when 1:30am is staring you in the face when you've just turned out the lights at 1:00am, it's not sleep. Now if I had turned out the lights at 10:30pm and gotten up at 1:30am, I've probably gone through a whole cycle of REM sleep by then.
So yesterday morning, on the principle of the thing (because I can), I decided I was going to crawl back into bed and just feel luxurious for awhile. I didn't really sleep, so I shouldn't have kept laying there; it just felt good not to have anything pressing to do.
Yeah, right. When I decided to turn my brain back on at 8:45, I remembered it was laundry day, the animals needed to have breakfast and go out, and I had to figure out what to make for dinner.
I got up, went about my morning like I had been up all along, got my coffee, sat down at the computer and opened my email. BAM! I had 15 messages - articles were due into me for the church newsletter.
Okay, yes, I had forgotten all about it. I would have remembered on my own eventually, I have a week to pull it together. But it was quite a shock (and a pleasant surprise) to have everything in on time. Now that's a phenomenon! I'm so grateful to everyone who delegated the writing to the right people. It makes my job so much easier.
I was in such disbelief I had to get up and get myself another cup of coffee. That's why I wrote so late yesterday. I guess I know what I'm doing this week.
Nothing pressing, indeed.
It was a busy weekend celebrating my mom's birthday with my sister, running my youngest to a party, picking her up, helping my husband's parents downsize.
My in-laws needed a new mattress. My husband and I had purchased one for them before and they wanted the same mattress. Easy enough, we bought it at Costco. They only sell one kind with one firmness within the price range my in-laws wanted.
Not so easy. As I'm not a regular buyer of mattresses, I didn't know they had a season. This is not their season. There was no mattresses at Costco like we were looking for in the whole of the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I walked out dejectedly, wondering what to do. We almost mugged a guy leaving with a mattress set; could he have gotten the last one in the Pacific Northwest? Then we saw it was a queen and we were looking for a full.
This meant we had to do some background work. First we went to Taco Time and had lunch together to contemplate our next move (it's like a date!). Then we went to Mattress Depot and found a comfortable mattress for a decent price. In fact it was so comfortable, my husband and I bought one for ourselves.
I have mattress issues. We have owned almost as many mattress as we have couches in the 21 years we've been married (see full couch details here: http://www.maplevalleyreporter.com/lifestyle/210757911.html). They seem to pack down prematurely and then my mama hips can't find the sweet spot of support I need. This new mattress has a layer of memory foam on top of the traditional pillow top. I hope this is an answer to a prayer I didn't know I had since all my hopes and dreams of sleep number beds didn't come to fruition.
If you can remember, my husband and I tried a sleep number out on our anniversary. I didn't walk out of that store thinking I had to have one. You can read the full report here: http://www.livingwithgleigh.com/1/post/2013/08/heres-to-another-21-years.html
We really needed a new mattress and even though my goal was to wait until my oldest daughter was 20 years old (because she was 10 when we bought it and I was determined to have it last 10 years), my hips think otherwise. Mattresses don't flip all the way over any more, you just have to rotate them from corner to corner; so a refreshed end only comes around twice instead of four times. But for some reason, one corner of our mattress is totally unusable for me and the other is going fast.
But I'm really tired of buying $1000 mattresses that don't last 10 years. So this mattress at Mattress Depot came in at $500 and the man paid our sales tax because we bought two. I can't report on it yet because they didn't have it in stock so it will come in this week. But I have high hopes. Better to have a $500 mattress that only lasts us 8 years than a $2000 mattress from sleep number or even a $1000 mattress that promises all the bells and whistles and breakfast in the morning.
I will settle for a good night's sleep.
The Aunt of the North called me yesterday. I was cleaning my shower, but I stopped to answer the phone because my husband and I, Northern Aunt and Uncle and their parents are juggling who's going to be where at what time, plus the roofers were almost done with my mom's roof and I expected them to call me soon. So I kinda had to answer the phone.
As I was working out details with the Northern Aunt, I decided to continue to scrub on my shower because the spray stuff was drying and I had used the last of the bottle. That meant that in order to refresh the spray stuff, I'd have to turn the shower on, but that doesn't work well because it's called rinsing.
You can hear when someone is doing something besides talking to you when you're on the phone, so I said, "Sorry, I'm cleaning my shower." She told me that was fine and we continued talking while I continued cleaning the shower.
What she didn't know was that I was stark naked.
I often clean my shower stall while I'm naked because I can step into the shower and scrub and rinse without drenching clothes and the floor. Then when I'm finished I take a shower.
Although I told her I was cleaning my shower, I figured I didn't need to say, "and I'm naked," because even though someone can tell when the person on the phone is doing something like cleaning a shower by the sound of their voice (I have washed down all my kitchen cupboards while on the phone with someone; not naked), I'm pretty sure you can't tell when someone is naked by the sound of their voice.
So I didn't add that part. But I was. Naked that is. What would be the use in adding that to a conversation? I think it's helpful to tell someone why you sound distracted if they have called you (attaching something to an email, finishing typing a sentence, "Just a minute, let me finish this sentence.").
I think it's rude for you to initiate a call when you're distracted (eating), "Hi, chomp, chomp, I'm just calling you to see if, chomp, chomp, you're available, chomp, chomp, tomorrow for, chomp, chomp, coffee." Why wouldn't you just wait until you finished chewing, then call?
But being naked while talking on the phone could certainly be offensive to someone if they knew. Unless you were in the process of getting dressed and you set the phone down to finish, "Just a minute I was just getting dressed." They wouldn't know what stage of dress you were at and it would give them something to ponder while they waited.
But if you're talking to someone and you just announce, "Hey, I'm naked," and continue talking, that could be offensive. The listener would get distracted and when it was their turn to talk, awkward silence would ensue.
It just goes to show you, "What you don't know, won't offend you."
Often when I sit down here to write my blog, I don't know what I'm going to write or what I was going to write about goes in a completely different direction or I have something brilliant to write about but it flees my mind the moment I sit down.
Such it is today. I thought of something brilliant and wise earlier this morning before I took my daughter to the bus, now it is gone. I'm left sitting here wondering why I can't make that period go away on my document until I realize it's a spec of debris on the screen.
I walked out to the mailbox this morning looking for the MS meds I ordered last week. I worry about these meds because if they don't come in the mail, I have to go all the way to Seattle to get them. So I have to be "on it" and try to order them 10 days in advance. My husband only gets the mail every 3-4 days, so I took the little jaunt across the street and a couple houses down hoping to ease my mind of one more thing. They were there.
Cally, our oldest cat, always pops out of a bush somewhere and follows whoever wanders to the mailbox, then she follows them back. It's sometimes how my husband finds her when she's reluctant to come in at night.
I was only out there a few minutes when a big truck roared by me in a rush to get to work. The truck's noise made me realize how quiet it was otherwise. Having been fogged in every morning for the last 5 to 7 days (I can't remember how long it's been), I realized how quiet the fog makes everything. It muffles any sound that may be trying to travel through and it reminds me of being snowed in when I was a kid in CleElum.
We lived off the highway, so there was always background noise from cars. But when the snow got deep enough and they had to close Snoqualmie Pass, the traffic stopped and quiet descended.
It was noticeably quiet; the kind of quiet that can wake you up from a sound sleep. It was wonderful. To this day, when it gets quiet enough outside in the middle of the night, it will wake me up. But I think I wake just so I can enjoy the silence, not because it disturbs me.
That gets me to thinking about quiet and silence and how our world today doesn't seem to place value on those things anymore. I used to climb my neighbor's tree just to sit and think in complete silence when I was a preteen/early teen.
Maybe that's what I need when I want a mental break - a tree to climb and sit in and be silent. It will be my tree of silence.
My living room has become Switzerland and I'm not happy about it.
As you may or may not remember, we rescued a trailer trash, street walkin' cat last month and turned her into a lady. Her name is Lucy.
As you can see, she is a very beautiful cat and for the most part pretty well behaved, even though her manners are somewhat lacking because she's never lived in a house. These aren't the best pictures of her. I snapped them this morning waking her up; my youngest daughter has some cuter ones I'll post later.
The only problem is she hasn't made nice with our other cat, Cally, yet. Her strategy to this point is to hide behind the furniture, jump out and surprise her. As you can imagine, this hasn't gone over well.
I have spoken to her about changing strategies to no avail. Even though she is two or three years old, she acts very much like a kitten and loves to play. I think she's living the childhood she never had (that's what happens when your childhood is wasted trying to survive on the streets).
Up to this point, she has acquiesced the authority to Cally. Now it seems she's challenging that role and both cats have decided to have it out in my living room on my eight-way, hand-tied, coil-spring couch, $300 off, plus an additional 10% coupon. I'm not happy about it.
It's bad enough she is still living in my daughter's room so spends much of her time at that end of the house, which means napping on my eight-way, hand-tied, coil-spring couch, $300 off, plus an additional 10% coupon, but now it has become the battle zone.
They clash there, then separate to their respective ends of the house or outside; Cally goes out to pout and contemplate the fate of this new cat (Lucy is not allowed to go out). The living room has become the neutral zone; no one seems to be in command of the living room to this point. Lucy still hides (on top of the couch) and waits for Cally to walk by and jumps down in front of her. This has resulted in a couple battles and we humans just hope it doesn't start when we are sitting on the eight-way, hand-tied, coil-spring couch, $300 off, plus an additional 10% coupon when it happens (as happened to my oldest daughter; I asked her what all the white tufts all over the couch were).
[Author's note: If the eight-way, hand-tied, coil-spring couch, $300 off plus and additional 10% coupon confuses you, here's the full story: http://www.livingwithgleigh.com/1/post/2013/06/thorough-appreciation.html.]
I have had other cats before. In fact I introduced Milo, a male tabby, into the mix when we'd had Cally for a three years. Cally accepted him rather quickly. She was much younger then, probably only three herself when we got him. Now she is nine and doesn't seem to be taking to a new cat very well. I don't know if it's because she's old and crotchety or if it's just that I haven't thrown them together like I did when Milo came to live with us (Milo was hit by a car a couple years ago).
I've kept Lucy in my daughter's room because I brought her home freshly spayed and couldn't risk a fight. But maybe it's time I introduced Lucy to the litter box and food dish in the family room, close the door, go to bed and let them work it out in the dark of the night.
Cedar, our lab, may be the only one who suffers. She sleeps, kenneled in the family room. She'll probably wish they'd go back to Switzerland.
My daughter has had braces for about six months now. She finally got her expander off yesterday. An expander is a metal device that attaches to a couple back molars and has a crank. Every crank expands the top palate of her mouth.
She's had it in since she got the braces, but it wasn't her first time with the expander. She had one when she was 7 years old for the first phase of teeth straightening.
With the expander off, they put more brackets put on those now-empty back molars for the next phase of teeth straightening. I don't totally understand the whole process, but it's not really her teeth that aren't straight. Had you seen her before she got braces, you would have seen that her teeth were perfectly straight.
It's about the bite, which I wasn't particularly concerned with either, except the orthodontist pointed out her top teeth were tipping back into her bottom teeth pushing them out through her gums.
Because they widened her palate, it created space between some of her teeth. Her top teeth and bottom teeth don't line up, so they have to pull them over. They are also tweaking some other part of her mouth and she has rubber bands for the first time (they are attach the top and bottom of the teeth and pull over and down). She has to take them off to eat and brush her teeth. So where I'm going with this whole explanation is this morning the girl is in a lot of pain. Probably more than she's been since she got her braces on.
Plus today I made an appointment for her to take a mock driver's test. The only time they had was 1:00pm. Although I hated getting her out of school for it, it's just one of those things that if I want to get it done in a timely manner, I have to just take what I can get.
So here we are this morning. This is a child who is not hungry first thing in the morning, but because I insist she have something in her stomach, she will have a piece of toast or zucchini or banana bread if it's available. As she was putting on her makeup, I asked her what she'd like for breakfast.
She looked at me with a pained expression (as in she was in physical pain) and said,"Nothing, I can't chew anything." Motherly sympathies went through my head, "I would hate being in school and not being able to eat anything all day. I am getting her out early anyway. They have an adjusted class schedule today due to an advisory period. Advisory periods are a waste of time; I know after four years of experience with my older daughter and for some reason they haven't gotten any better. I should just keep her home."
So I did. The pain will subside after a day or so and she'll be back on track. In the mean time, brace yourself, she's hitting the road today.
I had coffee with a college friend last Friday. It wasn't the same friend I met up with a few weeks ago, but the same thing happened; we were just going to meet at 9:00am and have coffee for a couple hours and the next thing we knew it was 1:00pm.
We talked and caught up and compared our children, but not in the one-up-you sort of way it can be with some people who I'm sure have wonderful children that are probably not better or worse than my children, but seem to always one-up me anyway because they seem insecure over whether they've done a good job.
No, this friend has four children around the ages of my two, so we did a lot of pondering over teen idiosyncrasies. Where someone else would brag about the accomplishments of their kids, we sat baffled by some of our teens' actions and tried to work through them together.
With my old (not old and decrepit, rather long-time) friends who don't have children, we sit and try to solve the problems of the world. With this friend, it was problems with our teens. Neither of us have "bad" teens, but they are teens and as such, willingly live in a world of their own which we, as parents, must transverse every day. It's very refreshing to find someone who is as baffled as I am and admits it.
She messaged me yesterday and asked me if everyone but me was incapable of putting toilet paper on the toilet paper roller. It made me laugh, because surprisingly it is the one thing everyone in my family does (without me nagging) and I'm not sure why (now I'm just bragging).
Before my friend even mentioned it, I had spent many a moment on the toilet contemplating the phenomenon. It was a pet peeve of my mother's when I was growing up. I remember not putting the toilet paper on the roller when I was a kid, but I don't remember why. It just seemed like a lot of work and I was probably in a hurry to do all the things kids do, but even as a teen I rarely did it.
I do remember the toilet paper roller being intriguing to my daughters when they were small, so maybe it became a challenge for them or something. It was a springy thingy and they were delighted to learn how to use it.
I haven't observed them changing out the toilet paper since they've become older, but maybe they still enjoy the springy, metal roller and have fun doing it. Maybe it's because they use the bathroom in the hallway the most and found no one else noticed, so they may as well perform the task (although that has never motivated them before to do something).
So I'm not sure why they have consistently performed this one task and I'm not complaining. However, if we're talking about putting a dish in the obviously empty or dirty dishwasher, I have plenty to complain about.
Listening to grammatically incorrect commercials and songs drives me batty.
I don't actually watch commercials because when I am watching TV at night I am playing games on my laptop at the same time. But there is one commercial from Papa Murphy's that makes me pause what I'm doing to try to dissect its accuracy.
When I hear it enough, I think perhaps I'm wrong. But I'm not and their use of the word "fresh" makes it worse because it could have oh so many different connotations:
Fresh dough. Fresh made. Fresh baked. (He had recently made some money, made an inappropriate pass at a woman and he was stoned while he did it?)
Fresh dough is fine, but it is FRESHLY made and FRESHLY baked or fresh-made, fresh-baked (notice the hyphen). I recognize it would mess up their graphics or something, but really, corporations should grammar-check these things and perhaps rethink their strategy. Maybe I'm the only one, but it's like nails down a chalkboard to me.
Then, one of my favorite songs has the worst grammar ever: "Lover, Lover," by Jarod Nieman:
Lover, lover, lover, you don't treat me no good no more.
I love this song for its catchy beat, but choke when I get to the refrain. We all know what he means, but where would I start with what is wrong with this sentence? If I think about it too hard, it implodes my brain.
I understand saying it correctly wouldn't have the right rhythm, " you don't treat me good anymore," "you no longer treat me well," "you don't treat me as good as you used to."
Whenever I see grammatically incorrect words, especially at businesses, I feel slapped. I do realize most Americans aren't concerned about these types (typos?) of issues, but I consider it a personal affront.
Typos make people seem dumb, often because they aren't exactly typos, they just don't know how to spell/use the word. Why can't we, as a collective people, figure out how to use they're, their, and there? I am the person who will send you a grammatically correct text message; punctuation and all, unless I'm sitting at a traffic light frantically trying to get the text done before the light changes to green. I am horrified when I miss a typo I've made and if I can, will rectify it even if it happened a year ago.
I once was in a rush to get a church newsletter out and didn't proofread it 10 times like I usually do. I made a huge type; huge because it was the front page headline. Another person pointed it out, after it had been published and sent to 1100 families: Eucharish instead of Eucharist, right there on the front page. Sounds like I was drunk that day or something. That's the kind of thing that stays with me forever and always and I can never change it in print, although I did actually go back and fix it in Publisher.
My hero is Jeff Deck. I've known about this man for a long time, but finally have a reason to bring him up. He went across country changing typos, you can read about his crusade here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129086941
At least when I watch that Papa Murphy's commercial, I know I am not alone in my disgust. Just remember, when you are writing and putting it out there/they're/their for all to see, there/they're/their might be somebody watching.
Coffee with Gleigh
These are my morning musings. Have a cup of coffee with me and we'll solve the problems of the world, or at least laugh at them until they make sense!