Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Denial: It Works For Me!

Some things may or may not have happened Chez Ganey lately. And I shall follow the CIA policy of complete denial.

I did not eat a meal of popcorn one night last week, leaving the children to fend for themselves because I was so tired from running said children to activities EVERY DAY last week--including the weekend--to fix a meal.

I did not hide the Dumb Dog's squeaky ball when she brought it to me for the eleventy-billionth time while I was trying to watch t.v. This did not make her look like she has Early Onset Doggy Dementia when she came back into the room and was all damn! I was just in here! I know I came in here for something? Now what was I looking for?

I did not laugh at the Dumb Dog for looking like she has Doggy Dementia.

I did not glare at my camera for sitting on my counter and mocking me for my inability to feel the least bit creative lately.

I did not shove it deeply into my camera bag while muttering things about f-stops and white balance and inanimate objects somehow inducing guilt.

I did not close the door on my kids' bathroom so I didn't have to look at it instead of clean it.

I did not forget that the assessor was coming today to look at the house for our refinancing.

I did not go into panic mode when he mentioned that he would spend about 15 minutes outside taking pictures before he came INSIDE TO TAKE PICTURES!

I did not glare at my husband and accuse him of purposely forgetting to tell me about the picture part.

I did not sprint up the stairs the second the door closed behind the assessor to clean the kids' bathroom.

I did not run through bedrooms with a garbage bag shoving things inside it to make the rooms look cleaner.

I was not sweating when the assessor came inside.

I did not make the excuse to the assessor that my children were supposed to clean their rooms this weekend but with the cold weather, everyone has realized that all of their pants have suddenly been shortened by two or three inches and instead of cleaning, we went on an emergency shopping trip for pants.

I did not tell my children that they would have to choose between growing and going to college.

I did not take 6 garbage bags full of outgrown/no longer worn clothing from every one's closet--including that of mine and my beloved--to Goodwill.

I did not take 6 garbage bags containing throw pillows to Goodwill.

I do not have issues with throw pillows. I do not need an intervention. I can quit any time I want to.

I did not walk by the mountains of clothing in the laundry room this weekend and say "I'll do that later."

I did not go into the laundry room this morning and immediately start saying bad words to myself about myself.

I did not hide the squeaker from the Dumb Dog's desqueaked fluffy hedgehog in my pocket and randomly squeak it just to make her crazy.

I did not hide chocolate.

I did not dance in the kitchen to a new favorite song when I was all alone.

I did not dance in the kitchen to another new favorite song with my 13 year old son and proceed to tell him that I really know how to get down with my bad self.

He did not laugh at me.

I did not stick my tongue out at my computer when looking at the home decor category on Pinterest.

I did not forget to take in a thing that's needed to be returned to Lowe's that was sitting right next to my purse on my car seat when I went in there earlier in the week.

I did not realize it when I drove away and I was not too lazy to turn around and go back and return it.

I did not look at myself in the mirror and say bad things about myself and my appearance.

I did not "forget" to vacuum because I was reading.

I did not make faces behind my beloved's back when he was kindly and gently reminding me about something with the checkbook.

I did not forget to enter something into the checkbook.

I did not wave in a friendly manner to a neighbor and then roll my eyes when the neighbor couldn't see me.

I did not forget my list when I went to the grocery store.

I did not put on my ipod while I was fixing dinner so that I wouldn't have to interact with anyone.

Nobody interrupted me while I was fixing dinner.

I did not drink a glass of wine and then wish for several more glasses.

Okay. So there you go. All sorts of things that apparently didn't happen. What about you? What didn't you do?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


So there was this thing that happened a couple of months ago. It was pretty cool. Maybe you've heard of it or perhaps experienced it yourself. It's called "va-ca-tion." It's where you go away from your own home and go to another place and relax and do fun stuff. Sounds amazing, right?

Well, from what I can remember of it, it was amazing. But it was in July, and we are nearly into a whole 'nother season now, so I don't know if I'll get the details right. But I'll try. (Hmm...look at pictures and reminisce about sitting on a beach, eating good food, and relaxing? Twist my arm.)

We don't take a vacation every year. Some years we just take the kids away for a few days to some place close to home. Some years we don't go anywhere. But this year, this year we got away from it all.   We went someplace we had heard of but never been and we all loved it. This year, we visited Captiva Island, Florida.

Captiva is a small barrier island on the Gulf coast near Ft. Myers. It is just north of it's slightly bigger, better known sister Sanibel. And when I say small, I really mean it. It's only about 4 miles long and a half mile wide. When I tell you that we were just a two minute walk to the beach from our house, I'm not exaggerating. Like Sanibel, Captiva's beaches are a treasure for shell seekers.

We left on July 6th--our 21st anniversary. (Nothing says "I've loved spending the last two decades with you" like air travel with 4 children and a 4 hour layover in an airport. Or maybe not. But we still liked each other when we finally landed in Florida, so it's all good.) We stayed for 10 days. We spent the first day in Walmart shopping for supplies (it only felt like we spent the entire day there) the hotel while we waited until we could get into our house. We picked up Maggie's friend Emily* got some lunch, bought groceries and such, and headed for the island.

Our home was lovely. The kids were terribly excited that we had our own pool (Night swimming!!) but we wasted no time heading down to the beach, as Sean and Mary had never seen the ocean. Mary's reaction was well worth the headaches of the airport and Walmart.

We spent most of our time divided between the beach and the pool. The kids swam, built sand castles, and caught fighting conchs and lizards. I walked the beach picking up shells. My beloved stood guard over everything making me repeatedly say: "Relax. It's your vacation, too. Reeelaaaax." Somewhere around Tuesday, he finally got the message.

We ate ice cream. We ate gator. We ate deep fried duck fingers. Some of us took YOLO watersports up on their offer and went parasailing. (After all, You Only Live Once!) We saw dolphins and manatees. Some of us went on a banana boat. We found beautiful shells by the handful. We got tanned. Or burned depending on whether you have pigment like me, or are pale as a ghost, like my beloved. We swam in the pool. We caught a tortoise. We caught lizards. We had a snake! (On our pool decking! Believe me, it was quite an event and totally worth the exclamation points!) We ate shrimp. We saw talking parrots. We watched movies. We saw beautiful birds. We played Bulls*it. (It should be noted, that while my children are very good at lying, I am very good at detecting their lies. And also, I'm even better at lying than they are. As it should be.) We saw some of the most spectacular sunsets ever. We saw rainbows. And double rainbows. We gasped at the beautiful million dollar homes. We marveled at the beauty of the island--an area so very different from what we are used to (especially the lush greenness after our hot, dry summer where everything was brown and crispy by early July). We laughed. A lot. We slept in. We enjoyed our time together.

In all, it was very much as a vacation should be. And it was one of the few places I've ever been with my beloved where he talked about someday going back. That right there is all the endorsement needed. Plus, I didn't get stuck in my swimsuit, so you know, that's a bonus. Heh.

*Emily is Maggie's friend since first grade. She moved to Ft. Myers at the end of second grade, but they have kept in touch and Emily has stayed with us many times when her family has come back to Indy to visit family and friends. While we were there, her family was packing up and spending their final days in Florida as they were relocating back to Indy. Needless to say, the girls were thrilled to spend a couple days together on Captiva, knowing that they would get to see each other a bunch once Emily's family moved back.

 And now, I'll just leave you with the pictures. There are a ton of them. Feel free to walk away and pretend that you looked. But trust me, I have a butt-ton (that's the official measurement) of sunset photos alone, so you got off easy.

Emily and Maggie

First dip in the ocean.

I will protect my family from All The Things!

Pool time!

Who knew there were so many ways to torture people with a pool noodle?

Ice cream! (First of several.)
Lizard catcher.

About a tenth of all the shells we brought home.


Waiting to eat at the Island Cow.

Ma boahs like dat gatuh!

Racing the waves.
Captiva-ting sunset.

Getting ready to parasail.

Pale power, activate!

Tannies, unite!

Apparently we love each other, beach hair and all.
Doing the Captiva Crouch to find shells.

Doing the Sanibel Stoop to look for bling to add to the collection.

Poor girl went to see the sunset with an icepack on her head because of an itchy sunburn.

Building a sandcastle.

Another beautiful sunset--seen through rain clouds.

Our path to the beach in silhouette.
Another beautiful sunset.

Pointing out dolphins.

Key lime cheesecake at the Mucky Duck.
Playing BS. Liars! You're ALL liars!




Thursday, September 13, 2012

Still Here

I'm not dead. Although if you'd seen me yesterday, you might have wondered. I have been battling the Creeping Crud. It won't kill you, it'll just make you wish you were dead. Today, however, I seem to have rounded the corner. The fever is gone, I can stand up without my head threatening to explode, and now I'm just plain ol' congested instead of that lovely type of congestion wherein you cannot breathe at all through your nose, but somehow, trickles of snot still manage to escape your nostrils before you can grab a tissue. Lovely visual, eh? You're welcome!

In an unrelated (Ha! TOTALLY RELATED) note, my beloved has left town to go see customers. I don't blame him for deserting me in my hour of need  doing his job. I'm sure he misses me and all of my phlegm. (So. Sexy.) And somehow, a miracle has occurred! My children, whom have heretofore often behaved as feral goats, have stepped up to the plate in his absence and managed to empty and load the dishwasher, do some laundry, feed themselves, care for the dog, and offer to hug me even though I look like Death's older sister. (Which is more than my germaphobe beloved has done. He calls to me from across the room "Okay! I'm leaving! I'd come kiss you good bye but you have Ebola virus and I don't want to get contaminated with your filth! Love you!" Ah...twue wuv.) I must be doing something right.

So instead of writing a post about our vacation that happened two and a half months ago, I'm writing about mucus. Because I'm...a giver? Actually, it's just that that post will be picture heavy and the thought of sitting here at the computer for that long makes me tired. I'm dreaming of napping from writing three paragraphs. The vacation post would probably hospitalize me. Man, getting old bites.

Anyway! Next week, I promise to come back and write a non-phlegm related post.

That is if I survive writing the checks for my kids' book rental fees. I just totaled it up and I can feel a coronary coming on. $670.06, my friends! That's what I'm paying for book rentals. That doesn't include any other fees that I'll pay or have already paid. Right now I'm clutching my heart and shouting like Fred Sanford. I'm comin' Elizabeth!!


Not really. I'm still here. See you next week!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Magical Thinking Undone

I suppose it's true that opposites attract. My beloved is, in some ways my opposite. This is particularly true in how we view people and the world. He tends to think the worst; he expects to be cheated in nearly every business transaction, he doesn't trust any salesperson, repair person, or any person who may in any way cause him to part with his money. He is much more likely to be cautious around people, thinking that they may try to take some sort of mental or physical advantage over him. He is, as I like to call him, Sammy Safety. He still calls out to our children "watch your fingers, I'm closing the windows!" in the van, even though our children are well past the age of worry as far as their fingers getting trapped by a slowly rolled up window goes. And as far as I know, he tends to be fairly realistic (except for his intense paranoia that someone is going to invade our home with guns blazing, or climb a ladder and steal our children from their beds,) about ways in which he could be injured or killed--you know, car accident, falling from a ladder when he's working around the house. He's careful and he's fairly realistic in his thinking.

I, on the other hand, tend to think the best of people. While I'm not sending my money to exiled Nigerian princes, I don't think that people are out to swindle me all the time. I tend to take people at face value. I trust them. I believe that people are basically good. Sometimes my Sammy Safety thinks of me as Stevie Stupid, because I don't take all the precautions that he does. But I wouldn't say I'm careless. I'm careful a good deal of the time. Especially in situations that I know I could be harmed. Most especially in situations that I know I could be harmed but the likelihood of it actually happening are low. Like driving off a bridge. (This is why I have a safety hammer in my van. Never mind that I travel over bridges almost never in my daily driving.) Or having a freak accident with a very sharp knife while I'm cutting vegetables in which I stab myself in the gut after tripping. Or having my once or twice a year soak in the tub and being very concerned about a hair dryer falling into the tub. Never mind that it's clear across the room and doesn't stretch that far. I'm very careful in these situations because I never imagine the run-of-the-mill, day-to-day accidents happening to me or my family. If something is going to happen, it's got to be an insanely weird, make-the-headlines type deal, right?
Because I like to think that I live right. I go to church weekly. I raise my children to respect authority, accept responsibility, and contribute thoughtfully. I'm kind to animals. (Let's just forget about the Bucket of Doom, shall we?) I vote. I don't shirk jury duty. I go to parent/teacher conferences. I visit the dentist every six months. I have checkups with the doctor. I occasionally pay for the person behind me in line at the drive up. And I like to think that being careful and doing all the Right Things keeps me in a magical bubble of protection.


This past week, all of my magical thinking was undone.

My beloved was admitted to the heart hospital with a wonky heart rhythm. (He's fine, thank God, but now I know why he can't keep time when he dances. Buh-dunh-dunh!) A loved one has had to undergo some tests for something that doesn't appear to be Something, but could be Something because they keep asking her to come back. An acquaintance, who is dear to some who are dear to me, died tragically and prematurely (he was in my age bracket), even after, by all accounts, he had been doing all the Right Things. And now, I'm not sure what to do. Because it seems that it isn't the big and weird things from the outside that wants to do us in, but what's inside us that is trying to do us harm.

I can have a safety hammer, be super vigilant when using knives, and make sure that my hairdryer is unplugged before I enter the tub. But I can't see what's in me that might do me in. And there is no form of magical thinking or clean living that can guarantee I will breathe my next breath. I don't understand it. I can't even pretend to make sense of any of it, and I can only surmise that these things happen because we live in a fallen world. I don't like it. And you'd better believe that I've spoken with God about it and told Him in no uncertain terms of my dislike. I'm sure He heard me. I'm sure He can handle my anger and fist-shaking.

But I'm also certain--in fact, it's the only thing of which I am truly certain in this life--that He is in control and He knows what He's doing and that He loves me and those I love more than I can know.

And that will have to do.