Look at me, staying in touch!

Last night, I crawled into bed at 2 a.m.  I’d managed to turn in my small writing assignment only 23 hours past its deadline.

Five hours later, the dog knocked at my bedroom door.

She really did.  I’m not sure how since she has no knuckles, but I headed downstairs to find paper towels because when I walked over to open the door, I stepped in a wet spot on the carpet. Nice.

(Or maybe that was the morning before.)

At any rate, this morning I had to work for an hour, then gather up Grace and her school books for our bi-weekly meeting with her teacher.  I hate going to that meeting because I feel like the teacher is always trying to catch us doing something wrong.  Then after the meeting’s over, I say, “That wasn’t so bad.”

We had to hurry home after the meeting because I remembered that I needed to clean up the yard so the landscaping people could mow the lawn and all that without smooshing dog poop with their shoes.

It wasn’t as bad as it sounds–the cleaning up of the poop–because the weather was so delightful today.  Seventy degrees, pure blue skies.  My roses are growing and look great, a big improvement over last summer’s green-worm-infested leaves.

When the yard was clean, Grace and I headed to Rubio’s for lunch.  We picked up Zach after school–early dismissal–then I started my normal four hour shift.

My husband called to let me know that a college buddy may be stopping by, so at 5 p.m. I asked the kids for help and we did a quick declutter of the house and put the dishes in the dishwasher.  One of my sons can’t understand the concept of cleaning up before company arrives–he considers it some kind of false advertising, I guess.

After the company left, I headed upstairs, read a little (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and then took a nap before work.

Starting work at nine, finished up at 12:30 a.m. and now I’m heading to bed.

Tomorrow all the kids have activities, but only one directly involves me (Grace’s soccer) and the weather is expected to be excellent, so watching an hour of soccer while sitting outdoors will be nice.  I’m hoping to stop by the beach at some point.  It’s been too long since I’ve seen the sun set and gotten sand in my sneakers while dodging foamy waves.

Catch up

Okay, so I know it’s been way too long since I’ve posted here.

And it’s 1:33 a.m. and I have to work at about 9 a.m. and get out of the house by 10:15 a.m. for a meeting with Grace’s teacher . . . then I promised we’d stop by the Dollar Tree so she can get some items for the dollhouse she’s constructing . . . and I have to be back at work by 1 p.m.

So I don’t have time to really write anything here.

But here’s a quick mention of a few things that happened in the last month:

1)  My husband and I went to Disney World.  And I coughed the whole way there (sorry, Man I Sat Next To on the Plane) and coughed the whole time I was there, then coughed all the way home (Sorry Other Man I Sat Next To on the Plane). But it was fun.  And humid.

2)  Work.  More work, work, work.  We had a week where several employees were gone and so I worked a lot of extra hours.  A lot.  Like, maybe 55 hours for the week.

3)  We took Zach and Grace to Disneyland to celebrate Zach’s birthday–which was really 9 days before his birthday, so in reality, we were celebrating his due date.  (The older boys don’t like Disney so they stayed home.)  It was weird being there two weeks after being at Disney World.  The Disneyland castle was kind of pitiful compared to the Disney World Magic Kingdom castle.

What else?  What have I been doing?  There’s more, of course, but I have no idea what.

I do want to talk more about February 17, which was Zach’s due date and also a date that was significant to me for another reason but there simply isn’t time tonight.  Maybe soon.  I hope soon.

Oh, the other thing is that Grace was baptized last Sunday at church.  Only she calls it “bathetized” and I will never, ever correct her  mispronunciation because I find it charming and adorable.  And doesn’t it make sense that it’s “bath-e-tize”?  As in, you get dunked in a bath-tub-like-tank?  I love that.

She was so excited for that moment and before her dad baptized her, he asked her to recite the 23rd Psalm and to my amazement, she did so in a strong voice without any hesitation whatsoever.

I intend to resume writing here more regularly, even if my life continues at this hectic pace.

Happy Friday!  And good-night.

The plumber, the car and the sunset that was not meant to be seen

Last week, while my husband and I were strolling around Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a text message appeared on my iPhone.

The message read:

Hey, just so you know.
The sink is leaking all of the sudden.  So, don’t expect the sink to be empty on your return.  we don’t want to make it even leakier.

It’s always something, right?

So, I called the plumber and spent four hours this morning waiting for him to arrive.

The good news is that the sink is no longer leaking.  The bad news is that is cost me $60 to have the plumber gently tighten the hose back onto the faucet with his hand. A simple fix even a housewife should be able to do.  If only she knew what she was doing.

I decided that a sunset would make everything all right, so after work I grabbed the puppy and my keys and headed for the van.  The door did not open when I clicked my remote thingy.  (That’s the technical term for it.)


But okay.  So I put the key into the ignition and . . . you know where this is going, right?

NOWHERE.  Nowhere at all because the van wouldn’t start.

I immediately blamed the kids.  They carried groceries in last night . . . did they leave on a light?  Or leave a door open?

Luckily for the kids, none of them are only children, so they always have someone to blame . . . who knows what happened.

All I know is that the van won’t start.  It emits a sickly click-click-click-click while the lights try to glow.

My husband came home and asked for jumper cables and we risked our lives to connect battery to battery and . . . nothing.  What?  Jumper cables scare me.

Tomorrow, we will try to solve this problem.  I fear that it will cost money I don’t want to spend on cars.  I never want to spend money on cars.  Or plumbers.

I just hope there will another sunset since I missed the one tonight.






















This sunset was back in October . . . I missed the sunset tonight.  But you already knew that.



Where I’ve been lately [featuring bonus picture of a swimming hippo]

A week ago, I went to bed at 3 a.m. only to crawl back out of bed at 4:30 a.m. so I could be in the car, heading to the airport by 5:30 a.m.

My husband and I were heading to Orlando, Florida, for an early celebration of our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  We planned to fly on separate planes–JUST IN CASE–and my plane left was scheduled to depart at 7:45 a.m.

And . . . this was shocking . . .there was absolutely no line at the security checkpoint.

Of course, that did me no good since I was at the wrong terminal.  Apparently, when you fly to Los Angeles, you fly on a commuter airplane which is at a different terminal.  I stood on the curb, waiting for the bus, hoping for the best.

I caught the flight.  I dozed on the airplane.  I switched flights in Los Angeles and arrived in Orlando, about an hour before my husband.  I was sitting on the shuttle bus to Disney World when he texted me that he’d arrived.

By Thursday evening we were in Epcot riding a few attractions before heading back to our hotel restaurant for a late dinner.

We spent the next forty-eight hours walking miles in the Florida humidity, taking in as many Disney attractions as we could–first the Animal Kingdom, then Epcot, then the Magic Kingdom.  I came home on Sunday with blisters and he stayed on for a few more days for church business meetings.  It was fun but so strange to be there without kids.  I can’t remember the last time we went anywhere without kids for more than a few hours.

I took this picture of a hippo swimming by.  It amuses me.











Since my return home on Sunday night, I’ve been working frantically to catch up on the work I left here at home.  And I’ve been trying to nap as much as possible.  I’ve had a cold for two weeks and I’m just now getting over the cough.

The plumbing under the kitchen sink sprang a mysterious leak in my absence.

On the plane home, I read half of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I wonder when I’ll get around to reading again.

My 13-year old son has been on a school study trip to the East Coast since January 29.  He will arrive home on Thursday night.  He sent me a postcard with a note written in pig-latin and a few random texts.  This is the longest he’s ever been away from home.

Tomorrow morning my husband returns home at 11:20 a.m.  Which is great, except for the fact that just tonight I checked the flight schedule and realize that I have a big problem.  My daughter has class tomorrow–and will be out at noon–and my husband must be picked up at the airport at 11:20 a.m.  And I can’t be in two places at once and it’s too late to call anyone for help.

So . . . uh, wish me luck.

I’ve never felt more like I’m running on a treadmill with the speed turned up too fast than I have lately.


Last night at 1 a.m., I wearily entered the kitchen so I could make a school lunch before falling into bed.  (As it turned 0ut, I really was catching a cold, so I was not imagining my fatigue.)

My son’s Physical Science textbook was sitting on the kitchen counter with a scrawled note from my 13-year old son:  “Please, this needs a book cover.  Thanks.  From your son, Zachary D. H.”

I love that kid.

So I made his lunch.

Then I cut apart a paper bag and created a sturdy book cover for his book.

Finally, I found a Sharpie marker and wrote “PHYSICAL SCIENCE” on the spine and front of the book.

And then I carefully wrote this note in big black letters on the bottom front of the book:
“My mom covered this book because she loves me.  My mom rocks.”

I wrote similar notes on the front and back inside covers.

I am pleased to report that my son’s science teacher asked him if his book was covered and then my son had to show the book cover to his teacher who was reportedly quite amused.

Ha ha ha.


I blame the puppy

I am starting to have longer stretches of sleep at night, but end up on the couch most early mornings, dozing with the puppy.  She eats a very early breakfast and then will go to sleep . . . but only in the family room.  Plus, I don’t want her in my bed, so the couch it is.

Maybe it’s not the right thing to do, but you do what you have to do to get sleep.  At least I do.

Anyway, so last Sunday morning, I woke up at 5 a.m., then 6 a.m., then 7 a.m.  The dog harassed me until 8:30 a.m., and then I fell asleep again . . . and then it was a mad rush to wake the kids and get myself ready for church.

I am pretty low-maintenance.  But still, I have to fix my hair and face and find something to wear . . . and last Sunday, the puppy kept barking at me as if she needed to go outside.  She interrupted me a half dozen times.  I repeatedly took her downstairs because who wants to dab dog pee from the carpet?

So by the time I was finally presentable, we were late for church.

We arrived a solid five minutes after church had started, so I led the children up the outside steps and we crept into the church balcony and slipped into the very back row so no one would notice our tardiness.

And I don’t think anyone did.

That is, until my husband, the pastor, took the pulpit and inexplicably announced to the congregation that I was sitting in the very back row of the balcony.  The entire congregation turned to look at me, so I did what any sensible woman would do.

I stood and waved a parade wave at the congregation.

Tomorrow I am getting up extra early for church.


On the verge

Very rarely these days do I have any coherent thoughts.  Mostly, my mind is full of disjointed words, barely strung together with the thinnest of threads.  And then, just as I pause and examine a thought more closely, my chatterbox daughter speaks up.  Again.

She is bursting with questions and ideas and observations and she rarely stops talking.  This has become more of an issue for me since she’s started doing school at home this year.

My brain is parched from the lack of silence and sleep.

I really fear I will never have a worthwhile thought or idea again which does not bode well for either my mental health or this blog.

In other news, I found my missing lipgloss today which was in a purse I haven’t used in awhile.  I looked in that purse at least six times . . . or maybe I only meant to.  This is the state of my brain these days.

It would make me sad if I were capable of emotion but I am simply too tired.  I blame the puppy.

Don’t be fooled by this display.  She only does this under my desk while I’m working or so it seems.






Why this space should be blank

Did I mention that I am not sleeping enough?

I want to have something worth recording in this space but here’s what my day yesterday looked like:

Wake up, reluctantly after a puppy-interrupted night of sleep.
Work for an hour or two.
“Do” school with my 9-year old.
Work from 1-5 pm.
Cook dinner.
Curl hair and put on makeup.
Tea with a small group of new friends.
Home, eight minutes late, for 9 pm shift.
Work until midnight . . .
Chat with son who is passionate about politics until 2 am.
Up with puppy at 3 am.
Back to bed.
Up with puppy for her breakfast at 5:43 am.
Nap on couch off and on until 7:30 am.
Wake daughter for school.  (Only goes to class Wednesday mornings.)
Deliver daughter to school.
Back to work by 8:45 am.
Finish work (for now) and write this post.


Take shower, pick up daughter, get back to work . . . blah blah blah.

And that, my friends, is why I have nothing to say.

Sunrise, no thanks.

My puppy doesn’t sleep well.  It’s probably my fault, though I’d like to blame someone else.  I always like to gently rest the blame for stuff on the shoulders of others.  Just ask my poor, long-suffering husband.

So last night I went to bed at 3:00 a.m. and that puppy was awake at 4:30 a.m.  The breeder let me know that I can’t expect that puppy bladder to sleep all night long, so I shuffled into my slippers and shrugged into a bathrobe and took that puppy bladder outside.  The puppy wagged her tail at me, so happy to see me awake at 4:30 a.m. and lay down on the chilly concrete.

The problem is that I am incapable of rational thought when sleep-deprived.  That explains why I slept on the couch, that silly pup curled up on the down comforter near my legs.  We slept quite soundly until 6 a.m. when she declared it breakfast time.  After she gobbled her food, I lay back on the couch and she curled again near my calves and we slept until 7:30 a.m.  Which seems utterly reasonable unless you went to bed at 3 a.m., which I did.

I wonder if I’ll ever sleep again, really sleep.

I’m not naturally a morning person, regardless of my bedtime.  This reminds me of when my kids were babies and I was forced out of bed before dawn.  I hated that then and I hate it now. Even though I always kind of like to see Matt Lauer in the mornings.

In other news, the weather here is lovely.

I only wish I weren’t awake to see the sun rise each morning.

Year in the rear-view window

As I race into the New Year, I don’t have time to even peer into the rear-view mirror to review it . . . lest I steer clear off the road.

Have you ever tried to take a photo while speeding down the highway as you’re driving?  Or even while you’re a passenger?  And just as you think you can snap a photo, a semi-truck chugs into the frame?  And you end up getting a blurry image which fails to do justice to what you saw for a brief moment?

Last year at this time, Iwas living with my four kids back in the Seattle area.  My husband had been home for a week before he returned here to Southern California and to his job.  I’d just paid a painter to paint the interior of my house–the house we lived in for almost 12 years.

We sold that house last October for much less than we’d hoped to get.

You know what I miss about that house?  My washer and dryer.  Now, I’m in a beautiful house but it takes two hours to dry a load of laundry.  This has cramped my style.

Anyway, last year at this time I was bobbing along in a strong current of anxiety.  I worried about so many things:  my children’s reaction to moving so far away, the reality of living in a much more expensive area of the country, buying and selling real estate in two different states, the sheer enormity of purging, sorting, packing and moving our household.

Everything sped by so fast that I have only blurry remembrances of it.

I took a few photos that kind of break my heart, like this of my son swinging with his friend (the neighbor boy we’d known since he was three years old) in our old back yard, days before we moved:

Moving a great distance when your kids are more than half-grown emphasizes the bitter part of the bittersweet motion of life.  You realize that your cozy little family is transitory and you feel the pang of loss, even while you still hold the thing you mourn in the palm of your hand.

Moving was hard.

Change was hard.

I am loving the weather here and loving my house and loving being together with my husband and family all under one roof.

But I haven’t found my niche.  I haven’t really found my people yet.  I haven’t found a satisfactory rhythm.  I’m still racing so fast that I practically trip every other step.

The sunsets help.

This year,  I hope to find a slower pace.  I hope our puppy stops nipping.  I hope someday to sleep again past 6 a.m. (See also:  Puppy).

I intend to read my Bible more regularly, to exercise vigorously, and to cook dinner more often than I don’t cook dinner.

My family would appreciate clean, matched socks in their drawers, so I’m going to work on improving that area of my homekeeping as well.

I’d like to ease my foot off the gas pedal so the view isn’t such a blur as I pass through my life.

And I plan to write here more regularly for both the sake of record-keeping and for my mental health.

Happy New Year!

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