Saturday, April 5, 2014

On Trend

Okay, I have a confession: I bought a pair of skinny jeans.

I KNOW. I am a thirty-four-year-old mother of two children. Are skinny jeans a ridiculous choice for me? Probably. But dammit all if they don't look really good on me.

So. I bought them. Now we shall see if I can actually wear them in public without feeling like a complete toolbox.

I also attempted to buy a hair clip. Just a nice, normal hair clip, of the sort that lies flat on the head and has a metal clasp on it to hold the hair back. You know those ones that look kind of like a really big barrette? You know the ones.

So I went into Claire's to find one. Claire's is that chain store in malls that caters to little girls, where you can get your ears pierced with a FREE PAIR OF EARRINGS INCLUDED!

Their advertising involves a lot of caps and exclamation points. It's that kind of place.

I explained what I wanted to the very young salesperson, who looked a little confused and said, "Like, for you?"

Yes. Yes, like, for me, the haggard old lady standing in front of you in (the horror!) bootcut jeans.

Little did she know there were skinny jeans in the bag I was carrying.


Once I answered in the affirmative that yes, the clip was for me, she said, "The only ones we have are these, and I don't think they're what you're looking for."

Since the clips she was referring to had gigantic neon-pink bows attached to them, I had to agree.

I might be able to get away with the skinny jeans, but bows like that in my hair would be a little much.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Farewell to a Frenemie

Over the years, I have had a somewhat contentious relationship with A.'s pick-up truck, known as Big Red. But there is no denying that he has more than earned his keep in the eight years A. has had him. So it was with mixed feelings that A. and I left Big Red at the scrap yard today for his final rest.

But first, he had to do one more job for us.

A. and I spent the children's naptime today loading Big Red to the top of his livestock racks with scrap metal collected from around the property. There was a lot of it. A. kind of hoards junk. But this was our chance to clear a little of it out, so into Big Red it went.

As I was rummaging around in the shed for yet another bin of rusty hardware (yes, there was more than one bin of it), I accidentally stepped on the teeth of the metal rake that I had left leaning against a table. The tines went flat on the ground and the handle of the rake flew forward and smashed my face, right on the edge of my eyebrow.

Despite the obviously severe provocation, I only uttered one relatively restrained, "Goddammit," before clutching my face and hunching over until I was sure I could stand without crying. It swelled up immediately and I think by tomorrow I'm going to look as if I was in a prizefight and lost.


Anyway. After we had loaded Big Red until he could hold no more, I miraculously found the vehicle title in the first place I looked and we took off for the scrap yard in the Small City. I followed A. in the Subaru, fully convinced that at any time Big Red was going to expire in a burst of flame and we would have to call a tow truck to get him to the scrap yard.

Considering A. has been seeing smoke from the dash--some kind of electrical problem--this was not as unlikely as you might think.

However, Big Red heroically labored all the way to the scrap yard, onto the scales to be weighed (scrap metal is paid for by the pound, so that's how they figure how much they owe you), and into the yard itself to be unloaded.

Big Red's final act, however, was one of vengeance. As I was getting back into the truck so we could drive it to the part of the yard reserved for junked vehicles, I caught the leg of my jeans on the rusted-out metal around the wheel well and ripped the shit out of the thigh of my pants. I had a flap about five inches across just hanging open, leaving my thigh exposed for all the world to see.

Well, screw you too, Big Red. You're the one headed for the crusher. HAHA.

Very luckily, I was wearing my large corduroy shirt over my sweater, so I took the shirt off and tied it kind of askew around my waist to cover the rip. It made me look incredibly stupid, I'm sure, but better to look like a fashion victim than walk around the grocery store with my pasty white thigh on display.

And with that, we said good-bye to Big Red, collected the not-insubstantial sum of money owed to us by the scrap yard, and drove off, pick-up-less for the first time in many years. The end of an era.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fun Loving

I am not a Fun Mom. It's just not in my nature. No one would ever use the words "spontaneous" or "adventurous" to describe me. I play with my kids, I tickle them, I laugh at Cubby's (very stupid, because he is four) jokes, but fun? Not really.

Mostly this doesn't bother me, because I figure we should all play to our strengths. My strengths include creating a fairly well ordered home with an established routine and never-fail meals. Not such a bad thing.

But Cubby is not like me. He loves surprises, unexpected adventures, and novelty. So I occasionally make the effort to be more fun for his sake. It is an effort, though, make no mistake. Being fun is tiring for me.

On Monday, we went to the big playground for the first time this year. This playground is on a point sticking out into the lake, and for this reason it is always hellishly windy and freezing (except in the summer, but we don't go there in the summer because it's a state park and therefore costs money in the summer). But it was sunny and right on the edge of acceptable weather for this park, so after naps, we got in the car and went.

It was indeed hellishly windy and freezing, but the children were thrilled with the playground and even more thrilled with the (even windier) beach there. Cubby collected several crayfish claws and other shells, with which he has played a continuous involved game of . . . something ever since. I've heard occasional mentions of a daddy lobster and a grandfather lobster, but I really have no idea what's going on there. All I know is that the claws keep turning up in unexpected places, which is kind of unsettling.

Yesterday we went to the village where A.'s office is located and we had a picnic dinner at the playground there. Once again, the children were thrilled with the playground. A. was thrilled with the potatoes and sausage I brought along so he could have dinner before he started driving all over the county for various night courts. I was . . . maybe not thrilled, exactly, but happy that everyone else was happy.

It's worth the effort to sometimes do different things, and I know that the rest of the family appreciates it. Just the same, I think we're going to stay home this afternoon. There's only so much fun I can take.

Monday, March 31, 2014

We Need a Review

This morning as I was heating up his oatmeal, Cubby reminded me to put lots of syrup in it. Right. A teaspoon of maple syrup coming up.

And then he said, "I have a great idea!"

This phrase is always followed by something amusing, if not entirely practical, so I waited for this particular brilliant thought . . .

"After I have my oatmeal, we should go out to our maple trees and tap them and bring home more syrup."

He seems to have forgotten the million hours or so of boiling that occur between the collection of sap and the existence of syrup. 

Obviously, skipping the sugarin' this year is having a negative impact on his woodchuck education already. How quickly they forget.