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Quite Possibly The World’s Most Embarrassing Story.

I’m writing two entries today. This one and the one that was SUPPOSED to be published yesterday but I set the month to October instead of September so I’m going to set it to kick live later today. Today is September, right?

Nikki had an embarrassing moment at school yesterday. The kind of embarrassing moment that had her crying in the car on the way home, because she was trying to hold it in all day. The kind of embarrassing moment that was SO easy to imagine that I started crying with her! I told her all of my embarrassing moments (The one that made me want to die the most: Walking across a basketball court in a full gym before a game, with a boy who I had given my heart, and I tripped and fell in front of him and the rest of the gym. To this day it still gives me a tiny flicker of pain.) to try to explain to her that I REALLY understood how she felt. I knew that pain.

And then…later that night…when it was dark and stormy…

(It was not dark and stormy. I don’t know what happened there.)

I sat down to watch Grace Helbig’s latest video portion of her HYSTERICAL “Not Too Deep – With Grace Helbig” podcast and she interview Louise who I don’t know from her YouTube channel but I’ve seen on several collabs and she seems FANTASTIC. Well! One of the questions was about her most embarrassing moment and y’all? SHE WINS ALL OF THE PRIZES. (Fast forward to 3:00 if you just want to hear the embarrassing moment story.) Try to listen to the last bit while they’re both laughing, there’s a final tidbit at the very end that pushed me over the edge laughing hysterically.

Nikki was actually sitting next to me watching this and her face…her face was PRICELESS. Like, you could tell she was thinking: Okay. I’m still upset by what happened today but THIS GIRL WINS THE PRIZE. And we were both thinking, Dear God, Please don’t let anything like that ever happen to me, okay?

So. Bookmark the video. If anyone you ever know actually wants to die from embarrassment…IT COULD BE WORSE.

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Oktoberfest!

I didn’t miss the entry today, I promise! I just had to leave my house at 5am to get to a 5:30am run. A run that was EXACTLY what I needed, by the way. Cool…Beautiful…Great company…It was the perfect reminder that I needed to tell me WHY I RUN.

And then? Then we went to Oktoberfest! And this year it was GENIUS because Donnie and I sat under a giant tent and drank German beer while the kids rode the rides around the tent. We rode some of the rides with them too, of course, we didn’t just abandon them while we drank. But we did enjoy a nice quiet beer in the shade while they played and it was FANTASTIC.

It also gave us a teaser for how much fun the kids are going to have at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the Spring.

SO! Sorry I didn’t post this morning, and sorry I’m not posting much now, but know we had a wonderful day in the gorgeous end-of-summer weather. Chili in the morning, but hot in the afternoon. Bring on Autumn!

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Crazy Cat Lady

I am constantly seeing memes or cartoons or articles shared online where they complain about “those” people on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. Maybe the are mocking people who post about every run they do (ME!) or Moms who constantly brag on their kids (ME TOO!) or pitiful family members who post 900 pictures of their dogs/cats (GUILTY) or nerds who post YouTube videos every five seconds (OVER HERE!). Yeah – basically – any time I see an article/cartoon/meme mocking “those” Facebookers, or Tweeters, or Instagram accounts I’m all, “THAT’S ME!”

So! What I’m hoping is that I do it ALL so it never becomes annoying because my annoying habits are PLENTIFUL! Annoying isn’t as annoying if you do it in several different ways, right?

That said…Here’s a picture of my cat!

Her name is Sunflower and she has an interesting personality. She grew up with Donnie’s dogs so in some ways we used to say she thought she was a dog. She would cuddle with them and eat with them and never really seemed to notice they were different from her. She doesn’t flinch when family brings their dogs over and doesn’t care when we dogsit. (My other cat – Bambi – tolerates our dogs but if any other dogs come over? He harasses them as if to say, “I allow the ones who live her but I will NOT allow others.”)

But Sunflower is still quite anti-social. You can go days without seeing her, and when you DO see her, it’s a glimpse past your feet as you walk into the room. She seems to like being away from us most of the times.

BUT! When she wants attention? You better be ready for it because she’s going to demand. She’ll hop on your lap wherever you are and insist that you rub her head/belly/back. And then she leaves and you won’t see her again.

There are certain places in the house where I can lay down in certain ways and call for her and she’ll come to me. If I’m on the couch upstairs, on my belly, she’ll come sleep on my back. If I’m on my bed downstairs, on my back, she’ll come sleep on my belly.

She’s a weird cat, but she is predictable.

WELL! This week she has been totally throwing me for a loop. She NEVER comes to me at my desk but she’s been visiting me frequently there this week. She’s hopped up in my lap for love, she’s harassed me at my keyboard and she’s even just hung out and napped here…TWICE. It’s the weirdest thing and the Person Who Watched Someone Die in me is totally freaked out that she’s sick.

(This entry took a turn for the sad quickly, didn’t it?)

She is 14-15 years old. I rescued her as a partner for Bambi shortly after Donnie and I stared dating in early 2000. I don’t think she’s sick, there’s really not any other signs of illness, but man…when humans are dying you get to read a lot about how their mind can react in the end to create a totally different personality, and my brain is remembering all of that literature from when Dad was in hospice and I find myself thinking: This is it. She’s dying.

But I’m going to push those depressing thoughts to the side and just enjoy the sudden change in socialization. This office is sometimes lonely, it’s nice to have company periodically.

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“Will This Make My Life Easier RIGHT NOW?”

Wes is 6 years old and I often still carry him around. Mostly on my back, because he is 6, but still…I often provide him assistance in transportation and I’m pretty certain the rest of the world stops doing that for their kids around age 3 or 4.

I do this for several reasons.

1) He is whiny
2) He is slow

In my world, any parenting decision that makes the single moment before me easier, is a good decision. I sometimes look at the big picture or the long-term ramifications of my actions. But most of the time – when it comes to parenting – I’m thinking, “Will this make it easier? Then yes. Let’s do it.” So, if I’m in a hurry and he doesn’t want to walk? I carry him. Does this perpetuate his inability to walk on his own for short distances? Yes. But in THAT moment it makes my life easier and for parenting? That’s how I make decisions. Which is why I’m totally going to write a parenting book. Because I’m obviously THE BEST.

But…THIS technique is why my kids don’t really own any of the devices their friends own – like iPads or iPhone Touches.

Well, this reason and the fact that if I had 300-500 dollars to spend on something extra it would not be for THEM, it would be for ME – but still.

We don’t have screens like that in the house for them to play with. Why? Because I would stick it in front of their face ALL OF THE TIME. I don’t have a problem with screens, in moderation, but I would not moderate it. I would be annoyed with them and would basically MAKE them play it all the time. Just to make things easier. And yes, there are “good” games but those don’t usually make things easier. TEMPLE RUN MAKES THINGS EASIER.

photo (2)I remembered that this weekend when the kids were fighting over the Kindle because I put Temple Run on my phone and BAM! SILENCE. They could both play Temple Run on their own devices. And I finally got some peace and quiet.

But because we don’t typically have separate screens for them to play with (THANK GOD) we are “forced” to find “easier” solutions that are a little better for their brains. Lately – that has been card-playing. When we go to dinner the EASY decision would be to let them take devices so we could enjoy a quiet meal with adult conversation. But since they don’t have devices to take, they take cards.

Now..the PROPER parenting technique would probably be to try to teach them how to behave at meals in restaurants with just us. You know, conversations or whatever, but that is DIFFICULT and my parenting style relies on EASY.

So, we will put off that kind of purchase for as long as possible because it is a crutch I know I would use often and poorly. I recognize my own limits as a Mother and my need to constantly make things EASY no matter what long-term lessons it might teach? Means that I’d not be good at managing screen use WHATSOEVER.

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My New Obsession

Over the last several years, we’ve been really making an effort to spend our money wisely. It started with gift-buying. We really started trying to be conscience of where we bought gifts and do everything we could to buy local or buy artisan through some place like Etsy. Then it creeped it’s way into our Eating Out model. We don’t eat out often but when we do we try to stick to our “Locally Owned” choices in town. We hunt down food trucks instead of going through a drive thru. We don’t hit Dunkin Donuts, we hit the Donut Truck that parks up the road (Big Foots Little Donuts). We don’t go to Starbucks, we go get tea from our local tea shop (Piper and Leaf). We don’t go to ice cream parlors, we go to our local chocolatier (Pizzelle’s Confections). I ordered screen printing from a local shop where I walked in and saw their equipment (Green Pea Press) instead of a “fill in the blank” type place online. That’s a lot of dollars that make a lot more difference if we shop local than if we go to TGIFridays. We have not done the best job at focusing on Farmer’s Market’s for produce, but there are a lot of reasons for that. We’re hoping to try to rectify that situation by at least checking out Plentiful Produce in our area, to make the steps in the right direction.

SO! Those are the type of steps we’ve been making. And it’s changing our mindset so we put a LOT of value into ethical production of product. Cue Rickshaw Bags.

You order a bag from this company and LOOK HOW IT IS MADE. This is as close to buying local as you can get. And we carry a LOT of bags in this family. And I guarantee you none of them were made in this type of environment. Hell, I’m pretty sure none of them were even made in the U.S.

We can stress about taxes and legislation for funding wars or programs we don’t agree with. But the QUICKEST way to help our country, the most DIRECT way our money can make country better, is to buy local. Either local in your community…or local in our country. Instead of spending $100 on a handbag that has a recognizable logo or zipper (I carry a Fossil bag with the keyper zipper) – I could spend $70 on a bag and know how it was made and can carry it with pride. And let me tell you: I LOVE MY FOSSIL BAG. But I’m not “proud” of it.

But…I do love my FOSSIL bag, and I’m also trying to be of the mindful of WHEN I buy and try to ONLY buy when I really want/need. Here is the model I love.

Buy Print From Artist Here
Buy Print From Artist Here

SO! I can’t justify buying a bag just yet. My FOSSIL bag is perfect in every way. But…BUT…LOOK WHAT ELSE THEY MAKE…Moleskine cover that also held your cell phone. I DIED. I DIED A LOT.

So, do I need that? No. Do I really want it? (Which is a FINE reason to buy something.) Yes. A million times over. YES. YES. YES. And that’s what I bought. And it will be here September 16th. And we will have a party to celebrate it’s arrival because it may be the most awesome thing I’ve ever bought. Ever. In 90 million years. I CAN NOT WAIT.

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a little bit of everything.