My Country ‘Tis Of Thee

We had hair day at daycare, today.  Hair day is a good time for all… Sometimes kids get their hair done, sometimes it’s just us grown ups.  Stylists are special people.  They have to make tactful suggestions while praying to the gods of fashion that you aren’t going to insist on some sort of crazy, godawful thing and then tell people they did it.  They’re like hostage negotiators for follicles, and I know Miss Nikki has talked me off the ledge a few times lately.  That’s kind of a chick thing, at least in my family… oh, things are unpleasant or stressful in your world, get some dye and pop your head into a weedwhacker.  Go ahead, honey, it’ll help.

Nikki:  Stylist/Hostage Negotiator

It was a lot of fun to chitchat with people whose company I enjoy and not focus on the stress of the week.  Sometimes, we get pretty lofty in our discussions.  We naturally had to hit on Mick Mulvaney’s comments that there’s no proof that providing poor children with a free lunch is beneficial.  I’m not going to blow this fellow up because I think he’s a soulless fiend, which I certainly do.  But let’s call a spade a spade… This fellow and any other person who wants to discontinue free lunches for children living in poverty knows perfectly well that the program benefits those children’s education.  It’s not a matter of getting enough bang for your buck, if you aren’t sporting the IQ of a turnip, you know they need food if there’s ever to be hope they can overcome the circumstances of their birth.  What you are saying is that these particular American children don’t matter.  Stay classy.

Americans are supposed to be the good guys, although I am starting to think that’s gone the way of the buffalo.  I have no complaint about trying to curb spending and make a dent in the national debt.  It’s the thought process of where that I can’t understand, like the recent shift in child care subsidies… there’s no money for that because we suddenly need to provide free Narcan to heroin users.  That’s where money previously enabling people to access child care was redirected.  Somehow, somewhere that made sense to somebody with a whole lot more power than I will ever have.  It comes down to world views… I think America cannot be great if we turn a blind eye to hungry little kids, to the elderly and that is precisely what we are doing.  Granted, this is currently just talk about free lunch and instead they are cutting before and after school programs.  They cut a whole lot of funding to Meals on Wheels, because not starving the elderly doesn’t show results.  Call me a wackadoo, but I really thought the not starving was the desired result.

If Miss Shannon were in charge, she’d be looking to fund effective programing that levels the playing field for children.  I’d be cutting things like corporate welfare, capping the salaries of elected officials at a reasonable (less than they’re getting) amount and evaluating health care with the intent that all people should be able to access care.  This isn’t us against them, we need to work towards the collective good of the American people.  I don’t have all the answers, I only know what I think is important.  For example, it’s more important to me that old ladies not eat cat food than to build a wall bordering Mexico, even though I agree that illegal immigration is a problem.   You’ll notice I said not one peep about travel bans… that’s because I agree that terrorist activity is a real and present danger.  I don’t know if the ban was the right thing, but I also don’t have a better idea.

I like money and I wish I had more of it, I’m not going to make any bones about other people’s desire for a comfortable life.  You don’t get rich teaching preschool, which is why I burned myself 26 times yesterday while hot gluing rocks to a seriously ugly mirror.  I don’t necessarily have money for extras, and that’s ok.  I dedicated my life to improving the lives of little kids.  In my world, you feed them because they’re hungry little kids.  Full stop.  I was a hungry little kid and when my own kids were little there were a whole lot of times I didn’t eat so they could.  I know hunger intimately.  I promise, there was never a spelling test I did well on that happened before free lunch.  I have a kid in my program whose teacher sends him a book bag filled with food for the weekend every Friday, and I am ashamed I didn’t think of it myself.

I had to work on this post for a few days because my conservative republican beloveds get a little pissed off at me when I write about politics.  I love this country.  Should the need ever arise, I will take up arms to defend her.  (You should probably lose sleep over that, it can’t end well.)  Please, please consider what’s happening here.  It is no more acceptable to starve poor people than it is to have homeless veterans sleeping on benches.  PBS… I love you, but you can fund raise.  And please… don’t say the words survival of the fittest.  This isn’t the Darwin awards, it’s not the Hunger Games.  I want our country strong, too.  I just believe we make that happen by investing in the future of our children.

Unanswered Prayers

It’s just possible that I am a stubborn woman.  This can be a hindrance to my life goals, but often it serves me well.  Lately, I have dealt with a lot of stress and personal difficulties that I am not going to bore you with and here is what I have learned:  Miss Shannon is not God.  She really wants to be, but omnipotent power just escapes her.  As ever, I will do what I can… and it’s never enough.  I always tell my kids that you’ve gotta take your joy where you can find it.  Life is hard, there isn’t an instruction manual and therefore, you should totally refinish the cabinet, paint the rocks and generally do the things that make you happy.  You don’t have to paint the rocks, that’s probably just me.

Meanwhile, a bit back Dozer and I went to an estate sale… at which he told me I was not allowed to look at a couple of cabinets.  I then became the proud owner of two awful, badly painted peeling veneer, very green cabinets.  Mother of God.  I have refinished the china cabinet and I want to tell you all about that totally suckish process.  These puppies had peeling veneer, which in laymen’s terms is a pain right in the ass.  Peeling veneer can only be removed… which involves scrapers, blow dryers, irons and sanders.  Based on my own experience, it also requires the blood of a forty year old mother.  Gracious Lord, I am still forty.  WHY is this happening?  Oh, ‘cause I haven’t died.  Gotcha.  This is what we started with:

Here’s what I’ve learned, for your edification:  Boil the hardware with baking soda and then clean it with a toothbrush.  Spray paint the hardware in light coats so it’s pretty.  Chalk paint is amazing and it solves an awful lot of problems.  I passionately love refinishing furniture, it fed my soul and I am super likely to do it again.  And periwinkle is my favorite color… it’s sort of a light bluish purple.  I used Glidden periwinkle petal in a flat paint with additives to make it have a chalk finish and Glidden Siberian Blue for the exterior.  I used flat paint because I was making chalk paint, which is not really a glossy thing.  I have no idea whatsoever why I need this cabinet, but it stays with me until I die.  This is where we ended up:

Here’s what I have learned from the entire process, start to finish:  Miss Shannon is 100% ready, willing and able to make purchases based on the fact that she has been told NO.   While researching the process, another blogger commented that the refinishing process was eradicating her will to live.  I feel ya, sister.  Now that I have one cabinet complete, my gypsy soul is feeling pretty darned satisfied.  I’m going to put some of my china in there, because I think it will be pretty.  Plus, I spent a lot of money on the dishes no one is allowed to use and they should at least be decorative.  Just to even things out, I’m also going to get a new tattoo… I’m thinking a phoenix, because I keep rising from the ashes upon demand.

Next project is the bathroom my kids use.  Dear gracious lord does it need love.  It’s going to involve painted rocks.  Again I say:  take your joy where you can find it. Last night, I told my poor mother, (who grocery shopped with me for three hours last night and lost me in Home Depot and had me paged, even though I was standing right next to her) the best thing that ever happened to me was getting divorced while my house was falling down around my ears.  I learned so much (YouTube teaches everything) and I now know where everything is in Home Depot and what a whole lot of it is for.  I’m absolutely digging up bones… Tonight I’m proud of myself.  I can do all the things.  And some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

Just funny :-)

There are so many things in this wide world that Miss Shannon does not understand.  Certainly, difficult things like astrophysics or how to program the remote, but I’m talking about my children this evening.  For example, there is this rectangular vessel that lives in my kitchen.  I use it to store rubbish until it reaches capacity, then I put it in larger rectangular vessels outdoors.  I am relatively certain I taught them the function of these items when they were small and yet… only I see it.  Everyone who requires glasses (Me.  Just me.) possesses them.  And here we are.

I recently had a conversation with my two teenaged sons about refuse removal.  I said, really, if you just put the garbage in the garbage can, the house will stay clean.  My oldest boy said, that can’t be all it is.  It can baby, it really really can.  This is not rocket science.  Can you even believe that it is possible for humans other than mothers to place a toilet paper roll on the holder?  Brothers and sisters, I declare that this is a real and possible thing.  Just not at my house.

I’m scheduling a family meeting, which my kids detest like I detest headlice.  In this meeting I will prattle on about how I work a minimum of sixty hours every week and how M is for Mom, not for Maid.  I will say that there is only one little kid in this house and that people need to pull their weight.  We have enjoyed this game of charades many times.  Someday, my little humans will have spouses who want to kill them like I do.    I want to apologize to these fine people in advance.  I have obviously failed as a parent and as a human being.

Meanwhile… Kohls has Wonderbras.  If you are unfamiliar:  These are foundation garments that make the girls look like they did before you used them as udders for the short people who do not understand the magic of the fucking garbage can.  All hail a good bra and putting the garbage where it goes.  Dozer said we should go on vacation… just the two of us… for a week.  And we totally should… someplace with a nice spa that gives hot stone massage to go with my drinks with little umbrellas.

Miss Shannon can be an awful person

Sometimes I don’t like myself very much.  Lately a series of things have made me feel angry, mean and generally unkind.  I know I’m not the only person who can’t always shelve the stressors, but I’m not very proud of myself right now.  I also know that this means I need to regroup, and figure out what I have to do to make myself stop being an evil bitch who’s releasing the flying monkeys every five minutes.

 

For one thing, I need to finish the papers to complete my degree.  This is a lot of work, I’m super stressed about it and I need it done.  The sad part is, this is extremely important for my future plans and it feels like extraneous bullshit.  It’s anything but… Next I need to have a little personal space.  Finally, I need to take a hard look at my habits and resolve them satisfactorily.  I’m not entirely certain what that looks like… but I am not ok right now, I feel very undone and I need to find my bearings before I destroy anything else in my life.

Miss Shannon is not always a very nice person.  I strive to be better… and sometimes I fail.  This is one of those times for me.  Sometimes things that sound funny in my head are just mean spirited.  Sometimes I just get carried away… and sometimes I’ve burned the candle at both ends for longer than is sustainable without breaking the wick.  I can only hope that the loved ones I have harmed in my crazy festival will understand that I am currently pushed beyond my limits.  And remember, I generally choose not to burden you with my problems.  Which are prolific at the moment.  I’ve got an unhealthy little boy, a couple of teenaged boys who clearly want me to have grey hair and two young adult daughters who are making very big life choices that worry me.

Financial issues abound, I am working towards opening a second business, and I’ve gained fourteen pounds.  Now it’s time for blessings:  I love the five completely nutty monkeys that make up my circus.  I wouldn’t have missed them for the world.  My boyfriend is fabulous, my mom survived breast cancer and I have a project refinishing furniture.  I also have several very good friends, a grandchild on the way and the ability to solve most of my problems.  Even though I feel completely out of control, life is good today.  So…. Adios and vaya con dios!