Painted Rocks

I finished the rock mirrors!!!!   Mother of God, I am so grateful to say that.  I now have a beautiful bathroom… painted soft gray with a marble looking laminate counter and sinks with pluggy things (installed by the ever-fabulous Dozer) a white tub, cabinets painted a color that makes me think of thunder and photos of penguins (who are all named Mr. Penguin, except that one… His name is Jeff, per my Tugga James) and Antarctica.  Halleluiah… I was starting to think that was the project that never ends.  It needs a new floor, but otherwise, the kids’ bathroom is complete.

I wonder if I would be so creative if I had more disposable income.  Sadly, I think the answer is no… When given the opportunity, I am as lazy as the next guy.  If I had enough money to just pay someone to manage my renovations, two things would have happened.  I would have learned a whole lot less, for sure.  More importantly, I would not have tapped into my creative resources.  Boys and girls… being broke has an upside.  I found myself in creating pretty things… that wouldn’t have happened if I could just write a check.  It’s all a distraction anyway…


Here’s what we’ve learned:  Turpentine will remove spray paint from latex paint without damaging the latex.  It will also remove spray paint from mirrors and gel nail polish.  It stinks to high heaven and is not a recommended practice!!  Also, it is a pain in the ass to glue rocks to mirrors.  Miss Shannon probably needs a higher level of supervision than what she actually has, but I think we may have already known that.  I’m sure this information relates to why I don’t live with other adults.  They tend to cramp my style… who but a child is just ok with it when someone plays arts and crafts with the entire house??  Miss Shannon probably lives alone for a reason.  This is Jeff:

That there is the court of public opinion.  Because there must be something the matter with me, as a forty year old, single woman.  Most people go through their whole lives so worried about what this one or that one will think that they never stop to ask themselves what they think.  Those folks don’t follow their hearts and they end up unhappy because of it.  Run from the squirrel, if you’re of a mind to.  Find a new job, leave the guy who is eradicating your will to live… At the end of the day, it is not going to matter what your parents think, what your friends think or what the cashier at Price Chopper thinks.  Are you happy with your place in the world??  If the answer is no… change what you’re doing.  Glue the rocks to the mirror, hang the questionable art and chase your authentic self.  Nobody on this earth is going to make you happy but you… that includes your man, your mama and your babies.

Rabid Squirrels!!!!

Rabid squirrels attacked Miss Shannon.  Ok, chased Miss Shannon.  Oh, all right, a single, solitary squirrel chased me around the patio, into the driveway at Dozer’s house and I narrowly escaped death.  Probably the squirrel wouldn’t have killed me, but a heart attack was definitely imminent.  I happened to be on the phone with my sister, who found it hilarious.  I managed to get past the little bugger and back into the house, then it sat outside the door and waited for me to come out.  I’m afraid I don’t consider this to be normal squirrel behavior, and I would like Dozer to make every effort to eradicate what is clearly a threat to body and soul.  Dozer would like to train it to eat out of his hand.

Squirrels are rats with a fuzzy tail and a good shake from society.  Because they’re “cute.”  And they really are, in statue form, in Beatrix Potter books and way the fuck over there.  They are not at all cute when they chase my happy ass through the yard and back into the house.  Not at all cute while they sit patiently on the porch, waiting for me to exit the building.  I had to escape the house through the back door.  I am not kidding.  My well-founded terror of rodents (which includes rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters, chipmunks, and guinea pigs with white fur and red eyes) was developed in a very unpleasant tale that happens to be one of those things I will never fully disclose to another human being.  So there I was, living the dream, and suddenly I found myself being chased by a rabid beast that can only want to cause my demise.

I’m so very grateful that squirrel was my biggest problem all day.  Lately, my other shoes have been dropping… they always do.  They don’t go missing, like Red October…  because Miss Shannon puts her shoes away.  I enjoyed a bike run today with Blue Friday… a couple of hundred bikers came together to pay homage to our fallen boys in blue.  It’s been a George Straight kind of month, for me.  Largely because I’m always expecting the worst at the back of my mind… Experience has taught me that you always prepare for the worst, because it’s usually what you’re going to get.  Right now, today, I am blessed with five beautiful children, a man who sincerely loves me and a whole lot of good friends… even if you’re laughing because I ran from the little squirrel.

Red October… Where are you????

I’m nursing ouchy fingers from hot gluing rocks to the mirrors in my bathroom.  They were really ugly, so I’m gluing a rock frame to them because, somehow, that will make them less ugly.  My world is a very special place, friends.  I cannot show you pictures yet, because that shit is still not done.  We’re probably 150 glue sticks in, fyi.  Easily 73 million rocks.  Initially, these seemed like a quick easy project… short attention span, remember??  Yeah… this is a pain in the tushkabob.  I would probably do it again, because I really am enjoying the finished bits.  So, I’ll hit it again tonight, but I need more rocks.  I’m not sure how that’s even possible, but here we are.

This afternoon, I enjoyed the hunt for Red October, which makes you think I am watching old movies, but in fact that’s what I call Tug’s baseball cleats, which are red and always missing.  People, put your shoes together, in the same spot.  You will be able to find them.  It’s that easy.  We’re currently interrupting my life to bring you another five years of little league, and I have a bat bag.  It’s supposed to hold all the baseball things, (including Red October) but it’s very difficult to finagle for some reason.  In a lot of ways, it was easier to have a whole mess of little kids at once.  All of those kids were healthy and I didn’t feel a compulsion to baby them.  This kid… I once had an infectious disease doctor say to me… I want to see that… can you bring him in right now????  Want prompt medical attention from busy specialists??  Be weird: they want to find zebras, not horses.  My little boy is almost always the zebra.  It’s a claim to medical fame, but I could totally go for a little boredom.

Another little tidbit about my desire for boredom… I’m talking stress free time I can fill with my many, many hobbies and activities.  (I probably don’t really know how to be bored.  It seems like a positive thing to me.)  I find it difficult to empty my mind.  One of the things that does this for me is a motorcycle ride… Dozer brought me on a little run with his friends last evening.  He was probably tired of me glaring at him because (much like my boy children) the mechanics of the garbage can stymie him.  Please know, no man has ever been murdered by his significant other while washing the dishes.  This is a verifiable fact, kids.  Anyway… as usual, I was the only woman along for the ride.  This makes me the chief picture taker and they are all kinda hoping I don’t feel chatty…. And that maybe I have cookies or something somewhere on my person.

Sometimes… you have to just do the thing that gives you peace.  I know that I will spend the next weeks and months hanging out at Albany Medical Center, the region’s premier medical facility, confirming my little boy’s diagnosis of Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome… EDS.  It goes along with his JIA… Juvenile Idiosyncratic Arthritis.  Which basically means… no clue why this kid swells up like a balloon for no particular reason and has difficulty walking some days.  So far, he escapes Celiac disease…which my Luke did not.  There isn’t a sauce I can’t make from scratch on account of that boy… Meanwhile… for Tug… if you pray, do that.  Light a candle, cast a spell, bow to the East.  Do whatever it is you do to send positive energy, because my little boy needs it.  EDS is a given, ask for the best possible outcome.  Then feed your soul, whatever your currency is.   Light ’em up!!

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

I’m going to give a little shout out to moms today, seeing as it’s Mother’s Day.  I’m not downing fathers, I just don’t have loads of experience with them, so I’m not really sure what they do.  Most moms would cut off a limb for their child.  We lose sleep, work multiple jobs, stand on our heads and whistle dixie for our tiny humans… Guess what?  You’ll be doing that when they’re grown as much as when they’re toddlers.  Sometimes, our little people do not do what we wish they would.  This is true at every stage of their lives.  It does not mean that you are a bad parent.  I hate to break it to you, supermom, but you are not actually capable of controlling who another human being is, even if they call you mom.  Are you significant?  Absolutely. You are also the world’s leading expert on your child and no one knows them or loves them better.  What you lack is omnipotence.

Tiny humans spring forth with temperaments.  They are literally born individuals.  They have wants, needs, and guess what?  Whether you breast or bottle feed, whether you gave birth vaginally or by a C-section, whether you adopted or fostered…. your kids are going to be who they are.  Some kids are anxious, some kids have no concern for their personal safety, some are stubborn and some are wishy washy.  Tiny humans are a lot like big humans in that they have their own styles.  As moms, our job is to guide them through this world with as much grace as possible.  You teach them what you believe to be right, give them a moral foundation and take them to the doctor.  Still, they will be who they are.

You feel guilty for supporting your kids, but how are they going to survive if you don’t?  Or maybe you’re a stay at home mom, so you feel guilty because you’re showing your kids traditional gender roles.  Quite commonly, you’re a single mom and you feel guilty for everything under the sun.  It doesn’t help when you see all the nasty on social media about how to parent, what superfood (whichever one your kid will not eat) you MUST feed little Susie, or the hot new toy you really can’t afford.  As a single mom, my personal favorite usually relates to getting a babysitter… How dare I ever want grown up time or to have adult relationships.  Rosie O’Donnell said, “They put them in dumpsters and they live.  Your kids will be fine.”

Bottom line:  You do the best you can.  Miss Shannon loves to cook so most everything is homemade… if you’re feeding your kids McDonald’s four nights a week, guess what???  You’re getting the job done.  Forgive yourself, in short, for being human.  Love them, give them the very best you can, love them, read to them and love them some more.  Then let them see you take care of you…. You are teaching them how to take care of themselves and the women in their lives.  My final thought for the day… learned hard over many years… if you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of them.  Be good to yourself, for some short people, you’re the whole world…

And it burns, burns, burns

I was shopping with my older daughter and she bought her boyfriend a black dress shirt, So I said, “You know there’s something about a man in black.”  She looked at me blankly, and I realized she had no idea whatsoever what I was talking about.  How that little girl grew up with me as her momma and doesn’t know who Johnny Cash is, is completely beyond me.  I was like, really?  I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die?? Nothing.  Ring of Fire?  Nada.  Proof positive that I failed as a parent.  Maybe they just weren’t paying attention.  Every single one of my kids know Queen and Charlie Daniels, which I suppose is better than nothing.  I started taking a poll and found that my boy children are way more familiar with good music than my girls.  Likely, that’s because I raised them alone.  I am sure I play music louder and longer without interference.  I also dance in the kitchen and that is invaluable.


You may or may not have noticed, but my creative well has been running a little dry.  I’m chalking it up to ill health, stress, yada yada.  Mostly it’s just that I haven’t had a rhythm.   You gotta have a rhythm, at least if you are riding a crazy train anything like mine.  My crazy train is usually a fairly pleasant place to while away the time.  We usually have good snacks, coffee and a project to keep you entertained.  Next up for me is sewing, as my younger daughter is preparing to present me with my first grandson this summer.  His name is Aiden Michael.  He is perfect, if there was any question.  Perfect.  He is in need of a leather jacket, a crib set and work booties and cowboy booties.  The shopping part is about me, kids.  Grammy’s got this.  Aiden will be joining the lovely Raelynn in my next generation…Being a Grammy is the best gig ever… you get to love them and squish them and shop for them and then send them home.

I did a really cool, quick project today. I usually need it to be fast, because I have a short attention span.  Basically, I hot-glued fabric to cardboard and nailed it to the wall.  I’m doing this because you don’t have to live like a refugee.  Your surroundings should make you feel beautiful and beloved… like you belong in this space.  Dozer, that’s why I decorate.  Everything should be beautiful, sparkle or have some special something that makes you feel good.  Life is hard.  You should always take your joy where you can find it… In my world, that often means a wall decoration, Johnny Cash tunes, baby shopping, you get the idea.  Unlike decorating, there are many, many things Miss Shannon can’t really control.  Her adult children, her nearly adult children, the weather and apparently, her waistline.  Certainly, Dozer and all the important people in her life make that list.  And that brings us to:  Projects.  Because, dammit, the fabric does what I tell it to, as does the paint or the wood.  People?  Well… Because you’re mine, I (try to) walk the line.  Or glue it into submission.