Plants are people, too!!

Have I ever mentioned that people just tell me things, utterly unbidden and frequently undesirably?  Whether it’s my face, my aura or maybe I just wronged someone in another life, I really don’t know.  Commonly this occurs when I am out and about, minding my own business while someone is experiencing crisis in my vicinity.  This can run the gambit from their spouse has recently cheated on them to terminal diagnosis and anywhere in between.  I don’t have to engage or even make eye contact… these people just home in my invisible “Ooh, pick me!!” magnet and amble on over.  I cannot tell you the number of weeping strangers I have held in my arms, nor would I venture to guess the number of absolute lunatics that just need my attention.  I am deeply empathetic to the folks who just need someone to hear them and feel their pain.  The escapees from Bedlam, not so much.

Just for a little additional weird background, I don’t have a green thumb, I have ten gnarled black fingers of annihilation, hidden by a decent manicure.  A couple of years ago, my little boy gave me seeds for Mother’s Day, which we planted.  My daughter said, “What are you gonna do now, plant killer?”  I like plants, but they don’t demand food in the same way as children and pets.  For the last two years, I have planted outside gardens and have had a modicum of success.  Miss Shannon can be taught new tricks, she likes flowers and has difficulty justifying the expense of buying cut flowers.  I bought an aloe plant about a year and a half ago because I thought it would make good minion hair in the planter I made.  Sadly, it was accidentally left out in a frost and hasn’t been happy since.  I put it outside hoping the sun might revive it.  Enter the Plant Advocate.

An unknown woman entered the daycare and said, “I want to talk to you about your plants.”  Usually, I need to be visually available for the deranged to approach, so I was taken aback.  So I hesitantly said, ok…. Then, the bowels of hell (from whence she came) opened up as she took me to task over the state of the aloe plant which is probably going to die.  Die, I tell you.  Now, at this point I’m edging towards the phone so I can call 911.  Her face became very red and she sputtered, “I am an advocate for the plants!” Happily, she then exited the building and hopefully won’t be heard from again.  Once again, I’d like to state for the record that I do not make this stuff up.  Don’t believe me??  Just ask Dozer how many times some random person has approached us with deeply personal information that most of us wouldn’t tell our best friends.  It’s the anonymity, of course and that beacon inside me that I can’t seem to find and eradicate.  For the record, if you feel a burning urge to enter business establishments and yell about plant life, get your head checked.

A Life Well Lived

Tugga, Tugga, Tugga…my last baby, is nearly nine years old.  Tonight he told me that when we go camping, he wants to bring his roller skates.  You know, so I can tow him behind my car.  (Or maybe HELL NO!!!)  Brenna, my first baby, who is old enough to know better, says, “My dude… I will tow you behind my car.”  (Note to self:  Brenna is no longer qualified to babysit.)  Luke says…”Ooh, can we?”  And that’s how I know they’re mine.  Miss Shannon runs from squirrels like there is a hell hound on her heels, but never, ever from actual danger that could kill, maim, or otherwise inconvenience her.  I call it having a life well lived.  Sometimes… I get so bogged down in the minutia that I forget how I love an adrenaline rush, a good thunderstorm and getting out of my own way.

My little Tugga asked me the other day what was my favorite thing to do when I was a kid.  I told him I liked to play on my swing set and read books… He was very, very surprised.  He said, “Momma, I thought you were going to say your favorite thing was cleaning.”  What in the name of all that is good and holy am I teaching this kid????  Here’s what’s worse… I shared what I thought was a funny story about a little kid not understanding being an adult with Dozer and he, like my eight-year-old, was absolutely shocked to learn that I do not enjoy cleaning.  I am quite certain that there are women on earth who enjoy these tasks… Miss Shannon is not one of them.  I clean my house because I want to live in a clean house, I’m the mom and it is my job.  It’s an adult task, not exactly a blast…kinda like paying the electric bill.  Yet, two of the people nearest and dearest to me think it is my all-time favorite pastime.  As women, we often put aside the things that bring us joy in favor of required tasks.  Miss Shannon is calling shenanigans, because dammit, women matter, too.

I got a little perspective today on a bike run.  I participated in a very nice ceremony honoring fallen vets… then we stopped at an ice cream place where a particular family was honored.  We missed most of it but what I really saw was two little kids, maybe two and four.  The little boy wore his daddy’s dog tags and the little girl carried a bear wearing fatigues.  Mama carried their wedding photo.  Those kids are babies who will never know their father.  Thank you for your service seems a little pale in comparison.  That guy died in the service of this country, so people like me can bitch about housework and politics and taxes.  Instead of feeling guilty, I choose to make my life matter.  I will continue to raise good human beings.  I will continue to work for causes that I think matter… hunger, domestic violence, children and vets.  I will enjoy the life that I am afforded because of people like this man, whose name I don’t even know.  Miss Shannon urges you to do the same.

Duck OFF!!!!

I’m working on an outdoor play area for the days we can’t go to the park for whatever reason.  This typically includes sleeping babies, as it’s against the law to wake a sleeping baby.  I have a tiny stretch of yard to work with… what we’re looking for is some engaging activities, not necessarily active play.  My current list of outdoor centers includes a gravel pit -80% constructed, a pulley system for the sheer hell of it, a music wall -tomorrow, a sand table -100% complete and a water wall.  We want to talk about the water wall right now.

So, I bought a big pipe at Home Depot.  It’s a drain pipe, $9.98 and some especially large zip ties.  My master plan is to cut it up, hot glue it to a pallet, add extra security with some zip ties and pour some water through it.  I also got a couple of little pipes, some elbows, a funnel.  I thought I’d poke holes in some water bottles, maybe use a watering can.  I get it all home and think… shit, what do I use to cut this??  I’ve never cut a plastic pipe, what kind of blade should I get??  I keep telling you, I’m as lazy as the next guy, so I just asked Dozer… And now we’re mad at him.  This is a collective, people.

 

I told him it’s for a water wall, an excellent sensory activity that encompasses many of the eight areas of early childhood education.  He asks me if the pipe is attached to a water source already.  (Excuse me, I’m counting to 156.)  I asked if he thought I was stupid.  He said, of course not, you’re the smartest person I know… now is it??  (This reminds me of that joke… pretty girls like to be told they’re smart, smart girls like to be told they’re pretty.  So, what am I??  Smart… and pretty!!)  Naturally, I said… of course, it’s attached to the sewer line.  At which point he said, No no, baby, you need a plumber.   I have no idea what I have done in the couple of years we’ve known each other that would compel this man to think I would actually just cut a hole in a sewer line.

 

Miss Shannon is a lot of things.  Stupid isn’t one of them.  This does bring me back to the time that my ex-husband cut a hole in the sewer line inside our basement.   I actually called my dad, who made me repeat it twice and his answer was that I married a fucking genius.  For the record, this is the same guy who removed all the pluggy things from all the drains in my entire house, has “extra parts” every time he fixes a car and once cooked a ham with the paper wrapping still on.    So, I told Dozer to duck off, with the help of autocorrect that apparently doesn’t know me very well.

I will have fabulous pictures later this week of my totally kick ass water wall which will provide hours of entertainment for my wee beasties, drive my sister absolutely nuts and give me at least 8 points on the Quality Stars scale… It’s going to be a win, all the way around.  I also have every faith that one of my daughters’ boyfriends will cut up the pipe for me.  Not because I can’t, because I sincerely believe you should allow people to bless you just as much as you bless others.