Dance 10, Looks 3

So I needed a new door.  Remember:  you can either have a million children or a million dollars, you cannot have both.  So, Brother Neil installed a solid slab door that was fairly inexpensive but was also unfinished.  Initially, I thought I’d paint it white, despite the aforementioned million children.  It rapidly became apparent that this was an error in judgement, so I got out the handy dandy internet and googled door colors for a brick house.  I settled on burgundy because I thought it would look nice.  Yes, my friends, the whore of Babylon just painted her front door red.   It looks like hell, despite waiting between coats and everything.  It is my current belief that the extreme 90 degree temperatures at the end of September might be the culprit, (No global warming here, folks) so I’m waiting until the weekend.  Here’s my Whore Door:

While I was outside taking that picture, I heard a group of girls teasing one another… I don’t know entirely what it was about, but the words “tits and ass” were clearly heard and dammit, now that song from A Chorus Line is in my head.  Grab a cab, c’mon, see the wizard on Park and Seventy-third…I want plastic surgery.  Honestly, if I had more cash I’d probably get a whole lot of work done… starting with my eyes and working my way down.  A whole lot of the time it’s not how you feel, it’s how you look… At least if you’re a single, approaching middle aged woman. APPROACHING.  I’m not there yet.  Guys don’t have this problem, because no matter how they look, they feel good.  Note to self:  Must work out this utter personal satisfaction.  Also, find a way to eradicate the song trolls in your brain.  And lose twenty pounds.  Bitch.

Just to top off my day, I needed to go to open house for my nine-year-old.  Remember, I have Tits and Ass, bought myself a fancy pair going through my head while I’m plastering a fake smile on my face because I know hardly anyone in the room and this is the 947th time I’ve been to an open house.  Not much changes and I continue to know where the exits are.  I got through the whole thing, incident free and then…. I just had to say hello to the teacher.  A parent I know, who seems like a nice enough guy, is trying to take a picture of something and the teacher pulls me over and announces, “Oh, he’s taking a picture!!”  A hush falls over the room.  That poor bastard starts just panicking… No, no, that’d be creepy… I’m not taking her picture…and that was awkward.  It’s the sort of thing I never really know how to maneuver.  Better, yet… I need to call this guy in the near future about a project I’m working on.  Awesome.

Little Pink Houses for you and me

So… not a lot has been happening on these hallowed pages because I’ve been really inside my own head.  My mantra lately is that I am Switzerland. I don’t have a whole lot to give right now.   I’ve been dealing with the tangled threads of bad decisions.  Often these are things that result from life choices made before I knew what that even meant.  I tend to get into verbal altercations when I state my opinions, both political and personal.   I usually blame that on the fact that I hang out with Dozer a lot, he’s especially conservative. People never used to get mad when I wanted to feed the little poor kids and I continue to fail to understand why that’s a bad thing.   I tend to have a more flexible view of the universe, but I must have touched a nerve or twenty, because recently, someone (Not Dozer) told me I just shouldn’t talk about these things… sorry, sunshine, this is my space and I will continue to use it as I see fit.  Come pay my rent and then we can talk about your level of input in to my life.

I think it’s funny that the very people who are defending the KKK’s right to free speech would like folks like me to please shut our mouths.  Miss Shannon finds all hate groups abhorrent.  I don’t care if you are blanketly hating other races, religions or sexual identity. I hate what they say, but I also defend their right to say it.   It irks the living shit out of me to see football players take a knee during the national anthem… and that, my friends is free speech. That’s part of the foundation of America, land that I love.  I don’t have to like it.  Matter of fact, a whole lot of the time, it shocks the hell out of me to hear the vile things people really, sincerely believe.  Not only do they believe it… they think Jesus Christ rode down on a chariot (or maybe an uber, Miss Shannon is not on that invite list, thus cannot be certain) to give out the Good News.  Here’s what I know:  The God in the King James version I read did not hate people based on their skin.  That guy supported feeding the poor, widows, etc.

Lately I feel like there is a disturbing level of hatred for the poor…  people who are middle class or upper class actually think they put themselves where they are, pulling themselves up by their boot straps and making something of themselves.  There were people who taught you things, made sure you went to bed with a full belly , who gave a damn and helped you find opportunities….not everybody has that.  Those same people say that if kids would apply themselves, they’d be successful.  That is not always true.  I can personally attest that when the spelling test comes before free lunch, you just don’t do as well.  Let’s talk about Maslow for a hot second… physical needs must be met before you can ever attain higher fulfillment.  I say… maybe try leveling the playing field.  Let’s give all the children a pencil… and, by all that is good and holy in this world, please stop assuming their origin is their destination.

Miss Shannon is moderately successful.  When I say moderately, I mean that I’m never going to get rich raising kids… but I get such an emotional return.  Most of the time, I can pay my bills.  I place the credit for that on the fact that I had a friend, far more fortunate than I, who thought I had potential.  Everybody has potential, but not everybody knows that.    I was lucky… someone with world knowledge took an interest in me and told me so, repeatedly and taught me things I would never have learned otherwise.  To escape poverty, you must first know that’s a thing that can happen.   I take things like racism and classism personally… my family has some gorgeous babies that came in a darker shade.    I love those kids.  Prejudice is based on ignorance and fear.   The belief that you are more valuable than someone else based on your zip code or skin tone is foolish hubris.





I would now like to thank every veteran of this nation for giving me the right to say all that.  I continue to appreciate the fact that I am not wearing a burqa and I am grateful that football players can kneel.  I am even grudgingly grateful that asshats like the KKK can mire on down in their own filth.  Ain’t that America??  Home of the free…. Because of the brave.

The clouds in my coffee

 It’s mid September, which means it’s almost October.  Yay for pink and purple hair…and here comes discussions of domestic violence that suck the life out of me like fluorescent overhead lighting.   If you thought that it’s my idea of a good time, you are mistaken.  This year, I am going to put a little focus on the aftermath, because that is what currently alters my world view. Maybe I’ll even tell you why rodents are a trigger for me.  Then again, no… there are some things we just never fully disclose.  This is also in my mind on account of that compression fracture in my spine, which is making itself acutely known, reminding me of how it got there.  Now, that’s a gift that keeps on giving!  No worries, I’ll never forget that guy… no matter how much I’d like to. We’re also redecorating at Casa Gypsy, so here’s one of this week’s projects:

For whatever reason, the song on repeat in my head is Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”  It reminds me of loved ones.  How’s that for a fucked up world view?  Anyway, if you’ve ever seen Inside Out, you know there are little trolls in your brain that send jingles.  My trolls usually like to send a song that fits how I’m feeling, though sometimes the little bastards send things like Elmo’s World (Admit it, you just went Dah Dah ta Dah, Elmo’s World!!)  Anyway, when a song is really stuck in my head, it means something.  Often, like now, I know what it means.  And that is mostly ok because it really is just clouds in my coffee.  Here’s the hamper I am forcing to live a little longer:

Anyway… I’ll just keep singing Carly Simon and upcycling junk.  In other news, I shit you not, someone actually stole my rosemary plant.  I can’t make this stuff up… but only the plant, not the pot.  Whaaat?  It had to be Plant Lady, except that one was doing well.  If there is a fruit loop in fifty mile radius, I will find and attract them.  Since I haven’t got time for the pain, I’ll make do with what I have and that’s a hell of a lot.  Lots of pretty babies, a nice home and a thriving business.  Not bad for a girl who was raised on a farm in abject poverty and sporting a minor spinal fracture.  Think on this:  In a world where we all want a magical solution to everything, while refusing to believe that magic exists;  maybe just create your own.

Finally, if you are part of the tribe that needs to be heard and remembered, this little blog is the place to be.  I will tell your story… and I’m on your side.  If you are a survivor or your loved one is a victim that has been permanently silenced, tell me your story.  I will represent your voice to the best of my ability.  As in, I only edit for grammar.  Our silence gives our abusers power… so let your voice be heard.  It really does make a difference.  I can honestly say that I have been told that this blog helped someone leave, find resources, etc.  Using my experiences to help others has been healing for me.  Maybe it’ll heal you, too.


So… I solemnly swear, I am up to no good.  I’m redecorating (because I redecorate instead of move.  Gypsy magic, try it sometime.)  which means I’m trying to create various craft projects that will work in a room that I painted terra-cotta.  For men… that means the color of those orangish clay pots. The ladies already knew that.   Why doesn’t anyone talk me down??  Oh yeah, I’m the only grown up here.  My little projects are disastrous just now, because you live and you learn.  Also… they’ll be fine in the end, because if it’s not fine, it’s not the end.  Get a mantra, people.  Since I have decided to leave well enough alone, I thought I’d chat with all of you.   Just for kicks, the geneticist that is supposed to make sweeping pronouncements that will profoundly affect my little zebra’s life just decided she’d like to work part time instead of full time.  Thus, the appointment I’ve been awaiting for the last three months has been canceled and he’s on a wait list.  So… back to Shriners, who will see him in February.  It’s August.  When I completely lost my marbles, it wasn’t because I think anything will really be different after the appointment.  A little guidance would be useful, but nothing is going to fundamentally change.  It’s just one more thing to handle alone… Somebody send me a little Gypsy magic for that, please and thank you.

The thing about being a single parent is that there’s never quite enough to go around and everyone lets you know it.  In my world, there aren’t a whole lot of people with the temerity to actually address this sort of thing to me, but there a handful of battle axes that can’t leave well enough alone.  Most days, I can just shake my head and know that happy people don’t run around trying to destroy other people.  Thus… I get to keep my high road. My mama didn’t raise any fools – gypsies, tramps and thieves??  You bet your happy ass, but not a fool in the bunch.   Guess what?  I could have done better.  I yelled at times when I shouldn’t have and sometimes threw up my hands in defeat.  I really can’t fix a hell of a lot, because sometimes everything just sucks and you just have to go through it.  Having successfully kept these people alive and not serial killers, I’m pretty sure, anyway, nor have they ever been homeless or hungry, this is my advice.  If you love them with every fiber of your being, and I know you do, not being perfect won’t matter.  It will be enough.

I’ve spent the last (nearly) twenty-two years of my life raising good little Americans.  Patriotic, kind, share your last bag of pinto beans kind of humans… My oldest boy has always toyed with the idea of joining the military.  We’re a Marine Corps family… and that’s where he’s looking. (A recruiter met with him last week, without me, making Officer Recruiter public enemy #1.)  I’m not surprised… he likes the big guns (pointed at my heart, bang bang, shoot ‘em, like a firing squad) My son is too young to remember 9-11, and can only remember our nation at war.  A year from now, I know I will put my baby, who used to stalk my eggs so he could “hatch” them by throwing them on my kitchen floor, on some sort of transport to Paris Island.  I’ll be proud and terrified, because I’m old enough to know that humans have an expiration date that is arbitrary.  I wish I was still telling him to color on paper, not walls.

My oldest daughter told me, tonight, about singing in public for the first time in a long time since the fellow she married ripped her up and made her feel small about it.  She gets that from me… both marrying bastards and singing out loud… Given enough time, she’ll collect most of herself back.  Immediately following this story, our Marine candidate was ready to throw down with a trucker who was feeling a little lecherous toward her on Route 20… lol… I’m not sure when my boy became a man, but he seems to have just about arrived.  My younger daughter is going to bless me with a grandson any day now… I promise, he will come out and you are going to rock motherhood.   The two little ones are still finding themselves, and they have all the time in the world.  I haven’t raised any rocket scientists, doctors or lawyers.  Instead, I raised good people… the kind who will pull over if you’re broke down, who will listen in the grocery store when you’ve just been diagnosed with a fatal disease and who will write a blank check for this country because their soul tells them they ought to.  Raising these fine human beings has been the pleasure of my life, and I am proud of every single one.

When you’re bogged down with the minutia, sometimes it’s just too much.  Like any single parent, it’s kind of the deal, part of committing yourself to a tiny human until they are ready to go forth and be.  It’s ok to fall down, so long as you keep getting back up, even if you are doing that by digging your nails into the furniture to keep yourself upright.  Obviously, Miss Shannon has had a rough week.  Instead of letting it eat at me,  I’m going to keep on keeping on and be proud that I alluded to songs from three different genres, because it makes me happy in my heart.  Take your joy where you can find it.

Charlie Daniels, scary bikers and melanin

Miss Shannon saw Charlie Daniels in concert last week.  For me, his music signifies a time when there was far less stress in my life… Back when Brother Neil was just my erstwhile brother, not the pastor who prays for my immortal soul for a variety of excellent reasons, including but not limited to the fact that I have a couple of sphinx statues and a little Isis bust.  (Miss Shannon is a history buff… I really love Ancient Egypt.  Isis remains my favorite goddess and it irritates the living shit out of me that such a cool chick has had her name pilfered by asshats.)  Charlie Daniels is drinking games like Asshole, Chinese fire drills and my friend Holly, who I miss.  Preachin’, Prayin, Singin’…. Down on the public square.

We rode the bikes and went with friends of Dozer’s… they are very nice people who are way, way above my pay grade.  Being his helpful self, Dozer tried to hook me up with the male half to get my fairly yucky shower redone (Holy Cannoli, dude, do you not know I’m broke??)  Please know that YouTube teaches literally everything and Miss Shannon will master the magic of tile placement by the end of this year.  I did learn that the thing at the bottom is named a shower tray and there is no way around bringing the shower stall down to the studs.  The ugly shower has been good enough for five years, ever since my fantabulous ex-husband cut a hole in the shower wall to change the freaking handle.  Have mercy.  Kind of like the time he cut a hole in the sewer pipe.  God love him, he was not a handy fellow and caused me a whole lot of trouble.  The Devil Went Down to Georgia with the sole intent of making me nuts with that guy…. Lucifer was supremely successful in that endeavor.

Have I ever mentioned that Dozer the marshmallow looks a little scary??  He’s a very large man with a bald head and a pretty good beard… The biker beard sucked me in, because I like my men like I like my coffee… light and not sweet at all.  So this big kid is standing in front of us and Dozer decides to ask him to step off the curb so I can see over him.  That poor kid pissed his pants for the entire rest of the concert while his Ma gave Dozer the stink eye the entire time.  His daddy just sat there hoping Doze wouldn’t hurt them, lol… I actually felt a little sorry for the yuppy boy.  Bikers never scare me… I’ve spent time with the best and worst of that world… watch the probies and the chicks… the guys are never your problem, unless you’re their old lady in which case it could go a lot of ways.  In my situation, you get yelled at in the early morning about socks and other miscellaneous things that don’t matter.

At the end of the day, you know what matters???  The love of a good person, the people around you that count and a really good cheesecake.  All that other stuff us extraneous.  What happened in Charlottesville sickens me.  It’s not about statues and flags.  It’s about a culture of hate that lends itself to the degradation of other human beings because someone doesn’t like their skin tone or some other trait they are born with.   I can’t teach you to be a good person, to harbor a little goodness and mercy in your heart for other humans.  I can ask you to consider looking past the surface… like the yuppies seated in front of us at that concert, shaking in their lawn seats because they decided they feared Dozer.   There are things in this world that should make you quake, but skin isn’t one of them.  Peace on Earth is just beyond the fear.




Tweet Tweet, Mr. President

I’m sure you know all the things I would say about banning trans people from the military… Heaven forbid a willing, able bodied individual have the willingness to write a blank check on behalf of all the idiots in this country should you not like something about their genitals.  Why the fuck is this even in question?  You don’t want to pay for gender reassignment surgery?  No problem… don’t pay for it.   You also don’t want to pay for birth control, or anything you deem unsavory.  Nobody ever bitches about flipping for Viagara, though, do they?  A large portion of the crazy drama insanity in this country would disappear if people would mind their own damned business.

I have a difficult to hear thing to say to our pals way to the right…. Your religion teaches tolerance.  That word means acceptance.  I’m trying hard to break it down so the words are small enough to understand.  Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone.”  What he was going for there was that humans aren’t qualified to judge each other.  Original sin and all that.  I don’t care how many times a week you pray, you are still a fallible human being riddled with imperfection, just like the rest of us.  Biblical scholars are with me on this.  At the end of the day, there are so many common activities that are not necessarily Bible approved…. Premarital sex, eating pork, divorce, cheating on your taxes… all of these activities are considered a sin.  Who died and put you in charge of which sin is more or less sinful?   I would hope that God has bigger fish to fry than where Adam and Steve are storing their combat boots.  Maybe He does, maybe He prefers a good steak, maybe He’s kicking it on a porch swing because the throne isn’t comfy.  Maybe this isn’t a hill to die on.  I can’t answer with any authority because Heaven isn’t taking my calls… My copy of the bible suggests that you are responsible for yourself rather than policing other people’s spiritual wellbeing by forming a lynch mob to chase down everyone who uses their genitals in a way you do not like.

Curtesy of the right, the angry and the democratic party’s foolishness, we now have a fellow running our country who thinks it’s ok to tweet whatever the heck floats through his mind at any given time.  Bless his heart, this is likely the very best he’s got to give.  Some guys are suave and debonair, some are swavee and deboner.  All of this is like the potty issues of the last couple of years… It deeply saddens me to watch the sheeple stampede in whatever phobic direction some guy in a suit points them at.  LGBTQ people are just like straight people… (forgive me, friends, I’m trying to teach) think of it like a kink.  You are getting your panties in a bunch over how others achieve sexual gratification.  Are you this angry about a foot fetish or an interest in hot wax?  Believe it or not, regardless of what anyone is doing with their genitals, it is not your business unless they’re doing it with a child, in which case a lynch mob is fine by me.

Let’s solve many world problems right here and now:  Mind your own business.  Be kind to others.  It’s that easy, friends.  Also, Twitter is not a good platform for the President to make pronouncements.  Dear lord, man, for the love of all that is good in this world…. Please stop tweeting.  Let’s pretend you’re the leader of the free world and you hold yourself to a higher standard than my teenage kids.

Take it to the limit….

I generally don’t have a commute, so I don’t usually listen to morning radio shows. I happened to be driving back in the early morning from Republican Land last week and listened to the morning host describing an incident with a bitchy, angry lady at the grocery store. He was using coupons to get a better deal for (I think) Ronald McDonald House and it was taking a while. He apologized and apparently this lady was just seething with resentment for the five or so extra minutes spent waiting, despite being told they were completing a task for charity and said so out loud.  On one hand, she’s obviously not a very nice person… on the other I completely get the frustration of a simple transaction taking way longer than needed because of someone’s shenanigans.


Miss Shannon is always, always running on borrowed time. I do not want to have a lengthy chat over the corn, in fact I go to automatic tellers whenever possible to save myself time. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s that I am so over-scheduled it’s not even funny. Plus, that thing where people have a deep seated need to bare their souls to me… really, is there a sign flashing over my head that I can’t see?? Anyway… that lady was wrong for expressing what I actually think is a legitimate frustration. Bad manners… but what hit me was the dj saying, “If you really don’t have five extra minutes, you’re just over-scheduled.”

Yes, dear… I am over-scheduled. In fact, I am unpleasant thoughts over-scheduled… like… Holy Christ, I would rather jump off a bridge than complete my next ten scheduled tasks over-scheduled. (Don’t call mobile crisis, Miss Shannon is fine and dandy.) I can give twenty legitimate reasons that I always feel pushed to the limit. I usually really don’t have five extra minutes for you to dick around in front of me in a checkout line. Now… I would rather plaster a fake smile on my face and break every traffic law known to man rather than confront the lollygagger in front of me. But I sure as hell mind. I can’t say I like that about myself, but it’s factual.

While I’m busy taking it to the limit… the limit of my patience, endurance, and good will towards my fellow man… ask yourself why a generally decent person gets into the sort of predicament where they are so overstretched they can’t tell up from down. I can think of many reasons… for myself, it’s being a single mom who runs her own small business and has just enough insanity left to try to cultivate a relationship with a fairly nice guy. The combination makes me a crazy person quite a lot of the time. So, I get the angry, impatient woman in a way I truly wish I didn’t… I’m fighting a battle I can’t afford to lose…. Maybe she is, too. My final word on the matter is this: That dj isn’t wrong… and he’s not right either. People like me ARE ridiculously over-scheduled… by necessity. I can’t imagine this sort of nonsense as anything but a necessity… so if you just like to be busier than a one-armed paper hanger… please, please tell me about yourself. I would also like to hear from you if there are just not enough hours in the day to do what has to be done, like me.   And for the love of all that is good and civil in this world, you cannot just tell a stranger they are wasting your time.  The correct, polite words are Bless your heart!

Vacation with the Other Team!!

I’m exhausted… 1044 miles on the back of a Harley makes Miss Shannon feel like she’s been through a meat grinder.  About forty of those miles were without a helmet, which is a bad bad thing that our good pal, Dozer, actually posted on Facebook so now our mothers know.  While I have the utmost love and respect for both ladies, who are both entirely right, which I know because there’d be hell to pay if one of my kids did it…I just don’t want to hear the rigmorale.  As the autonomous adults we are, we took a calculated risk for a short time on back roads.  The last time I rode without a helmet, I was probably seventeen.  That was back in the day when the dirty bikers were a different breed altogether… (Please note:  I almost didn’t go out with Dozer because I think most MC guys are dicks.)  I like my current manifestation of dirty biker much better, which includes fellows who won’t allow me to walk across the street alone at midnight on account of somebody might hurt me.  Miss Shannon needs protecting, you know…  It was awfully cute, never in my life have I experienced men in protective mode before I met Dozer.  And it’s not just Dozer… it’s his friends, too.  I really love them for it.

Our group took this trip through a thunder storm to support a brother whose son walks with angels, so we could help him cry.  It broke my delicate tulip heart… This is a man I dance with regularly… his wife is someone I count as my friend.  He actually came to me following the celebration of the life of his son to tell me he’d come hang my door next week.  I can’t tell you what it meant to me that on the day we celebrated the life of his son, this very good man was worried about whether I was safe in my bed.  These folks are who we’re talking about when we say ‘good people’…. I can honestly say that I have never experienced such comradery and willingness to give.  I grew up wishing for government cheese poor… and these people are right there with the folks who will share their last bag of pinto beans with you… You need, I got… if that’s not in your world… find it.  Be willing to reciprocate.

Since we were traveling as a legion, we popped on over to the local legion Post 177 in Fairfax, Virginia.  They have a nice post with some fun people, a bride to be that I am proud to say I didn’t try to talk down and most importantly… they have a separate room you can smoke in.  I headed back there and started making conversation with the guys playing pool.  We were heading to the beach the following day… Rehoboth Beach, Delaware… You could’ve heard a pin drop.  Apparently, there’s a large gay population there.  Despite the fact that I have many loved ones who aren’t breeders, this has just not come up in conversation.  Naturally, I found this hilarious, as did absolutely everyone who was with us except Dozer.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s homophobic, but he is an old white guy who is used to conservative, traditional folks.  (No, people, I don’t know why this relationship works… it just does.  You’ll be all right.) I decided to consider this a learning curve for him, kind of like hanging in Republican Land was a hell of a departure for me.

The beach was gorgeous… acres of beautiful sand, the ocean and a fun tourist trap kind of area.  We had a lot of fun, satisfied my inner sea sprite, and ate some really good food.  I wasn’t overly concerned that there would be anything that would make anyone uncomfortable… Gay people are just like breeders (aka straight people) in that they don’t commonly copulate in public, generally wear clothing and are at the beach to do the very same activities.  The only time Dozer even noticed any difference was when we were walking by an entirely male populated bar, at which point he steered me in another direction with a certain level of forcefulness.  I tried to tell him we’d probably have a hella good time there, but he wasn’t buying.  If there were twenty lesbians there, it’d be different.  That’s women together and he wants to watch… Miss Shannon is giving Rehoboth Beach two thumbs way, way up!!  Dozer says next time we’re going to the Outer Banks.  In the immortal words of Charlie Daniels, he’s going back where the women are women and the men are men.

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.