Tuesdays Round Here

Excited for this day, I mean who wouldn’t be? I have a dentist appointment, a therapy appointment, and back-to-back Zoom classes this evening. Woohoo! Living the life! Okay, I might be overcompensating for my actual lack of enthusiasm, but if not for that where would I be? Sneezing into my coffee and crying as the world slowly falls apart around me.

Whew! I’m sad today. Sorry about that, y’all. Sometimes, these days, I’m wishing I hadn’t made that pesky New Years resolution to write everyday. Cause some days I think I write myself into a bad mood. Does that make sense? Let’s try to combat this! But how?!

Cupcakes!

I have a cupcake downstairs and I’m going to eat it. After the dentist. Okay. Today might not be so bad after all. Wishing you all cupcakes in the near future!

M.

Mondays, Hmpf

I mean, the hurricane is gone but things are still wild down here in Georgia. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things I did this weekend:

  • Bought a fabric shaver
  • Gave both dogs a bath
  • Threatened to stab both dogs
  • Finished a project for a friend’s birthday
  • Listened to Adele and cried
  • Played Tony Hawk
  • Told my son all about RBG
  • Ordered 30 cupcakes for a pool party on Saturday
  • Cancelled pool party on account of weather
  • Ate 10 of the cupcakes
  • Read “Memorial Drive” with Jerimiah and cried
  • Watched the movies “Coneheads” and “Twins” with Jackson
  • Finished off the last of the Chinese takeout
  • Sat in the hot tub with the jets on high
  • Took a lot of naproxen
  • Checked my absentee ballot status, all good
  • Cleaned the floors
  • Hired a housekeeper
  • Googled pics of RGB’s family and cried
  • Watched four episodes of season two of “Pen15”
  • Ordered more birthday presents for Jackson
  • Finally fell Asleep

Yeah, it was a long weekend. Hope yours was just as, uhh, productive as mine.

M.

Why Are You Wet?

Hurricane Sally did a number on us this week. We are lucky, of course, to be four hours inland, and not near the Gulf Coast (some of our Mississippi and Louisiana friends weren’t so lucky) we’ve just had a ton of rain. So much in fact that I’ve been running around screaming, “Why are you all wet, you assholes?!” To the dogs, naturally.

And in true Duke and Winnie fashion, they refuse to answer me, instead they jump on top of my couch and roll around, or jump in my bed and roll around, or jump on top of me and roll around. Why is there always so much rolling with the wetness?

Then, you know what, go ahead and add the mud to that. They’ve been digging, if you recall the “Remains” story from the other day, and digging in wet dirt is called digging in mud. Which apparently they are both big fans of.

All of this to say, that the dogs are still alive. I haven’t killed them. We are safe from storms. And my whole house reeks of wet dog.

How’s your week?

M.

Fri-Yay?

I love Fridays when I don’t have a million things to do. But on Fridays before say, my son’s pool party for his birthday in the middle of a global pandemic where he desires very particular cupcake toppers and there is a 40% chance of rain and I need to order enough pizzas to feed all the kids and how many kids are actually gonna show up anyway and is this even safe I mean chlorine kills germs but not when a kid sneezes into my face and did I order the right color frosting and what about that kid with a gluten allergy, well those Fridays aren’t my absolute favorites.

We actually didn’t think we’d be able to have a party to celebrate Jackson turning 12 this year and I was okay with it, but it happens that we go to a pool and we met a lot of new friends at the pool this summer who also belong there and Jackson asked if he could have a pool party this year with those friends. And since our pools down here are open until the end of the month, and Jackson’s October 1st birthday doesn’t normally lend itself to a pool party, and because of the aforementioned global pandemic I said sure thing, kid! But then I remembered I’d have to plan it.

Bleh.

I used to go all out for his birthdays. In a “rent an old-timey fire truck to deliver pizza to an outdoor venue decorated in replicas of burning building and kids equipped with “hoses” to put the fires out” kinda way. For sure. Birthday number five. But I’ve tampered down my birthday enthusiasm over the years, between dying paper, drawing pirate maps on them, then setting fire to the edges to look “realistic” to ordering pizza and Sams Club cupcakes to throw on a freshly Lysoled table by the pool. Maybe I haven’t tampered down anything, maybe the world did all the tampering down. Either way, here we are.

So yeah. Normally Fridays are good. But this one has some work to do.

This Gal Is Fucked, y’all.

I mean, TGIF, y’all!

M.

Make-up

Make-up days. Make-up tests. Make-up sex. There’s a lot of make-ups round here, but not any actual make-up. Like, nah, I’ll pass. Here’s the thing, I want to wear make-up, I do. I wish I was one of those ladies who lived and died by whatever her particular eye liner brand is, but I just don’t. I never have been and I can’t imagine I’ll ever be. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, and there are too many books to read as it is. I’m not saying I think wearing make-up is bad, not at all, and to all my friends who can’t get through a day without putting your face on, I salute you. I admire you. I adore you, you beautiful creatures. But please make no mistake, even though I don’t wear make-up doesn’t mean I don’t have things I have to do to feel good about myself everyday. And please don’t think I never feel good about myself. I do.

I, for instance, have to take a shower every, single day. I’m amazed and awed by people who can’t remember the last time they showered or who have “hair-washing” days. Gasp! If I couldn’t wash my hair every day I’d be okay crawling into a ball and dying, right there. Dead.

Dramatic? Maybe. But I’ve heard people say that about doing their make-up too. Also dramatic for that, but seems to be tolerated better. I think washing everyday just doesn’t seem so important to people because if I smell good, and my face is pretty for people to look at, then what different does it make if I showered? Maybe that’s the different? I don’t take a shower to make other people feel better, I do it so I can feel better.

It’s like why I also have to get enough sleep. Somewhere around ten hours is best for me, every, single night. That’s the best way for me to have a good day. Some people think 10 hours is nuts! Well I feel the same about six hours. How do you even function?

I dunno why I was thinking about make-up today. Or showering, or sleep, or things we do to make ourselves feel better. Maybe I’m taking stock today of trying to feel better. Probably I’m taking my mind off the fact that I’m headed to the rheumatologist this morning and I feel scared and sad and not my best.

Maybe some make-up will help? 😉

Have a fantastic day, however you have to get it.

M.

500 Posts!

We are pausing for a celebration today: This is my 500th blog post. So I guess if you’re still reading, and some of you are, thank you! And look at you! You have nothing better going on in your life?! Really? Are you just shirking responsibility to be here? I mean, I don’t mind if you are, I do it ALL the time. Just this weekend I had about 19 chapters to read, so I went to the pool and to Target. Cause when I have a lot to do I find other shit to do instead.

Off topic.

Five hundred posts!

Now listen, they haven’t all been good. Matter of fact, I’d say the fast majority of them are me just complaining about one thing or another. But that’s the beauty of having your own blog, you can say whatever you want!

I’ve been writing every day this year, this horrific, bitch of a year. And it’s been great. Something I never thought I’d be able to pull off. Unfortunately it hasn’t really upped my craft, but, and this is a big BUT, it has kept me regular. Like when you take probiotics.

I’m veering off again.

I love y’all, those of you who have been around awhile and our new friends. You make this community fun, my days have some kind of meaning, and hey, who else would I want to talk about probiotics and regularity with?! No one else.

Thanks.

Keep being you, and I’ll keep being me.

M.

Dog Farts and Peacocks

I’m surrounded by dog farts and peacocks. To be clear, they aren’t actual peacocks (I’m not a fan) but rather representational peacocks. To be crystal clear, the dogs farts are real, not representational and quite abundant. I’m reading Flannery O’Conner (yes, again, or rather, still) with a highlighter, in bed, under my blanket that mysteriously matches “A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories” (A Harvest Book edition). So mysterious. And my poodle is on the end of the bed farting because, and I think this is the correct answer, he hates me.

It’s midnight on a Saturday, or maybe it’s Sunday and this is my life now, and I wish it were a folly, a joke, a side-splitter, but it’s real life and as we know real life can, at times, be just as ridiculous as art.

That is all.

Good day, Madams and sirs.

M.

Mysterious…

Remains

The dogs have been swapping a bone in the backyard. We noticed it the other night. Duke refused to come inside when called for dinner. Jerimiah walked into the backyard and saw something laying beneath Duke so he approached and Duke growled. Jerimiah was all, “The fuck, man?” And he low-growled another response, so he let him be.

We eyeballed him out the kitchen window and noticed him gnawing away. They dogs had been digging that morning, up until the point when Jerimiah and Jackson flipped the outside table upside down on the hole to keep them out until we fill it.

“I think they found a bone when they were digging,” Jerimiah said, sipping his tea.

“Uhhh, what?” I inquired, like totally bewildered he’d let him chew on something he dug up.

“It’s just a bone,” he said with a laugh.

“You mean remains,” I corrected.

“Six of one…” he walked off.

Last night the remains made it to the living room rug when Winnie ran in all wild-eyed, and proud of what she’d found. I squealed. Jerimiah laughed. Winnie pranced around in a big display. Duke sulked.

This house has gone mad.

Totally fucking mad.

Stay away.

M.

What is Today?

No, really. What day is it? I have no idea anymore. I have been off since sometime the last week of August. I actually wrote the wrong dates in my calendar. I missed a Zoom class discussion because of it. I missed a phone call. I almost missed a doctor’s appointment. Thank goodness I don’t have a small child or a plant to keep alive these days, because I’d be pretty bummed about now. So would they.

Listen, I don’t want this to turn into another husband appreciation post, but not only has he been cooking dinner all week, and keeping up with the laundry while I complain about pain and try to get us out of social engagements, he’s also been letting me fall into him while I cry. Listening to me when I complain about why life is the way it is. Holding me up, telling me that it’s hard now, but that I am being the best version I can be of myself right now, in this moment. Man, I wish I could believe him.

Patsy told me this week I need to cut myself some slack. She tells me that all the time, but I never can figure out how to do it. I’d say I’m working on it, but let’s be honesty, I’m not. It’s the last thing I’m doing right now.

Oh, it’s Wednesday. Jackson’s day off school. Wednesday. Middle of the week. I think I can make it.

Hope you are well.

M.

The Floor is Flour

We ran out the other day to pick up Jackson’s snare and bells set, and we left the dogs inside. Now normally we’d let them chill outside, with a bowl of fresh water, and the door open to the sun porch, with the fan left on, just in case they get hot. Yeah, our dogs are spoiled like that. But we were in a bit of a hurry, so we just closed up all the doors upstairs, and left. The dogs stayed inside, which the doggy door on case they needed out.

We were only gone about two hours, and when we got home we were greeted by this:

I was the first one in and when a long gasp escaped my lips, Winnie ran outside. Duke stood there looking at me, no guilt in his face. And when Winnie finally came back in, we were met with this:

Not that we doubted for a second who the culprit was, it was nice to have the proof. She also had white paws, and clumps of flour all over her chin and chest because at some point she got thirsty, probably all the flour, and mixed water with the flour which, if you can imagine, was no fun to scrub off the floor.

So, what’s the point of this post? There isn’t one, unless to say that she’s still alive, but I thought for a split second about shipping her to a grandparent for a few weeks.

Don’t be a Winnie, y’all.

M.

It’s Just a Swimming Pool

“Which pool do you belong to?” Is a question that has popped up more than I’d like to say since we’ve lived in Georgia. I didn’t know the pool you belong to, sets you up for success or failure in Atlanta. I didn’t know a pool membership could set one up for success or failure. I didn’t know pool memberships were even a thing. But I didn’t know much about the Deep South until I got here.

Back home in the Midwest, and even just a few states North of here in Charlotte, pools are just public watering holes you pay a couple bucks to go to for an afternoon of fun. All the best subdivisions have them, but there’s no membership forms, a key fob just comes with your HOA dues. And I know y’all weren’t around back then, but we used to have a 31,000 gallon pool in our backyard, so your pool has to be top-notch to impress us. But, here. Well here the competitive summer swimming pool racket is crazy. With some pools touting swim teams, and three level slides, and chili-cook offs (in this southern heat?!) and meal swapping, and babysitting, and new cars! Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but what I’m not exaggerating is the cost.

We were quoted from one “neighborhood” pool a price of $1,200 for our family of three to enjoy their amenities for three solid months. A “wise investment” the membership woman told me, at the start of a global pandemic. Think of the money I’ll save. Save from what? From whom? How? What is happening?

If you’re confused about what I’m saying right now, welcome to my life. This is a real thing, y’all. Just another way for people to judge you, I suppose. Which pool do I belong to?! I don’t. Not yet anyway.

That was a really long intro to say that we got invited to a pool party this weekend and we went and we had fun and it was with good people at a nice pool (that doesn’t cost $1,200 to join, and you don’t have to make reservations at because it’s not crowded because it isn’t a “cool” one.) It was quiet. It was carefree. People social distanced. Disinfected the tables and chairs. Kids jumped off the diving board. The crowd cheered. Libations were shared. It felt almost, for a split second, like summer. It was magical.

So I dunno. Maybe I’ll join a pool, after all. But until then, no, I don’t want to hear about your membership dues and no I don’t care if your private-school kid meets his friends under the purple umbrella, and nah, I know your kind and I’m good. You stay in your swim lane, I’ll stay in mine.

Jesus, y’all. It’s just a swimming pool.

Missy

Is it Friday?!

Christ, it is! It’s Friday! What a week. I went from nothing, nothing, nothing, to ahhhhhhh. Things are certainly heating up over here, while we are still just sitting at home. Jerimiah is doing fine. Listen, for some reason everyone keeps asking about my husband. Like they think I killed him, or he ran away, or something. He’s here. Still working from home. But he isn’t causing me any trouble. In fact, he’s the least of my worries and he’s taken to planning dinner and keeping the laundry done, so… I’m not sure how Jackson and I would have managed the week without him. So yeah, he’s alive, he’s fine, he’s pushing along and keeping us afloat too. In case you were wondering. Okay you know what, here, here’s a proof of life.

That’s him, yesterday, holding the newest copy of my crossword book, or rather a People Magazine that I got for free for four weeks then forgot to cancel and now I’m addicted to doing the crosswords in the back.

Okay, so it’s Friday. And I’m looking forward to getting some writing done today. The real stuff. I’ve been assigned my first exercise and it’s a piece of non-fiction flash and I’m already on draft three, but I should be on draft eight by now. It’s okay though, one day at a time…

Jackson jumped head first into sixth grade and well, here’s this:

(Throws hands up!) We are alive! Coherent (for the most part) and doing okay. Hope you’re doing the same.

M.

For Those Following Along…

Okay so I did the dentist yesterday and it was fine, okay, great. I mean, it’s the dentist, so it could always go horribly wrong. But this was okay. I got my new crown cemented on and was only there for about half and hour. Whew. Quick and easy. But I’m stressing again because today is the Physical Therapist. Like what was I even thinking weeks ago when I made all these appointments? Back-to-back shit, with my school starting, and Jackson’s school starting. My calendar literally went from “Float in the hot tub for three hours” to “Holy shit! Have you eaten today?!”

Okay, so physical therapist this morning, to try and find out what is happening with my back. I’m hoping for some solid answers, but I’m not super optimistic. Then I run home, help Jackson navigate his first full day of virtual classes (Jerimiah will be holding gate fort down while I’m gone), then Jackson has an ortho appt. at three because apparently I just hate myself.

So, let’s take stock, shall we? I hate myself. My back is turning against me, and there is not enough time in the day any more. Hmpf. I know this is just this particular season of life and it will calm down again, but man when you’re in the midst of it, it can get sticky, eh?

Hope you are floating in a pool or the lake or a hot tub today. And if you are, drink a drink for me, will ya?

M.

So Common…

The first semester of my MFA program starts on Thursday. I spent yesterday combing through syllabus after syllabus, trying to figure out why the hell I am even doing this, and not one syllabus gave me an answer. What good are they if they can’t answer the mystery of my current life’s question? Bleh. I did start to get organized, and I did freak out and sorta scream-cry into my fan like Tommy Boy when he’s doing the Darth Vader thing. It sorta came out like, “LUUUUUUUUKE, why are you doing this to me?!” Turns out the Force couldn’t give me an answer either.

Most of this week’s work is standard, run-of-the-mill, first week stuff. Introductions, why are you here, what do you plan to get out of this program, on a scale of 1-10 how much do you LOVE Eudora Welty? That sorta thing. But I did stumble upon one project that a professor wants me to do that sort of peaked my curiosity. It’s for my creative non-fiction forms class. She wants us to keep a commonplace book. A what now? That’s what I said. A commonplace book. A commonplace book is just a notebook, or a moleskin, or a word doc, or a stack of notecards where you write down ideas, quotes, conversations, etc that delight you, amaze you, amuse you, etc, etc. With me now? I was all, Ohhhh, yeah I have like eight of those! I didn’t know they had a name.

I routinely use the “Notes” app on my phone. Or I take a picture of a page of the book I am reading, or a fold the corner down. Sometimes I think, hmm, I should get a recorder for this shit. Sometimes I just text Jerimiah. I will be all, “…my mother’s refrigerator in Chiang Mai, Thailand…” and he will be all, “Huh?” And I’ll be all, “It’s for me to remember later.” So yeah, I’m versed at this, but keep it all in one place? That might be the hard part.

So I started thinking, where is somewhere I could keep this Commonplace book? Should I do notecards, should I do digital? Turns out yes, because I have to turn in my Commonplace Book at the end of the semester and it has to be at least five pages, single-spaced. Well, shit.

So I decided since I come here every day, why don’t I just make a commonplace book on this here blog. So I did. It was easy. So now you have access to my crazy random thoughts–as if you didn’t before–and I feel more organized. Look at that, us working together.

Love you guys so much.

M.

Middle School

Jackson starts sixth grade tomorrow. Sixth fucking grade, y’all. I don’t even know what to say. I’m at a loss for words. Oh, nope, they’re back. I’m scared, y’all. Scared, and sad, and excited, and nervous. It’s literally like kindergarten all over again, and even though he was at FOUR elementary schools, this isn’t like changing schools, this is way bigger. I can’t really explain it, but my other middle school parents get it. I’m relying on y’all to get it, and to get me through the next few weeks.

Luckily I’ve already had some moms come through. I have this one friend with a seventh grader at the same middle school. Oh bless her! She’s also the PTA president so she’s in the know, and she’s been keeping me in the know and it has helped tremendously! Moms watching out for moms, does it get any better?!

I’ve been passing along my new-found knowledge from her to other moms. It’s been this middle school mom telephone tree and it’s been amazing. But tomorrow the actual school year starts and well, I’m feeling like I’m back to square one. It’s like, I’ve already survived middle school, why am I so nervous?!

Jackson is cool as a cucumber. Now part of his coolness is obliviousness. Again, I’ve been through middle school, I know how shitty it can be. Add virtual learning to the mix and daaaaamn. We currently, one day before school starts, are not able to log into any of his accounts. Infinite Campus is not working for us. Microsoft Teams is not working for us. We are not even sure who to contact to get the issues resolved, so yeah, it’s been interesting to say the least.

Meanwhile, last night we got a call from Jackson’s homeroom teacher. He was polite and nice. He explained what next week will look like, and got us some information we were supposed to have already received. It made us feel better. To actually talk to a person. A person who seemed to care, have it together, and be willing to find us answers. But he’s got hundreds of kids to do that for. Man, teachers deserve more money.

So here we are, on the brink of sixth grade. A new school. Seven new teachers. A Chromebook, a trapper keeper, and a little bit of faith, mixed in with a lot of patience. We think it’s all gonna work out fine.

Happy Back to School, parents and teachers. May your days be bright and your drinks be strong.

M.