Saturday, October 27, 2012

clear space is sublime

It was a different sort of Friday for me – not the typical scrape me off the ceiling and walls sort of day.  The phone only rang once while I was at my desk, and there wasn’t even much instant messaging or urgent emails today either.  What a treat!  I left at 5:30 with loose ends tied up, tickets started for next week’s projects, and a general check of things to find any ticking time bombs lurking about that might want to blow up over the weekend.  A weekend with no trouble calls is always sublime. 


By the way, sublime is not a word in my working vocabulary.  I threw it in just because it seemed to fit there.  I read it the other day in an article by a British author and decided I should try to use it sometime.  Mission accomplished, and probably it won’t happen again.  Honestly, I don’t know for sure he even was a British author, but he kept using whilst so I assume he was.  His article was somewhat sublime.   

The week’s weather was gorgeous – sunny and unusually warm.  Now it’s officially the weekend and of course the rain has set in with temperatures falling to the 40s for a while.  Soon it’ll be November and who knows what we’ll get...hopefully a nice long Indian Summer.  Most likely though, we'll at least see some snow flurries before November is over.   
Clouds rolled in today

I won’t complain too much though.   Now is the time for me to stay close to a computer and shepherd any merciful souls who volunteer to take my survey.  Participation is picking up a little bit now that I can give a gift certificate, and with the ridiculous process the board is making me use, it’s now a 3-step process for me (2 steps for the participant).  Not only that, it’s time for this old lady to do some significant house cleaning over the weekend.  I hate staying inside to clean when I can be outside doing anything at all. 
We've collected a stack of empty to boxes to fill with stuff to donate.  My house is inhabited by a band of hoarders.  Said hoarders are making no moves to clear anything out, so it must be they want me to get it done for them.  That I'll do, and with great pleasure!  Our interior space is much too cluttered and I have no affinity for their junk.  It's going to be a fun day tomorrow.    

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

existential footprint

For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt like an alien in a place I don’t belong.  It’s like somehow I ended up here in this place and time, but really I was never supposed to be here.  It’s silly, because where else would I be if not here?  It must be that at a young age, I decided that it really was a mistake for me to be here and I should just somehow leave and go somewhere else.

My mother once told me I used to take off on my brother’s tricycle and never look back. The trike was too big for me and I could barely reach the pedals, but away I went whenever the opportunity presented itself.  She would then have to hunt me down, pull me off the trike, and drag the trike home with one hand while trying to carry me kicking and screaming all the way.  She said I was the most willful and determined of all her children – determined to have things the way I wanted them.  I still like having my own way.    

When I was very young, I remember wandering off into a large field of tall grass and wildflowers on a hot sunny day. I walked until no buildings or telephone poles were in sight, nothing but wide open blue sky, butterflies, and lots of crickets and grasshoppers around me. I sat down and was pleased with the feel of the cool damp ground under my legs, the quiet air, and the sweet smell of grass and wet dirt.  I wanted to live in that spot forever, but then my mother started calling for me far in the distance.  Not wanting to be found, I remained silent and sat very still hoping she would give up and leave me there.  Eventually others were calling for me, and I could hear people talking and walking through the grass as they looked for me.  A strange man found me - the gig was up - so I followed him back to the real world, the edge of the field where my mother waited angrily.  I was so disappointed!  Paradise lost.
Time and again, I left home only to return because logistically it was too difficult and complicated to live without shelter, money, and adults to keep things in order.  Perhaps I was just too spoiled to be comfortable enough living on the fly by myself.  And now here I am more than a half century old, with a secure-enough job, my own home, and a family.  I have a huge footprint on this planet.  I have no idea why I’m still here in this place and time, but really, it doesn’t matter.  Here I am. 

 If I’d been born a tree, I’d be 30 feet tall with roots half-way to China by now.  Do trees ever feel they don’t belong where they are, or does their size and roots make them feel like part of the world wherever they are?  I wonder if people who have lots of things or lots of people in their families feel like they belong in this world more so than people who have very little material wealth, or few people in their lives?


Monday, October 22, 2012

weaving horror and assorted jabber

What a horrid nightmare last night!  I was screaming from the depths of sleep when Someone shook me awake. Gracie whined and licked the sheet covering my leg for a few moments.  I thanked Someone for waking me out of it; it was awful.  Emily's bedroom is next door to ours and apparently my screams woke her up too.  It was quite a disruption, but we all fell right back to sleep. 

What was it? Perhaps the dream was triggered by watching Dexter shortly before going to sleep. In last night’s episode, Dexter was chased through a dark, cluttered maze by an axe-wielding, bare-chested, crazy serial killer wearing a bull mask with big horns. Perhaps the scare attractions and monsters at Kings Island last Saturday night had an influence.  My dream combined several things from old memories – bad people I met on a brief trip to Columbus when I was about 14, and an old wooden shed that was on my great grandfather’s farm.

It’s crazy how in our sleep, the present and past can intertwine with fact and fiction to create such horrible things.  I don’t remember the dream, only what was happening at the moment Someone woke me out of it, and that was plenty bad enough.  Maybe all these steroids are doing weird things to my mind.

The poison ivy is much better now. It looks better but still itches. There’s a big meeting for me to attend Thursday night – I hope to garner lots of participants for my study. Thank heavens the ivy didn’t come on this week or I wouldn’t have tried to sell myself and my study looking like that. And now, I can offer these people a gift card for their time and trouble. Let’s hope they want it bad enough.

Driving back home from King’s Island Sunday morning, the girls all slept soundly so I decided to go the shorter route that takes us down a twisty, windy, rather bumpy two lane road through Shawnee Forest in southern Ohio.  It’s most unpleasant for anyone who gets car sick, but with all passengers dead to the world it was my call to choose the scenic route.  The sky was brilliant blue and the trees were fabulous – lots of color – scarlet, burgundy, gold, brilliant orange, bronze, and yellow. I should have stopped to snap some photos, but didn’t take time to do that.  Pictures with my camera probably wouldn’t do it any justice anyway.

There aren't many women in our little office here 200+ miles from headquarters, and two ladies announced retirements today.  One will leave at end of year and one will go in April.  I'm happy for them that they are getting out, because we all want out.  But I'm a bit envious that I'm not ready to leave with them.  My time is coming though.  Get this dissertation finished, get my ducks in a row, and commit to a plan.  It's easier said than done.  People who retire from our office will not be replaced.  We are being phased out of existence as we die off, retire, or move on to greener pastures.       

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hallelujah and bubblegum

Music exploded in my head when I got the BIG, IMPORTANT  email yesterday evening.  I've been waiting for this email since June 5th.
The shit hit the fan Thursday night (read previous post for details).  My advisor called me next day (Friday afternoon) and said the deans promised the board would review my request and render a decision by the end of the business day.  She cautioned that it might not be the decision I wanted – of course.   But in fact, the board gave me tentative approval for all the changes I requested – I can proceed with collecting data according to the changes I requested.  The full board must also approve the changes the next time they convene which could result in questions or stipulations, but we’ll cross that bridge if it comes.  For now, I’m turning the crank to set it all it motion.  It’s very, very good. 
Well, sort of.  We promised the girls a trip to Kings Island today – it’s Halloween Haunt.  Neither Someone nor I were eager to visit another amusement park – we just did Disney and Universal this past summer.  This is Erin’s favorite thing in all the world, so we promised to take her.  Me and Someone were going to drop girls and their pals at the park and go play golf, take in a movie, go to dinner, and maybe visit a mall – essentially kill the day and most of the night (it’s a 3.5 hour drive to get there). 
Anyway, it’s chilly and windy – not a good day for golf.  Someone has a dreadful cold and didn’t feel like doing anything.  I still have a monster face with poison ivy – by the way, I got another steroid shot Friday and 15 more days of pills – it’s starting to really improve now.  Someone stayed home with the animals and I drove the girls to the park, checked them in through the gate, snapped a few photos, and rented a motel room.  Here I can work, watch TV, nap, and kill the day in the quiet comfort of a not- too-nice motel room, but it was only $64.  Cheap is good.  I will drive back to the park around 11 PM and take in a few hours of the monster festival, then bring four 16 year old girls back to this room (we should get here by 1:30 AM, I hope).  The room seems plenty big enough and quiet now – add four teens and their stuff it will be a much different environment.
So in the car, we listened to their music all the way up here.  Bubblegum Bitch is one I heard many times today and now it’s stuck in my head.  I have an affinity for bubblegum – I used to eat caffeine pills, chug Mountain Dew, and chew bubblegum  to help me stay away while working late at night back when sleep was a rare activity for me.

Got a figure like a pin-up, got a figure like a doll
Don’t care if you think I’m dumb, I don’t care at all
Candy bear, sweetie pie, wanna be adored
I’m the girl you’d die for
I’ll chew you up and I’ll spit you out
Cuz that’s what young love is all about
So pull me closer and kiss me hard
I’m gonna pop your bubblegum heart
I’m Miss Sugar Pink, liquor liquor lips
Hit me with your sweet love. Steal me with a kiss.
I’m Miss Sugar Pink, liquor liquor lips
I’m gonna be your bubblegum bitch.
I'm gonna be your bubblegum bitch. 

gotta have

Thursday, October 18, 2012

life goes on (for some of us)

My face is still a mess with poison ivy but there’s just no time to worry about it.  Life goes on and so must I.  No longer do I look like a Shar-pei; I’m more of a red-faced chipmunk.  It’s an improvement, but I don’t think I have enough drugs to cure this.  Probably, I’ll have to go back for more...but the decision will wait until after work tomorrow.   

Speaking of work, it’s a busy, busy, busy  place.  Last week, my company announced we will be buying a huge refinery, taking possession January 1st.  It’s horrible timing for anyone who wanted to enjoy the holidays, but so it goes and maybe it means a gigantic bonus for all of us next year.  Just those words – GIGANTIC BONUS – gives me greedy shivers.  Consequently, we were told to wrap up our current projects as best we can and prepare for an onslaught of new work.  We can’t share much information between companies until the deal is signed, which makes the transition very difficult as many decisions can’t be made until the last days before we take control.  You can’t just shut a refinery down until everyone is on the same page.  I’m kind of happy that we will have seven refineries again (we sold one a few years ago).    

So for me, “wrap up” is an impossible feat.  My backlog is at least three years.  So this week (the days I’ve worked this week) it’s been all business, no chitty chat on the phone with my clients.  All business all the time = no fun at all. 

So tonight, I will whine once again about my proposal change request.  I resubmitted on 10/8 and asked my chairman and advisor to expedite again.  My chairman claims he did when I requested him to.  Twice a day this week, I’ve been asking for a status on things.  Finally tonight, he confirmed the board was unaware I resubmitted.  WHAT???  I emailed my advisor with an authoritative bitch-gram and she called within 15 minutes of me hitting the send button.  I got her attention.  She assured me she will be presenting my case to a gathering of deans (academic affairs, doctoral studies, and my program) tomorrow morning – my case is another blatant example of break-downs in their process.  I’m really tired of excuses and at this point, apologies are meaningless.  Just approve the damn thing already.  That’s all I want!!  I’m not getting any younger!!!!  

This is upsetting me more than ever.  Maybe these steroids are making me cranky, or maybe it's just all the itching and hard work.  I'm a grouch lately.   

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

tis the season

I’ve been a bit preoccupied with poison ivy since Sunday.  It’s the worst case I’ve ever had my life, and believe me, it’s something I should be used to by now.  I’ve had nasty rashes from poison plants (ivy, oak, sumac) more times than I can count over my lifetime.  Leaves of three, let them be.  I know that, but Gracie and Molly have no concerns at all and rummage through the woods without a care in the world about what they might bring home. 

I’m blaming Gracie this time.  Somehow, I got this stuff all over my face and neck and only a tiny bit on my hands.  I woke up Sunday morning with my eyes almost completely swollen shut, my nose three times larger than normal, and the red itchy weepy rash all over.  I scared myself to look in the mirror.  I sort of look like a Shar-pei, only red instead of tan.
Erin is excited about Halloween.  She loves anything to do with haunting, monsters, serial killers, or anything having to do with horror.  I have fond memories of reading to my little girls and them reading to me.  All my girls loved Mother Goose.  Sarah liked Pippi Longstocking and the Boxcar Children.  Emily loved the Harry Potter books and  Bailey School Kids series.  Erin liked the R.L. Stine scary books, and the Series of Unfortunate Events books. 

When Erin was about 7, I told her that when she got older, she would probably like to read stories written by Edgar Allan Poe.  She had already heard of the Tell-Tale Heart and asked me to read it to her.  We had the book on our shelf so I read it to her, but it took us forever to get through it.  The language was hard for her and she asked lots of questions.  She wanted me to read more of his stories to her but I thought they were too intense for her and really, a whole different level of evil as compared to scary books intended for children.  When she was about 10, she started reading Poe’s stories and poems herself. 

Erin made something for me.  She knows I like skulls, and with Halloween coming up, she thought it would make a nice decoration.  I think it’ll be a year-round addition to my desk.  His smile makes me happy.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

golf on an October day

I’ve checked my email two dozen times today.  Why?  It’s time to start stirring up venom and locusts.
Impatience is venom and locusts.
Hmmmm...what about venomous locusts?  I Googled and found no evidence.  So I saw a photo of a locust and made him (perhaps her) venomous (see fangs).

Anyway, the dark mood is setting in as I wait for those in power to take action on my behalf.  Monday will be the fifth business day of waiting since I resubmitted my change request...for the 4th time !!!!!    It’s going to turn ugly as I apply pressure to my chair and advisor to act like they care what happens.   

ANYWAY, let’s remember today for what it was – a fabulous October day in the beautiful Ohio River valley.  Mid 70s, clear air (rare), and plenty of sunshine.  Someone and I met Someone’s dad on Sandy Creek Golf Course.  Someone’s dad has a new driver; he was trying it out today.  He hit it pretty good for a brand new club.  I’m a bit envious because I use the Ladies’ model of the same series for my 3-wood.  I like it, and would get myself a driver but I’m hitting my current driver sweet these days.

Today was a great day for golf.  That course we played is out in the county.  In the hills surrounding the holes, walnut and hickory trees attract squirrels, and you can hear flocks of wild turkies scavenging for food all around.  It’s almost heaven for me.  Everywhere you look, you see squirrels hippity hopping and always busy with purpose.
October Sky
 Today I didn’t play so well, but I haven’t played much this fall.  I played well enough that it was fun to be playing.  I par’d the hardest hole on the course - #1, and some other holes.  I birdied #6, a par 3, with a 10-foot putt.  On #7, my drive rolled up within 20 feet of the postage-stamp sized elevated green upon which no grass survives for long.  Then I proceeded to hit my chip shot into the rough.  DAMNIT.  Then I chipped out of the rough, over the green into a bunker.  Then, I chipped onto the fringe.  F!  Then I putted on, bouncing, bobbling over sand, fungus, and  grass whiskers....5 feet from the hole.  It’s what we call a 2-putt green.  I took both putts to hole it.  We all agreed that the #7 green was a 2-putter because of its horrid condition.  That fabulous drive wasted!  
We golfers can replay an entire game just like that when we want to.  My favorite hole today - the number 5, par 4.  I nailed my drive – it rolled up into Dolly Parton’s cleavage – I would call it the-space- on-top-of-the-hill-between-the-two-knolls, but Someone’s dad remarked that the men in his league liken the knolls to certain anatomy of a famous country music singer.  That was my most awesome shot of the day.  That was the second best golf-shot I’ve ever hit in my life.  Gosh, that was FUN!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

perfection reflection

Sometimes my blog makes me happy.  I like to scroll back through the posts and look at the pictures, but I don’t reread my stuff very often.  Whenever I do, the rampant mistakes bug me and beg for correction. That’s how it was with papers I had to write for courses; I would edit and revise until the deadline and then submit wishing I had time to comb through it all again.  Nothing is ever good enough.  It’s not really that I’m a perfectionist, but more of a pessimist.  How could my professors overlook such blatantly careless mistakes?  Some were assholes enough to fail me on a 20 page paper because of a few careless grammar if content is meaningless if you split an infinitive AND put an extra space after a period. 

 It’s the same with my proposal.  I just want to keep revising it to make it better.  I read through a few paragraphs the other day because I was looking for something, and for the first time I thought it sounded pretty good.  Maybe I’m finally OK with it, but I best not get too happy because at some point, hopefully this year, it will go for professional editing. 

 Sarah reads my blog and told me she likes it because it gives her a chance to learn about me as a person who is not just her mother.  I’ve been thinking about that.  What do people think about me when they read my blog?  It’s kind of scary, but then again, few people read it and I don’t put any dark secrets out here.   

Sarah sent this video to me tonight – just a little something to let me know she was thinking about me.    When she sends things like this, it reminds me that she knows me pretty well (even if there was no blog). 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

visiting heaven

I have been returning to read this article the past few days:

Wouldn’t it be a great comfort to believe what this man says? His story is not too different from others I’ve read by people who died, went to heaven, and came back. A good friend of mine from work has a good friend (at work) who fell off a barge, went under it, and surfaced behind the towboat several minutes later.  They were able to fish him out of the river and haul him up on deck. He was already dead as best they could tell, but they started CPR and they said they thought he had a weak pulse by the time the paramedics got to him on shore.  They said when he regained consciousness, he was mad as a hornet. He liked where he was and didn’t want to be brought back to the world. It must be a very good place.

I’m not sure what I expect it’ll be like to die, or to be dead. I think death is a process and when the time comes, it’ll all seem very familiar. It’s sort of what I think about childbirth. I’m not sure anyone really needs childbirth classes, although it was comforting to learn what was supposed to happen and what I was expected to do.  I did classes both times – the first time because I really was completely ignorant. The second time, because a number of years had passed and I wanted to find out if anything had changed.  The point is, childbirth happens whether you really know what to do or not.  Perhaps the benefit of having classes is so the mother-to-be can be better prepared, which may ultimately make it easier for staff who are trying to facilitate the birth. I was grateful to have people standing by who knew what to do when my babies were born, but it would have been more comfortable for me if people would have just left me alone to get business done.

Of all the things Dr. Alexander mentioned that were communicated to him as he was escorted by those ethereal creatures, the most wonderful for me would be to hear “There is nothing you can do wrong.” Can you imagine a world where you can’t do anything wrong? What a game-changer that would be! How would that work for everyone to be right all the time? It sounds like a very peaceful existence.

Monday, October 8, 2012

what not to wear

Yesterday, I took my girls to a big shopping mall about 40 minutes away from where we live. My cold-weather clothes are really raggy, so it’s time to replace some of them. I hate shopping. I’m completely out of the habit of shopping in stores, and it’s all very frustrating and annoying to go to the mall when something is needed. I started depending on Internet retail when the twins were born because it was just too much trouble to go shopping with two little ones.  Now when I walk into a store, it’s almost overwhelming to see so much stuff with so many distractions and people in the way.

At the mall entrance, I handed money to each girl and told them to meet back in two hours. It’s a huge mall, all spread out, with large department stores at 5 corners, smaller shops between, and kiosks throughout. Teens go primarily for trendy stuff. My girls cheerfully took the money and set off for great adventure.  Emily always wants to look in Victoria’s Secret, and Erin loves Charming Charlie’s, a huge place that’s all about jewelry and other accessories.  Erin is queen of accessories. I give little thought to accessorizing. I carry the same purse until it falls apart and wear the same earrings for weeks at a time.

Some people like the cluttered atmosphere that is so prevalent in many stores, but not me. I walked into one store because it had some interesting things in the window. The racks were so close together it made me almost claustrophobic. I stayed toward the front of the store, trying to look at clothes mashed tightly together on the racks, but was distracted by faceless manikins that were standing around everywhere, all dressed in full outfits with too many extra things - matching necklaces, bracelets, pins, earrings, hats, belts, sashes or scarves, purses, and of course matching shoes. Who has time to put that much thought into their daily attire and then to put it all on, and take it all off at night? It must be women who don’t get up and have a job to go to, or women who are desperate for somebody to look at them. The store was becoming suffocating and then I looked down and saw I was standing on a leopard-print rug. All those spots - too much. Then I looked up to see a giant crystal chandelier hanging over my head.  Multi-faceted light reflecting all over the place off hundreds of dangling prisms - way too much! Overloaded, I left. 

I suppose I am just a dreary dresser, no risks and no pizzazz. I tend to buy classic things that stay in style until they’re completely worn out. I found a top I liked and bought it in 3 colors. I found pants that fit and bought them in two colors. Mission completed in just under 30 minutes, and then I started looking at shoes. The styles for casual shoes are just shit this fall.  There was nothing appealing in the entire mall.  After walking around for an hour, I decided to just buy shoes online. Then I wished I’d just done the whole shopping trip online – it would have saved me lots of money.

The girls met me at the appointed place and time, and asked if we could have lunch.  All that money spending made them hungry, and they didn’t want to spend their (used to be my) money on food. They both wanted to go to Steak ‘n Shake; it’s a rare thing when they agree where to eat. Steak ‘n Shake is a place Someone would never step foot into, so I took them over there. Someone is very picky about food and restaurants. It was decent food at a reasonable price. I’d go there again (but of course, not with Someone).

Saturday, October 6, 2012

misfortune cookie

It is my destiny in this life to always get the fortune cookie with the shittiest fortune in it.  It always happens to me!  In more recent years, I insist that everyone pick their cookie first so I can take the one that nobody picked.  Even when I have no responsibility for my fortune, I still always get the shittiest one!  Well F me every time I open a fortune cookie.  WHY DO I KEEP DOING IT?  I should Just Say No and pass.   They aren’t even that tasty.  I don’t need them, but I can’t seem to resist.  I want a stupid slip of paper to tell me something good is going to happen.  Is that too much to ask?

I’m plenty familiar with failure lately...more familiar than I want to be.  I've had enough failure to last me a lifetime.  If success would just show itself, I promise to grovel and kiss its feet or ass or anything else it wants kissed. 

Last night, Sarah and a fellow musician performed close to our home (about a 20 minute drive from where we live) in a coffee shop.  Sarah is going to be doing more gigs with this man, but this was the first time they performed together and I wanted to hear them.  I drove down, got a good seat, started to listen to their first song, and my chairman texted me.  We had texted all day and the last I’d heard, the board was going to render a decision about my change request before close of business yesterday. 

Then this ...

I had to leave the show, drive home, open the application I’d submitted weeks before, look up the page number, and send him an email that was basically exactly everything on pages 40 and 41 of the application.  For real?  It wasn’t enough for me to say, “Look on the last page”.  No, they had to know the page number of the last page.  And guess what?  They didn’t decide until today. 

Only guess what, their decision is that they still say they don’t know what I’m asking for.  UNBELIEVABLE!  They said for me to resubmit the documents.  WHY?  My chairman said to just leave what I have and add on to restate it all again.  For God’s sake, the thing is already extremely repetitive and 41 pages long.  I’ve stated the changes forwards, backwards, and sideways.  I wish I could just sit in front of them and let them ask me as many questions as they want.  Maybe the real problem is that my chair doesn’t read my stuff and can’t answer their questions.    

Anyway, I’m not going to even get worked up over it again.  There’s no point.  It’s Saturday night and the bourbon bottle is open.  No point spoiling a good evening with all this bullshit I have no control over. 

So last night, I did the damned email and raced back down to the show.  Sarah and her friend made some lovely music together.  At one point, Sarah invited Erin to come up and sing a song with her.  I was shocked – Erin did it.  What a treat for me to have both my girls singing together – and of course I had to snap a photo of that!  I might never see it again.    
Erin makes her debut

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Collin Firth sums it up pretty damn good for me tonight.
My advisor sent an email to all three of my email accounts last night, and even called me this morning to assure me I would have a decision from the board today.  TODAY!  I’ve had hope since last night that my waiting would finally, FINALLY, be over.   OH HELL NO.  I got absolutely no news at all.  Nothing but more waiting for me.    


What I find interesting is that a month ago, my advisor said the only person who could petition the board was my chairman.  The email last night said SHE petitioned the board on my behalf.  Really?  Did she lie to me before, or maybe she’s lying to me this time, or maybe she’s just telling me whatever she thinks I want to hear or whatever will cover her ass.  I’m not in a good mood – does it show?

It makes me want to go do things that a person shouldn’t put in a blog.   

It makes me think I’ll never finish.  It makes me wish I never started.  It makes me wish lots of things that aren't good. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sunday funday

The weekend ended abruptly and I’m back in the throes of another work week. Monday. Need I say more?

Sunday was a fun day. Someone committed to mowing his dad’s lawn and watching the final round of the Ryder Cup, and the girls were out of town.  The IRB continues to ignore my change request, so rather than sit home and stew about how the whole university is screwing me over, I drove over to spend the day with Sarah.  We get little time together with just the two of us these days.  For many years, it was always just the two of us.  Her dad and I split up when she was a little baby, and I didn’t start dating Someone until she was eight.  We lived together in a small apartment until Sarah was three years old - practically in each other's faces whenever we were home together.

Those were good years for us (for me, anyway…Sarah might think differently). She was a chatterbox for sure, and there was no one to listen besides me. When she was quite young, sometimes I asked her to be quiet for a few minutes…just give my ears a bit of a rest. Invariably, the task was too much. She could be quiet for maybe 20 seconds, then she would start a constant stream, “I’m being quiet. Did you think I could be quiet for so long? Have you ever heard me be this quiet for so many minutes? I’m being so quiet. How much longer do I have to be quiet?” It’s no wonder though, she really couldn’t help herself. 

Sarah and I went out for Chinese food and shopping yesterday. She insisted I try on some ridiculous shoes – big platform gold sparkly shoes with like 5 inch heels. Who really wears shoes like that? I guarantee you it won’t be me! At her insistence, I put one of the shoes on and stood there like a stork (on one foot) feeling silly wearing that sort of shoe with blue jeans and a Puma striped running sock on - it looked like something a clown would wear.  Just as Sarah pulled out her phone to snap a photo, I fell off the shoe and about broke my ankle. We both had a good laugh and I declared playtime over. I did convince her to try on an equally silly pair of red shoes. She put them both on and staggered around a bit. We marveled at how tall she was with them on – at least a whole head taller than me. I snapped the photo and then she stumbled and took them off. Silly shoes for women who will wear such ridiculous things – a woman must be desperate for attention to try to function in shoes like that.  (But I have to admit, they look good on her!!)