Monday, April 27, 2009

It's Deja Vu All Over Again

I was sent over the edge today by a pizza pan.

Today was not a good day. As usual, it's a culmination of a lot of little annoyances that pile on top of me until one seemingly small incident sends me headfirst off the Cliffs of Sanity into the Fits of Hissy. Although throwing a fit (and a spatula) does make me feel better temporarily, the fallout isn't worth it. People who live with me are left bewildered and confused as to what exactly my problem might be. If they comfort me and tell me it will be okay, I don't believe them, and if they give me wide berth and leave me alone, I feel neglected and start to pout.

(Hello, my name is Kim and I'm two years old).

We all have our breaking points - some of us break fast and furious, then get over it. Some of us are slow burners who eventually explode, spewing forth every injustice they've encountered for days, weeks, even months. Some of us are a combination of the two, depending on the day. I mean, I'm not going to waste a good stomp/slam/throw over something trivial. Most days, I can laugh it off. Sometimes, I can laugh it off after about 10 minutes. But today was not one of those days.

And if I stop for a minute and do a little deep breathing and soul searching, I know exactly what it is. It's not because my pizza stuck to the stupid baking stone.

It's that there is a huge hole in me and it will never be filled again. How do I articulate this and make people understand why I go all black mood at the drop of a hat, when I don't even understand? I'm tired of feeling this way, I'm tired of apologizing for behaving so childishly, I'm tired of giving off the "leave me alone" vibe when I just want someone to hug me and pat my head and tell me it will be all right, and I want to believe that it will be all right, I really do.

I do not want to live my life this way, but as much as I try to bury my feelings of cynicism and distrust deep down and focus on my many blessings, Deep Down is giving them back me saying "yeah, good luck with that." Undeterred, I shove them back down and slam the door in their faces, double-locking it. I dust off my hands and say, "there, that'll show them." But like cockroaches and leggings, they refuse to go away quietly. Slowly they churn under the pressure, little tendrils of black start to seep out through the cracks, and KA-BLOOEY!

And so we have come full circle.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A New Venture

My good friend, Melody, recently revamped her personal blog, molding it into an online 'zine-style blog, covering fashion and style, sports and fitness, food and drinks, arts and crafts and music and events. She graciously asked me to be her fashion and style writer, and after a few nanoseconds of consideration, I jumped at the chance.

Although I have written articles for the St. Louis Blogger's Guild, this is my first "job," so to speak. I love writing, and I looooove fashion, so I'm thinking this gig is a classic example of "if the shoe fits, write about it."

I'm really looking forward to working with Melody and the other ladies, helping to make this new blog a huge sucess.

Take a minute and pop over to the new and improved Girls Guide to the Galaxy, check out my contribution, and let us know what you think.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Love Me, Love My Cray-Zee

Now that I'm home during the day, Friday is the day I clean house. And by "clean house," I mean move the footstool and cocktail table instead of vacuuming around them, go through the piles of paper and junk mail that have taken up residence in my kitchen, and scrub the bathroom as opposed to a quick swipe across the counter with the hand towel.

I prefer to clean when no one else is home, because no one is in my way. I know that the experts say to fully clean one room before moving on to another, but that never works for me. Case in point - while vacuuming, I'll run over a toy of Maddy's in the living room, so I take it to her room, then I think, oh, I should wash her sheets, and next thing I know I've stripped her bed, and started some laundry, then realize there's room in the washer for my sheets, and then I go to get my sheets and start organzing my room, and all the while the vacuum is left alone in the living room, wondering when I'm going to come back, and the washer won't finish the cycle because the lid is still up in anticipation of more sheets. So, since no one is in the house witnessing my random acts of tidiness, no one also thinks I'm lost in my own home.

However, Craig was working at home yesterday morning, so he could take off at noon and hit the open road on his motorcycle, but I couldn't wait until he left to clean -I had company coming at 11:30. However, he works downstairs, and I had to clean upstairs, so I thought, perfect. I can get this done as if no one is home.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

I vacuumed, dusted, purged the mail, cleaned Maddy's bathroom, then cleaned my bedroom, and finally was ready for my bathroom. I have a method to cleaning my bathroom, and it goes like this: pull the sink drains and add some water and Mr. Clean; pour more cleaner in the toilet; pull the bathtub drain and add cleaner; then spray down the shower doors and walls. Return to the sink and clean each item in that order, then clean the mirror, because you're going to splash it while you clean the sink, and finally, end with the shower. I save my bathroom for last, because by the time I am done with the rest of the house, I feel grungy and a shower feels pretty darn good.

I had all my cleaners doing their cleaning job, and I was in the middle (literally - it's a big tub and I can't reach across it) of washing out the tub, when Craig came in and said "I'm going to take a shower, or is this not a good time?" Although I wanted to reply, "no honey, perfect timing, I would LOVE for you to interrupt my proven scientific method of cleaning" instead I said "give me a second and let me wipe it down." As I was wiping down the shower, mentally grumbling about the break in my routine, how dare he come in here when I am BUSY, now I'm going to have to REDO it because he's going to MESS IT UP, he says "can I pee or did you clean the toilet yet?" "Go ahead," I sighed, thinking he'd see the cleaner and perhaps take pity on me and pick up the brush and give it a halfhearted swipe, just to appease me, and then I heard a flush that happened much too fast to allow for any cleaning, half-hearted or not.

I came out of the shower alcove and looked at him. "Did you clean it?" I asked, knowing he didn't, but if I don't ask, he can't give me the wrong answer, and then I can't continue my tirade. "No, I thought you did," he replied, heading for the shower. "There was CLEANER in it, HOW DID YOU NOT SEE IT! IT'S BLUE!" "I didn't see it," he replied, supremely unconcerned. I would have been concerned if the toilet water was suddenly green, but I'm a girl and apparently boys either just don't care or say "cool!".

I asked, "how did you clean your bathroom before?" He said, "I waited to find you, honey." "Yeah, that explains why I had to use a haz-mat suit and a putty knife the first time I cleaned for you," I retorted, still miffed at his complete disregard for how much he was inconveniencing me. "It wasn't that bad!" he hollered over the water. (It really wasn't as bad as you'd think but don't tell him I said that.)

As he showered, I cleaned the toilet, flushing it several times. I really don't think it affects the water temperature in the shower, but it felt good to think it might after three flushes. Or four.

He finished his shower, and got dressed. He came up and hugged me and said, "I'm sorry for getting in the way. The house looks great. Thank you."

And see? That's why I love him. He wasn't being sarcastic or sucking up, he truly does appreciate it, and that's makes all the difference. Oh, and he doesn't have me thrown in the loony bin because I lose my mind over cleaning a bathroom. He understands I have a touch of teh cray-zee, and he loves me anyway.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - The Birds and The Bees

I took about 15 pictures of this dang bird, as he hopped all over my backyard. I kept hoping he'd get a worm but if he did, he swallowed before I could see.
There were so many bees in my cherry trees that you could hear the buzzing as you walked under them.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Flower Power

Our new house has some very nice existing landscaping. However, it is boring, all green shrubs and tan rocks. There is no color. Well, not yet. There are some sedum plants that haven't bloomed yet, and there might be some phlox that's starting to return. But for the most part, it's lots of bushes and not a lot of flowers.

In the meantime, I decided to jazz it up a bit and planted some ranunculus, gerbera daisies, osterospermum, phlox, columbine, and geraniums. Lest you think I just walked into the gardening section of Home Depot and made my decisions on the spot, let me assure you that many hours of planning and researching went into my selections.

I have to plan, because I am easily distracted by all the pretty colors and varieties and lushness when they're all packed together on the shelf. I start to grab one of these, and two of those, and oh those are nice, and wow, that's gorgeous, and the next thing I know I have two carts full of flowers, and nowhere to plant them.

For example, years ago we lived in a house that had a garden area in the yard. I had big plans for that - Jessica and I would plant lettuce and carrots and watermelon and broccoli and tomatoes. We went to WalMart and bought packets of seeds and a flat of cherry tomato plants. That's 24 tomato plants, for those of you keeping score at home.

The garden area was probably 20x30 feet. Do you know you have to space out tomato plants? Yeah, neither did I. Almost half of the garden was taken over by tomatoes. I planted tomatoes in pots on the deck, and tried to give some away to our neighbor, but he had already started his plants from seeds. Show off.

Jessica ate cherry tomatoes every day, she took some to her babysitter, Brian and I took them to work, and I did consider setting up a roadside stand. It was ridiculous. And I don't even like tomatoes!

I called my friend Julie, who was my go-to gal for all things horticultural. Once she stopped laughing at my tomato overkill, she reminded me to look at the plastic card stuck in the plant pot - it contained all kinds of helpful information, like spacing, lighting, and growth potential. A few years later I called her when I had bought some pots of marigolds, and wanted to know if I could break apart this huge clump of flowers. She asked me how many stems it had, I said three, and again, when she stopped laughing, told me that usually there were 2-3 plants in the quart size pots, so it was safe to divide. Recently she came over to see my new house, and she was quite helpful in identifying the various plants and shrubs I now have in my yard.

I'm not totally inept - I know annuals only grow one year, perennials come back each year, and I know to look at the shade/sun requirements. It's the spacing apart that gets me.

So, knowing my gardening limits, I made a list of the areas I had to plant, the size of the pots I wanted to use, and evaluated the sun and shade each area received, and then I looked at gardening catalogs for ideas.

On Friday I went to Home Depot and, feeling fully informed with my lists, I began my shopping. I did have a brief panic attack when I tried to decide if I should trade in three small pots of osteoporemums for the bigger plant, so I went and found a 16" pot and tried it out for size. It was a perfect fit. Yay me!

I got everything planted and when I was finished, I had one small geranium plant left over. Luckily I found a pot I'd forgotten about, so I bought two more geraniums to keep it company.

All in all, I think it was a succesful planting year. I will keep you updated throughout the season, and we'll see if they survive.

Pics are on Flicker here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday...It's My Birthday Too Yeah!

Today is my birthday. I know I have presents, as Craig and Maddy went shopping last night, and then I had to wait in Maddy's room until the coast was clear of the evidence. Neither one will give me any hints, which is frustrating. I also have to wait until tonight to get them. Dude, I'm not getting any younger - hand over the goodies!

I love birthdays, and I try to make them special. I wake up my girls by singing Happy Birthday and making them a special breakfast. Unlike other gift-giving holidays, birthdays are a day when it's all about you. Unless you're a twin, or my soon-to-be in-laws. They not only have the same birthday, they were born in the same hospital and had cribs next to each other in the nursery. Now that's a small town.

I didn't get too excited about my birthday this year, probably because the one present I want is a job. I had an interview on Monday, which I think went well. I didn't stutter, cry, trip or call him by the wrong name. I'd call that a succesful meeting.

I also have a job interview this afternoon. We'll see if it's a happy birthday to me.

PS - don't forget to file your taxes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

An Egg-ceptional Holiday

(Did you see what I did there? I'm so clever.)

I write this post with a mouthful of jelly beans I pilfered from Maddy's Easter candy haul. I'm also eyeballing her 2-foot high chocolate rabbit, wondering how I can sucessfully eat the ears without her noticing. I don't know why the ears hold such fascination for me. I swear they taste better that any other part of the rabbit. I told her I was going to eat the ears and she said I would get a bite of the feet, if I'm lucky. With an attitude like that, she might be missing the whole rabbit.

Anyway, I'm a bit cracked out on sugar, so here are pictures from Sunday's festivities.

The basket of goodies:

Uncle Travis hiding the eggs:

Maddy, in hot pursuit of the golden egg, which contained $5:

Me and my daddy, watching the egg hunt:

And, yes, we had Jessica salad:

So how was your holiday?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Cherry Bomb

The cherry tree in my yard. It smells so fabulous when the breeze catches it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours

Generally that adage is used for bad luck, but it seems my luck might be turning around.

I have an interview with a law firm on Monday, and I have an interview with a (major) hospital on Wednesday. A friend of mine recommended me for a legal assistant position which wasn't yet public knowledge, so off went another resume to that firm. It really does help to have insider information.

I don't have a job yet, but I'm feeling a little better that I'm getting a response to a few of the 985 resumes floating around out there.

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Put A Lid On It

On Sunday, I had to drive past where Jessica and Kelli died. I don't know if it was because I was alone, because I was listening to Dave Matthews, because it was raining, or what, but as I approached the overpass I experienced a stab of grief and pain so intense I had to catch my breath.

I've been thinking about them a lot lately. Not that I don't think about them daily. The holidays make me miss them even more. I was shopping for the Easter essentials today (ham, potatoes, wine), and as I went through the frozen section I saw Cool-Whip. I realized I wasn't making Jessica Salad this year. I almost cried as I passed the freezer without buying any. It may sound stupid but I just can't make it this year. (Jessica Salad is a concoction of pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple and Cool-Whip. She started making it when she was about 5 and it's been a staple of our holiday tables ever since.)

Tonight I had to find some paperwork that I knew was in their Funeral Box O'Fun. The name comes from Maddy's godfather Kevin, who also gave their eulogy. When he came to my house before the funeral to discuss the service, he had a backpack with his Bible and book of readings, and whatnot. We deemed it the Funeral Backpack O'Fun. I don't know why, maybe because we had to find something to laugh about.

Anyway, the Funeral Box O'Fun is a huge plastic storage tote full of important paperwork like their death certificates and insurance papers, but also their funeral guest books, sympathy cards, and newspaper articles. As I was flipping through it to find what I was looking for, I found the very first Post-Dispatch article after the wreck. The picture of the crumpled cars on the front page was horrible, but not as bad as the next day's paper, which had pictures of their beautiful faces next to that carnage.

I could feel that familiar cocktail of pain and anger, sadness and rage, boiling up again.

I quickly found what I was looking for, and put the lid on the box. If only I could put the lid on my feelings just as easily.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Perfection is Painful

I am having my family and Craig's family over for Easter dinner. That's 16 people for those of you keeping score at home. Also, my brother and his wife and son are be staying with me that weekend. Needless to say, my Southern hospitality genes have kicked into full gear.

This has also been the perfect excuse for me to conquer the wallpaper-clad guest room. Thursday morning, armed with my Paper Tiger, scraper and Dif-filled spray bottle, I attacked. It didn't put up much of a fight. I started at 10:30 and was done by 3. There was only one layer of paper this time, thankfully. I figured that this room was the easiest to strip because I wasn't under a tight deadline and the wallpaper wasn't feeding off my stress. You know, like when you're trying to print a last-minute project and the printer decides to be as uncooperative as possible? Either that or the guest room had witnessed my unrelenting scorched-earth policy on the other wallpaper around here, and decided to just surrender. Either way, it's outta here.
Friday morning I painted, hung the curtains, polished the furniture and put it all together. I was all shades of proud of me. It was by far the fastest, easiest, most-drama free renovation I've done in this house.

Well, until this.

This used to function as the TV in the guest room. Until I killed it. See how the screen is, uh, not attached there at the top? The impact knocked it askew.

Helpful hint - if you put a TV on a bed just for a minute so you can pull the dresser out to access the electrical plug, put the TV in the middle of the bed. Apparently, I did not do this. I heard an ominous creak, and turned just as it was beginning its journey to its untimely demise. As I shrieked, it bounced off my knee and hit the floor. I burst into tears. Not because it hurt, but because my perfect makeover was now FAIL. And I wanted everything to be just right.

Or maybe not. Here are the before and after shots. You tell me.
Oh look, wallpaper.
Bare walls and windows, just waiting to be decorated. (Note the TV in the corner, in happier times)
The same window, dressed in sheer white drapes, against a light bluish-gray wall.

I was going for a relaxing spa feel, by using silver and blue. I suppose you don't need a TV in a spa retreat, right?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009