Tuesday, November 30, 2010


An old friend of mine finally put a word to how I'm feeling.


I can't exactly call it sad or depressed. Hurt. Angry. All are true to an extent, but my daily life hasn't changed by more than a blip on the screen. I haven't seen my beautiful friend for 15 years. Fifteen years since our last road trip. And though I was at her high school graduation, I was doing family stuff and she was doing family stuff and I'm sure I got little more than a hug in. I have no memory of it at all. There was always another day, right? All that aside, knowing that the world has lost a bright light, the only thing that changes in my world is an absence of facebook status updates.

But my thoughts are CONSUMED with the fact that I live in a world where my friends could off themselves at any moment. I dream about it. I go into a yoga pose and I'm focused, focused...focused, and then I burst into tears. And I remember. Not the girl with black hair and a wine glass, but the fourteen year old with braces and a perm, smiling and fitting right in with the group of seniors who weren't sure they really wanted her...until we were. We spent a year protecting her from our bad influence and her parents. She was my little sister. And I spent months trying to talk my future brother in law into going out with her so we could get her to prom (via myself and hubs). So when I see my now sister in law (whom I love dearly and am sure is a better choice for him), I have to make a quick exit and cry my eyes out. And it's insanity.


Not with grief, not even with loss. Just with the magnitude of the thing.


And I know it will lessen and I know it'll get easier and I look forward to the day when time will pass without my thought returning to the ugly and yet I hope I never forget how precious the present with my friends is.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Christmas List: A Confession

My sister-in-law made this huge, leaping confession about Christmas in which I was painted as a self-sacrificing ideal of gift refusal, and I can no longer allow the misconception to continue. Thus, because it is forced upon me, here is my confession: I have expensive taste.

There it is.

I know I can't have what I want, so you may as well put your money to good use.

When people ask me what I want for Christmas, I have a price point in mind that I assume you are trying to stay within. As there is nothing in said price point that I can't buy for myself (whether I would actually buy it or not doesn't factor in, because we all know I am far too cheap to actually spend $30 on a shirt, but that's another story altogether).

See, I could go out and buy you a $30 sweater that you probably won't like because we have completely different taste. You can go out and buy me a $30 sweater that I may or may not like for the same reason. Neither one of us will admit that we might not wear the sweater. We may have excellent intentions of actually wearing the sweater. We may give it a token wear or two. But, all in all, the $60 has been wasted and on top of that, we have guilt. So why not put the money towards a well and we can have warm fuzzies?

The kink in this theory is that my sister in law actually has given me gifts that I've worn out. I don't know that she can say the same about me.

With all due respect to my parents, we didn't have a whole lot of money growing up and Christmas came with a budget. Christmas was, for the most part, responsible. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would never in my wildest dreams get video game systems. (And not just because of the money factor. My mom is very anti-digital entertainment.) But video game systems was what I wanted. What child of the 80s didn't want an Atari? (Hubs bought me one after we were married and still makes fun of me for wanting to play it.) I also knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'd never get a Cabbage Patch Doll and they surprised me. But I believed in Santa for years longer that a child should because Santa gave me gifts that my parents would NEVER EVER buy. (One of the many reasons we don't do Santa here. I like my credit.) I think Santa brought me the single player pac-man game. Go figure. My parents are more selfless than I am.

The first 13 years of my married life, we had no money. In order to survive, we asked people to not buy us gifts so that we wouldn't have to feel obligated to give back. We couldn't give and receiving is too hard without returning the favor. We bought gifts for people HOPING BEYOND HOPE that Grandma would come through with enough cash to cover what we'd purchased. People would lavish stuff on us and we went home feeling like crap because we weren't more generous, vowing that Next Year would be better. And it almost never was. At least if we asked people to give to charity, we could do the same. Give according to what we have and not have to feel like Scrooge when our homemade candy was stacked up against a pile of gifts.

And yes, I do like to give money to starving children in India and water to thirsty orphans in Africa. They wear on my heart and mind in ways I can't even begin to explain. Why, WHY am I given so much when these children have NOTHING, and how DARE I admit that I want something so frivolous as a new coffee maker when I have one that works adequately and there are children picking coffee beans for a subsistence income?


So, I could give you my list. It goes a little something like this:

I would like a watch. I really like the $700 ones at Helzberg Diamonds. $30 ones never last more than a month on my arm. I think I have a chemical on me that kills them. Dead.
I would like a Keurig and the cute single serve coffees that come with it.
Unless, of course I want a coffee roaster and green coffee beans.
And until I can decide if I want individual serving expensive coffee or want to roast my own, I'd rather not have both machines cluttering up my kitchen counter.
I want a $600 glass quilt display.
I don't have enough quilts to justify this request.
Which means I probably would like some more quilts.
I want a $700 language learning system so I can learn a romantic language that has no bearing on daily life and hopefully visit the country in which the language is still spoken.
There is a painting on a cruise ship floating somewhere near Cozumel that I want in an insane manner. At last docking it was $1800 and could very well now be sold.
I liked nearly everything I saw in Eddie Bauer last week. Except for the things I didn't like. There was a denim jacket that was awesome. There was also one that was decidedly not. Describe that one on your Christmas list.

So, Tam, there you have it. The reason I ask that you give money for clean water in Africa. It is so much easier than admitting that you can't afford the things I want.

At least you can admit you like gifts and seem content to receive $30 sweaters.

I appreciate that you humor me.

What I Learned This Week

As I struggle to find a new normal in a world where my friends could choose to end their lives, I learned something. Not anything I expected to learn, mind you, and nothing I wished to learn, not yet, but I have learned something.

Don't ask people "How was it?" I know what you mean is, I'm thinking about you. I can tell you are hurting. I love you. You might even be asking, did you get some closure? Did you learn more about why? You could even be asking, were people crying loudly and making spectacles of themselves or did they cry quietly like they do when older people pass after suffering for years with cancer? I know people mean well. There are people who read this blog that did ask and might still ask.

The answer is the following:

Awful. Simply awful. I stood by while they put my friend in the cold ground. My friend who put on a carefree, happy go lucky face no longer walks this earth by her own choosing.

So yes, the words spoken were Nice. Comforting. Even, dare I say it? Funny at times. But "It" was awful. Tragic. Lonely. I sat side by side with my friend in a room full of hurting people, and felt very alone. There was nothing to say to make it better. There were few people to whom I was close enough to offer or receive hugs. I recognized people that I couldn't put names to which made me feel like an idiot and I knew I shouldn't be thinking about myself at all so I felt like even more of a shmuck. I wondered if there was anything I could have done to prevent this tragedy and knew it was stupid of me to think that I was even a blip on the screen. I, who have only been a contact on Facebook in the last 15 years while we both grew up and moved on. And still....she was my friend. A figurative little sister, once. And I hurt and I cry and it's awful. And I know this will pass, but in the meantime...

the show must go on.

I'll miss you, KL.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


What she said.

So thankful for the memories and the laughter today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010












Yeah, Kubler-Ross would be proud.


I suppose if you live long enough, all those things you thought happened to Other People will eventually come round to you.

A friend will die in a drunk driving accident.
you'll miscarry
you'll lose grandparents
you'll see your friends' stillborn sons
a friend's child will die
you'll lose a friend suddenly to a heart attack
a person you love will take her life

Be grateful.

Life is a gift.

Hug your friends for me today, would ya?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Funny Thing

When we bought our house, it never crossed my mind that you enter into the "open kitchen." I aspired to an "open kitchen" which I thought was several thousands of dollars in renovations (most of which were denied me). I was just pleased that my kitchen faces the street as I am in it ALL DAY LONG and like being in the center of activity (i.e. near the front door, able to see my kids play out front without being out there, seeing my neighbors come and go, seeing the salesmen come (so I can hide), etc. Maybe that makes me nosy.....) We have a hole (window ledge) out of my kitchen right over the prep area that looks into the great room and out a picture window into the back yard. Again able to see the kids and their shenanigans out back.

Last summer we whacked out some ugly spindles in our entryway and decided to take the half walls with them because half walls "dated the house." I specifically remember asking if it looked too much like you were entering the dining room and was assured that NO ONE would EVER think so. See that recessed ceiling? That vault? The wedge of sheetrock between the two clearly demarcates the entry from the dining room.

Buyers don't look up, they look down. At the flooring that is continuous through the entry, dining and (eat in if you have a small family) kitchen. Buyers now see an "open plan" kitchen that you wierdly enter via the front door. Granted the "open plan" kitchen is HUGE when you count in the formal dining room and entryway. As opposed to the tiny eat in that I bought.

I still love that my kitchen is up front, but I'm starting to think I'm the only one.

I don't regret the half wall whacking, either. It's the only thing differentiating the only other house remotely close to ours that is still FOR SALE rather than SOLD. That, and their blue countertops.

I almost feel honored that they dropped their price again.

They'll be the only ones.

This time.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Two weeks since our last showing. Two. Weeks.

There are two scheduled for tomorrow. Two.

Two days before we were planning to cancel our listing altogether.

It is pouring and our yard looks like crap. Covered in leaves.

I am not raking 25 bags of wet leaves off my yard in rainy 50 degree weather.

This feels very much like one of those messages from God.

I'll paraphrase. "You have absolutely no control of your life. Do you believe me yet?"

someone do the paper sort

Help! I'm buried in paper! This might be the end of me....


Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm finding it supremely difficult to balance the importance of people with keeping my house in order.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You Know You're a Mom When...

You are rocking out in the kitchen, right up until you realize that you're "rocking out" to Backyardigans "Garbage Dump."

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A Couple Addendums

1) Super Target does still carry Godiva coffee. Not the plain ole coffee (that I've found yet) but they do have some of their exotic stuff on an end cap, NO WHERE near the coffee or coffee pots. Sadly, Chocolate Truffle, Pepermint Mocha and French Vanilla have no siren call for me. Where's the normal stuff?

2) I was correct. WalMart doesn't carry it.

3) The house two doors down that was priced 20K higher than mine, sold for MY asking price. I don't feel like such a moron. Competing head to head, I might buy the nicer deck also. Still don't know about the other one, but I have to think they moved at least a little bit. Hubs thinks we should go back and list ours for 20K more so that people can underbid us and feel like they are getting a good deal.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

For Sale

I find it interesting that the person who doesn't have to keep the house clean, nor cleans the house before showings is the same one who still wants to sell aforementioned house.


I think not.

Dear (Super)Target

I am gravely disappointed in you.

If you intend to introduce me to to a new product, say Godiva coffee, on a checkout end cap, no less, I would expect you to carry said product for more than three weeks. It is unfeeling of you to feed me a new addiction and then remove any capability for me to feast upon said addiction.

This is wrong on so many levels.

I can no longer enjoy Archer Farms coffee.
Starbucks coffee is a disappointment.
While I know in my head that I enjoy Mahogany Midnight from Caribou, I cannot bring myself to purchase it, fearful that it, too, will be a disappointment. And is $8.50 a pound.

I used to go to Target specifically to buy the Caribou Mahogany Midnight. To my knowledge, Target is the only store within a driving radius that carries this brand.

And then you brought forth the Godiva.

It was pure bliss in a cup. A simple decadent moment in my otherwise harried day. No fancy titles. No fancy flavors. Simple. Godiva. Or Godiva decaf. On sale on the checkout endcap of aisle 9 for $6.99 a pound. And I thought to myself, $6.99 is a fair deal, but what is the regular price? Oh! Sweet mercy! $7.99! That I can do.

Life is too short to drink cheap coffee. Unless you drink a gallon a day, at which point, I say "drink up."

I grabbed a bag to try, not knowing it would be my last opportunity. Had I known, I would have purchased the entire endcap and bought another deep freeze in which to store it.

Surely I can not be the only one, mister corporate buyer for Super Target. Surely not.

Bring it back. Feed my addiction. After all, you are the one who caused the addiction. (Aren't you a good little pusher?) Isn't that what dealers do? Create a need and fulfill that need? You are dropping the ball and it is a grave disappointment.

Unfortunately I cannot even threaten to move my buying power to the Walmart across the street because if Target doesn't carry Godiva, what on earth would make Walmart do so? But I may check. And while I'm there, I might just buy something else.

See how threatening I am, Mister Corporate Buyer for Target?

I have no leverage, but I would appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Otherwise, I may just have to buy the $15 a pound coffee from Kauai Coffee Company. Don't make me stoop to this snobbery. Just feed my addiction.

That's all I ask.

Thank you, and good day.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


In response to me when I said, "You are so indescribably cute," Charming said, "Yeah, that's right."

And, of course, on Saturday, when I was irritably driving through road construction and calling some very rude drivers Jerk....Charming piped up from the backseat "IDIOT!"

Now he thinks it's a joke. I don't know how to put a stop to it. It's hard when I'm laughing so hard.