Posted in Family, Home, Personal, Relationships, Television

Gaslights & Stringlights

When my husband and I first started living together, I moved into his house. That was fine, but even after all my belongings were there, it still felt like his. I was more like a long-term guest with closet space. It took about 3 months for us to realize we needed a new place; something that was ours.
We found this fantastic 1938 shotgun-shack style house in the neighborhood we were hoping for and the price range we needed. He hung skateboards on the walls, I hung curtains on the windows. I was so enamored with the high ceilings, wood floors, plank walls, and sun room that I didn’t take into account how difficult having one bathroom would be for all us. That’s when it started happening.
At first I just thought it was one of the kids haphazardly throwing it on there, but after several weeks I began to questions things. The toilet paper roll. I’m not talking about someone being lazy and leaving the empty roll on the holder while setting the new roll on top. No, I’m talking about replacing the empty one and putting the new one on backwards – the wrong way. It’s usually just a minor pet peeve of mine. It takes me only seconds to correct it. At first I didn’t mind, but then it kept happening. Every 2 or 3 days I would sit down to find someone had changed it back. So I, in turn, would make it right. But then a couple of days later, it would be flowing under again.
After a few months of this toilet paper over/under game, I became certain it was being done to me on purpose. I knew the people I lived with were intelligent enough to know how to properly insert toilet paper. They were trying to make me crazy. (And it was working.)
One morning over coffee, I confided in my mother that I thought someone in the house was trying to gaslight me. She explained that in the film, the only person that believed Paula was Inspector Cameron. She told me that if I was Ingrid Bergman, she would be my Inspector. That year for Christmas, Mom sent me a box with a nightgown, a bag of microwave popcorn, and the 1944 Gaslight DVD. It was one of the best gifts I have ever received.
I’ve never spoken to my husband about the “Incredible Ongoing Toilet Paper Roll” situation. I’ve come to accept it. This has been happening for more than four years and will probably continue for the rest of our lives without a word being said.

gaslight
We spent about a year and half in our fantastic tiny house before Olive was born and we knew we needed bigger digs. I was going to miss the old-fashioned charm our house had, but was already in love with the modern amenities the new house had to offer. The dishwasher, garbage disposal, and automatic garage door opener were awesome, but the second bathroom was what sold me! I’ve found that the toilet-paper-flowing-under culprit likes to visit BOTH bathrooms regularly. Sometimes I fix it, sometimes I just sigh and let it go.

About a month ago, we moved Olive’s crib to our bedroom. It took some minor rearranging that resulted in moving the bed closer to the wall on my side to allow enough walkway to the bathroom on his side. You may remember my blog post, The Princess and the Sea  where I told the real-life fairy tale of redoing my bedroom. This was the final layout:

enchanting

I sleep near the window (we don’t have a specific side of the bed, he always takes the side that puts him between me and the door because he is a natural protector.) The stringlights behind my homemade headboard plug into the outlet on my side. The bed is now slightly off-center from the headboard and that only gives me a minor headache. I know this is a temporary situation. Now, here’s the thing…
…about every two days, I walk in my room to find that the bed has been moved about four inches to the left. I immediately start twitching. Four inches doesn’t seem like much, but that’s the difference between me walking on my side of the bed in a straight line or doing the awkward sideways shimmy. It also means I have to move the bed back to where it was so I can plug in the stringlights. (We use them in lieu of a nightlight.) Plus, my brain just can’t handle that much off-centeredness.
The SuperBed Shuffle has happened at least fifteen times (maybe more) without discussion. I move it where it belongs, some rascal moves it back.

We picked Momma up from the airport last night and on the way home I explained that I’m no longer convinced I’m being gaslighted. We all know I can be overly dramatic at times. (I’m not going to stop correcting the TP and bed placement, though.)
Tonight after dinner, I’m going to put on my Christmas gift nightgown, pop some popcorn, and we are all going to watch the Gaslight movie she sent me.
Afterwards, we probably all will marvel at Ingid Bergman’s beauty and laugh at my silliness until I go to my room to get in bed, only to find that it’s been moved four inches to the left.

momma

Posted in Community, Culture, Home, Personal, Relationships, Television

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Presidential debates are tonight. For the third time in a row, I do not plan to watch. Like many other Americans humans, I’ve had enough of all of it. Nothing either candidate says or does will influence me at this point. There will be chatter about our Forefathers, our Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. And being Independent is exactly what I plan on doing. (Maybe I’m referring to my vote, maybe I’m referring to my plans for tonight – take it as you like.)

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The pursuit of Happiness – a God given unalienable right.

While many people are busy arguing Gun Control vs The Right to Bear Arms, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” vs extreme vetting, telling your Facebook adversary to “shut up” vs The Freedom of Speech, Banning Sharia Law vs Freedom of Religion, media censorship vs Freedom of the Press, yada yada yada, they seem to be overlooking the pursuit of Happiness. I find it notable that the words Rights, Creator, Life, Liberty, and Happiness are all capitalized in the Declaration of Independence. (It’s not like Jefferson had the option to use “bold” or “italics” to emphasize importance.)

There are certainly things in life we MUST do that we aren’t exactly happy about (washing the dishes, for example) the idea is – happiness is a choice. You can be miserable that you’re getting dish-pan hands, touching the slobber on your Corelle Livingware Mosaic Red dinner plate after your 5 year-old son licked the ketchup clean off of it, or you can CHOOSE to be happy that your kitchen will be clean when you are done. You simply make a choice. Start with the little things. Find joy in the scent that follows you after you’ve brushed by a rosemary bush, delight in the hidden soundtrack on the new CD you bought, be pleased in finding the rogue onion ring that turned up in your order of fries. Once you’ve made the decision to find the upside, bright side, and silver linings in the simple things, finding it in the bigger picture becomes habit. Do you hear me?
Happiness will become a habit.

Donald Trump does not make me happy. Hillary Clinton does not make me happy. You know what does make me happy?
– Getting my butt kicked at wii-golf by my grandson.
– Playing patty-cake with Olive for the zillionth time today.
– Watching my 44 year-old husband and his friends have an “old man skate session” at the skate park.
– Taking a hot shower, shaving my legs, putting on my favorite nightgown, and getting in a bed with freshly laundered sheets whilst reading a novel from my favorite author.
– Literally anything that doesn’t have e-mail scandals, pussy grabbing, or is associated with Trump or Clinton.

These are some of the many things I will be doing during the debates tonight. Whether you watch the debates or not, that is your choice, but for the love of God, please practice your unalienable right to pursue Happiness.

happy

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Sensible Shoes

We awoke dark and early (thanks, Olive.) By the time I changed her diaper, brewed coffee, fed her a healthy breakfast of leftover crab dip and Ritz crackers, bathed and got us dressed, we were ready to leave the house by 7 am. We ended up watching Monsters, Inc (twice) before actually heading out. 

There were a couple of yard sale stops and I found a book by my favorite author. I was inspired. Jose got us tacos from Granzin’s and my grumbling belly thanked him. We arrived at Black Dog Spa in time for him to greet the pet parents dropping off. I loaded up Ollie in the stroller and headed downtown to the Farmer’s Market. On the way there, we stopped at a Pumpkin Patch. She made friends with the scarecrow and we continued our journey.

Fifty feet later, my left flip-flop had a blow-out. Awesome. I debated calling Jose to come pick us up, but I’m not a quitter. Rummaging around in my purse, I managed to come up with a band-aid (because I’m a prepared Mom like that.) I “fixed” the flop and we were off again.

The Market proved to be rather boring. Somehow, shopping for fresh carrots and butternut squash isn’t nearly as exciting as one would think.  We (I) decided to stop at the Phoenix Saloon for a diaper change and a Lone Star. We drank our respective bottles and headed back to the shop.

Jose was done and with plenty of sunshine left in the day, we decided a river trip was in order. Within five minutes of setting up our blanket and slathering Olive in sunscreen, Jose jumped up, dove in the river fully-clothed, and frantically swam to save a 3 year-old little girl getting swept away in the current after her dad thought it was a good idea to take her down the tube chute in a kayak, where it promptly flipped over. She was (thankfully) wearing an adorable tiny life-vest with a shark fin on the back. After checking on the visibly shaken family, Jose returned to our blanket to dry out. There were no other notable incidents with the minor exception of a twenty-something gal who laid claim to a Ziplock freezer bag full of Dorito’s found floating in the river. She swore she wasn’t stoned. Surreeeee.

We packed up things and decided to call it a day, stopping at HEB for three items needed for dinner. I opted to stay in the car with Olive while Jose ran in “real quick.” Twenty minutes later, I noticed a lady with a basket full of groceries and a fussy toddler prancing around on tip-toes with her arm extended above her head, clicking her key-chain in a desperate attempt to locate her car. Feeling her pain and wanting to help, I climbed out the open window Dukes of Hazzard style, barefoot and bikini-clad on to the top of the Mitzu. (In retrospect, I don’t know why I didn’t just open the door.)
“What kind of car do you drive?” I hollered to her. She turned and looked at me horrified. I probably should’ve told her I was trying to help, but I realize now that I must’ve looked like a lunatic up there. She ran in the other direction.
I noticed everyone in the parking lot was staring at me so I slinked down the side of the car, scraping my fanny on the side-view mirror. My shoeless feet hit the hot pavement, as well as a gooey piece of spit out bubble gum. I uses a wet wipe to clean myself up and get back in the car. Olive was giggling in the back seat. Just as I hid the evidence in the bottom of the diaper bag, Jose got back to the car. I resisted the urge to ask what took him so long.

We tag teamed dinner, making tamales, rice, and beans. Olive ate all the beans. After dinner, we finally settled down on the sofa to watch Swiss Army Man. I made it through the trailers, making a mental note to pick up The Lobster from Red Box before dozing off. The next thing I knew, Jose was telling me to go get in bed. The credits were rolling.

Today, as we’re prepare to head to the Flea Market, packing sunscreen and extra band-aids, we wonder if there will be any toddler-saving or top-of-the Mitzu frantic waving. I’ve decided to ditch the flops and don some sensible flats.