Girl in the Bathroom

I have a confession – I made a little girl cry.  It wasn’t intentional – honest!  Nor was it my fault… mostly.

Okay.  A bit of backstory.  When I was a kid, I was sure that raw onions were “too spicy” so I never ate them.  When I was pregnant with my second child, I finally decided to try a bite of raw onion.  Someone had brought sandwiches into the office for a party or whatever, and they had raw purple onions on them.  Taking a deep breath, I took a bite.  It was delicious!  I devoured the entire thing.

That evening, as I drove home, I started to feel a bit off.  And then icky.  And then I hoped I would make it home before I got sick.  During my first pregnancy, I never barfed – not once.  I had made it quite a way into my second one before this incident.  We’ll just say that it was the only time I was sick during either pregnancy.

And sick I was.  It wasn’t pretty.  I made it as far as my porch before I leaned over the banister and let it fly.  Yuck.

I resumed my avoidance of raw onions after that.  For some reason, cooked onions are just fine and I use them in almost all of my cooking.

Every once in a while, you get things made by others in which you aren’t aware of all of the ingredients.

I once got some raw onions from Taco Bell.  That wasn’t pretty.  I’m anal retentive literally and figuratively.  I refuse to go anywhere other than a few specific places.  That day, I defiled a Costco restroom.  I had no choice.  There was no waiting until I got home.

Unfortunately, it’s not just diarrhea.  Oh no.  It’s so much more!  It has this… smell.  How do I describe it?  Imagine a fish that has been dead about three weeks rotting in an unserviced sanican during the heat of summer.  And then Hades himself shat in it.

I tried to warn Mr. C about it, but he just didn’t understand, until he experienced it.  We literally had to shut down the whole half of the house in which the violated toilet resided.  No amount of spray, candles, or open windows could fumigate the area.  It was like that for a few hours.  Mr. C probably would have put caution tape across the hall doorway, had he had any on hand.  He still tells me that it made his eyes water.

Whenever we go out, he’s always sure to tell anyone taking my order that I can’t have any raw onions.  At all.  Anywhere near my plate.  It would be funny, if I didn’t know it was based on sheer terror and self-preservation.

Despite how careful I am, I unknowingly ingest a raw onion now and then.  Once, I was at a library doing some work, when it hit – that ugly feeling in my gut which tells me that something is about to escape.  I raced to the bathroom, already feeling badly for everyone in the library for what I was about to unleash.

It was even worse than I feared.  Shortly after I had emptied my bowels, a mother brought her infant and pre-schooler into the bathroom.  The odor hit them the moment they opened the door.

“Mommy – what’s that smell?” an innocent little voice asked.

“Someone had to go to the bathroom,” was the straightforward answer.

A moment later, “Mommy,” a tinge of desperation was in her voice, “I don’t want to be in here anymore.”

“Okay, then finish up and we’ll head back to story time.”

Do I appologize?  I stayed silent in my shame.

Another moment later, “Mommy!”  Her words were soaked in tears.  “I need to get out now!”

“We’re just about done.  Just another moment.”

When her little sobs were audible, I knew I could never again step foot in that library.

As if I weren’t anal-retentive enough before!

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Didn’t Get It

I don’t think I’ve told you that I’m looking for a new job.  I took the gig at Home Depot because it was quick and easy.  Now that I have an income (which isn’t nearly big enough) I have the ability to look for a new job (which would pay my bills and help me buy a new car).  I’m not one to job hop, but I’m only working part time and I really want to be working full time.  Home Depot has literally known this since Day 1.

So, the other day, I had a job interview.  Or, at least I thought I was going to.  On my way, I received a phone call saying that they had cancelled it.

Bummer!

I had been so excited prior that I had actually not slept well, thinking about all of the possibilities.  It was an accounting job, something which I’ve never had and am not qualified for.  They understood this, but they wanted to interview me anyway.

The closer I got to the interview, the more I felt like the job was mine.  I realized that the company I would be interviewing with has worked for years with the job which I will forever call “my favorite job.”  I felt that they wanted to interview me because of my time with that company.

The closer I got to the interview, the more I felt like it was my job to lose.

And then I got the phone call.  So depressing!

As I was chatting with my placement agent, she told me what had happened.  The lady whose position I would be taking decided not to leave after all.

Is that allowed?!  I mean seriously!

My placement agent further said that Karen (who was going to interview me) had been really excited to meet with me and was really disappointed that it wasn’t going to happen.

It did sound like I would be the first call if the lady did decide to leave.

Ah well.  Back to the drawing board.

So Proud!

I told you earlier in the month that Mr. C decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year.  He did it!  He won!  He is the proud owner of a full-length novel, which he wrote in 13 days.

And I couldn’t be prouder!

He was totally cute today, showing off all of his badges, his word count, his winner goodies, etc.  The really cool thing is, I could totally relate to his exuberance since I’ve done it before.  Nobody in my life has ever really been able to really understand what it feels like to write a book in under two weeks.

Now, Mr. C can.

And, I think it might have been a competition for him.  I’ve said that I wrote a book in 11 days.  That’s not exactly the truth in every way.  I finished writing my book on the 11th.  That’s the date I go with.  In reality, it took me eight days.

Mr. C has on his award that it took him 13 days.  He told me today that he actually did it in nine days (same reasoning as mine).  I think I might have burst his bubble a bit when I told him it was actually eight days for me.

And then it was on!

Mr. C and I met online.  My username was MeWriter.  He liked that about me.  Today, he was going around, claiming “Mr Writer,” as if he was now the writer, instead of me. Oh, no way, buddy!

But, it’s super cool that we can now relate on this level.  I’ve always wanted to date a writer.  The one I tried dating turned out to be bonkers.  Hopefully Mr. C won’t lose his mind with this writing thing.  (Although, he did lose it a little during NaNo – forgetting to eat or sleep on occasion.)

Yay!  There are now two NaNo winners in the house.

I do have to admit, though – his winner t-shirt is WAY cooler than mine!

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NOT Mr. C

Beware What You Ask For

Remember the other day when I said I was anxiously looking forward to the arrival of the blue/green/rose colored eggs?  Yah, you should really be careful what you ask for.

You remember the three egg day, yes?  Yay!  The hens are laying!  Well, at least four of them.  The four that lay brown eggs.  If only the other two would lay…

Guess what?  We had another three egg day yesterday.  Yay!  But even better?  We got a green egg!  Mr. C and I were so freakin’ excited we could hardly contain it (it’s funny how such things bring me a joy which I never would have expected!)

Actually, I was really sad.  In my excitement to bring the green egg in to show Mr. C, I accidentally cracked the magical green egg.  So sad!  😦  After I took the picture, I had to throw it away (strategically placed the crack on the bottom.)

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Why is this a bad thing, you ask?  Well, I’m glad you did.  Today, we did not have a three egg day.  Today we had a four egg day.

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Yikes!  That’s a lot of eggs in one day!  So, of course, we washed them off and put them into the fridge with the rest of the eggs.

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Double yikes! That’s a crap ton of eggs!

I want to give some of them away, but Mr. C reminded me that we’re coming up on the holidays (ie – baking season) and he suggested we just hang on to them for a bit.  If we get three or four eggs a day…

Holy Moly!  That’s like two dozen eggs a week!

Watch what you ask for!

**Added 15 minutes after finishing this post**  Oh my heavens!  Mr. C just said that Sandy is in there laying right now – 5 egg day!  I’m in trouble!

Still Bothered

When I was a little girl, another little girl told me that my sweater was “too purple.”  It was one of my few sweaters, and I had always liked it.  It was a nice shade of purple with some pretty white decorations.  Hurt, ashamed, and embarrassed, I looked up to her (I was sitting) only to find that her sweater was pure peach.

Wait… what?!

At the time, I was too self-conscious to speak up for myself.  To this day, that moment still bothers me.

A number of years back, I was chatting with a co-worker.  I told her that my uncle’s eyelashes are white.  As such, when a lash falls into his eye, he can’t see it to get it out.  To solve the problem, he’s started wearing mascara.

This all made perfect sense to me.  It seemed like an ingenious solution to a problem.

When I told her, she flat out said that it wasn’t true and that my uncle is vain.

Um… huh?

At the time, I was too worried about not causing waves to stand up for myself or my uncle.

Are we seeing a pattern?  I allow people to walk all over me and then I’m bothered by it for… well, decades sometimes.

I guess I’m just trying to work through this.

At what point does one stand up for one’s self?  I’m sure there are other instances in my life where I didn’t stand up for myself, but those don’t haunt me.  In the moment, how do I know if it’s one of those times that the hurt will linger?

In all honesty, I’m really bad at standing up for myself because of the years of abuse I’ve suffered.  If I say anything, the abuse will escalate.  It’s better just to hold my tongue.  Have those men created a permanent victim?

Or, instead of worrying about standing up for myself, should I work on letting things go?  I really like not causing waves.  I’m sure fear of repercussions is a major part of that, but is that something I need to work on?

I hate adulting!  It’s just so darned complicated!

If you need me, I’ll be with my dog and my blanky in the pillow fort.

One Month from Today

CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!  Not that I’m counting down or anything.

Okay.  I’ll admit it.  When it comes to Christmas, I’m still a kid at heart.  Don’t get me wrong – I love the adult side of it, too.  I love the baking, the decorating, and finding the perfect gift for all of my loved ones.

But, I still love all of the kid stuff too.  Heck, I still gleefully wave to Santa when I see him.  And I’m dead serious with this – you can even ask my mother (who is a really good sport about all of my silliness.)

The other day, I stopped at a fast food restaurant (don’t tell Mr. C) to buy a milk shake.  I was hungry and a shake just sounded quick and tasty.  What I really wanted was a peppermint one, but they didn’t have it yet, so I ordered a pumpkin one.  When I got up to the window, the kid told me that they were out of the pumpkin syrup and if I would like something else instead.  With eyes glowing, I asked if they had peppermint yet.  He conspiratorially told me that they were selling them yet, but he would make me one.

Made my day!!

And the music.  Oh the music!  It just brightens my day.  Seriously.  And Mr. C uses this to his advantage.  He actually recorded one of my favorite singers crooner a holiday tune on the TV so he could play it and dance with me any time he wants.  (swooning a little, as I type)

The twinkling lights, the smell of pine, cookies everywhere – it’s all just so wonderful.

And then there’s the anticipation.  We already know Mr. C is going to buy me the next season of my favorite TV show on DVD.  But, what else will I get?  Will I get the things on my wishlist or something even better?  What treasures will “Santa” put into my stocking for me?

So, not only is it the wonderment of the season, but the wondering.  It’s all good!

Oh – It’s On!

Christmas is 31 days away!  Let the craziness begin!

Thanksgiving leftovers have been eaten, shopping craziness hangovers have set in, and Christmas music is EVERYWHERE.

I love it!!

This is my favorite time of year – by far.  I mean, what’s not to love?

Long, cozy evenings warmed with soul-filling dinners.  A blazing fire crackling joyfully in the fireplace.  Creating presents which loved ones will adore.  Hot chocolate, sweaters, blankets – life is good!

A lot of it for me is the family time.  For the next 4 Saturdays, I have scheduled family time.  I don’t get that much family time all year long.  We have our silly traditions which were created somewhere along the line and just kinda stuck.  Most of them are the equivalent to Small Business Saturday, but it’s more about sharing that time with my loved ones than the shopping.

It’s also the anticipation.  Looking forward to those special two days (c’mon – we all know Christmas is at least two days long, right?)  Rushing around frantically on Christmas Eve, making sure everything is perfect and then sharing a quiet evening with Mr. C.  Spending the next day with my loved ones amid hugs and laughs.  Wondering what will be wrapped in cheerful paper and bows with my name on it and hoping the gifts I made were as well received as I hoped.  The wondering if half the fun, amIright?

Ooo!  I’m just so excited!

Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!  May your table be covered with old favorites, surrounded by loved ones and warmed by love and joy.

My children have told me for years that I’m predictable.  Mr. C seems to echo that sentiment.  I’m beginning to realize that I am very much a creature of habit.  I don’t like change.

Because of this, there is the tiniest bit of sadness to holidays for me.

Grandma is no longer with us.  She was the one who made my holidays merry.  She was the one who made the food, bought the presents, and decorated the house.  She was the one who made the same special foods every year – foods on which we could rely being on the holiday table.  She was the one who made sure we sat at the table together as a family.

The family has grown, as happens.  As such, we now have two tables.  In two different rooms.  So, not only do we not have Grandma with us, now the family is split in two as we eat.

Granted, we’re all together before and after, but it’s not the tradition with which I grew up.  It felt formal with Grandma.  For some reason I liked that.  Maybe it’s because it was special – we aren’t formal any other time.

I guess today I’m missing her.  Yes, I love the holidays and I love spending time with my family, but there is a teensy bit of sadness with missing my loved ones.

I guess I should focus on those who are still here, right?  They are a really amazing group of people!  I am really blessed to have them.

Small Business Saturday

As you’re perusing the insane ads for Black Friday, I would urge you to consider Small Business Saturday.

If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s where you go shopping in your local area, at the small businesses owned by Mom & Pop.  Maybe the money you save on Black Friday could be spent on Small Business Saturday.  Or, spend your money on presents on Friday and do the stocking stuffers on Saturday.  Or… however you want, but I would urge you to try it.

I know that Walmart has some really enticing offers.  Target has some deals which can’t be beat.  And the TV at that blow-out price simply can’t be ignored.  I get it.

But, what about the small business owner?  She’s worked hard for years to keep her shop afloat.  It’s always been his dream to have his own store.  They support their family solely on the income of their small business.

It’s not just that.  When was the last time you’ve actually been in a small business?  How often do you check out the treasures buried in a little shop?  Some of them have the coolest little trinkets.  I went into one the other day and was charmed by so many of the nostalgic, cutesy little things.  We bought a few things from the man, and I’ll be back to buy some more later.

I do a lot of my “Small Business Saturday” shopping beforehand.  I go to as many of the little, local holiday festivals as I can.  My favorite almond vendor recognizes me each time I see her, and greets me warmly.  I love seeing the creative things artists come up with and enjoy supporting their dreams.  I get a kick out of chatting with the vendors, asking them about their wares and their methods.  As a creative person, myself, those are great places for me to be.

Even if you’re not the creative type, those little bazaars are fun to go to.  You’ll see stuff there which you’ve never seen before.  And some you have, but in a new way.  And some old favorites.

But, in buying them from a small business, you’re supporting someone’s dream as opposed to buying a new yacht for WalMart’s CEO.

Dopey Dog!

I promised you a happier blog today.  What’s happier than my dopey dog?

Prince is a champ when it comes to learning new skills.  He will “shake” or “sit” like no other.  He’s still trying to figure out “play dead” and “roll over,” but I’m hoping he’ll get them someday.

However, when it comes to figuring things out, he’s not that bright.  When we got the doggy door, his sister figured it out right away.  He… took more time to figure it out.

I’m not sure what the difference is.  When it comes to stupid little tricks that don’t improve his life in any way, he can pick it up like **snap**  But, if it’s a skill he actually needs, those are harder for him.

Huh?

But I’m hoping we’ve turned a corner.  Lately, he’s learned “push.”  The dogs frequently rush to the door if they know we’re going out, not leaving any room for me to actually get to the door to open it.  I’m not sure how he’s figured it out, but he now waits for me to say “push” and he will nudge the door with his nose until it opens.  We’ve done it a number of times, and it never fails to make me proud of him.

He and his sister have to take turns eating (or she would push him out of the way and eat it all.)  Generally, his sister eats first.  In the last few weeks, he’s started “push”ing his way out to where they eat.  He waits for me to give him the command, and then he goes.

Until a few days ago.  A few days ago, he’s started “push”ing without the command.  I watched, and he waited until his sister had licked her plate clean before he “push”ed, letting her back into the house and putting himself in the position to be fed.

He’s also learned how to open the door to let himself back in when he’s done.

So, my dopey dog has learned a few more tricks on his own.  Yay!