A lost in translation compliment

Today I spent some time helping someone new to the area get settled, which included me spending some time in my car telling them about our last eight years here, and some suggestions to help their family integrate with ease.

We discussed the differences in our lives back home–him from LA, and me from New England, which couldn’t be more different, though we spent a lot of time discussing our mutual love of the ocean, the woods, animals, etc.  I told him how his family would love the food festivals, the proximity to other countries, the wine festivals, summer trips to local lakes.

We discussed how his baby is due in two weeks and his boys will be only 14 months apart. I told him about the boys and how at 20 months apart, they are more fun than I could have imagined, if he doesn’t mind a year of sleep deprivation.  I talked to him about us having dogs and country v city life, how to find a second car and where I thought his wife would like to travel with the kids in her first summer weeks.

“You and my wife are going to get along so well,” he said optimistically, and I was happy to have made a connection to make him feel welcome.

“Really, she’ll love you.  You’re very similar—both athletic (which I assume is code for not stunningly gorgeous), outdoorsy, stocky and outgoing.”

I was smiling politely and listening until he said stocky.  He used stocky as the third adjective to describe me, in such an enthusiastic manner that I will choose to believe this is perhaps a complication of learning English as a second language.

Seriously.  A whole twelve minutes into knowing him and he went with stocky.

The domestic misadventures continue

You know who I will never be? The mom that brings something delicious and homemade to a birthday party or holiday gathering. I will never have that thing that people call and say, make sure you bring your potato salad or famous chocolate cake or deviled eggs, and I seriously love deviled eggs enough to make them for other people if I were good at making them.

So today I’m like, i’m going to be all domestic, not my strength, and make some deviled eggs and stuffed mushrooms and bulgogi. Right, three things that do not belong together, I know, but I realized we have three packages of eggs because every time I go to the store I think, I better get some eggs to make sure we have some, and yes, I’ve done that three times in a week sober, so I needed to do something with the eggs and I figured it was about time I try again to boil eggs and see if today would be the day I would succeed for the first time in 4 decades.  Last time I tried a few weeks ago, I cracked into soft boiled eggs, tried to put them back in for a second boil and the whole damned pot ended up in the bio and I pretended like it never happened.

Then I was like, but I also need stuffed mushrooms in my life, so let’s make some, because I’m not working and I’m also not day drinking so I figured cooking a few snacks would keep me busy.  The bulgogi was just because I like to put shit in the crock-pot and I had three packages of meat that needed to be used or shamefully tossed and so the kids are having beef and broccoli tonight.

I’d like to announce that I not only made all three recipes, but everything appears to be edible, and I’m sure of the tastes at least because I spent the better part of lunch eating egg and mushroom cap fillings with a spoon like the attractive woman I am.

Speaking of attractive, it appears as though I alarmed some people with my WebMD questions yesterday regarding the wounds I have on my legs.  Maybe I should clarify.  I’m fine.  I was hobbling around and they are all sore and red and now scabbing but I highly doubt I’m going to end up with red lines shooting towards my heart or amputation or sepsis or whatever additional nightmares people commented yesterday.  Here’s a picture of what it looked like when I kept bandaids and neosporin on them last week.

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I’m sure we all remember one of my favorite hobbies is to exaggerate and we’re all positive I’m not a medic, which I’d like to take a timeout to note that my husband, the Army medic, was actually not helpful at all in this entire two week injury situation and so I determined myself that it would take a lifetime for these wounds to heal so I ripped the bandaids off and allowed the wounds to air dry and fingers crossed my legs don’t scar, not that it matters because no one in all of history has ever liked me for the looks of my legs.

Anyway, yesterday after a few days of air drying and walking around screaming in pain for no reason, I finally begged him to carefully pull up my stretchy pants to tell me if we’d need to cut my legs off, and he took one look, smirked and called me a name meant for cats and said I’d live and then I wanted to question his training but instead decided to remind him not so gently that TWO LARGE HEADED KIDS BLASTED OUT OF MY VAGINA SO I WOULD SLOW DOWN ON THE NAME CALLING.

But apparently I’ll live, and I’ll note that no, I did not get those wounds from falling around after drinking. Well, I was drinking when I injured myself, but I was actually trying to get all sexy with the Mr in the garage and it obviously went terribly wrong and that’s why vodka and sexing only worked out in my 20s. I’ll save the extended story for a combined piece about how I broke both legs and ended up in a wheelchair in Alexandria after the horse races in 2008, but not today because this story was supposed to be about cooking.

That’s about all that’s been going on.

 

About siblings 

I have four siblings, two sisters and two brothers. I have siblings who span three fathers and two mothers. We’re a mixed bag, and I’m sure that is no shock to anyone. I like my mixed bag, I think it’s an unavoidable part of me, and while we are mixed, we are a lot the same. 

My other three are mostly central to home, but all different and interesting in their own way. I can only imagine what they’d write about me if they cared enough to sit down and put a pen to paper. Unluckily for them, I have nothing but time today.  

I’ll start with David, six years younger, and couldn’t be more unlike me if he tried, which he doesn’t, because that’s his thing, effortless in approach to life and ability to never have a bag of fucks to hand out. I admire that most about him. He is a sweetheart, a warrior in his own way, and I spend a lot of time regretting that we haven’t spent much adult time together. 

David is artistic in a way that I’ll never be, with the ability to create beautiful items, lighthouses and rock walls and fireplaces that dreams are made of, made with his hands, with his bodily strength admirable and subtle, with a tan so golden, it alone proves easily we have some sort of different genes, but we are alike in many ways. 

We are more different, though, in his ability to see the world more simplistically, his tousled and woodsy chestnut hair, his love of appropriately placed but ill advised zoo creatures branded to his sides.  I could never have a jaguar and tiger gracing each of my sides as he does, as they would disappear somewhere in the jungle that is my stature — best described as hobbit meets inner tube, but David has a torso for days, coupled with a disposition and resilience that will forever keep him happy go lucky — that, and his thirst for wild turkey by the gallon, one or the other. 

Then there’s Tiffany, three years younger and surely wiser, the more self conscious, immaculately dressed sister who never had issue with her studies or her responsibilities in life, one of the only ones (the only one) who performed as expected, but seemed bored with each accomplishment, probably because she was bored being so successful with so little dramatic flair. 

Tiffany is the voice of reason, the stoaic one, the bread winner, the one who has probably watched the rest of us for a decade and rightly exclaimed, what in the living fuck, but said with a yawn, because she’s always a distance away, and never involved, by her very own doing. 

She does come with her own complications, though, those of distrust and boredom and indifference. She won’t discuss those with you, though, because she’d rather laugh you off and then buy a designer purse and grab sushi. Those are things more her style. 

Then there’s Ryan, a million years my junior, who while I’d like to remain impartial, makes it so damned near impossible. He loves all things Republican. He lives to harass and pick and his dream woman is probably Sarah Palin and I’ll stop before the amount of gagging I’m doing kills me. We don’t agree on anything, I haven’t seen him in a lifetime, and to avoid further parental disapproval regarding my opinions, I’ll leave this child here and stop searching for adjectives. 

And then there’s Katie, also three years younger, but forever trying to keep me alive and functioning and well, somewhat normal. 

Katie and I are the only children from the same parents and so it would make sense that we split the parental gene pool. She got the long legs, nappy hair and athleticism that I can only admire from a bar. My legs are short, my hair is luxurious, my ability to comprehend physical activity as pleasure, non existent. 

She has a love and passion for science and a healing and nurturing nature that is downright frightening to me. She has tiny ring fingers and a big heart and the ability to dead face an enemy that one can only wish to master with decades. 

And then there’s me. I would guess that I would be described as the loud one, the fighter with or without a cause, the short and stocky one, the one that couldn’t bail the rest out because I’d probably already be inside. 

I broke our parents in to assure a seamless and easy transition from teenager to adult, something no one has truly ever thanked me for appropriately.

  I oversaw fist fights and screaming matches that were of Rocky proportions, and participated in a few of my own. I babysat nights filled with Nintendo game pads and I tromped through the same forests, in the same mud, under the same sun, to sleep under the same covers, under the same roof, and I survived childhood with the same tales, but surely distorted. 

It’s funny though, because one day, along the way, we all just woke up to different dreams, and we chose different lives. And we look different, speak differently, and answer to very different causes. 

But. They are me, I am them, and while you can pick your greater family, you do have to respect the one you have. I am so lucky to be challenged and supported by my tiny tribe. I love them fiercely, judge them thoroughly, and miss them sadly most days, and most importantly, they are mine, and when I’m old, I’ll have all the material I ever wanted to ruin them, all with the mere swipe of a pen and a glimmer of a decade where no one was attractive and and the biggest reason we had for hatred for each other was the notion of a tattle. 

Because of nothing else, being a sibling is about payback, isn’t it? 

Today’s harassment of the Mr.

I’m home today, the sun is out, it’s 60 degrees and I didn’t get off the couch until 11 and there was no one touching me with sticky hands, shouting my name or title, staring at me with judging eyes, or reminding me of the To Do list we made the other night to motivate ourselves for a productive and successful spring.

I did get around to getting up to go get iced coffee and dinner around noon and then I thought about doing more around here but then I remembered what I wanted to do today.  I needed the Mr.’s help.  Just kidding.  I just wanted to fuck with him.

I emailed him: If you had to guess where the hammock was, would you go with garage or basement?  The couch feels uneven. 

Being married to me is 20% fun, 80% psychological warfare.  If you ask him, 20% is generous most days.

My favorite part of sending these emails to him is picturing him throwing up his hands like, DO NOT EMAIL ME ASKING ABOUT HOW TO GET YOU A NEW NAPPING LOCATION WHILE I AM AT WORKING SLAVING A WAY EARNING THE ONLY PAYCHECK THAT HAS EVER BEEN HANDED OUT IN LIFE TO SUPPORT OUR YOUNG CHILDREN AND YOUR NEEDS WHILE YOU THINK ABOUT NAPPING AND I THINK ABOUT PROVIDING, all while shaking his head, sighing angrily and then trying to come up with something supportive to say to me, a way to task me without actually tasking me, and a jab without being too mean to send me off into the land of white noise.  It’s truly an art, handling me.

And, I should have known, after more than a decade together, he was ready for me today.  “Don’t know,” he lied, “but maybe you should put “fix couch” on the list of TO DO items next to the fridge.”

Then he informed me he’ll be home in two hours and fifteen minutes which means I have two more shows to watch until I have to collect everything in the house in a  laundry basket and dump febreeze on the rugs and the dogs and then look exhausted from cleaning.

Better get back to my TV watching.

 

The tale of the first child 

I’ll never let my kids sleep with me, I said. Co-sleeping is for carnies. Kids need to know their place. I have standards. Children of mine will never own me, I said loudly, fist triumphantly held high above my youthful and childless body and spirit. 
And then I had two boys and I became a hypocrite to the fullest extent and we all laughed and laughed at the notion that we have the ability to put common sense over matters of the heart when it comes to our children. 

I may talk more about the dramatics and antics of his brother but this child, my first one, is the first and last thing I’ll ever love in this very special way. He is my sweetheart, my love, my sunshine, the one who turned my heart from black to less blackish. 


He’s everything I never deserved and everything I never knew I wanted in life. It’s odd to tell the world you have a three year old as a best friend, but he’s all mine, and he’s the best I could ever dream of. 

He loves naps and cookies and fuzzy pajamas, men who drive big trucks and big women who scoop ice cream. He laughs loudly and he kisses wet and he looks me in the eye when he’s serious and sorry or sad or excited. He hates showers and deadlines and pants and being told what to do. He’s the very, very best of me and he’s everything I will never be. 
I’d spend a million more days never getting sleep to be close enough to be able to touch within an arms reach, and to hear him breathe (loudly, very loudly like his father) for the rest of my life. 

But really, this picture is proof  why I never sleep. And you know what? I’ll sleep when I’m dead,because from where I lay, sleepless nights are ok by me.

Overweight, aggressive and dangerous child for sale.

**for anyone very upset by this post, please stop it. This is called satire and I don’t read the hate mail**
Sully wakes up every single day shouting to alert me that he is awake, he wants out of his baby cage, and he’s somehow already bullshit about God knows what.  The child is seriously my worst nightmare.

Today, I brought him into bed to “cuddle”, which only meant I wanted to go back to sleep.  Since he was apparently well rested, he thought he’d punish me by 1. biting me in the back when I was pillow deep, to remind me of his existence, which actually only reminded me to google a local and sketchy dentist willing to remove the teeth of a toddler.  then 2. last minute, I saw him grasp the iPad with both of his fat hands, swing it over his head and then before I could move, he smashed my head with it.  He almost learned his first lesson in flying.

There is something so wrong with this child.

I had no energy to try today to run him like a puppy and so while I did my best to ignore and avoid him, he chased me around shouting, “Mommmmmmmmy, I seeeeeeeee you.” It’s like he just wants to put me on notice and truthfully, this child is fucking terrifying.  Do you know what it’s like to be chased by a smaller, angrier, seemingly drunk version of yourself who appears only to be motivated by destruction and inflicting pain on the innocent?  Anyone know what it’s like to be terrorized in your own home by someone you shot out of your own vagina, knowing he’s a legit schizophrenic, unmedicated at that?

That and I legit think he’s attempting to double up on meals to gain strength to defeat me, all the while playing me with his fake attempts at loving me with his aggressive hugs and dangerous kisses that at any point could turn terribly wrong and result in a full set of teeth marks on my face.

I told him no today because he was trying to eat a handful of dirty cherry pits and when he wouldn’t listen, I reduced myself to shouting and at first he looked shocked.  Then he pretended to be insulted and hurt.  And then when I picked him up to apologize, he pulled back and slapped me and then laughed, took a second look at my horror, wasted no time in his levels of deceit and smiled, looking me straight in the eye and then swiftly bound off my lap to saddle up on the dog shouting YEEEEHAW.  He’s fucking lucky that dog didn’t bite him out of spite.  I wanted to bite him.

Yesterday, this child took off his diaper three times out of aggression, tossed it on the floor and then stuck his penis in a strainer.  No fucking idea where he got the idea that sexually assaulting kitchenware was a thing in this house but there are plenty of people who will later in life back him and claim I am somehow to blame for all of this.

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I can’t pay someone enough to come get this child and do something with him.  Cage him, run him, I really don’t fucking care.  He’s probably the inspiration for that movie The Good Son, which I barely remember but I feel like there was one child who went all sorts of wrong and killed his family and this is that child.

So I have a child for sale and I’m willing to barter for low grade booze.  I’m not even going to shoot for top shelf because some days he drives me to want to swallow a gallon of grain alcohol to forget that I did this to myself.

In related news, I’m considering a hysterectomy to ensure this shit doesn’t happen again.  Anyone know of a good doctor?  If not, I’m just going to swallow bleach and hope my insides die and then start MMA training in the event he figures out how to spar and comes after me.

Motherhood is rewarding, I was told.

 

Spring is here, and so let the life changes begin!

Few things to be clear about on my self declared, Welcome To Spring Weekend.

First and foremost, the profile picture you see on FB currently or here, it’s me, for better or worse.  I’m just lucky enough to have besties who know where to buy me my perfect shirt.

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The mouth that spews my truth and mine alone, it’s me, and I make no apologies.

My choices, are my very own.

My actions, are mine and I stand behind every one.

My family, as dysfunctional, and perfect, and seriously questionable as humans, they are mine, and I would always defend them until the end.

My beliefs, also mine and not to be questioned.

And this picture, my perspective.

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I am, like it or not, choosing to live my life in an authentic way that does not allow for others to dictate my path, to apologize for me, or to redirect my efforts, my energy, my ambition, or the things I love.

I have lived a life full of happiness, extreme pain, some wisdom and many failures, and I love and live every single moment of my life with not.one.single.regret.

I will NEVER live a life I feel like I have to answer for. For me, for people who have met me, there are two things: You don’t prefer me (or hate, I get it) or you love me. There is very little grey in the world of Heather. And that, that is something I am not only ok with, I am beyond proud of.

I don’t like mediocrity, and I only strive to be memorable in life. Nothing much more, nothing much less.

Along the way, my parents taught me two things I will never forget, two things instilled in me, one lesson from each.

My mother always told me this: Big things come in small packages, Heather. You might be small, but you are nothing less than the rest and you have big things inside you that sometimes others can’t see.

And my father always said, a bit more aggressively, If you do not think the world of yourself, the best things you can be, the highest opinion of who you are, you cannot expect someone else to think that of you. Do not be ashamed of thinking highly of yourself. If you do not think the highest of yourself, you can never, ever expect any person, any boss, any man, any friend, to think that of you.

And those are the two things that I remember, three decades later, when I need to center myself and remember where I came from, what I believe in, and where I am going next.

Changes in life, redirection, etc, should always be looked upon positively.  And when you find a need to be recentered, just look to those who loved you most back when–especially those who loved you when you looked like a carnie, but with no traveling circus family to be had.  🙂

Why speaking to spouses should be optional…

I’m beginning to understand what it’s  like to live with someone who has dementia, at least in the early stages.  I assume it’s similar to having to say the same thing to the same person 900 times in a manner that sounds entirely new to them because they’ve never heard what you said the first time you said it.

Except I don’t live with a person with dementia.  I live with someone who literally stares at me when I talk and hears absolutely fucking nothing.  Lots of head nodding and nothing registering.  My father used to say, the lights are on but nobody’s home.  Yes, just like that.

Otherwise, no one in this house would have been confused or surprised when I came home with silver hair the other day.

Hours away at the salon, I return home, triumphant and pumped about my new hair. I swing open the door and expect some kid of, ooh, isn’t that different and sexy, look from the Mr. Instead, he looks at me and then starts to say, “Ooooh, Soy, look at Mommy’s haa…..”

And then he just stops.  And then he looks at me and then his face twists up into that pained look of confusion that doesn’t even come close to being discreet.

“Is that blonde?  That’s not blonde.  What color is that?  Is that…” I had no idea I had a third person in this house who would need a color wheel tutorial in the near future.

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“Silver?” I interrupted.  “Yes, it’s silver.  I had her do silver.”  And then I smiled because I was quite proud of myself.  He just stared at me and the confused look didn’t change and also the things that kept coming out of his mouth didn’t change.

“Did you mean to do that?”  Seriously no fucking idea why those words were just falling out of his mouth.

“No, I fell into a bucket of silver. Yes, of course I meant to do that. What do you mean, did I mean to?” This is why I think speaking to your spouse does not have to be mandatory.

“Well, I just don’t know why.”

“WHY WHAT?” I knew he meant why in the world would you do that but I thought I’d give him a few last options to save himself.

“You don’t think it’s edgy?” He kept staring.

“Fun?” Blank stare.

“Sexy?” So much staring, probably very little brain waves.

“This is why your opinion does not matter when I go to the salon.”  I walked away so that I could go take 213 selfies to post 1 good one on FB.

Later in the car, on the way to the playground—

“You really don’t like it?” I tried again, admiring my hair in the mirror.

“You don’t think dying your hair grey makes you look old?”  Apparently someone hasn’t been paying attention to fucking Pinterest.

I didn’t answer and just stared out the window, wondering if there was a charm school in this world that would have him.

 

 

The 1940s in Germany: Minor political issues

So I’m at Ritter Sport Cafe on Sunday, enjoying the best Sunday brunch I’ve had in awhile.  Seriously, before I get to the actual story, I have to stress that they make THE most amazing french toast, maybe top three in the world, including in France, which I don’t think actually even sells french toast.  I will tell you that what else they have is the second best hot chocolate in the world, second only to the Godiva hot chocolate in Salzburg, which I think is actually just melted chocolate in a cup.

Sorry, the food was really that distracting.  Moving on.

In case you’re not aware, they also have a massive chocolate shop, which wasn’t open the day I went to brunch, and a museum, which details the different chocolate and wrappers and marketing they’ve had over the years, starting in the 1930s until present day.

Let’s take a look at some of the decades to see how the chocolate has changed.

 

 

Then we get a bit of vintage, the farther back we go.

 

And then the first wall, which has the very start of the chocolate factory on display.

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Well that’s odd.  One wall doesn’t look like the others.  I wonder why the ’40s is so empty.

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Nothing more that the Germans love than to refuse to say words to address an old fashioned 1940s closing.  There must be a story here somewhere.   Ah, yes!  Found it!

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And there it is.  Those pesky political reasons, always shutting down chocolate factories.

Seriously, POLITICAL REASONS?

Germans.

The Art of Outdoor Potty Training

Sawyer announced that he had to pee four times while we were out in the city today. Three of the times, we were in stores close enough to places I knew had public restrooms that were clean enough to use with a toddler, ones within 30 seconds of wherever we were standing, because our response time is limited and only gauged by the level of urgency he chooses to awkwardly display on his face.

The last time, though, we weren’t near any restaurants. We were in the middle of a grassy park near the duck pond, and there was no way I was going to be able to run with him to the nearest brewery in time.  Look at how lovely today’s setting was.

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Now that you know where we were, I’d like to unveil today’s lesson in responsible parenting.

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The entire time I snapped away, the Mr. hissed, “STOP TAKING PICTURES OF HIM”, but not because he knew I ws going to post them all over the internet and doesn’t think it’s appropriate to put bare assed photos of our children out for public consumption.  He carried on with, “You are going to give him stage fright.”

First of all, no child of mine is even capable of stage fright under any circumstance.  Second, I witnessed that child poke our Frenchie, Bull, in the eye with his anteater penis the other day and laugh and laugh, slapping his knee and then doing what I’m assuming is the toddler attempt at that weird helicopter penis thing I’ve seen his father do more times than I’d like to discuss.

There is no way in hell I’m taking the blame if that child can’t piss on a tree in public.

 

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