Posts Tagged With: chaos

 
 

Packing It In

When dreams repeat themselves over several nights, it makes me pay attention a little better than normal to those fleeting subconscious wanderings.

The past week I’ve dreamt multiple times about packing. I’m talking about stuffing things frantically into a duffle bag, or throwing things together haphazardly into a suitcase. One dream had me zipping shut all sorts of temporary containers to take with me somewhere and I needed to hurry it up, too. I never knew where I might be going, or what I should bring with me. The only commonality in all the dreams was a sort of desperation or panic to get it done quickly and don’t forget anything important.

I let these dreams haunt my daytimes a bit and didn’t like where my personal interpretations took me, so I thought I’d consult some dream imagery sources. Seems logical to gather some information, right?

The common thread in the different places that I researched said this about dreaming of repeatedly packing represents:

  • Uncertainty or chaotic changes in your life.
  • Your feelings about being weighed down by endless responsibilities or expectations.
  • The need to establish some kind of order in our lives
  • A need for greater organization in your waking life.
  • Feeling unprepared for the challenges that you are facing.
  • An unsuccessful attempt to deal with far too much in your waking life.
  • Something definitely overwhelms you at the moment.
  • You are juggling too many things and situations.
  • You are carrying too many burdens.
  • A warning to relax and let go.
  • Somebody is pushing you to take more responsibility;

That all sounded fairly accurate in describing how I’ve been feeling lately. I find that fascinating. How do my dreams know to go there?

Would you like a cup of irony to go with my dream interpretation?

At the beginning of the year I made a short note to myself that reads as follows:

  • Simplify.

If ever I wondered what I wanted out of the year 2016 it could be found on this tiny list. The key word here, in case you missed it: simplify.

IMG_5728One reason I stopped making resolutions years ago lies in the FACT that as soon as I set myself a goal the oppositional forces in the universe unite to make certain I do not achieve what I set out for myself.

What is that all about? And do I sound a little paranoid? Well, so be it. I probably am.

I’ve had some great inspirational moments of clarity in how I could simplify my life so it feels more focused, less scattered and crazy. And yet, those few moments have been overwhelmingly done in by a giant tsunami of requests, additional to-do list items, a change in responsibilities, an inability on my part to say no, and personal lack of organizational skills and lack of self-discipline.

Chaos. Responsibility. Expectations.

How do I pack all that into neat little containers? How do I corral the wild horses, tame the unruly strands of unfinished things to do?

I own and have read dozens of books of bringing order into chaos. I know the three bin method. I’ve spent days and weeks packing and unpacking an entire household countless, (okay, seventeen) times. You’d think by this time in my life I’d have my act together, I’d have reached some point of calm. Balance should have settled into my life.

Ha!

Apparently that isn’t how it works. At least it hasn’t for me, so far.

I’ve been reading a book that a friend recommended on organizing. I don’t think it’ll save my life or change it completely, but perhaps it’ll throw me a life-preserver.

Here’s part of what I think my dreams mean, according to the book of Kami.

What I really want to do is pack one small suitcase and disappear from all my responsibilities and to-do lists. I want to say, “NO!” to every request. Could I deliver myself to some unknown place where no one recognizes or notices me and just, I don’t know, sit and read, walk in the woods, sleep, ride my bike, bask in the sun? Could I find out what a life with no expectations from others feels like?

That’s about as likely as me winning a lottery, which I don’t play.

I’d probably get bored really quickly, no doubt.  I know running away isn’t a solution, but something extreme seems necessary to achieve some balance to the shoal of chaos that my life has shipwrecked on.

I think I need a nap now.

~~~~~

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~ Confucius

 

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Categories: dreams, Mental Health, Priorities, Sanity, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

Going for the Juggler

No, you didn’t read that wrong and I didn’t write it wrong.

You thought I meant to say going for the JUGULAR. That idea: “to finish off your opponent quickly and decisively by cutting the jugular vein, a direct connection to the heart,” is a cruel and ruthless thought.

Going for the JUGGLER sounds similar but isn’t heartless. It’s an innocent thing others do to us, or we unwittingly do to ourselves

Let me explain.

Photo by  Baikonur Juggle these.

Photo by Baikonur
Juggle these.

I juggle. You juggle. We all juggle.

We try to keep lots of things midair in our lives. Work, family, spouses, finances, housework, yard work, gardening, errands, volunteer work, meals, recreation, sports, lessons, extended family, appointments, workouts, goals, car repairs, mental health, hobbies, dreams, friendships, hopes, sleep, relaxation.

The list of juggled items often fills a page or two in our heads, and in our hearts.

How do we decide which things get our time and attention? How do we keep each ball hovering? And are some of the balls actually swords, or flaming batons? Maybe we’ve taken on a running chainsaw and tossed it into the mix of juggling knives and bowling pins.

If we take our eyes off the stuff in the air in order to pick up or add in another item we risk dropping something, or hurting ourselves or someone else.

Then we go for the juggler, which means the busiest person seems to willingly take on the most. The one with dozens of things hovering midair says “yes” to more, thinking that one more small thing won’t create a problem. We think we can pick up a tiny hacky sack and add it to the fray. Admit it, you’ve done it.

I get tired just thinking about it, don’t you?

And then the rhythm gets out of whack and it all starts to come crashing down around me.

So then I drop it all and sit in front of the TV “eating bonbons” into the wee hours of the night. Or I take a guilt-riddled day off and sleep hoping to somehow fill an empty reservoir so I can pick it all up again and start juggling again the next day.

The Big Secret

Here’s a not so very secret detail that I’m still trying to deal with: There are only twenty-four hours in a day.

Don’t you just hate that?

And almost a third of those hours should involve sleeping. That leaves sixteen hours for every other thing I need to juggle.

No matter how organized or prioritized, somethings on my list will never, ever get done.

It’s true.

I try to accept it. Embrace it. Give up. Well, I don’t exactly give up. But I try to embrace reality.

Once in a while I add a number to each item on my to-do list. The number represents how much time this item will take up in my day. I add up the numbers and always realize it exceeds the number of hours I have available in the day.

I have two choices at that point. I can either eliminate some items so it all fits, or I can attempt to shorten the amount of time each item takes to complete. Or, in my alternate universe, I can conjure up a third option: magically make the day longer.

Unfortunately, I haven’t quite mastered the third option.

Jugglers Circus Amok photo by David Shankbone.jpg CC BY 2.5

Jugglers Circus Amok photo by David Shankbone.jpg CC BY 2.5

Honestly, I’m not as busy as I once was when my kids all lived at home. But somehow, my life has managed to fill up with more to do than three women with super powers could get done in a day, or a week, or a month. Makes me wonder how I ever managed when I had a house filled with little and medium and big people to take care of. I suppose I became a Master Juggler Extraordinaire! The word Circus best describes how it got to play out some days. In fact there were whole years that fit into a three-ring fully tented circus at our house.

Sometimes I just have to let it go, drop a few balls, bowling pins, chainsaws, flaming batons, and swords, and admit some of those things aren’t as important or vital as I once thought they were

Really.

Pass me some chocolate, then you have some, too.

Categories: Priorities | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

Growing Fruits and Nuts: Wreckage and Heartache

Just before leaving a friend’s house recently someone picked up a book from the coffee table and read the title aloud: “Growing Fruits and Nuts.”

Since I’m a gardener I naturally replied, “Sounds like a book about raising children.”

Pa dum shush.

Thank you, thank you.

Wreckage. Photo by FEMA.

Wreckage. Photo by FEMA.

Not long after that little laugh, I talked with a different friend. I knew this already, but sometimes reality drops a big loud steel I-beam nearby so that you sit up and take notice.

I realized that some people’s children and some people’s relatives really are nuts. Fruitier than a fruit cake. And meaner than a junk yard dog.

Bonkers, out of their minds, bizarre, weird, wired wrong, whacked.

Call me naïve, call me altruistic, but don’t call me Shirley. (The name’s Kami.)

I’ve never understood families that refuse to speak to each other. Or who treat each other with disrespect. Or spouses who keep living in the same house but clearly should not still be married. I can’t figure out how someone can treat a parent with indifference or ingratitude. Abuse of children? Almost unforgivable.

I really really really don’t get meanness. I especially don’t grasp manipulative, cruel, self-centered behavior when it’s aimed like an assault weapon at a direct blood relative.

Psychological abuse at the hands of family seems crueler than any form of physical abuse. But I could be wrong.

Can someone explain this to me? I am confused and mystified.

And my heart tightens up and twists itself into knots for anyone who feels they are stuck living this way.

I’ve tried to laugh it off, but it isn’t working. I don’t think it’s really a joking matter. Do you?

***

Here are a few sources that I researched trying to find some understanding or a way to help:

Band Back Together

Who Are They? Abusive Men and Women

Parental Abuse 

Invisible Victims 

Five Steps to Free Yourself

Tornado aftermath. Not unlike psychological abuse and the damage it does. Photo by John LeGear at TimComm.com with permission via Creative Commons license.

Tornado aftermath, much like psychological abuse and the damage it does. Photo by John LeGear at TimComm.com with permission via Creative Commons license.

Categories: Family, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments
 
 

Mugging It for the Camera

Friday Letter to my Kids – March 20, 2015 –

Dear J, J, L and L,

A solid, deep blue basic. My go to mug.

A solid, deep blue basic. My go to mug.

I went through a kitchen cupboard this week in my continuing efforts to downsize, declutter and dejunk. I also sorted and organized one of the messier drawers since Dad couldn’t find a twist tie and I knew we owned at least a thousand of them. What a tidy drawer the plastic bags and foil and waxed paper have to live in now.

In my defense, most of what resides behind those closed doors and drawers exists for those mythical and rare times when the entire family gets together. Your Dad and I only need a few of everything, even on our wildest cooking days. But when it’s time to fondue, or holiday dinner or family barbecue then we need more than a dozen plates, a zillion drinking glasses, multiple forks and knives, myriad amounts of pans and bowls. But for the other 361 days of the year we have far too many things in our cupboards.

Might be a collector?

Might be a collector?

This particular cupboard received a comment probably half a year ago. Something having to do with owning more glasses and mugs than a small nation needs. It’s true. Between the glass cups I prefer and the blue plastic ones Dad likes, the sippy cups for the littles, and all the other odd mismatched ones it’s an overabundance of drinking paraphernalia. That doesn’t even include the mugs and teacups.

I pulled all the mugs out of the cupboard first. Ah, such fun memories. I have a bit of a collection, one that could be on display except that it’s not classy like china. Granted it isn’t a shot glass collection, or salt and pepper shakers from around the world. It’s just a small taste of my past life. I admit I’m a bit of a hot chocolate fiend. Having the perfect mug that fits my mood when I mix the elixir simply adds to the pleasure of the experience.

I though if I paraded my mugs perhaps it’d help me decide which ones to let go. Maybe you want to claim one or two for yourselves. I think a couple actually belong to you guys. Let me know. I’m happy to pass them on to a new life.

I have a few more around the house that became pencil holders when the handle broke or the lip chipped. A purple Venus, a silver snowflake, a blue speckled tin. I can’t seem to let things go. isn’t that weird? I think so.

There’s some history in these mugs. Lots of cold mornings with a steaming cup of cider. Some snowy afternoons with hot chocolate to thaw your toes from the inside. Plenty of sick days with Russian Tea warming the mug and soothing your throat. It’s been fun looking at them with you.

You know, it’s not the mugs I’m hanging onto so much as it is the memories. Seems like that’s what it all really comes down to in most decisions. People, not things.

Love you all,

Mom

~~~~~

“Hot chocolate is like a hug from the inside.”

Categories: Family, Friday Letter to My Kids, Friday Letters | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments
 
 

Are Your Edges Tucked in Neatly or Sprawling?

Friday Letter to my Kids – March 6, 2015 –

Dear J, J, L and L,

Last night your Dad told me I’m predictable. This floored me. Sure I like to have some stability in my life, some routine. I seem to function best when I can anticipate and plan. Aren’t most people that way?

And you four, of all people, know my life has been mostly anything but predictable. I’ve learned to be a chameleon, adapting to all the various hues life’s thrown at me. Sometimes, I’ve felt like one of those Color Race runners, smeared in so much color it’s tough to figure out who’s who. I’m flexible and easy-going. That’s not predictable, is it?

In homage to my perceived unpredictability and spontaneity I even changed my mini chalkboard to this quote recently:

This week's thought...

This week’s thought…

Compared to your Dad, I suppose,  I’m a brick of predictability, a Stonehenge-sized rock of boringness, an Easter Island statue of immovability.

People keep holding up these mirrors that show me I’m not who I think I am. It’s a little unnerving and discombobulating and confusing and annoying.

I am cheerful though, usually. I at least try to maintain cheerfulness amid my staunchly dry toast without butter demeanor. Sitting here at my freshly cleaned up desk and pristine “writing room/guest bedroom” I look at my bulletin board and read these thoughts which daily remind me of my wish to be contagiously happy and sunshiny.

See, cheery thoughts that I look at multiple times a day. I might be predictable, but at least I’m smiling.

Why do I see being predictable as something negative? I’m not sure your Dad meant it as a negative. He probably said it as a fact, something with no value judgment attached at all.

There’s much to be said for predictability, stability and stick-to-it-iveness. It’s pretty much what keeps the world going forward. But then, so to, the unpredictable, unstable, outside-the-box-thinkers, who never want to color inside the lines or conform to anything. That’s where innovation and invention lives and produces. Mostly, anyway.

This saying also hangs within view from my desk:

photo 3-5 copy 11

A good idea.

It should probably be in Dad’s office and not mine. He has bigger dreams than I have. Mine are tiny and tentative and his are the epic kind that can change the world given a foothold. Or I could make one for each of you, since you’re young when dreams have such promise and possibility.

I guess I’ve always seen myself as a creative thinker. But, really, I’m a schlumpy, by the clock kind of person. I like to be on time or early. I like to have things to look forward to. I like a schedule and a plan. Even if I’m not great at following through with those plans. I need structure.

Where each of you fit on that spectrum, I’m not certain.  I know I’m wowed by what you accomplish and by how fearlessly you face forward. As always, I’m amazed that you’re my kids. I think you’re more like your Dad than like me. And that’s a good thing. A very good thing.

Really, you’re each simply a good mix of both your Dad and me and a bunch of stuff that’s uniquely your own. It’s fun watching you be you. Not a one of you has been predictable yet.

I sure love you!

Mom

~~~~~

“In fiction: we find the predictable boring. In real life: we find the unpredictable terrifying.” ~Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Categories: Friday Letters, Friday Letters to My Kids | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thirty Days to More Sanity

As if life isn’t already busy enough.

You too?

Yeah. I know. I’m surely crazy!

I’ve decided to accept the challenge this November.

No, I am not going to grow a mustache or beard, as easy as that would be now that I’m over a certain age. Not sure a female can really man up the same way. And I’m certain I don’t want to grow facial hair.

No, no. I am not attempting to write a novel in one month like participants in NaNoWriMo commit to.

Photo by joergens.mi

Pomegranates! Photo by joergens.mi

No, no, no. Neither am I celebrating or becoming more aware of pomegranates, veganism, pancreatic cancer, sweet potatoes, pet diabetes, sponges, manatees, gluten-freeness, inspirational role models, banana pudding, impotency, peanut butter lovers, entrepreneurship, healthy skin or thirty-plus other possible November commemorations.

I don’t even want to get my Christmas shopping done in the month of November. — Gasp! Get this woman some oxygen, STAT! — (Questioning my sanity at this point, aren’t you?)  In fact, I don’t want to purchase a single Christmas related item at all during this singular lunar phase of the year 2014.

My only goal for November?

Survive with my sanity intact through the end of the month.

You think I jest.

I jest not.

Juggling complete with theme music in the background!

Juggling complete with theme music in the background!

In case you haven’t noticed there’s this trend, obsession, thing monstrous idea that involves packing the months of October, November and December so full with causes, goals, events and busyness that a person can hardly breathe.

I refuse to participate in such nonsense. I just want to enjoy life, and be with people I love or at least like a lot. I don’t want to recreate some Pinterest-worthy scene to photograph and share on various social media platforms.

Of course, along with the added busyness, life throws its usual and not-so-usual curve balls and flaming batons and razor-sharp knives and expects you to juggle them while it sets you down on a cliff edge when it darn well knows you’re deathly afraid of heights.

And yet.

And yet, I have decided to jump in on NaBloPoMo.

Sounds almost obscene, I know. But in reality I think it’s a link to my sanity. Let me explain.

NaBloPoMo otherwise known as National Blog Post Month encourages, nay, offers prizes and incentives to, bloggers to post every single day during the month of November.

Why would I do such a thing? Most months of the year I barely post three times a week to my blog.

writing photoWhy indeed.

Because Writing (capital W) keeps me sane. Because Writing lets me download the contents of my swirling mass of thoughts and chaos to a manageable medium. Writing softens life’s blows. Writing helps me make sense of so much senseless nonsense. Writing helps me breathe better. Writing acts like nasal strips for the soul. (too much?)

Taking on the daily blog post challenge increases my writing time and hence, (yes, hence) my sanity.

If no one else reads what I write, that’s okay. It’s all for me all the time anyway. I’m just being selfish. I’m claiming the month of November for myself, come what may. Well, I’m claiming at least five hundred words a day for myself.

It’s a big step, but I feel empowered and excited and overly sleepy already.

Have I taken on more than I should? Will I feel saner in thirty-one days? Will the universe conspire against me?

No. Maybe. Yes, most certainly.

I’m standing on the cliff edge and taking the leap toward sanity.  I sure hope my parachute opens when it’s supposed to.

Wish me luck!

NaBloPoMo_November_0

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~Ray Bradbury

Categories: good ideas, Sanity, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What’s in Your Junk Drawer?

Image

My actual junk drawer!

We’re talking a drawer with the following dimensions: 10 x 20 x 3.5 inches

That’s 700 square inches, isn’t it? Good grief, that explains the magical qualities this drawer possesses!

Look at what this deceivingly cavernous small drawer holds!

The top visible layer:

  • scotch tape
  • sewing scissors
  • two pair regular scissors
  • craft paint
  • packing tape
  • glue sticks
  • 12 inch ruler (used to measure the drawer)
  • two screwdrivers
  • kid friendly magic markers
  • super glue
  • pencils
  • pens
  • roll of 5 mm leather cording
  • shoelace
  • ribbon
  • clothes pin
  • deck of playing cards
  • three-inch wide paint brush
  • batteries, mostly AAA
  • elastic bands

Digging in just a little:

  • candles, tapers and tea lights
  • yellow highlighter
  • roll of jute cord
  • packet of nails
  • permanent markers
  • matches
  • large tube of kitchen caulk
  • shelf brackets
  • key rings
  • a carabiner
  • extension cord
  • blue balloons
  • spool of white thread

Oxygen mask depth toward the back of the drawer:

  • multiple packets of fresh flower food
  • sample size bottle of liquid stevia
  • childproofing outlet cover
  • a lone cotton ball
  • screws, various sizes
  • paper clips
  • safety pins
  • magnets
  • zip ties
  • wildflower seeds (loose, dang it)
  • super glue
  • eraser refill
  • pink plastic diamond ring
  • thumbtacks
  • box cutter with rusty razor
  • bag of glass beads
  • o-rings, metal and rubber
  • chalk, a whole box
  • bungee cord mini sized
  • various crayons
  • green craft paint
  • spackling tool, with rust
  • metal bird Easter ornament
  • plastic over the door hook
  • pliers
  • a single red Lego
  • allen wrench
  • diaper pin (seriously?)
  • short length of chain
Non-Pinterest worthy mini organizer drawers. Notice that the ball needle has it's very own drawer!

Non-Pinterest worthy mini organizer drawers. (Notice that the ball needle has it’s very own drawer, 2nd row from top on the far left.)

Is that silly, or what?

No wonder I can’t find anything in this place. It’s all stuffed in the junk drawer. And I have a place designated for most of it. I own a  pencil holder, and a tool box, and a paint box, and toy boxes, and a sewing box, and a labeled organizer for tiny miscellaneous things. (None of these are Pinterest worthy, thank goodness.)

On a bright note, it took three years for this drawer to consume such a vast array of epic fabulousness and become a source of dissonance in my life. I know this because we moved into this house three years ago, give or take a month or two.

On another bright note, the drawer didn’t have any papers, old bills, photographs or receipts in it. Discussing the paper monsters requires several days worth of blog posts and I’m not so sure I have the emotional stamina right now to deal with that issue.)

On an odd note, there was no loose change of any kind in the drawer. Not even a gum covered penny or a sticky dime. What’s up with that?

Solution?

Dumping the entire contents out on a big towel on the floor clearly is the only way to deal with this much nonsense. Start fresh. Put on some tunes, freshen up my diet Coke, schedule an hour minimum and have my workout shoes on. Then every single tiny item gets put in its designated place. There shoudn’t be too much left over in the miscellaneous category. At least, that would be my dream.

I’ll clear some time on my itinerary for this project. Maybe this Saturday. And I’ll reward myself afterwards with something delicious, like a nap.

Take a deep cleansing breath at this point.

There! Now that you’ve peered into my junk drawer don’t you feel better about yours?

Categories: Family, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happymess is…

photo-17 copy 8

Yes, that’s how I meant to spell it. It’s what home life with children can evolve into. A Big Happymess.

Life with kids is messy. And it’s often happy. Sometimes both things at the same time. Sometimes it’s just messy. Rarely does blissful, unadulterated happiness occur. But it does happen. Often when the children are asleep. But awake time happiness happens, too. Admit it.

Read the following quotations, then you tell me. Does the word Happymess fit when describing family life?

“We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.” ~ Phyllis Diller

photo-18 copy 4

“The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable.” – Lane Olinhouse

photo-17 copy 9

“What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.” – Nicolas Sparks

photo-21 copy 2

“The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tires.” – Dorothy Parker

photo-19 copy 3

“Few things are more satisfying than seeing your own children have teenagers of their own.” ~ Doug Larson

photo-20 copy 2

“I don’t remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.”– Anne Lamott

“Parents are not interested in justice, they’re interested in peace and quiet.” – Bill Cosby

So what do you think? Am I right? Life’s a happymess, if you take the chaos with a grain of salt. A dose of laughter every day helps, as well.

Remember, If you don’t laugh a bit, you’re gonna cry a lot.

Enjoy the mess.

Categories: Family, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Questionable Recipes

I realized I’ve never posted a recipe here on my infamous blog.

Why? Perhaps because this isn’t a foodie blog?

I have posted photos of food several times which I’m not so sure counts. You see, my goal is to write, not just post photos. So why is my head bouncing around the idea of a recipe for today’s post? Of course, I’m going to explore this in my head a bit and then get back to you. While I’m gone you can contemplate the following photo which involved a two-year old and a DVD player.

Items found inside a non-working DVD player. Any idea why it wasn't working?

Items found inside a non-working DVD player. Any idea why it wasn’t working?

After a modicum of thought I have concluded this isn’t an actual RECIPE post, with something you can go buy the ingredients for and replicate in your own kitchen. No. Apparently not.

Rather, the muse has whispered three words, recipes for disaster.

Put two or three seemingly harmless ingredients together and stand back to see what happens.

Rain Dance

Carefully wash one car under a blue sky.

Leave outside for a few hours. Rain will follow shortly.

This one is almost always a guaranteed winner, particularly in a drought situation. Be sure not to let your real intention be to produce rain or the recipe will not work. Your sincere and only aim must be to have a clean and shiny car.

Stick-to-it-iveness

To one blender with a missing lid add one or two hungry and independent children.

Add milk, fruit and ice-cream. 

Not one of my favorites as it involves not just the floor but every surface in the kitchen, horizontal, vertical, curved, moving, alive or stationary. Burns large amounts of time easily. You’re sure to find stickiness for weeks afterwards.

Misery

Say goodbye to someone you won’t see for a long time, and within ten minutes of that get really crappy news from someone else. Add in a virus. Throw in the definite possibility that you’ve let a few people down and mix generously with insufficient sleep.

Serve with a generous side of self-pity and a headache. *Does not mix well with alcohol or driving or other human beings.

With recipes like this some serious medical attention may serve as desert.

There you have it. A good cook gone bad.

Maybe next time I’ll post my favorite bread recipe. Not original, but very edible.

Categories: Food, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Garage Nirvana

I did it.

Yup, finally and unequivocally I succeeded. It’s been a dream of mine for years now. And it happened.

I know to many of you it will seem silly and inconsequential. To me it is the first major accomplishment in a long list of successes to follow. At least I hope so.

What, pray tell, is this amazing feat I’ve managed?

20130828-114858.jpg

Look, it fits!! Hurrah!

My truck now fits inside the garage.

Ta da!!

I’m sorry if you feel let down. Maybe I can explain why this is so amazing to me and why I’m so happy about it. Then, you too, can celebrate and feel the wonder and peace that I now feel.

I have always been a person who thrives on order and predictability. As a kid I couldn’t fall asleep at night if my room were messy. Some nights I’d turn on the light and sort, organize, dust, sweep and mop for several hours before I could finally and blissfully fall into a well-ordered sleep.

To a child the world screams chaos and lack of control. Everyone else holds the puppet strings of your life, everything else dictates your every waking moment. Planning ahead yields little results when you’re young. Keeping my bedroom orderly and neat gave me one aspect of life that I could control.

I suppose I could have inflicted my own chaos into my bedroom, like so many children do, as a way of saying “this is my space, my life, don’t mess with this.” I see messy children’s bedrooms as just such a ploy to have some control in their lives. Chaotic control. Odd, but effective. Most parents are powerless to keep their children’s rooms clean.

I was the opposite. I cleaned, shined, tucked, folded and sorted. I loved the sense of calm a well-organized room brought with it. Honestly, with all the siblings I had, it was the one area in my life that was peaceful.

I always dreamed I’d have a clean and orderly home. A predictable world, a calm life.

Then I got married to a man who owned STUFF. He already had a 5 x 7 storage unit full of boxes of stuff. Me? I owned two boxes, one of which was books. And then we had children who need all kinds of stuff, beyond belief amounts of stuff.

And, it turns out, real life as an adult runs differently than the one a person fantasizes about as a youth.

Sigh.

Organize

Secret handbook I missed out on getting??  (Photo credit: alborzshawn)

We seemed to spontaneously produce STUFF like rabbits reproduce. I’m still not sure how that happens, the stuff, not the rabbits. I feel like I missed an important lecture day at school once in fifth or sixth grade. Maybe they taught “How STUFF replicates and how to prevent it.” Wish I’d been there that day.

Anyway, fast forward to life beyond apartments to life with a garage to store all the stuff. Not many people realize it, but garages were originally invented to house vehicles, not boxes of miscellaneous crap and treasures.

So while our not so pricey and not so shiny vehicles have spent summers and winters, rain and dust storms outside in the elements, our cardboard treasure trove has baked and frozen season after season in the garage.

About once a year we attempt to deal with it all. We vow to downsize, we garage sale, we donate, we sort, we give away, we send kids home with boxes, we fill up the trash bin, we recycle, we even bring things into the house. But the stuff seems to continue to take up just enough space in the garage that a car, even a small one, just can’t squeeze in. (I chronicle this event in an earlier post here.)

I admit to coveting those garages with cabinets with doors and a pristine finish on the cement floor. Oh, and no oil leak puddles.

But no more.

A few months ago, after sending children and their own boxes out into the world on their own adventures, I squished and scrunched, sorted and tossed and made room for my truck to fit inside the garage. The door even closes! It sounds easier than it was, but I’ll spare you the details.

Why is this such a big deal?

Because it gives me hope that the inside of my house, especially the closets and cabinets, can also reach garage nirvana. One day I’ll be able to open a cabinet door and, voilà, what I need will be exactly where I knew it would be.

“A place for everything and everything in its place.” Peace will finally be mine.

Someday, soon.

Of course, there’s an awful loud quietness about the house now that the kids have moved on. Apparently that’s the price of order.

Perhaps I’ll leave a bit of chaos about the house after all.

Maybe I’ll just stand in the garage doorway and admire my handiwork. The rest of the house can wait for a bit.

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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