Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Monday, October 24, 2016


Well it started nicely enough with a long snuggle with Sprout on the big comfy bed and a slow wake up.

She asked for a bologna sandwich for breakfast and I obliged.  Heated some sausage biscuits for me.  Poured some OJ.  Settled at the table for a bite and some dinking around on the computer.

But then...

Then the cup of OJ levitated itself, turned over, and send an orange wave of utter, citrusy destruction flowing across the table and onto my computer, phone, and plate of biscuits.  Before I could even reach for a towel, juice was dripping onto the floor. And my feet.

One dishcloth and half a roll of paper towels later, it seemed like I had it all cleaned up, but my computer had a black screen and wouldn't talk to me.  Oh.  No.

As I ate an OJ infused biscuit, I pondered what to do.  Screaming and crying seemed like good options, but maybe I shouldn't just leap right into panic mode.

By the way, slightly orange juiced sausage biscuits are not horrible.

I decided to turn off Albino Bob and restart him.

So far, so good.  My keys may be a little sticky because they're the recessed kind and I can't pop them off for cleaning, but I'll live...and so, I believe, will Bob.  Now to finish breakfast and see what else Monday wants to throw at me.  Oy.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

I know I've written quite a bit about depression of late.  I have an idea that it gts boring, reading about it, but in part I post because if there's someone out there who is looking for words, maybe mine will help...and if there's someone out there who is trying to help, maybe these posts will help...and sometimes I need to get things out of my head somehow, and writing about it helps.

So here's another thing about depression.

I had a pretty good day, today.  The Evil Genius is hanging with his father, and Someone offered to hang out with our daughter while I took some time for me.

I spent a few hours with K2, catching up and whatnot.

I found (thanks to K2) a new crochet pattern to try.

I came home and got some dishes done, listened to some music, had a bit of peaceful family time.

And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, for no discernible reason, I felt like I could cry.

In the middle of cooking dinner, I felt overwhelmed by sadness.

As the linguine bubbled in its pot, I felt a sense of futility.

As I stirred the mussels in garlic tomato sauce with white wine, I felt miserable.

As I seasoned and tasted the spinach, I felt empty and useless.

This is depression, the thief of joy, dimmer of color, taker of contentment.

It comes out of nowhere, flies back into nowhere, doesn't give a body a target to aim at, smashes and grabs and disappears, leaving a lingering greyness to life in its wake.

Nothing and no one can cure this.  It is to be endured, survived as best as can be, borne until it fades away for a brief respite.  It doesn't make sense, it can't be reasoned with, there is no logic to it.

I hate it.  I don't hate much or many, but depression?  Yeah...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


"Mama, what do oak trees do?"
"They grow tall and wide and produce acorns."
"No, but what do they REALLY do?"
"Ask one and see what it says."
She did.  It didn't answer.  I told her to listen differently.  She did.  Now she won't tell me what it said.
Code enforcement came by the house yesterday.  Some kind anonymous soul called them to complain about trash and debris in our yard.  They knocked on the door, told me who they were and why they were there, and let me know that my yard is fine.  Nothing wrong.  They didn't understand why they were called.

There is no trash or debris in our yard.  There has not been.  There will not be.  Since Someone got out of prison he has been coming over in his spare time and cleaning up the yard, in fact.

I explained that I knew who called, even though they can't tell me...same person who has done all of the calling since she moved in next door, and it was likely because they don't like us and are trying to harass us into moving.  The officers were not happy.  They know they've been out here before for nothing and don't like that kind of BS.  Code enforcement and law enforcement are not meant to be used to bother neighbors or try to make their lives hell.

I was polite, friendly, and helpful.  I listened and answered with a light tone of voice and with respect.  They apologized profusely for bothering me, and I answered that they have a job to do and I don't grudge them doing it one little bit.  They appreciated that.

Every time they are called out here by Anonymous for nothing, they become a little less inclined to think kindly of her.  They will always respond and come to the house, but they will also likely keep note of how often they are sent on a wild goose chase.

I suspect Anonymous will be finding herself on the receiving end of a nuisance citation from local law enforcement if she keeps this up.  I suspect I may feel the need to stop making nice if she keeps this up.  I suspect I may look into whether I can bring a suit against her for harassment if she doesn't cut it out.  I suspect she will learn the hard way that I will not be budged once I dig in my heels, and that kindness and compassion will move mountains but pissy assholery will garner less than nothing from me.

Some folks just have to learn the hard way.
"Mama, where should I plant my oak tree?"
She found some acorns and wants to grow trees.  She has an idea that it will be instant...but trees are not like microwave popcorn.  Trees take time and patience and there is no guarantee.  I suggested planting them in the woods.  If they don't turn into trees, then perhaps they can at least turn into a squirrel's breakfast.
Someone has been working in the yard and garden.  11 days back out in the world and he's already cleaned up 2 years of neglect in about 1/3 of the space I've ignored.  I'm so NOT a yard work kind of person!
I believe in second chances.
"I want to be a veterinarian."
"When can I be one?"
"Well, you'll need some specialized schooling and whatnot, so maybe when you're a grown-up, but we can find ways to help animals long before that."
"I'm going to feed the kitties!"

It's a start.
I'm in love with the way the sunlight slips gently into Casa de Crazy through the windows and gives a pale golden glow to everything it touches.  I am not often a person of favorites, but I do hold Autumn highest in my seasonal esteem.
How are you doing?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bitch, Moan, Complain, Woof

Sigh. I'm trying to be my better self, but I'm annoyed and my compassion is slipping. The neighbors have a rather bark-y dog, looks and sounds like maybe a hound mix. It barks and barks and BARKS incessantly when we're out in our yard. It stands at the fence (which they put almost to the property line so it's quite close to Casa de Crazy) and hollers and growls at us constantly. The neighbors knows the dog does this and will occasionally make a half-hearted attempt at hushing the critter, mostly consisting of yelling the dog's name several times and then ignoring it as it continues to chastise us for existing. It seems supremely disinterested in making friends or being congenial. While I'm adept at ignoring noise for the most part, it is awfully difficult to ignore or be tolerant at 6:30 in the morning, or when we're outside dealing with the trailer, playing in the yard, even trying to have a simple conversation while enjoying the lovely weather out there. Bark, bark, barkbarkbarkbarkBAAARRRRRK!!!! We can't even walk to the mailbox or the shprt distance to the van without an explosion of woofs and general sounding of the hound alert announcing "DEFCON 5, THE HOTTENTOTS ARE COMING, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD WOOOOOOOOOF!!!!!" They haven't shown any interest in or effort towards teaching any of their dogs manners, and as they are usually indoors when the dog is outdoors, they just ignore the muffled noise inside their house seemingly without regard to how it disrupts anyone else's day. The dog is being a dog, telling us to keep away from its territory, warning its humans that strangers are near, and telling the world at large that it's ready to protect its pack. I get it. What I don't get is how any human who is kept by a dog could let it go apeshit that way and not teach it when to warn and when to be silent, how any human can keep from responding when their canine family member is going off like that. Dogs bark to communicate. Letting them bark constantly like that tells them that they don't matter or that they need to be louder and more urgent to get your attention. Also? It's rude as fuck. So now that you've read this far, question: What do I do about it? The neighbor is the unpleasant one,. When she saw me unhitching the trailer yesterday she rather hopefully asked if we were moving. So dejected when I replied no, we aren't moving, I was just keeping the trailer here now so it's handy for me. Trying to talk to her is like trying to hug a thorn bush...awfully prickly, not really productive, and not likely to be worth the effort. So do I call animal control? Code enforcement? The cops? Do I find some canine Valium and feed it doctored hot dogs? What's a gal to do?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

In With the New

I have a new boyfriend.

I met him at Lowe's a couple of months ago.  Mom was with me, and she thought he was pretty nice, too.  She approves of him.  She thinks he'll be a huge help with getting chores done around here.

Do you believe in love at first sight?  I don't know how I feel about that.  I think we can convince ourselves that we're in love only to find it fading as quickly as it came over us.  But this?  This is The One.  I knew as soon as I saw him.  After we met, I spent hours daydreaming about him as I stood at the sink, stared out the window, and washed some of the unending piles of plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, and goddess knows what else was in the sink at any given moment.

He's not flashy, but he's nice to look at, he's quiet, confident, he works hard, and he does dishes.  He does dishes!  Eeeeee!

He's also nice to touch.  Smooth, firm, steady on his feet, well  leveled.  He moved in yesterday and is already integrated into life at Casa de Crazy.

He's not camera shy so I took some photos of him just after he got settled.  He's quite comfortable and I think he means to stay.  
He fits right in, and I'm hoping that this will last a long, long time.  
Even the kids are delighted to have him here with us.

Would you like to meet him?

Have a look:

 Oooh, sexy devil...
 Hmm...so strong...
 He has a big heart...

Oh, yeah...
Wait, what?  You thought I was talking about a person?

Oh...umm...no...no...but I guess I can see where you might think that.

Sorry 'bout the confusion.

Now if you'll excuse me (and even if you won't), I'm going to go fondle my new love, push a few of his buttons, run my hand lovingly across his front, and see how much of my dirty (dishes) he can handle at once.

How're YOU doing?

Friday, September 23, 2016


I am preparing for race week.  What this means for me is a little house cleaning, a little taking out the trash and laundry, a little doing of dishes, a little planning of menus, and a lot of making sure things get put into the van so when I go set up my registration area, I have what I need and don't have to make trips.  I'm lazy and don't want to make trips.
After race week, I'm going to Ohio with the kids to camp and hang out with friends and not do much of anything.  I lam looking forward to simply being in a place that I love with people that I love and no obligations to perform, vend, organize, or whatnot.  First things first, getting through race week mostly intact.
Next Saturday, Someone gets out of prison.  He wants the opportunity to talk and work things out.  I can't, in good conscience, deny him at least the opportunity...but if I am true to my feelings, true to myself, I can't give him false hope.  My emotional heart's tired and not in it.  Loneliness is no excuse to hurt another person, and I'm already hurting him with this ending.
Autumn nears.  If the crunchy brown leaves on the driveway aren't clue enough, today I hauled trash out and pottered in the garage for a little while and I didn't feel as if I was going to melt into a puddle after five minutes, and my clothing wasn't soaked with sweat.  The mosquitoes are trying to convince me that it's still summertime, but it's a losing battle.
A friend of mine did an adult activity book called 'Murica, and it's available on Amazon.  It has caused me much laughter.  Go check it out, and maybe order a copy - you'll likely find something in it to make you chortle, and you'll be helping an independent and truly marvelous person make ends meet.
The Unpleasant Neighbor has many dogs.  That's okay, I have many cats, I don't judge.  However, several of her many dogs are quite vociferous.  Especially when we exit casa de Crazy and try to enjoy our outdoor environs.  Yarf.  Yap. Bark.  Woof.  WoofwoofwoofwoofwoofWWWWOOOOOOOOOFFFFFF!!!!!

I try to ignore it, sometimes talk to it and try to reassure it that we're all good, try not to let it bother me, but when I am trying to sleep and it's before the sun is up and the kids let the dog into the yard as they leave for school and it barks incessantly and no one in their house wants to get up and let it in, and when that barking is done at the part of their fenced area that is almost on top of the outside of the wall against which my bed rests on the inside, well...I'm only human.  It wakes me up every damned morning.

On the upside, if the irresponsible humans who have done nothing to train their critter friends and generally ignore them leave the dogs out during the day, they let me know when anyone has come down the driveway, so it's much more difficult for people to sneak up on Casa de Crazy.  I do try to find the good in things.  Woof.

This made me laugh entirely too hard.  I neither know nor care if it's photoshopped.  A laugh is a laugh.

I learned a new crochet pattern.  It's meant to be a peacock feather but I kind of modified it to be a leaf-ish thing.  I'm thinking of making a shawl of a whole mess of them.  First I have to make the whole mess of them, but I can do that while I ignore the TV of an evening.  It's a tiny thing, really, but many tiny things can be made into big things, and I feel pretty chuffed about it.
If you are on Facebook, check out the Bangor, Maine page.  I adore it.  If it were in the cards fro me to relocate to Bangor, Maine, that page would be one of the motivating factors.  I could happily live in a place where even ONE of the officers has that kind of good humor.
This song was stuck in my head today.  Now it can be stuck in yours.  Cyndi Lauper has some serious vocal chops and I respect the hell out of her talent.

What're you up to, these days?  Small or large, what's making you happy?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I got out of bed today.

Oh, sure, I know, big deal.

Well, yeah.  It IS a big deal.  There's this Thing in my psyche that doesn't WANT me to get out of bed, or do anything, so it can tell me how useless I am.  When I disobey the Thing and get up, it gets angry and yells at me.

So I got up and listened to the Thing grumble and complain about what a waste of time it was.

Then I did things.

The Thing doesn't like when I do things.  It wants me to curl up and stare at nothing and do nothing and feel like nothing.  The Thing feeds on all that nothing, and it's always hungry.

So I got up and did things.  Maybe it won't seem like much to anyone who doesn't have a Thing in their psyche, but it felt like moving mountains to me.  I took trash out.  I cleaned a cat box.  I swept cat poop up from the floor in the room they've decided looks enough like their toilet to suit their needs because I left the cat box I cleaned for too long.  I did dishes, and then some more dishes.  I fed the outdoor kitties and pet them.  Then I did more dishes because there are always more dishes.  I cleaned my toilet.  I cleaned the toilet in the hall bathroom.  I took a nap.  I shuffled through the leaves on the driveway and crunched them under my feet.  I made a lap for the indoor cats to claim in the name of Kittykind.  I am writing this blog post.

All the while, the Thing is grumbling and growling and telling me how it's too much, it's not enough, it's pointless and useless and so am I.  It's not a very nice Thing.  It doesn't like for me to feel good about anything, to be proud of myself.  It hates my music, photography, art.  It hates when I sew.  It hates that I figured out how to watch Netflix via the Wii because the Evil Genius's PS2 crapped out on us, and I figured it out on my own. 

The Thing likes to hit below the belt.  It tells me I'm a horrible mother, that homeschooling my kids is is ruining them, that every person who tells me I should put them in public school here in Redneck Central is right and I am wrong and that I'm not smart enough to teach them.  It tells me I'm going to be lonely for the rest of my life because really, look at myself, who would want anything to do with that mess?  It tells me everything, everything, everything is futile.

Despite the Thing in my psyche, I got up today.  I get up every day.  Maybe not for long, but I get up.  I wash a bowl.  I make breakfast for Sprout or encourage her to make her own.  Maybe I sweep a room.  Maybe I do a load of laundry.  Maybe I run an errand.  Something.  I do something.

And then maybe I go lie down again, because Thing wrestling is exhausting.  And maybe I think about all of the nothing I got done and feel bad.  But maybe I don't lie down, because Thing wrestling is constant and I have to remind it, remind me, who's running this show.

Happiness is not a choice.  Depression is not a choice.  Dragging my tired, depressed self through one day and into the next IS a choice.  I don't always want to, but I choose.

Every time I get out of bed, the Thing loses.  Maybe some day, if the Thing loses enough battles, it'll quiet down and let me have a few minutes of peace in my head.  I'd like that.