Sunday, March 01, 2015

a day of Whys

I woke up to the taste of saltwater.

And the refrain of a bittersweet birthday song.

I'd been dreaming.  Of a tiny white perfect bird in my hand, unable to fly.  Until I let go.

It wasn't a dove... it was like a baby chickadee, in pure white.

Only when I separated my hands and raised them to the sky, did it fly from the cocoon I had imagined was keeping it safe.

And it felt a lot like how we had to release Gracie, knowing her flight wouldn't bring her back to us.

She's eleven, you know.

It's hard to accept that more than a decade has passed, because some wounds refuse to heal.

Time doesn't heal everything.  Because there simply is a hole where she belongs.

My sister spends today at the ocean.  Like she always does when celebrating her girl's birthday.

Last year ten pink and purple balloons lifted high above the sand on an overcast and windy day.

And I reaffirm every year that God is good.  That we shouldn't waste the hard things.  That Gracie brought SO MUCH MORE than heartbreak to our family.

I am stunned, again and again, how many of you have experienced this kind of grief in your families.  How you survive and keep breathing, keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Keep loving.

Because today, there's saltwater on my cheeks and a birthday song in my heart.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Crazy Christmas Gifts You Didn't Get

I know… we’ve been pathetically absent from the blog.

We are still alive.

Still fighting the good fight against stoopid cancer.

Still losing teeth and growing like a weed (thankfully only Boog).

We moved.

This is still my favorite part of the whole place.

The orchard and the pumphouse covered in roses are close seconds.

Or the resident bald eagle and deer families in our backyard.

Or the quail! 

We got a new horse.

She is a stinker.

But she’s also beautiful, brave, and spunky.

The dude… is still ornery.

These two are still pretty much best friends.

And obviously, she hasn’t stopped being a punk whenever I have my camera out.

But that’s not why you’re here.  You’re here to partake in the annual “where does she find this insane stuff to buy online” tradition.

(At least let me pretend you are, so I’m not the only crazy one here)

Blogger wasn't playing nice and went all incommunicado before Christmas.  It's also making pictures sizes all wonky.  So you're left with a badly formatted post-holiday sigh-of-relief list of things you are glad you didn't get... sorry.

Letting the animals kick us off here:

 Because no pooch’s life is complete without a chihuahua Michael Jackson shirt.  Amiright?


 And who hasn’t wanted their very own billy goat?

 At first I thought this was a mighty expensive garden ornament.

My baaaaaad.

So this cute little resin pet is meant to live inside your house and is a steal because it’s no longer $745.  SEVEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS, friends.

And it wouldn't have even arrived by Christmas.


Might I draw your attention to an excellent alternative?

They are great lawn ornaments!

They take care of your leftovers for you!

And you can even ride them!


When your mom is not watching.

And way cheaper than $745.


So how about some starving reindeer placemats from Zulily?

Or “Moose” as they seem to think these are.

Whatever.  Get him a sammich.

More specialness from Zulily.

I hate to be all OCD, (but I’m totally going to be all OCD)
…but that’s not a SITTING deer figurine. 


And we’d like to commemorate that with gold spray and sell it for you to display.


But it still isn’t quite as special as these plucked bird candleholders.


But I saved the worst animal what the what? for last.  Behold:

I can’t even…

This has apparently sold and is no longer available.  And now I wish I’d screenshot more of the description.  But I’m also kind of glad I didn’t.  Now you can thank me that your search engine has never seen the words, “squirrel syphillis taxidermy”.  You’re welcome.

(and for the record… so many people have sent me links to favorite squirrel items after the whole “samurai squirrel” thing… that these are now the kind of products Etsy suggests for me.  Niiiiice.)


Moving on to something non-rabid and actually on my Christmas list?

You guuuuuys!

It’s a Big Wheel for big kids!

Who else had one of these?  Remember when you’d start madly pedaling from a dead stop and it would just grind the plastic on the asphalt for the first couple of revolutions, then it’d finally catch and you’d be off like the wind?  Nothing like it.

Except this.

For a stinking $565.

A girl can dream…


But my next wheeled item is just… no.

This is what happens when you search for “kitchen island” on Craigslist.

Someone posts something that people laid on who were sick or injured.  And thinks it would be way cool for you to serve salsa and chips on.

I’m all about repurposing… but not when bodily fluids may have been involved.


Like here…

Looks like a great creative gift to give the kids in your life.  Until you realize…

Yes.  Yes they are.

They are both drinking each other’s drink.  Or some kind of weird soda/lemonade/sibling saliva mixture thereof.



And oh hey… back to that salsa.  In case you ever put out a bowl of tortilla chips, some smashed up avocado, and some red stuff with tomatoes and onions and cilantro… and your guests just couldn’t figure out what was what?

For $4.99, you can make sure they don’t accidentally eat guacamole instead of salsa.  I can’t remember the last time that happened to me…


But a true food emergency would be having these:

…and realizing they are just ceramic.

Holla!  Ceramic asparagus!

Hurry, there’s only two left!


You could serve them on your Christmas platter that showcases some inexplicably large mushrooms!

Because nothing says Happy Holidays like a reindeer in a jacket standing next to giant shrooms.

But again, hurry!  Only five left!


Moving on to beverages.

Y’all know we’ve been off coffee for more than a year now
(with a few cheats, because some days you might actually have to FUNCTION).

I’m half tempted to get one of these just to see the look on Mr. Daddy’s face one morning.  Something tells me that wouldn’t end well, though.

Flavors you never knew your life was lacking.


And something else we’ve all been lacking?  Toilets as pieces of art!

I got nothing man.  Nothing.  It seems awkwardly celebratory for bowel movements.


Perfect for Christmas!  Didn’t you say you needed a nativity?  And it has to be blue?

What is really terrific about this listing (click on photo), is that they’ve managed to stage it in such a way that the 11 inch Joseph looks like he’s lifesize.

What’s even awesomer?  Is that there’s a new variation on the “I don’t know what to do with my hands” thing that Mary and Joseph always have.

Mary usually has her hands out like she’s ready to catch a basketball, and Joseph usually has one hand on a staff and the other in position for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Instead, he’s totally got his swagger on and is all, “Hey homies! Joe in the house!”

You guys… someone go buy this.


But really, what Mr. Daddy needs next Christmas?  For reals?  Is a new one of these:

Someone please send him a thyroid.  Life would be much easier :)

(Thyroid in a jar… who thinks to make this stuff?  Awesome!)


And I saved a really fun one for last.  Because maybe there will be one of these all wrapped up for Mr. Daddy under the tree next year!?!

I can’t decide which one I like best?  You?

Let’s just let Mr. Daddy worry about opening his presents in front of family, ha!
(Shana… I need you to mail me the wavy rainbow ones on the left within 363 days, ha!)


So that wraps up our belated 2014 Crazy Christmas Gift Guide.  So if you were already late, maybe these are all on sale now!

And can I say that we have missed you this year?  That crazy Thing I Can’t Talk About?  I can talk about this coming year, so buckle up.  It’s gonna be a great 2015!

Disclaimer: I only put all the links in out of sheer terror of “companies suing penniless bloggers”.  None of the links are affiliate links and I get zilch if you click on them.  You, however, might find yourself in a weird wacky world of bizarre items for sale.  No harm no foul if you think these are awesome gifts.  I just can’t quite figure out WHO they’d be perfect for.  If it’s YOU?  Nice to meet ya!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

not for the faint of intestine


I’d say it’s not for the faint of heart, but the unfortunate reality is that there is a significant grossness to report from the past few weeks.


That’s all the fair warning you get.


I should have known when I walked in the door and this sight greeted me in our bathroom.




My husband grimly informed me that the septic (joy #492 of country living) had backed up into our showers.


Umm… G-R-O-S-S.


Now y’all remember that I’m no stranger to disgusting calamities around here.  Apparently I’m a magnet for bathroom drama.



The time my kid chased a fly with a stream of urine… at Target.

And when he defaced church property in a flooded bathroom.

Another memorable hold-your breath Target moment.  And many more…



My husband kindly informed me that the bucket was to accommodate any bladder emergencies I might have.


Did I mention that the septic guy showed up THREE DAYS LATER?


Oh to be a boy!


Speaking of which… this one very rudely turned EIGHT.




Let’s just say that this picture sums up how our entire family felt after the crazy week:




Somehow we managed to cram Mother’s Day, two baseball games, my sister’s birthday, his birthday, my birthday, and a school concert in a few days.  Madness.




This kid is scary good with WWII history.  Even when he’s giving soldiers bunny ears for photo ops.  Love his 8-year old mind.





But MY birthday present?  Was a day with my mom and sister.


And this picture perfectly illustrates the kind of insanity that happens when we get together.  An upside-down shot of us rocking out to classic Amy Grant.


(You’ll have to pardon my expression… apparently I was having a seizure and choking on my own tongue.  Gah)





Our day got kind of turned around, and instead of buying anything at the awesome stores we drove an hour to get to… we devoured an incredible Thai lunch then got lost and wound up at an estate sale.

So the grand purchase of the day was an antique rake.


Which led to some interesting moments when I tried to turn around to lipread my sister.




It also led to a solemnly revised verse:

“You hypocrite, first take the plank rake out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s sister’s eye.”

Matthew 7:5



And in one of those fancypants stores… my sister was captured doing exactly what she does to people who wear momjeans.




I can’t take her ANYWHERE.




Hoping for a birthday girls photo, Mom snapped a few.  Predictably, we went for the silly shot, so I stuck my tongue out.


I really should stop being surprised anymore.


That girl LICKED my tongue.





Yes, that’s me mortified, and her cracking herself up.


As if that grossness was not enough… her apropos birthday wish for me included this gem:






Lest you think that Mr. Daddy was absent in all the madness… here he is coaching after a long day at work.  Hasn’t Cindy Lou Who grown?!?




Back to the grossness.


We alternated sick days after the birthday craziness.  Those ridiculous head colds that refuse to go away.

Once feeling better, I stumbled upon this nauseating scene:



You just KNOW there’s a gruesome story behind that.  I didn’t even ask.


And while we’re talking about gross unexplainable things… what is up with this?





This is a package of brand new underwear. 



Why does this need to be resealable?

Who is storing their underwear in the original packaging?

Inquiring minds.



And of course… inquiring minds also would like to know why *ahem* some kids are so stubborn about letting go of their teeth?


This one ate everything like this for a good week:





You’re welcome for not showing you the actual video of this…


loose tooth


He went to bed, after refusing my plea to let me tug it gently…

and by morning, he’d swallowed it.


Trust me, this Tooth Fairy is NOT dealing with fecal inspections to recover this tooth.


I have my standards.  Right?

(Commence doody jokes.  This is totally gonna bite him in the butt, right?)


You’ll recall that I have survived some of the most gag-worthy things a mother of a small boy… remember when he flicked an eye booger in my mouth as I was praying?



Just remembering that makes me really glad he’s this cute.  Especially toothless.


(Help me… lipreading just got a LOT harder!)




But to counter all the awful-no-good-things that conspired against us in that week… my mother sent me something that makes me smile every.single.time.




This is Emily.

She is quite possibly the coolest teenager in the Northwest.

My mom is awesome.  Upon meeting Emily, she asked if she could take her picture.  She explained that her squirrel-loving daughter has a blog and told her she’d most likely be appearing on it.


So introductions: Emily, blogreadersBlogreaders, Emily.


You guys both rock.

Like almost as much as running water and flushing toilets.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

unexpected texts, and other painful things



My sister sent me a picture the other day.


You know… my sister of a million hairstyles?


The funny one?





The one who inherited the “this only happens to me” gene.  Except, it apparently only happens to both of us.


The picture.  Yeeeeeaaaaah… it took me awhile.




Until she sent a followup explanation via text.





So you’ll notice that I was immediately helpful.  I gave her the best advice I had.


And I can get away with offering that advice because SQUIRREL.




And yes, I call her “Ju”.  As in short for “Junebug”.  But unfortunately when I try to get her attention in public, I get all kinds of nasty looks for what they think I’m yelling, “Jew, hey JEW – I’m over here!”


Good times.


Now, for a closeup of what my poor sister looked like with her hand stuck in her VCR…




Yeah, she’s pretty much killing me for posting this.


I mean, if she ever gets free from that VCR.



So while the poor chick’s left hand was stuck, she apparently was able to text me with her right hand.  Which I’m sure she soon regretted.




So I threw out the only pun I could think of.


She was not impressed.





She was stuck for nearly an hour.


You try explaining to your dad what the text message “Are you aware your daughter is stuck in the VCR?” means.


And then I kinda felt bad.  Okay, really bad after I saw the picture of the aftermath.




And I knew that she wouldn’t be able to blog about it with a busted up hand.  So I decided to do her a favor and post it for her.  And, y’know, share it on Facebook and Twitter, et al.  Because I’m thoughtful like that.


And because NO ONE would believe me if I said it happened to someone other than me.


I’m sure she’ll be appreciative.





Help me out… what puns did I miss?  You guys think of the best ones!