Friday, July 31, 2015

Cute Kidisms 6

Number 6 is here! Please keep sharing your so I can keep writing them! I need more material!

Tell me some cute thing your kids misuse or mispronounce!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Podunk USA

I grew up in a small town, population under 500, covering 36 square miles. This town was not podunk, at all! There were pristine lakes, wooded areas and nice tourist shops. Houses are mostly nice, many lake homes. It is a very popular area to visit because of the lakes and trails. Fishing, hunting and snowmobiling are common pastimes.

Fast forward to 2002 when I moved to a very podunk town. The population is 700, covering less than a square mile (435 acres), and surrounding the town are farm fields as far as the eye can see. Lakes are few and far between and the nearest town for shopping and restaurants is 21 miles away. It is not a big town. The population is under 14,000 but at least they have Target, Walmart, a large grocery store, a mall, movie theaters, and many convenience stores and chain restaurants.

My town has an elementary school, a police station, a fire department, a bank, a post office, a park, a bakery, a small grocery store, a pay at the pump gas station, a bar, a self serve car wash, a nursing home, a grain elevator, and a few small businesses. Main street is 2 city blocks.

There is no way out of town on the south side, to the main highway, without having to cross the railroad tracks, so we spend a lot of time waiting for trains. If we are going north, it is all back roads.

There is one 4 way stop, just stop signs, no stop lights.

It is not uncommon to get stuck driving behind a manure spreader or tractor/combine. I have had to drive partially off the road to get around them, and have had my van splattered with manure leaking from the truck.

We can walk to anywhere in the town.

There are almost no choices for kids activities beyond the standard baseball, football, volleyball, and basketball. We go to another town for Karate and Dance.

Everyone knows everyone and their business. Gossip is a common pastime.

Twice a year, the entire town smells literally like shit for two weeks straight.

Harvest is a big deal around here, mainly corn. My eyes get completely itchy from corn dust.

County wide, there are only 4 people per square mile.

To the east and west of us are equally podunk towns, which are included in our school district.

Farm kids spend time selling corn out of the back of their pickups.

The trailer park consists of half of the in town population.

There are mostly older homes built in the 70's.

In town lots are bigger than average, 75x150

Most people have a garden and fire pit in their back yard. Possibly also a swing set, trampoline, sandbox, and blowup pool in the summer.

Mailboxes are on the street in clusters of 3-5.

The noise of the trains and grain elevator sometimes keep me up at night.

There is only one choice for land line telephone service, cable tv, and satellite tv, and two choices for internet.

There are only two school bus stops in town, and country kids get picked up at their houses. Many kids need to get on the bus an hour and a half before school starts. The school district includes 3 towns, yet there are under 300 students in grades K-5 (elementary school), and under 300 students in grades 6-12 (high school). The high school is in the next town over, 4 miles west of here.

Have you been to a podunk town? Tell me about it!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cute Kidisms 5

Number 5! Woo Hoo! Keep sharing yours and I will keep writing these!

What cute kidism does your kid say?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

In Her Shadow

For as long as I can remember my twin sister has outdone me in every area of life.

As a child she bossed me around and I did whatever she wanted. She was the leader.

In elementary school I had to be in a reading group since I was in the lowest level of reading.
She didn't.

In high school, I was the fat twin (130), she was the skinny twin (117).
She was the smart twin (A's), I was the dumb twin (B's).
She was the good twin (never did a bad thing), I was the bad twin (drinking, smoking, and sex).
She was the pretty twin (long blonde hair, good skin), I was the ugly twin (Short permed hair, bad acne).

In college she finished her bachelor's degree on the dean's list.
I only made it one semester, my grades sucked so bad they cut off my financial aid.
She went on to get a master's degree.

I got married and have lived in the same state my whole life.
She lived in many states, and another country.

She did volunteer work for a year, I never did.

I live in a old terribly run down house. She is about to buy a brand new custom home.
Her household income is 1.5 times what ours is. She has investments and savings. We have an overdrawn checkbook.
Her kid go to private school, mine go to public school.

Most recently, she even outdid me in childbirth. She had a 51 1/2 hour labor and vaginal delivery after two previous cesareans. My longest labor was 33 hrs, and I never did a VBAC.

The differences are tantamount to that of strangers. There is nothing about our lives that give any indication of our parallel upbringing. I have no idea how this happened, and I have no idea how to stop the madness. I am sick of being outdone at every turn but I have no clue how to turn the tides.

Maybe acceptance is the first step to finding peace with it, or to stop feeling like a mere shadow of her. I do not stand out in any area of life. I have no major accomplishments that make me anything but just less than her.

I wonder what will be next. I am always waiting for the next big thing she will do.

I realize comparison is the thief of joy and all that jazz, I just don't know how to stop trying to measure up to my own twin. I also do not think people realize what it feels like to be a twin, let alone feel like your twin out does you at every turn. It is a very hard thing for people to understand.

I love my sister dearly. She is my best friend. I am happy for all her accomplishments. I just wish I was better than her in some way, just one thing. That is all I want!

We are that coin, I am the shadow, she is the light. We cannot exist without each other.

Is there someone in your life that you feel like you are always in her shadow?


Monday, July 13, 2015

Cute Kidisms 4

Part 4 has arrived! Keep the cute misused or mispronounced words used by your kids coming and I will keep using them!

What are your favorite cute kidisms said by your kids?

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Day in the Life of My Freakish Mind

My mind is sort of freakish. If I am worried, concerned or stressed out about something, I have random thought about anything that could possibly go wrong concerning the matter at hand. This symptom is part of my anxiety disorder and the one I hate the most. I had a day recently where this happened all day long. I am here to give you a glimpse of what that looked like. Unfortunately, it happens more than I care to admit.

It was the Thursday before Independence Day. We would be leaving for the weekend the next morning. I had a ton of shit to get done and didn't have time for nonsense. I packed my children's suitcases when I got up. Then they went to a friends for the day so I could run errands, pack my own things and make a potluck item to take with us for the party we would be attending.

I left the house two hours before I was due at a doctor appointment. I stopped for gas at the next town over, about 7 miles away. As I was just about finished pumping gas, a cop pulled up at the pump beside me. I went into a panic because I had expired tabs and I still had to go in and pay.

These thought went through my head as I finished, walked in and paid:

  • Oh, no! What should I do?
  • He's gonna give me a ticket, I just know it!
  • Should I tell him I am on my way to get tabs?
  • Maybe I should say hi to make myself look less suspicious,
  • or maybe that will make me more suspicious, I don't know.
  • What if he does give me a ticket, should I talk him out of it?
  • Can I see the van from inside so I can watch what he does?
  • If I see him writing one do I have time to run out and stop him?
  • What if he is behind me when I leave, then I get pulled over?
  • How much is an expired tab ticket anyway?
This was all in under five minutes. I was sitting in the van trying to collect my thoughts after I came out, when I realized I needed to wait until he left so he wouldn't be behind me. He left going the opposite direction I would be going so I was in the clear. Until.......

I arrived at the next town where the remainder of my errands would take place. First, I went to the liquor store to get some beer for the weekend. While I was inside I imagined a cop coming along to give me a ticket so I hurried up as fast as possible. I got done in under five minutes and went out to my van. I had a half hour until my doctor appointment so my next stop was to go get tabs for the van.
The stupid van did not start! WTF!!!! Just my luck. I tried it again, still nothing. I decided to wait a few minutes and try it again.

The following thoughts went through my head:

  • Great, I am going to be stuck here!
  • I need to be towed!
  • I don't have money for towing!
  • I bet the dealership doesn't even have a rental for me!
  • We are gonna have to stay home and miss the whole weekend of fun! 
  • I am going to miss my doctors appointment too!
  • How am I supposed to grocery shop now! 
  • What if the van can't be fixed? We don't have money for a monthly car payment and no money to buy a used one outright!
Two minutes had passed. Van starts. PHEW! On to the city center to get tabs. I am afraid to turn the van off and be late for the doctor. I leave it run. There are 9 people ahead of me in line!
Thought are as follows:

  • How??? Why??? What the hell is happening!!!
  • Someone is gonna steal the van! (repeat several times over two minutes)
  • No, it is parked on the side, I am sure no one even noticed.
  • Yes they did, it is gone for sure by now!
  • No, who would even want that junky thing?
  • I bet a criminal might!
  • HURRY UP PEOPLE, Can't you see I am very upset?? (not looking at all upset)
  • Oh, good, I'm done. I hope the van is still there.
  • Oh, thank god, no one stole the van. 
  • Ten minutes to kill. Yep, I'm so good!
Next I went to the clinic for my doctor appointment. I shut off the van and locked it. Over the next hour several thoughts occurred to me about the van:

  • If the van doesn't start I won't have time to get groceries.
  • Will I even have time to get it towed and get a rental?
  • If they don't have a rental I will be stuck here.
  • I have to get the kids by 5 or they will be late for VBS.
  • I need to leave town in two hours if I don't want them to be late.
  • I wonder if I can work it out in two hours, even if I skip grocery shopping.
  • I can't skip shopping though.
  • Maybe if I get a rental I can just come back tonight after VBS for groceries.
  • But I still have to pack, shower, and make dip.
  • I am gonna be up all night.
  • Why does all this stupid crap happen to me?
  • I wonder where the doctor is. I have shit to get done!
The doctor came it, all was well and I went to the van, all the while thinking, please start, please start, please start. The van started. I went to the grocery store. I had an hour to shop before I needed to leave town.

I went into the grocery store and started shopping. Again I started thinking about the stupid van.

  • What if the van doesn't start when I come out?
  • Then I will surely be late.
  • I don't even know if the dealership will be able to help me at that point, it might be too late.
  • My ice cream is going to melt. 
  • My milk is going to spoil.
  • All the frozen food and produce will spoil.
  • If I don't get a rental who would be able to pick me up?
  • What would I do with all the groceries?
  • The kids are going to miss the last day of VBS.
  • We won't be able to go up north.
  • We can't miss my sisters last show with the band and the family reunion. We need to be there.
  • What am I supposed to do?
  • I wonder if a friend will let us borrow a vehicle.
  • This is so dumb!
I finished grocery shopping and the van started great. I went home, unloaded cold and frozen foods and went to get my kids. I dropped them off at VBS, went home and unpacked groceries and took a shower. I went to the program at the end of VBS, came home, made dip and packed. I was in bed by midnight and all was well with the world.

We went up north. The van started at every place I was and we had a great time. The van went in last week to get checked out. It was just a low battery, and it was under warranty so they charged it up for free. I did all that thinking and worrying for nothing. But I never learn. That is how my freakish anxiety mind works. It's the one thing I can count on happening every single time anything goes wrong. I say to myself "WTF brain! Chill out!" but I really don't think that is how it works!

Does your brain work in freakish ways too? Tell me about it!

Cute Kidisms 3

As promised, part 3 is here! If you keep telling me cute words your kids mispronounce or misuse, I will keep writing these posts!

What are your favorite cute kidisms said by your kids?

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Cookie Disaster of 2015

I have been baking chocolate chip cookies for over a quarter century. I have never messed up the dough, and once in a while I may burn a batch, but this time, it was a major disaster!

My daughter had her friend over. They asked to make cookies. I did not want to help them. They assured me I would not need to help. That was a joke. Head my warning: When your 11 year old and her friend want to make cookies and they assure you they don't need any help, do not believe them. If you do agree to let them make cookies, be prepared to over see the entire event, and expect ruined cookies. 

My daughter found a recipe and began taking out ingredients. There were not enough chocolate chips, so we improvised and chopped up Hershey bars. I wondered if there would be enough brown sugar and the flour looked sparse but we started to make the cookies.

My daughters friend got egg all over the counter and the floor in the process of cracking them. They had trouble beating them so I "helped". Then I cleaned up the salmonella encrusted counter and floor before we moved on. When we had to cream the butter, sugar and egg, that was an issue too, so I "helped". After we added the dry ingredients the dough looked a little soupy but I figured we followed the recipe so it must be fine. I baked the first batch and the cookies all melted into a thin crispy around the edges, chewy in the center rectangle. I then needed to go to the store to get flour to "fix" the remaining dough.

The girls ate the "ruined" cookies while I fixed the dough. I had a bit too, and it was crispy, chewy, greasy, chocolatey goodness! After I made a batch of the "fixed" cookies I was informed that the "ruined" ones tasted better!

Two hours, and a lot of laughs later, we had 6 dozen fresh baked chocolate chip cookies!

Tell me your worst cookie disaster. Did you eat the ruined batch?