June 19, 2014

Annie Get Yer Gun (or The Night I Almost Shot my Yoga Pants)

We live in a fairly rural area outside what is perceived to be a "sleepy" little college town, and although it is not the innocent small town many people would like it to be, it is definitely not on any list of worse places to live in the United States. However, we have seen our share of incidents--and not terribly far from where we live--in addition to our own brush with vandalism.

The Sarge, being, well, a sarge, is definitely a believer in the Second Amendment. Not card-carrying NRA members, we are gun-owners.  We bought one in particular because it would be easier for me to handle, in the case that I should need to "handle" anything while he is away. 

Annie Get Your Gun

The Sarge went away a few weeks ago for his National Guard Annual Training. Since Spring had finally decided to stay in the Northeast, the weather had been pretty nice. Enjoying my solitude, I decided to sit out on our back deck with a glass of wine, gaze at the stars, troll facebook on my smartphone and successsfully avoid the literal mountain of laundry in my living room.

Laundry? What laundry?
It was kind of chilly, so I donned one of The Sarge's hoodies before heading out to bask in the starlight and the tiny glow of social media. I even brought the dog with me so that she could take care of her nightly before we both turned in. One glass down, some trolling accomplished, I decided to head back in for a refill. As I walked back in the house I see a pair of my yoga pant strewn carelessly across the floor (to the right of the baskets in the picture).

Huh? How did THOSE get THERE? The dog was out with me, so she wasn't rifling through the laundry (not that she ever even does that. Ever.) As far as I knew the kids were all in bed as I am certain they would have called for me had they gotten out of bed and I was not there. All that in about 1.2 seconds and I am now officially FREAKED OUT.  What? The? Fuck?

So I scurry back to our bedroom and free the aforementioned weapon from it's hiding place. I inserted the magazine into the grip and came back down the hall.....

Now might be a good time to mention that I've never actually fired this weapon. I am licensed to carry and I usually get a refresher course from The Sarge before he goes away. This time was no different. In fact, we had taken it with us on a recent trip and I had put it away myself.  It had been a while since I'd held it. Before I locked it up, I inserted the clip (I was ALONE in my home) but forgot how to remove it. We took it out and The Sarge reminded me how to remove it and how to chamber a round and how to release the safety.

So I head out into the kitchen to retrieve my phone. I closed and locked the open back door and decided to walk downstairs to check things out. The downstairs was "clear" and the garage doors were locked. I came back upstairs and just stared at the yoga pants, as if they might just stand up and walk themselves back to wherever they came from. 

What? The? Fuck? I was still freaked out and could not figure out HOW in the hell they came to be in the middle of the floor or why? What kind of message was this would-be intruder trying to send me by carelessly tossing my pants on the floor? "Get off the floor, you lazy bitch!" "Do some housework!" "FOLD ME! FOLD ME!" What could he possibly be saying that the mountain of laundry wasn't already? 

Like any faithful Law and Order junkie, I surveyed the scene. One glass of wine was not enough to make me think that I had thrown down some yoga pants and completely forgot that I had done so, but I was the only person awake in the house, so what HAD I done? Let's retrace my steps......
I poured myself some wine, stepped outside and set it and my phone down so that I could go back in for a jacket. I got The Sarge's hoodie from the hook by the front door, held it in front of me and swung it around to slide both arms in while walking toward the kitchen. THE HOODIE!!  My yoga pants must have been static-ly clinging to the inside of The Sarge's hoodie! When I swung it around they must have fallen out onto the floor! Obviously I didn't notice and I never looked back on my way to the back door.

Mystery solved! And the only thing shot in the process was my nerves. Lenny Briscoe would be proud.

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June 12, 2014

The Sugar: I Am Not an Activist.

One thing I have learned on this journey is that it is a very personal one for each of us on it. Another thing I have learned is that I am not an activist.

This is a statement I've made many times and it has been a source of both pride and shame.  I am proud to say it because I wouldn't have the nerve to turn my daughter or her disease into a cause. Besides (and more pointedly), I am too lazy--which is sometimes the source of my shame over the matter. However I put the question to myself, I have never felt any judgement on the matter from anyone else. But I sometimes wonder if I could or should be doing more. 

There are always opportunities to fund raise, organize walks, participate in walks and I'm sure many ways to donate time. Of course, I can't even find time to donate to my laundry. The thought of even organizing ANYTHING is overwhelming and exhausting before I ever lift a finger--forget about actually DOING anything. I know real moms--ok, one mom--with more kids than I, who works full time, home-schools (I have no idea how that happens), works out regularly and travels quite a bit.

Meanwhile I can't even figure out how to get Moo and Slim each to one weekly Scouts meeting, write some semblance of a blog post at least once a month and take less than three months to do our taxes every year. This is above and beyond all the regular day-to-day stuff.  Obviously my friend must not sleep. Clearly, the almost-six, frequently-interrupted  hours I'm getting is way too much.

The other day I had to call our new pharmacy company because Moo received two incorrect prescriptions--for both types of insulin. Thankfully we are not at a point where this is an emergency situation, but while I was on hold with the pharmacy my mind wandered and wondered about what I would do if it was. Would I bust down the doors of the local CVS demanding this necessary drug, lest my daughter's life be at stake? (I totally would.) And THAT I wouldn't even consider "activism." I mean, life-threatening situations are not something negotiated over meetings and facebook events.

So then what exactly is my threshold of activism? Do I even have one? Even after giving this some measure of thought, sadly, I have no clear answer. I would never judge anyone for the tremendous effort they put in to help any cause. Everyone's time is valuable, and many of us have limited resources.  It is no small thing to generate a money for and interest in something that can affect our lives and the lives of so many others in significant ways. Obviously, I would never let a life or death matter idle on while I was busy folding clothes or loading the dishwasher. I would bust down those doors and I would do whatever necessary to keep my daughter alive and/or safe.

On the other hand, I really don't see myself organizing a walk or a bake sale or doing much to raise money or awareness. It feels and it probably is pathetic to even say as much, but I can't even figure out how to activate my kids to do a couple chores every week, how could I possibly motivate a number of folks to donate their hard earned cash and valuable time for my cause? My lack of enthusiasm for the idea is obviously not motivational. I just hope it doesn't come across as apathy to my daughter. I could not love her any more than I could love this disease less.
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June 2, 2014

Know Thy Enemy

I sat down to write about something completely NOT this post, but after a quick trip to the bathroom this post has been hijacked by your friendly neighborhood domestic centipede.

know thy enemy
(Nothing makes my skin crawl likes these fuckers.)

I HATE THEM. Like, a lot. 

So I took a potty break,and what do I see out of the corner of my eye? The biggest domestic centipede that has every traipsed it's long hairy legs through my house, scurrying along the inside of the bathtub.

I wish wish wish I had run to get my phone and taken a picture, but you have to act fast when you see one of these bitches on the run. It's body was at least an inch and a half long. Just the body!!--that's not including the length of the antenna and those whip-like legs propelling it forward.

Usually when faced with such a fast opponent, my go-to method of extermination is a spray bottle of whatever deadly (at least to an insect) chemical cleaner I can grab first. I spray the enemy liberally (or sometimes even spray the projected path of my adversary, if they are too fast for a direct hit) and wait for the poison to exact is toxic affects, incapacitating the beast so that I can run for approximately 8 paper towels with which to dispose of the vile (sometimes still-twitching) remains.

Knowing that I had no such weapon in the limited storage space under my bathroom sink, my only choice was hand-to-hand combat with a mere wad of toilet paper for protection. In the brief time it took me to grab my "weapon" it was heading behind the shower curtain. While pulling back the shower curtain I lunged toward it and squashed it with my soft but powerful toilet paper wrecking ball.

It was so large that even Scott's Extra Soft couldn't contain the carnage. There was a disgusting smear of brown-black gunk on my tub that, in the nanosecond that it took me to wipe up, I briefly considered photographing. But I like you people, so I have spared you the gory photographic evidence of my crime. My apologies to those of you who would have preferred confirmation, but I really just wanted to clean that shit up as fast as I could.  Maybe next time I'll grab my phone on the way to the paper towels.
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