Hair on Fire

“Well, at least the washer is new so there won’t be that deployment gremlin,” I chuckled two days ago as we folded clothes together, getting him all packed up for what will be our LAST separation. Letting the kids finish up the school year, we are staying behind for a few months while he goes on ahead to start the next gig.

I woke up at 2:30am this morning from a dream that my hair was on fire. Like deep REM sleep to fully alert in what felt like 3 seconds. One minute I’m talking to Nancy Pelosi and wondering why my hair is burning (Um, hello subconscious. Why are you so weird?!), to racing around the house quietly trying to sniff out the source. “Where is it coming from?” I thought, unplugging everything electric in my house. I quickly dial Eric and think of our laundry conversation, groaning internally at the thought that I just had to say something and jinx us! Getting the emergency number for our housing office, I dial them and am also directed to call 911. At this point, they have asked us to evacuate everyone out of the house as a precautionary measure. Firetruck is on the way.

Have I mentioned that our area has been blasted with snow since Christmas?! I grabbed the keys and warmed up the car, then waking up the kids, I told them to bundle up, that we are going to sit in the car with the dogs until the firetruck arrives. I thought of the most ridiculous things, like how the kitchen is dirty, and that if this turns into an *actual* fire, I won’t have to wash those dishes I left in the sink last night. Dog poop bags, gloves and coats, dog sweaters, I get the broom to brush off the snow so I can see to at least pull my car out of the driveway. I’m still in my pajamas and winter boots and running on nothing but adrenaline.

We had heard a weird chirping noise coming from the furnace closet the day before, and had planned to call housing about it. I thought maybe it was a belt going bad, perhaps that was what the smell was? (I know just enough to be dangerous, of course.) The smell was permeating the whole house, so furnace was my best guess.

Firemen arrive and I let them know what I know, and they tell us to sit tight while they inspect the house. I texted Eric and informed him of the situation and he replied, “Take a pic for memories!” “Seriously?!” I mutter aloud, smirking as I discreetly snap said picture.

The lead fireman came out and told me my house needed a different scented candle, that the one I was using does not smell good. Ohhhhh, okay. Fireguy has jokes at 3am. I laughed, and he explained that they did locate the source of the smell to the furnace and that maintenance would take care of it. We shut off the furnace and were able to come back inside and wait. The firemen start to leave, apologizing for wet bootprints all over the floor. “Your house is so clean, I feel bad,” one of them remarked. I laughed again and told them they’ve all made my day. Not only did they compliment my cleaning skills, (ridiculous that that makes me happy to the degree that it does), but also the fact that I wasn’t in fact crazy and they could recreate the smell, and the source was accurate. And of course that it wasn’t an ACTUAL fire and there wasn’t any danger to minions or pets. Whew.

Maintenance arrives and discovers the furnace motor is not happy. At this point I’ve been up for over an hour and 4 am seems like just as good a time as any to make coffee. Mr. Maintenance takes out the motor to take back to the shop to make it happy again. He replaces the filter and gives us space heaters to use while he’s working, because someone invited Santa and his North Pole weather to stay for a week after Christmas and it’s getting frigid in my house with no furnace. Time for Santa to take his snow and go home!

I decided that if I want to hit my mileage/badge goal for the year, I better get on the bike sooner, rather than later, as we will no doubt have a nap in our future or be heading to bed early – regardless of it being New Year’s Eve. “I have 7 miles to bike today,” I explained to my mom as I had recounted all of the morning’s “excitement” over FaceTime coffee at 5am. I was starting to fade and realized I better get it done or when Mr. Maintenance showed back up, or I would have to interrupt the ride, or worse – not have the energy to do it later. On the bike I went!

It was the perfect icy cold temperature to workout in – and I got the planned miles and challenge badge I was aiming for. (Honestly, it’s the silliest things that are motivating.) Year-end goal accomplished! Just as I was finishing up the cooldown ride, Mr. Maintenance knocked, ready to turn the furnace back on with a recently re-tooled motor freshly installed in the furnace.

Crises averted, hair decidedly not on fire, and heat back on with no odor, it now feels like 872 o’clock. Happy New Year to us!

And here’s to NO MORE GREML– Wait!

Scratch that. I’m not making that mistake again!

Good Riddance 2021!! Yeah, let’s go with that.

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Anticipation

I’ve always been afraid of it. I don’t really know why. Frequently maligned and mocked things can come across as scary. It was with great trepidation I even gathered the courage to…

put it in my grocery cart.

But I did it.


Steeling myself as I reached for what I assumed was gelatinous goo, I set it on the counter to open the packaging. The label said “extra firm” but I could hear the sloshing of liquid inside. Frustratingly, the label offered no window with which to peek.

“Deep breath,” I told myself.

Gently peeling back the label, I was greeted with nothing more than a simple white rectangular prism sitting in its own nice little pool of water. No mold, no worms, no other disgusting materials of which nightmares are made. Just a rectangle of white.

I poked at it with my finger, curiosity overcoming my trepidation. “Hmm, it IS firm,” I thought, and proceeded to follow the directions for my breakfast scramble.

The white rectangle stared silently as the other vegetation warmed itself by the fire.


I crumbled it in, added garlic and tuneric, cooked and stirred. “It really resembles scrambled eggs,” I told the kids who really couldn’t care less.


Bottom line: It really DOES take on the flavors it is cooked in. With a bit of salsa and in a tortilla, it could easily be a delicious breakfast taco. Ahhh, the possibilities are endless. Like most scary things, the anticipation was far worse than the thing itself.

One thing I did learn through this recipe is that I’m not a huge fan of turmeric. I don’t mind it in tea, but in my scramble it wasn’t my fave…..but I’m excited to experiment more!

What is your favorite way to make tofu? Were you ever scared to try it? Tell me and share your favorite recipes!

via Daily Prompt: Impression

Preschooler Stream of Conciousness

In our daily routine, my daughter and I play family. A lot. Everyday. Pretty much it’s the only thing she wants to play. If I have other things to do, it becomes ‘Doing-The-Dishes-Family’ or ‘Laundry-Folding-Family’. It’s fun for her as she loves to role-play, specifically when she gets to be in charge. Go figure.

This afternoon we were in the middle of ‘Church-Family’ when she decided that she was going to play our pastor from our church in Oak Harbor. “Let me go get my Bible!” she announced suddenly. With her Bible storybook in hand, she bounds back into the “church school”, aka my bedroom, to read me a story.

What ensued can only be described as a hilarious stream of consciousness.

“Hello class. (speaking to me and the dog) I’m Pastor Spencer. I’m going to read you a story today. This is church school. We learn about God here. And we go to school. ” (Her last preschool was at our church.)

“Let me see, where was I?” she asks as she flips through the glossy pages and rearranges the ribbon bookmark. “Oh! Yes! Chapter Oregano.” (Wait, wha–? Right! We’ve been cooking a lot lately.)

“God was on a ship. With Flamingos. They are pink which is my favorite color. And a snake. The snake wasn’t pink. And it ate a bunch of animals. Then they went to find a rainbow.” Turning the page she exclaims, “Yay! They found the rainbow!” Now breaking into song she sings, “Red-orange-yellow-green-and-blue-and-don’t-forget-purple-too!”

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“Then the pirates came and cleaned the ship. They were pirates on the ship, then they became human. God was there, too, but he fell out of the boat.”  The dog decides at that point to get up and lay back down in a more comfortable position. “Buck, you aren’t listening. You get a color change – you are on yellow!” (Her school has a behavior color change system; Green=good, Yellow=warning, Orange=Time Out, Red=Principal referral.) “No, Buck. This isn’t the time to play fetch!”

“Now where was I again?”

This girl seriously cracks me up. She has a crazy imagination and will talk to herself and all her menagerie of characters for hours. More often than not, I can gather what she’s really saying and identify exactly where in real life she’s pulling it from. Today? I am sure that our pastor, as well as her previous preschool teachers, never talked about God falling out of the Ark, a snake eating people, or chapters of the Bible being labeled as spices.

I can’t wait to see what happens at church tomorrow!

This Day.

It can only get better. It can only get better. It can only get better.

5:15: “Mom! I’m cold. There’s not room for me in the bed. I’m coming in,” says dear son.
5:16: Roll over and realize daughter is also in bed and sleeping. When did she climb in? Roll over and pretend to still be asleep. Curse loudly in my head.
5:22: “Mom! There’s not room. Hannah won’t move over and I’m afraid I’m going to fall off the bed.” Think to myself that perhaps sleeping in his own bed would eliminate the problem entirely. Curse again. Also thankful that I went to bed at 9pm so at least I got some sleep between nose-blowing, mouth-breathing, and snoring because I can only breathe out of one nostril currently. Still irritated.
5:25: Dog licks my face telling me he has to go out. Silently shake my fist at the sky. Why must they all conspire against me?!
5:29: Come back in with the dog and sneak over to Jacob’s bed and lie down. Perhaps if I’m really quiet, they’ll think that I’m still outside, thus buying myself just a few more minutes of snooze time before I really have to get up and moving.
5:30: Damn. They found me.
5:31: Give up and get up since I have to blow my nose (again).
5:32: Hannah peels a banana in the kitchen, while peeing. She laughs. I, however, do not find this funny because on top of all the other morning activities – mopping was not on the top of the list. Mopping is now priority numero uno. (silently growl about the fact that I JUST mopped this entire floor 2 days ago.) When asked why she didn’t go to the bathroom she replied that she was just too hungry.
5:45: Shower a resisting daughter, son gets dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast consumed and out the door we go to school. Drop them off. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for the wonder that is school.
8:01-10:45: Enjoy a walk with the dog, a strength workout, and some quiet. Head off to pick up daughter from school.
11:30: Arrive back home, am told by daughter that she’d like yesterday’s lunch again. Heat it up, devour a bowl of it myself, daughter’s gets cold as she sits not eating it. She says she’s full, but this is not my first rodeo.
11:45: “All Finished” she says. I set it aside because like clockwork…
11:55: Dear daughter says she’s starving and wants something to eat. I kindly offer to reheat her lunch. She throws minor fit, but gets over it. She has no choice. We aren’t wasting food, especially when it was her choice.
12:00: She’s eating happily. I go put laundry away and discover a “rip” in my favorite comforter. Initial thought is that the dog must have ripped it. I say out loud, “Oh, man! My favorite comforter is torn!” Daughter enters the room and informs me that she cut the comforter with scissors she found and that she was sorry. I ask her when and she tells me it was the other day when dear hubby and I were hanging curtains. (And the scissors were out providing way too much temptation to resist, apparently.)
12:15: Celebrate the idea that bedtime is less than 7 hours away. Wish it was now.
12:16: Fold laundry and consider running away from home. Far, far away to a land where I can breathe, my throat is not sore and I have 24 hours to sleep in a comfy bed where the comforters are not cut by minions.

Me in my own timeout, rueing the day.
Me in my own timeout, rueing the day.

I’m ready for do-over. Wait, scratch that. I don’t want to do this day over. I’m ready for evening and bedtime and for THIS day to be in the books!

PCS Like a Four Year Old

I wrote this post a few weeks ago as a submission to another blog. They have passed, so I am posting it here.

Sitting in the Navy Lodge smack dab in the midst of house hunting in our new duty station, it would be so easy to have a pity party. I want to have that party. I want to roll around in the “Ugh, not again!” and the “Oh my goodness we have so much STUFF!” I want to cry because we’ve left everything familiar, just when it was getting familiar (AGAIN). But I have little ones who are watching and gauging just how to process this life-upheaval, so I can’t stay at the party for long.

We all handle a duty station transfer differently, but I’d love to experience it like my 4-year-old. This is what a military move looks like to her:

The Pool

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Hotel stops along the way are all about the pool! Does this hotel have a pool? Can we pleeeeease get a hotel with a pool tonight? When will we be going swimming? Can we swim tonight and tomorrow before we leave? Please, please, please?! You’d think she was part mermaid or something. Perhaps being born in Hawaii has something to do with it…

Sleeping Whenever, Where Ever You Are

 

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A nice air-conditioned ride, just enough road noise to dull the senses, a full tummy and a well-timed potty stop all coincide for the perfect nap! Swimming goggles are optional.

Make It An Epic “Adventure”

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“Camping at a KOA along the way?! No problem! I’m so up for that Mom! I love the tent! I will run around like a crazy person with my brother while you and dad try not to scream while putting it up!”

Stairs (and other ‘inconveniences’)

IMG_6648And I quote, “This is the best day ever!” as she was lugging up our toiletry case up stairs in a hotel that had multiple floors with no elevator. (Seriously?! Why are hotels with multiple floors built without elevators!?)

Throughout this transition, she has never once worried about where we will stay, how house hunting will go, or what life will be like when we get ‘there’. She’s in the moment, enjoying what comes her way. Instead of her watching me, gauging my reactions to life’s upheavals, perhaps I should take a cue from her:

1. Enjoy the ride

2. Take what comes, even if I don’t like it or think it’s inconvenient and make the best of it.

3. Get up each morning excited about what ‘adventure’ may await.

4. Sleep like the dead.

5. Swim every chance you get!

PCS – Permanent Change of Station

PCS season is upon us and this time around it’s our turn. (Anyone else find the humor in that acronym? PERMANENT Change of Station…It’s anything but permanent!) Well we are down to just days before the packers come to remind us of just how much stuff we have (and how much crap we don’t need). The process of gearing up for a cross-country move/family vacation/trip to visit family/house hunting leave also brings up all kinds of other types of “fun”, outside of the actual moving process. Here are a few of our favorites and some of the not so:

1. The Cleaning
I’m a decent housekeeper, but there’s nothing like a move to make you feel completely disgusting. My personal favorite – after the cleaning is done! Nothing better than shiny windows and uber clean floors, to enjoy for the 5 minutes before handing over the keys!

2. The Thought of Other People Touching Your Stuff.
This is a weird one for me. We pack some of our clothes, but there’s some stuff that the packers will be boxing up. Random people touching unmentionables is just, well, eww.

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3. Stuff Gets Packed That Shouldn’t
No matter how well you separate, close off a room, repeatedly tell the movers, some or all of the “do not pack” pile will find it’s way into the sea of cardboard. Every. Single. Time.

4. The Paper
Paper paper everywhere! Ugh. When you move yourself, you wrap your stuff in your dish towels, throw it in a box, and off you go. Not so much with the professionals! Who knew it took 267 pieces of paper to wrap up one of Grandma’s plates?! With that much paper, you’d think nothing would get broken.

5. Something Inevitably Gets Broken
Every single time. With the sea of paper our belongings are wrapped in, it’s entirely shocking how every move, something ends up biting the dust. Never fails. It’s up there with death and taxes, really.

6. New Digs
I love setting up a new joint! Imagining where the furniture will go, figuring out the kids’ bedrooms…it’s all an OCD mom’s Disneyland! Yay!

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7. Learning a New City
I actually really love exploring a new place. Getting out and about either in the car as a family or with my own two feet in a pair of good running kicks! Although, we are going to Texas. In July. I may have to do some running exploring in the winter!

8. Hangers
Who knew you owned that many, right? Too many – and they usually end up in a tangled knot that has no hope of ever being used for it’s original purpose. I know! Let’s go pick up some more hangers!

9. Clean
When you get to the new house, it’s all clean! Usually this is the cleanest my house ever is in the 2-3 years we stay there. Freshly unpacked, fresh house, ahhhhh. Enjoy that. You know, for the 1 day that it lasts!

10. It’s Part of Military Life
Might as well embrace it. I have yet to absolutely hate any place we’ve lived. Every duty station is what you make it. No sense in being miserable for an entire tour! Instead of resisting what we have no control over, make it an adventure! Home is where the military sends us!

Bring it on Texas! Let’s do this!

Traveling Practice

We went for a weekend to Portland to visit with friends and it turned out to be an opportunity for practice. With our upcoming “adventure” (what else can you call driving across the country with a 3 and a 5 year old?) packing for Portland opened my eyes to a couple of things:

1. Always check the kids’ suitcases. Always.
1.5. Even when you tell said kids what they need to bring, check.
2. Realize that I am the world’s worst packer and have the hubby double check me…because he really is a master and recognizing any and all conceivable needs on a trip.
3. Apparently all you need for a fun vacation is a bathing suit, pajamas, and a Star Wars Lego book.
4. Or perhaps a hulk mask, bathing suit and a foam sword.

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Thank goodness for a nearby Target! I think we’ll let Eric pack next time!

Spiking My Coffee

There are days. And then there are those kind of days.

Slightly drowsy from last night’s cold medicine, I was suddenly jolted awake as the warm pee seeped onto my side of the bed. “Gonna be a good day!” I thought to myself. “Cause it can only get better from here!” Ever the Positive Polly, I loaded up my arms and headed to the laundry room. Plopping the peeing offender into a bath, I got the other minion dressed and fed and then got myself assembled to head to the gym.

Luckily for me, I glanced at the preschool calendar before I stepped out of the house because, SURPRISE! It’s our snack day today! We are celebrating Hannah’s non-birthday! Yippee! (Our preschool has birthday celebrations for the kiddos with summer birthdays.) Fantastic idea, and as a summer birthday person myself, I often lamented not being a “cool kid” that brought the yummy treats to share with my class.  Good thing we were a bit early – cause it was time to hit the grocery store for non-birthday treats.

Despite the level of snot that was attempting to escape my sinuses, I managed to get through leg day, shower, and pick up the kiddos from school. Hannah became enraged by her inability to “beat me” in the seatbelt buckling race I didn’t know I had signed up for, and threw a prize-winning tantrum. The screams were awesome, from “I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND” to “I DON’T WANT TO TAKE A NAP!” and my personal favorite, “I HAVE STOPPED CRYING!!” All while scream-crying and kicking and practicing for the Oscar that she is sure to win someday.

At decibel levels no human should have to endure, we head home. When we were pulling up our road, she peed. In her pants. In her carseat.

At this point, I have a choice. I can either go to bed and as Bill Cosby always threatened “let them have the house”, or I can try to get them to take a nap after lunch. I attempted for an hour. No go. After an hour and a half of reading kid books the only person I’ve successfully made drowsy is myself.

I am making the executive decision to wear these kids out. As I type this, they are putting on their coats and rain boots and I’m going to run them all over our neighborhood. I’m going to run them to the playground. I’m going to chase them until they beg for mercy. Luckily for me, I’ll get to go for a run and burn a few calories myself. But my primary mission is to make. them. tired. Like 6:30-7pm bedtime tired.

Wish me luck!

These are the days when I wonder why I don’t spike my coffee.

What I Do All Day

Oh boy. Here we go.

Before I fan the flames of the so-called mommy-wars (which is the most ridiculous moniker), let me preface  by saying it is not my intention to say working moms are better/worse than work from home moms, or vice versa. Being a mom is hard, period, regardless of how one goes about it. Note: I use the term “work from home mom” because being a mom is WORK, even if you don’t cash a paycheck. 

When my first (and at the time only) child was around 4 months old, conversations were happening all around me about what moms do all day. Those that chose to work outside of the home felt strongly that they would be bored, or that they just weren’t cut out to do the at-home thing. In abundance were assumptions like, “My house would be so clean!” and other such nonsense. On the flip side, those that chose to be at home couldn’t fathom how to fit in punching a time clock. About the same time, I remember seeing a letter to Dear Abby from a working mom who was ticked off that a friend now didn’t seem to have time for her after having a baby. “What does she do all day?” the letter writer mused.

Today I took stock of everything I did. I wrote it all down. Just so I could see what exactly it is I do all day.

  • Woken up by 3-year-old at 4:40am. Soothed her back to sleep. In her sleep she clings to my back, nudging me ever closer to falling off the bed. She is a heater and I am now sweaty and hot.
  • 5:15am: Son joins us in bed as husband hits the shower. I become a mom sandwich.
  • 6:30am: Am poked in the face by grinning 3-year-old daughter. She announces that it’s time to go downstairs.
  • 6:35am: Heading downstairs, I am hollered at to “WAIT! Mommy! I HAVE to hold your hand when we go down!” Silly me, I forgot. I have but two things on my mind: breakfast and coffee.
  • 6:36am: Turn on kettle for coffee and contemplate breakfast options. Hmmmm, scramble? Pray that we have bacon.
  • 6:45am: Hubby leaves for work. Kids beg him to stay home and play. Every. Single. Day. I again remind them that Daddy going to work means we have food to eat.
  • 6:46-7:00am: Put away last night’s dishes, reminding myself to do them tonight so I don’t have to start tomorrow already ‘behind’. Start breakfast. Suddenly remember that the laundry I started last night is still in the wash and will likely need to be re-washed to eliminate musty smell from sitting wet. The laundry room is by the garage, which is also where our freezer is located. Mental note: pull something out for dinner tonight. While sniffing clothes for evidence of mold, debate whether to put them in the dryer and let the bounce fabric softener take care of it or just rewash. Check dryer and there is a load of clothes in there. Not wanting to fold, I restart the washer AND the dryer. Dryer = ironing. Yay! Look at me I’m multitasking! Washing AND drying at the same time.
  • 7:00am: Pry minions off of the T.V. or whatever else they are doing and hit the table. Remind them that this is breakfast – if they are hungry they need to eat now, and to please refrain from asking for waffles as we are driving to preschool. (Sometimes I wonder if they think I have a mini fridge in the car.)
  • 7:30-8:30am: Assemble workout gear. Wrestle sports bra, burning calories before I even workout! Get myself dressed. Play “Rain down clothes on my head” aka: throwing the kids’ clothes over the bannister while they run back and forth trying to avoid getting beaned in the head by socks and shirts. Luckily for them, my timing stinks! (Makes my day when I nail ’em, though!)
  • 8:30-8:45am: Time to head to school! Find shoes, coats, and school bags and get in the car. Sometimes I start this process at 8:20 because it takes that long to get in the car. Who knew it could take 20 minutes to put on shoes, walk 10 feet and buckle up?!
  • 8:45-9:00am: Drive to preschool, playing “I spy” and “Slugbug” on the way. We spy the same things every. single. day. And I know where all the parked Volkswagens are located on our route.
  • 9:01am: Sigh of relief as 2.5 hours just opened up. This feels like the clouds of heaven parting for the singing of angels.
  • 9:15-10:30am: Workout with the neighborhood ladies. (So fun!)
  • 10:30-10:45am: 15 minute window to cram in 1 errand that is preferable to do sans kids. Usually it’s the post office or a quick grocery run.
  • 10:45-11:15am: Race home, wrestle sports bra back off (which is now sweaty and much more of a challenge), hop in and out of the shower, find clothes that don’t look like I picked them up out the floordrobe. (Foor + wardrobe = floordrobe. That’s the pile of clothes that isn’t dirty, but I’m too lazy to put away.) Throw goo in the fro and off I go to pick up the minions.
  • 11:30am: Pick up minions. They insist on running around the grassy area at school for at least 15-30 minutes. Cool. Wear yourself out!
  • Noon: Back at home, we clean up dishes and prepare for lunch. While lunch is in the works, I remember forgotten laundry and promptly switch loads. Finally remember to take out of the freezer what will become dinner. Fold a load of clothes, but don’t have time to put away just yet. Throw ingredients into machine to make bread. Lunch is ready!
  • 12:30pm: Hear all about school day and whether minions had any time outs. May also be entertained by random preschool song. Decide what needs to be done between now and dinner.
  • 1pm: Head outside to play (ignoring what needs to be done) because it is finally sunny out. Promptly get blown away by crazy windy Whidbey weather. Oy. 5-year-old suggests frisbee. In the wind it should be called boomerang. Play tag instead.
  • 2pm: Kids watch a show, play play dough, ask for a snack, build with legos and/or draw. Then puzzles or games. I am still determining what we will have for dinner. Put away some laundry while playing “get your booty” up the stairs. (That’s me pretending I’m going to pinch their rears as they run away squealing.) Put all the laundry away while we are playing hide and seek. I hide in a good spot to catch a quick nap.
  • 2:01: Damn. They found me.
  • 3pm: Get serious and start picking up. Laundry, vacuum, scrub a toilet or two, inevitably making it a game for the kids who beg to help, thus making the task take twice as long, and do some writing. Mow the lawn if it’s getting too shaggy. Finalize dinner plans, do any prep work/marinating etc.
  • 4:30-5pm: Hubby arrives home. Round 2 of angel chorus singing. Catch up on the details of the day while kids exclaim “Hooray! Daddy’s home!” Daddy retreats to mental man cave to decompress from the day. Hide and seek doesn’t work for him either. Minions are becoming stealthy. They find him.
  • 6pm: Dinner makes it to the table. We eat and then clean up. This time, I do all the dishes so tomorrow I can come down to a sparkly kitchen.
  • 6:45pm: Bath, teeth, stories, bed.
  • 7:15-8:45pm: Live the real life version of the beloved children’s book, “Seriously, Just Go to Sleep”. They are finally out. Round 3 of angel chorus singing.
  • 8:45-10pm: Everything that didn’t get done is crammed into this time slot before we hit the hay. Mail, bills, laundry, mopping floors, writing for work, designing workouts, internet research, television date nights, and more singing of angels.
  • 10:01pm: Coma.

And that’s my day! No daytime TV or bon bons for this mama! (What is a bon bon anyway?)

What is the best part of your day?

Twilight Zone

There was no way I could NOT write about this daily prompt:

Ever have an experience that felt surreal, as though you’d been suddenly transported into the twilight zone, where time seemed to warp, perhaps slowing down or speeding up? Tell us all about it. 

Nearly a decade ago, we moved from Washington State to Pensacola, Florida. My husband went ahead to look for a house and receive our household goods, and I was to close up the house in Washington and follow him a few weeks later.

My mom and I get the genius idea to do it right by road trip! It was a fun vacation, complete with stops at all random roadside oddities for picture opportunities, the Grand Canyon (to which I realized the full extent of my fear of heights), and getting my mom her first pedicure. (She is now an addict and gets her fix on the regular.) Whenever we chat about our cross country adventures, what we laugh hysterically about to this day, was our stay in Nashville.

Once we got into our hotel room, we discovered there was a tour that would take us around the town, explaining all local history, showing us the touristy sites, and then concluding with a drop off at music row in the evening. They would then pick us up at midnight and bring us back to the hotel! (If you have never experienced a new city this way, I would highly recommend it!)

Stepping into that first bar on music row, our tour guide hands us 2 free adult beverage tickets, which we promptly put to good use. As fans of country music, it was surreal to be in Nashville watching singers pursuing their dreams. As dancers, we were thrilled to walk into the Wildhorse Saloon and see live and in living color dancers we used to watch on TV. We had a drink (or two) in nearly every bar, perhaps  three, though the details are a bit fuzzy. We listened to incredible music, and we danced as only intoxicated women can.  We contemplated staying past midnight and just getting a cab, but it was becoming clear that if we didn’t go back to the hotel NOW, one or both of us would not be well.

Back at the hotel, I made the executive decision that since we were in the south, I must try grits.

In the middle of the night.

At the Waffle House.

My mom was in our room chatting on the phone to a friend and was not able to get herself into a vertical position. Off I went. The grits were not that good. (I have no doubt I was highly entertaining.)

Back to the hotel to crash.

The Next Morning

Opening one eye to peer over at the other bed my mom was in, she opened one eye slowly, then the other, looking over at me. We both laughed, then groaned as our heads felt awful, we had the usual hangover dry/cotton/gross mouth. She flipped on the television to an old episode of The Twilight Zone. We used to watch it when I was a kid. We both thought it was weird and kooky, but loved it.

Somehow after watching one episode, we got ourselves upright and into the hotel pool. To this day, I have no idea how we accomplished this. We got in and just stood waist deep in the cool water and stared at each other realizing we looked as awful as we felt. There was no way we were going to be able to drive to Pensacola that day as planned. Back to bed we went. The Twilight Zone marathon played on. We would doze, look at each other, laugh, doze off, watch Rod Serling’s creepy tales, laugh again, and sleep some more. We even went back to the pool for another dip. This continued in a weird loop for most of the day, feeling like both an eternity and 5 minute increments. By dinner time, we both felt like we could stomach solid foods.

Passing by the glorious Waffle House this time, we upgraded to The Cracker Barrel. I cannot accurately describe how delicious this meal was. Butter-soaked green beans, mashed potatoes and other assorted comfort foods were all ordered to go as we were not able to sit at a table for more than a few minutes before needing to be horizontal once again.

Watching The Twilight Zone marathon, hungover, sleeping, swimming, and laughing in a continual loop was the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to a groundhog day. It never seemed to end, time did not exist. The only thing that existed was the need for our heads to stop pounding by whatever means necessary.

While the thought of being that intoxicated again makes me shudder, it was fun to have had the adventure, and to be able to laugh about it to this day. I will never think of Nashville and not remember our Twilight Zone hangover!

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