Straight Talk About Boobs

There was a time in my life when my nickname was Knox – And it wasn’t because i had money. I had boobs. Great boobs. Damned near perfect boobs.

And then life happened.

Most women, when we are young, our boobs are like toy poodles. You are always on the lookout for something to decorate them. Inexpensive bits of material that serve the same purpose as a dress on a dog. They do nothing but look cute. Bits of material that are so small and flimsy, as a woman who sews, i wouldn’t even have kept them for my ragbag. These things are all about show – Lace, sparkles, and the straps (If it has any) are made out of the thinnest, most gossamer unicorn hair. To be honest, i didn’t get to buy those for long. Somewhere around the age of 16, i went from nubbins to too-big-to-shop-for-bras-at-Woolworths. On one hand, i grew great boobs. On the other hand, bras were no longer a commodity… They required at least a JC Penney budget.

Still, it was pretty cool. I could have a bad hair day the likes of which Sideshow Bob hadn’t even seen, but if undid one more button on my blouse, most interesting parties never noticed my hair. I was still a little bummed that i didn’t have a face like a supermodel, or an ass like an aerobics instructor… But at least i had boobs. It was something.

I somehow managed, after my first child, to keep the ducks swimming above water. Probably because i was young. And because i read somewhere that wearing a bra 24/7 would keep them as upright as a the Dalai Lama. If i wasn’t in the shower, those puppies were strapped in like a firstborn in a car seat. So after i was done with my dairy cow stage, tho i was a bit bigger, i was not too much worse for wear and could still get something kind of pretty at Macy’s. Maybe not with unicorn hair straps, but at least with some lace and sparkle.

I waited nearly 10 years to have my second child. And in that time, i had grown to like the rest of me a little bit more. I guess that is why i wasn’t as concerned about keeping Mary and Margaret in their school uniforms every moment of the day. And i don’t know if it was letting them sleep without the straightjacket, or just my age… But 6 years and 2 kids into my 30s, things just weren’t like they used to be. The girls grew up.

Mary got fat, Margaret got tall, and neither of them fit into the pretty little outfits i had bought them before. At least, not without cutting off my circulation and making it look like i had 4 of them. (In spite of what men might think, 4 boobs is not a good thing.) My ego could have really used a boost, as i wasn’t liking the changes my body was going through. Mind you, this was back before we had stores like Soma. There weren’t many bra companies that made cup sizes larger than D – At least ones that didn’t cost more than my weekly grocery budget – and very few of them looked better than your average surgical supply. My poor girls owned very few party dresses.

The downfall began like this:

Remember how i said that bras in your 20s were like dressing a toy poodle? First the poodle becomes a bulldog. New mom boobs are big, but solid. Those things are like anvils. They could crush rebar if you wielded them just right.  But as your hormones morph, and you realize that a bra isn’t really necessary when you are driving your kid to school at 0630 for a field trip to the Moon Pie factory, they go from fit to fat like an aging highschool quarterback. But you ignore it. I mean, your spouse loves you for your inside, right? And he’s a grown man… He knows that his body is starting to suffer just as much.

Ladies, no. No, he doesn’t. Most men are endowed with some kind of mental magical gift where they don’t obsess over their bodies half as much as we do.

Your kids get older. You are the have-it-all-woman now. Weedlings, work, hopefully some kind of social life. And the puppies somehow became wild boars. An abstract sculpture that defies physics and logic – Basically rocks and gravel set into jello with the occasional hair sprouting out of nowhere. God is obviously a man, because no woman would have the prize for surviving motherhood be Mom Tits. You can, with some effort and a large tax refund check, find a pretty bra, but now they are uncomfortable, and you feel like you just put a tutu on a platypus. You find yourself standing naked in front of a mirror saying, “Well this is bullshit.” (You would shout it, but you just don’t have the energy.)

Life goes on. You make the best of it until somewhere in your 40s when you head out to buy bras and realize you are trying to dress billy goats. You can’t find any outfits to fit them right, and those kids are all over the place. Victoria ain’t got no more secret, and you find yourself walking into a higher end department store, finding the “fit specialist” (Who invariably looks like a prison matron from 1950s film noir) and telling her, “I need a bra that makes my boobs look like they do when i’m flat on my back with my arms stuck to my sides.” And because this feeling is universal for women of that age, she knows exactly what you mean.

If you haven’t started taking Prozac yet, now is the time.

This is also when they start talking to you about putting in small implants to take up all that space that used to be your glorious boobs and is now melted jam. Unless you are very large already, and then they tell you – I quote – “Yeah, there’s not much we can do that will work for long except cut them down and tighten them up.”

Sir, You are not an editor, and my tits are not just a magazine article.

(Ok, i am writing this, so maybe they are a magazine article of sorts… But he isn’t my editor!)

I remember reading a quote by Maya Angelou where she said that she felt, in her silver years, like her breasts were in a race to see which could reach her knees first. Woman, as always, you hold the perfect words. That quote was in my mind this morning when the incident that started this whole rant occurred.

I have a thing for man-tailored silk pajamas. Just my sleepwear of choice. But the tops never stay buttoned. I don’t know if it’s because they are silky, if the strain of containing the liquid platypuses is too much for them, or if i dream about Liam Neeson… But i go to bed with them buttoned and wake with them not. I just accept it as life. So this morning i am lying in bed, enjoying the cool sheets and the sounds of the birds coming in the window.  Sundays are awesome. Siridog crawls out from the covers (Chihuahuas burrow when they sleep) and begins her morning stretches. Usually, she plants her bony little front paws on my sternum and begins her doggie yoga. This morning, she was a little off-center.

Bony paws pinching your tits is NOT the kind of boob attention you want to start your day.

I yelped. She winced. I apologized. She licked my face… While standing on the puddle of boob that formed when i rolled to pet her.

I am ashamed to say that i F-bombed as i lifted her paws. Poor Siridog. She had no idea she had done anything wrong. So, of course, she keeps coming in for more kisses… Standing on it over and over again with those blasted bony paws – I swear, they feel like railroad spikes- Inadvertently making it worse and worse. God love her. I ended up just calling bedtime over, since i couldn’t find a way to lay that didn’t have her standing on the tit slick.

To my silver sister friends – At some point we must accept the fact that we are more than our breasts. And tho it is depressing to watch them head south for the winter and become a thin-skinned Stretch Armstrong, it is the price we have to pay for having contributed to the world. (For what it’s worth, i am told that men face the same feeling of tragedy over their testicles. But i would bet money, it doesn’t affect them half as much. We really need some of their confidence.) This is the way the universe is designed. We get wisdom and metaphysical integrity in exchange for our young bodies and physical integrity.

I am told it is a more than fair trade.

Some days, i believe it.

Unless my dog is standing on my tit puddle.

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Saturday Springtime

The feeling of accomplishment

Dirt under my broken fingernails

The cacophony of wind chimes

Out of tune but still beautiful

Like a 4 year old singing

Amazing Grace

Bamboo and Mimosa saplings bent in the breeze

Bottle bush reflecting the sun in cobalt and olive

As it sinks

My morning’s work newly watered and

Smelling of manure

The leaves green and green and green again

With purple intertwined

Buds of red and pink geranium

The scent only in my mind til they bloom in full

Seedlings of tomato and pepper

Herbs

Both delicate and rustic

In colorful pots strewn about

And in the center

At the bistro table

Mug of tea growing cold

I sit in the splendor of

My makeshift garden and watch the

Garden spinners approach takeoff

There will be no award for this

Upcycled driveway

Unless you count fresh salads and

Pesto

That will come in time

And the mornings spent sipping steaming hot

Mugs amidst the color

And comfort

Of an ersatz Eden

Made with my own two hands

As the birds serenade me with

Their sweet melodious songs

Paradise

 

 

I Question, Therefore, I Am… I Think

Sometimes i lay awake at night wondering how much of this is real.

Is all of life like The Matrix , an image that is planted in our brain to give us the illusion of a full life? Do i really have three amazing children? Has it really been nearly 52 years since i was born? Are there really such things as blue skies and flowers and beaches and waterfalls? Am i really human? Is this mattress really so shot that i need to replace it, or is someone manipulating controls in a central processing area that makes me think the surface underneath me is starting to get lumpy?

To the controllers i say, would it kill you to conjure up Liam Neeson at my doorstep?

Or is this all a dream? Am i really still an infant in a crib, and the last 51 years have been nothing but a 5 hour night vision? Am i projecting my own future in some fierce REM state?Will i wake up soon and discover that i am just an insanely prolific and virulent dreamer? And if that is the case, does that make me something special? Some person of previously unseen depth and talent?

Am i some 6 month old future DaVinci?

Maybe i am delusional. I’m really 32. Or 102. And i live in an old shack by the beach. The life that i have is a creation of my own mind. Some kind of daydream i thought up to distract me from a pitiful and lonely existence. A way to escape the fact that i don’t even have 20 cats to keep me company. Maybe this decent, but often frustrating, life is merely my coping mechanism.

If i imagined all this, then why the hell didn’t i make myself a little more financially solid?

Are we characters in some larger beings’ computer game? Or maybe they are really tiny, and we only feel full size because that is how we were programmed. All of our movements and actions are controlled by someone in pajama pants who has had a really crappy day and just needs to escape. Maybe we are SIMS, and our day-to-day is just some 12 year old’s imagination.

In which case, that 12 year old needs to get out more.

And could use a good psychologist.

Maybe i am schizophrenic and all of this is a hallucination. Maybe i am really some mousey brown man who just has brain waves so different that it forked off into a boisterous white female in order to cope with all the dichotomy and chemical imbalance and cross-circuitry. Maybe i have another self that this self isn’t aware of. Two distinct selves unaware of each other – And probably better off that way, as awareness of each other would, i think, be a daily fight for control. Maybe all of us have more than one self, but only the stronger one ever gets the chance to be in the lead. How would we know?

It really makes me question those bouts of short-term memory loss, like forgetting what i came into the room for. Maybe it was the other self that needed something from the kitchen.

Now you are wondering the same thing, aren’t you?

Maybe this is all just a single dimension in a very multifaceted whole. Like in Richard Bach’s One, or in one of Heinlein’s novels. Maybe there is another me in another time who leads a very different life. Who is both the most sought-after ME and much-loved author. Maybe there is another thread in time where i look like a beautiful and exotic version of me, and have a life of such love and adventure, that it is the stuff of my wildest dreams.

But then again, that would also mean there is a thread where i am angry and disconsolate and totally hideous. That thought makes this me really sad.

Am i the only one who wonders about this? Whose mind is full of theories on being and life? I’ve always done it… Pondered what is real. It isn’t like i’m some kind of philosophical genius… It’s more that i like, i need, explanation. I need to know why. Why do people behave like they do? Why do i behave like i do? Why do we, as humans, do so many irrational things? Why do i keep making the same mistakes? Why are things the way they are? And why are bacon and salami and full-fat ice cream so delicious, when they are the worst things for our waistlines? And how high were the creators of all this when they designed the aardvark?

Maybe the atheists are right and this is all there is. All of this is real and our perceptions are all there is to reality. I really have been on this earth for 51 years. My budget really has consequences, it isn’t just an educational computer game. There is not another me somewhere who has accomplished all i set out to,  or looks like i do in my best dreams. I will not wake up and discover i have another chance to do it all differently. I am not all i could be, and Liam Neeson doesn’t know i exist. These things are true. This is my reality.

But on the flip side, that means that i really do have three amazing weedlings who are going to make this world a better place. I have really worked for years in a field that saves and improves people’s lives. I have rescued some animals from euthanasia by taking them in. Tho not the exotic beauty of my dreams, I have an esoteric beauty of spirit. I have loved and been loved.  I have given comfort and laughter to many. I might not have made the biggest difference, but i have made some difference. This is also my reality.

And very little of it makes any sense to me.

For someone who needs to know “why”, reality will always be a question. Life itself makes very little sense, even to the most pragmatic of people, so it is understandable that we don’t accept it as fact. People who don’t question it, it seems to me, are people who don’t question much of anything. (In case you haven’t noticed, i don’t advocate that.) I am thankful that most of the people who surround me do question. I am not alone in these swirling thoughts that are probably both madness and genius. Or maybe neither. What do i know?

Hell, i don’t even know that i’m real.

Dignity And Moth Wings

Ya God/Goddess/Universe… You’re really funny. Ha ha. You got me good.

As i have mentioned before, Chattanooga is the allergy capital of the country – or pretty damned close anyway. And this time of year it is off the charts, especially with tree (Oak) pollen, which apparently i am insanely allergic to. Every year at this time, my head fills up with enough snot to fill an Olympic pool, and then it begins doing daily sprints between my sinuses and my lungs. While it makes these laps, i am either sneezing uncontrollably, or coughing up everything north of my hips. It is very unpleasant.

Of course, because i am so old that, as my son once said, on the very first game show i ever saw, the prize was fire; my body has a hard time coping with the 300 mile per hour gust that is coming from my respiratory tract. (No, i’m not exaggerating. I actually looked it up. A cough can produce gusts up to 300 mph. A sneeze produces a wind up to 100 mph. I read it on the internet, so it must be true!)

Anyway, like i was saying… I’m old. And i’ve had 3 kids. So sneezing or coughing that hard, unless contorted into the bent over yoga pose that i affectionately call the “Mom Maneuver”, well…. All that force has to go somewhere. Especially if you are trying to hold in  said cough to avoid sounding like a duck who has smoked too many cigars, or are trying to kibosh the sneeze because you are in the middle of a parking lot with no tissue in sight. Your body has all this kinetic energy built up. If it doesn’t come out your mouth or nose…….

If you are lucky, you will only pee a little.

In the car driving home from the store yesterday, i wasn’t so lucky. I was in traffic when i felt that twinge that told me i was about to start a coughing jag that would scare a money-hungry Pulmonologist, so i pulled to the side as quickly as i could, but it hit me just as i stepped on the brake. The force! I exploded with a cough so hard that it made me shoot a fart that sounded like a cannon! That made me laugh – even tho i was still coughing – so then i couldn’t hold anything in. A good 15 minutes later, half my lung was in the pile of tissues, i had wet my pants, my tears had smeared my makeup so i looked like an old drag queen on a bender, i had snot on my shirt, and the car stunk of cheese toot.

If i had any dignity, it would have been lost.

But thankfully, i have very little dignity left, so i just wiped my face and drove home.

Since i have been plagued by this for a week, the coughing jags have gotten less frequent, and i was certain i was doing well enough to do my weekly girl maintenance last night before bed. Relaxing bath. Fancy schmancy face masque. Sugar scrub on the feet. Aaahhhh.

Then for the less enjoyable part. I had the wax in the warmer, the usual accoutrements laid out. All good and ready to go. Leg propped and body balanced like i’m in frigging Cirque du Soleil. After the third or fourth application, that lung tickle starts again.  I can feel that mucus engine racing and rumbling like a ’55 Thunderbird. I try to get one more swipe of wax on before it overtakes me….

Bad idea.

I try to bend over so i don’t pee (Because i already needed to before i started), but forgot that my leg was halfway up the wall, so i start to fall over. Toss the tongue depressor/applicator to grab something to keep me from hitting my head because OMG IF I KNOCK MYSELF OUT THE MEDICS WILL FIND ME LIKE THIS AND HOW THE HELL WILL I EXPLAIN IT AND THOSE PEOPLE KNOW ME!!!!!!!!!!! I reach out and grab whatever is beside me – I’m coughing and sneezing and tearing up too much to see it- and because my hand has wax on it, it sticks and jerks my arm back, and i end up on my back on the floor.

Holy hell.

I open my eyes. Over my head, the oversized popsicle stick that is the wax applicator is swinging far over my head where it apparently stuck to the light chain when i tossed it. Back and forth like a puttanesca pendulum. Poe would be pleased.

The fact that my hand is stuck to the toilet seat becomes a happy coincidence, as i would likely be unable to get up unassisted as i have only one leg on the floor, and the other is still up on the sink. I pull up with my hand and push up with my foot…. And make it about 6 inches before falling back on the floor.

My back and ass are stuck to the paper floor protector, and my foot was standing on it.

I wiggle myself til there is bare floor space to set my foot, and manage to stand. The paper is still stuck to my back and looks like giant moth wings. That makes me smile, so i leave them on while i rip off the last swipe of wax that caused my literal downfall and is now as hard as a Klingon Warrior.

There aren’t enough cusswords to describe that pain.

I smile one last time at the wings before trying to peel them off. Thank the heavens that i don’t have a hairy back! I managed to get most of it. (I thought i had all of it til i went to take off my nightclothes the next morning, and found them stuck to my left ass cheek by one last bit of wax.)  Then i started coughing again.

Well, shit. This sucks.

A hot toddy later, my cough subsided enough for me to sleep. The symptoms weren’t nearly as bad today, tho the pollen count climbs again later this week. I’m sure i still have plenty of coughing and sneezing in my future. But given the events yesterday, i’ll be lucky to make it out alive. And since i have no dignity left, i’ll only have indignity left to salvage.

I may have to make myself some more moth wings as a consolation prize.

Darwin Couldn’t Shop Amazon

Just because i have a bit of a cold and am feeling a bit cranky, let me tell you one more thing that really irritates the hell out of me….

I was shopping on Amazon today – Big surprise there – for a variety of things that i have never bought before. So i do my usual schtick and sort them by average customer rating and start to go through the products.

Item number one was a bamboo bathroom shelf. You know, because i’m still not done with the finishing touches on the back bathroom. Oy. Anyway, i need to find a particular size, so i hone in on that first. Then set my budget. Then sort them by review and go through them one by one. I was already a little frustrated because a few didn’t have the exact measurements listed up top, so i was having to dig for every third one. Then i see one that i really like the looks of, but it doesn’t have the measurements listed at all. I won’t go on a rant about how that is the daftest thing a shelf salesman would ever do – not list the size of the damned shelf. You already know that. And you would probably have done what i did. I went down to the “questions” section, because i figured i couldn’t possibly be the only person with this question. I mean, the picture didn’t even have a book or anything on the shelf to help you guess its size. So i skip to the questions, and there it is, number one on the list, “What are the dimensions of this shelf?”

Yeah! Finally! And then the response. The only response.

“I don’t know. I just ordered it and haven’t received mine yet.”

WTF? HOW IS THAT HELPFUL?!?!?!?!

I look through the rest of the questions while i unconsciously shake my head like i am crawling in my car behind someone who insists on walking down the middle of the parking lot straightaway.

Question number 4: “How wide is this shelf?”

Answer: “Don’t know yet. Will answer when mine arrives.”

SERIOUSLY?!?! Why not just wait to answer until it arrives?!?!?! Do you have nothing better to do? Or do you think the question was meant just for you?!?  ARRRGGGGGGGHHHHH!

I could feel my eye starting to twitch, so i retreated.

I picked one that actually had the measurements listed AND had helpful answers to the questions.  Then i went on to item number 2: A book of Japanese patterns.

For those of you who don’t sew, Japanese patterns are unique. First off, the designs are minimalist and clean – almost like if Ikea made sewing patterns. Second, because they are sparse and minimalist, most don’t come in separate tissue pieces with papers of instructions like American patterns do. They generally come as a book with either instructions on how to draft the pattern, or pattern pieces on paper, overlaying each other, that need to be traced onto pattern paper. The instructions are in the margins or are in the book itself. It probably sounds like a terrible idea, but after having tried my first one, i can tell you that it is genius. First, the pieces and techniques are such that less fitting is required, and there are infinite variations possible. And not for nothing, if you’ve ever bought an article of clothing that has similar characteristics and style (i.e. Eileen Fisher), you know that they can be cost prohibitive for a lot of us to buy already made. So anyway, i had made one that i downloaded online, but wanted to pick out a book that had more designs. I hone in and have to laugh reading some of the reviews. Most of the critical reviews obviously come from people who thought that Japanese pattern books were simply books full of patterns, and not a particular aesthetic and construction method. An easy mistake to make, especially for those new to sewing. I could understand those reviews. But some of them…

“These patterns are made for tiny people. They are made for the twiggiest of twigs.” (Seriously, it said that. “The twiggiest of twigs”)  – Hello, they are Japanese patterns. And Japanese patterns for women, at that. Did you think they’d run large?

“There aren’t many instructions to go with the pictograms, and what there is appears to be in Chinese.” – Ummmm…. I’m going out on a limb here, but i’ll say the language you can’t identify is Japanese. Just a guess.

“All the measurements are in metric.” – Yes, you continental sweetie. Most of the world uses the metric system. These aren’t American patterns, ergo….

“All the dresses are loose and baggy. Not corporate at all. Nothing was fitted.” – Yes, dear heart. That is the point. And considering there is a picture on the front of the book that is very representative of the style, i’m shocked at your surprise. It’s not like there was a three-piece suit on the cover.

And my personal favorite… “I couldn’t get past the photographs… They all have plain white backgrounds and it made the models look like they were in a mental hospital.” Bwahahhahahaha! Ok, i can kind of see that point. But it is supposed to be a functional book, not a coffee table book. The photos are there so we can tell where the seams are and how it is supposed to drape. They obviously didn’t want a background to detract from that. (But i will never look at those pictures the same way again.)

I was a little less frustrated by this search, mostly because some of the critical reviews were so funny. I did eventually pick the book that i wanted. And i was still giggling when i did so.

Item 3 was silicone molds for soap making. Generally, these come 2 ways, individually like custard dishes, or something akin to a 6 muffin pan. Mind you, this is a harder search because you can use these things for baking, too, so you really have to look both places to get the full picture. In a lateral vein to item one, tho the overall dimensions of the pan are listed in each item page, very few list the actual volume of the molds, which is the important part. I don’t care that the pan itself is 9 by 8. Does it make full-sized soaps or the kind that are only good for people with excessive OCD who can’t use the bar more than once?

I find a set of two 6 pans in lovely Celtic designs and think, “Yes, that’ll be perfect, as long as they’re not the size of a truffle.” So i search for some kind of volume measurement. Or at least the measurement of the individual cups.

Nada. Zilch. Zip.

So i go to the questions. Oh boy! And there it is, number one on the list: “How big are the cups? What size soap will they make?”

And the answer… Are you ready? There was only one response. Just one. Even tho it had hundreds of ratings for the product. Just one answer.

“I don’t know. I’ve only bought their donut molds. And those are standard size.”

Dude.

It’s a good thing you aren’t sitting next to me. I would force you to explain why in anyone’s name you would think that was helpful in any way. And then i would smack you.

Am i the only one who is driven crazy by this? Does anyone else think it is possible that Amazon allows people to post useless remarks just because they know it will drive us nuts? Am i the only one who wishes that, in addition to “4 stars and above” and “Prime eligible”, there was a filter called,  “Ones with reviews that are actually worth a damn” or “Questions that actually contain meaningful answers”? I am about to prioritize my need for these just above my need for a bird finger in addition to a thumbs up and thumbs down on most social media platforms.

And you know how badly we all want that bird finger.

With all the money Amazon is raking in, you’d think someone would be policing such things.

Or maybe it is their idea of entertainment.

Anyway, thank you for listening to me complain. I’m sure i look and sound like a goose who just watched a busload of people disembark without a single bag of bread. But hopefully it made you laugh, or at least shake your head in agreement. Because i know you have been there. We’ve all been there. But sometimes it feels good to let it out.

Japanese patterns with Chinese instructions. Really? Sheesh.

 

 

Making It and Digging It

I spent the weekend on a creative bender. You know, like a regular bender, except without the barfing and with something to show for it other than a bad one night stand and unexplained car dent.

Yesterday i spent most of the day in my yard. I had about 2 1/2 square meters of jungle that i had yet to touch after almost 2 years in this house. There was a large shrub / small tree in the middle of it that i had hoped was a Rose of Sharon or something pretty like that. It turned out to be nothing more than some pitiful leaves on lame branches. Hardly decorative. More like the biological equivalent of a paper bag. So i cut it down.

Remember me saying that my tap dancing fitness routine didn’t prepare me for scraping and painting? Well, it didn’t prepare me for using a bow saw either.

After i got it down, i commenced to clearing out the weeds. We’re talking deep-rooted runner weeds growing for decades in the red clay. Old and rotted wood barriers sunk into the ground with rusty railroad nails. And vines that were dug into the brick of my porch with a grip that rivaled a man with compensating issues. This was no normal bit of garden variety weeding.

This was a green hell.

Two hours i spent clearing it. TWO HOURS for a space smaller than a pool table. That tells you how bad it was. But i got it done, dug two holes, and planted the climbing roses that have been sitting in my driveway for nearly two weeks. Between the dirt and the sun and the sight of the newly cleared area, i felt sore, but accomplished.

After cleaning myself up and making dinner, i went back to work on my sewing that i had started earlier in the week.  I finished up one dress and then took my fabric out to the porch to cut another design. Yes, i actually cut the pieces on my porch. It was too beautiful out to stay inside! A couple of my neighbors gave me an odd glance, but they’ll get used to my weird ways before long.

Sleep and breakfast and then back to the bender. Cleaned and repainted some plastic end tables for the porch. (I inherited them from the previous owner. Apparently, she not only liked her shrubbery boring, she liked beige plastic porch furniture. There is very little about me that is beige. Or boring. Those tables were bugging me with their blandness.) Got them dolled up apple red in between working on the dress i had cut out last night.

The dress is now done. My first time using a downloaded pattern. I won’t lie, it was a much bigger pain in the ass than a regular pattern. But the other dress i had made this week was a pattern i had drafted myself, and i wasn’t willing to trust myself with another so soon. I will say this, both dresses got positive reviews from my son – Remarkable because he isn’t one to give more than an offhand, “It’s ok, ” as a review of most everything that isn’t a computer game. So i guess i did good.

It’s getting towards the gloaming now. I’m chilling on my porch with my fabulously colorful tables while my new creations get their first washing as garments. I’m not quite over my bender, tho. I’ve got 2 more patterns to cut tonight. No doubt that i will keep on later than i should, and i’ll wake up tomorrow with a hangover. Granted, there will be no desperate prayers to the gods for my head to explode or stench of alcohol coming out of my pores, but it will be a hangover just the same. And just like any other bender, i will tell myself that i should exercise moderation more often, tho i know in my heart that i won’t. It may be weeks. It may be months. But some time in the future, i will once again be up to my ears in fabric or paint or dirt or all three, stiff and sore as hell because of the fun-but-not-quite-taxing-enough nature of my fitness plan.

Bless me, Father, for i have sinned. I got drunk on creativity.

And God/Goddess/Universe will smile pour me another.

Adventures in Renovation – The Baccalà Edition

I just spent 4 hours scraping and sanding an 8 by 9 foot bathroom. And when i tell you that a part of me wishes i had just moved to a newer house, I’m not talking about a small part of me. But i did it, and now i’m so sore and tired and angry, i’ll have to live in this house til i die so i can feel it was worth it.

You might remember that my house is over 100 years old. I can’t help it, i love the character of an old house. Even knowing that it comes with its own issues.

First there was the bit with the the pantry. Then The dead raccoon.  And The kitchen cabinets.  Then there was the beginning of this same room (the last adventure). Not to mention the bugs i battled, first with geckos and then with chemicals. The yard work. Or the squirrels who had sex in the soffits over my bed for an entire spring – annoying as hell and made me feel lonely besides.

Mind you, i’ve never lived in a brand new house. I’m sure they come with their own issues. Probably no mushrooms or dead trash pandas, but still… issues.

After $2500 and 2 weeks worth of days without a shower, we are finally in the home stretch. Old, ugly wall thingies are down. Holes spackled. Nasty, peeling paint chipped and sanded as much as is possible (This house is old enough that the bathroom used to be a mudroom, so it has lap siding for walls with 100 years of paint on them.) It is probably still going to look a bit rough, even with fresh paint, but i keep telling myself, that will go with the nautical theme. I have bought towel hooks that are whales (And tails of whales), toilet paper and towel holders that are anchors, and i even bought a new switch plate with a sexy mermaid on it (Don’t judge me.) It will look better when it’s finished, tho still nothing like a brand new house.

And that’s ok with me. I love that this cottage has character. I mean, i’m a character, so it suits. And as much as a day of painting prep has sucked, it was good for some exercise and for my creative psyche. Plus, my son and i got to spend some time together. (I would like to say we spent it discussing important things, but mostly we spent it singing pirate songs from Muppet Treasure Island and at least a dozen verses of Mah Nà Mah Nà, )   So it wasn’t a total loss.

But now that i have been sitting for an hour or so, i’m pretty sure my son is going to have to unfold me off the couch like a rusty lawn chair. Or at least bring me a muscle relaxer. I mean, i can barely raise my arms from sanding the ceiling. And my back and legs feel…  well, they feel like i’ve been climbing up and down a ladder all day. No big surprise there. Suffice it to say that i am sore all over and stiff as a baccalà. Damn, my exercise regime of tap dancing and planks didn’t prepare me for this. Go figure.

Maybe i should consider just giving up and buying a newer house, but, realistically, even if i did, i’d still be sore tomorrow. So i guess i’m screwed either way. Better to save my money and travel more.

Well, here comes my son now. I told him of my situation, and once he stops laughing, he’s going to help me up off the couch and get me some aspirin. So, if you’ll excuse me, i’ll be signing off and, like an elderly sloth, making my way to bed. Once my son stops laughing.

Which should be soon.

Any minute now.

Still waiting.

Crap.