I’m in a bit of a funk over here. I am by no means a mindless consumer, but I’ve started trying to buy something to make me happy.
Our house is cluttered with books, and I don’t give a lick about clothes. We eat good, sometimes amazing, food, and our days are filled with fun and frolic. My family is awesome.
So what gives?
Earlier this week, I stumbled upon this website:
Like Bookshelf Porn, it’s pornography for the rest of us. And I realized what was missing. I yearn for what the Dixie Chicks called wide open spaces. Like Thoreau, I want to extract life’s honey from the flower of the world. (And, who am I kidding? A little cooler weather wouldn’t hurt.)
Right now, I can’t very well extract myself from this suburban life, but I’m actively seeking the widest spaces Chicago’s suburbs have to offer. Somehow, I know they’ll never be enough.
**Photo plucked directly from Free Cabin Porn, a totally SFW site, unless it inspires you to quit your job and move to the mountains.
Our county fair begins today, and the kinder are beside themselves with anticipation. Unfortunately for them, it’s supposed to be 100 degrees most of this week, so a visit with livestock and carneys seems unlikely.
Unfortunately for me, the fair will be a colossal disappointment, as it is nearly every year.
I grew up in Ohio, a massive agricultural state (also: football breeding ground and butt of American jokes, but those are topics for other days.) County and state fairs figured prominently in my life until I left the state ten years ago.
Embarrassing moment with the governor? State fair. Story of my (second) broken arm? County fair. Relatives’ crafts and hobbies showcased for all the world to see? County fair. Rabbits that were mine-but-not-mine? County fair.
I dragged 1977 to Alaska’s state fair on our honeymoon. No lie.
The absolute best treat of any fair, EVER, is cheese on a stick. Despite having been to many fairs outside Ohio, I have never found it anywhere else.
There are mozzarella sticks, yes. And very occasionally, “cheese on a stick” made from cheddar, which is just wrong. Genuine cheese on a stick is a chunk of mozzarella dipped in cornmeal and deep-fried like all good fair food. It tastes best when dipped in yellow mustard.
And it is nowhere to be found outside of Ohio.
**Image courtesy of dupagecountyfair.org
Last week, I had the girls to myself while 1977 attended a conference in Minneapolis.
Single mothers, I don’t know how you do it. I am in awe of you.
Every night, I was in bed as soon as 2008 stopped peeping, and every morning, I grumbled when 2010 woke me at sometime around 5 a.m.
There were no blog posts. I may have seen my browser every day, but there was no Facebook and no Twitter. I did not pick up a book.
Who the hell was that? Morning to night, these children devoured my creative energy.
Now that 1977 is back and I’m deep into Sandel’s newest book, I wonder how I shut down my entire being for an entire week. And, I confess, I am dreading a repeat performance in two weeks, when 1977 heads to Utah. Following his return, we will be chaining him to a wall in the basement and offering three meals a day a la the three ladies in 9-to-5.
And, single moms, I know how you do it. It’s like any other aspect of parenting: you just DO, because you have no choice. But my hat’s off to you.
Make time now or make time later; you still have to do it.
No one has enough time. No one. About two years ago, when 2010 was born and I realized my free time was virtually nil, I took stock of my life and the many requirements of being an adult.
I started consistently making time for writing, because that’s what I wanted to do. Most of my time belongs to family, but I still make time for writing every day.
My house is perpetually cluttered (clean, yes, but cluttered with toys and kidstuff) because I choose to write during nap time instead of tidying the toys.
My back yard resembles a jungle. If I can be outside, I’m playing with my children or teaching them to garden.
I go to the salon when Brandi-not-her-real-name can fit me in at the last minute.
So, I make time for the important things, and figure everything else will fall in line, or it won’t. I’m not sure how this happened. In my 20s, I thought I was a superwoman with infinite energy and impeccable time management who could conquer the world in a weekend. Now, I am a mother, and I am a writer. I can’t make any more time to wear a cape.
I’m straddling Monday and Wednesday here, because I have no intention of posting tomorrow. . .not that we have big plans. Our city canceled tonight’s fireworks, and the (two-hour) parade won’t happen tomorrow either. (Yes, 2008 is sorely disappointed; her mama is not.)
While our town recovers from Sunday’s massive storm, our little family will celebrate in the backyard with sparklers and a grilled dinner.
It should go without saying, but may not so I’ll say it: we grill over charcoal, because that’s how it’s done.
Lucky 2008 got to choose the day’s dessert, so tomorrow morning we’ll bake apple pie from scratch. Thanks to Fancy Nancy, we’ll enjoy it à la mode (Jane O’Connor, we need to talk.)
Meanwhile, the north side of our town is still without power, and may be for the remainder of the week. The city has advertised several cooling centers via email and their website.
Via email and their website. For people without power. I’m sure their underutilization is mere coincidence.
Happy, happy Independence Day to all of you. May your festivities be happy and your patriotism civil.
I blog rarely, because I'm busy writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: