Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Birds, Bees and Barking

Dogs. I am surrounded by dogs. And pets. We have a serious pet problem here. Too many to even tell you.

My grandma loved animals and I must have been influenced by her at a young age. Because I am doing the same thing she used to do. She was extremely poor and could barely feed her family. As a housewife, she stretched their money and I remember eating macaroni and cheese (Kraft-like not homemade) and it was watered down to stretch the amount of "cheese." That's how poor she was. By the end of the pay period, there wasn't much left. My dad said they ate like kings on payday and barely made it to the next pay. There wasn't a bathroom, just an outhouse and dogs. She must have had at least four at any given time. I am sure there were cats there too. I just don't remember them. She passed away when I was 9.

Two days ago, my dad reminded me how much she loved animals. I was teasing my dad and asking him if he'd like to dog sit for me this week.  During spring break, I am watching my sister's puppy and another friend's dog and their bearded dragon. I also have a older dog and cat that are not very happy this week. Both are doing their best to hide and stay away from our guests.

The visiting dogs are enjoying each other. Too much. There is a lot of loving going on here. So much so that we've had to have a talk to Kyle to explain what is happening. Whoa! It has been a week. Birds, bees and barking.

               (Grandma doing some wort of a dance. I love to dance too! She is wearing a corsage so I am guessing it was Mother's Day. My mom always bought them corsages for the day.)

I am not complaining. My sister watched my guinea pig that gave birth, died and had three babies while I was on vacation last June. She hand-fed the babies for the week. We owe her big time.  My chili is on the stove and I feel so fortunate that I have plenty to feed my kids, have an indoor bathroom and my house is nice and warm. My grandmother's life was very different and I feel so blessed. How I wish I could have her meet my kids, get to know the adult me and meet my animals. 

                               (Let's hope this a swimsuit! No idea. Great legs, Grandma!)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Never ready

I would run through the alley behind our house and barely make it on time. I'd be relieved to be there only to sit and wait. And wait. And wait. What could the mom be doing? The dad seems ready. She knew I was coming. She knew all week. She is a stay-at-home mom. What does she do all day? And why is her hair wet? She didn't have time to get ready? The kids are fed. And I can tell she cleaned up. What's the problem here? Why did I run? Why do I try to be on time?

I had a babysitter last night. I answered the door looking like a total weirdo with half of my make-up done, hair a total wreck and sweating from trying to clean up in time.  I thought of the McMann family that I used to sit for when I was a teenager. I was literally running through the house 10 seconds before the door rang cleaning up and trying to find something, anything to wear. I told the sitter to take a seat and I'd catch up with her as soon as I could get ready. I couldn't find anything to wear, was missing a boot and needed a shower but ran out of time. I wondered what my sitter thought.

When I was a teenager, the McMann family had three girls, less than two years apart. Wow. I know understand how busy she was. And how much she needed her night out with her husband. She was lucky enough to have three sitters that could walk down the alley to her house. Back in the day when you had to call you sitter, odds were good that one of us would take the sit. I can imagine how excited she was when she heard about us. I know I would be thrilled to have three sitters down the street.

I would never count my money when she handed it to me. But I would secretly try to count it as I walked. I'd wait a few houses and see if the actual amount was anywhere near the guess. I never knew what her going rate was and couldn't figure it out. My guess it was as much as she could find that day in cash. I was happy to make a few bucks and watch TV once the kids were in bed. I knew I was helping Mrs. McMann out. Last night my sitter thanked me for letting her babysit. I love that. And I love that someday, she will totally understand why I am a total mess when I answer the door. And why I am never, ever ready when the doorbell rings.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sweating NOT to the oldies

I like to workout. Wait! Stop! Keep reading. I hate people that say that too. I only like to workout to stay sane. I must work out so that I don't scream at my kids constantly and eat everything in sight. So, I find motivation in my sanity.

And to really move, I must have music. Really, really, good cheesy fast music. I'm talking night club, dance music. I used to make my own playlists or listen to the radio. I started to get behind, listening to old stuff that was really stale.

And then I found the BEST WORKOUT STATION ever! I am so excited that I am telling anyone who will listen.

Now before you go and try to find it, promise that if you hate it, you will try again another day. The music varies and once and a while, the DJ isn't 100% on. So, if you like dance music but don't care for it, come back and try again. And if you like an oldie once in a while, they thrown them in now and then.

The first thing you need is the iHeartRadio app. It's free and easy. It's like Pandora.

Then you need to go to their "Perfect For" category and look for "Working Out."  Then click on "Spin Cycle."

The music is perfect for walking or attempting to run as I do. I lift weights to it too. Or dance. I dance while trying to walk on the treadmill. Thank goodness I have no windows near me in the basement.

And the best part, is if they land on a Lorde song that doesn't really work as a dance song, it will soon ooze into another fun, dance song. You will soon be singing, dancing your way through your next workout. And you may never say that you like to work out, but I promise you will dance your way through it. And maybe saner in the process.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I'm back. I really am.

I've missed writing. There is a constant small voice whispering to me to get back to it.  Do I write privately? Back to the blog?  The voices. I should meditate instead with my time. Or add more cardio. Read more. Clean more. Organize! Maybe just stick to Candy Crush.

Two things happened this week that turned up that little voice. The first is that I met a writer that I enjoy. I couldn't even speak. Just held out my book for her to sign. I am such an extrovert but so shy when I meet someone I admire. Seeing her in person and listening to her stories was like visiting an old friend. I didn't want to leave. I wanted to just be in the same room for as much time as I could. I left thinking about her life and choices. How when she's home, we probably live similar lives with our families. What the heck am I doing with my life?

And then today, I opened the online version of the New York Times and read an article. It caught my interest and once I read it, I thought "Hey, I could write an article as good as this one." So, I Googled her name and it brought me to her webpage. And on it, deep in her collection of articles, I found an error. This brought me joy. A real writer had an error on her page. Joy because I beat up on myself so often that I think there is no way I could every write. I screw up all of the time. I am scatterbrained. I only get three minutes of uninterrupted computer time on a real computer, not an iPad. I could write. There is hope for me.

So as I hide for a half an hour a day from my kids, I will write. I need to be here. Or write somewhere. I may not ever get an article in the Times but you will find many errors here. I try to clean it up before I hit publish. But, often times the pitter patter of little feet running into my quiet space is enough incentive I need to get this done and move on with my day. I'll continue to try to add meditation. I am off to workout before the Oscars tonight. And I am sure I will get sucked into a few games of Candy Crush.

I'm Not Talking About It, I'm Just Saying...