Monthly Archives: April 2015

A Note of Gratitude

(Sorry, Lisa, no sarcasm today.)

I am always aware of how blessed I am, and how I have no rights really to complain about anything.  Being of reasonable good health, in a lovely home with the most remarkably patient and loving husband, and mother of two daughters who continue to delight me with their ways of living life, I truly have it all.

Perhaps I don’t have it all by other folks’ definitions because I don’t own designer duds, I don’t go for regular mani-pedis,  I don’t own a vacation home or a time-share in Vegas (is that even a thing?).  I don’t have food shipped to me in a cute box, I don’t belong to a gym, and my car is ten years old.

But I do have it all by the standards of folk who are afraid to walk down the street in the daytime; who don’t have constant access to clean water and a billionty supermarkets; who live with laws allowing them to be executed if they learn to read or drive; who are greeted with suspicion every where they go based on something they have no control over; and who cannot find their own voice and have nobody to speak for them.

The only thing I wish for?  To never forget just how lucky I am.

And dear friends who will pose in pajamas with me.

And dear friends who will pose in pajamas with me.



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Listing To and Fro, Yo

When I was little, I would see my mother making lists and would demand to know what was up.  I wanted to know what plan she was planning, what adventure would soon be taking place, what role I would have in said adventure, and so on.  I would be a little less enchanted when the list contained the order in which she would attack cleaning the den, or what steps she would be taking in painting the kitchen.  I also wasn’t too crazy about the lists she made of all the plants she was going to buy and where she would plant them because that usually meant they’d want me to help weed.  (I hate weeding.  Weeding is unrewarding work because even though you get a neater garden bed out of it, you are still left with dirty hands, a sweaty back, and a pile of weeds that you have to dispose of.  Not very entertaining.)

The lists I was interested in contained things to buy or things to cook or things to read.  Think about it: you make a list of things to buy and you now have all the makings of a treasure map, searching in the vast acreage of supermarketus gigantis and who knows if it can be found or if substitutions must be made?  What other treasures might be stumbled upon and seized with a cry of “I MUST try this!” and a triumphant placement in the front part of the shopping cart.  And finding a coupon?  Payday, baby!  Now I can afford that stick of gum!

I make lists now as a grownup (and part of me must still be a little kid if I’m still using the word grownup) and the shopping lists are still my favorite.  I’ve tried a few apps for list-making and arranging it by aisle or product or something else, but it just isn’t as satisfying as an old envelope with coupons stuffed inside, or one of those impractical memo pads that stay on your fridge and have season-identifying pictures (mine is currently a poinsettia, thank you very much) that I fold in half and slip the coupons inside, using an eensy-weensy paper clip.  If I’m really ambitious, I write down the sale price, “C” for coupon, and quantity.  I draw the line, though, at color-coordination.  It would be too distracting for me.

I also make packing lists.  But I don’t make the lists like “hmmmm, should I bring this?”  I think about them for a long while before I actually write down the list, and then it’s usually bam bam bam, everything written in order and no objects crossed out.  (I know, it’s a sickness.  Bear with.)  If I was a smarter grownup, I’d keep the list with the clothes I packed to make sure I didn’t forget anything on the other end, but apparently I like to wing it.  So far, so good.

My latest list is one I shared with Hubby.  I wrote down all the major projects I wanted us to tackle around the house and what furniture would need replacing or relocating, and what sort of outside changes needed to be made before we could think about entertaining.  Incredibly, we’ve had two items on that list already accomplished and I didn’t even have to push too hard.  Granted, there have been some dust-ups about how the particular projects should be carried out, but I really try to keep an open mind and not be argumentative.  My way is better.  Why?  Because before I made the list I clearly thought everything out and know exactly how I want it to be, so it’s just a matter of following my vision. Damn, my Hubby is a lucky man.  (I don’t have an eye-rolling picture, but if I did it would be right here.)

I’ve made mental lists, too, mostly about the particular people or stores or shows I’m going to avoid being near so that my blood pressure doesn’t soar, and mental lists about old-fashioned letters I want to write to people, and lists of places I want take a peek at and movies I want to see …..

Thanks, Mom.

Look what happened while HE was making lists!

Look what happened while HE was making lists!


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If It’s Spring, There Must Be Cleaning

Good Lord, was that the most dragged-out winter or what?  Even I, a confirmed winter-lover because of the handknit socks, mitts, cowls, scarves, hats, sweaters, etc. was getting a bit weary at it all.  But lo, a subtle shift in  the air: the TV weather slackers forecasters have not uttered the word snow in a while, nothing’s being predicted in inches or windchill, and nobody’s standing in a six-foot drift “reporting” on how high the snow is.  (No, I’m not at all bitter that someone who is wrong more often than right gets paid six figures to do it.)

Hibernation apparently happens at Chez Tea and Sarcasm, because it’s as if I’ve slowly woken up and blinked, reacquainting myself with my surroundings.  When did all this crap get here?  How many coats can four adults need at once?  Are thirty pieces of hand-warming accessories really necessary?  And what I really mean is, are they necessary for festooning the couch?  (Just because I knit and gift these things doesn’t mean they should be carelessly strewn about the house like so many Hansel-and-Gretel-breadcrumbs.  So don’t think you can blame me is all I’m saying.)  The sun is shining, but the windows look a bit….foggy.  It’s as if there’s a ghost hanging out, filtering all the good strong sunlight and keeping us in a dim cavern.  I guess somebody should get out the Windex.

For heaven’s sake, how did the kitchen floor turn from beige to grey?  I’m sure it was clean yesterday, what in the world happened?  Somebody must have come through with combat boots that they trekked through the Amazon (or the backyard) and forgot to wipe their feet.  And why is it nobody in this house can manage to have their garbage actually land IN the garbage can?  My lower cabinet is a treasure trove of near-misses that tell a fascinating tale, one that include plenty of tea bags.

To be fair, we did have that burst pipe and the resulting construction take over the house for over a month, and if you’ve ever had construction you know what the dust situation is like.  All I can say is thank Bob for microfiber cloths because they snag that stuff better than anything.  It’s truly terrifying to see all the nooks and crannies that stuff gets into, and make me wonder what kind of dust mites they might breed.  But oh, lordy, all I want to do is empty the house and start fresh by interviewing each piece before I let it back in the house:

“All right, then, decorative book of Grammy Award winners, why should I hire you?”

“Well, I was hoping you’d use me in your music classroom,  I have a lot of cool facts and pictures, and I look so stylish!”

“Considering I’m not teaching any longer, do you think your skills are still relevant for the changing environment of decorative coffee-table books?”

“Look, it’s not my fault that I’ve been trained to do one thing well.  Perhaps if you had a professional development session for those of us needing new skills…..”

“It look like our interview is at an end.  Thanks for coming in to see us, but I don’t see this house being the right fit for you.  Good luck at the library book sale, though.  Oh, and on your way out, could you please send in the Norman Rockwell collectible mugs?”

Except rats.  I hate rats.

Except rats. I hate rats.

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