My dad is accident prone.  That is sort of an understatement.   The doctors at the local ER sort of know him by name.  Which is why my mother and I regularly have text exchanges like this:

Yeah, she’s even reached that point when taking him to the doctor herself seems unnecessary.  He’ll be fine.  Unless some appendage is actually separated from his body as a whole she no longer really considers it an emergency.

That’s because my dad loves to work with wood.  Really he is working with saws, a lathe, axes, knives, drills and other various sharp and/or pointy objects.  The wood part is really secondary.  Anyway over the years his hands, fingers, arms, face, chest, and even once a part more precious to men than any other have gotten in the way of something sharp.

All in all he has really come out ok.  He is missing one finger and parts of a few others.  He’s got a bunch of scars.  There is no feeling left in several other fingers, but that is actually a good thing, less pain next time he cuts them.

So yeah, texts like this are pretty common.  And dad is lucky that chicks like mom dig scars.

10 Ideas

I recently read an article that suggested you come up with ten crappy ideas a day.  The premise was that if you do this every day you will begin to be better at coming up with ideas by working out and enhancing your “idea muscles”.  Apparently then when you really need a good idea you will be more apt to come up with one.

It sounded like decent advice to me so today I tried flexing my idea muscles.  It turns out my muscles have apparently atrophied as the task was much harder than I ever could have imagined.  At first I tried to come up with ten ideas for titles of movies I would want to watch. 

Apparently I can’t get my mind off the gutter because most of them involved seeing Chris Pratt scantily clad.

Then I thought I might try instead to come up with a list of names for future cats.  That just seemed pitiful.  It hits too close to “turning into the crazy cat lady” home, but I made the list anyway.

So I definitely have the “crappy” part of this ideation exercise down.  I’m not sure if it will actually help me in the future, but it sure as hell is fun.

Libraries and Little Crunchies

Currently my husband and I are redecorating our library.  I have climbed a giant ladders to paint a wall the turquoise of my dreams.  Meanwhile Ryan and my dad have been building a wall of bookshelves 12 feet high.  Soon I will even get a built in ladder for it.  We are going straight up Beauty and the Beast palace library.

I have also done a bit too much premature online shopping for the room.  Chairs and desks and end tables have already arrived in their giant cardboard boxes.  Unfortunately since the library is still a construction zone my new furnishings have been relegated to the hallway and dining room until further notice.

Then yesterday I was looking longingly at my new treasures sitting there in their giant shipping boxes and it reminded me of my childhood.  No, I wasn’t shipped in a box to a new family or anything.  My dad worked in a store that sold large appliances.  He would bring home the boxes from the floor models they had on display.  Then when we had collected enough he would tape several boxes together making a sort of cardboard box maze fort that filled the living room.

Here is where it gets interesting.  My mom would give us each steak knives, which thinking about it now seems horrifying to hand over a knife to a four year old, but ehh, it was the 1980’s, a simpler time.  Anyway, my sister Julie and I, now armed, would enter out new fort and commence sawing away at the cardboard to make patio doors and windows.  We had to be careful though because over zealous sawing with our knives caused the blades to get fiery hot.  We would periodically saw like little women possessed and then touch our knives to see who could make theirs hotter.  This was not a wise pursuit, but Julie and I found it riveting entertainment.

Once our doors and windows were constructed we would bring in the furnishing.  Pillows, blankets, books, and stuffed animals were painstakingly dragged into our new abode.  We would decorate the best we could, drawing pictures on the walls with magic markers until our fort was home sweet home.  It was spectacular fun, with only a few drawbacks.

First being that we lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, which is about as far south as Texas goes.  Thus our temperatures were never below seventy even in the dead of winter.  To some this is paradise, but I assure you, if your are inside a fort, inside a house, you might beg to differ.  The temperatures inside our cardboard paradise quickly rose to about the 80 degree mark.  Then once we plugged up our rooms with our cozy blankets and pillows we would edge closer and closer to the 90’s. It turns out cardboard is a great insulator for holding in heat.  No matter how many windows we cut it was never quite enough to allow for air flow to drop our temperatures down to a livable range.  Thus our fort was good for only short vacations from the real world outside.

The second problem only became apparent a few days after our move in date.  You see Corpus Christi was quite tropical.  Not in the pretty sense of the word, more in the high humidity way.  Which, apparently provides the perfect conditions for large flying cockroaches to live and reproduce in abundance.  They were everywhere.  My sister and I lived in constant fear of the flying critters.  Unfortunately we learned the hard way that the roaches also thought our homemaking skills were spectacular.

After a few days the roaches would discover our fort and move in themselves.  They would make themselves quite comfortable hiding amongst the books and blankets.  This resulted in screams of terror from Julie and me as we would be in the midst of lounging in our new home only to have a giant roach scurry out of our blanket across our tummy.  Or worse we would pick up books and a roach would crawl onto our arm.  It was terrifying.  We would scream and flail inside our boxes causing roach and book to fly off to destinations unknown.  I can only imagine how much my mother must have laughed watching our boxes bounce and bend as we had conniptions from within.  The most horrendous part was when in the midst of making an emergency exit to try to evade the intruder that had been cast off in the shuffle, you would accidentally squish it with your knee or hand as you crawled to safety.  Once outside I would look at my knee wondering why it felt sticky only to discover half a roach smeared across it.

Other than the roaches and heat stroke our fort was a palace.  Julie and I spent hours upon hours in playful bliss inside.  I do think my new palace is better.  Now I will have my own palace library and there is central A/C and pest control to boot.  I’m living the dream.

I Suck at Being Patient

Waiting is hard.  Over the years I have developed a several coping mechanisms for your normal, average, everyday waiting.  For instance, I never leave home without a sock to knit shoved into my purse.  That takes care of those DMV lines or a wait at the nail salon.  You get a few strange looks as you juggle five needles while appearing to be crafting a tube out of yarn, but other than that sock knitting is a proven winner for many waits.

Sometimes larger weapons, such as books, are deployed.  Books are super because they keep my brain from thinking all the anxious thoughts for a while.  Thus when waiting for something that may be painful such as a full body wax or a doctor’s appointment they are ideal.   Books are even more handy dandy now that they fit inside my phone.  As an added bonus no one stares anymore because now they can’t see the cover of the hobbit filled, world on the back of a turtle shell, modern day wizarding, or dragon and fairy based fiction I choose to read.  Win. Win.

Not all waiting is dispensed with so easily though.   Right now I am waiting for some test results.  You know the kind.  The ole, you could be just fine, or you could be harboring a hideous and fatal disease, kind of test results.  Of course they are also the kind of results that take entirely too much time to come in.  The worst part is once the results are in you have to wait again to get an appointment to come in to have said results revealed to you by the every busy and time crunched doctor.  There is no book or sock for this kind of waiting.

Instead I peel the skin from my fingers until they are bloody, or graze on food all day long.  I binge watch television in the background, and force myself to clean the house.  But despite all that I can still feel a festering anxiety in my gut reminding me that none of my tactics are really working.  I’m still nervous.  No way around it this time.

LeTtErS aRe HaRd

I have been trying to teach myself calligraphy.  It is not going well.  Everything I write looks like a glob of paint someone tried to mush around to vaguely resemble a squiggle.  The letters look like a left handed alien wrote them while blindfolded.   

I have tried books and You Tube videos, but I seem to require more remediation than they can provide.  Lest you be concerned I might give up, fear not for I am stubborn as hell.  I am going to poke away until I can write something legible, I promise.

Throughout the process it has occurred to me that our forefathers must have been patient beyond belief!  It really slows down your train of thought when you have to re-dip your pen every few letters.  Not to mention that the first letter often turns into a blob of ink (even if your use a blotting pad) and the last letters with that dip are so faint you rely on paper indentations to read them.  I cannot imagine trying to write a play, novel, or even the freaking constitution this way.  You would get a great idea for a sentence and forget it half way through because you had already had to dip and blot your pen twelve times before completing the first five words.

People must have thought slower back then.  Half the time my fingers can’t even type as fast as my brain works and I forget the thought before I can get it onto the computer screen.  If I had to use a freaking quill to try to record my ideas I would be in deep shit.  Or perhaps that is my problem.  Maybe I should slow down a little.  Take my time and process each word before writing it down.  Ehh, who has the patience.

I live a kamikaze lifestyle as it is, no point in changing it now.  I’ll just be grateful for computers and the delete key, but I have much more respect for Shakespeare and Jane Austen.