conceptual nap

I think I like the idea of naps better than actual naps. Because I am perpetually exhausted, I always claim to be looking for the free time to nap. I never met a nap meme that I didn’t like and/or share. Naps sound luxurious and refreshing.

If I actually take a nap in the late afternoon, I wake with a dull headache and have a terrible night’s sleep. If I take a nap in the early afternoon, I wake feeling like I’ve wasted half the day.

The best thing for me to relax and refresh is a book nap. One chapter to de-stress and two chapters to feel pampered. Two chapters in the bathtub? Heaven.

youth basketball

I’ve sat on the sidelines of hundreds of Color Guard and Winter Guard practices and performances. I’ve stood beside the husband while he juggles fire. I have never feared for my safety as much as I do at the middle school child’s basketball practices. There are hordes of balls being thrown in every direction on the court, the sidelines, the bleachers, the halls and everywhere in between.

Adults sit on the sidelines of the court and assume a hunched shoulder, slightly sideways posture in the hope that stray basketballs will harmlessly thunk heads and shoulders instead of smashing eyeglasses or sending paperwork flying. Paperwork and paperbacks are the multitasker’s safest option at basketball practices. Since you’re basically trying to work while sitting in the middle of a dodgeball game, it can’t be anything that requires actual concentration or uses fragile electronics.

I think it’s time to make plexiglass ice hockey partitions a requirement for youth basketball. Until then, can they practice on an ice hockey rink?

mom’s car

A year and a half ago, I got a new car. During the annoyingly lengthy shopping process, the husband asked me what I would choose to drive if I could have any car in the world and I told him a classic red Mustang. We bought a Nissan Rogue. The husband chose to include every safety feature offered. I drive a playpen. No, that’s not accurate. I drive a purse. The hand lotion is in the driver’s door pocket. The chargers are in the center console, but the bottle opener is in the top tray. There’s a barf bag and emergency potty in the glove box behind the mountain of fast food napkins, straws and spoons. Tissues and clorox wipes are in the middle section. The emergency blanket, first aid kit, trash bags, paper towels, jumper cables and stadium seats are in the rear section.

It’s not the car I asked for, but it’s the car I need… with everything I hope to never need.

Today, I rolled my window down and a spider dropped into the car. Before I could scoop it up and toss it back out, it escaped to the middle of the car where a spider lifetime of crumbs are hidden in the seat cushions. That spider has probably invited all his friends to live in my car and they’re definitely all brown recluses.

Obviously I’m going to need a new car now.

maybe if I added nutmeg

After Halloween, I put our pumpkins on the wildlife viewing area known as our back porch. I’ve seen all the adorable pictures of zoo animals happily eating leftover pumpkins. Our raccoons, possums, skunk, owl, hawks, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and deer aren’t traditional zoo animals, but I thought it was worth a try. Neither the carved nor the uncarved pumpkin have a single nibble mark on them. The experiment wasn’t a complete failure. The candle that was accidentally left in one of them has been chewed up like wax lips chewing gum.

I live to amuse/annoy

“Excuse me, sir. Is the chicken under the warming light labeled ‘hot’ because it’s spicy?”
“Nooo. It means it’s not cold.”

Pardon me, Mr. Crankypants Grocer. I’m pleased I’ve given you something benign to go home and complain about to your family. How silly of me to ask you a question while you put my sides in containers instead of running to the refrigerated shelves to see if the chicken there was labeled ‘cold’ for us clueless shoppers.

reading goals

While the tv stays off during the day, evenings used to be for watching shows and movies. After more than a decade of this routine, the husband has become unable to waste time on television. As he sits at his computer every night, I realized that there are zero shows I watch without him. Every show I watch is one of “our” shows. Last year, the girl teen told me about “The Good Place” and I only made it two episodes before it became something I needed to watch with the husband. It’s too good to not share. After more than a year of waaaaiting for him to watch tv with me every evening, I’m trying to develop new evening habits.

I read in the carpool line at school. I read when I’m stuck in the car for an hour or two at a child’s activity because it would be a waste of fuel to drive home and back. I read to relax. I read to reward myself. I read because it makes me happy. I’m going to end up having read about 70 books by the end of 2017. If I spent my evenings reading instead of pouting while falling down rabbit holes on the Internet, maybe I could have a 100 book year. It would certainly be an excuse to read more and feel slightly less guilty about the selfishness of reading.

If I stick to older books and series, I think I can do this inexpensively by treating McKay’s as book rental instead of store. The books I long ago pre-ordered with 2018 release dates shouldn’t count in the expense of this bit of foolishness. Right? I might have to wander back into the mystery genre that I read decades ago to find enough books I want to take up space in my head. Not too many though. In fantasy and urban fantasy, after you see where everything is headed, it’s still fun to see how the author gets you there. When you reach that much anticipated point in the story, you cheer while reading. With mysteries, you get frustrated at the characters refusing to figure out what you realized chapters ago. By the time they do, you’re convinced they’re morons. I digress.

I googled the idea of reading 100 books in a year and people weren’t very enthusiastic about it. One of the complaints is that you’re too focused on the number of books to enjoy the books. I’ve readjusted my GoodReads goal a dozen times this year trying to avoid reaching it too soon and I’ve loved almost every single book that I’ve read. So, maybe this is something worth doing to amuse myself. Or not. I still haven’t decided.

gun violence

I tried to write something about today’s mass murder in a Texas church, but it was far too long for the attention span of a blog reader. The fact that I’m an anecdotalist makes that statement depressing. My immediate reaction to the violence being concern for the people I know IRL who will now have their personal experience of a gunman in their church replaying in their heads is the saddest thing of all. It’s not social media that makes these events seem more frequent and closer to home. It is not happening to someone else. This is happening to us. Our families, friends and neighbors are physically and mentally scarred by gun violence.

I can’t remember the last time I ate an apple pie or picked up a baseball. I know there was gun violence and death today. I know there will be gun violence in America tomorrow. Guns are the American pastime.

The night the lights went out on fb

Our power used to go out frequently. Sometimes we’d hear the transformer blow. Sometimes we’d see the lines on the road. Other times, it just popped on and off for several days in a row. I don’t know if the utility companies have better maintenance routines to prevent the failures or if it’s just been a good long spell of luck, but I can’t remember the last time we had a power failure until it happened last week.

When I heard a muffled boom not dissimilar to a single firecracker in a mailbox, I was home alone. It was a crisp, clear night and the windows were open. I was sitting in a chair with a book, waiting for the rest of the family to straggle in from their various activities. One boom and I was sitting in darkness experiencing the temporary shock of silence when all the humming appliances and electronics ceased their background noise.

Unlike when the power outages were frequent and we kept emergency lights plugged in to activate at the loss of electricity, I couldn’t think of the location of a single flashlight. There are large oil lamps atop the kitchen cabinets, but glass and flammable liquid aren’t really something you want to blindly fumble to find. I grabbed the only thing I could easily access in darkness, the grill lighter. I carried it like a wheezy torch and descended to our windowless basement to find my cell phone. I texted the husband until he returned home with one of the children. For the rest of the evening, we did what we did when the electricity went out regularly and social media was fun instead of depressing, we facebooked sarcasm.