When someone asks how my summer was, I'm always a bit lost...um, good? Crazy? Utterly exhausting alternating with euphoric sandwiched between layers of anguish and gaiety? If I could just download blurbs into your head....
If, by chance, you should be so inspired to spray your lawn with "weed killer," be sure to first calculate exactly what percentage of said lawn is actually weeds. If this figure is like in the....85-90% realm, re-evaluate this decision. Or you might just spend two months with a crispy brown yard, frantically planting grass seed, and praying to the lawn god for forgiveness.
Holy crap, Scrubs is real. After the adrenaline rush had passed and the gushing waterfall of fear had been reduced to a trickle, I took a deep breath and leaned back. The previously ignored world outside our curtained cubicle erupted. "You stick the broken leg in 2 yet?" "I gotta drain the fainter in 6." "3 puked again, ya wanna grab some lunch?" "I know, here's the vamp dregs from the neuro--he is SO HOT!" The gum-snapping, glitter-manicured, bad breath-laden crew carried on while I sat quietly watching Him sleep. One of the most terrifying days of my life was just a day at work to them. Perspective is everything.
I never did get to see the hot neuro.
The dog barked madly. The boys came running, "Mooo-om, there's a bird on the ground!" Excitement, worry, fear. I dried my hands on the kitchen towel and let myself be drug to the yard. It was tiny. The fluffy head with bright eyes studied me back as I knelt. "chirrrp." Soft, Almost inquiring. The wing was...not right. And the leg missing. Who knew how, there was nothing left to do but provide peace. My garden gloves stained, but smelling of earth and green, scooped the feathered frailty up. I left the boys and dog behind, promising them I find her a place to rest and get better while she and I knew I was finding her a place to die. An old broken tree limb, ferns quickly snapped and layered into a soft nest. She cocked her head as I settled her, eyes on me. Quiet.
I thought of the fragility of life as I sat on the porch with the fireflies that night. I read two stories to the boys at bedtime instead of one.
This is a direct quote from my horoscope in the Pittsburgh City Paper printed on August 3rd. "Aquarius, you're in a phase when you have extraordinary power to learn from and adjust to the challenges that come from having your buttons pushed by those you care about." Seriously?? Ummm....bite me. And my buttons.
I love to read, rather fanatical about it actually, but after a few months filled with slightly disturbing dreams I decided to experiment and stuck intentionally to a string of lovely summer books. (Rose Pilchner & Maeve Binchy types) Filled with laughter and family, they have afternoon tea by the seaside and settle with a whiskey by the fire in cozy cottages as the sun sets, usually with an old dog by their side.
I still dream of vampires under the floor boards, knife fights with three-armed women, and aliens that suck the memories out of my head with a tube attached to my ear. What the hell?
I set my hair on fire while roasting marshmallows. Twice. What can I say--I am waaaay talented.
Matchbox is from Satan
While I was much impressed that my self-controlled 12 year-old actually saved up $65 for the nifty new matchbox car with a video camera in it (I mean, allowance is only $5 a week folks) I was not prepared for the immediate loss of privacy this was going to entail. There I was, reading on the porch...quiet, little itch, look up--Sawyer is holding this car, looking at me. "I taped you mom!" he says. And flips it over so I can watch myself on the little screen. And there I am, next to the ivy and rosemary, scratching under my boob. Loooovely.
We put an underground fence in for Hazel. (my neighbor....KIDDING!) She's a year old now, half rottie-half shepherd, all crazy pup. I insisted that both my husband and I try the collar out on ourselves (no, not WEARING it, you sicko!) just to make sure we agreed with the level of shock. Whatever you can't do to yourself folks, you shouldn't do to your animals.....well, except fix 'em when they're 6 months old. (although I think my parents really re-thought that one when my sisters and I started dating) So He does it first. "No big deal honey, she'll be fine." Then it's my turn.
I almost wet my pants. Hazel hasn't run off since.
Spray paint is from heaven, simply put. The defacement of thousands of walls is a small price to pay for the absolutely magical ability to take a decrepit piece-o-crap bookcase banged about since college (grimy white with the bottom four inches stained ew-ish when the basement flooded three years ago), and with two cans of "Satin Espresso" create a brand spank-me new darling cabinet that tucked into the 2nd floor bath next to the claw foot tub (which I also spray-painted) and VOILA! Bath Divine.
Today was lovely. 80* and sunny, the autumn breeze sending golden leaves dancing through the air as I sprayed away in the backyard. Unbeknownst to me, this playful draft was also sending clouds of Satin Espresso across my yard, surprising me with a "misty" paint job on the rear porch (whoops) and tomato plants that now look as if someone sneezed chocolate on them. The dog wised up and bolted for the house.
Five hours later I had proudly arranged my bath, done three loads of laundry, vacuumed, watered plants and chopped veges for dinner. The boys walked in from school and I shooed them quickly out the door--they had dentist appointments asap. We dashed to the office where I sank gratefully onto the plush couch to relax with the latest edition of People for 45 minutes while teeth were polished and sealed.
Our dentist is.....rather posh.The eggplant colored walls of the waiting room were accented with a lush moss green that paired wonderfully with the leather furniture, electric fireplace and bookcases housing nifty statues and old volumes of Shakespear. They don't just clean teeth folks, they look elegant while doing it.
In the midst of this splendor, I suddenly realized the little girl waiting with her mother next to me was whispering.....and pointing at me. I smiled, certain she just noticed my red hair or glasses. Then her mother suppressed a look of confused horror and grabbing her daughter's hand, moved to the farthest seat possible from me.
I start down the mental list: deodorant this morning, check. No "bra dysfunctions" baring all, check. (what, this never happens to you?) No dog poo on the shoes, check. And then I see it. My arm....my ENTIRE right arm has been "cloud painted" a smashing Satin Espresso leaving the impression, if one didn't know otherwise, that not only was I dirty....I was downright filthy. I'd had so much to do and yes, I'd washed my hands but I wasn't really paying attention, and I......oh no.
Fighting the blush I knew was raging across my face, I stumbled to the poshy restroom and stared at myself in the tasteful gilt-framed mirror. The entire right half of my face was spotted brown. Down my neck....even a lovely drip-o thing right at my jawline, implying that I was not only dirty, but sticky too. Was that a moth glued to my hair?
There is no handsoap on the planet that removes spray paint. But oh, did I try. Now I was blotchy and dirty. Pulsating red, plague-like splotches covered my face, and a lovely welt had risen on my neck where I had attempted to scrape off the drip with my fingernail...dear God, I was a walking extra for Contagion.
I slunk out to the waiting room and snatched a magazine to hold in front of my face. A handsome man named "Brent" was greeted cheerfully by the receptionist before he came to find a seat. The frantic manner in which he backed away from me, nearly landing in someone's lap, said it all. It was a long 45 minutes. I was a Dirty Girl and there was no denying it.
It's been haunting me. My crack. No, not THAT one--although that reminds me of this Eureka Moment I had the other day after whining about the SEVENTH set of oh-so-attractive boxer shorts I'd had to behold while standing in line for a latte. (like seriously guys, if you're gonna flaunt the skivvies, at least make sure they are CLEAN. *shudder*) To which, my darling eloquent pal responded, "just imagine what you'd be a-goggling if they weren't wearing boxers."
"Dear God, I've been so remiss. Please pour out your blessings on the little man--wherever he may be--that invented boxer shorts. Multiply his fruit....and all that."
Fruit of the loom......um....distracted. We'll think more on that.....
But back to The Crack. Here it is....well, was.
See it?? Check out that ceiling. Mmm-hmmm....they don't come that way in the box. Yes, that is indeed the corner of my living room. Beneith it is a flatscreen inside an antique stereo cabinet named Norman. (you don't name your furniture?) And I have had complete nightmares--in color--of the claw foot tub that resides above that crack and the impending doom that is portended by it's presence. (including the 911 calls elicited by my bedeviled bath involving embarrassing awkward moments with the neighbors and entirely too much flesh) Ahem.
So. While some might say it's charmingly ironic (should you do so, I may stab you), my Labor Day weekend has just become laborious. The crack....attacked.
Now the blissful part of this story is that The Leak that really is the culprit here--has been iced. However, as you are lifting your brewski tomorrow, lounging at your end-of-the-summer bash involving grilled hunks of meat and salads with questionable ingredients....take a moment. While He tackles the living room ceiling, I will be grappling the bathroom floor. (no, not ON the bathroom floor--who raised you?!?)