Day 22: Describe 7 things you’re awful at.

  1. I’m awful at picking a man that won’t lie to me, cheat on me, steal from me or break my heart. I’ve elevated it to an art form and have ruled them out entirely as a result. Heterosexual men are basic creatures. Much like that lump of a human they hand you when you have a baby, you only need to feed, water and love it for things to be agreeable, right? Wrong. I have an innate ability to pick the absolute worst asshole in the room. Eyes closed, heart open… I lose every damn time.
  2. Thinning root vegetables. Seriously.. someone should take my carrot seeds away. There’s honestly no point in me even planting them because I can’t grow them for shit and who needs 4000 pencil sized baby carrots? Nobody.
  3. Kitchener stitch. It’s some sort of modern day needlework witchcraft. I avoid knitting socks for precisely this reason. I loathe not being able to do something though, so I’ll figure it out eventually or die trying.
  4. Seeing the forest for the trees. I see the potential in everyone- and never stop to consider that some people are self motivated and not looking out for me or my best interests. Some folks are just users and I work overtime to see the goodness a little too much. Some of those frogs aren’t princes. Some of those warty little things are just dirty ass reptiles.
  5. Brownies. I can’t bake brownies to save my life. I don’t know why. I’ve given up trying and just buy them. I’m bitter about it though because I’m a damn domestic goddess and hate that I can’t do something.
  6. Sleep. I am the worst insomniac. I am regularly awake between the hours of 1-5 AM and generally give up and get up by 5:30. I’m painfully tired and all things considered could probably use a week of rest, straight. I won’t get it and it won’t stop me from lying awake all night again tonight… so feel free to give me any suggestions you may have.
  7. I’m awful at shaking this Incredicock nightmare. Hearing one thing and seeing another is the worst form of torture and I was crazy to think that touching him again was a good idea. It wasn’t. You can only be casual about someone you don’t care about… just as you can’t make a ho a housewife, it’s absolutely impossible to make a fuckbuddy out of the guy you’re in love with and I should have learned that painful lesson the first time with him.

I wish I had more of my shit together, but fairy godmothers aren’t real and it involves a shit load of work and time to change these things. I’m still determined, still working hard to be better, do more, live positively and strive for happiness.

I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep… -Robert Frost


Terrible Heart

Quote from Nora, episode #42 “The heart is where it’s at. It tells us so much about ourselves. It skips a beat when we’re falling in love. It races when we’re scared. It holds our secrets and our hopes.” What does your heart say about you? What is it racing or skipping a beat for? #terriblewritingclub

The Unicorn and I were talking about this yesterday. We’re just…different. She’s in the same boat, regularly enough that she can commiserate over anything I’m going through. We love out loud and hard. Neither of us have any concern over why we should be more cautious or restrictive with our feelings. We don’t speak that language and we’d be miserable if we did. Sure… at the end of the road her and I will arrive at the pearly gates with dents and dings, a few bruises and hearts that have been broken so many times they’ve been duct taped back together. Laughing. Having lived every last shred out of every second of every day. Loving every minute of it, because we don’t know how to love any other way. The high cost of a magical life, well lived.

So many things make my heart race or skip a beat, that I have to make a list: 

My Children. First and foremost, nothing makes my heart skip a beat more than my babies. They are my sun, moon & stars. 

Finding the perfect Christmas gift for someone special. 🙂 I am SO excited for Christmas this year because I have some HUGE surprises planned. My closest friends know that I don’t love opening presents. I kind of loathe wrapping paper and the awkward expectation of it all, but I LOVE shocking the hell out of someone by making a big dream come true. 

The Yarn Store. Hmmmmm, somebody take my card away because I can spend some serious money on string. I think it’s close to a high when I walk into the merino and angora section. I. Want. It. All. Incidentally, I already have it all, so it’s really ok if someone takes my card away before I walk in the door. 

Morning sex. There’s really nothing like being woken up by the man you want. Nothing. In this crazy, chaotic life of alarm clocks,  traffic and stress… God or nature gave us perfect erections, every morning. Letting that treasure go to waste is a crime. Wake HIM up. Do it for me. 

Thread count. Sorry, not sorry. I have a bedding collection that makes my heart skip a beat every time I do laundry. I love good sheets. Fluffy feather pillows and comforters make me happppppppppy. My boss gave me some sort of charcoal mattress topper thingy that feels like a cloud. My bed is heaven before you even add me into the equation. Amen.

Being in love. I think this is a given, considering the topic… but the only one I hesitated on. I am a little horrified at myself when I’m in love, and it’s somewhat uncomfortable to face the frustrating parts of yourself. I can’t explain what happens to me. My Mormon roots come out swinging, and I LITERALLY tie an apron on. I bake, spoil and fuck him into a dumbfounded coma. My jeans disappear and there are suddenly a dozen dresses and heels in the closet. I take the time to wear a garter belt and stockings. I wake him up with a blowjob. I AM that 50’s housewife we all shake our heads at. Sex on heels and grinning at everyone, everywhere. Baking a blue streak. Lemon tarts and marshmallows, and why not make a bunch of homemade gnocchi? It’s a lot. Kind of like your own private hurricane. 

Traveling. So many things make my heart skip a beat when it comes to travel. I love Mexican libraries where I can’t read the pages in the books, and homemade tortillas from the lady I can’t have a conversation with. I realize that I sound like an asshole American, but honestly… not talking is ok. Smile and shake their hands. Hug them. Words aren’t always necessary and some of my greatest adventures have been with people who didn’t speak the same language. I think it’s important to see how the rest of the world lives and loves. It makes you a better person and more grateful for the blessings we tend to take for granted.

Gardening. This is a hard pill to swallow after such a terrible season, but it truly makes me happy to play in the dirt. Homegrown garlic is unparallelled as are ripe heirloom tomatoes. I can’t live without either and nothing quite compares to the release of my favorite porn every year. 

Blowjobs. This is the unsung hero of so many women’s sexual repertoire. Seriously ladies, step it up, because this tops the list of why I am struggling with an Incredicock addiction. He indulges me and I can’t look at his belt without my heart racing. 

Rough sex. Give me all the spankings. Choke me, bite me, and tell me all about it. I apologize for the hearing loss. Feel free to put your hand over my mouth. That does it for me too. 

My Fab Fit Fun box. Call me Basic Becky, because I LOVE this shit. It’s the only stupid thing I do for myself and it ships out four times a year. Buy it for yourself, your wife, your mom… anyone. It’s a wonderful surprise that shows up when you expect it the least and need it the most. Anything I don’t love or use, I give to my lovely daughter and friends. It’s win-win, all the way around. 

Masculine men. Sigh. This should be second only to my children. The only smell on a man that’s sexier to me than cologne, is sawdust. Hot and dirty with tools in his hands, he can have anything from me. Name it, take it… it’s yours. 

Tattoos. It’s been way too long since I got a new one. Nothing compares to needle therapy and I can’t be attracted to a man without them, either. All that plain skin is a sign of a boring soul and uneventful life. 

Elderly couples. We visit the nursing home frequently, and have adopted a few families who don’t have children/grandchildren nearby. They think we belong to them and that’s enough for me. John and Edna are my favorites. He walks with help and she’s quite a bit younger than him. He pinches her on the ass, every single chance he gets. She took his motorized cart away because he kept running into her heels, but he figured out how to roll after her equally as fast with his new self-propelled wheels. She laughs every time, even when he runs into her. He jokes constantly that he told her he’d chase her around the nursing home and now she believes him. They’re good for everyone who has the pleasure of being around them. Edna does squats with me now and John is threatening to start pinching mine, too. 🙂

Old books. The older the better. This beats any porn I’ve ever seen, including my favorite seed catalog. I could sit in an old library for a hundred hours and smile for a month straight, afterwards. Reading is a luxury I don’t make enough time for, but when I am really feeling sad or lonely, a good book is always just what the doctor ordered.

Exercise. Hard to believe, but so incredibly true. I love the muscle screaming, sweat dripping, ass perfecting grind that is my daily workout(s). It saves me when my sex drive threatens to steal every last minute of the limited hours of sleep I have available to me as it is. My arms are changing shape, my jeans are looking goooood  and my panic attacks are gone.  That’s everything.

What makes your heart race or skip a beat? Do you share any of mine?  


Ghosting

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I was grateful for the radio silence from Mr. Grey yesterday. Sort of hoping he’d just fade away into the city like any other dismal date I’ve had.

I hate awkward silence though, and I’ve realized something in losing a very good friend recently.  This whole ghosting trend is some grade A bullshit. If you’re adult enough to interact with society, you can use your grown up words and tell someone when you’re not interested. Having been on the receiving end recently and feeling horrible about it, I have to be mature enough to tell him I’m not going to be around for date 5.

He started asking about my day, wondering if it’d been bad since he hadn’t heard from me all day.

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Look at me. Using my words and shit. I revoked his text-tone. No whistles for boring boys. He was quick to confirm I was right.

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Awwwww sweet relief. No hurt feelings and no more celibate dating. Thank GOD. I’m offended on my little lady’s honor but he was never going to meet her anyway, so it’s sort of a moot point. Definitely need to clear up one thing though.

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Ew. Ugh. Yuck. This is why I gave up men to begin with. No matter how nice you think they might be? They’re all thinking of fucking you.

Sidenote: WHY in the hell does smart= arrogant? Is it really so much to ask for a man that can spell AND be a decent human being? We had a tense conversation about homeless people the other night.

G- I never give homeless people money.

J- I always do.

G- So your money bought their overdose?

J- I’m ok with that. I’m not homeless and I can’t imagine how scary and cold that would be. If my $20 buys him a burger or drugs, at least life is a little better for a minute.

G- I donate my cars to the mission, which goes a lot further, and I don’t eat burgers..so…..

See? Arrogant and elitist. Something that also goes hand in hand with rich guys. Give me a dirt poor, genuine man, any day.

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Not really interested in diamonds though because that was my last bit of helpful advice. I don’t have a lot of faith in the shopping or selection abilities of a man determined to die without the nirvana of a cheeseburger. The funny thing about dating when you’re older and have more of your shit together, is that you’re absolutely going to weed out a few duds based on these sort of trivial details.

Cigarettes only get more disgusting as time goes by, and I’d hold my breath and walk away from something really beautiful if it came with a fog of nicotine.

Men who don’t walk women to their car in a dark parking lot after having invited them to said parking lot, are not good guys. If he isn’t concerned about your safety getting home, it’s because he thinks you’re a sportfish, not a trophy.

I urge you all to read Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. By Steve Harvey. It’s the man bible. The cliff notes to the penis folk. Listen to Steve. Steve is preaching the gospel truth in those pages and you will THANK ME ETERNALLY. I bought a copy for my 68 year old coworker and she bought a bunch for all her friends, too.

“fishing, my philosophy is that men will treat women like one of these two things: a sports fish or a keeper. How we meet, how the conversation goes, how the relationship develops, and the demands you make on a man will all determine whether you’ll be treated like a sports fish—a throwback—or a keeper, the kind of woman a man can envision settling down with. And the way we separate the two is very simple, as I explain next. A SPORTS FISH . . . Doesn’t have any rules, requirements, respect for herself, or guidelines, and we men can pick up her scent a mile away. She’s the party girl who takes a sip of her Long Island iced tea or a shot of her Patrón, then announces to her suitor that she just wants to “date and see how it goes,” and she’s the conservatively dressed woman at the office who is a master at networking, but clueless about how to approach men. She has no plans for any ongoing relationships, is not expecting anything in particular from a man, and sets absolutely not nary one condition or restriction on anyone standing before her—she makes it very clear that she’s just along for whatever is getting ready to happen. For sure, as soon as she lets a man know through words and action that he can treat her just any old kind of way, he will do just” 
― Steve Harvey, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Expanded Edition: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment

Buy it. Actually, buy 2. You’ll want your best friend to read it too.

The weather is getting cold and I’m in no mood for fishing. I deleted my dating profiles, dug out my knitting & put the down comforters on all the beds. On this blissfully silent night, I’m not loathing my quiet phone, I’m celebrating it. Being single for 6 years has made me really content to make that 10, instead of working to change it.

Who knits? Wanna knit with me instead? I’m making something very special for a dear friend who lost her little boy and it’s slow going with tears in my eyes. If anyone wants to join me, let me know 🙂

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The Holy Grail of Knitting Patterns

I learned to knit when I put my children through Waldorf school. My poor son hated knitting and would offer to trade me chores for my knitting his flute bag. I loved it. He did not understand.

I decided the first year that I’d learned to knit fairly well that I’d make them stuffed animals. I bought an adorable pattern on Ravelry, ordered beautiful yarn for each of them and sat down to whip them right out.

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Holy hannah… they were made with tiny needles and there were stitches I’d never seen and didn’t make sense to read. I got the first half done and ended up with a blue trunk/head object that looked like blue fuzzy scrotum. Ugh.

I’d already fantasized about  a darling matching set of hand-knit Elijah elephants dangling out of stockings on Christmas eve/morning. I knew I didn’t have time to spend the time getting them done by the holiday, so I started to search for someone that could make them. I Googled “knit animals, knit toys and knit for children… and found the most amazing and inspirational woman.

Julie Williams, of Little Cotton Rabbits.

Her blog popped up and I fell in love with her little English garden. I grew to admire her as I read about her knitting peacefully with her Autistic son. I loved how she spoke about her daughter. Most of all?

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I wanted one of her little animals so badly I was considering bribing someone who won to let me buy theirs. Julie was a mother and woman first and the demand for her beautiful creations far exceeded how many she could produce. People stole her ideas left and right and still, and whilst defending herself; she did the best she could to knit as many as possible. People began to complain the sales were rigged and whined that they were being intentionally denied an opportunity to have a coveted Little Cotton Rabbit. She would list them randomly and it was the basically the luck of who got there… but there did seem to be people who sat and did nothing but hit the refresh button in anticipation of her listing one for sale. I remember reading a comment from a woman that had three of them. I was instantly bitter and could not believe she would continue snatching the treasures up while some of us didn’t even have ONE yet! I realized I was obsessed.

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I was never lucky enough to win the opportunity to buy one.

She finally had to resort to using a random number generator to choose who got to the chance to buy one. I gave up.  She’s been the first link in my computer for years.

My ex got married a few years ago and my daughter was nervous about her first trip on an airplane without me. She was clingy weepy about it and I wanted to send something small and made with love to comfort her in my absence. I sat down with my needles and copied the bunny I coveted, to the best of my ability. It was absolute hell, but Bailey the Bunny was exactly what my baby girl needed to feel safe. I sprayed her tummy with my perfume and wrapped her in her suitcase. She loved her and I swore I’d never make another one…. until my favorite Aunt had a baby girl. I used the beloved Alpaca yarn I’d had stashed for a special project, and Vera the bunny was sent off with great love.

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I’ve tweaked my pattern over the years, but I always felt a little… wrong about the whole thing.

I’d absolutely copied her pattern as best I could- and it wasn’t to cheat her or avoid paying for something. I couldn’t buy one…. and she didn’t sell the pattern.

Bailey and Vera were gifts of great love and SO hard to knit… but more than that- I’d loved those cotton bunnies for so many years and wanted my little girls to have one.

Along those lines, I’m making all of my Christmas gifts this year and I’m determined to knit something for everyone. I would love to knit everyone something special, though I can’t imagine being able to pull it off this year.  I tucked a sleepy baby in my bathrobe and sat down with my tea this morning to look at patterns on Ravelry. I clicked on the Little Cotton Rabbits page and nearly fell off of my chair.

You can buy the bunny pattern.

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You can buy the dress pattern.

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There is a Santa Claus.

I bought them immediately and opened directly to the foot, which is knitting purgatory. Baby Quinn’s bunny still only has one leg. I read the instructions and nearly cried. It’s so perfectly neat and beautifully simple. Just like everything I’ve seen about Julie.

I’m both honored and excited to share this link. Go buy this pattern and fill the lives of the little ones you love…

With REAL Little Cotton Rabbits.

I’m still so excited I feel like Santa came early… and seeing the little foxes lets me know that someday… if I’m patient and wait my turn…

She’s going to sell the elephant pattern too.

I’m beside myself with geeky knitter joy that I can actually make my babylove a REAL rabbit, just like the beautiful creations Julie’s made that have evaded capture.

Now I can give my darling knitter friend S the link to the REAL pattern… because I still can’t find one of the 5 post-it notes I wrote my borrowed pattern on.

I’m so incredibly happy to be able to support such a wonderful woman. I have 2 bunnies already started and I’m happiest most of all that two of them will be dangling out of stockings this year!!!

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Foundation

I have an old cedar deck on the front of my house, and in one spot, the boards are being pulled a different direction by the house. I know a problem when I see one. Thankfully after 37 years I also know when it’s a problem I am not equipped to repair by myself. It’s a foundation issue.

Such was my life. Being pulled in a million directions results in you neglecting the priorities you really want to prioritize. I was scattered. Flailing. Desperate.

Not at all how anyone would like to be described.

And just like these boards of mine, I started from the top and have worked my way down. Ish.

I had faith in love again and was disappointed when it went sour. It happens. I’m definitely jaded at this point and have happily burned my V card. I intend to live out my life with a houseful of happiness. (and a dozen cats).

I’ve learned to recognize when I’m not good at something and let it go. I realized how much I needed my mom in my life, and we’ve never been closer after realizing that it’s time spent, that counts. She’s given me a million things over the years, but the week she spent with me after my baby was born wove the frayed ends of our bond back together again.

Ripping down the foundation means you have to put it back together brick by brick… and you only use the bricks you know to be the best. You pick your favorites and leave the broken empty bullshit in the pile.

When you only foster and encourage the best parts of you, every day counts. I’m living proof of the power of having faith in yourself and the ability to change your life.

I had a beautiful baby in July and she lights my life in more ways than I can describe …while she grins and poops at the same time. I still pinch myself every time she wakes me from the four hour power naps I survive on. She wakes up with a big smile and we get our routine on with a little Biggie Smalls. She’s my little Muffin.

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My day begins with a diaper to change, diapers to wash. Jammies to hang up. Smiley baby to nurse. Lunch to pack.

Her big sister is a full fledged teenager, fighting me when she spots my weaknesses. I love her to bits and remember what it was like with her big brother and realize it’s just how they are. I’ve had a baby in each stage of my life. My teens (19), my twenties (24) and now my thirties (37). It’s all so different and similar at the same time. I have so much more patience now- and I feel bad for my older kids because they had the drill sergeant asshole mom.  The midlife crisis mom. Muffin gets the best of me. The weathered, hardened and tempered steel strong lady I’ve grown into. The mom who know knows dessert for dinner is healthy sometimes. The everything-can-wait-let’s read-another-book mom. The mom who makes the damn kids help in the garden. I’ve learned through success and failure to focus on what’s important and leave the rest behind.

I miss my coworkers. I miss having something to talk about beyond baby smiles, infant milestones and canning…. but I’m loving my life these days. I’m living in the moment and treasuring each one.

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I grew that damn enormous acre of vegetables and it’s downright terrifying how many heirloom tomatoes I have. A thousand pounds, perhaps? More? It’s beyond epic. It’s a biomass.

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Gardening while growing a human is not for the faint of heart. I pulled off the impossible. It was spectacular- and froze last week (Thank GAWD) It wasn’t bad while I was pregnant, and actually helped my back feel better. It was soothing while I was nesting and needed more to clean. It’s amazing how many weeds I pulled with a 45 inch waistline. Muffin was born right when it started to produce and things got a little crazy. You can’t take a newborn into the blazing sun and the weeds grew right along with the plants, which I never found time to fertilize.

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Thank God, all the angels & saints too… because I would have had to call the gleaners to help take some of it away.

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I’m canning with a newborn, which is intense- to say the least. I dice tomatoes… then sing patty-cake. Nap time for baby means running a few dozen jars of sauce, salsa, tomatoes, etc through the canner. My pantry is beautiful, and I treasure these months I’ve been devoting myself at home, full time. I love having all the laundry done. I smile when I see a fresh tablecloth on the kitchen table. I like cleaning light fixtures. I’m contemplating painting. It feels good to make home feel cozy and beautiful again. Getting rid of the excess and only keeping your favorite things results in a nice tidy home full of everything you love most. All bets are off where my crafty stuff is concerned.

One cannot own too much yarn, fabric or buttons. These are facts.

I’m baking again which is sinfully good and terrible for my ass at the same time. I roasted a baby sugar pumpkin from the garden yesterday and I’m making a few pumpkin rolls today. The house smells like a mom lives here again. I can’t even get a thigh in my old jeans. Damn. Pregnancy at 37 doesn’t go away as fast as it does when you’re younger… but I’ll get there. Right after this pumpkin roll… 🙂 I really don’t care, to be completely honest. I’m focusing on being a great mother, being a better friend and appreciating the people and season. There’s plenty of time for working out when this baby isn’t so tiny and new. If this sweet chubby babylove of mine is any indication, my breast milk is more like heavy cream.

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I spent nap time sewing for my baby sister yesterday. Her baby is due any day and they did not find out their baby’s gender. It’s fabulously exciting, but a pain in the ass when you’re buying or making gifts. I hope like crazy it’s a girl because her and Muffin would be so close in age. Either way, it was so nice to fire up the Pfaff again. I padded her presents with baby potatoes and actually managed to get it in the mail in time to make it there for her shower… I hope.

I started running again this week after trading a years worth of garden produce for an awesome jogging stroller. Muffin loves it and I’m happy to resume a healthy habit that makes me feel so much better.

Rebuilding a foundation takes time and patience but having strong footing makes all the difference. Ridding yourself of the junk that holds you back and drowns you out, frees up a lot of time to focus on the things you love.

So I’ve cleaned the house, put away enough food for a damn army and knit 4 hats, a sweater and one bootie.

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I grew a baby, grew a garden and kept stacking away on my new foundation. I’ve only used the bricks that make me a maternal bad ass with a black belt in organic gardening. I threw out the bullshit, burned the trash and life has never been more peaceful.

One of these days I’m going to get around to fixing that deck.