Is it August? Still?

I’m so confused. I feel as if my head is not attached to my body. I wish I could say this is the first time I’ve felt this way.

If I recall correctly, this sensation is related to too much time spent looking at a computer. I need to get out more.

Nothing says end of summer like burnt-looking, flower tips. Beastly looking things. Beautiful.

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Alone again, naturally.


Yes. It has finally happened. After what seems like months, but in reality has been about two weeks, I am ALONE. Quietly, sweetly, unbelievably alone. It is fantastic. It is incredible. Silence. The fact that my left ear is still clogged is enhancing the silence. All I can hear is the clickity click of my fingers hitting the keyboard. Just unscrewed the top of my desk so dear husband can whittle down the side a bit to accommodate the new, LOCKING file cabinet we got at Ikea this past weekend. For over two years, since the ladies became mobile and huge enough to rifle thru the shit on my desk, I know where absolutely nothing is. Especially important things that I should know about. But after today, I’ll put important things in my new locking filing cabinet, then LOCK IT UP. The next step to regaining small portions of my sanity will include keeping the keys in one place and not losing them. It is so easy to lose everything. I do it almost every day.

What kept us in our house for so long? No school, no work? The scourge. You know the one of which I speak. I was chatting with my doctor Monday as she faxed in a prescription of antibiotics for my ear infection, sinus infection and pink eye… she said when her now college aged twins were in their first year of preschool, they were sick EVERY MONTH for a year. But then they didn’t really get too sick afterward. A whole year. My girls have been sick pretty much every month since they started school. We get a week or two break here and there, but it’s been constant since September. And they infect their father and me. I can’t remember being this sick on a regular basis since I was a chain smoking, drunk 20something person, staying up all night doing god knows what, working shitty jobs by day. But damned if I didn’t look gooood! Skinny, spiky red hair. Somehow the sickness rarely got in the way of dragging my sorry ass out of the house to have some fun. Oh thin, glamorous, well-lived youth. I’m glad I had one! A nice long one, too. Makes me not resent the insane responsibility that has been thrust upon me (that I unwittingly thrust upon myself) and my husband. I’m too tired to be resentful. Besides, I’ve had some great years. And these child-full years are great, too, in their own way. Just different. And endlessly, germoriffically ill.

Now we’re all just hangin’ out, waiting for the 6+ feet of snow that have been piled onto every corner just to clear off the streets, to melt. I figure a few 70 degree days will take care of it. So we’ll be clear, when? Mid April? Maybe May?

Welcome to the Tundra…

Really. FOR REAL. Tundra livin’, y’alls. Right here. Charm City. Row house, Igloo, what’s the diff? Things is gettin’ all The Shining up in this shits, too. And I’m sick. Because the girls are sick. And spouse is getting sick. In a way, it doesn’t matter, since we can’t get outside anyway. The snow is covering the doors. It might as well be covering the windows. Quite a sight to see from inside our cozy row house. Here’s where I’d like to express my gratitude to whatever energy in the universe finds us in a safe, warm, electrified, interwebified, cable-riffic (though, honestly, I don’t give a rats ass about cable. fuck cable.) The water is working. I have cough medicine in the cabinet. Beenie got to the doc the day after the last storm, so we got antibiotics (that, of course, are giving her the shits. fuck you, antibiotics.) for her ear infection and pink eye. I’m sure I got what feels like strep throat at that doctor’s office. Somehow. We still have a roof intact. The basement hasn’t flooded. And I have not yet killed the other three people in the house, or the cats. Though there were times earlier today where I seriously wondered if that could be avoided.

Things move slowly when you live in the blizzard belt. Since it never snows here, till now, I don’t have proper winter attire. The boots I have are probably over twenty years old. They are too small. I think I gave away all my long underwear when I moved out of Chicago. “When am I ever gonna need that again?”

Ow. My neck hurts. I am going to look to tomorrow with some kind of hope, since today was pretty much shite. Tired, sick, disorganized, angry, trapped, sucky. Thursday won’t suck so much. Right? I want to give the girls haircuts, vacuum, clean the bathroom… oh wait, I’m sick. Maybe my goal for the day should be sleeping as much as I can. That seems like a less attainable goal, but you gotta have goals no matter what. Stay warm.

Frigid


I’m having flashbacks to my five years spent in Chicago lately. Today wasn’t too bad, probably because my body temperature is elevated due to a certain monthly visitor… speaking of which… shouldn’t that just go away after you have all the kids you want? There is no longer a biological necessity to menstruate, and shit, I’m 42 years old. Why bleed? It is the stuff of teenagers — Stayfree, BabySoft, LipSmacker. Free me from this tyranny of tampons! I AM FINISHED! The days are hard enough without having to worry about bleeding through my jammies. TMI, eh?

As I was saying, cold and windy. S’posed to snow again tonight, too. Strange for winter in Baltimore. Usually there aren’t any noticeable snow accumulations, maybe a week or two of coldness, some rain, then it is springtime. This winter has been snowy and really cold for almost two weeks now. The sun was out today. It felt good on my face as I strolled in Fells Point from my car to my job. I love typing that I have a job, even though it doesn’t crack ten hours per week usually. I’m still happy to put on grown-up clothes one morning a week and try to be a part of an office culture. Trying to find outfits that don’t give me away is hard. Most of my clothes have permanent stains of some sort, small holes, or are just shabby looking. This has been a fine costume for the past three years, running with wolves, aka toddlers. But I should have a separate, locked-up pile of clothes I can slip into and appear to the outside world that I belong, even if I don’t entirely think it in my head. Packaging is everything in this instance. Today I discussed content management systems, WordPress, canonical header tags, and broken links with my supervisor/friend. Delicious.

I got home from work, changed, then after the girls had eaten they started fighting on our tall, hardwood staircase, at the top of course. I walked over to yell at them for fighting on the stairs, and Beenie let go or Mimi let go of the ribbon they were fighting over, then Beenie did a SOMERSAULT down a stair or two and because I was there yelling at them, I happened to catch her as her head bashed into the side of the staircase. Big blue goose egg over her forehead. Ice pack. Bring it. She and her sister are now sitting on the couch with their Dada, watching The Simpsons. I think she will live, and I think I may survive this spill, too. It is weird how much this event DID NOT freak me out. All those years of babysitting when I was in my teens and 20’s showed me many a goose egg. Beenie’s was a very small lump compared to the doozies I’ve seen over the years. One instance where being old and experienced benefited parenthood.

My scourge is essentially gone. No cough drops today, almost done my anti-biotics. Lots of good cough medicine and no reason to take it. Still have a day or two before I’ll feel up to drinking booze. Maybe I can have a thimble of scotch before bed. Medicine. Right?

Christmas tree came down Monday or Tuesday. I can’t really remember which. It had solidified into a large, dry piece of firewood, so I carefully removed the cardboard ornaments and paper chains, threw the worn ones into the recycling bag, kept a few, bagged ’em up and put into the basement for next year. A real tradition started, for my own little family! How exciting! So not the trauma, crying fit Christmas season I’m used to. Kind of festive despite the month long scourge and no money. I suspect no money took the pressure off buying things. Yeah for no money, in this one instance.

I went to the studio and painted for about an hour and-a-half Wednesday morning while the girls were in school. It was tedious and fantastic. Greens and yellows. I’m gonna be ready for a loose painting experience once I’m done the big flower piece. Maybe some Camera Morte based paintings are in order. They tend to be in an abstract vein. It seems like a month since I was able to get away and paint. One day maybe I can spend a few days a week painting. Visualize this, along with the piles of money required to achieve this goal. Happy New Year.

It’s all part of my rock and roll fantasy


Two a.m.? Check. On the couch? Check. Hacking cough? Check. Post nasal drip causing cough? Check. Cough medicine? My special, takes care of cough and all my immediate problems cough medicine?! Where the fuck is my COUGH MEDICINE?! The only good part about the scourges that like clockwork invade my aging body for the past two winters is the revelation of a special cough medicine that actually shuts down the hacking machine in my sinuses and chest and lets me sleep. It lasts for 12 hours, and I only have to take one little teaspoon of this liquid heaven. Really. Where the fuck is it? When I called my doctor last week, whining about the never ending goo in my head and chest, all she did was give me a prescription for antibiotics and said to call her in a week if I wasn’t feeling better. It’s almost been a week, I’m not feeling better and I can’t sleep. She’s getting a call Monday morning. Poor Beenie was whimpering about 20 minutes ago as I hacked in the bathroom upstairs, cursing silently my reflection in the medicine cabinet mirror. Said my coughing was driving her crazy. It’s driving me crazy. And it is completely undeserved. I quit smoking in 1997, and have not touched a drop of alcohol for over a month. I am not doing self-destructive acts to induce this cursed curse from hell. Go to some other undeserving sucker, scourge. BE GONE! I loathe thee!

Have, once again, had not a moment of silence to write. My last post was trite. Yes, the holiday crap is gone for yet another year. Woo hoo, right? Well, frankly, this Christmas was different for us here at the old row house stead. We had, and continue to have a teenie Christmas tree. Never in my life did I guess that I would have one, much less leave it up beyond the new year’s arrival. But here it is. I can’t think of any reason to take it down. It still smells good, looks nice, and isn’t shedding too many needles. The girls and I will have to make its dismantling a group project, pack away the cardboard snack box ornaments I made and they painted. It is a little tree. Strange. Having two small and important new-ish people in the house makes the whole experience so different. Thanks to Mimi and Beenie for unwittingly healing my stagnant, old holiday wounds.

Yesterday definitely felt like the start of something. Nothing big. Just clean. Went to a good friend’s annual New Year open house in the afternoon. Was having a total freakout (a quiet, internal one) over the lack of babies. I remember being there two years ago and all there were was babies. The place was awash with babies. This year, I looked around to see only one baby and the rest of the children were HUGE. Including my own children. Just gigantic. And I’m unsure how it happened, but think feeding and nurturing the babies may have something to do with it. Next year they’ll all be driving up in their own cars, sneaking into the back yard to smoke pot and the parents will be complaining about how they miss how easy it was when they were little, how you at least knew where they were at night, how simple their needs were. I am overwhelmed by the intensity of being a parent. And this is just the beginning.


No time to paint. No time to write. Seems like my workload at my part-time job will be picking up in January. I look forward to focusing on this skill that I was certain I had forgotten in the last three years. And making some money. Since I have no vices anymore, maybe I can also make some early art time somehow and sneak out at ungodly hours of the morning to paint. I still want to, you know. I find no solace in a total acceptance of my current situation. I still want to do all kinds of creative things that have nothing to do with my home life. It’s all part of my rock and roll fantasy.

Gackitis

reflect
This is an underpainting for a piece inspired by a puddle photo I took this past winter. I have high hopes to finish it when the weather warms up and my paints and mediums thaw out enough to use.

I lied earlier when I wrote that I wasn’t on the cough medicine today, like I was last year. I decided to enjoy a teaspoon of the good stuff so I can get some sleep tonight and not hack up a lung. Hello February! I’m dying to get back into the studio and inhale some turpentine and various cobalt and cadmium fumes. Don’t worry, I do wear gloves when I paint now, unlike when I was a young and immortal person. Some small precautions must be taken when working with poisionous pigments and solvents. Sure, I could paint only in watercolor or ink or acrylic. But it wouldn’t be the same. I need my oil fix. And I will not be denied. Life is too short not to paint with the kind of paint I was meant to paint with. Just gotta be sure to keep the doors open when I do it and not eat the stuff. I think I can handle that.

The fam is sick. We’re not dying of sickness (though one of the grown-ups in our house acts like it…), we’re all just a little bit miserable. I wonder if we’d get less sick if there were only one kid in the house instead of two — only one of them gets sick to begin with, they never become ill simultaneously. Probably. But it is a moot point, as there are two, and that’s how many there are supposed to be. I am looking forward to warm weather, which inevitably means no more months and months of annoying viruses.

Parents managed to make it up to Bmore this morning, despite picturesque but melty snow showers. God bless them and their unfaltering obsession with their granddaughters. The only part of me that wishes I’d had child/children when I was younger is the part that wishes my parents could have more time with the girls. Alls I can do now is make sure I make enough of an effort to have them hang out and enjoy each other’s company. Beenie and Mimi adore their “Ganny and Baba”. I am grateful they are still here to be a part of the girl’s lives.

I’m melting into a sentimental schlamp. I think I just made that word up. Motherhood makes me sappy. There’s nothing more to say on the subject. Hopefully our collective case of Gackitis will pass quickly and we can get back to playdates, playgroup and all the other fun passtimes my semi-socialized darlinks have gotten used to over the past few months.

Grouchy Couchy

If you were a twee, what kind of twee would you be?
If you were a twee, what kind of twee would you be?

Aaaaah. Sick again. On the couch, waiting for the nighttime cough medicine to kick in. Unfortunately it is not my fave narcotic cough medicine. The last two doses were used to quell my most recent cough. I miss it. If this misery turns into something more serious than it is, maybe I’ll give my doc a call and try to hook up some more. I don’t want to wear out my welcome with the stuff, tho. Must suffer a bit before jumping back in to mother’s little helper in a small, pink bottle. I can’t take it when I’m not sick, but when I am sick, boy oh boy does it make everything just a little easier. Narcotics were put on this earth for a reason, to help me and my hacking cough make it through yet another winter.

Last night I offered to change the cat litter and clean up the basement a little, which is what either my husband or I do every Sunday night. The other option was to help the girls finish dinner, clean up and all the crap that happens before bedtime. I chose litter for the sole reason that all I ever do is feed and clean up after my sweet darlinks. The idea of cleaning out the cat boxes, vaccuuming up loose litter and whatnot was more appealing to me, I think because I could be by myself for twenty minutes. What a sad state of affairs.

Took the girls to a sing-along at a local bookstore this morning, despite my cold. I had to get out of the house and so did they. It went well and everyone was tired when we returned home. Naps were taken (1-4:15!) and I even managed to feel so crappy that I put my own head to pillow, which I only do during the day if I’m sick. Probably got a half hour of sleep. It is now 11:20 pm and I will once again hit the horizontal. Cough drops, tea, water at the ready. Let’s all sleep, all night long.