Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tuesday 5: Good Vibrations


1. Last night I was flipping through channels and landed on Antiques Roadshow on PBS. I really do enjoy that show, although I miss the old days when you never knew if what the person brought with them was going to turn out to be junk or a treasure. Now, they’re all treasures. I do have one small issue with Antiques Roadshow. Well, maybe not an issue, since I enjoy it. The host’s name is Mark Walberg. He’s not THE Mark Wahlberg, the one with The Funky Bunch, but that doesn’t stop me from yelling at the tv, every single time, “MARKY MARK! Drug free! So put the crack up!” Yes, I have 90’s music issues.

2. Earlier this week, my sciatic nerve and hip started acting up. Acting up is putting it mildly. It was throwing a fit like a two year old in a grocery checkout line full of candy. I could barely maneuver. Yesterday I limped off to Target, solo (Thanks, Meg!), and bought a TENS device. It’s basically electric shock therapy for muscles, and it works! After using it intermittently all day yesterday, I woke up this morning sore but functional. 

3. I wish I could post a couple of pictures of Amelia Earhart. She’s reading the first Harry Potter book, for the second time. She’s as engrossed as she was the first time. The last two days, she has constantly had her nose in it. Eating her peanut butter toast at breakfast? Reading Harry Potter. In the car on the way to school? Reading Harry Potter. Standing waiting for me to pick her up from car line? Reading Harry Potter. It’s adorable. It’s also me when I was her age. I love it.

4. Speaking of which, it begs the old question, what are you reading? I’m in the middle of a few things, actually. Still plugging away on “The Return of the Prodigal Son” by Henri M. Nouwen. It’s a great (and short) spiritual read. For fun, I’m reading “Tourist Season” by Carl Hiaasen. I try to read books that relate to where I live or am traveling. When we lived in Monterey, California, I read a lot of Steinbeck. Traveling India, I read, “Eat, Pray, Love,” which I positively despise. When I was adopting Laura Ingalls Wilder, I was on Long Island, so I finally read “The Great Gatsby” for the first time. All Carl Hiaasen’s books are set in Florida, so it seems fitting. I guess I should also start reading some Ernest Hemingway. 

5. Do you have a laundry system? Mine has often consisted of washing and drying a lot of laundry and folding none of it. After Arthur Dent was born, The International Man of Intrigue had to go back to grad school post haste, so I didn’t have much time to adjust to life with three. I did pretty well, except where the laundry was concerned. I kept it clean, and kept piling the clean laundry in one chair in our living room that became known as The Laundry Chair. When we moved to this house, the clean laundry took up residence on one end of a sofa, and was dubbed The Clean Laundry Pile. With six people that pile gets pretty mountainous sometimes, especially since I don’t like to let dirty laundry take over, so I do a load of wash every day. The last two weeks, I’ve made a huge and concerted effort to fold the laundry and put it away every single day. Since I only wash one load a day, this seemed doable. I forced myself to fold that load every day, because I knew if I even got behind a single load, I’d regrow Mount Laundry. I’m proud to report that today’s laundry was Arthur Dent’s bedding, and it was back on his bed well before bedtime. I’d like a Mommy Merit Badge for this.


I hope you all have a great week and that your NCAA bracket looks better than mine. I’ve got Wichita State University to win it all, so I’m looking forward to cheering on the Shockers on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tuesday 5: St. Paddy's and "MamaMommyMOOOOOOM!"

First, shout out to my girl, Millie, who is one of the original Tuesday Random 5-ers and is recovering from some pretty major surgery. You go, Mrs. Dubose!

1.Happy St. Paddy’s Day! This used to be my own personal holiday. All through my 20’s, I took St. Patrick’s Day off work and got up to lots of shenanigans, starting at a super early hour of the day. Now, I get up with lots of Little Explorers, starting at a super early hour of the day. Sometimes I wish I had a shillelagh. Instead, I suck it up, text my two BFFs and remind them that if we were ten years younger, we’d be drinking already, and take a moment to remember the Great WB Frog Tackle, and move along with my day. 

2. The Little Explorers were excited for St. Patrick’s Day, too. Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell wore green bows with shamrocks on them to school with their school uniforms. Arthur Dent even consented to wearing a polo shirt since it was his only green shirt. By 8:30 am, Arthur Dent was asking me, “When do we get to pinch people?” Over dinner, the girls expressed their disappointment at not getting to pinch even the people who weren’t wearing green today. I guess I know what their favorite part of the day would have been.

3. Speaking of Little Explorers, I currently go by three different names in this house. Laura Ingalls Wilder calls me “Mama,” finally, instead of “Bopbop.” Arthur Dent calls me “Mama” also. Gertrude Bell calls me “Mommy.” And, annoyingly, Amelia Earhart mostly calls me “Mom.” What is it, mothers, about that shift? It signals that they’re not babies anymore, but to me, I also find it exasperating. Yelling “Mama” at the top of your lungs, over and over, until I show up? Annoying. Yelling “Mooooom!” over and over? Nails on a chalkboard.

4. Laura Ingalls Wilder has developed two super awesome hobbies over the last few days. The first is throwing things into the trash. I think we’ve caught most of the things that have gone over the edge of the can, at least I hope so. The second is that she managed to knock out the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs. She currently only goes up about four stairs before she decides she’s frightened, but since I can’t get the baby gate to function anymore, I’m spending lots of quality time teaching her to go “belly up, belly down” as I patiently wait for a baby gate part from Amazon to arrive tomorrow which may or may not solve our little problem.


5. So, The International Man of Intrigue and I made a deal a long time ago. I’d pay the bills, he’d do the big picture finances, and also take care of the taxes. The International Man of Intrigue mostly complies, but frequently uses the “Uncle Sam has asked me to leave the country during tax season” excuse. He’s also decided that excuse applies to issues with taxes. We got a sweet, kind letter from the IRS, asking us if we would mind terribly if we’d pay this extra amount for last year, since there seems to be a paperwork discrepancy. Just kidding. It said “Pay by April 8 or we’ll come and get you.” At this point, we’re not sure if the error was caused by H&R Block or the IRS. So, that’s fun to sort out. In his defense, The International Man of Intrigue wants to fix it, it’s just easier for me to do it. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tuesday Random 5: Food and People I Don't Like.

1. I almost forgot that today was Tuesday! It feels like Sunday around the Intrigue household. Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell are on spring break, so The International Man of Intrigue took two very rare days off work and yesterday we went to Disney World! It was perfect. The weather was pleasant and the Little Explorers behaved amazingly. We decided to spend the day at Animal Kingdom since we hadn’t been there since Amelia Earhart was a baby. It was a lot of fun, but not our favorite park. I will hand it to Disney, walking through the “Asia” section was remarkably like being back in South Asia, complete with the option to eat curry, which I politely declined. If you recall my deep dark secret, you’ll remember why.

2. Speaking of things I don’t eat, it’s strawberry season in Florida. The strawberries here look amazing. They are ginormous and can be had at a you-pick place for so cheap it’s shocking. Then there’s me. I can’t eat them. Occasionally, I’ll pay an exorbitant amount for some organic strawberries, but that’s about it. I wrote a long explanation as to why, but I decided not to ruin it for you, Fellow Adventurers. You’re welcome.

3. Tonight, we had brinner. That’s breakfast for dinner, if you need a translation. Again, things I don’t eat come into play. I made real bacon. I normally don't eat pork, so most of the time, we have turkey bacon. I love the way the house smells while the bacon is cooking, but I wish the smell wouldn’t linger for days.

4. It’s Girl Scout cookie season. I allowed myself one box. I couldn’t decide between Thin Mints and Tagalongs (chocolate covered peanut butter and cookies). In the end, I chose the Tagalongs, since there were less in the box, since that would mean less calories. Considering I ate the entire box in less than 24 hours, this was a wise choice.


5. The other day, The International Man of Intrigue and I were talking about a mutual acquaintance that we know pretty well. The International Man of Intrigue said, “I think I’m friends with him on Facebook.” I answered, “I don’t like him well enough to be friends with him on Facebook, and I have pretty low Facebook friend standards.” I did “declutter” my Facebook friends as part of my “40 Bags in 40 Days” lenten promise. I got rid of about 40 people, most of whom were just casual acquaintances that I didn’t know all that well.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tuesday Random 5: Nothing In Particular

1. The International Man of Intrigue got home right after we finished dinner. The sounds in the house are peaceful and industrious: Amelia Earhart practicing piano, Gertrude Bell is laboriously recopying the fairy tale she wrote and will present for her end of unit project, and Arthur Dent is in the shower. Evenings aren’t usually like this. It’s glorious.

2. The other day, I saw a truck pulling out of a neighborhood. I only caught a glimpse before it turned out of my vision. I saw “SLEUTH ——“ I thought, Now what kind of detective advertises on the side of his car? That doesn’t seem very stealthy. I was so curious, I had to google it. Turns out it was “Sleuth Plumbing.” Definitely not as interesting or exciting as a detective agency.

3. Every morning on the way to school, the kids and I listen to The Bobby Bones Show on the radio. This morning, my slight crush on Keith Urban deepened when he played an acoustic cover of  a few lines of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” Totally entertainingly cute.


4. I’m finally watching the final season of How I Met Your Mother. I have one episode left. It had been a while and I forgot how much I enjoyed the show. I think the last season is particularly well done. I’ve found myself getting a little misty-eyed more than once. 

5. Lately, I’ve been texting without paying sufficient attention as to whether or not I’m texting the person I intend to. Luckily, I’m pretty transparent, so that text that I sent to my friend K instead of my friend C was just about getting my glasses adjusted. Worst case scenario so far is that I sent a really excited email to the girls’ piano teacher about how I cleaned out the refrigerator.