Category Archives: GraceInSmallThings

You’ll know me by the dark circles under my eyes

It happened again this morning at 4.  I sat up in bed as soon as I heard it; a rapid fire sort of mini honking – maybe even cheerful  ::honkhonkhonkhonkhonkhonk::  followed by the atrocious honking car alarm.  I got out of bed, cursing, and went to the bulletin board by the front door to grab my keys off the hook.  They weren't there so I felt around in the dark for my purse ::HONKHONKHONKHONKHONK::  By the time I put my fingers on my keys, the alarm had stopped, so I got back in bed, back in my bed between the girls, and tried to sleep even though I knew that soon enough the alarm would go off again.

This happened at the crack of crack a week or so ago, too.  My house is not like most; the front door doesn't face the street, it faces the house next door to us.  To get to my driveway, I have to take a left out the door, head down the walkway, take another left and go through a gate to even really see my van.  Last time it happened, I went outside to the driveway, pushing the unlock button on the remote thing the whole way.  It was so loud, and as I turned the corner and saw my driveway, I saw that my van was all flashing and alive looking.  The alarm finally stopped, I made sure it was unlocked and went back inside.  I don't want to drag this story out, so I'll just say that I ended up going back out three or four more times.  The last time, though, it was my neighbor's car that was going off.  I walked back to my house, saw the front door I'd left openand wondered if someone was out there setting the alarms off on purpose.  You know, to lure people out of their houses so they could sneak in. 

It was a little scary.  And, actually, a pretty stupid idea.  But I was half asleep and it seemed reasonable at the time.

This morning, after I got back in bed and just as I was starting to have those disjointed thoughts that pop up before you fall asleep but when you're still lucid enough to realize that you are about to fall asleep, but then, if you think about it for a beat too long, totally awake again, the honking started.  Again.  This time I grabbed my robe and pulled it on as I went down the hall.  Like Miss Clavel – I ran fast and faster, got the keys and opened my front door to the rain. 

I was more cautious this time.  I shut the door behind me, and walked out into the cold rain.  This time it was the neighbor's car, not mine.   It went off a couple more times, but I stayed in bed and eventually fell back to sleep. 

Did I have a point?  I guess not.  I'm so tired, but I can't sleep.   There's a lot of room for improvement in my life right now. Especially tonight.   Instead of sleeping, I'm beating myself up and doing a really good job of it.  Thinking things like, All my life I've been fighting with this stupid low self esteem and when I finally, finally believe that I'm good enough, I'm hit with the fact that I am not.  It was stupid of me to think I was.  I know better.

I didn't write that looking for a pat on the head.  I wrote it because I knew that writing it would make me read it and think, Whatever, drama queen.  Get over yourself.  I mean, when I'm thinking thoughts like that they have such power over me, but all typed out you can see how thin and weak that kind of thinking is.  Taking it out of my brain sucks the life out of it.  Mostly, anyway.   Nothing is really better, and I'm truly worried about some things that are scaring me very badly.  Real things, not some fictional masked car alarm setter offer.   But I feel better anyway.  Maybe I can sleep now.  It also would do me good to get back on the Grace In Small Things bandwagon. 


1.pretty cupcakes, even if I can only appreciate and not eat them
2.the best sister-in-law ever
4.kid art. that one is an old favorite

and hair has grown a little and I don't suffer from full body cringe (as much) whenever I have to leave the house

Flu-1, Jen-0

When I left the house today, I looked at my camera (it's on the mini bookshelf next to my bed, which isn't where it goes, but I left it there last time I was uploading photos because I am lazy forgetful) and thought about switching bags so I could bring it with me.  I didn't do it, though, so of course there were things I wanted to photograph.  An old, green jump rope coiled on the blacktop at the kids' school, the wooden handles with their green faded and peeling paint, very faint daisies still showing. 1 The boys' bathroom door open, a nasty looking crowbar wedged where a harmless rubber door stopper should be. 2 They wouldn't do that in a jr high or high school, right? 

Other things, too, but I wouldn't have been able to photograph them anyway.  A grandmother sitting at the bus stop with a toddler on her lap, laughing and bouncing him on her lap, like she was playing, but really she was rubbing his shoulders and back because the wind was cold today and he wasn't very bundled up. 3 A young woman in front of a house, walking her fluffy little white dog, bending over to scoop the dog up so that an older woman using a walker could scratch behind its ears and coo at it. 4

I am weakly imitating unphotographable.  In the sincerest form of flattery way, not the plagarist way. 

I'm sick.  Ear ache (prolly will spend part of Valentine's Day at the urgent care getting some drugz), sore throat, cough, fever that is making me loopy.  It's cold and rainy, which is fine, but I really just want to go to bed and I can't quite yet.  Today at lunch, SG made us homemade chicken Pho, which meant we could have all the hot sauce, limes and tamari we wanted, but none of those nasty ass scallions we both hate.  Plus, we had shredded carrots.  It was good.  Really, really good. 5

brought to you by Grace In Small Things (DUDE! click that link and watch the Trader Joe's song.  SG and I were reunited at TJ's, so it will always be my very most favorite grocery store.)

Grace In Small Things: 11 of 365

  1. Plans for lemonade, made with simple syrup (and probably booze)
  2. Discovering that the Trader Joe’s gluten free pancake and waffle mix makes bitchen waffles.
  3. A quiet house.  For at least another twenty minutes.
  4. Plans with my mom for this weekend (even though I’m a rotten daughter and not only didn’t get her a birthday gift for her birthday yesterday, but am TAKING money from her to help with expenses that I just can’t seem to manage).
  5. If, hypothetically, you *just* finished paying off your 2007 income taxes and then went ahead and figured out the 2008 taxes and discovered that someone (not you, but someone you must pay taxes with – you know – in this example) didn’t really bother with the whole “withholding” thing, guess what?  The government takes payments!  I have to be grateful for that part; it’s seriously all that is keeping my head from exploding.  

Grace In Small Things – check it out

Grace In Small Things: 8, 9, and also 10


    1. My hair fits in pigtails again.  It's looking a little silly with all the grey.  I'm choosing to not really care.

    2. The climbing little mini roses are starting to do their thing.


    3. Today we went to the dentist.  Soph had a little cavity, Willow needed
her new molars sealed and her bottom baby teeth pulled.  I was too
worried about it to tell her, and when we got there I pulled (heh) her
dentist aside to find out what the game plan was.  He told me that he
could pull her teeth without her even knowing, and said that if she was
nervous about being there he could give her some nitrous oxide.  He did
his thing, and she came out a little later on, chomping on some gauze
and totally unaware that she was down a couple of teeth.

    4. The tooth fairy JUST came!  Awesome.


    5. My mom and stepdad were on a weekend getaway when they found this sign for me.  It's metal.  I was going to put it on the wall over my bed, but it's too small for the space.  Instead it lives on top of a bookshelf by the window.  It's kind of perfect there.


    6. It's been beautiful here the past couple of days.  Even the moon played along tonight and came up over the hills just a teeny crescent with a star (Venus?) right next to it. 

    7. All my wonky abnormal lab results are because of the medicine I have to take.  P W E W.

    8. I redid my blawg.  I'd still like to pare it down some. 

    9. There is a bunch of stuff in the back of the van that is waiting to be dropped off at the Goodwill Donation Station.  And?  More stuff in the house to put out there.

    10. I had to rip out my progress on a new knitting project I am working on.  I actually don't mind doing that.  It's humbling, and sort of fun to watch all the loops come undone.  I was only about six rows in, so it made sense to just start over. 

    11. Right now?  In my fridge?  Gluten free beer.  (sweet!)

    12. I worked in Willow's class today.  I got to help make one of the best art projects that the kids do all year.  They take a piece of white paper, glue some narrow strips of black paper to the short top and bottom sides, and then put about five or six drops of ink on the paper.  Real ink; the kind that will stain your clothes and not wash off your hands easily.  Then they take a drinking straw and blow on the wet ink so that it runs along the paper in little lines.  Those are tree branches.  Next they use the eraser side of a pencil to mold squares of tissue paper into cherry blossoms and then they glue those to the ends of the inky branches.  I was really wishing I had my camera with me. 

    13. Mini marshmallows taste ever so much better than I recall.  They are great with a glass of port, too.

    14.  Lex wants to cut his hair.  That is a GoodThing.

    15. I remembered to put the trash at the curb.  This means I won't have to run out to the street in my pajamas at the crack of crack with armfuls of garbage and recycling.

Hello, My Name is Loser

Seriously.  I am having a moment over here.  A moment defined by a kid saying, “I totally don’t respect you,” (he apologized (sincerely) later) and by LOSING half of the Girl Scout Cookie Order Form.  Only *I* did not lose it.  I put it on the bookshelf in the living room and Sophie took it down and *she* lost it.  But, still, if you ordered cookies from my kid there is a fifty percent chance you’ll want to kick her ass in a couple of months.  Thank Maude she didn’t collect money yet.  I’m betting that I will find the form later, and then I will just buy the stuff on it out of pocket and deliver it and collect the money.  So it will probably work out in the end.  Right?  (Why yes, YES you did order 10 boxes of Thin Mints, not 1.  Sure, we take checks. . . )

Other parts of the moment are all about me feeling like I am doing too much and none of it well.  The kids get to school daily, but rarely on time and hardly ever rested, fed, warm, or clean enough for my liking.  Homework is hit and miss.  My house looks like someone turned it upside down, gave it a good shake, and then put it down again.  Dinner tonight?  I am horrified to admit it was Annie’s Mac and Cheese, apple slices, and Coconut Shrimp from TJ’s.  Not a green thing to be seen.  I had chips and salsa and a glass of port, which isn’t really any better.  If you need clean socks, they are in the hamper of clean stuff on top of the washer, not in any drawer.  Same goes for underwear (unless you are the one adult who lives here.  I do put my own away).  The yard looks so much like Sanford and Sons that I sing the theme song whenever I walk up to my front door.  (That link was close as I can get, because of copyright crap issues.)   

I don’t sleep enough, there is a stack of laundry that is taller than me, my car needs servicing, and Lex really, really, REALLY needs a haircut.  I spend money I shouldn’t, I work when I should be sleeping and do my banking while I’m in my little grey cube.  I have not told my daughter that she’ll probably be getting TWO teeth pulled on Thursday. 

I had surgery two weeks ago, and I took a vicodin a couple of days ago because I was tired of listnening to the kids bitch and gripe, not because anything (except for my brain) hurt.  The sad thing is that I didn’t even register it.  (So I should take two?  Or take it with booze?)

I vented to my 12 year old about stuff he shouldn’t have to hear.  I told my five year old that I’d hold her if she would Just.Stop.Crying.  I recycled artwork that I swore I’d keep.  I borrowed money from my kid’s savings account until I get paid on Friday.  I was kind of a bitch to my boyfriend (he is patient and kind and I was being a drama queen). 

I ignored my next door neighbor when she said hello (because I am not feeling forgiving toward her past horribleness) and I purposefully cut someone off on the freeway. 

Maybe I can blame all this negative energy on seeing The Wrestler.  Holy crap was that a downer.  It was really great, but one of those stories that makes you willing to claim your own problems as yours and move on, grateful to have them.     

oh! Can’t forget Grace In Small Things (sorry, SueBob)

  1. Too Much Candy (if this doesn’t melt your heart, you are a robot)
  2. Meatballs with Pretty Sauce (how cute is she? omg)
  3. My Sophie, talking to herself under her breath: Warning!  Everybody must shake their butts at their bosses!
  4. A stack of unread books on my bedside bookshelf.
  5. Sandeman Reserve and a quiet house to drink it in.

Grace In Small Things: 5 of 365


  1. Gluten free cornbread recipe from a total Goddess.
  2. A couple of hours before the sun went down, the clouds were all white, purple, and grey and there was a wintery pale blue sky behind them.  It was even more lovely after a few days of all grey and rain.
  3. Really great breakfast cooked by a really great man.
  4. Happy text messages from my kid.
  5. Walking out the front door past the one electric guitar (in its case) and the two skateboards propped against the wall makes me happy.  I'm a cool mom.  Or my kids are cool.  Whatever.  There's coolness in the entryway.

Grace In Small Things

Grace In Small Things: 4 of 365

  1. Jolie Holland’s music.
  2. A red-tailed hawk sitting on a streetlight in the rain, looking down over the highway.
  3. A quiet, rainy morning.
  4. I was almost to work when I saw an older woman in a motorized
    scooter trying to cross the street at the crosswalk.  She had bright
    decorations all over her scooter, and a giant rainbow colored paneled
    umbrella to keep her dry in the rain, but her scooter quit working when
    she was about a quarter of the way across the street.  I was a few cars
    back in the stack of two lanes of cars waiting for her to cross.  One
    of the guys at the head of the line jumped out of his truck and ran
    over to her, smiled at her and helped her all the way across the four
    lanes of waiting cars and up to the sidewalk.  He made sure that she
    was going again before coming back to his truck, and everyone on the
    street just waited for him.  It was so NICE. 
  5. Remembering that I made this video ages ago (it takes a little bit to buffer, because I put way too many photos in it)
  6. Having five things that made me happy before lunchtime (and there are actually way more than five)

Grace In Small Things

Grace In Small Things: 3 of 365


  1. A book loan from my lovely coworker.
  2. Jenny coming to my house last night with presents and her awesome self for a sleepover featuring rum and coke and late-night tacos and candy, and lots of laughing while the kids slept. 
  3. A visit from Yvonne, which means I got to laugh until it hurt. 
  4. A text message that said, "Baby, yuz hotter n doughnut grease."
  5. Getting into bed early when every bit of me is tired. 

Grace In Small Things