Loose Ends

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve been wondering how to get my other one neatly sewn up and literally bound. I’ve always intended in getting it sent to Blurb for just such a purpose, but with having several (55) posts still in draft form, an unknown number protected, I knew that not all 1,247 posts would transfer into a text file.

I don’t want to delete the drafts because many of them are on topics that I just think are either too opinionated for general publishing, but when I look through them I still get the punched-in-the-gut feeling I had when I typed the first words.

I also don’t want to publish all my protected posts since I’m still paranoid about ex-coworker (who appears to have stopped dropping in, but yeah – paranoia), and there’s the posts about the crazy relatives, and more importantly, some of my protected posts are about our donor cycle.

Last night I think I finally came up with a solution on how to salvage every 1, 247 posts (not to mention thousands of comments) so that I can finally get them into physical form. Actually I came up with two solutions, but while I’m leaning towards one, I thought I’d throw them out there for you to consider since I may be overlooking something really important; something that may make the whole idea moot.

My first possible solution was to just change the URL so instead of it being “ddtko”, I could change it to “yoyosoldshit” or something similar. That way if ex-coworker decides to pull up my blog, she’ll get an error since the URL will be gone. I can then unprotect and publish everything.

My second idea was to create a new blog (don’t scream in frustration yet) and “transfer” everything from ddtko over and then just rework the new blog by either unprotecting or publishing from there. Plus, I can make that one relatively private so it doesn’t show up in searches.

There both pretty similar in ideas. The benefit to the second is that I can leave the original so that any past links and search results still are valid.

Am I missing something? Are either of these doable? Are there any shortcomings I hadn’t thought of?

*************

ETA: Let’s see if I can clarify: my current URL is https://knockuout.wordpress.com. I can change the URL to anything else for a name (as long as it’s not taken) but that means that anyone who ever clicked on or linked to knockuout.wordpress.com would end up getting nothing if I changed the name.  I’m thinking about creating a duplicate blog to my OLD blog but changing the name so that I can publish everything without losing the original content of my OLD blog.

Ugh. That didn’t help a frickin bit, did it?

Last, This and Next

This past weekend, Sparring Partner came up with a raging case of the Man Flu complete with migraines and what my dear sweet mother refers to as The Trots. Not sure why it’s The Trots. Maybe because it’s slower than The Runs? Yeah, no clue. My mother also is the one who says “WalMarts” and “cousints” and told us kids to “Go jump off a bridge!” or “Go lay an egg!” when we were driving her insane. Which is a bit of a mind-fuck since we did indeed have a bridge on the lane and of course, we had chickens.

I just figured this Man Flu was just Sparring Partner’s way of getting out of doing anything about the house because he always seems to have some degree of it on the weekends. Therefore his moaning and groaning about what little sunlight there was piercing his delicate brain through the windows, and his infinite trips to the bathroom, were really just par for the course.

Even when Aitch threw out a couple of diapers that emitted the kind of fumes that would strip car paint, did I really believe anything was up.

Well, lo and behold, Monday night my own plumbing started working overtime.

And really? That’s all I need to say about that.

Sparring Partner and I have this running (no pun intended) argument about what is considered “this” or “last” or “next” when it comes to days in the week.

For example, when I talk about THIS weekend (with today being the 24th), I’m referring to the 27-28th. That would make NEXT weekend March 6-7th and LAST weekend the 20-21st.

On the other hand, Sparring Partner, refers to THIS weekend as the one that’s past and NEXT weekend is the one just coming up (27-28th). LAST weekend then ends up being the 13-14th.

Well? Which weekend do you consider as LAST, THIS or NEXT?

Come Back!

Imagine that’s my plaintive wail as I stand at the end of a dusty lane as you, my lover, confused and spurned by my inability to commit to anything other than my field of corn and dreams of someday running circus made up entirely of hamster performers, leaves me to wallow in my self-pity. Or something like that because I’m not very good with the verbal visual stuff, like similes and shit.

Sorry if my recent posts have put you off. Some days I just have to unload and ask that you just read it, process it, and then we can all move on, OK?

Because trust me, if it continues to be this quiet here, I’m going to start whining again.

Also, I’m going to be testing out some stuff (no, not review-type-testing), but trying to find some bloggers that are closer vicinity-wise and see what I can dig up so there may be some minor changes here and there. So minor, you may not even notice, but just FYI.

So, yeah, where’s the love?!

Bitch and Moanday

How odd is this? Our local telephone directory will list your address and phone number free of charge if you have a land-line. However, if your only phone is a cell-phone – like it is in our case – you have to pay $24.00 a year to have it listed.

Why?

Well, I called F.D.C. Publishing (because their website? Holy cow, does it suck.) to ask that very question.

You see, it’s because if I have a land-line, that information, including my address, is available via a list/report. Most likely, one that F.D.C. Publishing must purchase annually. THAT is the information that gets published for FREE in the phone directory (unless one specifies otherwise??).

Strangely though, even if I call them with the same information – a phone number and address – I must pay a fee for that privilege.

Of course I know that the advantage to not being listed is no cold-calls, but the disadvantage is that with a community as small as we are, anyone who wants to get a hold of either Sparring Partner or myself will actually call his parents to get a phone number and/or address from us. Isn’t that nice? So I guess my in-laws getting their number listed for free does have at least THAT caveat.

On a related note, I submitted all three of our cell phone numbers to the Do Not Call list because some whore of a credit card company sold them to telemarketers. I want my number listed / not-listed! I’m an enigma.

Anything you want to get off your chest this fine Monday?

Face It

Sparring Partner and I have less than a handful of “shared friends” on Facebook, and of those they are my family. His network includes classmates, social friends, old neighbors, and his family. He’s even friends with Doodicus’s old caregiver. You remember? The one who fired us just a couple weeks before school started so we had to look for last minute daycare from which he would come home crying every day because he didn’t have any friends and was gutted as he thought it was all his fault? Yeah, I remember. Funny, my husband does not even though I have it documented.

Occasionally, Sparring Partner pops in and comments on one of my status updates. It’s usually late at night, after I’m already in bed so I don’t see it until the next day. He’ll call me at work and ask if I’ve seen it and if I was upset by whatever he’s added.

For example:

I thought it was funny and told him it was fine. He said he toned it down a little as he was originally going to say “ass raped”. Wasn’t that nice of him to tone it down just so I could raunch it up for you? I explained that my FB friends have read way more offensive things via my blog then he could probably come up with on Facebook.

While we were talking about it last night, his FB account was up and I saw an update from one of his friends, who happen to be the youngest son of one of our old neighbors. The kid’s status was how he recently became a fan of one of those “YOUR [sic] in OUR country now. You speak OUR language,” and here *I* was the one who became offended. I told Sparring Partner he should comment and say something to the affect, “Funny, but that doesn’t LOOK like Cree or Cherokee (which are the only Native American languages with their own writing systems – FYI).”

With only a little insistence on his end, I let it go. I too have FB friends that occasionally post something that goes against my opinions or beliefs, e.g. Obama is going to force the schools to teach our kids about Muslim law!, to which I guess is fair since I’d be the first to post that Sarah Palin is a c*nt, which hello! I would obviously not be the first.

If you have a Facebook account and we aren’t in each other’s network of friends, I’d be happy to hook up (email: thismamasaid [at] gmail [dot] com. And if I offended you, but you’re still friends with me? Thank you for your infinite patience and the realization that my ignorance is all part of my infinite charm. Four years of blogging has proven that.

I Miss Infertility

These were the words conveyed to me via an email from a former blogger about a month before Aitch was born in 2008. She had gone through infertility herself and was trying to find her land-legs as a post-infertility-slash-mommy-blogger. Her exact words follow:

“Slap me now, but it makes me miss infertility a little bit.  The answer was always right there.  Why am I not happy?  INFERTILITY!  And there was really very little need to look beyond that because infertility is huge and all-consuming.  All other problems get shunted aside.”

These words were like a bolt of lightning the first time I read them.

They now shake me to the core with their foreshadowing truth.

For years infertility was my scapegoat.

Depressed? It was because another negative beta; a poor ovarian response; an inevitable miscarriage.

Weight gain? I blamed the hormone injections and birth-control pills month after month.

Aversion to gatherings of friends and family? I didn’t want to hear about “God’s Plans” or how “if it was meant to be, it’ll be” or the pitiful looks when they found out that I wasn’t going to stay pregnant.

Irritability at home towards Sparring Partner and/or Doodicus? They were collateral damage in my week to week failings as a wife and mother.

So what do I blame now? Infertility was my security blanket I was able to wrap around myself and hide under – to veil the truth that was beyond what I thought was The Problem. In my head, I know what IT is, but in my heart I just don’t want IT to be THAT because I have tried to convince myself I have nothing to be depressed about. I got what I went after, a sibling to my son who is everything and so much more than I could have dreamed. I beat infertility.

Yeah…I miss infertility.

Mediocre

Have you ever had an earworm? A random song or melody gets stuck in your head on a continuous loop? Like Dancing Queen by ABBA.

Dancing Queen, young and mean. She was a dancing fiend – oh ohhh, yeah.

Or something like that.

Right now I have the equivalent of an earworm that is bouncing around in my brain much like a game of Pong. That word is Mediocre.

  • average: lacking exceptional quality or ability; “a novel of average merit”; “only a fair performance of the sonata”; “in fair health”; “the caliber of the students has gone from mediocre to above average”; “the performance was middling at best”

It came to me yesterday when I was leaving work, thinking about how there just went another whole day of my life I shall never get back, and I spent it doing…what, exactly? Tasks and duties assigned that no one will ever remember as being done by me. In a few months, after I’m gone, someone might say, “Oh, remember whatshername? She did X.”

You may feel obligated to try to make me feel better and say, They don’t know how lucky they were! and maybe you’d be right in this case, but it’s not just the work situation.

I’ve been mediocre – or average – all my life.

I’m not the first child or the last in my family. I’m not even in the middle. I’m second to last.

I don’t have naturally blonde hair and it’s not brunette. It’s mousy brown.

I’m of average height, build and health. In looks, I’m probably a “6”.

When I was a ballroom dance instructor, my students might have thought I was good. My 60 year-old students. But I wasn’t a natural dancer. I easily memorize complicated footwork but my execution was clinical and uninspiring.

As a kid, I use to think I was a really good artist. Until I went to college and realized that I was “OK”. Not good enough to be able to make a living creating art. I had good enough grades, but I was no 4.0 student.

Inside the little pond, I really could convince myself that I’m good or even excel at something. For example, when I started blogging, I thought I was good because I experienced so few. I’m not. Again, I’m not looking for stroking. I’m just being realistic. Even in relationship to my fertility, I was Mediocre.

Mediocrity is my norm. I’m definitely not a great mom (Color with you? Oh, as soon as ANTM is over.). I’m not a great wife (What’s for supper? I have some coupons from Pizza Hut.). I’m not even a great lover; and I always seem to be the third wheel in friendships, the tag-along.

Mediocre.

Mediocre.

Mediocre.

I can’t shake this earworm in my head.

I am Mediocre.

Mocking Trumpet

After facebook’s fatal redesign, I’m feeling isolated and unloved. And while I KNOW it’s facebook, I can’t help but be paranoid and think that you, and especially YOU, really just don’t wuv me anymore.

Cue the “mocking trumpet”.

Fun snippets from the past few days?

I’m not sure how to politely address the rules of conduct with the swimming instructor in regards to Aitch, which include: Do Not Touch The Baby. No Not Move Towards The Baby. And most importantly – Do Not Make Eye Contact With The Baby. Let me just play in the water with her for 30 minutes without her flipping out. I especially think the instructor’s attempt to move Aitch’s arms in a (swim) crawl action is totally unnecessary at this stage of the game. She can’t even get a spoon from a dish to her mouth without getting some of the food in her hair, nose or ears. Learning the backstroke just isn’t a priority right now, but – uh – thanks.

Mocking Trumpet

Sparring Partner and I got mad at each other last night just as my head hit the pillow. I said something stupid. He said something stupid(er). I got up and went to the sleeper sofa. He got up and nearly dragged me back into the bedroom and then sat down on the edge of the bed, hoping to talk it out.

I’m sorry, while I think the whole theory of “don’t go to bed angry” is all well and good for newlyweds, it’s never been my incentive to smooth things over. Once I’m in bed, I want to go to sleep. I barely have enough energy to wash my face and brush my teeth at 11:30 at night. I just wanted Sparring Partner to say he’s sorry; that what he said was really fucking insensitive; and then I could say I’m sorry too, and then we’d go to sleep. If on the off-chance I’m still pissed in the morning, THEN (but after I’ve had some coffee) I’ll be glad to get into a verbal pistol-whipping.

Mocking Trumpet

Doodicus has been sneaking stuff to school: silver dollars and other rarer coins that WERE in his closet; football and baseball trading cards; and those damn Bakugan battling toys. Even though we’ve caught him repeatedly with the punishment being whatever he’s sneaking is confiscated for a really, REALLY long time, he STILL tries it. I hate that we have to pat him down every morning. This is normal for an 8 year old boy, right? He’s just trying to show off to his friends, right? He’ll eventually stop, right? RIGHT?!?

Mocking Trumpet

Gas Mask

I heard the door open and shut as Sparring Partner entered the house. I then heard, “thththrrrrpppppthh!”

“What the hell? You couldn’t have done that out in the garage?”

“I didn’t know it was going to happen!”

What internal structural part of you is damaged that you don’t know you’re going to fart before you fart?

Honestly!

C’mon, men. Just admit that you thought you could sneak it out, but failed.

Bath or Daycare

Here’s a couple of dilemmas we are going through now. If you have some insight on one or the other (or both!), please, Obi-won, you’re my only hope!

Dilemma #1

A couple times in the past weeks, in order to simplify my life, I’ve put both Doodicus and Aitch in the bathtub together. Doodicus is now 8 and Aitch is 1 1/2. Doodicus has no problem with this plan and actually asks if they can more often. Aitch also enjoys the one-on-one play and having someone to splash that won’t complain (much).

However, when Doodicus asks Sparring Partner if he can take a bath when Aitch does, Sparring Partner tells him no. Sparring Partner tells me when I ask him what the big deal is that he just doesn’t like it.

Is the age difference too great and therefore they shouldn’t be bathing together? Am I gearing them up for future counseling or is Sparring Partner being uptight?

___________ OR ____________

Dilemma #2

We are finally moving Aitch to a new daycare, HH. It’s the same daycare that Doodicus goes to (she had to be 18 mos to attend). I suggested that Sparring Partner pick her up when he picks up Doodicus from school and then take them both to HH so that she only has to be there about two hours before we come get them after work, thus easing her slowly into new surroundings and staff.

Sparring Partner thinks we should quit the old daycare, KK, cold turkey and just start bringing her to HH right away in the morning.

Which way do you think would be easier? Keeping her at KK is not an option. I’m  certain that I’m the one who’s going to take it the hardest because I know she won’t be happy either way.

Holy Schmoly!

This year is a big one at school for Doodicus. During the first half of second grade, they prepare for the First Reconciliation (first confession). The second half, they prepare for First Communion (taking of the bread).

My husband and I are not what one would call devout Catholics </air quotes>. This coming from someone who retweeted one of my friend’s updates that said (and I paraphrase), “Why do people say it’s the ‘Gospel Truth’ when the gospel was actually a work of fiction?” I lost a FB friend with that one. I know who it was so I sent her another friend request, just to see if she would get over herself, and well…she hasn’t. So I blocked her. Because I’m spiteful like that.

Sparring Partner and I were both raised Catholic, but I have to say that we are floundering a bit as we try to follow the suggestions of the school to impress upon Doodicus the importance of what he’s being taught in his religion classes. Quite frankly, we are more concerned about the skills necessary for him to get a job. No amount of praying is going to get his reading level up to snuff nor will it help him learn to “mind his own business”, per his recent report card.

First Reconciliation was what I would consider a fiasco. No one warned us ahead of time that we should plan on a good two hours as 100-plus second graders, a combined total from both Catholic and Public schools, divided themselves into five unequal lines to sit in front of five different priests; and then tell them that they are mean to their little sisters/brothers and that they don’t listen to mom and dad. Repent, SINNERSSSSSSS!

I’m now learning that First Communion is a HUUUGE deal. And while it’s not until April, I’ve already been asked, “Are you getting Doodicus a suit?” (yes, I am); “Are you going to rent out a place for a party or have one at home?” (party? This requires a party?); “What are you giving him for a gift?” (the gift of Jesus isn’t enough?!).

The other night there was a “Parents Only” (loosely translated into “Keep your rug-rhinos at home, for the love of all that’s holy!”) meeting at the school. Boys should wear dress slacks, dress shoes and a white shirt. They don’t have to wear white, but we prefer it as it symbolizes their baptism. There’s goes my idea of him wearing a black shirt with his black suit, looking all Mafioso and shit. Girls should wear white dresses. NO gloves and no purses as these items can be misplaced. Followed by: IF you insist that your girl wears gloves, she will need to remove them before Communion as the bread must be placed in the “flesh of the palm”.

Now, why in the in the world, would you give the parents an out like that? If you don’t want them to wear gloves, tell them no gloves and period.

By now, I’m chatting under my breath to one of my son’s friend’s mom. Party? Suit? Gift? And then I hear, “We’ll be serving both species…” What? They’re serving a meal with this? Both Species…is that steak and chicken or steak and fish? Probably fish, right? “…so they will be receiving both the bread and the wine.” Really? That’s what they mean by “both species”?  Whoda thunk? Crazy Catholics.

Speaking of “crazy”, here’s the tie I designed on Zazzle for Doodicus’s First Communion. I sent a picture to my husband and one of my friends. My husband was not amused. My friend? She forwarded it to my son’s priest, who thought it was hysterical. Inappropriate, but still – hysterical.

Missing My Horse Sense

I grew up on a farm. Among the menagerie of animals I saw and heard and smelled every day, there were cows, horses, sheep, goats, donkeys, cats, dogs and chickens. Of course there were also plenty of raccoons, deer, skunks, coyotes, jackrabbits, cottontails, bats, ground-squirrels, red squirrels, badges and foxes.

The stories I could tell you about each of them…ahhhh, yes. Enough to fill this blog easily until the end of the year.

But a question I recently had from CowGirl made the memories of our horses come crashing through and was enough to set me back in my chair in recollection. Do we have horses, she asked.

There was a time that we had at least 15 horses at the same time on our farm. Of every size, color and temperament. Queenie was the gentle mare with the black coat and white hocks. Slower than molasses due to her advanced age. She would plod along anywhere you wanted – except across the bridge on the lane.

Red was our fat pony we kids usually rode. The child’s mini-saddle looked ridiculous on his barrel-round body, but he was always up for a ride as long as you brought an apple or slice of watermelon or fresh sweet corn. No wonder he was so fat. Our less than horse-savvy friends could ride Red; sometimes 3 or 4 kids at a time would somehow be squeezed together atop him.

On the opposite side of the spectrum from Red was Chance. A stocky, buckskin, quarter horse gelding of endless energy and fire, typical of his breed. He didn’t walk, he pranced. His trot, unlike most horses, was not the kind that made you regret not putting on a sports bra. He had more cow sense in him than any other horse my dad ever owned, and it was all innate, not trained into him. If I was on Chance and I was cutting calves, the only thing I had to do was hang on with everything I had. Everything about him was geared for speed and agility.

Cheyenne. Another buckskin registered quarter horse that my parents paid big bucks to have broke professionally as she was high bred and high strung. The only horse I ever knew us to have that wasn’t broke by either my dad or one of the kids. I remember two of her foals: one was a sorrel filly that was born with the most perfect looking build I had seen on a quarter horse, but unfortunately had a piebald eye and an overbite, both undesirable traits to my dad. She also had an unsavory temperament, much like her dam’s. My dad sold her as a yearling (funny, but I don’t remember her name anymore). Cheyenne’s last foal was a colt. His name was Al.

Al was big. 16 hands by two years. That’s big for a quarter horse. He was lanky and had a huge head. He was also grulla  in color. He was a gentle giant that I took under my wing. I loved him. It didn’t take long to get him saddle broke and I used him almost exclusively to go out after the dairy cows every morning and afternoon. He had an innate cow sense, like Chance. He just wasn’t as fast on his feet. His easy temperament was especially appreciated the time I found a newborn calf, abandoned by the cow. I could have gone back up to the barn and told my dad who would have got in the tractor or truck and went out to the pasture to load it up and bring to the shed. Instead I picked up the calf, still slippery from afterbirth, and somehow heaved its 60 some-odd-pounds (and he was tiny for a calf) up over the saddle. Al’s eyes opened wide with fear, and he side-stepped me once but let me finally get the calf settled before I lead him up to the barn by foot.

When I started college, I had to live in the dorms, so the only time I got to come home was on the weekends. I saw less and less of Al. My little sister rode him a few times, but she was just shy of  two years out from going to college herself.

After my freshman year of college, I moved two hours away and was working full-time. I came home less frequently over the next couple of years. My love of horses dwindled as I enjoyed my adult freedom. When I was 24, I moved back home, and enrolled back into college. I still didn’t ride much as we no longer ran a dairy. I met Sparring Partner shortly after that, and moved in with him. And while Sparring Partner said he knew how to ride, we never took an afternoon to go to the farm and take a relaxing ride. Probably because the only adult-sized horse by then was Al. My dad no longer needed cattle horses and was trying to get some miniature pony team horses broke. The others had died or had been sold off or had been allowed to founder and were lame.

And then one day I was talking to my mom on the phone and I asked her how Al was enjoying being the big guy amongst all those little ponies. “Didn’t I tell you? Al died a few months ago. From colic.” My heart flip-flopped and broke. I was so mad at her for not telling me sooner even though that wouldn’t have changed anything. Al was only 10 years old.

For a lot of people, riding horses is a novelty that they may only experience once or twice in their lives, and on what I call a “push-button horse” – if they are lucky. I grew up on and around them and saw dozens come and go. I’d been thrown; been clotheslined by one (a neighbor’s horse); was dragged by another because I foolishly thought I could control an 800 pound animal with my 100 and have a scar on my hip to remind me; been bitten and had my feet stomped on more times than I care to remember. But I never realized how lucky I really was until just now to have had any of those experiences.

When CowGirl asked if we had any horses, I realized that even though my brother and his wife are avid horsemen, Doodicus has never done more than sit on a horse. I think this summer I should take the weekends that are too cool to go to the pool, and take them up to the farm instead and establish the basics of horsemanship. I also think it would be a great time for me to be reintroduced to something that I enjoyed when I was young. Maybe it will help ME feel young again.