At What Point Did I Become Old?

The picture I have of myself is of a young, vibrant, hip (is that still a word?), cool, and young mom. I see some other moms, assumingly around my age, at school events and they look so much older. I continually ask my kids if I’m that old and, to their credit and probably due to self-preservation, they assure me that I look and act much younger than other moms. Then we hold hands and skip down the hallway while belting out the latest popular rock/emo/whatever song. Ok, just kidding about that last part. I can’t skip anymore.

Lately though, I find myself starting to feel old. My body is no longer that of a 19 year-old, able to bend and flex and bounce back from injury like it used to. I’ve been dealing with chronic back pain for the last seven years or so, but have been able to successfully manage it so it doesn’t slow me down too much. I would even run three miles each morning, BEFORE COFFEE! Then, two years ago, I tore the meniscus in my left knee by simply standing in my yard. No joke. After physical therapy and surgery, it just didn’t seem to get better. Found out I had torn it again. Another surgery followed by more physical therapy. Now, like deja vu, it has started feeling worse and I’m looking at likely more surgery. My favorite part is when both the physical therapist and the surgeon used the phrase “at your age” to explain why I may not be healing as expected. At my age?!? But, I’m still young!

Then I went prom dress shopping with the oldest. When did she get old enough for prom? Why do dresses have so little fabric now? How do you wear a bra or even panties with some of these fashions? Why are floral patterns that remind me of my great-grandmother’s curtains so prevalent? And can we all agree that the hi-low trend has gotten rediculous and needs to go away? Yep, I’m definitely old.

Let’s not even talk about my morning and evening skin care regimen. Products with words like “anti-wrinkle,” “tone correcting,” “retinol,” “plumping,” and “for aging skin” have snuck their way into my medicine cabinet. It’s expensive to not look your age! I’d love to think I could be that person who could age gracefully, but if I’m honest with myself I have to admit I’ll probably be dying my hair well into my 80s in order to keep the white at bay. Seriously, I have a lot of white hair. Way more than someone in her (late) thirties should have.

At least I still have my sense of humor. I’m sure it will serve me well in the old folks home. Until then, turn down that music and stay off my lawn!  Damn whippersnappers.

How To Turn Someone’s Cheap Crap Into YOUR Cheap but Pretty Crap

With the popularity of a certain Netflix show (which unfortunately my oldest has been watching), now is the time to hit up your local thrift store and find all kinds of crap that someone didn’t need and that you also don’t need but suddenly want. Well, here’s a little project that is cheap, easy and will get you lots of compliments. And probably a groan from your significant other when they see that you have brought more crap into the house.

Materials needed:

  • Someone else’s old, ugly and cheap porcelain candlestick (or vase, if you can find one)
  • Spray paint – I used a mix of regular (red) and matte (black), because it’s what I already had (thrifty, I know)
  • Someplace to spray the crap out of the thing, and not ruin anything actually valuable
I’m sure this was considered pretty at one time, maybe

First make sure you remove any stickers and residue from the item. I find the magic erasers are AMAZING for getting that sticky price tag residue off. Doing a quick wash with dish soap will make sure all oils and grease have been removed. Use an old toothbrush to get the years (and years) of embedded dust and grime out of any detailed areas. Make sure the item is completely dry, that especially includes behind and around any tacky flower or leaf decorations.

Next, take the chosen crap (aka item) to the painting location and make sure anything you don’t want painted is protected.  I choose to do this outside because I don’t trust myself, and it’s a nice day (or it was when I decided to try this out). Shake the paint can until you hear that little ball thing rattling freely. Make sure you keep the nozzle about 6-8 inches away from the item, and spray in even strokes. If you have any fancy flowers or leaves, make sure you spray behind those in short bursts. Always keep the can moving so you don’t get drips!

Let the first coat dry and, if needed, do another following the same rule about short, even strokes. Also, make sure you get the top, bottom, and any other part that will be visable. You don’t want the tacky to show through.

These have been in my dining room for two years now, and still look beautiful!

Once the candlestick/vase/whatever is dry, you are ready to show off your incredible crafty thriftiness. Yay you! Then, make another trip to the local thrift store(s) to find more awesome but ugly crap you can spray paint. You could do something for each season! Repeat as necessary, or until the popularity of that particular wanes and the thrift stores return to the crappy junk collections they used to be.

I Have Commitment Issues

Ok, not really, but I am sorry….I’ve been a terrible page parent.  Life has gotten VERY crazy in the last year and I’ve neglected my page.   Between a job change, home ownership woes, computer issues, more job changes including a shit-ton of added duties, and just not having enough hours in the day to focus on anything extra, I’ve been very bad at keeping this hobby going.   And since this page is one of my creative outlets, I’ve been feeling very sad that I haven’t had the time or the energy to devote to it.

Hopefully, this merry-go-round is slowing down and I can finally focus on the things I want to.  Please stay with me and I’ll promise to do my best to inform and entertain, probably by making fun of myself and sharing the (many) mistakes I make.  Like, attempting to toast some garlic bread in the oven and succeeding in catching it on fire.  Or, as another example, tonight’s attempt to roast some corn and almost setting it on fire too.  Moral of the story, I just  need to stay away from the oven.

I plan to have a real post up in the next couple of days, and hope that anyone who is reading this now will check back shortly.  Until then, please remember to check the batteries in your smoke alarms.

First the Fun, Then the Torture

Yesterday I surprised the kids by taking the day off work so I could take them to the pool. It was perfect since the weather was finally not as hot and sticky as Satan’s balls (not an exaggeration, or at least I’m guessing not). Bonus that it was cloudy since we’re all really fucking pale. Just thinking about the sun can induce severe sunburn. I know all the treatments – bathtub filled with milk, steep teabags and apply soaked cloths to burn, aloe, jumping in a vat of ice water, chugging down liquor until you pass out – all of them (guess which one is my favorite). Luckily, we’ve only had to use the aloe, the liquor was purely for fun and refreshment.

The kids wanted me take the swim test so I could join them in the deep end and go on the diving board. Let’s just say that after years of neglecting my body, not having great balance, possessing a fear of even miniscule heights, and bathing suits not designed for anyone over a “C” cup, this was a recipe for disaster. But oh well, I’ll do the swim test so the bored teenager can tie a green string on my wrist and I make a pinky-promise I won’t drown on his watch.

It only took me three turns on the diving board to remember I haven’t dived in years, and that I am at that age where my ass really shouldn’t go over my head. Nobody wants to see that. At least I impressed my kids with my ability to hold my breath for long periods of time. I should have told them changing their stinky diapers for years gave me plenty of practice. (Oh, word of advice, NEVER EVER EVER give your baby/toddler veal. Trust me on this. Just typing that makes me gag at the memory.)

So, that was the fun. Today, I got to spend two hours in the dentist chair in preparation for my upcoming coronation. When the dentist asked what color I wanted my crown to be, I told him silver with diamonds and sapphires, but nothing too flashy. I’m not that kind of girl. Luckily, Dr. Jim has a sense of humor. He might also be a little afraid of me since he once hit a nerve doing a filling and, out of reflex, I almost punched him. Almost. He hasn’t added wrist restraints to the chair yet, so I guess I’m not threatening enough.

For anyone who’s had to have a crown, you know. There’s impressions and grinding the tooth down, and more grinding, and then another impression that leaves you gagging on your own spit and drooling onto the bib. Fun time. It’s probably a good thing I’m not a dentist because I would totally have a hidden camera for blackmail, or for patients who don’t pay their bill.

Anyway, I’m using today’s torture as an excuse for eating ice cream, because I damn well deserve it! My mouth hurts. And I’m sunburned. And we’re out of vodka.

I Am a Terrible Wife, But Happy Anniversary Anyway

Flash Mob Wedding
Aren’t we adorable?

Ten years ago, I married my best friend.  Actually, truth be told, he married me for my health insurance.  Really.  The fact that we had been together for 9 1/2 years and had two kids together had nothing to do with it.  When we found out he was losing his health insurance, we planned and pulled off a wedding in a week and a half and on less than $500, and I wouldn’t change anything about it.  Not even our oldest interrupting the minister to complain that the tooth fairy forgot her.  Twice.  Or that our toddler couldn’t be consoled by anyone but me, so she spent part of the ceremony in my arms.

It’s a really good thing we have a sense of humor.

Fast forward to two weeks ago…and me fucking up a wonderful gesture by my husband.  Our little crappy city is having a music/food/whatever festival over a Friday and Saturday the week of our anniversary.  Big whoop, right?  Well, Saturday night one of the music acts is Matthew Sweet.  Yeah, ’90s Megan was stoked, and said so on a Facebook post.  But, it was two weeks away, and we’re a busy family that usually has plans on the weekends.  Besides, the weather could be crappy, or I might be exhausted, or whatever other excuse to not go out and deal with large crowds of people.  (I’m not a fan of people.  Individuals are ok though.) The next morning my husband sends his usual “good morning” text, but this time he tells me I need to find three friends for the 15th.  He has purchased me tickets for the festival and concert. And that’s when I became a horrible wife.  Instead of saying “thank you” or “that’s awesome!”, I responded with “I wish you hadn’t done that.”  Yeah, I suck.

The thing is, you can’t spring something spontaneous on me with only two weeks notice.  I have to plan, and then change plans, and then do some reconnaissance, and revise plans.  After over 19 years together, you’d think he’d know this.  But he just wanted to do something nice for me, and I screwed it up.

Since then I’ve apologized, a lot, and I’m truly excited to go out on a Saturday night and enjoy some local food and beverages, and some music.  Since it is our anniversary weekend, I think I’ll take my husband.  He is my best friend after all.   He’s also one of the reasons I’m a fan of Matthew Sweet.  We might even dig out our old CDs and

Goofy Couple
This is what happens after so many years together, you go a little crazy.

share them with our kids.  Hell, maybe the oldest might want to go with us since the youngest already has an obligation for a birthday party and what else is she going to do on a Saturday night.

Hopefully, I learn from my mistake and don’t screw up the next time my husband decides to do something really nice for me.  But, even if I do, he still loves me.  And he still needs my health insurance.

 

Roof Fixed, and We’re Still Alive!

Garage Roof Replacement
The Roof – Before

One of the joys of home ownership is having to fix shit. All. The. Damn. Time.  Especially if you live in an older house and the people who “flipped” it before you cut so many corners that you start to wonder if the house is really round.  I could write a book about all of the things NOT to do, if you want the next owners to actually live anyway.  I’m talking about cut electrical cords under a sink, a copper connector on a gas stove, a birdsnest of wires in the basement, overloaded circuits….you name it, we’ve probably had to fix it.  The good news is, we’ve gotten really good at home improvement.  It helps that we are really cheap, so we have no choice but to learn to do it ourselves unless we want to shell out a lot of money.

Garage Roof Replacement
Our Organic Skylight!

We have a single-car garage that, for the past couple years anyway, has pretty much been a storage shed.  We’ve collected a lot of crap over the years, and had people collect and give us their crap too (thanks mom).  We knew the roof was bad, but were trying to decide whether to fix it or demolish the garage and build a bigger one, preferably one I could fit the mom-mobile in.  After crunching some numbers, and changing our minds a few dozen times, we finally decided it was time to fix the roof.  The giant organic skylight in it was not going to wait much longer.

Cool Tools
My new hammer. IT HAS A SKULL ON IT!

So, we had measurements and a really rough sketch of our garage and the parts that needed replaced.  Off to the hardware store!!!  I feel for the poor young man who got the privilege of helping us order the shingles and other materials.  In our defense, I did preface the conversation with “so, we’re fixing our roof and I think I know what I’m doing, but this is still kind of new to us.”  Poor kid.  He was very helpful and used our numbers and redid our math (oops) and got everything put into the computer and sent us on our way to pick up the supplies.  We had to do this in two trips since my wonderful husband was sure we wouldn’t need to borrow the store truck since everything would fit in my car even though I tried to explain that we only had a 38″ opening and the OSB (plywood stuff) was 48″, but what did I know.  Guess what, it didn’t fit.  I wish I had a picture of my car with the 12 sheets of OSB stacked on top, but I was too nervous about the drive from the hardware store home to remember.  I wouldn’t be surprised though if someone snapped a photo and posted it to social media.  The good news is, we made it.

Garage Roof Replacement
Obviously I didn’t take this picture. I was holding on for dear life.

A couple days later, it was time to face the beast.  Up on the roof I went.  Did I mention I have a not-so-slight fear of heights?  Probably didn’t help that the roof was in such bad shape, I was sure I would plunge to my death with each step.  Luckily, the roof was so bad that it only took us 40 minutes to clear the old shingles (of which there were at least three different colors).  About two hours later and we had the old crumbling plywood off too.  And that’s when we saw that there was more we needed to replace.  Oh goody!  By chance we had enough “spare” wood and were able to make everything sturdy and good as new, or at least not going to come crashing down on our heads. Fingers crossed!

Garage Roof Replacement
Everybody needs a little extra support sometimes

The next day was frustrating.  Since the ends of the rafters had gotten some damage and were rotting at parts, we had to sister up some good boards so we’d have something to attach the OSB and fascia to.  Trying to match that angle took most of the morning, and all of my patience.  Once we finally got it, we were in business.  Fourteen rafters later, and it was looking solid once again.  Now time to  hoist the heavy as fuck OSB up onto the roof.  Since I have no upper body strength, I got to be the one on the rafters pulling it up to the roof to be screwed in.  Once again, I’m afraid of heights.  Oh, and I’m incredibly clumsy.  This had disaster written all over it. But, we did it.

Mean Mommy
Making them earn their keep.

Sunday Funday.  Yeah, right!  We were back on the roof and I put the kids to work painting.  Took me a little to remember how to shingle since last time I did it I was about 11 years old.  Once we got going though, it went pretty fast.  Helped that my mom showed up, hammer in hand, and climbed on the roof ready to go.  The first side took only about an hour.  The second took a bit longer, but by then we were tired and it was getting hot.  Alex and I finished up the roof ridge vent (it might be a bit crooked, but I really don’t give a shit at this point) and surveyed our “handy” work.  Not bad for two folks who had no clue what we were doing.

Garage roof replacement
Still need to trim the edges, but I’m happy with it.

He’s happy he can safely stow his car, and I’m just glad our neighbors won’t hate us for that terrible eyesore anymore.  I can definitely say that when it comes time to do the roof on our house, I’m spending the money and hiring someone.  Two stories plus a full attic is definitely not going to work for me.

***

A benefit of cleaning out the garage to prep for the roof replacement, I found my diploma and a couple of U.S. Savings Bonds!  Sweet!  We also found these things:

Moth
It’s a Goth Moth!

Vintage Rolling Stone and Nokia
I bet someone has a functional Nokia & could use that faceplate.

 

Hey Husband, It’s Your Day…now go away

Father's Day
Alex, Sydney and Lillian,and spontaneous stairs on a hiking trail.

Father's Day
My handsome grandfather

It’s Father’s Day!  Up until my husband and I had our fist child 15 years ago, this was just another day for me.  I’ve had two not-so-stellar fathers, and my grandfather, who was an amazing man, passed away when I was 10, so I didn’t even get to celebrate him.  But now, I have an amazing husband and father to our two girls.  I am incredibly lucky.

So for today, I sent him away to visit his father, another really great man who is a wonderful grandfather to our kids and my niece and nephew.   Our oldest needed more practice driving, and why not an hour (or, with her slow Driving Miss Daisy speed, about 2 hours) there and then back.  Besides, I really needed to clean the house.  It’s been put off for way too long.  The dust bunnies were planning a coup.  And, I can’t deny it, I wanted some quite time. To clean. Because I’m boring. And a bit OCD.

But now they’re home, and enjoying some quite time after a steak dinner (well, they had steak, I had a veggie burger since I think steak is yucky).  There’s a frozen margarita in my hand.  Better Off Dead is on TV and the kids are loving the “old-timey” references and archaic technology, and I’m enjoying looking at John Cusack.  (He was hot then an still is.  I never pass up Gross Pointe Blank when it’s on tv.)

I hope everyone got to have a great day and celebrate the father(s) in your life, even if they aren’t biologically connected to you.

Student Driver on Board

Hard to believe I’m old enough (just go with me on this), but I have a 15 year-old with a learner’s permit.  Forget trying to get your baby to say “mama,” or to learn their abc’s, or tie their shoe, this is a whole.  New. Level.  And it’s scary, especially when you’re in the passenger seat.

My husband has been doing most of the teaching the last several months because, let’s face it, he’s the more calm, less control-issues-out-the-ass one out of the both of us.  She almost hits some parked cars when she takes a corner too fast…no problem.  She puts the car in a ditch because she was, once again, taking a corner too fast (apparently the one thing she’s not fast at is learning), I don’t find out about it until I check Facebook.  Second trip out he has her on the interstate…no need to worry mom.  I think I’ve aged 10 years in the last 4 months.

She’s a very smart girl.  School comes really easy to her.  She reads and even writes her own short stories all the time, and she’s an incredibly talented musician.  Driving though, well let’s just say she’s still working on that.  She understands the basics, and is quick to point out if I do something that’s not exactly correct (read: legal), but once she’s behind the wheel her confidence disappears, as does her coordination.  The bad part is that we live in the city, on one of the busiest streets even.  No nearby country roads for her to hone her skills.  Reason enough to put the house on the market, in my opinion.

Her driver’s ed teacher told her she needs more practice for city driving.  Easy for you to say Ms. Teacher with a brake on the passenger side!  I need one of those myself, for when my husband or my daughter are driving.  I’m tired of hitting the imaginary brake and not having it do anything.

So, we did some city driving this week, at night, because I’m an idiot.  Trying not to yell at my nervous child who is driving the mom-mobile is harder than I thought.  I was really making an effort to provide direction and explanation.  Probably shouldn’t have said “that was a really dick move” when she pulled in front of someone and then let off the gas and slowed way down, but it was a dick move and I believe in being honest with your children.  It is also incredibly difficult to not grab the wheel when she changes lanes in front of a bigger, badder, and much more expensive truck after slowing down in the middle of a turn.  Oh, and she didn’t signal!  I think I need to invest in some waterproof slipcovers for the passenger seat.

Turtle
Turtle, AKA Potential Speed Bump

Of course, her driver’s ed teacher was impressed last week when, as she was driving, she spotted a turtle in the road and, after making sure there were no other cars in the oncoming lane, swerved to avoid it.  In fact, the teacher had her turn around so they could get pictures with the turtle for snapchat.  Did I mention her teacher is probably crazy?  However, today she told my incredibly intelligent daughter to turn left…and instead my brilliant child attempted to turn right, changing lanes without looking, and almost wrecking the school’s car and my hopes of being able to afford her insurance in three short months.  Guess we have some more practice for her, with her dad.

In other related news, I’m on the hunt for a gently used former driver’s ed vehicle, passenger side brake still functional.  I have a feeling I’m going to need that.  It’s just another four years before we get to do this all over again.

A Weekend of Racing, Good Conversation, and a Baby Tiger

 

It has been a busy weekend, but OMG, I HELD A BABY TIGER!!!  Cross that one off the bucket list, after I added it, because who would have thunk it?  A REAL LIVE BABY TIGER!

 

Quarter Midget Racing
Bonney Twins Jockeying for Position

We started the weekend with a fun day of racing.  Watching our friends’ daughters race their quarter midgets is one of the fun things we look forward to May through October.  It’s fascinating seeing these young girls drive around the track and go for the checkered flag is scar and exciting.  My husband love helping out in the hot shoot, especially when the twins are in the same race.  Seeing them get competitive with the other drivers and each other is just entertaining.  However, watching these young kids take a hit, or even flip, sends my heart right into my throat. But they just keep going, as long as the car is able.

Quarter Midget Racing

Bonney Girls Racing is a family-run enterprise.  I feel honored to be included as part of the family.  Watching these young racers (ages 6 and 10) race their hearts out and take pride in their skill makes me so proud of them.  I think I was cutting my girls’ hot dogs in half lengthwise until they were like 8, so…yeah.  I almost feel sorry for their future driver’s education teachers.

After the races, and the cars are cleaned and ready to be loaded, the kids play while the parents blow off steam.  Trust me, there’s usually a lot to blow off.  However, this weekend it was an early race, and the boys had an early morning planned.  They were taking the twins to the Indy 500.  I have to admit, I was a little jealous, but not much since me and Jenifer planned to 1.) enjoy some wine and girl-talk, 2.) sleep in a bit and make a wonderful breakfast, and 3.) take my girls and her oldest to the local zoo…and PET A BABY TIGER.

Tiger
Beautiful Tiger…but notice the gate. It was chained on one side, but the other was just held shut by wires. Nope!

Ok, so “zoo” might be a bit of a stretch.  It is more like a private collection of exotic animals…in the middle of fucking nowhere.  Seriously, to get there you leave the paved road and take a gravel winding road (turn at the swing set in the middle of a field with no house nearby) until you hit a paved road again, only to leave it for another gravel road.  I think we were beyond listening for banjos and had gone to waiting to hear a washboard and mouth harp.  It was an adventure, but well worth it.  Because, yeah…ostriches, bobcats, wolves, lions, tigers (including Siberian) and bears (that stunk), oh my!

Tiger Cub
Lillian feeding the tiger cub

The best part though, was the 9 week-old tiger cub that you could interact with.  Myrtle was so adorable!  She acts like a typical toddler…chewing on everything in sight, loudly complaining when she’s not getting attention, and wanting to eat every second of the day.  They said she can only interact  with the public for another three weeks.  Apparently, after that she turns into a sullen teenager that might sleep for days or kill you…just depends on the mood at the moment.  She was surprisingly heavy and very

Tiger Cub
Sydney feeding Myrtle

soft.  You had to be careful not to touch her head or to put your hand near her mouth though.  Hard things to remember when all I wanted to do was snuggle her next to me and kiss her on the nose.  If only the zookeeper had turned away for just a second…

Tiger Cub
Baby Tiger!!!

The kids had a blast, and I think Jen and I did too.  Although, we couldn’t get the smell of the bears out of our noses.  Grocery shopping for dinner was a little hard after that.  But steak and chicken were still on the menu!

It was a wonderful weekend, even though I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my husband.  We saw each other long enough to pass off race receivers, check the status of the race line-up, and texts of crashes and that the girls wanted to bring home a new pet (I might have wanted to smuggle her out too).  Luckily, we got to finally enjoy his birthday gift today.  Steaks, bacon wrapped corn, seasoned veggies, baked potatoes, and salmon burgers on the grill.  I think he’s in charge of cooking dinner for the next three months…

Holy shit, I’m on the Twitter!

Well, this should be a disaster.  I’ve been using Facebook for years, and Pinterest since it was just a baby, and now I’ve decided to jump into the world of “Tweeting.”  Crap, I know absolutely nothing about this social media platform.  So please bear with me as I surely screw up on a regular basis.  In case you’re interested in watching this train wreck unfold, my name is @megans_tipsy   Or, I guess you could use that handy little social media icon on my blog to stalk me there.

This is guaranteed to be a regular shit show, so don’t forget to follow me!