Brain Dump

Hello from Charlottesville, on a chilly, rainy Friday.

kids held by their dad=always cute

kids held by their dad, looking over his shoulder=always cute

Some things.  In no particular order:

1.  There is an entire category of things that happen to people because they are old.  I noticed these things in my 20’s, from a safe distance.  “Old” was far away.  Here are a few examples:

  • joint pain or a bad knee just because [not due to- say- a recent soccer injury]
  • “I don’t sleep well when I’m not in my own bed”
  • taking a long time to get over a cold
  • “sleeping in” means 7:45 (whaaaaat? in what universe???)
  • drinking coffee black

I’m 37 and a few of these things are coming true in my life.  What would  you add to the list?

2.  My husband arrives back in town tonight.  He’s been gone for ten of the last twelve days.  He took the boys with him for seven of those days, and his parents had them while he worked.

I missed the boys, and also tried to take advantage of their absence.  It was fun to enjoy a quiet house and get some home’ish things done.  I did stuff like trade out all the summer clothes for winter clothes, hang curtain rods and new curtains, and eat cereal for dinner.  I got rid of five bags of clothes.  I don’t know why I enjoy that feeling so much, but I do.  Finishing things- even finishing with clothes- feels nice.

I tried to refer back to my own rules about kids’ clothes, because sometimes I am really smart and totally know how to do things.

free shirt.  go hoos go!

free shirt. go hoos go!

3.  It has been raining for at least seventy two weeks straight and I am considering something like this light.  I did that month of getting outside a couple of years ago, but that’s not a great option with a dumb old hurricane sweeping through.  Maybe a “happy light” will help me feel peppier in this dreary weather.  (Although, by the time the light arrives the sun will probably be out again.  And then you’ll read about me purging the light as clutter.)

It seems like a nice little gizmo for winter days.  But essential oils seemed nice too and I’m not positive they have helped much.  (Though they certainly haven’t hurt…except the initial cost of the oils).  Anyone care to weigh in on a “happy light”?

4.   One of the best and most practical things my husband has taught me is how to install drywall anchors.  I used to put up curtain rods or pictures with just nails or screws and hope they didn’t come crashing down.  But I opted for drywall anchors that can support a small elephant when I put the curtain rods up last week (see number 2).  Sure enough, Chicken came in from school and immediately tugged the heck out of those drapes and piddly screws would have ripped out of the wall.  Yay for drywall anchors!  Tug away, kids.

The drywall anchor thing came to a head several houses/apartments ago when I was impatient for my husband to hang crap up for me.  Nagging and impatience didn’t motivate him [shocker].  He finally just taught me how to do it, in the name of “teaching a man to fish” and all of that.  Power tools are my friend now.

5.  Two years ago this was in full swing.  The Monkey continues to do very well, with no lingering effects of the tumor or the brain surgery.  If it weren’t for the memories it is as if it did not happen, health-wise.  Goodness upon goodness.


gob: beeeeees? lindsey: no, beads! gob: bees? bzzzzzzz! -arrested development

6.  Imagine my shock and horror to see this sly creature in our back yard recently.  Scared the crap out of me.  It just sat there, all calm and patient, watching our lovely little bunny hop around as innocent as a bunny does, when he doesn’t know he is going to be eaten later.



I immediately took to the interwebs and asked facebook what to do.  (Fb is the new google, btw.)  The responses were not heartening, though several friends offered to come pee in my yard “if that would help”.  (Pee to scare the fox away?  And/or scare me into staying in my house for the rest of the week?  Both/and.)

George the bunny still lives, but that is because we bring him in every night.  This falls under the category of “unsustainable”.   Meanwhile, a friend texted me a “Fox News Alert” (hehehehe) that one of her chickens had gotten foxed the other night.  We are all just sitting ducks here, as far as I can tell.  George won’t last a night out there.

hashtag save george.

hashtag save george.

7.  Lists are supposed to be in odd numbers.  Happy Friday!

I’m About to Boss You Around

As I get older I become more and more like my mom.  She would offer her opinions and advice- ahem- freely.  Me?  I used to think and think before I talked.  Made sure I had really earned the right to give my thoughts or was directly, explicitly asked for my opinion.  Then I would offer it.

Not anymore!  And you guys can reap all of the benefits!


As I approach my ten year anniversary, let me tell you a few things about how you should live your married life.  Based on an entire decade of wedded bliss including (but not limited to) six homes, nine jobs, and four kids.  Fortunately we’ve made no mistakes or poor decisions during this decade, so rest assured this advice is sound.

1.  Live off of one income.  Even if you’re DINKs (double income, no kids) and rolling in it.  Even if you’re DINKs and poor.  Save and give generously with that second income.
One day, one of you might lose your job.  One day, you might have kids and want to stay home.  One day, you might have an unexpected health issue that, even with good insurance, runs you (tens of) thousands of dollars.  Practice living on one income and living well within your means.


This applies to buying a house!  Don’t buy what you are approved for; buy thinking about what you can afford month to month WITH a financial buffer in mind.  The bigger house is not worth it if you are barely scraping by every month.  I have tried to talk my husband into purchases like this before and thankfully he has talked me out of it.

2.  Talk to other people about your marriage.  And pick people who will be pulling for your marriage to win, and not just you.

We have had seasons where we have spun our wheels on particular topics.  We have talked about it nicely in calm, kind voices.  We have yelled and been crappy to each other.  We have thrown things.  (Well, I have anyway.)  Sometimes we just cannot get on top of an issue, and we need to talk to someone else.  We’ve paid counselors, we’ve taken friends out for beer and dessert, and we have met with our pastors.  We bicker and fight and try to listen to an outside, unentrenched perspective.  It has always been a good decision.


3.   Resist the temptation to reduce your spouse to his/her lowest form and leave him/her there.  We are all prone to bouts of jackassery from time to time.  But don’t keep your spouse pigeonholed in the jackassery.  Chances are, you married a decent person.  Remember that.

Here is an example, because I am talking a little abstract right now.  I come into the kitchen and see my husbands’ late night snack dishes on the counter.  Inner thoughts: “Gah.  Lazy husband; couldn’t even bother to put his dishes in the dishwasher.”  That could be an accurate statement.  Maybe he was being lazy last night.  Or maybe the dishwasher was already running so it made more sense to leave the dishes on the counter.  Either way- I need to resist categorizing him as “lazy” and just leaving him there to rot in my mind.  Lowest form- see?


(Lazy people don’t get up at 4:30 a.m. to commute to work for two years.  Lazy people don’t run ultra-marathons. Etcetera etcetera.)

I mean, maybe you did marry a lazy person.  Maybe you picked the laziest s.o.b. in the state of Virginia and now- dangit!- you are yoked to him forever and ever.  (Which does beg the question- why did you choose such a lazy person?  That’s an interesting choice to make, don’t you think?).  But, more likely, your spouse is pretty okay as far as spouses go.  Right?  He did not leave those dishes out because he is scum of the earth and intent on making you work your fingers to the bone until you die under a pile of his ice cream bowls.

My husband is much, much better at this than I am.  He sees me much more broadly and kindly than my lazy/selfish/angry moments.  I think I am getting better at this, but every once in a while I still write him off as the lowest form of himself.  Eww.  I do not like when I do this.


There you go.  All you need to know for a happy, blissful marriage.

What would you add to my list?  I am all ears.


Taps mic.

Is this thing still on?

Well.  I am still here.  

And I saw that someone in Lithuania is reading my blog (maybe at this exact moment!) so I better get back to writing.  Hello, Lithuania!  Let me entertain you!  


this blog has a cute baby!

Let’s do some general updates, in list form to allow for my laziness:

1.  House: We have been in our new house for almost three months now.  The dining room remains the room where half-emptied boxes go to die.  Periodically I go in there and shuffle a few things around, then decide that something much more pressing must be attended to elsewhere.  I re-enter the dining room a few days later, experience a spasm of overwhelm at the piles, then leave again.  Repeat for three months.  

2.  Children: We still have them.  They keep making messes and asking me to give them food.  Repeat hourly for infinity.  


We had a good couple of weeks where this was the toddler’s summatime uniform. Safety first!

Summer with my kids has been great.  I have loved loved loved having Chicken home from school.  The three oldest kids seem to gel much better as a threesome than when they pair up.  Pairing seems to lead to bickering.  But the three together will often come up with awesome games like “racetrack” and “let’s play with containers of water”.  I don’t know.  They have fun together.  

And let’s not forget the baby.  She is adored by her siblings.  If the toddler wakes up in a funk, I just point the baby in his general direction and he gets all mushy gushy happy.  She is guaranteed to turn those frowns upside down.  


funk you up

3.  School: Starts on the 19th!  Boo.  I am not ready for summer to end.  Chicken will go to second grade up the street at Venable, Monkey will stay home with me for “homeschool kindergarten” (picture me doing large, exaggerated air quotes as I say that), and the toddler will go to preschool two mornings a week.

4.  General health: Three trips to Urgent Care and various medications later, our family is healthy!  The next time you notice me with a gross sounding hacking cough, and then you see me again five days later and nothing has changed, refuse to talk to me any more until I go see a doctor.  I ignored a cough for…uhh…three weeks and that, apparently, is not how to one gets rid of a gross hacking cough.  Oops.  All better now!  Thanks, modern medicine!

Normally I would love to go on and on about my life but this ipad is giving me the business and I have no patience for it.  What is happening with my pictures? No idea. Just going to hit “publish”.