The shit and the stylus, a tale of woe

As some of you know, last year Max got an ereader for his birthday.

Which he promptly dropped into the toilet. It never recovered.

Following the swimming ereader incident, Max pretty much didn’t have a great deal of contact with electronics. Then, with his Christmas money, he bought himself a Nintendo 3DS, and in the time he hasn’t been grounded from it (which hasn’t been just a WHOLE ton), he’s done pretty well. He’s kept it from falling, he’s taken pretty good care of it.

So much so, as a matter of fact, that recently I’d begun trying to persuade Josh that maybe he needed a shot at another ereader. The thing is, I have all these books – classics and not so – that he should, could, and probably would read…but I have them in ebook format. I do have actual books, but most of them are in storage. If they haven’t been sold to Storage Wars or something.

Friday, totally randomly, my kids were out of school. Like, school didn’t meet. Apropos of nothing. Max said it was in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday….somehow I doubt.

We passed the day pretty low key, playing dance-in-a-circle with Lucy, watching Family Guy reruns, and waiting for storms. Max and Ava whipped out their gaming gadgets and played various games against each other. I hadn’t really been paying attention to the gaming unfoldery, and Max had gone to the back of the house – I figured to go to his room.

I was wrong. He was in the bathroom. I thought nothing of it.

Soon, though, Ava stood up and streaked back to the back of the house. I heard the two of them whispering (like seriously, they whisper louder than they talk), and I went back to investigate.

It was like I had caught them canoodling each other, except…not at all, because Ava was standing in the bathroom door with her hands on her hips while Max was digging in the rank and disgusting toilet with some sort of grabber….thing.

It looked like this:

Kind of. You get the idea.

Max, my son, who by the way is in the gifted program and has had people ooh and aah about his brains since he was born….was prospecting in a cloudy pile of shit for what turned out to be the stylus to his 3DS. Now, in case you don’t know, the stylus for the 3DS is somewhat unique in that it is collapsible and metal. It’s not the plastic things like I used to use to write on those grey cellophane things that stuck to a cardboard plaque of wax.


Without getting (further) into disgusting detail, the stylus was retrieved, the grabber thing was tossed, and Max spent almost 45 minutes out in the yard with rubbing alcohol and scrubbing implements. And I made him swear not to allow anyone else to touch that stylus.

I probably should have just bought a new one.

Also, Dan bought him a Kindle. Stay tuned for its eventual fate.

I refuse to use the term ‘no poo’

So I haven’t shampooed my hair in over a week.

For several reasons. One being that I am a lazy ass. I openly admit that.

The other reasons are a bit more grown up and noble.

A while back I was doing some Twittercreeping. You do that, right? Someone responds to someone and you have no clue what they’re talking about, but it sounds like it might be good times so you go try and see the conversation? Then you end up, thirty minutes later, on some random person’s Twitter reading things they said 457 days ago, with no idea how you got there?

No? Just me? Ok.

Anyway, that happened, and I ended up following a link to a blog called Crunchy Betty. I read through some of the posts and found this one.

I was intrigued.

Now, I have always liked the idea of being all peace love recycle dirty hippie earth mother. But the fact is it’s a lot of work, and as we have established, I am a lazy ass. So while I like the idea of cooking organic and home grown and recycling and compost, let’s just say I’ve picked up some litter and called it a day. Except one time, in sixth grade I was inspired by an episode of Saved By the Bell and I circulated a petition to get recycling bins for soda cans. I did not realize that petitions are only necessary if you’ve asked and been denied, so it was kind of pointless, but I GOT THOSE BINS BY DAMN.

I did order some herb seeds recently, though. I genuinely hope I can get them in the ground. And I even looked at Diva cups on Amazon. PROGRESS.

This, though. For some reason this appealed to me. Fewer chemicals and less plastic, and if it doesn’t work my hair has never been that great anyway.

It was a no lose situation, people.

So, I stopped. I have “washed” my hair twice with baking soda, and the second time I put/spilled some tea tree oil into the powder.

At this point I’m kind of ambivalent. My hair is not nasty like I’d expected, but it’s nothing special. HOWEVER, the fact that it’s not terribly nasty after a whole week gives me hope that it will soon be Pantene commercial glamorous.

A girl can dream.

UPDATE: I just showered/baking sodaed and this time put some lavender oil in.

I. Smell. Delicious.

Random Ramble

Today is Friday the 13th. 


That’s bad luck, right? I’ve never really had much experience with good or bad luck on Friday the 13th, although I do remember that when I was young my dad signed his final hiring papers for a job on such a day –  a job that would end up being pretty much the worst thing ever.

But I think that was just the result of general universal shittiness, not really bad luck or anything.

I used to hear stories about people who stayed in their houses or beds all day on Friday the 13th. My opinion is that it would be a good excuse. Maybe I’ll use it someday.

The Steens are embarking on a journey this weekend. We’re heading over to Tuscaloosa, since I’ve never been there and as a student at the University of Alabama I feel I should at least know what it looks like. Then we’ll either geocache our hearts out or head down to Jackson, to laugh at everyone we escaped.

I hope everyone’s year is starting out well. Mine is – I think this could qualify as the best beginning of a year I’ve had in recent memory.

Oh and guess what, my therapist reads my blog (hi, Angela!). While initially I thought that might squick me out a bit, I’ve found it really doesn’t make a difference.

I suppose it’s true that misery breeds creativity – because honestly, I haven’t had much to write about lately. I’ve just been too damned happy. That sounds contrived – but I swear it’s true.

I vow to take lots of pictures this weekend. I have a kickass camera on my phone and I need to use it more often.

So, I leave you with this:

We MAY have convinced Max that butter was a delicious treat. It didn’t last long. 


We entertain ourselves the best we know how.

Happy weekend. I’ll be back in full rambley force next week. 

The link is a land mine

Yesterday was pretty much the worst day I’ve had in a while. No particular reason, just nothing and everything all piled in at once.

You know how you can go on for a long time, being content and ignoring things that might bother you until suddenly you just can’t ignore it anymore and it all comes out?

Yeah, that was pretty much my day.

I’m not really one to be needy – until I am.

I suppose everyone is allowed a shit day once in a while.

There were good things about yesterday, though.

I was introduced to Camel Joe (please baby Jesus and Mary just don’t click that link. Don’t do it.) and the wonder of a baby in goggles.

I suppose that could make anyone feel better.

Maybe I was a little bit dead


There are some people who are sick a lot. People with diseases and sickness and they are much better people than me.

I really don’t do well with being sick, maybe it’s because I’ve been really lucky to have a mostly healthy life.

In the past few years I’ve developed allergies. Because I’m getting old. I’ve accepted it.

There is also this one spot on my left nostril that gets super sore and red whenever the weather changes, and only today have I figured out what helps it.

Hemorrhoid ointment.

There, I said it. I’m typing this post because I wrote nothing yesterday. I’m snotty and gross and I have ass cream on my face.

I didn’t write yesterday because I legit thought I might never feel good again.

Josh has been achy, snotty and sick.
Lucy has been stuffy, grumpy and gross.
And me, well…me too.

So that’s what’s up. I feel better today. My dad gave me some Sudafed (you guys, it is straight up stupid that it requires a prescription now. Meth heads ruin everything.) and it’s helping. I went on a date last night and that was fun. I slept for longer than fifteen minutes at a stretch last night. I was gently awoken this morning by my sweet and lovely husband (he sat on my feet and then said ever so musically, “WHY THE CRAP ARE YOU STILL ASLEEP, IT’S NINE O’CLOCK.”) as he headed off to play practice.

Also, Dear Director Caleb – rehearsals on Saturday mornings are stupid. Please rethink it, because it’s misery. I can say that because what are you going to do to me? I am immune to your evil.

Oh, and guess what? Thanks to the kindness and understanding of the Dean of Students at Northeast, Josh and I are both students.

That’s right. We even have IDs. And I’m so freaking excited it’s a little ridiculous.

I suppose that’s all the random I have for today. I don’t even have a picture. Sorry.

Be sure to tune in on Monday, where in honor of National Relaxation Day I have a guest post by an honest-to-god yogi, and maybe she will inspire you to contort your body in unnatural ways.

Not exactly Hoarders

Do you guys use Pinterest?

If not, you should.

It’s like a virtual bulletin/idea/brainstorm board where you can keep track of things you like.

Interiors. Crafts. Foods (oh my GOD people spend SO much time on food! Bento, fruit flowers..). Clothes. Outfit ideas. Creative party themes and useful things like that. It’s also a total timesuck, because I look at this cool outfit and that amazing reading nook and ooh this sunroom and then WHAM two hours are gone and my kid is outside smoking.I love this idea. Looking at other people’s creativity. Seeing things people like. Feeling a sense of community in wanting to create things and make things pretty.

The bad thing is, though, that I often come away at a bit of a loss. I believe Moses would refer to it as coveting my neighbor’s ass or something similar (although my neighbors are PaPaw Buck and the invisible lady with the painted mailbox, so really, no worries there).

What I’m saying is I look at these beautiful creations, be they centerpieces, cute jeans with a surprising scarf and bright shoes, or a clever saying painted on a wall, and suddenly my hair feels greasy and my teeth feel dirty and I might as well go put on a bathrobe and a turban and start dipping tobacco because clearly I am a lost cause.

I love the house we live in. I love that these walls house people I care the very most about in the world. I love that my kids can run down the hall and have Dad (x2) and Mom and everyone can all be together. I love that we get two sets of Netflix movies. I love that my kids are growing up knowing that things don’t have to be normal to be perfect.

What I don’t love is the fact that we’re all kind of slobby. We all keep things we should probably toss. I’ve tried every trick in the book – cleaning for 30 minutes a day, throwing something out every time something new is brought in, cleaning obsessively all day.

I suck at it.

And the thing is, my mom was/is the ultimate cleaning banshee. She somehow manages to keep everything looking like Martha Stewart just came for cocoa and even when my 3 kids and my niece and nephew and the dog are all rampant in full force I would have no qualms eating off her floor.

So I kind of feel like a failure before I even begin.

I mean, this is my job, right? To make the home. To have things pretty and fresh and nice.

I’m like everyone else, I go through spurts of mania enthusiasm and things will get clean and organized and I’ll be really proud. Then Dan will make a tuna sandwich and make the whole joint smell like barf or Josh will cook a chef-caliber meal and the kitchen is suddenly filled with pots and pans. Or my kids will, you know, wake up.

So I look at the crisp and pristine loveliness on Pinterest or the living rooms in Facebook albums and I pine.

Well, I alternate between pining and scolding myself for pining.

The answer to this is obvious – just don’t look at it.

But then I get these bursts and I want to make things over – but I am crap at organizing. It totally escapes me. I used to (still do) wish I would wake up one day with a Monica Gellar yen for cleaning and organization, but thus far it hasn’t happened.

I wake up still me.

Still cursing the load of clothes I’ve left in the dryer for three days because I don’t want to put up clothes (PSA: it is not really possible for two adults and a toddler, along with all their clothes and shoes, to neatly share one bedroom and bathroom without some clever apartment type finagling. And I don’t have that. I’m not a finagler.).

Still wondering what to do with all the dog hair.

Still needing to find a system.

Still debating throwing down a paint cloth and just covering up the duck wallpaper.

A girl can dream, right?

Maybe you shouldn’t read this at all.

*Disclaimer: this post turned out kind of gross. I didn’t mean for it to be that way, it just happened. The muse overcame me, or something. Proceed with caution.*

Last night, I watched the Seinfeld episode where Jerry spits mutton into Elaine’s cousin’s cloth napkins. They were heirlooms or something.

Anyway, whatever, I don’t want to talk about Seinfeld.

What I started thinking, though, was does anyone use stuff like that anymore? I mean, people without servants?

Not just napkins. Hankies, etc.

While I’m all for being green and reusing whatever you can – grocery bags and the like – I believe there are some lines that don’t need to be crossed. One of the message boards I used to frequent would often delight in discussing the latest and weirdest eco-friendly reusables.

Let’s see, there were Moon Cups that collected menstrual blood. The collected fluids were used as fertilizer, I think, and other things. It was RUMORED that one photo depicted a lady using it as lipstick, but I refuse to believe that. I have to maintain SOME sort of innocence. Moving on.

On that same line of thought, there were reusable menstrual pads and such. Tampons, too. YES, TAMPONS FOR REAL.

I forget what it was technically called, but basically one discussion was about people who had potty cloths or something…like, they’d do their business and then clean up with a piece of material which would later be laundered and reused. I think in the meantime the dirty cloths were kept in a jar beside the john. Yum.

Then, of course, there were the always admirable cloth diapering folks. I suppose if you think about it, the cloth diapers are pretty much the same as the aforementioned potty cloths, but they’re just not the same. Babies smell like powder and milk and have sweet little booties. Adults have hair and oldness. Just gross.

This is not what I intended to write about at all.

At a funeral years ago, I was given a hankie. Not as a special gift or anything, just because I was snotting all over everything and I didn’t have a Kleenex.

Ever since then, I’ve loved the idea of a handkerchief. It just seems so feminine and quaint, like corsets and headbands.

I’ve even tried to carry a handkerchief regularly, but I always lose them. Always.

When it comes to things like hankies and napkins, I like the idea of reusing. Even passing them down, making them into something special.

As for menstrual pads and bathroom business and whatever else those placenta eaters do, I am a fan of throwing that shit away.

Do you use real napkins? Hankies? Moon Cups?