This Won’t End Badly

So I made a tiny mistake this morning. Miniscule, really. I shouldn’t even be bothering you with it.

I got up this morning after a terrible dream in which girl-child wanted to move in with her grandmother because we had no weekend plans besides watching television and I threatened to send her to a work camp. Weird, I know. We never watch television.

Anyway, my tail was dragging. I did manage to plow through the morning routine, and there’s the problem. For you math majors, here’s an equation that adds up to trouble.

Muscle memory + coffee pot + husband leaving unusually early = making too much coffee.

No big deal. I poured my cup and put the rest in the thermos to save for tonight.Yeah, it’s a good Thermos. One day I’ll compose a poem in it’s honor. It’s several years old, but it still work…

I digress again. How did that happen? OH! I know! I came home from dropping off Squish in six degree weather. That’s degrees Fahrenheit, not dog years. It was flippin’ COLD! And I was cold. And grouchy. And upset because the heat cable we bought last night at Wal-mart (I know. But according to store inventories, it was the last place in a 50 mile radius that had one)  to keep our water pipe from bursting (again) had apparently been previously purchased and returned to the store because it was broken. So I was mad. And cold. Did I mention cold? I was cold.

I came home and jury-rigged a space heater and a box fan to try to warm the garage enough that the pipes won’t freeze. The garage was cold. My heart was cold. But you know what was hot? The coffee in the Thermos. I poured it. I drank it. Three extra cups of coffee. Not three cups of coffee, mind. Three extra cups. And I forgot to eat breakfast. Six cups of coffee. Empty stomach.

9:30am – I need to get busy! So much to DO! Laundry! Lots of laundry! ! FASTER, you stupid machine! FASTER! If the pipes burst, I want all my clothes to be clean! Wow. It’s hot in here. I should wash the clothes I’m wearing while I’m at it.

10:00am– Bored with laundry. Clothes are stupid. Maybe I’ll do some writing.Writing. What do I write? I don’t have any words. WHERE DID THE WORDS GO? I’m cold. Where are all my clothes? Why are they in the washer? I AM SO COLD!

10:30 – Forget writing. I need to scrapbook. 450 photographs to squeeze into an 80 page book. How am I going to do this? What is the matter with me? Why do I take so many pictures? I’m a terrible person. I am a pixel-hoarder. I will never get through this. NEVER GET THROUGH THIS!

11:00 – 30 pages of 80 page scrapbook done. All done. I am awesome! If I keep this up, I’ll have two weeks’ worth of work done IN ONE DAY! Whoa. Why is my t-shirt all fluttery? Oh, that’s just my heart. Cool! Look at it go! Like a little hummingbird. I can’t wait to see hummingbirds. They’ll come back in the Spring. If it is ever Spring. What if all the people in China jumped off a chair at the same time and impacted the earth’s tilt so that it will never be warm again?

11:30 – Finished drying the clothes. They’re so warm! So warm. It seems a waste to put them away. Maybe I’ll just drop them in the floor and lie on them!

12:00 – My good buddy reminds me that maybe I should eat something. Because she loves me. She’s my pal. And I love her right back. I love you, too. In case I forgot to tell you that. I do. I think it’s something that people should say more. I am eating. I got some oyster crackers and salted caramel cocoa. And they’re so good! Where’s my last cracker? Did you take my last oyster cracker? I open my little fluttery heart to you and this is the thanks I get? CRACKER THIEF! Pour one out for my lost oyster cracker.

12:30 – I’m sorry. I didn’t mean what I said. I found my oyster cracker. It was in my sleeve. I ate it. It was soggy. I think the cat sneezed on it. I am sad.

1:00 Is it time to get the kids yet? Wow. I am burning up. It is so hot in here! Is it hot in here to you? Am I going through The Change? I hope not. I just bought hygiene supplies. Hey! Maybe I can insulate the garage with tampons? I might not be needing them otherwise, and I’d hate to waste a perfectly good Tampax.

2:00 – It’s still not time to get the kids. What am I going to do? I wish I could think of something to write about because I have never typed so fast in my life! Here, kitty! Let Mommy paint your toenails!

2:30 – Husband is due home any minute. It’s about time to make some coffee.

Look! We have matching coffee mustaches!

Look! We have matching coffee mustaches!

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My Saddest News

My coffee pot is dying. Well, maybe it’s not technically dying, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to kill it, which will have the same end result. I have diagnosed the issue, but I don’t think it can be fixed. How do you treat a coffee maker for PMS? I’m fairly certain that’s what’s wrong with it because it seems to be retaining water, and it punched the toaster oven for saying the new filters make it look fat.

I’ve never had this happen before, and we’ve been through a lot of coffee pots. I put in 3 scoops of coffee and 5 cups of water, which should result in a nice, strong, wake-me-up pot of coffee. What I get is 6 cups of weak, watery mess that couldn’t jump start a Matchbox car. Where is the extra water coming from?

My theory is that it isn’t pushing all the water through every time, and sometimes it pees out the extra. The question is how to fix it. I doubt that we can.

It shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s Christmas, right? We could go to the coffee maker store and buy ourselves a nice, beautiful, new coffee pot as a gift to one another. Sounds simple, no? No. It’s going to take awhile before my sweet husband will be able to let go. Right now, we’re navigating the five stages of grief.

Denial – There’s nothing wrong with the coffee pot. We’re simply putting in more water than we think we are. Never mind that I have used the same measuring device twice a day for two years.

Anger– I think the anger is directed more at me than the fates for even suggesting that the Krups may be on its last legs. And my anger is aimed at husband for being so attached to this particular stupid coffee maker. I don’t care about the Krups, just gimme the joe. Even if you have to filter it through a sock.

Bargaining– This is where we’re currently setting up camp. “If we just add a little more coffee to the brew, it will be okay!” Let’s just forget for a moment that I am already adding 20% more coffee than is recommended. And that it costs $15 a pound.

Depression– I think we can rename this one “sleepiness,” and it’s coming soon. When we’re used to about a billion micro-grams of caffeine a day and we’ve been reduced to drinking dishwater, the nap-attacks are just around the corner.

Acceptance- I wish I could say that with this stage would come a visit to a department store to purchase a new pot. Instead, we’ll start the thrift store prowl in the hopes of finding a better coffee pot than we could ever afford to purchase new.

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Wake me in about a month.

Post-Holiday Blues

Holidays can be a bit of a mixed bag. While it’s great to get together with family that we maybe don’t see as often as we like, there’s also that bit of awkwardness. Maybe it’s just in my family, or maybe you can relate.

It’s a wonderful blessing to be together, but after a little, you realize that nothing has changed. You see them living in the same mistakes year after year. Every year you hope it will be different, that they will have learned a new way of doing things, that you won’t have to experience the pain of the sameness, hurting and wishing they could see the mistakes they are making as clearly as you do.

Every year you wonder if this will be the year that you get up the courage to say something, but then in the end you retreat like a whipped dog, afraid to be the big bad guy, of being rejected. You feel like a coward because someone needs to be brave and take that first step.

This year, it is going to be me. I am being courageous.

Mom, the coffee was kind of weak. Can we have French Roast at Christmas? There. I feel so much better now!

We’ll pretend that this is a photo of my mom. She doesn’t like her pic on the interwebs, and Squish looks so much like her that it’s like he didn’t even need me as the middle man.

I Failed. I’m Sorry.

I have a confession to make. You may already be aware that I gave up coffee back in June. Wow. Has it been that long? I did it for health reasons, and it wasn’t easy. Two days ago, I fell off the wagon. I have found that there is no more effective treatment for injuries sustained when falling from a moving vehicle than a pot of coffee. So I made one. And a few hours later, I made another. In my defense, I didn’t drink it all, but the idea that I could was empowering.

I am trying to maintain a casual relationship with coffee this time around. We can hang sometimes, but I’m not going all co-dependent. No more sitting around the pot and waiting for it to brew or planning my every waking moment around our relationship. It helps that there are fewer actual walking moments now that I’m limiting my intake.

In keeping with my good intentions, this morning I chose not to make a full pot. I reasoned that if there was nothing left for me, it just wasn’t wasn’t meant to be. And my husband drank it all. And now I hate him a little. It’s no biggie. I can cope. Sweet husband needed the caffeine kick to start his day. I understand. I mean, it’s not like I birthed his children or bought him tickets to see Eric Clapton. Twice. It’s cool. I’ll get by. It’s not like Edward was getting lonely and questioning his purpose in life. It’s all good.

It could be that I stayed up a bit too late last night watching the most terrible movie of the year, but I never realized how difficult it is to muster the motivation to pour water over beans without first being caffeinated. But I’ll get by. It’s laundry time now, friends.

Anybody know what starch does to boxer shorts?

I have nothing else to add

Busting the Myths

I’ve known for a long time that I needed to do it. Way back in this post here, I knew that the choice was between my health and my vice. After nearly a year, the deed is done. I finally gave up coffee.

It has been over two weeks now, and I’m still going strong. I went from six (okay, eight) cups of fully-caffeinated French Roast a day to zero. Contrary to what you may have heard about weaning off of caffeine, it hasn’t been a big deal. Allow me to bust these myths for you one by one.

Myth #1 – You will have trouble staying awake as your body adjusts. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. I have fgkjklbntyu – oh! How embarrassing. I think my head just hit the keyboard. Sorry about that. As I was saying, I have had no issues staying awake. Little known fact, though. Sometimes when you give up coffee, your head will weigh more. Or seem to. And you may drool with more frequency.

Myth #2 – You will experience increased irritability. 

Puh-lease. That’s just a scare tactic, a rumor spread about by the coffee industry to keep people hooked on their glorious, delicious, aromatic- what? oh, yeah. To keep you hooked on their poison. That’s what I was trying to say. Anyway, I have not seen an increase in irritability. I mean, there was that one time that I went after a Volvo with a golf club, but it was a totally isolated incident and had nothing to do with caffeine deprivation. That grandma totally had it coming when she took my parking place. And Volvos are surprisingly well-made. No harm done.

Myth #3 – You may lose some mental acuity. 

Whatever. I’m just as sharp as I ever… wait. What was I talking about? Rabbits. I am pretty sure we were discussing rabbits. So cute!

Myth #4 – You will experience headaches.

This is a completely erroneous statement. I have experienced no caffeine headaches. Someone has driven an invisible railroad spike through my head, but the most logical culprit is Thomas the Tank Engine. He is the devil.

Myth #5 – Your precious coffee cup will miss you. You will wake in the night hearing him cry for you because his life has lost all meaning.

Actually, this one might actually be true. Earmuffs sometimes help. It’s also recommended that you don’t sleep with him under your pillow.

This is how I feel. I don’t know why Phoebe looks so sad. SHE didn’t give up her coffee.

Students of Life

We’re never too old to learn. Not ever. Each and every day brings us the opportunity to learn something new, to add to our bank of knowledge. Don’t pass up your opportunity! You never know what’s out there. Allow me to share with you the things we learned this weekend.

My husband learned:

If I drop half a candy bar on the movie theater floor, I will wrap it back up, take it home, and put it in the freezer until such time I forget where it has been. In my defense, it was a 100 Grand bar. And sitting in the freezer for ten minutes six months  will kill any germs that may have hopped aboard. Right? This confession does not paint me in a good light, does it? Feel free to forget what you just learned.

You’d have done the same thing, and you know it. Thanks, Wiki, for the picture.

I learned: 

My husband loves coffee so much that not even a felony***  can keep him from his caffeine fix. For real. As we were driving into the parking lot of a nearby coffee shop, half a dozen police cars rushed in, lights flashing. A suspect, already cuffed and waiting to be stuffed was being wrestled to the ground by a pair of undercover cops. I thought perhaps we should skip the coffee altogether. Husband disagreed. His argument? This was now the safest coffee house in town, what with the eight cop cars and all. My favorite part was when the cop stopped beating the bushes for evidence (They really do that. They have a special golf club-looking piece of equipment for it and everything) and gave us a friendly “How ya’ll doin’? Don’t mind me!” wave as we drank our coffee.

My mom learned:

Heights literally scare the poop out of Squish. If you’re taking him to the playground to let him play on the big climbing structure, pack an extra pair of underwear. For him. And yourself, if watching a kid stumble around 8 feet off the ground makes you nervous.

*** suspect would like us to remind you all that at this moment, it is only an alleged felony. 

Achieving Peace and Harmony

My sister-in-law is fantastic. She’s funny and smart, and she gives the most wonderful gifts. Her choices are thoughtful and carefully considered, always appreciated. She tries to find the perfect gift for each person.

Best present EVER! I love it! It's mine, right? I don't have to share it? Because I love it, and it's MINE! Hands off!

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Unfortunately, we’re at the phase where all gifts simply must be identical, and I don’t have the heart to tell her. She bought something truly awesome this time around, and my life is no longer worth living. Every single day, it’s the same routine:

“It’s MINE!”

“No, it’s mine! ”

“It is not! Kris got it for ME!”

“Well, I’m just using it! I’m not going to hurt it! You’re supposed to share!”

“You never share with me!”

“You like the other one, anyway.”

“I do NOT! I want THAT one! It’s MINE!”

And on, and on, and on, and on.  Every single day. I am at my wit’s end. If this pattern continues, I will have to take matters into my own hands and buy my husband his own Contigo coffee cup so he will leave mine alone. It. Is. MINE.

It is dark, sleek, easy to hold, and you have to push its buttons to get anything out of it. I call it The Jacob.

Edward is a little jealous.

I will quit naming things after Twilight characters when people quit rolling their eyes when I do. Don’t reinforce irritating behavior. I am incorrigible. Don’t incorrige me.

Your Comprehensive Guide to Passive Aggression, Volume II

For those who didn’t get enough ideas the first time around :

Turn off the coffee pot about ten minutes before you expect them to refresh their cup. The coffee will be barely warm enough to melt the sugar. Not enough to drink.

Put their rain jacket in your trunk on the rainy day you leave for work early. Husband swears it’s an accident. We know better, don’t we?

Serve meals you know they don’t enjoy. As a preemptive strike for those with passive-aggressive partners, it’s important to lay some false trails as to what you really like.  Eat that fried liver with gusto if you never want to see it again.

If your significant other gets up before you do, set the clock ahead. Fifteen minutes or two hours, it’s up to you.

Begin the morning by saying “Are you really going to wear — never mind. You look great!” Cock your head and stare at them whenever they are sure to notice.

Mismatch their socks. This is particularly effective if they dress in the dark. They will never realize that they are sporting one black, and one navy blue until their boss points it out in the middle of a business meeting.

Repeatedly flush the toilet while they are in the shower. Only considered passive-aggressive in homes whose plumbing dates to this century. The goal is to monkey with the water pressure, not leave second-degree burns.

Give the toddler a long nap and a Mountain Dew when you’ve got plans for a night out with your friends.  Use this tip with caution, as it sometimes takes a caffeinated toddler two to three days to come down from their high. Best used when going away overnight. And if your plans fall through, go anyway. I cannot emphasize this last part enough.

Write a series of blog posts on passive-aggression that you would never have the heart to actually follow through on.  And leave them to wonder.

Find their secret stash of hidden goodies  And move it. No, don’t eat it!!! Are you crazy? Sorry. You know I don’t share, right? You don’t even have to move it to an entirely new location, although that can be fun. Just slide it over far enough that they know their security has been breached. Maybe even rearrange the remaining Russel Stover dark chocolates that are hidden in the dresser drawer. I may have just said too much. I, um. I gotta go…

Sorry 'bout the cake, Daddy. Mommy goin' bye-bye.

What’s Left?

This picture is directly related to my post. The world as we know it may come to an end.

I’ve been making a serious effort toward self-improvement. If it’s not good for me, I’ve been getting it out of my life, hopefully for good and ever.

It started with the cream in my coffee. I like creamer. The flavored kind. Lots of it. To the tune of one gigantic bottle of hazelnut a week. It wasn’t a problem for me. Something like 5 calories from fat per serving. But when I finally did the mental math about a year ago and discovered that I was consuming more than 1/2 my daily fat in creamer per day, I was floored. *Poof*  Creamer was gone overnight.

I added exercise, but I still wasn’t losing the weight I wanted to lose. Along came Lent. I gave up sweets and fast food, and dropped more than a few pounds. In order to keep myself from feeling deprived, I allowed myself a single favorite brownie per week. I didn’t even count the calories. I figured one brownie a week will keep me from craving other stuff. *Poof* Sweets and fast food gone.

I still have some weight to lose, and I’ve not been able to exercise as much, so I dropped my daily calories to about 1800 per day, give or take. That means that the sandwich or veggie burger, cheddar crackers, etc were too much. I’m down to two smaller meals and one big one (dinner) per day.*Poof* Big lunch gone.

The Earth Fare started messing with my life. They raised the price on my precious brownie. It went from $1.49 to $2.49 in 3 short months. The quality is too inconsistent to pay that much for it. It’s no longer worth it to me. *Poof* Delicious vegan brownie gone.

A few years after my son was born, I realized that I had inherited a metabolic disorder that can cause me a world of hurt if I don’t baby my liver. *Poof*  All alcoholic beverages gone. Forever.

We’ve been trying to stay out of debt and get ahead financially by following the basic but effective teachings of Dave Ramsey.  Recreational shopping is down to a very, very bare minimum, and we’ve been cutting back wherever we can. *Poof* Cable TV gone. I don’t miss this one at all, actually.

And this morning, I realized that if I keep drinking coffee (sugar, no cream, thank you) at my current rate of consumption, I will have a stroke before I am 45. Seriously. When you nearly blew a gasket because your toddler won’t stop talking, and an episode of “House” brings on heart palpitations, it really is time to cut back on the java. And I know it. But I am resentful. And bitter. Bitter as day-old coffee grounds.

I love coffee. I didn’t always. I pretended to like it when a coffee-loving suitor took me to a coffee shop on our first date. I learned to like dumping in gallons of flavored creamer when suitor became husband. And I learned to adore it myself when I gave up the creamer and actually bought good, fair-trade, shade-grown stuff. French roast became my favorite, all bold and sassy, and so strong it could talk back. And now what?

What pleasure is left in my life? I don’t eat sweets or fast food. My lunch is limited to a salad. Snacking between meals is out of the question except for boring, pre-approved items. I have no vegan brownie, or even a reasonable facsimile.I can’t go on wild shopping sprees. I can’t even drink to forget just how deprived I am. There is little fun left to me now. The next thing you know, someone will tell me that sex leads to pregnancy, and I’ll have to give that up, too.

But I am trying to focus on the positive. I know that my efforts to improve my life and my health will help me to live longer. Or at least it will feel like it.