Once upon a time this summer I had grape tomato plants that were thriving.

Then, they have become a morning snack for deer.  They snap them right off…

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…and then, poop in the yard.

Why can’t they eat the weeds, or the peppermint I wish I had never planted six years ago (and that despite numerous doses of Round Up continues to thrive)?

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It’s not like I live in the country. I live in a very busy and developed part of town–a suburb built in the 1970s.

Controlled deer hunt needed soon!  One deer can have up to three fawns a year.  I would estimate we see deer at least five out of seven days a week (alive or at minimum, on the side of the road–you know, dead).

 

I want to start a book review group.  Like a book club, but not really.

Any Indy area peeps interested?  I am thinking we would meet maybe every six or eight weeks and each person bring with them a minimum of two books you have read and would recommend to a friend.  You would need to be prepared to pass those books on to someone who is interested in reading them.

So you bring at least two books.  You give a brief overview or review on each.  Then, anyone interested can borrow it.  In exchange, you get to do the same–listen and borrow someone else’s book.  At the next meeting, you can let the other person know how you liked it.  The hope is you would develop connections with people who have similar reading interests and tastes.

It’s like your own GoodReads, but with hugs.  Sometimes real people in your own community are better than strangers over the internet.  Sometimes.

Monday, February 27, 2006

BFF…Remember back to fifth grade? Best Friends Forever. That is how I used to sign notes in school to Stacey, or letters to Wendy when she was at camp. This is a picture from last summer of Phillip and his friend Mia. Mia is our neighbor and both Samuel and Phillip enjoy playing with her. She is an adventurous little girl who doesn’t mind playing pirates, exploring in the forest or riding shotgun in Phillip’s Gator (other boys always want to drive; Mia likes to ride).

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Mia came over to play yesterday. They have such a great and easy friendship. At five, Mia comes over, they play, she goes home. So, here I am at thirty-three finding myself challenged to develop, maintain, or nurture friendships. Where did I go wrong on this one? I keep trying to think what event in my life made friendships get weird for me (always analyzing…I think I have been to therapy too much in my life).

While I don’t know what even triggered this, I know at some point, I really started thinking that everyone else has plenty of friends–but me. At some point, I grew insecure not about a particular friendship, but about the very idea of friendships. At some point, I just got bad at making friends, and even worse at successfully maintaining friendships.

I meet plenty of people and have lots of acquaintances, but when it comes to developing real friendships, I usually find my self saying things like, “I am sure she already has plenty of friends.” And, at those moments in life when regular people call on their friends, I rarely feel comfortable picking up the phone and calling someone I consider a friend.

How much do I share? At what point? If I call her and ask her to do something and she says no, is she really busy or just doesn’t want to do something? What if she says yes–does that mean she wants to be my friend or is just saying yes for something to do? How many times do I call and extend an invitation after getting nos? How many times do I call, period? Should I call her and then wait for her to call me the next time?

Sounds like I am talking about chasing a man–the same thing, I guess. I want someone that I can share the challenges and celebrations of life with today…and have it mean even more tomorrow. I want to be at the birth of my friend’s child and in the pew the day he or she gets married. I want to be able to be honest about my feelings and concerns (I think sometimes people don’t really want you to be honest, more on that topic another day). I want someone who listens to my petty shit and finds value in it. Yeah, yeah, my husband does that. But I want a female friend to share that with as well.

I try and tell myself I have years to find this friendship, and I cannot make it happen. In fact, one friendship that I really thought was headed for a lifelong connection recently fizzled. I know these things ebb and flow, but this one just isn’t want I had hoped so desperately it was going to be. Maybe one day I will once again find a friendship that offers the joy and innocence of a childhood friendship. Oddly enough, I am still friends with Stacey. That is one of my greatest accomplishments in life. Stacey and I have been friends since we were five (although she lives out of state now).

But, unlike a childhood friendship, which offers memories, I want a friend to share the future with. This is the best time in my life–I want to share these joys, opportunities, and adventures with someone who will be around for awhile. Certainly, there is someone out there that God has in mind to be my forever friend. BFF

 

My business partner and I launched an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign in the winter of 2014.  That campaign must still be visible on the Kickstarter website and this crazy lady apparently trolls the unfunded campaigns in her spare time just so she can send emails like this.

I thought I would share it so she can have the audience she dreamed of and for my fellow parents who have kids with special needs.  Someone always knows better than we do about our own children, don’t they?

My favorite part? Her two opening sentences (and the part about listen to NPR once in a while…just ask my kids…I listen ALL THE TIME much to their dismay).

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Open yourself to the world and you open yourself to the potential of receiving the above.  People are just that nuts and determined to lash out at someone…anyone…even a stranger.  She clearly doesn’t understand our technology and I would venture to guess that if she had a kid with dyslexia, she would toss money at things like colored glasses and vision therapy.  To each his own, Cra-Cra Carole.  Thanks for reassuring me that I am, in fact, the sane one here.

 

The oldest of my three boys is 13…almost 14.  I am so interested in his room–actually, anyone’s room.  Rooms say so much about one’s personality.  I will one day share Sam’s room (which speaks volumes) and Andy’s room (which quietly whispers of his emerging personal identity-finally separated from his brother’s (Sam’s)).  But today, specimens from a young teenager’s room.

First, pre-bed snacks.  Airheads. Finishing off a box he bought at the last day of the pool.  Guards were selling candy at 75% off.  He cashed in.

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Next to the bed, we have the closet.  I am shocked two drawers are closed.  Usually all three are open.  And, look–hangers.  Although, he apparently doesn’t yet know how to use them.

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And here is the hamper.  Dirty clothes should go in here.  It’s open–in fact, it has a large opening perfectly designed to make a “shot” from anywhere in the room.  But, alas, most clothes are NEAR but not IN the hamper.

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On the other side of the bed, there is a chair.  And the chair serves one purpose: to hold clean clothes he hasn’t yet put away.

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Next to the chair, it’s his towel.  I put about six hooks in his room but inevitably, the towel still ends up on the floor.  Because that’s where towels dry best…when you are 13.  And, below the towel, more dirty clothes.

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Open a door on the Ikea cabinet that practically covers one of his walls and you find “the stash” in it’s full glory.  This kid is good.

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Finally, my favorite.  These are the jars he set up to save money for the future.  There is no money in any of the jars, but just look at the tags and it tells you what he wants for his future…his teenage future.

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I say yes to things like this now.  Why not is all I can ever think of.  Why not?  Life is short and I want to save no for when it really matters.  It has really simplified my life.

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I am on my way to drop off a kid at soccer and as you pulled out of the driveway, someone pulls up dropping off another kid from cross country.

I roll my window down and thank the person who brought the kid home.  Then, I say to the kid–and this is where it might get tricky:

I am going to call you in a few minutes to get your order. I am bringing Wendy’s home for dinner after I drop him off.”

Now, if you are done judging me for getting Wendy’s for dinner, read on.

I drop the kid off at soccer.  I call the other kid–just like I told him I would.

No answer.

I call the house number (maybe he didn’t know I meant I was going to call his cell phone).

No answer.

I drive a little closer to Wendy’s and call his phone again.

No answer.

I keep driving.  I call again.

No answer.

I call the house phone again.

No answer.

I drive a little more, and I can actually see Wendy’s now.

I call his cell again.

No answer.

Do I:

a) Get him something anyway and if he doesn’t like it, too damn bad?

or

b) Not get him anything and teach him that when I say “I am going to call” it means he must actually answer the phone?

I am thinking.

I call again.

No answer.

I pull in to the drive thru lane and there are about three cars in front of me.  I listen to their orders (because I love to do that and then judge them).  I move up. Now just one car in front of me.

He calls. I say hello and he says…

“Hi. Did you try to call me?”

Apparently, “I am going to call you in a few minutes” translates to “set your phone down on the kitchen table, get on your bike and ride to a neighborhood garage sale with your brothers and ride to a garage sale down the street to see if they have any junk you can buy.”

The other day, my friend CH told me a story.  We were commiserating about how we wake up in the middle of the night. My recent struggles with sleep, I believe, are related to perimenopause.  Hers, I think stress.  Except the other night…

She started the story with “the other night, I woke up and pulled back the sheets…”

“And there was blood?” I guessed.

“No,” she said.

“…It was [insert husband’s name].” she continued.   It was awful.”

“He peed the bed?!?” I asked even more interested in the story.

“No,” she said getting a little impatient with all my guessing.  “The smell, it was unbelievable.”

“He SHIT THE BED??!??!?” I screamed.

“NO!” as she looked at me like I was insane. “He farted. And it was so bad I had to go sleep on the couch.  It permeated the air–every ounce of air in our bedroom.”

“Oh.”  I was disappointed.  That was it?  A fart?  I don’t think she would survive a minute at our house.  I grew up in a potty humor house, am living in a potty humor house.  I, quite honestly and thankfully (given the makeup of my current household) think it’s funny.  Farts are funny.  Period.

Next time she comes over, hope she doesn’t sit on the couch in the family room where Jeff sits.  That my friends, defines permeation.

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Here is Jeff, trapped in the car with Andy while waiting on the boys to finish their cross country meet. A taste of his own medicine.