Of Socks and Men

Laundry, duck hunting/firefighting absent husband, three little girls and no dogs in sight Slightly neurotic and completely at my witts end--- wife, mother, dreamer lost in her 30-somethings

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Location: Paradise

I'm a 35-year-old mother of three who has a million dreams to dream -- and three children to carry out the ones she doesn't get around to. My husband is a firefighter and an obsessed duck hunter, so I'm pretty much a single mother, trying to juggle my life around duck season and fire season.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Reason No. 12 to be happy

my computer

It's shallow. It's not all that fuzzy of a reason, but it's also okay to not be all fuzzy, wuzzy, gooey every day of your life.

And so, I'll just say it: I L-O-V-E my iMac computer. Love it!!!!! A year ago I chocked up the money for this baby hoping it was a wise investment because it was so darn pricey. My 27-inch iMac has been a reliable workforce ever since that fateful day. I came home, plugged it in and went to work. It was that simple. Not once has it "showed up late to work" or "refused to cooperate." It's fast efficient and reliable. I have never loved a computer as much.

As a matter of fact, we do have a PC in the house that I bought around the same time as I purchased the iMac. Truth be told, this computer cost MUCH, MUCH less; however, my children would rather line up for a turn at the Mac than use the PC. It's become a gloried Mahjong machine.

And so, kudos to my computer. You make my work easier-- and therefore my life less stressful, which makes me one happy lady.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Reason No. 11 to be happy


It's been raining all weekend. I want to snuggle up with a cup of tea and some hot soup. I say want because it is impossible to snuggle up next to anything when you have three bored children.

and so--

Today we listened to the rain and watched the rain swim down our windows.

We drew our own sunshine.

We walked through books and stepped out into the path of Splat the Cat.

We pretended it was snowing and that tap tap on the roof was really Santa's reindeer-- so we sang Christmas carols.

And yes, there was fighting and timeouts and messes to clean-up. Excedrin was swallowed.

But really, I was just thankful for the rain time (maybe it's because it's almost 10 and the kids are asleep-- it's always easy to be sentimental when no one's tugging on your sleeve).

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Reason No. 10 to be Happy

Wrapping presents

Each year I approach wrapping Christmas presents as though it was the first in a series of selected tortures designed to break my soul. The creases are never sharp enough. The stickiness of the tape makes my teeth hurt and the sound of that cheap paper tearing just stings me right to my bones. Don't even get me started about how that endless pile of mating gifts makes me feel. I swear they keep multiplying in a very sadistic sort of way.

This year things were different. It was my honor and privilege to what most parents abhor to do: teach my daughters how to wrap presents. Now before you read too far, let me explain. I wasn't all giddy because I was going to con this job onto two unsuspecting children. No, I was giddy because I could finally pass down the knowledge of the perfect crease and how to accurately estimate your paper needs and reduce waste. Perfect packages are wrapped with just the right amount of paper-- not too much, not too little (obviously). Presents also must be tightly wrapped-- think tighter than the smallest skinny jeans on the most obnoxious teenager.

For a half an hour I shared my knowledge. My daughters listened (the two that would-- the other I have no hope for-- she will always pay to have someone else do the wrapping-- I'm quite sure). They listened. They tried. They wrapped two gifts a piece and then politely asked me to do all their wrapping from here until eternity.

And so, I will admit. I'm not ashamed. I am happy because now I know there will be two other miserable people wrapping package after package this Christmas. Now I know they know how to do it. There are no excuses. More people in wrapping hell makes Mama one happy woman.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Reason No. 9 to be happy

Squirrel Suicide Season-- today I'll be lazy and post my column for tomorrow's Paradise Post (12-04-10)

My dear readers, I am sad to report that a most devastating time of year is upon us: Squirrel Suicide Season.

This week as I drove my girlies to school, a depressed and deranged squirrel dashed in front of my car and stopped directly in front of my front left tire.

I swear he lay in wait hoping for a quick in to his miserable life, but today was not his day. I stopped in time and scared him back to life with a quick blast of my horn.

Yes, readers it’s that time of year when lazy squirrels realize they are ill-prepared for winter.

All summer they lazed around soaking up the sun or scampering from tree branch to tree branch in one of nature’s best jungle gyms.

Some watched pitifully as an entire oak forest took root-- evidence of just how many acorns they’d lost that winter. Once again, they’re hoarding nature proved selfish and the end result was a bitter blow of karma. Tasty acorns that could have stuffed their fuzzy tummies or plumped up their babies were now wasted as baby trees.

You see, squirrels don’t have long time goals. They don’t see baby trees as potential food producers for future generations. The acorn is quite simply a nut to be hidden from other squirrels and to be eaten later (preferably in front of other less fortunate squirrels).

Now some of you may wish to set up a Squirrel Suicide Helpline and try to save these most depressed creatures. I beg of you please don’t interfere with Mother Nature. Messing with squirrel suicide season would be akin to messing with the seasons and the food chain.

Squirrel Suicide Season is Mother Nature’s way of cleaning house.

Squirrels are among natures worst criminal offenders. They are selfish thieves, stealing from the mouths of baby birds by robbing bird feeders of life-sustaining sunflower seeds.

In cities and parks across the nation, they are among some of the worst panhandlers. What they can’t get by way of begging, they steal without a backward glance or a care in to who is going hungry today.

Last summer, I was a victim of squirrel thievery. I had bought a large bag of peanuts for my own little babes in the hopes that we could snack by the lake in a most Norman Rockwell fashion.

Indeed the setting was perfect-- trees, lake, fuzzy grey squirrels and a big checkered blanket. And then I turned my back for one minute and in that minute a squirrel ran away with the bag.

And so today forgive me if I don’t shed too many tears for the lazy beggars who plant whole forests in my gardens and who pelt me with acorns whenever I venture under the old oak tree.

Forgive me, please for I see squirrels for what they really are-- rats with better marketing.

Think about it would you love a rat if he visited your picnic or scurried across your front porch during your Fourth of July BBQ?

I think not.

And in death, the squirrels continue to wreck havoc upon us as they nibble into PG&E transformers and cut off power to hundreds if not thousands of households at a time.

In death they scar little children for years as the fuzzy buggers fall from tree branches right into the path of Mother’s SUV and the babes in the backseat witness it all.

Most horrifying for me was the time I carefully maneuvered across the snow in Butte Meadows. A squirrel lay dead in the center of our car’s path. Its legs were stiff straight up in the air. Its tongue hung out and its eyes stared deadly.

I certainly didn’t want to hit the poor dead creature again for that would be too gross, so I tried to maneuver my car around the carcass.

Just as I approached it’s winter fuzzy tail, the darn squirrel came back to life with a crazy leggy jump right in front of my tire and got what it most desired.

I was so scared I nearly wrecked the car.

Since that day, I haven’t felt much sympathy.

Squirrel Suicide Season is just a fact of life. Dear readers please be vigilant. Be aware for a deranged squirrel may soon run in front of your car, act as though its going to run back to safety only to change its mind mid stride-- and dash right into your left front tire.

So why does it make me happy? That's a good question. I'm not sure it does, but writing about it always puts a smile on my face.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Reason No. 8 to be happy

bubble baths

Take a bubble bath with a nice cup of tea and a good book. The water flows over my toes and the spicy tea warms me up on the inside. The book feeds my brain and for thirty minutes I'm in a bubbly oasis-- an opera all to myself, dreamy, soothing, comforter-- no headaches, no smoke and no chill-- until the last bubble pops and I let the water out.

Friday, November 26, 2010

No.7 Reason to be happy


For a moment the world stops. It's just us, a turkey, some stuffing and our family.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reason to be happy No. 6

Sweet nothings

It started at her toes. My 7-year-old Nikki wanted me to tickled them and then the Tickle War commenced. Across the couch and onto the floor we chased each other with wiggly fingers -- until I caught her and got her where it counts-- her ear-- into which I growled,"I wov you Nikkerboc!"
Giggles. Goosebumps. Silliness.
"Mama you whispered sweet nothings!"
I sure did Nikkibocker.