Monday, February 18, 2013

Grown Up Obligations

Being a big girl comes with obligations.

Big girl obligations.

Big ones.

For instance, I am responsible for not only paying for this house, but paying taxes on it.  Sheesh!

All I've got to say is thank goodness for the individual that created this lovely thing called escrow!  I'd be a sad, sad girl with out it.

I also have to do things with the house ... things like fix stuff.

Fixing stuff is a bummer when things break and they cost a lot of money and said money isn't in an abundance.  Fixing stuff is a real bummer.

And there's maintaining stuff.  Maintaining stuff can be a bummer too when one doesn't have the equipment or time or understanding of how to maintain stuff.  Then maintaining stuff is a bummer.

Before you know it, you're giving yourself birthday gifts like TMJ bite guards and a working fireplace. Well, okay, a working fireplace is a bit of a birthday present, especially when one puts a glass of wine and a good book with it.  That's an amazing birthday gift, actually ... now that I really sit down and think about it.   Daggone amazing birthday!

Okay, maybe let's not go that far.

A daggone amazing birthday would be me on a beach in some exotic locale with a body that fit into a great bikini.   Come to think of it, that would be a freakin', wicked awesome birthday gift!

So, who's getting me that for my birthday?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stuff in the Road

We have potholes in the roads here in Kentucky.

Now, I realize this isn't really news, if you're from Michigan.  In fact, true news would be something along these lines:

"Y'all, there's road here among the potholes! Actual honest-to-goodness road!"

But down here in Kentucky, for this Michigan girl, there really aren't potholes in the roads to speak of.

So, you can imagine my surprise ... how flabbergasted I was when, the other day, I had to dodge not one, not two, but three sizable potholes.

Yes, I realize that, again, this is nothing compared to the washboard effect that your pitiful, poorly aligned cars back in the "north country" must endure for the great majority of a year, but to be honest, I'd almost forgotten what a pothole was!

I did remember last July, when I hit my parents' road, during a visit back home ... and my teeth nearly rattled out of my head as I bumped along my way.

I was all, "Oh yeah!  Potholes.  I remember these. I remember I didn't like them."

I mean, for the most part, my truck has been in alignment for nearly six years. Back home, that alignment you spent a pretty penny or two (or eight) on lasts all of six minutes.

So, the pothole ... yeah, the first one, I completely hit ... I wasn't expecting it.  I mean, I saw it.  I saw its ugly, gaping blackness, but since it's been so long since I've seen a real live one, my reaction time was delayed, and I hit it going a full 35 miles an hour, a sure sign the alignment is heading south quickly.

But here's the sad detail of the story.   The part that gets really pitiful.  I've hit this same pothole three times since then.

Apparently, my learning curve has flattened a bit, living down here in the land of mild winters and eight months of mowing season.

And speaking of a mowing season, I fear it's inching ever closer.  I discovered a dandelion in my yard the other day.  This might explain why some young kid from WEED MAN showed up at my door yesterday, wanting to know if I'd like a free weed and grass consultation.

Nope.  I wouldn't.  I am not interested in solicitations.  Thank you.

But I am not soliciting, ma'am.  I just want to give you a free consultation.

See, this is where kids these days need to get their heads out of the video game screens and into a dictionary, because I am pretty sure that offering a free consultation is soliciting something from me, and I've already told this joker two times that I am not interested.

I was so busy saying no thank you over and over again, that it didn't occur to me until after he left that what I should have said was, "Listen!  I like my weeds and would hate to spend all that money to get rid of them!"

Filing that little gem away for the future, yes I am.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Finding Mr. Right/Mr. Wright


It happened.  Again.

The question was asked. 

The question I HATE the most.

"Miss Murray, are you married?"

I hate this question because it's just another magnification of how I've managed to somehow fail in finding that one right man to share my life with ...

"Nope.  Nope, I'm not married." 

And then the second most hated question. The follow-up question.

"Why not, Miss Murray?"

Yes, because if we had the answer to THIS question, we could, possibly, find the answer to other questions ... like a cure for cancer ... or a final solution to world peace ... or who did shoot JR? 



We know the answer to that one.

"Well, I am not sure.  I suppose it's because I've just not found Mr. Right yet."

There was a long pause on the part of my students, because they were ALL interested in my answer to this one.  I mean, aren't you all?

Finally, someone spoke up, with a look of both confusion and consternation playing on their little fourth grade face. 

"You mean to tell me that you've been wasting all of this time trying to find a man named Mr. Wright?!"

Yep!  That's what I've been doing.  Good grief!  If I'd only realized this years ago, I could have spared myself so much frustration!!!

I suppose it's better than the time a first grader threw up her hands and said to me in frustration, "YOU'RE NOT MARRIED BECAUSE YOU'RE DOING THIS ALL WRONG!"

Midweek Confessions ... a Day Late

  1. I hate Valentines Day ... with a red hot passion.  I want to be surprised with flowers or a Starbucks or a Diet Coke on regular days or a sweet note ... for no reason other than because I am adored.  Not just because some marketing ploy tells someone to do so. I am glad I've made it through another IT SUCKS TO BE SINGLE Day.
  2. I cleaned my room over the weekend and within days, I had two piles of clothes laying on the floor.  Why?  Who knows!
  3. I have left the same sink full of dishes for two days ... unwashed.  I am a pig.
  4. I am beyond giddy at the thought of finally having my fireplace fixed.  I envision lots of evenings in front of it, enjoying a glass of wine ... and not getting anything done around my house.
  5. I am secretly scared I might blow myself up lighting my fireplace by myself. I suppose this isn't much of a secret any more.
  6. I have a box issue. Big boxes.  Small boxes.  Shirt boxes.  Jewelry boxes. For some reason, I had started saving boxes ... for some yet unnamed purpose.  I realized this was verging on hoarding, so I've begun the recycling process. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Power of a Sweater

I dislike Valentines Day.  I really do.

I put on red or pink and some holiday socks, and I attempt to grin and bear it, while those around me flaunt their flowers and chocolates and oodles of love they receive. 


So, today, after being breathed upon by The Cat, which pretty much gave a tangible example of why I dislike this holiday so much, I got up and put on the outfit I'd picked out for the day.  Only, I didn't want to wear it.

Oh ladies ... when this little wrinkle in the "laying out of the outfit" process occurs, it's almost as though you've disturbed the delicate balance of the world, doesn't it? And the rest of the day will be off because of it; do I not speak the truth!?

There really isn't enough coffee in the world after such a disruption.

I finally landed upon a pair of trouser jeans and a v-neck sweater I've not worn in quite awhile.  There is a history to this sweater.  Not a good one either.  I've not worn it in a while not because of the history, but because it's not fit me very well.  These days, however, things are fitting me so much better!  This is a good thing; oh boy is it ever!

While admiring how the sweater now lays over my curves, I was reminded of my history with this sweater. 

One must travel back in time 11 ... maybe 12 years ago ... to a car lot back in Michigan.  This was when I bought LITTLE RED, my current truck, and while all has ended well in that front, my mother wanted to kill both my dad and myself after we signed on the dotted line without really thinking through the ramifications of said purchase of vehicle.  It's a long story, and not part of the overriding theme of this one, but let's just say the words, "I KNEW I SHOULDN'T HAVE TRUSTED YOU TWO ALONE" through gritted teeth were uttered by the matriarch of my family. 

But this salesman wanted the sale, and he was certainly friendly enough with my dad and I.  And my dad liked working with him.  He said he felt like he could trust him. 

Uh-huh ... famous last words.

There was paperwork snafu, and about a month later, I was informed I'd been driving around the countryside in a truck I technically didn't own.

WHOA!  Come again!?

My super friendly salesman assured me that we'd have things buttoned up without a problem if I could just make my way to his office after school one day. 

Sure thing!  Because while I wasn't exactly excited about the prospect of car payments, I certainly wanted to know that I was not in any danger of being arrested for driving a stolen vehicle.  So, of course, I'd be at his office that afternoon.

It was a Friday, and I was wearing a pair of jeans and this sweater as I wheeled into the dealership.  Waiting in front of the giant picture window, I caught the reflection of my salesman behind me, and I realized that he was standing there looking at me ... only looking wouldn't exactly be the best term ... ogling?  Yeah, ogling.  I waited for him to get his eyeful, before I turned around to "Mmmm....I don't remember my teacher ever looking that good in a sweater."

Now, this would have been mildly entertaining if a few factors had been in play:
  1. He was single.
  2. He was remotely good-looking.
  3. He was even close to my age.
None of these factors were viable.  In fact, weeks before, he was telling my dad just how happily married he was. 

He then shuttled me into his office, closed his door, and proceeded to say, "I am not exactly sure what I'd do if my teacher smelled as good as you and looked as good as you do in that sweater."


I signed whatever he put in front of me ... quickly ... and got the heck out of there.  I also told my dad that I didn't like that man and never wanted to do business with him again. 

You know what?  My dad is such an honorable man, I'm not sure he ever did any business with him again....

So, yes, this sweater has history ... it has power, too, it would seem.

Perhaps, it is not by mistake that I wear this sweater ... on this day ... if only there was some place to wield the power ... rather than heading home to be breathed upon by The Cat once again ...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Having People

When you wade out into the waters of home-ownership, you begin collecting people.

No!  Not as in collecting dead people ... in your crawl space.

No, I'd never do that.

I just collect dead birds in my crawl space ... and snakes ... and creepy-crawly bugs ...

No, what I mean is that you begin to have a virtual Rolodex of people that you collect and call upon for various services around your home.

For instance, I have furnace people.  Yes, that's right.  I have furnace people.  And they are great people!  Very helpful.  Always friendly.  Amazing furnace people.

In fact, I will be seeing one of those people soon to do some work on my gas fireplace.  I am unable to contain the excitement that I have anticipating evenings in front of my very own fireplace with a glass of wine in my hand.

I will be a person with a fireplace!

I will be "fireplace people!"

What this poor man doesn't realize is that I've created an entire list of question I plan to pepper him with when he gets here.

Okay, yes, I will wait until he takes his coat off perhaps.  I might even offer him a beverage before I begin the barrage of questions.

Top of the list will be an extensive tutorial on how to fire up that gas log.  Gosh, I'd hate to blow myself up trying to become a "fireplace person."

I was mentioning to my mother this evening that I had people.

"Mom, I am not sure if you knew this, but I have people."

"Uh, huh..."  Some things never change here, folks. She is still "multi-tasking" while I talk.

"I like having people."

"Yes, it is nice," she replied.

"It's sooooo nice," I agreed.  "Until it comes time to pay their bills.  Then, not so much."

"Boy, that's the truth.  Why not have your neighbors pay it? You know? The same one's that paid for your garbage bill?"  My mother still thinks that story is a hoot.

"You mean the Johnson's?  I am not sure where they live."

"The City of Frankfort must.  They took the Johnson's money to pay your bill.  You could have bill-paying people!"

Hmmmm ... bill-paying people.  Ummm ... isn't that what my parents were .... before they rudely booted me from The Nest and told me to become a functioning part of society with my own people?

Thursday, February 07, 2013


If there was a fly on the wall in my general vicinity while I am having conversations with people, oh the stories that fly would have to tell!

Actually, I did have a fly on my wall ... well, window to be exact, at home ... for about a week ... until he finally slowed down, assumedly from lack of food and fresh air ... and Emmy got him ... and skidded him around on the living room floor for a while ... and then licked him to death ... literally.  I bet he had some stories to tell ... before he was licked to death.

Okay, well, maybe he didn't.  I mean, after all, it was me ... and the cat ... in my house, and we're not all that exciting.

But the conversations that I have with my friends ... well, that's another story entirely.  For instance, the conversation involving a Groupon today was one for the record books. 

Erin called me on my cell during my planning.  Now, she called me on my cell because she was on her planning as well.  I should probably mention that she is right next door to me ... like ... oh ... I don't know ... a few yards door to door.  But she called.

That alone is one thing that would make a fly roll all of his eyes.  We do stuff like that, Erin and I.

So, she called me and said I needed to get over to her room as soon as possible because there was something I just had to see.

Turns out, she'd just received a Groupon on her email that was one for the record books ... and something she thought we should do.

What was it, you ask?

Only the best deal ever!  Or so some would think.   $29.00 a person, and you too could go to a place over in Louisville for FOUR POLE DANCING CLASSES.

The descriptions themselves were enough to reduce us to giggles, but then Erin actually suggested we go.  Me!  Her!  Together in this class!

"First of all, Erin, I would sprain something, and not the normal kind of sprain.  It'd be a sprain in a place you're not suppose to get a sprain,  and then I'd have to go to Dr. G, and he'd make me explain how I'd sprained it, and I'd have to tell him, and then, after I watched him fall off his swivelly doctor's chair laughing his butt right off, he'd have to deal with this crazy sprain, that he'd then tell ALL OF HIS OFFICE about.  So, no.  I am not taking POLE DANCING CLASSES with you!"

"What are you going to sprain, Megan!?  Really?" 

"One of my boobs.  I'd sprain one of my boobs."

"How would you sprain a boob?"

"I told you it would be a very unique sprain!"

"Elly, would do it!  I know she would."

"Pretty sure she wouldn't," I said, shaking my head emphatically.  "It's the vision of seeing Dr. G laugh hysterically at me that keeps me from this little venture.  Can't we just go on a girls' overnight somewhere?"

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Midweek Confessions

My midweek confessions ... such as they are.

  1. I have left the same three used Kleenexes sitting on my fireplace hearth for ... well, I've lost count on how many days they have been sitting there.  I have someone coming to fix my fireplace in two weeks.  I figure I've got time to move them to a waste basket ... or a new location closer to an actual waste basket.
  2. I used the term WASTE BASKET the other day in school.  My kids had no idea what I was talking about.  Is that now an old fashioned, passe term?  I am ALWAYS hopelessly unhip.
  3. I often wear my work-out socks two days in a row.  Oh what!?  It's not 90 degree weather I am working out in ... yet. 
  4. I often eat sandwiches for dinner because I am too lazy to make an actual meal.  And I wonder why I am not losing weight at a quicker rate???
  5. I have listened to the Florida Georgia Line's CRUISE more times than is necessary for an almost 41 year old.  Oh heck!  What else am I suppose to listen to?  I still feel 25 most days ... which reminds me ...
  6. I still consider myself 25 years old ... except on days when I can see crow's feet ... and my knees ache ... and my plantar fasciitis flares up.  Then I feel 30.
  7. I am snarky.  I like snarky.  I have been snarky a lot this week.
  8. I ate a hamburger and fries for lunch today.  It was one of THOSE days.  So, basically, I am eating salad tonight.
I am shameful, aren't I?


I am having one of those weeks ... you know the type.  There is too much upstairs ... in my head ... and things are getting jumbled and rumpled and just not very clear. 

I am foggy.

I am not clear. 

I can't see the definite direction.

I am wandering aimlessly.

Of course, this lack of direction causes much anxiety in my upstairs (brain) region, because, with direction, it tends to hop down rabbit trails.  Hundreds of rabbit trails.  Thousands of them, really.  And scenarios are created.  And stories are born, and while that is a very lovely thought for a writer, the human being, girl-type in me just can't seem to form a logical explanation or thought.  That, my friends, isn't good. 

It isn't good at all.

It causes me to sit at green lights.

And walk down hallways with my mouth half-open (my allergies cause me to do that too)...

And stare off into the distance while standing at a window ...

And dream crazy dreams...

And randomly eat because I am unaware I am putting food in my mouth ...

And forget what I was doing and why I am in the room I am in (age causes me to do this too) ...

I need the JUMBLED to form something ... anything ... a shape ... a figure ... a mathematical problem.  I need to make sense of the nonsensical ...

Yep, it's been one of those weeks ...

Sunday, February 03, 2013

A Message, Not in a Bottle, But in a Song

I have been chewing on this song all afternoon .... I am relatively certain there is a reason for that chewing.  I suppose it's just not been revealed to me yet ...


The other day, while teaching writing, I referenced a Saturday morning cartoon that I remember just loving, HONG KONG PHOOEY.  The kids actually knew what I was talking about, which makes me think that Nick at Night has rerun at some point.  This little conversation got me thinking about Saturday mornings and the amount of time I spent in front of television set that have to be changed by actually getting up out of your seat, walking over to the set, and turning a dial.

Oh the horrors!

I watched all kinds of things on Saturday mornings.  Oh Land of the Lost!  It seems to me that this show came on later in the morning ... perhaps closer to lunch.  Often times, mom would already be gone on her grocery shopping expedition.  It is the WORST acting one has ever seen, and the special effects ... well, they were pretty rudimentary.  But it was a lot of fun on a Saturday morning!

Who doesn't like any thing that Bill Cosby has done?  I mean really! Fat Albert was awesome, hands down!
Henry Mancini's music made the theme of this cartoon.  The Pink Panther and the Arvark Show?  Come on!  We're talking a Saturday morning classic, people. 

This was a short-lived show on Saturday mornings, and I think, once you see the clip, you'll understand its lack of longevity.  But seriously, that head dress?  Who didn't want one of those just like that!?

Ark II was something that I only vaguely remember, and it's that crazy space vehicle thingy that sticks most in my mind.  I never knew they name of the show, for the longest time, but rather just had the memory of that vehicle in my mind.  Now, while the acting was ... well, crap ... I think the message was pretty forward-thinking for its time.  Actually, it was pretty prophetic.
And the cartoon that got the whole ball rolling ... HONG KONG PHOOEY!
Jonny Quest ... now there's a cartoon I could get behind!  Race Bannon was dreamy even as a cartoon, and the crazy mission they went on in their super sonic jet?  Well, it left this girl thinking it would be fun to do the same!
The Globetrotter's cartoon was just clean fun.  Meadowlark Lemon, I believe, did a voice over.  I saw him recently, at a Kentucky Book Fair.  Not only is he an absolute giant, but the whole time, I couldn't help but think about the cartoon!  Not sure that is what he wants his fans to think about, but I am sorry.  That's what stuck in my head.
And lest we forget, The Bugs Bunny Hour!?  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!!