Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Favorites

friday favorite things | finding joy

By golly, Miss Molly! It's been a while since I've done one of these! Let's give it a go!

Hubbish Immitations:
The hubs' birthday-money-from-everyone gift to himself: a Les Paul Studio Deluxe . . . ooooh it's pretty and sounds beautiful. It's his baby.

“Chris? Why are you grumpy?”
“I’m not.”
“Yes, you are. Did I marry an Eeyore?”
*sigh* “No, you did not marry ‘an Eeyore.’ You see, I bring balance. I am whatever everyone else in the room is not. You’re in the room, and you’re all like, ‘OH MY GOD! DRAGONFLIES! SUNSHINE! LOOK AT THE SPIDER WEB! KITTIIIIIES!!! PIPKIN! NAVI! MUAHMUAHMUAH! I LOVE YOU!!!! SHASTA! CHASE THE PUPPY! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!! I PAINT ALL THE THINGS!”

Sadly, I’m afraid this may be an accurate representation . . .

This Pup:
She’s converted me.
This crazy-cat-lady-wannabe loves canines.
Well, this canine.
But, seriously, how could I not? Look at that face!

She was begging for cheese . . . I made her wait for it . . . I'm a terrible puppy parent, I know . . .
And, no, sweet kitties, you can never be replaced.



Zoo Trips

I love going to the zoo . . . Even if the Sanford Zoo isn't the most impressive. Chris and I both love creepy-crawlers and the big cats.

He totally commandeered my camera in the reptile/amphibian exhibit so I resorted to using my phone . . . silly man.

We attended with the family company . . . the one I work for during the summers and the one that is sending him out to Cali. It was fun, seeing all of his out-of-town relatives and, let's face it, a free trip to look at awesome critters and then enjoy a free lunch. Good weekend? Yes. 


Last night, after much begging from me and much sweet sacrifice from him, the hubs took me out to paint our own pottery again. I don’t know if my Zelda-homage-GIANT coffee cup will turn out well . . . but, by golly, it was fun.

And I was a mess.
I love being a mess for the sake of art.
Mostly because, whenever I partake in art, I end up looking like an utter disaster.

You should have seen the other hand . . .
P.S. I also realized that, when concentrating on tiny details while painting, I totally do that weird thing where I get REALLY close to the project, my brow furrows, and my tongue pokes out of the corner of my mouth. Why exposed tongues aid in artistic creation? I DON’T KNOW. But it works.

This Bracelet:

You see, I wanted this favorite phrase from a favorite book by a favorite author inked.
The hubs was less than keen. Boo.

Anywho, so we compromised. I found this awesome shop that can do custom bracelets, so voila!
Now I where “He’s not a tame lion” on my wrist every day, and I can take it off every night.

He’s happy.
I’m happy.

Strange Children

Do you know how intriguing it is to find small people in an office setting??
HUGELY interesting.

Does this speak to the excitement level of my job?
Yes, yes it does.

I feel like Jane Goodall examining apes. Seriously, I should start taking notes.
Every arguement I overhear, all the random games, the bartering of food, the aimless strolling, the irritated, working mother . . . It's FASCINATING.
Says the girl typing up archives of the development of celery seed.
. . . it's actually becoming interesting . . . celery . . .

Now, the feral children are wandering the office in their incredibly squeaky sneakers and flappy flip-flops, foraging for diet sodas . . . how interesting, you strange, foreign little creatures . . .

Thank God it’s Friday. I need to get out. Obviously. :]

College Diplomas

The hubs has officially graduated with his Bachelors of Science Degree!!!
It only took him ten years, but, by golly, he made it!

And, yes, we TOTALLY still have it on disply like that on our mantle

Have an awesome weekend, lovelies!

Monday, June 25, 2012

What to Expect When You're Not Expecting . . . at all . . .

That moment when you realize your Pinterest pins may lead people to believe you’re pregnant . . . but you’re not . . . You just believe in research and being prepared . . . but now people are expecting some kind of “We’ve reproduced! Huzzah!” announcement. 
Also, when your husband is always, “Sarah, can’t you just say things like ‘pregnant,’ ‘baby,’ and ‘kids’? You sound like you hate children, calling them 'spawn' and 'offspring' and all that.”
And you always reply, “What? That’s what they are. Plus it sounds more interesting. Also, the term ‘parasites’ may be applicable.”
“WHAT?! I just call it how I see it.“
“You sad, sad, human being.”
You drop name ideas constantly. The hubs then calmly replies, “Yeah, no . . . and, by the way, you’re not even pregnant yet so . . . why are we having this discussion?”
“Because names are cool. And I’m a planner. The last thing I want is nine months of panic and indecision over what to call it.”
“Oh good Lord, Sarah . . . “

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Night Out.

Peeps, I have a recipe for awesome. It goes something like this:

1. Gather up fabulous people . . . like your fellow literary nerds so you all can discuss things like the pros and cons of Game of Thrones, new witty lit, and the mutual disgust of the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon (BDSM Twilight fan fic? Gross . . . on so many levels . . .beyond, you know, the pathetic attempt at writing and grammar . . . geez . . . but I digress).

2. Get Hit On. You realize your age when it's suddenly a big deal that the dude at the ticket counter tries flirting with you. Like it's a highlight of your evening.  You see, the last person to hit on me was last November . . . and he was fourteen . . . and thought I was thirteen. "So . .. you're in eighth grade, huh?" *wink
"Um, no, honey, I teach eighth grade."
"Oh . .. OH! Wow, I'm sorry!"
No, kidding.

Anyways, tonight, someone my OWN age, the first since like college, tried flirting. Ego boost? Just a little.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How to Leave an Impression (Or the Day I Was Accidentally So Many Things I'm Normally Not)

On my last day as a school employee I was emotionally sabotaged. Whose fault? I don't know.

You see, a week after the school year has ended, all of the employees are called together to clean out the building. We rent (or they . . . it's not a "we" anymore, I suppose) space from a church. This year, the school officially purchased their OWN building (huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!), so everyone was supposed to pack up everything and then settle down for a nice luncheon. Where we share . . . memories. And . . . feelings. Oh, feelings . . .

We're strange, creatures, women. Loaded with this lovely little hormone called estrogen. Good laaaaawd, the estrogen. Have you ever noticed that women in mass numbers are breeding ground for tears? Anywhere from the sniffles to full-on-suck-dust-off-the-carpet-out-of-control sobs. We just love to cry in groups. It's like our hormones are having a bloody tea party. "Oh, hi, who you do you come from?"
"Marge, she's over there. Had a rough week."
"You don't say? One lump or two?"
"No sugar. Just chocolate. LOADS of chocolate. And no tea, either. Just the chocolate. Thank heavens. You know, I think, while we're all together, I should share Marge's feelings."
"Oh, that sounds lovely. Let's all join hands and make all our hosts miserable on the count of one, two--"
And suddenly all the women are overwhelmed with empathy, the tears, snot, and an onslaught of unexplainable emotions.

It's nasty business. Especially when you’re someone with the public-display-of-emotions aptitude of a rock. Introversion at its finest, peeps.

So, back to the school clean-up day.

You know something's up with your day when you walk in the door, so PROUD of yourself for being early, and you're greeted with, "Oh THERE you are! Thank goodness! We were just about to call you!"
"Wha--whaaaat? My curriculum turn-in appointment was at eleven. Was I supposed to be here before that?"
"Sarah . . . clean-up started at nine."
"Oh, CRAP!!! But I thought . . . I had been . . . I . . . ah, crap."
"It's no big deal. You've been cleaning your stuff out for over a week. You're fine."
"I thought we had to be here in time to turn in curriculum and the luncheon at noon until two."
"Uh . . . .no, you're supposed to stay until four."
"Oh, no . . . I have plans to pick my sisters right after the luncheon . . . shoot."

So, yeah, I start my day almost two hours late . . . and planned my day around leaving two hours early. Fan-freakin'-tastic.

So, cleaning goes smoothly, except for feeling embarrassed, lost, and a little out of place (I quickly learned I was only good for taping, labeling, and stacking small boxes . . .), and then the luncheon starts. Having only attended the end of the year workday once before, I had forgotten what happens other than we eat food. That is the point of a luncheon, after all, eating. But this was a luncheon created by women for women (sorry four male teachers), and that means we talk about our feelings. The principal gives a lovely speech and lovely speeches are made about the principal and her assistants, and then they open the floor.
Which means OTHER people are supposed to share.

I should have expected this. This is what happens during our last community meeting (a bi-monthly occurrence in which teachers and parents gather for announcements and the like). They open the floor, and women (sometimes paired with husbands), come to the mic and start gushing about the school, the staff, and their fellow parentals. It’s very sweet and it’s not that the school is undeserving, but it makes me squirm. So. Many. Feelings. Top it off, we all hold hands during that last meeting.

Anyways, knowing that’s what our last parent meeting of the year is like, it should have dawned on me that this is what the luncheon would be like (yes, we even held hands again).
It should have registered that, even though share time seemed to be over, I should not move from my seat to go check my phone in the other room.
It should also have occurred to me that I was not hidden in any form or fashion and the principal was scanning the room for more speakers.
But I stood up.
And the principal exclaims energetically, “OH! Sarah’s going to share!”

I suddenly understood what a deer in headlights feels like. “Oh! Oh, no!”
I couldn’t help it. I had to squeak out an objection. It really was an incredibly misunderstanding. Introverts don’t speak publicly or get entangled in emotional business. 

Everyone laughed.

I suppose if I heard someone’s voice suddenly turned into one of the mice from Cinderella, I would laugh, too.

"Um . . . phone . . . husband . . . calling," I manage lamely.
Words were said, I’m not sure what, but I found myself walking up to the mic, saying something about how I can talk if needed.
Lord knows I can gab. And, really, for being an introvert, I LIKE public speaking, hence the job yacking to 78 pubescent teens. I just don't like the emotional, vulnerable kind of public speaking.

Someone called out, “Do you have an announcement for us, Sarah?”

You see, moments before, the principal had commented that my lovely MIL, her right-hand-woman, was considering leaving in a year to be a full-time grandma, and the room was filled with the gasps of women thrilled with the thought of fertility. Oh, and babies. The principal had tried to rectify the situation, but, apparently, it didn’t stick.

I laughed, “Uh no. If there is an announcement, then it’s news to me, too. And, quite frankly, I wouldn’t know where it came from.”

Smooth, Sarah, real smooth. From that statement, one can make two assumptions:
1. Chris and I have no sex whatsoever. Ah-hahahahahaha. No.
 2. I’m a floozy and can’t pinpoint the baby daddy. Again, ha. NO.
Luckily, this doesn’t occur to me until about three days later when I relate the story to my mother, so I am able to ramble on about all sorts of nice things.

 “As many of you know, I graduated from this school, it’s how I met my best friend, Julie, and, later my husband. I didn’t really expect to come back here. Or to Florida. I thought I’d be far away.”

Confused looks meet me. “But you are going far away . . .”

“Yes, which just shows me that God’s plan is unexpected.”
Now you sound like a jerk who doesn’t love them. Sheesh.

“I came back two years ago to teach first grade. I got to work with Sherry, and, if you haven’t talked to Sherry, you should. She’s delightful. Every day I was with these adorable children who just hugged you and said they loved you and all these other funny, funny stories I got to tell my husband. Then this year, I was bumped up to middle school . . . and those kids are insane.”

(Laughter. Thank God).

“They say things and do things and you’re like ‘Seriously? Where did that come from?’”

(Still laughing. Oh, goodness, thank you).

“But they are awesome kids. We had so much fun, and I am going to miss them so, so much next year.”

(“And they’ll miss you!” a teacher/parent called)

“I had always wanted to teach middle school. Um, I went to a middle school run by a woman named Ceil Humphries, some of you may know her, but she made such an impact on my life [oh God, now I’m choking up], that I . . . Oh, gosh! I’m crying! Why is it that when I talk to you people I always cry!” I laugh.

“Just embrace it!” someone calls, so I pull the mic away, start laughing and crying simultaneously.
What can you do but keep laughing and crying, right? How do you even recover from a public snorting??? You don't. You pretend it didn't happen and you move on and hope no one notice.
But you know they did, doggone it.

“So um, *tear, choke,*  I always wanted to do what she did, *tearteartear* and, thank you, so much, for letting me try to be Mrs. Humphries.”
And I hug the principal and dash to my seat where I try to compose myself.

My friend sitting next to me leans over and says, “Ya sure you’re not pregnant? Tears and stuff?”
"No, I'm NOT pregnant," I said, trying not to glare.

And that’s how I ended my last day as a school employee—late, accidental, assumedly secretly fertile, and snorting.

At least they'll never forget me . . .  


Monday, June 11, 2012

Game of Thrones . . . of the Realm of Cubicle

Well, peeps, here we are. It’s official summer, and I have officially started my summer employment. Where am I? Back at the celery-and-then-some company from last summer.

Oh, yes, darlings. You have no idea.

What am I most excited about?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes . . .

A week ago, I could have died.
Or at least been writhing in agony, maybe in the ER.
Could have.
But I'm not, I'm sitting here having Supernatural marathon with the hubs (The "Live Free or Twi-Hard" episode? We DIED. My gosh. Best Twilight mockery EVER), and typing, recovering from a lazy weekend to celebrate the end of the school year (more on that later).
But, anyways, last week, death came a-knocking.

For all this to make sense, however, we have to rewind a tiny bit further to the invasion that happened in my back yard.  A demonic invasion, in my personal opinion. As things became warmer, they became wetter, and the bugs flourished.
That's the thing about the woods/swamp in Florida: it's freakin' bug heaven. They spawn in bloody swarms, take what they can, and give nothing back. So, Chris comes to me one night and says, "So, um, I've been doing research on those little beetle things that keep swarming the dog poop?"
"Yeah, um, you're not gonna be happy."
"And why is that?"
"Well . .. they're um . . . baby German Cockroaches."
"You're kidding."
"No, I'm not."
DEAR GOD!!! NUKE THE BLOODY YARD!!! I want freakin' WWII out there! I want them writhing in agony! And then I want them to look over with their beady eyes and see their relatives writhing in agony! And then I want them to die slowly and painfully! AND I WANT THEM SENT STRAIGHT BACK TO THE HELL THEY CAME FROM!!! I WANT THAT YARD NUKED, MAN!!!"

No, I'm not at all dramatic. Why do you ask?

I'm not even going to put up a link to the bloody suckers because they're just that gross. Palmetto bugs are the big roaches, my mortal enemies, but German Cockroaches . . . they're small, they're spastic, and they get in EVERYTHING. Once they're in, good luck getting them out. You might as well sign the lease over to them.
Then I had this moment where I was cursing Germany for bringing the little suckers over . . . and Chris had to explain they're not technically German. They have dark marks that look like Swastikas or something . . . I don't get close enough to look. Yes, I'm a bit of a blonde, and, yes, this only proves that cockroaches scuttled out of hell.Because, you know, they're insect Nazis.

Anyways, all that to say, weeks later Chris and his dad finally sprayed the yard.  While doing that, Chris called me onto the screened back porch. "I need you to see something."
Usually, when Chris calls me outside, it's for something fun like a frog, a lizard, a bird, or a skink. This time, it was not fun. It was a spider. A large dark, spindly spider. Something that looked like it crawled out of a horror film.  It was about the size of a quarter and black. I hadn't seen anything that truly dark--deep brown, yes, but this thing was void of color. Except for one, tiny, hourglass mark. No, that was vibrant orange.
"You see that? That's a black widow," Chris says.
No freakin' kidding.

They killed it. Chris's dad ground it to dust under his heavy boot. But it wasn't over. We had unknowingly just declared war.

Two days later, I'm grabbing our mail, and I notice movement out of the corner of my eye.  I peer into the mailbox, and see a dark, skinny spider the size of a quarter scuttling back and forth over the strands of a web that looked like it had been sent through a wood chipper. In the back of my mail box.
Just to be clear, the beast was LIVING IN MY MAILBOX.
Still, the inside of the mailbox is black, the spider, if it wasn't black was pretty darn close to it. So I send Chris a text to ask him to check out my wicked little squatter.
He did.
And, you know, before he left, he armed himself with a can of WD40 and a lighter.  Just in case.
Personally, I think it was just an excuse to play with fire, but I can't blame him. Fire goooooood.

He returned, chest thrust out and big grin.
"Was it a black widow?"
"Actually, yeah, it was. I looked in the mailbox, and didn't see anything but a weird looking web and egg sacks. Oh, and dead roaches. See? You and this thing were kindred spirits."
I didn't know whether to laugh or scowl. Frankly, I was just trying not to gag at the thought that I had been retrieving mail previously embraced by roach carcasses.
Chris continued: "Checked the back side of the mailbox, and it was COVERED in this shredded looking web. I didn't see a spider, though. Until I looked down. It was sitting at the foot of the mailbox. I killed it. Then, I took a stick, covered it in the web, and lit in on fire. They're all dead."
"The witch and its spawn? Burned to ashes, yes?"

You know, it only took me about two hours to have a freak out session realizing that I was four inches from a black widow bite . . .

And this is life in the Florida woods. In the words of a young, previous occupant, "We live with bugs."
No kidding.