1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.
7. (My own made-up rule, because none of the aforementioned rules stated I couldn't add my own rules to the rules.) I didn't proof read this. If you find typos, you'll chalk it up to the casual nature of the post and not to my being schtoopid. (Just this once. Any other time you are free to consider me schtoopid when you see a typo.) (Fair enough?)
1. Bean and Peabody are playing with Play-Dough by the window, over my right shoulder. Peabody is making mixer/blender sounds, varying his vocal pitch to imitate the different speeds of each. Occasionally, he stops and narrates the addition of "more ba-nilla to dis smoovie" in a hushed, tense tone that makes adding "ba-nilla" sound as critical as the countdown in the final 30 seconds before a NASA launch. Meanwhile, Bean chatters away in a constant quiet whisper as she rolls and pats and shapes. I don't think what she's whispering has anything at all to do with what she's making out of dough, though. My kids don't often entertain themselves, so I cherish moments like these and I'm a-little-bit-holding-my-breath right now.
2. I sent Al upstairs to take a nap because he's kinda cranky today. We stayed up too late last night watching the first "Sex and the City" movie and then the snowplows in the school parking lot behind the house woke us up at 4:45 AM. Peabody woke up a little later of course, and my sweet husband got up for the day with him at 5:45 and took him downstairs to eat breakfast and watch Curious George. I slept for 2 hours after that, and the whole time I dreamed I was Carrie Bradshaw, sleeping off her broken heart in the darkened hotel room at a Mexican resort after she smashed her bridal bouquet over Big's head and sped away in a long black limo with Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda. It took my mind a few minutes to locate and lock onto reality when I woke up in my own bedroom at nearly eight o'clock.
3. My desk is actually a little bit neat today because yesterday while I was upstairs working on my hair and make-up, Peabody found the small box of a billion tiny rubber bands we use to hold Bean's Pippi Longstocking braids in place and scattered them all over the family room floor. This sent me into a small but furious tirade and cleaning frenzy, which led to a quick tidy of everything within reach. This is how I operate. When I get irritated, I clean things up. Loudly.
4. On our fifth anniversary, Al gave me that square framed plaque to the left of my monitor. It says Love, Peace, Faith, Joy and Hope. As much as I love those words, and I do, the reason I keep the plaque on my desk isn't the reminder those good and wonderful things, but the words Al wrote to me on the back. Al doesn't often write to me. Well, he texts me, but those communications seem temporal to me (though I've never erased a single one of his texts, even the ones where he responds to a text from me with just L, when he really means K, for Okay, and I know that means he's driving and can't talk at that moment). But the words he wrote on the back of this plaque are the first real writing I ever received from Al. Though he speaks often and eloquently of his love for me, he's not into writing. And then there's me -- I'm a writer at heart and as such treasure the written word above all others. I won't tell you what it says, but I'll tell you this: When I read it I'm reminded that my hero, the man I feel saved me and brought me whole again, needed me to save him, too. And somehow, I did.
5. I love written words in general. While we were driving back from our family Valentine's lunch date today, I saw a car that was the same make and model as the car my best friend Carole drove 10 years ago back when we were both single and living in Atlanta. Seeing the written word, "Pathfinder," even though I didn't cognatively make the connection, written on the back of that car sent me back to a memory of the two of us working together at a Senior PGA Tour golf tournament in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. After a day on the course, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and much to our surprise got to dance and sing and drink cold beers together as Pat Benetar performed live. A cherished memory tapped by the simple shape of the letters of a plain old word.
6. I love the words panache and ganache. Their meanings and their sounds. And until today, I'd never made the connection and realized that they're the same word except for their first letters. Once I'd come to that realization, I made a mental note to think more about these two words together sometime soon. Just a promise of little mental study of panache and ganache, to figure out what else they have in common, and what else there is to love about them. And I realized that I often make these notes in my head about seemingly trivial but still entertaining and pleasant matters, and I unwrap and enjoy them later, like small treasures or gifts I give to myself as a reward or a treat when I feel like I deserve them.
7. It's really cold here today, about 10 degrees for the high. Before we left on our little family Valentine's date, I packed up scarves and hats and boots and mittens for everyone and put them in the back of the car along with a wool blanket and Peabody's stroller. Al taught me that we should always be prepared like that for a breakdown in winter. He taught me this, and yet as he and the kids sat in the car (the kids were NOT HAPPY about the waiting) watching me collect and load all the supplies, tottering around on my high heels, I swear I saw him roll his eyes and sigh. I got in the car and patted his leg, laughing out, "You know you MADE me this way, Al Cobb." And he smiled, and grabbed my hand to squeeze it, and said, "Thanks for watching out for us, Mama." And no other words were spoken about it. That's a simple but telling little glimpse into our marriage.
8. I love bracelets, but I can't type with a bracelet on, so whenever I'm here at my desk writing or checking email or goofing around on Facebook or Pinterest, there's always a pile of bracelets by my right hand.
9. My ears aren't pierced. I had them pierced when I was about 8, and the holes got infected and itchy and yucky and no matter what we did, my Mom and I couldn't get them to heal, so I reluctantly gave up and took out my stud earrings and let the the holes seal themselves up again. I have a tiny lump inide each earlobe that I assume is scar tissue, right where an earring should go. One of the fiddly, fidgety things I do when I'm bored or tired or nervous is I pinch my right earlobe and make the tiny lump move around. It kinda feels like I'm pushing a seed pearl around in a velvet pouch. When Bean was a baby, she played with her earlobes while she sucked her fingers, and with mine whenever I had her in my arms.
10. I just realized recently that Bean doesn't ever suck her fingers or tug her earlobe or twist her belly button anymore as she has all her life to soothe herself. And I got tears in my eyes at this realization, which is the first time I can recall something that signified her growing up actually making me sad. Sometimes I feel like the only mother in the world who feels more and more joy as her children grow and become independent. Sometimes I think it's because I'm pretty selfish, and other times I think it's because I'm an older Mom and I just really don't want to miss their growing up and becoming who they're going to be.
11. I have put off changing a very yucky diaper as I typed all of this. Peabody always poops when he plays with Play-Dough. Play-Dough seems to have the same effect on him that the smell of book stores and libraries have on me. Anyway, I'm considering pretending I didn't notice it and letting Al change the diaper when he wakes up. I'm very much over the diaper thing. I guess it goes back to random thing #10: I'd like Peabody to hurry up and become who he's going to be, potty-wise.
The Other Megan's Questions for her taggees, with my answers:
1. Which season is your favorite and why? Fall, because it's a season in which I can reset my internal clock and feel its rhythms clicking more naturally in myself. But also I love COZY, and fall is the annual initiation of the COZY that sticks around until May or June.
2. What is the best deal you've ever gotten on anything? My Sorel snow boots, which I got for the mere pleasure of singing their praises in a product review.
3. What is your favorite dessert? Tira misu
4. When was the last time you went to the dentist? September. I remembered that by thinking back to which shoes I had on when I was there. My hygienist always comments on my shoes. We are both shoe-junkies.
5. Do you prefer older homes or new construction? And older home totally rebuilt to be energy efficient and safe, with a modern kitchen and bathrooms. I especially love Craftsman homes, beautiful traditional tudors and solid old stone cottages.
6. What is your favorite social media platform and why? (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, etc) Facebook. I have connected with so many old friends and made so many new ones and it's the perfect platform for me to share little tidbits of my life and hear about those of others. I hear it under fire so often, but it's been a total blessing to me.
7. Photography: do it yourself or go to a professional? Mostly do it myself, although I'd love to have a pro do a few shots of my family every once in awhile.
8. What is the last thing you made? Minestrone soup, for the first time ever. Thursday. (It's GOOD.) Unless you count coffee.
9. Thrifting: love it or hate it? LURV IT!
10. Sunrise or sunset? Yes, please, and everything in between.
11. What is your guilty pleasure? Occasionally drawing attention to myself and reveling in the limelight.
Questions for my taggees (you?):
1. First kiss. When, where, who?
2. A smell that makes you gag, and a smell that makes you float away.
3. Fireside or poolside?
4. Do you wish you had more stuff or less stuff and why?
5. In 40 words or less, tell me what you want people to remember about you after you are gone.
6. What did you do Friday night?
7. Foot rub, back rub, or just play with your hair?
8. What do you do if you have one hour totally to yourself in your home?
9. Favorite soup?
10. You're 7 and it's the first day of summer vacation. Do you watch cartoons, play dolls, roller skate or start a water balloon fight?
11. SNOW means ___________________________.
I'm breaking Rule 6 (the rules say I have to POST the rules, not that I have to FOLLOW them.) and tagging anyone who would like to join in! I'm not sure who'll be reading this late on a Saturday?
Let me know if you participate!