Summer Days Ain’t Lazy at All

I realized that somewhere near …July June 25 I became lost in life and was not able to keep up with my regular blog reading. Instead of conceding defeat, I kept telling myself I would catch up. The same happened with writing my own posts. In fact; the same happened with the housework, meal plans, summer schedules, vacation plans, homework, etc.

I should have just closed shop for the summer.

The main problem has been my children, both those out of me and the one in me. I’ve had enough on my plate trying to motivate and manage myself. After First Bathroom stop, First Breakfast, Second Bathroom Stop, Second Breakfast, and showering; the day’s nearly half over and I realize I ought to get the boys out of bed and doing activities.

For their part, they’re just fine sleeping in and playing all day. I’d be fine with that, too, if it weren’t for the dishes’ habit of piling up when The Magic Fairy doesn’t wash them. That lazy Fairy’s neglected everything from yard work to laundry to budgeting since I became impregnated.

It’s like she’s hoping to get fired or something.

So, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not posting regularly. I’m sorry for not reading regularly. I’m sorry for how boring I’ve been, complaining about a situation that SUCKS BECAUSE I’VE BEEN CONSTANTLY SICK SINCE MID-APRIL.

My creativity is shot. It’s lying on the ground with several empty bags of snack food and the remains of the clothing that I can’t wear anymore. And curled up on the pile by 1:00 p.m. every day is my current energy level.

I think I’m dreaming of about a year from now…

—————-

Still, I kind-of wrote stuff this past week:
Wednesday, July 17: “Frilled Shark, a terrible poem.”

Thursday, July 18: “The Strangest Pregnant Animal Ever.” This was the last in a series of pregnant animal poems, in tribute to the Terrible Poetry theme for that week.

Friday, July 19: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Peregrine Arc!

Saturday, July 20: Announced the 35th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a limerick of poets who take themselves way too seriously. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, July 21: Answered Kevin’s questions with “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Blogger ‘Awards.'”

Monday, July 22: An inspirational quote from Kira’s site.

Tuesday, July 23: Nothing!

Wednesday, July 24: Today. Happy Pioneer Day from my home state.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Stop and Smell the Bindweed,” “Everyone Needs to Get Messy, Especially Kids,” and “A Parent’s Poetic Lament.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Really Big News of a Non-Writing Kind

I have not been feeling well lately. For about six weeks now, I’ve been nauseated and exhausted all day. It’s worse in the evenings.

That is because this week marks my twelfth of being pregnant.

Surprise!

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Frankly, this was a surprise for us as well. After four kids; yes, I know how it works. Just trust me that the pregnancy was a surprise.

I’ve also been on bed rest for the last 2-3 weeks due to a chorionic hematoma. Basically. Good times and all that. But, things are looking up and the included pictures are the latest as of today.

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Besides a baby, look what else I’ve made:
Wednesday, June 5: Wrote “I’m Not Soliciting Ma’am…

Thursday, June 6: Nothing

Friday, June 7: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Peregrine Arc!

Saturday, June 8: Announced the 29th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is whatever you wish. PLEASE ENTER! Please spread the word!

Sunday, June 9: Responded to Irene Waters’ reminiscence series with “Washroom Stories.”

And “No Girls Allowed at Dead Man’s Crick,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, June 10: An inspirational quote by Evan Esar.

Tuesday, June 11: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Six.”

Wednesday, June 12: Today.

I also posted at my motherhood site. I wrote “NeverEnding Laundry… Na na na na na na na na naaaa,” “A Bona Fide Reason to Cook with Your Kids,” and “Boy Mom Bathroom Haiku.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Just Another Day in the Life?

I’ve been swamped lately. More than usual, I’m afraid.

I …may have taken a bit (a lot) onto my plate -a plate that was a bit (a lot) full to begin with. I believe I did so because I was bored, and/or may have finally had a good night’s sleep.

Besides this lovely blog that I love writing upon and the lovely people whose blog posts I actually do read, I’ve also been attending school. Of sorts. It’s called Pathways, and is like preschool for adults. This quarter (?) is on math (or, maths, for Brits) and has a teensy bit (a lot) of busy work each week.

Add a few life events like almost-everyone’s birthdays, a birthday party, and a baptism this Saturday.

Then sprinkle in a paid job I was doing but (perhaps fortunately) am not any longer.

Plus the children’s school is winding down.

Plus the ever-present duties of house and home (and now yard).

Plus caring for an at-home dice business that I don’t think I’ve ever talked about.

And, just for kicks, throw in a planned visit from our relative who has 8 children….

Yeah.

I’m not actually the Supermom sort. I’m not the Superanything sort; really, I’d settle on an edible chocolate ribbon for Best Example of a Flawed Human Being.

But I’m toast. Overwhelmed. Exhausted. Even a bit ill.

I can’t help but look around at other people and wonder how they do it, especially those who work as full time teachers at my kids’ school and have children of their own. I asked one of their Vice Principals that question in jest. She laughed and said her kids tease her for running their house like her classroom.

-But that may be the answer I seek.

So, for reals, how do you run your household? Do you schedule the hours? Minutes? Especially when you have a job and/or children, was it all set up? Outlined? Assigned?

I really do want to know.

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I sort of wrote things this week, and here they are:
Wednesday, May 8: Questioned the legitimacy of personality tests and their appeal in “Are We Our Personality Types?

Thursday, May 9: “The Cure for Depression: Never Give Up, Never Surrender,” the final suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, May 10: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Michael Fishman!

And posted “Should You Have Kids If You Have a Mental Illness?” over at The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Mental Health Blog (now say it ten times fast).

Saturday, May 11: Announced the 25th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is an elegy to your most commonly misplaced household item. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, May 12: “Gramma Dear,” a poem about my grandmother, in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, May 13: An inspirational quote by Mel Robbins.

Tuesday, May 14: Nothing.

Wednesday, May 15: Halfwayish through the month!

I also posted a bit at my motherhood site. I’m pretty sure I need to stop trying to keep that one afloat and have downgraded to a free plan again.
Anyway; I wrote “Take Time for You. Ish” and “Happy Mother’s Day?

 

Photo Credit:
Andrew Neel

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Sidewalk Ends

On December 27, I was faced with one of the greatest dilemmas for a bibliophile: picking a favorite book. The choice was to be made for my local book group, and had the further condition of being from the children’s category.

My only consolation for narrowing my 17 choices down to just one was that I promised myself to write about each -here, on this blog. I have therefore forgotten entirely about it since writing posts for King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub and The Adventures of TinTin.

Today I drove past an unusual sign. I’d have taken a picture, but that’s rather irresponsible driving while ferrying small children.

That’s why I did the safe thing and dug up this picture I took nearly three years ago.

Sidewalk

At the sight, I couldn’t help but be drawn back to my childhood and to one of the best books of poetry ever: Where The Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein.

“Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.”

 

My mother read to us as children. She did so frequently enough that I remember, though not so much that I could say it was every night or even every month. Besides Ramona Quimby, Age 8All Creatures Great and Small, The Water Babies, and Twig, she read quite a bit of poetry. Her favorites were The Cremation of Sam McGeeBessie’s Boil, many of Ogden Nash’s shorter quips, A Child’s Garden of Verses, and many Shel Silverstein poems.

My favorite thing about the greatest children’s book authors is their ability to convey deep feelings and ideas in succinct, clever passages -passages even a child can understand. I respect their mastery of language. It is a great talent to funnel grand ideas down to fit neatly in the small spaces of a young mind.

I have acquired all of Shel Silverstein’s books of poetry over time, but Where the Sidewalk Ends is my nostalgic favorite for two reasons:

1. My family of origin owned only this book of his and we read it for years and years. It’s like the first dog we owned, and will always hold a special place in my heart for it.

2. Along with the text, we had an audiocassette of Shel Silverstein himself reading/singing/chanting his prose. When I read them to my children today, I hear his laughing voice and his background guitar strumming.

My children can’t hear him, poor things. Thank heavens for YouTube, in this case:

Peanut-Butter Sandwich
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out
My Beard (my boys’ favorite)
The Generals
Smart
Boa Constrictor
Crocodile’s Toothache
Sick
Jimmy Jet and His TV Set
Captain Hook
Hug O’War

Not all of them were on the recording we had growing up, and fewer than those are currently on YouTube.

The man clearly had a wonderfully twisted sense of humor, and an amusing way of mixing and churning out rhymes. If you have not heard of Shel Silverstein, or only know of a few of his books, check out some of his others.

Runny Babbit is good. Or, The Missing Piece. Many people also like The Giving Tree. I go for his poetry the most: A Light in the AtticFalling Up, and Every Thing On It.

He was an adult, of course, so don’t let any audio program just run wild with everything he’s ever written and performed. That’s your parental advisory right there. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Wikipedia just told me he wrote a few things for Playboy. 😉

Breathing Problems

He took a short drag at his fingers, feeling the sweet, damning calm of the cigarette’s smoke.

“I gotta shake this thing,” he said. The brusque, bass voice lisped slightly at the “s’s.” Stocky, muscled arms shifted in their sleeves. Empathetically, the other man near him nodded, cleared his throat.

“Just impossible to breathe, with the air quality like this,” the friend answered. They both paused, cigarettes dangling and steaming, to appreciate the smog-fog condensing everywhere. Passing traffic was oddly muted and amplified; ghost cars invisible till they drew within twenty feet of the parking lot where the two stood.

The first coughed deeply, the sort that causes any happenstance listener to wince in commiseration.

“Ye-ep,” the second observed. “We gotta fix that, Dave.” He took another inhale of nicotined fumes.

Dave finished coughing, breathed a shaky, careful intake, and gave his friend a look. He wiped his thick, mustard sleeve across his mouth. Inherent condensation accompanied the gesture, irritating his lips further.

“Damn fog,” Dave quietly noted. He drew a final breath from his cigarette, watching his friend do the same. “‘Bout done, Nate?”

Nate drew his gaze back from the woman who had just exited her SUV, back from the building she’d entered. Meeting Dave’s questioning eyes, he exhaled. “Ye-ep.”

Nodding, they each dropped their burned-up, paper hulls and ground them under steel-toed work boots.

Wiping slightly sweaty hands on mist-moist pant legs, they strode toward the Health Clinic. It was time for Dave’s appointment with the naturopath.

Today, I cried.

Today, I cried.

I cried after yelling -the sort of yelling that you know a parent shouldn’t do. There may have been jumping up and down.

Before that, I made waffles. See? If you’re an optimist, there was the positive you sought in this story.

Last night, I stayed up late coughing. The black death of all colds has finally stricken -a belated present from my husband. He’s still keeping part of it, actually. It’s been two weeks for him.

I don’t cry much, usually. I remove myself from thoughts or feelings. I need to not think, to not notice the wearing away. I cannot show emotion, or those little boundary-pushers walk all over me.

But, I’m tired. I’m sick. I’m sad.

“I’m sorry, Mom.” They all look concerned. They all want to hug me and comfort me. I think they need stoicism; they also need empathy.

It’s okay to cry.