One thing I’ll say about summer, it’s never boring…

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Mornin’ all.

Summer is in full swing. Teen Beta and Teen 2.0 graduated. It was a nice ceremony, even though it was hot and cramped in the surprisingly small school gym due to rain at the usual outdoor site. They had Senator Jeanne Shaheen speak, a pretty big get for this neck of the woods. The teens crossed the stage, shifted their tassels from right to left, and are now men.

…sort of. I mean, I can’t really call Teen 2.0 a “man” yet. He’s only 16. He is just an academically decorated tall child.

The Youngest Pup argued vehemently on behalf of Teen 2.0’s man status. At one point, I said, “So what’s the angle here? What do you think you’re going to gain by getting me to say that Teen 2.0 is an adult?” He said, “Mother. Don’t change the subject.” Every mum knows that if you’re discussing something with a child and they tell you not to change the subject, you hit some nail on the head. I still haven’t figured out exactly what nail that would be. In his mind, there is a beneficial reason for me to call his older bro an adult.

And now I’ve got to finish college stuff. It’s happening. Even if one of them is not, in fact, and adult, they’re both acting like they are. Life is happening as if they are. Time has marched unfairly faster for one and scooped him up to drag into the next chapter before I wanted him to be done with childhood. My stomach has been a churning vortex for days.

At least I still have the Pup, though he’s going into middle school already. Muh baby, in MIDDLE SCHOOL!!! *sniff* I asked him if he could just go ahead and be a little kid for awhile longer, please, and he said, “Don’t worry, Ma. I might be growing up, but I’ll still live here forever.” He paused, then said, “Well, until I move to Japan and raise Kobe beef.”

…*blink**blink*…

#LifeGoals?

Gah. I can’t talk about them growing up. I thought I could. I thought, “Okay, Bethie, you’ve been avoiding this for a couple weeks now and it’s time for some cathartic writing.” I was wrong. This is just making the vortex in my stomach whirl faster.

“You sure it’s not the coffee doing it?”

Admittedly, the coffee/paint thinner isn’t doing me any favors, either. I made this pot since Teen 2.0 is sick with a summer cold and Teen Beta has no interest in coffee or coffee making. I’m trying to teach the Youngest Pup, but so far, every pot of his has grounds in it. I just didn’t want to be chewing my coffee today.

Let’s talk about Other Things.

I had a most peculiar customer interaction at work yesterday. A man came over to scope out the bread cases at the bakery, and I asked if he needed some help. He said, “Not yet, I’m waiting for the womb.” Thinking I heard him wrong, I just gave a, “Oh, okay, well just let me know if you need something.” He said, “The one that grows the babies picks the bread.”

I did not hear him wrong.

I’m waiting. For the womb.

The Womb.

You gotta wonder if the other half of that relationship tells people, “Not yet, I’m waiting for the dick.” Odds are pretty good she does.

The woman in question never came over. She was shopping for other things so he called her on his cell. He turned and looked across center store while talking. I think he was looking at her. He ended up getting a four cheese loaf (highly recommended for either wombs or dicks). He was pleasant enough in every other respect. Smiled. Thanked me. Joked a bit while I was getting the bread. He just calls his other half “the womb.”

I…just…*???*

There were several odd customers yesterday, actually. Odd customers seem to descend in waves. One lady was dressed in old sweat pants, a mini skirt, and a bra. She had purple lipstick tattooed on her face. I didn’t say “lips,” because the tattoo had clearly gone awry and blown out over the years. It was a good half inch wider than her actual lips. And lumpy.

Yes. Lumpy.

She had frazzled hair and her eye makeup rivaled Cleopatra’s.

OH MY GOD! I just now realized who she reminded me of!

Okay, so did you ever see that 90s Johnny Depp movie, “Crybaby?” It was an odd flick, but enjoyable. Well, in the movie, there was a character named Hatchet Face. Take Hatchet Face, dye her hair that odd reddish color one can only get from too much of the wrong kind of peroxide, and give her a vacant, stoned expression. THAT was this customer.

And yes, she actually wore sweat pants under a mini skirt. Not leggings. Actual sweatpants. I’d say she was modest but for the choice of top. Only a bra. Honestly? I think she was just stoned out of her gourd and looking for snacks.

It’s summer, so we’re seeing a lot of questionable outfit choices, as one will when it’s hot.

Look, I don’t care a bit if people want to wear mini skirts or barely-there shorts. I just don’t personally understand the super tiny super tight clothing trend. How can lycra sausage casing possibly be comfortable? Don’t get me wrong. If I had a decent body, I’d give it a go and find out for myself what the attraction is. But, I do not have a body that should ever wear lycra, so I’m honestly curious about the draw.

I watched a woman walk/wiggle yesterday through the whole bakery. Every woman knows the walk/wiggle. It’s a way you walk when you know two things: You have a wedgie, and you’re not in a position to pick it. It’s a step, shimmy, slide kind of movement. And she did it through the whole bakery and beyond.

I just don’t understand these clothes. They’re clearly not comfortable. Any sex appeal you were going for is lost with your wedgie releasing spasmatic lurching. Why wear clothes that are guaranteed to make you an honorary member of the Ministry of Silly Walks?

*Monty Python fist bump*

Then there are the cutoff shorts that are so short their pockets hang out from the bottom…well, it’s not really a “hem”. The frayed cutoff line. You’ve seen these. They are all the rage at the moment. People want to cut their pants shorter and shorter, so what they end up with is essentially a pair of denim panties with pockets that flap in the breeze over their thighs.

Ladies, real talk. It’s not sexy. No guy has ever said, “Holy shit! She’s got pockets? Well sign ME up!”

It looks dumb. Stop it.

“Bethie. Are you…pocket shaming?”

No, of course not. The pockets did nothing but exist. I’m shaming the idiots who think flapping them in the breeze is somehow attractive.

“You’re being very sexist here. I don’t see you going off about men’s summer fashions.”

What’s there to say? Stop wearing socks with flip flops. If you wear shorts, it’s best not to emulate a 1970s basketball team. Knee high socks are great for winter, not great for summer beach wear. And for the love of anything you deem holy, put a damn shirt on under the overalls. No one wants to see your sweaty pit hair.

All of this has been said. Men have been making the same summer fashion mistakes for generations.

I tell you what, though. I promise that if I see a man actually wearing one of those new male rompers, I’ll go all in on that shit, okay?

Male rompers are not okay and they need to stop. #Stop.It.

Got sidetracked there. I was talking about the batch of odd folks yesterday. Ya know, I said it was an odd customer day, but it extended outside of work. Was there a full moon?

I think the most unusual person I saw yesterday had to be the lady at the town beach. I took the Youngest Pup for a promised dip in the lake after work. He swam, I sat under a tree. It was pleasant and he had fun. As we were leaving, we were climbing up the concrete steps when we noticed a woman juggling.

I’ve described out town beach before, but since I don’t expect you to scrape through the annals of this blog, I’ll recap. The lake sits at the bottom of a hill. The town decided to wall off the hill with concrete. It’s like a prison yard, with tall concrete walls surrounding the small, sandy beach. At the very top next to the parking lot and overlooking the lake is a small playground that’s fenced in with chain link fence to keep eager kiddies from plummeting to the first concrete landing below if they get too feisty on the swingset. I support the chain link fence. It does its job.

The woman in question was standing in the playground area right next to the fence. She was clearly performing, as she had put herself on display where the greatest number of people could see her. She was probably in her late forties, early fifties. She wore a sparkly bathing suit and flip flops.

And she was juggling.

Not balls. She had the juggling pins. Hers were two tone, metallic reddish pink and chrome. They really caught the sunlight and were fairly dazzling. Combine that with the sparkly bathing suit and she made quite a side show number.

She looked at us and smiled as we passed. I didn’t see a collection hat, but the smile was the kind that asked for donations. Perhaps it was just practiced, something she did so often in her juggling career that she couldn’t help but ask for payment with her eyes. Perhaps she really did want to try and make a few extra bucks. Who knows? If she really was busking, I can think of 746 better places to do so right off the top of my head. She was in a playground at a lake in a town with a population of maybe 4,200 people on a Thursday afternoon. Literally anywhere else would have been a more lucrative option.

Maybe she misses the circus lights and cheering crowds.

Or maybe she always wanted to taste the circus life, but never got there.

All I know is that yesterday was filled with wonderful oddballs. Here’s hoping we get more today.

Thus concludes a Musing for Friday, June 23, 2017. I have so much cake to make this weekend. So. Much. It’s not even a holiday, either. People, take a break from weekend bashes, okay? You’re killin’ me, here.

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One brave little peeper fighting the good fight…

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Mornin’ all.

Guess what we have?

PEEPERS!!!

…actually, let me clarify. We have a peeper. One singular, lonely little peeper outside going, “Guys? Guys? Hello? Anyone? Guys? Guys? No one? Shit.”

Hang in there, little peeper dude. By tonight you’ll have friends.

SO warm out yesterday! Today is supposed to be the same. Then…well, then we aren’t going to talk about the weekend forecast. We’re just going to enjoy the warm couple days and hope little peeper dude has a sweater. He’s gonna need it.

We grilled last night. Ribs. And in spite of it being a Monday, many of our neighbors did the same. It was almost like a summer night.

Almost.

In the summer, we’ve got enough warm nights for the local folks to wait for a weekend when they can turn their backyard BBQ into one long Friday and Saturday hootenanny. We didn’t get the drunken shouting or fireworks. The “classic rock” end of the street did not try to drown out the “country” side, which is good because our house is smack dab in the DMZ (de-musicized zone) (stop groaning. You know what you signed up for when you opened this blog. Take your lumps.). It was a warm Monday night, and everyone was just happy to char their meat while their kiddies played tag. It was almost peaceful.

Almost.

See, while the people behaved themselves, there was an animal war going on, one that I don’t think many city dwellers would understand. Peepers and BBQing locals aren’t the only sounds of warm weather. Around here, you’ve also got the pets that have spent the winter cooped up inside.

“Bethie, we’ve all heard dogs barking at each other.”

Yes. But have you ever heard how a dog’s barking sets off a rooster, who then irritates a duck?

We’ve got many families around us that keep chickens. In the winter, small chickens wouldn’t do so well under two feet of snow, so they’re either kept inside or folks use them and wait to buy more chickens until it’s warm enough to put them outdoors.

“What do they do with last year’s chickens?”

…really? I mean, I know you’re a city slicker and all, but even city slickers have KFC.

But, like I said, not all. Some folks do bring their chickens in for the winter, though those are more like pets and show chickens.

“….show chickens? Now I know you’re screwing with me.”

Google it. You’ll find yourself looking at some fancy ass chickens.

…did you Google? Apology accepted.

Now, there’s a neighbor who keeps chickens and ducks. They live up on the hill behind our house, so we’re in an audio bowl, if you will. We can hear everything coming off that hill as if it’s happening right next to us.

Their neighbor has a dog. It’s a big dog with a deep voice. The baritone doggie does not like the off-key rooster. The off-key rooster doesn’t give a shit. And the duck? Hell, I think he was just like, “Oooh! We’re shouting now? I’M IN.”

It went something like this:

Cockadoodle doo!”

BARK BARK WOOF.”

Quack?”

COCKADOODLE DOOOOO!!!”

BARKWOOFBARKBARKWOOF.”

Quack! Quack quack?!

*moment of silence*

…peep…”

Ah, the sounds of almost summer in my little hamlet. They never seem to change. I was raised here, not half a mile from where I live now. My grandparents lived up on that street on the hill behind my current house. These sounds are familiar, comforting…nostalgic.

Hey, remember ambrosia salad?

Warm nights around the grill always remind me of my Grammie R’s house when I was a child, when we’d have family cookouts, though we never called them cookouts when they happened at Grammie’s. I have no idea why. Maybe because they were more than that.

When you picture a cookout, you picture a come-as-you-are, relaxed hang out. My grammie wasn’t formal, she was just very “50’s housewife.” She’d have these great parties, and food would be cooked out on the grill. But she was always dressed, her hair done up, the house immaculate. It was structured chaos, where a cookout is just whatever happens.

I’m not saying the structure in any way diminished the good time. Boy, were those nights fun! They’d get louder and louder as the beers and cocktails flowed, and we’d dart in and out of the happy adults, even happier to be able to have fun with the other kids while the grown ups were distracted. And yes, these parties would have us running in the yard catching fireflies at some point like a goddamn Norman Rockwell painting. I said they were very classic American cookouts, and I wasn’t kidding.

And the food. THE FOOD. My gram was an amazing cook. She always put on a spread that was over the top, and yet, just right. And all of it was 50’s and 60’s party foods. Little meatballs on toothpicks, cream cheese stuffed celery, chips and dips, crackers and a cheese ball, the kind that’s covered in chopped nuts and is an unnatural red and orange belly bomb. Mmm. Salads. The salads! Regular tossed salad, of course, but also potato salad, jello-salad, pistachio salad, ambrosia…

The main course would be meat, chicken or steaks, that Grandpa would fuss over at the grill pit he built into their stone wall while the rest of the guys would mosey on over and give their unwanted input. I don’t remember ever eating a hot dog or a hamburger at one of their parties. If it was chicken, it got a good soak in Italian dressing before it hit the heat. If it was steak, it got a luxurious teriyaki marinade that was so good it is one of our Family Recipes.

Potatoes with sour cream. All the accouterments any classic housewife would have on the table, too. Pickles, in several varieties. Olives, green, of course, since they have the cute little pimento stuffing… There was no half-assing it with Grammie. When it came to food, it had to be done right. And in her mind, every party would be a raging success if the food was on point.

She wasn’t wrong.

Good food = good times.

“Uh, Bethie? You do realize that’s not the healthiest attitude about food.”

No. Don’t do that. Don’t you psychoanalyze my nostalgic trip brought on by warm weather, the sounds of the neighborhood I grew up in, and the fighting spirit of the lone peeper. Don’t you dare.

EVERY CULTURE EVER has epic food tied to their major celebrations. You want a good time? Feed people, throw on some music, and let the booze flow. While maybe it’s not the absolute healthiest attitude about food, it’s not the worst, is it? The worst has to be the comfort a quart of ice cream brings you when you eat it alone in a dark room while watching tv because you feel like a fat piece of shit so fuck it why not.

Gah. We got off track.

There is a trend right now to bring back those classic foods, and I’m all for it.

I want ambrosia salad.

All those foods, actually. Wouldn’t it be fun? I want to have fruit magically suspended in Jello. I want my kids to know the simple beauty of stuffed celery, and I even want them to experience the disappointingly fake taste of those cheese balls. I want them to romp around the back yard while steaks and chicken are tended by folks arguing about “one flip or two”, while a couple old ladies sit in lawn chairs drinking cocktails and being sassy.

And I want to do it right along with them.

The classic 50’s housewife trope sucks in almost every way. But they nailed the food. You gotta give ’em that. They nailed a summer evening with the ones they loved. I want to do that this summer.

I think I’ll skip the curlers and the shell of Aqua Net, though. Wouldn’t want to put on airs.

Thus concludes a Nostalgic Musing for Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

Grammie’s teriyaki Marinade:

½ cup veg oil (original recipe is corn oil, I believe, but I use canola. Don’t use olive, as it’ll impart a flavor you don’t want)

½ cup soy sauce

1/3 cup packed DARK brown sugar

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp powdered ginger

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp ground mustard

½ tsp secret ingredient

Pour over steaks that have been beaten or poked. (Yes, I know that it’s not food safety standards to poke the steaks. But I always poke ’em. What can I say. I live life on the edge. It’s up to you whether or not you want to walk the tightrope without a net like me.) Marinate in the fridge all day, flipping them around every couple hours. Cook steak on grill, pour marinade into small saucepan. Boil the marinade for 2 minutes to kill any bacteria and thicken, then pour over your baked potato. Trust me. Your mouth will be happy. But, once again, cook that shit. DO NOT use the marinade raw after meat has been soaking in it all day!

…and if you think I’m sharing the secret ingredient, you’re dreaming! It’s a family recipe. Duh. But, this will be a good base. Try different things and make it your own.

How many times can I say ‘moist’ before you just can’t take it anymore?

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Mornin’ all.

We got some rain last night. I’m hoping that it’ll break this heat wave, but at the moment, it looks like it just made things more moist out there.

I can’t believe I’m saying it, but the air is moist. Warm and…moist.

“Ew, Bethie. Stop saying that word.”

Can’t. There isn’t a word more appropriate for the ickiness. Walking outside yesterday was like walking into a limp, warm, moist sponge.

And now, though cooler, it’s so moist out that the light from the street lamp at the end of my drive is struggling to illuminate anything else. There’s a dense, moist miasma hanging around and…

*squeak of chair*

Wait. Where are you going?

“I’m out.”

Okay okay! I’ll stop saying it!

“*quirks the eyebrow of dubiousness*”

I promise. Besides, you don’t want to leave today. I have some delicious cake to share. Look at it. Smell it. Mmmmm. It’s not a bit dry, either. In fact, one might say it’s…

“*GLARE OF WARNING*”

…at the peak of freshness!

“…”

Cake?

“…*sigh*…”

Come on. Sit back down and have a slice. I was only playing. You wouldn’t want to leave anyway. I’ve got the band ready to go and I thought we’d…

“*plunks down in the chair**grabs a slice of cake* Stop grossing me out already and get to the…

* * * HEADLINE ROUNDUP ! ! ! * * *

You jumped the gun, man. No one was ready! The band blew the intro, and the dancers legs all got tangled. Look, I know I owe you for the whole m-word debacle, but just sit there and eat your cake and let me run this, okay?

“*waves fork in my general direction*”

Philipe? Could you be a lamb and put down your tuba to help untangle the ladies? I think the rhinestones on their fishnets got twisted together. Thanks.

Okay, now that the cluster of dancers is in Philipe’s capable hands, let’s get to the Roundup. For those who don’t know, the world itself has become entwined and tangled. Every day the news seems more and more horrible. However, once in awhile, there are headlines that crack me up. Like the streetlamp outside my window, these beacons of ridiculousness shine through the moistness of society.

“…Actually, I’ll allow that one. Continue.”

Thank you.

Sometimes the headlines are dumb. Sometimes they’re poorly worded. But more often or not, they just give me a mental image or a gut reaction I feel I need to share. As always, the headlines themselves are completely real. I just supply the snark.

Everyone up to speed? Excellent. Let’s get into it…

– Trump to Clinton: ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’

I missed Mr. Nice Guy? When was Mr. Nice Guy?!?

– Doherty Breaks Down Over Breast Cancer Battle

Pfft. Weak. Suck it up, Shannon!

editor’s note: Sarcasm, people. The tone of the article was snarky and sassy, as if a woman battling breast cancer has no right to get upset about it. Sarcasm, the second best -asm there is.

editor’s note about previous editorial note: I didn’t make that line up. I saw it on a t shirt and it always stuck with me. Heh.

– Trump: I Wish Ivanka and Chelsea Weren’t Friends

Holy shit stop the presses!!! Trump and Clinton AGREE on something!!

– Trump: I Wish Ivanka and Chelsea Weren’t Friends

I’m not surprised. I imagine the thought of a positive influence in the lives of his children terrifies him.

– 2 Chicago Officers Relieved of Powers Since Death of Suspect

“Relieved of powers?” What an odd way of putting it. It’s almost as if the media has grabbed hold of a national narrative that seems to sell papers and decided to disproportionately fuel an issue that’s actually not nearly as bad as they have made it out to be or something. Weird.

editor’s note: Shit, really? Okay, guess I have to say it. I’m not anti cop. In fact, I’m VERY anti BAD cop. But, I’m also pro facts, and the fact is, FEWER people are killed by cops now than they were in the past. You want to cringe? Look at the stats from the 1970s. Is it an issue? Yep. Is it as dire as it seems? Nope. Is the media running with it because it’s so much easier to point to an authority figure instead of the thousands of citizen on citizen murders that are the real problem? Oh, no. No WAY they’d POSSIBLY do that.

– Latest Pokemon Go Worries: Sex Offenders

I can’t say I’m surprised. Look at Mewtwo. That ass is thick as fuu….

– 4 Simple Tricks To Beat The Heat…And If They Actually Work

What the hell kind of article is this? What even IS this bullshit? Have we really gotten so lazy as a society that we allow this type of “journalism” on a mainstream news site? I mean, this list could literally contain anything. “Stand in front of an open oven! It won’t work, but it’s something you could try.” My head hurts.

– This Test Will Make You Rethink Ice Cream

Do you like ice cream? If you answered “no”, then you probably should stop eating it. Thanks, Buzzfeed!

– Trump: I Wanted to ‘Hit’ Dems’ Convention Speakers

WHY IS ANYONE VOTING FOR THIS KINDERGARTENER!!!???

– Muslim Blasts Extremists At Friday Prayer With Christians

…perhaps not the best use of words, there.

– Russia Accuses Google Maps of ‘Topographical Cretinism’

BAHAHAHAHA!!! “Topographical Cretinism??” Oh, Russia. You so zany.

– Brussels Can Still Sweat the Small Stuff

You may be worry at your leisure, peons. So said Bloomberg, so shall it be done.

– North Korea Says Decision on Nuclear Tests Depends on US

Awww! The world’s second most annoying toddler wants some attention. It’s okay, Unie. We still know you’re a bad ass. Yes, who’s a wittle bad ass? You are. YOU are! Now go eat a cookie and let the grown ups talk.

– Report: Cops Mistake Krispy Kreme Glaze for Meth

So many questions, so little desire to actually have them answered. I’d much prefer to go with the scene in my head of a guy hoarding a baggie of glaze crumbles while Barney Fife freaks the hell out.

– Clinton Wooing Blue Collar Workers With Bus Tour

Then let the “blue collars” actually on to the bus to see your “humble” ride. The gauntlet has officially been thrown down, Hillary.

– Officials Encourage Travelers Not to Shun Florida for Zika

I’m with the officials here. If you’ve ever read the news, there are far more valid reasons to shun Florida than the off chance of getting a virus. Come on, people. Let’s keep it real.

– Don’t Play Pokemon Go on the Railroad Tracks, Bulgaria Says

Holy shit I never would have thought of this strategy. Thanks for the pro tip, Bulgaria.

– Pence Slams Obama: Politics Is No Place For ‘Name Calling’

Is this guy for real? I mean, is this guy literally a real human being? That’s an honest question. I NEED to know. He’s an android, right? Because there is no way in HELL a real person could possibly have the chutzpah to try and say this when Donald Trump’s name is on the same ticket.

– Her Shot: Clinton Share Vision of America Straight Out of ‘Hamilton’

I thought panders were rare? Didn’t I read somewhere that panders were getting scares in the wild? Maybe China could have some of ours. Seems we’ve got plenty to spare.

– Mass. Motorist Drives Up Utility Pole After Following GPS in Vermont

Cliches become cliches because they’re true…

*fistbump to New Englanders who understand*

– 4 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About GPS

1. GPS directions are difficult for Massachusetts drivers to understand…

– Facebook Agrees to Refunds for In-app Purchases By Minors

How magnanimous of them to follow the law. Gee, that Zuck is a real stand up guy.

– You Can Buy A Sentry Robot for Your Home

I. Need. This.

– Elon Musk Says You’ll Be Able to Decide Who Can Use Your Self-driving Car

Sooo….like a regular car, then?

– ‘Rain Bomb?’ Seriously? This is the Kind of Thing That Gives Weather Reporting a Bad Rap

Show of hands: Who would read an article about a “rain bomb”? Everyone’s hand is raised, Washington Post. Jealous much?

– Sony Releases Playstation VR Space Requirements: Is Your Room Big Enough?

*sniff* No. *sniff sniff* No it is not. *lone tear*

– Pokemon Go Can Help Address Psychological Disorders

Wait, what? No! That’s not actually what the research shows. In fact, it’s not even “research” so much as one doctor’s opinion! The game could possibly help in cases of mild depression or anxiety because it takes one’s mind off their problem…TEMPORARILY. Gawd I hate irresponsible headlines like this! Don’t stop taking your meds no matter WHAT Pikachu tells you!

– Yorkshire Wants its Own Emoji to Celebrate the County

Okay. Like, no one’s stopping you. Why do you feel the need to appeal to the masses for support through the media? Just…make one. Do you not know how this works, Yorkshire?

– Larry the Lobster, 110, Spared From the Pot, Died on the Way to Retirement

Candlelight vigil for Larry! Don’t mind me if I just put a pot of boiling water over my candle. Could I see Larry for a sec?

…too soon?

– Barack Obama: I Don’t Eat Exactly Seven Almonds Every Night

Someday when your grand kids ask where you were and what you were doing when you heard that President Barack Obama sometimes ate 9 whole almonds in ONE sitting, you can tell them about this moment we shared. I proud to be part of this with you, my friend. We’ll get through it together and come out as a stronger nation.

– ‘Donkey Whisperer’ Translates ‘Eee-aws’ Using Technology

I mean, I guess? Who’s going to refute it?

– Father Lets 8-year-old Twin Daughters Feed Pet Gator Pizza, Cookies

Do you see what I mean about Florida? #don’tsweatthevirus

– The Pokemon Go Baby Name Boom Has Arrived

I will punch you in the face if you name your kid Charmanda.

And finally, the headline of the day:

– Trammin’ In the Name of the Lord: Pope Takes A Ride

Trammin’.

In the name of the lord.

*sniff* Beautiful.

Thus concludes a Roundup for Saturday, July 30, 2016. The sun is up now and it’s still looking fairly miserable out there. Maybe it’ll clear off? Hopefully?? Or maybe it’ll just be another moist…

*DOOR SLAM*

…fair enough.

Let’s test my relationship with my neighbors…

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Mornin’ folks.

And what a great one it is, too! Beautiful weather. The kind of weather that takes away the sting of winter, and makes you forget that a NH August is right around the corner with its leaf-drooping oppression. Sunny, gentle breeze, happy fluffy clouds that promise a lazy day.

Ahhhh.

Only, it’s not a lazy day. I don’t have lazy days right now. If the weather is nice, that means I’ve got to be outside working on the cars, or the garden, or the lawn, or the house, or….

And let’s not even talk about writing. I’m trying to get a short story book out. I’m on the last story, but keep getting interrupted by swirly thoughts. The busier I get, the less I can concentrate. I’m like a monkey…bright lights and shiny object distract me.

“But Bethie, you’re writing right now.”

Nah. I’m just chatting while waiting for it to be light enough and loud enough to go work outside. This isn’t real writing. It’s just checking in with friends. I don’t have a plot line to remember. I don’t have to flip back in my notes to make sure I didn’t accidentally off a major character, or call the same lady five different names, or destroy all plausibility by tearing a plot hole in the very fabric of the work. This is just chit chat. No stress. No worries.

At least I’ve got some tall people hanging around all summer that can give me a hand. Yep, the teens’ vacation starts today. So far so good. They’re playing video games and texting friends who are also too excited about not having to be up this early to actually sleep in. I’m tiptoeing around them, so as not to disturb the calm. One of them will lose at a game and shatter the peaceful morning. I mean, it’s bound to happen. They’ll lose, say the game cheated, and that’ll start the same old debate on whether or not games have the sentience and morality needed to cheat.

Now, I’m not challenging the educational value in the mind-expanding exercise of anthropomorphizing computer programs in a lively debate. However, I have the feeling this one would turn the way it usually does, and I just don’t feel like hearing perfectly intelligent honor roll students resort to, “nuh-uh”, “yessuh”…or worse, “You just suck.”

Because seriously, when you lose at a video game, it really is your own damn fault, no matter how many times I’ve argued against that myself while a controller was haplessly flying through the room towards the handiest wall.

So we’ll just tiptoe around the teens and let them play quietly until we can escape outside and create a forcefield around us by working hard. No teen on summer break would intentionally get sucked into the work zone. I’ll rope them in when I have to, but otherwise, I’m sure they’d be happy to keep their video game arguments well out of my range lest they remind me they exist.

Can we make there be 36 hours in a day during the summer? Time is arbitrary. Let’s put that law to work for us. I certainly could use the extra time to get everything done.

I’ve got body work to do today on two of our cars. We have two old diesels that we’ve mechanically restored. Now it’s time to fix all the rust. We dabbled in body work last year, but we’re working out of our driveway and everyone always made it sound so damn hard. However, the cars gave us no choice at all. One winter on these NH roads and that salt works like anti-matter on any little crack or chip in the paint like you wouldn’t believe. If we don’t fix it now, we’ll be Fred Flinstoning it next year. While that’s an amazing mental image, I question both the legality and the practicality.

…though, I suppose we could use poles to push ourselves along. Like an Italian gondola. Hmm. I do know a bit opera….

Anyway, I had been scared of really getting into body work. You talk to another shade tree mechanic and they’ll tell you it’s too hard, as if you’re talking about performing brain surgery instead of repairing a rust out.

I think it’s a lot like the food industry. No, now hang on. This isn’t a, “Oooh…shiny…” brain track jump. It’s a legitimate comparison, thank you very much.

I love cooking. I also am one of those rare cooks who also truly enjoys baking. I love it. I even make fancy cake for probably too little money. However, most cheffy types are dead set against trying to bake. They think it’s too complex, treat it like a different animal. Watch any cooking competition and you’ll see what I mean. “Bake? You want me to try and BAKE? *gulp* I’m going home for sure.” Mechanics vs. body work is a lot like that.

However, I like crafts. And what I’ve recently realized is that body work is just extreme crafting.

And I have the added bonus of literally not being able to make it any worse than it is. Right now, there are rust outs all over the place. Air and water have chemically bonded with the iron of the steel and a plague has begun to spread. The metal is being eaten away. If I do nothing, the molecules will continue to be broken down into their base components and separate, leaving air in its place. It’s actually a liberating revelation. I can’t make it any worse.

So I gave it a go. I have to say, while there really is a huge learning curve, and it will take me a long time to master, it turns out that it’s not as scary as it seemed. The work could not in any way pass for professional. But, it is stopping the rust. And it follows my husband’s “20 20” rule: Any body work has to look good from 20 feet away or going 20 miles an hour down the road.

Bondo is a lot like cake icing. Fiberglass filler is like fondant or clay. Sticky, sticky clay. Welding is like using a glue gun, as long as you remember it’s actually nothing like that and far more dangerous. Though I totally think if I timed it right I could throw some glitter at the fresh bead of molten metal it and make it stick…

The neighborhood daycare center is open and the kiddies are out and yelling. Though I normally wait to start work in the summer until I hear someone else use loud machinery, one of the kids is upset and bawling. I can’t believe a side grinder would be less grating than either the crying toddler or the frustrated daycare worker who’s trying to sing to calm the kid down. In fact, some of my neighbors will probably be happy I blotted out that cacophony.

When you look at it like that, I’m doing everyone a favor. *whine of the side grinder* See? You can’t even hear that kid anymore, can you?

…What did you say??

Thus concludes the Morning Musing for Friday, June 20, 2014. I think I’m going to consider that bawling little kid my work alarm clock for the summer. When he’s out screaming, I can be out doing my part to drown out the noise. I’m sure I’ll have neighbors knocking on my door to thank me.