Friday, January 27, 2012

Dad's Attic Potpourri - Part II

Missed the beginning? Read Part I here.

Leah's mom didn't seem to think her husband was such a brainiac either. This surprised us at first since she poured over boring wildflower books during camping trips instead of racing leaf boats with us. But she suffered from chronic vicarious-hypochondria, and she was losing the myriad of threats the attic posed to her children's health. She seemed to really enjoy warning us that we'd get frostbite, or cook our brains out, or suffer a brown recluse bite and subsequent expert medical-drowning in peroxide, or get sucked into the giant blades of the house fan. Now she was going to have to dream up all new child-health hazards to enhance her own immune system.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dad's Attic Potpourri - Part I

Photo by NosniboR80, CC License From:
In fourth grade, I had a “friend” whose dad grew “potpourri” in the attic. He never sold it; it was strictly for personal use. (I hear the lavender variety has calming, medicinal properties.) An excruciatingly frugal man – some might even say tightwad - he realized that growing, drying, and “smelling” his own in bulk was more cost effective than buying it pre-packaged. Plus his homegrown herbs were much higher quality than those sold in the dark corners of our small-town Wal-Mart parking lot. Not laced with anything unnatural, a good sniff guaranteed every time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You might be a tree-hugger if... almost drive your sleeping friends off the side of a mountain...not because you're tired but because you were trying to ID the conifers on the horizon --or-- you almost wreck your car driving through the big city because you're staring at the red-tailed hawk in the sky instead of the road. assign motifs to your backpacking trips: "I'm cold!" "I'm hot!" "Poop!"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Everything I Need to Know about Lobbying I Learned in Kindergarten

Photo Credit: Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Wednesday I got home from KFTC's Economic Justice Lobby Day just in time to pick up Sophie from school. On the way home, I told her, "Sophie-dog (yep, my stepdaughter and dog have the same name, more on that another time) is going to be so excited to see us. I haven't been home all day."

Sophie(-girl), incredulous: "You finally found a job?!?" (Child, if we were cave people, you might not have survived to adulthood.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rob and His Job with the Mob

Have you seen this man? Of course you have.
You all know Rob. No, seriously. You probably do – he has approximately 50,000 friends on Facebook, of whom he has likely met at least half in his brief lifetime. And 99% of which likely owe him a favor. Still not ringing a bell? How about this: Ominous black trench-coat. Ever-present Kentuckians for the Commonwealth pin. Frequently photographed with voter registration clipboard in hand. Knows EVERYONE. ALWAYS. Excels at making you “an offer you can't refuse” so that it seems like it was your idea. After each encounter with him, you wonder: “How is this possible? How does he do it? How can anyone be so constantly aware and acting in support of social, economic, and environmental justice issues?” You assume the obvious answer is the Mafia. (Well, I did anyway.) But is it?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ripples, Starfish, and Hope

Continuing from the thread of my last post, Dreams of Joe Hill, if you need a little inspiration, here are quotes on activism that always give me chills - and hope:

Dreams of Joe Hill

Dr. King, "I Have a Dream," 1963
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, I am introducing "Dreams of Joe Hill" - the start of a thread of posts about a lifetime of longing to save the world and my first steps (long overdue) as a newborn activist. My story begins October 13, 2010, with an email to my family and friends:
Last weekend, I attended my first ever Kentuckians for the Commonwealth event - the Annual Membership Meeting in Jabez, KY. At the risk of sounding melodramatic – it made my life finally make sense.

Friday, January 13, 2012

McDonald's: "Making Stepmoms Evil, since 1697"

Going from child-free to stepmom has been a crash-course in parenting. Emphasis on crash. You're not supposed to have children before birthing children. Biologically speaking, I'm 99% sure that the propagation of the human species depends entirely on this premise. Irrefutable evidence: step-parenting has taken me from "I definitely want kids" to "We'll see...."

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Joys of Being Self-Employed

By Dvortygirl (Own work)
or GFDL (],
via Wikimedia Commons
Last winter my friend, an artiste extraordinaire, vowed: "The monsters said, 'You will make a bad picture.' And so every day I will make a picture until I prove them wrong." (Or something like that. Facebook's satanic timeline profile won't let me find her exact quote.) My monsters say that I cannot write, and so regardless of the outcome, write I shall. In that spirit, here is today's post.

This morning, I reveled in my self-employed status by:
  • sleeping until 9 a.m.,
  • grabbing the peanut butter and banana toast that my stepdaughter insisted upon having yesterday and then dismissed as gross after one bite and that I refused to throw away out of the fridge,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Hairy(ette) and the Hendersons"

Any conversation with your partner that begins with "Your daughter just --" is headed nowhere good. I could have led with "Sophie" or "my future stepdaughter" or "the munchkin." But I didn't. Yet, sitting across the table from me at Cracker Barrel, his shoulder within easy slugging distance, Tristan just laughed as he read my text. After all, it was funny.

Immediately upon becoming Tristan's girlfriend, I also became his five-year-old daughter's go-to public potty partner. I found this endearing. Even when she insisted we always use the same stall together. Despite the awkwardness when she told me she liked my panties. Even when the first time I flushed the toilet she freaked out and covered her ears as if a 747 engine had blasted out her eardrums making me temporarily fear she had some OCD issue I hadn't learned about yet and that I'd scarred her with a simple act of sanitation. Especially when I realized my fly had been unzipped the whole time we'd been wandering around Chuck E. Cheese's, and she told me, "It's okay." Not-so-much to not-at-all when she insisted I had to stand guard inside the "big stall" only for her then to take a big stinky dump, assaulting my unguarded nasal cavities.