18 August 2020

Wonder Woman and Moonshine

Big Sis (R) and Me (L). circa 1978
These are the faces of backyard sprinkler antics fueled by 
 Chocolate Nestle Quik and salads with roquefort dressing.

This past weekend, I visited my sister. Its only an hour away and its great to be able to see her and her hubs, Chris...and my mom. They invited me down to sell and help in their town's annual city wide garage sale. I had a van full of goodies to sell and planned time with family. Win, win.

It was fairly hot outside. I showed up early in the morning. We lounged in retro, reclining dining chairs lavishly equipped with four roller casters and wood trim. Upholstered in swirly blue, cream, and sand colored durable fabric, these were the epitome of 1980s dining. 

After brainstorming to get more traffic at our sale, Chris went down to the Dollar Store and bought balloons for the end of the drive. It helped a little. We kept to the shade, sipped drinks, and soaked in vitamin D while the masses descended. All five of them. 

Our little sale was what they call a bust.

I take that back. Dev and Chris made out better than I did. I earned enough money for a value menu nuggets at Wendy's. It was too hot outside, I think. and we were tucked back in a flag lot in a subdivision.

This is the part where we called it an afternoon. Rolling up our proverbial tables and jonesin for fish and chips, we had limited dining options, no thanks to the risible Gov Kate Brown. Although, our saving grace: when you want pub food, the best place to go is....well, a pub.

After a good Porter, excellent fish and chips, and prize winning onion rings, we threw a few bucks in the slot machines. Did you know pubs have slot machines in Oregon? I had no clue. Silly victory dances ensued. Wins punctuated with dinging and whistling.

$1.25 win?

Three matching symbols...
*110 decibles*

Needless to say, my weekend of debauchery did not end in eating fried food, in front of Wonder Woman slots, at a pub in the wild countryside of Oregon.

We stopped at the store on the way home so I could pick up supplies for Shark Week. You know...Girl Flu. Lady Business....but Oregon doesn't want you using a plastic bag to carry your supplies out of the store. Living just across the Washington Oregon border on the Washington side, I've grown accustomed to the differences between the states.

(I do have a point to this. Quit whining or go make me a sandwich.)

In Oregon, you can't pump your own gas, you do pay zero sales tax but a hefty state income tax, and you can't buy wine at the gas station. Oregon is also an anti-plastic bag state unless you are wealthy enough to pay five cents for every reusable plastic bag you bring home. It is widely acceptable to skirt environment laws if you have enough money to pay for every bagging convenience. Conversely, five cents a bag is an affordable way to line your diaper pails and bathroom garbage cans. You can't buy them cheaper. But I digress...

A red-faced teen boy was my cashier. He looked mortified. I got outside and pulled off my mask while waving my sole purchase in the air like I just don't care

I'm over thirty, the approximate age where you stop getting embarrassed over inconsequentials. You know why? Because I really just don't care and it'll probably make my sister laugh by holding pads up to my face like some Orbit Gum commercial. 

Kind of like this, but I never wear 
a pith helmet or white jumpsuits.

Dev was in the car with the AC going. I'm waving pads around like, "HEYYYY, BAGLESS OREGON, CANT YOU SEE? I GOT A PACK OF ALWAYS THIN PADS WITH WINGS, BITCHES!"  

If you didn't realize, I'm ridiculous sometimes. Dev just grins and rolls with it. She is also over 30 years old.

We got home and hung outside until we abandoned the sale in the driveway before dinner. Dev got an invite to a block birthday party from the neighbors. Apparently, the neighbors were all related in that corner of the subdivision. Lots of siblings, aunts, and cousins; all with big families. It was a crazy shin dig. 

 BBQ smelled amazing, lots of food, drinks, and two large dogs chasing so, so many kids. Kids everywhere, cycling, running around, playing Barbies, trying to sneak cake, drinking too much soda. Everyone was so welcoming and genuine. 

 Most of the guys were crammed into the house with the fight on the big screen. Occasionally, the grunt volume would increase depending on who was winning. Moonshine was passed around in a canning jar. One of the brothers, offered my sis the first sip of a newly made jar and I tried it next. I wouldn't have tried it otherwise, not during COVID from a community glass. From the strength of that sip, I would assume homemade hooch kills COVID as well as your liver. And also strips varnish or make you see God if you drink too much. Then our host issued the warning to those imbibing: avoid open flame and driving. Safety first kids.

We sang to the sweet, 15 year old, birthday girl and the adults lit off fireworks and mortars. That was about the time the police drove up the cul de sac warning the owner about a noise complaint. The policeman was a nice guy doing his job, no mention of fireworks, social distancing, drinking outside the house on the lawn, or even face masks, just letting everyone know it wasn't 10pm...yet.

At 10pm, we disbanded and walked back home. I ended up falling asleep at 11 or midnight on the couch while my sister made bigger signs for the next day. Garage sale flop didn't matter much, it was a great weekend with my sis and the family.

Bee thought moonshine was delicious.
Listening to September by Earth, Wind, and Fire (you know why, Dev!)

01 July 2020

Mid Life Awakenings

I had the itch to write today and thought, "Self. You should write today. What's the big gap in writing on your blog? Do you not love it anymore? Do you think you're too busy? Can't you shave your legs sometime this month?"

I talk to myself a lot.

Everyone says they are busy - a natural response. Busy-ness makes you feel this is a solid reason for not keeping in touch with your friends. It isn't, but it feels like a good excuse. It's not like we have time because we've all been quarantined in a giant pandem... oh, yeah. Nevermind.

What have I been doing? I've been going through my mid-life crisis. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I've realized gravity is a not my friend, I'm starting to forget details.  I'm not buying anything spandex anytime soon. Aging is a reality but not something to freak over. I once read Nora Ephron's book, "I Feel Bad About My Neck". I wasn't impressed. The author was attempting to spin humor in her dry way by commiserating with her readers about aging as a wealthy woman. Organizing a purse. Making too much money to keep her upper Manhattan rent-controlled apartment. Graying hair and *oh noes* looking homeless due due to slacking on personal upkeep. The woman wrote brilliant movies. Whining about first world aging problems fell flat. Mud facial flat and not the good kind.

I've embraced my place in life and aging in a matter of fact way and somewhat like Nora, can laugh about it. I can hold off aging so much, as to not look like a shrunken head by the time I'm 50. But I earned my neck. I shop at Target with coupons. No shame in that.

As a evolving 40 something woman, and I say this because I am one, I've decided to take up new hobbies, New Things that I've done this year.

Play pool (badly)

Go to the casino and play slots for the first time.

Reading myriad books..okay, not a New Thing but still... mysteries have replaced historical fiction, fare of the day.

I tried pot (legal in my state). One drag, didn't like it, didn't feel it, and it stinks. 

I've decided I've enjoyed cooking but I hate dirty dishes.

Making my business grow, but it's not my entire life. Work to live, not live to work.

I relish an occasional evening mini cigar and finger of whiskey. Neat.

New tune genres: new country, EDM, lo-fi, and chillwave.

Family is everything.

My kids...oh, my youngest is now 17 and driving, schooling, and working. My oldest is 23, married to a sweet Russian boy. I'm going to be a grandma in March. Her and hubs will make chubby, adorable babies. I don't feel old enough to be a grandma.

Bible apps. I read and pray. Love all. Not in spite of differences, but because of differences. Jesus died on the cross for everyone's sin but He would have done it for just me. If I was the only one in ever to sin. That's what love looks like.

I love talking to people about knitting yarn, genealogy, and stupid, blowhard, pontificating, duplicitous politics. There is so much to talk about lately.

I'm so freaking proud of my kids. They amaze me everyday.

I have what hubs has dubbed "an old lady garden" on my back patio. Foliage is green and bountiful. Flowers beautiful. I don't care if anyone thinks it's stupid. I love it. I'm on the hunt for a pink plastic flamingo because I want one. My hummingbirds love the feeder and red flowers. I'm growing basil and rosemary out my bung hole. My climbing clematis, dahlias, and rose bush are gorgeous.

These are unabashedly, unashamedly, and unapologetically me. I decided in December to make a change. I've lost 45 lbs despite COVID. I need to lose more but that will happen when it's safe to visit a gym. Since I quit my last job, I'm down 70lbs. Go me.

All of this, I've been informed by the world, is my mid life crisis. I believe in personal growth and evolution. Do New Things that scare you, thrill, bring peace, joy, fulfillment, and fill your emotional tanks. Do New Things that make the world better for other people.

This is me and all the New Things. (Sorry, Mom. I said "bung hole")

Bee is doing weird stuff now.
Listening to DGAF by Noah Slee, Shiloh Dynasty
(because the bass is sick)