July 2009

I’m dealing with something a little unexpected today. It occurred to me this morning that my usefulness as a big sister has just been outlived. My little, formerly hopelessly lost (like her big sis), sister has just moved to Baton Rouge and is beginning graduate school at the end of next month. She no longer fits into the hopelessly lost category and I’m not sure I have any experience being as together as she now seems to be. How can I offer any advice? How can anything I suggest be meaningful?

Sista has graduated from college and has a job and a home and a car (albeit a bit of a clunker), and most importantly, a plan. It’s got to be a lovely feeling, being able to plan out the next five years of your life and be reasonably convinced that what you’ve planned will come to fruition. I’ve only had the illusion of five year planning up to this point in my adult life – with definite plans to change that situation – so how am I supposed to be the big sister when I’m fairly certain she’s got things more under control than I have?

Well, at least I’ve still got the trump card: I can still help and guide and make snarky comments regarding her love life. I’m nowhere near perfect in this regard either, but it does make me feel a little better about being a big sister still. I guess one day I’ll have to give up the title completely because I’m sure she’ll be wildly successful in all her endeavors… and I’m likely to stumble along for ever, with any successes falling into my lap completely by mistake.

But for now, I guess I can say I haven’t totally outlived my usefulness as a big sister…only partially. Here’s to you and your endless success, Sista!!


And I’m not talking about the kind of driving one does on the road. 

I’m talking about what it means to be driven. Career wise. I really wish I had a real drive to succeed in my job… I think it would make things a lot easier. Like there wouldn’t be a question as to whether or not I’ll make the calls I need to make today or tomorrow…or ever. They’d probably already be made. And I’d somehow naturally have ten appointments a week and make gajillions of dollars every month. I once talked about “faking it” but I don’t believe it’s possible to give more than a certain level of effort if one doesn’t truly love the work. And I can think of only two things I’ve never actually done before but I believe will bring me joy: parenting and editing. And I can think of only two jobs I’ve actually had (well… perhaps the second isn’t exactly a job, since I haven’t made a cent on it) that brought me joy: coaching a swim team and writing a novel. Three of the four of those potential occupations make little to no money – certainly not enough to live on comfortably. One of them requires I live in a geographic region I can’t afford to live in at this point in my life, and even if I could afford it, I’m a little bound by the restrictions of where Hubby is currently in school.

SO I guess this explains my lack of drive. I’m not driven to do this work because I’ve got at least four things I’d rather be doing. And it feels like I can’t do those things yet. Why become an unbelievably successful book sales rep when it isn’t what I really want to end up doing?

Maybe I’m just whining but I can’t possibly be the only person out there who basically knows what they want to be when they grow up but are now grown ups doing something totally different because of circumstances. Right? Surely someone can commiserate with that! Can I get an ‘AMEN!’???

There’s this one problem with working from home: you work at home.

This explains why I spent the majority of daylight hours today running errands, eating, cleaning, chatting with friends, typing blog posts, working on my novel… in general doing anything besides working.

And then comes 6pm and all of a sudden I’m in work mode. It’s now 11:30 and though I’ve done a few things unrelated to work since 6, I have mostly spent the last five hours typing up and submitting orders, working on my weekly reports and doing research for my appointments tomorrow. I was getting sleepy around 9:30 when I realized I’d spent the last three hours doing necessary but not urgent tasks and I had about two more hours worth of urgent work to do before I went on my calls tomorrow. That’s a sad feeling.

Even sadder is that now I’m not at all sleepy. I’m wide awake. I’ve got Pandora blaring and I actually feel like exercising. I have become a freak I don’t even recognize. I never want to exercise!?! Why now do I feel the need to get up and do jumping jacks?

Okay well that got old pretty fast (yes, I did actually just get up and do about 20 jumping jacks… seriously). But I’m still not sleepy. Normally in this circumstance I’d take a benadryl and hop in bed with a good book (which, by the way, is currently Roxannaby Defoe — sure to put anyone to sleep in minutes), but Hubby took our benadryl stash back with him to Birmingham and I’m not due to arrive in Birmingham until 3 tomorrow. So that plan is out. Warm milk might work but I have no milk to warm. Nor do I have any other food, actually.

So… I’ve now opened up my “Sleep Station” on Pandora to play me some lovely sleepy music. This is something Dear Friend and I used to do when we lived together in Cullen Daniel 323… We had what we called a “sleep mix” and we loved to put it on late at night before bed. What a lovely little tradition I’m carrying on!

Hopefully this will be the very thing that puts me to sleep. G’night, folks!

I think I’ve made my disdain for the results of this garage sale quite clear on Facebook. I think now I’ll relate some of the funnier moments.

We had a few boxes that neither of us had gone through yet, but were somehow assumed to be part of the sale. I think we both figured there would be many items that people would just be dying to purchase. During the first slow periods of the sale — technically we had someone show up before it started so the first slow period was before 7am — we started going through these boxes. When I say we, what I really mean is Hubby. I was too busy obsessively rearranging and organizing the items we’d already priced. Anyway, I think he probably found three or four items worth pricing and setting out for sale. At which point we had about four or five more customers who all went through the still as yet unexamined boxes and found nothing to purchase.

By the time Hubby got back to the boxes, he discovered what our customers had likely found: among other things, an opened box of stool softener and a used can of jock-itch spray. Oh great! No wonder those five customers didn’t purchase anything! We look like freaks trying to sell used personal hygeine/health items. Yuck. And seriously embarrassing. Obviously it should have been more embarrassing for Hubby than for me, but I think he thought it was hysterical. Guys. Strange creatures indeed.

And then of course there was the obviously quite poor older gentleman who was considering taking out a loan to purchase our seriously underpriced riding lawn mower. Or his wife who seriously would have purchased every item at the sale if she had the funds. Or the adorable guy down the street who claimed to have more stuff than his house could reasonably hold, but instead of saying he should get rid of some of it, he said “I guess I need a bigger house!”

And that about sums up the funny parts of the day. There were funny in a sad way parts too, like how Hubby had plenty of time to take a nap on the sofa we were trying to sale that was on our back patio, and how I thought I was going to be so busy that I’d desperately need Dear Friend’s help and when she couldn’t come afterall (family deaths tend to drastically change plans), it ended up not being a huge deal. Funny-sad, right?

Anyway, round one is over… round two to come in a couple of weeks. Ugh.

Since my cohort in blogging crime has abandoned me to focus solely on the incubation of her little bundle of joy, the newly monikered Isaac Matthew Moon, I feel I must step in and write a post from her perspective.

Hi Everyone! I’m Jenny. This is an artistic rendering of me, done by my dear friend Liz:



I know, I know, I’m gorgeous! And isn’t Liz a fabulous portraitist? I think so too! I recently had lunch with Liz and, much to her surprise, I’d grown! No, not taller, but rounder! Just a tiny bit in the middle. She had to revise her drawing in order to more capture my current essence:

Me, Now!

Me, Now!

Can’t see the difference? Just scroll back and forth and I know you’ll catch the expansion I’ve undergone in the past 4 months! {Okay, sidebar here, as the true author of this post, Liz… I know if I were really Jenny, I’d probably have this time duration listed in weeks and I’d probably be a lot more accurate… but hey, I’m not, nor have I ever been pregnant, so these nuances are unfamiliar to me} I just wanted to drop in and share with you guys since I know Liz is super busy getting her garage sale organized! Good luck, Liz!


And that, Friends, is what’s going on with Jenny. Please, for the love, beg her to come back and actually regale us with her wit and wonderfulness!

Y’all, I’m having a  yard sale. Or a garage sale. Or whatever you want to call it. And I’m working a pretty stressful job at the same time. I’m thrilled that my sale is happening this weekend because I’m sick of it. It’s making me nuts.

Have a priced everything? Have I priced things so they’ll sell? Have I organized it prettily? Can I actually afford to have enough change on hand so I can properly run the sale? Does anyone want any of this stuff?

I’m actually having dreams about it. Nightmares, more precisely. There I am, standing in my garage with fifty strangers browsing through my stuff. All of a sudden, I realize there’s a giant spider in the hair of lady standing next to me. Oh. No. And then I realize that this spider is about to actually kill the only person who will ever be interested in buying all that NutriSystem food we bought and couldn’t force ourselves to eat. She screams. She runs. Thirty people follow her, sprinting down my gravel driveway. A child falls and his head falls off. People gasp in horror. Without even realizing what’s happening, the remaining five people have come up to me and reach into my fanny-pack o’ money and stealing everything I’m worth, which, sadly, isn’t much.

Thank goodness, I wake up. And then I realize all this madness is only days away and I’ve got waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much to do before then. Oh crap. Gotta go, guys. I’ll be back when this madness is over!!

Spiders and Roaches and Ticks, Oh My!

Today Hubby and I tackled the garage. We’ve lived in our current home for almost exactly 2 years now, meaning that the build up of detritus hadn’t quite reached the overflow point yet. But we’re having a garage sale. And those sorts of things generally take place in a garage. Or so I’m told.

Anyway, Hubby and I are not known for our cleaning stamina, so all should be sufficiently amazed at our ability to get from the house out to the garage with our willpower intact. This being a feat in and of itself, I expect some shock and awe at the fact that we actually went through (with varying degrees of diligence) every box in the garage. This takes on even more special significance in that every box housed not just our stuff, but a family of creepy crawly things. And I really hate insects. And arachnids.

Most prevalent were the spiders. They (and their icky icky webs) were everywhere. Crawling on everything. Hanging from the ceiling. Crawling up my legs. There was one moment right in the middle of a conversation with Hubby where I responded (seemingly) to him with, “Get. It. OFF OF ME!” There was (I SWEAR) a black-widow/brown-recluse/tarantula/camel spider cross breed crawling right up my leg and I was dancing around like a kid in line for a porta-potty. It was terrifying. I still shudder just remembering it. Of course, it fell off in my frenzy and ran away…pretty harmless after all. But terrifying nonetheless.

Now, the roaches were not much less terrifying, as it turns out they are quite proficient flyers and monstrously huge… corn-fed on whatever they eat that we must have plenty of in our garage. Hubby found a nest. A nest of roaches. The roach spray was helpful…needless to say I was safely indoors while all the spraying was going on. Half an hour later, though, they were still quite agitated. Flying everywhere, wanting to land on my head…ugh. I smashed at least ten roaches in as many minutes. Disgusting. But at this point we’d cleared out all the boxes and I was sweeping up the dust and dirt and roach carcasses. I couldn’t see anymore roaches at this point, thankfully, because this was the point when Hubby decided to tell me that roaches sometimes bite. BITE!!! This is beyond revolting. But I was too close to getting things all wrapped up in the garage to give up then.

It was at this point that I had to start organizing for the garage sale. We got our dining table and deck table out into the now semi-sparkling (okay, still fairly buggy and dusty) garage and arranged what basically amounts to a bunch of junk (unless you are interested in buying – in that case, it’s all priceless, I swear) on them.

Then came the tick. I can’t tell you how happy I am that the tick wasn’t on me, but on Hubby. I love Hubby dearly and hate that he had a tick on him, but he handled the situation a lot more stoically than I would have been capable of doing under the same conditions. He was scratching what he thought was a bug bite on his leg when he felt something “squishy” which he quickly determined was a tick. It fell off his leg and onto the floor (we were back inside for the evening) so, brilliantly, he vacuumed the entire carpet since he couldn’t find it. Then he dug the “mouth” out of his leg. And I hid in the bathroom. Yuck.

But hoorah! The garage is half-way ready for our garage sale at the end of July! OMG guys! After a year of planning, I think this time it MIGHT actually happen!

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