MSL: Fall


Guys, Martha has spoken and autumn is no longer basic. In these hundred pages of pumpkin goodness there is not one latte, not one ugg, not one pair of leggings and tunic. 

Just money. 

Let’s check out Martha’s calendar for the month, shall we?


I wonder if she hosted these in prison?


Guys my best friend Emeril is just having a small get together…


I don’t know guys, I’ve lived in Wisconsin my whole life and I have never been like oh man honey, let’s go to Green Bay for a food and wine extravaganza. 


That’s how the devil gets you, Martha. 


I have seen a lot of scary images in my time. This is without a doubt the most terrifying.


This seems like a lot of work just to be a douche.


You know what isn’t cozy? Bankruptcy. Which is what I’d be in if I bought anything on this page. 


So let me get this straight. You’re scared of liquid foundation but not of finding a gourmet meal in the Frozen Tundra?


My mantra is “only thirty seven years to retirement.” 


Ooh! Here’s something I can use. Given that my children are basically Petri dishes of disease with curls, I need this.


Eh, no.


Nope.


Ha. No.


Hahahahaha. I almost choked on the wine I’m drinking to handle my stress.


Funny this never happens when you buy it in the little bear squeeze thing. 


Don’t buy suede pieces. There ya go.


Or! Those big shaker things from Aldi that can survive an apocalypse. 


We’re going to do this this year! I’m gonna tell my kids we’re carving pumpkins and then get out a gauge and star map. It’s gonna be great. 

Did I say great? I meant a disaster. It’s going to be a disaster.


Finally- know how you can tell that you are a rich white lady? You fill up your massive natural wood fireplace with expensive bejeweled pumpkins in an adorably haphazard manner. 

Single Parenting

(Note: I am not saying I am actual single parent. I am not saying I work as hard as a single parent. Or as hard as people whose spouses travel all the time. Nobody get mad at me!)

Day 1:

Feeling good. Showered. Wearing real clothes. Everybody is fed and happy and doing school.

Realize husband is still home. You’re still essentially having a Saturday morning.

Crap.

Take husband to airport. Hugs, kisses, goodbyes, etc. Children commence wailing.

Children keep wailing.

For twenty miles. “We want Daddy!!!!” they scream. No kidding, I say, gripping the wheel with white hands.

Say rosary quietly to self to keep the voice telling you that if you just drive off the Marquette interchange all the screaming will stop from getting too loud.

Still. Manage to have lunch, dinner, and everybody remains mostly clothed for most of the day.

Bedtime is completed with a minimum of yelling (not no yelling, but just not as much as it could be.

Sit quietly by yourself, enjoying a glass of wine and six episodes of Criminal Minds. This isn’t bad.

Realize you’ve watched six episodes of Criminal Minds and you’re alone in a house. LIKE IN CRIMINAL MINDS.

Prepare for imminent doom.

Realize you really don’t like sleeping alone. Aww. Marriage is so wonderful.

Day 2:

Wake disoriented. These children, they are mine? And mine alone? Ugghhh.

Everybody is dressed. Mostly. Buddy is in pajamas but at least they’re not like footy pajamas. He looks mostly dressed.

Breakfast is two dozen pumpkin muffins that you baked for prayer group. Meh, don’t care. House is destroyed. Fine. Whatever. Don’t care.

Still! Manage to get the house put back together and a dress on and to a meeting. Order pizza for dinner for the kids. It’s okay. It’s like we’re having a fun camping experience.

Come home to children blessedly asleep (yay for my awesome sister) and enjoy another few episodes of Criminal minds before collapsing into bed. Funny, it doesn’t seem so big and lonely tonight. Rather, you have loads of room to move around. Hmm.

Day 3:

Breakfast is…I’m not sure. Frozen something I think. No need to shower since you did that yesterday. Probably no need to brush teeth either.

Kids are still bathed, though. I mean, we’re not animals.

Breakfast is…not sure. Something frozen probably. Lunch, drive through. Dinner? Unbuttered toast eaten in diapers.

Supposed to go to confession with other moms, but that would require brushing your teeth and leaving the house and WE ARE IN SURVIVAL MODE.

Fall asleep in the blessedly large bed, wondering why a queen size has always felt so small before.

Day 4:

Meh, don’t need to shower today either. Who is going to smell me? Nobody, that’s who. Teeth are feeling a little fuzzy. Oh well.

Dinner…leftover pizza.

Clothes: None that are appropriate.

School gets done, lessons are learned, prayers recited though. Mostly through clenched teeth.

Day 5:

Anarchy. The natives have taken over. Popcorn litters the house. I don’t know when we last ate popcorn. Can’t remember the last time I saw my son in real clothes. Cancelled school for a mental health day. Mine. And theirs. Starting to shy away from the sun as though it was bad for you. Referring to Penelope Garcia and Aaron Hotchner like they’re here in the room with me. Pretty sure the family down the road are serial killer gypsies and wonder if I should alert the police. They might be in on it though. Can’t be too careful.

Brush teeth. Don’t need to shower as am still (not yet?) fertile so nobody is getting close to me. NFP. Way fewer showers. No one puts that on the brochures. Pick up husband from airport and remember how much you love him.

But find that that bed is super uncomfy again now that there’s a large dude in it with you. Oh well. Marriage is still awesome.

And frankly it’s probably a good thing I have to cool it with the Criminal Minds for a little bit. I almost bought statement glasses.


 

MSL: A Protestant from Massachusetts Thinks She Knows a Fish Fry

Guys, we’ve reached the height of summer when frankly even the perpetually cool and collected Martha seems to become delirious with the heat. As illustrated by the fact that she has composed a July/August issue devoted to fish fries and a fantasy list of 50 ridiculous things to do during summer if you live on your own Nantucket Island with a stable boy named Noah who is into some weird stuff.

(Just keep reading.)

I can tell it’s going to be bad. I’m a good little Catholic girl from Wisconsin. I know from a fish fry. And you know who we don’t need telling us about fish fries? WASPs from the Northeast.

(Who fry shrimp with their fish. What blasphemy is this?)

But wait guys, first we have to get through Martha’s calendar of random shit. Like donkey hooves? Surely you’re just making crap up now, M.

Also have mole checked. Do we need to know everything, Martha? I don’t want to know when you schedule your PAP smear.

Okay I legit did not even read what this article was about because it clearly was just because Martha had this hat she wanted to wear.

Um. I hope the leash is for Scout and not Noah. Unless Martha’s September issue is entitled How White Middle-Aged Ladies Can Get Into Light BDSM.

That is a waste of space that could be used by WINE GUYS. Peaches. What the hell.

Oh this could be interesting! I love hosting parties and I’m always looking for an alternative to a bottle of wine (that’s a lie, I’m literally never looking for an alternative to a bottle of wine) for a hostess gift when I attend other people’s gatherings, so let’s read on!

Um…okay. I mean, I’m not sure I have a place for an oversized inner tube, but I guess if someone shows up with one I would think it was…sweet?

No I wouldn’t. It would be ridiculous.

Also- party starter? I have had many a cocktail gathering that turned into a pool party. Oh wait, no I haven’t. Because I don’t live in an episode of CSI.

Yeah okay gotta be honest, I wouldn’t be psyched to receive a big-ass bird kite either.

And frankly those look like they would go in the bag with Noah’s leash.

In my family, this would be called “overpacking for ridiculous trips where you never sleep but learn a ton of stuff.”

You do not need a cocktail dress or dark wash jeans.

You need underwear and shorts and that’s it.

To keep her plants watered when out of town, Martha pays a poor person less than minimum wage to do it.

Here at Casa Kathleen, it’s always tea time. Long island iced tea time.

Here we go guys! Martha’s List of Fifty Things to Do In Summer If You Don’t Live in the Real World.

Like no. 3, renting a convertible and turning the GPS off. Followed presumably by being captured by the cast of Deliverance and being eaten for dinner.

In my family we rent Suburbans and fight about whether paper maps or Waze works better.

And walk barefoot along the ocean! Or just in your backyard! Which for Martha are probably the same thing. Poor people. Sheesh.

ATTENTION 99% OF READERS OF MARTHA STEWART LIVING! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO A CARTWHEEL OR A HANDSTAND! YOU WILL DIE.

I feel like you’ve never had children, Martha. Because none of those occasions are kiss-worthy. You’re either trying to get them in bed, in the car so you stop getting rained on, or spray them down with bug spray while making precious family memories and wishing you were home with a bottle of wine instead of at the stupid fireworks getting West Nile.

I’d love to, Martha, but I can’t figure out what’s happening with my estrogen production and sorry, too much information? I mean, you can come back next week for my NFP Awareness Week topic HOW BAD EXACTLY WOULD HELL BE? 

Again, you’ve clearly never raised young children. I’ll see your shoes and raise you “never get out of your pajama bottoms.”

All right, here we go with the fish fry. I…recognize none of the food here. I will be honest, I don’t even like fish or fish fries or anything about fish. But DAMMIT DO NO MESS WITH THE TRADITION.

You probably like your old fashioneds without cherries too.

What even is that. My Wisconsin forebears are rolling in their graves.

You’re dead to me Martha.

Until next month.

 

How to Attend a Baseball Game With Your Obnoxious Small Children


1.) Tell them eight thousand times that you’re going to the baseball game tonight. TONIGHT. THIS EVENING. THINGS WE NORMALLY DO AT HOME TONIGHT WILL NOT TAKE PLACE.

2.) Have them yell at you because “You never told me we were going?!?!?”

3.) Ram head into wall.


4.) Arrive late at the game because you can’t get your stuff together and need to run errands by yourself while the kids stay in the car with your poor husband. Who is starting to grouse about not actually getting to the game.

5.) Arrive at game. Walk six miles to get to stadium. Walk two miles to get to seat. Sit down. “Mommy? Can I have pizza?”

6.) Go on an eight thousand year odyssey to find pizza which used to be ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE and is NOW NOT. It is in one corner on the first floor and you can only get whole pizzas and it takes 7-10 minutes.

7.) Get text from husband saying, “Squeaks doesn’t want pizza anymore. She wants cheese fries.” Reply, “Too bad.”

8.) Stop at bar to get your first cocktail. Give them a kidney for a thimblefull of sweet, sweet nectar.

9.) Return to seat. Watch five seconds of baseball.

10.) Leave on a five-thousand year journey to get dinner for yourself.

11.) Stop at bar to get second cocktail. Give them final kidney. Receive another long island.

12.) Return to seat to clamoring for ice cream or dippin dots or whatever. Say no, you are done walking around and if people want something they can go try to get it themselves yes I know you’re only seven see ya.

13.) Sit quietly by yourself and think about the games you attended when you were young and cute and thing and free. So many cute t-shirts. So much flirting. So much fun. So few pizza runs.

14.) So few tension veins running down your forehead.


15.) Decide life is really better now because your husband doesn’t mind if you scoop nachos out of your cleavage after dropping it.

16.) And your kids are pretty cute.

17.) But your shirts are less so.

18.) Arrive home three hours after bedtime.

19.) Suffer through two days of crankiness.

20.) Begin planning next time because it was actually pretty fun.

A Conversation with my Son

Buddy turns four next week, and my sister always makes this gorgeous photo book commemorating his year. I refuse to let her stop. I made her do it when she was seven months pregnant. I’m making her do it now that that pregnancy has turned into a honey badger who needs to be breastfed constantly. I’m sorry. They’re too good.

This year she interviewed him, and because she’s a reporter we have a transcript of it. Enjoy.

Aunt: How are you, Joey?

Buddy: I not feeling well.

A: Oh, you’re not?

B: I’m boring.

A: No, you’re not. You’re the most interesting little man I’ve ever met.

He was complaining of being bored. Along with not being able to entertain himself, he can’t figure out parts of speech. 

A: Okay. Well, Joey, I have a couple of questions for you. Do you have a few minutes to talk?

B: Yes.

A: Okay. These are very important questions, okay?

B: What the racecar say to the giraffe?

A: What did it say?

B: You chip your tooth?

(Laughter all around)

We are taking this very seriously. 

A: Okay, Joey, I have a question for you. What is your favorite TV show?

B: Pocoyo.

Shocker.

A: What is your favorite food?

B: Um. Super Why cereal.

I KNOW I BLOGGED IT OKAY.

A: What is a food that you don’t like?

B: Apple sauce.

When was the last time I even tried to make you eat apple sauce, kid?

A: What do you wear that makes you feel the most stylish?

B: My suit.

I’ll say. He introduced himself to our new priest as “Stylish Joey.” That’s a great parenting moment right there.

A: What is your favorite movie to watch on Netflix?

B: Racecars.

A: Would that be the one with Mater?

B: Yeah. And Lightning Stack Aqueen.

A: Who?

B: (shouting) LIGHTNING STACK AqQUEEN.

Mommy: Lightning McQueen.

Fool. 

A: What is your favorite musical instrument?

B: Bells.

Mommy: Bells?

B: Yeah, they’re so loud. Ding ding! Like that.

A: That’s such a good answer, Joey.

B: Thank you.

This is why I drink.

A: What is your favorite book to read?

B: When I go to sleep, I close my eyes and the memories take me home.

Mommy: The memories take you home?

Squeaks: (in background) it’s a song that he likes.

B: Yeah.

We are raising Gaelic Storm groupies.

A: What is your favorite song, Joey?

B: My lullaby.

A: The Go, Joey, Go one?

B: Yeah.

Oh my baby. 

A: What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?

B: (long pause) Run around in the grass like a circle.

Funny, it’s Mommy’s least favorite thing to do. 

A: What do you like to do when Daddy is around?

B: My sister and I want to play with my mommy.

Score one for mommy.

Mommy: But what do you like to play with Daddy?

B: I like playing with Daddy with swing balls. You know dat? You kick da ball and you throw it to people on da nudder side. To two people.

A: Very fun.

B: Ask me questions.

We begin to enjoy fame.

A: Joey, what do you want to be when you grow up?

B: A rock star.

A: Joey, do you like going to church on Sundays?

B: No.

Mommy: (gasps) You love church!
A: I don’t think that’s true.

We try desperately to save the situation. 

B: (sounds of uncontrollable laughter)

He know he bad.

A: What do you like about church?

B: Playing with Nate outside.

Real presence? No? Just playing with our friends? Okay whatever. 

A: How old are you going to be?

B: Four.

A: That’s pretty old, right?

B: Yeah. Pre-tty old.

Almost ready for social security. 

A: One more question. What was your favorite thing that you did this year? Mommy can help you think of something.

B: My swimming lessons! I go underwater.

A: Did you meet anybody at swimming lessons?

B: I meet that girl.

A: There was a girl?

B: The girl. She so pretty.

Mommy: Tell us about the pretty girl.

B: She has two eyes.

A good place to start. 

A Day

Last Friday I was sitting in the doctor’s office so she can give me another refill of the pills I’ve been on since Buddy was born. My children were fighting about who got to stand on the little step to the exam table. Loudly. 

“Your blood pressure looks a little high- are you stressed?” 

pixabay.com

Ha. Hahahaha. Hahahahahahaahaha. 

Guys, I had had A DAY.

~~~

It started at crack thirty when I got up, ran to attend to my monitor that’s super finicky like the babies it allows me to space.

Dropped the freaking monitor. Shattered the freaking monitor. Well. Crap.

I called my husband in literal tears and he was like, “Wait you dropped your computer monitor?”

No.

No darling. The stupid fertility monitor and when in our almost five years of marriage have you ever heard me use the word “monitor” to mean LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE BYE I’VE GOT TO GO FRANTICALLY ORDER ANOTHER ONE. 

Frantic Amazon order while my children (including the one that almost killed me and made me buy the stupid monitor in the first place) yelled at me about not attending to every single one of their wishes.

Frantic realization that it doesn’t matter that I bought another one, I can’t use it for awhile.

Frantic second Amazon order for an opk.

Frantic thought that I might have some sticks already from the last time I went crazy and started conducting science experiments in the bathroom first thing in the morning. 

Nope.

Super embarrassing frantic run to Walgreens. You don’t know embarrassing until you’re makeup-less and dragging two ill-behaved children to buy two brands of ovulation predictor kits. I could SMELL the judgment coming off the cashier. 

Decided we could not stay home or I might murder someone, so we went to my mom’s. She’s super glad that in her retirement she has us to keep her on her toes.

My husband texts to tell me that he’s going to be super late. Awesome.

My contacts fell out.

Seriously.

When I tried to put new ones in my eyes rejected them and were like “‘mm nope not today loser.”

I’ll let you guess if I took the time to grab a pair of extra glasses while running out to buy embarrassing feminine items at 8am.

I don’t really even remember how that resolved but it must have because half an hour later I was on my way to the doctor with the kids.

Not even the fun pediatrician where you get stickers. My doctor. My doctor who works for an awful practice and while she herself doesn’t always annoy me literally everything else about the entire process from the scheduling of appointments and expecting people to be 15 minutes early for no reason and NOT TELLING THEM THAT to the cranky nurse to the fact that I have to come in every six months to get medication I’ve been on for four years…I’M GETTING ANGRY JUST THINKING ABOUT IT. Gah.

My children are as well behaved as two small children usually are at a boring internist’s office. 

She asked me stupid questions like “How do you feel about your weight?” (Not great but I liked the crushing depression from before I started the medication less!)

Then she goes, “And how about family planning? Are you good with the two?” (That were running around the office turning things on and off.)  

I got ready to give my typical spiel, we’re using nfp no really it’s the best choice for us  yes I have a gynecologist no I’m not stupid blah blah blah. 

But it had been such A DAY that I couldn’t, so I just laughed and said, “Well yeah but my monitor is in pieces on my bathroom floor and I’m probably ovulating but I don’t know!”

She looked concerned (for my sanity.) “Wait, your what?”

“You know, the $200 fertility monitor that tells me when I can have sex without risking death? SHATTERED.”

“Oh, honey.”

(Darn right oh honey.) 

Obviously concerned that some of the crazy will rub off on her perfectly successful size two frame, she hurried to wrap up the appointment by saying, “You’re turning 30 this year so we should probably schedule a mammogram.”

Oh yay! That’s what today was missing! Contemplating my mortality!

~~~

SO YES. I’M SURE MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS A LITTLE HIGH.

“Um yeah it’s been…a day. I think it’s just stress.”

Once I got home and got the kids (read: me) down for a nap I gained some perspective though- no one had died, nothing terrible had happened. Just a little stress. 

Nothing patio drinks and Costco pizza with friends couldn’t cure. 

And I got a shiny new touchscreen monitor out of the deal. 

…and an order to come back in three weeks to see if my blood pressure has come down. 

Martha’s Summer Picnic Extravaganaza

Guys, I recently worked my way through the June issue of Martha Stewart Living and apparently all Martha does all summer is plan extravagant picnics for her nearest and dearest and presumably the people she hates and wants to impress.


I mean, those are the people I’d throw picnics for. But sometimes I’m not such a nice person. I’m working on it. Maybe Martha is further along in her Christ-like journey.

(HEY. It could happen.)

Anyway, June at the farm with Martha! Such a busy time.


Because I’m sure Martha herself is covering those garden paths with salt hay. She probably had to go buy it herself too. Suuure.


Ditto with mowing the fields. Give it up Martha.


Father’s Day, horseback ride. MARTHA DOESN’T NEED NO MAN.

I’m jealous of her workout schedule. Because she’s a lady in her 60s and I’m 29 and have had a load of laundry in the dryer for three days because it’s alllll the way down those steps ugh.


I understand…one or two of these words.


“The busier I am, the more creative I become.” Same, Martha! I say that all the time!

Oh wait, I say “The busier I am the more times I serve my children Aldi pizza or macaroni and cheese in a cup for dinner.”

That’s what I say. Right.


Yeah. Do this. So they can toss everything else and keep the gift card. So please for the love of God DON’T FORGET THE GIFT CARD.

(No one buys me gifts as a homeschooling teacher. I think we should change this.)


Maybe that’s why I have so much trouble getting my five a day- I completely forget my reusable mesh produce bags in my purse!


What if you’re lying on your bed on your stomach while your children are yelling in the bathtub? What exercises should I do then?


7 am roll out of bed hahhahahahahahhah. Sorry. I’m married to an engineer. It’s more like 5.


7 pm dinner? Hahahahahahah what is this Europe?

(Oh wow. It’s official. I’ve become a crazy suburban mom.)


An abomination. That’s what it is.


One is used to murder someone by decapitation and the other using blunt force trauma.

What. I watch a lot of CSI.


Ooh this was also in a CSI episode!


Yep. That’s what I need to do- make more pea-centered daily meal plans. My kids will LOVE THAT!


Hot and annoying.That’s what it would be like.


I went to a picnic last week. I ordered Noodles and just carried it in the bag from my car. Hashtag smarterthanmartha.


Guys guys guys! Know what is always in season??? Chocolate. And whipped cream.


Oh man this guy is gonna be so embarrassed when he hears about this little new company called Crayola.


That looks like a lot of work. Use a test strip? The only strips I use are for seeing if I ovulated and can start having sex again and I’d hate to mix those up with my kids’ paints. Awkward amiright?


And finally, a collection of ugly vases. With…is that celery? Go home, Martha, you’re drunk.

 

 

It's a good thing. 

Guys it’s time for my favorite part of the month! Reading Martha Stewart Living and hating myself!

I like to think of myself as a Martha Stewart girl. I genuinely love entertaining. I love pretty things. I can organize the heck out of just about anything. I use washi tape in my planner. I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO MARTHA. MAKE ME YOUR SERVANT.

But then the actual reality of my life does not always (i.e., never) actually match up with the story in my head. My kids eat almost exclusively Super Why cereal. I love to entertain but it’s super hard to find babysitters. Most of my pretty things have had to be moved away from little grubby hands. I can organize tons of crap, but only because if I couldn’t, I wouldn’t even be able to put pants on most days.

I only use washi tape in my planner because I so frequently write things down incorrectly.

Tonight might be a new low, though. I’m reading this while eating cold pizza on a kids plate I pulled out of the (maybe clean?) dishwasher. And it’s the March issue. It’s the end of April. Like, the last day of April. Oh well.


Anyway! Let’s begin shall we???


Letter from the Editor- always a good start. The pretty bland lady clad entirely in white and leaning against a chair or something has words of wisdom JUST FOR ME, right? I’m sure she does. Oh, this month it’s about how she had to stop emailing people back all day long and enjoy her meals.

Um, okay. I’ll get on that as soon as someone other than Amazon emails me and I’m past the eating-cold-kid-leftovers season of my life.


Oh! Here’s a story on entertaining! Martha created a space-themed birthday party bonanza for her grandkids. For my children, I stuck a Curious George figure on a cake, bought a bunch of the really big bottles of wine, uncorked them, let 30 people allegedly related to me into my house, and sat outside drinking with my mom.

Funny, no one took pictures.

Nope. This will not be cute. This will look like you’re putting cheap mirrors on a pizza cutting board. Even I, in my pajamas and cold pizza, think that’s ridiculous.


YAAAAS MARTHA. Here  is a trend I can get behind. Peel off wallpaper. I’m still scarred from scraping wallpaper off of EVERY WALL IN THIS HOUSE with a screwdriver. A SCREWDRIVER. YES. YOU READ THAT RIGHT.

So hey. I am all behind peel off wallpaper. Sign me up, Martha.

I mean, not me. Because right now I have pizza grease on my hands. But still.


Probs not very, Martha. Did you read the beginning of the post?


I want to be in the season of my life where I can spend $104 on a pen to make grocery lists. I’m still using the $10.99 pack I got for a baby shower a few years ago.


Easy. Don’t get cats. They’re Satan’s minions.


For even easier grating, buy a bag of grated cheese.


I don’t know, I always thought that I was pretty boring and white bread, but maybe I’m more on the edge than I thought. Because I have never felt like breakfast for dinner was rebellious.


Ooh! Yes! I want a vegetable garden! I have super fun images of myself wandering my gorgeous backyard in capris and cute flats with a hoe or something. Gathering my zucchini, etc, etc, etc. Imma read this.


Oh. Looks like a lot of steps. there’s like a whole part about figuring out where to put it. You don’t just buy containers and seeds and go to town?


Oh wow a building project too. Nope.


Oh, you’ve got to like plan it. Huh. That seems like a lot of work.  Also, last frost date? Bahahahha I live in the frozen tundra, bitch. I’ll let you know what weekend in June our last frost is.


I like how they combine all the actual work (or what I thought was the actual work) into one step right at the end. JUST TAKE CARE OF THEM AND GATHER THEM UP AND MAKE DINNER. IT’S FINE. IT’S JUST ONE STEP. YOU CAN DO IT.

You know what, maybe I’m not at the vegetable-garden season of my life either.


You know, I’ve always wanted a family friendly safari. For when I REALLY can’t stand my kids and want them to be eaten by lions. 

Oooh the last page is always collections. Or, as I like to call it- Shit Your Grandkids Are Going to Throw Away When You Die. While peeling your wallpaper off. This month- Little Crappy Boxes that You Can’t Fit Anything In But For Some Reason Even I have Like Ten of Them.


Also a turtle.

Kathleen’s Winter

A few months ago, I subscribed to Martha Stewart Living. I don’t know why. I think it was free. Also sometimes I fancy myself a totally put-together lady who loves entertaining instead of someone who admittedly does love a good cocktail party but is also wearing leggings and no makeup and not minimal makeup, I mean NO makeup.

Anyway. Martha apparently has her stuff together. (Except for that prison stint.) Every month she includes a monthly calendar with all the different things she does every day, to keep your home and life running smoothly. It looks like this:


And it makes me feel really gross. Because my February calendar of barely-getting-by looks more like, well, something like this:

February 1st: Wake up in the morning anticipating gliding through the day getting ready for Squeak’s birthday like a party goddess. Stumble through the day more like an insane person who definitely did not shower. Finish with a drink and a good convo re:Mormons.

February 2nd: Squeak’s Birthday! On Martha’s calendar, family and friends birthdays are totally blocked off because you know she just is truly PRESENT to those people all day. Not the case with a seven-year-old’s birthday. There’s a lot more “No, you can’t play with the harpoon gun I know you got it for a present.”

February 3rd: Spend day looking around dazedly and wonder if you should just move instead of clean.

February 4th: Investigate mortgage rates.

February 5th: Decide you can’t afford to move and begin extracting glitter from between the floor boards.

February 6th: Glitter.

February 7th: Laugh when someone mentions bulbs or seeds or something to you because pssh it’s winter. I’m not doing anything outside until I have to.

(Probably not even then.)

February 8th: Today the snow melted and Martha suggest surveying property for damaged trees. I surveyed our property for summer toys we lost and wash the biggest chunks off of a boat I haven’t seen since October and gave it to my kid to play with because he was bugging me.

February 9th: Think about Spring cleaning schedule. Laugh.

February 10th: Still laughing.

February 11th: Ignore the dryer vent that will probably one day kill us all.

February 12th: Celebrate anniversary with husband by having him forget about it and you passive aggressively talking about the day you met all day.

February 13th: Display beautiful flowers from husband!

February 14th: Valentine’s Day! Make a lava cake that you hide until after the kids go to bed. Think that some day they’ll probably put you in a home and call over their shoulders “Gonna go have some lava cake by myself now, Mom!” as they leave you there. Decide that you still really need a little time to yourself.

February 15th: Throw away all the half-assed valentines your kids made that even they don’t care about.

February 16th: Attempt a pilates video on YouTube. Laugh at how ridiculous that is. Go back to eating left over lava cake.

February 17th: Brother-in-law’s birthday! Celebrate by saying horrifying things to each other under the guide of “Cards Against Humanity.”

February 18th: Consider spring wardrobe. Wonder when you last wore pants. Don’t care.

February 19th: Wrassle two children to Mass and yep, that pretty much takes care of the day.

February 20th: Long morning hike…through Aldi.

February 21st: Bring fresh eggs to office…wait. I don’t have eggs. Or an office. Settle for offering children Cookie Crisp OR Fruit Loops for breakfast. Like we’re a friggin restaurant or something.

February 22nd: Try to explain fractions to daughter. Have her respond with “But they’re all pieces!” just like you did when you were little. Stare at wall and reconsider life choices.

February 23rd: Begin to prepare for spring gardens…by picking the obvious Christmas stuff off the potted evergreens you bought in November.

February 24th: Dinner with friends…which is free and involves childcare. DATE NIGHT.

February 25th: Don’t put on pants.

February 26th: Relax after church ignoring responsibilities until half an hour before bedtime and then run around like a banshee BECAUSE WE HAVE TO GET READY FOR THE WEEK GAAAAH.

February 27th: MIL’s birthday. Celebrate by drinking her wine that you can’t afford.

February 28th: Look back at the month and plan for March. Cry. Laugh. Decide you don’t care. Pour another glass of wine.

Nancy Drew Files of Ridiculous Awesome, Part 2

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Today in our trip back to the 1980s, we join Nancy and her chums Bess (who is still chubby and eating a salad) and George (who has nothing to do with this but is occasionally leaving the room so we know she’s still friends with Nancy.) The handsome Ned is nowhere to be seen nor heard, as literally all of the men in the book are describes as varying degrees of hotness.

(Seriously, the only thing that differs is the degree of sexy graying of their hair.)

The dastardly deed that has been committee this time involved Nancy’s father, sexy widower Carson Drew who may or may not be getting it on with the housekeeper.

(Side note: I’m pretty sure Carson Drew was my first in a long line of widowers I was oddly attracted to, including Maxwell Sheffield, Captain von Trapp, Mac from CSI:NY, and well, my husband.)

(Too far?)

ANYWAY. Carson is being threatened and possibly prosecuted because he allegedly suppressed evidence of his client’s guilt, which led to another person being convicted and then committing suicide- I don’t know why that’s also Carson’s fault, but it is.

Carson Drew makes it VERY CLEAR to his teenage daughter that she has NO BUSINESS a.) messing around with his legal affairs, b.) messing around in an ongoing criminal investigation, and c.) messing around with HIS CAREER AND HOW ARE WE GOING TO EAT NANCY IF I DON’T WORK?? HANNAH ISN’T HERE FOR FUN. (Or is she?)

Nancy, once again, proves that she understands not only nothing of what comes out of her father’s mouth, but also nothing of the criminal justice system.

But to be honest, it’s not really her fault. Because in about ten minutes, she is given access to:

1.) Records from a closed investigation.

2.) Records from an ongoing investigation.

3.) Information from the first responders at a crime scene.

4.) The actual crime scene (where she finds stuff CSI missed- duh, she’s Nancy Drew)

5.) An accounting firm

6.) Accounting records

7.) Nuclear launch codes (probably)

All of this while the various authorities (and adults) say things like, “I guess you can only help us- hope you can find something we missed!” Because goodness knows 18 year olds, especially those who have lost parents, are the most reasonable and responsible of people ever.  I mean, seasoned police chiefs have nothing on them.

BUT WAIT. The criminal(s) are not going to let Nancy just waltz in and show them up (again.) No siree. First she’s run off the road, when she jumps out of the car while it’s moving. Then she’s threatened with bringing evidence against her father (turns out she also doesn’t understand how litigation works.) Finally her father is kidnapped (because he’s as bright as she is apparently.)

None of which stops those meddling kids…sorry, I got confused for a second. Frankly, a dog would have made more sense than this book.

But never fear, because Nancy is able to confuse the criminals, get them to opine for like an HOUR on their entire plan and FINALLY the police show up to arrest the guy. (Apparently, River Heights is as big as NYC. At least given the response times.)

The book ends with Carson Drew finally admitting to Nancy how much he relies on her help because he’d be in prison without her.

I’d argue that any attorney in his fifties who relies on his 18-year-old daughter to keep him out of jail should be in a psychiatric institution anyways.

But no, Nancy lives to solve another crime- stay tuned next week when Nancy goes undercover at a college (because why would Nancy Drew need anything as pedestrian as college? Pssh.) to save the world from biological weapons.

Yeah, I literally just typed it and I don’t understand it any better than you do, trust me.