and now for the mundane

James just asked me the meaning of the word gerrymandering. I knew the word but I couldn't remember what it meant or what context I'd heard it in. We both guessed a definition before I looked it up. I said I think it means loitering or something like that. James said he's pretty sure it means mansplaining.

Guess what. We were both very, very wrong.

Sometimes I wonder why we're allowed to raise a child. Also, who gave me my english degree?

This wasn't our only mishap today. It finally hit the mid-80s, and while a 55 year old ceiling fan and various open windows and doors (only half of our 55 year old windows will actually open) have kept the house fairly cool lately (it helps that it only JUST stopped snowing), I could no longer handle the warmth. I'm thankful to not be in winter clothes anymore, but after the first bead of sweat in the spring I call it quits until fall. I decided to test our AC. It's 22 years old, so I did not have high hopes. I will never forget the look of astonishment on the inspector's face when he found it to be in working condition. I found it to no longer be in working condition. I will spare you the drama that ensued, but we discovered the fuse had been switched off. My house is now a chill 68 degrees, and I'm praying that the air conditioner holds out through the humid summer heat the same way I prayed our ancient furnace through the subzero winter.

But I'm not here to talk about today's shenanigans. I'm not entirely sure what I'm hear to talk about. I guess I'm here to rewrite the post that was dominated by The Most Ridiculous Day Ever. Every single thing was resolved: I called Chick Fil A and they found the lost toy, which was great news because there was A LOT of crying over it. I finally dug my debit card out from the bowels of the car, as you know I got a warning instead of a speeding ticket, and other than the meltdowns, Gracie checked out totally healthy at the doctor. I am very grateful and relieved, but that doesn't mean I didn't wake up the next morning with stress acne, because I totally did.

My mom was here last week. We finally have a functioning guest room. It still needs a desk and some things on the walls, but it is actually a room I'm not ashamed to have guests in, which is good since James' family is coming to visit in a few weeks.

I'm now taking reservations for the rest of the year, so book your vacations! We have air conditioning! (For now!) Whether you like it or not, you will be woken up by a toddler tornado anytime between 6:30 and 7:15, but I promise you hot coffee and to remember to get the bath toys out of the tub before you shower. 

My mom came to help me out while James was in Atlanta for work. Thank goodness, because the threenager drama nearly brought the house down. I needed that moral support, especially when Colleen's birthday last week rocked me more than I expected it would. We had only one day with good weather, and we visited coffee shops and yarn stores. It was wonderful, though I'm not sure I can go back after I was chased out the door of store by a yelling employee because unbeknownst to me, Gracie had waltzed out clutching a bright orange embroidery hoop. I was mortified, but that's just the theme of my life lately. And always.

I convinced my mom to stay an extra day. She was a saint and offered to grocery shop with me, and since James had gotten home that morning, she offered to watch Gracie so we could go on an early anniversary date. She had no idea I'd been having an internal pity party thinking we wouldn't have a child-free anniversary date. It was short but so wonderful. I sat at the table in the restaurant, shocked that just a few short years ago we could go out like that anytime we wanted! We were always alone! I wouldn't trade motherhood for anything, but I cannot even begin to remember what that sort of freedom is like. It was another lifetime ago. 

With the return of nicer weather, I've been resuming my evening walks. I still miss the neighborhood I used to walk in. There were sidewalks! I live on a beautiful country road, so no complaints there, but there's hardly a shoulder to walk on. Every few minutes I have to look behind me and jump in a ditch to avoid oncoming traffic. Most cars generously swerve to give me extra room, but some cars barrel down the road literal INCHES from me. More than once I've braced myself to get hit, thinking that jamming to Shape of You by Ed Sheeran is probably not the best way to go, and maybe I should rethink my music choices. I'm not sure if I want those lyrics to be the last thing I hear. I should probably turn my 90s playlist on and listen to NSYNC or something similar. Much better. Much less embarrassing for the EMTs who arrive to save my life.

These are the things I think about while walking past small family farms and telling myself I should be running instead of walking.

On the bright side, I found SHEEP!!! SHEEEEEP. I actually, literally, screamed and ran across the street to introduce myself to them. They walked right up and started talking to me. We're friends now. It's nice to finally have some decent neighbors.

Just kidding. Every one of our neighbors is over 50. EVERY ONE. To be honest, it could be over 60. We basically live in a retirement community and it is GLORIOUS. No loud music, no bright lights, just silence. All the time. My mom couldn't get over how quiet it is. James looked at me the other day and said "You know what I don't smell right now? Pot." Praise God. We do get the occasional strong whiff of manure that about knocks me over when the windows are over, but at least it doesn't give me a migraine like the pot did.

Wait---there is the guy diagonally behind us who is a little too fond of his chainsaw. While I'm not one to care about sports, I have ONLY ever see him wear a Michigan shirt, and that's risky business in the heart of Ohio. They have Michigan adirondack chairs in their yard and a Michigan flag, and I always wonder if his immediate neighbors hate him. Come to think of it, the chainsaw may be less about the fallen tree in his yard and more about self-defense.

You know that? That seems like a much better definition of the word gerrymandering instead of election rigging or whatever it allegedly means. Allow me to use it in a sentence:

"Looks like Gerry's over there meandering around the yard with his chainsaw again."

Much better. I'm available for any and all dictionary rewrites. It gives me something else to think about during my long country walks.


  1. That guest room is BEAUTIFUL. I love the colors! So bright and cheerful.

    I didn't know the definition of gerrymandering until ~a year ago. And I've been waiting for it to be a trivia question ever since so I can flex that newly found muscle. Time's ticking, because with my memory, I could forget the definition by tomorrow.

    I love a quiet neighborhood! The only thing you can smell outside of my house is cow poop from across the road. While not ideal, at least it's not weed.

    1. COME VISIT. It's yours anytime you want it!

  2. I love that guest room, holy moly!!! That built-in is SO DREAMY.

    I'd like to book the entire month of August in that room. Please have a sheep waiting for me to befriend once I get there. THANKS IN ADVANCE.

  3. I loved all of this, but all I could think about is that James' family is coming next week and I'm praying to get a Mother in Law post. hahah

  4. Your new definition of gerrymandering made me giggle :) I love the guest room, it looks amazing and you did a great job! And SHEEP! That is so epic. Your little part of the country sounds so lovely. And old neighbors are sooo awesome. The other day, someone was quizzing me about our neighborhood and seemed a little sad for us that there aren't any other toddlers in the direct vicinity of our house (I think there may be 1 or 2 further down the street, but I'm not sure). We have a couple little kids next door but it's mostly retired people or middle-aged adults and I love it! So peaceful most of the time.
    Also, I think it's fantastic you guys were able to go on a date. I was just thinking tonight about how we still haven't seen the new Marvel movie, and in our pre-kid life we could just go whenever we wanted but now, we have to plan it out on the calendar and try to find a sitter who magically is free when we are-and that's so much work!

  5. Love the brightness of your guest room. I also love your sheep-neighbors. I think that's awesome :)
    Verrrry risky to display any sort of Michigan support in that neck of the woods. Brave (or stupid?) man. Lol!

  6. Love, love, love your guest room. I would love to be a resident of it sometime :D

  7. Dude, I thought I commented on this but apparently I did not!

    I love your guest room!! It's so bright and cheery and I'm loving the yellow bedspread.

    Haha, what is it with toddlers and theft!? When I was G's age, I stole some fabric flowers from the craft store. They had fallen off the stems onto the ground so I think I assumed I could pick them up and stick them in my pocket. When I showed them to my mom, she made me take them back in the store and apologize to the clerk for stealing. Being the extremely easily embarrassed child I was, I was mooooorrrrtiiiffiiiiieeeed and never stole again.

    Hooray for child-free anniversary dates, albeit short ones! Yesterday Isaiah was like, "Remember when we could go to the movies any time we wanted?" Truthfully, I barely remember. We haven't been to a movie since I got so pregnant I couldn't handle sitting in those uncomfortable folding seats any longer.

  8. Yay for a guest room and I'm glad your mom was able to be the first one to stay in it. The curtains are perfect. We have had a bunch of random people (literally some of them were people we had never met before but were related to my parents' coworkers or something like that), stay in our guest room over the past few years. The longest guest stayed 3 months. Then I turned it into Cyrus's room, got rid of 2 of the three beds, and although he doesn't yet stay in it, I'm a little bit secretly glad that we don't currently have a guest room. I like being able to host...but also sometimes I like having my own space and freedom. My dad asked if my sister and her husband could stay with us for six weeks this summer...even though there's only a twin bed in the room, Dad insisted there was enough space to throw a mattress down on the floor. But Mom came to the rescue with an alternate housing solution. It's for everyone's good. I doubt the newlyweds would really appreciate our 4 a.m. alarm clock and his fierce protests against bathtime.

  9. Your mundane post is hilarious.

    Also you should write about gerrymandering, because it's an important topic. Although loitering and mansplaining are also blog-worthy topics.

    Belle Brita


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