Posts Tagged With: Thing 2

The Haunting of Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.
To say Thing 2 is a fan is an understatement.
She’s listened religiously since the beginning in 2012.
She turned me onto Night Vale. And while I’m not as deeply invested as she is, I too love this delightful podcast about a community radio show in a spectacularly weird desert town.

When they announced the 2020 Night Vale Live tour I bought tickets as a Christmas (2019) gift for Thing 2.
We all know the whole damn world shut down in the spring of 2020. The show was postponed twice before finally canceling.

Disappointment.
Sadness.
Especially because “The Voice of Night Vale” Cecil Baldwin announced The Haunting of Night Vale would be his last live tour.

But(!!!)
Two years later we found ourselves surrounded by a theater full of strange and wonderful people who like the same weird shit we do.
Cheers!

The story was well done, but the epilogue was everything.
(here’s a teeny glimpse)
We carry our ghosts with us. They don’t haunt us, they are a part of us. We are each our own haunted house.

Y’all it was an amazing experience!
I laughed.
I cried.
I cheered.
Standing O.

left to right: Cecil Baldwin, Kate Jones, Symphony Sanders, Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor, Erin McKeown

I have such a grateful heart!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

bubbly and blocks and old photos – a visit from Thing 2

Thing 2 arrived on a morning flight Thursday last.
She let me know she landed safely and was waiting for her gate checked bag.
Then I got this message:

This is a perfect example of how I communicate with my daughters. I knew what and why she was actually asking. I answered the underlying question. It’s a silly thing, but I love that about my relationship with my grown girls.

After we brunched at First Watch we hung out at here at home drinking bubbly.

Friday Thing 1 and Baby K came over to play.
YBW came home from work just after they arrived.
Of course he and Baby K brought out the blocks.
Aunt Gaga built too!

Saturday we went out to Naked Mountain to pick up YBW’s wine and hang out in the barrel room.
Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K met us there.
Baby K shared her snack with Aunt Gaga before falling asleep in my lap.

Thing 2 and I went through two boxes of photos from the great and arduous process. She asked questions, I told stories. We saw her grandparents and mine when they were children. We saw our own faces reflected in these photos. We sent quick snaps to Thing 1 asking if she saw Baby K’s face in certain photos of their Grandmommy.
Thing 2 told her own stories, shared her memories, and expressed her genuine joy and gratitude hold these photos in her hands. She created a pile of photos we wrapped up carefully, tucked into her journal, and packed in her suitcase.

We binge watched Our Flag Means Death holding hands and snuggling up on the sofa. Thing 2 was all about that “boy love”. I was all about the beautiful humanity of it.

We also went to see The Haunting of Night Vale. This was the reason for her visit. Tickets she received as a gift Christmas of 2019 for a show April 2020. (we all know how that turned out)
But, two years later there we were in the theater holding hands and being as SQUEE as only we can.

She flew home Monday afternoon.
I miss her.
But I’m not sad. There’s no room in my heart for sadness right now.
My heart is overflowing with love.
Overflowing with gratitude.
I’m grateful to have this time with my girls together. Grateful for this time with YBW and Thing 2. Grateful for time with my second daughter.
I’m grateful we went to see Night Vale together, something she’s absolutely adored for ten solid years. Something she introduced to me and I also now love. Aren’t we lucky we got to experience this together?
I’m grateful we went through two boxes of photos. I got to see my parents through my daughter’s eyes. She never her her great grandfather, but she knows she’s named for him. She knows he was my first true love. She sees his image and feels the strength of that connection.
I’m grateful for our silliness. Our seriousness.
I’m grateful to have a strong and healthy relationship with my adult daughters.
I love that girl more than the moon and the stars and I know how fortunate I am.

Categories: love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

sometimes a full house is even better than an empty nest

Thing 2 was here!
My Momma joy was SO BIG!
We haven’t seen each other in over a year. It feels so much longer than it sounds.
And what changes that intervening year brought us.

I don’t actually have words to describe the feeling of wrapping my arms around my second daughter.
She was so snuggly! She sat in my lap several times, and we snuggled on the sofa a great deal. I loved that precious and sacred time together.

We had serious talks, deep and wide with emotions, and silly moments of playfulness. We drank bubbly, and beer, and tons of water.
We shopped and laid low. We shared music and shows. We discussed books and gave reading recommendations.
We had a dance party to the Encanto soundtrack with Thing 1 and Baby K.
She, YBW, and I spent good quality time together too.

Being with my girls together.
Being with Baby K and her Auntie.
Having the brothers and sisters all together in one place.
My heart grew three sizes!

Baby K was all about her Aunt Gaga.
She quickly found where she fit ‘just so’ in her lap. She was even patient and still getting her hair did.

When she was here, I realized I’d been waiting for her to come so it would feel like my home. Now that all four of our kids have been here together, I know it is really and truly our home.
I know I’m not explaining that bit properly, but I do know that once she was here, I felt even more so at home here. As though she was the last piece of the puzzle and now the picture is complete.

I absolutely adore having an empty nest when it comes to day to day life, but having my baby here in this house with her siblings and her niece, well, my cup runneth over.

She left Tuesday morning, and I changed beds and did laundry. I was alone in the house, and it was quiet.
I missed her but was not sad.
There was no room in my heart for sadness, it’s still chock full of love and joy and gratitude!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

the joy of coming home

How precious is this mid-century house?
Thing 2 closes on it tomorrow.

My baby bought a house!
She’s saved for so long, squirreling away nearly twenty thousand dollars. And her credit score is in the 790s! She’s making an excellent investment. She’ll have twenty five thousand in equity when she walks through the front door.
She’s worked hard to get to this place.

She was planning to purchase by herself. But part way through her process, she and Boyfriend M realized they wanted to own a home together.
I’m overjoyed! I truly believe this young man and my daughter could be each other’s forever person if that’s what they want.
His mother isn’t as enthusiastic as we are. My understanding is she thinks they’re going about the order of things incorrectly. However, my gut says the bigger truth is she’s dissatisfied that he son isn’t living the life she expects him to live. She’ll get over that. All parents have to at some point.
I see my daughter and her boyfriend actively asking and answering the hardest questions. They’re working together. They’re making smart choices. They’ve planned and made commitments to each other about how it will work.
I trust Thing 2’s decision.
I trust she has a solid foundation upon which she will continue to build her life.
She’s choosing to build her life in a home with this young man. Just as he’s choosing to build his life in a home with her.
Their trust in the other is considerable.

The inspection showed the house needed minor repairs.
They talked the sellers down in price, well below asking. They got approval to do the work before taking ownership and contractors quickly got in the house.
A friend of theirs has brand new appliances to give them. Everything but the fridge, if I remember correctly.
That’s one hell of a friend!

In our group chat she was asking what Thing 1 and I think about paint colors.
She sent this.

My understanding is she’s thinking Lazy Gray for the walls and Serious Gray for the cabinets.

Y’all, my daughter has worked hard and long to get to this place. She’s been working towards this with a single minded fury.
To say she is excited is an understatement.
I am immeasurably proud for her.
She DID it!

Thing 2 and her kitty Oliver, and Boyfriend M and his kitty Meryl move into their new home this very week!

We three girls will purchase and move into our new homes in the same calendar year.
Fresh starts for each of us in 2021.
Now that’s something to give thanks for.
My Momma heart is overflowing with love and joy and gratitude.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

fridge thoughts

When we were at Thing 1’s on Sunday we discovered something new on her refrigerator.

That’s right, y’all. Magnetic poetry tiles. And we spent an unusually long amount of time creating (what we considered) perfect phrases.
(author’s note: “death fart!” began as “cruel death fart!” but I stole cruel to use elsewhere
also: I did not write the phrase “death fart”)


I’m not sure why this phrase has a question mark at the end. I think YBW wrote this one, I’ll ask him.
Though I must say, “obscure wonder culture” is an excellent phrase.

I began pairing words I thought sounded interesting together.

Thing 1 got in on this and we began to seek each other’s approval before we committed to the phrase. YBW came into the kitchen to join in the creativity.

I created “anxious fluff” and Thing 1 said, “Hashtag Thing 2”.
I shared this pic in our group chat and Thing 2 wrote: I now identify as “anxious fluff”.
We laughed and told her that’s what her sister said.
And while I freaking LOVE “vibrant deception” I think my absolute favorite is “luscious indifference”.

I need all possible magnet word collections to have in the new house.
Maybe if I am or have a “righteous spirit” Santa will put a fuck-ton of them in my stocking this Christmas…?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

my Momma heart

The housemate (codename: Housemate A) of the young man Thing 2 is seeing (codename: Boyfriend M) tested positive.
Not only has Thing 2 been around him, they actually shared a beer the week before.
She’ll get her results in ‘five to seven days’.
She decided to quarantine with the guys, partly because they’ve already been exposed to each other and partly to keep her father safe.

My Momma self is freaking out!
My logic believes she’s going to be fine.
But she has always had sick lungs and that triggers fear in me.
I don’t like feeling helpless. I want to swoop in and take good care of her.
Of course that’s not practical.

These are some of the random thoughts flitting around in my head:
I can’t do anything to help her.
She’ll spend her twenty-third birthday under quarantine. At least she’s with people she likes.
She might die.
Stupid janky lungs.
I sent her birthday gifts to her dad’s and she won’t be there to get them.
I want to take care of her.
She’s going to be fine.

I had panicky tears.
YBW hugged me tight.
He said, “I’m worried about Thing 2. But me panicking not going to help you right now, so I’m going to remain calm.”
Friday morning he asked if I’d talked to her, actually heard her voice. I told him I wasn’t ready because I couldn’t talk about it without tearing up and I didn’t want to do that to her. I needed to get my feels under control before I talked with her.

Husband N remarked that he wasn’t sure quarantining with the new guy was the smartest choice, he might not take good care of her. I replied, you know her dad and know damn well he won’t take care of her at all, so anything’s better than that!
I actually believe Thing 2 and these young men will take good care of each other.

I’m sending them a little care package of treats. Uno and Phase 10, a jenga-like block game with colorful blocks. Books for Thing 2, and sweet treats each one of them likes.
Thing 2 told me Housemate A was like, ‘honestly I’m just touched that your mom wants to send us something’.
To which I replied, These guys are going to have to learn that to be a part of your life is to become part of my brood.
He told her now he feels like he has another mom.
With a twinkle in his eye and smile on lips, YBW suggested Housemate A be reminded of that with mother’s day comes around.

I talked with her via chat this morning for quite a while. I still haven’t heard her voice, but I’m much less anxious about her well being. That may change if her test comes back positive…or if I start to worry…or if…or if…
But, I know she’s making plans and smart choices on how to take care of herself and she’s not doing it alone.

She and Housemate A organized the pantry, fridge, and freezer. She created a list and they ordered grocery delivery from Publix. They assigned Boyfriend M the yard work that needs to be done because he slept through their kitchen work.
They’ve got a plan to get around-the-house things done, as well as books, games, computer, guitars, etc. to keep them occupied during their quarantine.

There’s a part of me that always sort of knew she would get sick. Part of me that accepted it in a logical way. Part of me that knows even though she’s (probably) got it, she’s going to be fine.
But she’s my baby and I worry.
I can’t actively take care of her, but I can send fun things to occupy her time. Sweet treats for when she craves them.

I know she’s going to be OK. But I’m still going to worry.
She almost died two different times before she was two months old.
She’s survived bronchitis nearly every winter of her life.
She’s survived pneumonia.
She’s survived mono.
She’s survived H1N1 swine flu.
Even though her immune system is questionable, she’s made of seriously tough stuff.

After talking with her this morning, my Momma heart is less anxious, chock full of love, and waiting (impatiently) for test results.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

IWotB 2020 edition ~ day one

Yesterday was Mother’s day. Also the first day of International Week of the Birthday.

YBW and I planned a shoot day, but as it turns out, he was feeling a bit wonky in his belly, and my head was trying to hurt, so we decided against that. Instead we went over to the construction site where our new house will (eventually) be.
The first building has plumbing and electrical.
The second building is missing the topmost floor.
The grading is almost finished for the third building.
The fourth building is still a big ass pile of rubble.

This is the same model as ours at the end of the first building.

After about an hour going through and taking photos of the unit, we headed for home.
We sat at the table on the porch for a while before YBW decided he wanted a nap.
I got settled with a coca cola, book, and notebook. (the coke helped my head feel better)


I’m eager to dig into this book.

And then the phone rang.
Thing 2 said: Happy Mother’s Day!
We talked for nearly two hours.
I said: Thanks for letting me be your Momma.
She said: I’m so glad you’re my Momma. She paused for a moment and said: I’m so glad to be your kid.
We talked for a few moments about the difference in meaning between those two statements.
Essentially, my daughter is content to have me as her mother, as well as being content to be my child. And these are two very different things.
(this may actually become another post)
As we do every single time we speak, we said: We need to do this more often.
She giggled and told me, I’m going to talk to you Tuesday anyway!
I said: Wow! Twice in two days. That means we probably won’t talk for a few months!
We decided that might be too long.

While I was talking with Thing 2, Thing 1 called. We exchanged texts earlier in the day, but hadn’t yet spoken. I texted her I was talking with her sister and would call her asap.
We talked about how even though this is her second mother’s day, it feels so much different than last year. Baby K was still brand new, and she was excited to be with her Momma on mother’s day for the first time in many years.
But this year, mother’s day is real. She has a daughter who can walk and talk. She has a daughter who can express her joy and love. She’s having a ‘real’ mother’s day.
My eldest daughter is a mother.
It doesn’t get any less weird the more I say it.
I can tell you that it is so wonderfully cool though!

When YBW woke from his nap, we ordered delivery food and watched the last two episodes of season two of Westworld.

I had a very Roby sort of mother’s day and first day of IWotB.

Even though the world is still shut down and in chaos, and I’m not getting to celebrate the way I’d like…
I’m chock full of love.
I’m chock full of gratitude.
I’m celebrating the forty-ninth anniversary of my birth in new and creative ways.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

how we got from a duck in an Elvis wig to our top five favorite animated movies

In our group chat today, Thing 2 said her good morning by way of her bitmoji riding a mallard duck. The duck was wearing a wig…?
This devolved into us being as ridiculous as only we can.
Thing 1: Why does the duck have Elvis hair?
Me: I mean, why not?
Thing 1: ……because it’s a duck?
Thing 2: We don’t ask the duck questions, we simply ride it and share a morning greeting.
Thing 1: All hail the duck hair?

It only got more ridiculous…but I’ll spare you…
And at some point I quoted Tulio and Miguel, and we talked about how much we love that movie.
Then an idea hatched!

What are your top five favorite animated films (in order)?

Thing 1:

She literally wore out our VHS of The Lion King. She said, “I wanna watch Simba-Nala.”
Her list came quicker than I expected.

Thing 2 came up with a list but didn’t realize she had to rank them so she asked for a moment.
Thing 2:

I forgot how much she loved The Black Cauldron. I always thought it was scary.
She said: It’s funny, I know I used to love it but when I got older and finally saw Lord of the Rings I grew to appreciate it so much more.

Thing 1 saw her sister’s list and had some second thoughts.
She said: I feel like my top five is on point, but I could easily do a top 25.

I suggested a top ten, but that’ll take more thought.

(So, in case you’re still interested…if ever you actually were…)
This is my top five favorite animated films in order.

The Road to El Dorado

(the only non-Disney film on the list)
I consider this movie absolute perfection.
The characters.
The melding of the historical and mystical.
The cast.
The one liners.
The absolute sass!
At it’s root it’s a story about enduring friendship.
I quote this movie at least once a week.

Hercules

I love for this movie is legendary.
I’ve always loved myths.
I absolutely adore gospel music.
Hades is a villain I love to hate.
The unique animation style.
The songs.
I probably quote this movie every day.
My favorite line: For a true hero is not measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.
I mean, COME ON!

The Emperor’s New Groove

There are so many things I say because of this movie.
The cast is everything. From David Spade’s snark and John Goodman’s warmth, to Eartha Kitt’s operatic diva-ness and Patrick Warburton’s straight delivery. These people make this movie!
It’s a story of a spoiled king who learns what’s really important.
It’s a buddy movie. With one of Disney’s all time best villains, and her interesting sidekick.
What’s his name? Kuzco.

Brave

Y’all know I have mother issues.
This movie rang so true inside me.
Merida just wants to do what feels natural to her, to have the right to discover who she wants to become without constraints and unrelenting expectations. I feel that on the deepest level. She wants to decide her path, not have it laid out before her.
And her hair! I mean, come on!

Moana

Another film that is absolute perfection.
The story is powerful.
The characters are exceptional.
A coming of age story, but so much more.
And having Lin-Manuel Miranda do the songs didn’t hurt.
Maui knew what was up when he sang You’re Welcome, this movie is a beautiful gift!

Rounding out my top ten, we have:

Enchanted

Part animated part live action…but I’m including it.
I love the song That’s How You Know.
My favorite thing about this movie is that the girl grabs a sword and slays the dragon to rescues the prince.
How’s that for teaching Morgan serious Girl Power!?

Lilo and Stitch

A peanut butter eating fish.
A big sister doing everything possible to keep her family together.
All that Elvis!
“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”
What more is there?

Monsters Inc

I love the characters.
I love the story.
I love that kindness and humor are actually what makes the world go ’round.
Put that thing back where it came from or so help me. So help me!

Meet the Robinsons

Sometimes the best families are chosen.
The idea that everything you need is already inside of you.
Failure is powerfully important in the learning process.
Keep moving forward.
Even when Franny is wrong, she’s always right.

Aristocats

Everybody wants to be a cat because the cat’s the only cat who knows where it’s at.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

each story is different

Thing 2’s restaurant closed and she’s without income.
She saved money, but during this time of no income, she’s had to dip into her savings. She needed groceries and vodka, she ordered some carry out, she bought loo paper and deodorant. You know, things we all need.

Before the world went sideways, she and two friends began looking at houses for rent planning to move in June.
Of course being out of work means no money coming in, and dipping into her savings means there’s less savings for deposits and pet fees and the like.

She was having trouble with the unemployment website and expressed her concerns. She had exhausted all her options and no matter how many times she tried, she got stopped at a certain point in the process. The error message was that her social security number was invalid. She said to me, “I don’t exist.”
Saturday afternoon, YBW and I did a bit of research and got on the phone with her. Together, the three of us were able to figure out how to get past that point. Turns out it had nothing to do with her ssn and everything to do with the reason for seeking unemployment benefits. Once she got past that hurdle, everything seemed OK.
Now she waits.
She’s applying for jobs.
Literally all the jobs. From grocery store cashier to the person who assembles the device that lowers coffins into graves.

YBW and I have each said however much it sucks, we’re so pleased she lives at her dad’s and doesn’t have to worry about paying to live with no income.
She appreciates having a roof over her head that she’s not financially responsible for. She understand some people aren’t as fortunate as she is.
I don’t write this as a comparison to another’s experience, I’m simply telling her story.

As much as Thing 2 desires and honestly needs to get out of her father’s house, the timing couldn’t be worse.
Her friends with whom she’s moving are both still working. Still earning money, still padding their savings.
Thing 2 said she doesn’t want to ‘get left behind’. She wants to figure a way to make this work.
I offered to help her financially, emotionally, etc.
I know I can only help her so much. I know she has to do things for herself.

It’s hard to watch her work so hard and be thwarted by circumstances beyond her control.
She’s talking about school. More seriously than she ever has before.
She wants to study funeral services. This is something she’s been talking about rather seriously for about two years.
She and I did some research and traded links in emails all afternoon Saturday.
She has anxiety about the financial aspect of going to school.
I can’t alleviate all that anxiety, but I can help.

She finally decided to get her mental and physical health in order. She finally decided to get her living arrangements in order. She’s doing some seriously hard work.
Sometimes hard work looks like one step forward, two steps back.
This looks a bit more like one step forward, five steps back.
She’s looking for work.
She’s applied for unemployment.
She’s hopeful money from the government will help.

We were talking about the differences between what’s going on here and what’s going on in Canada and I said I read that the checks from the US government are essentially tax credits meant to offset 2020 federal income taxes.

Sunday morning she sent this in the group chat.

You can see that Thing 1 has some pretty strong opinions about this.

The Things and I talked about how things work in our country. We talked about each other. We talked about the state of the world.

It seems to me we’re all so good at seeing things from our own point of view, especially now when we’re staying put more than ever before. But I find it helpful to experience things from other points of view. I like understanding what other people think and feel. Asking questions, getting answers, learning opinions.
I know so many of us are blogging about it.
I asked and received Thing 2’s consent to write about this.

Every story is different.
We each go through this in our own way.
Sharing our experiences helps everyone.
This is our life.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

the great and arduous process

Tuesday I brought the first five boxes up from the basement to the Nest to begin what I’ve decided to call ‘the great and arduous process’. Otherwise known as going through the last three decades of photographs. By bringing them upstairs, I’m able to use all three of my work desks to sort instead of sitting in the floor downstairs.
Score 1 for me!

These photos are sacred.
They’re my life.
The lives of my children.
The lives of my parents, and grandparents.
It feels important for me to celebrate these lives. So, I pulled out a champagne coupe and popped a bottle of bubbly.

This was meant to be a Thing 2 and Momma task, but Thing 2 isn’t coming because the world is currently safer if we stay in the place we are.
I’m doing a preliminary purge and sort. I’m working to be mindful about what I keep and why. Then she and I will do it again when we’re able to be together.
She loves photos, and the history behind them. She will be the one who carries that on when I leave this world, and I’m content with that.
About an hour and a half in, I called her to ask a somewhat unrelated question and we stayed on the phone for four hours, thirty-four minutes and eighteen seconds.
We laughed, we cried, we talked and told stories.
So, in a way, we did start this project together, if only for a little while.

My friend Holly asked me what was my end goal.
I didn’t actually have an answer for her.
But after thinking on it a moment, I replied: I think really just keeping what we want and letting go of the rest. Thing 2 will help make that decision. She’s going to pick up the mantle of being the keeper of photos at some point. Thing 1 already said doesn’t care about them, so it will really come down to what Thing 2 wants to do. I’m trying to be mindful about what’s going to be important to and for her. I want to avoid her having the ‘deal with’ them when I’m gone. If she’s involved now, we can decide together what’s important in the long run and what’s immediately important.

I look forward to the joy of sharing more stories while we hold photos in our hands.
That’s powerful stuff.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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