About Becky Bean

Freelance writer. Humor blogger. Scatterbrained.

The Morgan Horse: They’re like Ducati Hondas?

“So are they all brown?”

“Well, I mean, Morgans can be almost any color, although until recently the splash gene….  wait.  Too much.  Bay.  That color right there in the video is bay, not brown.”

Scandias Mademoiselle

“They’re not the same?”

“Bay has the black stockings, and the black mane and tail.”

“But the base color is brown, so it’s the same, right?”

“I mean, I guess so.  Chestnut is the reddish color.”

Scandias Marvelous Mark

“What do they do with them, though?”

“Morgans?”


“Yeah, what’s their thing?”
 
“The Morgan horse is very versatile – they can do anything.”
 
“Yeah, but what are they known for?”
 
“Ummm… well, they’re kind of known for being good at everything.  They’re one of the oldest American breeds…. they’re very strong, with a lot of endurance and health and dependability, but they’re also fancy. So you get that flashiness, without having to deal with them being too hot and losing their brain.”

Scandias Trademark

“So… they’re like a Ducati made by a Honda?”
 
“….. Uh, sure. Yeah. That.”

“Okay.”

“They’re like…. a Kawasaki, but with a Goldwing comfort on a long trail…”

“WHAT?”

“I was coming up with a metaphor for you.”

“I already had one.  Ducati made by a Honda.  That makes sense to me.”

“I was trying to come up with a motorcycle analogy for you.  You know, to bond with you.”

“That was a motorcycle analogy.  What did you think a Ducati was?”

“I…. I forgot.  I heard Honda and thought car.”

“You thought a Ducati was a car???”

“Yes…. I mean no.  I mean, I was just focusing on Honda…. I mean, shut up.  You thought bay was the same as brown.”

 
 

I Dream of Bean

I crept along the narrow hallway, moving soundlessly on the balls of my feet.  It was dark, but my senses were ultra-keen and I could see well despite the dim lighting, easily hear the slight scuffles of the enemy up ahead as they went about their day to day activities in the room around the corner. The sniper rifle I held loosely in my hands was cut illegally short, almost like a sawed off shotgun….

Which, now that I think about it I am pretty sure that’s physically impossible, but hey.  It was a dream.

Like I always am in my dreams, I was back in my 15-year-old body – all energy and athletic ability and non-creaking limbs.  I pulled down my night vision goggles over my eyes in anticipation of the power being cut.  In the brief instance of confusion resulting from the sudden darkness, I would engage the night vision goggles, creep around the corner, and take out both bad guys with a single shot to the back of their head.

It wouldn’t even be hard.  When you’re the world’s best-trained secret spy assassin who singlehandedly topples enemy governments on a regular basis, an assignment like this isn’t even difficult.

My fingers tightened on the trigger, and I adjusted the rifle’s strap over my shoulder.  It’d be so easy – into the room, two shots to take down the pair of bad guys, and then I would engage the safety and sling the gun up on my back before crashing through the window and escaping out the side of the building.

Did I remember to bring my suction cup pads for my hands and knees, or should I maybe rappel down? Ooh, rappelling was definitely more fun.  I think I’d decide after I took down the bad guys, which was going to happen any second, but maybe I could do an Australian rappel and run down the side of the building before—

“Becky.”

I whipped my head to the side, and The Bean stood there beside me, a cross expression on his face and a pile of papers in his hand.  I placed my finger in front of my lips – the universal signal for SHUSSHHH YOUR PIEHOLE.

Despite his low voice and the way he quieted, I could hear the conversation of the bad guys stop up ahead.  Crap.  They heard him, and now they were alerted.  This was not going to be the easy kill I thought it was going to be – I needed to burst into the room even before the power was cut, or I would have to revise my plan….

“Becky.  Becky, we need to talk.”

I shushed The Bean again, and gestured down the hallway.  Dude, do you not see I’m in the middle of being a spy?

“Becky, our budget needs attending to.  Look,” he said, thrusting the paperwork at me.  “Look, our overhead is grossly inflated, and with the recent surge in credit card expenditures, it’s going to put our net-to-profit ratio of the household at a single digit loss event.”

“Not now,” I hissed.

“We can’t wait.  Percentage-wise, I’m not certain we are going to be able to meet our debts this month without carrying over a net profit loss expenditure from our asset sheets.”

The hallway suddenly lightened up, and the two bad guys appeared at the doorway, bodies tense, snorting out their nose in the classic “I’m a bad guy you were hunting, only now I’ve been spooked” pose.  I mean, all bad guys do right before they bolt, right?

Hush.  It was a dream, okay?  It made sense.

I gave Bean my strongest, “Are you freaking kidding me?” raised eyebrow look, but it was no good.  He just kept talking accountant at me.

“Look, look at this figure.”  There was a giant -700 at the bottom of October, and then under November another string of incomprehensible, constantly shifting numbers, with a giant -1300 circled in glaring red.  “We are carrying over a negative cash flow from month to month, which is rapidly reducing our overhead, and the owner equity expense account is going to make the monthly payroll not reconcile.”  He paused, as if this was actually making sense to me, and then continued with his accountanty terms. “We’re going to lose our LLC ROI investment status, and the asset classes will be all diversified in a negative fashion. Also, we will have to spend less on groceries, so we can’t afford any coffee next month.”

At the end of the hallway both bad guys snorted again and spooked away, bounding down the hallway in giant leaps like frightened deer.  I tried to sight them through my rifle, but they were gone around the corner, one of them skittering on the linoleum and nearly crashing into the wall before he made the turn and continued bounding away, his white tail flagging upwards in alarm.

Wait, he had a deer tail?  I guess he did.  I must not have noticed it before.  Wait, I forgot.  All bad guys had deer tails.

(Seriously, it was a dream, just roll with it.)

“Great.  GREAT.  Just great.  Fine.  FINE.  They’re gone.  You’ve completely ruined my kill.  Let’s look at the budget.”

The Bean stared at me seriously.  “Don’t bite my head off.  This is important.  We need to reconcile the budget, and this financial statement isn’t going to prepare itself, you know.  ”

BEAN, I LOVE YOU, BUT STAY OUT OF MY DREAMS.  YOU’RE RUINING THEM.

 

Caspian vs the Yellow Jacket

I looked into the rearview mirror as I backed into the car port, and as the gravel crunched under my tires, the view in that small mirror made my stomach sink.

Oh, no.

Oh, NO.  No.  No, no, no…….

Caspian stood in the corner of his paddock – head down, ears half pinned, and sweaty. His nostrils flared, and he whipped his head back to bite at his belly – once.  Twice.  Three times. He kicked at his belly, hard, and his neck shot up in distress, tail wringing and snapping.

Oh, no.  No, no, no.  Not colic.  Please, not colic.

“Boys!  Get the babies out of the car, and into the house!”

The boys began the tedious process of unloading the twins and I walked through the backyard, approaching Caspian warily. Maybe I was wrong?  Please?  I hope?

It didn’t look like it.  It was all the classic signs of colic – and pretty severe colic at that. Caspian pawed twice,  as if to roll, and then continued to bite at his belly.  He’s a fairly stoic horse, so for it to be this far along….. I bit my lip, and began to feel nauseous. Please.  Please let him be okay.

And then I saw it… or maybe I heard it?  It’s hard to say which happened first, but there, among the normal flies buzzing around, was a large shape.  Was that a bee?  A horse fly? What WAS that?

And then I realized what it was – a yellow jacket, furious, body curved into a “C”, stinger leading.

 

It buzzed in, and jabbed, and Caspian jerked around to bite at it, only to have it dodge, hover, and then swoop in again.

Sting.  Sting.  StingSting.  With every sting the wasp gave him Caspian kicked, or bit, or whipped his tail around, but to no avail.  Eventually he took off in a loop around the paddock, and by his movement and the sweat I could tell it wasn’t the first time he’d tried that.

He thundered around once.  Twice. Three times.  Four times.

The entire time I could see a small dark speck following him angrily, and the second he stopped it began to sting him again.  Sting.  Sting. STING STING.

I turned around and ran to the house.  “Where’s the swatter?  Where’s the swatter, boys?!”

It took longer than I liked to make my way back to the paddock, but Caspian will have to forgive me.  I spent most of the morning jumping on a trampoline and, well, the old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be.

I made it out there half hoping I was too late to do anything about it, but nope.  There was that stupid @*#@*&! yellow jacket, still in a “C” shape, stinging him without mercy.  I stomped through the gate and tried approaching Caspian without a halter, but my body language was furious, and with the first missed lunging swipe at the yellow jacket and his belly he took off like a shot and began to do his laps again.  You could almost see it in his face: “What have I ever done to you, woman?  Do you have any idea what kind of day I’m already having?!”

I circled back around and grabbed his halter, approaching him warily.  I wouldn’t blame him in the least if he kicked when that stupid thing stung him, but that didn’t mean I wanted to be on the receiving end of one of his draft-sized hooves.

The second I put the halter on him, he began to calm down, although not entirely – with the yellow jacket still making passes at his legs, belly, and flank, it was hard for him to do anything other than quit running.

“Easy.  Easy.  I’m not mad at you.  I’m mad at that stupid insect.  Shh.  I’m trying to help you.

Help faster, he said with an obvious flick of his tail.

I took a swipe and missed, and the yellow jacket stung him in response.  Caspian jumped forward, and I grabbed a hold of the lead rope and apologized.

Get it together, woman.

The yellow jacket swooped at his belly again and paused to curve into a more exaggerated “C” shape, and just as it paused I leaped forward and smacked it with the fly swatter.  Boom.  BULLSEYE.

Caspian jumped forward a few steps, then turned around to look at me.  I couldn’t see where it had landed, but I decided to pretend I had, and made an obvious show of stomping the ground.  Horses will instinctively stomp on a snake, so I figured he’d understand what I was saying.

Look at me, the nice human, stomping the biting thing for you. I will protect you.

He stared at me for a moment, then approached, head down, and laid his forehead against my arm.

Thank you.  Thank you so much.

“I’m so sorry, buddy.  You must hurt so much. I’m so sorry.”

It does.  It hurts.  But thank you.

And we stood like that for a moment, our conversation spent, just enjoying each other’s company.

But seriously – if I could find that stupid yellowjacket’s body, I’d probably pin it down with a needle and then set it on fire.  I swear, I’ve never hated anything quite so much.  I think I was literally seeing red the entire time I hunted for the fly swatter.

A Day With Four Kids

Things I’ve Already Done Today:

  • Wake up.
  • Change both babies’ diapers
  • Kiss The Bean goodbye as he heads off to work
  • Plop both babies in their high chairs, return to kitchen, and ponder the contents of the pantry and the fridge.  No milk.  No butter.  No cereal.  No gluten-free bread.  No tortillas.  No cheese.  No … well, anything easy.
  • Scramble some eggs.  Eggs and leftover Cheerios for everyone.  Yay, nutrition!
  • While everyone is eating, go outside.  Let Artemis go pee.  Feed horses.  Water chickens.  Water the wilted tomato plants.  Collect chicken eggs.
  • Return inside.  Dress all four children in clean clothes, brush their hair, their teeth.  Occasionally scream out “WE ARE LATE!  MOVE FASTER! WHY IS THE TV ON?!?!?  STAND IN THE CORNER! NO, WAIT, THERE’S NO TIME!”
  • Drop older boys off at Vacation Bible School so they can learn about patience and love and gentle kindness.
  • Idle in the parking lot and consider what you are going to make for lunch and dinner. Factor in your schedule. Realize there is no avoiding it – you need to go to the grocery store, RIGHT NOW.
  • Drive to Longview.
  • Arrive at WinCo.  Plop one twin in the cart, the other in a carrier, and purchase $280 worth of groceries, self bag, and get an extra cart to hold them.
  • Drag out both carts by yourself, load them up in the car, load up the babies and hand them each a squeeze pouch of apple sauce.  Realize it’s only been 41 minutes since you arrived.  Turn on car and head for home.
  • Pause at a red light and marvel at your awesomeness. 41 minutes.  You rock.
  • Turn on the latest Bloody Jack/Jacky Faber audio book.
  • Five minutes from home, wince as Magpie succumbs to carsickness and explodes vomity applesauce everywhere.
  • Pull into driveway.
  • Unload Magpie, strip her down, and haul nekkid baby upstairs and plop her in the shower.
  • Head back downstairs.  Use paper towels to wipe up the visible vomit.  Toss into plastic bag, then trash can.
  • Load up arms with as many bags of groceries as you possibly can.
  • Head back upstairs.  Deposit said bags on kitchen floor.
  • Head back downstairs for more groceries.
  • Repeat a stupid number of times.  Mentally cuss architect who invented houses with a main floor not on the ground level.
  • Bring up the last thing – a watermelon – and then head downstairs, turn off car, extricate sleeping Finn who stays sleeping.  HOORAY!
  • Creep through threshold of house, which (as always) automatically causes the sleeping Finn to wake and begin shrieking violently.
  • Plop shrieking baby on floor.
  • Grab towel, go get Magpie out of the shower, and head to her room to dry her off and put on new clothes.
  • Step over shrieking Finn, who continues to follow you around the house so he can be very certain you are hearing his outrage properly.
  • Change Magpie into clothes, then plop both babies in high chairs. Swipe contents of their still-dirty-from-breakfast trays onto the floor.  Good thing you have a Labrador, right?
  • Give them Ritz crackers to keep them quiet.
  • Clean out fridge of old food, wipe down shelves.
  • Glance at clock.  ACK!  YOU HAVE TO BE AT THE CHURCH IN 16 MINUTES!!
  • Put away frozen and refrigerated foods.  Stack the non-perishable items on the counters.
  • Lock Labrador in bedroom so she doesn’t give in to temptation, eat the groceries, and force you to skin her alive.
  • With a baby in each arm, use your chin to hit the unlock button on the van keys. Head downstairs carrying both babies.
  • Arrive at van, reach out a hand to open the door, and have it automatically lock as soon as you touch it.
  • Take a brief moment to imagine using a castration knife on the idiot engineer who decided that when you hit “unlock” on a vehicle that it should automatically relock itself.
  • Walk back upstairs with the babies.  Try to tuck the keys in the waistband of your pocketless workout pants you’re wearing.  Give up.  Grab the keys with your mouth, instead.
  • Walk back down the stairs while staring up at the left sky, right sky, left sky, right sky, left sky, right sky in an attempt to keep the keys out of the four baby hands trying to jerk it out of your mouth.
  • Get babies in car seat, pretending not to notice the still-wet vomit spots on Magpie’s carseat.
  • Drive like the wind to the church.
  • Kids are supposed to leave at 12:35.  It’s 12:33.  Put one baby in a carrier, tuck the other in your arm, head to get the kids.
  • Awesome.  Your kids are both the last ones in their classroom.  Awesome. You’re such an awesome mom.
  • Instead of “hi” your children greet you with “You weren’t there to see us do our performance on stage.  When I realized you weren’t there, I almost cried in front of everyone.  Everybody else’s moms were there.  Why not you?”
  • Try to explain about groceries, realize you’re just making them sadder, and apologize.
  • Return home.  Head back upstairs.
  • Let Artemis out to go potty.
  • Start cooking lunch.
  • Realize you forgot Artemis outside – HOORAY!  She was waiting at the back door.  Good dog.  Very good dog.
  • Put babies back in high chairs.  Swipe uneaten Ritz crackers to the floor.  Good thing you have a Labrador, huh?
  • Feed everyone.
  • Ignore the “Now can we go to the fair?  Now?  When we’re done eating, right? Right?  Then we can go?  Remember, today is fair day?” coming from the kitchen table.
  • While they’re eating, finish putting away groceries.
  • Glance at clock – 1:14 pm.  Oh, Lord.  It’s only halfway through the day.  I’m only halfway through the day.

 

Things still to do today:

  • Take all four kids to the fair
  • Cook dinner
  • Take care of horses and settle them in for the night
  • Shower
  • Exercise
  • Meal prep, so I can eat healthy
  • Laundry, so I can go to work tomorrow and smell gross
  • Sweep?  Maybe dishes?
  • Evening baths
  • Get kids in PJs and in bed
  • Find pencil sharpener and sharpen pencils.
  • Track down the creators of those inspirational “nobody’s busy, it’s just a matter of priorities” quotes you keep seeing on Facebook and stab them in the eye with a pencil.
  • Sleep?  Maybe?  Pretty please, babies?  Can this be the night you two both sleep through the night?

If anyone knows the address of the person who first said this, send it to me in an email. I’ve got a drawer full of pencils just waiting to meet them.

Winter, Blessings, and a Barn

What an absolutely brutal winter.

*

That star up above represents the 800 words I just cut from this post, where I went into a bunch of boring detail describing how sucky it was for me, linking to articles proving how abnormally rainy and grey it was to “prove” it was okay for me to feel that way, etc, etc.

When I’m boring myself with my whininess I know it’s probably time to cut the words.

Suffice it to say, it was an abnormally rainy winter.  There were only 3 mild days between October and March (when there are usually 17), some months broke rainfall records that have lasted since… well, since they started recording rainfall records. Other months didn’t break those records… but they fell short by less than a tenth of an inch.

At the library we had a lot of people coming in and printing bus tickets, or plane tickets, or any other ticket they could find to get outta Dodge.  “I can’t handle it anymore.  You never see the sky,” they’d say, with a half-crazed, almost caged look to their eyes.

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Twins: A Birth Story

Hey.

See that title up there?

Yup.  I gave birth.  And now I’m going to write about it, partly because I want to get it down on paper before time and sleeplessness (oh, the sleeplessness) steal it from my memory….

And partly because in those final few weeks of pregnancy I scoured the internet for stories about women giving birth to twins, so I figure I should probably give back to the community, as it were.

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How to Fence a Horse

I’m really good at daydreaming.

Like, if you need someone to just sit there and daydream, I’m your man.  Or girl.  I guess woman?

Eh, whatever.  If you need someone to daydream, pick me!  I’m super good at that sort of stuff.

But real life stuff?

I mean, it’s one thing to say “One day I’m gonna have a great big horse who is allllll mine, and I’m gonna get up in the morning and look out my bedroom window and see him grazing in the fields….”

Only now it’s for real.

 

Pasture

 

That’s a screenshot of what is going to be my new backyard.  Actually, the yard is even bigger than that, but that’s the area that I get to do what I want with, for Caspian. We are going to have funds from the sale of the house to fence it in, and also build a run-in and an area to compost manure.

Speaking of the sale of the house, I think we have someone.  We still have to pass inspection, and even if we do pass inspection we will still be in our current house for a couple of months because escrow takes a while right now..

But I think this thing is actually going to happen.  We have found a house we all agree on, they’ve accepted our offer (contingent on the sale of our house), we found a buyer for the new house, and I might have my pony in my yard before summer.

It’s one thing to daydream…. it’s another to actually sit down and do it for real.

“Yaaaay!  I get a horse in my backyard!  Oh. Wait…. Uh, how do you safely house a horse in your backyard?”

I’ve decided to go with 5 foot no-climb horse fence with a strand of hot wire on the inside, but what kind of posts do I use? The t-posts or the wood ones? How many feet of fencing will I need? How many posts per feet of fence?  How far down do you sink the posts? How big of a sacrifice area do I make?  I’d really like to plan it out so that it can house two horses eventually – I see two horses in my future at some point, so there’s no sense doing it twice.

Slope

The back 2/3 of the pasture is slightly sloped – less than it looks here, but still something to take into account.

Do I put the sacrifice area at the bottom, since it’ll be muddy anyways?  Do I put it at the top, and then have the pasture be sloped?  Do I just do long paddocks with shelters, and then one big turn out area? The rule is one horse per acre, but they never say how best to make that work.

I mean, in a perfect “I have all the space and all the money” I would do a gorgeous paddock paradise setup, but all the ones I’ve seen online require a ton of fencing.  Fencing costs money, and I’m not sure we can swing that.

Also, just to make things more complicated, I think I want to include a small riding area somewhere, so there’s a safe place for the kids to ride without having to trailer anywhere.  Of course, if I do that the amount of pasture I have to work with is even smaller.
Sigh.

Do I cut back on the pasture or the sacrifice area, or forgot the riding area?  Where would I put the imaginary riding area – at the bottom, or at the top?  Do you cap wood posts? What do you set your posts and/or t-posts in to keep them stable and sturdy? What kind of electric fence should I get?  Where do I store the hay?

 

 

Can I just go back to daydreaming about the pony in my backyard, without having to do so much math, please?

 

 

Yes, I understand that my “complaining” is the very essence of #FirstWorldProblems

 

How Not To Have A Relaxing November

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA WHAT WAS I THINKING.

 

3rmgy_f-thumbnail-100-0

I mean, it’s not like I have a lot on my plate.  It’s not like I’m attempting NaNoWriMo – 50,000 words of writing in one month.  I’m not like I’m trying to survive the first year with my twins – who, even though they just turned 9 months old, still wake every 3 hours at night.

It’s not like I’m trying to raise my 5 and my 8-year-old sons, and all the complexities that come with kids as they grow older.  Sure, they don’t pee or color on stuff anymore, but solutions to their problems now require me to actually turn on my brain.  On the whole, I think I found the random destruction a lot easier to deal with it.

It’s not like I don’t have all of the stuff I listed above, or a part-time job, or household chores, or family visiting, or holiday activities, or or or….

But I received the sweetest email a couple of weeks ago.

“Caspian is such a dear – he never does anything wrong – but he’s not really settling in/thriving here at the barn…”

I mean, if you’re going to get politely broken up with by a barn, it was the nicest, softest way to break the news ever… but it was still a bummer.   I couldn’t disagree with her assessment – Caspian seemed lonely and a bit sad at the new barn. It was obvious a change was needed.

The truth is, I spent the first few days after receiving that email trying to figure out if I even really had any business owning a horse.

Yes, Caspian was and is receiving the best of care…. but I almost never get to see him.  I actually do have plenty of time to spend with him.  The problem is that my free time is when most barns are closed.  I have time every morning from 5:30am-7am, and then again every evening after 8pm…. but what barn is going to agree to let a boarder traipse around in the dark like that?

I spent the next week after the email looking at the hard facts.  It’s hard to justify the expense of owning a “luxury item”, so to speak, when I have so little time to enjoy him.The problem with having an accountant for a husband is that I have started taking a longer view of how much things cost.  I think it’s easy to justify a horse when you are looking at the month-to-month.  Can I afford his monthly care?  Yes.

Even if I technically can afford it… should I, when I never see him?  The times I have available to devote to my horse are probably never going to work with a traditional barns, and it’s going to be quite some time before the twins are old enough to let me visit during regular hours. Can I afford him for another “wasted” year or more, knowing that the $400 a month I have set aside for him adds up to $4800 in one year? $9600 every two years?

That’s a lot of money for a once-a-week (if that) horse habit.

And so began The Great Depression of 2016.

I hate being an adult.  I really, really do…. but I just couldn’t see any way around it. Shopping for a new horse barn just made it seem so much clearer to me.  So many of the places around where I live are self-care.  It’s not that I don’t want to do self-care – I actually really enjoy mucking stalls.  It’s that I just don’t want to do it with four kids in tow.  I’ve cleaned Caspian’s stall quite a few times while wearing the twins, and it left me sweaty and grumpy. Somewhere in the middle of it, while I struggled to push the wheelbarrow through some damp grass, desperately trying to keep it from dumping over, one twin strapped in front, one twin strapped in back, sweat pouring down my face, I thought…

Wait.  Am I actually paying to do this?  I mean, I’m not just choosing to torture myself like this, but I’m actually paying good money to do it?  I’m paying money to never ride and never groom, and just spend my time pushing around my horse’s feces?

So I came home, and I had a long discussion with The Bean.  And then another long discussion.  And then we had several long discussions.

And then the Bean and I sat down and had a long talk a week ago on Monday night, and we came to the final decision.

We decided to sell our house.

I know, it was a bit of a shock for me too.  I went into it thinking the conversation was going to end with, “Yeah, let’s sell Caspian and we’ll just find another horse when the time is better.”  Instead, the conversation turned into “Why don’t we just bump up our ‘find a home with enough land for a horse’ plan”?

We’re not looking to move far – we both love our town.  We just want a little land for the horse, and maybe a little more room for when my mom comes to help me with the twins.

Hey, did you know what’s easy?  Deciding to sell your house.

Do you know what’s not easy?  Cleaning your house so that it’s ready to sell…. in less than two days.  We decided to sell on Monday night, and we were due to leave for Thanksgiving on Wednesday night.

It’s not that I live in squalor, but let’s all agree that unless you are one of those fancy-schmancy OCD people, there’s a big difference between having a house that’s straightened up and having a house that’s ready for a realtor to show at an Open House.

Two days later, with every closet organized, and every bit of furniture positioned just so, and every shelf arranged, the basement cleaned, the cobwebs dusted, the floors waxed, the bathrooms scrubbed, the Thanksgiving ingredients bought and in the fridge, it was 11pm at night and the only thing I had left to do was put away the laundry in my bedroom….

And I couldn’t.

I just plain ran out of gas. I stood there and stared at the last little bit of mess in an otherwise pristine (pristine for me, anyways) house, and I just…. I just couldn’t.

 

meme

The Bean, who was in a miraculously good mood, looked around the room with a smile.  “We’re almost done,” he chirped, coming in with another armful of clean laundry.

I looked at him, I looked at the maybe 20 minutes of work left, and I fell face first on the bed and started to cry.  It wasn’t even a satisfying cry, either.  A satisfying cry would have involved sobs and… well, energy.  I just lay face-first on the bed and tears leaked out.  I was so, so tired.

Did you know that you can shove a bunch of dirty laundry in trash bags and that it fits neatly in the trunk of a Honda Civic?  That’s what we ended up doing, and the clothes is still in there.  We haven’t really missed the items, either.  Maybe I should just drive it to the Goodwill and dump it?

Anyways, I made it through the rest of the cleaning and through a Thanksgiving that was amazing and perfect, and kind of hazy from a fog of exhaustion.

And now my days have become a crazy string of “Quick, feed a baby…. crap, there’s a showing.  Quick, clean the house and make it look non-lived in.  Quick, grab Artemis.  Quick, grab my mom’s dog that I’m babysitting for a month.  Are the boys getting off of school?  Quick, grab a snack so they don’t turn hangry while we sit at a park and wait for strangers to stare at the house.  Quick, return home and cook dinner.  Quick, get ready for work the next day.  Quick, quick, quick….

I moved Caspian yesterday to what I am hoping is his last boarding situation – he has an huge box stall, and turnout all day, and I paid extra for him to have hay in his face all day.  He seems happy, even if I am sad I don’t get to stare at the GORGEOUS Morgans at the other place anymore.  (I’m still disgruntled he ruined my stay at my dream barn, but oh well.)

As I unloaded him, I pet his fuzzy, yellowish-grey, barely-groomed face with the large, sad eyes.  He looked… like an abandoned pony, and it made my heart sad.  I hate being the absentee owner that people on horse threads make fun of.  Caspian deserves better.

… but the neat thing is that soon he is going to get it.  As I ran my fingers under his mane he leaned in to the contact every-so-lightly, ever-so-politely, and it was so strangely thrilling to be able to say, “Don’t get too attached to the ponies here.  This is just a temporary barn.  The next move, you get to come home.  Permanently.”

Timehop keeps reminding me that 9 years ago I was a cocktail waitress in a bar, just starting to date the unassuming car salesman who liked to sit at the corner and drink a bottle of Heineken and eat chicken strips with ranch.

And now?

Yesterday I had to rearrange all the seats in my minivan to make a road trip, and when we finally returned home The Bean stood out in the pouring rain at 9:30 at night rearranging them back to normal it so I wouldn’t have to deal with it in the morning.  Over Thanksgiving weekend he took all four kids out so I could get a much needed nap.  And this morning he put up with me snapping at him (sorry Bean – I’m a cranky toddler when I’m sleep deprived) over tiny stuff, and still managed to remember to make out a check and put it where I could find it easily and change the babies diapers before heading off for his ridiculously-long day at work.

And today?

Today is the first day I haven’t had a lot on my plate.  The house guests went home (don’t get me wrong, they’re amazing and I’m so glad they stayed), and today there are no showings scheduled yet. Today I don’t work, and I don’t have to do a 3 hour round trip to drive to return a vehicle, and my husband is kind, and there aren’t any holidays looming.

And now, today, two kids are in school, two babies are napping (at the same time!  For once!) and I am sitting on my computer, researching fencing options.

Dude.  Fencing options, and pasture rotation details, and sacrifice areas for MY horse who is going to be in MY backyard in a few months.

WHOA.

So….. does anyone want to buy a house?

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I’m Such A Supportive Wife

“Becky, I stopped by Target yesterday and picked up some diapers.”

“Oh, good -we were running low.  Thanks, Bean.  Hey, you…. you have, uh…. Have a fun time with your motorcycle today on your way to work.  Also… uh…. ride the wind?”

 
“What?”
 
“I’m just trying to wish you a motorcycle-y goodbye.”
 
“Ah. Well, as I was saying, I picked up diapers and they’re in the trunk of my car…”
 
“May the road rise up to meet you? Zoom Zoom? Taste the speed?”
 
“Becky, it’s raining. The roads are slick, so I’m not exactly going to be speeding. Did you hear me about the diapers?”
 
“Yes – diapers. Car. Trunk. Gotcha.  Look, I’m trying to be supportive here, and offer you a motorcycle goodbye.  I’m trying to be a nice wife, except I have no idea what you motorcycle people say to each other before you head off down the road.  May the road rise up to meet you? Break a leg?”
 
“What?? Break a leg? No. No, how about let’s not do that.”
 
“Well, what do you guys say to each other before you go out and do your motorcycle things?”
 
“We usually just say ‘Have a safe ride’. ”

“Oh.  Ummm.  Well.  Have a safe ride, dear.”

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Step-KLUMP. Step-KLUMP.

So the first day I missed posting it was because I got super angry at The Bean and stomped off to bed. I didn’t realize I’d skipped a post until I woke up the next morning. Whoops. Yaaaay, marriage.

The next day I missed was because I pulled something in my back. I tweaked my back by sleeping wrong, and then as I was twisting the Kraken around to do a back carry with my new TwinGo baby carrier, I felt whatever muscle I had tweaked actually cramp up…. and by the time I was done with my shopping trip it had gone from cramping to flat-out HURTING.  I managed to get home and survive the rest of the day with the help of my friends Tylenol and ibuprofen…. but by 9pm I was hurting so bad I broke out some of the pain meds I have leftover from my 2013 appendectomy.  By 9:30 I was still hurting, but it didn’t bother me quite as bad, so I floated off to sleep.

I didn’t realize I skipped a day until the next day at 8pm at night.  Wait a second…. hadn’t I committed to writing 31 days in a row?  Oh my gosh.  I’d skipped two days!  I really had to sit down and… I really had to…. I really had

I really…..

Man, I really wanted a drink of water.  Oooh, I should get a drink of water and go to bed early.  That was a great idea. I bet I could get 3 solid hours before the twins woke up for their first nightly feed.  Water, then bed.  What a solid plan.  G’night, Bean.

….. in case you are wondering, yes.  Yes, I really do miss my ADHD meds.  Someone really needs to come out with an ADHD med that’s safe to take while breastfeeding.  Pretty please?

The next day I realized I had skipped WAY too many days in a row, and no matter what happened I needed to sit down and post, even if I had already ruined the “31 days in a row” portion of it.

Since my back was still really sore I decided I would take a quick bath before I sat in my chair to write.  It was still early enough that I could soak my back, write a post, and still get to bed at a decent hour.

I started the tub running and dumped in a healthy amount of my favorite soap in the world:

 

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Nicole, you’re the bomb-diggity for turning me on to this. It rocks.

While the bath filled up I threw on a robe and went out to get the most critical part of any bath:  a Ziploc baggie.

Ziploc baggies are a girl’s best friend, and I’ll tell you why:  I like to read in the tub, and all of my books are e-books.  Now, normally reading in the tub on an expensive e-reader would be a dumb idea, but awhile back I discovered they sell these expensive little bags that you can put your Nook into so you can read in a tub.  I was considering buying one for a while, when all of a sudden it dawned on me…. couldn’t I just stick my cell phone in a Ziploc baggie and read on my Nook cell phone app?

The answer to that is: yes.  Yes, you can.  I’ve been reading in the tub in this style for years.  Back in the beginning I used to put my cell phone in a sandwich-sized Ziploc baggie and then put that baggie in a bigger, gallon-size baggie, just in case…. but over the years I’ve relaxed my standards to the point that I only use a sandwich baggie.

So, that’s what I did this time:  I went and got my Ziploc baggie, and toddled off to the bathtub, looking forward to my nice, back-relaxing bath.  As I kicked off my clothes and prepared to get in, I opened the baggie and dropped my phone into the Ziploc baggie from about 6 inches above. I mean, if you’re a mom of four and you’re about to get into an Epsom salt bath and read a book, shouldn’t you do everything with a little flourish?

Aaaand the answer to that is: No. No, you should not.

What I hadn’t banked on this time is that this particular shopping trip I had decided to save a little money and I had forgotten that I’d picked up some discount, no-name baggies from Grocery Outlet instead of name brand Ziploc baggies.  When I dropped the cell phone into the baggie with a flourish, the cell phone dropped into the bag…. and then dropped straight through the seam at the bottom of the bag and bounced onto the bathroom rug.

It all happened so seamlessly (pun intended) that I couldn’t figure out what had just happened.

I stood there and stared at my yellow iPhone on the floor for a moment, and then at the baggie in my hand, and then back at the phone.

Me:  “What?  I’m so confused.”

Brain:  “That’s your phone on the floor, stupid.”

Me:  “Why is it on the floor?”

Brain:  “How the heck should I know?  You think I was paying attention?”

Me:  “Well, I certainly wasn’t.  Why didn’t it go in the baggie?  Why is it on the floor right now?”

Brain:  “Well, neither of us was paying attention, so I bet you just missed the bag.  I bet you went to go drop it in, and you dropped it beside the bag and it fell on the floor.”

Me:  “I do have bad depth perception, so that’s certainly possible…. But isn’t it possible that the bag ripped?”

Brain:  “Shhhhh.  I swear, you get so caught up on stupid details.  Just put it back in the bag and get in the tub.  I am gonna release so many endorphins when that hot water hits your skin.”

Me:  “Shouldn’t I check if the bag is ripped?”

Brain: “SHUT UP AND GET IN THE TUB.  That hot water is getting getting colder by the second, and if you don’t get in while it’s still hot enough to sting your skin, you’re not gonna be able to pretend you’re Daenerys Targaryen and whisper ‘I am the Blood of the Dragon‘ to yourself.”

Me:  “OMG, you’re totally right.  But…. but what if the cell phone…”

Brain: “Quit being a worry wart.  Just put it into the bag carefully.  You’ll be fine.”

And so I did.  I very, very carefully slipped the phone into the bag as I stepped into the tub… and my iPhone very, very carefully slipped through the torn bag and plopped right into the tub, disappearing beneath the bubbles.

I yelped out a curse word and with one leg in the tub and one leg still out, I began fishing around for the phone.  It took longer than I wanted to find it, but finally I pulled it out.  All I could think was “I need to get turn it off and get this thing in rice… STAT.”  I don’t care if the new recommendation is to keep wet cell phones away from rice, I’ve dropped plenty of phones in water (please don’t judge me), and rice has saved them every time.

Feeling the urgency of the moment, I bounced up from my crouch, trying to lunge at my bath towel so I could dry off my phone and dash into the kitchen…..

Except I forgot that I was halfway in a tub….a tub full of water, and lots of soap.  Do you know what happens when you try to bounce up from a crouch when one of your feet is in a tub full of soapy water?

The splits.  The splits is what happens.

And you know, the splits are awesome if you are 15 and flexible and a cheerleader and stuff like that.

But do you know when the splits aren’t awesome?  The splits aren’t awesome when you’re 35, and fat, and your back hurts, and you’ve never been flexible a day in your life to begin with.

One foot went one way, one foot went another, and both of my arms sprang upwards in a desperate attempt to…. I dunno.  Cry out hallelujah?  I have no idea what my stupid arms were trying to do, but I do know that my iPhone was SO EXCITED by the whole fiasco that it jumped out of my hand (I swear I heard it say”Wheeee!!!!”) and it plunged back in the tub again.

Okay, let me do a little bit of explaining before I launch into the next part of this story.  Back when I was young and spry and single, I did imagine being naked in front of my husband.  Oh, whatever.  Every teenager daydreams about it.  I could totally picture it.  I’d be posed in a doorway, with my arms over my head or something, because that always makes your boobs look GREAT and your stomach look flat.  Anyways, I’d be standing there, all taut and sexy, with the light playing juuuust right over my skin, and I’d say something like, “Hey there, sailor.  Wanna dock your ship?”

Yes, I know that’s a terrible sex metaphor.  I’m not very good at sexy talk, okay?  My inept sex talk is not the point of this.  Stay with me, okay?

The point is, I did picture being naked in front of my husband, and in these daydreams I was always really in shape, and posing, and totally sexy.

What I did not picture was the way I was naked in front of my husband last week, as I dragged my angry, tired carcass through the living room with my sopping went iPhone wrapped in a towel.

In my daydreams I pranced about, nymph-like.

In my daydreams I did not limp heavily by my husband on legs that were not working quite right after being forced into unnatural positions.

Step-THUMP.  Step-THUMP.  Step-THUMP.  Not only was I not prancing, but I could feel things…. swinging.  Ponderously.  There are many things that make you feel sexy as a woman.  Feeling your belly and thighs and other jiggly bits flapping about in the wind from the force of your limping?  That is not one of them.

Honestly, it looked exactly like this, only I was more hunched over, and there was an iPhone in my hand instead of an arm:

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I’d like to say I was saying sweet, wifely, Christian things under my breath as I limped my way through the living room…. but I know I wasn’t.  I don’t remember exactly what I was saying, but it wasn’t nice, and it wasn’t repeatable.

Step-THUMP. Quiet spewing of profanity.  

Step-THUMP.  More profanity.
And that’s when I heard it, from over near the couch.

“OOOH.  Heeey, sexy.”

I ignored it.  I was NOT in the mood for teasing.  Step-THUMP.  STUPID &!&@! PHONE.  Stupid phone with its bleepity-bleep bag WITH ITS STUPID BLEEPITY-BLEEP RIPPING…

“Heeey, sexy.  Do I see boobies?”

Wait a second….was he…. was he flirting with me?  No.  No, there was no way possible he could be flirting with me.  I’m pretty sure that this was, hands down, the least sexy I’ve ever looked.

Step-THUMP.  Where was a clean @(*@&#*! bowl?  Step-THUMP.  Where was the bleeping bag of rice?

“Heeeey, sexy.”

Holy crap.  He was.  The Bean was honestly flirting with me.  The only thing propelling me forward and keeping me from collapsing in a puddle in frustrated tears was one good leg and stubborn anger….. and he was flirting with me.  Couldn’t he see me limping? Couldn’t he see my deflated stomach flapping in the wind? Couldn’t he see the pure, unadulterated rage oozing out of my very pores?  I limped over to grab my phone and shove it in the rice bowl.

Step-THUMP.  Step-THUMP. Flap-flap. Step-THUMP.

“Whoo-whoo.  I seee your boobies…. Hey, sexy!”

And that’s when it hits me, and that’s where we come to the whole point of this post:    I always thought The Bean was lying, or just saying stuff to make me feel better….

But I think he’s telling the truth.

I honestly don’t think he notices the weight gain, at least not when I’m, errrr, “en deshabille”.

 

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So while my iPhone’s SIM card is now damaged beyond repair and I can only use it to go on Facebook or other apps, and then only when connected with WIFI,  and while I didn’t get the satisfying bath I’d daydreamed of, and even though I step-thumped my way into pajamas and straight to bed and spent the next few days sulking instead of writing…..

I dunno.  It’s a small price to pay for realizing that The Bean still loves me, and that he’s not nearly as hard on me as I am on myself.

Love ya, Bean.

Also… do you have any idea where we put your old cell phone?  I need to activate it tomorrow.