Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A rose by any other name

Once upon a time there was a little girl. Her very young (not THAT young) mother wanted to name her Elizabeth and call her Lisa. Alas, the mother couldn't think of a middle name she liked to go with Elizabeth and so she named her Mary Elizabeth . . . and still called her Lisa. This small girl turned five and went to kindergarten where her teach Miss Thomas had made two name tags.

"What do you like to be called?" she asked. "I have made two name tags. One says Mary and the other Lisa. You may choose."

Well, the small girl, in fact, had no idea her name was actually Mary and being the slightly over dramatic only child that she was, she chose her new name -- her secret name -- Mary.

The problem was the entire world called her Lisa and so the girl's mother strung them together and she became Mary Lisa. Well, sort of. The kids in school just called her Mary which she came to hate almost immediately but was too shy or loving or sensitive to insist that she be called Lisa or Mary Lisa. So to this day some people in her world call her Mary and some call her Lisa and -- which is fine, EXCEPT Lisa isn't actually her name, now is it? This remains a problem and so she now insists on being called Mary Lisa or just Lisa -- except to those school friends who cannot bear it and she still lets them call her Mary . . . even though she now looks around for her mother, who is also named Mary, by the way.


Imagine being that poor child. Imagine being that poor child who at 39.5 cannot decide how to spell it. Mary Lisa? MaryLisa? Marylisa? And, yet . . . still . . . that's not legally her name, is it?

I admit I am that small girl. I was at a party the other night for a school friend and was going to introduce myself to a fellow guest when suddenly I sort of blacked out. It's been so long since I actually introduced myself as Mary, I had this terrible moment of "Where am I? Who am I?" I am sure I could have said, "Hi, I'm Marylisa" like I do normally. I don't know what happened.

I cannot wait for Jesus to tell me my true name. I am going to get all my clothes monogrammed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

eBay Issues

My eBay-itis is much, much better, thank you very much. I'm down to two active bids which I think is a significant improvement over the last few weeks. Unfortunately those two bids will end after we have left town to go up into the wild woods of Northern Minnesota. Now I know that they have the internet up in the wild woods, but that is simply not the point, is it? Now I'm am going to have to worry about my auctions as I toast my yearly marshmallow to a tasty golden brown. That's just silly. Who needs a pair of appliqued overalls that badly?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Scream it out

Baby D had a 20 minute nap today. Now, I'm no expert on parenting, but that doesn't seem like quite enough for a 19 month old. He has gone to bed early -- but he hasn't actually gone to sleep. No. He's up there screaming his little head off.

I think earlier in my parenting career, I would have thought of this as poor parenting. Now, I think of it as lung exercise, if you will. Something to tire my tot out. Earlier in my parenting career I would have been sitting outside his door watching the minutes tick away until five had passed and it was time to reassure him that he was all right. Now I see those little visits as an excuse for him to start the whole thing over again. Now I say things like, "Well, Baby D's been screaming for 20 minutes. I guess I'll go see if he's done."

I see now more clearly how those first, second, third born personalities work themselves out. These poor tail end children must absolutely fend for themselves.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SMG revisited

My sister Cyberspace Sarah was very quick to round up a Southern Mommy Girlfriend who lives in Houston. This SMG highly recommended we look farther south in Texas for our spring break trip. She, in fact, referred to Houston as the "armpit" of Texas. I don't think I want to tackle Padre Island over spring break. Any farther south in Texas and I might as well drive to Florida.

Now I need an Alabama SMG.

Or Florida Panhandle SMG . . . but even though that's Florida, don't think I'm not all about change. Because I am.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wanted: Southern Mommy Girlfriend

Friends and loved ones, as most of you know, I can plan a trip to Florida blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back and with no tools but a stubby pencil and an old map of Idaho. That's why I am excited to announce (ta-ta-tah!) we're thinking about going to Houston/Galveston for spring break. Why? Because I am all about change. Change is my middle name. Nothing is more exciting than the freshness of change. (Sarah, please stop laughing. Don't you have work to do?)

Okay, maybe I'm not all about change, but it is a slightly less long drive to Houston than Florida. So I am looking for a Southern Mommy Girlfriend (SMG) to help me figure things out. For example, although I have received all of Houston/Galveston's shiny literature and scoured their website, I still don't really know where to stay, or really, if it's worth the 20 hour drive in the first place. I need a SMG. If you know if one, or if you are one I could use some help. Otherwise, I'll have to stalk one on eBay.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Middle Age

I'm not quite ready to say I am middle aged. At 39, that would be . . . not very good at math . . . a life span of 78 years. I am hoping for more than that. I have, however, started to notice things. Noisy digestion for one thing. One potato chip -- GURGLE, GURGLE GROOOOOWL. One row of tasty sweetcorn -- I REFUSE TO PROPERLY DIGEST. I WILL NOT (This is my stomach speaking). Most painful of all, one Diet Coke -- SWISH, SWISH, GURGLE, SWISH. Some days it seems to be worse than others.

I remember my mom laughing at a friend who said it took a few hours for her face to readjust in the morning. A few years later Mom did not find it so funny. The other day I was face down on the floor preparing for an upward dog when I felt my face fall towards the floor. I went for the upward dog but my face did not. It stayed right where it was.

This is not funny.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jury Duty

It is my heart's desire to be on a jury. Yes. I'm sorry. It's true. I am a frustrated law student who never got farther than taking the LSAT. Before this recent return to shows like Backyardigans, it was all Court TV all the time. Now I am down to a few minutes of The People's Court with Judge Marilyn Milian. (The opening says she is "the hottest judge on television." That's fine. When she gets really worked up she starts firing off in Spanish which is pretty fun.)

So imagine my excitement when an envelope came yesterday from our county courthouse . . . for Brent. I called him right away to report the good news. He was not as thrilled as I thought he'd be.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


God has been very faithful to provide good company for me as I crawl out of the pit. Yesterday my dear friend Georgia asked me ever so innocently if I was on Facebook. Well, no, I think she said, "You're on Facebook, aren't you?" As though, of course, I would be.

Well, I wasn't . . . until now. I have a bad feeling about this. You can put all these little games and posters and stuff on your page. It's perfect for the gal trying to wean herself off a spell of eBay-itis. I just passed an Olympic torch to my sister. Do I have time for this? Will I have to give up my daily internet jigsaw puzzle to make room in my busy schedule?

Gotta run. I hear Mark the Mailman trying to stuff eBay packages in my door.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gold Medal

I know squat about sports. Squat. I can follow a basketball game because that was the big high school sport at my school and I also knew a few players at my college. I have a basic understanding of football made slightly clearer by following Jeremy's college team -- mostly to watch Jeremy in the band. Other than that . . . not much of a clue.

That being said, I love the Olympics. I understand the argument for boycotting them when they are in a country that is showing disrespect for human life, but I don't know if it accomplishes much. The Olympics are a time when the youth (and some not so youth) of the world are charged to engage in friendly competition and show everyone how it's done. I love that. I just love that. So now during the summer Olympics I am hooked. I was just watching white water rafting. Isn't that great?! People have been training for four years or better to get on the white water rafting team.

Now my sister and brother-in-law are HUGE sports fans. Football, baseball, NASCAR, it does not matter. Brennan knows who, what, where, when and how long it's been going on and Sarah's right behind him. I am usually left out of their sports conversations like the nerdy kid whose only interests are books and music -- which, I guess, is true.

So imagine my delight the other day when in conversation with them I actually had some knowledge of what was going on. Sarah was explaining her frustration at gymnastics commentators who were freaking out about something that was happening during a parallel bar competition but did not explain themselves. As she shared the story with me I said, "Oh, yeah, the male gymnast can't touch his feet down at that point."


I said it sort of quietly. I'm not used to having sports information they don't. It was sort of a 1980 USA Olympic hockey team moment for me.

It was Finland, not the USSR, they beat to win the gold medal, you know.

Monday, August 11, 2008


During my "downtime" I have been doing what Brent calls cheap eBay therapy. My focus has been on fall clothes for Baby D. Buying school clothes for Colin is pretty uncomplicated. The new one checkout at Old Navy/Gap has simplified the whole process into one order - one big box. The big box came the other day loaded down with 10 slim jeans and plain t-shirts. Colin is a happy camper.

Baby D is still under my dressing control, however, and I discovered that the Southern Mommies are dressing their toddlers in these corduroy overalls with seasonal appliques on them. How stinky cute was this. I was hooked. Every pair I looked at was from North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, etc. We like cute things up North. How have we missed this?

My bids were too low and over a four day span I made 31 bids with nothing to show for it. My sister correctly predicted I would get frustrated and start upping my bids. Suddenly I was a winner . . . every time. Oops.

The packages started arriving today. I went out to meet Mark the mailman at his truck. "I wasn't feeling well, Mark. I've been on eBay."

"No kidding," laughed Mark as he handed me five eBay packages.

"You'll probably be back," I said.

"Well, that's all right," he replied and winked at me.

If you've had a little eBay-itis, I'm thinking as long as your financier calls it good therapy and your mailman can laugh with you . . .well, it's probably going to be all right. I'm wondering if I should look and see if you can put a hold on your account for your own protection, though.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Good for her!

So after a therapeutic coffee date with my friend Barb (Thanks, Auntie Barbie, you sweet thing, for laughing with/at me!) I was leaving the Caribou parking lot when I noticed a woman in the 5 minute zone was shaving her legs out of the passenger seat of her car. With a razor. And shaving cream. And a bowl of water.

First of all, I hope Barb got to see it because I know she would have bust a gut with that great laugh of hers. Secondly, I thought about taking a picture but that seemed inappropriate in an already strange scene. Thirdly, well, good for her, I say! Gals, who among us has not had a day when we said, "I certainly am sorry I did not shave my legs today!" We all have at one point or another, but this woman was prepared to do something about it . . . from her car!! Now as a full-time homemaker I am prepared to do a lot of things from my car. I have bags and Kleenex and diaper wipes and sippy cups and Caribou napkins and maps and the odd McDonald's straw, BUT I am not equipped for a leg shaving emergency. Good for her! Also, even if I were prepared to shave my legs, would I have the chutzpah to do it in the Caribou parking lot? I probably would not. Good for her!!

I am certainly going to think harder about what a gal on the go should have in her car.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Brain Fog 3: The dialogue

Things NOT to say to a person with Brain Fog:

Why don't you get off the couch?

What's your problem?

Why don't you cheer up then?

Are you suicidal? (No.)

Do you think you'll need to be hospitalized?

Maybe you're pregnant. (Mother, I hate to tell you in this forum but this statement is always inappropriate. Let's just assume I'll tell you if I am, but I wouldn't expect to hear it from me ever again.)

Things TO say to a person with Brain Fog:

Can I come take the baby for a couple of hours?

Can I make you guys some dinner?

How are you feeling today?

How can I pray for you?

You should eat some chocolate.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Brain Fog 2

It was another tough Brain Fog day today. I might actually say it's gotten worse. I am writing now whilst I am the tiniest bit clear. Tomorrow I am being taken to see the lovely and elusive Dr. Deb. When I called Nurse Kendra this morning to say I was going to up my medication, I burst into tears. I was booked immediately into an appointment with Dr. Deb tomorrow. I have an appointment with her next month I had to wait nine months to get, so I must have really freaked poor Kendra out.

Things are so foggy, I actually forgot to lay Baby D down for his nap this morning. I did manage to get fully dressed before Brent got home for lunch (not that it would have mattered to him if I hadn't).

The problem with being a depression struggler with a massive sense of humor is that you find things terribly funny even in the midst of the overwhelming sadness. Last night, for example, I had something very serious to tell Brent and I began, "I'm only going to say this once . . ." but I was crying so hard he couldn't understand me. When I realized I was going to have to say the thing I had vowed to only say once again, I began laughing so hard he couldn't understand me.

It cannot be easy to live with me sometimes.

Note to anyone who may have coffee date planned with me later in the week: Not to worry. Brent will put a stop to it if it looks like I may be an hysterical crying/laughing danger to anyone.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A pep talk to myself

I am laughing at the title of my blog tonight which you may or may not remember came from my friend Roberta. We were talking about difficult people one day and Roberta said, "At least we know we're crazy." It was a joke, but Roberta and I have each fought depression much of our lives and have gratefully received relief from medication. That relief comes from knowing what the problem is, being able to identify it and being able to treat it.

I don't think Roberta meant to be so profound -- well, maybe, you never know with Bertie -- but the philosophy has changed my way of thinking. If I know and can admit to my issues, then I can find peace in difficult situations and with difficult people because I know what is my problem and what isn't. If you don't realize that you're contributing to the problem . . .well . . . at least I know I'm crazy.

I have been dealing with a difficult person this week. Someone I have to live with. (No, not Brent. No, not you, Mother.) I have also been dealing with myself and the dark fog that sometimes covers my brain. There is no better way for me to describe it. Every bright, beautiful and interesting thing about me . . . covered in fog. It gets hard to think and hard to remember that Little Miss Fog Brain isn't who I really am.

So I am glad to read the title of my blog tonight and remind myself: At least I know. When I am done, I am going to look at the bottom of my blog and read the verse there: Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12) I love that verse. Even though there are things I will never understand -- difficult people, difficult times, brain fog -- it's all because what I see on earth, I see through a mirror dimly. There is a time coming when it will all become clear. For one who suffers from Brain Fog, that's a tremendously hopeful thing.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fluffy 2

So we've established recently that I may or may not be a crazy Disney person, but I flatly deny being a crazy dog person. It's just not true. I've had two offers of other used pets from my family. My sister wants to shave her cat and teach it to bark. I'm afraid that's not going to cut it.

I am trying to figure out how to make the photo of Fluffy my computer wallpaper.

Well . . . you look. You see if you can resist Fluffy's blind, non house trained charms.

Friday, August 1, 2008


A cat person, I am surprised to find that I feel I need another dog. We bought our Yorkie Zoe on our honeymoon 14.5 years ago. She was the size of a small stuffed animal and she lived the high life as our only child who lived with us full time. She had little outfits -- Halloween costume, raincoat, sweaters for cold winter days. The beginning of the end for Princess Zoe came when I was pregnant with Colin. Up to that time, Zoe slept on the bed with me, but there came a point in my pregnancy when I could no longer bend down and pick her up. Too short to jump onto the bed, she had to make due on the floor. Since the arrival of Colin and now Baby D, Zoe, I think, prefers to sleep at the dog kennel where she is loved and doted over by the paid staff.

So what has come over me that I feel we need another dog? Does poor Zoe need new blood around the house in her twilight years? Isn't she enduring enough with Baby D's desire to pick her up and transport her across the room?

I found my new dog on, a place where animal shelters and rescues display their dogs for adoption. She is a bichon frise named Fluffy, of all things. She needs cataract surgery and is not house trained.

Just what I need.