life

All posts tagged life

Nothing much

Published March 31, 2013 by Kim

So, we’re trying to clean out the house–get rid of toys, outgrown clothes, etc.–but it’s a losing battle with our kids. I put stuff in bags/boxes, they unpack it. I feel like I’m never going to make headway against them! Our house is a mess, and I never have enough time to do what needs doing. *sigh*

Meanwhile, I’m ready for vacation. I want to relax, have fun, and celebrate my birthday…but that’s weeks and weeks away. I’d say I wish it would hurry up and get here, but then it’ll be over just as quick. 😉

I don’t really have anything to say–I’m tired and haven’t felt an ounce of creatively or inspiration in a while. Maybe later?

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It’s raining men

Published October 6, 2012 by Kim

I like men.

I mean, I like men.

Tall, dark, and handsome. Lanky, muscular, easygoing, stern, quirky, nerdy, brilliant, regular Joes?–I like ’em.

(Full disclosure: I tried dating a short man, once. It didn’t go well. And when I say short, I’m saying my 5’6″ could go over his head if I wore low heels. It was an awkward date, and I ran–literally ran–through the dorm after the door locked behind me, just to get away from him and his intent to kiss me. Have you ever not wanted to be kissed so badly that you ran away? It was that bad.)

There’s something about a man. Tall enough to tuck yourself into him–under his chin, against his heart, his arms around you. Oh, such a nice feeling. Broad shoulders, the kind that hit you right there. Arms that you can sleep on like a pillow. A tuchus you could bounce a quarter on. Thigh muscles that make you sit up and beg. (I can never get enough of just looking.)

A good friend–my best friend–and I were chatting the other day on Facebook about an actor we both like (I’m married, but he is so on my list. Yes, that list. And if you’re a red-blooded female that likes men, not these poster boys the girls want these days, then put Neal McDonough on your list, too). We’re both attracted to how manly he is. Let me use her words for what I mean, because she sums it up oh-so-very-well:

“Just that in [Hollywood], all these guys are really thin with six-pack abs

and couldn’t lift a juicer, but he looks like he could split logs and get into

a bar fight and then drag an anchor across the grass or something.”

That’s what I’m talking about. A man.

We’re surrounded by a society that glamorizes these…boys. Half of them seem rail-thin, and look fit because they’re so lean. Yeah, okay, they exercise, they take care of themselves–but they look soft. These are not guys that look like they could do hard work, like splitting rails for fences or throwing bales of hay or some such. They reek of having an easy life, or having the appearance of one, because that’s what they know–what they expect. I like a man with a little hardness about him, something in the edges that doesn’t blunt or fade. I need someone I know can literally do the heavy lifting when it’s needed. And I want a man who can make me feel like a girl.

Take Mark Harmon, for example–he seems far more easygoing in real life than his character (and boy, do I love Gibbs), but if you’ve read anything about him, you know he works hard. He built his own house, for Pete’s sake! He’s not a talker, he’s not prone to making much of himself. Those young fellows of Hollywood clamor to be seen and heard, and while they flash in the pan, there are actors out there who take the world in stride and do the best they can without making asses of themselves. Actor or no, that’s the sort of man I admire.

(Here’s where people wonder what kind of complex I have. I don’t think it’s any different than any other girl liking men that remind her of her father. I do like older men, and I like them quiet, more than a little stubborn, willing to butt heads with me, and still be a font of comfort and humor–but not all the time.)

~*~

It would be nice if I could post something that doesn’t devolve into a stream-of-consciousness thought–alas, so goes my brain. I suppose, in short, I miss seeing honest-to-God men out there in the world. If you’re not running into a cocky jock, it’s a metrosexual. Both are useless. Give me a man with layers, with a quietness and strength about him, a reticence that falls away when he’s peaceful, resting, secure. There’s something inherently fulfilling about being that person to a man like that–the one he feels himself with, and knows he can set aside the armor he wears in the world.

You can keep your Edwards and your Jacobs–give me my Rhetts, my Wyatts, my Jethros. Leave the Mulders and the Malcoms and the Grissoms to me and my kind. We know what to do with them.

Kissing

Published September 26, 2012 by Kim

Trashy books (which I adore) and movies (ditto) seem to consistently indicate that kissing is this all-consuming, mind-blowing, thought-derailing, earth-shattering experience–first kisses and tense-moment kisses, at least.

What I’d like to know is whether I’m a freak for not feeling that way.

Permit me to explain–

My entire adult life, from very-first-kiss onward, through different men, right up until my wedding (and beyond), I’ve typically been thinking during kisses. I might’ve thought about the boy kissing me, about how it felt. I might’ve thought about the taste, particularly in comparison to other kisses. If it wasn’t a good kiss, I might think about how I wished he’d hurry up, or how bored I was, or how I hoped the date would end soon.

I’ve made lists (grocery, to-do, plot bunnies) in my head during kisses. I still do. It’s not that I don’t enjoy kissing, or that I’ve never had good kisses–I’ve just never had one that left me reeling, or just forced other inputs from my mind and said This is Amazing.

~*~

So, are we all like this–capable, even in the most intimate of moments (not just kissing), of putting our brains somewhere else and being completely disassociated from what we’re doing physically? Is this another one of those Unrealistic Expectations we stumble into?

Or am I really…odd? It’s not like anyone talks about it, after all.

Parenting is hard

Published August 12, 2012 by Kim

My eldest, L, is spoiled. Pain-in-the-rear spoiled. Some of it is related, I believe, to how lax we were with him when he was very small. (He had apraxia of speech and was effectively non-verbal–that made it hard to discipline him when we could hardly understand him.)

The problem I recurrently encounter is my MiL. Since L was born (he and D are her only grandchildren), she’s treated him as if he can do no wrong. Oh, there are the times where it’s “now, L, you shouldn’t do that” and–if she’s very exasperated–a firm “no.”

Other times, however…like two weeks ago. We were at Lowe’s, the kids had just finished their kiddie building project, and D found a decorative yard stake of a butterfly that she wanted. It wasn’t much, so I agreed. L decided he wanted something, so. Said to choose something–whereupon he marched off with B and returned with a $20 book. I said no.

Cue massive meltdown. I mean down on the floor wailing. It was horrifying and embarrassing. He’s seven years old for Pete’s sake! I was angry, and couldn’t do anything about it (there’s a whole ugly history about MiL not liking how I handle the kids), until I finally told him that I wasn’t buying him anything after such reprehensible behavior. We get out the door and halfway to the car, and MiL escorts him inside and buys him one of the yard stakes.

The tears and whining dried up like someone turned off a tap.

I was raging. I’m still frustrated, because I tried to talk to her about this whole thing, and she turned her back on me and started doing her dishes. Ten minutes later, she’s suddenly announcing that she likely won’t be going with us to Florida next weekend. No mention of feeling bad until now. Do I believe her? I don’t know. It was awfully convenient, but she’s not in the best of health…that’s not the point, though! Why, when I’m trying to address the spiral my son is in, do I get tuned out?!

Why can’t she recognize that we’re hard on him now so he’s not a disaster when he’s older? Why can’t she support our parenting, rather than undermine it?

Time

Published August 6, 2012 by Kim

It’s been a while–please accept my apologies. No excuses, no reasons, just…yeah.

Anyway.

~*~

A man I used to go to church with–who later married a cousin of ours–was killed last week. It was a car accident–he ran off the edge of the road, overcorrected, collided with another vehicle. The other driver walked away with minor injuries…but my cousin’s husband, S, wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. He died en route to the hospital, leaving behind his wife and two daughters. He was 37.

Firstly, I wanted to slap him for not wearing his seatbelt. To know a simple length of reinforced cloth would’ve likely stood between him and death is angering. But there’s aught for that now. What’s done is done, and his wife is picking up the pieces. I saw her, tonight, at the funeral home; she was half-hearted, broken smiles and hugs for people she hadn’t seen in years. His daughters weren’t in the receiving line with her–the eldest (fifteen) had wandered off with someone’s baby, and I saw her laughing and bouncing it on her lap in the entryway (where everyone coming in passed her); the younger girl (about thirteen) looked blank, distant…which I fully expected–and I was standing in that line, grasping B’s hand like it was the only thing grounding me. My mom was directly in front of me, my uncle and aunt ahead of her. If my father had been in town, I’d have gravitated to him, too, as shelter. Funerals for younger people–people near my age, especially–affect me in strange ways, and have done so since the death of a girl in our church (that same church) when she was fifteen and I was fourteen. I saw myself in her, then, as I saw B in S, now. It terrified me…I suppose it still does.

As we approached the casket, I saw pictures his family had put out. There, off to the side, was one of S when he graduated high school. That’s how I remember him–when he was eighteen and absolutely convinced he loved me. I was fifteen and unimpressed. I’d never had a boyfriend and had no idea what I wanted, but I knew it wasn’t him. And I remember walking away from him outside the church and telling him that I didn’t love him, and I wasn’t going to. I don’t believe I even looked back.

Good God, I was a callous thing. But he was insistent that we were great for one another, and I knew better. Even at fifteen, I knew there was someone, something, I was meant for…(and he’s sleeping on the other side of this queen-sized bed, only a tiny, towhead girl between us.) After all this, I cling to him a little harder, kiss him a little more lingeringly, watch him a little more closely. I love him too much not to be reminded (how harshly!) how fleeting life is.

They’ll bury S tomorrow–his family will commit the spirit to heaven, and the body to the warm, red clay in the midst of a blistering Carolina summer. His wife will go home and slowly come out of shock, likely with little time before bills and needs come knocking…his daughters will go back to school and be the ones people talk about, for a little while, at least…and he will lie, moldering, under a grassless rectangle of crimson soil.

Health and Getting Older

Published February 23, 2012 by Kim

Had my check-up last Wednesday–everything looked good, but I had some questions for my doctor…namely, to inquire again about these odd sensations from my heart. It’s a fluttering (sometimes, pounding) that makes me feel a little breathless, and only lasts a few moments. (Quite literally–it’s mere seconds.) I’ve asked before, but it’s never been answered.

The other day I was working, came upstairs, and sat down…I wasn’t stressed, or overwrought, or anything that I would consider a trigger (including standing up too quickly, which I’ve found causes this feeling, too), but my heart felt as if it was going to come out of my chest. What ran through my head was, “Oh, Lord, if I fall out, no one’s gonna find me for HOURS”…which, I admit, is probably one of the dumber things I could’ve had on my mind, but I figure most folks aren’t bastions of logic in moments of crisis/fear.

In any case, this was very much on my mind when I went for my appointment–Dr. B was wonderfully nice and conversational, as usual, and took great care in listening to my heart to see if he could hear anything wrong. He found nothing, of course, and said we’d probably need to rule out any connection to my (practically non-functional) thyroid first. I had my blood drawn, and the results came yesterday–my thyroid medication is working fine, so that rules out that issue. (My cholesterol was high–one point over maximum “good” range, and increased LDLs–so I’m going to see if dietary changes help.)

I’m left, now, with visiting a cardiologist. I’ll go–not yet, since I have to find out who’s any good that also takes our insurance. I might cross-check the highest rated doctors at my employer against the network list for hubby’s coverage. 🙂

I’m taking this in stride…well, trying to…because I know that cardiac problems are in my family medical history. Actually, a lot a problems show up, including diabetes, so I’m probably a ticking time bomb. *sigh* I’m working on losing weight (despite the sabotage of birthday cake and Valentine’s Day candy), eating more fruits and veggies, and not going crazy with sugar, but I’m not exercising. I know, I know–I need to. But I’m so lazy. It’s hard.

Maybe I’ll get more motivated come spring. Going on walks with the kids sounds appealing. 🙂

Nationali-tea?

Published January 17, 2012 by Kim

I’m a Southerner–bred, born, and raised in the South–and if there’s one thing we love down here, it’s tea.

Yes, we drink it cold. Brew it, jug it, cool it down (or pour it over ice, if we’re in a hurry). The colder the better (and I suppose I should admit ice is in there, anyway). I’ve always been a Lipton girl, myself; Luzianne never tastes quite right. I’m also a fan of Harney & Sons Cinnamon Spice tea, as well as a good English Breakfast. I still need a bit of sweet, though.

For the record, “instant” tea is anathema, and should be outlawed. Brew it, or don’t drink it at all.

~*~

Back in 2002, my husband and I went on an Alaskan cruise. I think we were the youngest guests on board, and probably the only ones from below the Mason-Dixon line. Here’s how our first night at dinner went (bearing in mind soft drinks cost extra, while the dinner was included in our fare)–

Waiter: “What would you like to drink?”

Us: “What do you have, other than soft drinks?”

Waiter: “Bottled water, tea, milk…” (the rest we didn’t hear)

Us: “Tea.”

Waiter: “Okay, tea.”

Us: “Wait–is it sweet?”

Waiter: (looking as if we’d sprouted third eyes in the middle of our foreheads) “No, but you can add sugar.”

(Now, anyone who knows anything about sugar knows it will not dissolve in cold tea.)

Us: “Oh, no–can we get it hot?”

Waiter: “Absolutely.”

Thus was set a precedent for every meal of the trip. We came to dinner, our waiter (Rue? Rui? I forget) brought us these adorable little teapots and cups. We steeped, we poured, we sweetened, we drank. Rinse and repeat, feel wonderful from all the delightful flavonoids.

Here is what happened about midway through the trip, after some introductions to a couple absent from the table those first few nights–

Table Guest 1: “What are you drinking?”

Us: “Tea.”

Table Guest 2: “Are you English?”

Us: (dumbfounded) “Uh, no. We’re from North Carolina.”

Table Guest 2: “Do you always drink hot tea?”

Us: “No, we usually drink sweet tea–iced tea. But we like hot tea, too.”

Table Guest 2: “Oh.”

Now, if I may point out again, we are from the South. The American South. We sound, in no way, as if we are from any part of Great Britain. I was amused (mightily) at the assumption that tea drinker = English. It made me wonder if, by enjoying biscotti, they would’ve assumed we were Italian. Would I also be French if I publicly confessed my love of crêpes? Does a fajita craving make me Mexican?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a kettle to put on to boil. Oh–if you’re wondering, I do have a whistling kettle, but I use my electric one more often. A Southern girl can have her tea in a thoroughly modern way, you know.