News from the Trenches

I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed over here but what else is new, right? You know how when you move into a new place, you manage to keep it perfectly clean and orderly for about a year and a half. Maybe it’s a month and a half for you, but you know what I mean. You have some sense of control over your environment because you just moved into a new place and you unpacked everything to go exactly where it’s supposed to go?

And then after that honeymoon of everything being so fresh and new, you start to let go of control a little. The carpet isn’t always vacuumed everyday and your daughter tracks in bits of grass and the laundry isn’t quite folded the exact same day you washed it and the tracks in your shower door are starting to get moldy and gross and the grout in your kitchen tile is starting to collect coffee grinds…bla bla bla…?


Maybe it’s just me. I’m having one of those everything-is-gross-and-I’m-really-super-hyper-aware-of-it moments. Like I drank too much coffee and I need to pick at everything kinda feeling. I hate that. Life can be a little too vivid sometimes. I need to dial my awareness back a notch or drink two glasses of wine instead of the usual one.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say hi before I have to slap up another sponsored post. You guys are going to start thinking I only blog for money these days. Sad. Pathetic. What happened to my life where I blogged every little fart that passed?

So what else is new?

I dabbled in a little online dating this week. Of the free variety. What a crock!!! Oh my goodness. You know, there are a lot of creeps out there. I started chatting with three guys and all three of them turned out to be scam artists. In fact they may have all been the same scam artist using three different profiles. Thankfully, I caught on before I gave them my social security number and credit cards. Sheesh! Maybe the magazine-quality bio photos should have been a red flag? Hmmm….. I may be lonely but I’m not that lonely. I have met two real people who seem to be interesting. It’s kind of scary and fun at the same time. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I just hope they are as old and hopeless as I am. Or that they aren’t as old and hopeless as I am. It’s scary meeting people that you don’t know. You advertise your best self and then they are disappointed when you show up with a few extra pounds and a double chin or you under-advertise and you end up meeting whackos who are so insecure you have three online fights with them over whether or not you are really interested enough to meet in public. Maybe meeting someone at a bar is not so bad after all. I’m starting to think I do need to be drunk to date again.

But don’t worry. I’m fine. It was just something fun one day when I was bored and Bug was away on vacation with her dad. I am not becoming one of those moms who goes out every night. I probably am not going to meet anyone until I’m 60. We’ll have a hot shuffleboard date.

Secondly. I’m a little bent out of shape with lately. Have you noticed my book is out of stock every single day? I thought it was because it was so popular it was flying off the shelves. No. That is not the case at all. I sold about 37 books. Seriously.

They are just not printing them. Some kind of distribution battle between the actual printer and amazon. I’m just over it. If you want to buy my books, I say click over to Barnes and Noble. They don’t seem to have a problem keeping them on the virtual shelves.

In other book news, I will be reading at the Mesa Verde Library in Costa Mesa this Thursday the 12th at 7pm. I plan to do a little craft too and I don’t have anyone lined up to read the French parts for me so that might be a little piece of entertainment for you locals. Come listen to me make a fool of myself!

What’s new with you, pussycats?

If you give a mouse a cookie…

rodeo central aka the living room

I’ve had this really self-indulgent post in my mind for a while. Well, since the new year when we took down the Christmas tree. It’s basically pictures of my house and why I rearranged everything from top to bottom. Why would somebody spend time rearranging their perfectly functional house into a completely different functioning arrangement just for kicks and then spend an hour styling it just so for photos? AND THEN ANOTHER HOUR BLOGGING ABOUT IT?

UGH!! I do not know!! I am some kind of freak! This makes me happy and I can’t stop. I just secretly want to be Emily Henderson and this is all I have to work with. Maybe it has something to do with procrastinating and the fact that I can’t sit down and concentrate on work when there are objects of furniture jutting out at angles that offend me and certain first grader’s desks full of cluttery messes distracting me. %$#*%!

I know I’m ridiculous. What a luxury to spend the day moving furniture around. I’ve spent time at my friends houses recently where they have more than one child and it’s just plain chaos getting food on the table. I realize how good I have it. It is a complete luxury to obsess about one’s furniture and how it looks from the doorway.

So anyway. The neighbor girl helped me take the Christmas tree down. We were quite a pair lugging that giant thing down the stairs to the trash area in the parking lot, trying not to scrape up the walls with the metal base and not dump stinky, three-week-old Christmas tree water along my neighbor’s front step as we went. It was a huge tree. It took up the entire dumpster. It seemed like such a waste to throw out such a great beauty but it did make the trash smell nice. Maybe it will make the dump smell nice too.

Then when the tree was gone, there was this great big open spot in my living room and next to it was Bug’s desk covered with papers and crayons and marker pens, books, miscellaneous toys etc… Ugh. That desk drives me crazy. Bug has not inherited my appreciation of minimalism. Not one bit. And now it was just out there in the living room screaming for my attention. I could clean it every day for her (which I have done I must admit in shame) OR I could find some other place in the house that is not so much in plain view. I could hide it.

Bug's Library/School

So I did. I moved it into the bedroom with everything else! Now our bedroom is not a sanctuary for sleep. Hmmm…that kinda sucks. It is now the place where we put everything that I do not want to look at first thing when I walk in the front door. Hello stuff!

It’s just a weird Bren Shui thing. This is my rule that I made that I have to obey for who knows why. Maybe I’m OCD. Everything has to look good from the door. I can hide all kinds of clutter behind the door, in baskets in the bookshelf, in closets, in drawers…even around the corner in the bedroom. It just can’t be there visible from the doorway. The same rule applies at every doorway. So the clutter in the bedroom can’t be the first thing you see when you walk in the bedroom either. Or the bathroom or the kitchen…etc etc. It’s some kind of magnetic pull in my brain or something.

cozy bedroom

Thus the bookcase is now standing up on end, creating a little library nook for Bug. How nice that Ikea bookcases can go any which way. It’s like a puzzle.

hiding her mess

Clutter hidden. Success!

Dorm Couch

Then I moved the futon out of the bedroom into the living room because we always move it out there anyway when guests come over to stay and it weighs about a thousand pounds so that makes more sense. It looks kind of sloppy and college dorm-ish as a makeshift couch but the neighbors like it. Now they have somewhere else to sit besides my awkward yellow chairs.

my office

Then there was a weird awkward place in the bedroom where the futon used to be so I stole Bug’s shoe bookcase from the closet (she’s grown out of most her shoes and doesn’t need such a sophisticated way to store them anymore) and now I have a little bedside library.

chillin' in the library

It will probably last a month before I change it again. But it is kind of nice to have a place to put my massive collection of books I plan on reading. I used to just stack them by the bed and use them as a makeshift nightstand but that was not very functional either.

happy kitchen

And then since I was movin’ and improvin’ everything else in the house I decided to repot my poor baby banana tree and give it a bigger pot.


This poor plant. I don’t know what’s wrong with it. (It’s the one on the right) The fiddle leaf fig is doing great. It’s put out six leaves since I got it and every time it puts one out I want to throw a party. I threw away the instructions for the banana plant and I think it doesn’t like its soil. I think I need to get it sand or something…I don’t know, I need to look it up.

I hate it when plants require something besides normal potting soil because when you go to the nursery they always want to sell you potting soil and when you ask for something else they look at you like you are just landed from Mars. At least that’s been my experience. I know there are other plant lovers out there. Surely these big box garden departments have dealt with people asking for specific soils before, right? I don’t know. I just get discouraged and plant everything in potting soil and hope that my love and singing can take care of the rest. Sadly, I think the banana plant does not like my singing. It’s been in that dirt for a week and it still looks depressed. (Also? The dirt faintly stinks and it’s making it hard to cook.)

I just realized that my neurotic worrying about plants AND my habit of rearranging furniture for hours on end has solidly put me into a category of someone who has too much time on their hands.

Sigh. Maybe there is somebody out there like me…

I love my green things

Does this little corner of greenery make you happy? Will you be my best friend?

somebody needs to do the dishes

Whatever. At least I have my priorities straight and leave the dishes for later.

bake station

Oh! What’s this over here? You want to see my little Bake Station? Yes, I have moved the heavy KitchenAid mixer out of the cupboard and now it is living permanently on the counter. Why? Because it’s cold in my house and I have to bake every day to warm it up. Please come over and eat scones so that I don’t gain fifty pounds from all the butter. We can talk about soil. It’ll be great. Or maybe we’ll have a party for the baby fig leaf and bake a tiny cake in it’s honor.


And that is all. I am embarrassed of this post. I’m not going to write anything like this again for five months. I will write about important things like blueberry pancake mornings and Narnia parties and what is that thing hanging below my air conditioner/heater unit?