Monday, November 24, 2008

Things I Dig

Now, I do realize I'm not a "woman of color," unless you consider "pasty white" without a tan a color. I've always loved Pantene shampoos, and I really liked the line for curls, until they did something and changed the formula. At that point, it just didn't do it for me anymore.

Anyway, one day, I found some shampoo and condtioner on clearance in the "women of color" line. I thought hmm, the price is right, I'll try it.

I've always had wirey, coarse, thick hair. (Read "on the verge of making good on my promise to shear my head on a good day.") The shampoos and conditioner are wonderful, but I do caution to change it up every couple of days because it does tend to get a good build-up going on.

Next, I discovered that itty bitty section in our grocery for "women of color." Because, honestly, we are a rather light-complected community, so I suppose the 2 x 6 area devoted to these products is deemed adequate. And let me tell you something, I get some bizarre looks when I purchase these products. The checker-outer will look at the product, look at me, look at the product again, and get a slightly perplexed look upon their face.

One day while getting the strange look, I said, "I'm not ethnic, but my hair is, however that happened."

That'll teach them to look too closely at what I buy.

Anyway, I digress. This Olive Oil pack is a gift from the heavens above. I use it every couple weeks, and for 99 cents a packet, it's cheap and does the job.

While perusing that little section, I noticed this shampoo, "Dark and Lovely," was a close-out clearance. I imagine I'm the only person shopping that 2 x 6 section in our entire county. I thought what the heck, for $1.50, I wouldn't be out much if I didn't like it. Other than the fragrance being a little mediciney, it's also a great shampoo. Again, I can't use it many days straight without looking a bit like I dipped my head in an oil slick, but it's good stuff.

I did have my doubts, initially, that these products would work. After all, I did try those mane and tail shampoos meant for horses, and well, they didn't do anything for me. Didn't even make me whinny or stomp. Ok, just kidding. I did crave a salt lick. Ok, not really.

So, if you're like me - a nappy headed white girl - don't be afraid to check out these products. You might get looked at funny, but they do work miracles.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The SAHM Saga Continues

Once upon a time, about three months ago, stay-at-home mom was well on her way to becoming "The Crazy Cat Lady," so SAHM decided to look for part-time employment outside the home. She wavered a bit on whether to quit her weekly column, but she kept telling herself it would all get better, she'd adjust, and find time for writing.

SAHM found the almost ideal part-time job working 9-2 daily at a powersports distributor about two months ago. It wasn't too far from home, and she even commented that when the gas prices dropped, she was actually making even more money. While the work wasn't rocket science, and calling out to customers was sometimes a bit gruelling, she was adjusting to the routine. She managed to find some balance between house-work, work-work, and writing-work. She was far from superwoman, but you know what? She adjusted and was getting better at doing what needed to get done.

SAHM revelled in getting some new clothes and shoes for work because it was a casual dress atmosphere, so she was able to get some nice sweaters and boots. She found it was great to get out of the house and be someone other than "Mom" or "Hon." She revelled to the tune of almost blowing an entire paycheck on clothes, shoes, and jeans.

SAHM really dug the folks she worked with, too. The office manager was a youngin', but not in that annoy-the-piss-out-older-chicks way. She was, in fact, pretty damn cool. The two guys who worked in the warehouse were equally cool, and it was a fun atmosphere full of practical jokes, sidling up to scare each other. The latter of which was pretty easy considering one of the warehouse guys was deaf in one ear and didn't hear anyone approaching from his left side.

SAHM watched two people get laid off, but she was assured that she wasn't going anywhere. So, she started enjoying the fact that she was making some extra money. She bought a new bed for herself and husband, and even bought some new flooring for her dining room floor.

On Monday morning, she commented to the office manager it was really a great time to start working for the company because things had been slow. Orders had picked up the past few weeks, and instead of being frazzled, she sold four-wheelers and dirt bikes with ease. She learned which units were manufactured by which company, and even was learning the Chinglish that the workers for those company tended to speak.

Around 1:30, about a half hour before she was due to leave, she was looking up a go-kart when the warehouse manager came to the front office holding two sets of papers. It was then the bomb was dropped that SAHM was getting laid off.

And not just the SAHM/customer service representative, but the office manager as well. This was a total shock. But SAHM didn't cry even though she was slightly perturbed. She was even asked to clock out before her daily five hours were up. This seemed rather shitty, but the office manager was asked to vacate the premises, too.

After a conference call with the main man, SAHM collected her things and left. She sent texts to those important to her to deliver the news. She returned home, still in total disbelief, when she made a phone call from home to the main man. Perhaps, in March, they would call her back to work. She did the math on her fingers. Three months was a long time to be sitting around again.

She was glad, however, that she didn't quit her weekly column. She did appreciate the letter of recommendation she was given that stated her dismissal had nothing to do with her work performance, and she was highly recommended to other places of employment.

SAHM isn't enjoying being home this morning. Even after running the kids to school, doing the dishes, starting a load of laundry, sending two resumes, she's a bit lost.

She usually subscribes to the notion that everything happens for a reason, but she's not seeing a bright side this morning. Nope, instead, she's wondering what to do next.

Perhaps, she'll concentrate on some writing once again. Maybe she'll do a deep cleaning of the house. Who knows what she'll do next, but it's apparent she's going to miss working outside the home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What Was I Doing Again?

It used to be that either that I was at home or I wasn't. Where "wasn't" seemed to equal at the grocery. Thankfully, work has added some spice to my existence, so now I'm either at home, at work, or at the grocery.

Let's not forget one more location where I might be found - I'm either at home, at work, at the grocery, or sitting on a bleacher.

Wait, it seems like I'm spending a lot of time driving these days. So, I'm either at home, work, the grocery, sitting on a bleacher, or sitting on my ass driving. It's wrong. Wrong, I tell you. If I don't get out and have some fun soon, I really can't be held accountable for my actions.

Consider that a warning shot fired. Or else. Where "else" equals I'll just bitch about never doing anything fun on my blog some more.

So, tomorrow night is the regional round of the football play-offs. We are heading in a northwest direction about a hour and a half away. This is a slight relief because we could have been heading in a westernly direction towards IL, about 3 1/2 hours away. I'm nearly as nervous as my kiddo is about this game. I hope they take the field and play hard and strong, taking away another victory.

Oh, and where was I again? Yeah, after hauling a kid to wrestling practice, mopping the kitchen floor so that no one gets ptomaine poisoning from it, and doing some laundry, it was only then I realized I'd been blogging.

Adult A.D.D., anyone?

Anyway, here's the deep thought of the month:

Recently, I found myself in contact with a girl who was a classmate of mine in high school. We were never close, though as small schools go, we did share many of the same classes throughout the years. We had a couple mutual friends, and she was in band when I was in Color Guard. Yeah, okay, so I was a band geek one year if you count twirling a flag as being a band geek. And in my defense, I didn't even do it well. Hence, my one year tour in Color Guard.

I'm realizing some things. For one, teenagers are incredibly self-absorbed. I had no clue about her struggles. She had no clue about mine. I don't know that I ever stopped to think about what another kid was going through. The blinders were on focusing me solely on cute boys, fashionable clothes, and the school dance. Or, my nose was firmly planted in a book or writing in a journal.

And for two, well, I don't know yet, but I've enjoyed the conversations immensely. It's like taking a walk down memory lane with someone who saw the same landscape and landmarks much differently.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Don't Patronize Me, Cookie

My husband and I had a mutually desired outing to Lowe's yesterday. Typically, he's dragging me there. Or vice versa.

"Let's go to Lowe's," he'll suggest to me. This translates into, "Let's go roam every single aisle aimlessly with nothing in mind, and no extra money to spend."

When I suggest, "Let's go to Lowe's," it translates into a specific mission - getting paint, something to plant in the flowerbeds, bug killer, etc.

I think I lost the female shopping gene during childbirth that used to give me the undying desire to go walk around a place of business with only a few dollars in my pocket as a source of entertainment.

I wanted to go look at paint and flooring for the dining room. He wanted to go get a piece of plywood for the well-housing in the garage. I'd informed him when I started working that I most certainly would not be in the mood to thaw pipes in the morning before heading off to work, and that we needed to work on further weather-proofing around here. He concurred when I got a bit homicidal after crawling under the house several times last winter because of a frozen elbow going to the tub.

After leaving Lowe's, he asked me, "Anything else?"

He seemed to be in a good mood, so I said, "Stop by Fashion Bug. You can sit in the truck when I go in. I need a sweater."

He obliged. I guess since I was in there long enough to pick up a couple jackets, three sweaters, and two pairs of shoes, he worked up an appetite sitting there waiting on me. We went into the Chinese buffet place next door.

Man, I love that place. I don't eat red meat, and it's like heaven on earth for me with all the seafood and chicken. And crab rangoon? I could make a meal of that alone.

They brought the bill and the fortune cookies while my husband had excused himself to the little boys' room. I waited for him to return before I took a cookie, cracked it open, and read the fortune.

It read, "You are talented in many ways."

I chuckled. "What's so funny?" he asked.

I read it out loud to him, and he commented that yes, not many people can trip over their own feet, and that just might be considered talent.

"Isn't that a bit like being told 'you're special'?" I asked him. "I think my fortune cookie just patronized me. This cookie essentially says I'm special."

It reminded me of a text message a dear friend sent me a while back:

I don't care if you lick the windows, take the short bus, or occasionally pee on yourself. You hang in there, sunshine. You're friggin' special!

It's pretty bad when you're picked on by an inaminate object.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Crazy Kids, Crazy Neighbors, Crazy Mothers

My 17 year old has lost his flipping mind. Now, I'm not necessarily saying that there's no way I could have birthed this child. I've been known to teeter on the edge of sanity. Okay, I've been known to thrive there.

He came home from football practice, showered, and was off to a mandatory meeting at the nursing home where he works. While he was gone, I watched election updates, though I wasn't paying much attention.

He bursted through the front door rambling about biblical prophecies, Nostradomas, Muslim leaders, the end of the world, the Mayan calendar, and building a bunker.

"What in the bloody hell are you talking about?" I asked him.

He explained how this theory matched up with this one, and how the bible told him so, and oh my gosh, I was ready to find a sedative for him after he sat down at the computer and started looking things up. "If Obama is elected, we're all going to die. It's the end of the world, I'm telling ya. Just you wait and see. It says so right here."

"I read it on the internet. It must be true!" I told him.

I suggested that he get a grip and simmer himself down. He's known to work himself into quite a frenzy. No, I've no clue where he gets that. Nope. Not a one.

Last night, at 11, when they projected Obama the president elect, I nudged the youngest child from his sleep and told him. Then I went to the eldest child's room and tapped his leg until I roused him.

"History was just made," I told him. "Obama is president."

"Nu-uh. No way. You're lying," he replied.

"No, really," I told him and went back to bed myself.

I'd just settled in under the covers when I heard what sounded like gun shots. It wasn't, but someone around the corner was setting off one hell of a firework display. This didn't set well with the dog, and I must admit that my heart raced a bit because I did think it sounded like someone had been shot before I realized it was merely my neighbors celebrating. Idiots.

I must say I was unsettled. Though I had a bit of a hard time picking what I considered the lesser of two evils in this election, I had to wonder what was going to happen next. The loud noise ringing out into the night frazzled my nerves a bit, and I had a hard time drifting off to sleep.

"We're all dead," my son told me this morning as he surfed the web looking for more theories and predictions. It didn't matter what I told him, he's convinced the signs are there. I'm not sure which signs he's talking about, but he tells me they are there.

I gave up trying to calm him down. Instead, I started singing some R.E.M.

"It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...."

After all, singing always seemed to calm him when he was a wee one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Reader's Digest Version Update

This is Miss Yvonne. Yes, named after a character on "Pee-Wee's Playhouse." Good golly, I loved that show.

Anyway, Miss Yvonne is a pest. She's not one to light. Instead, she does her rendition of pacing on my lap. Or my chest. Or on my shoulders. As you can see, she doesn't mind having her ears flipped back to expose the biggest tufts of ear hair that I've ever seen on a cat, or on any animal for that matter.

This is how I amuse myself after a long five hours at work.

Yeah, work. It's going okay. Two people have been laid-off/let go/dismissed/your-services-are-no-longer-required. Sales are slow due to the economy. I'm told I don't have to worry about going next.

Though, I must admit there's a small part of me who longs to be at home working hard at nothing all day once again. Honestly. I've acclimated somewhat to the whole getting up and going to work thing. I'm still trying to strike some sort of balance between housework, grocery shopping, and working. Writing is still a struggle. I'm mentally exhausted when I get home. I think my brain has grown old and tired.

In other news, my son's varsity football team remains undefeated. Friday night is the final sectional game. If they win, we're off to regionals. I'm told we may have to go almost to the IL border for that game. But if they win that, semi-state will be at home. At the beginning of the season, it was said of the team that they could be the sleeper team of the season. It's truly a wonderous thing, and I'm so glad my son is having this experience. When they won the conference championship title, it was pointed out to me by a good friend that not many people can lay claim to being the champion of anything.

And, I guess, if nothing else, it gives him something to talk about when he's sitting around talking about those glory days. I'm thrilled for him and all the other boys on the team.

That might very well be a truth - that not many people win a championship. I've never been a champion anything.

Well, maybe not unlike Miss Yvonne, I'm a champion pain-in-the-ass.