Did Somebody Say Aebleskiver Asylum?

Okay, I didn’t really have any aebleskivers; yet, of course. And I’m not in an asylum. But yesterday I started off my three day tour of this strange Danish town by sharing with everyone the story of how my husband sent me to Solvang, CA, on a little bit of a “mental health retreat” since I’m Pookie-less and in a bit of a funk these days.

Yesterday we established that if you have a case of the funks, Solvang can provide a fix through: (1) the eating and drinking; (2) weird, bizarro-shit; and (3) shopping.

Today the trip continued into this faux Danish town and all it’s glories.

#4 If the fix for a case of the funks is shopping (which we all know it is, and already established Solvang is good for), Solvang is the place for it.

I won’t go into the entire list of things that I purchased; although, I will say this: the majority of it was not for me. It was for my family. I got food, I got souvenirs, I got rosemary olive oil that may as well be gold for what it cost. And while just about everything in Solvang is overpriced, I am happy to say I found some pretty good deals regardless.

The one thing I got for myself that I must discuss at length, though, is something that I never thought I would find up here: a zebra-printed apron. I almost screamed in the middle of the shop when I saw it.

#5 If the fix for a case of the funks is bizarro tourism crap, Solvang is the place for it.

I originally planned on hitting up the miniature pony farm to see the cute 34 inch ponies, but that got scratched after 15 minutes of driving around looking for it to no avail. Instead, I returned to the downtown area of Solvang and went to the Hans Christian Andersen museum.

The museum, itself, was a little drab. It’s a little larger than a room and has a bunch of old copies of the guy’s books, plus a doll house and a head bust of Andersen, himself. Below the museum, though, is the Book Loft – which had tons of amazing books I spent about an hour looking through. I could have spent more, but I was getting hungry.

Later in the day, I went to the Old Mission Santa Inez. The mission nearby where we live sits on a busy street, and is always noisy. There is a garden in the center of it, but “peaceful” is never something I envision it to be. Old Mission Santa Inez on the other hand, is a quiet gem nestled above rolling hills and vineyards. There is an awesome outdoors Stations of the Cross installation; and there are benches that you can sit on to just relax.

Clearly this mental health thing is working, because while I was sitting in the quiet outside the mission, I realized that this is the first time of true quiet I’ve had since my vacation almost six months ago, to Chicago. What is wrong with that picture? Everyone’s lives are busy. When you have kids, there is always noise (except when the kids are in bed). But I think in our house, we go beyond that. Something is always on – be it a radio, a cd player, a computer, or a TV. We never just sit and enjoy the quiet together.

This has got to change or I will for sure be admitted to Aebleskiver Asylum, and for longer than just a few days.

#6 If the fix for a case of the funks is gambling away all your life’s savings, then Solvang is the place for it.

I didn’t actually gamble away all our life’s savings. I only gambled thirty bucks. And I lost it all.

There is an Indian Casino just a few miles North of Solvang, and I’m familiar with it because my mother used to come up here all the time to gamble in the middle of the night with her boyfriend; and also because on my birthday this year I came up and won about 300 dollars on Keno.

No such luck this time. At 30 I gave up. During the day, the place is also filled with tons of old people smoking cigarettes, so 30 minutes and 30 bucks was about it for me.

So now I’m heading out again – for some more of #1 (the eating and the drinking). The credit cards are going to have to rest now, and my liver will pick up the slack. On the third Wednesday of the month, Solvang has a Wine Walk – $20 for a glass and 5 tasting room tickets. After the Wine Walk I’m going to venture up to Santa Ynez (the town) to eat dinner. Much like Solvang, Santa Ynez has it’s own theme – only rather than Danish, it’s the Old West. Who knew in the middle of wine country you could find so much weirdness?

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What a Terrible Tuesday

Today has been such a terrible day that drinkie time has been pushed up a little bit. I was originally supposed to have afternoon cocktails with some friends before my Trailer Trash Mom’s nightmarish text message put the kibosh on that anyway, so I’m doing it big. Before I describe this Terrible Tuesday to you, though, faithful blog followers, let me first start with a little disclaimer:

Every time I post a blog like this where I’m either (a) venting about my day; (b) describing some horrifically ridiculous situation; or, (c) both a and b, I am not – by any means – trying to solicit pity. I constantly get comments from people that say things like “I’m so sorry you had to deal with that” or “why do you put yourself through that, B(itch)?” And while I appreciate those words of thoughtfulness and encouragement to the highest degree – to the highest – I really do kick back and find humor about all the stupidity that seems to surround my life here in beautiful southern California. All my rants and dramas about my Trailer Trash Mom; all my complaining about my often-jerkish husband and his family that hates me; all my encounters with the assholes in my community – from the horribly opinionated summertime overachieving parents (SOAPs), to your everyday judgmental members of my community – all of what I share with you, my faithful blog followers, is purely anecdotal. I want you to see the bizarre and sardonic humor of it all like I do.

So with that being said, here’s my Terrible Tuesday.

My dad’s afraid of a lizard the size of my pinkie

Okay, so I think I recently mentioned that my father lives near to us and I like to call his home my “Free Laundry and Storage Facility.” Last night we went to do our laundry there (of course the husband always stays at home); and I ended up staying the night because the laundry wasn’t finished, and quite frankly dad had bought donuts for breakfast.

This morning though, it was about 180 degrees in his house, with just one window open. Two things happened at this moment: first, I got up and saw that my blog’s Facebook fan count had grown to literally quadruple what it was last night (if you aren’t a fan, you really should become one …) and then the other shoe dropped and my 69 year old dad flipped the fuck out because of a small lizard that is apparently his arch nemesis.

To sum it up in a nutshell: a few weeks ago, a small lizard, no larger than my pinkie finger, got into my dad’s garage. Since then he has seen it twice and decided that the only way to keep this little baby lizard out of his house is to keep it airtight shut, with the exception of one window.

So this morning, it was already something like 180 degrees in the house and I was finishing my laundry, sweat dripping from places I didn’t even know I could sweat. And then we had bath time, which added another 30 degrees to the house because of the humidity and then there was whining that a donut was not enough and “why can’t you make scrambled eggs?!” and now it was 250 degrees in the house and the heat from the stove as I scrambled the motherfucking eggs was actually blurring my vision.

You can see how the day got started. I wish the high of an additional 543 Facebook fans withstood this drama.

Then my fruit roll-ups were ruined, my cooking utensils put away, and the cabinet was reorganized.

Ugh. So then we got home and brought the laundry in. I went to the kitchen to see that my fruit roll-ups had again been ruined. This is the second time and it isn’t that it’s a bad recipe at all. I don’t want to talk about it beyond that.

But then I was getting to work prepping everything for dinner because my two elderly grandparents are coming over for dinner, along with my Trailer Trash Mom; and I saw that not only had my Ninja been put away when I wanted it to be left out, but my cooking pans cabinet had – again – been reorganized. My husband has never really gotten the whole concept that I need some space of my own, for things to be my way; he also has forgotten time and again that I have steel rods on my spine and a rotator cuff injury from forever ago. The cabinet is organized the way I need it to be organized, for both ease and physical ability, which is “messy” to him, so he constantly reorganizes it. This weekend, the refrigerator was reorganized and it was done so horribly that yesterday I was going to get eggs out and the egg carton fell, breaking three eggs into some fresh vegetables – ruining the whole thing.

You see? I have things set up a certain way for a reason. And it is my space. At this point in the day, I decided that (1) drinkie time was definitely coming early, and (2) tomorrow I will be heading to my husband’s work and rearranging things there so that he can see how it feels.

And in the coup de grâce of this Terrible Tuesday, my mother learned to text message, and showed up 4 hours early

Who shows up to dinner four hours early? I said seven. Not three.

But it gets better than that.

You all know about the antics of my Trailer Trash Mom. About a year ago she married this awful hillbilly guy she knew in high school and since then it’s all been downhill. She’s never really qualified for mother of the year – I mean, abandoning my father and myself when I was only 8 kind of set up the precedent for that. In any event, she’s back from her home in New Mexico, where she resides for part of the year with her husband, the other part here near my grandparents, helping them out.

So she sent me a text message shortly after we got home and it said the following:

Wood you lke to GO SwmMG? G n G n I Wll b there @2 or 3

She apparently was asking if I wanted to go swimming. At my own pool. A little later she sent another, saying she’d bring her bathing suit J N C.

Indeed. My mom texts now, and incoherently (at best).

So then they showed up and it was 3 o’clock, when I told them 7. No big deal, right? Wrong. I had plans. Plans to have afternoon drinks with a couple of my friends that were going to be coming through town. This annoyed me, but I had already started my own early drinkie time so – whatever, right?

Wrong. Then my mom broke out the “souvenirs” she brought from her and her hillbilly husband’s trip to Nebraska.

“Heather, we ate a lot of corn, and Nebraska is the Corn State and all … so I went to Ralph’s down the street and got you guys some popcorn. Sorry, though … I ate a couple of the bags last night when I got to town.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

Then it went where it should never have gone. She broke out the bottle of wine that she got for dinner, as my grandparents were in the other room completely out of earshot.

“I have never heard of this Menage a Trois wine before, but I’ve always wanted to be in a threesome so thought it would be a good one to get.”

Indeed. In. Fucking. Deed.

Please note: it is only 3:30. God only knows what will happen from here. This Terrible Tuesday can only go down – down into the depths of family dinner hell. Who knows what else this day has in store?  But again, we should all be laughing about this, because – quite frankly – it’s freaking hilarious. I’m laughing right now.

Stay At Home Suckers

So just a couple days ago I posted about the Stay at Home Mom versus Working Mom debate. There is absolutely nothing new or breaking about this debate. It’s been going on for what feels like forever; and – really – it is a matter of personal choice and nothing more.

And then today I went to lunch and sat – unfortunately – at a booth next to the loudest and nastiest Working Moms that I have ever encountered.

From their patent leather briefcases to their arrogant and pompous attitudes, these ladies were without a doubt, douchesausage material. They were both loud talkers, so the entire restaurant could hear them. And they were candidates for the world’s bitchiest mothers.

I told my four year old that crying is for sissies and if she has to do it, go outside.

I have too many reports to get in to do school supply shopping this year, so my husband is handling it; which is good because I could care less about supplies as long as the kids are taken care of by someone else.

So when I dropped her off at soccer, I saw some of those Stay At Home Suckers and just pitied them. I wouldn’t be able to handle my life being so boring and meaningless. I mean – they just do nothing all day!

Just a few of the gems that came from these two assholes before they clomped out of the restaurant in their Payless Shoe Source pumps.

So as to the boring and meaningless part: I can admit that as a SAHM, life can be a little mundane. You can only mop so many floors or wipe so many asses before things start to seam a little blasé. But mixed in among those terribly meaningless tasks, there really is a whole lot of meaning. And as for boring; and doing nothing all day … well, I shouldn’t even have to justify that. But were I to …

9:00 AM My Rebecca Black-ish song would not begin at 7:00 am, at least this morning. I sleep in and get up at around 9 o’clock, only to dick around on the Internet for about 30 more minutes.

9:30 AM I make crepes for breakfast. Strawberry crepes, to be precise; and no fatty crap in it so they are completely nonfat and full of antioxidants. After crepes: shower, makeup, hair.

10:30 AM While straightening my hair I finally notice that Pookie has taped something to the bottom of my mirror. I debate for the next 30 minutes while getting dressed whether this is a sign that I am winning at parenthood, or that children should never be allowed near me. I conclude that I am winning.

11:00 AM I yell and scream for about 15 minutes to “get dressed, brush teeth, wash face, wash hands, brush hair.” I feel like a broken record because for some reason other things come up – Agamemnon did something cute or a book seemed more interesting.

11:30 AM We are out the door and on the way to my father’s house, what I like to call “My Free Storage and Laundry Facility” to get my canning materials. Pookies has a 12 day trip with the Biological Bum coming up next week and asked me to can peaches to take with. We get to my dad’s by noon and he rambles about football or something for a while – my stomach is growling too loudly to hear.

12:00 PM Sawasdee for Thai. Lunch specials are nice, although Toys ‘R’ Us is next door, so between listening to the douchesausage Working Moms and eating my food, I field the begging for toys. I stick to my guns. There will be no Toys ‘R’ Us today.

1:00 PM I make a last minute decision to combine all of my stops into one, big shopping trip at Target. World Market, Home Depot, Barnes and Noble, Staples – they all get crossed off the list and we are heading for Target to get everything there.

1:15 PM On the way to Target we stop at a farm-stand to get peaches for canning. The owner asks me if I ever shop at the farmstand down the street. I say “not usually” and she says that if I promise to never shop at the other one again she’ll give me discounts. I get a flat of strawberries, a flat of peaches, and eight pounds of apples for $26. I drive away having no clue what the fuck I’m going to do with all this fruit.

1:30 PM Target. There is nothing special about Target – ever. I “check in” at Target because I want to become the Mayor of it on foursquare, but am then reminded that recently I became the Mayor of Chuck E. Cheese, for which I want to slit my wrists. I avoid the razor aisle intentionally.

2:15 PM Quick stop at Petco to get the new ‘fluff -n- stuff’ cage liner for Agamemnon. The check out guy makes a joke that he was electrocuted to explain his wild hair. I don’t give a fuck for his little antics.

2:30 PM We are home. The car is unloaded. I discover that Pookies left the milk out of the fridge all day, so will have to head out to the grocery store later. In the meantime, I clean the kitchen in preparation to destroy it canning peaches after setting out the homeschooling stuff for the day. Thankfully, homeschooling I planned for today is all do-it-yourself, so Pookies goes into autopilot.

2:45 PM Discover that the dishwasher is still broken, despite it being fixed over the weekend by hottie maintenance guy. Spend 15 minutes on hold while washing the dishes that did not get cleaned. Hang up out of anger that no one ever answered.

3:00 PM I put away all the stuff from Target and assemble the lamp I bought to make our living room look less like a dungeon. While doing so, I whack myself over the head and give myself a headache. Wine will fix that.

4:00 PM I scrub the toilets, dust all the rooms, and vacuum. Then I realize that Agamemnon’s cage needs to be cleaned, so I clean the cage and re-vacuum.

5:00 PM I realize I have not planned dinner. Wine will fix that. A little tipsy, I decide to throw together some pasta with bread. More wine. Headache gone. Agamemnon happy.

6:00 PM Time to can. I burn the shit out of my hand while sterilizing the jars. Wine will fix that too.

6:45 PM Now my feet hurt. A lot. I’ve been on my feet and moving (with the exception of our Thai lunch and travel time) for almost 10 hours now. I’m pretty sure wine will fix even that. Husband reaffirms that by pouring more for me.

7:15 PM I completely forgot the milk and God forbid we have no milk; and now I probably shouldn’t drive anyway because wine has fixed four or five ailments at this point. Send husband for milk and he gets huffy. Don’t care.

7:30 PM Bath time! Worst fucking time of the day, I shit you not. I field something like forty-five inquiries about how long the bath has to be, how much has to be washed, and what alternatives are an option. “No alternatives are an option and if you don’t can it, you’ll stay in the bath the rest of your life” is what I feel like saying, but I just smile and say assertively “GET IN THE TUB.”

8:30 PM Bathtime is finally over. Pajamas are on and everyone appears to be ready for bed. I’m so tired I can barely see straight anymore, so I collapse on the couch to start working on another transcription for my dad’s next book. These transcriptions are terribly interesting but horrifically tedious to do. Wine will fix that.

9:00 PM After 20 minutes of transcription, I decide to blog instead. Now that my blog is written, there is only one more thing left to do: make myself look as horrible as possible, or come up with an excuse – any excuse – to keep my husband at bay. Fortunately, I am so tired and wine has fixed so many things today that I’m pretty sure this won’t be an issue.

Meaningless? Maybe some of it. Boring? I don’t think so. Do nothing all day? Yeah fucking right. I wish I could do nothing all day. I suppose I’m nothing more than a Stay At Home Sucker in the end; but I’d rather be a sucker than wear tacky Payless Shoe Source pumps and carry a dumb looking briefcase everywhere.

Goodnight.