Handle with Care. Please.

I’ll be cruising along, thinking I’m doing fine, and them BLAM! right into the brick wall of what being a single mama means. Tonight, while trying to handle a boy with the stomach flu who barfed all over my bed, I hit that wall. Stripping a king comforter, 6 pillows, sheets and blankets, for some reason was the trip-wire today.

I am fighting back tears, but they are winning. I have a sick child, and he needs me. I have two other kids who also need me. There is no “divide and conquer” anymore. It’s me. All me, all the time. Lugging the dripping laundry downstairs, my child starts to barf again, and I have to leave the laundry to attend him, wipe his brow, and give him comfort. And clean up Barf Part II.

I got the first batch of laundry going when I realized I have no bleach.When stomach flu hits, I don’t mess around; bleach is my friend. I am out. I cannot send someone to the store. I cannot run to the store. For some reason, the lack of bleach seems cataclysmic to me, and standing amid the pile of towels and pillow cases, I burst into tears.

They are hot tears of frustration, fear, anger, and aching sadness churned together with a fair dose rage and a dash of self-pity. Cursing my soon-to-be ex under my breath, I climb the stairs and begin putting my room back together. I had to dig to the back of the linen closet to find a king sheet, and then wrestled the thing on my bed. Crying the whole time.

Then I get to explain to my children why mama is crying. This is just so damn much fun. This is not what I signed up for. This is not what was supposed to happen. And yet, here I stand. Now what am I going to do with it? I suppose that’s the true test. Life sucks sometimes. It’s hard, and it’s not fair. At all. But… What am I going to do with it? What are you going to do with it?

And so I pick myself up again, wipe my tears, kiss my kids, say a prayer and carry on…

Gluten-Free Peanut Blossoms!

That’s two successful non-wheat recipes today! First, I made mac n’ cheese with some brown rice pasta The Wiz sent me from Arizona, and it was actually good! The elbows were firm and toothy, and not gummy at all, and I made a five cheese sauce, using up all the leftover Ementhaler, Asiago, Bleu, Gouda and Fontina from Thanksgiving. What? You don’t have a cheese tray on the holidays?  Best gluten-free recipe yet- until I made these. I got this recipe from a woman in my ward whose husband and daughter are Celiac, and they are the bomb. As you can see, there are some little elves eagerly waiting for them cool enough to scarf.

Gluten-Free Peanut Blossoms

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tps vanilla extract
  • 1 bag Hershey’s kisses

That’s it. Mix the peanut butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in your mixer until combined. Don’t worry if it’s crumbly. Roll into about 40  ping-pong sized balls, roll in granulated sugar, and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. At the ten-minute mark, take the cookies out and gently press a naked Hershey’s kiss into the center, thus creating the familiar crinkled and cracked edges. Pop them back in the over for 2 more minutes, then remove from baking sheet and cool. That’s it.  I know! It’s too good to be true, but I promise, they’re great!

Onward to Christmas…

The kids are bringing in the Christmas boxes from the garage as I type. The dishes are all done and put away from yesterday, and all orange is being stripped from the house.  (I just heard a crash…oh crap!) Thanksgiving is done, and while I will continue to find reasons for being thankful, the mishmash of sadness and loss that is the actual holiday for me is now behind. (the crash was minor, no one is bleeding)

I’ve got Christmas carols on, and we’re getting out Mr. Fakey Fakerson. This year, while I momentarily considered a real tree, the $50 price-tag dissuaded me, and I opted for a pine and cedar scented candle. I think it might be a decent compromise- I like it.

Nothing in the world could have persuaded me to go out this morning and hit the sales. Not a thing. I did try and find a paper yesterday, but after trying ten stores, only to have them all sold-out, I figured that was an omen, and I was wasting more gas than I would ever save, considering I had no intention of getting up at 4 a.m. to fight over the 6 items actually on-sale with the 2000 people in line. (run-on sentence of the year!)

My mom and my sister-in-law were out at 3 a.m.- and they eat this kind of thing up. More power to them- I know they are having fun and getting lots of good deals. My mom’s called me six times from various stores, and I get stressed out just listening to the chaos in the background. I think my mom used to be disappointed I’m not a more eager shopper, and I am grateful that my SiL seems to fill that spot!

p.s. added at 3:10 pm: The male parental unit has once again flaked out and cancelled on his children. I will not expound upon how that makes me feel, and the only thing I am glad for is that I never told the kids he was supposed to show up today. Someday, perhaps, I’ll throw caution to the wind and write about this mess. He always encouraged me to lower my self-censorship and write with greater abandon…

Count Your Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving. I’m revolting. By that I mean I am going to revolt against tradition, not that I’m disgusting. Although I might be disgusting- I don’t know- I did shower today. Anyway…

I holler Uncle. While I like the idea of a day of thanks, I really, really hate all the foods and gluttony associated with this day. I don’t like Turkey, marshmallows are disgusting, and they are in everything, from the yams to the jello to the pumpkin pie- which all three of those food, even without the marsh of mallows, would still be on my Hate-It food list. Stuffing and gravy can bite me. Mushy, soggy bread with turkey fat? How many ways can I say “No thank you!” Yes, I even hate pumpkin pie. I know. So sue me. I’m really sorry if we can’t be friends now- I promise I won’t care what your oddities are. I’m a picky eater. Oh yeah, that and the wheat allergy. Look around at your table and figure out what a Celiac could nosh… Yeah. Slim pickins.

The idea of getting out the good dishes, setting the table and putting on the pomp and circumstance of a formal holiday was just more than I could bear. Things are NOT normal, and no amount of pinecone centerpieces and orange cloth napkins is going to cover the fact that there is a permanent empty spot at our table. I’d rather not draw too much attention to it.  Believe me, no one forgets anyway.

So I’m revolting.

We are having a Mexican fiesta. I’m fixing pulled pork tacos, tamales, relano pie, guacamole (which you know I own) and even homemade corn tortillas. Nothing makes Beanie happier than squashing masa on the press. My single nod to tradition is a tiny, teeny little pumpkin pie I picked up for Jared, since he was in Iraq last Turkey Day. Otherwise, all bets are off.

Happy Turkey Day everyone. Count your blessing, name them one by one…

Bury My Heart

My soon-to-be Ex has not realized that there are clocks in the world, and that some hours are unseemly for phone calls. I’ve gotten calls at 1:10 in the morning, 11:30 at night 6:04 am, and at assorted times in between. This morning, he called to cancel his scheduled visit with our children today. It would have been only the third time he’s seen them since October 1st, but hey, some things are more important I guess.

I am determined to get through this without becoming bitter or angry, but sometimes it’s really, really hard. The task of telling the kids Dad has made other plans fall on me, and they have been counting the days until they see him all week. The part that kills me is the little seeds of hope and happiness this extinguishes inside of them. Dammit, it’s not fair! And while I can take a ton of unfairness myself, my heart just cannot absorb seeing their sweet innocence hurt by the idiotic choices of someone they love.

I promise not to let this renting take over my life. I just haven’t figured out where or how to dig the trenches and erect the ramparts.

A Small Personal Note

I’ve told you about Chelsea before. She’s the closes thing to a sister I have on earth- and I love her more than I can put to words- which is saying something. Chelsea and I are cut from the same cloth. We look so much alike that people who know us have mistaken us at a distance.  Matter of fact- this picture? Most people think it’s me. It’s not. It’s her. Chels has been on my mind a lot lately…

When I got married, Chelsea made me 1000 origami cranes. Really. She did. She folded them all herself from crisp white paper, and then she hung them  all over the house.  They were wonderful, and magical, and I loved having them surround me. There were hundreds over my bed alone. I left them up for months. The thing is, I cannot remember what happened to them, and for some reason, it’s making me sad. So many tidbits and crumbs of ourselves we leave to others, and then they just float away. I love you Chels, even if I don’t know what happened to the cranes.

A Million Little Pieces

I am struggling. Badly. Everything is just so damn hard right now. Just getting up and making the day happen takes all I can possibly muster, and I’m not even mustering it all that well. This computer thing has really got me bogged down and bummed. I cannot transfer pictures from my camera, I cannot type in Word, I cannot do my bookkeeping, I cannot create invoices, I cannot do ANYTHING except access the internet- for which I’m grateful, believe me- but having a computer that is nothing more than a netbook sucks. The wind has just been sucked out of my sails.

The kids are needy, and I am a husk. It’s a bad combination. The Holidays are upon us, and I am cowering in the corner. I’m not a cowerer. I’m brave. I can do hard things. So this malaise baffles me.  I can’t even seem to figure out what I need to do. I know I need money, but not having  a working computer is really hurting that venture. So sit here, paralyzed, unable to move forward, stuck.

Thanksgiving is in three days, and I don’t even give a crap. I hate turkey anyway. I can’t get it together enough to go figure out what I need to buy. I wandered around the market today with Jeff and Abby while Bean was at school, but I couldn’t figure out what to get, so I got some diet Dr. Pepper and a thing of Ben & Jerry’s. And the B&J doesn’t even taste good. Blah.

I’m sinking. I’m sinking, and I cannot figure out how to keep my nose above the edge of the water. I just want it to stop hurting. I have the presence of mind to know it will all be fine someday, and this will not last forever- but I just cannot see how to make it through the next few weeks without utterly falling apart. And I don’t like that feeling. Not one bit.