HAS ANYONE SEEN MY MIND? I SEEM TO HAVE LOST IT

Remember that famous anti-drug commercial from the 80’s that went something like this?

This is your brain.

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This is drugs.

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This is your brain on drugs.

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Well, here is my personal version of that ad…

This was my brain.

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This is kids.

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This is my brain after having those kids.

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Seriously, check out a few incidents just this month alone in the “am I losing my mind?” department…

1.   I came home from grocery shopping the other day and parked in our driveway.  Made about three trips from the car to the house carrying all the groceries in.  I put everything away and started puttering around the house doing laundry, starting dinner, etc..  Over an hour later my husband goes outside and hears a car running on our driveway.  That would be my car, which apparently I simply hopped out of and never turned off upon returning from the store.  All I could think was wow, you’ve got to be pretty spaced out to return to your car THREE times on your driveway on a quiet country road and never once notice it running.

2.  Decided to make pancakes and eggs one morning and the pancake canister seemed to jump out of my hands for no reason…

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Crap.  What could be more of a pain in the ass to clean up than fine, powdery pancake mix splattered everywhere?  Oh, right.   That would be the sticky, slippery raw eggs I dropped two minutes later.  Cheerios anyone?

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3.  I had to return a chainsaw to Home Depot and do some other shopping there, which means traveling off-island.  Not that big of a deal but you really don’t want to forget something because it’s an hour round-trip back if you do.  I’m driving down my street when I realize I forgot to bring the main reason I was going…the chainsaw.    Went back home and grabbed it, relieved that I noticed it wasn’t there before I had gone too far.  Get back on the road and twenty minutes into driving I look over at the chainsaw on the seat next to me and notice something else missing.  My purse.  Which has my wallet and the receipt.  I turn around for the second time this outing and go back.  It’s really not so bad living on an island where nothing is convenient except for the days you’re an absentminded airhead.

4.  As I was getting ready to leave the house a couple of days ago I picked up my cellphone off the kitchen counter and put it in my pocket.  Grabbed my purse and walked about 20 feet out to the car and somehow thought to myself, “Shoot, I forgot my phone.”  Went back inside and searched all over the house for my phone until I realized where it was and also realized that I had deemed it forgotten less than one MINUTE after putting it in my pocket.   Remember the Saturday Night Live skit “Mr. Short Term Memory” with Tom Hanks?   Totally me.

5.  I saw a play recently and one of the characters in the play was this derelict, dirty, really scary looking bad guy.  The actor who played him was absolutely amazing as he totally creeped me out with his performance.  A few days later I was at a store when I spotted him…the amazing guy from the play!  I walked right up to him and said, “Hello, I saw you in the play last week.  You were great!”  The guy looked at me through bloodshot eyes and said, “What?  You think I was in a play?  Ha, ha, ha, ha!”  and started laughing maniacally as I suddenly realized my mistake.   You’d think I would know that the actor playing the derelict wouldn’t actually LOOK like a derelict when not in character.   No, I marched right up to an actual dirty, really scary looking guy and struck up a conversation about the theatre.  My husband thought this was hilarious when I told him what happened.  Yeah…hilarious.  The crazy part is shortly after that happened my family and I actually saw the real guy from the play at a restaurant and we stopped and told him how incredible we thought his performance had been.  And, oh yeah, he was neat, clean, smiley and not scary looking at all.

6.  I usually write my blog entries in my head and while thinking about this one last week, I was on my way home from the store to pick up Ava at her bus stop.  I was so wrapped up in thinking about losing my mind, that I drove straight home instead, actually passing right by the bus stop on my way.  I didn’t realize I forgot to get Ava until I was on my driveway. The irony in that one, huh?

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“GO TO BED”

Ahh, sleep….so coveted by parents and so scorned by children everywhere.  It’s a trifecta of misery – kids don’t want to go to bed, don’t want to stay in their bed, and on school mornings, don’t want to get out of bed.  Weekends, of course, they’re up at the crack of dawn.  With three kids and a bed-hopping labrador, my house is like a 24-hour motel with people checking in and out of rooms all night long and I am the manager that is never off duty.

Nightmares are the issue of the moment around here.  When I was a kid, I had a recurring dream about my dad and I being eaten by a shark (thank you, “Jaws”).  I remember waking up and running as fast as I could into my parents room scaring them half to death as I took a running leap into the middle of their bed.  Well, let me tell you, 1970’s parents were not the pushover parents of today…they did not run out and buy a parenting book on how to deal with this.  No, my parents didn’t mess around – about two nights of those shenanigans and their bedroom door was subsequently closed and locked.  I would then sleep on the floor in the hallway outside their door, vowing to never lock a child of MINE out when I was a mom.  Fast forward 35 years and I have kept that promise, for better or worse.  Mostly worse.

And there lies the inspiration for today’s post.  My mom recently purchased the Disney soundtrack of “Frozen” for my 5 year old, which was the best and worst gift ever.  It was the best because it has been loved and listened to incessantly and the worst because it’s like a virus of songs that infect your brain and I have yet to find the cure.  The mother of all catchy songs on the album is “Let it Go” and the other night, while struggling to get my youngest to bed, I started to sing “Go to Bed” to the tune of the song.   The kids started laughing so I decided to re-write the rest of the lyrics as well.  So here is my first-ever parody….”Go to Bed”, sung to the tune of “Let it Go”.  And by sung I mean imagine me singing in your head because you do NOT want to hear me actually attempt to sing that song.  Trust me, I tried.  There’s a fine line between funny and “Oh my God, I would rather be getting a root canal than have to listen to her for one more second.”  A line I was too chickenshit to cross.  Hey, I’m a writer, not a performer…gimme a break.

UPDATE:  I wrote the above post a couple of weeks ago, ready to post my lyrics with a few photos on a slideshow…about as technical as I get.  My very creative 11 year old son, however, convinced me that it would be way better if I let him make a video for the song.  Since then he has worked tirelessly creating, filming, editing and then even singing it himself when no one else was brave enough to even touch that song.  So a huge thanks to Jack…I hope Steven Spielberg will someday pay you more than $20 and some cookies.

SOMETIMES I’M NOT THE BRIGHTEST BULB IN THE BOX

_MG_3797“Oh, that’s a pretty flower over there…” has been the extent of my involvement in the world of gardening to date.  I’ve always sort of wanted to grow stuff but was never motivated enough with a small yard, clay soil and having to be outside in the hot California sun.  But moving to this rural island in the Pacific Northwest it became evident fairly quickly that my lackadaisical attitude towards gardening was not going to cut it.  There may not be a mall or a Target here, but boy are there gardens.  And people here know their stuff, let me tell you….they grow vegetables I’ve never even heard of, have animated discussions at the grocery store about this herb or that.  And my city slicker ignorance of all things nature has reared its head more than once…and I’m not even from the city, for God’s sake.

I’ll give you an example.  New friends of ours here on the island gave us a huge bag of tulip bulbs to plant last November.  With an acre of land to work with now, I was super excited at the thought of growing tulips and checked my front yard frequently after planting them for signs of life.   It took a few months, but finally green stems started to pop up.  I began watching my tulips obsessively, checking their progress each day.  The minute the first one bloomed I was there, camera in hand, so proud of my beautiful yellow tulip.

I immediately shot off an email to my friends who gave me the bulbs with a photo of the tulip attached.  Shortly after, I received a response from my friend, who I’m sure was quite amused, congratulating me on…..my daffodilYup, after all that watching and waiting and telling everyone about the tulip garden I was growing, turns out I can’t tell a freakin tulip from a daffodil.

So this past weekend, in fear of being exiled off this island, we drove out to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mt. Vernon, Washington for a little education.  In addition to seeing spectacular scenery, I can now identify 47 different varieties of tulips.  Well, that’s a lie…but it sure was pretty!

I’ve since become inspired by my not-tulip daffodils and by the actual tulips that came up shortly after.  I’m buying seeds and flowers and plants, got myself a decent pair of gardening gloves.  So if you’re ever passing by my house on Bainbridge Island, you may very well find me in the front yard, admiring my garden and watching and waiting for my peonies to come up….I think.

SLIDESHOW FROM OUR TRIP TO THE TULIP FESTIVAL

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