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“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

January 27, 2013

After all this time, and all the things that have happened, i’m going to come back with the most boring post on earth.  I have been working on decluttering our house, and i feel the need to document (i think that means i am beginning to feel overwhelmed again).

I have been working on working on purging our crap for ages, but now i am really doing it.  I mean, we have been getting rid of things, but it never seemed to make an impact overall, and now i am doing it systematically, which either works better or is more obvious and makes me feel better.  I think the big difference is that i just became unafraid of the trash.  I have a deep fear of throwing things away; i am terribly offended by wastefulness.  My breakthrough has been along the lines of “sunk costs” – that it is just as wasteful to leave crap unused as to throw it in the trash.  In the same vein, the crap is already here, so i just have to let go of my guilt over having things that are waste.  Better trash in the trash than trash in the house.  And in the future we can try to create less of it, but what’s done is done.  This is the category of stuff that has always frozen my cleaning efforts: the stuff that can’t be donated, shouldn’t be kept, but isn’t really trash – it’s not food wrappers and dust bunnies; it’s underwear and socks that no one wears, things that are only a little broken, that pillow the dogs started sleeping on that, really, is beyond cleaning.

The other major improvement is that i think i’ve finally found a filing system that we will actually use.

(I think this entire process is actually about admitting your weaknesses, recording them in great detail, and tricking yourself into functioning despite them.  At least, i’ve tried the “admitting your weaknesses and fixing them” route and it has always been an utter failure.)

Anyhow, filing.  The main point of interest here is that i finally realized that having a filing system in your office is for organized people.  It is not for people who create mountains of paper inside their door.  So we have taken the filing to the mail, because clearly we do not take the mail to the filing.  So, we have a file box and a recycle box directly inside the front door.  i have also realized that file folders that tell you what is in them are also for organized people – mine need to tell me what the hell i’m supposed to do with all that paper as well, so everything is labelled not only “dogs” or “house” but also “scan” “replace” or “keep”.  It’s a bit embarrassing to get direction from inanimate objects, but it seems to be working.  Oh, and anything that we need to deal with stays on top of the table (because, really, how else are we going to remember that it exists?).

Other than that, it’s just a matter of doing it.  I’ve been taking the house piece by piece with a pile of boxes and bags – “donate” “trash” “recycle” and then “stuff that has a place and needs to be put away” and “stuff that i don’t even know where it goes”.  The first four categories are easy to deal with.  The last so far just serves the purpose of getting all the place-less stuff in one place instead of all over the house – well, that and not sidetracking me trying to figure out what to do with xyz doodad.  At some point, though, we will have to deal with it.

Overall i am really pleased with how it’s going – noting that i am terrified to deal with our craft supplies, and i have resigned myself somewhat to the kid shit (As foster kids, everything of theirs goes home with them – an important rule to keep shitty foster parents in line, but a bit excessive also.  That and we are storing things like outgrown clothes and toys they’re too young for for future kids, and we have a lot of kid stuff just sitting in boxes.)

-Lady Brett

don't know where this is from, but it feels true.  it's a good thing our kids are cute.


November 6, 2012

I love election day; it has an energy about it.

I am also, of course, dreading it – but mostly on a local scale.  So, here’s to voting – you did vote, yes?  And here’s to turning on our television again and to seeing if i still have the energy to stay up for the results (am i aging? oh dear).

Lady Brett

“yabba dabba doo!”

October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

-Wilma, Fred, BamBam and Pebbles, and Dino(saur).

Fat Unicorn is fly as fuck.

October 18, 2012

Fat Unicorn is fly as fuck. Fat Unicorn does not need your validation. Fat Unicorn knows she is beautiful.

Lady Brett

Jamie found this a few days ago.  It makes me giddy, still.

“i must live with my quiet rage”

October 1, 2012

I have to brag on my boys.

This story is secondhand, as Jamie does most of the carting the kids about to various appointments.  In this particular case, they were there with their sister, who is in another foster home, and her current foster sister and foster mom.  Clear as mud?  So the score is two parents, two two-year-old girls, and our boys (two and three).

After a few hours in a waiting room (and a number of other interesting forms of entertainment, such as making 9-year-olds cry) the girls decided to entertain themselves by pouring their chips on the floor and jumping on them, at which point Meathead marched over with his best angry face (and really, no one does angry face better) and yelled “NO!”.  Mowgli followed up with “Make mess.  Go timeout!”

I’m so proud.  Being a hardass has it’s merits.

Man, sometimes i feel like an asshole, though.  Of course, the only other person we know raising toddlers is also the only person who doesn’t think we are too hard on them.  Coincidence?

-Lady Brett

"Lovers' Eyes" - Mumford & Sons (Jamie loves me; you can see this by my new CD)

Meathead and Mowgli

September 6, 2012

In light of a bit more time to get to know the kids, and a new and truly awful haircut, i would like to properly introduce our boys:


The younger – the name is entirely the fault of the unfortunate haircut.  We have been considering a leather helmet for him.  Of course, his toddler pudge, angry face, bow-legged toddler swagger, slightly outgrown clothing, and grunt-point form of communication all play beautifully into the stereotype.

and Mowgli

The elder – name coming from propensity to careen through muddy yard in a diaper or less waving sticks.  Also, because the above may cross the line about no photos (and check that facial expression).

Lady Brett

“neener, neener”

August 23, 2012

So, what i really wanted to do right now was post a 10-second video that i find, perhaps unreasonably, hysterical.

But since wordpress is extraordinarily picky about embedding video, i am instead going to direct you to the whole damn thing, which, while politically curious, is kind of a pain in the ass, because what you really need to do is watch the last ten seconds of this Rachel Maddow clip:

curse you, wordpress

Oh, it just makes my day.

Lady Brett

“Please don’t shit your ‘dozer”

August 20, 2012

…and other thoughts on foster care.

I’m going to skip, for now, the parts about how kids are gross and loud and don’t ever let you fucking sleep, as well as the finer political and social aspects of the system, in order to focus on the part where kids are hilarious.  And cute.

The little one almost immediately started calling Jamie “Mama”.  As he only knows about three words (Also “stop” and “popop” – which, depending on the context means either “Grandad” or “puppy”.  I suppose the latter is probably “pupup”, but he doesn’t enunciate the  difference well.)  Anyhow, as his vocabulary is limited, he doesn’t refer to me at all, but we generally assume that in his head i am referred to as “that bitch that lives with Mama,” judging by how he shrieks at the top of his lungs if i pick him up, and sometimes simply if i touch him or deign to be in his general vicinity.  Oh yeah, and especially if i am getting snuggles that he wants.  Which is any of them.

The three year old simply referred to Jamie as “her” for the first week or two – despite that he does know her name – but has begun calling her “Mama” as well.  I, on the other hand, am exclusively referred to by name, or as “him”.  A source of endless amusement.

He has also been terribly confused by the fact that my place of work is a converted house, leading him to ask “him’s going home?” every time we got in the car for the first week, as well as the doubly-cute “him’s going to home to work?” now that he has half a grasp on what’s going on.

In other news, kids’ clothes are adorable, but inefficient – in that skin is so easy to clean, and cloth fairly difficult.  Hence the title situation, in which the child decided that a diaper was so totally overdressed for the ride-on bulldozer, while simultaneously announcing “i need to poop!”  Fortunately for the bulldozer – but unfortunately for the potty-training efforts – that hasn’t the least to do with his actual need to poop, but rather has to do with his love of talking about poop, real or imagined.

Lady Brett

“How come things never go smooth?”

August 7, 2012

Step 1.  Approved to foster.  Possibly this is step 301, but we’ll start here for simplicity.

Step 2. Miss placement call because we use crappy go-phones.  Panic because it seems a lot more real.  Panic that they called like two days after we’re certified.  Panic that we missed the call.  Don’t hear anything else for a few weeks.

Step 3. Get call from panicked “little sister”-type-person who thinks she is pregnant.  Because she is.  Work through options with her.

Step 4. Decide to adopt an infant in about 8 months.  Turns out that you don’t actually have to be the one growing a baby to be nauseous during pregnancy.

Step 5. Get placement call from the agency, who clearly understood “one kid between 3 and 5” to mean “two kids, how about barely three and twenty months.”  Say yes.

Step 6. Puke in shoes.  Which may feel less and less like a figure of speech as time goes on.

So?  How has your week been?

Lady Brett

That'd be a Firefly reference, not a song.

“make sure you run to something and not away from”

July 26, 2012

Points of note:

  • I chopped my hair off last night.  Not all of it, but it’s about chin length.  It needs a bit of cleaning up, but i’m pretty happy about it.  I decided to just cut off the ponytail when i realized that, basically, no matter how it turned out i couldn’t dislike it any more than i had grown to dislike my long hair.
  • We are officially certified as foster parents.  We don’t have a placement now, but it’s all set up.  I’m so tired of how dragged-out the process has been that i’m almost not terrified nor excited about it at this point.
  • I was thinking about our money recently, and i realized that once Jamie is working full-time again, we can probably pay off the house in three years.  It’s not exactly a short-term plan, but it’s not long-term either – assuming the best (that is, jobs), that puts us about six years away.  It’s funny, i’ve read so much financial advice, and the wisdom is that paying off your mortgage early is unreasonable because you can make more interest investing your money than you pay interest on your mortgage.  But, as Jamie pointed out, that assumes that the point is to make the most money, whereas the real point is to have the most freedom.  And i am boggled by the freedom that owning our house would give.  We will have to wait and see how feasible this is in the end, but it’s an appealing idea.

Lady Brett

"The Weight Of Lies" - The Avett Brothers