Let’s yell at each other a little, shall we?

I love my man. He’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to my world at least 87% of the time. Even with all the kids and the jobs and the dumb Vegas weather we still like to be alone together. Strike that, we’d rather be together than alone any day of the week.

Except Wednesdays.

Specifically the Wednesdays that fall right before vacations.

Take this last Wednesday for example. I had my first few days off last week and had a delightful list of Things I No Longer Have Time For, which included necessities like quilting potholders and painting my daughters’ fingernails.

Jason also had a list for me, a list of Things She No Longer Has Time For.

Let’s just say our lists had absolutely nothing in common.

By Wednesday I had accomplished everything on my personal to-do list and just about nothing on Jason’s…with the exception of a little laundry. I had, however, decorated the house inside for Christmas, risked my life to hang lights outside, reorganized two closets, sewed ten potholders and four new curtains, etc. etc. I was feeling so accomplished.

“So,” he said coming in the door late from work, “Did you get my workout clothes washed?” He started stuffing a duffel bag with clothes for the trip north.

Oops. Workout clothes, right. Top of my list of Things I Don’t Really Care About.

“Oh, yeah, you know I am so sorry about that. I was trying to hang Christmas lights…”

And we were off. He was frustrated, I was frustrated, we were in different rooms upstairs yelling counterarguments to one another, not even trying to understand each other.

Some might call our conversation a fight, it depends on where you’re standing and who’s side you’re on. The battle raged on.

“Mommy,” Georgia finally said, coming into my bedroom and interrupting our yelling match.

“WHAT!! What do you want, Georgia?” I said.

“So, when are you gonna come downstairs and talk to the lady in the kitchen?”

Lady in the kitchen? Like on the TV? Because there couldn’t possibly be a real lady in the kitchen, listening to our marital bliss, right?

“Lady? What lady?”

“You know, the one from church who’s gonna take care of Duchess? She’s down there with her son, are you guys done yelling yet? She wants ta talk to you, she been waiting…”

And that’s how I discovered that one of the sweet sisters from our new ward–who I barely know–was sitting downstairs in the kitchen waiting for our fight to finish. I asked Harry after she left if they could hear us.

“Oh yeah,” he said, “We heard EVERYTHING.” Nice.

Laundry. It’s a dirty business, it really manages to wring the worst out of a person. Had I just put my dear husband’s needs first and washed his workout clothes, that sweet sister wouldn’t know our dirty little secret…

Sometimes we fight.

 

massacre and middle school misery

This morning I went out to the car, opened the door, and was met by an avalanche of decimated mini candy bar wrappers.The murderer had eaten them in haste and frenzy. Of the 13 recovered corpse-wrappers, all had been torn open with some crazed animal’s teeth–a well known one-handed method for binging and driving.

I really feel for the teacher/mom who was driving my car last night. She’s obviously feeling the load of the world on her shoulder pads and was seeking creature comfort in Nestle goodness. No judgements.

I’ve learned a few things about myself through this new school year. First, I was not cut out to be a substitute teacher (last year’s job). I love coming in to work everyday, I love dressing up and the smell of school carpet and seeing my little kids in uniform and white board markers and mostly, mostly, ukuleles and high schoolers.

I don’t know how I stayed home all those years. How did I not realize that once my kids were in school I’d get a j-o-b and want to go to work? Working at David O. McKay Academy feels like a direct blessing and tender mercy for giving mommyhood all those lonely years at home while my babies were growing. I’m so very, very glad I waited. It was so worth it.

It’s also exhausting.

I am asleep by 9 pm every night, or close to it. Some nights it’s more like 8:30, and when my alarm rings at 5 am I feel like a zombie who hasn’t brushed her teeth in 47 years.

And my morning scripture study is great, it keeps me going, but it’s not always a big motivating spiritual experience. This past week pulling out spiritual parallels feels like picking lint off a sweater. Sometimes my study is like a veritable buffet, but there have bee no rootbeer floats lately, lots of lint. That’s ok.

To be honest, and please don’t tell me kid I’m writing about this, my oldest child is having a very tough year. Another move, another ward, another school. He’s been diagnosed with a severe case of Sinusitis and is going in for surgery in another week and a half. In the meantime he lives with constant migraine headaches and his whole wonderful face is swollen from the frequent sinus infections. I feel helpless to help him.

Yesterday in the car he kind of broke apart and it all spilled out. He misses his friends, he misses his teachers, he misses his band program and his ward and being able to ride bikes home with his buddies everyday. He’s prayed for help, he’s tried, but he pretty much thinks he’s Job. The man/boy is miserable.

I just listened because there were no words of encouragement to offer. Jason and I are powerless in some ways, he’s growing up and has to figure out how to make this happen on his own. Don’t get me wrong, I dumped him off at someone’s house (much to his horror and dismay) on Saturday night for games and he wanted to strangle me. But he came home with a huge smile and had a blast because really, the Lord is answering his prayers even if he can’t see it. There are friends to be had all around him.

Things don’t ever get better overnight and they always require work. Peaks and valleys, lint and rootbeer floats. I believe they will get better for him. It doesn’t matter if your family moves every two years or if you go to the same school your entire life, Middle School is miserable.

More on that later, break is over.

pretty pretty please

So Georgia’s bedtime prayers go something like this.

“Heavenly Father, please please please pretty please with sugar and sprinkles and flowers and nice things on top don’t let me have any scary dreams. Only dreams of goodness and sweetness and puppies and candy and babies and mommies and teddy bears with cute clothes and cake and happiness, lots of happiness, and dresses and playing with nice friends and flowers and pretty stuff…or just no dreams, please please pretty PRETTY please with sprinkles on top let me have no dreams…”

She takes her praying so seriously at night, I am half tempted to secretly record one of these prayers because they are possibly the most intense prayers I have ever heard. I can’t decide if it would be sacrilegious or not, they don’t belong to me.

When I jumped on my blog this morning I was appalled to see that I haven’t written anything in over a month. Thing is, I write every single day but I’ve gone back to long-hand in a book journal. Total technological digression. Like living in 1994. I get up every single day at 5 am to read scriptures and write in my journal and I am absolutely convinced it’s the fuel that is keeping me going.

Last week Jason surprised me and asked if he could start joining me for scripture study in the mornings. Note to self: I had no idea this would be like spiritual dating. I feel like we’re getting to know each other in a totally foreign way, there is very little making-out involved during scripture study and we never discuss the budget. We sit at the table with our study stuff and talk about scriptural interpretation. It’s hot.

I am living this life that I never could have possibly foreseen a year ago. I teach four english classes, one high school drama class, and a daily elementary theater class at David O. McKay Academy. It’s like I work at EFY High. These high schoolers are the absolute light of my life, they are hilarious and fun and mostly respectful. I have about 25 kids in total. We did our little private school homecoming dance last weekend and it was phenomenal. Hey, I’ve been to plenty of high school dances. The theme was A Night in Little Italy at our principal’s house, set up the backyard and we had the dinner catered family/buffet style, then they danced to wonderful, clean music for a few hours before pitching in to clean it all up.

There was such a good spirit of joy and happiness there, it was unreal for a high school dance.

Last year I worked for CCSD and subbed at high schools. It is no exaggeration that at least once a day I would cross paths with a student that had a problem, and my hands were always tied when it came to advice. But at David O. McKay Academy? No ties.

Yesterday I had two different students throughout the day who needed a moment to stop and pray, and in both cases their prayers were answered within minutes. We were able to talk about prayer, how it works, why it works and Who is on the other side. These are girls who don’t utilize prayer at home and really need it in their lives right now.

I get to talk about that. I get to use the scriptures in my ENGLISH lessons. We read Joseph Smith’s narrative from the front of the Book of Mormon last week when we were talking about writing personal stories, he uses amazing imagery in his description of Moroni coming to his bedroom.

I have the best job ever.

Life is crazy and beyond busy and sooo full of challenges right now. Trying to fit in planning for all my students and still get laundry done and teach at the theater and stay on top of my classes at college and read to my kids at night and study my scriptures in the morning…it’s a lot. I’m planning the Europe trip for the Spring, the Harvest Festival, the German Christmas Market, helping students work on Project Based Learning, teaching ukulele to my study hall kids 6th hour…so many fingers in so many pies.

Here’s the secret, ready?

Get up everyday at 5 am and see what the Lord wants you to learn about in the scriptures. Journal it, write about it, take time for communication with the Holy Ghost first and whatever else happens during the day, no big deal. Even the crappy stuff seems to just work itself out. I’ve smashed up one of our cars this month and got our trailer stuck under a building…but problems that otherwise would be ruining my life seem to melt away when take time study and listen.

But really, someone should move that trailer. It’s kind of an eye sore.

 

*I’m no longer on FB, if you want my rather infrequent updates please put your email into the subscribe box to your right and they will occasionally trickle into your inbox. I’m busy, but I do love this virtual space to unload a little of my life.

Not buying a farm

Today we bought the non-farm.

It looks like this desert is going to be more than a stopping point in our journey. I have the feeling everyone around us has seen this move to Vegas as more than a temporary stop over for my family, we’ve been pretty clueless. It’s looking very semi-permanent…as in today we bought a non-farm. It’s a house, it’s here in the wilderness, and it’s really lovely.

I didn’t know they made lovely houses here, it took us nearly six months to find one. Short sale, long story, I haven’t had the energy to write all summer because I couldn’t stand to document my real estate frustration. It’s been very hot here and very busy with six college credits in eight weeks (I’m super old and rusty), and I was really hoping we would have closed on this house deal a month ago. Thank goodness we didn’t, I would have procrastinated school and packed my house up instead. The deal didn’t go through until after my summer term finals, a real miracle. A real frustrating miracle.

And so this morning Jason and I went and became honest Nevada residents. I now have a lovely big house that backs up to the mesa, it has a beautiful pool and lots of room with tile that isn’t white. The kitchen is divine, I can unpack the 30% of my household that’s crammed into our little garage here, and if I’m being really honest, this is a house we could live in for a long time.

That’s scary. The most terrifying part is how irritatingly happy I am these days. Jason keeps wondering when the other shoe is going to drop, he keeps saying I’m just like that girl he married back in 1999. I try to comfort him with reminders that this happy glow has nothing to do with pregnancy and is probably a convenient symptom of my summer anti-anxiety pills.

Thing is, I am happy darn it. I’m so glad my kids are all older because I’m the kind of person that really likes having a j-o-b. I will be writing and running the drama program for both the new David O. McKay (DOMA) campus’ this fall and I feel like I’m about to start work at my own kind of Disneyland. Between Hollywood Kids Academy (I’ll handle costuming and still direct one night a week there, doing Mulan this fall) and DOMA I am embarking on my dream job(s). I love the theater, I love teaching, I love kids, and I love teaching theater to kids. My kids are in all the HKA classes I’m teaching, plus going to school with them all. Add in 11 credits this fall to my jammed schedule and wowsa.

I’m certifiable, I know. Makes me super happy.

I’ve had lots of little miracles lately and feel like a heel for not documenting them and giving credit to Heavenly Father for knowing me so much better than I know myself. I wasn’t ready to live here two years ago. I wasn’t even open to the possibility. A big thank you to God who knew it would take me two years to stop whining. Living here is a far cry from the green hills of The Great Northwest but somehow this wasteland is bursting with opportunities I doubt I’d find anywhere else.

My blog feels more and more personal and less like a public forum, and true to character it makes me less prone to writing. I’m an absolute and complete sucker for an audience but I’m not willing to do any of the necessary things right now to put my writing out there. And so this will remain my safe space, my happy space, my little record of life as it concerns me and mine.

Move in starts Friday. Carpet goes in next week. Classes all start after Labor Day. Sink or swim, I’m in it now.

Back to school

Crazy crazy whirlwind week.

One year ago I was a stay-at-home mom with no actual plans for a future outside of my laundry room. I’m serious, I really hadn’t thought past putting Georgia into school. Somewhere in my mind I knew I would come up with something for My Life but I really didn’t foresee anything solid. My ideas flowed like spilled milk. They’d spill out, I’d recognize them as a mess and mop them up.

On Monday I met with the principal and head administrator for David O. McKay Academy here in Henderson opening this fall. By Wednesday I was sending in my application to enroll in graduate school and nailing down a program that will help me get my Nevada ARL–Alternative Route to Licensure–by August, a program that will let me teach while getting my masters degree.

As of now, I’ve been accepted into Sierra Nevada College’s Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT) program, I’m registered for classes starting May 31st, and I have a job lined up to teach High School at DOMA this fall.

That’s a really busy week.

Today I pulled up the test prep for the Praxis, a big ugly test I have to take before I can get my temporary license. The English and reading sections aren’t a problem. It’s the math.

Math.

I hate math.

I don’t even trust myself to substitute teach 6th graders working on fractions. Fractions might be my nemesis, closely followed by algebra, geometry and the mother of all horrors, statistics.

I hate statistics.

I got a D in my upper level statistics course in college and had to get a special waiver just to graduate because even with tutors and the help lab, statistics is like a ball of yarn leftover from a cat birthday party. It can’t be unraveled, all knots.

Today I sat in class working on my Praxis math prep work and kept needing to use bathroom because it’s giving me a stomach ache (this could also be due to my diet and the mass quantities of water I’m consuming). Good thing I’ve got Jason who thinks fractions and percentages and graphs are the funnest thing to do on a Friday night. Every night will be date night for the next two months, it’s like trying to prime a desert pump in here.

I guess the reason I feel like I can do all this is that my kids and I will all be at the same school together, on the same schedule, and I’ll be available to them despite all the crazy that’s about to become my life. That’s my first priority, finding ways to be a working/schooling mother–mother being the key word here.

Bye bye home cooked dinner and mopping in general. We’re going to hit survival mode hard core.

Maybe we can find a house to move to before everything kicks into gear, something with better floors.

Old-fashioned rail journey?

Do you ever look around you at your life and think, “How in the world did I get here? This wasn’t the plan, I don’t love this. And why can’t we go to Disneyland more often?”

Here’s the thing. Our ticket out of Las Vegas is almost non-existent. Jason, in his awesomeness, has specialized himself right into a career corner. There aren’t very many people who do what he does, so there aren’t very many places for those people to move.

We’ve had this Big Dream of moving home to Washington for a really long time. Five years ago we literally bought the farm and every once in a while we make a trip back there so we can drive out onto our beautiful dream property and envision a life of rainy days and chicken coops and horses and grandma only six minutes away.

It sounds too good to be true. It feels like it as well.

There’s this quote by Gordon B. Hinckley, one of our dearly departed Mormon prophets. I really detest this quote and when I was a young 18-year-old and first heard it I thought it was bunk. Not because I didn’t believe it but because I couldn’t bear the thought that it was true. Rose colored glasses, right here. He quoted this in a talk to young single adults (worth the read, it’s an amazing talk).

“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed.

“[The fact is] most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. …

“Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.

“The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

This rubbed me wrong. It was 1997, I was young, I still had 7 Up running through my veins, I was sure life was going to be all vistas, all romance, all thrilling high adventure.

I’ve been humbled over the years. All our high adventures in Europe were 80% delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, and the vistas went by so quickly sometimes I missed them.

In hindsight we laugh about the time Harry ran into a post in Marseilles and almost broke his nose, or the time Jason split his head open the night before we were supposed to board a cruise ship. Now we think it was funny that our tire blew out on the side of a mountain and we missed half our scheduled day trip to Konigssee waiting for a tow truck, or that we spent our week in London racing from WC to WC because everyone had a stomach bug.

But even so, there were vistas. I miss them. I’ve been feeling like I don’t have very many these days. Cinders and jolts, life has ceased to be very fun.

On Tuesdays I take Rex to Sport Social, a recreation center for Autistic kids. He’s adamant that the girls don’t ride with us and has claimed it as his “time with Mom.” We make the 15 minute car ride while he tells me all the details about his week, about school, about art and PE and music class.

I had been thinking about cinders and lack of joy when he got in the car.

“Mom, today we got to sing a song about birds in music class,” he started to tell me. “I got chosen to be one of the birds! There were four birds and we flew around the room while the class sang.”

This made me smile. Rex loves birds. Loves them like he’s memorized all the state birds and can recite to you which bird goes to which state and why. Last night at FHE he did a bird game and we had to guess the bird.

“Rex,” I said, “I bet you loved that. Did you fly?”

“Oh…oh yes,” he said, “I flapped my wings nice…and…slowly.”

The happy hit me really hard when he said that. Boom. Vista. Right there. My 15 minutes in the car with Rex every week is a built-in vista.

From now on we’re taking the back road and leaving a little earlier on Tuesdays.

 

I guess I’ll settle for throw pillows

So we’ve decided it’s probably time to consider buying a house here.

I know that sounds super permanent and trust me, permanent and Las Vegas should never be in the same sentence when it refers to my life, but renting is the absolute pits. This house we picked was temporary. One-third of our household goods are packed away in the garage because the cottage can’t hold it all. We have a lovely view of the backside of the freeway–please don’t throw your apple core out the window while you’re flying down the 215 because it’ll probably hit our cars parked out front…the same cars that won’t fit in the garage because the garage is full of German antiques that don’t fit in our house.

So we’ve decided it’s probably time to consider buying a house here.

We’ve been looking for a month. I’m sorry, but what is happening to all those people out there buying and selling homes? Did we learn nothing from the tumbling markets of 2008? The lamest houses are ridiculously overpriced and people are practically peeing their pants to get a shot at living in one of these cement, nothing-like-Neverland neighborhoods. Ridiculous.

There was one, ONE, house we found that would have worked. It was so us. Circa 1980, on an acre of dirt (not an exaggeration, just dirt), totally walled with a huge pool and a casita on site to rent out. The price was right, and we stalked it for over two months waiting for the Spirit to give us the “all clear.”

If you’ve ever been to one of my houses you know what I mean when I say we have a house type. This house looked like it was sitting there waiting for my family to come and mess it up with parties and big Sunday dinners. Like it was built and seasoned just for us, right now, in Vegas.

But as we got in the car, Jason and I heard a solid negative from the Spirit.

So we watched, and the price dropped. Someone put an offer on it. It fell through. We bit our nails and prayed and fasted and prayed some more and finally, the price dropped again. Maybe this was our answer? Yes. This definitely felt like an answer…

We made an appointment to see it right after the price dropped. It was time, we were going to offer, this must be the place.

Is it any surprise that an hour before our scheduled showing the owner accepted a new offer on the house? If that’s not a big old Heavenly “no” I don’t know what is.

That was six weeks ago. It’s probably closed by now and despite hours of searching and numerous showings we haven’t found anything else that felt even remotely right.

In lieu of the never-mind-moving decision we decided last week that if we aren’t supposed to buy a house, then it’s time for a new couch. We have two couches that are going on ten years of wear and tear and frankly, they’re flat out embarrassing. If I have to hand stitch one more rip on the family room couch I’m going to scream.(The puppy loves to get in and pull the stuffing out and it makes me crazy.)

We have searched high and low, from the Goodwill to Pottery Barn, every consignment store and outlet and retailer known to the greater Las Vegas area and still, the perfect couch for the perfect price has evaded us.

Until today.

Today as we circled through the crowded pre-staging room of a big consignment store I saw, turned sideways, our perfect couch. Gently used, the lady guessed about $300, real leather…boom. Done. There was just one glitch, it had no tag.

Long, sad story short, the lady who dropped it off this week is now having seller’s remorse and wants it back.

No house, no couch, no nothing.

So I did the only thing a girl in that situation can do. I went out and bought new throw pillows. Sitting here, I feel significantly better.

Throw pillows, they really cheer a girl up.

 

Just let go of the french fries, Annie

I am too busy. Too busy to eat anything but Sausage Egg McMuffins from McDonald’s.

That’s really only a half truth. Yes, I’m too busy and yes, it’s always easier to swing in and get all-day breakfast and a dollar Diet Coke from the clown than it is go home and gnaw on the wilted celery in my fridge.

But the other half…the other half of my dirty food phase must be acknowledged out loud.

I start out every single day with the same mentality. Today. Today I am going to have a protein shake and take salad or an apple and celery and roasted turkey for lunch. I will then have a healthy afternoon snack, a sensible dinner and voila. Skinny by June.

So I do. I have a protein shake. I take a sensible lunch. In fact, even when I forget said lunch I spend the $3.25 to buy a sensible lunch from the cafeteria at whatever school I’m babysitting for.

But when the bell rings something goes off in my brain. Something that says, “You need cookies. Or french fries. You deserve them. You work so hard, you’re at the gym every other day, you’ve got the calories to spare. It will make you happy…”

Still, my resolve holds. Still, I don’t get into the upcoming turn lane on the drive home, the path that takes me past those golden, glowing arches. And then…

“You know, when the zombies come you will never have McDonald’s again…” and just like that my blinker is on, I’m swerving to merge and frantically racing to the drive through. Like I owe it to myself to have one more apple pie.

It’s funny, I’m so busy that the prepper inside me hasn’t had any time the last two months to work on toilet cloth or canning. There’s no time and I feel like my list of goals is pretty much finished (except the Hike a Mountain and Learn to Build a Fire in the Rain While the Children Cry goals, but I feel like they’re more in the category of OTJ training).

And so for the past few months I have thwarted every step forward by treating myself to food, glorious food. I’m gluttonous. I’m miserable. I hate myself 12 minutes after I’m done eating that hot fudge sunday and wondering what in the heck is the matter with me? And of course, once you break hearts with sugar the day is done. Free falling, all the way until bedtime.

So, thanks to wonderful, supportive sisters and really awesome girlfriends, not to mention my lovely mama, I’m hitting it HARD tomorrow. This is planned. I’ve got my food prepped and portioned, guzzled my last Diet Coke for the next two months, and come sunup this girl is going to find herself free of guilt and free of McDonald’s.

I’m hungry for hungry. Is that even a thing? I’m declaring it. It’s a thing. Sure, someday when my wheat runs out I’m going to look back at this stupid summer and roll my eyes that I worried about eating too much food. But I don’t care, the eating is making me miserable.

Because in actuality, food is temporal. This silly, insignificant fear is playing me like a fiddle and I’m eating out of the palm of its hand. All this eating is fogging up my radar and keeping me from seeing the bigger picture that has nothing to do with what size my jeans are, and everything to do with letting go of things like Jack in the Box potato wedges and Frosty’s. No more stuffed crust pizza from Little Caesars, not for me.

The world will come or go, one more large fry isn’t going to make it more tolerable.

For once, it’s not about a number on the scale or how many bra fat rolls I can count this week (okay, the bra chub is bugging me just a little), it’s really about letting go of this nonsensical urge to Eat Stupid Food Before I Die.

And I will succeed. My determination is like steel when I get to this point (approximately once every 2.4 years) and I can’t wait to dust off my self-discipline and dig into a big, lovely bag of celery sticks.

No Ranch necessary.

Putting our kids in private school and other news

So I know we planned to be far far away from Las Vegas about six months ago, but it seems that the Lord really likes us here. I have discovered a few desert blooms in my life during the past few months that make living here a little less prickly.

First, I’m teaching musical theater at Hollywood Kids Academy here in Henderson. We’re doing Seussical and I’m working with 8-10 years olds directing and absolutely loving it. Harry, June and Georgia are all in different productions there. This is delightful and so much fun for our family.

Second, we have officially enrolled our kids in the new private David O. McKay Academy opening two campus’ here in Las Vegas this fall. Our kids are slated for the Henderson campus and all four will be at the same school. It’s an LDS-based learning program but is open to any and all, and thanks to Nevada the state will give us vouchers to cover most of the tuition costs. If I can get lucky I’ll be able to work there and spend all day long with my children, which sounds sarcastic in my head but in reality I enjoy working in their schools as much as I can.

Third…hmm. Um, oh! I got Lasik surgery last week and I am a see-er! I am not big on exclamation points but I feel like I’ve had a miracle. Those of you who have experienced the magic of Lasik know what I’m talking about here. Not even 24 hours after my surgery I was seeing 20/15 which is better than 20/20. This is a game changer. True, it’s the first time I’ve gone without mascara since I was 11 and yes, people keep asking me if I’m “sick” because with my white eye lashes my eyes basically disappear into my head without makeup, but I don’t even care (Jason is really ready for me to put my face back on though, I think he’s a little disconcerted by the whole no-eye-makeup wife bit).

I was driving down the road a few weeks ago, praying to myself, and asking Father why he loves the desert so much? I’ve done the Middle East, Sinai, Israel, it all looks like Las Vegas. Why not Washington or Oregon where there’s water and people don’t die if they stand outside in July?

It was kind of a hypothetical question but I was at a stop light and had a pretty good view of the barren mountains in the distant. I pondered while waiting and right before the light turned green I heard my head say, “Because in the desert, you need me more. In the desert, you remember me…”

It’s true. I need faith to live here in the desert, and not faith that we’ll move away, faith that we can live. Here. This place. Maybe for five years, maybe forever, but faith that He will place us in the best place for our family to learn what we’ve got to learn to get home to that non-desert in the sky.

I really hope there are lots of trees in Heaven.

Family Cloth? Really Annie?

I love planning for the Zombie apocalypse. It’s become my fourth favorite hobby (right after eating, sleeping and sewing). And just when I think I’ve got every scenario nailed down and have heard every suggestion for TEOTWAWKI, something new crops up.

Enter Family Cloth. Worst name for reusable toilet paper ever. Thank you, Pinterest.

The idea is simple. Sam’s Club has been looted, the power grid is zapped, some magical nuclear blast has shorted all our electrical components destroying them for-e-ver and suddenly…you need to go number two. I don’t know about you, but upsetting situations tend to have that effect on me.

And that’s when it hits you: You’re on your last roll of toilet paper. Not only are you out of TP but you’ve thrown the last nine years of phone books away because Google supposedly had your back. The hard truth is plainly evident: Google is not going to have your back at this moment.

This is where Family Cloth–henceforth and forever referred to as Toilet Cloth in my world, or TC–gently swoops in to save the day.

Toilet cloth is a set of double ply fabric, preferably double knit cottons like T-shirts, that you can use again and again and again to keep that backside clean.

I’ve stressed about this bathroom dilemma and even gone so far as to print out how-to-dig-a-septic-system for my Apocolypse Now binder. But short of ordering a set of the squeezy bottles to hose down with I haven’t been able to fix the immediate problem of keeping’ it clean in my mind.

But TC (see how easily it just rolls off the tongue?) fixes this problem permanently. One box of pool shock will give you about 10 years of TC water, bye bye ecoli and other fatal diseases that come from poor wiping habits after the power shuts down and the toilets stop flushing.

And if you think I’m crazy, do a little research. Not only is there a literal movement (bad pun, I know) of people–like at least nine families–who are already using this method in their homes, but apparently other countries don’t all share our Charmin toilet paper customs. There are some pretty interesting toilet paper-free methods out there when you get down to the nitty gritty.

In all honesty, no I have not tried this out nor do I intend to unless the need actually arrises. However, having 70+ double knit double ply pieces of toilet cloth sewn and stashed away in the garage, along side a box of pool shock, gives me serious peace of Apocolypse mind.

I have a six month supply of the paper stuff but my backyard is simply not big enough to bury it if there’s ever a disaster here in the Las Vegas cement wilderness. We will be happy to have something refreshing and reusable, believe me.

Toilet Cloth. It’s a thing.

 

PS – I’m no longer on FB. It started as a name problem but after a two month break from my account I logged back in and disabled it completely. It’s a bit of a pain sometimes but for the most part, I feel kind of free. So if you’ve looked for me there in the past few months I’m not dead, not MIA, just…done. If you still want to keep up with me, put your email into the box up to your right and my monthly blog posts (that’s about how often I write these days) will come straight to your archaic email account. You can also share them on FB if you feel so inclined and we have mutual friends who might care. Not that I’ll ever know…