Okay, first... Friday night, I was on-line chatting, something I don't do often because (1) don't really have the time because of my Little Interruptions and (2) sleeping, I really like doing that when I can! But, I was chatting and really enjoying it when I heard something very large crashing around in the bushes outside my side-yard window.
Now, this is something we hear frequently, and it usually turns out to be a cat, a raccoon, a possum, or a lost dog. If it's a cat, we shoo it, if it's a raccoon or possum, we leave them alone. If it's a lost dog, we check for tags and either leave the gate open, or call the owner to come get it.
However, this was... large. Like... sounding like a drunk elephant large. And seconds later, the Impertinent Daughter texted me frantically that there was something outside her window and it was freaking Calcifer out to the point of hissing.
Well. That's new. So, being a brave and intrepid Auntie, I grabbed a flashlight, yanked on some shoes, and went out into the night to beard the Dragon, so to speak. And realized a few things.
(1) We have no lights whatsoever on that side of the house.
(2) It's really
dark over there, because we have very little in the way of street lights in our town.
(3) I am 5' 3", didn't grab a baseball bat like I usually do, and was only armed with a mini Mag-light.
I shone the light into the bushes and started to stomp my way into the side yard, and... didn't, because it suddenly occurred to me what would happen if the critter in the bushes was on two legs instead of four. Already had the phone in my hand pre-dialed to 911, but you know, that just isn't enough, right? I shouted out for any person possibly there to come out, and nothing. Tossed a ball into the bushes to startle any four-legged creature into sprinting out.. and nothing.
That's when I decided to tell the daughter it was a possum and to go back to sleep.
So, yesterday, I was telling the Husbandly One about it when we heard a ruckus outside in the bushes again, except it was daylight
and... we went outside to see what was going on.
This time, it was a squirrel hung up in a window screen, but it got itself sorted and took off into the bushes. Fine. So, THO and I went to look in the side yard, because we'd speculated about the big noise the previous night being a dog (a month ago, we'd had a stray dog settle himself in the bushes of the side yard quite happily). And... found something we had not expected at all.
Item One: Two milk crates shoved into place behind the bushes under the Impertinent Daughter's windows, convenient for standing on for viewing purposes through said windows.
Item Two: The wooden fence on that side is leaning INTO the yard.
Item Three: A nice little path through the grass and plants from the leaning in portion of the fence straight to the milk crates under ID's windows.
Then THO said, "Oh, the fence has been leaning in for a while..."
I said, "You know, a path that
established takes a while to pound out."
It was rather startling to see the amount of fury building in my husband's eyes. And for a little while there, I was all for pounding down the door of the creepy neighbor's house in order to strangle one or more of their sons.
I am speaking, of course, of the Fireman and the Coffee Lady. However, upon further thought, I'm not convinced it was necessarily them. Why? Because, unlike our yard, theirs is open to the street behind us by expedient of having a large cattle gate
in their fence, rather than a wooden one, and it has openings large enough for someone to just bend down and slip through. Plus there are handy garbage cans and barrels to stand on in that corner of their yard to use to climb the fence.
We've decided it would be worth it to install motion sensitive lights on that side of the house. And heavy shades for Miss Impertinent's windows.
The second thing to happen this weekend is that my mother called Friday afternoon and said she and the Flaky Sister were coming to visit on Saturday. Oh, well, at least I got 24 hours of notice this time, and not a call from my mom after they were already on the road!!
It was most fortunate that THO and I had already made a start on playing catchup, after two weeks of everyone being sick, because last week, the house looked like goblins had invaded and trashed the place. So there wasn't a lot to do other than cleaning the kids' bathroom, cleaning the kitchen, and tidying up in general. However, it was at some point Friday night, before
I started chatting with keiramarcos
and her minions, that I stopped myself from doing the manic "OMG-I-have-to-OCD-clean-EVERYTHING!!!" and said to myself, "Why am I doing this?"
Yeah, it was one of those
moments. You know, the self-epiphany thing? And it all came about because of something I had said to my mother a few weeks ago, after Mom had gotten upset because the Flaky Sister had gotten sarcastic after a rather heated exchange between the two of them. I had said, "Mom, Flaky is 62 years old. She's more than an adult now, and you don't have to raise her anymore. Plus, Flaky, Blondie, and I all inherited Daddy's Smart-Ass Gene™, and you can't hold it against us. It's our sacred right to be sarcastic, especially when we're mentally exhausted, tired, or just plain cranky."
And Mom agreed.
Well, I was about to drive my family nuts with a frantic need to spotlessly clean my house when I thought, "Wait a minute... what am I doing? Why
am I working so damn hard for approval I am never going to get from my sister??"
See, I had gone through this sort of epiphany about my dad back in my mid-twenties, so you could say I was sort of overdue this with my sister. The Flaky sister has a tendency, like my dad, to be hyper-critical, and to set impossible standards, and expect me to live up to them, and to withdraw affection and approval when I don't live up to them.
I started wondering when that became so important to me, when it hadn't really mattered before.
I have never been a model housekeeper. I never will be. My house will never, ever be spotlessly clean, nor would I want it to be. It will always be, at most, organized chaos, because I will always prefer spending time with my husband and children to spending time cleaning my house. Unless they're helping. And really, the only people I need to please are the three people who live with me. It's their opinion that matters to me, and if they don't have a problem with the way I do things, then... that's all that matters to me.
My husband loves me very, very much. And I love him
very, very much. He pretty much knew what he was getting when he married me. He knew that I'm an indifferent cook, but I'm one WHEEE!!
of a baker. And he's pretty okay with that. He loves me for my wit, my sly sense of humor, my fierce loyalty, my thinking abilities, and my extreme mattress-dancing skills. If my kitchen skills aren't quite the match of his, that's fine with him, and that's all that matters.
I had to remind myself of all of that. Because the Flaky Sister has the ability to make me doubt all of that, and I had to wonder when I gave her that power over me. Because it never mattered before.
That's some pretty stunning realizations to make about oneself, you know? Which is probably why I went online for chat, to distract myself from it, because believe me, the stress was incredible.
And Saturday, it was just worse. I actually asked the Tall Blonde to come hang out for the duration as a buffer because if there is one thing I know about my sister, she won't misbehave in front of company. She'll work at tearing me to shreds in front of my husband and children... but not in front of strangers! And while I realized that her opinion doesn't matter a hill of beans to me any more, I kind of need some time and distance to absorb it, and let it sink in, so I can parry her shots with indifference.
I love the Tall Blonde, by the way. She is... awesome. Period.
Had a good visit with my mom, who is looking better. Actually, she looks pretty darn cute, to tell you the truth, with her fluffy silvery-white hair and big smile! It gives me a pang to hug her now and feel how small she is. She's 84 now, and every time I hug her, I wonder how much longer.
So, Flaky was reasonably well behaved, and when they were gone, the Husbandly One made his awesome margaritas and poured one down my throat to combat the Killer Stress Migraine that hit me afterwards. I love his margaritas, they are delicious, and with my low alcohol tolerance, they knock me out pretty fast.
So, that was my weekend! How was yours?