Stress Management

March 31, 2011

It's true. As you might have gathered from this week's Things that Piss Us Off Thursday post, I'm a complete stress case over here. And I'm mad at myself for spending so much energy worrying about something, that's in the grand scheme of things, very very minor. So yeah, the fact that I can't let this roll of my back? That's stressing me out even more.

Don't you wish you could hang out with me right now? Don't I just seem so fun?

I've been trying so hard to push my feelings out of the way and be my normal old funny self, but, as evidenced by the complete lack of humorous posts for the past one zillion weeks, that approach has clearly been a massive fail.

D- on the stress management, Amy! D-.

Now before you get yourself all worked up, rest assured that this is really nothing huge. The fact is, we own our own business, and when you own your own business, crappy little problems creep up...and then they steal your happiness and stomp on your soul while you innocently sleep in the night.

Oh wait, was that dramatic?

It's just a business-related blip, that's really (truly, honestly) all it is. I just wish my feelings would act accordingly. And I wish these feelings would get out of my damn way and let me blog the way I like to.

You see, I want to tell you guys that it's a horrible idea to let an almost six-year-old chose his own party supplies from the dollar store--really, take my word on that. From the inflatable hats that won't hold air, to the strange-ass-eighty-year-old-woman cat figurine that he wants to use as a cake topper--it's a terrible, meltdown inducing idea for so. many. reasons.

And I want to tell you about the morning I looked at the ten teenagers and two Mormon missionaries sitting in my basement at 6:27, felt like my poor innocent house was being completely violated, and I couldn't stop myself from screaming this:


Or yesterday, when a disgustingly smelly hippy showed up at my door asking me to sign his petition--it had something to do with the evils of BPA in our plastic products. I nodded in agreement, damned BPA to hell, and left him with my emotional testimony of how desperately I long to protect my children from the toxic chemicals of our fallen world.

Yeah, well, it turns out Maggie was standing behind me the entire time--sippy cup in one hand, 99 cent pitcher from WalMart in the other, begging for a sip of orange juice. You could pretty much smell the BPA wafting out from under our front door. Whoops!

Hey. Guess what? I'm already feeling better. Like much, much better--maybe even like my good old normal self....

Man I love you guys!

Things That Piss Us Off Thursday: Volume Three

March 31, 2010

I'll start.

Getting a foot of snow in April.

People who beep at you THE SECOND the light turns green.

Not feeling even the teensiest bit funny for over a month because of a stupid, stressful situation that I can't do anything about.

When I let life get to me.

There......and go!

Piper Jane

March 27, 2011

I hate to be bossy, this post, about this fabulous little girl:

If you happen to be royalty, or a Kennedy, or a Clinton, or God, maybe you could fix this?

And Gracie, Too

March 22, 2011

Speaking of dogs, here's a recent picture of my Gracie:

Not only does she hate wagging her tail, walking around, being pet, or making eye contact--she also hates having her picture taken. I honestly had to sneak this one in before she could look away. Sometimes, I swear she'll just close her eyes and pretend I'm not in her vicinity with a camera.

My kind of dog.

This morning, we had a really unfortunate incident:

(See? She's totally pretending that she doesn't notice the camera. LOVE this dog!)

I've never actually measured it, but if I had to estimate, I'd say that Gracie's tail is somewhere between two and three feet long. Fine, maybe it's not that long, but it's about an inch away from dragging on the ground when she walks.

Somehow, we've always managed quite well with this monstrosoty of a tail--probably because she only wags it bi-annually. But today was a completely different story. This morning I had Maggie on one hip, Gracie's leash in the other hand, and I was rushing out the door before she peed a lake in our mudroom. I'm sure you can see where this is going....

I accidentally slammed Gracie's tail right in our mudroom door.

She yelped, and honestly, I thought nothing else of it. That is, not until I saw a trail of blood in the snow (six new #$%^*! inches of snow, by the way). I picked up her tail to see what I had done, and that's the moment I: 1) yelped, 2) cried, 3) almost dropped Maggie, and 4) hyperventilated all at the very same time.

I'll spare you the really intimate details, but I will tell you that I now know exactly what dog ligaments look like.

I rushed Gracie into the vet, where I promptly proceeded to close her front, right paw in the door--this time with a waiting room full of dogs, cats, people, and one parrot watching. The lady at the front desk was like, "Is this the dog with the severed tail emergency?"

And I was all, "Yes. While you have it open,  can you put a dislocated toenail on her chart, too? Thanks a mill!"

Thankfully, after an examination and a whole mess of deliberation, the vets decided not to amputate the end of Gracie's tail. It's not that she wouldn't have had enough tail left to go around, I just didn't want her to have to go through anesthesia and surgery. And I also, possibly, didn't want to have to pay for dog surgery either.

Am I a bad person?

Either way, they did a procedure in the office, and Gracie's not good as new, but she's as good as any other anti-social, eldery greyhound. And to that I say, "Phew."

The Other Woman

March 21, 2011

I just realized that I haven't written about Coach in a while--and some of you guys are dog people.

In case you don't know about Coach, he's our ten-month old German Shorthaired Pointer. His full kennel name is Heeza Royal Coachman, but I like to call him AAHHHHHNOYOUDIDN'TJUSTDOTHAT!!!!!

He's up to seventy pounds, he's got brown and white polka dots, and that's totally not his toy:

This wasn't his toy either. It was mine. From 1980:

And let me tell you, Maggie was ready to bite a tail when she came across this one:

Now that I've gotten all of that out of the way, I've got to admit that Coach is an exceptional dog.

When he's around Jared.

Because they're in love.

Romantically, I mean.

Two or so months ago, Coach and I hit our limit. I don't remember what he chewed up or pooped in, but it must have been unbelievably important, because I hefted all seventy pounds of that dog, carried him into the living room, and dropped him onto Jared's lap. "Him or me, Jared. Him. Or me."

Since Jared couldn't make that hard decision--you know, between his beautiful wife, or the dog who licks the inside of the trash cans at highway rest stops--he vowed to help Coach become a better dog. And honestly, I'm blown away by the progress they've made.

Jared's been taking Coach to a special training clinic for hunting dogs every single Wednesday night. Being a wise and loving woman, I decided a long time ago that I'd never ever ask how much these classes costs--but if I had to guess, it's gotta be at least a date night and a cute pair of ballet flats from Target every week.

But who's counting? I hate new shoes.

These days, Coach can do all kinds of fancy things. He'll heel all the way to the bus stop and back with no leash. He'll sit, stay, and let you skip around the block without moving a muscle until you say it's okay. He poops in a designated spot behind the wood pile, and he does this force fetch thing with a rope covered dowel.

I don't know what the last one means, but I pretend to think it's cool while Jared makes me watch the routine for a million minutes in a row.

He's so good at his tricks....when Jared's around.

My days with Coach are more about chasing him into the yard next door, while he stands on top of my neighbor's snow covered RV and takes a long, slow pee. I've totally become the woman who's standing braless, in the middle of the street screaming, STOP! STAY! COME!!!!!!!!!! COME, COME, COMMMMMMEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dogs really bring out the best in me.

Things That Piss Us Off Thursday: Volume Two

March 17, 2011

For some reason it feels a little bit sacreligious to do this on St. Patrick's Day, but hey, it's Thursday, so what can I do?

Also, I've really always hated the word piss. In my opinion, it's by far, one of the worst four-letter-combinations that was ever conjured up. But Things That Get Our Goats Thursday? That unbelievably lame. What to do?

Here's my list for today:

Really dirty snow in March.

Forgetting things at home and having to go all the way back.

When there's no bread in the house.

The fact that Coach ate the hands and feet off Maggie's baby doll.


Maybe the Worst Run Ever

March 14, 2011

I had the absolute worst run in the history of the planet Earth yesterday. Instead of trying to recreate the scene, I'll just cut and paste my running log entry from The Daily Mile:

The world would be a better place if this run had never happened.

Let's really break this one down here....

Sometime around 2 o'clock, I decided it was time to venture out for a long run. Since I didn't preplan so well, I didn't have the chance to stash any water along the route. Therefore, I decided to carry my water with me. Not being able to find a handheld water bottle or my camelback bladder, I did the next best thing and opted for a baby bottle. With Winnie the Pooh on the side. And the big old nipple thing that was clearly big enough for cars to see as I got not one, but two honks and cheers from cars filled with teenage boys.

My bottle and me, we felt sluggish today, so I opted not to look at my Garmin until mile 10. It confirmed that yes, I kind of suck.

Somewhere around mile 11, I had the quick and hard urge to take a poo. Let me just tell you that there is a 0% chance of pooping in the woods during the winter in Maine and maintaining one's dignity. Since there's absolutely no leaf coverage, I opted for the 'WHY THE HELL NOT?!' route, dropped trou, and took a poo right next to the lake near a big drainage ditch thing.

I pooped all over the back of my pants.

Then my foot slipped off a little rock pile and into the lake.

At mile 14.5 I got thritsy and finished off my baby bottle.

At mile 15 I thought I was about to die of dehydration. I found the only clean patch of snow I could, and started packing it into my Pooh baby bottle. A nice family was getting out of their minivan and saw the whole thing.

They also saw me stick the bottle between my boobs to try and melt the snow.

It melted, I drank it, and I've been sitting on the toilet for three hours straight.

I really could have used some contact from and SOL in a SBC* today.

The End.

*SOL in a SBC = Super Old Lady in a Super Big Car
I've got to say that peoples' comments have been the funniest part of this entry. People are saying things like, "Way to finish it up!" and "Wow, so committed to your running!"
Uh, no.
I didn't run around with poop on my pants because I'm devoted to the sport, I ran around with poop on the back of pants because it was the only way home. Since I hadn't brought my cell phone, I had three options:
1) Knock on a stranger's door, ask for a ride, and poo up the interior of their car.
2) Knock on a stranger's door, ask to use their phone, and poo up their couch upholstery while I waited my sympathy ride from Jared.
3) Run home and don't poo up anything that doesn't belong to me.
Even in my world, the third option was the only option. This was desperation, not devotion--very different concepts you guys.
So tell me, do any of you have running horror stories? If you do, can you give me the abridged version in the comments, or a link? Something? Anything?
Top me. Please.

March in Maine: The Ugly of all Uglies

March 9, 2011

Just like anywhere else, living in Maine has is pluses, and living in Maine has it's minuses.

March in Maine is most definitely a minus.

Now don't get me wrong here, I really don't mind a cold, hard winter. But by the time March rolls around, and the snow's all dirty and brown, and I've fallen square on my ass in the icy Hannaford parking lot seven or eight times, I'm totally done.

Even James is done.

Today, in an effort to get him away from the television and out into the wonderful world of trees, air, and frozen dog poo, I filled a spray bottle with green-tinted water, and sent him outside. "Go tie-dye the snow, James!"

Three seconds later, he came inside with a major pout on his face.

"Mom," he said, "this water doesn't look green. It looks yellow."


"Yup, yellow," he sadly confirmed.

"Well James, you get back out there and make it look like our neighbors peed all over our yard!"

He smiled.

"Actually," I continued, "I don't want to see you back here until it looks like every single neighbor came to our yard with a friend and a dog, and they all peed three times each! Got it?!"

He got it alright. He's been out there for an hour and our yard looks 100% wretched right now.

Believe it or not, you actually can make March in Maine even uglier. But hoo boy, it's a whole mess of fun to do.

Get Our Goat?

March 8, 2011

Maybe I'll change it, to Things That Get Our Goat Thursday. It's not as intense.

And after all, I'm a mature adult now. I never utter words such as 'piss.'

Things That Piss Us Off

March 8, 2011

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, back in the 1990s, I used to hang around with a red headed girl named Maureen (By the way, Maureen, do you read this? I desperately owe you a phone call, I know...In the meantime, please enjoy this unsolicited slice of attention.).

That's Maureen, all grown up. She likes toys.

Back in the day, this girl was full of ideas--good, bad, genius, asinine, slightly dangerous--they were just constantly bubbling out of her brain.On a quiet, snowy night in '97, one of these ideas snuck up on her like a thief in the night, and hoo boy, it fell squarely into the Beyond Ingenious category--it was even better than the Rear End Game.

I'll let you figure out that one on your own.

If I had to guess, I'd say it was two o'clock in the morning. She was tucked cozily in her bed, I was snuggled up in a pile of clean laundry, and Maureen casually said, "Amy, let's make a video about things that piss us off. We'll take my mom's video camera, we'll set it up, and we'll just list the things that piss us off."

Then she gave a thoughtful glance up toward the ceiling, looked back at me and said, "We'll call it Things That Piss Us Off. By Maureen and Amy. Just a list...of things that piss us off."

"Things that piss us off?" I repeated.

"That's right," she confirmed. "Things that piss us off."

Obviously, we were both strictly prohibited from uttering the words 'piss off' in the presence of our parents. Clearly, we were about to make up for that. We wasted no time in setting up the video camera [that happened to be the size and weight as a cinder block], we plopped down on the pleather futon, and we went to work.

Now keep in mind, we were seniors in high school, so our list was like:

Ugh, forgetting my locker combination!
When the school nurse thinks I'm faking!
Boys who smell like cheese all the time!
Gas that costs $1.29 a gallon!

...and so on and so forth.

The videos continued sporadically through college and evolved into things like:

People who backwash in beer!
When my Gap jeans get all bunchy in the butt!
Phone bills!
People who wear puffy-painted cat sweatshirts!
Sweatshirts without hoods, period!

The videos eventually came to a stop, but the concept never did. Really now, how could it? A zillion years later, I still call Maureen after a solid six months of communication hiatus to say things like, "Things that piss me off....the IRS. And The Chrysler Motor Corporation. And baby poop in my mouth."

Trust me, it's way more fun than starting a call with a simple 'hello.'

People, I believe in this concept. Actually, I believe in this concept so much, that I've decided to open up the floor to my internet friends.

Don't faint.

I'll start.

Highly politically charged/argumentative people.
Dog urine on my carpet.
The grout on my kitchen floor.
Icy roads.

Go ahead, take a turn. It feels really good. Like really good. And seriously, it's so much better to take your teeny, little frustrations out in a comment section than on your poor, unsuspecting spouse who's just trying to cook you a damn meatball.

I know it's only Tuesday, but I'm thinking we'll do Things That Piss Us Off Thursdays a couple times a month. Has a sweet ring to it, doesn't it?


( always, I have veto power over any not-niceness that I don't like)

The Semininja

March 3, 2010

I've been completely out of the blogging mood lately.


If you give me the greatest post idea in the history of the world, maybe it'll light my fire. But for now, I'll eat this banana and think about how much I don't feel like standing on a ski mountain today when the wind chill is slated to be somewhere between -15 and -30 degrees.

Then I'll think about how much I love teaching religious education classes to a bunch of teenagers in my basement every morning:

High school kids, they're always so predictable, don't you think?

Ten points to Brit for the charming smile in that first picture.