So very True - Image by Anne Taintor

So very True - Image by Anne Taintor
I would like this on my very own business cards

Monday, July 18, 2011

Aunt Nikki's World

My niece has a rather different outlook on Montana.  She lives north of Portland, Oregon and has never ventured this far east.  To a 7 year old it is a rather exotic place.  Apparently it is is also a bit scary.  It never dawned on me how she envisioned it until my sister filled me in.

--She doesn't call it Montana.  When my mother and I were in a car accident last year she got very upset that we would not survive the fender-bender and she would never get to visit "Aunt Nikki's World".

--Her views of this area of the country have been painted with a vivid imagination.  She told my sister that vampires come out of "Aunt Nikki's World."  When she was questioned her logic made sense.

1.  We have icicles.  Big ones.  Ones so big that she thinks they look like vampire teeth hanging off the roof.  I have sent her pictures of them and she is fascinated by them.  She wants to visit in the winter so she can see them and hopefully lick one (yuck!).  Although she did say she wouldn't look up since they could fall into your eye.

2.  We have ghost trees here.  She has taken this idea from a children's book I gave her about "Snow Ghosts."  It is really just a nickname for awesome looking snow covered trees in the mountains.  They can resemble people and a forested area of them is a bit ominous.  She forgets the "snow" part and so we have "ghost trees."  I can't imagine what she thinks it is like at midnight on Halloween here with a full moon.

3.  Grizzly bears.  Yes there are bears here but they typically don't come into town.  At least not very often.  We do have enough bear spray for each member of the family when we go to the woods, camping and picking huckleberries.  This area does have grizzly bears and I am sure it is scary when you are seven.  However, going to city and being surrounded by sketchy people in the ghetto is much more scarier to me.

4.  Cowboys and Indians.  What else do you see on tv when they talk about Montana on the history channel? That must be very prominent in her mind.

5.  I sent her pictures of spider webs that were covered in ice.  She must think that we have cold loving spiders that can live in arctic conditions.  Not only do they weave webs on the porch but they weave webs of snow and ice.  Kind of a hybrid between a spider and yeti.  That is creepy.

6.  Weird drunk people break into your house, barf all over your bathroom and take showers while you are asleep.  Ok, that only happened to us once but it is was a very memorable happening.  It is not often that you get up to find a naked women showering in your bathroom.  We have since began to lock the door at night.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Dreamin'

I am a dreamer.  I daydream.  Often.  Some may call me spacey or off-focus but I'm not.  I am really just living another life out inside my head.  In fact, I am the mayor of my own little village of idiots in Nikki-land.  It is a really rockin' coastal community somewhere warm.  The sun always shines and the wind never blows.  I can't tell you how to get there unless you climb into that little door that will also take you into John Malkovich's head.  You should stop by sometime.  We can have umbrella drinks.

Mostly I just go to Nikki-land to escape.  Honestly, life just seems so demanding and overwhelming at times.  I wish I could just sit down and veg out like my kids can but I can't--too much to do.  The school year is always a blur.  This past year working the job from Hell took a toll also.  I couldn't count on anything like making plans with friends or going to a movie.  Twice I went to funerals and actually got calls from my work while I was paying my respect to the deceased. (Note: I turned off the frickin' cell phone when I was at them so they didn't actually ring when I was in the funeral but as soon as I left and turned on the damned phone, I had messages calling me into work).  We made plans with friends and we had to cancel because I got called in because someone was sick or didn't show up so I had to go in and work the floor.  Blah!  I couldn't even get my drink on without the fear someone would call.  That combined with the hell of being unemployed for so long, catching up on bills, juggling the boys' needs and then Alan being out of work when we closed the pizza place left me longing for more.  Hence, Nikki-land sprouted forth.

This summer is a bit different.  The boys both left.  One is at Grandma's and one is traversing the Pacific Northwest visiting other family.  Alan has a decent job with regular hours and I have a job that I am currently Lah-ov-ing!  I cleaned the house the first week the boys left and the bathroom has stayed clean.  The trash only goes out every few days and the dishwasher is crying because it rarely gets used.  We stopped grocery shopping.  The nights Alan works we get dinner there for free.  The days he has off we defrost something from the freezer.  The only thing we really buy is beer.  That is the only store run I make now.  Every 2 weeks I also buy a 1/2 gallon of milk for coffee and maybe cereal if I want some.  Complete 180 from the usual life.

The sad part: I don't know what to do with myself!!!  Like I said, the house is clean, there is nothing to cook, the yard looks great.  Once a week I spend about 2 hours mowing or weeding and then it is done for another week.  I have been outside often but I get a sun rash because I am a freak of nature so I really only go out after the hottest part of the day.  I don't want to get the rash on my face!!!!!  I have gone through my clothes. Organized pictures and had a yard sale for three days.  Finally, that heap of crap from the storage unit is gone (Thank you Jesus!).  And again, not sure what to do.  I can't focus for long periods of time because I am so used to being interrupted with calls of "MOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!" every 5 minutes.  That means books are out of the question right now and I have read all my magazines cover to cover.  

Alan and I don't go to bars because we are old.  We don't eat out together because he works at a restaurant in the evenings and plus, I covered that already.  I have been trying to convince him to start walking with me but it makes us seem like old people.  :)  He is going to put my exercise equipment out for me so I can work out.  That is about all I have to do.  B-O-R-I-N-G!!!

I will be excited to have the kids come back.  I really miss them.  I guess I miss the hectic life more than I thought I would.  

This is how my summer has really been without the kids and that treasured work-life balance....