Dream Journal 6/9/16 | Hashtag

#Get********to50k?

I was sitting at my desk, scrolling through Twitter, when I saw the trending hashtag: #Get********to50k. I censored the name, because it is a real person on Twitter, who I have had very public issues with in the past. I thought it was strange, and clicked on the hashtag to see what it was all about. There were thousands and thousands of tweets showing support of something, but it wasn’t clear what their cause was. One tweet read something like: #Get********to50k because we’re tired of not being listened to.” A couple of the other tweets made it seem like it had something to do with the Warcraft community, but they were all vague enough to give no real answers as to what the hashtag was about.

I went to this person’s Twitter profile, who actually has me blocked in real life, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until I noticed that their follower count was just over 49,000 people. Their tweets were all about equality and justice, but once again, still very vague as to what the cause was. I got upset about it for some reason, and left my computer.

I called Kyle while he was at work, and told him that there was a bad storm happening outside, even though I could clearly see that there wasn’t, and he was confused, and hung up the phone because I wasn’t making any sense, and he knew I was lying.

The last thing I remember was making two salads for Liam and I, and working really hard on them, and he kept throwing all the vegetables on the floor, and it made me start crying.

Then I woke up.

From Sunshine to Storming

Hello, friends.

Yesterday was… well, it was something. For the last couple of days, Kyle and I had been compiling a list of projects and things to buy that we wanted to complete on Friday (yesterday), since it was his one day off. I’ve really been stressing out about my mom’s visit, so I’ve been pushing to get as much done as possible around the house. Since Kyle’s other job put him back into a full-time position, he’s been working a lot more, and hasn’t been able to help me with some of the bigger projects I want to do, so yesterday was our big push day. We still had plenty of money in savings to spend on some needed things, thanks to his new hours, so we were excited to get it all done.

Our to do list for yesterday was:
1) Lower Liam’s crib
2) Clean out the hallway closet and laundry room (both still filled with boxes of crap from when we moved in 1.5 years ago…)
3) Clean out our kitchen junk drawer
4) Finish the dishes and throw out old/unwanted dishes
5) Hang my new paper towel holder
6) Fix and install our AC unit
7) Buy a new organizer for Liam’s room so I could re-organize his stuff
8) Buy new throw pillows for the couch
9) Vacuum and deep clean the living room carpet
10) Transfer Kyle’s tools into his new, larger tool box, and store them away
11) Hang up my DIY scarf holder in the bedroom
12) Buy a new inner tube for my stroller tire
13) Go grocery shopping

Yeah… QUITE the list. Did I mention that we had to do all of this while Liam was awake and running loose, because it would all make too much noise if he was sleeping? That was fun. Luckily, when we put our strengths together, we make a really productive team, and in just two hours, we got all of that list done, with the exception of lowering the crib, because the ONE tool we needed, we could not find in our collection, and all of the shopping stiff, which would come later when we went out. Liam was very well-behaved the entire time!

We left the house a little after 1:00, and it was gorgeous outside. 72 degrees, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky. We stopped in at two local hardware stores to try and find a new inner tube for my stroller tire. Both places did not have the size we needed, but told us about a bike shop nearby that probably had it. Before going there, we stopped at my bank so that I could cash the check my mom sent me for my birthday (5 days!) so I could put it into Kyle’s account. The woman informed me that I couldn’t cash it all… because I only had 14 cents in my account. Oops… So I deposited some into my account, cashed the rest, and off we went.

The bicycle shop ended up being next door to a bra boutique that I had been wanting to check out for YEARS, so while Kyle went to get the inner tube, I went bra hunting with Liam. I got fitted by an amazingly nice woman, and began the process of trying on expensive pieces of cloth to cover my boobs. I’m quite a large size, so cute, cheap bras at Walmart and Target are not an option for me. I found the perfect, most amazing bra, but could only buy one due to the price. I let it be my birthday present to myself, since the inner tube only cost us $8. Kyle and Liam chatted with the ladies in the shop, who all absolutely adored my son, and then we left, happy with our finds, as well as our accomplishments thus far.

Next, we stopped at Menards to buy the tools we needed to lower the crib, and some CLR for another project I decided to add to the list. Then, we went to Arby’s and grabbed a late lunch for Kyle and I (Liam ate at home), before heading to Walmart to grab the rest of our items.

This is where things start to go bad…

As we pulled into the Walmart parking lot, Arby’s in hand, we noted that the skies had started getting darker, and clouds were rolling in. We turned off the car to quickly eat our food, but when Kyle turned the key to roll our windows up before we went in, the car would not start. We tried, and tried, and tried. Nothing. It sounded like it was trying to turn over, so it wasn’t the battery, but nothing would get this car to start. Kyle, having the temper he has, immediately got frustrated, as we have had nothing but nonstop car troubles for the last 3 years. We JUST had to have this car looked at, due to an unrelated issue we were having a few weeks ago, and now this.

We gave up, went in, and got only about half of our list, as we didn’t know the outcome of the car situation, and did not want to grab anything from the freezer. Sure enough, the car still wouldn’t start, and we had to call Kyle’s mom for a ride, and a tow truck to get our car to Sears. While waiting outside for his mom, it started pouring rain, thundering, lightning, and there was some crazy wind. We had left our coats in the car because of the nice weather, and quickly retreated in. We were still waiting, when I grabbed Liam to change his diaper, and discovered that I had started my period as well.

Fan-freaking-tastic.

The tow cost us $85 to tow it less than half a mile, but we have roadside assistance, so we won’t have to pay it, but Sears couldn’t look at it until 3pm Saturday (today). Kyle’s mom showed up, and we loaded our stuff into her van, and I had to put Liam into his cousin’s car seat in the back. Not only was it front-facing (he’s still just a bit too small for that), but the straps were twisted, uneven, the clip was caked with food and goop, and the car seat in general was filthy and sticky. I was trying to wrestle him into the car seat, which was impossible because there were cars honking at me, and almost hitting me (his mom did not park wisely…), and rain falling on me, and wind blowing me around, and my kid was NOT happy about any of it.

I finally got him in safely, climbed in the front seat, soaking wet, and we went home. We got all the groceries and items in, I thanked her for the ride, and she left to meet Kyle at Sears. Liam and I put the groceries away, realizing only then that we had left the inner tube, stroller tire, completely full drinks from Arby’s, and my sweatshirt in our car. Ugh. Nothing we could do about it at that point.

I quickly made some broccoli and a sandwich for Liam as a late dinner, only making toast for myself, despite feeling famished. Afterwards, we sat in front of the TV, watching Monster Fish, both completely exhausted from the day. I had a cramp that could have rivaled a contraction, a headache that could knock down a horse, my nerves were shot, and I was shaking. When Kyle came home, he was in an awful mood, understandably. I tried my best to play with Liam until bed time, but because he missed a nap during the day, he was a cranky mess. All he wanted to do was pull my hair, grab at my face, and hit me with one of his toy bucket, which was making me cranky. After he bit me on my leg while we were playing on the floor (he’s been teething like crazy lately), causing me to bleed, I put him down for bed half an hour early, and he passed out instantly. Not even our neighbor’s ridiculous noise woke him up. Kyle and I sat down and watched Chopped on Netflix, but ended up going to bed early as well. Luckily, Liam slept through the night, because we were SO tired.

Kyle was able to find a coworker to give him a ride to work this morning, but our car still can’t be looked at until 3pm. We don’t know what’s wrong, or how much it will cost us, but we don’t have a choice. We need the car, so we need to get the problem fixed.

So much for my birthday money… Why does this always happen to me?

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/10/2016 | The Perfect Storm

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/10/2016 | Sudden Shifts

“You’re at the beach with some friends and/or family, enjoying the sun, nibbling on some watermelon. All of a sudden, within seconds, the weather shifts and hail starts descending from the sky. Write a post about what happens next.”

Liam! Nooo!” I shrieked, as my one-year old son dropped a fistful of wet sand into my head. I pulled out my ponytail and shook my hair violently, trying to disperse the itchy particles from my scalp. My little terror smiled brightly, turned on his heel, and took off in the opposite direction toward his father, who was doubled over with laughter.

I rolled my eyes, giving up on my hair, and leaned back into my lime green beach chair. My eyes adjusted to the shade provided by my comically large beach umbrella, and I sighed in defeat. I looked over at my husband and son, who were happily attempting to build a sand castle, with little success. Life with a one-year old, never a dull moment. I smiled, and turned my head to survey the rest of the beach. Families and groups of friends, both big and small, were scattered across the vast, sandy beach, frolicking beneath the warm, July sun. It was the third day that week that we had spent the day at the beach, as the weather had been perfect, and despite having to dig out sand from every nook and cranny of my body, and having a slightly pink complexion, I was definitely not tired of it yet.

Is it supposed to rain today?” I heard my husband’s voice, and turned my head lazily to face him.

No, I think it’s supposed to be sunny the rest of the week. Why?” I asked him, sitting up in my chair to embrace my tiny toddler, who was now climbing into my lap.

He made a confused “hmm” noise, and turned away from me, staring out toward the water. I suddenly became aware that the sun was no longer shining brightly down on the beach, replaced by the shadows of storm clouds, dancing across the sand. A chill entered the air, and I wrapped my beach towel around my son and myself. Kyle turned to me, opening his mouth to speak, when suddenly, something heavy landed on top of my umbrella, startling us.

What the hell was that?” I asked, picking Liam up tilting my umbrella to investigate. A large ball of ice slid down my umbrella, and landed with a thud in the sand. Confused, I looked up into the sky, now dark with storm clouds, and shivered. Was that hail? Was it hailing? How? I heard a loud curse from behind me, and turned to see Kyle bending down to pick up another large ball of ice from the sand, while rubbing his head gingerly.

My eyes widened as he presented a baseball-sized piece of hail to me, and we stood there speechless. All around us, concerned voices, as well as cries of surprise, rang out, and families and friends ran to gather their belongings. Without another word, we quickly packed up our chairs, towels, and other beach accessories, and ran as fast as we could toward the parking lot. I held my umbrella over heads as best as I could, nearly tripping several times.

This is crazy!” Kyle shouted, but it was still hard to hear him by my side over the roar of hail falling around us.

We got to our car and quickly barricaded ourselves inside. The pounding of hail rang loudly in our ears, and I was surprised to discover that my tiny toddler was remaining calm, and seemed to be amused by the balls of ice raining from the sky. We sat in silence (well, not really), and watched hoards of people as they dove into their cars in desperation. I couldn’t help it, and I began to laugh at the bizarre shift in the weather. I turned to Kyle, and saw the intensity melt from his face, and he too began laughing, reaching for my hand, and squeezing gently.

He started the car, and we followed the herd of other vehicles to the main road. Less than a mile later, the sky opened up, and the sun made a welcome appearance. We drove home with smiles on our faces, both ignoring the fact that the outside of our vehicle now likely resembled the craterous surface of the moon. I glanced in the rear-view mirror at my son, now sleeping soundly in his car seat, and sighed contently. We drove home in a happy silence, hearing only the sound of our tires crushing the occasional ice ball on the road. What a beautiful day.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Dream Journal 1/2/16

(I’ve been meaning to write out several entries from my dream journal, and finally have time to do it. Here is the second.)

Present day/near future.

Kyle, Liam, and I are hiking at Starved Rock State Park. Liam looks only slightly older than he is now, maybe 18 months or so, and I am wearing him on my back in a bright, blue carrier. Kyle and I are wearing matching white tops and black bottoms (t-shirt and shorts for him, tank top and leggings for me). Liam is bundled up in a coat and hat, as it appears to be Autumn, judging by the changing leaves on the trees along the trails. The cold doesn’t seem to bother either of us.

We pass by dozens of people, and each person or group stops to compliment us on how cute our son is. Eventually, it starts to get aggravating, as our hike is continuously interrupted, and we decide to go onto one of the harder trails with less foot traffic.

We run into my old work friend, Brooke, who volunteers as a photographer at the park, and she tells us that there is a hurricane coming, and that we need to continue up the trail to the nearest lodge for safety. This confuses us, as we are in central Illinois, and hurricanes don’t reach us, but we comply.

As we continue up the trail, it starts to sprinkle, but the rain is a soft, translucent, green color, which casts a beautiful, green veil over the woods. We stop to take pictures, as the rain is very light, but can hear people yelling urgently a little ways in front of us, so we quickly continue onward.

Further up the trail, there is a large sinkhole, at least 10 feet across, which has swallowed up most of the bridge that we need to get across. Water from the small river is loudly pouring down the gaping hole, creating thundering echoes. There is a family on the other side of the gap, beckoning us over, though they seem very angry that we are unable to cross. The father is shouting at us, but even though he is only a few feet away, is sounds as though he is across the Grand Canyon, and we can’t hear a word he says.

We leave the trail to find another way around, and come across another bridge, which leads to a small, abandoned cabin, where we decide to wait out the storm.

The inside is fully furnished, albeit very rustically, but there is a working computer in the corner, which is already turned on, and logged into my Facebook account. I put Liam on the floor and hand him his stuffed, purple Brachiosaurus toy, and sit down at the computer. Kyle retreats to the kitchen, where he finds a fully stocked fridge, and starts cooking.

It is no longer raining outside, and the ground is already dry. I peek out the window as I change Liam’s diaper on the hideous, yellow couch in the living area, and see that the trees are greener than they were before, but apparently that is because the rain was actually very glossy paint, which is now coating, and dripping off, their leaves. I sit on the floor to play cars with Liam.

Then, I am watching a Shane Dawson video on YouTube, when there is a knock on the door. It is Brooke, and she informs us that we have been missing for six days, and that the entire state has been looking for us. Kyle and I laugh and tell her that that is impossible, as we have only been in the tiny cabin for an hour or so. She looks confused, and asks us what cabin we are talking about.

Then we are in the woods. The trees are back to being shades of orange, red, and yellow, and it is very, very cold. I can hear Liam crying, and Kyle picks him up. Brooke asks if we are okay, and hands me a water bottle, which I chug, because I am apparently very thirsty.

We start walking back to the trail, which is only a few feet from the cabin, and Brooke radios that she found us. Kyle and I argue with her that it is impossible that we have been gone that long, and tell her that we only went inside to wait out the weird, green rain. She looks confused, and says she’s never seen green rain before.

This only adds to our confusion. I hoist Liam up onto my shoulders, and we follow Brooke down the trail. I can see a large group, containing hundreds of people in the distance. They are all cheering. Brooke says something about making us a chocolate cake, and asks if I like Sprite or Dr. Pepper better.

And then I wake up.