Forgive me. I’m only human. Or possibly not even that.

I just tried to leave a comment on someone’s blog, but instead of posting my comment, the blog stopped me and was like, “Not so fast, you.  Are you even human?

areyouhuman

Is this really a problem?  Are there a lot of houseplants and robots trying to leave comments on blogs?  Also, what does this even mean?  Why ask if I’m a human and then give me a weird photo of a wall?  I assumed I was supposed to write the calligraphy on the wall, but when I wrote “B O” it said I wasn’t a human, which is ridiculous because if there’s one thing that humans are good at, it’s at recognizing B.O.

I complained to Victor that computers were judging me for not being human enough and he looked at me like I was insane and said that I need to type in “130”, not “B O”,  and that there must be something wrong with my eyes.  And he’s probably right, but I’m pretty sure that just proves that I’m human because I suspect robots almost never have to get stronger glasses.

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And now, time for the weekly wrap-up:

shit i did


Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit that I’m vaguely involved with on the internets:

Shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

  • I’ve got nothin’ this week.  This funeral stuff took over my life.  Sorry.  If you have something awesome you’ve seen on the internet, please share.

Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by JustGoGirlwhich is a product you need if you’ve ever laughed so hard you peed a little.  Apparently the same thing happens when you run marathons or work out, although I wouldn’t know about that so much.  Basically, it’s a pad designed for athletic leaks, which is a problem that affects 1/3 of all woman.  You totally need to check it out here because people swear by them.

Your essence is DELICIOUS.

Conversation at an estate sale filled with extremely questionable things:

Me:  I’m pretty sure I need this doll.

It's like "Eyes Without a Face," except just the opposite.

It’s like that song “Eyes Without a Face,” except just the opposite.

Victor:  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  All of my nopes.

me:  Sir, how much is the doll with no eyeballs?

Estate sale guy: It’s $75.

me: Seems pricey.  But, hang on…does that include all the human souls trapped inside it? Because that might actually be a good value.

Estate sale guy:   It comes with an extra set of doll clothes.

Victor: Does it also come with an exorcism?

Guy:  It’s real old.  They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

Victor: Well, thank God for that.

Victor said I couldn’t bring her home even though I tried to show him how lovely she was:

"Give us a cuddle.  And some blood."

“Give us a cuddle. And some blood.”

Then Victor made me put her down, but when I went in the next room I found another doll and I was like, “I felt sad for a doll with no eyes until I met a doll with no arms”.

This is where I would put a picture of the doll and her missing arms, but I think it cursed my phone because all I can find is a picture of her face:

"Aaahhhh."

“Come closer.  I can smell your marrow from here.”

Victor:  SERIOUSLY?  Did Satan’s grandma live here?

me:  They probably removed her arms to keep her from smothering people during the night.  Now she can only hug you with her teeth.

And then Victor made me leave.

But not before I bought an antique book for a dollar:

I would have thought the list would be longerHonestly, I would have expected it to be longer.

So fragile, but so enduring.

I’ve been missing for awhile, but I’ve been trying to find my words.

Meemaw died yesterday, at the age of 80.

If you’ve read here long enough then you already know meemaw.  She’s Victor’s grandmother and she (and her late husband) helped to raise Victor, offering him a loving home and a sense of compassion and generosity that has kept him from strangling me over the years.    We were lucky enough to be able to move Meemaw down to live by us last year, so we could spend more time with her, but a lot of that time was spent in hospital rooms as she battled cancer and heart and lung problems.

Meemaw had a penchant for telling her favorite stories over and over, but she told them with such joy that we always laughed like it was the first time.  Sometimes it was the story about Victor getting his head stuck in a fence at Disneyland.   Sometimes it was about breaking her back after falling out of a moving jeep while shooting at rabbits.  Sometimes it was about picking cotton, or rolling cigarettes, or digging up a corpse, or meeting the man of her dreams as a 17-year-old waitress and marrying him 10 days later, or traveling the world as the wife of a career soldier, or making dresses from feed sacks.

A few weeks ago, family gathered around her hospital bed and she started to tell one of her favorite stories that we’d all heard so many times we could each mouth the words.

“When we were little,” she said, “mama would sometimes give all us kids a fresh-laid egg.  And we’d walk for miles down the road toward town, each cradling our egg in our hands.  There were six of us kids…”  She trailed off as she lost her breath and we waited patiently.  She looked a bit lost and after a moment her sister gently laid her hand on her arm and smiled widely as she picked up the story exactly where meemaw had left off.

“There were six of us kids and we’d walk into town because we could trade in our egg at the main store for a cold Pepsi.  We always chose Pepsi because it came in a bigger bottle and we could make it last all the way home if we sipped it slowly.  On really special days mama might give us two eggs and then we felt like we were rich because we could buy peanuts to go with our Pepsi.”

Meemaw smiled gratefully and nodded as she picked up the end.  “And in all those years, none of us ever dropped a single egg.”

It was the last time I ever heard her tell that story.

It was also the best time though, and I don’t know if I can do justice in explaining why.  Partially it was seeing the caring sparkle in both of their eyes as they recalled the story, but it was more than that.  It was seeing that even in her last days, as meemaw struggled to carry her egg, someone she loved caught it and carried it safely home.  She never dropped her egg.

It struck me that sometimes an egg is not egg.  Sometimes an egg is a story.  Sometimes it’s a shared secret, or a sweet relief, or a treasured memory or learned lesson.  Meemaw carried so many fragile eggs with her throughout her life, keeping them safe until she could hand them over to people she loved.  Sometimes the eggs contained kindness, or generosity.  Sometimes they were lessons in patience.  Sometimes they were lessons on the importance of family.  Sometimes they were late-night milkshakes, or handmade quilts, or staying up through the night to rock you to sleep when you had a fever.  Meemaw gave me two things:  (1) She taught me that you don’t always have to get even.  Sometimes you just have to get quiet.  (Because when you get really quiet that’s when people start to feel anxious and regret being jerks and then you’ve gotten even with them without actually doing anything at all.)  And more importantly (2) she gave me Victor.  Or rather, she instilled in Victor a sense of joy and love and generosity that made him able to be a wonderful husband and dedicated father.    And Victor protects those values she taught him and we carry them to pass them on to our daughter, who may one day pass them on to those she loves.

Sometimes an egg is not an egg.  Sometimes an egg is a life.  Sometimes an egg is a lesson.  Sometimes an egg is a gift.

Even in death, meemaw never dropped her egg.  She simply passed it on to us so that we can continue to gently carry it with us as we each walk down our own paths using the lessons she gave us.

May we all be so lucky.

PS.  This is the song meemaw chose to be played at her funeral this weekend.  I can’t listen to it and not smile.

Godspeed, Doris Jean Cantrell.

small doris cantrell

I have an orange thumb.

I just found this in my pantry:

sam i yam2

I can’t keep a houseplant alive to save my life but I can make my sweet potatoes grow into unwanted plants with literally no effort at all.  I can only imagine this means I have some sort of super power which allows me to drain the life of fern and transfer it’s leaves onto a yam.

This is a terrible superpower.

Unless yam plants are a good thing.  Are they?  Could I just put a yam-growth in a vase and use that as my new houseplant?  If they’re so hardy why don’t we grow them instead of the more easily murderable plants?  I’m pretty sure the only difference between a yam-growth and a lily is that one has a better name.  I just need to find a better name and then I can sell my accidental yam-growths and live off the proceeds.  Something like  “YaMandrake” or “Potato-Pansy”.  Maybe if I keep letting it grow it’ll get really enormous and then I can create a portable yam hedge that you can bring with you to use when you’re stalking someone in the desert.  BYOB.  (Bring Your Own Bush.)

I just tried to look up “Can I keep a sprouted potato” but after I typed in “Can I keep a” google auto-suggested “Can I keep a wild rabbit, a gun in a car, a wild turtle or a fox as a pet“.

google1

WTF, google.  I just want to keep a potato.

Then when I added the “s” for “sprouted” google was like “OH, I KNOW WHAT YOU WANT!” and suggested “Can I keep a shotgun in my car” or “Can I keep a squirrel as a pet“.  Jesus, Google. I know I live in Texas but way to stereotype me.

When I got to “Can I keep a spr” google auto-changed the whole question to “Can you have a spray tan when pregnant?”  I don’t know, Google.  I guess?  Why are you asking me?  YOU ARE GOOGLE.

Remember when Google was there to answer questions instead of just raise more?  Me either.

Remember when Google was there to answer questions instead of just raise more? Me either.

Eventually I typed in the whole question but all the links told me how to keep my potatoes from sprouting, rather than how to grow my sprouted potatoes into a giant bush.  I considered googling “How to grow a giant bush from a potato” but I was afraid of what the auto-suggestion would be after I typed in the first part of that search, and so I decided to just give up and wait to see what happens with my potato.  It’s like a science experiment, but in laziness.

Also, I glued some googly eyes on the potato so it looks more life-like, and will be less likely to be thrown away by Victor if the potato can stare at him accusingly.  I was going to call him Mr. Potato Head but that seemed too obvious so instead his name is Samuel Ignacious.

Sam I. Yam.  Naturally smiley.

Introducing Sam I. Yam. He’s naturally smiley and high in vitamin C.

I’ll keep you posted on my big bush.

PS. Victor just found Sam and he claims that what I’m doing is a very common children’s science experiment and he was like “Seriously?  You never grew a potato plant when you were a kid?”  He says I’m supposed to cut the potato and add water and put toothpicks in it, but that sounds suspiciously like a recipe and I think he’s just trying to trick me into accidentally cooking. He insists that every child made potatoes sprout into plants and I was like, “Not us. We were poor. Some of us had to eat our potatoes, Victor.  We couldn’t all go around wasting toothpicks and putting googly eyes on our pet potatoes, Daddy Warbucks.” Then Victor countered that googly eyes aren’t supposed to be part of the science project but I’m pretty sure that just proves that he’s doing science wrong.

I have too much time on my hands and possibly watch too much TV

I’ve had a shitty week so I spent the last hour looking at these awesome House of Thrones posters and thinking about how much simpler things were back in the good old imaginary days when all you had to worry about were blizzard zombies, or assassinations, or being roasted alive by dragons.

sigils

Truly, those were simpler times.

But then I had to remind myself that there are so many good days ahead, if you know where to look and if you remember all the wonderful people in your tribe, or community, or house.

Thank you for being part of this house, weird and baffling as it may be.

smallhousebloggess

UPDATED:  Lots of you lovely House Bloggess members asked if I’d make this available in my shop and I’d love to but I’d feel weird about it because it’s based on Tom Gateley’s original design elements.  Conclusion: House Bloggess is too ethical for it’s own good and deserves lots of good karma and also some burritos.

Yes, I am neurotic. Thank you for noticing!

I’m often described as being “highly neurotic” and I agree with that 100%.  I just don’t agree that “neurotic” means what some people think it means.  Some people go by the boring, standard definition as outlined in the dictionary describing someone who is “mentally disturbed, unstable, or unbalanced”.  And while that’s all technically true of me, I think it’s important to point out that “neuro” means “brain, nerve or nervous system” so if “artistic” means someone with great art skills, then by that logic, “neurotic” would mean someone with amazing brain skills.  In other words, you say “neurotic”, I say “incredibly intelligent.”

Victor rejected this logical conclusion because he says “that’s not how words work” but I suspect he really just disagrees because he’s simply not neurotic enough to understand me.  He agreed completely.  Probably for the wrong reasons though.

I’d petition Webster’s to add my definition under “neurotic” but I lost all respect  for dictionaries last year when they changed the definition of “literally” to also mean “not really literally at all“.  Literally.  So instead I just wrote my definition of “neurotic” (in pen) into my local library’s copy of the dictionary, and I’d suggest you do the same.  If you get caught just explain that you had to do it because you are dangerously neurotic and the librarians won’t mess with you because they’ll be intimidated by how smart you are.  (But only after you show them the new definition of “neurotic”, which you just scrawled in their dictionary, so write quickly.)

Poll time!

 

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And now, time for the weekly wrap-up:

shit i did


Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit that I’m vaguely involved with on the internets:

Shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by the fabulous Michael Meyerhofer who just released his first fantasy novel, WytchFire (The Dragonkin Trilogy, Book 1).   Part Game of Thrones, part X-Men, Wytchfire takes place in a land haunted by the legacy of dead dragons, wherein those born with magical abilities are hunted down-sometimes, for good reason. As war roils across the continent, one mercenary finds himself caught in the middle.  You should check it out here.

Search terms that make me question what’s going on in your life.

Every so often I look at the things people were searching for on the internet that brought them to this blog.  Then I shake my head at humanity.  Then I copy the least offensive but most baffling searches and share them here with you.  Because I’m a giver.  

What people were searching for on the internet this week that led them here:

  • “How to know I’m not in a coma”
  • “accidental lesbian”
  • “u didn’t have to hang up on me you shuld have told me u dont want me to call you poem”
  • “monkeys kissing people walk on the vagina”  (It feels like there should be a period here, but I’m not sure where.)
  • “Miss Johnson you’re amazing”
  • “I want to eat you down into the belly.”  (Wow.  English is not your first language, is it?  Because this is not a good pick-up line.)
  • “Our cat had 4 babies, now there’s 3. Did it eat baby?”
  • “Naked woman hula hooping”
  • “I don’t know what i just did.  I just peed on my favorite adult cats.”  
  • “Pictures of me naked”  (You’re not doing this internet thing right.)
  • “Tell them other bitches funny songs. I’m the one dumb as a 62 ounce slurpee drink”
  • “tentacle pregnancy egg”
  • “Hire people to beat someone up”
  • “hemorrhaging & puddle of blood”  (Why are you on the internet?  GO TO THE DOCTOR.)
  • “Had nervous breakdown/now my daughter is “taking care” of me/what do I do?”
  • “I just cut five inches off my hair. how do i get my hairs back?”  (Oh, honey.  Bless your stupid heart.)
  • “I will never go back to jail.”
  • “Jenny Lawson is a tall treat.”  (Aw, shucks.)
  • “dig dog up to see how he died”  (I’m guessing he died because you buried him?)
  • “crafty unicorn made out of real hair”
  • “Fuck off.  I’m fabulous.”
  • “Those chimpanzees will be sued”
  • “Is it ok to let my dog eat me?”  (I don’t know what this means…but in any case, no.)
  • “how do you get the dog stop sucking the head eggs and let me have a phone number to call them people?”
  • “that one had hair on it”
  • “Gandalf, you better be at my door” (YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF GANDALF.)
  • “78 year old lady does her own home perms”
  • “How to remove tracker bug from belly button?”  (I think you’re confusing real life with the Matrix again.)
  • “mushroom looks like snowman”
  • “guys sit on a buck of fireworks and pops the butt.”
  • “Something red is poking from my belly button.”  (Is it a tracker bug?)
  • “What will happen if you let a moth in your ear?”  (This is like the insect version of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”.)
  • “Why shouldn’t some cats play cards?”
  • “WHERE M I NOW?”  (Based on your search, I’d guess “a bar”.)
  • “do-it-yourself cat costumes for toddlers”
  • “Did nellie oleson eat shit on little house on the prairie?”
  • “can you paint cat’s toenails?”
  • “Can I use butter on my dog?”  
  • “Whatever happened to Lou Diamond Phillips?”
  • “Why does my cat smell my left eye?”
  • “why do blueberry unicorns cross the milk chocolate river when they could just fly to the other side?”
  • “Why is there a really long grey hair coming out of my stomach?
  • “What happens if you can’t dig up St Joseph’s body after your house sells?”
  • “What does it mean when someone says ‘Fuck yeah I like watermelon’?”  
  • “Anyone having nightmares about Morgan Freeman?”
  • “Is it ok with Jesus when I am pretending to pray but I am not?”  (Have you even read these other searches?  YOU’RE FINE.)