Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Art of Being Someone Else Part 1


 I am well into week two of summer vacation. I spent the first morning of summer vacation thinking about different ways I could be productive and really get my house into order during vacation.  After three glasses of iced coffee, laced with 1/2 and 1/2, I still didn't have much of a plan beyond throwing out moldy bath toys.  So I called Prairie Sherry, a woman who always has a plan.
(NOTE:  Official Prairie Grlz endorsement.) 

I love you Trader Joe's Coffee Concentrate.  You offer such a variety of ways to get a caffeine buzz. 

 Prairie Eydie:  My house is dingy due to 9 months of consistent neglect.  The kids' bathroom is caked with Crest, there are stacks of school papers on the kitchen island, and the entry way is basically a sandbox.   I remember you saying how you spent the first week of summer vacation cleaning your house so everything would be clean.

Crickets.  Crickets.  Crickets.

Prairie Eydie:  Are you still there?

Prairie Sherry (sniffing):  Yes, I am.  I just hesitate to tell you what I did.  I am not you will be able to handle it.

Prairie Eydie:  I CAN handle it.  I am ready for this. 

Prairie Sherry:  You will need to go through your house one room at a time.  Every drawer is gone through a wiped out.  Every shelf is emptied and scrubbed.  Furniture is moved away from the walls and vacuumed behind.  Baseboards are dusted.  Bedding is aired out.  Windows are washed.  Ceiling fans are dusted.  Lamp shades are vacuumed.  Tassels are combed . . .  

Prairie Eydie (interrupting):  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  I can handle all of that.

Prairie Sherry:  I create a master list and work off of that for the week.  It is exhausting work.  One thing you never must do is go from room to room.  You stay in one room until it is completely cleaned.  The only exception is the last day when you will shampoo all the carpets.

Praire Eydie (jotting down notes with a blue crayon):  Got it.

Prairie Sherry:  Remember I am very Type "A".  I worry someone like you might not be suited for such a cleaning. 


Prairie Sherry and Carson - A match made in heaven.

You won't want to miss Part Two of "The Art of Being Someone Else."  Are my baseboards buffed?  My pillows puffed?  My Goodwill bags stuffed?  My make-up brushes fluffed?

Prairie Eydie

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Prairie Eydie Loses Mother of the Year Title (once again)

Mother's Day has come and gone.  Sadly, yet again, I did not receive the coveted "Mother of the Year" award.  I try so hard every year, but am bumped out of the running by mothers who lovingly bake zucchini kale muffins for breakfast and iron 100% cotton button down shirts.  For a "Mother of the Year" victory next year, I need improvement in the following areas:  laundry, haircuts, and school artwork archival.  If I can do this, the trophy will be mine.

I am a single mom with three kids.  I work full time and try to keep sane by going to boot camp (which kinda makes me insane - with all the tire flipping and med ball slamming), creating art, and blogging.  It is hard to fit laundry into my life, but I must if I want to take home the trophy.  Here is what my laundry room currently looks like -

A moldering mess.  
Clean clothes in the basket AND in the drier!  The clothes must wait patiently for folding.  I like to wait until things are good and wrinkled before giving them the shake down.    

Yesterday it was 90 degrees out.  (I was wearing a breezey, clean sundress.)  I was outside surveying my garden, and saw my oldest son, Leonard, walking down the street wearing a long sleeved hoodie and jeans.  I immediately accosted him for wearing such a stupid outfit on a hot day. He politely waited for me to finish before saying, "Mom, I have no clean shorts.  Yeah.  And I have no clean t-shirts.  Plus, you forgot to buy me sandals.  (Hmmm. I will also have to improve on kids' clothes shopping.  I seem to do quite well when it involves shopping for me.)

Later, when my middle child, Gus, was getting ready for bed.  He said, "You DO know that we have been wearing dirty socks all week. We get them out of the hamper every morning."  No.  I did not know that.   I did what I assume most moms do - I immediately drove to Target and bought a couple new packs of socks for the boys.

I know of moms who spend the school year curating museum quality scrap books and galleries of their children's artwork.  I, on the other hand, have started throwing my kids art projects in the garbage when they are sleeping.  Just look at what Leonard brought home the other day -
Something not even a mother could love.  It is also jagged and sharp, practically a weapon.
What is it?  A failed attempt at pottery, I guess.  But I am determined to be "Mother of the Year 2016," so I will either find a cute way to display this lump or save it forever in a Rubbermaid tote.  Yes.  Award winning mothers have lots and lots of totes.

Awww.  I think I LOVE this low maintenance hairstyle.

Finally, I have to get the kids on a haircut schedule.  I need to stop hoping that the "Keith Partridge Look" will be back in style at any moment.  It is not going to make a comeback and I am going to have to pay the money for regular trims.  Often I have to pay for haircuts twice.  Once at Cost Cutters and then again at a decent salon to fix what happened at Cost Cutters. 

Okay Prairie Friends - I am off to throw in a couple loads of laundry.

Prairie Eydie



Friday, June 5, 2015

The Art Of Healing--Prairie Sherry's Way

It has been a week since my surgery to set and plate my broken arm, and while the plaster splint, cotton batting, and two ace bandages are hot, sweaty, and cumbersome, I am in little pain and healing quite nicely.  I am not, however, probably behaving according to doctor's orders because I didn't receive any.

The do rag is just covering a gaping head wound.

I found that when you break a bone around Memorial Day, unless it is sticking through your skin, you will probably be triaged as low priority. Higher priority are the holiday Harley riders who have smashed their helmet-less skulls on the pavement during their first ride of the season or the barbeque "masters" who have first degree burns following the fireball that commenced the grilling season. I waited five days for surgery after my dazzling fall on a rocky ledge. 

Looking down into the abyss that
proved to be my undoing.

Post op, too, seemed a bit hurried and sketchy.  I never met the actual surgeon while conscious, the occupational therapist didn't showed up, and I only had to suggest that perhaps I didn't need to stay overnight before I was dumped out of the wheelchair right by valet parking. The nurse didn't seem terribly concerned that my daughter would have to drag her drugged-up mother to the third floor of the parking ramp and load her into the car.

So I came home with no instructions.  Of course, having been through all of this before, I know what I should and should not be doing, but just the fact that I wasn't looked at sternly, lectured, and then given a printed page of things to avoid has given me permission to do things my way.

Day One of Recovery:

I go back to work as a cashier.  I work an eight-hour shift checking out grocery orders.  I also bag those orders one-handed.
10 pound bag of potatoes?  No problem!

Day Two of Recovery:

I am back to work again, but this time I bag adding the splinted arm.  I go home and wash the dog--wrestling all 18 pounds him in and out of the laundry tub with one arm. I decide to wash the other three dogs as well.  At 9, 11, and 14 pounds, they are a cinch. 

Next time I hope she breaks both arms.

Day Three of Recovery:

I work another eight hour shift.  With my free evening, I decide to make 10 pounds of pulled pork for my daughter's graduation party. I successfully manage the butcher knife without severing arteries.

Getting it out of the pot was the tricky part.

Day Four of Recovery:

I have a day off, so I tackle the lawn.  I figure out how to maneuver the Torro with one hand.  Did I mention that we have a hilly, oversized corner lot?

I fought the mower, and I won.

Day Five of Recovery:

Another day off, so I clean the house top to bottom.  My only concession to the broken arm is that I don't scrub the kitchen and dining room tile on my hand(s) and knees, but enlist the aid of my steam cleaner.  

I wonder if Ma Ingalls used one of
these in that Plum Creek dugout?

When I have finally settled down to a class of ice tea and a book, a gust of wind takes the patio umbrella off of our second floor deck, and sends toppling to the deck below.  I manage to close it and drag it up a flight of stairs to its rightful home.


Day Six of Recovery:

I break the only rule I was given at the hospital ("Don't remove the ace bandages!"), and I redress my split with one hand.  The bandages are covered in grass stains, pork fat, and cleaning residue. I really have no other choice. I sweep out the garage and wash three loads of laundry.

Impressive one-handed wrapping.

Day Seven of Recovery:

I have taken it easy today.  I met Prairie Eydie for breakfast, and then I came home to do some light gardening. The bandage really needs changing again.

On June 10th I have an appointment with my surgeon.  I suspect that he with then give me permission to go back to work on a limited basis and begin some light physical therapy. I will smile at him sweetly, nod intently, and agree to all of his suggestions demands. He is, of course, the expert.

Prairie Sherry  


A little disclaimer here.  In case you are concerned, I did none of the above while under the influence of the narcotics the surgeon prescribed. I ditched those right after surgery. Didn't follow the directions for those either.   

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Top 6 Reasons Why Prairie Eydie is Posting Late

Can I come out now, Prairie Sherry?  I posted.

I am in the outhouse with Prairie Sherry.  Monday came and went and I didn't post.  Part of me was hoping that Prairie Pa would come through with his much anticipated, "How to Eat for Free as a Senior Citizen," post.  But he didn't.  He is too busy gardening and avoiding Home Depot.  Sigh. 

As a teacher, I hear lots of excuses.  So here are my top 6 excuses for my late blog.

6.  I have 8 days of school left and my students have lost their minds.  My energy is being slurped up listening to comments like, "Why do we have to always read in here?" or "Can't we do something fun today?" or "You should buy us cupcakes."

5.  I am spending a lot of time flossing my teeth and massaging my gums.  Plus I am chewing gum with xylitol five times a day.  This takes time people!  I got yet another bad checkup with my mouthy dental hygienist.  If she doesn't say something positive to me at my next appointment, I am bailing.

4.  I am reading an awesome book!  And I am recommending it to you, Prairie Friends.

  3.  Did I mention that I only have 8 days of school left?

We all look at the same sunset, Ponyboy.  But I don't know why we have to look at the same post, day after day.
2.  The 7th graders are reading The Outsiders.  Wednesday is dress like a Soc or a Greaser day.  I have been spending a lot of time combing the Madison-area, St. Vinny's for a red wig so I can go as Cherry Valance. 

I want to be just like Prairie Sherry when I grow up.  
1.  My middle son, Gus, broke his arm.  Horseplay on the swing set with his older brother.  When you have three kids, this is bound to happen.  I could not even look at his arm until it was all wrapped up and in a sling.  (Yet another reason why I will not be "Mother of the Year."  When my kids are injured I throw gasoline on the fire by becoming hysterical.  My hysteria usually brings about vomiting on their part.)  He will need surgery, which is scheduled for Thursday - SIX DAYS after breaking his arm.  

Hmmmmm.  Maybe I can talk Gus into watching Downton Abbey, Season 3 with me.  

Prairie Eydie