Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh, to be weak

I was in the midst of yet another home improvement crisis that I did not know how to handle and was declaring that I felt incredibly weak. And he said to me, "It's OK to feel weak, you're a girl." Now before you go bashing him as a thoroughly unenlightened clod, I assure you, he is not.

All that said, however, the truth is that when you are single, a mother and a homeowner, it really isn't OK to be weak. It's not a luxury afforded those of us who waded into the shallow end of the gene pool. There is no moral support. There is no shoulder to lean on. There is no financial support. There is no room for weakness. You are the mother and the father and the cook and the electrician and the laundress and the plumber and the mechanic and the nurse. You are the nurturer and the disciplinarian. You must keep a job and keep the house. When all goes to hell in a handbasket, guess who has to deal with it? Bingo! You. Don't waste your time looking for someone else to step up and do it for you, 'cause honey, there ain't nobody there.

It's the thing they don't tell you about single parenthood. It sucks, and it sucks at least half of the time. It's lucky that most have so little time, they don't notice how much it sucks. But make no mistake, weakness is not an option available to us. You stumble, and the fall can be catastrophic and impossible to recover from.

It is no mystery to me why so many single parents seek to get remarried as soon as they can, even if the relationship is less than perfect or the odds say it won't succeed. I can almost taste the sweetness of those six words, "Honey, you take care of that."

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Not sure what the heck is up. Maybe it's the change in seasons. Maybe it's the mountains of things I never did or got to do this summer. Maybe I'm just tired. Whatever it is, I have been struck with a terrible case of indifference as of late. I'm a country song. My give a damn's busted.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sometimes it actually works

Apparently, an Internet slide show, a screwdriver and a cheapo socket set really are enough to qualify me as an appliance repairwoman. Go figure.

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Praying to the porcelain

In this case, it was porcelain on steel, in the form of my immobile washing machine tub. You see, normally, they fill with warm water and do useful things like agitate, spin and drain. Mine? Not so much. I was clued into the problem when I tried to push down the lid switch and parts of it started falling off. This is bad because without the lid switch, there will be no agitating of the clothes, no spinning of the clothes and no draining of the water. None. Nada. So, I was left crying and swearing last night at the foot of my full-of-clothes-and-water washing machine--now reduced to little more than a bloated paperweight with the potential for serious swamp syndrome--wondering why the hell things have to be so bloody difficult 99 percent of the time.

Tonight I'll use my considerable appliance repair expertise, gleaned from a slideshow on some fix-it site online, to tear apart the damn thing and put a new switch in. Oh yeah, this ought to be interesting. I wonder how hard you have to pitch a screwdriver to get it to stick like a dart in a sheetrock wall?

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Put a rock on my ...

I came home from work today and was greeted by a lovely sight. That's right: a whole dump truck load of D-1 nicely spread the length of my driveway. If I ever doubted his devotion, those doubts are long gone. Keep the chocolates, honey. You wanna show me you love me? Bring me a nice blend of rock and fines, you know, the good stuff that packs down really hard.

Now that's true love, baby.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Got wood?

Oh stop. Not that kind. My friend and I spent the day loading up two pickups with firewood for the winter. I suspect we will both pay dearly in the morning, but we were quite proud of ourselves for our efforts. We did really well at pretending that we knew what we were doing. Alas, we were so hard at work that we did not take the time to document our in-the-field efforts, but is suffices to say that we discovered that cutting notches in trees actually works, as does gravity, and that when you push really hard on a tree, it seems to fall away from you, which is a good thing, because there were a lot of rose bushes and roots on our "oh-carp-the-tree-is-falling-toward-us" escape path. Oh yeah, and I didn't cut anything but wood with the chainsaw, which is always the marker of a successful adventure with power tools. Yep. We are certified. Rugged Alaska divas. Training complete. No boys allowed (though the diva in both of us probably wouldn't argue too terribly hard if said boys were to say, "Honey, it's OK, you go shopping, we'll cut the wood.") But we'd probably go to Home Depot.

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