August 26, 2010

It’s time to clean my brain, I mean house.

Filed under: Deranged Denise — Tags: , , , , — denise @ 12:23 pm

This weekend, and by that I mean TOMORROW at 8am, my family are packing up and boogieing themselves to the Wisconsin Dells. I, matriarch of this clan, am to remain home to ostensibly make our house all better.  I, matriarch of this clan,  in fact DEMANDED that my husband take this trip. Away. With the children. Away. All 3 of them. All weekend. I’m serious. I’m booking it for you. 

It was like that.

Kory was all, “Oh honey, you want to go too, don’t you?”

And when I stopped laughing I was like, “Uh, absolutely not.”  As if I would pass up the opportunity for maybe up to 56 hours alone in my house.  A few things I’m NOT dying to do? How about put on a bathing suit and flounce around in public.  How about sleep on a hotel room bed.  How about hours in the car with all the kids.  Yeah, those things.

And then there’s the house.  The big messy house.  The house in which the cleanest room is Wyatt’s and that’s only because he’s only in there to sleep.  The house in which there are so many piles of laundry (clean, dirty, mixed.. who the hell knows anymore. We’ve taken to sniffing everything) and toys and boxes and laundry and toys and just PILES AND PILES everywhere that some rooms, you’d have to guess what color the carpet is.  YEAH, MOM, ITS THAT BAD.

The playroom not only has enough toys for 100 children, but it’s become a receptacle of everything that the person holding it doesn’t know where it really should go.  Mostly that person is Peter.  Who, when charged with cleaning, moves everything from the kitchen to the dining room and everything from the dining room to the living room and everything from the living room into the playroom.  And also puts all the dishes in the wrong places and hides the garlic salt in a different place each time…….. but that’s a whole other bag of annoying.  So, the playroom is chock full of crap.  Toys, video games… but also old clothes, gardening supplies, power tools.   I’m telling you that it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if when I move some piles out of that room I find that a dude named Bob was now living there.

Bob“, I’d say, “How’d you get this tent set up in here without us knowing.”

Who are you kidding?”, Bob would sneer.  “You haven’t set foot in here since February.”  

“You can’t stay here, Bob.  It’s our playroom.”, I’d say.

“But I used the power saw to make a garden by the dollhouse and I planted strawberries!”


So, the PLAN is that I am going to clean the entire house while they are gone.

The PLAN is that in exchange for having 56 hours to myself, they are going to return to a house transformed.

The PLAN is that laundry will be eradicated. Wash. Dry. Fold. Put away.

That Goodwill will play heavily into PLAN.  We always talk about taking all the kids clothes to Once Upon a Child and Kory likes to suggest we sell them on ebay or have a garage sale… BUT WHAT I’M SAYING IS, if we can’t be bothered to remove the strawberry plant and the drill from the playroom and I broke a mug in the bathroom this morning, because I’m apparently amassing a collection of them in there, I’m sure as hell not going to find the time/energy/desire to take pictures of things and post things and mail things and set up tables and AAAAAAAAACK!  I need to accept my limitations and throwing all that shit into bags and driving it to Goodwill is where I top out. Dammit.

The PLAN is upstairs on Friday. (our bedroom, our bathroom, Bella’s room, Wyatt’s room, bathroom… I’m not touching Peter’s.)

Downstairs on Saturday (kitchen, dining room, living room, playroom, laundryroom, bathroom)

Sunday will be driving it all to Goodwill and maybe…maybe… starting on the garage.

And at night… well, at night after organizing and cleaning all day, the plan is to try to do the same to my brain.  To my heart.  To myself.  Like my house, I’ve spent the last year just sort of existing.  I have a lot of piles in my head. I have allowed good things to slip away. I’ve allowed bad things to get worse. I’ve allowed distance to happen. I’ve allowed myself to draw into a cocoon and little by little peel away all the people in my life that were difficult in some way…. I can’t even say I’m seeking peace or happiness so much as … ease.   I just want simple.   Simple doesn’t come easy to me.

If complicated people were a flame, I’d be one of those stupid flappy moths that bangs my head against them again and again.  But, also like a moth, I’m pretty easily crumpled.   And I think I just got tired of being crumpled.   Decided that I’d rather be a moth that just hung out and watched Top Chef and drank wine.  Screw those complicated people.  That crumple me.

Anyway, I have a feeling that this mass removal of people is maybe not the healthiest thing I’ve ever done… and even if I can’t change it or end up just not changing it… I think it’s a really, really good idea for me to honestly take a look at it and really confess to myself why I’m doing it.  When the motives for doing something are so deep that you don’t even tell yourself, that’s something to take note of.

Self, why’d you do that?

I dunno.

You do! You’re you and you did it, so you must know. Don’t lie to you.

Well, I can ask myself again, but I know myself pretty well and I’m probably still going to say I don’t know.

Yourself is an asshole.

Yeah, I know.

So, that’s the PLAN. 

Clean the house.  Clean my brain. De-clutter my house. De-clutter my brain.

And also watch Top Chef and drink wine.  Duh.

August 12, 2010

Boats & Friend Purgatory

Filed under: Deranged Denise,friends,Life — denise @ 4:43 pm

I look around and can’t help but try to inventory the people in my life.

I have a handful of people that are firmly in the boat with me…. a handful of people have jumped ship (or, if I’m being honest, in some cases I’ve shoved out of the ship)… and then this not small group of people that are just sort of floating in the water. 

They aren’t here. They aren’t gone. 

They aren’t my good friends anymore. They aren’t my mortal enemies.  

They are in Friendship Limbo…  the purgatory for the people whose email address is still in your contacts or whose number is still in your cell phone, even though you never talk or see them anymore.   But the deletion of them… off email, off cellphone, off Facebook is so final that you can’t quite bring yourself to do it.

We might hold on to them out of nostalgia or out of obligation.   So that if they DO call you some day, you won’t have to ask the dreaded question, “Who is this?”  So if they get married or have a baby or die, maybe you will be told… because you don’t really know them anymore but you loved them once.  You would care if they were hurt or gone. You would be happy for their joy if they found love or brought new lives into the world.   You would offer them comfort if they needed it.  You would help them if they asked for it. You would let bygones be bygones. You would.

Because maybe they post the occasional picture on Facebook and you can catch a glimpse of the person that you used to be close to and know that at least, they looked happy for that moment.  

Because maybe some day they will change.  Or you will change.  Some day we won’t care anymore about what drove us apart or we will find a new connection that brings us back together in a way that is not the same, but better than before.

As much as I hate to consider the possibility… maybe, I’m getting what I deserve… these people on land… these people floating in the water… and me, in the boat, with my handful of people that I can’t bear to let go of…  my handful of people that won’t LET me throw them from the boat, even when I try… and I do, sometimes… a fatal character flaw that makes me run and makes me shove.  Makes me act like such a jerk that if you stay, if you don’t leave then I really, really know you are there and not leaving… no matter what. I am, admittedly, a complete pain in the ass.


Have you ever tried to pull someone back into a boat, when they’ve fallen (or yes, dammit, been pushed) out?  Waterlogged, slippery, without a firm place to plant their feet and push.. they flail and splash and choke. Sometimes they just try to hold on to the side for as long as they can.   Sometimes, they give up and swim away to land.

But sometimes, you grab onto their hands and pull with all your might and somehow they flop over the side into the boat and you both just whoop and drip and try to catch your breath and grin at each other… 

Sometimes, that happens.

November 6, 2008

The post-apocalyptic renegade in me wants to buy this.

Filed under: Deranged Denise,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — denise @ 12:08 pm


Emergency Food Kit

275 Servings
Weather Proof Bucket

Item # 104893


Basic preparation will impact the probability of your family’s survival in an emergency. Delicious and easy to prepare. Each bucket contains 275 servings of Pre-mixed and Pre-seasoned 100% vegetarian and vitamin fortified food. With a 20 year long shelf life, this kit is perfect for the preparation of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or even for a camping or hunting trip.

  • Easy to Prepare
  • Must have water and a heat source
  • 275 Servings
  • All Meals 100% Vegetarian and Vitamin Fortified
  • Sealed in convenient Weather-Proof bucket for easy transport
  • 30 Servings – Potato Bakon
  • 25 Servings – Corn Chowder
  • 25 Servings – Ala King
  • 25 Servings – Cacciatore
  • 25 Servings – Western Stew
  • 25 Servings – Country Noodle
  • 25 Servings – Rice Lentil
  • 45 Servings – Whey Milk
  • 25 Servings – Blueberry Pancakes
  • 25 Servings – Barley Vegetable
  • Total Weight: 23 lbs.

For best taste and nutritional value, use product before:

20 years of manufacturing date when stored at 60° F (16.6° C)

10 years of manufacturing date when stored at 70° F (21.1° C)

Basic preparation will impact the probability of your family’s survival during an emergency. Especially developed for Costco members, this advanced survival kit was assembled with protection from a wide variety of emergency situations in mind. This complete kit contains items and tools that are recommended in the event of an Earthquake, Pandemic, Wildfire or Displacement Emergency. We hope it never happens, but it’s always best to be prepared.

We suggest adding Emergency Food Kit (Item# 104893) to help complete your disaster preparedness needs for your family or business.


  • 6 Days Food (60 Servings) for 2 Adults
  • Food is 100% Vegetarian with a 20 Year Shelf Life
  • Fruit & Vegetable Dietary Supplements
  • Water Filtration System (100 plus Gallon Capacity)
  • Crank Flashlight/Radio/Cell Phone Charger
  • Survival Multi-Tool
  • Cooking Supplies/Stove/Fuel
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Sanitizer/Matches
  • Emergency Blankets
  • Compass/Whistle/Thermometer
  • 2-N95 Safety Masks
  • 4 Ready-to-Eat Meals (No cooking required)
  • Duct Tape
  • Plastic Sheeting (100 square feet; 3mm thick)
  • 2 Nylon Ropes (20 feet each)
  • Tube Tent
  • Hygiene Kit
  • 4 Hand Warmers
  • 8 Water Pouches
  • 2 pairs Leather Work Gloves
  • Net Weight: 18 lbs.

For best taste and nutritional value, use product before:

20 years of manufacturing date when stored at 60° F (16.6° C)

10 years of manufacturing date when stored at 70° F (21.1° C)

So, for about $200 I could stash this crap in my basement along with the directions to my best friend’s family’s cabin and feel like if nuclear holocaust/alien invasion/world-wide foliage poison attack/ tidal waves caused by global warming/asteroid colliding with earth happened, I’d be at least partially prepared to deal with the situation.

In the past, my loose plan was to race to the grocery store and buy all the cans of canned bread I could find.

The prospect of trying to figure out how to make bread and like, hull wheat and grow yeast and shit was far more daunting than how to locate, trap, kill, and sizzle up a wild pig or somesuch.

I mean, how does one GROW YEAST?  And I don’t want to use the whole “starter dough” situation because many theorists now believe that the Salem Witch Hunts were due in part to women of that day leaving their starter dough on the counter and it growing a form of LSD – which caused hallucinations “witch-ish” behavior and I think we’ll have enough on our hands to deal with, without adding rainbows and melting ceilings to the situation.

I also had a semi-plan to break into the nearest Walgreens and take as many antibiotics/pain killers/anticeptics, etc, as possible because it seems like in every book or movie about such disasters, someone ends up dying from something like pneumonia just because they didn’t have any amoxicillin…. and you know, who wouldn’t feel better in an alien attack with a few Percocets laying around?

I suppose, even with the emergency food packs and crap, I’d probably still want to keep my plans to buy all the canned bread and break into pharmacies.  I could, I suppose, just buy a case of yeast and actually learn how to bake bread – but what if the nuclear winter makes the plants stop growing and all the flour is gone in a few month?  WHAT GOOD WILL THE YEAST BE THEN, I ask you?!

Also, as much Crystal Light as possible.  And batteries.  I feel like batteries are probably a good idea.  Like, tons of those….  and matches.

If it’s Zombies, The Teen has that one covered.  He is our resident zombie expert.  I bought his this book for Christmas:

He’ll be key if that happens, because I took THIS QUIZ and failed miserably.

I also don’t know how to make soap or preserve animal skins (mental note:  add all the Jane Auel “Clan of the Cave Bear books to the survival pile) or… God, what about TOILET PAPER?

[A quick Google check on post-apoclypic toilet paper needs states that leaves are generally a bad idea and that a soft cloth that is washed well and often is best.  Soooo… ew.]

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