July 18th, 2009


Parenthetically speaking

So my stepfather's family is having a 75th family reunion or something, I don't even know--they are very big on the reunions--and we're now hosting a dinner (more of a grill-out, really) the first week of August as part of the festivities. Originally about ten or twelve people were going to come, but now we're looking at thirty-one, and my mother is PANICKED. My parents are having to do a lot of stuff to the house, partly because our house is just a money pit like that,* but mostly because the dogs wrought hell on it the year they were puppies. So we're having to replace the den carpet (the dogs chewed it up), the kitchen wallpaper (the dogs chewed it up), the slatted door into the foyer (third verse, same as the first), and the ferns the squirrels ate (variety!). Also, we've already resodded the little backyard (again: dogs) and replaced the gardenia and camellia bushes they wrecked (the dogs used to run run run run runnnn around them in tight little circles, and then, when they were done, pass out and nap against them) with azaleas (MY PRETTY SCENTED FLOWERS NOOOOOOOOOOO). And, of course, the Angry Jasmine, which has been buzzcut twice and only come back wrathier, and the yellowjacket nest within that had to be zapped. Oh, and the countertop in the kitchen has a huge crack in it for some reason, and one of the burners on the stove died, so we're replacing both of those (hence the helpful delivery guy with the dishwasher advice). My stepfather's out back sanding out the claw scratches on that slatted door and repainting it, and my mother and I just got back from buying incidentals at Wal-mart--extra pans for the banana pudding, foil pans to keep fifty hamburgers warm in the oven, a few wooden folding table-trays, new towels for the hall bathroom...

* Did I ever tell you that we recently found wadded up newspaper instead of insulation in the house walls? Yeah. I remember when this street was being developed and the houses were being built--my best friend at the time moved here--and apparently our neighbor's ex-husband cut all damn kinds of corners. There's a reason he's her ex now, let's put it that way. God bless this house, I love it to death, but we've had to redo it by brick and stick over the last eight years.

And then... we went to Hobby Lobby. Mom needed to replace some of the raggedy silk flowers by the front door. My God. That is one of the most dangerous, terrifying places I have ever been. We wanted to buy everything. I wanted to start doing crafts I had previously not even known existed. All I needed was craft-safe sealant/varnish and some cheap paintbrushes to improve the sparkle* of a certain vampirus scintilla minimus; I was very good and only splurged additionally on some Glue Dots, but I had to be forcibly removed from the doll furniture aisle if we were ever going to get home. In theory, my mother only needed silk flowers and artificial moss for the artificial tree** (guess who tore up the old moss). That... is not what she left with. All I know is, I hope my stepfather likes $10 Murano glass giraffes, because we've got some now.

* As a point of ever-so-little interest, here's what the previous Secret Life installment looked like before our sparkle got rained out (I never actually tried to take the pictures described). Honestly, I think the version posted turned out better, but there's a nice mental image that got left behind.

** Every single time I pass the fake tree, I make sure to greet it à la Wahlberg. "Hey, tree... you're looking good. You been working out? Say hi to your mother for me."

Meanwhile, I tried the new full 200 mg Lamictal dose on Wednesday. Mid-afternoon, I suddenly felt like crying. Not a good sign. Sounds like it's time to start cutting the pills to get some approximation of a 175 mg compromise--which I hate, because you lose some of the dose what with the crumbling and all. Maybe I'll just cut a bit of the end off (it's a diamond-shaped pill) and call it a day. Right now, though, I've gone back to my normal 150, because I've got something that has to be finished ASAP and I don't have time for this crying shit. On the other hand, I've been feeling a bit manic, which can't be good either. Maybe it's just the panicked OMG REFURBISH energy in the house right now, I don't know.

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