SoCS – the pain and angst of guessing games

I don’t like guessing games.  Never have, never will.

I don’t want to spend time hemming and hawing over what might be in the box when someone gives me a present.  I’m convinced I’ll guess wrong and make them feel badly, or maybe I’ll guess right and ruin the surprise.  Either way, I’d rather just graciously accept the gift, thank you very much.

I come off as a big old fuddy duddy but I hate most guessing games that children insist you do, too.  What’s behind my back?  When’s my birthday?  What’s my middle name?  Nothing I want to spent time thinking about.  Also, per the kid thing, those jars in classrooms where you’re supposed to guess the number of items in the jar – UGH.  I actually had to teach this skill one year and it almost killed me: Now kids, here’s how you use estimation to determine a logical guess for how many jelly beans are in the – when what you really want to do is shout out THREE HUNDRED FORTY-SEVEN and be done with it.

Guess the sex of the baby.  Guess what’s for lunch.  Guess your best friend’s dream job.  Guess when the baby will be born.

Nope, nope, nope nope nope.

Call me a fuddy duddy if you will.

Linda’s SoCS prompt this week is (no surprise here) “guess.”  You should click over and check out who else participated.

SoCS – two philosophers walked into a bar…

High bars, low bars…some say how successful you feel depends on where you set your goal line.  

I’m not sure how I feel about this philosophy.  I mean, in some instances it makes sense.  Going into a Saturday hoping to have a good day may seem like setting a low bar to some, but if setting the bar low means you find pleasure in a cup of coffee and walking the dog then who am I to argue? 

Then again, aiming to graduate college with whatever GPA constitutes “passing” strikes me as a bar set far too low.  Little to aim for, no incentive to challenge yourself – I think some folks sell themselves short when they’re cruising on Ds and keep on rolling.

So where’s the happy medium?  (And you can’t say average.)

My kids aim high.  In school, in sports, in more ways than I probably know, T-man and Bear want to achieve.  I’m trying to help them find balance, find a way to live peacefully even when life doesn’t hit those high notes.  It’s a work in progress.  I could say the same for me.

Linda’s stream of consciousness prompt this week is “high/low.”

SoCS – head, shoulder, knees, and toes (knees and toes)

My limbs have always been a source of…I don’t know what the word is.  Amusement?  Oddness?  Simultaneous strength and weakness?  Whatever it is, when Linda’s SoCS prompt was “limb” the first place my mind flew is these arms and legs ‘o mine. 

I was a scrappy kid, one my dad jokingly referred to as “long neck and skinny legs.”  Not “jokingly” as in it wasn’t true; more like it was so true you just had to laugh.  Stork-like wouldn’t have been a poor description either.

I had this bizarrely long neck and skinny, knobby legs.  My knees looked nothing like the silky smooth models from Nair commercials – my bumps and knots defied every razor’s attempt to shave without drawing blood.

My lower (lowest?) extremities aren’t much better.  These bony ankles jut out, knocking themselves against furniture and each other every chance they get.  The odd bumps on the sides of my feet have made sitting “criss cross applesauce” akin to penance, and my big toes?  We do not speak of the big toes.

My elbows are pointy and bony, a ridiculous display of the awkward phase I never grew out of.  I guess my body didn’t get the memo that middle school was supposed to be the gawky years because my limbs have carried this awkwardness right into my forties.  But, as silly as my limbs might be, it’s hard to be too awful mad at them.  They’ve seen me through the years, good and bad, right up until this moment.  Who knows, maybe if I’d been one of those Nair knee girls I’d have ended up snotty and entitled.

That’s the story I’m going with, anyway.

Cee’s Stream of Consciousness prompt this week is “limb.”

SoCS – the things you find way up high

I gotta admit, our ceilings wig me out a little.

(Psst.  Come closer.  I’m about to talk about what things look like inside our house which, I might add, is not how things look outside our house.  BrightSide works hard to keep the yard, etc, looking good and now here I go, throwing wide the front doors.)

I mean, I love that they’re high.  BrightSide says they’re a little too high, utilities-wise, but I do love a room that doesn’t feel like it’s smashing you into the floor.  That wonderful height makes them, well, challenging to clean…and, if I’m honest, it’s not like cleaning my ceilings was already high on my list of things to do.  Add the fact that I have to screw an extension on the scrubby bristle brush thingie and now we’re talking a chore that’s ranked below Tupperware organization.

You can imagine how low that one is.

So since we live out here in the nature and such, critters like our house.  Critters like spiders, among other things we shall not think about, which means I do have to keep an eye out for errant webs or those weird single strands that connect a cupboard to the ceiling – I mean, what’s that all about, a transit system from the kitchen to the family room?  At any rate, for some reason (probably that whole survival of the species thing) the spiders like to leave webs high, which is weird because at least 75% of the time we kill them as they scramble across the floor.  Sorry, nature lovers, but inside the house is my domain.

Wow, I’m rambly this evening.

It’s always fun to see exactly how long I can stand it before hauling out that equipment to brush off ceiling corners and such, and then it’s also super fun to see how many cobwebs (those aren’t the same as spider webs, right?) have snuck into my nooks and crannies.  Well, not MY nooks and crannies, because I would surely notice if that was going on…


Linda’s SoCS prompt this week is “sealing/ceiling.”  I had it written.  I thought I had it scheduled.  Looks like last week’s Saturday lands on Monday.

SoCS (belated) – reality check

The lovely Linda posts her stream of consciousness prompt on Fridays.  I saw this topic come across my feed, but I was off the grid this weekend so I wrote my post longhand.  (I’m old school like that.)  I’m now transcribing it, word for word, punctuation mark for punctuation mark, without a bit of day after editing.  Pinky promise.


The ’70s were a rough and tumble time to be a kid.  There was no bubble wrap parenting when kids played unsupervised until the streetlights came on.  Playdates were unheard of when kids just congregated at one house until they were fed and kicked out to another.

It left a lot of opportunity for, um, adventure.

“Why are you back so early?”  Well, Kim tried to jump the creek and crashed her bike in front of me.  Then I ran over her leg and she had to go home.  It was awful.  “But did she die?”

“How was your day?”  Great until they served tuna salad in the cafeteria.  “Okay, but did you die?”

“Why are there 40 BandAid wrappers on the counter?”  We were playing roller derby in the cul-de-sac.  “So?”  I fell a few times.  “But did you die?  No.  So don’t waste all our BandAids – money doesn’t grow on trees.

Linda’s SoCS prompt inspires fun writing.  This week’s prompt was “book title.”  Instructions: Take the title of the book you’re currently reading or the one sitting closest to you when you’re ready to write your SoCS post and base your post on the title only.  My book is But Did You Die? Setting the Parenting Bar Low by A Bunch of Know It Alls.

gratitude: 60 seconds

Something new, something different.  Here’s 60 seconds of what pops into my head when I think “gratitude.”  Hold on, I have to set my timer.

Ready?  Go.



fresh air

strange fog

streetlamps at night



babbling brooks

bright green leaves

smooth stones

easy breathing

my inhaler when I don’t have easy breathing

the perfect jewelry to fit my mood

My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

SoCS – rain, rain, it’s okay

"Well, I love a rainy night
I love a rainy night.
I love to hear the thunder
Watch the lightning 
when it lights up the sky.
You know it makes me feel good."

- Eddie Rabbitt

And I do.  I love the sound of rain on the windows, rain on the porch, rain bouncing off the roof as I stare at the water pouring down outside.

As I’ve gotten older I realize that I don’t even mind rain on vacation.  When I was younger it was cause for despair, enough to ruin an entire week if it didn’t let up.  But now?  Now rain brings permission to slow down and kick back.  Napping all afternoon suddenly becomes completely acceptable.  Reading books in the room is a respectable pastime.

The dogs often have a different perspective, depending on rain velocity (is that even a term?).

This one doesn’t mind the rain unless we’re talking torrential downpour.  Then I suppose whether Gracie goes outside has more to do with how urgently she needs to pee than with the wetness falling around her.

But this one?  Phoebe’s a bit prissy and is willing to cross her legs all darn day if it’s raining outside.  Because heaven forbid a dog get her paws damp in the backyard.  (Then again, I can’t say I’d really enjoy peeing while it rained on me, so I guess I don’t have room to talk.)

We’ve been at the beach during a pretty iffy forecast, and I’ve found the kids handle this much better now that they’re older.  Not that they want the rain, but they don’t get squirrelly and end up bouncing off the walls.  It’s a big improvement on the days when I’d take them to a hallway so they could sprint back and forth to their hearts’ content.

Well, it is for me, anyway.


Linda’s Stream of Consciousness post kicks off Saturdays with a bit of this and that.  This week’s prompt is rain/rein/reign.

SoCS – anybody got a Sharpie?

I’ve had something of a fascination with signs lately.  The ones with misspellings or incorrect punctuation are particularly vexing (that’s a nice crotchety word…vexing), and I daydream about doing Sharpie corrections on the fly.  Yes, that’s kind of a sad daydream, but let’s not address that right now.

I’ve managed to restrain myself because a) adulting, and b) I’ve made it to 46 without a record and really don’t want to get arrested for vandalism.  Although I think I’d have an excellent argument in that the offensive signs themselves are really the vandalism, but bygones.

Just a couple of the signs I’ve wanted to correct:

**  Names in yards or on mailboxes.  Is this a southern thing?  Or does everyone announce their presence with a sign?  Maybe it goes back to the pioneer days when you had to claim your land with a flag.  At any rate, I’ve given up hope that the general population will internalize that ‘s is possessive and works for, say, The Smith’s house.  If, however, you’re going for just the name then it needs just the s.  But can someone tell me why the sign companies aren’t gently advising their customers on the correct version?

**  a.m. versus p.m.  Okay.  I get that midnight is tricky since it comes after all the evening hours but for real, people, if your store/restaurant/rollerskating rink posts that it closes at 12:00pm that is noon.  As in lunchtime.  If, however, you close at midnight?  Use the a.m.  Just do it.

I’ve also been trying harder to pay attention to the (metaphorical) signs in my life.  Where I’m heading, what I’m doing, all that jazz.  I’ll admit it…in my twenties I thought this was bunk.  That sounds harsh but for reals, folks talking about “getting a sign” sounded just a bit hippie dippy to me.  I am now eating those words, of course, but there it is.

Surely that’s a sign that it’s time to sign off.

Linda offers a weekly Stream of Consciousness event.  This week’s prompt is “sign.”