Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Genuine Apology.....

I think I may have mentioned here before that hubster and I rarely exchange gifts with each other. In the beginning, when we were starving students and very new parents, we chalked it up to being frugal. Later, in what has been since known as the 'talking fish trauma', we just decided that it was more fun to spend that time and money on the kids and let the other person pick something they wanted if we had the ability. That worked well for a while for two reasons: 1) the talking fish trauma was severe and 2) the kids always seemed happy with that and, as you know, we parents feel lucky when that happens - it sustains us when we are commencing to 'ruin the lives' of our children by expecting something as simple as a clean room or being so barbaric that we enforced a bed time or restricted sweets to say, half your bag of trick or treat candy in one night.

The talking fish trauma was really no one's FAULT....it just happened. We were in our second year of living in a very remote spot in Maine and trying to farm and be self-sufficient and raise (then) things 1 and 2 and milk a cow and make hay and did I mention that hubster also held down a demanding 50 hrs a week job? It was my birthday, I believe, and he was ending a long, late shift at work and I was tuckered out from growing food for winter, raising two tots, making cheese, butter and yogurt from the 5+ gallons of milk from each milking, and generally sitting on my worn out butt eating imaginary bon bons like all we SAHM's do, yes? So, he's getting ready to leave work, realizes that it is my birthday, and grabs the first thing he sees that he thinks might make me laugh. An aside - I always say hubster is not so good at giving gifts but that's not really true - he's actually quite good. It's just that the talking fish trauma was so severe that I've sort of held it against him since. It would just so happen that the thing he grabbed was a fish, I believe a BigMouth Bass, that sat on a plague that an insane person would presumably hang on their wall, and when you passed by its sensor, it would sing 'Don't worry, be happy, now' and wiggle its tail fin. Quite. Disturbing. I was crabby, alone all the time on the farm, and tired. It maybe took a few years for me to get the humor of the fish. I finally destroyed it one night when I got up to answer the call of the bladder that was being crushed by the bulge that was thing 3. Our old farmhouse was a really weird setup - like so many old Maine homes that were built before running water and plumbing were added on later. To get from the bedroom to the bathroom, you had to go all the way down the upstairs hall, down the stairs and all the way back across the house on the first level. I creeped downstairs, trying to wake no one because I really wanted to crawl back into bed an sleep some more and, just as I approached the kitchen where the darned thing was sitting on a coffee table, the sensor picked me up and that thing starting humming, "oooh oooh ooh, ooooohooh woowoowoo, don't worry be happy now" and I just snapped and ripped it apart and threw it in the trash. Now you know the real story of the Talking Fish Trauma (TFT).

So, last week we had the crazy idea to try to let ya'll know that we really appreciate how you've gone on this journey with us - how supportive you've been, and how fortunate we feel to be doing what we love. We also wanted to mark a pretty special day wherein we try to reflect and renew some of our ideas of what we're doing here on the homestead. Thanks so much for everyone who turned out for Earth Day on Etsy - it was an awesome day! We're also working on something kinda special and big right now so, of course, there was some pressure. Hubster and I are both kinda workaholics sometimes, too, so we were super busy. Add to that the fact that we're already prepping the garden and we still have 1/3 of the herd to shear and I guess you could say we had a pretty full plate. No matter, we were working right along and (I thought) making really good progress. But, a series of things happened that took longer than they should have and just when the tension was turned up a bit he said SOMETHING that just boiled me (so much that I can't even remember it now) and I was, for a moment, re-visiting the TFT. This only happens when one or both of you are pressed for time and headed out the door, right? So, not wanting to let things get unnecessarily hostile, he did what any thinking man would do, he apologized. Only, at the very end, when I was getting all sentimental and thinking, 'isn't he sweet?', he said, 'but...'.

"I'm sorry, but" is like the worst thing you can ever say to someone who is actively parenting three kids. On a daily basis, it is my job to detect WHO dunnit, WHY they say they did it, and WHAT effect it had on someone else. Then, I might have to decipher this information to whatever age level I'm communicating with so that a genuine apology can be issued and we can all go on living with each other without the perpetual rigors of sibling rivalry. I growled. "You're sorry, but?" - rolled my eyes, and walked back in to dive back into the aforementioned role.

bmw 001So, when he got back and had a box in his arms, I assumed - mail/packages. When I walked into my studio -this is what I found. Now ya'll know the truth. It's not that we're too frugal, too poor, too selfless and spoiling our kids - it's that we are total goofy dorks. The perfect genuine apology was a great, big laugh - just what I needed to lighten the mood and get us over the hump so we could be exhausted but satisfied at doing our very best. What was in the box? Well, for starters, laughs abound. The man bought a bouquet of tulips but had nothing to put them in so he just bent the stems over and shoved them in the box. Not quite unlike the Valentine's Day rose I got years ago that had been run over in our driveway and was all smooshed with the tire track marking the cellophane wrapper. Then, there was a coffee cup - cuz I've needed a new one forever! I get attached to my comforts and I enjoy the comfort of my own, my precious coffee cup. There was a salsa bowl - we do eat lots of salsa, hmmm. There were some party poppers - because, as you know, our off-grid homestead doesn't provide enough silliness for us. The bag of balloons was a hit because it has been so long since I've had balloons - ditto the wiggly eyes - I'm a sucker for crafty fun. A lottery ticket to prove, once again, that karma is always in balance. If you are fortunate enough to know spectacular people, be well loved, and find pleasure in life - then you must take the fact that you never win ANYTHING with a grain of salt or you will soon have a great big chip on your shoulders and many wasteful, losing lottery tickets. Jacks are good toys for people who need to lighten up a bit - or am I playing Freud again? Pecan Sandies because they're close to my favorite cookie and a Buzz LightYear PEZ dispenser and a roll of electrical tape. Electrical tape? 'Yes,' he says,'you can give it to me if you don't want it because I really need some,' (I shoved it in my purse just for that).

bmw 007This guy is pretty smart, huh? If you're going to surprise someone with a gift - better to either give them something you know they REALLY, REALLY want (which he does pretty often, too) or something that will make everyone laugh themselves to tears. I told you, we're dorks....

I had other treats this week, though. It was a treat to spin this sock yarn from the 'Black Magic Woman' Batts for a special person. It's 390 yds. of sock knitting bliss and I'm pretty sure I contemplated ways and means to skipe it for myself before the humble and then distant inner voice some call a conscience kicked in and straightened me out. bmw 027 Also, I'm working up some snazzy purple stuff for one of my favorite bird women. So, there was much spinning therapy to keep the heart light and the smile intact. Still, the Pecan Sandies, new coffee cup, and these luscious batts that hubster made me the other night (paws off - it took many years to ripen him to this level of sweetness) 'just because' he knew I love extra sparkly stuff - didn't hurt anyone!.