My day actually began at 4:00 AM when Ana's cough woke me up. She's had this dry, unproductive cough for several days now and my husband was out of town which makes me sleep even more lightly than I normally do. (If I wasn't so tired right now, I'm sure I could think of an analogy here but y'all are just going to have to analogize yourselves.)
I came down and let the dogs out. Sydney, in her dotage at age 15, has taken to using the carpet in the living room as her personal toilet whenever it pleases her and HOLY COW, I am SO NOT OKAY WITH THIS. Yes, I know that she doesn't actually WANT to misbehave. She's ancient and she's confused and her systems are starting to shut down on her... most notably that system which makes her fear repercussions for pooping in the house. Because, who am I kidding, what am I going to do, SPANK HER? Yeah, I don't think so. So I've just been trying to put her out to go potty as often as I possibly can.
Even at 4:00 in the morning.
After which, I hobbled back upstairs and slept for a few hours before I jolted wide awake with the Fear of Death upon me. Dudes! It is RECYCLING DAY! CANS AND BOTTLES!! I forgot to set the bin out!
See, in New York, the pick-up for recycling is every other week! Every. Other. Week. I think you know us well enough by now to know that our output of
I hauled the recycling container down the driveway, all the way to the curb. It's a big bin and this is how full it was: This is the way to the curb:
I noticed the paper was lying by the mailbox but knowing our cow dog Scout's passion for retrieving it, I left it at the bottom for him to retrieve.
Unfortunately, he came back without it. ("There was one?") Because apparently, he has forgotten his passion for retrieving it. Of COURSE he has. So I had to hobble down the hill AGAIN to get it. I found it, not far from where it had been earlier, only now it looked like this:
Now, while I was limping up and down the hill and cursing Scout's very existence, I had left the front door WIDE OPEN so that Sydney could come and go as she pleased, no pressure.
Well, she WENT all right, all over the living room rug. Inside the house. With the door wide open.
And, oh yeah, I had missed the recycling pick up. No medal for me.
I cleaned up the poop, opened all the windows, made myself some coffee and woke the girls. We're getting ready for school so every day I've been waking them up fifteen minutes earlier, which should translate into fifteen minutes earlier to bed at night but it never does. They were pretty good-natured about it and ate their breakfast and got dressed.
We headed to the grocery store because today was supposed to be Tomato Relish Day and I was missing a few ingredients.
And there, my friends, my children exhibited the worst behavior I have ever witnessed from them in a public place in all of my ten plus years as a parent. I have never been so horrified and embarrassed in all of my life. I don't even want to revisit the details but suffice to say there was actual screaming in the self-check-out line and I ended up apologizing on their behalf to everyone in the store.
The ride home? THAT was fun, you betcha.
Upon arriving home, they were sent to their rooms to think about what would constitute an appropriate punishment. No consensus on that topic (Oddly enough, they didn't like MY idea, which was to deny them their allowances, desserts and all screen time until they are THIRTY YEARS OLD.) but I let them out for lunch and then they played in the basement for a while while I got to working on the tomato relish.
To make tomato relish, you have to blanch (plunge into boiling water for a minute and then put them immediately into ice water) and peel the tomatoes first. Our tomato crop was mostly Roma tomatoes this year because I had no idea what, if anything, would actually grow. I don't even really LIKE Roma tomatoes but we had a bumper crop and a homegrown tomato is miraculous, no matter what the species.
Blanching and peeling Roma tomatoes, however, has to be the most tedious job on the planet.
Except, perhaps for CORING them. Because they're almost entirely made up of CORE.
Here's what the peels of sixteen pounds of homegrown (mostly Roma) tomatoes looks like:
Here are the tomatoes themselves:
So, I was looking at all of this while I had my lunch ( ) and it occurred to me that I'd never known anyone to make tomato relish out of Roma tomatoes.
I bent over quickly and put my head between my knees. And then I breathed into a paper bag. My life flashed before my eyes. [Insert other appropriate panicking cliches here.]
So, I called the foremost expert on tomato relish in the Universe, my father-in-law, Wyatt. We had a fairly hilarious conversation, sort of like one doctor calling the specialist for a consultation. "I am concerned that the Roma tomatoes might be the wrong consistency for tomato relish, Doctor, do you concur?"
He pronounced the tomato relish DOA (big bummer, that) and suggested that I make and can tomato SAUCE instead. Which I will do. Tomorrow, when I am having a better day and my foot isn't hurting so much. At that moment, though, I felt an Enormous Sulk coming on.
The girls and I decided to watch a movie. But first, we had to go pick up Jane's new glasses. I don't know why hers were ready and Ana's and mine weren't but off we went.
We had just gotten back from that when the optical place called, "Mrs. Cooper? YOUR glasses and Ana's just came in!"
Well, we'll just turn right around and drive back then, shall we? Of course we shall. Because I live for that kind of thing. Because the entire freaking day has been a complete freaking waste anyway, what's ONE MORE DISORGANIZED, USELESS TRIP WITH MY UNGRATEFUL SPAWN???
Here's Jane in one of her TWO new pairs (don't ask me how that happened but I think she cast a spell on the optician because she got TWO pair for the same price that I paid for Ana's.)
Here's Ana who was so happy about her new glasses, she kept wandering around just LOOKING at things. "Mom, I can see the words on that box over there. And the leaves--I can see the leaves on the trees! Oh, I'm so happy! I can see!") (Mind you, the girls had just been to the eye doctor in November so it's not like she's been forced to go without seeing for very long... but it still made me feel like I should have gotten them this check-up sooner. The possibilities for guilt in motherhood are just ENDLESS.)
And here are MINE as I try to approximate what my face must have looked like in the grocery store.
Quite the week--er, I mean, DAY.