It’s Hard Being a Nina (godmother)


My oldest godchild is now eleven years old and she’s a smart, beautiful, inquisitive child.

She and I have a pretty strong relationship. She trusts me enough to talk about some things she won’t talk to her parents about. I’ve worked very hard to be a safe place for her to talk to a grownup without worries of getting in trouble.

She also likes to challenge me. Since she was old enough to talk and form opinions, she has often hit me with the query….

“Nina Karen, what if….”

The question that follows is some scenario straight from the depths of her powerful child’s brain. Then she waits patiently to hear my thoughts.

Sometimes the questions are pretty easy, like:

“Nina Karen, what if I ate ALL the cookies and not just some?”

I explained that while it would be awesome for a little while, she would probably get a tummy ache. And then she would likely throw up. And then she probably wouldn’t like cookies any more.

The thought of not liking cookies any longer was enough to dissuade her from eating ALL the cookies. Whew, one point for the Nina.

Sometimes the questions are a lot more difficult and challenge my powers of Nina-dom.

“Nina Karen, what if I didn’t want to go to special math class anymore?”

At school, she was placed in an advanced math program and had to leave her classroom to go to math class every day. The other kids teased and bullied her about it.

That one was a bit tougher to work through.

But I did ok.

So now I know when that little voice says, “Nina Karen…what if…” I should brace myself.

I was unprepared, however, on Saturday evening.

A dear friend was getting married, and I sat in the venue with a goddaughter on each side of me.

The wedding was just about to begin. We could see the bride and her attendants coming down the hallway to line up for the service to start.

And my oldest godkid turned to me and said:

“Nina Karen? What if right when the minister says ‘you may kiss the bride,’ she farted?”

I’m quoting that word for word. No embellishments.

I looked at the cherubic child. I looked away. I looked back into her earnest blue eyes.

And started laughing.

Since I’m suffering under a powerful case of the flu, the laughing caused me to dissolve into a massive coughing fit that echoed off the walls and high ceilings and the other guests gave me dirty looks.

Thankfully, I was, quite literally, saved by the music. The cello quartet started and the wedding began and the beauty of the bride stole the attention of the room.

Which is good, because I have no idea how I was going to answer that question.

Image from Zazzle

Ethically Correct, but Way Less Fun


I got an advance peek at the agenda for the wedding I’m going to this weekend. There’s all the usual stuff you’d expect, including the part where the bride and groom leave the reception to go start their new life together. Bubbles will be handed out to attendees to herald their departure.

It used to be rice, but rice proved to be unhealthy for the birds who ate it and got bad tummy aches.

Then it moved to birdseed, which was awesome for the birds, but not so good for the wedding venues who had to try to shoo a million fat pigeons away. And then power wash all that poop. Ugh.

So now, we’re at bubbles. Water based. Ethically correct. Fun in their own way, but not really as fun as rice or birdseed.

I remember well when I was just a young’un back in high school and I attended by brother’s wedding. When the time came for the bride and groom to head out, a bag of birdseed was dropped into my palm. I opened it and dumped the contents into my hand. As my brother walked by with his beautiful bride, I’d intended to sort of toss it and shower the happy couple.

Somehow in my over zealousness, I overhanded the batch and power drove a pile of birdseed into my sibling.

At first I was horrified.

Then I laughed my ass off. Um. Whoops.

And now, some 26 years later (has it really been 26 years? Wow. Happy Anniversary you crazy kids) the memory still kind of makes me laugh.

A lot. Out loud. Not because I powerblasted my brother, that was rude. Because I often crack myself up at what a complete wackadoodle I can be.

For the couple marrying this weekend, I probably would have given them a nice gentle rice toss and avoided any grievous harm, as I’m both older and wiser. Suffice to day I won’t be causing any physical harm with a bubble this weekend. Really, it’s better this way.

Except for my dress (as yet to be purchased) because I always end up spilling soapy bubble water down my front in my over zealousness. See? Whackadoodle.

Really, what this all means is that I need to cool my jets a little better and keep myself in low gear. I intend to try (some but not too much) wine, maybe beer, to suit this purpose. (Too much = exponential wackadoodle)

Perhaps a couple glasses of bubbly? Hmm……

Today’s Theme Thursday is: bubbles

Welcome To My New Year


While we haven’t quite yet passed to the end of 2011, I’m already in progress on what will surely be the biggest change to impact my new year.

You see, the Good Man and I are moving house.

It’s not a big move, just a few miles away. But we are moving to a much larger place with two, count them TWO full bathrooms.

I experience waves of joy at that thought.

As the landlord is completely renovating the place (we get to move in with all new paint and floors and appliances, yay!) we won’t actually move until later in January.


Here’s the thing. I have lived in our current spot for almost eight years. The Good Man moved in almost five years back. But for me, eight long years. That’s a lot of time to accumulate crap.

A lot of crap.

Over the years, I may have been accused by friends and family of having difficulty with throwing things away.


I’m not a hoarder. Much.

I mean my place isn’t floor to ceiling with newspapers I can bear to part with, but the extra large storage space under my current place IS full of all manner of stuff that should have been thrown away or donated long ago.

It’s a lot.

The Good Man is fairly organized and keeps his stuff pretty tidy. He goes through everything about once a year and culls out, cleans out and donates.

Me. Not so much.

So laying ahead of me, I have a fabulous future with a shiny new home. It has a fireplace! And a deck. And an actual living room.

Surrounding me, I have boxes and bags and barrels of crap to sort through.

I pledged this week that I’m off work to clean out everything under the current house. So instead of enjoying my bright future, I am lost in my past.

Today I went through a huge box of papers, bills and receipts. This is my personal weak spot. For some reason I think I need to keep every receipt I ever get. The Good Man has me on a rehab plan so I don’t keep doing this.

But today I shredded the original registration papers on the Jeep I bought in 1995. The State of New Mexico charged me forty-eight dollars to register the first car I bought with my own money. I miss the days of forty-eight dollar car registration.

I traded in that Jeep on a new one in 2001. So I kept an almost seventeen year old document on a Jeep I sold ten years ago from from a state where I no longer live.

It’s like that.

I remember talking to my mom in the year after my dad had passed. She was going through everything they owned with plans to eventually sell their house and move somewhere more manageable.

In the stuff, she found a box of papers that my dad had kept. In this box were bills and receipts that dated back to the first year of their marriage. They were married for forty-five years.

Mom fired up a burn barrel and alternately cried and cursed while disposing of the stack of paper that had (unknown to her) been a part of her life for her entire marriage.

Today, as I shredded, I thought about that. I though about how mad The Good Man would be if I died and left him with all of this crap to sort through.

I have to strive to be better, to get rid of stuff more often, to keep my piles of crap under control.

This move is good. It’s a good idea to force myself to clean out my mess. It’s a good idea to have a new start.

My future is bright. But I gotta sort through my past first.

Image from The Magic Forest.

This is an early entry for this week’s Theme Thursday fun. This week’s theme = future.

Marriage, in a Nutshell


A couple of days ago I was at the mall because I had to return a couple items.

After getting all my errands done, I strolled past a See’s Candy shop.

I *love* See’s Candy.

I thought to myself. “I’m going in. I’m getting a half pound box of all of my favorites and I’m eating them all!”

But then I thought, “No. The Good Man would only give me guff about getting See’s only for me and none for him.”

So I walked a little further. “Ok, I’ll get two half pound boxes. One of only my faves and one of only his faves.”

Then I stopped. “No…he’ll just be like ‘why you gotta bring so much sweets into the house? You know I can’t resist!'”

So I sighed. And considered walking away.

But no. I really wanted See’s.

So finally, I relented. I’d get a half-pound box, twelve pieces total, six of my faves and six of his faves. I really wanted all twelve for myself. A lot. If I was single I could have all twelve to myself!

But the right thing to do was to get twelve to share. That’s compromise. I’d only do that for someone I really loved and trusted.

So I did. I got only twelve pieces and I selected his six with care, trying hard to remember what he likes. I knew he’d be happy about the surprise.

I brought the box home. The Good Man wasn’t home from work yet.

So I ate my six pieces.

Then I ate one of his.

And I’m not sorry.

“Love and marriage, love and marriage….”

Photo Credit: Rebecca Crump

Photo from Ezra Pound Cake.

How Did I Get Here?


This is not my beautiful spice cabinet:

Ok, well, it’s my spice cabinet now. See, I prefer a generally chaotic method of organizing spices. Roughly, the flavors I use a lot are toward the front. The spices I use less frequently are toward the back.

I always know, without having to think, where each spice is located. I open the door, reach in, grab what I need, shake enough into the pan on the stove, then put it back.

Top shelf, randomly speaking, is for baking stuff like vanilla and almond extract. Lower shelf front holds the salt, cumin, garlic, etc. The everyday stuff. The nutmeg is tucked over in the back right corner. Dill is in the middle right. Cocoa powder is top shelf, to the left.

See what I’m saying? Bing, bang, boom, I know where everything is.

That was all well and good until I married The Man Who Checks Expiration Dates. Or, perhaps more aptly named: Food Safety Man.

My darling one is quite diligent about checking the “use by” dates on all food in the house. When he moved in with me, he was horrified to go through my cabinets. He would bring a can or container of something to me and say, “do you realize that this expired in 1996? That means you brought it from New Mexico when it was already expired!” When he said that to me, the year was 2007. Heh.

Yeah. Well. Ok. I *might* be guilty of a teeny bit of hanging on to stuff too long. My beloved sister has had many talks with me over the course of my adult life about “just let it go.” Blame being raised by parents who remember the Great Depression, I suppose. I’d like to consider myself to be…frugal. Really, if I’m to be honest, I’m just too freaking lazy.

And so, when my sweetest went through my cabinets and threw out, oh, about 60% of what was in there…I was mildly annoyed, but I got over it. I’ve become better accustomed to his weekly (if not more frequent) going through and rearranging the fridge, throwing things out and front facing all the remaining contents. So much for my grab and go approach there, too.

And now this…my spice rack. The spices that are the heart and soul of my cooking! He did this yesterday while he was making something for dinner, so I guess I can’t really complain that loudly. But still…I heard him rustling around in there and had to sit, take several deep breaths, rake a Zen garden, chant a mantra, and play a sitar.

I gotta say, it looks pretty good now. I can’t find anything, but I’ll learn. And just as soon as I have the new organization system down, he’ll organize it again.

The spice rack was pretty tough to take, but there was something worse. I almost packed my bags when he organized….(I can hardly even say it)….my toolbox. This was a violation most egregious. My toolbox! And let me just tell you this…I have more and better tools than he does! Now that we’re married, a comingling of the tools has occurred and I may never be the same again.

Oh the horrors of community property!

Marriage is weird. Maybe this is why people usually get hitched so young. It’s easier to manage when they haven’t gotten all old and set in their ways.

Really, all this organizing and changing up my routine is probably good for me.

Just don’t tell The Good Man I said so.

I realized, belatedly, that this might just be the perfect follow up to the previous post about variety being the spice of life. Unintentional, I assure you. One of those happy coincidence type of a deals.