Life’s crazy. Make moments that matter.

That’s the revision I made to my normal tagline of “Life’s Busy. Make moments that matter.”

It’s just crazy. Stir crazy. I’m crazy.

Here’s what’s exciting in my life…

Spicy, sexy, wild“.  I saw those words on a bottle of lotion describing the scent while I was in a family member’s dark, old, spidery don’t look around too closely but spruced up and cute with curtains from my fabric designs camp bathroom. I decided immediately that I wanted people to think spicy, sexy, wild about me. Definitely. Never mind that I am more like a distant cousin, “Dirty, sweaty, frazzled“,  while I am busy this hot summer working outside and going to bed without air conditioning and under house arrest with three kids 24/7 (that means ALL THE TIME) . So, when you think of me, please think “spicy, sexy, wild”. It’s the new me.

My charges eat all the time and they never stop talking. Ever. Not in the wee early hours of the morning when they get up, which is far sooner than they ever got up for school. Not even in the middle of the night. They come into my room and tell me things when I have been sleeping. In the middle of the night. Mmm-hmm. By 10 in the morning, my brain has become so twisted that I am unable to find the right words to complete sentences. They’re very messy too. Never mind where they picked up that trait. It’s a good thing they’re cute. I keep coming up with new plans to combat their messiness. My latest is that their allowance is now tied to cleaning the three main messy rooms. I normally think they should just clean for being members of the house and earn allowance for other tasks, but desperate times call for desperate measures. So, no clean, no money. Oh ya, and they are not allowed to play on the kitchen eating counter or kitchen table anymore. No toys. Just food. For real this time. I mean it. I’m not kidding.

And while I’m on a roll, I decided I am not picking up any more dirty dishes or needing to call people back in to pick up their dirty dishes. That’s it. I’m not. I’m leaving them and serving the next meal with their dirty dishes. And the next meal. And the next meal. That’s my fantasy. I know, now you’re thinking I really am spicy, sexy and wild, right? Reality is that our new kitten will get into it so I will be huffing and puffing as I scoot a kitten away and clean up or while yelling for my peeps to come and clean up because the kitten got into the food. Especially since she’ll be able to see the food now that it isn’t hidden in the midst of all of the toys on the counter because I am not allowing toys on the counter any more. For real. I’m not kidding.

I started this particular cleaning adventure with a major toy clean out and clean up from every room. I took all the toys and bins of toys out of their places and brought them into our living room. Then I went through everything and cleaned out, packed some up for storage at our farmhouse and organized what was left.

We had to live around it for a while but my theory was that if I left it in the living room, I’d have to work on it at some point. My theory was correct.

We were able to see our floors. It had been a awhile.

So I set some rules about toys in my bedroom too. They have to be picked up every night. For real. I’m not kidding. So far, so good.

The Christmas Cactus on the side of the pic is from my great-grandmother’s plant. It’s over 100 years old. Spicy. Sexy Wild.

Did you know that there is a shortage of bait worms for fishing? Toilet paper and worms. I would not have guessed it. So, I started keeping worms in my fridge that I find outside on my walk. I never thought I would say that. I haven’t checked in a while. They could be dead. That’s why I’m not checking.

I started hiding tape and hair bands. That doesn’t really sound spicy, sexy or wild when I say it out loud. But when I repeatedly went to grab a hair band and there were none left because Barbie and her gal pals or the 18-inch dolls were sporting all of my hair bands, I had to take a stand. That goes for the tape too. I’m happy that my peeps are creating things and using their brains. But…this momma needs some supplies on hand. So, I hid a couple of tape dispensers. They replaced the stash of Reese’s PB cups I hid and no longer have because I ate them way far long ago. It’s been a long virus.

I just hope I remember where my stash is.

Bananas have become my obsession. Not eating them, but ordering them in my grocery run. I don’t even particularly have a love for them but now I need them. Have you ever heard the old song by Billy Jones, “Yes! We Have No Bananas”? There’s a verse in there that has become my grocery motto, “We have no bananas today.” I would order some bananas in our online grocery order and then at some point after we had been back home and the groceries were put away, I would realize that we never got our bananas. Over and over again. But we always got our bag of apples. It has become a joke for us and it’s impossible not to sing that song. Impossible. It’s a catchy tune and definitely sticks with you even if you aren’t trying to order bananas.  Then, about the fourth time I ordered bananas, I finally had bananas in my order! Yippee! Wow! We couldn’t believe it. But…then there were no apples. Modify the song. On my next order, I noticed that the bananas I tried to put in my online cart were not in there so I added them again. Nothing. The screen looks like it is taking my order but it isn’t. I added a note to the online order that I wanted bananas. So, I decided to order the organic bananas and see if they would stay in my cart. Those stayed in my cart. Fine. Organic bananas it is.

There is a process that happens when grocery day arrives.  The order filler always texts me when they start and all the while they shop and make replacements and they also tell me the things they cannot fill. I decided to let our grocery filler in on the banana issue and told her they did not need to be organic, I just wanted some bananas. She said that was good because the organic ones weren’t looking very healthy. Then, being a gal of many words and a lover of stories, I texted her my banana saga, while she was shopping for me. (Now I understand why my peeps never stop talking.) She knew the song I was was referring to and my banana story made her day. Everybody loves a good story. It is a good story.

I have now beat the online grocery shopping system by ordering organic bananas and we have been getting them alongside our other groceries. Plus, my mom now brings me bananas so we have a plethora of bananas. (I have always loved that word.) But I’m not sure I can do a victory dance. Organic bananas must not make their travels well without their shots because our organic bananas are always full of brown spots and are mushy and they just don’t look well. They look homesick.

Groceries have also become one of our life excitements. I always add some surprise goodies to my order for the kids that I space out for eating in between orders. Otherwise, they mow through it within the first two days and then they are left with “boring” for the remainder of life until the next grocery pick up day. In kid hours, that feels like a month. No one is allowed to look in the bags when we do our pick ups. It’s exciting. It’s stressful. They all police each other to see who is peeking, then they squabble about it. I remind them not to peek. Then it escalates and I get prickly because it is supposed to be fun and it’s just groceries and “If it’s going to be a problem, I just won’t be able to do this anymore”. I love doling out those parent phrases.

Stir crazy can make you crazy about groceries.

I’m not usually included in the surprise aspect of the grocery run, first because it isn’t a surprise if I am the one ordering and I know about it. But, that wouldn’t really stop me. Immaturity has its good points too. Mostly, I don’t need to be trapped at home with a lot of surprises that I would eat, and would definitely eat up in the first two days because I am trapped, and then be left with “boring” food for the next month and a bathing suit that no longer fit. But…lately, oh my, the grocery store has had the Friendly’s ice cream sundae cups on sale and boy do they look delicious. They are delicious. At least that’s what a friend told me. So, I do happen to have a few of those “surprises” stashed in the freezer just for me, although I have been able to avoid them so far. I think that is more of the surprise. But me and my bathing suit are still friends. Have you ever had Friendly’s peanut butter sundae sauce? It’s what dreams are made of and they make a sundae cup that has this PB sauce on it that you can buy in your online grocery order. Words just can’t describe what that sauce does to me.

Actually, they can.

Spicy, sexy, wild.

Those words describe what that peanut butter sauce does to me.

On my last ordering adventure, I noticed a few new flavors, but only one was in stock. I told myself I was ordering a bunch of these sundae cups for some special moment making coming up in our lives that includes other people, but my mind has been busy coming up with reasons why I should be the one who eats them and then make strawberry shortcake for those other people. It’s still special and they would probably rather have a homemade treat, right? So far, no one else knows about the ice cream cups. So far, they are still in my freezer and me and my bathing suit are still friends.

There’s my mature side.

Another moment that has become way more exciting than it should be if we were living in normal times is picking out the nail polish color to put on my feet. It’s a big decision and I debate it. Questions float around in my brain like, “What kind of color mood am I in?” and “What do I want my feet to say about me today?” Definitely spicy, sexy, wild, but I don’t want to be typecast in any one role because I also have other sides that I want to play up as well. But not my “dirty, sweaty, frazzled” side. That’s what my feet say about me when it’s time to put on a new color. They’re not wrong.

This year I needed to pass on having a giant heirloom garden because I knew I was going to be working on some other big adventures and I was mature enough to recognize that I would be in over my head and it would not be a smart move. It’s a rare moment when my maturity actually gets to make the decisions. It is usually laughed at by all of my other non-mature characteristics and over-ruled. But, it hung in there, even when my seed packets called to me and when the seed catalogs tempted me with their glossy pages of spicy, sexy, wild veggie images. I couldn’t handle total abstinence though. That’s for people with many more mature characteristics than I will ever possess. So I found a loophole and tried some veggie plants that are meant to be tabletop gardens. Turns out that my maturity may have been on to something because I am not doing so well in this adventure. I’m not sure if it is my lack of focus (a sure sign of my immaturity) or just the nature of the gardening beast, but I do not have success stories this year. My Tom Thumb heirloom pea plants, aptly named for their small size, were doing just fine, until I fertilized them with fish gut soup (my healthy for the environment and me fertilizer). Now they look like this…

(Actually, they have since dried out completely in the time it took me to write, edit, take pics, edit and get blog-worthy so I removed them from their pots.)

So I adapted and saved the dried out peas for seeds to plant next year. I’m always thinking. It takes more than a dead plant to keep me down.

I also decided to try out my strawberry seeds that I was too late for last year. I guess there is a reason why so many reviews said it was not worth the trouble to start them from seed, but to buy bare root plants. These have been growing for months.

What? You can’t see them? Me either. Me neither.

And these are my heirloom violets.

Yup. Dead. I’m guessing the worms in my fridge look like this too.

My last hope is in my Tiny Tim tomato plants. It’s not in my nature to give up hope so I won’t doom them yet, despite their wee size. They are supposed to be potted table top plants after all. I was still eating fresh heirloom garden tomatoes last Christmas from my green-to-ripe experiments so I’m not about to count me out at this point.

And, because there are always good things to happy dance about, at least in my brain, I do happen to have a garden success story. Last year I planted heirloom hollyhocks. I started them from seed and transplanted them with a “good luck” right next to one of our old barns. Old barns need old flowers. This year, they have grown like Virus Hair and have beautiful blooms coming out.

And these…

And I have yellow ones but they are blooming inside the fluffy green foliage right now so you cannot see them very well.

I love them. I’ve taken millions of pictures of them, want to add them to my note card collection, make wall prints for our farmhouse someday and have gushed about them on my Awkward Bird Instagram hangout – (aaryne_theawkwardbird) along with old peonies.


I also found pics of a Johnny Depp Pirate look-a-like (swoon…for Johnny Depp as a pirate, not the look-a-like) and me and Paw-Paw from our Pioneer Woman Road Trip when I scrolled through my Instagram memory lane. Ahhh, nostalgia. I planted these heirloom hollyhocks because my mom had a nostalgic request from her childhood days. It would seem that a “good luck” wish and innocent neglect is exactly what heirloom hollyhocks need to thrive. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

You can also find my Instagram pics here at: – I was quite surprised to find that the link works. Technology is not for the faint of heart.

We inherited a grapevine at our farmhouse and I love to see them grow from teeny tiny grapes into their true selves.

Farm animals are on our wish list but we’re “not there yet” so a kitten it was. She’s wild. She’s a baby. And a toddler. And a teenager. We love her. It was a new adventure for my kids and my 10-year old cat. For me, it’s one more critter.

Here’s another gal showing up in our world recently…meet Peppa Pig.

(Not me. I’m always here.)

This kids’ TV show gal has become a fun part of our days. Not because we watch her on TV but because she keeps showing up in our home in unexpected places.

First, I found her in my t-shirt, shorts and bathing suit drawer. Then, I found her under my bed covers. At that point, I knew she was not in this alone. She had accomplices. So, I joined the Dark Side and she surfaced next in my oldest son’s underwear drawer. You’ve got to hit the tweens where their funny bone is. It’s been a few days and I have not seen her. I may need to go on a secret epic quest to find her.

I’m convinced that Virus Hair will become a trendy style just like Recession Highlights did. Those highlights are still around, I see the models sporting them in the clothing catalogs that come to me. It’s become fashionable to let the your roots grow out (because the recession made us all poor and we had to go longer in between stylist visits) and then start highlighting about 4 inches down from your root line. Unless you have gray hairs that hang out in your roots then you stick with the old-school highlights and go for complete cover up. At least that’s what a friend told me.

My youngest has had Virus Hair going on since this whole adventure started. His choice, although it was my suggestion. I thought it would be fun. There’s my immaturity ruling my world again. I can’t get used to looking at him. Who is this kid? Add in his two big grown-up front teeth that have settled in to alter his look and it changes him completely. He went from looking like a buzz-cut baby-face to a wind-blown long-hair preppy Jeep driving teenager face. (Either that or he’s from The Brady Bunch.) He’s almost 8. But all I can see is a teenager. Maybe that’s partly due to being “the baby” and my internal momma angst at these darn kids growing up so fast.

Speaking of growing up so fast, I am too. I now start my morning with my coffee, my quiet time and a softball behind my shoulder pressed into the chair to massage my knots and my neck.

Seems my physical labor efforts stick to me these days like old friends. I’ve taken over the kids’ softball and they are not allowed to play with it anymore so that I know where it is when I need it for my morning routine. Old mothers have needs too.

It sits on my desk.

(I have no idea why my kids are so messy. They didn’t get it from me. This is organized – I know where everything is. See my nail polish options that I am debating? Exciting. Spicy. Sexy. Wild.)

I can call dibs on the softball because I’m the biggest. And the oldest. And the only one who can cook bacon. I’ll get to it in one minute, I just want to press on one more knot…ahhhhhhhhh.

Spicy, sexy, wild. That’s me.

So, what’s exciting in your life?