The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


What I do when I’m driving.

Do you ever pretend like your being interviewed? I do, all the time. When I was young I’d spend countless moments in front of the bathroom mirror doing an interview with myself and of course I’d break to commercials with whatever beauty product was within reach. Now I just mumble answers to the NPR host while I’m driving. Unfortunately, my daughter catches me mumbling, making ridiculous facial expressions or hand gestures and asks who I’m talking too. The really funny thing is that I remember my mom doing the exact same thing. I tell my daughter it’s only a matter of time before she too will become a daily driving interview.

So today, as I drove to the gawd awful Crestwood Mall, please remind me not to go there again, ever, I asked myself what my work history was. Get comfortable, it’s a long interview.

On today’s show I’m talking to April, the woman who interviews herself. Thanks for being here April. Why don’t you tell us about all the weird and whacko jobs you’ve had?

Well April, I’ve done just about everything in order to pay the bills and get myself through school.

My first job was at the hospital as a candy striper. I think I was in 8th or 9th grade. I mostly helped wheel elderly patience down to the dining room. The worst task was cleaning a woman’s dentures and the saddest was feeding Mr. Mackenzie. He was dying of cancer. He had five children, two sets of identical twins. I’ll never forget that.

My senior year in high-school sucked so badly except for my job at The Family Bookstore. I walked in asked for a job and was hired on the spot. My boss was my old Sunday school teacher Kathryn Weidermeyer. The best part was getting to do all the window displays. I gift wrapped all the presents people would buy. I loved knowing what people were getting for their birthdays and Christmas.

I was the lifeguard at a Christian camp for two summers. I lived in a shed with a set of bunk beds, a desk and a dorm sized refrigerator that I had to put all my makeup in to keep it from melting. I snuck out of my shed one night with Rex, the local football hero and son of the high school principal and together we “broke” into the press box at the football field and turned on the PA system and sang Van Halen songs. And that my friends, is why my daughter will never go work at a camp. Good grief.

I’ve cleaned houses.
Painted a horse paddock with a paint mitten and a gazillion gallons of white enamel paint.
Pruned plants at a hydroponics tomato farm.

Assisted a woman who was recovering from a stroke organize her house. Her son was one of my classmates. I found a black and white proof from the newspaper office of myself during my high school cheerleading days while going through a stack of pictures for her. She had no idea why she had it. That wasn’t weird or creepy at all. She let me have the photo.

I was the hostess at The Golden Corral for about three weeks before my boss called me at 6:00 in the freakin’ morning to tell me she didn’t need me to come in anymore. Yes, I was fired for not cleaning the bathrooms because they made me wear my Sunday best and I wasn’t going to clean up urine in my dress clothes. Sorry. Oh, and I was the hostess at Country Kitchen for about the same amount of time before I quit.

I’ve done the waitress bit at a fine dining retirement village and at a run-down steak house.

I lived with an 85 year old man and cooked for him in exchange for room and board. He spent his days playing golf and his nights watching boxing.

I worked at a home for mentally handicapped adults. I loved and hated this job. I loved the clients and hated the facility.

I’ve had one factory job. E&E Specialties, they make boxes and plastic card displays. I made boxes in the hot summer. Every morning I’d wake up and spend a few minutes loosening up my sore hands and putting on band-aids from all the cardboard cuts.

Worked in an outlet mall for Van-Heusen.

I was a nanny for a little boy whose mother and father were both doctors, they were divorced but worked in the same practice and that wasn’t the weird part, but that’s a story for a different day.

I did pet sitting.
I did babysitting.
Cleaned a travel agency.
I did housekeeping for a hotel, for one day.

I worked at an animal hospital. I was the office manager that could also draw blood, give shots, get a fecal sample and hold a giant dog still while he gets his nails trimmed. I learned how to take x-rays, float a slide and find parasite eggs, drain a wound, flush ears, take out sutures and so much more. Later, I would be asked to come back and do the Doctor’s SOAP notes or medical transcription for them.

I worked at Home Depot.

I was tortured at a preschool. The only image I can remember is little Kaliegh throwing up and the long dark green chunky mucus that came out of her nose that she sucked back in. Oh please, yah, uh, bleck, uck! The memory is too much for me, now I’ve got the heebie-jeebies!

Finally, I have worked for two churches doing their financial business. I still do this for my church.

I think I’m missing a few, but it’s late and I’m tired so thanks for having me April.

Thanks for being here April, and you’re not at all psychotic.

Let me check my calendar….

This is going to be a very unusual week and I will probably never see these series of events unfold in my lifetime ever again or at least in the span of five days.

This evening my husband and I were invited to attend a reception for the governor of Missouri at a friend’s home. I know! That’s what I said. It’s a fund raiser. I keep reminding myself that we were in fact invited to show support not because I am the most famous blogging mommy on the web.

As you know this is Monday and I have mountains of laundry to chip away, I have meals to deliver to the poor teachers that have to suffer through another one of my concoctions (I’m thinking potato soup, because wouldn’t that be good today?) and I have no professional looking outfit to wear to this reception. I’m nearly certain I won’t go shopping because I do have the kids that need something of an education and since I decided I could do a better job at that than anyone else I think I should be proving it by actually teaching them than running around St. Louis trying to find an outfit that won’t offend Governor Blunt. But then again, maybe I should just run out to Marshal’s and see what they have. I don’t know.

Friday we are going to a Reformation Party. I know! That’s what I said. I think there will be lots of drinking, eating, laughing and maybe some good impressions of medieval characters. So, this should prove to be fun and relaxing but again the clothing dilemma. It’s too far off to think about so I’ll deal with that later.

Saturday we are going to an opening of a performing arts building that my husband designed at a college in Illinois. I know! That’s what I said. It’s a black tie affair and I’ve had plenty of notice to get prepared. The dress, jewelry and scarf have been purchased. I need to get a manicure, find hosiery, debating on buying new shoes and probably get my hair done. It’s reminiscent of going to the prom. Oh booger! I just thought about a handbag. Giddy-up Mary I hope I can get all of that stuff and still afford to feed everyone this week. Ack!

My mostly normal and boring life is getting such a glamorous jolt this week. I fear that when it’s all over I’ll feel a bit like a scullery maid.

Now, I’m off to change a diaper, change a load of laundry, scoop some chicken poop out of the garage and scrub the white sticky stuff dripped from one bathroom to the other off the carpet. I know! That’s what I said!

Somethin’s gotta give.

I’ve been saying it all week, something, anything has got to give and it seems it may be my brain. I’m at the point where I don’t know if I’m coming or going or if I’ve already been there.

So far I’ve..

-delivered two meals to teachers that I wasn’t supposed to deliver until next Monday. By the way I really suck at taking good meals to people. I just seem to fumble around and can’t think of what to make and then I end up taking them the worst concoction of sorts. It’s really best for everyone if they just come to my house and eat under normal circumstances and then they will have a better idea of what kind of cook I am.

-sat in a waiting room for two hours for a Dr. to tell me my son did not break his leg and why the heck was I there in the first place and duh-hur keep him off the gall bladder tramploline!

-passed up my exit on the highway not once, but twice because I was too busy having a conversation with myself about how I should really go back home and not take my son to the doctor, just give it time, but what if it’s broken…and Gall Bladder I missed the exit, AGAIN!

-was one hour late taking my son to his class.

-was fifteen minutes late taking the kids to piano lessons.

-refused to take my daughter to soccer practice because if I had to get in the van and drive even one more minute I was going to shrivel up and die, so instead I flopped on my bed and ate some cookies and then I felt better.

-and the clencher this week… I yelled at two of my sons that if they couldn’t get along and love each other then they needed to move out! Yep, that’s all I could come up with. A big empty threat.

Just to end this post on a fun note and prove that I have no brain cells left this is the conversation Clay and I had this morning while observing the progess of the braces on our daugher’s teeth.

Me- Her teeth are small.

Him- Yeah, they look like your teeth.

Me- I don’t have small teeth!

Him- Yes, you do.

Me- You look at my teeth and you think they are small?

Him- Yes, when I saw your teeth I thought they were smaller than what should be expected.

Me- Take that back. Say I have big teeth!

Him- But, you have petite teeth. Peteeth. Get it? Peteeth.

Me- Yeah, I get it. I also get that you have horse teeth, you’re a horse head!

Thank the Maker that you all can’t see the faces and sound effects that we were making during this conversation….but our daughter sat and watched the whole thing. What must her impression of us be?

Clay’s response after reading this post, “You’re funny, you and your big horse teeth are funny.” He has the sweetest way of complementing me.