The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Why is it that time seems to go so fast? 

I find there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything I need to get done…done.

Sometimes when I am planning to sit down and write after work or on the weekend, I notice the bathroom needs to be cleaned.  A co-worker mentions a clothing drive at Hilander.  Our black lab is shedding the equivalent of one dog per day; I see black tufts of it floating into the corner.

While I do like to “keep house”, it is not my passion.

Writing is my passion.

Finding quality time to write is hard.  That’s what I say.

I believe everyone would agree with me when I also say that if I were to have an entire Sunday alone to write, I wouldn’t. 

I’m being honest.

I would clean the bathroom.  Sort the clothes.  Vacuum.  Talk on the phone.

When only an hour or two is left until dinner, and my house is satisfactorily clean, I suddenly find the “zone”, where everything I put on paper is golden

Time flies during those moments until I realize I can hear everyone’s stomach growling, including mine, and off I go to the kitchen to make dinner.

I am upset with myself because I had the entire day to write and I only used a portion of it.  No one really cares if the bathroom goes one more day or if they have to reuse their last bath towel.  It’s just my excuse. 

Why is that?  Do other writers do that?  Why am I compelled to, say, clean the microwave when I get a big chunk of time to write?

I tell myself sometimes, I’m brainstorming.  I’m developing my characters.  I’m plotting out the next great American novel.  I’m not, though. 

I am procrastinating.  I’m being lazy. 

I’m afraid.
I’m futzing away my time, only to get aggravated later when I have to rejoin the real world and put the computer away.  I think, bitterly, I never get time to write.
The honest truth is, I have plenty of time to write.  Yes, I work full time.  Yes, I have a family, a house to clean, laundry to do, a husband whose hand I love to hold.
I also have best sellers floating around in my brain.  Great characters that are just clamoring for attention; funny characters jockeying for the same thing.  Plot lines that would delight, amaze, and thrill you.  Amazing screenplays that would have theater lines out the door, should they ever come to light.

Don’t I owe it to myself to let that creativity come out? 

It doesn’t matter whether or not anyone likes it.  I write for me; I write to please myself.

do have time to write.  I just need to be disciplined enough to take it.

I need to face my fear of failing.  I also need to face my fear of success.

I think I need to quit standing in my own way.

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As weekends go, it was a pretty fun one, to be sure.  After an excruciatingly LONG four day work week, Joe and I slept in Saturday morning, getting up at a leisurely 8:30 a.m.  (I think.  I had the wrong glasses on.)  Into the living room we went to map out our garage saleing for the morning.  Aside from a few promising prospects, there weren’t as many as normal; although there was one with 8 homes on one street, though, and we were sure to score something there.
We didn’t score anything there and in fact, there was one house where the clothes and various dirty household items were strewn about on rickety tables with no prices.  Ew.
People, if you’re going to hold a garage sale, there are ten rules.
1)      You’re trying to get rid of it, right?  Price it that way.  Otherwise you will be packing it all back up again.  If it means that much to you, don’t sell it.
2)      Group like items together attractively.  Make sure they’re clean and if electric, make sure they work.
3)      Put a price on your items.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  People attending your garage sale tend to walk away from something if it doesn’t have a price. 
4)      Signs.  There can never, ever be enough signs to gently guide me, the garage-saler, to the exact location of your garage sale.  After all, if you’ve gone through all the trouble to have a garage sale, let people know where it is.
5)      And if you advertise a garage sale, then hold a garage sale.  We have searched high and low for a particular sale because of what was promised in the ad, only to find a closed garage door.  It wasn’t pretty.
6)      When said sale is advertised, please don’t just say “too much to mention.”  Give us poor coffee-swilling; diehard garage sale fans some idea of what you are selling.  My idea of miscellaneous is household/clothing/glassware.  Yours might be quilt blocks, pictures of cats, old baskets, and embroidered, raffia’d toilet tissue (For Decorative Use Only).  Neither one of us would be happy, right?  Right.
7)      Having a cooler of water/soda or a lemonade stand on a hot, hot day is a stellar idea.  Just don’t charge more for the drinks than you do for items on the table.  And if you are charging more, they have better have liquor in them.
8)      Have a “free” box and put something in it.
9)      If you have colorful children’s items, line them up and down the driveway.  It catches our jaded garage-saler’s eye and makes us more apt to stop and browse.
10)  It never hurts to have friendly people manning your garage sale.  Throw on the radio.  Turn on a fan for circulation in a hot garage.  It does make a favorable difference in your garage sale ambience. 

Yesterday on our Saturday “hunt” we found:  a cool Schlitz sign, a unique square plate, a bag of pretty  headbands, and a ceramic heart decoration. 



the headband on the left is for when I go hunting.  Not.
Jos. Schlitz.  Too cool for school.
new fruit plate.  new heart thingie.
We also, despite our complete zig- zagging around Rockford, found that we came across the same husband/wife couple at three consecutive garage sales in three different neighborhoods.  When we saw them the last time, I mentioned that we weren’t going to map out garage sales next week; we’d just follow them around.  The wife responded by slyly grabbing up all of the cool dog toys that I didn’t see.  The husband retorted that we’d have to be willing to go to breakfast first and pay the bill in exchange for their knowledge and expertise. 
We laughed.  As the husband passed my husband on the way to the truck, he told Joe that he and his wife were going to do a little tweaking to their current garage sale schedule so that he could, and I quote, “see if he could shake us.”
I’m sure he was just kidding.  He probably just didn’t want us to get all the embroidered toilet tissue.
Game on.  See you next Saturday.



Despite being wracked with grief over the impending divorce of Katie Holmes from Tom Cruise, we were able to have a lovely Fourth of July*.  Busy?  Yes.  Fun?  Yes.  Family?  Some.  Beer?  Yes.  Oh, yes, please.
Not only did we have today off, about a week ago, after work, Joe and I packed, got our routine “drive” coffees and some candy, and then drove to his sister’s house in Wisconsin, arriving around 7:30 pm.



Yes, we actually stayed here.  It was gorgeous.



There, we met up with two of my husband’s sisters, Anita and Carla, and Joe’s mother Mary.  Also present:  Anita’s boyfriend Ron and Carla’s hubby John.  (Missing:  the last sister Lisa, her three kids, and all three of mine.)  Sadly, work schedules are extremely prohibitive sometimes.  L


Hey, turn around.  I’m taking a picture here.



But I digress.
We were there Thursday through Sunday afternoon.  A typical day consisted of getting up and having coffee, then taking a nice hour long walk looking at the pretty scenery.  It was also very hot.  It is beautiful, too, as you can see.  



Woops, wrong picture.  But still pretty darn cute.


That’s better. 

Did I mention it was hot?  By the time we got back, it was almost beer: thirty.  Time to get on the bathing suits and head down to the refreshing water after packing up a cooler and some reading material.  I was able to finish the book “The Litigators” by John Grisham (it was good), and Carla worked on the last book by Stieg Larsson, which I believe is “The Girl with the Tattoo Who Played with the Fiery Hornet’s Nest”.   She recommends it highly. 

We read.  We walked.  We ate.  We laughed.  We floated on our backs, on rafts, on noodles.  We hogged the cookies.  We drank one or two beers.  (cough *an hour* cough)  We played games of Sequence every night before the sun, fresh air, and liquid beverages caught up with us…then woke up to do it all again the next day.

We were on lake time.



A very serene Sunday except for the Loch Ness Monster sighting.

In short, it was an awesome (if somewhat abbreviated) vacation.  Good for the body, good for the soul. 

Not so great for the waistline.  Those vacation calories waited until I was asleep before slapping themselves all over my sunburned self. 
Stay tuned for the next article, tentatively entitled “The Girl Who Lost Weight by Running Away From a Hornet’s Nest.”
*interesting note.  Tom Cruise also starred in the movie “Born on the Fourth of July.” 

Hello little blog.
Where the hell have you been?
I know, I know, it’s been a while.  I’m so sorry. 
(sneers) No, you’re not.
Will you ever forgive me?
Smell my feet and maybe I will.
***
Well, at least that’s over.  Making up is hard to do. 
It’s been a busy month.  Yesterday was my niece’s baptism.  Here’s a little picture of the little angel, Ashlyn.



Photo: My grandaughter Ashlyn Taylor Collins baptism at 6 mos. old.
I know, right? 



She slept on my brother’s chest right up until the time the pastor poured a little holy water over her tiny little sinless head.  Doesn’t seem fair, does it, that in some faiths you’re actually born with original sin.  Kind of like you have one strike already against you the second you pop out.   
During the ceremony, my nephew Cole was able to dip his fingers in the baptismal font fast-as-that and stick them in his mouth before his horrified mother was able to stop him.  Later, Cole and I discussed this incident and I asked him what that water tasted like, and he told me, “fish.”
The church service was lovely; the pastor performed a wonderful sermon.  The only hysterical fly in the Lutheran ointment was that the pastor performing the service sounded exactly like Jerry Seinfeld.  I thought it was just me but my sister later confided she thought so too.   I smothered giggles from time to time during the service, but then remembered that was exactly why I used to get smacked in the back of the head during church at St Mary’s in Plainfield when I was young.  Good news, I wasn’t sitting next to Dad this time, though.  Advantage:  Poopwa.
On the way to the baptism, we saw a sign out front of a business on Route 30 that said,
Family Owned Business
Shut up.” 
No, you shut up.” 
Seriously, I can’t make that shit up.
Saturday was my niece’s graduation party (note to Delaney:  you’re going to be a freshman???)  where I was able to visit a lovely long time with my family and friends.  Lots of ping pong was played, little boys pretended to be pirates, babies were held and passed around, and we all caught up on the most recent gossip.
Case in point:  my sister said that she was in Target the other day and overheard the Target cashier giving the third degree to a customer buying the book “50 Shades of Gray”.  The cashier was telling her in a stage whisper, “it’s a very erotic book, practically porn!”  My sister said the poor customer buying the book turned 50 Shades of Red
Two Jennys, an Amanda and a Chris giggled over that a good long while and stood in the kitchen outdoing ourselves on what would be the most embarrassing thing to set on the conveyer belt to be checked out with that book.  Like baby oil.   Or clothesline.  Or a “personal massager”.   (Or all three.) 
This is what happens when I get around my family.  You can see where I get my sense of humor.
Ah, good times.
Get down!  Get down!  Go see Daddy!!”   (actual panicky orders I gave my black lab, trying to get him off the couch before he was spotted up there)
That was me, getting busted last week for letting the dog up on the couch.  My husband, in preparation for a trip to Florida, asked me if I wanted to go run errands with him.  I regretfully declined so that I could tweak the article I was working on.  (and had a deadline for.  I wanted to be “prompt” with my submission.)
I figured I’d have a 45 minute chunk of time to write.  I settled in on the couch, pulled my laptop onto (what else?) my lap, and began to work.
In my writing frenzy, I failed to notice (ha! No, I didn’t.) that my dog climbed up on the couch.  He’s 95 pounds and does nothing subtly.  His fur coat looks exactly like a big black blanket, so while I may have noticed him get up there, I became engrossed in writing and forgot he was there. (Ha! No, I didn’t.)
Forgot, that is, until I heard the sound of the back door opening.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Although I couldn’t see who was opening the door from my spot on the couch, from the horrified gasp I realized it was my husband.  He was back very, very early from his errands and opened the door just in time to see Cooper’s back legs hop off the couch.  Dammit.  Caught.
He looked at me while he directed his comments to the dog. 
“Cooper!  Did your mommy let you up on the couch?”  Of course, like every good wife I immediately denied knowing he was even up on the couch, but we both knew the truth.  Also because my hubby felt around on the couch until he located the very warm spot on the couch where the dog had been sitting.  (To my mind, we keep the couch cushions covered with sheets to keep them from getting dirty.  So where’s the harm?)



“what?  me, on the couch?  There’s a first time for everything…”



Also from time to time, when my husband and I are gone, that same dog is also fully allowed on the couch by one child in particular.  This one child (her name rhymes with Banana) has actually taken pictures of her doggie sitting on said couch, and then flagrantly posted them on Facebook, where her dad could see them.



Fast forward one week.   Cooper had a very sore paw for whatever reason.  (Probably because he jumped off the couch.)  He limped around feebly and made us feel very sorry for him.  My hubby couldn’t bear to see Cooper in any pain and petted him anxiously over and over.  I left Coop in my husband’s able care while I went downstairs to fold clothes. 
And came back up to find Cooper happily curled up on the couch next to my husband, who just smiled at me.
I smiled back, in complete understanding. 



(author’s note:  Cooper has made a complete recovery.  And as I write this is sitting next to me on the couch.  But don’t tell my husband.)


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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!

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