Today in Evil: I Convinced My Husband We Bought A Horse

Jun 1 2015

I don’t know what made me do it, but I’m a Christian, so I’m going to go with the Devil.

The Devil made me do it; that’s always a good excuse.


I’ve heard it said God never gives us more than we can handle, but a) that’s a crap theological statement any way you slice it, and, b) more importantly, I’ll bet God wouldn’t say stuff like that if God’s husband went away for a week, took most of the children, and left her with way, WAY too much time on her hands. Time to think about buying a miniature horse, for example. And, yes, obviously time to reject buying a miniature horse because DUH. But also time to think about convincing her husband she’d bought a miniature horse anyway, because bwahahahaha; SATAN.

Idle hands are the devil’s tools. <– In the Bible, man. TRUE TRUTH.

MORE TEMPTATION THAN I COULD HANDLE, I tell you. More temptation than any woman should try to endure.

It all started innocently enough.

I just mentioned, via text, to my husband who was far, far away, that we might be able to finagle a way to buy Aden, our middle kid who adores equines, a miniature horse.






Now, I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean I really wanted to buy a horse, but Greg ignored me, which left me no choice at all but to keep texting him.




Still NOTHING from Greg, so I started pinging him with the “AREN’T YOU LISTENING?” texts and the “HELLO! HellLLLOOOOOO!” texts, and then he was a poophead…



…which made me realize I had to up my game.

I set to work.

I did my research.

I tattled on Greg to our teenager, Abby, who was home with me, and I led her astray.

“Abby,” I said, “Dad’s ignoring me. It’s like he really, truly believes I wouldn’t buy a horse without consulting him.”

“That’s probably because you wouldn’t buy a horse without consulting him,” she said, because she’s a jerk like her father.

“THAT IS NO EXCUSE,” I said. “It is now our job to convince him that I WOULD, TOO, impulsively buy a horse.”

“I don’t think that’s the best idea you’ve ever had,” said Abby.

And I said, “Is, too.”

And she said, “Is not.”


And she said, “I’m pretty sure the Bible doesn’t say that.”

And I said, “Oh yeah? Prove it.”

And she said, “It’ll take less time if I just do what you want, won’t it?”

And I said, “Yep.”

And she said, “Fine,” which is the same as Honoring Your Mother, I think, because HOORAY! I WIN!

Thus began Abby’s text campaign to her father, which went like this:








You know, there are times while you’re raising kids and you wonder if they’ll ever accept your way of life and your values and then they do stuff like this and you realize it’s all going to be OK. It’s all going to work out. Raise them up in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.

Abby’s part concluded, I continued my quest.






As you can see, Greg remained unconvinced after this barrage of texts.

Which is why it’s a good thing I have friends in my corner.

Friends who have friends.

Friends who have friends who have miniature horses.

Friends who have friends who have miniature horses they will bring to my home and pretend to sell to me.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

And it was.

Oregon Dream Ponies, whom I love and with whom I’m well pleased, showed up at our house and pretended to sell me a horse. In front of Greg. As a special “surprise” to him.


In conclusion, being married to me is THE BEST.

With love,





RubySurpriseP.S. Greg didn’t get to keep the pony, but he did get a rad Oregon Dream Ponies t-shirt.

P.P.S. No children or ponies were harmed in the making of this practical joke. The kids were all in on in and thought it was HILARIOUS. Actually, I’m not sure the pony was in on the joke, so her feelings were probably hurt when she didn’t get to stay with us. AMENDMENT: No children or ponies were physically harmed in the making of this practical joke. Also, new motto for this site = Raising children and ponies to be self-sufficient enough to someday pay for their own counseling.

P.P.P.S. This post isn’t sponsored by Oregon Dream Ponies, and blah blah blah. I don’t do sponsored posts here. Kim at ODP is just really cool people willing to haul a tiny pony to a crazy woman’s house to help her torture her husband. Now, if that’s not True Community, I don’t know what is.

P.P.P.P.S. I’m thinking “In conclusion, being married to me is THE BEST” should be a new, regular series around here. The other time that was my conclusion was the day I pooped my closet. That Greg’s a lucky guy.



Video credit Nate Macy: I think we can all agree he has the very best taste in background music.

If You Give a Kid a Sharpie

May 25 2015

Let me paint a picture for you.

Imagine this:

Let’s say the heating element in your dishwasher bends.

Bends over.

Over and down.

Like Downward Facing Dog if your dishwasher’s heating element knows yoga, which mine, apparently, does.

No one knows how that happened.

You know no one knows because you asked.

A kid shoving a dog in the dishwasher?

Siblings giving each other rides on the bottom rack?

Small beasts packing the dishwasher with their mother’s cast iron skillets and decorative lawn rocks to “see how much that box can hold?”

Who knows for sure?

It’s impossible to say.

There’s enough denial to circle the Earth at least 5 times.

Nevertheless, let’s say the heating element in your dishwasher bends.

Know what happens next?

I didn’t, either.

But I do now.

If the heating element in your dishwasher bends, it melts a hole in the plastic dishwasher tub.

That’s what happens next.

And, FYI, if a hole melts in the plastic dishwasher tub, the water doesn’t stay inside your dishwasher.

It sure doesn’t.


If a hole melts in the plastic dishwasher tub, the water runs out of your dishwasher through the hole.

It does.

It runs right out of that hole.

But do you know the water is running out of your dishwasher?

No. No, of course you don’t.

Because no one mentioned shoving the dog in the dishwasher “because he likes to lick stuff in there.”

And no one mentioned the joy rides on the bottom rack.

And no one mentioned seeing how much stuff — like iron and rocks — could fit into that box.

So you didn’t know the heating element had bent.

And you didn’t know about the melted hole.

And you didn’t know about the gallons of dirty dish water flooding day after day and week after week under your floor and into the subfloor until you noticed the laminate, bubbling from underneath.

Eventually, though — eventually — you think to yourself that something might be amiss, what with the squishy floor and the bubbles and the new hills and valleys which are perfect for your boys to have matchbox car races and for you to trip next to the stove while hot things like off-brand mac and cheese are cooking away.

Yes, you realize something might be amiss, and you think you Ought to Do Something About That Squishy Floor, but Oh My Gosh, you guys. Oh my gosh. Because even when things Ought to Be Done, there’s still laundry and work and homework and feeding children and forgetting to make them bathe and a thousand Other Things to do, instead.

You have a thousand thousand Other Things to do, so, by the time you consider replacing the laminate on your own, and your neighbors remind you you have home-owner’s insurance, and you’re all, “oh yeahthat’s what insurance is for,” and you call your insurance company, and they call the water mitigation service, and the water mitigation service arrives and starts using words like “saturated” and “destroyed” and “total loss,” you realize you’re going to have replace everything. The entire floor.

IMG_3719You live the next two months with your floor in tatters and enormous fans blowing and making calls to and from (and from and to) the various companies trying to fix the things you’ve wrecked, until you get The Call. The CALL. The Call You’ve Been Waiting For! The call that says, “We’ll be there tomorrow to replace the floors.”

You are grateful.

You are delirious!

You can prove you’re delirious, in fact, because you hand your children Sharpies — permanent markers, in other words — and you tell them to Have At It. “GO FOR IT,” you say. “Draw on the floor! HAVE A BLAST. Those floors are getting ripped up tomorrow, kids.”

And so they do.


They draw away.


They have a blast.

They draw some things you expect, like monsters.


And some things you don’t expect, like Odes to Bob.


Final Resting Place

Rest In Peace
This is were Bob
lies ded. he was a 
good person. Bob lived
a long good life.
he had some odd
This is wat’s
left of his

They make social commentaries, like this, which they wrote in front of our TV:

This is were we whatch things.
This is were our brains rot.

And show an affinity for human anatomy, which we’ve already discussed.


Of course, as soon as your children finish their works of art, you’ll get another call. One that says, “Actually, we can’t replace the floors ’til next week,” which means you’ll have your old floors while you throw a party or two, and your mom-in-law will come over, and she’ll see your floor decorations, and you’ll shrug your shoulders at her, and you’ll thank God she knows how to giggle.

Yes, this is what happens if the heating element in your dishwasher bends and if you give your kids a Sharpie.

And in the end, you’ll decide it was all worth it.



My Husband Keeps Trying to Have Sex With Me

May 19 2015

My husband keeps trying to have sex with me.

For example, he cleaned off six shelves in our living room last night. Like, sorting stuff and organizing it and getting rid of crap we don’t need.

I know, you guys. I know.

That’s pretty extreme all by itself, but desperate people sometimes take desperate measures.

But wait! There’s MORE.

Our 2nd grader, Cael, keeps having anxiety attacks about his bear. Although Cael didn’t want to be separated from Beary, he also didn’t want to take Beary to school in his backpack because the school might burn down and he might not be able to get Beary out in time. I’d be concerned about his level of anxiety, irrational worry and general paranoia, except I don’t let my kids put their beds in front of the windows because, if I do, then I’ll be responsible when they to bleed to death after either a) the Big Quake hits or b) the burglar breaks in, shattering the window in a gazillion pieces, one of which will inevitably hit an artery. Protecting Beary from the inevitable school fire? That just makes sense. So, instead of taking Beary to school or leaving Beary home to get mauled by our dogs, my kid entrusted Beary to his dad.

Now, Greg could’ve done any number of things with Beary.

Shoved him in a briefcase.

Threw him in the trunk.

Forgotten him at home.

But no.

My husband is a wise, wise man after 20 years of marriage, so he took that bear to work with him and started sending me pictures.

Pictures ostensibly for our son.

Pictures like this:


And this:


And this:


Which are ADORABLE. And heartwarming. And endearing. And, well, are more likely to result in what we shall call Positive Reinforcement than, say, pinching my butt on the way up the stairs or groping my boob.

In conclusion, Well played, Greg. Well played.




Keeping It Real

May 11 2015

Keeping It Real

“Keeping It Real.”

That is, perhaps, the stupidest name ever for one of my blog posts. EVER ever. Because when do I not keep it real around here? I mean, really.

It’s just, even though I don’t have time to write you All the Details right now, and even though I plan to write you All the Details soon, I need you to know we moved our couch yesterday.

We moved our couch yesterday, which is Always A Mistake.

We moved our couch yesterday after 18 months of Not Moving Our Couch.

We moved our couch yesterday, even though we Know Better.

We moved our couch yesterday, and this is what we found.


And this:


And this:


I just thought you should know.





P.S. I also think you should know this:


You know, in case you run across one of those things. Then you’ll know what it is.

P.P.S. That drawing is on my living room floor.


On Being Smudgy

May 6 2015

I wrote you a real letter today. On paper and everything. And it’s dated two days ago because that’s how long it took me to finish it. That’s OK, though. I think you’ll understand.



Apr 27 2015

I made writing to you a priority ever day for ReLent — you know; ReLent, which is “Lent Again” for those of us who forgot to do it the first time around. Whenever possible, minus a few extraordinary circumstances along the way, I’ve kept my promise. Writing drivel at times, yes. And using a very liberal interpretation of “extraordinary circumstances” because I believe to my toes that you, like me, know that “can’t keep going” and “need rest” and “have to watch Outlander” count as extraordinary.

But I’m writing to you today because I DID make that promise, so I won’t go all quiet and dark here even though I don’t really have time to pen this.

This time, it really is an extraordinary circumstance. Of the kind not just my fellow Mombies will understand.

On Saturday, an earthquake hit Nepal.

And my Other Life, outside my life with my family and my life here with you in this space, is that of Humanitarian Aid worker.

I work also at Medical Teams International.

I keep that quiet a lot, not because it’s a secret, but because I say Weird and Wild things here, and I never want my wild ways or weird theology or bumbling words to reflect poorly on these people I love who spend their lives to save and improve the lives of others. 

I work at Medical Teams because it’s our mission send medicines, doctors and nurses — real help — to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty around the world.

Now, I’ve talked about Jesus here before and the ways I do and don’t fit in with Other Christians. You’ve let me process my faith, and I’ve adored you for sharing yours, especially because we’re sometimes different and sometimes the same, and there’s incredible beauty in finding all comers in this place and talking with each other instead of at each other. So, if you’ve been in this space much at all, you’ll know how sad it makes me when terrible words and deeds are done in Jesus’ name, how I almost abandoned the word “Christian” to identify myself until an athiest friend set me straight (although it occurs to me I may not have told you that story and I probably should), and therefore how healing it is for me to get to work for an organization that just loves people — without regard to faith or creed or status or symbol or ANY OF THE THINGS — just LOVES people who desperately need it, AND are Christians at the same time.

Imagine! Christians out there giving aid to people because they need it!

No requirements.

Just help and hope.

THIS is the church I want to be part of.

THIS is the way I want to spend my life.

Loving people.

I know; I’m a mushy mess.

So I work at Medical Teams International. In the president’s office, no less, although I keep waiting for him to realize I’m a nutjob. (Confession: That cat might be already out of the bag.) And there was an earthquake in the poorest country in South Asia last weekend. And we’re spending this week in emergency response mode. Because there are people who need help. And we’re uniquely positioned to provide it.

I want you to know — I’m going to try to honor my ReLent promise to write to you. And I also want you to know — if I do it, my writing may be even more disjointed and irregular and weird than usual. Because I’m working hard, and my heart is with the people of Nepal. 

My heart is with ALL the people, as you know, who are sitting in the dark and waiting for the dawn

Holding Hands in the Dark — with you and Nepal,





P.S. Medical Teams International is one of only 5 U.S.-based organizations vetted by the World Health Organization and the United Nations to send foreign medical teams to Nepal to respond to this disaster. You can learn more about the Medical Teams International Nepal Earthquake response here

This Made Me Think of You. Not Because You’re Bad at Punctuation.

Apr 25 2015

I saw this yesterday and I immediately thought of you. 


Not because you’re really bad at punctuation, but because I LOVE YOU.

“I love you with ALL MY BUTT. I would say heart, but my butt is bigger.” 

This is a true truth, friends. 

As true a truth as I know. 

I LOVE YOU WITH ALL THE BREADTH OF MY GIGANTIC BUTT. And I hope you feel at least somewhat comforted by that. I know I do. Because I grew this butt myself, and our community grew this love together, so this makes strange sense to me. Strange and beautiful, beautiful sense. 

Last night, I wrote about destinations and the unavoidable reality that we aren’t necessarily able to navigate to our destination just because we desire to be there. Diana wrote back on Facebook, “The other day I was up in the middle of the night, no reason, kids all asleep…. It’s just me who can’t sleep lately. And I hate the dark, hate the night. But I laid there and thought… I know for a fact, because of your posts and this community, that others mommas were also up and waving in the dark at that very moment. I waved, and said out loud, ‘waving in the dark,’ and the comfort that it brought me was profound. Thank you ALL.” 

And I just want you to know, friends, in case you wonder why I love you — WHY? Why? — it’s because of this thing Diana put her finger on. It’s because you’re there for each other. Because you’re creating a whole community of momrades who wave in the dark.

I think you’re incredibly rad. Times infinity. And I wanted you to know.

Love (truly),