Friday, June 24, 2011

Cajun Sunblock

I went to the lake today with my sister.  It was a gorgeous day: bright blue sky, beautiful pine trees, the whole works.  After getting settled on the beach and sunblocking the kids, Shan asked me if I would spray her down with some of my sunblock.  I asked, "Are you sure?  It's SPF 50," thinking that she might want to get a little bit of color on those albino legs of hers.  But she insisted that she didn't care about a tan, so I coated her with sunblock.  Meanwhile, I misted tanning oil all over myself (which only has an SPF of 4), because I'm more shallow and not health-conscience when it comes to things like that.  I just want the tan.

A few hours later, as we were getting ready to leave, I noticed that Shan's arms and legs were sunburned as all get-out.  She was absolutely fried.  I, on the other hand, was sportin' a nice golden tan without the slightest trace of a sunburn.  How the hell did that happen?  She was wearing SPF 50.  I was wearing SPF 4.  

So just a quick word of caution: If you're looking for a reliable sunscreen, you might want to stay away from Banana Boat's Ultramist Spray-On Lotion. When they say "SPF 50", what they really mean is "Sun Penetration Factor 50 times worse than you'd expect." Or in layman's terms, "Scorched Pretty F***ing bad" (the 'b' is dropped for posterity).
I think next time we'll just slather Shan's legs with good ole' saturated beef fat.  Or maybe spray her down with some non-stick canola oil.  Maybe THAT will work out better for her than Banana Boat's cajun-style "sunscreen".

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Extreme Bible Challenge

Okay, this Bible challenge thing.  I keep saying that I will say something more official about it, so here goes:

I am challenging myself to read the Bible in 90 days.  It all started on May 31st when I was updating my Bookworm Challenge list.  I had just crossed off my seventh book and begun my eighth, when a very eloquent thought suddenly occurred to me.  It sounded something like this:  
This is stupid. 
The thing is, I already love reading.  So how can challenging myself to do something I already love doing possibly be considered a "challenge"?  That's like challenging a junk-food addict to consume a dozen twinkies a week.  Don't get me wrong, I still love having a yearly book list (especially over summer) to keep track of the novels I have read or intend to read.  But I'm just done pretending that it's actually a challenge for me to read twelve books a year.  So then, naturally, I asked myself this question:
What would be a challenge?
That's when a lightbulb sort of went off (or is it on? I may have butchered that expression).  The Bible.  It has always been my biggest literary adversary.  I've tried several times to read it, and generally have no issues getting through Genesis and Exodus.  But once I hit Leviticus (and don't get me started with Numbers), I start to drown in all those laws and eventually lose interest.  
So why would this time be any different?
In the past, I was never on any schedule.  My reading the Bible was contingent upon my interest in what I was reading, so inevitably I would eventually drift away.  But once I determined that I for-sure wanted to read the Bible, I jumped online to see if I could find any reading schedules to help keep me on track. There was a slew of year-long schedules, but I wanted something shorter to keep me motivated.  With Google's assistance, I found a Bible-reading challenge that offered a printable schedule to allow anyone interested to read the Bible, cover to cover, in 90 days.  This shorter time constraint gives me a sense of...panic, for lack of a better word.  A year-long Bible challenge gives me too much leeway to skip a day here and there, until eventually I get into a cycle of not reading.  But a 90 day challenge doesn't offer much wiggle room.  You miss a day; it's over.  It's nearly impossible to catch up (trust me, I've had the misfortune of already discovering this).

Some churches actually offer official 90 day challenges for their congregations to participate in, hence the logo above, and this one from last year:

But they start such challenges right after the New Year, and end them by March 31st.  Unfortunately, since summer is my optimal time to do mass-reading, I am forced to do this challenge alone.  That's the only downfall I am experiencing so far.  I would love to be able to discuss what I'm reading with others, especially when I'm feeling confused by some of the verses.

Below, I am keeping an ongoing list of the books of the Bible as I finish reading them.  This will be really boring for anyone else to read; it's just a personal reference for me for motivational-purposes.  I'm planning to link this page to the "Bi90 Eleven" logo on my side margin, so I can continue to add on to this list.  Wish me luck--or better yet--more self-discipline than I currently possess!


Start-date of Challenge:  June 1, 2011
End-date of Challenge:  August 30, 2011
Date each book was completed:

Genesis:  June 4
Exodus:  June 7
Leviticus:  June 11
Numbers:  June 15
Deuteronomy:  June 17
Joshua:  June 19
Judges:  June 23
Ruth:  June 23
1 Samuel:  June 26
2 Samuel:  June 28
1 King:  June 30
2 Kings: July 2
1 Chronicles:  July 5
2 Chronicles:  July 8
Ezra:  July 8
Nehemiah:  July 10
Esther:  July 10
Job:  July 12
Psalms:  July 23
Proverbs:  July 25
Ecclesiastes:  July 26
Song of Songs: July 26
Isaiah:  In progress

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Heart Tattoos and Throwing Stuff

Tonight was our small group meeting, but due to busy summer schedules and the fact that none of us made it to the church service this weekend, we decided to play games instead of doing an actual Bible study.  After eating dinner, we played Taboo.  Before beginning the game, we drew for partners; Clint ended up partnered with Steve, Matt with Alana, and me with Becky.  Becky is competitive, plus very expressive and patient with giving clues, so we made a great match and ultimately won the game.  But the part of the game that stands out the most was when Steve was trying to get Clint to guess the clue "records" (I think).  Steve prompted, "A doctor might look up your---" and Clint immediately exclaimed "Colon!"  Everyone was like, "Wow Clint, your last doctor's appointment must have sucked."

Becky had to leave right before 8:00, so at that point we quit the game and moved into the living room to chat.  We somehow got into a conversation about tattoos.  Every one of us has at least one tattoo, with each one including a background story (except for mine. Mine's boring and has no significance).  So Matt was sharing with us one of his tattoos: a tribal-looking image on his upper-back (a past drunken mistake).  While emphasizing the randomness of that particular tattoo, Alana chimes in with the fact that the image even has a heart in the middle.  At this point, Matt's entire face lights up with surprise, and he exclaims, "What?  There's a heart?!"  and takes off for the bathroom.  We all just exploded with laughter.  He had no idea that his tattoo contained the shape of a heart in the center, and the expression on his face was priceless.  Eventually he came back into the living room, and Steve took a nice close-up picture of it with his cell phone so that Matt could see it clearly.  Meanwhile, we were all crying with laughter.  Needless to say, Matt decided that he will be getting his precious little heart tattoo covered when he can; possibly with an eagle.  I personally think he should keep the heart.  It's much more entertaining.

After we recovered from the whole tattoo ordeal, we eventually found ourselves talking about the stuff we have thrown at our spouses through the course of our marriages.  Between all of us, we have thrown everything from remote controls to mealworms to acoustic guitars (sorry, that one was actually "lightly kicked", according to said-person, not thrown).  The whole conversation was so damn comical.  I don't know exactly when we stopped sugar-coating our lives to each other, but it makes for some interesting conversations.  Seriously, my small group is full of a bunch of crazies.  No wonder we get along so well.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Crashed Barbecue

I'm still feeling just a tiny bit off today.  Can't seem to shake it.

Yesterday evening I went to Shan's house to offer her some moral support for a graduation barbecue that she was throwing for Madi.  The barbecue began at about 7:00 p.m., and was still going on (more or less) when I left around midnight.  I was going to stay the night, but there were already too many people crashing there, and I would have been lucky to get even a piece of carpet to sleep on.  At any rate, the party went really smoothly for the first few hours (note the foreshadowing), other than a tiny bit of tension due to exes being trapped in the same house together.  There was a ton of awesome food, and we all enjoyed a couple glasses of wine and some good conversation.  I dragged Shan into the livingroom to play "Just Dance" with me, and that was a lot of fun.* 

Sometime around 11:00, Shan's father-in-law crashed the party (enter: drama).  He created a big scene that resulted in the cops being called.  I guess the whole thing should've phased me more than it did (Shan kept apologizing for everything), but it really just reminded me of scenes from my own childhood.  Guess I'm a little too comfortable with chaotic environments.

At around midnight, things seemed to be calming down, and I decided to leave.  I don't know how it happened because I've been to Shannon's house a million times, but somehow I turned off the wrong street and got lost.  Those mountain roads are incredibly dark at night, and with all of those sharp turns and curves, it's easy to get disoriented.  Especially if you're me and already have crappy night-vision and no sense of direction.  The kids were in the car with me, and after about fifteen minutes of turning this way and that, it started to feel spooky.  I tried to make it an adventure for the kids, but inwardly I was starting to feel nervous.  My cell-phone had no reception, and my brain was scrambling, trying to think of what the protocol is when you're trapped in a maze of dark trees in the middle of the night.  Thankfully I did eventually find my way back to a main thoroughfare.  But then I almost hit a skunk.  After that, it was smooth-sailing the rest of the drive home.

Tomorrow we're leaving for a trip to Camarillo to visit my paternal grandmother (my real dad's mother).  Shannon, Jeremy, and the kids are also going, and we're all staying at the same hotel, so it should be a lot of fun.  I am nervous though.  I don't know my grandma very well, and I feel a little shy around her.  Plus she has never met my kids before.  Well, I take that back...she did see Trinity once at a funeral.  But Trin was a baby back then.  Elijah she has never met.  She has never met Samantha or Shelby either.  Overall this is a pretty big visit. 

I guess I've rambled on long enough.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I feel like I've been punched in the stomach.  I just found out that my friend's husband committed suicide.  She and I met through kickboxing two summers ago and bonded right away...probably because we were both going through the same torture together, and we both teach English. Their daughter is in the same karate class as Trinity, and her husband is--was--a bit of an artist who enjoyed making pottery, amongst other things.  He gave us these for Christmas:

It was a completely random gift; I don't think he had any clue that I was an avid hot-tea drinker when he gave these to us.  You can see from the stains that they have been well-used in the last six months, but now I feel strange just looking at them.  The man that created these mugs used those same hands to take his own life. 

I'm not going to try to make my friend's tragedy my own.  But my heart hurts for her right now, and I hurt for her daughter, who no longer has her dad.  I feel shocked and horrified that suicide has touched the lives of people I care about.  I hate this feeling.  I need to go hug someone.  And then curl up and take a nap.   

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tortoises, Microwaves, Bees, etc.

Two nights ago I had another dream featuring Clint's sister, although this time, she wasn't really a major player in the dream.  I was in her classroom, and on the counter was a tortoise habitat, complete with a heat lamp, plant-life, and two desert tortoises.  Amanda was in a neighboring room talking to some parents, so I went over to the habitat and picked up one of the tortoises.  I held her for a moment, but then, suddenly, I lost my grip and dropped her.  She landed on the hard linoleum floor and her shell shattered.  Half of the shell cracked off completely, vertically, from head to tail.  I felt devastated.  The poor thing looked pitiful, with half of her tender, fragile body exposed to the world.  I carried the broken tortoise to Amanda to show her what I had accidentally done.  I can't recall her exact words, but I do remember that she wasn't mad, and I was surprised by her understanding.

Then, last night, I dreamt that my sister broke her wrist while changing some tubes in her microwave.  I never saw the accident happen, but I saw a facebook status update written by Shan.  It stated:
I broke my wrist while changing some tubes in my microwave.
Do microwaves even have tubes?  Anyway, that was the end of that one.  The dream was only about five seconds long.  But I did get on facebook when I woke up to check and make sure no one had broken anything.

In waking news, yesterday was my and Clint's 13th anniversary.  I actually forgot that it was even approaching until two days prior; Clint forgot completely until I told him.  We still managed to get his parents to babysit last night while we went out to a nice dinner.  And he brought me home a box of Lucky Charms, which was really cute.  It was my favorite cereal back when we first started dating, and sort of has an inside  story all of its own.  Yesterday I also went to lunch with Sarah, and we talked for over three hours while the kids played.  The time flew by so felt like it was only a half hour.

Despite how packed the day was yesterday, parts of it were actually a little emotional for me.  Shannon has been talking to our paternal grandmother, and she learned some little tidbits about our biological dad that she shared with me.  None of it was anything big, but compared to the little scraps of him that I currently have, it felt big to me.  After hearing what she told me, I felt so strange and off for the rest of the day.  Not in a bad way at all.  I can't really explain it.  Then when we went to pick up the kids from Clint's parent's house, Carey and I were talking about my Bible challenge, when he showed me a Bible that Clint and I had bought for him over ten years ago (I had long-forgotten about this book).  He had read the entire book in a year.  He started right before Clint and I moved to Wisconsin, and right before Shan moved to Oregon.  During that year, he had scratched things that happened throughout the year in that Bible, along with other notes and thoughts.  I read the things he had written, and it made me cry.  Well, I managed to keep the tears sucked into those shrimpy tear ducts of mine while I was there, but I was just about losing it inwardly.  The things he had written...I never knew how much he cared about me, or my sister.  And what a humble, spiritual man he is.

Eventually I'm going to give more details about the Bible challenge, but this entry is already getting long, so I'll just give a quick update. As of today I've completed Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and about a third of Deuteronomy. So far the most difficult chapter has been Leviticus. The easiest chapters have been, of course, Genesis, and the first two-thirds of Exodus (Exodus does get pretty challenging toward the end).

As far as my manuscript, I now have the majority of two chapters written. But, unfortunately, they are not the first two chapters. For some reason, my brain doesn't seem to want to piece this thing together in the correct order.

Today I took the kids to the park to go swimming, but it sort of sucked.  The pool was over-crowded, plus they had way too many rules.  I mean, I get the whole "No running/No diving" thing, but the lifeguards were blowing their ear-piercing whistles every time you splashed, carried each other in the water, "crowded" the stairs, etc.  They may as well have posted a sign that said "No having fun."  After swimming and lunch (we went to McD's dripping wet and reeking of chlorine), I made an outdoor habitat for Shelly, because she was starting to outgrow her tank.  This required shoveling dirt, and it was hot today.  Digging holes in the sun definitely does NOT build character.  It just makes you cranky and thirsty.

Oh, one more completely unrelated thing.  While we were driving to Soledad Canyon, we ran into an entire flock of bees.  I'm cursing myself right now because I know it's not called a "flock" when you are referring to insects, but I can't remember what it's called.  "Drove", maybe?  Anyway, we ran into a--SWARM, yes!!--of bees, and of course they all smashed right into our very large windshield (think RV windshield, here).  So we had hundreds of little bee carcasses plastered onto the glass right before our eyes, with no way of avoiding looking at them, because we're driving.  So (I know I keep saying "so", but I'm lacking other good transitions right now) Clint turned the windshield wipers on, pushing the button on the side to spray some fluid.  But the fluid refused to come out (even though he topped it off before we left on the trip), and the dry wiper blades ended up smearing bee guts all across the glass, with no way of washing it off.  At this point, we could barely see out of the windshield.  Basically a bad problem just turned worse.  We were still miles away from a gas station, so Clint ended up having to douse the window with water from a water bottle, and then use the wiper blades to wash the remains away.  Moral of the story:  Don't run into bees!  It is very, very gross.             

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekend Trip to Soledad Canyon

Operation "Try out the RV" was a success!  Everything ran perfect, which is great considering we were traveling (and sleeping in) a 27 year-old wagon.  Isn't that old enough to be considered vintage?  At the minimum, I know it's old enough to be considered...old.  Below are the pics I took of the RV at the campground on Friday night. 

It was dusk, so the pictures came out a little dark.  The campground we stayed at is really pretty.  It's very green with a lot of mature trees.  We had a wonderful spot that backed right up into a grass-clearing, and then a hillside.  I wish I had brought a camera on this trip, so I could have captured more pictures of the campground and kids and such.  I only had my cell phone, which takes pretty crummy pictures.  I swear subconsciously I must want to let all of life slip by without any physical record of it, because I always forget my camera.  I did manage to snap a few pictures of the pool, even though it was so bright outside that I couldn't see what was on my viewing screen.  But check it out...this pool is huge.  It's about three times the size of your average, in-ground pool.

I swear it looks bigger in person, although I'm sure the infinity-edge increased that effect.  One section of the pool includes a beach-like entrance, so you can gradually enter the water without plunging directly need for a ladder or stairs.  Very cool.  The only thing is I wish the water had been was freezing. 

Both Friday and Saturday, we spent the day hanging out at the pool and exploring the campground.  In the evenings we played games inside the RV.  We brought a ton of games, but somehow we got really addicted to Monopoly.  Our first game on Friday night started right after dinner and didn't end until after midnight.  I won.  Last night, not wanting to get trapped in a five-hour game, we played a speed-version.  It ended up being about two-and-a-half hours long, and I still won.  Now no one wants to play Monopoly with me anymore.  Clint said it will be at least a year before I can convince him to play with me again.  Such a bummer, because I was enjoying my winning streak, and now I have no one to cream.  After Monopoly last night, we all curled up with ice-cream and popcorn, and watched "A Knight's Tale."  There's something about watching a movie in your camper that just makes you feel closer to nature.  Okay, not really, but it was very cozy.  Here are pictures of the inside of the RV (during the day).  As you can see, it is quite dated, but I have to say, it was still a very pleasant little place to camp in:

We were camping in some sort of signal vortex that had NO radio stations, so this was my very technical (eh-hem, hillbilly) solution to getting a radio station to come in:

Yes, that is indeed a radio antenna attached to a metal spatula attached to a metal hook holding a large metal spoon.  I'm not sure exactly which component was holding the signal, but it worked.

Some more random pics:

The kids all nice and sleepy for bed

Getting ready to leave for Charlie Browns
The kids at Charlie Brown's

Elijah and me and our giant beef jerkey

We stopped at Charlie Brown's twice this weekend: once on our way to Soledad Canyon, and once on our way home.  I LOVE Charlie Brown's.  It is a rustic store full of old-fashioned candies, foods, etc.  It also has a farmer's market section with fresh fruit/veggies, a deli-section, a gift-shop, and so on.  They have every thing from hand-scooped date shakes to home-made pomegranate jelly.  On our first stop to Charlie Brown's, we ate lunch and treated ourselves to a specialty shake (I always get the same thing: a chocolate cherry malt).  On our second stop, we each picked out a snack to take home.  Clint got garlic pistachios and I bought chocolate-covered cranberries.  Oh my gosh they are to die for.  We also bought Father's Day gifts there, so it was a pretty fruitful trip.

Overall, our little weekend-getaway was very enjoyable.  For past trips, we have always rented a cabin (or even a camper, like we did a few months ago).  But it felt great to have our own space to settle down in every evening.  And unpacking today was incredibly easy, because all of the bedding, toiletries, games, etc., will remain in the motorhome.  Basically the only thing we had to unload was food and clothes.  I'm officially ready to try out a longer excursion further away.  Now if those damn gas prices would come down....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Plugging Along

I'm trying to squeeze in a quick post tonight, because I won't be able to write again until Monday.

This week has been a blur so far. On Sunday, Shannon came over to have Clint dye her hair. I don't know if I've mentioned this in the past, but my husband is like the family's hairdresser. He's a pro at highlighting and/or dying hair, and of course he refuses to use the boxed-stuff from the store. He actually goes to a beauty-supplier to get the professional developers and creams that the salons use. So Shannon drives down to our house about once a month now to have Clint freshen up her highlights. As a thank you, she brings everyone dinner. It's awesome. The last time she was here, we played Just Dance while her hair was developing. It was funny, because she was dancing with all of these chunks of foil bouncing around on her head. This time, we didn't dance, but we did talk, a LOT. No surprise there.

Clint was off on Monday, and since the kids were in Vegas with his parents, we decided to go to the movies. Of all the grown-up movies we could finally watch, what do we end up choosing? Kung-Fu Panda 2. For the second time. I can't help it...that cartoon is beyond awesome. But to be fair, we actually watched it in 3D the second time around (which didn't really add anything to the overall experience, in my opinion, other than jacking up the cost of our tickets). That night we had Small Group at Matt and Alana's. It was fun, as usual, and over way too soon for someone who is now staying up way too late.

Yesterday, with the kids still away, Clint came home from work and we decided to go on a date. We treated ourselves to an overpriced Italian restaurant, and actually sat there for nearly two hours, talking. It was nice. Unfortunately that night I couldn't sleep, so I finally got up a 3:00 a.m. and sat in the office, writing. It was the best bout of insomnia ever, because I ended up writing nearly an entire chapter of my manuscript. When Clint's alarm went off at 4:45 this morning, I was still burning the midnight oil (so to speak). He crawled out of bed and I hollered "Hi babe!" I was feeling so chipper at getting a chapter "almost" written. He, on the other hand, asked, "Have you been up ALL night?!" and talked me into going back to bed. I crashed shortly after 5:00 a.m., and slept until about 9ish this morning. I feel tired now, but not extraordinarily tired. I think I am really starting to make my peace with these little bouts of insomnia.

Today I spent the day doing laundry, typing up my chapter (since I had hand-written the stupid thing) and working in the RV. I cleaned the counters, dusted, moved in some blankets and pillows, and filled the cabinets with DVDs and games. The kids finally came home from their trip around 5:00 this evening, and we sat in the RV, watching "Tangled" on our new, itty-bitty flat screen. Clint thought it was funny that we were all enjoying some media time in the tiny confines of the RV, instead of taking advantage of the big screen inside the house.

Tomorrow I have some shopping to do to get ready for our trip, and then Friday morning, we're off to Soledad Canyon to try out the RV. Crossing my fingers that everything runs smoothly!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Self-Imposed Challenges

Forcing myself to check in again.  Hello cyber world, I'm still alive.  :)  I have too much to talk about, so let me just ignore all that for now and tell you two things I'm excited about. 

Item #1:  I am attempting to read the entire Bible, cover to cover, in 90 days.  I'll give more details about that in a future post.  As of now, I just completed Day 6.  It doesn't sound like much, but since each day requires about an hour of reading, that is six full hours in less than a week.  For me, this has been no easy feat.  I may be a Christian, but personally, the Bible has never been an easy read (and I officially think that 90% of the characters in Genesis ought to have been committed. Seriously, there's no doctor in the world that would be able to diagnose their breed of crazy).  Again, I will say more about all of this in a future entry...but I wanted to at least mention it right now, especially since I've had a meter on my blog keeping track of my progress for the last several days. 

Item #2:  I started a novel.  I know, big whoop--everyone does.  But this one is different.  It's different because for once I have an appealing plotline that I feel incredibly confident about, but in addition to that, this story has direction.  I know exactly how the story is going to end and how all of the loose ends are going to be tied.  I've come up with vague concepts for novels in the past, but I could never figure out how the story was going to be resolved; I could never work out all of those little details, so such projects ultimately led to failure.  This time, I have the entire story mapped out.  Today, upon the advice of my supportive sis, I created an outline of all fifteen chapters, and the epilogue.  Clint has been indescribably helpful every step of the way.  He's been taking all of my muddled ideas and helping me to turn them into something tangible.  Every day he has brainstormed my characters with me and helped me to make them more rich with personality.  We talk casually about these characters as if they are real people, and he listens to all of my new ideas and chimes in with his feedback.  I have never in my life come this far with a story before, and I feel this child-like excitement bubbling inside of me.  I can't explain it.  It just feels different.  This is the one.  The one that's going to get published, or the one I'll die trying on.  Either way, it feels good to feel this passionate about something.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Scat, Jodi

We bought a scat mat for the cats.  We set it up right in front of our master bedroom entrance, and it basically sends a low-level shock through any bare flesh that comes into contact with it.  Clint thought it would be a great way to keep fur from accumulating in our master bedroom, and might help me with my allergies at night.  The result?  Sixty bucks and 48 hours later, the cats have learned how to jump the mat.  Meanwhile, I step on that damn thing every time I enter our bedroom.  Every single time.  I've been electrocuted so many times today that my arm hair is standing on end.    

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Subconscious Gone Awry

I had a strange dream last night.  I know, such a shocker, right?  In the dream, Clint picked up the ringing phone and began talking to someone.  As the conversation progressed, he seemed to become more and more agitated.  He finally shoved the phone in my hand and walked away, angrily shaking his head.  I put the phone to my ear and discovered it was Clint's sister.  She told me in a cheery, sing-song voice that her and her husband had decided that evening that they were calling it quits.  I was absolutely shocked.  Not only are they such a solid couple, but she had just told me that morning that they were planning to relocate to South Carolina when her husband finished school (that part is true).  I tried to ask why, or how, everything suddenly fell apart, but she wouldn't give me any sound reasons.  She just kept laughing.  I finally got angry and yelled into the phone that divorce was nothing to take lightly.  I told her that I know she's trying to put a positive spin on it, but this was a very big deal, and she needed to take it more seriously.  After several moments of me unloading on her, I realized she was no longer on the line.  At some point, she had hung up on me. 

Shortly after, Clint's mom came by and gave me a giant hand-made card that was the color of Pepto Bismol.  She said it was a condolence card, and that the whole family was signing it for Clint's sister as a way of consoling her about her upcoming divorce.  I opened it wearily and, not knowing what to write, started to look through the card to see what everyone else had written.  And then I noticed a huge mistake: Nearly everyone had addressed their condolences to me instead of to Clint's sister.  Teri must have miscommunicated, because the whole family seemed to think I was the one getting a divorce.  But what was worse was, some of the passages I scanned seemed to indicate that they felt happy about my so-called decision, with messages such as "You'll be better off," and so on.  One of Clint's cousins wrote that ever since "the bracelet incident," she knew that our marriage was doomed.  I had no idea what incident she was referring to.  I was just thinking how awkward it was going to be for these...divorce cheerleaders, for lack of a better term, once they discovered that their pep-talks were addressed to the wrong person.  I immediately called Teri and told her about the mistake.  I told her that everyone seemed to think I was getting a divorce, and she would have to clear up this misunderstanding and get a new card.  But she didn't seem to think it was a big deal, and wanted to stick with the pink card. 

At that point, I woke up. I instantly felt relief that I had been dreaming, and that I didn't have to start making phone calls to tell everyone, Hey, I'm still happily married!

Yeah, I don't know where this stuff comes from.  I try to bully my brain every night into dreaming of something closer to this: 

But instead I get extended family cackling about some phony divorce.  I need to figure out a way to whip my subconscious into shape.