Monthly Archives: September 2012

A Room of Her Own

I have a confession.  I have my own bedroom.  It’s glorious.  And it saved my marriage.

My husband and I have VERY different styles of housekeeping, VERY different ideas of how to live in your personal space.  I must have the sheets tucked in at the foot of the bed, he needs them untucked.  I like my things organized in a very specific way, he throws everything around in piles.  We both snore.  Etc, etc.

I was going crazy trying to keep it clean and organized.  He was stressed about making tidiness a priority, which is just not natural for him.  Neither of us was sleeping well.

So we decided to try separate bedrooms.  And the most wonderful things started happening.

First of all, both of us slept better.  We each had the freedom to stretch out, toss and turn, snore, fart, get up to pee, whatever, without disturbing the other.  The Herban Cowboy wakes in the wee hours occasionally, and he discovered that he’s now free to get up during those times and get some writing done, without fear of waking me.  He can also get up earlier in the morning and get to work earlier, increasing his productivity there and leaving me to sleep until Little Boy wakes me.

My summer bed (I’m not a bed maker). For the cooler months, I add a comforter and one more cat. Library book on the bedside table. Sewing machine at the foot of the bed.

We also have more sleeping options this way.  When Little Boy has a bad dream, there’s plenty of room for him to crawl in with me.  The Herban Cowboy and I like to sneak afternoon naps together.  When someone comes to visit, they get my room as guest room and I crawl in the Man Cave with my guy.

Dresser with yarn stash (and a Breyer horse from childhood), vanity with pile of Little Boy’s endless artwork.

In addition to enhancing our sleeping lives, there were other benefits to this arrangement that became clear after the change was made.  The house became easier to keep straightened up.  When we shared a bedroom, everyone’s stuff was all over the house.  I would put his stuff in the bedroom to be put away, but of course he never would.  Piles would form.  I would beg him to clean them.  Sometimes I cleaned the piles for him.  The extra bedroom was supposed to be a studio for art and exercise, but it always seemed to be too cluttered to work in.

My closet. I have no fashion sense, so everything is black. And I hate shoes, so I only own 3 pair.

Now that the rooms are separate, when I pick up, everyone’s stuff goes to their respective rooms.  The Herban Cowboy’s notebooks, papers, pens, cards, dirty socks, and other assorted random crap go directly into the black hole of his room and I no longer have to worry about it.  The stress of dealing with his crap is gone.  The stress he felt trying to conform to my lifestyle is gone.  He is happier to do things like dishes and laundry now that he’s not being hounded constantly to cleancleancleanCLEAN.

The Man Cave. I don’t often enter this room. I close the door and leave it alone. Just baaaack away slooowly…. Wait. Did- did the laundry pile just… MOVE? Holy shit RUN!! Just go, go, GOOOO!!!!!

There are folks who think this sort of living arrangement for married people is weird.  My mother and my sister both seemed confused by the decision.  What’s funny is they both wanted to know how we would…  well…  YOU know…  (awkward pause).  I assured them that that was one of the first things we figured out years ago when we first got together and that they shouldn’t worry about it too much.  It’s actually kind of funny to watch my mother blush and stutter and giggle when she tries to ask me about my sex life.

My maternal grandparents had separate bedrooms.  As a child I thought it was strange.  I thought married people were supposed to sleep in the same bed together.  That surely if they loved each other, they’d want to.  Thirty years later, I see it much differently.  I wonder if my Nannie loved having her own room as much as I do.

Categories: Telling Stories, The Homestead | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Library Loot 9/3/12

We’ve been working on this stack since last Tuesday, but I’m just now getting around to posting the list.


1.  The World of Dick and Jane and Friends published by Grosset & Dunlap.  I’ve discovered why these books are classics.  Little Boy can read all these stories without help.  The short word lists, short chapters, and repetition make this super easy.  LB feels confident instead of frustrated after reading these.

2.  Treasure Island from the story by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I’m disappointed in this one.  When I held it online on the library’s website, I thought it was the original unabridged novel.  This is like the little kid cliff notes.  I’m going to read it to him in preparation for the real thing, though.

3.  Tricks and Transformations by Anthony Horowitz.  Little Boy picked this one out because it has a close up picture of a spider on the cover.  It’s a book of myths that turned out to be less interesting than he’d thought.

4.  Gideon by Olivier Dunrea.

5.  ParaNorman:  Meet the Ghosts adapted by Lucy Rosen.

6.  Mole Had Everything by Jamison Odone.  I absolutely adore this book.  Mole’s journey in this story perfectly parallels my own life.  I may have to buy this one.

7.  The Yellow Kite Flies High by Cecilia Minden and Joanne Meier.

8.  Little Troll by Penny Dolan.

9.  Treasure by Suzanne Bloom.

10. Oliver by Judith Rossell

11. The Three Billy Goats Fluff by Rachael Mortimer.  Knitting saves the day!

12. The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf.  Love this one.

13. Cindy Moo by Lori Mortensen.

14. When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight by Hannah Bonner.  A National Geographic Kids book.

15. Bustle in the Bushes by Giles Andreae



Categories: Library Loot, Unschooling | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just for Knits and Giggles

The Herban Cowboy and I like to sit around in the evenings and watch movies together.  We’re both writers and performers, so we love to analyze a good show to death.  We discuss acting, character development, writing, plot devices, and whatever else strikes us.  It’s fun, but there’s not a lot to DO while you’re watching movies.  Except eat.  Which I discovered I was doing way too much of.

I needed something to do with my hands besides cram food into my face hole.  So I decided to try knitting.

Not knowing anything about it, I decided to start small.  I got a stack of books from the library, chose a simple scarf, got a pair of needles and a ball of yarn.  When something confused me about the written instructions in the book, I looked it up on YouTube, which contains thousands of knitting tutorials.

Works in progress.

It is now almost a year later and I can’t stop knitting.  It’s like a groovy meditation: the steady click of the needles, the endless repetition of stitches, the counting and measuring.  I love building something step by step, stitch by stitch.  I love that the end result is practical and useful.  I love thinking about the recipient as I’m making their gift.  How did I make it 40 years without discovering this obsession?

I started with scarves and moved on to hats, fingerless mittens, headbands, sweaters, bookmarks, dishcloths, and finger puppets.  Every gift that every friend has received from me in the last year has been some kind of hand knit thing. I even opened an Etsy store to sell my overstock (it’s Herban Cowgirl Knits in my blogroll in the right sidebar).

This is the listing that gets the most hits on my Etsy site. I’m pretty sure it’s the quality workmanship and beautiful fiber choice, not my spectacular cleavage.

Once people found out about my new addiction, I got lots of knitting gifts.  People gave me knitting books and patterns.  My Mom brought me yarn she found on sale.  My Mother-in-law gave me a whole bag full of knitting needles.  A friend gifted me with a giant plastic zip bag full of yarn she needed to get rid of.

Most women have dresser drawers full of clothes. My drawers are full of yarn.

At any given time, I’m working on 4 or 5 different projects.  Something for my Etsy store, something for me, a new technique I’m learning, gifts for friends and family.

I get better and faster with each project I knit.  I’ve also watched an embarrassing amount of TV.  I’ve discovered there are a surprising amount of X-Files episodes I’ve missed.  And that the Golden Girls never once jumped the shark, not in 7 entire seasons.  And that I can’t watch enough Doctor Who.

A little help from Loki, the new kitty.

Categories: Just For Fun, Stitchin' Bitchin', To DIY For | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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