I'm Sensing a Theme Here

I wasn't kidding about the dead battery in my last post.

After a somewhat rough Sunday morning that included me waking in the dark (the only part of the time change that really bugs me), Connor balking at the clothes I picked out for him to wear (he has opinions) and Teyla crying anytime I wasn't holding her (which is tough to do in the shower; those babies are so slippery), I got everyone bundled into their coats and strapped into their appropriate car seats.

I was feeling a little frazzled, a little rushed. (Single moms? Seriously. You have my undying admiration!) But I was pleased to see that we still had 20 minutes to get to church and get everyone delivered to their Sunday school rooms. That meant we were on time, a huge accomplishment for a recovering late-a-holic like me. And I was really looking forward to church that morning. Really. Looking. Forward. (And not just so I could entrust the children to another caring adult. I seriously adore our new church home. We had to skip church the Sunday before due to The Sickness, and I almost cried from the disappointment of it all. But I didn't, because Vulcans like my husband view crying as a sign of weakness.)

So anyway. I put the key in the ignition, listened for the roar of the engine over the sound of Teyla's screams and heard -- a click.

A click?!? Not good.

I tried again. Another click.

My brain raced. Corey's car is at the airport. (Baby screaming.) I don't know any of my neighbors. (Baby screaming.) I can call AAA, but by the time they get someone here, church will be over. (Mommy screaming.)

That's when I remembered Corey's battery charger. He bought it a couple of years ago, when we lived in The Country and had all sorts of battery-powered equipment that constantly needed a little somethin'-somethin'.

So what's a woman to do? I got out of the car, popped my lid, plugged in the charger, reminded myself to keep the negative and positive clamps separated lest we all go "boom!" and jump started my car.

Yeah baby. I'm all that. Natalie and Connor were duly impressed. Teyla just kept screaming, but I think they were screams of respect and admiration at that point.

It reminded me of something Garrison Keillor wrote many years ago, in an advice column for Salon. (Warning: Some slight inappropriateness is ahead. But -- well, it was published on Salon, a website not known for it's adherence to Victorian values. And it's worth it -- I promise.)
Dear Mr. Blue [Garrison's pen name],
I am looking for a woman who's really exceptional: smart, funny, good-looking, horny, loyal and strong. The women I've met so far aren't even close, but is it wrong to date them anyway, knowing there's no long-term future? Should I never go out with a woman if I think she's not "the one"? I don't want to "settle" for someone, but I also don't want to waste my time looking for perfection if it doesn't exist.

Dear Looking,
The exceptional women you seek are here in Minnesota. Smart, funny, good-looking, horny, loyal, strong -- that, plus blond, describes them to a T. They're all over the place; any man who could walk four blocks down Nicollet Avenue without falling in love with at least three women is either clinically depressed, or gay, or blind. Minnesota produces tall sinewy women who can paddle a canoe, handle an ax, dance the tango, manage money, write a paper on "Hamlet" and at the end of the day do things that make a man faint from ecstasy. If you can settle in Minnesota for a few months, you won't have to settle for anything less than perfection. If you're looking somewhere else, you're probably wasting your time.
Garrison's political viewpoints are a sometimes tad wacky, but this column made me stand up straight and say loudly (even though I lived in California at the time), "Amen brother! I'm a Minnesota woman!"

Which, to me, really means, "I'm a strong, capable woman who loves her man and doesn't have to cut her own grass or change her own oil or fix the leaking sink. But I could, if I needed to."

Oh! And the car battery was dead again Monday morning when we were leaving for school. (Baby still screaming.) It took longer to jump it this time, for whatever reason. But because I'm a Minnesota woman, I eventually won the battle.

How about you? Is there anything you can do that makes you swell up like a puffer fish?


  1. It's not rocket science, but I feel proud when I am able to change a light bulb that is "high" on the ceiling. I also am very proud of myself when I cut the grass by myself. (We have a non-self- propelled push mower and we live on five acres in the country.)
    When I have completed a hard day of yardwork, I start singing, "I am Woman hear me roar!":)
    Kudos to you for starting the car!
    Like I tell my husband all the time about myself, "You are an amazing, incredible woman!":)

  2. My husband wanted me to clarify about my comment. We "live" on five acres, but I have to mow about one acre of it. It does however "feel" like mowing all five with hills and a non-self propelled mower.:) So, I stand corrected!:)
    (But it still makes me feel proud!)

  3. I can haul hay (yes, pick up square hay bales and throw them onto a trailer) with the best of them! Way to go w/ the battery!

  4. I fixed our toilet not long ago. I found the part that broke, went to Lowe's, got the right part, and put it together, all by myself!!! Yay!!!

  5. I drove a huge UHaul Moving truck towing our car through LA afternoon rush hour, my husband asleep in the passenger seat.

    ROAR. And, I can parallel park with the best of em.

  6. Hmm.

    I am such a damsel in distress. It's pathetic.

    I've been known to unclog the toilet. I have driven hundreds of miles with six small children, alone. Is that foolhardy or awesome? I don't know.

  7. No. I am a capital W. I. M. P. I don't unclog the toilet. I don't mow. I don't shovel. I am not ashamed. I would NEVER be a good single mom. WIMP. However. I can take down 3 young children in a single swoop. I can clean off the messiest diaper in Minnesota on white carpet and not get a speck on me or the carpet. I can get up dozens of times in the night and still be human the next day. THAT is what makes me proud :)

  8. I'm pretty dependent on my husband to do most everything around here, which leaves me so impressed that you got your car started.

    Gee...the grocery store with three kids on Saturday, jumping your car on Sunday. You rock!

  9. I can stay with 6 children all day long, every day, and not kill them.

  10. You ROCK! I'm handy, but would never try anything having to do with the car.

  11. I installed a new faucet when my husband couldn't. Even though the process got gunk in my hair.

  12. A few years before my grandpa died my mom asked me to go down and keep an eye on him. Though he shouldn't have been, he was trying to fix the muffler on his van by himself. After struggling for quite a while, he was ready to admit defeat(hard for such a strong man, and hard for me to see) and was prepared to wait for one of my sisters' boyfriends. Um, NO. With his direction and my brawn and mad-car skills, the muffler went on(although rigged because he'd sawed it off in the middle, rather than do it the right way!) Yes, I'm quite proud of myself, but not as proud as he was of me!

    I can mow the lawn and shovel and lift heavy objects with the best of them, but will avoid it if I can! I refuse to change my own oil! For $10, I can get someone to do it for me AND they check all the other fluids, and look for other stuff that I might potentially pay them to fix! Seriously not worth my time! I connect with my dad best by helping him with whatever he needs help with. Soldering, lifting water heaters, helping on cars. Someday I hope to have a hubby to take over that helper position!


  13. Oh yeah- I can grill with the best of them. Well, I'm learning to! I grill chicken like a champ! (thanks internet research!) We hit 35 degrees today, and my grill was calling to me! (I might have included this in the last comment, but I had to go out and get my kabobs!)

    Anyone want to come over for a kabob?


  14. I've been reading your blog for a while, and I have to say that I love it! You are so hilarious and you have a sharp, sometimes wicked sense of humor. I so admire that and I can't wait to read more!

  15. Oh my gosh! I'm totally proud of you Kelly!!! Not only is getting out of the house for church with 20 minutes to spare an amazing feat, but jumping a car battery is just over the top in the rugged mom department! Way to look defeat in the face and smirk!!
    I can certainly relate to your woes right now as I too am alone. Utterly alone....for the next five weeks. I'll have intermitten visits from hubby, but aside from those two or three hours during the work week....I'm on my own.
    I'm pretty proud of myself right now too. Bren slipped and fell last night (my first night alone, of course!!!) which required a trip to the ER. Being super mom and all, I defied the effects of the pain killer vicodan...which I currently am on because of the worlds worst ankle break ever....and drove my four children, one of whom was bleeding profusely to the ER 20 minutes away. Of course as soon as we got there I was greeted by my knight in shining armor who was able to sneak away from his dorm on the Navy base to help us in our time of need....but I got us there! Whooo-hooo!
    So, how shall we celebrate our fabulous tandem declarations of womanhood??? I wish we could go to lunch together....donuts and hot cocoa sound great to me right about now!! :)
    Hang in there iron mom!!!


  16. Well, natural childbirth TWICE ranks right up there. And rotating my own tires with an air gun. Not many women can say that!

  17. Hmm, my husband would laugh and tell you absolutely not. So, I'm going to have to say no. But, I'm determined to start using the drill to hang things. Not wimpy things like little pictures, but big stuff like shelves that hold heavy things. I will say that saying I'm a Kansas Woman doesn't have the same effect, so maybe I'll have to invent a new term. Hmmm...

    Oh, and my battery never dies when I'm running late, it only happens when I'm on time which is rare. Why is that!!?

  18. Prairie Home Companion (the movie) sucked big time. I can't believe we wasted 90 or whatever minutes of our lives. I can't believe he even agreed to be in the movie!


  19. You make me laugh. Again. Suburban correspondant's comment made me laugh - now THAT's strength!

    I'm somewhat wimpy but I did assemble our smoker. And I bake from scratch. No mixes in this house except Angel Food Cake. And I helped my husband reroof our old house when we were engaged many moons ago. But I was young then. You couldn't pay me to get on our roof now.

  20. Clarification:

    ". . .reroof our old house when we were engaged"

    It was HIS house then. We were engaged. It became OUR house after the wedding. Important distinction for me as a Christ-follower then and now. We were not living together. :-)

  21. I'm impressed!
    My husband has actually left work and came home to jump start the car. He eventually bought a battery charger, but no matter how many times he explains it to me, I can never remember which cable goes where. He can, however, talk me through it on the phone so he doesn't need to leave work anymore.
    (I'm still afraid that I will blow up the car)
    Yes, I know........I'm pathetic.

  22. Okay, I'm still hung up on the neighbor part. I too, don't know my neighbors. What is with that? Where is the fabled neighborhoods where neighbors help and care for eachother? Is it just too cold to know your neighbors in Minnesota? Any thoughts?

  23. You crack me up so much.

    I swell up like a puffer fish when I go to Kroger, get two honking full baskets of groceries, including 4 jumbo packs of Pampers (the Cadillac of diapers), 8 things of Swiffer Wet Jet refill (they were on clearance), organic apples and pears, 4 12 packs of Diet Coke, 8 (count em) 8 gallons of milk, and a variety of other sundry goods and after coupons etc, my total bill is $211. Yup. I'm a all that AND a case of Swiffer.

    Oh, crap, I forgot tortillas.