Leave Your Extra At Home

How To Travel With The Band

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A hot, steamy, echo-y, hell is where I spent last weekend. The mass confusion of children running, barely supervised, around large bodies of water, as the snow comes down outside. Indoor water parks are almost as bad as play lands (ball pits will be equipped in my personal hell when I die) The only thing that sets it a grade above is that everything is dripping with chlorine, but that didn’t stop us all from bringing home influenza. I am not going to get into my week of misery that followed my weekend of hell, or as some bat shit crazed lunatics known as my children call it… “fun”.

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A rare picture of the crazed mammals enjoying the chaos they have created.

I am, however, going to discuss packing, because our over night trip apparently meant to my ten-year-old princess poopy pants that she needed to pack as only I could imagine a Queen would. Think I am exaggerating? Let’s go back to the night before we left.

We spent one night there, left Saturday morning, but the kids left Friday night to stay with my sister, and we met up with them the next day. I had to close Friday night, so I had the husband drop the kids off at my sister’s salon.

I sent a text (because it’s better to have it in writing when giving direction to the husbands, right Ladies?) to just have them change into something comfortable they can sleep in that night and wear on the way the next day, I will pack everything to go before we leave. I got out early and meet them at the salon, only to find them carrying a crate full of stuff.

The children apparently told dad that they had to take all the stuff, all the stuff in the world. Ah, no! I take the crate back home and not think of it until the morning, when I start to pack. This is when I discover how they had a whole crate heaped with bullshit. Or, when I say “they” I mostly mean, my daughter. Sweat pants, tights, Christmas dresses, jewelry, three stuffed animals, two purses, nightgowns, eight pairs of undies (this was the only logical thing packed, you gotta pack extra undies). It was ridiculous.

Then, I went to her room to grab her bathing suit and a pair of “soft clothes” to wear home the next day, because that was all they would need. But wait, there was more: in her room I noticed her prized tiara she got from Medieval Times was sitting on the edge of her bed. You and I both know damn well she was contemplating if she would need it on her excursion. She is so extra.

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She is a queen, even the bearded eye candy wearing leggings on a horse… I mean, winning knight, could tell when he hand picked her out of the crowd of many. Definitely, her “best day ever!”

This got me thinking that I have written a lot about traveling with the guys, but I have never explained packing when you’re with a bunch of dudes. I have made it such a habit, I now do it for all trips. These are usually only over night trips or weekends away (as I have said before, my husband isn’t to full tour level yet).

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Keep your luggage at home, Ladies, there’s no room for it and this isn’t a vacation.

The golden rule is to pack light, as light as possible. You will be on the go non-stop if you are traveling with the band and toting around luggage will suck. Also, they will have so much equipment packed on the RV, truck, trailer, van, whatever their mode of transportation is, and they ain’t got no time for your extra bullshit, so keep it as minimal as possible and then make it less.

In most cases, we travel on the day of the show, so I wear all my extra there, which for me the only thing extra ever are my earrings. Apply my make up at home, hair and nails. I will bring a sweatshirt for warmth just in case, and my flippy floppies for comfort, I will also bring a pair of pants soft enough to sleep in and wear on the ride home for tomorrow (my band shirt will work for sleep and travel). Then the basic toiletries: tooth brush, deo (always deo the B.O.), and phone charger. Why is the phone charger always part of toiletries? I don’t know but it is for me. The most important thing: My soft bra. I am sleeping usually very small quarters with band dudes, modesty is sometimes vital for us bigger girls. This is it, it’s all I bring for the over nighters, one small tote is all you’ll need. It might even all fit in your big purse if you pack it right.

 

I get a little fancy for the bigger trips, two nights playing out calls for a little bigger tote. The last two nighter we stayed in a hotel. Fancy! I made sure to pack some extras, makeup (still, only the minimum) straightener, an extra pair of earrings, and an outfit for the next day. I always use hotel toiletries, less to pack and if the hotel is decent they have some good products.

No matter how many days The Husband is on the road he can somehow fit all his stuff into his one trusty backpack, and his clothes are significantly bigger than mine. I haven’t figured out his trick, I think it has to do with not showering and wearing the same outfit for days on end (musicians, yuck).

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His trusty travel bag, hanging in our dining room, empty for the time being, but taunting me for the next time he leaves.

I haven’t been on many trips, but I have watched him go and comeback worn out enough to understand that they are not always a party. Sleeping conditions are not glamorous, travelling can get a bit uncomfortable, but if you pack accordingly (and always bring food to share), it’s a great time.

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This is what you look like after a weekend on a an RV with the band. Embrace the smells, half of them will be coming from you. 

Living Half the Dream

The life of a blue collared rockstar

It is no secret that the band wife life is difficult, you might know this now from my constant complaining and crying about it. Life is always a challenge, for sure, and this is just my point of view on the glorious paradise we are living. Also, as we all know, I am low key to the point where the slightest breeze of chaos makes me loose my cool. All in all, though, I know I am blessed with a simple, happy life.

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My face when gig season starts, and my always cool husband, ready for anything thrown his way. He is the cool to my cucumber.

I just happen to be married to a busy man, a very busy man and it’s that time again. He’s in the studio again, playing more gigs to make the money for the studio, and this busy, bitter cold gig season is fully upon us. You see, when I started this blogging journey it was just a little after the husband joined a band, the right band, the band that took off, which means they must take off frequently. So, he joined a band, and I joined some support groups.

Unfortunately, I find myself in a group on my own, most musicians I have noticed are self-sufficient. It’s their full-time job. The Husband, on the other hand is not. A very unfortunate circumstance, it obviously is his greatest desire to make it his career and mine for him as well. The band just hasn’t made it big enough yet to supplement the income needed. Sadly, a little-known fact, my early childhood education job does not pay enough to support a family, either.

The silver lining to this, is that he doesn’t travel far, yet (but, like I said, this is the ultimate goal). I am relishing the time we do have before touring starts. The down side, is he doesn’t have a lot of that time. He is trying to juggle the rockstar dream with white picket fence normalcy. Just call him Hannah Montana, but he’s an adult, with adult bills and responsibilities, and many more stresses.

His life is busy. I know, I constantly complain about my life being busy, and even though this is our life together, he is the one on the go. I just try to keep track of him and keep the house hold in check. I thought I would give everyone a peek into the life of a working musician.

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This image sums up The Husbands life, work boots drying after a cold hard day of work, next to a practice bass and amp, and a VIP pass left from a show.

The Husband’s day starts at around six in the morning. He gets up and gets himself and the kids ready. He is in charge of the kids in the morning because I am gone by five thirty for work. This works for now, because with all the band business in the evening, at least he still is consistent and has that time with them in the morning.

He drops them off at school and heads into work. We all know how work goes, it is supposed to be a nine to five, but usually goes until six or seven, depending on how busy he is. Texting me his frustrations as he goes. On top of the nine to ten hours he works a day, he also is on call one week out of the month, which has him going all hours of the day and night.

Then it’s home he goes… for a quick shower, maybe a bite to eat, and off he goes with a kiss good bye to the band room for practice, the studio for recording, or somewhere for a video shoot. There is loading and unloading the band trailer, before and after shows, set up time and drive time. Even when he’s home there is business, emails, networking, writing, practicing. He might crawl into bed around midnight, for a few hours of sleep and get up to do it all over again.

We are always grateful for his presence, though, the kids and I are grateful for that. Some people don’t get even that with fathers and husbands who are taken too early, some are sent thousands of miles away for months to years on end, to unsafe places. I know we are blessed beyond reason to have him home to sleep most nights.

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No matter how long his day is he still takes time out for family!

These musicians work double time for their dream, they challenge themselves daily, I know his band mates are all the same. Juggling family and music is not easy. These musicians love their families, and support their homes, but the music will always drive them and be embedded in their hearts. We hope one day they will succeed in their dream, be able to focus on music and take the second job out of the equation.

Until then, we make it work. The husband has always been a responsible family man, and I am blessed to have him. Not only does he always support and love us unconditionally, but he is always working toward his dream. I admire him, I am proud to call him husband, and he is really a fun guy to hang out with.

Frozen Rock

The Night I Risked Hypothermia for Schnitz and giggles.

It’s no secret Michigan winters are cold, I am writing this now with about eight layers on snuggled on the couch in front of a space heater (sorry about the quality, I write better at my dining room table but it’s just too damned cold for that).

The kids are nestled in bed still, school has been called off because of the frigid negative temps, and the husband is off to work in his layers and layers of thermals. When does it become too cold to expose adults to this weather, anyways? In all honestly, cold weather doesn’t really bother me, I just want a day off too.

The only being in our house that wants to travel out is our younger puppy, Willow, who begs at the door. She loves snow and cry’s relentlessly at the door when she is stuck in side, our old pup Thor has a different attitude. Hella nope!

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My old man says, “It’s colder than a witches teat in a brass bra”
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Then there is this your whipper snapper that wants to go play!

I do love winter, annoyingly so, I’ve been told. Its in my blood, a Michigander through and through. The older I get, though, the more I realize I like it from inside the warm comfortable confines of my home. Not standing on a street corner, on December 31st, when its zero out, loosing all feeling in my toes.

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The intersection of my New Year’s.

This is where my story begins, where my New Year’s Eve started, a cute little town just south of Detroit on the river.

New Year’s is never my strong party day, it’s usually left in my soft pants at a family members house. By then, I feel like we are all broke, tired, feeling real fat and all social gathered out. Yet, when the husband told me he was playing a street party, months before hand I thought its usually not that cold yet the first of the year, that sounds like fun!

We thought we would take the kiddos but with the weather and not knowing what to expect we opted on it being safer not to. This is the first time we left the kids at home New Year’s Eve since our biggest was a baby. It felt weird, but I was up for a change.

As the date got closer and the winter got colder I started to dread the event. I was told they would be under a heated tent, but was still skeptical.

I layered, as in three layers of pants, three layers of shirts, three gloves, three socks under my boots, my warmest coat, and my big blanket scarf. It shouldn’t be too bad, I thought. We stepped out of the car and commented on how it wasn’t too cold. By the time we walked around the corner we were eating our words, at least that is what it sounded like through our chattering teeth. It was miserable already. We unloaded the gear and headed for the heated tent.

Which, by the way, was most definitely not part of the band, the band was on a stage in the middle of the street with a few space heaters on it. Needless to say, the boys were cold that night, as were we all. The heated tent was a toasty thirty degrees or so, but hey, that was thirty degrees warmer than outside.

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They were troopers, even through the cold.

I would have drank through the pain but, like I said, New Years is for the broke and tired, we didn’t have the funds for drinking that night. So we shivered, and being the good wife I am I left the comfort of the laughingly warm tent to stand out side in a temperature of feels-like negative two to watch The Husbands band.

A wonderful band girlfriend (a brave soul, she is) and I were the only ones. When the beer and heat are in the tent on the other end of the street, ain’t no one going to see the band. Two songs in and my toes started to go numb, they ached and lost feeling all at the same time. I got wiggly, and started jumping around, which if you know me I am not a jumper at shows. I am a cool cucumber that bobs their head and throws up the occasional devil horns… but jumper I am not. This particularly frigid night, I was, but it didn’t help. It was then I remembered the hand warmers I packed

Like a good band wife I always come prepared, I had extra gloves, hand warmers, my first aid kit, water bottles, extra Chapstick, and even sandwiches packed for everyone (I cannot take credit for the sandos, those came from my mommy). The guitar player made comment on how he could tell I was a mom, jokes on him, I have always been a good boy scout!

Back to those hand warmers, I pulled them out and shook them up like it was my only way to survive, which, at this point, it possibly might have been. As soon as they were warm I threw them in my boots, but it was too damn cold and there was barely enough room to fit them with all the thermal I was sporting that night, they just didn’t work.

I toyed with the idea of line dancing with the sweet little old ladies behind us. I was excited to see someone else come out of the tent, the line dancing was an unusual sight, being that the husband plays in a rock band. They we so good with their fancy kicks, twists, and turns. So uniform, it was fun to watch them, and they looked like they were having fun and staying slightly warmer than I was.

With every song the band played (which sounded great through my frozen ear tubes) I dreaded the next. As soon as they finished I booked it back to the warmth of the tent.

Guys, it was so cold I saw a guy wearing a full-on bear suit, bear paws and feet attached. Not just a cheap Halloween costume but something possibly made from real bear or something close to it. He was a smart man.

We usually end our night out at the husbands show, watch all the bands and stay until the end, I was excited to see the ball drop and one of my favorite bands The Husband regularly plays with, but it was just too cold.

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The ball that wasn’t worth frost bite to watch drop.

Side story: the last time they played with said band, it was miserably hot, like the hottest weekend of the year, and it was also outside. You can read a little about that experience and my lessons learnt on bringing extra deodorant on my New Year’s relations blog.

So, we packed up almost immediately and left, it was early, we planned on going home and partying a little, before the new year began. Then, we got stuck in traffic on the way home, an accident up ahead, and that was where I learn Detroit drivers have zero chill. We witnessed a man drive in reverse up an on ramp to get off the highway. Actually, everyone was making u-turns to get on the ON ramp to get off, instead of waiting the ten minutes it took to get through the wreckage. Who does that? And so many? insane, I say!

By the time we got home we were tired, worn out, and internally freezing. The husband and I called it a night, we went home, fried up some of those cheesy sandies my mommy sent with us, and made some bloody marys. It’s like grilled cheese and tomato soup for adults. We sat quietly, just the two of us and questioned the origins and words to Auld Lang Syne, until I finally Googled it and we watched the lyric video. By chance it was midnight, so we kissed, turned the heated blanket all the way up and tucked in for the night. It really couldn’t have been a more perfect new years eve. But damn, we are getting old!

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Cold, tired, and hungry. 

Why We Resolute

New Year, New(ish) Band Wife

Happy New Year! Ok, its not the new year yet, but at the pace I go it might be well surpassed twenty eighteen by the time I get another blog out.

I am going over all my accomplishments through this year, as always it was a kick ass year. For me, my family, my job, and this little blog I have started.

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Seriously, an amazing year!

 

This blog is the main thing I have achieved this year, surprisingly, it was not on my list going into the year but just a couple of weeks into seventeen and a spontaneous idea one morning turned into a physical entity by that evening. Jump in, two feet, somethings in life are just better done that way.

I know I have talked before about throwing out those old, stagnant resolutions, and how we are all enough. As a band wife, though, your physical and mental health are very important. It is with everyone, of course, but I was thinking about how those same, old, tired resolutions differ in meaning when it comes to keeping up with the busy life of our musicians.

I thought I would break it down. Especially after the busy holidays, its nice to settle down, get back into the groove and gain a little control and perspective over our chaotic lives.

Losing weight is the most popular and timeless resolution. I hate focusing on the weight part of this, being always aware of body positivity, I always focus on being healthy instead. If you are with a musician you may run into some long days and nights. A lot of running around, hot days at summer festivals, and cold wintery walks to bars far down the street. I learned the hard way to keep hydrated, get lots of sleep, and for the love: wear extra deodorant! A little extra green leafies and cardio will go a long way (but I may be writing this while eating a brick of fudge).

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This was such a hot day, I really could have done with out a few pounds and sodium to help. There was more sweat dripping than I’d like to admit.

Finances. Oh man, if you are a band wife it is a true test of your bank account. I mean, you have to go out to eat before the show, surely you won’t have time to eat at home getting the kids, yourself, and everything else in order. Then you have to buy your ticket, band wives don’t get a free ride. Then drinks, and when you get done, The Husband is starving, so you need to go out for your second dinner at two in the morning. Let’s not forget how expensive music equipment and upkeep is. Budget, budget, budget. And sometimes you might just have to say no to a show, just because its not in the budget.

Quit drinking: This is my struggle bus, right here. Momma love her some cocktails, but after thirty, they aren’t loving her back so much. You are at a bar, and drinks are always flowing. I am not going to quit for good, but I have come up with a system. One drink per set, keeps a good cap on the morning after and the finances.

Then there is the ever elusive “me time”. Girls: this is so important yet the hardest. Last week I was laughing at the thought of getting some time to unwind by myself. I understand when you’re with someone where their hobby/profession takes over, along with your kids, jobs… you get lost. Squeeze it in, even if it’s a couple more minutes in the shower, binging on the ‘Flix until you have no thoughts at all, or having a good cry in the car. Take that time. You need it!

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My “Me time” and hobby are one in the same, coffee and blog Fridays! I look forward to the quiet morning alone. 

Hobbies, all the hobbies! This goal is so hard to achieve, like the me time, when you feel buried under your family’s stuff. When you are the oil that keeps your family running smoothly, you tend to run dry before you get to yourself. Find something you love to do, and be proud of it!

Getting organized is a freaking nightmare in my house. I don’t know about you but following a band around, keeping your kids school and extracurricular activities a float, along with your nine to five, is a daunting task. Get a calendar, ask for help, and try your hardest to stay on top. It makes life so much easier when your ahead of the game. which, in reality, will never happen, so just except your perpetual confusion as your new state of mind.

If you haven’t noticed I have a hard time saying no to a good time, and though it is fun it can all leave me feeling a bit worn out by Sunday morning, add the saturation of my own dose of the good old Irish catholic guilt and you have one tapped out Momma.

Even though I cringe at them, resolutions aren’t a terrible concept. They are meant to help improve our lives, give us goals, and keep striving for our best. But also keep in mind, we are all enough and if we don’t have the give to give that day, let it be.

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So, here’s to another year, crashing in, cocktail in hand, a few more wrinkles, and a few less mistakes. Sit back, enjoy the ride, and as always: Balls to the wall, Baby!

 

Chicken Noodle Soup of Disappointment

My Failed Attempt at Food Blogging

Well, here I sit on a Saturday night at seven o’clock in the evening, in the softest of soft pants. I should be in my “Betta’ Butt” jeans, bought today, just for tonight’s local gig that all the family and friends have been excited to be able to attend for weeks.

I was so pumped to go, and mere hours before, The Daughter took an odd day shower (very odd for her to take a shower voluntarily, let alone in the middle of the day), then went to bed. Obviously, I checked her head, and wouldn’t you know, a fever on top of complaints of a sore throat. So here I sit watching the third Barbie movie of the night (have I mentioned how delighted I am the The ‘Flix added four hundred and sixty two new Barbie movies) while The ‘Book keeps alerting me of the event going on that I now have to miss.

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My poor sick baby! 

The band wife life comes with loads of disappointment, disappointment because The Husband can’t make it to your things, disappointment you can’t make to his things. It’s always challenging to not hold resentment. It’s frustrating having to stay home and he still gets to go. There rarely is an opportunity when the tables are turned, and you get to go and he stays home or you both stay home together. The show must go on, and just because I cannot go watch gives me no right to be upset with him.

The only way to appease The Son’s disappointment of not going to Grandpas was to let him make his own lemon bars, he is at it right now. The amount of trust in stepping back and letting him take over the kitchen is killing me.

Before I handed my kitchen over to the eleven-year-old, I did make my famous chicken noodle soup, though. Something about my babies being sick brings the nurse out in me. I know, its crazy how nurturing I can be at times. I get the sick bed all set up, and the “sick juice” as my kids always called it (Honey and lemon in hot water).

Then, as always, the chicken noodle soup. I make it every time someone gets sick, I even made it for my momma when she got real sick last year. I can’t just go to the store and get a can of that greasy chicken broth with a couple of mushy noodles in the bottom and weird grey cubes of chicken. It needs more oomph to pull you out of your virus. While making it I thought maybe it would be fun to blog about this. My night is pretty open now, the house is cleaned, and I am really sick of watching the Barbie movies, so why not!

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Blankets and endless Barbie, what more could a girl ask for. 

 

Things you should know about my chicken noodle soup is that I like flavor, when you are all stuffed up and your taste buds are failing you, you need more flavor, more spice, more pepper, get those sinuses cleared. Another is that it is hearty, like, real hearty. Some would argue it is more of a chicken noodle stew. I like lots of big chunks of veggies, whole chicken, and fresh flavors.

But I never have any of that goodness on hand, because you don’t plan on when your kids are going to get sick (obviously). So dry spices, that have been sitting in the cabinet for years, and frozen chicken breasts work.

Something you should know about me: I am not a professional, I am not even a novice. I have, like, three dishes I can successfully make and if it wasn’t for the talented Alton Brown (love that guy) and The Husband (love that guy more), who have taught me all I know about a kitchen, I wouldn’t have even those. I am in no way liable for food you had to throw out because you followed one of my recipes.

Now that the legal jargon is out of the way, let’s get to cooking!

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Enjoy my terrible handwriting and spelling errors, thank the Lord for modern technology and spell check. 

So, first you’re going to start with your locally grown, whole fresh, free range, organic kombucha fed, fryer chicken with cleansed chakras… Or like I said, four to five frozen chicken breasts from the nearest Aldi works just the same.

Go ahead and throw those in a half a stock pot of water, some salt and pepper, and four or five chicken bouillon cubes.

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Boiled chicken, yummy! Note: Please excuse my stained stove and filthy kitchen pictures, I tried to church them up as much as I could but I am not food blogger, obviously. 

While those are boiling chop up (by chop up, I mean cut in big chunks because ain’t nobody got time for a bunch of little dicing). I am really cheap, so I like to utilize all parts of the veggies, go ahead and throw in the celery leaves in with it all, it gives it good flavor and more greens.

But, always peel your carrots. First you have to find the peeler, its like a game of Where’s Waldo. How the hell do I live my life?! How do I function as a human being? This drawer is a metaphor for my life, I swear. Shameful!

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After all veggies are chopped, throw them in a pan (I had to use our Dutch oven because we aren’t messing around here, this is some serious soup) with a little olive oil and sauté for a little while. After you’ve gotten the veggie warmed up go ahead and throw in your seasonings I use the seasonings to taste, I would guesstimate around two full teaspoons (I will sometimes throw in some crushed red peppers also, depending on how compacted our sinus cavities are).

Fry those babies up until they are making sweet hot love in your pan, or until the onions are tender and opaque. While doing that cut up your chicken that should be about done cooking (it doesn’t need to be fully cooked yet) I like to use scissors because I am, again, too lazy to pull them out and chop with a knife when you can just as easily stick a pair of scissors into a pot of boiling water and blindly start cutting.

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Always safety first (don’t try this at home). Notice the steam beading and glistening on my hairy arms. 

When your chicken is all chopped and veggies tenderized, add it all to the chicken water (don’t waste all that flavor and juices) and boil for about 10 minutes. When veggies are completely soft, add noodles (I like using egg noodles best, but all I had was penne) and boil until all cooked.

Voila, you have chicken noodle soup for days! Seriously, you will be eating this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week. If you imagine this with a whole chicken and fresh herbs it probably would be excellent, but nobody real keeps those things on hand, so you will have to settle for a mediocre soup that still gets the job done, much like my parenting techniques.

Now that culinary artists around the world are cumulatively cringing at my amazing cheffing skills. I will leave you with this…

… Yeah, I got nothing, no profound inspirational tag lines today. Well, I guess I will leave you with the inspirational cost of this soup instead. Everything in our kitchen comes from Aldi, so this recipe will set you back about ten dollars and will feed a family of four three times over. Profound.

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Seriously, ninety percent of my food comes from the greatest grocer in the world! 

Bon appetit!

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Like I said, best your gonna get from me. Food blogger? More like failed blogger.  

 

The Legend of the Village

The Phenomenon of a Family

“So, when your husband makes it big you are going to move to Cali with him and live the good life, right?”

Nope.

“Really? You don’t want to travel the world with your husband, take the kids and experience it all? They would have an awesome childhood.”

To this I have a few short answers, one being how this Midwest farm gal would most definitely not fit (nor want to) into the west coast. The image I get when I think of California is a blonde, organic, health conscious, tan nightmare. No thanks.

On top of that, the rest of my Midwest, chubby, brunette, vitamin D deficient crew is right here. Which brings me to my most important reason for not going with the husband when he travels. My umbilical cord doesn’t stretch that far.

The pros well outweigh the cons of leaving to go anywhere. No matter how much money or warm weather there is. We want to best for our children, and by best, I mean the most normal, simple, basic, boring love filled life we can provide.

That is hard enough a task with a father as a musician and a spazzy mother. We don’t want to make this any harder on them. Its already unfortunate they are going to realize one day I have been writing about all their personal secrets for the world to see. We will cross that bridge soon enough; teen angst is right around the corner.

We live in walking distance to both of our parents, we are surrounded by amazing family, our village is here, why would we move from that? Nothing beats knowing my children can feel secure, and uprooting them would take all that away.

I don’t want to raise my children on the road. First off, the idea of that being even possible with a husband in a band is laughable. A common misconception that each band member would get a big fancy tour bus for their family, that we could all live in one happy, traveling commune. That really isn’t how that works.

I have the security of knowing wherever the music takes the husband, his heart will be here, with the kids and me. We have made it very much known that we will not ever leave our beautiful little town. Our roots have grown too deep, long before we were even here, to be plucked up and moved.

It takes a village to raise a family, it takes a village to keep a band family going. We have the most amazing support system surrounding us. Our freakishly large and close families make that possible.

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This is only one small part of the one side of our family…
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and here is my side. like I said, we are all one big, freakishly large and close family.

It is hard enough to have a husband that is away a lot and the only way we have made it this far is with the help of all the surrounding love. When we juggle work, kids, activities, little tours, gigs, and much more.  We have had to lean on grandparents, aunts, and uncles and lots of cousins.

It seems an inconvenience, but this is what family does. It’s not just the babysitting either, it’s the gatherings when The Husband is away, it’s the moral support through the good and bad, it’s having someone to tag along with shopping trips, or possibly just let your hair down and tip the cup up at the end of a hard week. We never feel lonely when family is near.

A hug, a smile, understanding, some coffee, lots of booze, laughs, a suck it up buttercup speech… if you don’t have it yet find your village, find your common place, find people to uplift you and keep you going when life can feel like too much.

Your village will be part of your survival, like I have said about finding your girls, find your village, also. They will get you through some crazy ass busy times in your life. Love them, treat them well, nurture the village you are part of because if it’s a good village it will be the glue that keeps you all together, even when you feel like you are falling apart.  They may not all understand exactly what you are going through as a band wife, but they know you and know what you need.

 

Tales From The Puberty Crypt

Run From The Stank, Hide From The Filth!

I love my Friday mornings, I get to sleep in, send The Husband off to work, wake the kids up and take them to school. Then, at last, I get two uninterrupted hours of coffee and blog time to myself before I head to work. Most, which is used on Facebook, because I don’t do time management well (so now you all know the reason for the low-quality blog I run here).

But, I am not blogging about my blog this beautiful crisp autumn morning, I want to address a more concerning matter. One I noticed this morning as I was dropping my preteen son off at school, as I gave him a nurturing motherly kiss atop his greasy, musty mop head, and watched him run off in his broken down, stinky sneakers.

which, I swear I just bought him a month ago (so please don’t pity him for his parents who don’t care enough to get him new shoes, I am just refusing to buy a new pair every freaking month because he can’t keep at least one freaking pair of shoes in good condition, and he doesn’t care enough to get with the program).

He ran off in his sneakers, barely brushed teeth, ill-fitting t-shirt, and sweat pants, because apparently now he doesn’t like the feeling of all the nice jeans I got him this school year. I promise, people, I don’t nag him half as much as I complain on here.

But it hit me, at that point, nothing can prepare you for the prepubescent stank the follows every child from the age of ten and beyond. The filth, the smells, the illogicality, and their utter lack of caring.

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It really is worse than you could imagine! 

 

I really thought I would be able to handle this age, I am not a clean freak, and am quite lackadaisical when it comes to sanitary qualities but these kids really have one over me. I mean how does one spill a cup of pickle juice in their room?

Oh, OK, it was a melted pickle pop you made from the leftover pickle juice that melted while you guys were playing video games. Well then, the food ban is back on, no food in your rooms, nowhere but the kitchen will there be food allowed!

I can guarantee the cease fire only lasts a day or two before they start smuggling food back in their rooms like the couple of dirty little rodents they are.

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Filthy little creatures!

Side note: do you know what pickle juice soaked dirty carpet in an eleven-year-old boys room starts to smell like after a while? A lot like him armpits I frequently have to remind him to deodorize, or as he so cleverly coined the phrase, “Deo the B.O.”.

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Here you can find them in their natural habitat. The barn is the perfect place to mask their odor from prey and parents, alike.

I really thought I would be able to handle this because I knew his father as a teenager. The boy I sat next to in math class, the boy who once told me he was going to see how long he could go with-out showering… somewhere in my teenage girl subconscious, I thought “hey, he seems like a catch, this guy is going places” I was right, though, he was and still is a catch and I love him still with all the smells.

I ended up telling him “Dude, you stink, go take a shower tonight” he was about a week in. This is also the guy that had a turtle living in a kiddie pool in his bedroom, and I won’t go into what was under his bed. Stinky, illogical, teenagers. His mother is a wonderful, strong woman.

I am hoping to have half her strength as I raise my teenagers, because the daughter isn’t any better! When cleaning her room this summer, we found half eaten melted candy from last Halloween and Christmas. I swear she is the only kid who doesn’t candy (she prefers the pickle pops). The mice must have liked it, though, because we also found a nest, in an old shoe, hidden away in the corner of her bedroom. Unfortunately, the baby mice did not survive the wreckage and wrath of a ten-year old girls bedroom.

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Seriously, run, hide, fear the preteen girls bedroom!

Rest in peace, little rodents.

…the mice, not the kids, guys!

They even find ways to be gross while sleeping. I am usually out the door before my house is awake, so I get to kiss my sleeping angel’s goodbye every morning (except for my blogging Fridays, of course). Before my coffee, way too early in the morning, and before my stomach has nerved up for the day.

I have learned to keep my nose closed during these farewells. I don’t know what kind of gasses and oral bacteria’s grow while they sleep but it’s all hot boxed in their thousands of messy layers of blankets (because of course they aren’t going to make a bed, I am lucky they keep a bottom sheet on the mattress), mouths wide open, their hair all wet and unwashed, smelling of old church basements and wet dog. Half the time still wearing the clothes they have worn for two days now (only on the weekends, my friends).

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I really don’t know why they smell like dog all the time.

So, this is the best I can paint the image of raising preteens. And I swear, like I said before, as much as I complain on here, I just go with it most of the time. The best advice I can give anyone coming up on these amazing years of parenting is steel yourself, because if you thought those diapers and vomit were bad, you’re in for a treat. Relax and remember it will pass, they don’t stay in junior high forever. Dear Lord, I at least hope not.

Lastly and mostly, keep a sense of humor, because if you can’t laugh at your kids, you guys won’t survive, and more importantly they might not either.