Friday, June 26, 2009

Sardine Mama: The Illustrated Edition

YAY! I told you people I was going to do something crazy to start my Mid-Life Whatever off with an official bang!

This was the look on my face when RICK (shown below), who I JUST MET

Began doing THIS:
To my previously unmarked foot.

Well, maybe some of you guessed in advance what I was planning. Others of you already knew. And some of you didn't believe I'd do it! Well, I did it, baby! And may I act a little macho for a moment? Everyone said (imagine little whiny, naggy sort of voices)..."Oh no! Not the foot! That's HORRIBLE! Painful. That is the worst place, ever! EVER!" P.O.C. folks. (That is short for "piece of cake".)
Every time I brought up my possible tattoo people asked me about my pain threshold. Rick the Tattoo Artist was no exception. I answered him the way I'd answered everyone else, which was that I had no idea. How do you know what your pain threshold is? I've never been tortured, before! All I knew about my breaking point was that it had never been met - but I'd also never been tattooed. This is a hard question to answer. Because you know, until someone has actually attempted to yank out your toenails with a pair of rusty pliers, you're not really sure how many you'd let go before you gave in and spilled the beans.

I've gone through natural childbirth but I couldn't imagine it being a good comparison (it isn't). I've stubbed my toe, but not repeatedly for 2 hours. I was clueless as to how this tattoo business would feel or how I would respond, etc. But I knew other people had foot tattoos and figured I could do it, too. And I was right. Here I am looking all cool and relaxed while Rick turns my foot into a work of art.

I had two partners in crime. This is Kari, formerly known on this blog as "My Friend With Dreadlocks". She is also the girl who hooked me on a particularly poorly written series of vampire porn she is officially my Bad Influence. Who else was going to go with me to a tattoo parlor where everyone says, "Hey Kari!" like she's Norm on Cheers?
This is Kari's tattoo (one of them, anyway)

Kari has not yet had a midlife crisis because she is a youngun'...all I can say is when she does?? Look out. If I'm still alive when it happens I hope she takes me along for some of the ride.

And this is Susan, who is still a tattoo virgin, but did get her ear re-pierced while at the tattoo parlor. I don't know why I thought this was funny, but I did. I was nervously looking through patterns and stuff and she wandered off. I figured she'd gone to the bathroom but Kari says, "I think she's in a piercing room...." Just an ear, though. For now, anyway.

So the actual process felt kind of like what it looked like. It looked like he was drawing on my foot. And so yeah, it felt as if he was drawing really, really hard. Like if someone were to take an ink pen and just run it over your foot again and again....The pain was intermittent. He did a lot of stopping and wiping, changing colors, repositioning my it wasn't this constant thing. It was fun and very exciting to watch it take form and get colored in. Here is after part of it was finished.

I'd actually been considering this for about a year. And I'd been noticing tattoos during this time. I like henna-style tattoos. I'm an earthy girl and I always tend to wear earthy-colored clothes. Rusts, browns, and the occasional green or dark blue. I don't own anything floral; not to wear, not on a piece of furniture, not on the walls. So a brownish-orange henna-style seemed a good fit. Except for one thing. When I see tattoos on other people, the ones that always attract my attention are the bright floral designs. I pondered over this. My friends pondered over this. Rick faked pondering over this. And then I decided to go with what brought me joy to look at - the pretty, bright flowers. So this is what I ended up with and I love it love it love it love it love it!!

This is what it looked like the morning after, when I woke up to sneak a quick little frightened peek under the covers to see if I still liked the dang thing. Whew! Big sigh of relief. I am so in love with my foot that I can't stop staring at it. In fact, I have pretty much just been looking at it ever since. Not everyone is lucky enough on morning-afters and this can be applied to various situations where one awakens in bed saying, "oh seemed like such a good idea last night." So this was a triumphant morning after. I am so ridiculously silly crazy happy over this I can't even express it! Don't know why. I'm trying to figure out why this is thrilling me so.
I think it is because I have removed a little barrier. I did a little something that maybe just a few years ago a woman my age wasn't supposed to do. Not a homeschooling mom of five who lives in a small town and who is expected to do things a certain way. Now, I've kind of been breaking some of rules all along, of course. But this was in relation to how I raised my kids. You know, the whole breastfeeding them until they're good and ready to quit, not sending them to school, not using punishments and rewards or forms of discipline, allowing them to express themselves.....all or some of that has raised a few eyebrows, I'm sure, and definitely broke some of the conventional parenting rules. But this tattoo thing has nothing to do with my role as a mom. Nothing at all. And when I think about it, the past 16 years have have been all about being a mom, and a little too little of just being Carol. So yes. Thrilled with the tattoo!

I know what question you're wanting to ask next. And the answer is Yes. I. Am. Planning. To. Get. Another. One.

Time for other news. Just the usual family stuff. I know it all pales in comparison to my marvelous tattoo but here it is:

HOT. Man, we are hot here in Texas. It is almost 6:00 in the evening and it is 102 degrees on my patio. Even for us, it is awful early for it to be this hot. We lost two hens to the heat and two of our baby turkeys. We're trying to keep cool, fresh water out for them; hoping that a couple of ice cold water breaks will help keep their bodies from getting overheated. Let's see....other stuff....

Ellie has spent the week at Baylor University for piano study. We left the house at 6:00 am to drive to Waco to pick her up. OK. That is a lie. We were supposed to leave at 6:00. But the truth is that last night we went to a Bye Bye Boobies party and Jeff drank too many butterscotch nipple shots. He snores on nights when he hasn't had butterscotch nipple shots. I now know that when he has had butterscotch nipple shots he snores even more. So I had in ear plugs. And did I mention that Jeff had had butterscotch nipple shots? As in a few too many? As in dead-to-the-world-sound-asleep at 6:00 am with the alarm going off and me with my ears plugged?

Are you wondering what a Bye Bye Boobies party is? Well, it is what really awesome and cool people do when given some frightening news in the form of "Yes, you have breast cancer." Cool people hang bras all over their house, ask all of their friends to bring over crazy food, most of which is formed into items you'd find in an X-rated bakery or a fetish website devoted to food and breasts, serve lots of alcohol, and celebrate how we human beings are a little bit flesh and a whole lot of other stuff that is way more special.
We had a seriously good time with great people and hopefully did our small part to support our beautiful friend in this journey of learning what cancer is going to teach her about life (to use her own words). Anyway, we stayed at this party longer than we'd intended, of course. Because that is what people do at parties.

But we arrived at Baylor with three whole minutes to spare, slipping into the recital hall in the nick of time. The students were awesome. From the first kid to the last. And the last? Was Ellie. It is always neat to hear her play something we're familiar with after she's had a week of intensive practice with someone new. From the first note we were just astonished. This is the piece where she hits the last note so hard with a finger on her right hand, all the way at the end of the left side of the keyboard, and the follow-through of this forceful punch leaves her looking like she's "swooned" or something. The last time she performed this piece in public she missed the piano! How one misses a large concert grand piano is beyond me. But she missed it entirely and almost fell of the bench. Jeff said, "Man, she threw an air ball." But this time she connected with that dang key and BOOM - she was done and swooning. Massive applause - great way for the recital to end.

I could tell, because I am the mommy, that she was a tired little girl up there. Circles under the eyes...the whole bit. Ellie doesn't really know how to do things in moderation. She sort of has an on switch and an off switch and it was obvious to me that the switch had been on too long. After informing me that she had been told not to play for two days to let the swelling in the muscles of her forearms go down (what???) she pretty much collapsed in the car for the 3 1/2 hour drive home, which was mostly uneventful except for the lunch stop during which Jasper stomped on my foot. The Foot With The Tattoo. It seemed as if it was accidental but I'm not entirely sure because it might have been a payback for the Latch Hook Incident that occurred in the lobby of the recital hall earlier. I was holding Jules' latch hook (you'll read why below) while he was in the bathroom and I went to hug Ellie and Jasper ran into my hand and the hook went a good ways up his nose but came back out with no brain matter attached and so it was all okay except that Jasper was majorly offended and I am suspicious that he was quite possibly harboring a bit of resentment all the way to the Golden Corral where he stomped on my brand new tattoo while waiting for his macaroni and cheese. And although this hurt way more than getting the actual tattoo - I did not kill him.

Anyway, the two days rule will have to be lifted, as Ellie will be performing the same piece at 3:00 at a Young Pianists Showcase sponsored by the San Antonio International Piano Competition tomorrow afternoon. But I know that after that she will probably sleep for 3 days straight. Then she'll be back at the piano. Because that is the way the girl works. I do not know how I made that kid. Seriously. She is like an alien compared to the rest of us.

And the rest of us? Have also been busy. Just trying to keep the animals alive is enough. Jeff has been working a lot of overtime. Jules has become obsessed with latch hooking. I know that this is not a common obsession among 10-year-old boys but I have never had a common 10-year-old boy, and Jules is no exception. Camille and Jasper have been spending most of their time begging to be taken to the pool. Joel has been on vacation over at Grilled Cheese Chick's Place on the river, only phoning home to ask if he can stay another night. After reading Chick's family blog, I am wondering if this is such a good week for them to be having company? Oh well.
I am signing off as The Newly Illustrated Sardine Mama


  1. Nice. I just got my nose done last month. I am in love with it.

  2. Carol, the tat is lovely, just a little surprised that you chose flowers. But I can understand why you love it!

  3. You have way more guts than me! Just for the record, we loved having Joel over. He and Austen spent most of the time in the man cave or swimming..oblivious to the mishaps of the household..

  4. No wonder you're not sure what to call it. So far you seem to be enjoying it too much for it to be a "crisis". Where will the next tattoo be?

    Yay! Ellie hit the note! lol :-P That was sooooo funny. {fast, enthusiastic piano music and here comes the big ending note AND-- *silent whoosh*}

  5. What? Your name is Carol? I'm glad I stuck around long enough to learn that.
    Gosh, you wrote so much. I don't know where to start. Actually I do. You could make a lot of money with that foot on numerous blogs out there. Well, that foot and someone's tongue. Not that I visit those sites, I'm just saying that I know that they exist. I think that I may go tat free forever. Never felt the urge. Plus, the older I get, the more hair I get everywhere except my head. So really, where would I put one? Okay, there are maybe one or two spots that are hair free but you'll have to use your imagination to figure that out.
    So Congratulations on the Tat. You're on your way to being one Righteous Biker Chick.
    Your Friend, m.