Category Archives: married life

Munchie Monday: Byrd’s cookies

byrd's cookies all.jpgLast week my family made our annual pilgrimage to Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Ok, so it’s not actually any sort of religious trip, unless you’re like my aunt and consider a trip to the beach a way to worship the sun. Ever since my daughter was a teeny tiny baby, 8 years ago, my husband’s family has headed to my SiL’s beach house in Wild Dunes (I can actually see my SiL’s house in the picture on this link) and we’ve spent a week together.

I know for many people this probably sounds like a dream. An entire week spent in a house that is not only right next door to a pool, but can also claim the ocean as its backyard, is the stuff that relaxation videos are made out of, right? Clearly anyone who thinks this has never met my in-laws.

I do not mean this post as a condemnation of my in-laws, who on an individual basis are almost entirely great people–except for that one. It is very hard to share a house, even a decent sized one with 15 other people for an entire week. The actual house only sleeps 10 people comfortably (12 with air mattresses), so thankfully four of those people didn’t actually spend the night at the house. My MiL and FiL had a hotel room at the Boardwalk Inn, which is actually right next door. Additionally, two members of my MiL’s extended family also spent the days at our beach house, but their nights at my SiL’s condo in nearby Charleston. However, for pretty much every waking hour of the day, there were 15 people in the house. Seven were children ranging from 8-14. That is a LOT of noise, especially when most of it is contained between two floors with walls that are surprisingly thin.

And don’t even get me started on the nightly “entertainment” from bands at the hotel next door.

But again, that’s not the purpose of this post. Inevitably what happens at some point during this trip, we all get more than a little sick of each other. For my family this means a trip to a matinee one day. It also means at least one lunch and one dinner (and this year one breakfast) away from the basically required family meals to have some alone time. It also means our yearly trip into downtown Charleston, where we always visit the City Market and the surrounding shops.

Despite a serious need for an extended break from everyone around Wednesday, we had a few hiccups and didn’t actually get into town until Friday, our last full day of the trip. I was excited not only to visit some absolute favorites from years past (Charleston Crab House, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, The Spice and Tea Exchange of Charleston, and Kilwin’s to name a few), but to discover a brand new shop I’d never seen before: Byrd’s Cookies.

Byrd’s was so new, in fact, that they didn’t even have their official signage up on the building yet. They’d been open for less than a month and had I not seen a sign on their door offering a taste test of cookies when I walked into The Spice and Tea Exchange, we might have walked right on by. I am so glad we didn’t!

Byrd’s may be new to downtown Charleston, but they have been a cookie tradition for over 90 years. They started in Savannah, Georgia with their original Scotch Oatmeal cookie and now have over a dozen varieties, all of which were available to taste test when we went in. Although I wanted to try them all, I was good and only tried about five varieties. All that I tried were really good. It was hard to make a decision about which four varieties to buy (it was buy 3 get one for $1). In the end we decided to let each person in the family pick their favorite.

My daughter picked the Key Lime cookies. These powdered sugar covered cuties are VERY sweet. They definitely have a bright, limey taste to them, with vanilla undertones as the flavor wears down. My kids and husband LOVE them. I am not quite as big of a fan, even though as a rule I love key lime. I don’t like the slightly odd feel the powdered sugar leaves on the roof of my mouth. However, I have never been a fan of powdered sugar covered treats. One of the reasons I avoid many jelly-filled donuts is because they are covered in powdered sugar. I also don’t like the little Hostess Donnettes with the powdered sugar at all. I hate being messy and I HATE when my hands have food residue on them, which I think is part of the problem. The other problem is that powdered sugar always seems to leave a bit of a residue both on my fingers and in my mouth and I am not a fan. Anyone who likes powdered sugar will probably love these cookies though.

Next up were my husband’s pick: the original Scotch Oatmeal ones. These are quite good, although they do have the tiniest hint of a dark molasses flavor to them. Not that I mind, I just wasn’t initially expecting it and it took a few cookies to grow on me. They actually remind me a bit of one of my favorite childhood cookies: Archway Iced Oatmeal cookies. Yeah, I was that strange kids who really loved oatmeal cookies. I still don’t like Oreos at all and I never crave Chips Ahoy! but give me an oatmeal cookie, with or without icing and I’m over the moon. I’ll take a soft, fresh from the oven oatmeal raisin cookie over a chocolate chip one pretty much any day. I just love the creamy sweetness of oatmeal cookies. Although these little guys are crunchy, not soft, they are still amazingly good. They have that wonderfully oaty flavor that always reminds me just a bit of nuts. They aren’t overly sweet, which I think is perfect at times. I couldn’t eat an entire bag in one sitting, but I know I will be reaching into this bag quite a bit.

Since all of us are huge peanut butter fans, it was not a shock that my son picked chocolate peanut butter. These are so creamy and peanutty! With the crunch, they remind me a bit of eating a spoonful of chunky peanut butter (my favorite). The chocolate in them is subtle and really only in hints, which I don’t mind. The peanut butter is clearly the star here and that is great. I love that when I bite into them I can see real chunks of peanuts. These tiny treats are full of even tinier bits of peanut, but packed with tons of peanut flavor.

Byrd's salted caramelNot to brag, but my favorite, are without a doubt, the ones I picked: salted caramel. I know, I just had a post about salted caramel butter cookies. I also know that these days everything is salted caramel and that many people think it is way beyond cliche/overdone/boring now, but I don’t care. I am not a bit ashamed to say I LOVE these cookies. They are utterly amazing and I cannot stop eating them. They are sweeter than the peanut butter chocolate or Scotch oatmeal, but thanks to the salt, not as sweet as the Key Lime, so they are in that perfect sweet spot for me. They are buttery and delicate. They practically melt on my tongue. The caramel flavor is long lasting and simply amazing. No matter how much I try, I cannot stop eating these amazing cookies. Even though I haven’t finished the 8 oz bag yet (although I have come frighteningly close to it), I have already looked online about buying another bag. Now that I know these exist, they are a must have for me. I cannot imagine a world where my pantry is not stocked with them from now on.

Knowing that Byrd’s is now in downtown Charleston has already got me looking forward to next year’s beach vacation, even if it does mean squeezing into a house with 14 other people!

Overall:

Taste: 10/10 for salted caramel (8/10 for the others)
Appearance: 8/10
Value: 10/10 for the salted caramel (8/10 for the others)

 

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Wildcard Wednesday: 4th of July

Charleston beach.jpg

This year I decided to take students to the UK during my family’s regularly scheduled trip to the beach. Since the only reason we go to the beach is because my in-laws orchestrate a big family get together there, my heart was definitely more set on the UK trip. Plus, we stay at a beach house my SiL owns, so I knew my husband’s family would be able to be a bit more flexible with the beach week. And if not, it would save me two 12 hour drives to Isle of Palms and a week in the same house with 14 other people, most of whom are only related to be me by marriage.

True to form, as soon as my MiL knew the dates I’d be going to the UK, she arranged for our beach week to be moved. It’s not the first year we’ve had to mix it up, although the other time was also to accommodate a student trip to the UK three years ago. Luckily my trip coincided with my in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary, so they were happy to move things around so we could have a big family party to celebrate this milestone. That trip was scheduled for the end of June and we just missed being at the beach on the 4th of July.

Wild Dunes is a surprisingly popular destination for the 4th of July. Since my in-laws knew two years in advance when my trip would be, it was no problem for my SiL to make sure her beach house was not rented out for the holiday week. So this year we celebrated America’s independence without any sparklers or bottle rockets as setting off fireworks is illegal on the Isle of Palms. For some reason we also didn’t have the traditional cook-out, even though there was a grill at the beach house. We had my FiL’s homemade spaghetti sauce (which I regret to say I am the only who is not a fan of it–too much meat and not enough spice), pasta, garlic bread and salad. It was a perfectly fine meal, if a little strange.

My family did celebrate our independence a bit by going out to a really awesome breakfast at Acme Lowcountry Kitchen. I cannot give them high enough praise. Truly awesome experience. Delicious food, good service, plus we got to eat on the covered patio, which was really nice. I’d been there once before with friends, but I got to introduce my husband and kids to it and they loved it. Especially my son who, despite ordering from the kid’s menu, had way more food than any of us. He was in breakfast heaven.

We spent our day walking the beach and hanging out in the nearby pool, which the kids loved. Both were insanely crowded though. We usually go to the beach over Father’s Day week and even though mid-June is way cooler than July, the beach and pool are never as packed. We actually had someone plop down in front of us on the beach (complete with three beach umbrellas and chairs), partially obscuring our view of the beach, which has never happened before. There were just a lot of people.

Although we had to buck some of our usual 4th of July traditions, we did get to see some pretty cool fireworks, even though they were a little far away. A little after 9 we headed up to the top balcony of the beach house and waited for the city display to start. It was a little slow at first and the fireworks didn’t look very impressive, mostly because they were rather far away, but as the minutes ticked by, the spectacle picked up. The finale, which didn’t happen until about 9:45 was one of the most impressive I’ve seen in awhile. It was gorgeous. My son loved the fact that several of the fireworks formed hearts. My daughter was so tired after a day at the beach and the pool that she completely slept through them!

The only real downside to the day was that the “entertainment” that happens at the Boardwalk Inn next door didn’t stop playing at 10 as usual. Every night during the summer there is a live band next door in the pavilion between two of the pools. The bands begin playing around 7 and have to be done by 10. Since they are outdoor and our beach house is right next to the pavilion, we can hear every single note played. One night, my son was in the bathtub and he yelled out, “Mom, they’re playing ‘Sweet Caroline!'” Then he started singing along. That’s how loud it is every night of our vacation. My husband and I have to listen to mediocre cover bands cover mostly the same songs for at least an hour every night. Even with the TV on watching Netflix, we can still hear the music.

On the 4th of July I was excited to watch an episode of Preacher and figured that the band was going to finish their set with a song or two with their remaining 10 minutes. Nope! Because it was the 4th they played until 11. We still watched Preacher, but had to rewind a few times because the choruses of “Born in the USA” and about half a dozen CCR songs were so loud. It was annoying, but I was glad they didn’t go completely cliche and play “Proud to be an American,” which every other band had played at some point leading up to the 4th.

It was definitely an interesting holiday. I’m glad we went, but I think I’ll be happy to go back to mid-June next year.

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Wildcard Wednesday: New kitten

turnipI had my darling cat Olivia for nearly 20 years. I got her for my 22nd birthday. She was the perfect gift to go with my first real grown up apartment (technically a townhouse) and my first real grown up job teaching English.

She was an amazingly precious kitten who used to play the most adorable game of “fetch” with this tiny stuffed green frog my sister bought me. She’d use her paws to push the frog into position. Then, she’d run behind something and prepare herself to pounce on the helpless stuffed creature. Once she had it, she’d sort of get it between her front two paws, almost like a toddler grasping a toy between her hands, and carry it for a foot or two. She’d wrestle it for a few minutes, snap it up with her mouth and bring it to me. Then she’d wait patiently for me to pet her, praise her and throw the frog across the room so she could start the hunt all over again.

Although her health had been in a fairly steady decline over the last two years, she finally reached a point where she was in a lot of pain and her back legs basically stopped working, so we decided to put her to sleep. It was a very hard day for all of us. My daughter, who is mildly autistic, had a particularly hard time with it. Over the past year, my daughter had taken to kind of babying Olivia. Although she never picked her up (Olivia no longer liked to be picked up), my daughter would sit next to her on the couch, baby talk her and just carefully pet her. She must have had 100 pictures of the cat on her school iPad. Actually, it was probably way more as her teacher kept making her delete them to free up space. My daughter was a bit lost without Olivia.

A few months later, my husband and I started discussing the possibility of getting a new kitten, mostly for our daughter. We thought helping to care for the kitten might be a good learning experience for our daughter and since the kitten would be added to a house where my daughter already existed, she wouldn’t have to get used to my daughter’s behavior like Olivia did…a new kitten wouldn’t know any other life.

So, one Saturday when my husband was at work, I checked our local Humane Society’s website. Sure enough, they had some kittens who had recently arrived at the shelter. I loaded up the kids and we went just to have a look.

Turnip #2A look…who was I kidding? The second we got in the building and saw those tiny bundles of fur, we were all in love. One of them was a grey and black striped kitty. I won’t lie, when I looked at the website and saw her name was Hermione, she was my immediate favorite. I thought my daughter might really love having a kitten named after one of her favorite literary characters (well, Hermione or Junie B. Jones). But my daughter hardly glanced at that striped cutie, which was probably for the best as someone who arrived minutes before us was already snuggling her and had asked about adopting her. In fact, all four of the kittens were adopted in less than an hour.

My daughter was immediately drawn to a quiet little white kitten near the back of the multi-level cat cage. She had beautiful ice blue eyes and a pale tan bit of fur over her left ear that also had an even tinier bit of black on it. She was so tiny and so sweet looking. Unlike her two siblings, who were meowing quite a bit, she seemed content just to sort of hang out and look at the world. My daughter desperately wanted to hold her. She asked the lady in charge if she could and was told only if we were serious about adopting. I assured her we were and in moments, we were holding Turnip.

Turnip was the name she was given at the shelter. Her siblings (one boy and one girl) were called Cabbage and Radish. Both were cute, but my daughter has a great eye because little Turnip was the best of the bunch.

It only took a few minutes to get the initial request in and about ten minutes later, we were back in a cubicle discussing the adoption process. My daughter was not at all happy that we had to give Turnip back while we talked to the adoption counselor, but we repeatedly promised her no one else would be able to take Turnip while we were away from her. It didn’t stop my daughter from asking about her every few minutes. And we were back in that cubicle for quite some time. I totally get it. I don’t think any shelter should just hand a cat off to just anyone off the street. They wanted to do some checking in to us. I didn’t actually think we’d even be able to take the kitten home that day. I figured we’d have to at least wait overnight which is why I didn’t bring a carrier with me.

Imagine my surprise when we were told we could take her home less than an hour later. I ended up buying a cardboard carrier as I knew there was no way my daughter was going to let me go home to get ours, no matter how many times everyone assured her Turnip would be there when we came back. She was not taking any chances.

I sent my husband pictures (which were not good as she would not stay still) and he was not impressed. He thought she looked sickly. Even though he’d agreed we could get a kitten, he was far more hesitant than I was. He loves cats, but he wasn’t sure he was ready for 20 more years of litter box cleaning. We already have another cat, Bob, who is 8, very fat and has a real attitude with me. When he got home, he went in and peaked at Turnip in the guest room. That was all it took. He was smitten. He came back and asked when he could hold her (I’d quarantined her in the guest room to help her acclimate). I told him he could go back in when she woke up and he was there the very second she did. He played with her and fell in love (I knew he would). He babies her more than anyone else in the family.

turnip in basketWe’ve had Turnip for about a month now (my daughter decided she loved the name and I agreed). My daughter scoops her up just like a baby and Turnip sort of rolls her eyes and takes it. She lets my daughter push her around in a doll stroller. She lets my daughter give her raspberry kisses. She humors my daughter and all of her little attempts at mothering the kitten. Not that she knows much else, but it’s sweet.

Turnip is an amazing addition to our family and I am so glad we brought her home. Although since we haven’t had a kitten in about 15 years (Bob was my dad’s cat and was 3 when he came to live with us), I’d forgotten how crazy kittens are. She attacks my feet pretty much every chance she gets. She loves when I wear maxi dresses (which I do several times a week), because she sneaks under them so that she can bat at the hem when I walk, which means I trip over her constantly. She loves when I refill my water cup and constantly tries to knock it off the water cooler shelf. She meeps every single morning and evening when she wants her wet food and will not stop until her bowl is placed in front of her (although it is about the only time she meows at all). She terrorizes Bob; she is enthralled by his tail. It cracks me up and has actually made him attack me like 75% less. Granted, she’s now attacking me, but mostly just my toes and she’s yet to draw blood.

Turnip is our sweet little furry vegetable.

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Free Reading Friday: Look Me In the Eye

look me in the eyeOne of my students lent me Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison to read. She wanted to read it for a non-fiction project in my AP Language class and my rule is that I have to read the book first before students can read/use a book for their project. Thanks to this rule, I’ve read some really interesting non-fiction works I would not have picked up on my own. I’ve also read a few books I really did not enjoy and still won’t let students live down.

I was not initially thrilled about this book. I read The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch last year and while I found it fairly enlightening considering I am married to a man who has only recently been diagnosed, it was a lot to take. And I was worried this book might be similar. While Finch’s book was interesting and informative, it didn’t quite have me hooked and there were definitely moments that I felt the book was a slog to get through.

Robison’s book was completely different! When I was only a few pages in, I was hooked. I’m not sure if this is because he begins by discussing his childhood, well before he was diagnosed, and I am currently waiting to have my daughter evaluated because she shares an awful lot of traits with her dad, OR because Robison’s writing was just so compelling. My guess is that both are true.

I had no idea that Robison was the brother of Augusten Burroughs who wrote Running With Scissors, a book (and movie) I enjoyed. I was caught off guard when Robison mentioned his brother and the craziness that surrounded his life for a brief time being treated by Dr. Finch. I found it fascinating though.

In general, I found the story of Robison’s life compelling. There are definitely connections I see between his experiences and ones my husband has shared with me, and more importantly now, ones my daughter is going through. One of the most profound moments for me was when Robison mentioned that all his life people had said he preferred to play alone, but in reality he never wanted to play by himself. He wanted to play with others but didn’t know how. This is something I have worried about with my own daughter.

I think this is a great book for anyone who has someone on the spectrum in their lives. It was eye opening and encouraging to me. And more importantly, well-written and interesting. It gave me a lot of hope for my daughter and her future.

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Wildcard Wednesday: I’m the birthday girl

Yes, that’s right, it’s my birthday. Happy 43! Wait, am I 43…let me do the math again…yes, I am 43 today. I don’t know if it is a sign of my age or a sign that birthdays have become much less of a to do or a sign that I am still trying to hold on to being younger than I am, but I almost always have to stop and really think about how old I am.

I don’t generally consider myself someone who is embarrassed by my age. If someone really wants to know, I have no trouble giving it. In fact, I’ve used it quite often in debates on social media when someone gets condescending and tells me that when I get a little older I’ll understand. This happens to me quite a bit since a) I have always looked younger than my age and b) I have a lot of friends on social media who are former students who are quite a bit younger than I am. Many of the other “adults” in their lives like to blow off their opinions and insights because they don’t have enough “life experience.” I’ve had quite a few people who clearly just assume I am also college-aged based merely on my association with former students and try to belittle me in the same way. That’s when I’m thrilled to throw my age out there as a badge of honor.

I know some people still make much ado about their birthdays, but I am not one of those people. It’s not because I don’t like a good soiree. It’s because my birthday always comes during crunch time at school (my AP Lit test is once again on my birthday this year). Plus, I have two elementary aged kids and a lack of babysitters in the area, so I don’t get out nearly as much as I’d like. Generally my family goes out for dinner and sometime near my birthday I’ll get together with some of my good friends for a girls’ dinner or brunch. And that is fine by me.

I’ve even gotten bad about helping my husband figure out gifts for me. I think I’ve hit that age that if I really want something, I’ll just go buy it myself. Why wait to get it as a present? I’m not a jewelry person. I have a dozen or so necklaces, and maybe half as many bracelets, but I just forget to wear them. I always want books, but if I truly tried to feed my literary addiction, I’d be broke. Mostly I borrow from the library (thankfully I have the public and school varieties to pick from). I like music, but usually I listen to audio books in the car. I’m very picky about my clothing, so that’s usually not a good gift. Chocolate is always an option, but there is only so much chocolate one can get. That basically leaves small, knick knacky items and I have so many of those.

It’s not that I don’t want presents. I’m getting older, but I’m still human! I just can never think of any specific thing that I want. In reality, what I really want is to travel the world and see everything. But unfortunately, that’s not in the budget. I know it is frustrating for my husband as he wants to get me something I’ll really like. I just never know what that is.

So, it’ll be interesting to see what he gives me tonight at dinner.

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Wildcard Wednesday: Housework

I saw a post on Facebook the other day that had one of those cutsie signs which read, “Please excuse the mess my kids are making memories.” This was crossed out and below it it read, “I suck at being a housewife.”

This sign, totally hit home with me. I am a good mom. I am a good teacher. I am a good wife. I am a good friend. I absolutely, positively, without a doubt, suck at being any sort of housewife.

Not that housewife is a term I take too seriously. Considering that over 60% of households are two income households, I don’t know how many women can be the housewives that our moms and grandmothers were.

I spend 8 hours a day at work. On top of that, my commute is 1.5-2 hours. Luckily my kids are in the car with me, so I get to spend time with them (and sometimes they even want to talk to me). At least three days a week I try to stop by the gym on the way home and get 30-45 minutes in (they have an awesome childcare facility and my kids love playing there). I do pretty much all of the cooking in my house, which I’m not complaining (much) about, since I like cooking and my husband does like 80% of the dishes. But, that means once I get home, I usually sit down for 10-15 minutes and then start dinner. That’s at least a good 30 minutes of work. Then, I have to sit with my kids and make sure homework gets done.

By this time it’s usually at least 7 pm, which means about 40 minutes until we start getting ready for bedtime. This is time I usually try to sneak in some grading or reading or talking to my kids. Baths and bedtimes are usually done around 8:30, which leaves me about an hour and a half before I get ready for bed. Sometimes my husband and I watch a TV show and sometimes I grade. I also check social media and personal emails during this time.

Even if I wanted to clean (and I NEVER want to clean), there really isn’t any time. At least not if I want to keep my sanity and do at least one thing that’s just for me each day.

I know the weekends should be my time to clean, but, it’s just so hard to get motivated. I have to get all the laundry done (which I know is a type of housework). I also have to get all the shopping done and run all the errands we didn’t get around to on the weekdays. My husband leaves for work on Sunday at 7:30 am and doesn’t get home until 4:30 pm, so getting cleaning done while trying to take care of my kids isn’t always easy. I usually get a general straightening done, but as to deep cleaning…yeah, that rarely happens.

Usually the only time deep cleaning gets done is when I look at a room and realize I can no longer live in this filth! To be fair, it’s never actual filth, just a general need for a good bleaching/mopping/vacuuming/scrubbing.

I know some people find cleaning therapeutic, but I will never be one of those people. No matter how much I’d like a clean house, I just don’t want to be the one cleaning it. The thought of scrubbing the shower down or mopping the kitchen floor makes me quickly start looking for any grading I can possibly do. It has me running toward the gym…and I hate running. I was just not made to be a housewife.

 

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Wildcard Wednesday: Pot holes

Pot holes have destroyed my car.

Ok, that is an exaggeration. It might be more accurate to say pot holes are destroying my car.

Even that might be a bit of a reach. I guess I should stick with something closer to pot holes sound like they are destroying my car.

I’ve been driving for over 25 years now and I cannot actually recall a year when the pot holes have been this bad. And this is not just my imagination. Take a look at the official government website devoted to the gaping holes around Indianapolis.

Almost every day when I drive down the main road outside my neighborhood I am worried that I am going to get pulled over as a suspected drunk driver considering all the swerving I have to do in order to try to avoid the hazards that have invaded the road. Then, I realize the cop that wanted to pull me over would either be making those exact same swerves or be stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire if he tried to drive straight through them, so I figure I am fine.

I’ve actually gotten so used to driving my normal route to work that even in the darkness on my drive into school, I know where all the holes are and can still manage to avoid them. Driving anywhere else in this city before sunrise or after sunset is dangerous. I’ve actually found myself driving 10 miles under the speed limit and coming to almost complete stops on major roads to avoid being swallowed up by the holes.

Try as I did, I was not able to steer clear of them all. One of them hit me, and hit me pretty hard. It was near a railroad track (technically in another county) and since the railroad track was up a slight incline, I couldn’t see the pot hole next to it. My car dipped in before hitting the tracks, which caused an even bigger dip. I was only going about 10 miles an hour and it still felt like the end of my car.

This probably would not have been too tragic had there not already been a low hanging bit of plastic underneath the front of my car. The plastic somehow snagged on that pot hole and managed to come even looser. Now, instead of just rattling from time to time when stray rocks or gravel would get inside the low slung plastic, it was dragging, so there was pretty much a constant scraping sound as I drove. At least at low speeds. When I got going more than about 35 mph, friction or wind or something to do with physics would lift the plastic up and the scraping would stop.

The sound was awful, but I could deal with it.

That is until they started fixing the pot holes. Now, I know the fixing of pot holes should be a cause for celebration. And for the most part, I’d be dancing in the streets about it (if there weren’t still so many pot holes that I’d no doubt break my leg trying), if it weren’t for the fact that every time I drive over one of those recently repaired craters, some of the leftover asphalt gets kicked up into the plastic and makes it sound like parts of my car are actually falling off. I kept expecting to be driving and suddenly find myself with only a driver’s seat and steering wheel still held together as the car disintegrated around me, ala Looney Toons.

This morning when I was on my way to the grocery store, I was listening to an audio book. I had the book turned up to top volume and even at that volume, when I drove over a repaired stretch of road, I had no idea what Anna Faris was saying because the noise from the bits of road being churned up beneath my car were so loud, she was inaudible.

Something had to be done.

My husband, who had initially suggested just having the guys at our local car shop zip tie the plastic up when they had my car up on the rack for an oil change next week, caved after I refused to drive my car and took his instead. As soon as I got home, he grabbed the jack, lifted my car, and with some zip ties and black tape, he wrangled the hanging plastic back into place.

I just took a test drive around the neighborhood and the silence was blissful. It’s like I have a normal car again.

And while I know I’m going to be cursing the pot holes tomorrow as I try to find a path that will allow me to get by mostly unscathed, for right now, I am so happy with my quiet car that I won’t even curse the city of Indianapolis for allowing the situation to get this bad for at least another few hours.

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