About Carol

Carol Shwanda chronicles her blended family's lives and experiences offering hope, guidance, wisdom, inspiration and humor to anyone who is in or about to enter into a blended family.

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I would like my blog to be a forum for my readers to share their stories and experiences and express their views and opinions about being a part of a blended family. I am working on a book tentatively titled:Blended Family Stories. It will be an in depth look at the real life challenges and joys of successful blended families. If you would like to be part of my research I'd love to hear from you.Take my Blended Family survey

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Seaweed Art Cards

    I count my blessings every day. My life is so rich and full  I can’t believe my good fortune. I feel so fortunate that sometimes I have to pinch myself. Today was not one of those days.

    After a weekend spent as a servant and a laundress, I was looking forward to the kids going back to school. Even though I overslept, I still managed to whip up breakfast and pack six lunches (one for Paul), which is never an easy task when you consider I have to keep track of who’s a vegetarian this week and who likes mayo over mustard. To complicate things the  latter category is subdivided into brown, yellow and honey. I was a waitress once and that skill has served me well.

    Since it was raining, I had to drive the kids to school. Cheryl was the last one on the route. When I pulled up to her school I could see the PTA moms out front (in their matching jogging suits and visors) with forms to sign up for Arts Alive. Today was the deadline. I did not know anything about this. Everything is always a surprise to me. “Where’s your form, Cheryl?” “It’s at my mom’s.” Naturally. So I parked the car and signed her up, even though I  had bed head and was wearing my pajama top under my coat and no bra.

    When I got home I sat down at the dining room table for a brief respite to read the paper and enjoy my tea when I noticed the crumbs on the table were moving. ANTS. NOOOOOO!!!! They were everywhere. I traced them in a line from the dining room, across the kitchen, up the stove and into the cabinet, where they congregated around a jar of honey. I  emptied the cabinet, rinsed everything off, sprayed it down with ammonia and, with Ghost Buster-like vengeance, vacuumed up those fuckers. Then I mopped the floors and put out more useless ant traps.

    No sooner was I finished with that task that I remembered I forgot to let Joey, my dog, out of my art studio. Because it was raining, I put him in there last night so he would not have to sleep outside in his doghouse. Timidly, I opened the door to my studio. There he was sleeping comfortably on his dog bed. Of course. He had just taken a major dump. I smelled it before I found it. I knew it was there, but where? Then I looked down at my feet.  I’m not talking a big turd you can scoop up with a shovel and heave on the  top of the compost pile. No. I’m talking doggie diarrhea that hit the ground with such force that it SPLATTERED ACROSS THE WALLS. Luckily most of the load was contained on the door mat which I picked up and threw out. I didn’t care that I just bought it at Cost Plus. I pulled out the ammonia again, donned my rubber gloves and scrubbed, but the  smell just wouldn’t go away. That’s when I realized that the poop  was caught under the door jamb. On my hands and knees and with an old toothbrush, I got the rest.

    Covered with dead ants and dog shit, I took a shower and threw my clothes in the washer and hit the “extra clean” cycle. I dressed in a hurry and as I was walking out the door to go to work I could hear in the distance the cat coughing up a fur ball. I didn’t even bother to stop and look. I just closed the door behind me.

    Published on March 2, 2009 · Filed under: BLENDED FAMILIES;