Saturday, December 13, 2014

Date Night

Tonight was date night at the Smith house, and we did a throwback to our early days.  On our second "official" date (according to my husband, cause I'm not sure what makes it "official"), we went to the Butler University Rejoice concert with my mom and dad.  It's a wonderful free concert, and it includes many of the musical groups that Butler has to offer.  We missed it last year, so we made sure to get tickets this year.  Well, not exactly.  We made sure to ask Seth to get us tickets this year, since he lives on campus.  Seth, of course, forgot/procrastinated/ignored his mother, so his wonderful lady friend, Elaine, got them for us.  She's a keeper, that one.

No seriously.  We worry how Seth will function in the real world, should his lady friend wander off.  I may or may not have a secret account in Wisconsin where I hide the funds that keep her from wandering off..........but I digress.

Our friends were so excited to go to the concert with us.  They are usually headed to Florida for the winter by now, but decided to wait till next week, so we were excited that they could go with us.  That is, until Mary was diagnosed with the flu today, and Fred started showing signs as well.  So much for that.  We were all pretty bummed.  I called Elaine to see if she and Seth wanted to double date.  Yes, she was excited to go.

Apparently, Seth was not equally excited, because he ended up backing out when work offered him some extra hours.  Elaine, however, was still excited about going with us, which is great, cause when the mother gets alone with the lady friend, she gets the real scoop, like "how clean is Thomas' bathroom?", "how filthy is Chris' room," and "did you see Jill and Michael's last SnapChat, cause I'm thinking Michael didn't realize his mother in law was on the distribution list."  Informative session, it was.

It was a slightly different concert than in the past, because the Indianapolis Children's Choir wasn't there, and the audience didn't sing with the carols.  New additions:  I was sitting next to Sheldon Cooper's doppleganger.  A Middle Eastern lady sitting in front of us kept videoing instead of living in the moment, and when it finally got to be too much for me, I leaned up and said "excuse me, but my daughter here has seizure disorder and your phone is messing with her -- she's not feeling well at all.  Could you please TURN IT OFF?"  I'm not sure the lady understood English, but it worked.  Boom.  That sucker was off for the rest of the concert.

And then there was our personal favorite.  Jim remembered a particular conductor from the past who really loves his job, because he is like a three ring circus up there.  The energy he has, combined with the wild facial expressions, are something you have to see to appreciate.  But when Elaine leaned over and said "I didn't know that Butler let Austin Powers conduct," it was all over.  I could NOT unsee it.  The guy is just awesome.

The best part of the evening though, was watching Seth's roommate.  He is third chair violin, and he is awesome in just about every way.  He's quite the sharp dresser, with a penchant for bow ties -- I had really hoped that this particular element would rub off on Seth, but alas, he's still a Tshirt and jeans guy.  But the love that Travis has for music is just so evident when you watch him.  When the symphony stood up to take their bow, all that was missing was the royal wave, because the boy looked just plain proud.  My favorite part, however, was when he joined the chorale to sing, because they sang a German song, and Travis was INTO IT.  You could tell that he was just plain having fun.  It's a wonderful thing to see someone who really loves music.  Add to this that Seth's other friend Wojtek, who is Polish, was up there having just as much fun, and it just made me smile.

Probably the funniest thing was that they had a high school choir from out east of Indianapolis sing with the chorale.  We stopped at Applebee's on the way home for appetizers (half price, dontcha know), and when we left, there were those same kids, loading onto the school bus still in their concert clothes.  It's all about the timing, folks.

So now, I've been exposed to the flu, kicked Seth out of the will, saw a Pole sing German, and had a margarita with Asian tacos.  How was your day?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Orange Is the New Happy

I started a new job some weeks back.  I'm finally in a job working Monday through Friday, day shift, with no on call, no weekends, no holidays, and actually encouraged to take off the day after Thanksgiving and the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Life is good.

You know, the biggest problem with working a "normal" job is figuring out what the heck to wear in the morning.  I mean, thirty plus years of wearing scrubs makes one rather lazy about what one wears.  It also limits one's wardrobe quite a bit. Keep in mind that the last year in my last job, I worked from home.  Much of that time was spent in my pajamas.  You get my meaning here?  Mama had to go on a few buying trips to find some cute things to wear in the daylight, after all those nights working from home.  Thank God, my dear husband doesn't mind his beloved shopping.

And so it was that I found myself standing in the closet this morning, trying to figure out what to wear to work.  On a Thursday (translate:  I haven't done laundry yet).  Indiana weather is wonky at this time of year, and my office is like the frozen tundra -- though my office mate runs the space heater till it's nearly Aruba, so it's difficult to know how to dress.  I wear layers.  It's the only way to survive.

I stood there staring, knowing that I was going to wear a pair of chocolate brown pants, because it's fall, and it suits.  I debated for a while, then chose a Tshirt I had bought to wear to the prison.  In Kentucky. On a Saturday night.  In Walmart.   Yes, that was a moment in which my life morphed into a country music song.  Don't judge.  I debated about that Tshirt, bought in a moment of semi-desperation, because it is orange, and I worried it would clash with my cherry red hair.  It also has red (my favorite color) and gold glitter.  In other words, it was perfect for perking me up in the not-so-middle of a long work week, on a morning the puppy woke me up forty five minutes early, not so quietly expressing her displeasure about being in her crate and not being allowed out to empty her bladder.  I grabbed it, showered and got dressed, kissed the hubby goodbye -- he muttered a buh-bye that was so quiet and gravelly that it was pretty creepy.  I'm not convinced he was awake, which made it all the creepier.  But I digress.

So I went to work and started my day by calling back my first patient.  We sat down in my office, where she promptly exclaimed "you look AMAZING!  That color is BEAUTIFUL on you."  Keep in mind that I had never met this woman in my life, and here she is, loudly telling me how said orange color looks amazing with my hair and my coloring, and that I should wear that color all the time.  Next thing you know, she asks if I have a smart phone.  I pointed at it, plugged in to the charger on my desk.  She unplugged it and said "I have to take a picture of you so you can see how pretty you look."  She took a picture of me, then said "now, send that to your husband, with the caption 'beautiful.' "

I realized later that my phone had locked up -- it hasn't been the same since I dropped it smack into the dogs' water bowl -- and the picture was lost.  That didn't stop me from smiling the rest of the day, when I thought of that sweet lady and her kind words, said with such enthusiasm.  Happiness is contagious.  Spread some.

I love my job.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Speechless

We had a home invasion this weekend.  For three days, we were held hostage while our home was rifled.  Thankfully, only minor items were taken.  I've come to expect this every time Jill comes home.

They got in at about 6:15am on Friday morning, after driving all nght from Pensacola.  She had texted and said that they were close, so I jumped in the shower really quick, so as not to meet them all stinky.  When I got out of the shower, the dogs were going nuts.  I called out, only to find that yes, they had gotten home -- and that they had gone straight to bed.  So much for seeing them before I went to work.

I got home and was met with "the look."  "The Look" is something that her brothers and I hate to see.  It's roughly the equivalent of Vesuvius threatening to blow, without the lava.  It could go either way.  Turned out that she had just found out the they needed new tires, so it wasn't a happy moment, but it was fixable.  She then informed me that she had tried "every product that you have in your shower."  She was elated to find that apparently we keep "a LOT" of products in there, and that one of them had made her now waist length hair "super soft."

I asked her if it was the dog shampoo.  She did, after all, say she'd tried everything.  

She said she was impressed by the amount of makeup I have, and that she would take it home if I wanted her to.  She especially was interested in my eye cream, because she feels that, at the ripe old age of 23, she has developed laugh lines, and this isn't acceptable.  Oye vay.  

The next morning, she decided to go to breakfast with her brothers, and informed me that she needed shoes, because all she had were her boots, and they wouldn't possibly work for her.  She swiped my Keds for the morning.  I realized while they were gone that my brush had gone missing -- not cool, since Thomas and I were going to a wedding that afternoon.  When she got home, she insisted that she had no idea where it was, despite admitting that she had brushed Michael's hair with it.  She told me to use her brush, but she didn't know where it was either.  

You see how this goes, right?

They were home for the weekend to attend another wedding, so when she came down ready to go, she asked how she looked, and mentioned "I borrowed your purse."  HUH?  I don't even use a purse.  I took one look at her and said "that's not my purse."  "Well, whose is it?"  "Michele's."  Michele is my dear husband's first wife, who passed away.  

::crickets::

I've lived with this girl for nearly 24 years, and I think I can truly say that this was the first time I have seen her speechless.  There was a long silence, during which she looked, wide eyed, up to the kitchen at Jim.  Jim let her soak it in for a moment, then said "it's fine, Jill. Michele would be the first one to say you could borrow it if you wanted to."  She said "oooooookaaaaay" as she slunk out the door.

So off they went on Sunday morning, back to Pensacola.  Some people check to make sure that their visitors don't leave socks behind, or pillows, or, God forbid, pets.  Me?  I check for my brush.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Like a Rhinestone Kidney



My dear friend has a kidney stone.  A big, sometimes stationary, sometimes moving, painful-as-hell kidney stone.  She is not amused.  


She should be, given the fact that her granddaughter has deemed her kidney stone, a "kidney rhinestone."  Brings quite the visual to an otherwise miserable experience, doesn't it?  Me being me, the first thing that came to mind was a song called "Rhinestone Kidney," set to the tune of "Rhinestone Cowboy."  Problem is,  I am completely uninspired as to what the lyrics would be.  I've tried and tried and pretty much have........nothing.


Till another friend mentioned that perhaps it should better be set to "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds."  Perfect, given how many drugs she's on right now.  As in, they can't get the light over her bed to go off.  I mentioned that she could just shoot it out, since after all, she's in Texas.   She replied something about "one and done," and I seriously started being concerned about her nurses' safety.  


"Picture yourself on a bed in the ER
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody drugs you, you move oh so slowly,
A girl with a kidney rhinestone.


A nonstop spotlight of yellow and green
Towering over your bed
Look for the girl with the glint in her side
 Cause she's the one:


Tina in the ER, with rhinestones..........."


Oh, I could go on, but the Beatles made it confusing enough the first time around, don't you think?  And though she's on two heavy duty pain meds, it still doesn't equate to the stuff the Fab Four were smokin' when they wrote the song.  That being said, I think drugs are probably the only option when you have a Texas kidney stone.  I've never had one, but I know a lot of people who have, and I think it is best described by a friend who said that her father, a very stoic Marine, found himself on all fours, yelling "Sweet JESUS, take me now."


Maybe it would've gone better for him if he too had had a kidney rhinestone.


 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Alba gu bràth!

People have been asking me for the past couple of weeks how my wee Scotsman feels about the vote for Scottish independence.  Let me say this:  he would've voted for it.


He watched the debates on CSPAN with fervor.  He explained the pros and cons to me, and to anyone who would listen, often with a thick brogue.  The man knows his Scottish history.  Heck, we even watched Braveheart somewhere in there, with him bellowing in said brogue "they can take away our lives, but they cannot take away our FREEDOM!"


The man loves the land of his father.


We went to Scottish Fest last weekend, and partook of some fine Celtic music (if you ever get a chance to hear the Rogue American's, DO IT.  They are amazing.), had a fine whiskey tasting, watched some caber tossing, and even saw a Storm Trooper wearing a kilt.  No lie.  It was a fine time, and I'm hoping to have my Smith tartan sash by next year's fest.  'Twas a proud day to be a Scotsman (or woman).


We wandered around to see what they had, and found ourselves in the Viking encampment, listening to a very loud rooster.  I couldn't figure out where it was coming from, and me, being the Chicken Lady that I am, went searching.  We found him, a fine, fat specimen, in a wire crate near the ladies, bellowing his displeasure at his accommodations.  I admired him, only to be told by one of the ladies "he's dinner."  I must've had a shocked look on my face, because she looked me in the eye and said "I'm serious.  He's dinner."  So of course, after the Ceilidh (a dinner and music fest of its own), we had to check to see if the rooster was still with us.  Alas, the Vikings were all asleep, and unless one of them was cuddled up with him, he was in several bellies.  RIP Rooster, you were a fine chicken.


So yesterday, friends invited us out to "either celebrate Scottish independence, or mourn the loss" in the vote.  We found ourselves munching on burgers at the Irish Mutt -- ok, so it's not Scottish, but we figured MacNivens' was a) probably packed and b) further away and c) a lot more expensive.  Jim and Bob are like Mutt and Jeff, but they are both Marines, so they swapped sea stories over several beers, whilst Annie and I listened.  Just when we thought they were done, Jim ordered a round of Scotch, and drank to the land of his father, saying Alba gu bràth (which means Scotland Forever).


Never mind that on the way home, these same two Marines were in the back seat of the car singing Mama Mia at the top of their lungs, which Jim today steadfastly denies.


Alba gu bràth!






Monday, September 15, 2014

No Such Thing as a Bedtime Routine

I was chatting with one of the kids on Facebook tonight, and told them I needed to put the puppy away, so I'd be right back.  Here's what happened afterward:


Picked up puppy.  Started down stairs and realized she had put the water bowl on the stairs.  Picked up water bowl to avoid a fall on the stairs, and put it on the counter.  Went in and turned on dryer to warm up the hubby's Browns' blanket before I took it up to him.  Put puppy away.  Realized Mickey had followed me downstairs and is now staring sadly at me by the door, wanting to go out.  Let Mickey out.  Went to kitchen, filled water bowl and put it on the floor.  Mickey was now barking hysterically to get in.  Let Mickey in.  Grabbed blanket from dryer.  Start up the stairs, but Mickey stops to get a drink.  Call him to come upstairs.  I get upstairs, only to realize that Bandit is pounding on Seth's bedroom door, which is closed.  Let Bandit out of bedroom and he runs downstairs, wanting to go out to the garage.  Go back downstairs and let him outside.  Go back upstairs.  Realize I forgot to get hubby's evening meds.  Go downstairs and get meds and refill his Mason jar of water.  Go back upstairs and realize that I never too my evening meds.  Go downstairs and take said meds.  Come upstairs and climb onto bed, only to realize that now Facebook has frozen, so the "I'll be right back" is truly a lie now.


Try to reboot computer.  Go and brush teeth whilst it is rebooting.  Come back, only to find that it still hasn't even shut down.  Shut it down manually, while thinking that maybe my hard drive is dying.  Don't really care, because there are several broken keys on the keyboard, so it's a lotta work to type on it.  Restart computer and decided I'd better go pee while it's booting up.  Go pee.  Climb on bed, only to realize that Mickey had apparently followed me downstairs and he is now scratching at the bedroom door.  Let dog in.  Settle into bed with all my comfy pillows.  Mickey comes around to my side of the bed, wanting up.  Pull him up on to the bed.  Open Facebook.


Kid has signed off.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Everyone Has Their Limits


The Spare to the Throne is a sniffer.  He has, probably since birth, always smelled everything he comes in contact with, the first time he comes into contact with it.  Food, shoes, clothes, shampoo, whatever.  He always smells it.  He used to come to me with his beloved blanket and say "wow, Mommy, my blanket smells SO good, doesn't it?"  He'd hand it to me so that I could take a deep whiff.

This may explain why now, I have so little sense of smell.  That thing was WICKED bad in its odiferous-ness, but it was hard to get away from him long enough to wash it.  OK, so yeah, I had a rather co-dependent thing with my blanket when I was little, and maybe, just MAYBE I sucked my thumb till I was double digits, but yeah......I don't think my blanket smelled that bad.

So Jim made dinner one night a couple of weeks ago, and remarked "you know what Seth's gonna do when he sees this, right?  He's gonna smell it."  I knew he was right -- I can't remember what he had cooked, but it wasn't familiar to Seth, so of course yes, he picked up the plate and took a big whiff.  Maybe the boy is part dog, or wolf, or cat or something.  It's one of his little food quirks, like the fact that he doesn't like his food touching, or he eats only one food at a time on his plate.  No biggie, just quirks.

He also loves shrimp.  So Jim and I went to the commissary, and I decided I needed to get him these:



I mean, he loves shrimp after all. And he has always been a grazer.  I figured oh well, let's see what he does with these.  Well let me tell you, it was hysterical.

He looked at them quizzically and read the package.  He opened it up and did his normal thing:  sticking his nose into the bag and taking a big whiff.  It was at this point that the entire bag almost went flying, because he not only smells things, he has a super SENSITIVE nose, so when that smell hit him, it almost knocked him down.  "OH MY GOD," he said, "that is AWFUL."  I mean, how can a strong smell of shrimp, enclosed in plastic for however many weeks, be bad, right?  Thomas told him he was being a wimp, grabbed the bag, and promptly almost lost his lunch right in front of me.  He suggested that perhaps they didn't taste as bad as they smelled.  Seth decided to give it a try.

He took a bite.  Paused.  Chewed thoughtfully, appearing to be deep in thought, then announced "NOPE, they are just as bad tasting."  I'm pretty sure he spit it out.  And maybe even gargled a bit and spit into the kitchen sink.  Then he decided that maybe it would be better, the more you ate.  Nope.  Same thing.  He decided to clip 'em shut and save 'em for later.  As in, two or three weeks later, when he suddenly decided to open them up and maybe, just maybe, try 'em again.  And what does he do?  Sticks his head in the bag again, recoiled, and tossed 'em straight into the trash.    Trash which then had to be taken outside because the smell was defiling Jim's beloved pantry.

Moral of the story?  Everyone has their limits.  And for some people, that limit is Shrimp Chips.