Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Feeling of Impending Sneeze

I'm on vacation this week.  We can't take vacation at work in January, February or March, because of the new EMR training, so I figured I'd jump in and take a week off before I can't.  I sent an email to scheduling with the subject line "pick two days", as in pick two consecutive days and let me have them off.  As it was, I got the week.  And so it was that I figured I'd get some organizing done around here, cleaning, and get the garage set up so two cars can get in there.  All in all, having some relaxing days doing stuff that I enjoy.

And then Monday came.  Well, maybe it started on Sunday, when I drove to Vincennes to drop off a couple of chickens (that's a story for another day).  Got home about 8 or so and hit the sack early cause man, I was tired.  So I woke up Monday morning with a stuffy head.  Bleh. Couldn't straighten up very well.  Add to that that I was as tired as all get out and I just decided, what the heck, I'm on vacation, so I'm gonna go back to bed.  So I did.......until 3pm.  Oye vay.  When I got up at 3, I was still so stinkin tired that I just went back to bed again at 5 nnd slept through the night.

This went on for three days.  All in all, I think I was up for a total of maybe 8 hours, and ninety percent of that was spent sitting in bed with my laptop and a stack of patterns around me.  (Part of the goal of this week was to get mega patterns listed on the website.)  Geez Louise!  I've never slept that much in my life.  I had Sudafed, hot toddies (yum), Nyquil, and a big fat pillow to keep me company. Talk about the life of leisure!

But it's the kind of sickness that makes me nutty:  no fever, just a stuffy nose and congestion (dontcha hate that?), really achy joints and extreme, extreme, extreme fatigue.  Heck, I'd have thought mono, except I didn't have a sore throat or swollen glands.  Finally, I talked to my old boss on Facebook, and she reminded me that an RA flare can do this.  BINGO!  I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis earlier this year and although I've had flares of joint pain, I had totally missed the fatigue part.  I followed her recommendations -- stay in bed, lots of Vitamin C, and eat well, and in two to three days it should be better -- and finally today, day four of vacation, I got things accomplished.  Fortunately, it never sunk into my chest, though my asthma disappeared once they realized what had caused it -- latent TB that bought me a year of treatment.  Yeah, it's been a weird year, but I got answers to problems that have plagued me for a long time, so no more joint aches (most days), no more hacking up a lung, and at least knowing how to head it off once it starts.  Knowing the plan of attack is half the battle, yes?

So today, Thomas and I ran around dropping off stuff that I've cleaned out of closets at the DAV, consignment stores, and the like.  I cleaned up part of the garage, thanks to The Heir.  And I even got to spend some time with the girls (as in chickens.  Dinner with The Girls is next week.)  I finally feel productive, though the nose is still running and congested (still hate that), and I have a near constant feeling of an impending sneeze (hate that more that never seems to follow through.  I even got to see my boo tonight -- and he reminded me that I got sick the last time I took vacation, too.  

Hmmmmm...........maybe I need to rethink the whole vacation thing.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Me: "How can you turn off the Macy's parade, Thomas. It's a tradition!"

Thomas: "Well, so was burning witches at the stake, Mother. And you don't see me doing that either."

And also:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Scenes from my world

I was standing in the kitchen this afternoon, talking to Jillie and Michael, and out of the corner of my eye,  Seth and Chris passed silently by the doorway in a full blown sword fight.  Just crossed the doorway and were gone.  I'm sure that Seth was using the wooden sword he got at the international festival, but I have no idea what Chris was using.  All I know is, it was a hilarious thing to see when randomly caught out of the corner of one's eye.

Next thing you know, Seth was in the kitchen joining in the conversation -- they were trying to determine if Thomas was alive or not, because they couldn't remember when he was supposed to be over to go to the movies, but they were sure he was late, and therefore, must be dead.  Suddenly, Chris grabbed him from behind and, without missing a beat, picked him up and backed out of the room, Seth silently flailing like he was prey that got the raw end of the deal. Poof!  He was gone.  Cracked me up.

And Seth just posted on Facebook that Chris just blew his nose and gum came out.  Chew on THAT for a while.

And so it is that go into Thanksgiving, with four young men, one young lady, two dogs, two cats, and a woman who only cooks on holidays and vacation in the house.  And I give thanks for all of it, lock, stock and barrel, because life is pretty darned amazing if we just get out of the way and let it be.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pre-Turkey Day Turkey Day

The Spare.  He is 18.  Today.  At straight up 5pm.  Dear Lord.

He entered the world in the craziest roller coaster ride ever.  He broke both arms before he was 2 1/2, in separate accidents -- neither of which I have heard the real truth about, I'm sure.  He swallowed a quarter and had to have it surgically removed.  I still have the quarter -- and the $3000 hospital bill that went along with it.  He got lost at Vacation Bible School when he was 2 -- they couldn't find him for 45 minutes -- and he had just had surgery that day.  (That's a story for another day.)  He got lost LOTS of times at the Children's Museum, but we virtually always found him in the gift shop, playing with the trains.  He went to Europe, tasted some wine and, as he said "found out I'm a depressed drunk."  To which Thomas replied "that sucks."

He speaks a different language than us, most days, but it is a highly intelligent one that, though it may not make sense at first pass, is actually pretty darned smart.  He has a wicked sense of humor -- even when he doesn't intend to be funny.  He can dance, and it's a very amazing thing to watch when he really breaks loose.  He's has a 3.9 GPA, but doesn't consider himself to be one of the "smart kids," and will argue that point till he's blue in the face.  It's not that he doesn't want to BE one of the smart kids.  He just doesn't think he's in the top echelon.  He's wrong about that, by the way.

He's got a heart as big as the universe, and is a sensitive soul.  He gives great hugs -- frequently -- and would put himself in front of a truck for his mama, I think.  He loves the chickens.  And his cat........oh, Lordie, his cat.  He loves that cat, and that cat loves him.  ::sigh::

And so it is that we celebrate today the birth of Seth.  If I've heard once this week, I've heard a hundred times "you know, I'm gonna be 18 on Saturday."  I know, I know.  He was a little disappointed to hear that although he can now buy lottery tickets, he still can't go into a casino (this is a good thing).  He can now get drafted, buy porn and cigarettes, drive with passengers in the car, and vote (he's quite sad he missed the election by a few weeks, but things turned out ok, so he was fine with it).  He was somewhat dismayed to hear that although he can't go into a strip club yet, he CAN work as a stripper.  And he gave me a little slinky wiggle when he announced that.  Oye vay.

This boy, The Spare, is, and will be, forever my baby.  He makes me proud every day, and makes me laugh even more.  And in between, he makes me smile, because he is Seth.  The one and only.  The brainiac.  Switzerland.  The little brother.  And all around good guy.

Happy birthday, baby boy.  Your mama loves you.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


My boo and I made homemade spaghetti sauce, and canned 26 quarts.  It's a process that took about four days to complete, and I'm still trying to find the space for him to store it all.  It's some pretty amazing stuff though -- full of beef, sausage, veggies, and fresh tomatoes.  Those of our friends who have tasted it have begged for more, and for good reason.  The man can COOK.

We discussed the fact that he needed to come up with a good name and label it, so we could give it away for Christmas.  He called it Cleveland Red,"bottled in the Mistake by the Lake, Parma, OH", labelled one bottle, and left it sitting on the coffee table in my living room.

So, Jill and Michael were home this weekend, to attend a wedding for a friend.  A great time was had by all, and Jim has decided that Seth might just be in demand by every fraternity on whatever campus he lands on, because the boy let it loose.  It was fun to watch the kids out there tearing it up, especially given the fact that Seth was exhausted going in, because he'd been to a lockin at school the night before.  Jillie and Michael went to hang out with friends afterward, Seth came home and, of course, fell asleep on the living room floor, and I hit the sack early.

This morning, Thomas decided to make me breakfast.  He asked me rather nonchalantly "do you smell poop?"  Keep in mind that this is not out of the question when there are three dogs in the house.  Of course, my nose is typically fairly nonfunctional, but yeah, I smelled something that seemed off in the living room.  Neither of us could find the source, but something wasn't right.  I kind of got distracted by the wonderful breakfast, but then Seth came upstairs.  Seth has a nose like a bloodhound -- probably even MORE sensitive -- and he made a beeline out to the living room to see what was up. ( Irony.)

Next thing you know, I hear him say "Mom, come here."  "What?  I'm eating."  "Ummmmm, you need to come here."  So, I wander out there, mildly annoyed that my French scrambled eggs will either a) get cold or b) be eaten by a dog, and find Seth standing in the living room looking up.  I look up, and realize that the ceiling is covered with something red.

It took a minute to register that the stains were spaghetti sauce.

Apparently, we must've not filled that can up far enough, and the pressure built up in the jar until the top blew completely off.  There was spaghetti sauce on the ceiling, walls, tables and carpet, making it look slighly like a murder scene.  I'm still waiting for Shemar Moore to arrive........

I scraped the ceiling off with a spatula, washed the tables and will deal with the few spots on the carpet later -- they were already dried, and they're little enough not to worry about.  I've already called the painter, and will finally get the living room and dining room painted, like I've planned to do since I moved in.

Meantime, I think that we should rename the sauce USMC IED Spaghetti Sauce.  The only sauce that you need a helmet to use.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Apples to Oranges

So, a series of weird things happened this week.  First, Seth asked if Jim and I had plans for Friday.  Of course, I asked why, quickly followed by the inevitable question "are you planning a party?"  This was on Monday.  Thursday, Thomas said something about cooking dinner on Friday.  "For all of us?"  "Well, that's a lot of pressure, but sure."

Chris, as usuall, arrived promptly after school, so I came home to one cooking, and all three boys talking nerd.  One day, I will miss these meetings of the minds, because it's kind of fun when everyone is in the kitchen talking, no matter the subject.  Anyway, Jim arrived shortly after, and I discovered that really, no cooking was going on.  I knew Thomas was feeling the pressure of cooking for everyone, so I didn't push it, but hey, it was after seven before I saw much action going on.  Meantime, I realized that I needed to pay a bill, or it would be late, so I ran back to my room to boot up (my living room is, for some reason, a big ole black hole for the new laptop).  Next thing I knew, Chris was in my room, asking what I was doing, whilst sitting on the exercise bike.  A minute later, I got up to leave, and realized that Chris was blocking my way and messing with my door.  He said he was fixing it, and I was getting a bit annoyed before he got out of the way and let me out -- a little claustrophobic, dontcha know.

So, I wandered down the hall and walked into the entryway.  Glanced toward the living room and saw a familiar profile.  One that wasn't supposed to be here.  WOOHOO!  Jillie was home!  Turned out that everyone but me knew that she was coming, cause she wanted to surprise me.  What a wonderful thing, since I haven't seen her for a few weeks.

So, we had dinner, which included Chicken Marsala, sticky rice (yum!), and string beans (oops, Seth forgot to snap the ends off, but they were good anyway), then settle in for a game of Apples to Apples.  Now, I don't know if you've ever played it, but it's a pretty fun game, and is good for some laughs.  We used to play it with the kids when we went camping, but it had been forever since I'd played.  Good thing, cause we had to explain it to Jim.  Here's kind of how it goes:  you get dealt seven cards.  Each card has a word or a phrase on it.  Someone pulls a card off a different (green) deck, and tosses it down.    That card has an adjective on it.  Each person then tosses out one of their cards, and the first player now has to go through and pick one of the tossed down cards that matches the adjective in whatever way they choose.  Like, say the green card is "Peaceful".  People throw down their cards, which are "war," "rivers", and "pond scum."  A sensible person might choose rivers as the best match, but in our family, it would probably be pond scum.  After the first player makes their choice, the green card is given to the person who laid it down.  The first one to get to seven green cards is the winner.  Now, everyone has their own idea of what they are looking for.  Personally, "ninja" is a sure one for me to choose.  Thomas would choose "Canada."  I can't remember what Jill's favorite card is.  We have to keep Chris' words short, because he had to really, really look when he picked up one that said "incense."  ::sigh::

And so it was the Jillie tossed down the green card "unforgettable."  I think I threw down "the 1920s."   Someone threw down "horseback riding."  Thomas tossed down "Leonardo da Vinci."  I don't remember; the other cards, because what happened afterward was so stinkin funny, I about peed my pants.

Jill, of course, chose "horseback riding."  Anyone who knows her knows that's a sure thing with her.  Thomas promptly brought both fists down hard on the table and shouted "WHAT THE HELL!  HOW IN THE WORLD IS THE SISTINE CHAPEL NOT THE MOST UNFORGETTABLE THING EVER???"

Now, I'm gonna give you a minute to let that register.

And yes, this is my "gifted" kid.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

And now, for your dining pleasure.........Sethanese

So last night, Seth and I were chatting about food.  He was, as always, hungry, because he's almost 18 and is a bottomless pit.  Although I have found that the psychology of putting the healthy stuff on the eye level shelf gets him to eat the good stuff, he still couldn't find something to satisfy him.  This, of course, means that nothing was jumping off said shelf and into his hands.  I gave him a list of things that might work for a snack, and of course they were all shot down.  He finally said "I think I'm just bored with food in general."

I asked him if I needed to worry about an eating disorder.

Then again, this is Seth, whose take on the world is slightly off our orbit -- and I truly, truly love that about him, because as you can tell, he's more than a little entertaining.  So, we wandered into my room, where he jumped on the exercise bike whilst I checked my email.  I gave him the "hey, you're gonna be on your own next year, and so you need to get with the whole idea of actually cooking" talk.  Reminded him that one day, his significant other would greatly appreciate his cooking skills.

Keep in mind -- the boy can cook.  He has made such delicacies as home-made ramen (which he said was good) and candied bacon (which he said was awesome).  He can make some pretty good string beans, and he can properly boil just about any kind of noodle.  So yeah, he's got the basics, but he needs to learn how to put a real meal together, so I started showing him how to find recipes for things that interest him, using websites like,, and heck, just plain google.  Of course, we were searching for recipes that included, of course, ramen, but also found one he actually tried out for breakfast this morning.  It's progress.

All in all, he decided, FINALLY, that he needs to expand his horizons and start trying new foods.  He had asparagus last weekend, for the first time he could recall, and loved it.  And so it was that tonight he told me that he had tried guacamole today.  I can't remember where he said he got it, but I asked him if he liked it.  "It was ok," he said.  "It tastes like liquid lettuce."

Gotta admit, he's kinda right.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Weather, According to Sethanese

So, here I am riding the exercise bike in my room, minding my own business, when The Spare walks in.  Mind you, I am watching my husband, Anderson Cooper, report from the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.  The TV is showing a video of New Jersey which includes footage of a huge area of houses (do they call them housing additions in Jersey?) that are inundated with sand brought in by the storm.  Scary stuff, even if you are watching it from hundreds of miles away.

I said to Seth "can you believe all that sand?  That's just awful."  Seth replied "is that sand?  I thought it was snow."  "Nope, it is sand."  "What the heck?  Did the hurricane do that?"  "Yep."

We sit, silently watching the footage, and taking in the commentary.  Suddenly, Seth says "wait a minute.  What's the name of that hurricane again?"  "Sandy," say I.  "WHOA...........did they do that on purpose?"

Once it sunk in, I laughed for probably about twenty minutes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Knock Knock

Seth told me yesterday, "hey Mom, some creepy guys came to the door and gave me this."  He handed me a card from the Mormons.  Oh heck, they found us.

19 years we lived in the other house, and we never once had a Mormon or a Jehovah's Witness knock on the door.  I used to joke with my boss, because she was a JW.  She would leave on Thursdays and say "I'm off to Bible study, so I can learn to knock on your door."  I would always point out that no JW had ever once knocked on our door.  She would smile and then ask for my address and say she was sending them my way.  They never came.

So how is it that after mere seven months here and they found me?  Well, not JW, but Mormon, but same difference when you already have the Jesus you want in your life.  I need to buy one of these,

but in the meantime, I'm going with the theory that they will go away after the election.  And Seth has been given instructions that should those "creepy guys" show up again, he can dismiss them with something along the lines of  "Don't bother.  We're voting Obama."

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Dinner Isn't Done............

I took out a package of meat out of the freezer over the weekend, fully intending to take advantage of the grill.  I wasn't sure what it was at first, but the label said ribeyes.  I had bought them some time back when my boo was over making dinner, but it turned out he showed up with New York Strip steaks, so the ones I bought went back into the freezer.  Well, I didn't get around to cooking this weekend, because of course, he cooked, so the steaks sat there for the past couple of days.

Not one to let a nice slab of meat go bad, I figured I'd make 'em into fajitas for the spare to the throne.  He's not a huge fan of steak, but he does love fajitas, so that was the plan.  Then I realized that Thomas was off work, and my boo had made chili for me out at his house.  What better way for the boys to bond than over steaks?  It's a guy thing, right?  So I texted Thomas and asked him over.  Sure, no problem.

Next thing you know, he showed up at my house with a backpack.  He laughed and said he was pulling a Jim, because Jim tends to show up here with his own spices and pans -- he's particular about his cooking, dontcha know.  Thomas pulled out a cast iron skillet and a bunch of spices from his backpack, and said he was gonna show Seth how to cook like a man.  When I went out the door, there were three fat ribeyes on the cutting board, with the heir to the throne hovering over them.

Ten minutes later, my phone rang.  It was Seth.  I picked it up, and heard a horrendous wailing noise and Seth.  Seth yelling, to be exact.  Yelling "WHY IS THE SMOKE DETECTOR DOING THIS?????"

Sometimes, a mother just doesn't want to know.

Monday, October 08, 2012

My Oppa

My boo is obsessed with Gangnam Style.  When he says he watches it several times a day at work, I believe him.  He said he watches it when he needs a lift, and frankly, I'm pretty sure that if you don't smile when you watch Psy, you probably aren't human.

So here's how we spent our evening:  Seth decided he wanted meat loaf for dinner, so I made meat loaf and amazing mashed potatoes (shout out to you, Thomas, but you're off carbs anyway), green beans, topped it off with Seth's gravy, and we were set.  Well, my boo had had an uber busy day at work and didn't get lunch, so he stuffed himself at dinner, and promptly thought he needed a nap.  He wanted to get home at a reasonable work night hour, so I started cruising youtube to find him something energetic.

He loves him some Gaga, so first I played the ever classic, ever amazing "Bad Romance," which is his favorite.

This, of course, led him into his Gangnam Style fixation, so we started cruising various versions of it.  There are parodies, live versions, and even a Dr Who version, which is now posted on Seth's Facebook wall.  (It takes a long time to load such a short video.)

Somehow, in the middle of this, there was quite the exercise in trying to make "Bad Romance" lyrics that would work for a choir anthem.  And then he broke out in "Gangnam Style," almost verbatim.  To say I was impressed would be an understatement, but I'm not sure how that will play out when we're both in hell for the whole "Bad Romance" thing.  Somehow we figured that mentioning the disciples and the Jerusalem in a Gaga song might give us a nonstop trip to The Bad Place, but we sure did laugh over how it turned out, and I was quite blown away by his ability to lyricize on the fly.

And what, one asks, does "Oppa Gangnam Style" mean?  Well, Oppa can mean anything from older brother to older male friend.  Gangnam is the ritzy part of Seoul.  And Style is, well, style.  So basically, it's Sugar Daddy Stylin.  Like my boo:  a stylin' sugar daddy.  Well, if that shoe doesn't fit, then I don't know what does.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Yep. It's catching.

Yes, Sethanese is definitely catching. Here's our conversation in the car today. Keep in mind that I was very deep in thought.

 Seth: "Mom, what time is it?"

Me:  "Today?"

Seth: ::speechless:: ::blank look::

 All hope is lost. It's catching.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I can hardly believe that I became a mother 23 years ago today.  It started as something on Oprah -- the ex and I watched some episode about older parents, and he decided that we needed to have a baby immediately, so that he wasn't too old to play with it.

We were 26.

And then we waited.  I finally became a bit suspicious, and stopped at the lab on my way out of work at Orlando Regional.  I talked the lab tech into drawing a pregnancy test on me, with promises to call me at home with the results, once the test was done.  Well, dontcha know, it was positive.  Now, way back when, I had asked the ex how he wanted me to go about telling him, should we ever actually have the stick turn pink.  He said he just wanted me to hand him something to do with a baby, and he would know.  So I ran to the store and bought a baby bib.  I think it said   I Heart Daddy. Ironically, on the way home, the radio was playing Danny's Song, by Anne Murray: "People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one, and we've just begun, Think I'm gonna have a son...."

We were living in an apartment at the time, so I went home, tied the baby bib to the door knocker, and then just waited.  After a while, in walks the ex, who says "what the heck is that thing hanging on the door?"  "What," I said, in my most innocent tone.  "I don't know," he said, while he opened the door and pointed.  "I don't know -- get it off of there and see."  "Oh, it's a baby thing.  What the heck is that doing there?"  I just looked at him.  Raised a brow even.  Waited.  And waited.  "What?""I'm pregnant."

It took a minute to register, and then the questions began.  Who did the test?  How reliable was it?  Was the person properly trained?  Was I sure?  And then the all time favorite --- "can I call my mom?"  All-righty then.  (This scene was replayed -- in its entirety -- about a year later when I found out I was pregnant with Jill.  And again it ended with "can I call my mom?"  It still cracks me up.)

That fall, I gave birth to the happiest, quietest baby ever to grace the planet.  He's still pretty quiet, and definitely happy.  He looks a lot more like Grizzly Adams now.  But one day, if I'm very, very lucky, he will find the right girl, and have a conversation that ends with "can I call my mom?"

Happy birthday, Thomas.  Your mama loves you.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Oh, Brother..........brothers.

It's interesting to watch the dynamic of brothers evolve, especially from the mom's side.  I never got to watch that with my own brothers, because I was the youngest, so it was already established by the time I came around.  And since I've never been a brother, I can't speak from first hand experience.

It's different with a brother and sister.  I remember when Jill was born.  She would sit there in her swing, with that bald head and huge blue eyes.  Swinging her would make her mad most of the time, so she just sat there, watching the world go round.  Thomas was 14 1/2 months old when she was born, and had just started to walk, so he would toddle up and watch her.  They were almost face to face when he did, and he watched her in rapt attention, silent, studying this new face.  Then suddenly, his arm would fly back and he would smack her BAM!  Right across the face.  And if you didn't get to him quick enough, he'd do it again, because usually she hadn't gotten a cry out yet.  I'm 100% convinced that he thought she was a doll that cried when he smacked her.  She was not amused.

It was different with Seth.  Thomas had just turned five when Seth was born, so there was a bit of maturity, or whatever you want to call it.  I'm sure he was interested, but I don't remember that much.  I do remember that by the time he was six or seven, Thomas would remark at how odd it was that they got along so well.  He attributes it to them having the same interests -- they do -- and Seth's demeanor, which is much the same as Thomas' -- chill.  Granted, they aren't exactly the same, mind you, but they do have a lot in common. 

Take this afternoon, for instance.  Thomas stopped by to say hi and to borrow my power adaptor for my car.  He got talking to Seth about a TV show that he is watching.  Now, Thomas has literally been trying to get the boy to watch this show for MONTHS.  He guaranteed him that he was going to love it, but somehow, his cajoling wasn't working.  He practically begged him to watch it at one point.  He finally resorted to telling him that every time he came over, he was going to punch him if he hadn't watched it yet. 

And he did.  Seth got punched in the arm more than a time or two.  To be fair, he was warned every time, he knew it was coming, and there was always laughter involved.  He even ducked a couple of times and got away, but it was always there when he came back:  a single punch to the right deltoid, as a reminder to do what the bro said.  Then one day, he gave up.  He said it was futile, so why bother.  The brother was not going to listen to his words of wisdom.  He sighed and looked melancholy.  The influence of the older brother seemed to have left the building. 

Well, somehow this weekend, he decided to watch it.  I'm still not sure what the trigger was, but he watched an entire season twice in the same weekend, between him and Chris doing nerd stuff, checking on the chickens, and of course, the two of them eating me out of house and home.  He's hooked.

So Thomas stopped by today, and was blown away.  "Mom, do you know what Seth did?  He watched the whole season in two days."  Seth said "twice."  Thomas looked amazed and said "you watched it twice?"  "Yeah.  It's really good.  You need to bring me season 2."  Thomas just shook his head.  He just hasn't realized, some things take time, while the idea germinates around in that head for a while.

Seth promptly went to Facebook and offered to loan the DVDs to a friend from school.  Said friend swore he will bring the DVDs back.  If not, Thomas may go back to plan one:  a punch every time he's here until the DVDs arrive.  Brothers.....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sethanese, Otherwise Called My Land of Confusion

So, I picked up a prescription for today.  The Spare to the Throne was in the kitchen when I opened it.  Ever looking for the teachable moment,  I reminded him that anytime you get a prescription, especially if it looks different than the last one you had, you should check the bottle's description and make sure you have the right pill.  "What do you mean" asked the boy.  "Read the label.  It should have a description of what the pill looks like."

He says:  "on the front of the pill, there is a 20.  On the back of the pill is.....hey.  How am I supposed to tell which side is the front, and which side is the back?" 

"Seth, the front has a 20 on it." 

"But what if the 20 is actually on back, and the other numbers are on the front?  I mean, the front and the back could be transposed, and then I take the wrong pill, could be cyanide."


"See Mom, this is what I mean.  Look at this other bottle.  It says "one side of the pill has a 297 on it, and the other has UNI.  They don't differentiate front and back.  I find it all very confusing."

And then he just grins that grin that says AHA, and walks out of the room, leaving his mother to realize that, one year from now, he will be living in a dorm somewhere, and I will have no cheap source of entertainment.  Or confusion.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Not all memories are bad

I remember September 11, 2001.  We found out about the first plane hitting the towers when the ex called his dad to ask if he could use his AAA to get his car towed.  We watched,horrified,  as the events transpired over the course of the next few days.  I was glad that my kids were homeschooled at the time, because I knew that nothing bad would get to them as long as we were all together.

But as horrible as that day was, I remember something funny too.  (Of course.) 

Jill was supposed to start soccer that day.  It was the first time she was playing.  She was 10 years old, and had never played sports, but she wanted to try it out.  She was a dabbler, trying tumbling for a few weeks, violin for about six months, and piano for two years -- from a teacher who, ironically enough, was in the airport in New York when the planes hit the towers.  Her story of getting home was amazing.  In either event, Jill was going to have her first soccer practice on September 11.

I called them and said "Jill's not going to be at practice today."  The girl who answered the phone said "honey, NO ONE is gonna be here today."  I said "no, you don't understand.  She broke her toe at McDonald's yesterday, so she won't be there at all.  The doctor said she can't play for at least six weeks."  We shared a laugh over that, on a day when laughs were few and far between. 

Never forget.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Red and Orange of It

The goal for this weekend is to go through it with my hair being the same color all weekend.  So far, so good.

Last weekend, I came to the realization that I was not going to pay someone to do my hair, at least not for now.  I love the girl who's been doing it, but I just can't seem to get across to her that my hair is supposed to be RED.  The first time or two, she nailed it, but since then, it's been shades of brown, to the point where Jim has lamented the departure of my normal color.  I'm paying $100 a pop for it, and to not have it be right is not making me a happy camper, because funds are short when one has a kid in college, you know?

And so it was that I found myself in the hair color aisle at Walgreens.  Granted, I used to always color my hair myself, but I hadn't done it in a while, and wasn't sure how to color it over a color.  I had read that you can strip the color out and start from scratch, so that's what I decided to do.  I found the L'Oreal Hair Color Remover, then found a shade of red I wanted to try.  Now, this red was a bit lighter than the one I've used in the past.  It was named some kind of reddish blonde, and usually I use "lightest auburn," but my hair was starting out darker than usual, so I figured I was safe.  Well, not so.

I used the color remover, and kind of followed the instructions.  It said that if your hair was supposed to be red or brown, to strip it down till the color looked reddish yellow.  Well, me being me, I lost track of time, and when I went to check, it was already yellow.  Well, that was ok, cause what's a little lighter, really?   Well, when I say yellow, I mean it was banana yellow.  But the box says to color right over it immediately, so I went right to it.  When I got done, I looked like something right out of one of my new favorite movies, "The Fifth Element:"

Yep.  Bright orange.  And we were going out for drinks in an hour.  Oh well, the bar was gonna be dark, and we were gonna be with good friends, so oh well, live large.  Jim came to pick me up and after he sucked in some air, said "WHOOOOOOOA!"  That was quickly followed by "you're not going out like that, right?"  Well, I told him I'd go get a new color and redo if I needed to, because we had about 45 minutes, and it only takes about twenty to color.  He said no, just leave it alone, but his face was not convincing.  I decided what the heck, I was gonna get my punk on for a night, and off we went to the bar.  Amazingly, when our friends showed up, they didn't think it looked more red than usual.  It was either the dark or the drinks, or just plain charity on their part, cause wow.  It was orange.

The next day, I toddled off to Walgreens again -- orange hair and all -- and then had to decide, yet again, how to go about coloring colored hair.  I was concerned that if I tried to remove the color again, my hair would never forgive me, so I planned to dye over what was there.  But then the problem arose.  What color does one choose?  I mean, the box shows what color you're starting at, vs where it will end up, but none of them show the starting color as crayon orange.  So, I just took a wild guess, grabbed a box of red brown, and went off to color again.

It's now a dark auburn -- a few shades lighter than it should be, but at least the red is back.  I mean, I don't feel like myself without the fire in my hair, even if it is not as bright as it should be.  My hair has been fighting back this week, as flat as a pancake, so I'll be leaving it alone this weekend. 

Maybe next time, I'll do the easier thing and just go blue.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Gift

One year ago, a woman passed, and she left me a great gift. I never met her, but I'm told that I would have liked her, and she probably would have liked me. I'm told that we had some things in common, including the fact that we both were determined to be nurses since childhood, and we both loved it from day one. I'm told that she was an amazingly funny person, and that she didn't take any crap off of anyone. She spoke her mind when she needed to, but she loved pople, and they loved her.

I'm told that she was sometimes a bit of a fashionista.  She had a thing for shoes, and left dozens of shoes behind, in size 8 1/2, just like I wear. I'm told that she switched purses with the seasons, and probably more. She did some time as a Mary Kay lady, and would do her "Mary Kay" face for special occasions, but not every day. She liked to cook, and made nut rolls en masse at Christmas time, not only as gifts for friends, but also to maintain the family tradition. Her calendar still hangs in her house -- with scenic photos accompanied by scripture verses, with dates including handwritten notes of birthdays and anniversaries, sometimes accompanied by hearts, carefully written in beautiful script. She was a detail person.

She was a breast cancer survivor, and the Race For the Cure was something of a family tradition. She wore a pink boa, and her family grinned alongside her in photos. She was a lifelong Lutheran. She loved her retirement job as a parish nurse, and organized blood drives at her church that likely saved dozens of lives.

It was that same church that was packed a year ago for her funeral service. She hadn't been sick for long, but she knew that she was dying. Still, her death came as a surprise when it happened -- much sooner than anyone was prepared for. It devastated those who knew her, not just because of how suddenly it happened, but by the sheer fact that she wouldn't be here anymore, with her wicked sense of humor, and her shoulder to cry on. The pastor gave a beautiful eulogy, but truthfully, words are probably inadequate for describing a person who impacted so many lives, isn't it?

I believe that things happen for a reason, and sometimes things, or people, are sent our way for reasons we can't comprehend. Those people are sent by God, or angels, our departed loved ones, or some mystical spirit that knows better than we do what it is that we need at that place and time. And so it was that she sent me a gift. His name is Jim, and he has changed my life. He is a gift and for that reason, I will be totally forever indebted to a not-so-complete stranger whose death broke so many hearts, but healed one.

Rest in peace, dear one.  Rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

You Know What's Funny?

Watching a chicken eat a lemon.

Several friends are saving their table scrap fruits and veggies for the chickens.  I have found that they will eat cantaloupe down to a rind so thin you can almost see through it.  They will grab and entire tomato and run off with it like it's a Faberge egg.  I haven't figured out whether they like lemons or not, but after watching them today, I think not.

In the past, I usually just dump a bunch of stuff in at the same time, and let them pick out what they want.  I find some leftovers later on:  onion peels, the aforementioned cantaloupe rind, and citrus peels.  OK, so they aren't crazy about the peels, and that's ok.  I've seen them picking at the innards at times, so I knew they weren't absolutely averse to them.  But a friend of mind made two gallons of homemade lemonade for his granddaughter's birthday party.  (Now, that is love.  Or a total lie.  I'm still threatening to check his trash for the Corona bottles...)  I was the happy recipient of the leftover lemons, and you know what they say -- when life gives you lemons, give 'em to the chickens.

I tossed some into the pen with Shawna and Beyonce today.  They're the two bad girls, so they are out in the pen most of the day, to keep them from eating eggs.  We had just moved the coop the other day, and I cleaned it out of all of the leftover yucky stuff, so I wasn't jumping at the chance to add the peels and have to do the whole thing all over again.  I stayed around to watch, curious to see what the reaction to the lemons really was.  It was hilarious.

I threw a couple down, and they landed upside down.  The chickens sniffed them and then turned up their noses.  From past experience, I figured it was that they didn't want the peels, so I flipped them over so they could get to the guts, then added a couple more.  The girls wandered over, looked over the situation (probably sniffing it, but I couldn't tell), then gave a tentative peck.  Their heads immediately shuddered, then they backed up, put their heads to the ground and started wiping their face on the ground, first one side, then the other.  Vigorously.

Picture a chicken shuddering and madly wiping its face on the ground.  It's free entertainment that guarantees a laugh, trust me.  So yeah, I spend my time after work watching chickens doing stupid things, but trust me, it's a great bonding experience for me and the girls.

Even if Shawna is definitely headed for the chopper.  Beyonce?  I'm not quite sure yet.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stay of Execution

So, I have chickens.  I got six back on Palm Saturday.  One went to chicken heaven a couple of weeks later, leaving me with five.  They are White Rocks, and they are very sweet.  A couple of weeks ago, I decided to add a couple more, so I got two Red Star Sex Links and a Barred Rock, plus two baby Easter Eggers.  The Red Star (Thelma and Louise) and the Barred Rock (Mabel) were already laying, so we have been having a nice little influx of eggs.  At least one of the White Rocks (as yet unnamed, but keep reading) is laying now, so we get to have eggs a lot. 

The only problem is that two of the White Rocks are chicken stalkers.  As soon as one of the laying girls goes up into the coop, the two stalkers follow them up.  As soon as the egg hits the coop, you can hear peck, peck, peck, and those two bad girls eat the eggs.  BAD girls, I tell you.

Now, I have read all of the solutions to this problem, and they are few.  I put a couple of Easter eggs in the coop with them, and they rolled one of them right down the ramp, just to let me know that they knew it was fake.  Add to it that the girls don't lay early like the books say they should.  They lay between 11 and 2, which makes it impossible for me to stalk the coop to grab the eggs during the day.  It's been a challenge.

I had built a little pen for the girls to free range in during the day, but they fly out, so the past couple of days, I hung a sheet over the top to keep them in, till I could figure something better out.  This, while reading up on how to butcher a chicken, just to keep my options open.  But every time I put the girls into the pen, one of them flies out, and sometimes two.  I sat out there for a couple of hours this morning -- it's really quite relaxing to watch them -- and watched as the same silly bird kept escaping.  And yep, she was one with egg yolk all over her.  Busted!  So I quarantined her to the garage.  Then another one kept doing the same thing.  One with even more egg yolk on her than the first.  ERRRGH!  So I threw her into the garage as well, and figured I would deal with her after church this evening.

Seth had been gone all day to GENCON, so when I got home, he was back, and one of his buddies was here.  I yelled down the stairs and asked if they wanted to help me execute a couple of chickens.  Seth said now, very quickly followed by his buddy yelling "I want to."  They came flying up the stairs.  Seth asked how I wanted it done.  I told him I'd been doing a lot of research, and couldn't decide.

The quickest way to do it would be to use my stun gun, but at a million volts, I'd be afraid that she'd explode, and what kind of bloody mess would that be?  Seth's jaw dropped.  Nick thought it was a cool idea, then silently picked up a hammer that was sitting on the kitchen counter and looked at me with an eyebrow raised.  "That's another option," I said.  "Yeah, or we could hit them on the head with a baseball bat," Nick said.  At this point, I told him he might be a little too enthusiastic, and if he ends up being a serial killer, I am not taking responsibility for it.  So he started coming up with other interesting ways to send the girls to their demise.  This included dropping the garage door on them -- which would work, since I have an old garage door that doesn't stop if anything is under it.  Seth said no way, because that was just plain freaking him out.  I told them it would be too hard to hold the chicken down so that it worked, and that it was cruel.  I suggested the old bop 'em on the head, wring their necks, or the broomstick trick.

I think it was at this point that Nick suggested burying them alive, and Seth pronounced that that was one of his nightmare ways of dying:  being buried alive, or drowning.  I added dying in a fire, which Seth said wasn't as bad, because "at some point your nerves would die, and it would stop hurting."  No comfort, man.  No comfort.  Nick said that it would be even worse if some good Samaritan decided to rescue you.  "Hey man, my eyes got burned off, I'm missing four fingers, but hey, thanks."  

Meantime, Seth and I were still sitting there holding the chickens. 

His argument was that we'd raised them since they were babies, and we just couldn't kill them.  To him, that was even more true since they aren't fat enough to eat.  He said if we were gonna eat them, it would be different, so I said we could kill 'em but it would be too much work for the little amount of meat it would give us.  He said we needed to eat their bones, or we couldn't do it at all.  Nick decided at this point that he couldn't kill them, rendering his future as a serial killer useless.  And meantime, we are still sitting there holding the stalker chickens.

I told them that we could try clipping their wings so that they couldn't fly out of the pen, and try leaving them out during the day while the other girls laid their eggs, and see what happened, but if they kept causing problems, they have to go.  They agreed to this, but we couldn't tell these girls from the other White Rocks, so I grabbed some nail polish and some scissors.  We clipped their wings and painted their legs and a stripe on their heads, then tossed them into the pen.

The two stalkers have been named Beyonce (because her nail polish is blue, like Ivy Blue) and Shawna (and if you don't know why, don't ask, but Seth said he wouldn't have as much of a problem killing Shawna).  Meantime, the patio looks like a chicken massacre, because you know what?  Feathers aren't easy to sweep up.  And the girls are back in the coop with a stay of execution that will last only as long as it takes before they eat an egg.

And we still haven't decided how to do it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Some Things Are Never Outdated.

My mother-in-law, God rest her soul, and I had a little game we played.  Whenever I was at the in-law's house, I would do two things:  count the number of sour cream containers in the fridge and, at least once a year, check the medicine cabinet to find the most outdated item.

This was an interesting game, because though they averaged three sour cream containers, I once found five.  Granted, there was some Polish in their lineage, but five containers is a LOT of sour cream.  Seth apparently got the sour cream gene, because he enjoys it on most anything.  That, and honey mustard.

The medicine cabinet was a bit more tricky.  The first time I cleaned it out, I found meds that were nine years past the expiration date.  This means that after that, I should never have found anything that was expired more than a year, right?  Wrong.  Somehow, I would always find something that was five or six years gone.  I never understood it, but was always interested to see what was gonna show up from year to year.

And so it was that today, the mother in law came to mind.  Mind you, I will probably always refer to her as my mother in law, despite the fact that her son is now the ex, because she was my mother in law when she passed away and, quite frankly, would probably roll over in her grave at the events of the past two years.  We had a special bond, because we both faced the special challenges of being married to an Utter man.  She alternatively drove me nuts and made me laugh, but she was the Utter Mother, and understood some of the challenges I faced.

So tonight, my boo was making dinner (I tried, I really did, but the man likes to cook, and I like to clean up.  It works.).  I was setting the counter (we were eating in the kitchen), and pulled out the tartar sauce.  Now, I knew that I had a brand new container, but thought maybe we'd finish up the old one.  My boo has a thing about not wanting to scrape the bottom of the barrel to finish stuff, where I will use the last tiny bit of the contents of the container.  I figured I would check before he said something, and maybe get rid of it, because I knew the container had been around for a long time. 

The label said "use before 28 Oct 2009."  I pulled out the new one.

It wasn't till I was cleaning up after dinner that I realized that today was the mother in law's birthday.  And so it is that I'd like to think that somewhere out there, Yvonne is laughing, thinking I have taken over the game, and that someday, my own daughter in law will play along with me.

RIP Yvonne. And just so you know, I have two containers of sour cream in my fridge.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Philosophy Class

Jill is pretty intense in her feelings about the pending Zombie Apocalypse.  Here is her Zombie Apocalypse plan, written in rather great detail during Philosophy class last year.  I found it interesting, for a number of reasons:

1.  I am missing from her team.  Me.  The one who gave birth to her.  The nurse.  I told her hey, you let our friend the doctor on it.  Everyone knows a doctor needs a nurse.  I was informed that she only needed a doctor to tell her if people are infected, so she doesn't need a nurse.  And that sorry, I still wasn't on the team, despite having given birth to her.  Hmph.

2.  Her roommate is not on the list.  I asked if there was a height requirement for her team, because Ashley is a bit vertically challenged.  I was informed that no, Ashley isn't on the team, because Ashley is bait.  Geez, maybe I'm glad I'm not on the list after all.

3.  She left Seth's BFF Chris, who has been known as Fourth Child for some time, off the team.  This boy has been friends with Seth since they were 8 months old, sitting on Zoe Martinez in the nursery at church.  Chris, who has spent almost every weekend at our house for literally years.  He's not on the team.  Talk about disrespect.  She wants him to be in her wedding some day, but not on the Zombie Apocalypse team.  Shameful.

But I will say that I like what she says about Walmart.  And saving a puppy.  Sometimes you don't ask why. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What We Seem to Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate

So, my boo and I were driving to church this morning.  He is something of a backseat driver (::cough cough::).  I took my normal route through the country because I like the view.  He likes a different route, but understands why I take the one I do.  We were discussing the fact that we'd both like to have a little piece of land with a creek running through it.  Then we passed a house that had a piece of furniture in the front yard.  It had a FREE sign on it.

Now, let me say, I have the ugliest couch on earth.  When I got divorced, I got rid of the furniture the ex picked out, making it a part of The Great Purge.  I figured I'd get new living room furniture at some point.  Well, when I walked thru the house I'm renting, there was a couch in the living room.  I asked if it came with the house, figuring I could use it as a temporary couch, then move it to the basement for Seth's game room.  Well, there it still sits in the living room.  And did I mention that it is likely the ugliest couch on earth?

This couch is very long -- you could probably sit five people on it.  It's brown and orange 70s crushed velvet.  But what's the boy care?  It's gonna go in a gaming room with a bunch of teenaged boys.  No big deal.  Except it's still in the living room.  It's also probably the most uncomfortable couch on earth.  Add to that that unless you position yourself  just right, you can slide right off of it.  I havenearly done just that  a time or two.  I believe that the boo has landed on the floor at least once.  And so it is that we've been discussin new furniture.  I just haven't done it yet, because of course, something always comes up, like school registration, or summer school, or medical bills or well......a litany of things.  And technically I do have a couch.  And I'm a procrastinato.  And I have low standards for my living space right now, until I figure out where my permanent space will be.

And so, getting back to the ride to church:  there it was.  One the front lawn of a farm house, in the middle of Hancock County, Indiana.  And I saw it.  And I read the sign.

Me: "Free Couch."
Boo: "What are you freaking out about?"
Me:  "What?  Not free cow.  I said free couch."
Boo:  "I didn't say free cow.  What the heck are you talking about?"
Me:  "I was reading that sign."
Boo:  "They had a free cow?  Why are they  giving away a free cow?"
Me:  "NO.  Free COUCH.  They had a FREE COUCH."
Boo:  "Oh, I thought you were saying freak out.  You need to enunciate better.  You  confused me."

I'm used to Sethanese, but the Boo-gity Boo-gity, I'm still getting used to.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Some Things Are Just Not Optional

We went to school for registration tonight, and sat through all the boring stuff, like listening to how the kids need to come to school, then STAY in school (as in, don't leave for Starbucks after your parents drop you off), and how to behave while you're there.  And yes, they did the whole dress code spiel:  keep your pants pulled up, wear a belt, wear your lanyard, or we'll send you to detention/send you home/call your mommy/etc. (which never happens).  Mr. Ballard did his yearly "we're getting you ready for the real world, where you will have to be on time, and wear what they tell you to wear" lecture.

And then we walked out of the room.  Walking directly in front of us was someone's daughter who, on this evening, elected to leave home wearing skin tight low rise leggings and a cut off handkerchief hem off the shoulder top.  Yeah.  Girlfriend was rockin a full tilt street hoe look, right there in the halls of the school  Now,I don't care if you dress in vintage, camo, hip hop or basketball shorts.  I don't care if you rock a look that's punk, goth, indie, hip hop, or steampunk.  Pants are simply not optional in my world.

I know that many people think that the downfall of the world started years ago when women got the vote.  Maybe you think it all started when women got jobs, or took the pill, or burned their bras.  Heck, maybe you even think it's as simple as when women stopped wearing dresses every day and started wearing pants.  Yes, I can remember the days when girls had to wear dresses to school, and even I must say I miss those days, to a certain extent.  Some were scandalized that girls were being trained to wear pants, but we did it anyway.

It's no real surprise to anyone that I love the early 50s look, when women were women, and foundation garments were as pretty as what you wore on top of them, and functioned as a strange form of armor.  Despite that, I'm sure that I'm not the only woman who is glad that we have pantyhose nowadays, versus fighting with garter belts and girdles.  I like a nice comfortable pair of jeans, but am annoyed that now they make them so long, for the girls who rock stilettos with them, and I actually have to hem them, instead of wearing them off the rack.  I'm 5'6 1/2" for heaven's sake.  I haven't had to hem pants since the seventh grade, but I do it anyway.  But that is an annoyance that one has to deal with when one wears pants.

But at least I wear pants.  I don't go out in yoga pants, though I will wear them around the house.  I wear pajama pants, but let me clarify a bit:  pajama pants are not pants.  They are pajamas. They are not to be worn to the grocery store, Target, or anywhere where there is not a bed within about ten feet.  Girls who do this -- because guys do NOT do this -- make me sad. 

And so it is that we return to Seth's school, home of the aforementioned girl, pantsless, at orientation, where I pointed out to Seth that he had best not EVER bring home a girl like that to me, unless all hope of his mother filtering her speech will be lost, the minute I lay eyes on a specimen lik that.  Because, as I told him, we have standards, especially for anyone he would choose to bring into our fold.  They aren't terrigly high standards, because I am a pretty laid back person, but one of those standards is -- wait for it -- PANTS.  I pointed out to him that his sister has gauged Seth's past girlfriends by how scared of her they are, and that Jill would relish the chance to scare off a skanky pantsless girl. It'd bring a whole new meaning to a hoe down.

I think he gets the point.

Monday, July 09, 2012

50 Reasons to Love Being 50

I turn 50 on July 11, so I've been thinking of what it all means, great philospher that I am.  I've never, ever thought a number means anything as it pertains to age.  Age is much more -- it's the wisdom and experiences we accumulate along the way.  The ex had something of an emotional meltdown when he turned 40.  He spent the next several monthstelling me "it's ok, you can talk to me about it.  I know what it feels like."  But you know what?  40 didn't bother me a bit.

My feeling is that I am where I'm supposed to be in life, no matter where that is.  I have a 50 year old's experiences, and I think that's pretty cool.  I have kids that have their own lives, for the most part, and that's even more cool.  They're each embarking on their own individual journeys -- each one very different from the next -- and I love to see what happens each day.  They're pretty cool kids, and I'd like to think I had some part in that.  And if not, I'm just fine being a bystander.  One day, I might even be a grandma, and get to watch them take over the role of parent.

All in all, life is just pretty cool.

So I started thinking of what I would say, if someone asked me just what the heck has been so great about my past 50 years.  I still don't really know the answer, but here's some things off the top of my head.

  • I still have all of my teeth.  The dental hygienist always tells me how much she loves to clean my teeth, because they are so perfect, and I thank her for that.  (And thanks, Drs Tinsley and  Darbro.  Those four years of braces were worth it.)
  • I don't believe in Botox.  I think 50 would suck if you did botox in your 30s.  I think if you'd been doing it for so long, like so many of the celebrity types, that when you hit 50, your face would suddenly sag as a unit, and probably would look like it was melting.  No sir.  I'll take my crows feet.  And sunscreen.
  • AARP membership.  And the beginning of senior discounts.  Cause cheaper is, in this case, better.  
  • My colourist, because I came into this world as a redhead, and I will leave as one.  Just don't look too carefully at the roots.  I consider my red hair to be a warning.  It's something like a public service announcement, like when they announce tornadoes or hurricanes.  REDHEAD APPROACHING!  EVERYBODY BACK UP! You know you would.
  • Manicures.  Because I have time for them now.  And pedicures, because I want my toes to look good, while I can still see them.
  • Infertility.  I don't care if it's from a pill, a sponge, a surgery, or a bolt of lightening.  Life is good when you no longer have to worry about a dead rabbit.
  • A king sized bed.  I want to say, when I got divorced, one of the first things I did was to go out and buy a new bed and new bedding.  I considered burning the old stuff, but figured the fire department wouldn't take too kindly to my version of a controlled burn.  They seem to have very little sense of humor about these things, so I gave the whole thing, lot and parcel, to Jill, and got my own acre of bed.  Man oh man, do I love that king sized bed.  It's amazingly comfortable, and will accommodate a dog, a teenaged kid who wants to chat, a cat who thinks she owns the place and, in reality, a small city.  Go big or go home, man.
  • The internet.  Because when you get to a certain age, certain things make you crazy.  For example, you watch TV for an evening.  You see a familiar face on a commercial, but who the heck is it? Where did you see her before?  That kind of thing makes me NUTS.  The internet has been very helpful in expanding my collection of useless trivia.  
  • George Clooney.
  • My chickens.  Because they are so amazingly fun that I can't imagine life without them.  Even if they never lay a single egg, they are so worth it.  And no, they will never be dinner.
  • LOST.  Because I could watch that series a thousand times, and always find something new.  Some day, you will find me in the nursing home saying "we have to go back," and repeating seemingly nonsensical numbers.  And I'm ok with that.
  • Dogs.  I still miss my Timmy every day -- he will one day have his ashes spread with mine, wherever that may be.  Boo is a quirky nutjob who would obtain a DNA sample of anyone who tried to mess with me, but he's a baby.  And Rocky?  Well, he's cute as all get out, entertaining as hell, but maddening.  I'll miss him when he goes to Evansville.
  • Teenaged boys.  Because they are hilariously stupid.  You can mess with them, and no one cries.  They are intensely funny, and more protective than Boo.  They do, however, tend to eat an awful lot.  
  • Thrift stores.  Because there's nothing like the thrill of the chase.  And it's pretty funny to find something "vintage" that you had in high school.  It keeps one solidly grounded.
  • Good jewelry.  I've started to buy myself some pieces of jewelry that I really like, since I sold my rings for gold after the ex moved out.  The stones are all in a little envelope, but they will never grace my finger/neck/wrist again.  Instead, I bought myself a beautiful vintage amethyst ring that I wear on my left hand.  I call it my divorce ring, since I got it the day the divorce was final.  I also bought a gorgeous blue topaz a few months later.  I don't consider myself a materialistic person -- I'm actually quite the opposite -- but I do enjoy pretty things.  Plus:  SHINY.
  • Veggie Tales.  Because they remind me of when the kids were little, and they are just so stinkin happy.  And the memory of my kids bellowing "We Are the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" just makes me smile.  Intensely.  Also, The Song of the Cebu.
  • Comfortable shoes.  Because I have nothing to prove anymore.  Wearing stilettos would make me look pretty desperate at this stage of the game, plus the world might tilt on its axis when I fall off of them.  I wear flats.  Proudly.  And an occasional wedge.  And I'm just fine with that.  
  •  Audrey Hepburn.  Because she was the epitome of grace, beauty, and charm.  There will be imitators.  Many will try, and fail.  
  • Snow.  Because it makes me happy.  Especially when accompanied by a day off, a good book, a blanket, and my boo's special coffee recipe.  That right there might just be the perfect day.
  • Cooking, or the lack thereof.  I can choose to cook or not now.  I'm a pretty decent cook when I put my mind to it.  I'm not a natural cook.  I need recipes, (See: Internet)  but I can cook.  And bake.  But if I don't want to (which is often), I don't.  But hey, my boo does.  So I got it covered either way.  And the kids appreciate the miracle when it happens.
  • Moisturizer.  Because I have used moisturizer religiously since I was a teenager, and I get told all the time how young I look.  I remember an interview with Nora Ephron once, where she said that no one tells you about your neck.  They tell you that your face will get wrinkled, but they never mention your neck, and that neck wrinkles can't be lifted/peeled/prayed away.  So I moisturize there too, and have not, as of this writing, developed a turkey neck.
  • I Love Lucy.  And the Three Stooges.  Because who could imagine a world without the classics?  And you may as well throw in Leave It To Beaver, too.
There will be more tomorrow, as I pursue my quest for meaning.  Or something like that.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Road Trip

Matt is Seth's hero.  Seth has, as a 17 year old, a short bucket list, but Matt was on it.  When Seth saw Matt's videos, he was hooked.  From there, he read the book, watched the videos, and aspired to join him in his dance.  And so he did.

I saw Matt's video, and realized what an awesome thing he had done.  Call me crazy, but I love the songs, and I love the premise behind travelling the world and bringing people together in whatever small way we can.  And the joy of dancing, however badly it is, can never be underestimated.  And so it was that we ended up dancing with Matt.

I had joined the email list, despite the fact that Matt had said in his book that he would not do another video.  So in July of last year, I was surprised to get an email saying that he was working on another video, and would be in Madison, Wisconsin that weekend.  Seth was insistent that we go, despite the 7 hour drive.  Of course, he did not understand the financial situation of being a newly single mom with a father who wasn't paying child support, and another kid in college.  Needless to say, gas money was kind of scarce, so I told him no, Madison was out.  I did, however, email Matt and ask if he was going to be somewhere else in the Midwest.  Imagine my surprise when Matt himself answered, saying that they would be in Detroit on Tuesday.

Detroit is doable.  Detroit is about four hours away, making it a day trip in my world, because I love to drive.  Add to it that the timing was right, because they were going to be meeting at 7pm.  And so it was that I "had a dentist appointment" (wink wink) and left work to drive to Detroit.  Jill originally wasn't going to go, but decided to make the trip, swearing that she wouldn't dance.  We were in the midst of a wonderful road trip when clunk, clunk, clunk, we had a flat, right outside of Toledo.  DAMN.  Fortunately, we were right at an exit, so I pulled of, pulled into an empty lot, and informed Seth that he was going to have the fastest "how to fix a flat" lesson ever given, because if we didn't do it quickly, we would miss the dancing.  Did I mention is was about 98 degrees at the time?

One fixed flat later, we arrived in Detroit.  Got a bit misplaced, finally got parked (parallel, sigh), and got there just in time to watch the dancing from about 100 yards away.  Yep.  We drove four hours, only to miss the dancing by about 30 seconds.  I told the kids to run for it, but they were shy, so when we got up there, I didn't hesistate when Matt asked how long people had driven to get there.  He was gracious enough to do an individual dance with Seth - before anyone else -- and to sign the book we bought for Seth.  Heck, we even got the Tshirt.  But that's not enough, when Seth had dancing in the video as an item on his bucket list.

I heard Matt say that they would be in Cleveland the next day.  The kids were insistent that we go to Cleveland.  The catch?  Jill had something she needed to do the next day, and I had a tire to get repaired.  So yep, we drove back to Indianapolis - four hours - only to drive to Cleveland - four and a half hours one way -- the next day.  We arrived in plenty of time this time.  We were actually one of the first ones there.  Saw a jury for a serial killer's trial leave the courthouse whilst we waited, suitcases and all.  Got interviewed for TV, though I have yet to see the footage, but man, we made it.  And Jill decided that she would, after all, dance.

Matt was a bit amused to see us, and the guy from the Evolution of Dance video was there as well.  (He's from Cleveland, apparently.)   A few dancing lessons later, we danced with Matt.  The whole thing probably took about ten minutes, with NO guarantee that Cleveland would make it into the final footage.  And then we drove home, and Matt left to tour the world.

I've been watching for months, waiting to see if we made the final cut, and hoping for Seth's sake that we did.  It was so fun, and pretty cool to be a part of something that has a cult following.  And so it was that today the new video was released.  And yes, we are in it.  3:27 shows Cleveland, and there we are, doing the Saturday Night Fever dance.  So yeah, it took the better part of a days worth of driving, but we are a part of history, and Seth's bucket list is one item shorter.  I love the video, love the song, and love the premise of Matt's voyages. 


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Say what.................?

So, I'm sitting on the back porch swing with Seth, and we are talking about what a nice night it is, and how comfortable the swing is.  So comfortable, Seth says, that he could fall asleep on it.  Apparently so comfortable that he stops mid-sentence during the conversation.  I wait, thinking he is just formulating a response, then realize he just stopped talking, period.  I said "AND???????????" or something to that effect.  He looks at me blankly and says

"oh, never mind.  I didn't really have an end to that sentence."

No wonder I spend half of my life confused.  I live with a boy who only plans half sentences.

Monday, May 21, 2012

29 years and counting

As of yesterday, I have been a nurse for 29 years.  At the age of 20, I was turned loose to take care of patients in the critical care unit.  After hanging in there for three years of college, I endured another couple of months of  orientation to learn how to suction tracheotomies, read EKGs, pound on a chest, and a lot more.  I felt like I was pretty hot stuff, if truth be told, but was also scared out of my boots, realizing how little I knew.  My, how time flies.  And the same thing is true now:  some days I'm scared outta my boots, and others, I realize I know absolutely nothing.

In 29 years, I've been there when babies were born, and when the elderly died.  I've been there to watch parents hold their baby for the first time, when they said goodbye to a baby who was being adopted out, and when they first laid eyes on the baby they were adopting.  I was there to watch an adoptive mom breastfeed her new baby, and when another mother had second thoughts about the adoption. I even saw one couple who had the doctor hold the prospective adoptive baby up to the window, only to tell the doctor they didn't want him because he had red hair.  (The doctor, incidentally, no longer has a license, and I hope the couple doesn't have a child.  They don't deserve one.)

I've been vomited on, peed on, pooped on,hit, and spit on.  I've seen vomit hit the ceiling and the walls, and saw bright red chunks the size of my hand spew out of a patient like he was Vesuvius.  I had a patient ask me once for an ashtray, only to have him vomit on me, from my head to my toes.  As our respiratory therapist said, "next time you should give the man an ashtray."  And baby puke.............if I had a nickel for every baby who spit up on me, I'd be rich.

I had a patient tell me once that the angels were coming for him, and they did.  I had another tell me that if I didn't let him out of the bed, he was going to die -- and he did.  I've had more than one woman tell me "THE BABY IS COMING" and it did.  I had a woman who had shot herself in the head wake up blind, only to asak me if she was in heaven.  I've watch mothers pass out when their child took a turn for the worse, and even had one time where a family had (I swear) a contest to see how many of them could pass out and go to the ER in the most dramatic way, after the father died.

Yes, it's been a wild ride.

I wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember, and I've loved it mt dosays.  I've worked more weekends than not, worked most of the holidays, worked night shifts, doubles, and even got snowed in at the hospital once.  I've had patients who hated me, who loved me, and who couldn't care less about me.  And after all of it, I wouldn't change a thing.  I'm a nurse. It's part of me.  It's who I am.  And I love it.  What else could a person ask for, but to have a job that teaches, amazes, engages, and challenges them every day?  I know I can't ask for anything more.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Follow Me.

Jill and her beloved, Michael, were here a couple of weeks ago.  They will be seniors in college soon, and last I knew, Michael was still a bit unsure as to what he'd do after he gets his degree.  So I asked him.

Me:  "Michael, what are you doing after graduation?"

Michael:  "Following Jill."

Me:  "Michael, you're setting a dangerous precedent, giving her that much power over you."  ::laughs::

Jill (who just wandered into the kitchen where we were talking)  "Yeah, and it's freakin' AWESOME."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Bro Code: Live together, die together.

After dinner.

Seth (holding up somethin from the fridge): "Do you think I can get salmonella from this?"
Me: "It has raw eggs in it. Yes, you could."

Seth stares at me silently as he pops it in his mouth.

Thomas: "What IS that?"
Seth: "Cookie dough."
Thomas: "Give me some."

Apparently they thumb their nose at death. At least when snickerdoodle cookie dough is involved.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

December, 2011 in music and word.

My life has changed this year, in ways I've never imagined. Here are a few:

  • I never knew that I could cry from my toes.
  • I found that I could cry in happiness or in the pit of despair, and people don't know the difference till I clue them in.
  • iPod purges are a very good thing, but are not permanent unless you choose for them to be.
  • The depth of crazy in your life is in direct proportion to the people you choose to spend your time with.
  • When life presents you a multiple choice question in which one of the options is to spend time with crazy people, choose ANY of the other options.
  • Exercise the right to be happy. It will change your life.
  • You may not know who your friends are until you think you have no friends. At that point, they will come out of the woodwork and prop you up until you can stand alone again.
  • An hour on the treadmill will work out almost any amount of anger.
  • Just because you think about doing something crazy like say, setting something on fire or blowing something up, does not mean that you need to do it. It's much more liberating knowing you made a conscious choice to sleep at night in your own bed solely because you didn't light the match.
  • My kids will never let me down. The depth of love between us is still being revealed to me every day. I would lay my life down for them, and I think they'd probably say the same about me. They've done some pretty darned difficult things just for me, and they really weren't tall enough to ride that roller coaster. I love them to the end of time and even more importantly, I respect them beyond measure.
  • Life can change in a second -- for good or for bad. Fortunately, I ended 2011 in the Very Good chair, and for that, I am very thankful.
  • I am surrounded on every side by love. Not bad for "a cynical bitch who doesn't have any friends." LOL
  • Never listen to the opinion of an idiot. Believe in yourself. Pick yourself up by the bootstraps and keep going. And if you can't find your bootstraps, call a friend and have them find them for you. They will.

And on that note, I end the year with a very special song. Adele pretty much wrote this song for me, because most of it is almost verbatim conversations that my boo and I have had. I am truly blessed, and am a better person having him as my huckleberry.