Friday, December 26, 2014

An Uncomplicated Christmas, and Other Complications

Jim and I decided to make this an easy, stress-free Christmas.  Neither of us wanted to be running around like crazy people, buying stuff that no one really wants.  We did a lot to the house in the past six months, and we have some other things in the pipeline, so we decided not to buy for each other at all, and keep the shopping for others to an absolute minimum.

I say we agreed not to buy for each other, but as I told Jim, I had already pre-bought a couple of things for him -- small things -- so he would be getting a couple of gifts, but seriously, I didn't want anything.  I had, after all, ordered myself a new laptop at the beginning of the Christmas season, since mine was on its very last legs.  Come Christmas morn, Jim was happy with the Badpiper CDs I had gotten him (who can't love the only punk rock bagpiper, anyway?) and his book -- "If History Was Scottish".  We got dressed and headed out to see the boys.

We had gifted them money so that they can go to Florida to see Jill, so the shopping was minimal.  Thomas was SO surprised to receive the only book -- indeed, the only thing -- on his Christmas list, but I totally surprised him with a tiny Blue Power Ranger button that he wore proudly all day.  Seth got a button that said "Oh snap, it's an onomatopoeia!"  and a two pound container of Kraft Parmesan cheese, because it is a joke -- or not -- in our family that Seth LOVES Parmesan cheese.  As in, there's generallly more Parmesan on his plate than spaghetti.  I'm not sure if he was appreciative or annoyed, but he and Thomas agreed that it would be gone in short order.

Jill's gifts were a bit more complicated.  She had sent me a short list of things that she wanted, so I ordered her the Kitchenaid mixer that she wanted.  In icy blue, no less.  I was trying to figure out if that was going to be it for her, because I had bought a bunch of other small stuff, and I was trying not to overdo.  The decision was made on Sunday -- her birthday -- when she called and said that Michael had bought the same mixer for her AND she had already used it.  Oh dear.

So I thought to myself, oh, I'll go to Bath & Body Works and get her some shower gels and such on the day after Christmas, because that was on her list, and the boys are taking her presents to her when they leave this weekend.  I didn't even talk to her on Christmas Day, because she had gotten the flu the day before, and spent her whole day sleeping.  Apparently she woke up later, because some time in the evening, she texted me and asked for the recipe for my stuffing -- alas, there IS no recipe, because it's in my head -- but at least it meant she felt better.

Today, I went to work figuring I'd stop at Bath & Body Works on the way home.  Then my phone rang and who should it be but the Bratty Gurl, announcing that she was on her way to work, and guess what?  She was going to Bath & Body Works for their $3 sale first.  Oh. My. Gawd.  Is it not possible to shop for this girl without it getting complicated?  I didn't say a thing, figuring it was a message straight from God saying not to worry, I'd already shopped enough.  I just laughed and went back to my work.  

Then the phone rang again.  This time, The Brat announced that she had gotten a full bag of stuff, only to find that the line was too long at the checkout and she would've been late to work if she'd stayed so "please please please can you go to Bath & Body Works and get me some stuff?"

"I'm at work."
"Can you have Jim go?"
"Jim's at work."
"I thought he retired."
"He has a little part time job with a friend."
"Well, would he stop by on the way home?"
"Not likely, cause he has to go to the grocery."

"Puh-lease????"
"I don't know what kind you want.  And you know I can't smell anything."
"Oh, I don't care what kind.  I love ALL their stuff."

Do you see why she's the Bratty Gurl?    And so it was that I found myself in Bath & Body Works buying numerous very, very cheap shower gels and lotions at 5:30 this evening. I have NO idea whether they smell like flowers, the great outdoors, perfume, or stinky feet, but she'll be happy.

Next year, I'm giving her money.


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.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Welcome to Our World

Where this...............


Turns into this, which is Leeloos new favorite pasttime.

Friday, August 15, 2014

New Digs

Thomas moved into his new apartment a few weeks ago, after spending some weeks visiting our fold out in the sunroom.  OK, so I all it an apartment, and he calls it a house.  It's actually a duplex, so let's split the difference.  In either event, it's on the southern end of SoBro, which is the southern portion of South Broad Ripple, so he is now one of the cool kids.  Or not.  Oh well, he's close the the library, the police station and the fire station, all within a few blocks radius of his house.

He's living with one of his buddies, Ben, and my fourth child, Chris, who is in his element in his very first apartment.  Ben, not so much, since he had a good job at Lockheed Martin as an engineer or, as he called it, The Restroom Grand Tour, since he basically spent his whole day wandering around the building with the excuse of looking for a restroom..  After a few years of the grand tour, he ditched it all and came to Indiana, and is now tutoring some Indian kid up north, making more money than I do as a nurse.  But I digress.  Chris has the small, corner room and seems to be as happy as a clam.  Thomas got the big room and is still wondering why, since he really doesn't care.

Thomas' biggest complaint was that they needed a table.  Jim tried to give him our smaller kitchen table, but he declined, saying that they didn't have room for it.  Jim doubted this, and I just shrugged, till I was told by the heir to the throne that he couldn't believe that I hadn't seen his new digs yet.  "I mean, Dad has been here, and you haven't.  What's wrong with that picture?"  I went over, and his dog promptly bit me (see previous post), but before I toddled off to Medcheck, The Heir told me that it wasn't that they didn't have room for a table, it was that they needed a bigger table than what Jim had offered.

That afternoon, they followed my advice, went to the furniture store up the block and pad $50 for a dining room table, which was promptly taken home by the four of them, carrying it he-man style down College Avenue.  I wish I had pictures.  Or video.

They needed a bigger table because they like to play games, and the card table they were using wasn't big enough.  Seth spends lots of time over there, hanging out (it's closer to his internship than we are), or just hanging out with his bros.  I suppose when school starts, they will still hang out, because it's only a few minutes from Butler, where Seth will be living on campus.  And so it was that Thomas gave Seth a key to the house:

And Seth loves it.  I thought at first it was plastic, but Seth told me today, as we were waiting to pick up his car from Walmart's automotive department, that it's not only metal, but it has some weight to it, "so when I swing my lanyard around, I thought that maybe it would kill someone if I hit them with it."  This digressed into a conversation about how perhaps this is why Goths love Hello Kitty, because of the danger element.

Who knows.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

OK, so this happened today.

This is her new favorite position which proves, of course, that she's a terrorist, because she completely holds me hostage every time this happens.

And I'm ok with that.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Tiniest Terrorist

We've been discussing the possibility of having a baby.  We've been married for almost five months now, so it's about time, I suppose.  I've taken care of a lot of babies over the course of time, having been a nurse and mom for all these years, but still, it's not a decision to make lightly.

It all started one day when Jim said that we needed a companion.  Something to liven the place up, dontcha know, because his child bride apparently isn't enough.  And so it was that we ended up with this, our new baby girl:

Is she not the CUTEST baby you've ever seen?  I wasn't too sure about this, because I haven't gone the puppy route since Rocky showed up, some almost six years ago.  He's living the beach life with Jill and Michael now, which means he is a well discplined, non-spinning version of his former self.  We have Mickey, who is also six, spoiled rotten, and a lover of everyone.  But Jim mentioned something about getting him a girlfriend (he's neutered -- she's just a FRIEND), and I went off to search.

Mickey is a Cavachon, rescued from an abusive home, whose tongue constantly lolls out the right side of his mouth.  It doesn't affect anything about him -- it just makes me look goofy, which fits him well.  Jim wanted another Cavachon, because they are hypoallergenic and sweet as can be.  It's not easy to find a rescue Cavachon, because there are no Cavachon rescues, and Petfinder doesn't list them as a breed.   I found one in Cleveland -- serendipity, since Jim is from Cleveland -- but they wouldn't adopt it out of state.  I found another in Ohio, but it was already being adopted.  At one point, I found one in Austin, Texas, who, believe it or not, had been injured, resulting in a tongue that lolled out the RIGHT side of his mouth.  Alas, Jim thought Austin was too far to go, and he wanted a girl.  And so we found Leeloo.

This little beast has taken over the house.  She is a ball of fire: cute as heck, always moving, and always underfoot.  It's something of a miracle that I haven't fallen, given the fact that I had knee surgery three days after we got her.  She's a wiggleworm who never sits still.  She's been pummelled by the very annoyed cat, who looks at her like "oh for heaven's sake, not AGAIN."  I mean, it's not like Bandit hasn't been down this path a time or two.  I think that's why he expends so little energy on her.  He knows the score.  Mickey alternately growls, then lets her curl up near him.  He draws the line at her grabbing his bear.  He's definitely not having any of that!

She likes to chew on toes, shoes and cords.  This morning, she dragged the bathroom rug out into our bedroom -- and it's easily several times her size.  She got closed in the screen door once, and stepped on twice today, and she still bounces around here like a bunny.  And right now, she is curled up asleep in her nest -- something that surely will only last for a few minutes before she's up and nibbling on our toes again.  Hint:  if you want to see a Marine melt, bring him a puppy.  He sat in his recliner on Sunday, watching Too Cute  with her "because she likes it."  Oh brother............

She's our little Leeloo, and we love her.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Retribution.

In my last post, I said I would say how karma came around and bit me.  I actually said "tomorrow."  Well, it's the day after the day after the day after the day after tomorrow (or so), so I guess I'm technially still posting "tomorrow."

The hubby is healing quite nicely.  I actually went in to Walmart with him the other day, as we had the need for more Bandaids.  He was out of his camo Bandaids, so I went hunting and bought what I thought were camo.  Turned out there were some kind of shark instead -- I know it's a military symbol, but he thinks they are too kiddie and won't use them.  Maybe if I'd gotten Transformers ones.........oh well, good thing I bought some plain ones for me because yeah.  Retribution.

A perfect storm of bad decisions turned into a Med Check visit for me, the day after Jim's mandolin accident.  Thomas had been giving me some guff because "geez Mom, DAD has seen my new house, and YOU haven't."  Doesn't matter how old they are, they still can play the guilt card.  Well, I've been dealinig with a bum knee, and have been laying low (actuallly had surgery on it today, but that's a different story -- I'm fine), so yes, It took me two weeks to get to his new house.  I told him that I'd be over on Tuesday, but he was tired, so I suggested Wednesday instead.

I got up and went to PT (pinched nerve in my neck.  Geez, I'm falling apart.) and decided to head over to SoBro to his house.  I realized that Thomas' roommate had some mail back at my house, so I turned back and went and got it. Mickey let it be known that his Mama was not being nice in leaving him behind.  I mean, who can resist this face?

I caved, and he rode along with me.  I mean, he goes everywhere with me, but given Thomas' dog Penny's feelings about Mickey, which are reciprocated in triplicate, I figured I would let him ride along, but he'd have to stay in the car while I visited.  Mickey, not knowing whose house we were at, bailed out of the car when we arrived, so I just let him come.  I knocked on the door.  It wasn't latched, so it opened a little bit, and suddenly Mickey was nose to nose with Penny.  She was not amused, and not only blocked the door, but growled.  A lot.  Thomas grabbed her, and Mickey and I went in.  Mickey jumped on the couch, and Penny came over to see what was what.

They got nose to nose.  Penny growled.  Mickey growled.  Suddenly, it was on like Donkey Kong.  I'm not sure if I grabbed him to get him on my lap, or if Mickey was trying to get onto my lap, but I ended up with my arms wrapped around him, trying to push Penny away, because they were both going nuts.  Remember all those times you told your kids not to try to break up a dog fight?  Well, I remember, and despite my warnings to the kids since they were born, I did it anyway, and Penny sunk her teeth into my forearm.  As in, DEEPLY sunk her teeth into my forearm.

Thomas finally was able to wrestle Penny away and was able to hear me say "she bit me.  I need a paper towel."  I'd actually said it several times, but no one had understood that it wasn't a small bite -- it was a deep, ugly one.  Thomas threw Penny into the scary basement and grabbed some paper towels.  It didn't hurt, so I got the grand tour of the house whilst holding pressure.  Yeah, it was gaping enough that I knew it would need stitches.  Thomas would alternately open the basement door and tell Penny how bad she was, then ask me if he needed to drive me to get it looked at.  Heck no.  I drove myself to the hospital when I was in labor -- twice.  I drove myself to the ER with a broken arm, in the midst of an asthma attack.  A little blood isn't that big of a deal.  I told him the real bummer was that I had planned to take him to lunch, but that now he probably didn't want to go, what with my bloody arm and all.

Say free food to Thomas, and everything changes.  He's not particularly worried about wounds, though he was pretty unhappy about Penny, as he told her multiple times "you bit my Mama.  NO ONE hurts my mama."  He's had stitches himself, so he knew it's not that big of a deal.  He said if I was truly ok to wait, he'd go to lunch with me.  I wanted to go with him, because he felt so bad that I needed to make sure he understood that it wasn't the dogs' fault before I left.  It was 100% my fault.  He dug out his first aid kit, we covered it up, and had a really nice lunch at O'Charleys before I headed off to Medcheck, where I found out that they preferred to leave it open instead of stitching, to help prevent infection.  They couldn't even give me a tetanus shot because I'm immunosuppressed, so they gave me a script for antibiotics and had me go home after filling out an Animal Bite form for the health department.  I made sure that it said on that form that I was DUMB and that it was all MY fault.  Can't blame dogs for being dogs, ya know.  It was just bad decisions from me from beginning to end.

So here we are, Jim missing a chunka thumb, and me with a mooshy, gushy wound on my arm ,and now ice packs on the incision on my knee.  In short, we are a hot mess here.  Moral to the story:  before one gives one's spouse a hard time about not following safety procedures, make sure that you follow the safety rules too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fleshy Vegetables

As is well known, I don't cook.  I can cook.  I just don't.  My dear husband, on the other hand, cooks up a storm.  I sometimes am his sous chef, which means we get to spend some quality time together chatting and chopping.

Last night was a bit different.  I'd had a rather busy day.  The hubby had spent a good portion of his afternoon making chicken pot pies.  My assignment was to make the salad to go along with them.  Salad, I can handle.  It doesn't count as cooking in the hubby's book, but he does like my salads.  Truthfully, I just throw in whatever he says to put into it, so t's not so much "making" a salad as it is "assembling" the salad.  It was too early for dinner when we sat down to chat -- we usually eat around 7 or so -- but the hubby told me to make the salad.  "Nah, it's too early," I said.  "When are you gonna make it," he said.  "In a while."

He was restless.  He realized that he had some tomatoes that he wanted to use before they went bad, so he set to making tomato/cucumber/sweet onion salad.  For the record, I consider both tomatoes and cucumbers to be yucky.  As in, they are at the top of my Yucky List.  He understands this, so when he makes the salad, he fixes mine first and adds the yucky stuff later.  Sweet man, he is.  Well, he decided to try slicing the cucumbers with his newest kitchen gadget:  a mandolin.

For those of you who are less informed, a mandolin is a device that scares me to death.  It looks like some sort of medieval torture device.  I tend to stay away from these types of things.  Jim sat in his chair studying it and saying "I sure wish I had the instruction manual."  Torture device without instruction manual?  Double scary.  I mentioned that he could probably find it online, but also asked where it had gone to, because he'd just taken the darned thing out of the box.  I heard him mutter something about having found the manual while I headed off to put clothes in the dryer.

I swear I wasn't gone more than three minutes, but I came back and heard him saying something about slicing part of his finger off.  WHAT?  I ran up to the kitchen to find him with his hand under the faucet, with blood red water running down the drain.  "Oh my God," I said.  "Let me see it."  Well, let me tell you, it was only a flesh wound, but it was an impressive flesh wound, because he now was missing a fair chunk of the side of his thumb.  And oh, did I mention that it was bleeding profusely?  "We need to go to the ER," I said.  "They aren't gonna be able to stitch it, but they're gonna have to stop the bleeding."  At this point, the Marine in him kicked in and he said "getthehellouttahere" (always said as one word).  "I don't need to go to the ER.  It would've been fine but I didn't use the safety shield.  It'll be ok."

I handed him a paper towel, then sat down and waited.

He ran it under the sink for a while, then finally took my advice to put pressure on it.  "Put pressure on it for ten minutes solid, and then we'll go to the ER when the bleeding doesn't stop."  Now, imagine telling a stubborn Marine with ADHD to sit still for ten minutes.  In short:  it ain't gonna happen.  He'd hold pressure for a minute, then check.  Drip.........drip............drip.  "We need to go to ER."  "Getthehellouttahere.  It's gonna stop."  Drip........drip........drip.  "Why don't you make the salad?"  "I'll make it when we get back from the ER."  "We aren't going to the ER.  It's fine."  Drip............drip............drip.  "You know you're on Plavix and aspirin, right?  You know those are blood thinners, right?"  "Getthehellouttahere.  It's fine.

Drip............drip...........drip.............drip........

"You know, it's been a half an hour and it hasn't even slowed down, right?"  "It'll be fine."   I raised an eyebrow, poured myself a glass of water, sat back and waited.  "Make the salad," he said.  "Nope, if I make it now, it'll wilt before we get back from the ER."  "I don't need to go to the ER."  He changed the paper towel, because the second one was now soaked, and he needed a third.  "It'll stop."  I sat back and waited.  Drip...........drip...........drip.  It was running down his hand and wrist, and soaking into the placemat in front of him.  Drip............drip........drip.

An hour went by.  Drip..........drip.........drip.  "Wow," he said.  "It really isn't stopping."  "You're right dear." "Make the salad."  "Nope.  Not till we get back from the ER."  He glared momentarily, then looked down at his thumb.  "Wow, I really did a job on it, didn't I?"  "Yep."  Drip.........drip........drip.  "Give me another paper towel."  Silence as I handed it to him.

Finally, ten minutes later, a revelation:  "You know what, I think we are gonna have to go to the ER."  "Ya think?"  He laughed.  "OK, OK, you're right.  I'm gonna have to go.  And yes, I know you'll say I told you so."  "No dear, I just want you to take care of yourself.  So off we went to the ER.  He mused "I wonder where the missing skin is.  Did you see it in the cucumbers?"  "Nope,"  I said.  "It's probably on the mandolin."  We were there for an hour; they popped some Gelfoam on it, wrapped it up like a cartoon character's thumb after a mishap with a hammer, and we were ready to go.  I wrapped my arms around his neck and murmured into his ear, "now do you believe that I just wanted to take care of you?"  "Yes," he said.  "Oh," I said, "one more thing.  I told you so."

They could hear us laughing in the lobby.

We were still laughing when we left, because I kept asking him my typical questions like "do you need a wheelchair?"  "Are you dizzy?"  "Do you need an ambulance transport home?"  All were met with "getthehellouttahere."  Can't blame a girl for trying.  I got him home safely and he, of course, told me to make the salad.  I followed him into the kitchen a minute later, and he pointed.  "Look."  "What?"  "There's the missing skin."  And I'll be darned, there it was.  A nice little fileted piece of Jim-flesh, about the size of a fingernail, sitting right there on the counter.  "Well, are you gonna eat it or what?  Why's it on the counter?  Do you want me to add it to the salad?"

He mentioned something about me being disgusting as he threw it away, but hey, I'm not the one who put it on the counter.  And hey, don't joke about stuff like that with a nurse, because our sense of humor is totally different than other, more normal peoples'.There may or may not have been a joke or two about it being "only a flesh wound."  I did, however, get my comeuppance.  More on that tomorrow.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekender

My sweet hubby and I went away for the weekend last weekend.  It was just a nice overnighter, but it's nice to get away once in a while.  Plus, when you do an overnighter, the prep is pretty simple.  It's the emotional prep that's hard.

Jim was pretty darned sure that the dog was either going to a) starve to death or b) be mauled by Thomas' dog.  See, Penny (Thomas' dog) has this in-your-face-play-with-me personality which knows no personal space, and Mickey, our little prince, just ain't havin it.  Mickey loves his humans and no one shall put them asunder.  He sees Penny as a threat to his firm entrenchment as Dog of the House.  Penny doesn't care.  She just blunders through life with no regard to anyone.  This does not always work out well, as Mickey doesn't want her near his humans, and although he's a third of her size, he will have his say withi Penny.  Penny, on the other hand, has been known to pin Mickey to the ground, teeth bared, should he make her mad.

So the conversations went like this:
Jim: "Who's watching the prince while we're gone?"
Me: "The boys."
Jim: "No way.  They will kill my dog.  They'll forget to feed him.  Those boys can't even remember to feed themselves. How will they remember to feed the dog?"
Me:  "Penny is five.  She has lived with Thomas her whole life.  She hasn't died yet.  They'll be fine."
Jim:  "I'm telling you, he's gonna starve to death.  Maybe I'll have David (his son) watch him"

::pause while he checks with David, who had plans and wasn't available::

Jim: " They're gonna kill each other.  I don't want that dog killing my fuzzy dog."
Me:  "They'll be fine."
Jim:  "We're gonna come home to a dead dog.  You just watch."

So the week went by, and Friday night arrived.  He suddenly changed focus.

Jim:  "So, those boys are going to starve while we're gone.  You know that, right?"
Me: "Why in the world would you say that?  They'll be fine."
Jim:  "Because there's no one here to cook for them, and they don't know how to cook."
Me:  "They are fine.  They are both really good cooks."
Jim: "I don't think so.  They're probably gonna starve."

The man has to have something to fret about -- and it's usually food related.  Let's just say, there is ZERO chance of anyone starving to death around here, because we usually have enough food to feed an army.   And so it was that we pulled out of the drveway and drove off for our little getaway, with Jim fretting that the boys would destroy the house in some way, shape or form.  Can you tell that he raised three sons, three years apart?  And yes, he did come home early from a weekend away to find a full blown party in the house, complete with teenagers passed out in his bedroom.  So yeah, I get his point, but these are the Nerd Boys you're talking about.  Geez.

So we got to the hotel, and Jim told me to call and see if they had fed the dog, and ask what time Seth's girlfrend had gotten there.  Here's the texting.

Me: "Ask the clowns if they fed my dog and ask what time Elaine got there."  LOL
Thomas: Elaine got here around 3.  Dogs starved to death, I'm wont to report.

Cracked me up.  The boys understand my dear husband so well.  He laughed when he heard Thomas' response.  On Sunday, here's the communicaton:

Thomas:  What time are you guys heading back?
Me: We should be home around nine or so.
Thomas:  OK.  The liquor bottles and dead hookers should be cleaned up by then.
Me:  Did you bury the dogs?
Thomas: Buried Penny.  Had to eat Mickey.
Me:  How'd you cook him?
Thomas:  Fava beans and a nice chianti.

It's almost worth going away, just to see what they come up with next.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It Was Nice While It Lasted, Molly

Sadly, Thomas' Molly lost on Jeopardy tonight, in a nailbiter of a game.  Thomas didn't register it at first and, thinking she had won after a comeback from third place, leapt higher in the air than I knew he was capable of.  He ended up in a crumpled heap when he realized she had lost, holding his head and moaning "no, Molly, NO."

He may need therapy.  On the other hand, he spent a good portion of time today playing on some trivia app on his tablet.  He was destroying people in math word problems, when he came up with a new opponent:  Raj Kumar from India.  "Oh man," he said.  "I'm screwed.  He's from India."  Until he destroyed him, too.  He moved on to General Trivia, where I think he was practicing for his own stint on Jeopardy where, he claimed, he will catch Molly's eye.  Oye VAY the boy takes a cute smile seriously.  I had a proud moment though, when he asked me what Coco Chanel's first name was (Gabrielle).  Gotta love a boy who asks even ONE question about classic designers.

I may have to put him back in the will.

And, in another happy thought, Jillie sent me this:


I have no words.  The preview photos from the wedding are beyond gorgeous, but this one says it all.  Her response? "This is probably the one day of my life that I didn't have mud under my nails."  Archaeologist, dontcha know.

I just look at it and think to myself, THIS.  This right here makes it worth the fact that she screamed through her first year of life, didn't sleep through the night till she was four, and made me absolutely insane for a while when she was 18.  This brought things full circle.  I love you, Pretty Gurl.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I'll Take a Nurse for $2000, Alex.

The Heir to the Throne is in love.  Pretty sure it's the real thing.  Plus side:  she's a nurse.  And super smart.  And cute.  (Those are in my order, not his.) Down side:  she's married to someone else.

Thomas has developed a Jeopardy fixation.  Now, this does not discount his obsession with game shows since an early age.  When he was two, his father and I watched Jeopardy fairly religiously.  The ex used to say he was going to get me on the show so we could pay the house off.  The closest I ever got was on a cruise ship, where I did well, but lost cause the darned ringer didn't ring me in in time.  But I digress.  Thomas has been influenced since a young age, when he would come running during the station break, saying "debbydebbydebbydebby" and then kissing the screen as newscaster Debby Knox gave the station break announcement.  He loved her.

Fast forward some years, and he has taken to watching Jeopardy repeats on youtube.  He shoots the questions at me, then says, with a fair amount of amazement "how have you never been on this show?"  Yeah, I have a fair amount of useless knowledge.  So on his afternoon breaks lately, this is what he's done.  And then he discovered Molly.

Molly Lalonde, of Nashville, Tennessee, has been the jeopardy champion for the past couple of days.  The first day, I didn't realize his fixation.  Yesterday, he was remarking to his brother "wouldn't it be funny if Molly was still on" right as they announced that she was, indeed, the champion.  Thomas went nuts.  I asked what the heck was his deal, and he replied "LOOK at her.  She SO cute."  Yeah, she is.  She has a super cute smile.  So he was enthused to be able to watch her again.  She was on a roll, when she suddenly gave a wrong answer.  His reponse was to yell -- quite loudly -- "NO Molly.  That was so EASY!"  He was in some fear, I guess, that she would be booted, but I'm happy to report that she won again.  He set the DVR to record Jeopardy at that point.

So today, we couldn't decide what was for dinner.  Jim got caught in traffic on the way home, and I don't cook, so we muddled about for a while before deciding to get takeout.  Thomas was enthusiastic about picking it up, till I mentioned that it was 7:31.  "Oh MAN, is Jeopardy recording," he said, before turning on the telly to check.  "It it's not recording, my life is OVER."  Apparently, a cute girl on Jeopardy can reduce a 24 year old young man to the mindset of a 13 year old girl, minus the door slamming.  Thank God, it was recording.

He went with Seth to pick up the food, and was conversant during our dinner, then immediately retired to the DVR to cheer on his favorite girl.  Now, keep in mind that last night, we Facebook stalked his woman, only to find that alas, she is married to another.  He was sad.  We don't like it when Thomas is sad.  He may or may not have muttered something about it being temporary.  He also may have mentioned that she's a hometown girl when we found out that her undergrad work was done at Notre Dame.  As a side note, my dear husband may or may not have encouraged his interest with a pronouncement that "nurses are always hot, and ready to party."  He should know. He's been married to two.  Thomas took this under advisement.

That was right around the time that the tornado watch hit.  Channel 8 went to the meteorologist, who happens to be a sweet young thing with a nice rack.  Thomas didn't notice.  He was busy wailing "NOOOOOOOO.  Forget the tornado.  Where's MOLLY?"  He missed Double Jeopardy because of this.  He was not amused.

And so it is that now his pseudo-wife Molly is now a three day champion, and the Heir to the Throne became a very happy young man.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Oh Happy Day

Saturday last, my sweet girl got married.  I have gone through a lot of emotions this week, to say the least.  Here's a little snippet.

Her BFF snce the age of four threw her a bachelorette party, which was just going out to dinner at Macaroni Grill, then back to Corri's house for games, thanks to Seth's girlfriend Elaine.  One of them was a "how well do you know Jill" game, which surprisingly,  I won, with three points.  I mean, who knew that Jill would most like to kiss Liam Neeson before she got marred?  At least she has good taste.

Afterward, she and Corri went to the garage to get the tree stump her dad had carved for Jill's wedding cake stand.  I pulled the car around, and my eyes laid on these beautiful young women, and I was suddenly carried back to when they were about ten.  It was a flash that nearly got me, and I had to catch myself.  Jill hates it when "grown ups" cry.  I told her that all bets were off for her wedding day.

At the rehearsal, Thomas dscovered that the more serious the situation requires him to be is in direct proportion to how badly he behaves.  Walking Jill down the aisle, I looked over and Seth was dancing, waving his arms over his head -- which is pretty normal for him -- and Thomas was dancing wildlly in place.  Oddly, the priest did not say anythng, but Jill and Michael were met with a firm "NO SKIPPING" admonishment when they left the church improperly.  I'm sure that the rather Napoleonic priest was blaming the Protestant bride under their breath.  I, of course, laughed and high fived her as she skipped by.

Saturday morning came along, and off she went for a bridesmaids' breakfast.  I met her at the church later to get hair and makeup done.  She had bought monogrammed robes for the girls as their gift, so in I walked to the girls giggling like little girls in their pink robes, in various states of hair intervention.  Jill went and laid down on a table at one point while she waited.  I'm pretty sure that in that couple of hours, I saw some part of each of the bridesmaids undergarments.  Not sure how that happened, but yeah.  Suddenly, it was time to get over to the church NOW -- as in, we were late getting Jill over there so that no one would see her -- so the flower girl grabbed one end of her dress and I grabbed the other, and we basically ran across the parking lot, straight to the basement room where she was to hide.  A few minutes later, I had sweat dripping down everywhere, thinking that I was in the midst of a menopausal power surge, when the photographer realized that the heat was on full blast.  I can't imagine how hot Jill was under all that tulle, but she looked beautiful.
Contrary to her earlier warnings, she did NOT throw up.

The ceremony went off without a hitch, though it contained an overly long homily in which the priest a) said "Jill and Michael" at least twenty times, as if he was reminding himself of who he was marrying, or filling in the blanks on his standard speech, and b) he seemed to have a fixation with talking about the marriage bed, and consummating the marriage, both of which were met with wide eyes by the bride.  She rolled her eyes more than once.  The sweetest moment for me was when they lit the unity candle, and the soloist was singing "You Are Mine."  I looked over and saw that my Jillie, who never can seem to stop singing, was singing to Michael -- and he promptly joined in and sung to her.   It was just a perfect display of Jill and Michael. Then I realized that the priest was singing too, and it was just kind of funny.

I didn't cry.  Not even close.  I was just so happy.  Her brothers, however, both professed later that they had trouble holding on and both almost lost it.  That was a real revelation to me, after watching those three grow up at each others' throats a fair portion of the time.  Ah, it's nice to see things come full circle, and realize that these parts of your DNA turned out to be just. so. nice.  And man, they clean up well too.

Maybe I'll remember to tell about the reception, but given my proclivity for forgetting to finish two part blog entries, I make no promises.  So I will just leave you with this, which warms my heart more than I can say:




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sethanese, All Grown Up

Today was the day that Seth became a man.  We took him to the fort for his date with a certain Walmart shower curtain.  We got there nice and early -- early to the point that he got number ONE when we checked in.  The gentleman at the counter asked him "are you really READY to be Number ONE" to which Seth responded in some sleepy version of agreement.  Said gentleman then said, "well, we could do you one better." "Huh?"  "You could be Number NOW."  We laughed and sat down in the empty waiting area.  Suddenly, we hear a female voice call out "Number NOW."

Seth didn't flinch.

She called out again "Number NOW."  I nudged him and we got down to business.  It was a busy day, with going to the fort, then my doctor appointment, and Seth had two appointments.  Appointments mean waiting, so while I was waiting for the doctor, I was sending Seth Snapchats, which were met with mixed responses, at best.  And when I came out, he shared what he'd been texting with his little lady friend.

No joke, this kid's little lady friend is a PERFECT match for him.  Seriously.  I laughed so stinkin hard when I read this that I about lost it.  Then I asked him if I could share it on the blog.  He thought the idea was great, and so it is that I share it with you, complete with their spellings and lack of punctuations and YELLING AT EACH OTHER IN CAPS.

Seth:  Doodswag!  Whatcha got goin on tomorrow?

Elaine:  Nuffin. :-)  planning on coming home and doing whatever the hell I want. You?

Seth: Noice. I gotta get up early and get me a military id then i have doctors appointments.

Elaine: Wait what

Seth: No Idea. Something about Jim being a Marine means I get a military ID. Insurance stuff.

Elaine: Yeah, that'd be good. Please dun enlist. I need you to take care of the farm.

Seth: Wait. Wut farm?

Elaine: Yeah.

Seth:  U wot?

Elaine: I AM ONLY A LITTLE WOMAN I CAIN'T HANDLE A WHOLE FARM ON MAH OWN DARYL.

Seth: GERTRUDE GED DEMMIT AH TELLS YA I GOTTA SERVE ME COUNTRY!

Elaine:  DARYL THESE CHICKENS AND CHILDREN AIN'T GONNA RAISE THEMSELVES.

Seth: THAS WHY YOU'S HERE WOMAN!

Elaine: I HAVE SO MANY OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES AROUND THIS FARM. I CANNOT STAND TO  KNOWN THAT YOU COULDA BEEN DOIN HALF OF IT. CLYDE AIN'T EVEN SEVEN YET, DARYL.

Seth: THE HELL DOES RESPANSIBILINIES MEAN?  CLEETUS AND MAGGY ARE OLD ENUF TO HELP YOU! HELL, WHEN I WAS 9 I'D ALREADY DUN KILLED MAH FIRST COW.

Elaine: I WILL NOT LET YOU GO TO WAR AND HANG AROUND WITH THE IRAYNIYANS AND BE UNFAITHFUL TO THE BIBLE BY KILLIN PERSONS. YOU COME HOME THIS INSTANT DARYL.

Seth: DAMMIT WOMAN TELL THAT TO OBAHMA!

Elaine:  HONEY YOU DAMN WELL KNOW I TRIED.  THAT MAN WON'T LISTEN TO US.  HE DUN WANT NUTHIN FROM YOU WID YOUR BUM LEG AND GLASS EYE.

Elaine:  wow that actually sounded anti Obama. My bad.

Seth: LOL well that was fin.

Seth: Fun

Seth: Fin Fun.

Is this girl a perfect match for The Spare, or what?  And for all of Seth's posturing that Jim and I need our own sitcom, I am now convinced that he and Elaine need one of their own.  Coming to a cable channel near you.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ciao, Ristorante

A local landmark fell recently.  It had been a fixture for years -- before I moved to the eastside 25 years ago -- but I had never been there.  A plain cement block building, painted white, with "Salute Ristorante" painted on the trim, it was completely unremarkable.  Heck, even the parking lot sign was hand done: a white circle with hand painted letters saying "closed" on it, and attached to a thin chain.  A sign that was strangely unnecessary, because the parking lot was always closed.

A friend of mine said that it was her husband's favorite Italian place, and despite his wonderful reviews, and the fact that we drove by it all the time, we never ate there.  It was reputedly run by a true Italian who summered in Indianapolis, of all places, and wintered in Italy.  My friend said that Vito (yep, that was really his name) cooked and served real Italian food, on a level with nothing else found here locally.  She said that you had to pay in cash, and when you did, he would pull a huge roll of bills out of his pocket to make change for you.

Heck, we never even talked about going there, save the one or two conversations I had with my friend about it, so it was funny that last summer, when Thomas and I were driving by there, he mentioned that he half wanted to go there, and the other half of him was sure that he never would.  He mentioned that he was curious about this place that had sat there for years with a neon "OPEN" sign on at times -- but rarely with a car in the lot.  The kicker was that he didn't want to visit it, because he was sure that it must be a front for the mob, and he didn't want to destroy the picture in his head, which seemingly involved Tony Soprano and a strategically placed juke box.  Apparently Thomas wasn't alone in this belief.

The other day, I was in town for something, and I realized that there was construction going on in the building.  They're changing it into a gas station, and the only construction guy there happened to be digging a big hole in front, presumably for the gas tanks.  I'm sure that's their cover story, but I know better.  I'm pretty sure that now we know where Jimmy Hoffa's buried.

Monday, May 05, 2014

People Will Talk (But Not in Church)

I have a real thing about talking in church.  Growing up a preacher's kid, I was called out from the pulpit by my father on more than one occasion for chatting during the sermon, so I still get a little nervous if the person next to me starts chatting.  Keep in mind that my husband has, by his own admission, ADHD -- though he tangles the letters pretty often, making it all sorts of acronyms like ADT. No dear, not even close.  He can sit through an entire sermon with not a word, but by the time we get to communion, all bets are off.  And I never know what's going to fly out of his mouth, meaning there can be wildly inappropriate laughter involved.

Fortunately, our minister has ADHD too, so his filter occasionally goes off as well.  Like the time I got to the front of the line to be served the communion bread.  There was a backup at the wine serving, so I just stood there waiting patiently.  No sense in getting the bread if I can't move, right?  I smiled at our pastor, who mouthed something to me that I couldn't make out.  I furrowed my brow and tilted my head, trying to figure out what he'd said.  He said it again.  And again.  I mouthed "I can't understand you," and he finally shrugged it off.  By then it was time to serve, so I moved though the line and sat down.  After church, he came up and said "I was was saying traffic jam."  Gotcha!  "Yes listeners, we have  a backup in the center aisle.  There are a couple of laggers at the wine service, but the traffic should only be held up for four minutes or so, and then it's clear sailing........"

I love our church.

And so it was that we attended evening service yesterday.  Evening service is usually pretty casual and small, but this was a special service to greet our new associate pastor, so the place was packed.  There were a handful of other pastors there for the installation.  There they sat in a line, all in white robes with red stoles.  One of them, from a city south of Indianapolis, preached the sermon, warning us that yes, there was a clock facing him at the back of the church, but that he didn't pay much attention to it, once he got going.  And he got going. And going.  And going.....not overly long, mind you, but longer than we're used to.  Of course, by the end, Jim was getting fidgety. He made some joke about asking "the cardinals" where their hats were.  Oye vay.  Fortunately, he was able to blow off some steam by the passing of the peace, making sure to greet his girlfriend -- a 101 year old lady he always makes a point to say hi too. But by the time we sat down again, he was restless again.  Maybe it was the smell of the food in the kitchen (they were having a Cinco de Mayo dinner after the service) but he was in particularly rare form.  I gave him the look.  I shushed him.  He wasn't having any of it.  They were getting ready to serve communion, and since we were in the front, we were going to have to wait a long time for our turn while he fidgeted.  And then the pastor emerged from the sacristy.

This is a new pastor.  He does things his own way.  He's young, and sweet, and has a beautiful singing voice.  And he, for the first time during our attendance, wore a chasable.  Now, I can't find a picture of the exact chasable, but it was beautiful.  A deep ruby red, it was embroidered with a gold cross.  Worn over his white robe, it looked beautiful.  I was taking it in, because I'd never seen this before, when Jim leans over and says "what is this, Fistful of Dollars?"

I darned near lost it.  By the time he said something about the Cinco de Mayo dinner afterward, the solemnity of the moment was gone, especially given the Mexican accent it was rendered in.  Of course, I responded by singing the alternate Spanish lyrics of the last hymn, which befuddled him, but really wasn't disrespectful.  Oh well, at least it got him to quit talking.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Done That

My job has been celebrating my marriage in different ways.  My old team of southside nurses gave us a gift card for Bonefish Grill/Carraba's/Outback.  They know I don't cook, so that is just flat out practical.  We shall put that card to good use, whenever we decide which place we like more.

IT celebrated by changing my name and knocking me off the network at 8:30 at night.  Not a problem, unless you work evenings and overnights, and have to get hold of the right person to get you reconnected.  Three and half hours, and four Help Desk people later, they got me connected enough to be able to finish the night.  It took several days to fully get it straight proving, once again, that I am hard to keep in line.

My current team celebrated in two distinctly different ways.  First of all, they had a party, and a surprise one at that.  It was a nice surprise, because we never see each other, much less eat together, and there was food, and cake and balloons and presents, and much fun was had by all.  They presented me with a nice pewter frame for a family photo, and gift card for Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which is Jim's sanctuary, given all the kitchen stuff that they sell.  I'm pretty sure that they sell more kitchen stuff there than Bed and Bath, which makes their name a bit curious, but I digress.

The real killer of a gift came from our devoutly Baptist nurse, also named Lisa, but called Lisa Ann, just to keep things easier (she not only shares a first name with me, but also shares a first AND last name with the big kahuna at work.  It gets confusing).  She had somewhat warned me of her proclivity toward naughty gifts, but I had no idea.  I opened up the gift bag and found:  two wine glasses, two splits of sparkling grape juice (remember: Baptist), some edible massage oils, a leopard print mask that went perfectly with the French tickler she added (and which will be hidden from the cat.  He eats feathers.), some sort of toy that's designed to "elevate the experience", and a copy of the Kama Sutra, which Jim promptly opened and said "done that....done that..............done that........hmmmm..........yep, done THAT...."

Those Marines.

I was told that I blushed fairly scarlet when I opened it in front of the group.  I'm also told that one of our nurses asked Lisa Ann if her gift was "work appropriate," to which she had responded a firm "NO."  So yeah, the next time someone talks to you about what a conservative gift your Baptist friend got you,  you can think of me, raise and eyebrow and say "yeah, done that."



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Certain Sense of Decorum

My dear husband had a plan today:  to take me to the fort to get my military ID.  Though he said it was so I have access to his military benefits, I think there's a more evil plan afoot:  this means that now I can go to the commissary without him.  As in, grocery shopping.

Homey don't play dat.

Every time we go to the commissary, I have a bunch of retired military guys asking me where inane things are, like apples.  Or cereal.  Or hamburger.  It usually happens 2-3 times during ever trip.  So yeah, I'm not anxious to go alone.  I will say, the service there is wonderful, the selection is great, and it's not crowded, as opposed to Kroger, where I only go when I have a death wish.  What is it with that chain, that every one of their stores is filled with frantic people who fly around, even in mid-July, like there's two feet of snow coming and the fridge is empty?  But I digress.  Grocery shopping is just too close to cooking for me, so I try to stay away from it whenever possible.

So, my Marine woke me up at 5:30am to go to the fort, proclaming his fact that if we didn't get there by 7:05, all of the parking spaces would be gone.  I promptly went back to sleep for 20 minutes.  By this time, he was threatening to throw a trash can at me, a la basic training, so I got up.

I hate morning.

So we jumped in the car and took off.  I was quite proud of the fact that I had remembered all of the documents that I needed, in order to officially be the officer's wife.  We got there, and lo and behold, there were plenty of parking spaces.  Jim made a point of saying that we needed to register the car with security, since we were visitors.  I said "do you know your license plate number?"  He just looked at me and shook my head.  I turned around and looked, then realized DUH, he gets a special plate with his rank on it.

I'm not good at this officer's wife thing yet.

So we went in, grabbed a number, and waited.  One of the clerks busied himself with asking what people needed.  I'm pretty sure he did this as some sort of sadistic gesture, because he asked, and then when the person would walk toward him, explaining why they were there, he backed off and said "oh, I'm not waiting on people.  I just need to know why you're here."  Really?  Pretty soon, one of the clerks called out "THREE," and ;the lady next to me went up to her counter.  The first guy, obviously a rocket scientist, said "I think you'll be next."  I'm not sure if he said that because a) we were the only ones left in the waiting area by that point or b) Jim was obviously holding the number FOUR.  Rocket scientist, I tell you.  His mother must be SO proud.

When they called our number and made it up to the counter, we found that amongst all the flotsam and jetsam, it also had stacks of laminated random cartoons like Bizarro and Dilbert.  I sat there reading them, thoroughly amused, and probably laughing way too loudly at a few of them.  I read a couple of them to Jim, who did not seem amused.  Pretty soon, the girl told me to sign my name (Jim leaned over and said "sign the right name, dear"), then go stand over by the curtain so she could get my picture.  She asked how I liked their Walmart curtain, which was a gray and white stripey-abstract print.  She went into a long discussion about how they had sent her to Wal-Mart to buy a background for the pictures because, as her compadre loudly announced "the white wall made the black people blacker and the white people whiter."  Well.  Isn't that special?  She settled on gray, which apparently doesn't do anything for anyone, because when I got my ID, it looks like a faded tintype, so you can barely make out the picture.  Oh well, it's good enough for government cheese, I guess.

Jim announced this afternoon that since I am now an officer's wife, I must act with a certain sense of decorum.  I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I'm pretty sure that it does not involve inappropriately loud laughter, and the cartoons on the counter were some kind of test.  If that's the case, I failed miserably.  If it requires much more of that, then I'm in trouble.

Hoo-rah.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Are You Sure? Well..............

We went shopping at the commisary yesterday.  Jim loves to browse, so this takes some time. Add to this the fact that he's cutting down on salt, and it definitely put him off his normal game.  So there we were, in the dairy aisle, with him looking muddled.  I asked what he was doing, and he said he felt like he was forgetting something.  Got to the checkout line, and he still felt it, but couldn't remember what it was he was supposed to be getting.  So here's how the conversation went this afternoon, after a conversation on how to cook our standing rib roast for Easter dinner.

Jim:  "Oh THAT'S what I forgot yesterday!  Remember, I said I forgot something!  That's what I forgot?"
Me: "What?"
Jim: "Butter!  Remember, I said I forgot something when we were in the dairy aisle?  I forgot butter.  We got margarine, but we're out of butter."
Me:  "Are you sure?"
Jim: "Yes, I'm sure.  And I forgot to get it. I knew I was forgetting something.  It was butter."
Me: "Are you sure?  Because I didn't think we were out."
Jim: "Yes, I'm sure.  We're out."
Me: "Are you sure?"
Jim:  "YES.  I am SURE. Quit asking if I'm sure, because I'm sure. We are out of butter.  I don't know why you keep asking me that, when you knew that I forgot something while we were there.  It was butter.  Yes, I'm SURE we are out."

::long pause::

Jim: "Well, dammit, you'd better go see, because now I'm not sure."

By now, I couldn't stop laughing, because the whole thing was so funny, so I opened the fridge, but couldn't answer him, because I was laughing so hard.  For the record, I was equally sure that we had some butter, but me not being the cook around here, I don't know what we have and what we don't most days, because he's the master chef.  But I also stand corrected, because I found that we were, indeed, out of butter.

Jim: " See, this is what drives me crazy about you.  You ask me five times if I'm sure, when I'm already sure, and then I'm not sure because you keep asking if I'm sure.  It drives me crazy."  ::long pause:  ::laughs::  "I just love you."






Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Good news.  I got my new Social Security card.  I not only got it, but after staring at it for four days, I signed it.  And this time, I even signed it correctly.  Miracles really do happen.

This entire Social Security card thing has been a learning experience.  Here's what I learned:  the Social Security Administration office is a happenin' place where people meet up.  I know this.  I've been there twice now.  The experience was the same both time, and it goes like this:  I walk in.  I get a ticket by using the kiosk.  I sit down.  I kill some time reading emails and checking Facebook on my phone.  And I eavesdrop, just a little.

Mainly I eavesdrop because the Social Security Administration office is full of old people, a good amount of whom are hard of hearing.  It's also apparent that the closer you get to retirement, the less you get out, but once you get to the Social Security office, you will run into someone you know.  And when you do, the conversation will go something like this:

"Oh hey, Bud, how are you?  I haven't seen you in forever."
"Oh hey.  I'm good."
"I heard that your brother died."
"Yep, he died last month.  His (heart/kidneys/liver/insert organ of choice) failed after he had a (stroke/heart attack/transplant/insert medical event of choice).  He had just moved to (Florida/Texas/Arizona/insert warm weather location of choice).  He was only there for a (week/month/year/insert timeframe of choice) and now he's gone."
"Oh wow, that's terrible.  At least you look great.  I am retiring next month.  How about you?"
"Well, I'm going to retire, but I'm also working at (Walmart/Bob Evans/McDonald's/insert menial job of your choice)."
"That's great.  Hey, I gotta go.  Call me and we'll go (hunting/shopping/to church/insert recreational event of choice), ok?"
"Yeah, that sounds great.  See you later."

As soon as the buddy leaves, his friend will pipe up with "wow, I haven't seen him in years.  He looks terrible."  True story.  Every. Time.

As for me, I hope to not have to go to the Social Security office again anytime soon.  If I do, the little old men there are going to start thinking I'm stalking them.

Friday, April 04, 2014

When You're Gettin Married In The Morning..........

When I got married the first time, we didn't do any premarital counselling.  Perhaps it's because my dad was performing the ceremony, so that would be weird, but we didn't have to do any.  Well, I take that back,  we did get counselled on one thing: the "nuptual" kiss.

My dad had, at that point, done a lot of weddings, and had probably seen just about everything, though ministers, like nurses, never claim to have actually seen everything.  There's always something out there to surprise us.  Heck, he even did a funeral once where the gravedigger fell into the grave, causing a rather pregnant pause, followed by a firm "I'm OK" to filter up from the depths.  So yeah, stuff happens.

Apparently, one of the things that can happen is that the bride and groom linger a bit too long at the "you may kiss the bride" booth.  My father was rather clear on it, saying something to the effect of "it doesn't have to be a peck, but don't get carried away.  It's a nuptual kiss."  I've sometimes wondered if he said this to everyone, or if it was a fatherly boundary being set by a man who was getting ready to marry off his youngest child.  In either event, I listened.

The other thing he said was for me to hang onto my veil when we blew out the unity candles, because there apparently was some kind of a fire hazard involved.  Whether or not he actually saw a bride self immolate, I have no idea, but he was concerned.  I haven't watched the video in years, but I do believe that you can see him take a small lunge toward me when he realizes that I completely ignored his advice and was, in fact, briefly in danger of becoming The Human Torch.  Oh well, it was the heat of the moment (no pun intended), and I survived.  The marriage, not so much.

So this time around, a dear friend of ours performed the ceremony.  As I mentioned, it was intended as a private affair, so there was no pressure.  No pressure, that is, till he said that he pretty much insists that everyone he marries take a premarital test, and then have some counselling before the wedding.  Oh dear.  No, Jill and Michael had just taken their test a few weeks before, and she was sure that they had "failed."  I had been assuring her that you can't really "fail" a premarital test, but she, The Voice Of Doom, was sure that they had failed.  She didn't say what was on the test, and since neither Jim or I had ever done counselling before, we went into it blind.

Let me tell you, some of those questions were HARD.  It was one of those "rate this from 1-5, with 1 being strongly disagree, and 5 being strongly agree" tests.  I hate when they say that, because you just KNOW that there are going to be questions that require an asterisk.  But there is no asterisk (reminder to self:  tell the story of the greatest April Fool's joke I ever did), so you just have to commit.  I guess that's why it's a premarital test -- they must want you to commit -- but I cheated and was asking one of my friends "how would you answer this" on Facebook while I was testing.

Take, for example, the statement "I believe I know everything about my future spouse."  Well honey, I was married long enough to know that you NEVER EVER know everything -- and frequently you know NOTHING -- about your spouse.  But I paused, worried about what it means to answer with a disagreement to this question.  Would that mean we aren't compatible?  That he has secrets?  That we haven't been together long enough?  That he won't fold the towels right?  Oops, forget that last one.  Well, I really grappled with that question, finally asking my friend - who has been married for thirty years, and has known her husband even longer -- what she thought about that question.  She stated rather matter of factly that even she learns new things about her husband from time to time.  I calmed down and finished.

Jim took his test a couple of days later, and then the fretting began.  By now, I was calm and knew it was gonna be fine -- though some counselling topics could get weird when doing it with a close friend.  Jim worried that we had failed.  Oye vay, I'm surrounded by voices of doom.  He finally had me text the pastor, who replied that we had done fine.  "What does THAT mean," Jim asked.  He dialed the phone, and jumped right in, asking how we had done.

Well, it turned out that we had done well.  As in, we showed more compatibility than almost anyone the pastor had ever married.  This is no small accomplishment, since he's been a pastor for over fifty years.  Even he sounded surprised.  I'm not sure why that is, but it is what it is:  we always knew from day one that it was right.  (Yes, I have a story about that too, but it will wait for another day.) We ended up doing our counselling the day before the wedding, and found out that we had no areas for improvement, and even scored 100% match on several areas.  We had, indeed, done well.  It led, nonetheless, to some interesting discussions on that day.  We found that we had just misread a couple of questions,  and would have done even better had we read them correctly, but it didn't matter -- interesting discussions were had, as well as some laughs.  The wedding was ON.  We planned to have a brunch together before the wedding.  Yes, if you plan your wedding right, the minister and his wife will feed you before the wedding.

The next morning, we got up and started getting ready.  My phone dinged a text notification, and I went to check it. It was from the minister, who said, and I quote:

"This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Do you have any white wine with you?"

Gotta love that man.  We took the Riesling we had with us, had a nice little wedding, a wee dram o' Scotch, and it was all over.  As in, no nuptual kiss.  He never told Jim to kiss his bride.  I'm not sure if he forgot or, more likely, that since we were using a new template of the ceremony that didn't have him pronounce us as husband and wife (WE did, in the vows), that perhaps the nuptual kiss was left out too.

My dad would be proud.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Some Things Are Just Plain Hard

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was engaged.  She (kind of) jokingly said to her fiance that he should take HER name when they got married.  Her name was, after all, easier for people to pronounce.  And it didn't consist of a part of a female cow's anatomy.  The fiance stared at her silently.  She pled her case -- again (kind of) jokingly, they laughed about the idea and moved on.

Three days later, the fiance came to her and said, quite seriously and totally out of the blue, "I just want you to know that if you don't want to take my name, then we aren't going to get married.  A man waits his whole life to give his name to a woman, and if my name's not good enough for you, then we aren't getting married."  Whoa, Dude.  JOKING.  (Kind of.)  She took his name, forever banishing their children to a life of harassment about dairy cows and women's reproductive organs.

Over time, she found that the name was somewhat useful.  When you have a name that starts with M, you always have to figure out what line you get in, or where in the seating chart you are, or where to look on the list of names up on the wall, because you're smack in the middle.  But when your last name starts with U, it's all pretty simple -- you're always at the end.  Your film (back in the day) or your prescriptions are easy to find, because there aren't many things in the U bin.  Having a U name can be rather useful, she found.

That girl was me, and I eventually made piece with the name.  The kids, except the Bratty Gurl, basically did, after putting up with the harassment from time to time.  It fit well into our life of Utter Chaos, so it was ok.  And the Bratty Gurl would get married one day and lose the name that she hates so much.

Fast forward to the part where I divorced his lying, cheating ass.  I thought seriously of taking back the maiden name but didn't, because Bratty was so anxious to change HER name that the only way to chill her out was to say "hey, NO ONE gets to change their name till I do."  She agreed, and I didn't change my name.  Moms have a way of winning, always.  It's a gift that is delivered before the first placenta, I think.

And so it was, that after a heartfelt New Year's Eve proposal a couple of years ago, and many settings and changings of dates, we took the plunge last month and got married in a private, very personal ceremony in Florida, complete with Scottish tartan, a quiach, and some Scotch whiskey, to boot.  It was lovely and simple and perfect.  We had a great honeymoon, full of relaxation, margaritas, sand, and not a care in the world.  And then everything got complicated.

Men will never understand what a pain in the butt it is to change your name.  Jim was really sweet in asking if I was going to change it at all, or if I perhaps wanted to go back to my maiden name.  I asked him -- as I've asked a number of male friends over the years -- if a man does indeed live his whole life waiting to give a woman his name, because the thought intrigued me.  He, like every other man I have ever asked, looked at me crazy and said an emphatic "NO.  Why would it matter?"  Just as I thought.  But I told him that I planned to take his name, which seemed to please him, nonetheless.  Plus, the commonality of his name means going into the Witness Protection Program is all that much easier, should the need ever arise.

And so it was that I found myself in Anderson, Indiana last week, clutching all the documentation proving my names over the course of the past half century or so.  I spoke with a very nice gentleman who told me that my new card would appear in about 2 weeks, and I set out to wait.  You know, you can't change anything till that Social Security card arrives. It's very annoying, because in the meantime, what IS your name?  Everyone congratulates you with one name, but you sign everything with the old name.  It's all a bit confusing.
 
Lucky for me that the new card arrived on Friday, a mere five days after I applied for it.  Yippee!  Me being me, and last week being as nutty as it was (cleaning up from the great flood, unpacking from the trip, painting the closet where the flood started, and work was off the chain busy, so little sleep was had), I opened the envelope and then put it aside to deal with it later.  When I went into my office, I decided to go ahead and scan it for Human Resources, then just sat and looked at it.  Lack of sleep meant my rheumatoid arthritis was pretty bad, and my hands were extremely painful.  And cold.  And stiff.  Last week was chilly, and my hands are always really cold when the temperature dips.  So the card just sat there next to me while I started my workday.

It turned into a bit of a process.  I decided to let my hands warm up, because once you sign that card, you have to look at that signature forever.  It needs to be a good signature, not one like what you sign on the credit card machine at the grocery.  It needs to be neat and legible, and one to be proud of, not unlike how you'd write it for your kids' teacher when they send home a permission slip.  Yes, the hands needed to warm up, because when they warm up, they aren't as stiff.  Or painful.  Limber fingers make pretty handwriting.  By the by, the fingers felt better, and I decided it was time to take the plunge.  I picked out the pen.  Nope, not that one.  Got another one that flowed freely.  Tested it to make sure it was working -- I didn't want to have to trace over part of the signature and make it look tacky.  Yep, pen was working great.  I took a big breath and wrote my name.  Sat back and looked at it, thinking to myself "wow, that looks really  GOOD."

Then I realized that I had signed my old last name.

I am pretty sure that life came to a standstill for about two minutes while I regained my composure.  I mean seriously, NOW what?  I couldn't turn it in as ID to get my driver's license if it had two different names on it.  Heck, if I tried to use it at the bank, I might get up close and personal with the security guard.  All thoughts of name-changing came to a screeching halt.  All I could think was "DAMMIT."

Jim got home, and I started to tell him the story. He interrupted me midstream and said "you signed the wrong name, didn't you" before I could even finish.  He may or may not have laughed to the point of tears.  He informed me that I should've waited till he got home, cause he had wanted to have a little ceremonious signing of the card, and HE would've made sure that I didn't sign the wrong name.  ::sigh:: I mean, really.  I've been signing that name since 1987.  This name change thing is HARD.  Men just don't get it.

And so it was that the dog and I popped into the convertible, put the top down, and drove to the Social Security office again this week.  I waited.  They called my name.  The girl asked how she could help me.  I just handed her my card and yes, she burst out laughing.  Now, I don't know for certain, but I'm fairly certain that federal government employees are not supposed to laugh at people, much less people in the Social Security office.  I mean, most of the people there are either senior citizens or people on disability.  It would seem unkind, and perhaps a bit confusing to the customer, for clerks to spontaneously guffaw.  But then again, I was in Anderson -- home of the only restaurant sign that hawks "Pastries, Barbecue, and Bail Bonds."  Political correctness may not be their forte. But I digress...........

So here I am again, back to square one, waiting for the new card.  Fortunately, I had already scanned the first one before I signed it, so I was able to change my name at work -- but to add to the confusion, I can't change my nursing license yet, so I still have to use the old name when I'm working.  I walk around confused most of the time.  Hopefully, by next week, I will be able to start the name changing process in earnest, and put the old name to rest, once and for all.  And trust me, if anything happens to my dear husband sometime in the distant future, and some man tries to say that he's waited his whole life to give me his name, I'm gonna tell him where he can shove it.