Monday, February 28, 2011

Gratuitous Pet Photos

Because I am a horrible, wicked person, I have to post some gratuitous pet photos.  First up  squirrel torture...

We first purchased this horrible plastic ball for Chili and Pepper a few days after they came home from the breeder.  We originally bought the ball to keep the babies safe from Chloe, and we thought the babies could drive Chloe crazy with it.  I think we tried the ball once, and I had an attack on how cruel it seemed to cram the little boogers in it.  A few months have passed, so we brought it out again to see how Pepe' le Pew would fare, and she loved it!

On to Chloe.  She was getting to be a mangy mutt that could not see her own nose.  She looks pretty pissed in this picture, which cracks me up. Her hair was getting gross and long and the hair on her nose and on her paws was especially bad.

Saturday she went for her day of beauty, and came home form the spa looking like this...

Toe nails done.  Ears plucked.  

Gorgeous as ever.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Man and A Bike

I turned my phone on this morning and immediately received three consecutive texts rom my sister.  I'll only share one of them...

Text #3: Dad is back.  In one piece.

Laura called a few hours later.  She was out taking my Mom's dog for a "walk" (read: dragging Satan's Spawn around unwillingly) and was lost in my parents neighborhood.  The three of them made it safely to Arizona yesterday.   Laura was calling to download about the morning events.

This morning Dad decided to get a haircut, and knowing my sister would rightly give him the stink eye if he drove the van, he decided to ride a bike.  You should know that on top of PD, my father has erratic blood pressure and balance is not his strong suit.  Not only does he jump on the bike, but he decides to showboat and ride one handed and drink coffee at the same time.  

Upon his return from the barber, he no longer had the coffee mug.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Then vs. Now

Once, years ago, when I was standing at a booth in a trade show I heard some shocking news.  My father had just walked away to take a break and my mother and I were standing waiting for customers to come our way.  Mom and I were making small talk.  I don't remember what we were talking about specifically, maybe parenting...maybe the fact that my kids were little and I was working part time...I don't remember.  What I do remember was that my Mom said my Dad had a vasectomy.  What?  Excuse me? That is never something I ever wanted to hear.  Why would she tell me that? I suppose she guessed that I was pretty disturbed by this piece of news, because she went on to tell me that I was a mistake.  And I was the reason he had the vasectomy...really?  I was born 6 years after my brother and 8.5 after my sister, it seems that I could have figured that one out on my own.

But I was always my Daddy's girl.  You could have never guessed by the way I was glued to him in this picture.  And yes, my childhood was a whole lot different from those of my brother and sister, since I was so much younger.  We were raised by different parents, in different economies.

My Dad was a big man, traditional, religious, and very creative.  After serving in the Navy, he worked different blue collar jobs, then went on to start his own company, successfully manage his company for many years, and sell his company and retire a few years ago, all without graduating from high school or college (he dropped out of high school and went into the Navy, then got his GED later).  He is a true self made man.

My Dad was the idea guy.  The man everyone came to if they wanted to do something and did not know how to do it.  He was the guy who came up with the plan and showed you how to execute it.  He invented things.  Seriously.  He has patents.  He got his hands dirty.  He built heirloom furniture.  He fixed anything.  He was the guy that built everyone's additions, decks, sheds, you know, that kind of guy, but uber creative too.  

Ok, not perfectly creative all the time, like once when I was in college I asked him to look at my car, a beat up VW Golf.  It seemed that one of the backseat windows was leaking because there was always standing water in the footwell in the backseat.  Dad, frustrated with me, went to the garage, grabbed a drill, pulled back the carpeting of the footwell and drilled holes in the floor of my car.  Exasperated, he tacked the carpeting back down, looked at me, and with a straight face told me I wouldn't have that problem anymore.

After Mt. St. Helens blew  in 1980 my Dad was the one who took ladies pantyhose and rigged the air intake on all the cars, so we could drive home from our eastern Washington vacation.  In the middle of Puget Sound, Dad was the one who dismantled the stalled boat engine and Macguyver'd it with a couple of rubber bands, a paper clip and a piece of string so we could motor home.

We have too many stories, legends really, about Dad carrying things us mere mortals could not budge, volunteering to walk a mile back to the car to retrieve a forgotten item in a snow storm after breaking all his ribs, never a hint of a complaint or a grimace.

Around 1998 my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Essential Tremor.  Obviously the 10+ years of PD and his basic aging have transformed this once 6'2" barrel chested man into a shell of the man he was.  But more than that, I think the Deep Brain Stimulation surgery he underwent for his tremors a few years ago changed him.

This man, who once pieced cars together and rigged engines, now cannot drive.  His mind tells him he can, but his inability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time robs him of this privilege.  This man, who could fix anything, needs his daughter to help him through putting a simple closet shelf together.  This man, who was full of ideas and adventure, sleeps all day slumped over in his chair.  

It was not a sudden change, but a gradual one.  But this change is one that is very hard to stomach as an observer, and I'm sure harder to stomach as the survivor.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Being a child of an aging adult/parents is a matter of teamwork.  I feel sorry for only children.  I realize now that I should have had more children but when my husband suggested 5 or 6, 2 seemed right for me at the time.  Now I am wishing I had more for their sakes.  

My sister and brother and I are a team.  Every now and then one of us will take one for the team, like my sister is doing now, and take on my parents or my Dad alone.  Since the three of us siblings live in three different states, our team rarely plays together, ours is more of a 'tag in' effort.

My brother takes our Dad on alone all the time.  It has a lot to do with their relationship, and the desire to give my Mom a reprieve.  My brother is one of few people (if not the only one) who can A. tell my Dad anything to his face B. not take Dad's reaction personally C. carry or pick my Dad up off the sidewalk and D. call Dad on any of his antics.  Me?  I am still wrapping my head around the Dad of my childhood versus the Dad of my forties.  Matthew, my brother, has the ability to finish construction on a house, govern our Father and keep him from undoing what construction has been done, be in a foreign state, and have his car stolen all at once.  God love him.

Laura takes my parents on daily and weekly.  She is the goto for appointments, holidays, and throws in trips to Costco and still remembers to ask them if they want to get together and play cards.  She truly is the favorite.

Me? I do the extended visits.  My parents want to come and stay with my family for weeks at a time just to be with us.  Or we travel to see my parents for a week or two.  Since my parents are my kids only grandparents, it is a great idea, but one that becomes strained quickly.  My independence gets in the way.  My control freaky-ness stresses me out when I suddenly am thrust into the I am the decision maker, but also the child role.

Add all of us together, the three of us get by week by week and month by month to help our parents out as much as we can.  

Road Trip Part Two

My sister texted me last night while we were out at our monthly beer dinner, which I am currently regretting  (no, I don't actually drink the beer, but I eat the yummy food and Smoked Salmon pizza sounded good and tasted good last night, but doesn't seem like such a good idea this morning).  

It seems that the foursome traveled approximately 6 hours and only had to stop 5 times.  Twice for Mom, once for the dog, once for a dirty windshield and once for God knows what else.  She went on to inform me that when they checked into the hotel there was only one room purchased.  She added that it was a good thing she'd brought her ear plugs and a book, because my parents are both super snorers.

Looks like Laura is bunking with the dog!  Say a prayer for her.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Road Trip

My sacrificial sister decided to drive my parents to their place in Arizona, because they were sick of the weather in Washington.  She is the favorite child.  My brother and I tease her about this fact, that she is the favorite child, but everyone knows it is really the truth.  Laura is the child that lives the closest.  Laura is the oldest.  Laura would drop everything and come to their aide without a moments notice.  Laura will offer to drive them to a different state.

Me?  Ehhhhhhh.  No, I'm kidding, I would.  Honestly.  Most days.

But Laura has given up her life to drive my parents 1500 miles.  Approximately 23 hours in the car, with my parents, which is no small feat, but add in the fact that this morning she texted me that they were on their 3rd rest stop, and they had only been on the road for 2 hours.  They hadn't made it out of their own state yet! 

(I think I would go nuts!  I mean once, when David lived in Ohio and the kids and I lived in North Carolina, we drove 9 hours to see David and only stopped after 7 hours of traveling because I thought that we should eat something besides fruit snacks and crackers and stretch our legs so we didn't throw a clot.)

Laura was freaking the other day when we talked about the upcoming trip.  She claimed the last time she had driven anywhere with Mom and Dad was back when we used to drive from Washington to Colorado to visit my grandparents.  Picture this...big Chevy Impala, three kids in the backseat, I either slept in the foot well or in the back window (I know, super safe, but it was the 70's) and my brother and sister played hours and hours of boardgames in the backseat.  I don't know how far we would drive in a day, but I don't really recall too many hotels or rest stops.  Jar peeing was common practice, or side of the road peeing with Mom holding the beach towel.  Food was a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread.

Things have changed since then.  Not only is Laura the driver, but regardless of where you are in your trip, five o'clock rolls around and the early bird special is callin'.  No pushing through to get a few more miles under your belt.  Only safe, Holiday Inn Express' and chain food joints.  Everyone retires to their hotel room by 6:30, with their bellies full of Chicken Fried Steak or Pancake special, and falls into bed asleep, only to wake up, eat the free breakfast and get on the road by 8:00 am.  Seat belts are essential.  Multiple rest stops and doggie rest stops are required.  Dad sleeps while pretending to listen to the book on tape.  Mom knits and complains about Dad's sleeping.

We won't even mention the van my parents insisted on driving (smells like gasoline and Laura is convinced she will perish in a fiery death because there is so much Kerosene soot from Dad's garage debacle of 2010 on the tan interior you can't light a match).

So if you see a woman driving a young couple in their 70's and an evil Yorkie down I-5 give them a little leeway in their big rolling turd of a van, and say a prayer for Laura's sanity.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Trained CSI

Last night Hannah was avoiding us.  At one point in the evening David asked me why Hannah was so mad at me, because it was THAT obvious that I had wronged her in some way.  Hmm...could it be that I yelled at her all weekend?  Could it be that I have criticized everything she has done the last three days?  The cherry on top? I walked upstairs last night to hand her the Squirrel buffet and complimented Hannah on having Chili and Pepper out of their cage, only to find out that C & P had ransacked her closet and had found her stash of pine nuts (aka sugar glider candy).  The rascals had the top off the container of pine nuts and were gorging themselves while she sat and read her book across the room, oblivious.  When I alerted her to the situation she deflated because she had done something wrong. Again.  

How do you tell your child that she is a wonderful, beautiful, smart, exceptional teen but never listens to a damn thing I say so is always being yelled at or criticized?  I actually said those exact words to her yesterday, followed by, you are bringing this on yourself!  Change your ways and you will not be criticized!!!

Friday I ran errands and came home to find a trail of debris throughout the house.  I grabbed her by the hand and gave her a tour.  I explained that I knew everything she did while I was out because of the trail she had left.  I walked into my room..."Let's see, you went into the cedar chest and got yourself a pair of capris, because the pillows on top of the chest are thrown on the floor."  We move on to the bathroom, "You came in here and borrowed some lotion because your math calculator is here on my countertop."  We move to the mirror in the foyer, "You stood here and applied the lotion, because the lotion is here on the foyer table."  Move into the kitchen, "You fixed yourself some toast and a bowl of cereal because the bread, toaster, cereal, and milk are still littering the counter."  "Then you had yourself a few cookies, because there are crumbs everywhere."  Of coarse I was right.  It doesn't take a trained CSI to figure the trail out.

The final straw yesterday was the few times I told her not to touch her brother's ipod.  When Bubba complained last night that she had hacked into his ipod and gotten the high score on the game he was playing, just to piss him off, I asked if she had done that after I asked her not to touch the ipod.  She said she had, so without making a yelling match of the situation, I asked for her ipod and took it away.

I try telling her everyday that I love her and I try to give her 10 uplifting comments for each negative comment, but THAT NEVER WORKS!  My ratios are reversed.  I am communicating the best I can, wearing my heart on my sleeve, and she callously takes my heart and squeezes and wrings it out like a sponge.  I don't want to be the parent that always yells and finds fault.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

No progress yet on my project.  Two days down of a four day weekend, and I have done nothing but run errands, exercise, clean, watch t.v. and go see a movie.  As soon as I plan a project, life gets in the way, but I am hoping to remedy that tomorrow and Monday. 

Thursday Hannah was home with a fever and cough, and David has been sick too.  I hope the plague is gone soon, before Bubba and I come down with anything.  

Today we all got some fresh air and went for walk with our good friend and her dog, pictured above.  After lunch we went to see the movie I Am Number 4.   This is the first movie we have seen in the theatre in many months, almost a year.  I can't think of the last time the four of us went, it is just getting too expensive.  We actually chose between a few adult movies, which was weird too.  Our kids are getting so old!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paint Square

I happened on this Etsy shop the other day and am totally smitten.

This one is my absolute favorite, but at $800, it is a little out of my budget... 

Yesterday I went to the store and bought some balsa wood strips to make a mini version along this same idea.  I'm not sure how the colors I have chosen will blend, but this long four day weekend I am going to have a project!  Planned time!  And if my little version of this fails?  I am out $20 and will wait to see if one drops out of the sky to help out the blank wall syndrome in our house.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Have you ever been sitting on the couch and see something dart across the floor in the next room out of the corner of your eye?  You question yourself...did I see something?  You turn back toward the television and wonder if it was something gross like a rat, or mouse, or maybe one of the kids rolled a ball in the other room, but then you look at the people next to you and realize everyone home is in the room.  Then you see something dart across the room again.  You realize it is in fact something small and furry.

At our house, that means that someone rushes toward our unsuspecting dog Chloe and grabs her, the other adult (and kids) run toward the small furry vermin.   TOWARD.  Not away.

It means that someone (me) left the Chili and Pepper's cage open.  Someone (me) was being nice to them and feeding them dinner (Hannah's job) and forgot to latch the door properly.  It means that Chili and Pepper are now on a walkabout and have pranced all the way around the upstairs bedrooms, at least one of them has run down the stairs and now both need to be found (you think looking for your keys is hard, try looking for something small and moving constantly) and need to be lured out from where they are hiding with a  juicy piece of fruit or a pine nut. 

Our family?  Trained in search and rescue.

Said scenario?  Totally my fault.  I'm a lazy latcher.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Scary Valentine

Yesterday we went to my nieces baptism and brunch at my in-laws afterward.  We had a great time, but missed our 'church of the broken pew' service since we were at their church and did their thing.

After all the other guests had left we were sitting around talking with my sister and brother-in law when the subject of stuff came up.  They have been storing David's moms things for years, and slowly over the last few years, we (my sister-in-law and I) go thru a box or twelve and sort things to throw, things to store or things to keep for ourselves as we have the time.  During the last snow day my sister-in-law had a big cleaning bug and went through tons of stuff and managed to get their storage room completely cleaned except for the remaining 5 boxes of my mother-in-law's things.  They decided that we were going to make MORE progress and make decisions regarding these last five boxes.

Yesterday David and I brought home 3 of the boxes and a list of the articles in another of the boxes to do a bit of research and get the last few things sold or donated.  What was in the last three boxes?  Dolls.  Not your average American Girl or Barbie doll or anything else remotely desirable, but scary, lacy, Jonbenet Ramsey type creepy dolls.  There is a REASON we have procrastinated on these last few boxes, no one has the cajones, until now, to remove them from their boxes.  (BTW, if anyone knows how to get rid of dolls, let me know).

Fast forward to this morning when I was about to go downstairs to get Bubba on the bus and saw the Mt. Washmore of dirty laundry sitting on our closet floor.  I bent down to get the laundry, wishing my husband a Happy Valentine's Day.  David stopped me saying that he'd get the laundry for me because it was his Valentine's gift to me.  Knowing he was serious, I took it myself so he didn't get off so easy, the big romantic.

So I decided to pull all the dolls out of their boxes and spread them around his side of our bedroom as  his "present" for Valentine's Day tonight.    

Friday, February 11, 2011

Food For Thought

I would like to submit an idea to the Maytag company.  Why can't you build a washing machine that has a garbage disposal type attachment?  Why, pray tell, would anyone want or need that type of attachment to their washing machine?  Well...EVERY TIME I go to transfer the wash to the dryer, there is food in my washing machine.  Seriously.  Broccoli.  Blueberry skins.  Apple skins. The occasional baby carrot.

Between the 6-8 environmentally friendly zip-loc baggies we use everyday for lunches, the pouches and accouterments of two flying squirrels, and the two under aged minors living in my house, there is ALWAYS food in the washer when I go to remove the clothes.  Yes, you may call me lazy, and you'd be correct, but I am not a pocket checker.  In my opinion it is very generous of me to shove said clothes in the washer, shove them in the dryer and sort it into appropriate laundry room baskets.  It is the wearers job to empty all pockets, right socks, and remove underwear from inside pants and such.  It is the wearers job to fold and place in an appropriate holding device until wearing.  It is the wearers job to haul the laundry up or down the stairs.  If they want to shove their clean clothes in a wad and cram them into dressers so they look like a bum when they get dressed, that's not my problem.

I know.  I'm a domestic goddess.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Whale of A Tail

One of my Kindergarten parents was up to her old tricks today when she dropped off her child at class.  She, to remain nameless, is always a hoot, and usually talks and talks long after she should be gone and I should be in class.

The subject of Urban came about in our morning discussion.  You see, a few days ago I used a phrase I thought to be innocuous, and this parent fell apart saying my phrase was bad and meant something I did not mean.  I said....wait for it..."I'll keep it on the down low."  Horror or horrors, it does not mean what I intended, I'll keep it a secret, but something bad.

This morning the parent asked if I looked up the phrase,"the down low," then proceeded to throw more phrases into the conversation to be funny...tramp stamp...whale tail...  I, being the prude I am, laughed and started to walk away.  She yells the direction of my classroom, "Like THIS!" and produces her backside, sliding down her pants to reveal her whale tail.  Ewww.

Let me clarify.  I do not wish to see or know of my 'parents' underwear choices.  And WHO wears a thong at 8:00 in the morning to drop off their child at Kindergarten before going to run errands?  And, by the way, now I know what a whale tail is.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Couple More Valentines

I have been playing around some in Illustrator.  Here are my latest valentine offerings for you...

For Jennifer, the Concise Version

Picture this: A three year old, a six year old, a moving truck, a cross country move.  Friends with small children visiting, friends with small children helping to load the truck.  Loads of people in and out of the house, exposed to our stuff and kids. One last meal out at a restaurant (Chinese food), come home to sleep together on the floor on the last items in our house.  Mattresses. 

Middle of the night, the 3 year old vomiting begins.  Chinese food and white berber (brand new) carpeting don't mix when the closing of the house/walk through is in the morning.  Middle of the night run to Walmart for a mini wet dry vac (better than unpacking the entire truck parked in the driveway).

6 year old airway reaction to carpet cleaning spray, back to Walmart for more cleaning agents and inhaler refill (also somewhere in truck).  More scrubbing, closing of blinds, dimming of lights, and prayers for closing of house to go off without a hitch, and no one will notice that the Chinese food puddle marks.

Throw the mattresses in the back of the truck, driver comes and picks up the truck, snowing, get into our mini-van and head out for the first of three 12 hour driving days.  3 year old appears to be fine, eating fine.  Endless Mac Donald's, singing, books on cd, (too poor for new technology of car dvd players), reading books, new toys hoarded the past months from the dollar store...finally arrive in south Illinois after hundreds of promises of swimming pool upon arrival.

Check into hotel, go up to room and toilet overflows.  Call front desk, put on swimsuits, and head down to pool.  6 year old jumps in pool, 3 year old jumps in pool, 4.8 mints pass and 3 year old vomits EVERYWHERE.  IN POOL.  Ga-ross.  Everybody out of the pool.  Head back up to room, toilet overflowing again, and throw barfy kid and non-barfy kid in shower to hose off the barf.

Guy comes to door and "fixes" toilet.  Sitting on bed combing out 6 year old long hair when I notice a pice of fuzz in her hair.  I throw it in the trash, start combing again.  More fuzz.  Hmmm.  Mo-re fuzz...hmmm.  Not fuzz.  Tiny bugs.  David pulls out computer.  Looks like those tiny bugs are LICE.  Hannah is ground zero and has 25 or 35 actual louse.   Bubba's hair is checked.   Lice.  David's hair is checked.  Lice.  My hair is checked.  Lice.  

Freak out.  Drive to Walmart (no this is not a paid advertisement) and buy every lice product they have.  Drive back to hotel and EVERYONE scrubs down with Rid shampoo.  No sleep.  Itching.  Toss and turn over thoughts of how many of my friends and their kids we have infected with lice in the last week.  Toilet overflows.  Room is already infected with lice so we do not complain or ask to change rooms. Back on the road in the morning.  

Drive 12 more hours stopping every 50 miles for Bubba to go to the bathroom.  Diarrhea has begun.  Back to Walmart for anti-diarrhea med's for Bubba.  

Arrive in Kentucky.  Check into hotel.  I head off to the laundromat and wash every stitch of clothing, car seat cover, stuffed animal, item that could possibly be washed in the hottest water I can find.  Spend $40 in quarters and most of the night washing and drying all the lice and diarrhea off of everything we own in the van.  Arrive back at hotel to find David, Hannah and Bubba ALL have diarrhea.  No sleep.  Itching. Tossing and turning all night thinking of washing more clothes to rid them of diarrhea and lice.

Back on the road.  Stopped every 5 miles for Bubba to realize that he CAN't go to the bathroom, too much medicine.  Arrive in North Carolina at new house (that I've never seen before) and get keys.  Go inside.  No furniture.  No pots or pans.  Nothing.  Drive another 1.5 hours to David's brothers house to spend the night.  Have given them warning, and they have checked us into a hotel (can't blame them).  David's brother has 5 kids.  We have brought a case of Rid (from Walmart) with us as a "we're here" present.

Hotel they have checked us into has doors on the outside, is next to a Waffle House (Awful House) where there was gunfire during the night, and the sheets smell like B.O.  David's brother feels awful that hotel is bad, offers for us to stay the night with them (Thanksgiving).  Shampoo's all 5 kids for safety sake.

David's brother and his wife have to run out and we are in charge of all 7 kids.  The MINUTE they walk out the door their 3 year old barfs EVERYWHERE, like dominoes, 3 of their other kids follow. Food Poisoning.  Curse you Sonic!

We decide that sleeping bags on the floor of our new house is better than freaking out about our lice and their undiagnosed barf and drive 1.5 hours back to our new house.

Our moving truck, that was supposed to take 3 days, takes 8 and we spend night after night on the floor, which is a blessing because our stuff is exposed to negative temperatures for consecutive nights and all lice eggs are killed.  Moving was like quarantine.

David and Bubba shave heads.  Hannah and I try every method of lice egg removal including Mayonnaise in the hair, Palmolive and Saran Wrap and finally rid our heads of lice by dying our hair.

All of the above story is completely true and equals...our move from HELL and is meant to  cheer up my friend.  My poor friend Jennifer texted me today to tell me that she, after 13 years of motherhood and three (awesome) boys, she has finally has lice.  She was texting because her head was wrapped in Mayonnaise.  She isn't sure how many of her boys have succumbed to the louse.  She texted "Shoot me now."  Sorry Jennifer!  If I could, I would don my shower cap and head on over to comb through your hair!  I wish we lived in the same state! 

Above picture via

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ninja or Owl Valentines

This weekend I downloaded the free trial of Adobe Illustrator and gave it a spin to see how I liked the new version, the ease of use, and if I enjoyed working with/creating things.  And I did!  Here is a tiny bit of the fun we had this weekend designing valentines and playing with the tutorials online.  Bubba downloaded the Illustrator software to the kid's laptop and he is having a great time figuring it out!

He said he was interested in creating things with Illustrator, and I couldn't be happier.  Next up on the design front?  Hannah wants a Valentine with a grenade and the words "I'd catcha  grenade for you."  Bruno Mars song, turned Valentine.

Enjoy your night!  Feel free to use the jpegs for your own use, if owls and Ninja's are your thing too!

Friday, February 4, 2011

National Day of Bad Words

I try and keep my blog writing clean, but today was my unofficial day of bad words, so I'm sharing.  It all started with my errand to the bank after work.  I went into the bank to make a wire transfer and everything went wrong.  The insurance check I deposited here in OH two weeks ago, that has been on a 10 day hold, was meant to be wire transferred to our out of state bank.  When I went in to arrange for the transfer, the teller informed me that although my bank account reads that the funds are available, the were in fact a figment of my imagination.  The check had been returned to the insurance agency, again.  Yes, this has been going on since DECEMBER.

I did not start screaming profanities right then and there, but very calmly and in my best I'm about to loose it voice informed the teller that I would try my best never to use their bank again.  EVER.  I proceeded to walk out to my car, dial the phone and explain the situation to my dear husband using the f-bomb only every sentence, rather than every other word.

After I'd calmed myself down, and called Jennifer to leave her a funny message since she is the only person woman enough to listen to my f-bomb riddled tirade (again), I went and ran a few calming errands before meeting Bubba off the bus.

Fast forward a few hours to David opening the mail.  He starts reading an employee guide from his parent company, one of those seemingly useless form letters informing employees of health care changes.  As David is skimming the letter he notices the FAQ on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and starts cracking himself up.  Why on Earth would his parent company name this thing the GINA? Pronounced exactly how you think...J-EYE-N-A. The jokes start this sponsored by the Veterans Administration?  

As soon as David has exhausted the possibilities of this ill named act I walk up the stairs to retrieve Bubba out of the I am walking David calls out to me "When are the Dicks picking Bubba up?"

Sam is staying the night at his friend's house.  His friend has the unfortunate surname of Dick.  Don't think we haven't exhausted that one.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Had To Ask

My daughter has been talking about "Mo."  Mo this...Mo that.  Every waking minute with Mo.  You know, Hannah, Mo and T.  The three musketeers.

Yesterday Hannah and I were in the car driving along and I had to ask.  I had to ask one more time, Who do you like?  She answered with the usual.  No one.

So I decided to ask it a different way.  A 2011 way.  I asked Hannah if she liked T or Mo.  She raised an eyebrow.  She squinted at me and chuckled.  I followed up with, "I wouldn't assume that you were straight, if you decided to like Mo, or any other girl, I would want to know that too."  

Hannah laughed again and said, "No mom, I don't like Mo."

Am I crazy?  My kid watches Glee.  We have friends, two women who live together, seem to do a lot together, then broke up (two women who Hannah just recently realized were lesbians).  She is aware of the difference between straight and gay.

"Whoever you like, boy or girl, I'm just interested in your life.  I'm interested in you."  

3 Things You Never Imagined Saying

..."Don't take your food into the bathroom while you are pooping."

..."Why are you walking down the middle of the icy street in the dark?"  

..."Why are you texting the person sitting next to you?"

Self Discovery

What are your 40's known for?  My 40's have been the age of self discovery for the last 18 months.  And what have I discovered?  First, I'm a cryer.  If ANYONE is crying whether on t.v., in real life, on the phone, anywhere, I cry too.  Big fat crocodile tears.  Uncontrollable sobbing.  The one exception?  My mother.  My Mother is on some post-cancer drug that makes you super emotional, or so her physician says, and as soon as my Mother starts to cry?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  But anyone else?  For any reason?  I'm dissolved into a pool of tears.  And the thing is? I don't come from crybaby stock.  I used to make fun of people for crying.   Once, my sister-in-law and I were sitting in a movie theater and she started to cry DURING A PREVIEW OF PRANCER.  I just sat there and stared, actually made fun of her later.  Who would cry during a preview of Prancer for God's sake?  And my brother-in-law?  He is a funeral cryer.  I have learned that although I usually stand by my sister during a funeral (safety in numbers and familiarity and all), I CANNOT stand next to my brother-in-law.  He is a funeral cryer.  And when he cries?  I'm done for.  I have to choose my place wisely.

Discovery #2.  I do not like playing games or cards of any kind with my parents or large groups of people.  It sounds incredibly calloused, but as my parents have aged, their playing skills have deteriorated and I don't have the attention span to play cards with slowpokes, hesitaters, or too many people.  

Discovery #3.  I don't do well with unplanned time.   Our two snow days this week threw me for a loop.  I measure my self worth by my accomplishments.  Being at home for two days in a row without things planned I start to loose track of time.  What did I do yesterday?  It is like I have amnesia, I can't remember a thing I did.  And did I do anything constructive?  Nope.  I remember being in my studio trying to plan something to sew or make, and looking at all my half started projects, but I didn't do A THING.  

Discovery #4.  I don't like some kids or stalkers.  I know, again it sounds calloused.  And weird.  Let me explain.  I have a Kindergartener in my class named "Carl."  During last fall's soccer season I saw Carl's Mom on the sidelines one game and we sat and talked the entire game.  I like her, she's fun.  Carl's Mom, "Maria," and I were talking and the subject of futures arose.  Maria said her husband was about to retire from the Air Force and they were deciding where to live when he retired.  I was talking about my house and how much I loved it, when Maria asked the name of my neighborhood.  You can see where this is going.  I told her the name of our neighborhood (it is all of about 5 streets) and she said it was where they had been looking and she wanted to buy a house there.  In my neighborhood.   Here.  Buy a house.

So months pass, and when Maria drops off Carl every school day morning she asks how the neighborhood is.  If there are any houses for sale in my neighborhood.  She said she drives through every day or two looking.  Oi.  Well a house, not even on the market, came onto her radar and she bought it.  Yes.  Bought it.  It wasn't even listed.  She hunted down the owner, invited herself into the house while the current tenants where there, and offered the owner money and...he took it.  A house a stone's throw from my own.

Today, after the long two day snow break, Maria said they finalized the house, oh boy!  Then, in the midst of her three boys, she was talking about how she and her three boys would be over at my house all the time and how I could help her three boys with their homework, and how her three boys would come over and play.   Silence.  Crickets chirping.  Did I say three boys?  Maybe I should put it this way...if someone had captured a baby bengal tiger a baby bear and a baby lion, put them in a bag for 3 days without food, then released them into a butcher shop, you would be describing her three boys standing, or should I say fighting, in her midst.  The are a HANDFUL.

I know plenty of people with three boys, and their children are nothing like THESE three.  Some parents think to themselves I have three over active children so I am going to parent them, have rules and keep these children under control, and some parents think to themselves I have three over active beasts and I am going to let them do whatever the hell they want.  Maria chooses the later.  I like Maria, but I don't need to like her children.  I'm guessing that a frank discussion of personal space and how I like my quiet home and yard is going to come up real soon.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Today we were home from school AGAIN.  
Tomorrow we are off school AGAIN.
No leaving the house.  No driving.  No nothing.  We are homebound.
Two words...
Ice storm.  

Our streets are coated in ice!

Since I have time on my hands I am tackling a project that I've been putting off for a month.  Our family has a tradition.  My Mom has made each member of our family a Christmas stocking.  It started with my Mom and Dad.  Then she added the kids, the sons and daughter in law, grandkids and finally the great grandkids.  But there's more!  For every year you are part of our family my Mom has added a charm/token/ornament to your stocking.  So, my parents have 50 charms, my sister has 49, my brother 47, myself 41, my brother in law, 20 something, etc.  Here is a picture of all our stockings on my parents fireplace the last time they were all hung together.  A  Nd yes, my parent's fireplace was HUGE.  Some of the stockings are so full of charms that it became impossible for items to be placed inside the stockings (or to see the names), so note in the picture the bags on the floor beneath each stocking for the stocking stuffers:

When we were home for Christmas this year I swiped our four.  It seems all the stockings were water damaged during their last year long storage.  The felt molded.  The charms rusted or deteriorated.  All 16 need to be remade.
The before for our four:

(Not sure why Bubba's is backward!)

Some of the charms from my stocking.  Some homemade, some were from trips my parents took, some were made by grandkids...I wish we would have dated each one!

Here is my progress from today.  I have remade the stockings and now I will start to reattach each charm.  I contemplated remaking them a little different, using reverse applique or changing the design up, but decided that I would stick to my Mom's original design.  I know it sounds boring, but I'm sentimental.  My plan is to hang out stockings on the mantle as a Christmas decoration and put our useable stockings up on Christmas Eve.  

Hopefully you'll hear from me tomorrow.  Our power is flickering and 45,000 people are without power so far in our area.  Stay warm!