Well, obviously the blog birth control has not worked for me… NOR my blog daughter VW.
Like blog mother like blog daughter?
And where are the fathers here? How are we both procreating and I’m not seeing any blog fathers! Single blog parents… yet again!
Although at least my new line is not as… whacked as VW’s!
To start with, my newest blog daughter, who you have seen comment here as Dixie Darlin’ has gone and strayed towards the light and has started to blog. Found at House of Zathras, she is the mother of four (blog fodder!) and a Floridian living on the cusp of Florida in Alabama… which is hurricane country (more blog fodder!). She started blogging actually a bit over a month ago, but just got the courage for me to announce her.
She has a GREAT post HERE about being saved in a hurricane by her Hero.
So please go on over and say hello!
And then… we have… VW… who spawned a blog daughter, who is actually her sister. Her real sister. It sounds like one of those incestuous jokes that are becoming very famous through the BE Family. “I’m the daughter of your sister, of your brother’s great grandfather, who am I?” Or something like that.
Anyway, VW’s real sister, now blog daughter Tink can be found at Tink’s Tribulations. The mother of three (blog fodder), two of whom are currently serving in our Armed Forces, lives in the panhandle… hurricane country (more blog fodder!).
On her sidebar she has a cast of characters and I cannot quit laughing that she calls VW’s hubby, Bug Brains. That cracks me up. (Harvey’s round up of her is HERE.) So please go on over and say hello!
I’m taking a poll here.
My family sometimes communicates via e-mail. One of us will send the entire family an e-mail about something that was deemed funny or reminds us of something another family member has done or even reminds us of a past family incident.
And from there the streams of e-mail will continue as we comment to each other, keeping the entire family on distribution. I think I’ve even blogged some of them before, as they're sometimes classic.
So today, via group e-mail the name of some chick Eva Longoria comes up. And I said, “Who’s that?”
And my Mom says something like everyone in the world has heard of her, including The Great Omnipotent One, whom Mom pointed her out to. Now before you think, ‘Oh! Well! He’s Omnipotent! Of course he knows who Eva Longoria is!’, think again. My father is truly the most socially clueless person on the face of this planet…
…2nd to me, evidently....as NEVER IN MY LIFE have I heard of this woman.
Please tell me that I am NOT the only one who has never heard of her. Tell me I’m not the only one that lives under this rock!
Overheard in the House of Bou… from Bones. Who else?
Bones: If Son#2 was a Canadian Monster, I’d still have to kill him because he’s a Monster, even though he’s my brudder, because he’d want to kill all of America.
All monsters as of late, come from Canada. I have NO IDEA why.
I quit asking.
Filed either under, “I can’t make this stuff up” or “People pay good money for this kind of entertainment”, we have today’s story.
While in the car, driving the kids home from their 2nd to last day of school, there was discussion of a little boy in Son#2’s class that had a tough year last year. Mean as a snake last year, this year he’s a family friend.
So I heard Bones say (yes, this is a Bone’s story) “He had bad intestines.”
Me: Intestines? You mean, he had bad INTENTIONS.
Bones: Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, that’s what I meant. I forgot intestines are in your body.
Son#2: They’re part of your weenie.
Me: What? No they aren’t. Intestines are part of your digestive system. They have nothing to do with your weenie.
Bones: It looks like it could, but it doesn’t. Hey Mom. What’s that part of my weenie that just hangs there?
Bones: You know. It just hangs there. Like a beard.
Me: *Blink. Blink* Son, I’m a bit lost. (The visual was not computing.)
Bones: Yeah, you know. It’s like a sack.
Me: (Trying very hard not to laugh. A beard? Like a beard hangs on a face? Holy crap!) Oh yeah. That. Hmm. Yes. Well it is a sack of sorts. It holds…
Son#2: It holds the extra pee when you have to go to the bathroom. You know when you have to pee really really bad… that’s where it all is. In that sack.
Me: *BIG HUGE SHOCKING BLINK* Uh. No. That’s not the function. Scientific name is scrotum, but you will hear people call it the ball sack. It holds your balls, not pee. I promise you.
Holy crap. I guess you men out there had no idea that you were kind of like a camel, but instead of holding water in humps, you held urine in a sack.
Gives a whole new meaning to “Hung like a Camel”.
Yesterday I went to the annual Memorial Day Service I attend. A couple hundred people attend every year, sitting under a large white tent; it reminds me of a Southern revival, complete with heat and fans.
This is five years in a row now that I’ve attended, the first year a requirement as Regent of my DAR Chapter. The Regent is in charge of our wreath in the wreath laying ceremonies. My expectations were that it was 90 degrees and was to take 2 hours of my day, and at that time, my husband, sister, and kids attended. Morrigan helped me carry the wreath.
Don’t get me wrong, I felt it worthy and was excited, actually, but I’d never done it and with three children, it was something to add to my hectic schedule.
Until then, I did what everyone else seems to do on Memorial Day. I put out my flag and thought about the meaning of Memorial Day, but had never acted on it beyond that.
That was the last and only time the Service was a responsibility. The next year it was still my responsibility, but it was one I marked in big red letters on my calendar and informed my husband of, months in advance.
“I’m attending this Memorial Day Service, and I don’t care how many kids are sick or if I’m bleeding out the eyes. I’m GOING.” was declared the week of.
And I’ve attended every year thereafter and will continue to do so until they no longer have it or until I am physically unable to attend.
It is not an obligation to honor those who have served our country and have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
It is an honor.
This is the service that I attended two years ago and as I watched what went on around me, the Veterans of every war, including WWI, the representatives of every branch of service, the VFW, the Foreign Legion, the ‘Nam Knights, the woman’s auxiliary groups, the speakers, the children, the widows… I thought, “I would so blog this.”
It was a catalyst in my starting to blog. As Harvey was gently prodding me and as I was continually resisting, it was the Memorial Day service that was the first thought that I might start to blog.
So today I sat amongst the people, and I watched the wreath laying ceremony. Behind me sat some women from the Daughters of the Confederacy, dressed as widows from the Civil War, full heavy black dresses, with hoops and black hats, gloves, and black lace umbrellas, representing the widows from all our wars.
Nephews and the sister of a young soldier, who died in Gulf War I, laid a beautiful yellow wreath.
The ‘Nam Knights stood proudly as they carried their wreath… and I do believe there are now 500 bikers in their membership. They help homeless veterans.
Representatives from every war, branch of service, and specialty within the services laid wreaths.
Ladies Auxiliary groups, genealogy groups, and sometimes just people who wanted to show their respect… all paid their respects with a wreath.
I found a man dear to me, who I always seek at this service, could not attend as he’s fallen and is healing. I need to send him a card… and it was a not so gentle reminder that our WWII veterans are leaving us quickly.
I heard a man I worked with at Company X died in November. A former Marine and the first organizer of the Marine Corps Birthday Ball here in Palm Beach County. How I missed hearing of his death, I will never know. I couldn’t believe it. That alone kept me somber the entire ceremony.
From 3 months old to nearly 100 years old, we were all in attendance. From uniforms to casual clothes, so Sunday best. All were welcome.
And to the peels of the bagpipes, the Marine Corps Honor Guard brought in the colors.
And to the peels of the bagpipes, the same Honor Guard retired the colors.
And we all sang the National Anthem.
And we all sang God Bless America.
And in unison we said The Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America.
And I caught my breath when a soldier from the Army stabbed his rifle into the ground, and around it placed dog tags and then atop of it placed a helmet, in front of the red Wreath of Honor… red to signify the blood that was shed.
And we all jumped during the 21 gun salute, although we were all prepared.
And we all gritted our teeth and held our breaths during the playing of Taps.
And when it was over, we all walked over to look at all the wreaths and commented on what a beautiful ceremony it was… and how we’d all be back next year.
Once a year seems hardly enough for what has been given us for Freedom.
The Great Omnipotent One used to joke about Marines when I was a kid. His running joke was that wherever there were kids, you’d find the Marines. It was along the lines of boys don’t grow up and it was always said with laughter and with a story to go with it.
And from my experience as a Navy kid, that’s what I pretty much remember. The Marines that were at any function we attended as families, if they weren’t crazy drunk, they were playing with the kids.
He tells a story of when he was the Navigator on an aircraft carrier and someone was making a film about Vietnam. He stood on the bridge and looked down and on one side of the dock there were all the Vietnamese film extras, the adults, kids and elderly. Segregated and on the absolute opposite end of the platform were all the Marine extras, laying on their rucksacks.
An hour later, off to one side were the adult Vietnamese extras.
In the center in a ball of mayhem, laughter, and mass confusion were all the Vietnamese children and the Marines.
I think I’ve written of our buddy here in town, one of the Dads we hang with, that is a former Marine and F/A-18 driver. He’s the one, that when my husband isn’t around, I make him back my van into camp sites, my reasoning being ‘if you can land a jet on a postage stamp, you can back my mini van into a parking spot’.
Yesterday the 3rd graders had an end of the year field trip to a small island off the coast here called “Peanut Island”. Its where we went camping with the boyscouts and is accessible by water ferry. It’s a State Park.
So 55 kids. 2 life guards, and 30 adults descended upon said State Park with snorkel equipment, lunches, snacks, towels, and sun screen for the festivities.
An hour into it, I had my beach chair out, I was fully covered in hat, long sleeves, and 3 layers of sunscreen, book in hand, alternating between watching the kids and reading a paragraph. At one point, I surveyed the beach and noticed…
Off to the left side were the Moms and teachers, watching the kids, but congregated.
Off to the right were the few Dads, sitting on the rocks watching the kids as well.
In the water were the life guards (ankle deep) and a group of kids snorkeling.
On the beach were a TON OF KIDS, digging a hole to China, with sand castles, and little containers full of crabs they’d caught, all laughing and carrying on as they played…
… and in the center of all those children laughing and carrying on, was our lone former Marine.
Cracked me up.
‘Tis been so long since I’ve posted on the Fashion Disaster who goes by the name of Bones.
Tonight as we left the house to take the boys to see XMen 3, they didn’t have to twist my arm much as it has Hugh Jackman in it, Bones came strutting out of his bedroom. I grabbed my camera and said to my husband “Blog Fodder”.
There is so much wrong with this picture.
First a picture so you can pick it all out:
(Click to Enlarge.)
Next, assistance from dear old Mom and Paint.
(Click to Enlarge and read my commentary. Let me know if it can't be read. I can really enlarge it here at home. If you can't, let me know in the comments and I'll update this post with what I have in the picture.)
And he thought he looked so cool. Holy crap.
I was on a field trip for one of my sons today. End of the school year field trip.
Said I to one of the Moms, “So is your son still sweet on Amy?”
Said mother to me, “Amy? I don’t think so… sweet on her? Who's Amy?”
Replied I to confused mother, “Well, yeah. The cute quiet blonde. Remember when I chaperoned for that Junior Achievement field trip? He was in my car and I was the chaperone for his business. The business next to us sold telegrams and he sent her a sweet note and some candy…”
Replied now very shocked mother to me: “What? I didn’t know anything about this girl….”
Said sheepish I to agitated mother, “D’oh!”
Eight months ago, I couldn’t keep hair on my eldest boy’s head. He wanted it short and he wanted it shaved. We would go into the salon where I take them and I’d say to the hairdresser, “He is going to tell you to shave it down to nothing. DO NOT LISTEN TO HIM. I do not want a skin head. He can have a crew cut, but no shaving. He will beg for shorter and shorter, but DO NOT DO IT.”
Sure enough, he would beg when I was out of earshot, “Please. Just a little shorter…” and she would laugh and say, ‘Nooooo…’.
Flash forward to today. I can’t get my kids to willingly get their haircut to save my life. It’s wild and crazy hair. Down to their collar and over their ears. My eldest? He’s THE WORST.
He keeps it all brushed forward too. And his hair has curl.
It’s a wreck.
Last week I said to him, after he had wet it and had it all laying flat against his head, the bangs straight down, ‘Son, you look like Donny Osmond from the 70s and let me assure you, that is NO compliment.’
But he LOVES his hair and I finally said, “Look, boys, I rule. We’re getting hair cuts on Friday.”
So today was the day and we made a deal that it would just be trimmed.
My eldest is very happy. It’s just cleaned up a bit, but still looks long. I promised him no haircuts through the summer, but come August, it had to meet school regulations.
Son#2 decided he wanted to go back to his military type haircut. He looks all nice and clean.
Bones? Well, it would seem that Bones decided to take a small wedge out of his bangs a couple weeks ago, so he had this ‘V’ in the front of his hair. And he thought I’d not notice.
It just looked odd at first. I wasn’t sure what was going on… until I found a small reddish lock of hair on the bathroom floor.
Needless to say, his hair had to be evened up and so it is considerably shorter than what he wanted. I am hoping this is a lesson to him, that he shall not cut his own hair. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth after all was said and done, but I think he looks so darn smoochy!
But what I want to know is, what is with this long hair thing? All the big kids in middle school too! Good Grief! It’s like the 70s revisited.
I had my breast ultrasound the other day. (I have a mammogram or ultrasound every 6 months now. I’m fine.) Mr. Magoo and my Tech Lead knew about it. I’ve been best buds with my Tech lead for coming up on 20 years. Mr. Magoo? I don’t know. He and I have really got this father/daughter thing down pat. And he can get me to laughing so hard, I cry.
So when I had to leave work early the other day for my exam, I told my TL as he needed to know and I told Mr. Magoo because… well… I did. We talk about all sorts of things, really. And we laugh about it all too.
Anyway, today at work I was stuck on this problem. We have a part that was requiring two different inspections that do the very same thing. It’s abnormal to do them both on the same part. Typically we do one OR the other.
So I took it to my TL telling him I wasn’t sure what the deal was and wondered if someone had misinterpreted what the structural engineer had come up with.
He looked at it and said he thought it rather odd too, but seeing as how Mr. Magoo is quite the trove of information, having worked in this business since the 60’s, my TL asked him what the deal was.
Said Mr. Magoo to the both of us, “Well, TL and Bou… I think it’s like alternating between mammograms and breast ultrasounds. You need them both and sometimes you need them both on the same part.”
I nearly spit. Holy crap.
Marie over at Practigal has this week's Carnival of the Recipes and its all things Crock-pottish!
I've already been over as I suspect my crock pot is going to save me during Fall Ball. As in my boys and baseball season. Not as in College Football.
Just thought that might need some clarification.
There are desserts, and meats and... a breakfast! Crockpot breakfast. It has Cheese. It's got to be good!
So take a look. Step out of the box. Try something new. You never know... you may actually like it!
Graduation for the high schools is occurring down here in Palm Beach County. And this prompted me to think what I have been thinking for the last 10 to 15 years.
“I didn’t look like that in high school.”
No lie. I looked like I was about 13 when I graduated. These girls? They look 25. And they have bods that’ll stop a clock.
I didn’t. Ever. Really. Have a bod that would stop anything.
But nevertheless, I watch these girls and am stunned by how they look in comparison to how I looked. The gap between today’s teenager and what *I* looked like is so cavernous, even Evel Knievel himself couldn’t jump it.
Not even on his rocket motorcycle.
I dated some in high school, but not much. Think about it. If I looked 12 or 13 upon my senior year, you can just imagine what I looked like as a freshman. I looked 9.
(In my defense, my best girlfreind, PFB, and I tied for first place for best legs in band... an award granted us by the drum line. Heh. It's the little things some days... *grin*)
At the time, it totally sucked. Who in the hell wants to be 17 years old, ready for college, noticing boys and wanting to date… and look like they’re ready for the local Middle School dance?
Now? Its better. I’m 40 and look more like 35. I like that.
But back then? Not so much.
So as proof, I put before you, my high school picture from my Junior Year. I was 16. I do believe ‘Sweet 16 and Never been Kissed’ comes to mind… and obviously there is a reason for that, the braces being one I am sure. And for those of you who have never seen me… you would not recognize me from this picture. Sure, I look the same… but not really.
Twenty-Four years, three kids, and 25 pounds will change someone a lot. Thankfully.
Oh and I know. I’m going to get a few people say, “You were so cute!” Yeah, they said that in high school too. I’ll tell you what I said to them then as I looked them straight in the face and deadpanned, “Cute is for Puppy Dogs and VW Bugs.”
Cute. The kiss of death. I hated it then.
Now? Not so bad. I’ll take Cute over Matronly any day.
Today has been one of those days… where everything is wrong, yet nothing is wrong. Nothing is hitting tap dead center. It doesn’t feel right to be in my skin. I’m that outsider watching the rest of the world, and whereas I don’t feel so much that I want to be a part, life isn’t about being a spectator either.
All and nothing. Things that kept me centered aren’t working anymore and all else seems so elusive. Waking in the morning, looking in the mirror, seeing the wrinkles are setting in, the flesh has a different texture and is starting to fall. Gravity at work. The years being an active participant.
Work is weighing heavily on my mind right now. There is some stress there and it appears my sitter for the summer may have bailed on me, pushing me to have to work nights and long days on Fridays.
I woke up this morning to find our water system (we’re on well water) wasn’t working. Kaching!
I took my car in for the big service only to find I also needed new brakes and an alignment. Kaching!
And there is much stress in the family for me right now; dealing with some kid issues (not blog fodder) that require money to be thrown at it… yet no quick resolution. Kaching!
So as I was coming back from the mechanic’s to get back to work, in my cute little Corolla rental car (fun car!) as this was going to be an all day car affair, I stopped in Atlanta Bread Company to pick up a muffin for work. You know, drown my sorrows in bad carbs. It seems to work.
If I can’t run, I’ll take a muffin.
And when I walked in I saw a Mom I have not seen in years, one that I used to hang with when our eldest children were 3. Her girl had a crush on my boy and her girl used to say they’d get married. It was a big joke at the school.
And this Mom has joined what I now call (thank you Army Wife Toddler Mom), the Lily Pulitzer crowd. They wear Lily clothes, go out to lunch or breakfast and shop every day with their girlfriends… spending money constantly and are very materialistic, the cars, the nails, the hair, the clothes, the boob jobs.
I have nothing in common with them. Nothing. There is nothing wrong with being them... its just not me.
But I know this Mom and they don’t have that kind of money, so she’s pretending. She's 'keeping up with the Jones'". And I find that oh so annoying, although I keep it to myself. We all have our own life journeys.
She saw me first and beckoned me to her table, introducing me to her friend. She inquired what I was up to and I told her I’d just stopped in but was off to work. And she said to her breakfast partner, while crinkling up her face, “Oh, she’s one of those big brained people. She’s an engineer. She LIKES to work…”
There was so much wrong with that on so many levels, I wasn’t sure what to say. In my head I kept hearing the KACHING! of the mechanic’s bill and the KACHING! of the plumber’s bill and the KACHING! of every other bill coming in this month.
And running through my head was, “I like to work?” We have bills in our family. And I work for my future. I cannot depend on a man. Men leave. Men die. I have to be self sufficient. I cannot depend on anyone for anything.
I can only depend on me.
I think I just stood there for a second, feeling as if I’d been slapped. And although my first instinct was to say to her, “I think I decided, I so f***ing hate you, and the SUV your drove in on” instead, I smiled sweetly and said to her friend, “It was a pleasure to meet you” and in looking at her, “Please give my best to your husband.”
And I walked away
At Disney last weekend, my eldest wanted to ride the new roller coaster, Everest. We thought it might be too much for the younger two and finally my husband said to me, “Babe, your family is a roller coaster family. I know I’ve been riding these with you and the kids all these years, but I don’t love it. I was not a roller coaster kid. I really really do NOT want to go on Everest.”
My inner ear is not what it was and although I love certain roller coasters, the big ones don’t do anything for me anymore. I’d just as soon pass. And Everest was a bit of an unknown, you can’t see the rails, so I couldn’t look at it and see what kind of G’s it pulls and where.
I wasn’t excited.
But my son wanted to go and I said, “Sure. Let’s do it.” So we waited in line and as we got closer, my eldest said to me, “You don’t really want to do this do you, Mom?”
And replied, “Son, this is no big deal. It’s not going to kill me. I have found in my 40 years that I can get through just about anything by closing my eyes and clenching my teeth.”
And today... I closed my eyes and clenched my teeth.
Said Bones to me while I prepared dinner this evening, “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, you know how we go to bed at 8:30? Well we just started to grow some crystals and we’d like to stay up to watch them grow. How about we stay up until 9:15?”
Replied I, as I continued to cook, “Nice try. You can see them in the morning.”
I don’t know where he comes up with this stuff. Like I’m going to actually believe he wants to stay up past his bedtime all for the name of science?
I never really blog on that girl stuff… you know THAT stuff that makes men really uncomfortable. (I did HERE once though, laughing at ‘product changes’.) But I don’t typically, even though it does happen to me too… because… you know… I carry XX chromosomes and I’ve not been surgically altered. As in organs removed.
I have said before though, I’m not a big PMS kind ‘o gal. Thankfully. I feel for those who do have it, but I’m not, for the most part, other than getting really really tired. And physically cold. And just feeling like crap occasionally. Oh and an even bigger craving for chocolate than normal. I hate it when that happens. I start wondering if it is possible to mainline chocolate.
I realized last month, that the part that really sucks about my new desk at my job is… it’s tough during that time of the month to hide ‘the product’ to get to the restroom. I’m surrounded by men the ENTIRE TIME. I can’t reach in my purse and palm it, for many reasons… like… its not palmable. If I grab my purse, IT’S OBVIOUS! And I don’t want it to be obvious! I don’t want anyone to know! I want to appear to be the same as the guys… even though I’m kinda sorta obviously not.
And I could just see it… my grabbing my purse and Mr. Magoo saying in his heavy Mainiac accent, ‘Ya leavin’ already?” and my staring at him like a deer in the headlights, “Uh no. I’ll be back” and him realizing and turning pink.
Yeah. I’ll pass thank you.
So I find myself shoving something in my pocket as I leave home, hoping that it doesn’t poke out, or its not obvious its there and that it doesn’t crunch whenever I sit due to its plastic crinkly wrap.
Or! God forbid! Should I sit and the damn thing shoots out of my pocket like a torpedo! That would oh so totally suck.
A thousand deaths I would die. AT LEAST. And of course we’d all laugh about it from here to eternity about the time Skippy had a tampon shoot out of her pocket at work. And I’d laugh with them, but not before nearly dying of embarrassment.
So what spurred this? I went to the grocery store yesterday as I try to do shopping for ‘the product’ when I don’t need it. Nothing sucks worse than realizing you have NOTHING in the house and you need something NOW.
I came home and put the items on the counter, in the bag, and Bones came up and said, “Mom. Why did you buy all this baby stuff?”
A little segue here. Why do they INSIST on putting all this crap in light pink and blue boxes and plastic wrap? Why? I don’t get it. I hate it. It’s like when you’re pregnant and the jerks that design maternity clothing think that suddenly you feel compelled to wear little sheep and ducks on your clothes, trimmed in frickin’ lace!
“Give me a damn break!”, I wanted to scream… “I’m having a baby, I’m NOT ONE!” GRRR.
So this feminine hygiene product in pink and blue? Why not red? Red would be perfect because… you know. Red.
Or Black? We all feel like complete crap, even me. Why not black boxes? It’s fitting for the mood. Trust me. A big black box with Red Letters. Nothing quite says, ‘I’ll kick your ass and not give a crap about your name’ like a big black box with red letters full of tampons. Heh.
Or Green? Just because. I like green. A dark green box. I like it.
Anyway, so I look at Bones and reply, “It’s not baby stuff…”
Bones: Yes it is! Why did you buy baby stuff?
Me: NO. It’s. Not. Go away.
Bones: Yes. Mom. Where’s the baby? Why did you buy stuff for a baby?
Me: No. Bones. Go away. I’m busy.
And with that he walked away. Sheesh. He’s the last kid I want to explain the woman’s monthly cycle to. Not only would I get the Drama King’s version of “EWWW!”, but he’d yell it from the street corner.
Or, every day, “Mom, mom, mom, nom, mom, so ya bleeding today, mom, are ya, huh, mom, huh?”
Blog Father Grau appears to be having a mid-life crisis. The bonus is... we've been invited to join and offer ideas on how to celebrate.
And we get to laugh.
I'm all about the free entertainment! Wha hoo!
Now for any of you new readers, this is the deal with my relationship with Grau of Frizzensparks. March of two years ago, I stumbled upon an article on The Retrosexual Code in our local paper and in it was a blog address. I thought it so funny, I jumped on the computer and read his blog.
He was the first blog I ever read.
He's funny and crude... and real. And I loved reading in his comments as his buddies gave him constant grief. They gave each other grief.
So HERE you will see his post on what he needs for his Mid Life Crisis.
And me? I'm not so creative, but I certainly CANNOT wait to see what his buddies come up with. People pay good money for this kind of entertainment.
Heh. And I feel like I've got seats, front and center!
Closing ceremonies for baseball were yesterday. My two older boys are completely into baseball now, with Son#2 having become a baseball addict.
He’s got the bug bad.
All he wants to do is be a pitcher. I’ve never seen anything like it. Have you ever seen guys stand around and practice their golf swing while they talk to you? Well, Son#2 practices pitching constantly. That is all he does.
We were at Disney and he’d run 10 paces ahead of the rest of us, stop, wind up and pretend he was throwing at a batter. Over and over.
He has informed me his weakness is catching and the pitcher needs to catch really well, so that is now what we will be working on… at 1 week of baseball camp this summer and…
… at fall ball.
Holy crap, my kids want to play baseball in the fall.
Like my life was not hectic enough this spring. Good Lord. At least I have a three month reprieve.
When team pictures were being taken, their Aunt Morrigan told me to make sure I got ‘trading cards’ as she wanted one. So we did! Anything for dear ol’ Aunt Mo. Below are this year's baseball cards.
The beauty of playing in Palm Beach County? That really is water behind them. One of the fields they played on was near the intracoastal waterway. So that’s no fake backdrop. That’s what we overlooked when we played. Nice. Very very nice.
Click to enlarge… in order: Bones, Son#2, and Son#1.
As people age, the number of elderly fashion disasters far out weigh the younger ones. Essentially as one ages, one gives a crap less and less… or they take their fashion tips from the Golfing stores which is a Big mistake.
This 'aging increases the frequency of fashion disasterness' is a scary thought as to what will happen to me considering I’m already somewhat of a fashion disaster. I’m the person that just last week had a funeral/viewing to attend and as I waltzed out the door in my very feminine cream colored to the ankle classic dress with cute little low heeled brown sandals, flung a black leather casual kind of beat up backpack purse over my shoulder.
I realized as I got in the car my purse neither matched in style nor color.
But I did not care.
I figured 1) it was HUGE progress that I even noticed that it was a fashion faux pas and 2) nobody would notice because… IT WAS A VIEWING! Unless you’re a complete jerk and show up to a funeral in t-shirt, cut off shorts and flip flops, people don’t notice what you’re wearing.
Nevertheless, I am somewhat of a lost cause as I truly didn’t ‘give a crap’ about my purse not matching my dress.
The key for me as I age will be… to keep the hideous clothing out of my closet. If I can do that, I’m home free.
And what brought this on? I went to dinner last night with my family and Pop and across the table from us was this elderly man wearing the most HORRID RED PANTS I have ever seen.
Did I say red? I mean red as in redder than a stop light. I mean they SCREAMED “I AM RED!” they were so red. Red. Very red.
And this was not a small man. This man was 6’-6’2 thereabouts so he had these VERY LONG RED LEGS.
And he didn’t care nor did his wife or she’d never have let him leave the house wearing those RED pants. Never.
Which hammers home that if you give an elderly person ugly clothes they will wear them because they don’t care and their spouse will let them wear them too… because either they too no longer care or they’re tired of fighting it.
Engineers are notoriously the worst. As bad as I’ve been, and willingly blogged upon it, there are men I have worked with that make me look like a frickin’ DIVA of fashion. I have worked with men that in their closets are 7 pairs of black pants, 7 white shirts, and in their desk drawer is one black tie, tied like a noose, and said engineer would walk into work wearing white shirt, black pants, open his drawer, put the noose around his neck and be ready for the day.
I have worked with men where I swear I could tell the status of their marriage by what they wore to work. There were days I’d want to walk up and say, “Bad time with the wife huh? She forgot your gernanimal tags on your clothes…” But I refrained.
No joke. 1994, I end up in an impromptu meeting with a guy I work with, he was wearing brown polyester pants, a pink and white short sleeved gingham shirt and the most God awful 4 toned brown diagonally striped polyester tie I had ever seen in my life.
I think they named an Alternative Band after him. The Clash.
And as we were talking out of the blue he said, “What is it with women. I cannot please my wife… I think she hates me…” and on and on he went and I just stood there, biting my tongue, fighting the urge to say, “No. Shit.”
But the worst, the ABSOLUTE WORST, was my very first boss. I think the deal was, his wife just gave up on him. Or he got up too early for her to catch him before he left for work.
I don’t know.
But everyone knew the guy was just completely blind to all patterns, color, fashion sense, you name it. One of the folks in my group called him, “Pee Wee Herman”, although my boss was 60.
And you KNOW its bad, when ALL the engineers, MALE engineers at that, talk about your clothes. Folks, that is a BAD SIGN. The men I worked with never noticed I wore a black shoe and blue shoe to work. The men I worked with knew nothing of clothes and probably didn’t even know where the mall was located.
Yet… there were times, that Pee Wee would come to work and these same men would walk down our aisle just to see the fashion train wreck.
I kid you not.
And the worst day of all, is still burned in my brain and as I sit here and type, I still laugh out loud.
I came in one morning, and the man was wearing brown plaid pants, of various shades of brown (Lord only knows how many) with the tightest plaid I’d ever seen. They were loose pants, but a tight plaid in puke and poop colors. And with it, he wore a cream colored shirt with rows of blue… corn.
Yes. He wore a corn shirt.
And the way the corn was laid out... row upon row of BLUE ears of corn, it did something to your eyes. It was like one of those funky eye tests you get off the internet that if you stare at it long enough, then look away at a white wall, you see the same pattern, but in a different color.
I just stared at him. Stunned. Shocked. My brain trying to make sense of what stood before me.
Oh and there was a brown tie that went with it… because… you know… the brown striped tie matched the brown plaid pants. I guess.
And I burst out laughing. Right then and there, I could not repress it. It was a combination of horror and nervousness. Nervous that someone I knew was walking around looking like such a damn fool. Horror that... I worked for him and had to see him all day.
I felt awful! I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but… I could not control the laughter. It was like that Mary Tyler Moore skit where she starts laughing at the funeral. I could not stop.
I had to excuse myself.
All day I avoided him like the plague. I’d see him and have to bite my tongue and excuse myself. The guy directly behind me and I used to joke around all day. I mumbled over my shoulder finally, “If you want to talk to me, you call me, e-mail me, or come to my desk… I cannot turn around because every time I see Pee Wee, I laugh until I cry.”
And sure enough, throughout the day, a parade of people walked down our aisle. The fashion circus had come to town and they wanted to see it. It was free entertainment, after all.
I’m telling you, its bad bad bad, when engineers recognize it. Bad. He may as well have come in with NO pants.
I was in the school clinic today paying bills. I’ve come to know the school nurse really really well.
So she’s on the phone with her sister, who I also know, and I hear her say, ‘Yeah, well, I have that marital retreat with my husband this weekend…’ and I chime in, ‘Whoo hooo! I think marital retreat and I think SEX!’ at which point she laughs and says to her sister, “I don’t know about Bou… she’s thinking this whole weekend is about sex…” and she looks at me and says, “It’s being held in a MON-A-STER-Y!”
I stared back blankly at her and said, “And? So? I’ve never done it in a monastery before! What an opportunity!”
Heh. She was not in so much agreement, her sister made some comment of never being able to look at me the same way again, but also said, “There are stories…” and I thought, “ohhhh, I bet there are….”
This evening I thought about the question that always got asked in college, “Where is the weirdest place you’ve ever done it?” and I thought, “Wouldn’t that shock the hell out of people to say, ‘well, I’ve done it in a monastery…’”
Maybe not. I told my husband this story and his reply was, “You are SO out of control sometimes…” Yup.
Yesterday I was doing the Happy Dance as my Southern Living magazine came in and I knew I could spend some time this weekend, pouring over recipes, and fantasizing about living in the real south with a garden. Of course, that’s not a possibility since I have a black thumb and I feel certain that the area botanical societies will eventually catch on, posting ‘Most Wanted’ signs with my face… warning of selling plants to me.
It could happen. It’s that bad. (This lady has a tremendous green thumb and I cannot even imagine being able to create what she has in her gardens… good grief.)
But today? Oh today is even a BIGGER happy dance.
My husband’s Men’s Health Magazine came in today and Hugh Jackman is on the cover! Holy crap! That just made my whole freakin’ day. Declaring himself as being in the best shape ever… Oh yes, my friends, he can feel free to show me! Heh. He’s total Day Pass material.
Men’s Health Magazine is my favorite magazine. It’s just so full of eye candy…
We’ve been having some testing done for Bones. We have some things to sort out. It’s all good, it’s all good, we just have to make sure there aren’t some better paths for us.
So they sent home a questionnaire for the Mom and the Dad to fill out. The Mom’s consisting of 20-25 pages, requiring WRITTEN answers, ranging from pregnancy questions (was he full term? yes. Were there complications with your labor? Yes, and I’d kind of prefer to forget, although it is total blog fodder.) to developmental questions (How old was he when he said his first word? I have no freakin’ clue… I have three kids… they’re all a blend now. Did he cry a lot as a baby? Don’t all babies…) to goals for his future. As in my. Goals for him.
Back to that one in a minute.
Meanwhile, the father’s questionnaire is 5 pages of fill in the bubble type. Or so it appears. I’m kind of jealous.
Anyway, back to the ‘goals for my son’ thing. I find this somewhat irritating. The first question asked what I wanted for my son as far as highest education: Vo Tech, high school, college, Advanced degree (doctorates, law etc.)
I put Advanced degree. I intend to let my kids know that if they WANT IT, they can ACHIEVE IT. Nothing is outside of the realm of possibilities.
BUT, is that what I WANT for him? NO. I want him to go as far as HE WANTS. I’m just the cheerleader and coach, the person who awaits to pick him up when he falls, brush him off, and throw his ass back in the game. The key though is… it’s NOT MY GAME. It’s his.
There is another question about what I want for him. And I looked at this question and thought… will they like my answer? Because… this is what I am going to put.
“I want my child to be content in life, to have good relationships and to be law abiding functioning and contributing person in our society.”
That’s it in a nutshell. I don’t care if he’s a doctor, lawyer, or Indian Chief. I want him to be content with his station in life.
Notice I did not say happy. Happy is not a goal for me. Content. I want contentment… my personal nirvana is to be content, so that is my hope for my boys.
What I also want to put, but will refrain from writing is, “I want them in good marriages with good women who love them. I want them to come home to a wife who wants to have sex with them every night. I want them to adore their wives and treat them with respect. I want them to have 2 kids so I can have grandchildren. I want them to be good fathers and strong yet compassionate men. I want them to have guy friends they enjoy hanging out with. I want them to have hobbies and to realize that life is not about where you work, but rather the relationships you have… the people you love and the people that love you… and the ability to receive and give equally. And I want them to be resilient and not let life get them down. I want them to take what life deals them and work accordingly, solve their problems, and realize that its all workable. They can handle anything. ”
But… I think that is not what they are looking for. My goals for my boys have nothing to do with money and fame. I just want them to be… content.
Have you ever wondered what its like to live in Palm Beach County, amongst the wealthy? Palm Beach County where every child is beautiful, brilliant and athletically inclinded? Here’s a bit of a snap shot.
A few months ago, a client of my husband’s helped to organize a big fundraiser/dinner/silent auction for a national philanthropy here in town. She has been very supportive of my husband’s business in the past, a very good client, so when she asked my better half if he and I would attend, he of course said yes.
It was an expensive dinner, but it was the good and right thing to do. And it was a most worthy cause, after all.
Upon hearing we were attending, she said she would sit us with her friends, she would hand pick our seats. I was excited as I knew we’d not know anyone at the event and the fact she was looking after us, made it not seem so awkward.
A little background for those who do not know, I work in an engineering position for a firm here in town that does outsource aerospace engineering work. I have my degree in Applied Math with a minor in Statistics and enough credits for a minor in Computers. My husband has an advanced degree in the sciences and owns his own business. Both professions on their own will typically provide a lifestyle, where if money is watched, a nice home can be bought in a nice neighborhood, a new car can be afforded every few years (we don’t do that), kids can be sent to college and retirement can be funded properly. In my mind, to ask for more than that beckons many questions. I believe what we have is what the American Dream is about… I could ask for nothing more.
So fast forward to this party, which I did blog on HERE (where that woman mistakenly thought I could be a Go Go Dancer) and we found ourselves sitting with some people who were… very… very… wealthy. I mean independently ‘we don’t work nor will our children ever have to work’ type wealthy. And all of them sent their children to a fantastic, yet very expensive school here in town that I shall now call SchoolXYZ.
SchoolXYZ is from $12K-$15K a year per child. That doesn’t include uniforms and all the fundraising events they do ALL YEAR LONG. The children that graduate from there go to the Ivey League Schools for college. They get a premier education for their dollar. They really do. Guidance counselors work with them from the get go to get them positioned for the right colleges. Amazing stuff.
But big bucks.
We send our kids to the local Catholic school where I send three kids for less than HALF of what it costs for ONE kid at SchoolXYZ. Yes, there is a difference in education. And at our school, the children’s parents do anything and everything for a living. Our priest insists that the school remain affordable to the average Catholic family, so in our school we have children of mechanics, painters, doctors, lawyers, pool cleaners, engineers, small businessmen, and the likes. It is NOT a societal cross section of our society as every child is Catholic, but it is a socioeconomic cross section.
So here we are at this dinner and we’re all talking and it truly is fascinating to hear what the wealthy do with their money. Mind boggling. Really. Like did you know that you can buy into a luxury cruise ship? (Not all of them, just certain ones.) It’s like buying a condo. You actually own part of it and it’s yours, with your furnishings, and you come and go as you please, like a vacation home that floats from country to country.
Odd. Very odd. Not something I would do if I had wealth, but an interesting concept.
Anyway, the very independently wealthy ‘we don’t work and we’re 50’ couple sitting next to my better half leans over and asks where we send out kids to school and my husband tells them. There is a slight pause and then the query, “Why do you not send your children to SchoolXYZ?”
Now, if it had been me, I would have said bluntly, ‘Because we can’t afford it among other things’, but my husband, the consummate diplomat said, “Because we have three children and SchoolXYZ may be achievable for one child, but three is impossible. We do have to worry about college for three in addition to their elementary and secondary educations…”
Keep in mind that this couple knows what we do for a living; they are just completely and totally out of touch. All the niceties and pleasantries were exchanged at the beginning of our conversation… the ‘Where do you live’, ‘What do you do’ and ‘Oh! We may know some common people…” as names are bantered back and forth coming firmly to a null set on this question of commonality.
Run in the same circles we do not. By any stretch.
And so the woman says to my husband, “Oh. Well, we wish we had more of YOUR people at our school…”
My husband said when he heard that he thought, “Uh oh. I don’t know if I like where this is going…”
And the wealthy husband chimes in and says, “Exactly. She is right. I sit on a board for the school and what we are realizing is that our children are only going to school with the very wealthy of our society and we find that quite troublesome. What we need is more of YOUR people in our school. They need more of a cross section of society. So we are thinking of starting some sort of Endowment Fund so we can get more of YOUR people into our school…”
At which point we smiled politely and said we found it to be quite an extraordinary idea, probably very worthwhile for their children…
… while quietly in our heads thinking, “Holy crap! Thanks but… uh… no thanks!”
This face thing... this inability to remember them. Holy crap. It is going to get me in serious trouble.
My kids have been playing baseball since February. I've seen their coach 3X a week since the end of February. Yesterday I received a phone call from him telling us our game had been canceled. I looked at the caller ID and it said it was from MY CURRENT place of work, New Company.
So he and I are conversing and I finally say, "Paul, do you work for New Company?" and he replies in the affirmative. I don't work for THAT BIG of an engineering firm.
So I continued, "Did you work for Company X before they closed up shop?" (most of us that work for New Company worked for Company X before) and he replied in the affirmative, once again.
So I said, "What department did you work in?" and he said, "Performance."
I was silent. I finally said, "You're kidding. I worked in Performance..."
We bantered back and forth... we worked for the same department, different groups, but knew each other's bosses and co-workers, we just didn't know each other. And his face? It didn't seem familiar to me.
Then today, he showed up at my desk to see where I worked. And there he stood in his work clothes, khaki pants, button down shirt, loafers... and Holy Crap! I suddenly remembered where he sat at Company X!
How odd is that? Suddenly seeing him in the work environment triggered the memory, but on the ball fields since February? Nada. Nothing. Zippo. Zilch.
I guess this is a case where the clothes make the man. I'm pathetic.
I work with a gentleman who is about 6'7" and very lean... Ichabod Crane lean. He's got a booming low voice, like he should sing that low voice in a Barbershop Quartet. And he's a complete goof. He cracks me up.
I didn't know him previously from Company X, I've just started to get to know him. So he doesn't know my real personality like Mr. Magoo.
Today the Tall Man came in and said something like "Don't worry... I won't hurt you..." and Mr. Magoo burst out laughing and said, "Man, you have NO CLUE who you're talking to. In a fight, she'd kick your ass."
At which point I kept working on my blueprints, laughed and said, "He's right. You wouldn't have a prayer." It was a big joke for a couple hours.
But I'm telling you, even Mr. Magoo didn't see this one coming. Sheesh! Saddam? Are you kidding me?
ArmyWife has a post HERE about her son and where he decided to pee today. I’m telling you, I don’t think there is a mother of a boy around that does not identify with her post.
I remember once we were at the beach. It was pretty crowded. One of my two older boys came up and said they had to pee. (The horror stories all blend together… I can rarely remember who exactly was the emotionally damaging culprit of that day. Damaging as in… damaging ME. The MOM.) So I leaned over and said, “We’re at the beach, you can pee in the water. It’s OK.”
Now. In my head I’m thinking the kid will go stand in the water, kind of away from everyone, and pee.
I did not provide directions.
In his head it meant that the big ocean was a big toilet which meant he should drop his drawers right there at the water line, so everyone could gaze upon his white buns as he sent an arch of urine into the big vast ocean that was his personal toilet.
I think I died 9 deaths that day as I found myself impulsively start to yell, ‘No! Wait! That’s not what I meant…” and then shut up and just let him do his thing.
You learn with time… when you have boys… eventually they will pee in public. Your hope is that they just don’t pee ON the public.
Am I the only one who had never heard of THIS website where you plug in your address and it tells you the value of your home?
I just found that our little tiny crappy first starter home that had a yard so small that we could never get the lawn mower to work right as it was never on long enough to fully break in, a yard so small we could have mowed it in less than 10 minutes with a weedwacker, is now worth nearly $400,000.
We sold it for a little over a quarter of that. And barely broke even. We couldn't get rid of it. Good Lord.
I bought my husband a very small milk chocolate bunny for Easter. I found it two days ago, just sitting on the kitchen counter, still in its package. Unopened.
So I ate it.
Now I’m wondering if he’ll notice…
I know, there has been so much talk about these people dying at the mouth of alligators here in Florida.
Allow me to clear up some misconceptions here, folks, as I live in the land of the gators, and yes, we do get them in our yard... RARELY.
First, gators don’t live where humans live. Humans encroach on THEIR habitat. Gators don’t nestle up to homes or jogging paths, looking to grab a bite of fast food… the gator version of dine and dash. They live in the water and sun on the banks. Occasionally we get one that strays from where they need to be, just like you see turtles in the road or any other wildlife a bit ‘lost’, but for the most part, no, they stay in their habitat.
I have lived in my current home for 10 years and we’ve had a baby 2 foot gator in our yard once and we had a neighbor that had a big 5-6 foot gator in her yard. It’s a freak thing. You just stay away and call Animal Control. (The 2 foot baby gator didn't require animal control. He found the lake and moved on.)
Gators are the fresh water equivalent to sharks. I don’t swim in the ocean, unless I’m going scuba diving. I don’t like wading waist deep in water where there are living creatures that may mistake any part of my body as their favorite food, like fish. My kids will play in the shallow surf, but for the most part, they don’t do the big ocean playing for many reasons including sharks, rip current and sea lice.
Just as I don’t like to ‘swim in the ocean’, I don’t play around near natural water in S. Florida either, which means, canals, lakes, and ponds. Natural habitats to flesh eating reptiles are not places to play or let your pets or small children hang out. We all know this.
IT IS COMMON SENSE.
This time of year is alligator breeding season. It’s warm out. They sun themselves on the banks, they’re looking for mates and their metabolisms increase this time of year so they are looking for more food.
What does this tell me? They’re going to be more visible and more aggressive.
What does that tell me? Stay the hell away from their habitat.
People who SWIM in CANALS are ASKING to be eaten. It's foolish. I have a canal on one side of my home, at the end of my cul de sac. NEVER ONCE have I considered that this would be a great place to go swimming. Holy crap. That thought makes me twitch. It’s the S. Florida ecosystem's version of Russian Roulette. Even when I’m outside and its 105 degrees with 100% humidity and I just know I’m crispy frying, I’ve never so much as considered dipping my big toe in the water (let alone get near the edge of a canal), let alone frickin’ SWIM.
I don’t dangle my feet in any lakes and ponds. There is a lake in back of my home. NEVER ONCE have I considered hanging on its banks or dangling my feet in its water. I don’t think I’ve ever been close enough to be able to tell you exactly what the edge of the lake looks like. (It’s in the back of my acre and across a golf course... so it is a good distance.) I KNOW there are gators that live in that water. My kids aren’t allowed back there and they KNOW that should they ever see any of their siblings or friends near the lake, they are to yell at them to get away AS THEY COME RUNNING TO GET ME immediately.
When we drive down the main road of our neighborhood, it is not uncommon to see gators sunning themselves. Big gators. We’ve never considered getting out to get a close look. We look from afar and point, from the safety of our cars.
It’s nothing to be afraid of… just very aware. Gators aren’t following people home for a meal or grabbing people off from their morning run.
People are playing in the gators natural habitat and when you play where a meat eating predator lives, mates and eats, trouble is going to happen.
I hit 100,000 visitors to this site today! Thank you Google!
Seriously, thank you to all who have come by this past year. I can’t believe I actually hit 100,000… I remember being excited when I hit 100 and 1000… let alone 100,000.
And who was the lucky winner???
Drum roll please….
Zonker of Thunder and Roses! Whaaaa Hoooo! (Proof in the extended entry.)
So I have thought, I seriously need to get this boy a Congratulations gift of some sort. I thought about giving him my sister, Mo, but she’s got a Beau now. (One I like too, which is a rarity, so he’s a keeper.)
Hmmm. I shall be seeing him in July. I have time to think… I mean, what do you get a man who appears to already own a mullet wig? That’s a tough guy to buy for. Let me tell you…
Two things come to mind.
First, my dear friend Army Wife has THIS post on an observation she made about we Moms (something we both did) while we were on the phone today. I could not quit laughing.
And over at VW’s, who is still at Disney/Sea World/Orlando Hell, her blog sitters have posted this frickin’ funny video that I saw a couple days ago via my brother, TN. I just envision my boys in a few years. I would say it would be Bones in the back with the screwed up tie and either of the other two older boys looking all dapper… Good stuff.
And it reminded me of the time my sister and brother and I had a formal picture slated for my folk’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. In that picture we look so sweet and loving… but in reality, I was pissed as hell, my brother was late for the picture and unknown to anyone who looks at the picture, who sees two daughters dressed in Sunday best and a fine looking son dressed in a coat and tie, he’s barefoot as he forgot his shoes.
It doesn’t help that back then I was just a bit of a control freak. Just a little. Thankfully I’ve mellowed. Heh!
Heard from Bones upon arriving at the parking lot of Magic Kingdom Saturday morning:
“Mom! Mom, mom, mom, mom! Look! It’s a Gnome!”
Upon looking up to where Bones is pointing, the parking lot sign, the reply from ‘Mom’:
“Son. That is not a Gnome. That is a Dwarf, as in Snow White and the Seven… That one is Sleepy.”
There is no doubt in my mind that in the history of the Modern World, since Snow White made its debut in 1937, never has a daughter ever ever ever mistaken Sleepy or any of his Dwarf brethren as a random Gnome.
Well, the crazy lady met us for lunch on Saturday! Yes, Rachel of Pereiraville and her husband Jim of Bakerstreet met my crazy crew and VW’s crazy crew at Tony’s in the Magic Kingdom. (Rachel’s post plus pictures are HERE.)
Folks, I have got to tell you, I LOVE this woman. VW felt the same way. There are some people you meet, that there is just something about them… I don’t know. I’ve spent a lot of time mulling it over in my head.
Let me just say that as she left, I could not quit hugging on her. The best that I can come up with is there is something about her that reminds me of my best friend of the last 25 years, who sometimes comments here as PFB. (Mr. Smoochy Pants’ Mom.)
She is warm and funny and bright. She is young and we joked that I might have to hold that against her!
My biggest mistake was letting my three boys sit on the opposite end of the table from my husband and me. Do not ask me what I was thinking, but when the music stopped and we all took a chair, my boys were next to Rachel and her poor unsuspecting husband and I was kitty corner from them, giving them nasty stares and asking them too many times to leave each other alone. It seemed to be THE DAY for Son#2 and Bones to show their finest table manners and continue to throw a blue crayon in each other’s food, to name just one example.
I’d be embarrassed, but as I said, I was really comfortable with Rachel and some days I’m at the point where I cringe and bear it. Saturday was one of those days.
I don’t know if Jim blogs his job, so I won’t, but I will say, I found the discussion pretty interesting and enlightening. If I had it do it again, I’d have made Bones sit where I was sitting so I could have sat next to Jim and faced Rachel… more adult conversation and less, “Quit throwing that blue crayon in your brother’s food!”
On a scale of 1-10, the food was a 3, but the company was a 10. I hope to see her in Orlando again.
“I’d rather eat my own leg than do that” - The Drama King aka Bones.
Upon hearing that we were going to ride the Safari ride at Animal Kingdom, as we do this ride whenever we go and he didn’t 'feel like it'. He just didn’t feel like it… and we get “I’d rather eat my own leg…”
… Talk of Wildebeest Poop in the Morning.
Oh yes. Saturday morning, bright and early, I heard the sliding glass door to the balcony open and two little people pitter pat outside to see what the animals were up to. (We had a hotel room that overlooked the Savannah at Disney so we could see wildebeests, zebra, giraffes and such from our balcony. Pictures to follow tomorrow.)
And as I lay there, thinking it was surely about an hour earlier than I wanted it to be, I heard the following conversation transpire:
Son#2: Holy crap! Did you see that! That’s disgusting!
Son#1 walks out… and Son#2 says to him: That wildebeest, his butt hole opened up really really big and then all that poop just fell out of him in a big huge pile!
I pulled the sheets over my head and thought, “NO! WHY DID I NEED TO KNOW THAT?!”
We are back from Disney, beat, sweaty and mentally well rested. I have much to post tomorrow, but for now am debating whether I should wash these clothes or just burn them.
Oh and as I type this I am trying to wrap my mind around the fact there is a dead roach on my side of the bathroom. Yes, it is better it is dead than alive, but the fact remains, there is a dead ROACH in the bathroom and it makes me wonder if there are live roachy type friends somewhere.
And I’m realizing also, that after nearly 15 years of marital bliss, that this bug responsibility that husband’s undertake upon saying “I DO”, you know… that list of responsibilities that include things such as take out the garbage, open jars, and kill bugs… strictly sticks with killing bugs. If they’re already dead, evidently it’s not their domain.
I wonder if I can bribe one of the boys to get rid of it tomorrow morning for me. I think money may talk… Then again, I could probably just ASK my husband to remove it. But hey… that would require communication instead of mind reading. What fun is that?!
I had to post this before I left…
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. My 2nd son has evidently made me gifts and has insisted on taking them with him to Disney to give me on Sunday morning. I have explained to him that Sunday night is fine, upon our return, but this seems wholly inadequate to him.
It’s been a tough week here at the House of Bou. On my blog, I prefer for everything to be love love love, butterflies and rainbows, and my life has no issues. But it is not true. My life is like everyone else’s. Its life. And there are ups and downs, but mainly I try to keep everything at status quo. Ups and downs are draining.
I’m all about stability.
But this week has been a real low here and I’ve been struggling as a parent on many fronts. There are people who are just naturally good parents.
Then there are those who would naturally suck at it, but work real hard in the hopes they will in the end get the ratings of 'decent'.
I fall into the category of those that naturally suck. But I try. I try hard and with all my failings as a parent, that are so evident to me at the end of every day, I hope that in the end they remember I tried.
There are mornings that I awaken and I look at the clock thinking, “No. I cannot do this again today…”
There are afternoons when something incredibly unpleasant falls into my path, something that will bring my to my knees, and I have to consciously tell myself that ‘flight’ is not an option in the ‘fight or flight’ instinct when you are a wife and mother of three.
There are times where I grit my teeth and ball my fists until the nails dig into my palms so as to not lose it.
And I wonder how it is that other people manage as there are days that I feel like I’m really not. Managing. At all.
Today the 5th graders had a breakfast for the Moms. We all showed up and as my 5th grader probably takes the award for throwing me over the edge most this week, seeing if he can get me committed by the end of the school year seems to be a goal, I laughingly said to a couple other Moms, “Sure, the teachers are having the kids give us this breakfast because 5th grade SUCKED!” And everyone was pretty much in agreement.
It's been a tough year for all of us... but some of us more than others.
The kids came to where we sat and each held a poem they had written for us. At the table at which we were sitting, there were a couple girls. One girl in particular had this ‘book’ she’d created for her Mom.
One of the other boy Moms and I looked at each other and started to quietly joke about what the girls wrote vs. what the boys wrote. The girls it would be ‘love love love, butterflies and rainbows and Mom you inspire me so…’ and the boys would be ‘Mom, thanks for the Salmon dinner you made last night and I really like you…’
We were laughing ourselves silly over the prospects. But when we realized we were being grouped into 10, preplanned by the teacher, and then our kids were to read for the group their poem, the other Mom and I both looked at each other and whispered, “Oh no! I hope that little girl with the book isn’t in our group!”
Heh heh heh!
So we went to our groups and my son, my 5th grader who I have been going toe to toe with all week, the boy who won’t sit in my lap and who I cannot kiss in public, stood up to read his poem to me first.
Titled: Mothers' Day Project
Delightfully full of love for me
Amazingly good at cooking
Nearly as good as God
And suddenly all the trials and tribulations of the week melted away. And suddenly, with those few words, it has all been worth it.
Happy Mothers’ Day
I’m heading off to Disney with my better half and the rolling ball of noise tomorrow and shall return on Sunday. I’m looking forward to it, some family time. My husband works a lot and travels and there has been baseball (the time sponge), and school, and homework and we just are going to have a great time worrying about nothing.
My two year blogiversary is coming up. Can you believe it? Two years of my putting the crazy stuff that rambles through my head into virtual print. I’m approaching 100,000 hits on this site, which includes odd Google hits for things such as “boy pee jello” (which is a bad thing and for which you should see a doctor about) and “Boudicca Sound Effects” (for which I am #1 and I find it somewhat disturbing… what kind of sound effects? And do I really want to know?).
I didn’t think I’d last this long blogging. As I said to blog father Harvey as he was gently pushing and prodding in what he says was the longest and most painful blog birth ever, “I have nothing to say!” and “Who would want to read the crazy stuff that’s in my head?! Nobody!”
And two years later… I’m still writing.
And two years later… I still have readers.
And two years later… I’m still amazed. And humbled. Tremendously humbled that you continue to come back.
And astounded by the good people I have made since I started. Some of them will permanently be in my life.
Anyway, a couple days ago I posted and Harvey’s comment was, “Bou - You need a "reader quotes" section on your sidebar, and "kind of intense" should be in it :-)”
I know a lot of bloggers have done this, this reader quote thing. I’d not really thought about it as it kind of puts you out there. I know I write all the time, but I don’t feel like I really put myself out there that much. Notice I never sign up to do blog interviews. I get nervous about feedback I guess. Or the lack thereof... as I write for me typically. To ask something of someone... interviews or quotes... that to me is stepping WAYYY OUT of my comfort zone. Do I really have anything they would be interested in knowing about me? Would someone really have something to say about me? That's what runs through my head.
But I was thinking about my 2 year blogiversary and other than the pact I’ve made to myself to finally migrate my old blogspot posts to this abode, it may be something fun to do.
I don’t tinker with my blog much. I just write.
But it’s time for a facelift. Ok. That sounded too Palm Beachy. Maybe not a face lift. Just some updating.
I shall be updating my blogroll, eliminating those that do not exist anymore, trying to capture those who have me ‘rolled but who I have not ‘rolled in return, as it is an OVERSIGHT and not intentional.
And I’ll put up some reader blog quotes. Harvey and I have batted it around now via e-mail for a couple days and I think I’m comfortable with it.
My first and top quote does go to my sister’s Beau, now called, “Mo’s Beau”, and from there on it’s a free for all. If you’d like to contribute, put your idea in the comments of this post or e-mail me at boudicah AT hotmail dot com.
You don’t have to be a blogger! If you read me and want to contribute, I’ll put you in.
Y’all have a good weekend. Peace. And Ciao.
And be nice to each other. Don’t make me use my Mom voice when I get back!
Do you ever wonder what you’ve been eating or doing that causes one to dream what you dream?
I’ve been pretty beat lately and thought I’d take a ½ hour nap before I picked up the boys from school in an effort to be more rested for homework, dinner, and baseball.
In the first dream I was sitting with some friends of mine, in front of a row of computers and I’m wearing this pink, I mean PINK, wedding veil that I evidently wore when I got married and I said laughingly and giddy, “You know, we pay too much money for these to wear them just one day. I’m going to wear this ALL DAY today…”
And then I woke up. Probably in horror. Who was that pink flake in my dream? Bah!
And I fell back to sleep to promptly dream of my driving my van with my two older boys in the back and their father beside me. I don’t know where we were going, but my youngest was at school and I remember thinking we had to go get him in an hour.
We come upon a small moving van type truck when suddenly this elephant comes out of nowhere with a woman wearing a red flowy genie/circus out fit and he smashes her up against the back door of the truck with his head… pinning her there.
I’m sitting there in horror wondering if she’s dead, I quickly turned to the kids to have them looking behind us to not see it (in case she’d been squished to death), and as I turn back around, my husband has leapt out of the van to check on this status of this woman, only to see the back door of the moving van open and it’s filled with circus people, who pull in the woman’s body, and my husband jumps in there with them and the van takes off!
So I give chase to the moving/circus van, I’m on my cell with him, she’s alive, I’m yelling that I can’t figure out where they went, but I end up in a bank parking lot where I run over two of those parking lot stones and blow out two tires.
And as I realize what happened I thought, no kidding, in my dream I thought this, “I’m so blogging this… my life is blog fodder…”
Now I’m standing there pissed as hell, I don’t know where he is, my tires are blown out, I have to go get a kid in an hour, and I’m going to have to call AAA… when I notice right before me is a tire store… with two guys watching me and saying they were going to close up, but they’ll get me tires immediately.
And so I went in and… woke up.
And I woke up incredibly tired. Maybe even more tired then when I went to sleep. I have been dreaming like this constantly. I’m kind of done with it…
I’m thinking there is more going on than the fact I had grilled cheese for lunch. Maybe this whole circus theme represents the chaos that is my life... then again... maybe it really just was the grilled cheese.
A guy I work with just came back from a week in Scotland. He was visiting his Scottish lass, with whom I believe he has become quite smitten, and arrived home this past Sunday.
I had traveled with him his first leg of his trip, our being on the same flight from West Palm to Atlanta while I was on my way to the blogmeet in Austin. So I’d heard quite a bit about his girl and their plans for their week together.
Needless to say, come Tuesday morning, when I worked, I quickly threw my stuff in my filing drawer and bee lined it to his cube, where I promptly sat on his desk and said, “Well?”
What can I say? Deep down I’m a true sucker for romance, although I find it to be completely illogical on a conscious level. I love to hear the stories of people in love and their plans for their lives together.
And so we talked and talked and we spoke of the culture in Scotland and the people and their health and their diet and he said to me, “Since she met me, she has changed how she eats, and she’s lost 2 ½ stones…”
I said, “What? Stones? What in the heck is that? What is the American equivalent to one Scottish Stone?”
Evidently its 14 pounds.
Now folks, I know all languages and dialects have idiosyncrasies, and God only knows how many times I have given my Midwestern friends a hard time for calling Coke, Pop, when EVERYONE knows that ALL carbonated drinks are Coke…(You know…. “Can I have a Coke please?” “What kind would you like?” “Sprite”.), but this stone thing is quite peculiar in my book.
See… I think of stone and I think of slightly larger than a pebble. In geological size hierarchy I think pebble, stone, rock, boulder.
So a stone… would be… you know… throwable. As in ‘ A stone’s throw a way’. You skip stones across water.
Young boys don’t skip 14 pounds across a lake. Fourteen pounds doesn’t skip.
And I can’t throw 14 pounds.
And I’m not that weak. Granted most of my strength is in my legs (I’m currently consistently leg pressing over 300 pounds) and my back (in the lateral pull down, narrow grip, I’m at 100 pounds with the realization that soon I’ll have to have someone else pull down the weight while I lock my legs under the pad as I’ll be able to swing from the weight alone…), and my arm strength really is poor at best (after 4 years of strength training, I’m still only curling 12-15 pounds per arm), but still, all and all 14 pounds is a PRETTY BIG STONE to heave. That’s like hurling a frickin’ bowling ball.
That’s not a stone, folks. That’s a ROCK. And it may not even be a rock! It may be a small boulder!
I know stones! I had one removed in December, along with my gall bladder! I bonded with the ultrasound tech and she let me keep a picture. Sorry if you’re faint of heart. I personally thought it was pretty cool… as long as it was no longer in my body. (The black shadow is my gall bladder and that round thing is a STONE a bit over 2cm in diameter.)
(As always, click to enlarge... to see it boulder size I guess.)
Anyway, I decided it does sound much cooler to say, “I lost a stone” as opposed to “I lost 15 pounds.”
So maybe that is my new goal. I’m not as fit as I’ve been in the past. I was a full stone lighter this time 3 years ago.
I think I’d like to lose a stone… or is it still passing a stone?
As I said, Mr. Magoo quit smoking last week… I wasn’t sure how it was going. Today I found out.
He’s our Safety Guy. The man is the expert on maintenance safety on aircraft. So ANYTHING I do, I try to pass through him.
I’m not the Safety Girl. I’m just on the maintainability side.
So the other day he’d gotten something that I’d put together, had made it through all the wickets with blessings from engineers all over, and it had even been rubber stamped by a Safety Guy in the Great White North. He called me over and said, “Bou, I have issues with this. I see a safety problem. The kids on the flight line aren’t going to be aware of this issue. We need to add a warning here, change some wording there…” and on and on he went.
And I felt pretty crappy about it. I hung my head and said, “I didn’t see this at all…”
And his response was, “It wasn’t your job to”.
I felt a bit better. Not much. But a bit. I don’t intend to make the same mistake twice, but I probably will.
Now Mr. Magoo, he hates change, in particular, computer change. Any questions he has on the computer, he comes to me. Trust me, I’m no expert, but I am fortunate enough to have been on computers long enough to remember when floppy disks were the size of dinner plates and Word Star was the word processor of choice, a barbaric one at that. (Yes, I remember punch cards…)
This week my group was transferred over to Microsoft 2003 and it has been NOTHING but a BIG frickin’ headache for everyone since we switched. Our IT group is living in my department as nothing interfaces with our engineering software properly.
I fully expect to walk into work one day to find Bill Gates hanging in effigy.
This whole conversion truly sucks wet socks.
And today I came in and I heard Mr. Magoo banging around in his cube, cussing and carrying on. “GD, POS, I hate this Frickin’ shit. I can’t get it to work. Nothing ever works right. Murphy’s LAW. I just get it work and they change the GD system… *grumble* *grumble* *cuss**piss and moan**throwing all sorts of crap in his cube*”
So I walked in, which was taking exactly two steps as my little table is right outside his cube, and said, ‘What’s not working?’
And he replied, completely exasperated, “I can’t get my figure to show up. I did a print screen and I can’t get it to paste in this new 2003 power point. All the buttons are screwed up. I don’t know what to do… and it won’t work…”
I looked at it and said, “OK. Go over to the top to that little pull down and Hit Edit”. And he did.
“Now, Hit paste”. And he did.
And it pasted his figure exactly where he wanted it.
He sat there.
And then I said, “Well, and you can use your right click button too and the option of paste shows up… It’s no big deal. Don’t sweat it. It’s standard now on most software packages, you just didn’t know…”
*Big Long Damn Silence*
Finally he said, “I hate this shit. I suck. I’m going out for a smoke” and he grabbed his Marlboros and left.
I guess he didn’t quit smoking…
Next time I go to show him something on the computer, I’m taking him a pack of grape bubble yum.
Play offs started tonight for the eldests’ baseball games.
And they beat a team that pissed me off last week. I love it when that happens.
Last week we played a team and they beat us 15-8. We lose all the time and our attitude as parents, as well as players, is "Did we have a good time?" No stress. Nobody has to win. Just have fun and play ball.
We played them again on Saturday and the other team copped attitude and said, “We’re not putting in our best pitchers this game, we’re saving them for Tuesday’s play off game.”
They were scheduled to play US in Tuesday’s play off game.
So when our team started cleaning their clocks on Saturday morning, the song changed and they started putting in all their ‘best pitchers’ and we beat them 15-8. Same score, flip side.
LOOOOOOVE that. And we didn't rub it in. Our kids win graciously too. But they were happy as they knew what had been said at the beginning of the game. There was a certain smugness and I have to say, rightfully so.
Tonight was the play off game against the same team and if there was any team to beat, I was looking forward to this. And it started off tough and then I had to leave to go to a board meeting.
I called my husband on my way home to find out our team had won in extra innings and that it was a GREAT game and our team really came together.
We never know when our team is going to ‘come together’ as there are some days they’re on fire and the game has actually had to be stopped as our team is too far ahead and then there are days where the entire team, collectively, couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn to save their lives and they have to stop the game as we're losing so badly.
We have no idea why. They’re hot or cold, we never know when.
It just is.
And they're good sports either way. The parents and coaches insist on it. Hell our parents cheer the other team when THEY make a good play or a good hit.
It's kids' baseball. Its supposed to be fun.
But tonight our kids were hot and they were going toe to toe against the other team and my 11 year old, whose never played ball on a team, hit a double,
bringing in two runners and then stole 3rd…
and then stole home.
He wants to play again next year. We seem to have found a love…
From Son#2 as I was helping him with his long division this afternoon. I was sitting next to him, legs crossed at the knee so my lower leg was exposed.
Suddenly stopping what he was doing, looking shocked, as he’d he bumped up against my leg:
“Mom. Are there like… porcupine quills on your legs?”
Umm. Like… yeah?
That’s what it is.
It is going to be complete mayhem.
Yet… she WANTS to do this.
I am currently questioning her sanity.
I smell blog fodder...
Bones hates baseball. Well, it’s not really baseball, but t-ball. He thinks it’s boring, which is not surprising considering his energy level. He is one of the better players on the team, which is also expected as he’s a late birthday so the oldest kid on the team.
But Bones hates baseball.
And getting that kid to these last few games has been torturous at best. Today he fell asleep in the car on the way and when we arrived; when I woke him up he started to cry. I wish there was audio, because I really do a most excellent imitation of the drama king with the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth:
Bones: Noooooooo, I haaaaaaate baaaaaaseballlllll. Doooooooon’t maaaaaake meeeee gooooooooo. Myyyyyyy stoommmmach huuuuuuuurts….
Me: Oh. I think you’ll be fine…
Bones: Noooooooo I wooooon’t. *sob sob* I haaaaate this so muuuuuch. And if I gooooo out there *sob* coooooach will make me plaaaaaay.
Me: I know. But it’s cool. It’s the last game.
Bones: *sob* And alllllll anyoooone on my team doooooes is *sob* pick their butts. Theeeeey dooooon’t do annnnnything.
Me, acting all chipper like I’m looped up on some happy drug and I’ve become the frickin’ Stepford Wife of t-ball: Ahhh, come on. It’s not so bad. And I’ll make you a milk shake after dinner. Oreo ice cream. What do you think?
Bones: *sob* NOooooooooooooo. It’ll still *sob* make my stommmmmach hurt.
Me: Really? Are you sure? An oreo milk shake is going to make your stomach hurt?
Bones: Well, *sniff* I think maybe if *sniff sniff* you go to Publix and buy coffee ice cream *sniff* my stomach will be better….
Me, looking at crocodile boy whose tears have miraculously dried up, the boy who thinks my name is Bob Barker and we must live the family version of ‘Let’s Make a Deal’: OK. I have to go anyway to pick up stuff for dinner. I’m making your favorite, Chicken Divan with the swiss cheese sauce, broccoli and rice. I’ll get coffee ice cream too…
Bones: OK! Wait! I’m going to be late! My team is getting on the field!!!!
And off he ran to catch up with his teammates. I was taken I am sure. But I don’t care as it’s the last game. I’m so done with baseball…
From Ogre's I found this... I don't know how I feel about what I got. Hmmm.
**Update- OK, I looked at all the other options and yes, this one fits me best. I'm not a dramatic romantic, I don't want to be in control, I'm not adventuresome, I don't put everyone's needs before my own, I'm just plowing through life... usually not so gracefully. And we all know I think, I'm all about stability.**
Three more weeks and school is over in the great State of Florida. And I’ve been giving some thought to what is next for us… summer vacation.
I LOOOOVE summer vacation. I don’t send my kids to camp unless they really want to go. This is the first year they’ve begged… the two older boys are going to a week's worth of baseball camp. Other than that… its swimming, the beach, and playing… all summer.
No more getting up at 5:45… the first time, but really getting out of bed at 6AM.
No more making lunches.
No more going to get the bread out and realizing that it is: a) moldy or b) gone. As in eaten. For snack… after school… the day before.
No more opening lunch boxes to find that Son#2 didn’t eat anything all day.
No more fighting about breakfast in the morning.
No more hearing from Bones: “Can I go to a new school so I never have to see Derek ever again?” (He’s too young to wish people get hit by busses… *grin*)
No more wondering when I pick up my ringing cell phone in the middle of the day and it says the childrens' school, if one of them is in the principal's office. Or bleeding out the eyes in the nurse’s office (one of three criteria to call me from the nurse’s office is bleeding from the eyes).
No more hearing frantic hollering in the morning that I didn’t do the laundry and someone is out of PE uniforms.
No more baseball.
No more scrambling to get homework done before baseball.
No more school treasury books.
No more school fundraisers.
No more phone calls about school fundraisers.
No more emergency trips to the bank for school fundraisers.
No more trying to get sleepy boys out of bed.
No more trying to get sleepy Moms out of bed…
No more 5:45 wake ups… Oh wait. I said that already. I’m so ready for summer vacation.
My blog daughter Rave’s husband has quit smoking. Yikes! I feel her pain. Sort of.
Both Alpha Male and Mr. Magoo have quit smoking. For Alpha Male it has been 3 months. He started running. I asked him what made him quit and he said he wasn’t quitting forever, but he thought it was time to ‘detox’ his body for awhile.
Hmm. Hadn’t heard that one before.
Anyway, he was never grouchy.
But Mr. Magoo? He quit on Monday and I don’t’ know why and he has grouchy covered. I mean, the man is 60 years old, has had circulation surgery for his legs, bypass surgery on his heart and he’s just NOW quitting? The guy had those surgeries over 12 years ago!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely supportive of him and even told him TGOO’s trick of taking up chewing grape bubble yum and marathon running. (Feb 14, 1979, as a gift to us kids, he gave up the smokes.) Mr. Magoo looked at me like I was nuts. I even offered to buy him the gum. He said he’d pass.
I don’t say anything to him about it. It seems to be the thing at work lately to quit. My boss? Off and on. Another manager down the hall? Off and on. That’s cool. I don’t mention it. They don’t need me to. I know it’s on their mind constantly; they sure as hell don’t need ME to say, “So how’s it going with the no smoking thing?” Phht.
Back to Mr. Magoo. He’s been kinda crabby since he quit. I’m not wishing him to start back up, but I’m really looking forward to his working through this first few weeks. He was banging things around in his cube, cussing and carrying on and finally I said, “I’ve not asked, but WHY did you quit smoking? After 45 years, you’re quitting NOW. Why?!”
And he replied, “Because I felt like total crap and I’m tired of it. I know it’s the smokes. So I quit.”
Fair enough. There’s nothing I can do to help… but I’m damn tempted to buy him a big thing of grape bubble yum…
“Mom. Feel my hair. I’m sweatier than dead pig.”
The Egg… it was found today! Yahoo! 21 days that egg was lost. Located on a window sill to the family room, in a corner, behind the blinds. The blinds stay open, so we never noticed it.
Yes. It had started to decompose.
No. We did not find it by stench. Son#2 just happened upon it.
Lesson learned: When your teenage nephew offers to help you hide eggs for the young ‘uns, have him keep a list as to where he hid his share…
Eh. So should anyone wonder about the facets of my personality and if this part I speak of, this Type A part, should really be true… I set before you a story that happened but two weeks ago.
My sister, Morrigan, and her wonderful beau had come for a visit. Taking her back to the airport, we had a conversation about a person I know of that is causing great grief and consternation in her life. The type of stuff that pisses me off when it happens to me, let alone happens to my fair and beautiful younger sister.
So on the way to the airport, the following conversation took place, to the best of my recollection.
Me: That whole situation sucks. You know. Maybe she’ll get hit by a truck and the whole thing will go away.
I looked over at her and she’s just staring at me, saying nothing.
Me: What?! Don’t tell me you didn’t think of that!
Morrigan: No. I did NOT think of that.
Me: Pulease. I used to think of that all the time when I worked for Company X. Some prick would be giving me grief, making my life completely miserable and eventually I’d think to myself, “Maybe he’ll get hit by a bus and this will all go away…”
Morrigan: Never. I never thought of ANYTHING like that. Ever.
Me: Phht. Gimme a break. Four of the biggest jerks I worked with or for are now dead. I didn’t go to one funeral. Not one. Granted it wasn’t a bus or truck, but still. Good riddance. No skin off my back. Too bad so sad, they’re dead.
So the other day I said, “You know, your beau didn’t add anything to that conversation. Was he kind of horrified?”
Morrigan said, “Well, I don’t know if he was horrified, but he did say, “Your sister is kind of intense…””
Yup. That sums it up.
I went for a run today. I hate it when I’m not sure what kind of run it should be. That sounds odd, I am sure. Some people run because that is what they do. They are true runners. I run for a reason. I have for over 4 years. But, I can just as easily go to the gym and realize I don’t feel like running at all and just ride the bike for a half hour.
There are different types of runs, it depends on my mental need.
Am I running from demons?
Running to something?
Running to work off stress?
Running to work through thoughts?
Running to burn off calories?
And the music is different for each type. And at the end of some of them, I throw up. I’ll push it that hard. I can be pretty self motivated.
We all have our vices that see us through. Some drink, some smoke, some shop, some eat. I run. Mine is not better than anyone else’s. I’m sure at the end of the day, my knees will be shot. My mind will be clear, but my knees will give way… eventually.
So today I walked in, trying to figure out the mood… I had a Clive Cussler book in one hand in case it was a ‘bike’ day and my iPod in the other, and intuitively I knew it was a running day.
But I didn’t feel like pushing until I puked or until I was a lifeless ball of sweat and exhaustion. No demons today. I’m not full of self loathing. I’m just stressed and tired. I’m ready for school to be out.
Yet something was calling me. Something was telling me to run. It was intuitive.
So I flipped through my iPod, going from artist to artist, nothing feeling right. No angry chick music. I’m not angry. No music of self loathing. Not there right now either. No funky upbeat weird music (REM) today… not in the mood.
And as my finger swirled around on the dial, I came to Tori Amos and Bells for Her. It is an odd song. Rather dark. Bells of course and Tori’s voice is haunting. It’s a song I’ve listened to in the past, but definitely not one I’d put up there as a high beat running song.
Not by any stretch.
I’d never thought of running to it. (Sample of it HERE.)
So I plugged myself in and turned it on and listened… and ran… and hit repeat… and listened… and ran… and the thoughts started flowing and I felt the grief and the death and the loneliness and the despair, that must have been in my subconscious.
And I ran, not too fast, not kicking it up, but just ran… and completely zoned out as I kept hitting repeat, and listened, and ran. And I saw the faces before me of those I cannot touch again, and felt the weight of their loved ones as I hugged them, and I could almost smell the smells…
And three miles into it, as I felt the icy fingers of death and grief try to grip my heart, as I could feel myself choking again, I ‘forgot’ to hit repeat, and Tori’s voice moved on to something else and it was gone.
I ran 4 miles, effortlessly, ending with an oddly clear mind, but tired.
I came home and showered and went to my errand… to visit an elderly friend of mine who just became a widow. (I posted HERE and HERE on him and his funeral. He had been the survivor of the Bataan Death March.) I sat down with her and showed her how to get on her husband’s computer and check his/her e-mail. I took a tour of their home. I let her talk about him and how he had stolen her heart when she least expected it. And she showed me the stained glass he made. And the memorial her grandson had made for him in the backyard.
And I stayed with her much longer than I had intended, talking and listening and she worked through her grief again, trying to make sense of it. We talked about his clothes and where I thought she might consider donating them. And she kept apologizing for her home, that it was in a more disorganized state since he had died.
And I assured her that there was no rush to get things in order. It was to be on her time, not anyone else’s. And she would stop occasionally to collect herself, at times on the cusp of tears, and I would wait, not wanting to embarrass her in her grief, but also telling her that there was no time limit on grief.
That too is on her own time…
And it made sense why I was pulled for my run today. My body was getting ready for this afternoon. One can only absorb so much… and my cup was full before my run. I needed to clear my head to make room.
I hope not to have to run to Bells for Her again any time soon… Memorial Day is coming up. I am ready.
It was a long week. This month has started out crazy for me and by Friday night, I was just beat.
And then I remembered that Christina had turned me onto this company called LUSH. She mailed me some bathbombs after my surgery. I loved them! My only issue was… since there were still no bubbles, when I got in my bathtub; I still had to look at my 40 year old overstretched from three pregnancies body.
Clothes hide a lot of things. I’m not nudist camp material.
So a couple months ago I decided to splurge on myself, order some nice smelling soap from there as well as what they call a ‘Bubble Bar’. This would be a bar you put in your bathwater where you are guar-an-teed to have movie star type bubbles.
You know. The kind like you see in movies. Beautiful starlet sitting in a big tub, bubbles up to her neck.
Now I’m not a bath kinda gal typically. I’m a shower, get in, get out girl. I got things to do, people to see, kids to contend with.
BUT, my Mom has been telling me for years she thinks I need to mellow out at night by taking a nice hot bubble bath. My high strung type A personality has been fighting that.
Then ArmyWife was telling me the same. And I resisted.
And then Christina said the same and then went so far as to SEND ME bath bombs in the mail to try it… and I succumbed. And enjoyed it!
So as I said, I decided to buy this bubble bar and see if maybe this whole ‘take a hot bath and soak my troubles away’ route might really work long term. But I needed bubbles, hence the bubble bar.
I read on the internet, reviews of said bubble bar and repeatedly I read, “Don’t put the whole bubble bar in… ¼ of it will fill up your tub with more than enough bubbles.” The bubble bar is pretty big anyway. It’s probably 4 inches in diameter, a circular shape.
It came in the mail and I was excited. When we built this house 10 years ago, I insisted on a Roman bath tub. I don’t know why. It just seemed like a cool thing to have. I figured I’d place candles around it, decorate the bath area and it would be cool.
Good intentions. Roads to hell. Yada yada yada. You know how that goes.
And quickly it became a mini pool for my kids. When they were toddlers, if they wanted to go swimming, I’d put them in my Roman bath tub. It worked. They just wanted to play with water. All three of them… I used to call my folks and say, “I have a tub full of floating weenies today…”
But it never got used for any other purpose than that. Until recently.
And do you know what I learned last night? I need a booster seat for my bath tub.
I’m too small.
If I sit up against the back of my tub, my feet don’t touch the other end! I slide! I have no traction!
So here I was, laying low in my tub (the only way I could get my feet on the other side for leverage), arms outstretched so I could read, water pouring in the other end, when I realize, “Holy crap! Look at the bubbles!” and bubbles were GROWING at such an alarming rate, they were threatening to leave the tub and overtake the bathroom, yet the water? It was still only 6 inches deep! This is using only ¼ of that bubble bar!
And how quickly do you think that I could get to that end of the tub, considering the water is slick with this bubble stuff, I’m naked and slippery, and I’m too small for my bathtub and I have a book in my hand?
Oh yes. Definite video moment as I tried to sliiiiiiide down to turn off the water while keeping my book dry.
I had an old boyfriend that used to call me Grace. And it wasn’t because I’m graceful. Trust me.
Anyway, the whole bath thing worked very well. I was very mellow when it finally finished after the adrenaline rush wore off from the near bubble disaster.
And I do think I’ll do it again, and perhaps make a habit of it, but not before I buy some sort of cushion booster seat for my tub. I need traction. Or something. I’m sure.
I had a meeting today so my better half took the boys to their ball game. Bones was off doing his thing on the playground, running back and forth checking in.
Evidently at some point, he decided to try to scale a 6 foot tall chain link fence. He made it to the top, one leg on each side and then… fell.
In a heap.
To the ground.
My husband didn’t see him fall, but from what I understand a couple kids in the dug out did as well as one of the coaches, who rushed over to pick up his limp body and bring it to my husband.
I’m glad I wasn’t there for that horror show. Don’t get me wrong, it could have happened JUST AS EASILY on my watch. The only person to blame is Bones.
But damn if he didn’t scare the crap out of every single person on the ball field.
He’s pretty skinned up and has some bruised ribs. At one point there was thought he may have broken a couple. He’s lucky he didn’t break his back or neck. It wasn’t smart for the coach to move him, but I think it was instinctive.
He was just lying there on his side. A lifeless blob of boy.
So when I heard this story I said, “Wow. Did you bounce?”
And Bones said, “no.”
Me: No. So did you just land like a sack ‘o potatoes with a ‘thunk’?
Bones: Yeah. Pretty much.
Bones: Gravity sucks, doesn’t it.
Me: Never mind. So what happened next?
Bones, with great flare and drama, and to know him is to fully comprehend the full drama of the speech: I just laid there, I couldn’t breathe. I probably looked like I was paralyzed or something. And the coach picked me up and took me to Dad and then… and then… and then Dad… he cussed at me! Can you believe it? I could have been paralyzed or something and Dad cussed at me!
(From what I understand, as my husband was holding him and nobody was around, and Bones was trying to catch his breath, my husband holding him tightly let out a quiet ‘Son of a bitch…’. Not calling Bones one, but just saying it…)
And I started to laugh and said, “Umm… that would be because you scared the ever living crap out of him…” to which I heard my husband say, “I keep telling him that, and he’s not grasping how badly he scared me. I knew we were probably leaving the baseball field to go to the ER…”
So now Bones knows… Boys Don’t Bounce. Dads cuss when they’re scared. And… Gravity Sucks.
I’m glad I wasn’t there to watch that lesson learned. I’ve watched enough. Thank.you.very.much.
I have a ‘friend’ who was diagnosed with breast cancer 15 months ago. An acquaintance is probably a better way to put it, but she has just been so honest with me, so open with me about what she has been going through… acquaintance doesn’t seem like enough.
I know too much.
She is 60 this year, 20 years my senior. Her attitude has been phenomenal and I’ve been watching her, filing it away. She is someone to emulate.
In March I was talking to her, her last chemo treatment was finally over and her hair had come back in. I made mention of how thick it had grown back and she laughed and said, “What am I going to do?! For 60 years I had straight hair and now look at THIS?! I don’t know what to do! You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!”
And she kept laughing as I ran my hand through her new dark gray kinky curly hair. Thick and kinky, I had to laugh with her.
Today I attended a meeting with her. We were speaking and she laughingly said, “Do you know, its $700 to become a lifetime member of this organization. That would be just throwing money into the wind for me. What a waste!”
I was puzzled and said, “Well, at age 60 you’re allowed to obtain the lifetime membership… I think the way dues go up it may not be a bad thing…”
And she looked at me and laughed, “Honey, I’m not going to live that long for it to be worth it…”
I didn’t know there was something I didn’t know. I shot back, “Phht. Look at you. You look awesome. You’re cancer free for now. I’m keeping positive about this!”
And she said, “You don’t know, do you? This is my 2nd bout. I was diagnosed 2 years ago the first time. I’ve never been cancer free for 5 years. Bou, this is probably it… It’s going to come back. I’ll keep fighting, but it will come back… and eventually I’ll die.”
And I felt like someone had sucker punched me. And I wanted to scream.
I am 40 years old. For the last 10 years, not a year has gone by where I haven’t known someone diagnosed with breast cancer. One year I knew FIVE women. Of those five, two are now dead, one at age 40, the other at 55.
I found out the other day my cousin has been diagnosed. Her sister had it as well. (Her sister is in remission.)
My paternal grandmother was diagnosed with it in the 1960s. They did that radical mastectomy they used to do back then where they removed the breast, the lymph nodes and all the muscle down her arms. Everything.
Six weeks later she went in and had the other removed prophylactically. SHE made the decision to do so. It never came back. She lived until a few years ago.
And I finger the card now that my radiologist sent me last month, the one that said, ‘Your mammogram was clear, but you should come in for an ultrasound because of the type of breast tissue you have…” and I put it on my things to do list for Monday.
To do otherwise would be irresponsible.
I hate the spice tarragon. I refuse to cook with it and should go ahead and throw the spice out of my cabinet.
Cilantro ranks right up there with tarragon. It tastes like soap to me. Blech.
So am I the only one that thinks cumin smells like stinky feet? And unfortunately, I do now think I know what stinky feet taste like.
I find that unsettling.
I’m not a political blogger. As Army Wife Toddler Mom puts it, I’m a diarist. That sounds so much better than what I used to call myself. I’d just say I have a BS blog. But diarist, it has such a nice ring.
But every now and then something comes up that I have to post, you’ve seen it when I Draw My Sword. Mostly, however, its hurricanes. And its hurricanes again… we have less than a month before the season starts… again.
No. I’m not ready. I buy my supplies on 1 June and not a damn day before.
I’ve posted before (here, scroll down to get to the part about the Lake) about my concern of Lake Okeechobee or as we call it, “Lake O”. For those of you not from Florida, when you look at the State of Florida on a map, it’s that big blue lake about 2/3 of the way down the State. I’m not trying to act like you’re stupid; I just don’t want to assume you know. Trust me, I know very little about States I have not lived in or visited. I know the basics: state capital and produce… oh, and terrain. I know the terrain of your state..
I was concerned way before Katrina did its damage to New Orleans. I have said to many people that should Lake O take a good Cat 4 or Cat 5, we’re in big trouble. I could feel it. The Lake has been talked about too much in the past (water is too high, water is too low, the dike is being used as a dam and wasn’t built for that use, the dike has leaks, the dike is over 70 years old...), for any of us not to be aware that a good ‘cane is going to cause a lot of trouble.
Think New Orleans trouble… but potentially bigger.
Yes. Bigger. We’re talking serious environmental disaster, hard working people displaced permanently, the entire infrastructure of the south end of the state that houses and employs literally MILLIONS of people could be damaged beyond comprehension.
Think New Orleans AND Mississippi… all in one state.
And once the water lets loose out of Lake O, where does it go? The sea may rush up and take what it wants, gripping homes and cars and buildings, claiming it all as its own, pulling it out forever, but Lake O? Where does that water go when its settles on the lands of Florida?
Nowhere. It stays. Unless someone moves it. It stays.
And it boggles my mind. Along Lake O we have little towns called Belle Glade and Pahokee, we call it ‘The Glades’. They’re our migrant farm towns. They’re the towns that were wiped slick in the unnamed hurricane of 1928, when an undetermined number of people were killed… undetermined, but known to be over 3000, as they buried the bodies as quickly as they could to prevent the spread of disease.
Now these two towns, are homes to well over 45,000 people. Hardworking people for the most part. Incredibly impoverished hardworking people. Our migrant farm workers. The folks who take jobs that American citizens refuse to take. The average American would rather suck off the Government tit on welfare than work in a sugar cane field or pick tomatoes in sweltering 105 degree humid heat in August… for pennies. These folks live in deplorable conditions at times, in what I think of as shanty towns. They don’t own cars. They don’t need to. Their living conditions make the news regularly. America doesn’t like to think about how these folks live.
And America doesn’t want to think about what’s going to happen to the folks who pick their oranges, tomatoes and sugar cane during a hurricane, folks who don’t own vehicles, who can’t run to family and hide. We’re not talking about the same type of people as in New Orleans… Sure, there is probably an element there, but for the most part, these people are hard working people living in abject poverty and chances are, some don’t exist. Some are illegal. No doubt in my mind. But I could be wrong.
And Hurricane Wilma, that little Cat 2 that nobody was really worried about, proved to a number of people that we need to be very very afraid. And not only of a Cat 4 or 5… but of 30 inches of rain and 100 MPH winds. They say with Wilma we were within hours of a major dike breach. We need to be worried about Tropical Storms now. It’s that bad.
And why has this come to my mind now? Because for the last four days my local paper, The Palm Beach Post, has released results of a study done on Lake O. (A list of all the articles is HERE.) Everyone who was concerned now is very concerned. And those who didn’t think about it before, are standing up straight and listening. Thank you to the Post. Someone needs to stand up and scream about it… and by reporting the results of a survey commissioned by our South Florida Water Management District to assess the state of our dike, it is in essence, screaming from that mountaintop. (And for the record, the head of the SFWMD is appointed by our Governor.)
It’s bad people. Very bad. There is a 50% chance the dike is going to fail in 4 years. Nobody really knows where. It’s a big damn lake. And according to the article it will pour more than 1.6 trillion gallons of water out amongst us and nobody… NO-BODY… really knows how far that water will go.
Some say it will reach my home by day 7. Some say earlier. Some say it won’t. It won’t be a case of “Oh! The dike broke, but it happened yesterday and the water isn’t lapping at my door, so I’m OK!” NO. It will be a case of our watching and waiting for days and days and the water will continue to come… and come… and come. It will be slow.
People will die. I feel certain. Planning is being done to get the migrant workers and their families out, as well as the infirm and the elderly. What a logistics nightmare I don’t envy. Get all those folks out, by school bus, van, public transportation buses, truck, you name it, and house them… where? In the schools? So we have to close down our schools even EARLIER and perhaps for longer. And feed them… how? I didn’t see that addressed. And there has been no test run. Nobody knows for sure if they can do a massive evacuation like that. It’s just being planned. Now.
The citizens in that area, the Americans who live around the lake, a lot of them cattle farmers and the like all know… You can’t rely on the government. They’ve always known that, they didn’t need Katrina to show them that. They have plans. And just as people have looked at me puzzled over the last couple years when I’ve said, “I’m really REALLY CONCERNED about that dike”, its been intuitively obvious, its not frickin’ rocket science, the people who live around the Lake know too. It is not a matter of ‘will the dike break’ but ‘when will the dike break’.
It’s gonna happen.
Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers came out today and said, “Oh no it won’t. We’ll be fine.” (See HERE.) I roll my eyes. No offense to the Army Corps of Engineers. They’ve done a GREAT job to date, keeping one step ahead of those leaks.
Great Applause for the Army Corps of Engineers! *clap clap clap* *whistles* *Whoo HOO!!!*
But really, do they really think we should be depending on them like this? That they can continue to do what they’re doing? Patching here and there, adding rocks and boulders for support? Essentially they’re placing band aids on 70 year old mounded dirt to hold back trillions of gallons of water.
The dike, which has been used as a dam for the last two decades, was built… in the early 30s. Holy crap. It’s old and its been misused.
In reliability statistics (I worked this in an old job) we have what we call a bath tub curve. Things fail at the beginning of life (what we call infant mortality) and at the end (wear out mode). In the middle there is lower/constant failure rate usually attributed to things random. We’re at the end of that curve here. We’re well into aged mortality for that dike… wear out.
If the State of Florida chooses to ignore the report that was just created from this study, they are fools. Fortunately, our Governor and our Representatives are listening, so far, to those who did the private study. Too much is at stake. Sorry Army Corps, no offense, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
I said to my husband after Hurricane Katrina, “Let’s think about Lake O. If the Hoover dike breaks, and we lose everything, what are we going to do…”
He just stared at me.
I don’t mean just my house, furniture and dishes. Sure I’m sick at the thought of losing baby pictures and family furniture and old family china. But I mean EVERYTHING… including our jobs. All of it.
What would we do if we lost our home, our earthly possessions, our jobs? And could not return?
It could happen.
My husband is self employed. If everyone or a good portion of citizens in Palm Beach County lost everything, his business is done. All businesses in Palm Beach County would be finished. The job market would be non existent. The Western Communities of Palm Beach County would be under water, and if it’s due to a hurricane, the Eastern Communities would be ravaged as well.
Now I have to assume that we would escape of course. We’d have our cars and some clothing, but our livelihood would be gone and we’d be facing a bleak future.
And so he thought about this question completely horrified and said, “Well… I guess we’d move to Dallas…” at which point it was my turn to be dumbstruck as Dallas is the last place on Earth I expected my New Jersey born and bred husband to pick. But he has a friend there in the same business and he felt certain his buddy would help us land on our feet.
And of course the boys and I would shack in with Mom and The Great Omnipotent One until we got our lives sorted out.
Yes. We’ve thought about it. We’ve now thought about it at great length. I’m not a pessimist, but a realist. The fact is, I now EXPECT the Lake O Herbert Hoover dike is going to be breached. It’s just a matter of how bad the breach is and where exactly it occurs.
I have a list of things to pack quickly should we have to evacuate… things I cannot stand the thought of losing… should the water come. I don’t leave due to hurricanes and no offense, folks, I don’t want to hear any crap about it. If you doubt my staying, I want you to do some research on what it was like when the entire city of Houston tried to evacuate. Now I want you to triple that… and you have South Florida trying to get out of dodge. It’s not possible to evacuate this state. They DON’T WANT us to leave; they want us to be prepared. The people who live on the water and the people who live on the Lake have to evac. That’s a whole heaping mess of nightmare traffic right there, in itself.
The prospect of losing everything is looming large in my head. I ask myself the question all the time “What would we do if we lost everything? What would we do if we lost everything… and could never return?”
Do you? Ask the question?
We were in the car the other day and I saw a bumper sticker on a pick up truck that read, “I’d rather go hunting with Cheney than riding with Kennedy.”
I had to laugh. When the boys asked what was so funny, I read the bumper sticker, which made absolutely NO sense to them. That led me to explain the story of Mr. Cheney as well as Chappaquiddick.
For the record, let me state, that I sometimes wish there was a video feed in my car when this stuff happens. I can never do it justice and some of the stuff that happens is just plain funny.
So I explain both situations and Bones, who never really pays attention says, “So he killed two people and got away with it?”
Me, big big pause: No. Nobody killed two people. They’re different people, buddy, and only one person died…
Bones: How did he get away with killing two people? That’s against the law.
Me: Dude. You aren’t listening. TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Only ONE person died.
Bones: Oh. So how did they both die?
GRRRR. So I went through it again, Cheney, Kennedy, bird hunting and drowning and at some point he seemed to get it.
Son#2: Do you get it now, Bones? Mr. Cheney accidentally shot his hunting partner. Mr. Kennedy let that girl drown. And then he committed suicide…
Were we EVEN in the same conversation???
Me: Wait. Who said anything about a suicide???
Son#2: Oh. That would be me…
Me: Yeah, there were no suicides. OK. Let’s get it straight.
Son#1 was laughing through this entire thing. It was like some twilight zone version of the game telephone.
But I think the part that makes me wonder is… What DOES Bones REALLY think? Did any of it take? Did he really pay attention? Has the story morphed into a Mass murderer who got away and then committed suicide? And is the murderer's name Chennedy?
Maybe it’ll be Mr. Chennedy in the forest, killing his hunting partner, making his escape, drowning a girl, and then offing himself in a great shoot out with police…
Only time will tell…
Ahh… the blogmeet continued! The blogmeet write up that never ends!!! I continue today with… a few more.
We had spoken on the phone and e-mailed in the past, but had not ever met in person. I had a trip to take to San Antonio with my husband in May, and my boys and I were going to meet up with her and her daughters while my husband was at the conference, but he decided he was unable to attend. And THAT is how I ended up in Austin. She told me of the blog meet and I figured, “Hells bells, if I can’t do San Antonio, I’ll do Austin!”
And Christina was everything and more. Kind and smart. Funny and gracious. She is a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul. Her blog cannot do her justice.
Christina also brought her husband, Dash, of The Boiling Point. He fits his name well as he is tall and dashing, quiet and cerebral. He takes it all in. Christina and Dash cut quite the picture. I can completely understand how her daughters ended up so beautiful. Good genes, both sides, it was inevitable.
Christina also brought her friend, Susan, who I only got to meet for a few seconds, but seemed to fit right in! I hope next go round we can visit with her longer.
And of course… there was Christina’s Mom, who completely blew me away. I have wondered from whom Christina got her great inner strength and when you meet her Mom you understand. Her Mom, who came with fantastic wontons that I devoured!, has a strength that emanates from her soul. She had me laughing hysterically and she was quick to take my hand and make me feel wanted. She is an amazing woman.
I think this world is fortunate. When Christina and Dash’s daughters grow up, that is three generations of strong, smart, good women I see. It is inevitable.
And while I’m doing the family side of blogging, that leads me to Jim of Parkway Rest Stop and his daughter, TJ of Twisty. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim at Eric’s in October. He has great musical talent and a wicked sharp sense of humor. I still laugh at him as when someone would say something not expected, he’d look at me and say, “*blink*”. Heh. Cracked me up.
His daughter? Good Lord. The apple could not have fallen any closer to that tree. The two of them sang, while Jim played guitar, and I was in heaven. TJ has the most amazing voice. It is soft and gentle and lilting. Angels sing like TJ sings. And funny? Holy crap. At one point, Tammi, TJ and Oddybobo and I were in the car, and TJ had me laughing so hard, I thought for sure I would pee in that car. All weekend she had me laughing.
That of course brings me to Oddybobo, of BoboBlogger, who is an amazingly witty and brilliant woman. She too had me cracking up and folks, I could not quit staring at her skin. She has the most beautiful skin I have ever seen. I think they do commercials about it! I’ll be hooking up with her again. (BTW, this is a VERY cool post on what she did for some returning soldiers on her flight back home from Austin. I love this gal.)
T1G is like a brother to me. I feel completely comfortable around him joking and hugging on him like he is mine. Tammi tried to kill him a couple times this past weekend, from what I understand. She was awakened at the wheel by a heavy Wisconsin accent saying, “You doin’ OK?” Just the thought of him saying that has me in stitches. He is such a sweetie. A big hunk of love. (He’s huge.)
Tammi… just being around her is what I need. I love this girl to pieces. It’s coming up on two years since we bonded on the phone during that awful hurricane season. It’s been over a year and a half since I met her in person. She’s the type of girlfriend that you can pick up the phone after not talking for a month and say, “As I was saying last month….” and its just natural. One of my favorite times at the blog meet was late late Saturday night. I was freezing to death, Tammi had on Joe’s jacket, we’d pulled up chairs next to each other, huddled in close, and just sat there, talking and laughing.
I’m so glad she came…
Now I was going to save the rest until tomorrow, but since I’m on a roll, I’ll go ahead and finish.
Denny was there and I just love Denny. First off, at the Salt Lick, I could tell he’s been working out. I could tell immediately. The man is a force to contend with. Whereas when we were at Eric’s house and he looked at Mo and me and said, “let me fall if I fall… I don’t want to hurt you…” I thought, “phht, right.” This time? Yeah, he looked like he’d squish me like a bug. But I still wouldn’t let him fall. And as I’ve said before, he has the most infectious laugh. Whenever I’m around him, I want to hug all over him. If you get the chance to meet Denny, do NOT say no. An amazing man with amazing spirit. Oh and a mind that is sharp as hell. He’s very very well read.
My loss was not taking the time to get to know Nancy. I have heard now she is shy and she kept to herself. I have a hard time sometimes moving past my comfort zone. Normally I think, “phtt, its me, no biggy”, but I don’t feel that way this time. I feel quite certain that my not stepping out of my comfort zone and speaking to her was a loss on my part. It is something I regret and hope I can rectify one day. I need a ‘do over’.
Eric of Straight White Guy fame was there. It’s almost a year since I met Eric for the first time. He’s met my crazy kids and didn’t run in horror and I attended a blog meet at his home this past October. Eric is one cool and funny guy. I wish I could remember the exact words Elisson used (Elisson always comes up with the greatest phrases… he’s the King), but it was something like the little boy in the Straight White Guy body. (Elisson, help me out here if you read this…) And that pretty much sums it up. Eric enjoys himself wherever he goes, examining the wonderment of life. As always, it was a true pleasure.
During Saturday I was able to listen to Confabulator. I spent the first few minutes trying to figure out… something just struck me. He reminds me of someone that I was very close with that is no longer with me. Just the familiarity of him was enough for me to want to be in his presence. He was funny and sweet and I enjoyed meeting him immensely!
Saturday I also met Livey of Northwoods Woman. This woman has some serious energy. A ball of happy energy. Next to her, I am surely dead! I don’t know from where she gets it, but surely someone should market it and sell it. They’d make a mint!
And last, but not least. Knine. On Saturday night, when I made it out to the patio, he was the only person I didn’t recognize. By Saturday night, there was familiarity with everyone. As I said, I’m not one to move, but he was good enough to come over and make my acquaintance. And… he has some very cool Celtic tattoos! He seemed to fit right in with the guys and I am sure I’ll see him again.
I do believe that wraps it up. A three day blogmeet in three write ups… not so bad!
Next up… you get the story of my brainlessness and how I made it to Austin late…
They had ‘The Talk’ in school this week. You know the one. It’s the one where they separate the boys from the girls and tell them about sex and body changes.
A manila folder showed up in my home the other day, complete with a book on what they would be talking about. It gave us an opportunity to talk to the kids in advance.
When I received the book, I flipped through it and realized even though we’d had THE TALK (funny story… posted HERE if you’ve not read it), we’d never discussed that things change for women once a month. And I’d never shown him pictures of how implantation occurs.
Also, unfortunately this book didn’t cover the fact that humans have sex other ways than doggy style as I think he still believes it is the only position after our talk and my spending too much time reminding him of all the animals we’d seen that were ‘doing it’. And I still stand my ground that it is NOT MY JOB to tell him otherwise. I did my job. He can figure out the mechanics like all other men do. Heh.
So I said to him the other night, very matter of factly, ‘They’re having a talk at school about sex next week. There are a couple things we didn’t cover. Do you want to hear it with your buddies at the meeting or do you want to hear it from me?”
His eyes got real wide and he said, “YOU!”
So Sunday night, I sat down with him and the book and went through the entire thing very matter of factly and scientifically. It took all of 10 minutes.
He sat next to me, face on his hands.
I showed him the pictures, drew diagrams of the egg dropping, explained a woman’s cycle and how it works, explained his body… vas deferens and the whole 9 yards.
He just watched and listened. Nothing. The child said nothing. He kept his face on his hand.
So at the end I said, “Any questions?”
And he said, “Nope.”
And I replied, “You’re sure. Nothing.”
Me: Any thoughts?
Him: Mmm. No.
Me: Ok. What is going on in your head then? What are you thinking?
Him: My knuckles hurt.
Me: Your knuckles hurt? That’s what you’re thinking?
Him: Yeah. I’ve been leaning on my hand like this the entire time and my knuckles hurt…
Hunh. All that and I get, “My knuckles hurt.” Kind of anti-climatic if you ask me…
So today I asked him how the talk went and I got a “fine.”
And I pressed further because a few years ago a couple of the 5th grade boys got out of control and asked some pretty intense questions like, “What is 69 and how do you do it?” and on and on and on. (I can’t wait to see what I get googled for after this post. Lovely.) And at the time a different doctor did the talk and he answered anything and everything… pissing off a lot of parents. I think the school provides guidelines now to the physicians who do this, so they know when to tell the class ‘no’. I have no problem with education, but folks, I know for a fact that my 11 year old, who still can’t believe his Dad did IT three times, and who still does not like girls, does not need to hear about ‘69’. The time is not right.
Anyway, I pressed further since he is not one to volunteer information. I said, “Did people ask questions?”
Me: What did they ask?
Son#1: If it’s possible for someone to have girl parts AND boy parts.
Me: Hmm. That’s a GREAT question. I didn’t cover that with you. It’s called being a hermaphrodite.
Son#1: I don’t really get it… how would someone like that date?
And so I explained what I had read about it.
Me: Any other questions asked?
Son#1: Yeah, someone wanted to know if it’s possible if you can explode.
Me: *blink* (thinking explode? As in during sex? Holy crap!)
Me: Explode…? Oh wait. You mean testicles?
Son#1: Yeah. Someone asked that.
Me: Hunh. Well… what’s the answer? I don’t know. What did he say?
Son#1: Yup. A baseball player got hit once and his exploded.
Me: Wow. That’s gotta hurt…
And so it would appear that The Talk is complete for now. More to come I am sure. I have a book to hand him, that I bought myself for when he is 12.
One down… two more to go. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I do prefer teaching long division, but the whole sex thing hasn’t damaged me yet.
“Yet” is the key word. I don’t look forward to the conversation with Bones…
We were in the car yesterday, stopping by a pet store, looking for anything that could be tadpole/frog food.
The boys were in heaven, picking up hamsters and playing with them.
I hate going to pet stores now. The inevitable happens. When we leave, I ALWAYS here, “Mom can we get another pet?”
And the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection:
Bones: Mom. Can we get another pet?
Bones: I want a chick.
Me: They turn into chickens. I don’t want a chick or a chicken. We have enough living things in our home.
Son#1: What about a duckling?
Me: Ummm. NO. Ducklings turn into ducks…
Son#1: He can live in the pond in the back. It’s no big deal.
Me: There are Gators in that pond. No ducks.
Son#2: They want a dog. I can keep the hamster in my room when they get a dog.
Me: We’re NOT getting a dog!
Bones: What do you have against things with fur? Have you noticed? I have. We only have a hamster. Everything else… swims!
And so it went, as I got browbeat about the shoulders, head and neck for more pets.
And I stood my ground.
As of now in the House of Bou we have:
1 Mom (previously omitted as she writes this blog)
2 dead frogs
1 dead butterfly that didn’t make it through the shedding of the chrysalis stage.
Yes, I woke up yesterday morning to find my 2nd son doing the Kilroy at the kitchen counter. All I could see were his nose and eyes as he peered into one of the tadpole containers.
“Mom”, said he, “this frog is dead…”
“Oh no, I’m sure he’s just resting”, said I.
I walked over to look and there at the bottom of the little box, no kidding, laying feet up, was this tiny frog. I looked at him and said, “Hmm. Well, that's not good..."
I’m ready for them to move past this interest in the cycle of life…
As I continue with my trip to Austin for the blogmeet… I have another fine group of bloggers I met:
Walrilla was yet another I did not get to speak with much. He has quite a presence about him and I’d not heard that he was part Native American. The guy has some very cool facial hair and when you speak to him, you can tell he's listening. He’s the strong silent type for sure and I wish I’d have been around him more to have been able to hear what he had to say.
Acidman of Gut Rumbles, I sat next to him most of the afternoon on Saturday. (I’m not one to leave my seat once I feel comfortable. Comfort zone and all that… Besides I had a group that were keeping me laughing.) He sang Please Come to Boston and I wish I had it on CD for my car. Not the song. But Acidman singing it. I told him then, and I’ll put it here, people like him, who have what it takes when they reach the depths of their personal hells and pull themselves out and march on through life, are very much admired by me. Not everyone pulls out. Only the tenacious. It was a pleasure. Oh, plus he thought I had pretty toes… so given I joke about my duck feet… he got some serious points from me!
Elisson. Holy crap. I’d not met him before and the man is brilliant and funny. Good Lord have Mercy, he was one with whom I sat with on Saturday afternoon. He had me laughing and thinking and laughing again. The stuff this man comes up with… I have no clue how his brain works, but I know I like it. His take is HERE on the blogmeet. The creativity to do what he does, blows me away and in person, he’s the same way. Oh and thankfully he wore his trademark hat on Friday night, as I was the last to arrive due to my unending stupidity, and upon panicking that I would not know who our crew was, I saw his hat and knew I’d found them! And to Elisson I say, “Where was the damn ice cream?!!!”
I briefly met Zonker at the home of the Straight White Guy’s last October, but wasn’t able to speak to him. Everyone told me I missed out. I knew for a fact I would spend time with him this go round. And folks… I’m telling you now… I don’t know why this man is still single. Either he’s beating the women off with a stick and not telling us or there is something seriously wrong with the wimmin folk in Atlanta. And it’s not the eyelashes! It is him. Funny and smart, and caring and warm, he’s another I could listen to all day. He has a heart of gold and I am so glad I got to know him. I look forward to seeing him again.
And I’m going to put Kelley and Shoe together here as they were together when I met them. I’ve posted before how I have a problem remembering faces. Names too. Put them together and I am a frickin’ social disaster. I’m borderline paranoid about it at this point. (It happened again today when I was out… some woman stopped me and said “Oh you’re Bou! How are you?!” And I looked at her and swear I had never met her in my life, but I feigned I remembered. She lives in my neighborhood and we’d gotten together for play dates 3 years ago… many times. I so suck.)
Anyway, it was Saturday afternoon and I went down to the lobby to get something to drink. On my way up I shared an elevator with two women. I thought they were with a conference that was being held at the hotel. I never said a word, never making eye contact, as I don’t typically in elevators with people I don’t know. I sat back down at the table on the patio and about 10 minutes later they walked out and joined us. I thought I would vomit.
I’m not kidding.
I was physically sick. All I kept thinking was “Holy crap. I did it again. I must’ve met them last night and I don’t remember… They’re going to think I’m the biggest bitch. What in the world were they thinking in the elevator? I cannot believe I blanked out HERE, in AUSTIN.” I was done. I was so sick inside as I watched them sit down with us, I thought I might be done for the night.
I thought I’d met Shoe the night before, but I’m not sure. I know I’d wanted to meet her, but Friday night at the Salt Lick was chaotic at best. I really think I’d not met Kelley. But Shoe stood up and introduced herself and Kelley to me and whether she remembered me or not, she was gracious enough to say they had not met previously, and to say she was glad they finally got to meet me and I was so relieved.
Shoe is a riot. And she’ll pretty much say what’s on her mind, which makes her even funnier. She pulled this entire blog meet together and did a fantastic job. We are indebted to Shoe and for her suggestion for fantastic Mexican food on Saturday night as well as getting us all to the Stevie Ray Vaughn Memorial. What a blast!
Kelley, I hear she was Kelley lite as she is with child, but lite or not, hearing this girl do imitations, still makes me laugh. Holy crap. She had me rolling. I cannot even imagine what she’s like when she’s not ‘lite’.
And that is all for tonight… stay tuned for more. Same bat time, same bat channel!
The elder two boys had baseball today. My husband had a meeting, time was tight with homework and whatnot, so I swung by Wendy’s for their dinner. I hate this is becoming a baseball habit.
I really do.
So as we’re sitting there, boys’ in their uniforms, gray baseball pants, I look at my 2nd son and he has dropped a big blob of ketchup on his crotch. Big.
I got a napkin for him to wipe it off and he said, “There, it’s hardly noticeable.”
I looked down at his crotch, which had this big red shadow, and said, “Dude, it looks like your bleeding out the weenie…”
He replied, “I was kidding Mom! I was kidding!”
Wishful thinking I am sure, that it was not noticeable. I poured cold water on it, which got a shriek, so he could try to wipe it off more.
Tongue in cheek as we walked to the car he said, “It’s hardly noticeable” to which I retorted, “You just hold that thought, big guy.”
He looked down and said, “Nobody will notice except the pitcher. When I get up to bat, he’ll think I’ve got a bleeding weenie…”
I nearly choked.
I’m going to have to break this into a few pieces. I met and got reacquainted with too many people to do one long post.
And I have tales of my own stupidity too, which is of course blog fodder for another post. Let me reiterate, I truly do not like flying.
On Thursday I started to wig out that I was actually going to Austin. I was actually nervous about Saturday, knowing Christina would be there on Friday night. We’d talked on the phone and e-mailed so much, I’d already bonded with her and she was a comfort zone to me.
But I hadn’t exchanged much e-mail or called any other women before, I only knew the guys, and Saturday was starting to make me nervous. I wasn’t sure who was doing what and where, I tend to plan and things were up in the air. The Jawja blogging crew is a freeforall bunch, which is very cool and fun, but can be daunting to someone like me who has to have her schedule shoe horned in order as my life is utter chaos otherwise.
So here I am going to a strange town, I knew in advance the guys I knew were already a tight knit crew, and although I knew they’d look out for me if I needed it, I hated to be an imposition on anyone.
So in my head I had this: Saturday’s plans were up in the air, I was in a strange big city, I didn’t know the women folk (Christina had family plans she had to attend to on Saturday) and I didn’t want to impose on the men folk.
And this was going on in my head and getting worse until I suddenly had a phone call from Tammi and I had a meltdown. And the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection:
Me: Tammi, I really really REALLY wish you were going. I mean REALLY wish you were going.
Tammi: I know sweetie. But I can’t. But I have a surprise for you. T1G is bringing it. And I promise it didn’t cost me anything.
Me, thinking she is giving me home baked cookies: You didn’t have to anything for me! You know that.
Tammi: I know that sweetie. Now tell me what you’re wearing, because if you feel good about yourself, everything will be fine.
Me: I feel fine about myself. I like my clothes. But it’s not about that. I’m really nervous about this. You’re not going. Mo isn’t going. Christina won’t be there on Saturday. I don’t know the women folk. What if they don’t like me. I don’t want to impose on the menfolk. I am really really nervous about this. And I wish you were going…
This went on for about 5 minutes and finally Tammi said, “Fine! I’m going! OK! That is your surprise! I’m going to be there! Now… T1G is going to kick my butt for telling you. You weren’t supposed to know…”
Heh. But I did. And for the record I started to cry. And suddenly I was very OK with everything. That’s all it took. I just needed one person, a security blanket of sorts.
No, I’m not that co-dependent. It was just everything… the uncertainty of everything that had me wigging out.
And for the record now, most of the menfolk I knew in advance now know this story and have told me that I’m never to feel that way, that I can hang with them and it is NOT an imposition. And I believe them.
And I met all the women folk and I LOVED them and now I have a whole crew of women I know as well… that I feel like I can travel to a strange city and feel comfortable with. No more freaking about blogmeets.
And that… is how it all started.
I have a story about my actual trip, which is a post in itself, but I will start with a round up of just a few and will post every night about it until I get through these great people.
These are in no particular order. I’m just doing them as they come to my head.
Folks, the only person that can make me laugh until I cry is my sister, Mo. Well, until this weekend. And now there appears to be many of them who can because I laughed all weekend, and at one point Tammi says she saw me laughing so hard I was crying.
Actually, I was laughing so hard I was crying and thinking, “Oh no! I cannot pee in this car!”
And so for the first few tonight:
El Capitan of Baboon Pirates- For some reason he is one I did not speak with much. I found most of the time I planted myself somewhere and didn’t move. That whole ‘comfort zone’ thing. Anyway, I was able to speak to him briefly on Saturday night and again on Sunday morning. (Hmmm… that didn’t exactly come out right…) And I will tell you, that the man has the most beautiful eyes that I swear, appear to reach the depths of his soul. He has very soulful eyes. It was a pleasure to talk to him the short time I had and I hope that next go round I have more time.
Leslie of Omnibus is another I didn’t get to spend much time with, but when I did finally meet her on Saturday night, I was struck by how affectionate and sincere she is. I definitely want to sit down and chat with her next time… there is a lot going on in her head and I want to hear it. Plus, I want to hear about her cowboy hat. She was a woman on a mission on Sunday… buying herself a cowboy hat, fitted and all, just for her. I thought that was very very cool.
Marcus of On the Patio I spoke with a bit more, but it was still in short takes. He’s a quiet guy, hanging with the guys smoking a cigar and drinking scotch. I finally got the nerve to talk to him late Saturday afternoon after everyone had been singing and drinking most of the day. They tell me he has ex’s all over Texas and I have to remember to tell him my thoughts on that. Heh. Anyway, he’s a funny guy and I’m glad he was able to figure out that the funky thing Redneck found was a GPS attached to a pole on the patio of the hotel and not really a sex toy for the hotel manager as was originally suspected…
Which brings me to Redneck. I spent the first part of Saturday afternoon hanging out with Redneck on the 6th floor patio, as we all started to get to know each other. I’d met him in Tennessee already and had known he would be the utmost gentleman. And he did not disappoint. Of course I got one hell of an education during our time together, but that’s what blogmeets are about! Now I need to take his advice and teach my 2nd son to be able to switch hit in baseball.
More bloggers tomorrow…
Well the crap was on the shoe this morning and the proverbial crap hit the fan this afternoon. I'm swamped and stressed. I pay dearly when I leave town for any great length of time. And today I am paying.
So... I will be back tomorrow. It's going to be hard to write about this trip. I've tried to read some of the blogs of bloggers that were in attendance and I'm humbled by their creativity and their thoughts. I cannot do it justice like they have, but I will try.
I'm slowly updating my template with the new bloggers I met, but that too takes time. I have found when I go over to get their link, I want to spend my time reading their archives. It's that whole 'bright shiny object' thing I have going on... distraction. GRRR.
Nothing quite says your home like:
Not being able to get your kids ready for school because the chrysalis is moving and they’re fascinated by the fact the butterfly should emerge today. Meanwhile, I’m preparing myself for the inevitable weeping and gnashing of teeth that will occur when they realize I’m serious, that this butterfly will NOT be spending its life cycle in a plastic cup…
Not being able to convince your second son that he really really must eat lunch today and he can’t figure out what he wants. GRRRR.
And lastly, nothing quite says ‘I’m home!’ like hearing my first son say, as he’s getting ready for school, “Mom! There’s CRAP all over the bottom of my shoes. I smelled it. It really is crap…” I love cleaning off crap from the bottom of a shoe at 7AM. LOOOOVE IT!