I was thinking today… it would suck to be these people located in that land mass in the upper left hand corner of this weather map.
Super Typhoon Ioke. No clue how to pronounce that. Does it rhyme with Karaoke? Like in Okey Dokey? Or is like like Poke? Or Choke? Anyway, I’ve been watching Ioke for a few days, an absolute fascination as this sucker turned into a full blown Cat 5, now down to a 4, and the government had to evac all the workers off of Wake Island to Honolulu as they felt certain that the island would be submerged.
I should have been a meteorologist. I just didn’t know better. I thought, “How fascinating can weather be?” Now look at me. I’m a frickin’ weather wonk worshipping at the shrine of Jim Cantore, just to hear what he has to say. Those big meteorologists, like Dr. Gray come out with a new report throwing numbers and weather at me? I don’t think I breathe through it. I’m enthralled.
Eh, but instead I went aerospace. Not so thrilling, especially since I’m not the one going Mach 3 with my hair on fire. But it works. It pays the bills.
Anyway, so I’ve been watching Ioke and did the 5 day forecast on Wunderground, to find that… Holy crap, in five days Ioke is supposed to hit some land mass! But me of great geographical stupidity, couldn’t figure out what land mass it was… so… I called TGOO.
We went to the Navy site which is actually my favorite. I have trouble with it at times, however. I just look at the pretty pictures. He actually understands all those abbreviations and that Zulu time stuff. When pulling up the Navy site it showed this:
Japan! Ack! Can you imagine if a Super Typhoon hit Tokyo? Good Lord. That would be the equivalent of a Super Typhoon hitting… New York City!! And when looking at these maps, the Pacific is just so… so… so… BIG! I so imagine it could actually happen one day.
So TGOO read through all the stuff on the Navy site and its ‘only’ supposed to be a Cat 2 on Tuesday and its still far enough away from Japan that there’s no telling where it will go. It may zoom off to the right and putter out in the Pacific.
But still… a Cat 2 on Japan sounds pretty daggum scary to me. I don’t know why. I mean I live on a peninsula and its not any scarier than that, but still… it seems daunting. Wow. Maybe its just the gargantuan population they have on that island, compared to my peninsula. (127 million on the island... a cool 12 mill in Tokyo)
If I were in Tokyo, I’d start watching Jim Cantore-san. If they have one of those…
This morning my 2nd son came in to my husband and me and said, “When are we going to get hit by a hurricane?”
Better Half: This is it.
2nd Son: What? Then why are we home from school?
Two minutes later, Bones walked in. “Hey, when are we going to get hit by the hurricane?”
Me: This is it.
Bones: Hey, Mom? Can we eat the canned food?
Me: No, love, we don’t need to.
Bones, whining: ahhh, come on… it’s the only thing I’ve been waiting for! For two days I’ve been waiting to eat that canned food!
It truly must suck to be him, to have a mother who tries hard to never serve him stuff out of a can.
I awoke this morning at 3AM, hearing some funky sounding thunder, thinking we must finally be getting the Tropical Storm that we’d all been preparing for. Heavy rain could be heard outside the windows, but no wind.
We laid in bed until way too late, 8AM probably, and there was a light rain, but nothing else. My husband’s business was closed for the day, so I got on the phone to see if the company I worked for was open… and it was. The hotline number said, “We are open for business.” So I threw on my jeans, a light summer sweater, and headed out the door for work.
I was the only car on the road. It was raining, a steady rain, not much wind, but nobody was out. Every gas station had either orange cones in front of the islands or yellow tape letting people know, “No Gas”.
I pulled into work and it was the only parking lot full of cars. Every other business seemed to be closed.
I got in and as I put my stuff away, my boss said, “Well the worst of it should be this afternoon…” I was puzzled. Everyone kept talking about the afternoon and finally I said, “Why?” to which they replied, “Well, that’s when it hits.”
I was stunned. I quickly logged on to see where this circle of weather was located and it was still south of us! Holy crap. I'd never bothered to check! I just assumed it has passed us as the weather forecasters had said it would... at 2AM. And we were open?!
It was a full blown work day for us, we never closed shop. The weather picked up a bit, but it was never more than a gloomy day with light rain and a bit of wind.
Finally my buddy Joe, with his new lease on life with his new stents in his already quadruple bypassed heart, said to everyone, “Watch this!” and he walked outside our windows and started doing what he said was his “Jim Cantore” imitation, pretending like he was walking with one shoulder against the make believe wind. Then he grabbed a 'no parking sign' that stands right outside our windows, threw one leg in the air and acted like the sign was keeping him grounded.
We could not quit laughing. I wish we’d been allowed to have cameras or camera phones. We’d have taken a picture for sure.
And that is how it went today. Big jokes about when it was going to hit as we watched it slowly degrade to a Tropical Depression. That daggum thing is moving so slow… as of 8PM this is where it was located… and I’m just east of Lake O and although it looks like we’re getting pummeled, we’re getting NOTHING. (Yes, I’m thankful, but I’m pissed my kids missed two days of school for this.)
My blogdaughter, Sissy of And What Next, has just moved to Atlanta. She's single.
Feel free to go to THIS post and add suggestions for pick up lines she could use to get a man's attention in her grocery store.
Every single piece of laundry has been cleaned today, every sock, shirt, uniform piece, towel, reds, whites, blues… all of it has been washed, folded and put away. I’d say today, I did no less than eight loads of laundry. When I started I had one in the dryer and one clean on the bed to fold… so that is ten loads folded.
This has led me to some questions. WHY do my boys insist on using beach towels to dry off with? WHY. Last year, I took them to Bed Bath and Beyond and let each of them pick out their own color towel. It was an event. They touched all of them, unfolded them to look at length, compared colors… you’d have thought we were shopping for a towel for a King. Finally, after 15 minutes of this non-sense, I put my foot down and said, “PICK A TOWEL or *I* will pick one for you!” Towels were picked, there was great exclamation of happiness and love and we were on our way.
Yet, when I went to collect towels to wash, I found that slowly they have all resorted to using… beach towels. This has been going on for the past six months, but today, it is bugging the crap out of me.
Instead of these wonderfully cushy warm towels I bought them, they are using flat nubby beach towels that advertise Disney, Curious George and… my all time fave… a towel that advertises Vicodin.
Nothing like walking into a kids’ bathroom only to find one of their towels is a big advertisement for a narcotic.
And while on the subject of laundry, Bones and I have to have a talk... again. The boy is seven. He goes through literally three pairs of underwear a day... down from 5 in his 'pre-school years'. Wake up in the morning? “Oh! I might smell like pee!” change the undies. Get home from school? ‘Oh! My buns and weenie were all hot today!” change the undies. Take a shower? “Oh! I’m clean! I need new undies.”
I get the last one. Yes. Get out of the shower and you need new underwear. The first one? A deep rooted paranoia, cemented into his poor mind by his brothers. I posted HERE how they told him once they thought he smelled like Pee and Cookies. So now when he wakes up he’s afraid of smelling like pee. He’s OK with the cookie part. Evidently. I've yet to hear him say, "I have to change my underwear, Mom! I smell like cookies!"
I am feeling particularly happy we have outgrown the need to fling these not oft worn undies all over my home, but I will be happier when we are down to the normal ONE pair per day. I do suspect, however, when he grows and does his own laundry, he will go commando, as this seems to be the attire (or lack thereof) of choice anyway.
He's my free spirit...
You know you might live in Florida when you go on line to look at the weather updates at… 8AM, 11AM, 2PM, 5PM, 8PM, 11PM (or 5 minutes before these hours) or first thing when you wake up because that’s when the storm updates come in.
I heard JEB Bush, our governor, say on TV on Monday, “Don’t panic, there is plenty of gas…”
Really? Where? Tallahassee? Jacksonville? Pensacola? Hint please, tell me if I’m warm or cold, throw me a bone, ‘cause there ain’t no gas in Northern Palm Beach County. My tank is full, but I had to run an errand this morning and passed my normal Hess and two Mobils. No gas. I heard of one gas station with fuel. ONE. I heard everyone else was out. (There may have been more, but I'm not going to travel around, wasting gas to find these oh so ellusive stations with fuel.)
The bonus to this? Next storm, all the people who waited to fill their empty gas cans for their generators will already have them full. That should help.
Last night, in an effort to clear out all the frozen bananas I had stored in the freezer, and a few eggs, I made 2 dozen banana muffins and a loaf of banana bread. Folks… I am here to tell you, that is a whole lot of over ripe frozen bananas.
I am also here to say, that one of life’s great pleasures is a piping hot banana muffin, right out of the oven. I ate two.
But they are good at room temperature as well, and I can attest to that because I ate four. Today. A total of six muffins in less than 24 hours. So much for trimming down before Morrigan’s wedding.
Every now and then I stumble upon something that I view as a true pleasure. Today I was roaming around MSN when I noticed it had a video, a video of one of my favorite authors, John Irving, reading a passage from one of my favorite books, A Prayer for Owen Meany.
I’ve never heard Mr. Irving speak, never really seen him either, other than pictures on the back flaps of the books I read. Of course I was enticed. How could I pass up an opportunity of seeing him, not in the flesh as he was not in my home, but the next best thing to in the flesh, while reading what turns out was one of my favorite parts of one of my favorite books, the Christmas Pageant scene?
Most of you have heard of John Irving, he wrote the book that the movie The World According to Garp, was based upon, as well as Cider House Rules, which I do believe was turned into a movie as well. One of my favorites of his as well, a book that unless you are a Irving fan, you have probably not heard of “Trying to Save Piggy Sneed” which has some autobiographical accounts in it as well as a collection of his short stories.
I laugh when I read all his books. His characters are quirky and funny. Tragedy in the most humorous form always ensues. Mr. Irving can make me laugh and cry in the same book. He has an amazing mind, a real talent with the written word. And watching him read the Christmas Pageant scene, as he imitated the voice of Owen, while taking on the attitude of the ex-flight attendant/now pastor’s wife, and narrating the story as well, was one of today’s true pleasures and elicited more bursts of laughter from me, than even Bones can elicit when he is firing on all cylinders.
You can view the video HERE. It is a 30 minute video. Watching it, as well as listening, is half the fun.
And now I have decided that not only is John Irving one of my favorite writers, but he is also on my list of top 10 sexy men. I love the mind of a poet.
I saw this morning that Jim Cantore was in Miami and my first thought was "Yup. Miami's gonna get nailed with this one..."
I play that game every season: Where in the World is Jim Cantore?
Even though this will hit as a Tropical Storm, I am happy Jim's not here.
You folks up in the Carolina's? You're in a whole world of hurt if Jim's in your town Thursday or Friday. Just sayin'...
Oh and my readers... you know the drill. I lose power and internet, TGOO has the keys. Its the only time I ever have a guest blogger. And he has free reign. You never know what he'll come up with.
I was never all freaky weirded out by this, even though at one time it was projected it was going to be a Cat 1 and I just love the fact that the coordinates had/have it coming over my home.
It’s the frickin’ inconvenience of it I loathe. The preparation. The work. I hate that.
It’s a joke with my boys that when I’m frustrated, under my breath, I will let out a stream of expletives. They think it’s really really funny. It’s a low grumble of every four letter word ever created, in one long continuous stream, and the first time I did it, one of the boys said, “Mom! You sound like a cowboy!” Now they laugh. Today, in the traffic to get home, and get the last of my food shopping accomplished, they heard the cowboy come out. I could hear them in the back laughing, “She sounds like a cowboy again… listen to her…” Heh.
I bought my hurricane supplies months ago, but I have to make sure I have good food for the next two days when we do have power. And I have to make sure I get as many of our perishables cooked and used up as possible…just in case. Some eggs in my refrigerator will be hardboiled. Other eggs will be turned into banana muffins as I need to use up the last of the frozen bananas. Cookie dough will be cooked. Frozen shrimp will get eaten for lunch one day. Stuff like that.
All laundry needs to be done by tomorrow night and my home will be thoroughly cleaned. None of that can be done without power. Oh and no power in my home equates to no water.
If it looks like it will strengthen, shutters will go up LATE tomorrow. Unless you have shutters, you cannot possibly have a clue as to how much I hate that. HATE it. HATE. Did I say hate? Hates not strong enough. F*#@ing Hate is close. I have to post on it, complete with pictures, so y’all who don’t live down here can see what its like.
And I will be housebound. We go nowhere when a storm is coming; you don’t waste the gas. I don’t, anyway.
Even though I fully suspect we will get a Tropical Storm, we have to totally prepare for a full blown hurricane as you NEVER know. You go to bed one night thinking you’re being missed by a Cat 1 and wake up having a Cat 3 coming down you throat. And even high winds of a Tropical Storm can take out power for a significant amount of time. We have to make sure we have everything ready for no power, for who knows how long.
Which brings me to my father in law, who I do not blog on for a reason. In the event it is a hurricane, he will expect my husband to come get him and bring him to our home… and will not bring any supplies with him. He’ll be wishy washy about when he is to come, fighting it, until my husband has to put his foot down and tell him he’s coming. With Wilma it was 1 AM. Then my father in law will sit in my home and bitch at us about how I only open the refrigerator three times a day when we have no power, and will gripe about the fact that he doesn’t like the food I serve from our hurricane supplies and food in my freezer. But we must keep him with us as he is 81 years old, is crippled and does not get around well, and has Parkinson’s. He refuses to go to assisted living. But that’s a whole other blog post that will never be posted. Actually, he’s an entire blog that will never be written.
The potential lack of communication is a bummer. No phone and no internet and although I can deal with no phone, the lack of internet can play mind games with me. And although there are days I feel like it is tough to blog, when I don’t have access, I want to blog even more. I keep a journal then.
But this is all trivial stuff, is it not? I just know we are prepared and even if it were a Cat 3, I would not be afraid. I’m just pissed as hell at the inconvenience of it all. The preparation as well as the aftermath.
The women in my family dream a lot. Well, TGOO does too. And TN. I guess the average person must. It's part of our sleep patterns.
And I guess this is probably normal for others too... this dream come true thing. It's always scared me when its happened. But my Mom, in a way to pacify this fear in me about dreams coming true, would say, "If you tell someone your dream, it can't come true..."
And so it has been thus, that when I had a particularly real and scary dream, I have felt if I just told somone about it, it would not happen.
Four days ago, before Ernesto was even frickin' Ernesto, I had this dream that a hurricane came up from the south end of the peninsula, just around Miami and shot itself right up the middle of the state. In my dream I was looking at a Wunderground map and the hurricane covered the state, slicing it down the middle like deboning a fish.
So when Ernersto became Ernesto I said to my better half, "Babe, I had this dream..." in an effort to stave of that frickin' dream come true thing I hate so much.
And I thought it was safe. Because... its always worked before. Imagine my horror when I opened the Navy map today, and then the Wunderground map, at the prompting of a phone call from TGOO, and found this:
If this happens, this so totally blows my Moms theory out of the water and I think I will just have to give up sleeping.
Sleeping is so highly overrated anyway. Dammit.
I was tagged by the Lemon Stand, Lemonade made Daily for a Meme called, A Request For Using The Head For Something Other Than A Hat Rack. I’ve been over to Lemon Stand for a few weeks now, one of my newest additions to my blogroll. She’s a military wife and mother of four daughters. For some reason, three boys sounds easier than four girls! Ack!
So my answers are as follows:
1) A book that changed my life:
There aren’t any books that have changed my life. People and events have, but not any books. There are books I’ve enjoyed the hell out of… but no major life altering experiences.
2) A book I've read more than once:
None. I can’t watch movies over and over and I can’t read books over and over.
3) A book I'd take to a desert island:
Mmm, this is tough. I have about five favorite books that I’ve blogged on, but I think I’d have to take a book on HOW to survive on a desert island. Practicality must set in when planning for such events!
4) A book that made me laugh:
Life of Pi. I laughed a lot with that book. Good Grief.
5) A book that made me cry:
I think all my favorite books have made me cry. I think that’s why they’re my favorites… I completely bond with the characters and what happens to them. I laugh and cry. Prince of Tides, A Prayer for Owen Meany, East of Eden. I think I recall all of them had that effect on me, but I’m not sure.
6) A book I wish had been written:
Wow. I have no clue. I’ve never wished a book to be written.
7) A book that should never have been written:
I’m trying to think of the worst book I’ve ever read, and there have been many, but I intentionally blocked them out of my memory. If I truly hate a book, I won’t finish it. I used to feel compelled to finish anything I started, but no more.
8) A book I'm currently reading:
The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
9) A book I'm planning to read:
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
I know where the Antilles are now. Didn’t think I’d get by without knowing, did you? Oh no. The Great Omnipotent One sent me an e-mail first thing this morning explaining to me the Greater and the Lesser Antilles. And then of course he added it into the comments of my post. Heh.
I am geographically challenged. It’s bad. I hear I’m better than the average American, but overall, I should be pretty ashamed.
TGOO is NOT geographically challenged. I think the whole ‘career in the Navy’ thing helped, but his mind just works a bit differently than mine. He’s a voracious reader like I am, but he reads non-fiction too and the man retains everything. It’s amazing, really. So anything he would read about another country? Stays in the brain. Add to that his innate navigational ability and you have a man that is truly not geographically challenged on any level. The Navy does not pick men with navigational issues to be a Navigator on an aircraft carrier. No.
If you hand me a map of the United States and ask me to write in every state, I can write in all the states that are on the perimeter. I can write in all the funky shaped states like Tennessee. Some are easy as they are just kind of ‘attached’ to other states in my head, like Oklahoma and Texas. But even the perimeter states… I have trouble when you get west of Michigan. I have to sit there and think. Those states that are really really cold? I have trouble.
Those states that sit in the middle of the country? Bigger problem. But if they are square too? No funky shape? Forgetaboutit. I used to know, in grade school, but now? No clue. It’s a toss up.
We’ve been at war off and on in the Middle East since the early 90s. I can identify those old countries. It helps that they are all one and two syllable words, except Israel, which in my mind is three syllables, but in certain parts of this country I’m sure it is only two. It’s easy to remember though… one friend amongst all those foes? No problem.
Oh but of course in the middle of all those foes there is the multi-syllabic Afghanistan, which I can readily identify because of this current war. But Afghanistan brings me to those middle eastern countries, which are relatively new.
They are what I refer to as the Blech-o-stans. I can’t remember any of them. I miss the good old days when you looked at the map and there was this big section that just had “USSR” or “Soviet Union” across it. Now we have all those countries with C’s and Z’s and for the life of me… I couldn’t even find Russia now if I had to, even though I know its not Middle Eastern.
Balkan States? You mean there are many? Can’t help you there. Once again… too many C’s and Z’s. Gives me a mind block. Gotta be simple and use normal letters for me, or I’m not gonna remember.
Europe? I do OK. Well, once again until I get to the great white north and then I see Finland, Norway and Sweden and think, “OH crap. Which country is which?” Given a sheet of paper with all three, asked to label them, I’d take my pen and write across all three, ‘Colder than Crap’.
China and the Taiwan and Japan? Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
But that’s it, folks. Move onto the continent of S. America or Africa? I’m lost. I can pick out one or two countries, but that’s it. I guess what we need is a huge war between S. America and Africa, big huge blazing continent against continent war and then maybe I’ll remember.
And forget about all those little islands in the Caribbean. I got Cuba and Haiti down pat. A lot of our S. Florida population is from those two countries. Can’t miss those. Oh! And the Dominican Republic. Easy. But the rest of them? NO. I know where the Bahamas is, but if given a blank map of the Caribbean I’d circle a bunch of small islands and say Bahamas, being correct, but don’t make me try to break them out.
I suspect even some funky war between all the Caribbean islands wouldn’t even get all of them straight in my head.
I probably shouldn’t even admit to any of this… I’ve probably just lowered my IQ by 20 points in everyone’s eyes.
I was telling someone the other day, I HATE hearing the words "Lesser Antilles".
No clue where these "Lesser Antilles" are located or where the "Greater Antilles" are either. Or if there are any. I suspect there are... Nor do I really care of either's existence or location, for if I did, I'd look it up on this here internet.
All I know is when I hear the talking heads on TV say "Lesser Antilles" those words are usually accompanied by the descriptive words "East of" or "West of" as well as the verb, "Moving".
That means someone is getting some bad weather... Bah!
There’s a middle school dance coming up in October. My eldest has informed me he is not attending. I told him that was fine.
Whenever the topic of this dance has come up between mothers, they’ve looked at me and I’ve said, “My son said he’s not going…” and the reply has been EVERY SINGLE TIME, “OH! But he HAS to go!”
And every time I have given them the ‘Don’t mess with me face’ and said, “NO. He doesn’t.”
What is this about? Whose middle school experience is this anyway? If my kid doesn’t want to go to a frickin’ social, he doesn’t have to go. I am getting more and more pissed about this.
It happened again today. I was picking my son up from a buddy’s house and something came up about the dance. I told the mom I wasn’t sweating it as Ringo said he wasn’t going. Immediately I got, “OH But he HAS to go!”
She stopped in her tracks and backpedaled by the tone of my voice and the look on my face when I said, “NO. He doesn’t.”
I hated those dances. I went to ONE middle school dance. Hated it. Never attended another.
I went to ONE prom, hated it, didn’t go my senior year. And I actually had a DATE for prom my junior year, there was no wallflower stuff, and I still hated it. Then again, my date and I hated each other, but that’s a whole other story.
I’m going to say that although two points don’t make a trend, there was in fact a common denominator… me. Even at 40 years old, I don’t stick around for the dance portion of any event. Dancing at a wedding? Nope. I don’t do it. And I’ve given my husband full permission that if he wants to dance, he can ask ANY WOMAN there to dance. It just won’t be me.
I was at a wedding a couple years ago, where people in the bridal party actually BADGERED guests to dance. The groom went around from table to table and actually pulled people up on the floor. As soon as his back was turned, I left.
So what is up with these people and this dancing pushiness?
Tonight in the car I said to Ringo, “Look, if you don’t want to go to the dance next month, I’m cool. Don’t let anyone make you feel obligated. As a matter of fact, if you don’t want to go, and you think you’re feeling pressure from your buddies, let me know and I’ll help you with an excuse.”
I’m not beyond that. He can blame me for anything to get himself out of peer pressure in middle school. I have big shoulders. I don’t give a crap what a bunch of 6th grade kids OR moms think of me. Screw ‘em. I’ll plan some family outing for that night that he won’t want to miss. I’ll think of something.
It’s up to him. It’s his middle school experience. My only requirement is he keeps his grades up. The rest of it is up to him. It’s his journey. Not mine. I have my own.
My Granddaddy has been on my mind today. I’m not sure what prompted it. It may have been the crazy men at work and their heart issues. Perhaps that and my music selection this morning. I took my eldest late for school as he’d not felt well. As I turned the key in the ignition, I suddenly felt this pull to listen to Johnny Cash.
I realized… my kids have never listened to Johnny Cash before. I love that man’s voice. It is warm and deep and so very easy on the ears. And I decided that it was time to introduce my son to him. I eased into it having him listen to A Boy Named Sue. I tried Ghost Riders next. He even requested to listen to Daddy Sings Bass again, after hearing it. He didn’t get into Folsom Prison Blues much, but he did enjoy One Piece at a Time.
And I suppose that is what has triggered these thoughts of my Granddaddy. He lived in Birmingham, in what we called, ‘The Big House’. He’d get up early in the morning and we’d wake up to find him in the kitchen, cooking up a big southern breakfast, wearing his slacks, white tshirt and suspenders, shuffling about with the skillet full of bacon, the grease saved in the bottom of the pan for him to scramble up eggs, and grits. To this day, its still my favorite breakfast.
And nothing smells better than waking up to the smell of bacon wafting through the house.
He had one of those old radios with one knob, it was shaped like the old 1930 Cathedral radios, but… plainer. It sat on the counter, getting AM only, and on Sunday mornings, it would be playing old Southern Gospel as that’s all that played on Sunday mornings on the AM stations back then. Make no mistake, it definitely wasn’t because he was a God fearing religious man. Not at all.
But it is through breakfast at my Granddaddy’s that I fell in love with Southern music.
I was thinking about how my Granddaddy was born 20 years too early. I know, an odd thing to say, we are all born in our place and time, but he’d be alive right now if we had then what we have now, medically, in the heart field. Now it seems for them to crack open your chest, you gotta be in a whole serious world o’ hurt, otherwise they do this stent procedure.
My Granddaddy had open heart surgery back when it bordered on barbaric. When he was told he had to have it again, he decided he’d rather die than go through it again. And so he did. Die.
I miss him. Some days more than others, of course. It’s been 16 years since he passed. The hurt has faded of course, although I don’t remember when. I still hurt a lot for my Nana and it’s been 8 years. But I don’t hurt as much for him, but I miss him. A lot.
And today I’ve missed my uncle, TGOO’s brother. I’ve not blogged on him because… well I guess because it sucks. It’s been four years now. People aren’t supposed to die so young… not at 54. Not the good people. But they do. And he did.
And I remember being at Granddaddy’s house and my Uncle would come over and bring his records. He had this amazing ability for memorizing lyrics. And creating them! When I was a kid, he was one of the funniest men I knew. He was loud and laughed and carried on about anything and everything. And the records he brought over were always funny and they were songs with stories…
… like Johnny Cash and a Boy Named Sue and One Piece at a Time. Those weren’t the songs he brought, but songs like that. Funny songs with great stories that would get us laughing.
I miss him too.
Good men with good hearts. My family is full of them. It’s amazing what music can do… bringing things to the forefront like that.
And my sons? They always talk about how their Big Daddy wakes up early in the morning and cooks them big breakfasts of bacon and eggs and biscuits. And he has his radio turned on in the evenings when he cooks, usually the local classical station.
I wonder which son will do the same… waking early to cook breakfast for his grandchildren. It seems to be a tradition.
I was in Publix today buying our groceries for dinner and in front of me stood a woman with corn, no fat ginger marinade, and fish.
There I stood with… sausage links (request from the boys), steak, potatoes, sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese (twice baked potatoes were on the menu), and mushrooms that I sautéed in butter and garlic.
We are evidently not the poster family for the American Heart Association. At least not this week....
So all the Y-chromosome holders in my office are having their hearts checked and too many have or are about to have things done to their tickers.
Meanwhile, my short order kitchen is open every morning, with the cook reporting to work by 6AM. (Alarm goes off at 5:45, but it takes 15 minutes for the cook to get out of bed…) Every morning this week it has been biscuits hot out of the oven, with scrambled egg, sausage and cheese. One day there was a side of homemade banana bread, made from Elisson’s recipe. Excellent recipe.
Evidently there has not been enough fat and cholesterol in their breakfast as Bones said to me yesterday, “Mom, I really really like those egg, sausage, cheese biscuits you make… but can I have a lot of bacon on the side?”
And so now… we have bacon. We shant be going for cholesterol checks anytime soon. Hey, but at least I can't be accused of sending my kids to school without a good breakfast. They're making it to lunch, no problem.
Maybe I need to add oatmeal to that breakfast in some great effort to create cholesterol balance...
The guys at work informed me the other day that they had a standing rule before I came aboard, that if any of them had a heart attack, nobody was going to save them. They were to just die.
Until I came around. And now they feel obligated to save each other. Or have me attempt to save them. Or something.
I’m glad to know I was able to add that womanly touch to things.
Cub Scouts. It has started. My middle son said to me the other day, ‘Mom, if I weren’t in Cub Scouts, would you still be the den leader?’
I looked at him, kissed him on the forehead, and said, “NO.”
We had a den leader meeting the other night. If y’all remember from last year, I refused to buy that uniform. I personally think it would make my ass look big and it isn’t my color. I won’t do it. And to date, nobody has said anything. Until our meeting on Monday.
Our Pack Leader said, “I’m thinking maybe you girls need to get the uniform…” referring to my buddy who has four boys and is a den leader for the group below us. I have one of her sons in my group and she has Bones in hers.
I quickly said, “I don’t need one. I’m buying a Webelos t-shirt. I’m cool with that.”
I promptly went out today and bought myself said t-shirt. I wore it to tonight’s Cub Scout recruiting meeting. One of the Dad Den Leaders saw me and started to laugh. He said something like, “Thought you’d head him off at the pass, did you? Buy yourself that t-shirt and maybe he’ll leave you alone about wearing any part of the uniform.” I replied, “Damn straight.”
I am 40 years old. I am not in the military. I am not a kid in a school with uniforms. I do not work for a company that requires uniforms.
I’m a Mom who lives in Florida. That means I wear jeans or shorts and some sort of casual shirt, sandals when out and about and if at home, shoes stay wherever I left them when I kicked them off. Baseball cap is an optional piece of my attire. Pony tail is 50% with all my hair in a chip clip the other 50%.
I do not take direction on what I should wear from anyone. I hope he doesn’t press this issue. He may see a very ugly side of me… and I’m not referring to my ass in those scout uniform pants either.
I'm beat. Rough week. Everywhere. But a quick update.
Mr. Magoo is back at work. He told the guys before I came in, if he could survive a tongue lashing from me, he felt certain he could survive a heart attack. He and I had a meeting of the minds... I'm allowed to all 911 next time.
The other bookend, Joe, is in the hospital having had stents put in today.
The two bookends, both of them, stents in one week. I told them both they are aging me worse than my boys.
I feel like I'm living in a frickin' science experiment. On the left wall there are five men, four age 55 and older and one that is 40. On the right wall there sits 3 men, two age 55 and older and one that is 40. Then there is me.
Every man in that room 55+ that is or was a heavy smoker has had open heart surgery or has heart disease. Every man in that room that is 55+ and does not smoke and has never, for that matter, has never had anything done to his heart.
I know genetics play a BIG part, but holy cow, its amazing. Even Mr. Magoo said something about it today. He's off the smokes. It's been 7 weeks and he said now, after what he went through last week, he's not going back.
People were walking in our office yesterday, hearing that Joe had failed his check up and was told, "Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to the hospital and only to the hospital", and they were saying, "We're staying out of this room... y'all scare us."
Word has spread throughout the building we are the heart room I guess. And its not over. One of the other guys I work with said his cardiologist is ready to put another stent in. Holy cow. That'll be 4 guys in my office in 12 months. What are the odds of that?!
I was joking with them telling them I thought the common denominator was that they owned that Y chromosome, hence I am safe. We're all laughing... but not too hard. It's morbid humor.
Truthfully, we're all a bit horrified. And I've got on my list of things to do this year to get recertified in CPR. In my spare time...
I am wondering if I’m the only mother of a 6th grader that has to go over every page of their kid’s Math homework.
The boy… God love him… he’s gonna be the end of me.
They’re doing charting, one of them called a ‘stem and leaf’ chart. I had to read over how to do it before I could check his homework.
But… wait… I’m getting ahead of myself.
First, to read Ringo’s handwriting is to try to read vomit on a paper. It’s been this way since 1st grade and has NOT gotten any better. I ride him constantly that it is so unfair to his teachers that they’d have to try to read his vomit-writing. I have even told him that its so bad, if I were his teacher, I’d hand him back his paper and say “F I can’t even read it.”
Needless to say, typing is very important to us, a skill he is quickly mastering and I was ecstatic when his science teacher told us last night at the Open House that all science tests would be taken on line and he could also turn in his labs on line as she’d have a word form available to them. I was beside myself happy and wanted to tell her, “you have saved yourself from your own personal hell with my son…”
Second, Ringo’s organizational skills are damn close to non-existent. Chaos reigns in his head. He’s like the Absent Minded Professor. I don’t get him at all. I don’t.
I looked at his math homework and everything was all squished together. I finally said, “Son, tell me, do you think we are having some serious financial problems in this household?”
Ringo: *blink* No… why?
Me: Because the only reason I can possibly think of that you would squish ALL your work together like this is because you think I can’t afford to buy you any more paper….
I spent 5 minutes laying down guidelines for him as to what was and what was NOT acceptable for his math homework. Please tell me I am not the only one who has a child that does this. It is making me nuts.
And it’s the same thing… year… after… year.
What I like about math is its orderliness. And it’s not vague. Yes or no. 1 or 0. Black or white. It’s exact. There is nothing touchy feely with math. Its either right or it’s wrong. Period. End of story.
Doing math with my son is just not that way on any plane. He will get the right answer, but I can never follow how he got there. There is no order. At all. Chaos and luck seem to get him where he needs to be. Mostly.
So back to the Stem and Leaf chart. I figured out how to put one together and said, “You have to learn this, but you need to know, that in the 22 years I’ve studied or worked in Math, I have NEVER had to do one of these. Ever. And I can say, I feel certain I never will…, except in helping your younger siblings in 6th grade math.”
I was looking over his homework trying to find the Median of all this data that had no order. Vomit number data on paper. He was missing pieces of data as I looked at his book and I finally said, “Son, I don’t know how you read the raw data out of your book, but you need to read it column by column, left to right…” and he replied to me… holy crap, the mathematician in me almost stroked, “OH! Really?! I just wrote down numbers as they caught my eye.”
What?! He did math completely randomly. He actually just waited to see what caught his eye and wrote it down?!
I think my jaw dropped.
So most of tonight was explaining how to read the charts, how to organize the problems and the math on the paper and reiterating to him for the 7th year, that he must write so people can understand what he has written.
One answer looked like this, “itdecreasesit”. What? With his vomit writing, I could hardly make out the individual letters let alone figure out where the spacing in the words were supposed to be.
And I think also, Good Lord, if he wants to be a doctor, if he ever even thinks about it, how much WORSE could his handwriting get? It can’t. I promise you… it…can…not. Ugh.
I ended tonight’s homework by telling him they are teaching him this charting stuff so he can learn to organize data and figure out problems. I sure hope he grasps that whole orderly data concept. Double Ugh. I will see come next homework… And a big positive for him is he has a huge aptitude for math. We just have to overcome these hurdles.
We had Open House today for my kids’ school. And quickly, what I love about our school…
My middle son is in 4th grade. He has for some of his subjects ‘Man Teacher’. Those of you who have been reading me for awhile may remember that my eldest had Man Teacher two years ago.
I love Man Teacher. He walks the walk and talks the talk. The kids feel good the year they have him. He’s about self esteem, teaching them basketball, and having them volunteer at the local nursing home once a month. He teaches Religion, Science and Social Studies and the kids all love him.
Every year, the first week, he tapes the opening of the class so we can see what they do.
My kids open every day at their school saying The Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America, open in prayer… and then my 2nd son’s class sings. The song this week has been “I’m Proud to be an American”. Man Teacher has it on CD and he hands out the words and the kids sing it every day and of course, memorize it.
And tonight's video had all of that on it and sitting there watching 25 kids belting out “I’m Proud to be an American” will warm your heart.
On a funny note, he had the kids sing us some other songs and he’d positioned my son with the girls as he is not so big. The smaller kids, all girls and him, sat on the floor so they could be seen. As the songs progressed, the girls got into it more and more and started dancing while sitting, and of course this is contagious, and so my son started to dance as well…
…and so what the parents could see were 12 boys standing ram rod straight in the back, singing, some only a little, and 12 girls standing or sitting and dancing, singing their hearts out, with my middle child, being the lone boy dancing and singing, swaying, and totally enjoying himself.
Being the boy, he completely stood out and it was so wonderful to watch. It warmed my heart. I love my boy.
When visiting TGOO and Hubba this past July, TGOO decided to teach my older boys the difference between Can and May. And I don’t remember the example HE used, but I will say that it turned into this:
The Professor to any adult: Can I hit Bones?
The Adult: *sigh* Yes. You can.
The Professor: May I hit Bones?
The Adult: No. You may not.
The Professor or Ringo to any adult as this became a huge game: Can I beat Bones to a pulp?
The Adult: Well… you probably could.
Prof or Ringo: May I beat Bones to a pulp?
The Adult: No. You may not.
And that was the boys’ version of the lesson… can and may.
The Professor had to fill out a poster this weekend on himself for school. “Write an ad for your favorite movie” and “Write a review on your favorite book” were just a couple items on the poster.
I’m sure all the girls colored theirs in. Ours was done in pencil. With one photo pasted on. The End.
So he got to the part about the book and the boy does NOT like to read. There is no doubt in my mind that when we finally find books he enjoys, he will be a great reader, but right now, getting him to read is a time of great distress for me.
Anyway, he had questions about what his favorite book might be. For some reason I was supposed to know that answer, so I said, “James and the Giant Peach!” and he replied, “Oh yeah! I liked that book.”
And when he asked the question of me I thought, “Well, Geez, its not like I have a lot to choose from. The kid has only read 10-20 books at best…”
Sidenote: We read to him as a child. He sees me read all the time. He has the role modeling. This reading thing will click. I know it will.
He wrote the review and then said, “Mom, how many stars should I give it? I can give up to five stars…”
And I said, “Well, it is your favorite book. Why not all five?”
His answer cracked me up. I thought it was pretty insightful. “Well, Mom, it’s not like I’ve read a lot of books. I’ve only really read all the Captain Underpants books and Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robots and then James and the Giant Peach. It’s not like I have a lot to compare it to. I mean, it might not really be a five star book. I wouldn’t know!”
Let us hope that changes this year…
So my 3 ½ year old niece came to play today whilst her Dad and Mama ran errands and worked. She was more than welcome to play with my three boys and she is so much easier now. She and I spent the time doing arts and crafts and watching one of my all time favorite movies, “Finding Nemo”.
(Sidenote, my favorite scene is where Dory starts talking like a whale. When we saw it in the theater, I laughed so hard I was crying. And when we saw it the 2nd time in the theater, when that scene came on, I laughed so hard I cried. Now when the kids get to that part in the DVD they say, ‘Do you remember when…” Great flick. )
Anyway, so here she is with her sweet little curly Shirley Temple hair and her sweet little self and her sweet little 3 ½ year old voice playing with the big boys when she came running in, “Aunt Bou, Aunt Bou, The Professor called me a Butt Head!”
I have to say, there is nothing quite like seeing a sweet little precious princess yell ‘BUTT HEAD!’
She is an only child. She is not called Butt Head in her house. She does not hear this in her preschool as they are THREE. Her little girlfriends don’t say this at play dates as they are THREE.
I nearly reverberated myself to unhinged when she told me this.
And of course I knew she would not forget. Oh no. She had been called her first bad name. Until now, she was seeing little kids get chastised for calling her a dummy or stupid head. Oh, but now, she’s been called a Butt Head and this is both repelling and fascinating to a three year old.
GRRR, I was so mad at him, yanking him aside telling him that his nine year old brain better start thinking a little harder before he makes such foolish choices because if I hear she’s called one of her little friends at school a Butt Head I was coming after him.
Of couse my sister in law called to check on her sweet baby girl. And as said sweet baby girl requested to talk to her Mommy when she realized who I was speaking with, the VERY FIRST thing out of the sweet baby girl's mouth was, “Mommy! The Professor called me a Butt Head!”
And when my brother in law came back to get her, he was greeted at the front door by his sweet baby girl who immediately blurted out of her sweet baby girl mouth with her sweet baby girl voice, “The Professor called me a Butt Head!”
And apologies have been made all around and we’ve explained that it was wrong and bad for The Professor to say what he did, but the damage has been done.
And perhaps I am just thankful he didn’t say something completely awful, like “You Suck!” because I truly think that would be worse. Picturing her amongst her little three year old girlfriends at her little Christian pre-school yelling at them amidst a tussle over Barbies or Polly Pockets, "OH YEAH! Well, you suck!" is more than I can handle.
Perhaps I should be thankful.
Today is my blog grandaugther Tink's 50th birthday.
Follow me here on this one, VW of One Happy Dog Speaks is one of my dearest friends from college. She and I worked at Company X together for many years, our first jobs. She has two older sisters and one of them started to blog, and that would be Tink of Tink's Tribulations.
And that reminded me that I need to add Tink to my Blogger's I've Met group. Sheesh. It took me this long to put that together.
Happy Birthday, Tink! And it would seem that it was a very festive time in your parent's household 50 years ago Thanksgiving! *ahem*
Click to Enlarge
I was going to go to bed when I decided to just quickly peruse MSN.
Folks. I am speechless. According to THIS article, the city of Las Vegas has passed an ordinance making it unlawful to KNOWINGLY sleep within 500 feet of feces or urine.
Oh, but upon further clarification "but the city attorney says the new law was passed by mistake and won't be enforced."
It seems they need to look at parks, camping etc, they're reviewing it and will modify.
This was part of a bill making it a misdemeanor for going to the bathroom in public.
So... help me out here. I've never been to Vegas... never really wanted to go either. I'll probably never go. But to those of you who have been... do they really have a problem with people emptying their bowels and bladders in public?
And is there some strange fetish out there I don't know about concerning sleeping with 'waste'? "Oh look honey, a pile of poop. I want to sleep here tonight. I love the smell of PooP in the morning!"
I hate sitting in the aft section of an aircraft due to the smell... let alone sleep near anything like that.
I guess this was aimed at keeping the homeless out of Vegas. Whatever the cause of rules like these... that have to be made public and are voted on... it makes me happy to live in West Palm Beach.
Good Grief and Triple Yuck.
I think Vegas needs a new city slogan: Don't Shit Where You Sleep... and in Vegas... IT'S THE LAW!
I haven’t snuggled with the boys at night this week. I’ve been beat and after they get to bed, I’ve been busy preparing for breakfast as I’ve become the short order cook on school days.
Tonight Bones came up to me and said, “Mom, will you snuggle with me? Come on. You aren’t doing anything. You’re just sitting there typing. And, you didn’t go to the gym, so it’s not like you stink or anything. Come on, Mom, please?”
It’s not like you stink or anything Wow. He’s going to be a real smooth talker. I can tell already.
Yes. He won me over with that line. I snuggled with him…
Mr. Magoo is having some stents put in today. I hear there were a few blockages. No big surprise.
I have started to call Mr. Magoo and Joe… the Bookends. Each one sits behind me, one on each side.
Today around five of the guys were at my desk, and we were talking about Mr. Magoo and rehashing to some degree Wednesday’s events when Joe said something and I said, “Oh no, no, no, my friend. Let me tell y’all the rest of the story…” as I pointed at Joe and looked at them.
Joe looked a bit horrified as I continued, “While Mr. Magoo was in the throes of what seemed to be a world class heart attack, Joe here is trying to convince him to let him take him to the ER, so he says, “Oh I know how it feels to have to manage heart pain… I’ve been having pain shoot down my left arm for two weeks…” and I’m sitting there listening to him thinking, “What in the hell?!!!””
Now everyone is staring at Joe and he’s kicking the floor as he looks at his shoes. And so… I continued, “Oh yeah, why don’t you tell them that one, Joe? My frickin’ bookends. I’m gonna lose you both. You men make me nuts…”
And with that he said, “Well, OK. Here…” and he handed me a sheet of paper from his pocket and it had an appointment time and date on it and he said, ‘I made an appointment yesterday. Mr. Magoo scared the hell out of me.”
Good Grief. I told him I was happy he did it as I was scared to death he was next and then I added, “Just wait until Tuesday. Mr. Magoo and I are going to have some words about the new rules around here…” and all the men laughed.
Tuesday. If he is back Tuesday, there will be no question in Mr. Magoo’s mind about how I feel this will be handled next go round. None. I’m not ready to lose him.
Happy Birthday to my brother, Toluca Nole!!!
The Big 3-9!!!
This is a post for Army Wife.
I was rummaging through some drawers today and I found a pack of pictures. I assumed they were from this year. I opened them to find pictures of my children… It was Ringo’s first day of Pre-K 4.
I looked at the picture and remembered how smoochy he was. He thought he was such a big boy. He had the sweetest voice, somewhat deep for a little man. He was so yummy and I remember thinking, “I love this stage best”.
I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want it to happen. But it did.
And the next thing I knew...
.... I was grabbing my camera and taking a picture of Ringo, home from his 2nd day of 6th Grade.
He came home from school yesterday and said, “Mom, I need a watch. They said it will help because we have to change classes…”
And so we went to Target and he picked out a man sized watch. It was so big, I had to have his father poke another hole in it, closer to the face so it would fit. I wondered what age he’d start wearing a watch.
Now I know. 11.
I was cooking dinner tonight when I saw him leaned over the newspaper, reading. I always keep the paper out as I read it all day long. I watched him reading and said, “What’re you reading? The Sports section?”
He looked up, and he replied, “No, the Local Section. They had this article on some new teachers starting I wanted to read…”
He reads the newspaper on his own. Why, when the war broke out in Lebanon, I said over dinner to my husband, ‘I haven’t read any news today, anything new happen in the war?” and Ringo said, “Yeah, Israel rolled tanks into Lebanon…”
I did a double take. He’s keeping up with world news. He’s not ready to go for any great current events brain bowl, but he’s reading, he’s watching, he’s listening.
And I keep my eyes wide open. I don’t want it to end. I don’t want it to happen. But I know it will. But maybe if I keep them really really wide… I won’t blink this time… and suddenly find myself sitting across from a freshman in college, dating, picking a major, driving a car, and forming opinions on world issues… and wearing a man sized watch that doesn’t have to have a hole poked close to the face to fit.
I just can’t… Blink.
My eldest is surpassing my scientific education. He’s in 6th grade. I’m a mathematician with eight college credits in Chemistry (2 in lab), three credits in Biology and six in Physics. (I have various credits in sciences as mathematics relates to them, such as thermo and electrical engineering courses.) I did well in them too. I didn’t ace them, by any means, I LOVED math and tolerated anything that wasn’t, but I pulled Bs.
And he has surpassed me. I just think I either slept through or missed the part on how to make a nuclear weapon.
I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t introduced to the Periodic Table of Elements until my junior year in high school, when I took Chemistry. My 6th grade son is studying it in science this year. Have things changed that much in 29 years?
So he got in the asexual mom-mobile when I picked him up from school and the following discussion ensued, to the best of my recollection.
Ringo: Mom. I’m going to read my science in the car so I don’t have homework. We have to study the Period Table of Elements. Am I ever going to have to MEMORIZE this?
Me: MMM. I don’t know. I guess it depends on what you major in. The rest of us had a reference chart for it. I suspect you will not have to commit it to memory.
Ringo: Did you know Uranium was a solid? I didn’t know that. Mom, if Uranium is a solid, how do they use it to make nuclear weapons? I thought it was a gas or liquid.
Me: Umm. We need to call Big Daddy.
That’s what we do when questions are posed regarding the sciences that I cannot answer. First, he has his degree from Annapolis in engineering. Second, he was in the Navy, so I figured he knew all sorts of nuclear stuff. And third, the man reads everything. Constantly. Every science journal, everything.
And I knew uranium was a solid… I just know nothing about nuclear physics.
Morrigan is at my folk’s right now as they are doing wedding stuff. I just assumed The Great Omnipotent One was with them… not sure what I was thinking. Men+Wedding Planning = Null Set. So I buzzed Mo’s cell phone and she informed me TGOO was back at home.
Morrigan: Why did you need him?
Me: Ringo had a science question and I can’t answer it.
Morrigan: Well. Ask me? I took a lot of science in college…
Now… a bit of a side note here. Morrigan is the communicator in the family. She is really smart, but when you think of deep science questions, you don’t think, ‘Oh! Ask Mo!”, although her first three years of undergrad was spent majoring in Biology. And I have to say, I was kind of taken back because I’ve been working in more of the sciences for the last 19 years and she hasn’t. I’m sure if it was Biology oriented she’d have known the answer.
Me: *big big pause* OK. Fine. Uranium is a solid. Ringo is studying the Periodic Table of Elements. He wants to understand how one would take a solid like Uranium and make a nuclear weapon. He always thought it was a liquid… or a gas.
Morrigan: *big big pause* Yeah, you need to call Dad for that one.
Me: Thank you.
So I called TGOO, who of course knew the answer, and now suddenly I know a lot about enriching Uranium and critical mass and the old ways and the newer ways and holy crap. I picked the simplest way and explained it to my son.
I got home and found three e-mails from TGOO to show to Ringo, which I did. I received two great simplified illustrations and then an explanation of the Manhattan project and a picture of the facility.
I have been educated and although the science my son is learning this year is still far below what I have learned, the questions he comes up with exceed my abilities.
Thank God for TGOO and the internet.
My eldest son is in 6th grade now and with that, at school, comes stricter rules, switching classes for every subject and higher expectations. To help the kids adjust, the day before school from 8-1 they have a big team building seminar for the entire grade, special t-shirts to wear the 1st day of school, and it’s called The 6th Grade Rally.
It ended last night with the parents and students attending a meeting and a full video presentation of the highlights of the event, complete with music. It was great. I was impressed by the hard work that the high school volunteers had put in to the event.
But of course, upon picking up my son from the day event, when I asked, “How did it go?” I got “Fine.”
When I said, “So tell me, what was your favorite part of the day?”, I received, “Hmm. I don’t know…”
The only commentary I received was who was on their team, what they served for breakfast, and how they were limited to only two slices of pizza.
I’m sure most of the girl Moms got full run downs. I feel certain.
In any event, as my son and I made the trip back to the school for last night’s meeting, he said, “Oh. We learned to dance today…”
Me: Did I hear that right?
Ringo: Yup. They tried to teach us to dance.
Me: And? What did you think?
Now a bit of a side note, this is the year that dances start. The 6th graders are invited to attend the first middle school dance. Depending upon their behavior determines if they are invited to subsequent dances for the rest of the year.
Ringo: It was just OK.
Me: What did you learn?
Ringo: The chicken dance.
Wha? Do they expect middle school kids to do the chicken dance at their dances? Do they do regular middle school dance stuff and sometimes just break out in the chicken dance? The chicken dance? This is a life skill, in my book, only if you are attending Oktoberfest.
Me: You’re kidding me. The chicken dance?
Ringo: Nope. It was OK. But then we learned this really awful stupid dance called The Electric Slide.
Me: Oh I know that one. Yeah, I’m not big on that one either.
Ringo: Electric Slide music needs to be stricken from the face of the Earth… forever.
Big Pause, Ringo: Oh and we learned the Cha Cha. They didn’t teach me the waltz or anything. I don’t think I could do that.
They do the Cha Cha at the middle school dances now? Hunh. Well, if he goes, I may volunteer to chaperone, just so I can see this ‘dancing’.
And our first day of school was great. Ringo is excited about being in middle school. The Professor is over the top happy as all his best buddies are in his class. NONE of them were last year. And Bones says he has his favorite teacher yet.
Let us all just hold those thoughts… for nine more months.
Today gave a whole new meaning to, “I had a bad day at work.”
Now those of you who work in the medical profession may be used to people dying at work, but those of us who work in the aerospace industry? Yeah. Not so much. It’s not something we ever get used to. As a matter of fact, we’ll sometimes sit around and talk about the people we know that died at work. Kind of a morbid, “Remember when…”
And today… I got to remember… exactly… how much… I frickin’ hated… people… dying… at… work.
But I got lucky, as he didn’t actually die. I just thought he was.
Mr. Magoo has been crabby since he quit smoking six weeks ago. He’s been doing the patch and swears he feels worse now than he did when he smoked. And he felt pretty damn bad before, or he’d not have quit.
I walked into work today and he stands up, grabs his chest, slightly bends at the waist and is the pastiest shade of gray I have ever seen on anyone alive.
And not wanting to invade his space and be a nag I said, ‘So… what’s going on?’ to which he tells me he is having chest pain and he’s already taken an aspirin.
I ask him if he wants me to call 911. No. Take him to the heart hospital which is walking distance to our office. No. Call anyone. No.
He looked at me and said, “Do you think I should take another aspirin?” and I replied, “yup. I don’t think it’ll poison you. When’s your next heart appointment?”
He said it was Monday and I said, “You won’t make it that long… you need to move it.”
Now I knew full well he was probably having a heart attack or an angina attack and since he is not prone to angina, even if it was angina, it did not bode well for the near future.
So I did some quick personnel research in the area as to who knew CPR and when I came back, I heard the guy who sits next to him, Joe who is also 65 and a member of the magic chest zipper club, say, ‘Look. I know what its like to have to monitor chest pain. The last two weeks I’ve had chest pain shooting down my left arm. I know what I’m talking about, but I think I need to take you down to the ER and have a Doc check you out…”
Mr. Magoo’s color had come back, the 2nd aspirin kicking in I suppose… or perhaps the first, and he said, “No. I’m going home…”
I overheard half the conversation with his wife, telling her at the end it was the worst chest pain he’d ever had. I know it’s been 13 years since his open heart. Great.
I picked up my watch that I had set on my desk and said, “I have two hours before I have to get my boys… let me follow you home.”
And he said “No.”
And then he left.
Joe called Mrs. Magoo and told her to call us when he arrived home. Turns out she had offered to come get him. He'd said... No.
There is only one thing I would change if I had it to do again. I’d follow him home. Or I’d tell him that I was driving and my tech lead would take his car home. There are other people on the roads he is endangering when he drives like that.
He has an angiogram tomorrow and said they’ll put a stint in on Friday. I’m calling BS on that as I think they’ll crack him open again, but that’s just my thought. He’s been suffering too much as of late. I think they just don’t want to tell him what’s in store.
And if he lives through this one, he and I are going to have a big ‘come to Jesus’ on this whole heart attack at work thing. Next go round, he has to think about the other people on the road. He can’t drive home. And if this happens again, he needs to know I’m calling 911 if he collapses. That’s my line of demarcation. The minute he loses consciousness, I’m in control.
I took some shit from some of the guys I worked with that I didn’t call 911. I stand by my decision. He said no. He is an adult, fully competent in his thinking. I cannot judge his pain. Only he can. It is not my place to invade his privacy. It is not.
But he and I are going to have to have a talk because it’s also not fair that he put us in this position. It’s not fair that he would put me in the position to have to try to save his life or to watch him die… or worse yet… feel him die while I’m trying to save him. It’s not right.
I care deeply for this man. He and I are tight. I have known him for 13 years. He is like another father to me. I hang out in his cube and joke with him like I joke with my Dad. We laugh and carry on like lunatics. He is my levity in the crucible I work in.
And I’m not ready to lose Mr. Magoo. I’m really trying to wrap my mind around it. I’m not ready for him to die and if he makes it through this, I’m telling him that too.
This is the bad part about working with men, as much as I love it, they are so damn stubborn when it comes to their health. They make me nuts. What is with, “The last two weeks I’ve had chest pain shooting down my left arm”? HELLOOOOO? Holy crap. I almost choked when I heard that.
I’m gonna lose ‘em both this year. I can feel it. GRRR.
Tomorrow for breakfast I am making homemade waffles (batter is in the fridge as I type this), eggs with cheese, and sausage. I figure if I make them a breakfast they are excited about, it is a BIG step in the right direction to making it a GREAT first day of school.
I have found that this ‘mother’ job also requires being a cheerleader, something my type personality would NEVER have qualified for in high school.
“Yay! We’re going to school today! Its our first day! And look at this GREAT breakfast!”
“Oh, I know you lost the game, but you played GREAT!”
“I know none of your friends are in your class this year, but you’re going to meet so many GREAT kids! And I LOVE your teacher!”
“Wahhoooo, an A!!!”
“Wahhooo, what fantastic penmanship” (when looking for ANYTHING positive to say about a paper that’s been handed to me with much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth)
This cheerleader thing is easy at the beginning of the year. It’s by the end I’m so frickin’ done with it all.
So tomorrow morning, I’ll be all happy smiles, even though I will have been up since 5:45 and I am NOT a morning person, and I’ll be smooching on them and telling them how exciting their first day will be as I make homemade waffles and scramble some cheese eggs with their sausage.
If they have a crappy day, it sure as hell won’t be because I didn’t start it out on a “Rah Rah, We LOVE School!!!” note. Bah.
I went into school today to pay bills. I saw the principal, the secretarial staff, the school nurse… they’re excited. The school is bustling with high positive energy as it opens tomorrow.
New parents are in the office asking questions.
Returning kids have their parents with them to pay off bills and get some things sorted out.
Teachers are in their classrooms preparing.
And that last one is my favorite. All the teachers came in as I was paying bills and I was so happy to see them all. And they seemed happy to be at the school. Not one of them was droopy faced like “Holy crap, damn kids are coming back tomorrow…” Not one. And I can tell when people are faking… usually… and there were no Academy Award winners in my midst.
The energy was just too positive.
Teachers stopped us in the halls and hugged Bones and asked what he did this summer. Some saw him sitting with me and came in and sat with him to smooch on him a bit.
There was laughter amongst them, people squeezing my shoulder saying, “Remember, you know where I am… come see me for this year. Let’s make sure it’s a good year for everyone…”
The smell of new paper and artwork in the classrooms. The sounds of preparations. The carpets have been cleaned, the paint is refreshed, the staff is rejuvenated.
And I went from yesterday, feeling anxiety as to what was to come for tomorrow to excited for what comes to us in this new year.
And as I got in the car with Bones to run a couple more errands, the little boy who kept saying, “Mom, I’m not excited about school” said to me, “Mom. You know… I’m kind of excited about tomorrow. I kind of can’t wait.”
That’s when I knew it wasn’t just me. Big positive energy today and it was such a pleasure to be a part of it…
Blog daughter, Sissy, of And What Next has taken suggestions on a personalized license plate as she’s just moved to Georgia. Now she has asked for our 2cents on what she should pick, now that the entries have been submitted. It’s worth going over just to see the suggestions. Keep in my mind, her Dad’s a former Marine and her dog’s name is Kiki.
Uniforms for school… Check.
School Supplies… Kindasorta check (missing a couple items)
Smiling happy faces with new haircuts… No check.
Damn. Bones is a pain in my neck. I just had her clean up his hair, edge it if you may, and he has been a frickin’ sad sack ever since. He is cute as a bug, and all he keeps saying is he hates his hair.
Even Ringo is handling it better. And trust me… Ringo is not happy. The boy looked like frickin’ Medusa by the time it was time to cut his hair. It was wild and crazy. People we had not seen all summer would come up and say, “WOW!!! LOOK AT YOUR HAIR!” The Dads would then turn to me and say, “When are you getting it cut?” The Moms would run their hands through it.
And The Professor is happy. As long as there are no changes in his life… everything is status quo, his hair is cut the same way he’s had it for 3 years, his routine is not altered, the boy is happy.
I put off buying school supplies as long as I could. I guess subconsciously I felt that if I didn’t buy them, maybe school wouldn’t really start.
I’m not looking forward to school starting Wednesday. School starting is when being a Mom REALLY kicks in. It’s when I really have to do my job. During the summer, I am referee and chauffeur… to the pool, to the stores, to friends’ homes and stopping fights before the first blood is drawn.
During the school year it’s much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth that they have to get up at 6:30AM.
Much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth that they MUST eat breakfast.
Much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth that they have to go to school.
Much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth that they must do their homework.
And then there is much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth over 100 assorted things I did not do right, that went wrong, or that they don’t want to deal with.
And of course my frustration that kids didn’t eat their lunches. I hate that. Or that they did their homework, but never bothered to turn it in. I hate that more.
Ugh. But there are good times too. There are. Just by the end of the school year, I’m have a hard time finding them…
I think I’m having a harder time bracing myself for the new school year than they are. I guess I view it as… it can’t be worse than last year. (I didn’t blog on the really bad stuff.) Last year sucked wet socks. I think we have nowhere to go but up…
There is a new routine that has started in the house. I’m not sure how it started, but it began a couple weeks ago. It’s the ‘Mom, will you snuggle with me’ routine.
I get it from all three of them, not just Bones.
And so now as part of the bedtime ritual, I rotate through them, one boy each evening, and spend 5 minutes with them, as they lay falling asleep, their snuggled into my body, as I rest my lips on their foreheads and stroke their hair with my fingers.
I dread the day this stops…
…and I pray they find affectionate mates when they are men as they are such affectionate boys.
Well, this is perhaps divulging a bit more than I wanted to, but after last week’s post, I feel certain that most of my readers now know we’ve had to go the medication route for Bones and school. Long hard decision, taking years and many changes in life style, but… it is what it is. So with this as background…
Is it just me, or does it seem like an odd combination to go up to the Pharmacist’s window, place a can of Whipped Cream on the counter and say, ‘Can I pay for this here with my prescription?’ as I pick up Ritalin?
Perhaps next time I should just show up with a box of chocolate frosted sugar bombs. Or better yet, just a 5 lb bag of sugar.
“Excuse me, M’am? But can I have some Ritalin to go with this 5 lb bag of sugar?”
I’m still stuck on this thing with Helen of Every Day Stranger.
‘Tis been a long time since I’ve drawn my sword in anger. So sit back.
What has become of us that we cannot respect each other for each other’s political views? What does it say that when one person steps out of the box and expresses themselves, expressing a view that may be perceived as different from someone else’s, only to have a group immediately come around like torch and pitchfork wielding villagers, out to get the monster?
When did this happen?
I’ve never been one to discuss politics. I don’t discuss politics, religion or sex. You have to be close to me to know my views on those things. And I am, as a blogger, what ArmyWife calls ‘a diarist’. That is Helen too. That is for many on my blog roll. We write what we see… the insanity inside our heads… from our day to day experiences.
But I will tell you, in my political views, I am neither right nor left. For those of you who read here that consider yourself staunch conservatives…. I am far more left than you would consider comfortable. And for those of you who consider yourself uber liberal…. I am far more right than you would consider comfortable.
And I don’t care that you would be uncomfortable with that.
And I don’t care what YOUR political leanings are. They are YOURS. YOU formulated them. YOUR life experiences created them to be what they are. They are YOUR thoughts. Not mine.
And I have grown to believe over the past four years, that we need the uber leftist liberals to offset the staunch far right conservatives. And Vice Versa. We NEED them both to offset each other.
But more importantly, THIS IS AMERICA where we have the freedom to believe and think how we want.
That seems to have been lost along the way somewhere. And now if someone disagrees with another, there is vast name calling, threats, and posturing as to who is right and who is wrong.
WHY does anyone have to be right or wrong? Why? Why can we not accept that it takes all kinds to make up this vast country and it is what keeps it alive and growing?
Twenty years ago, when I first got in the work force, I used to say to those around me, “I want to put my political beliefs on paper and someone… please tell me… where do I belong?”
With the internet came political tests that you could take and still… politically, amongst our political parties I had no home.
I’m not some disenfranchised voter. I’ve just never believed 100% what either party says they stand for. Never.
But I vote. EVERY ELECTION. As angry as I get by the nasty political rhetoric that I’m forced to listen to, as irritated as I get by what I regard as my poor choices at every election, as much as I cringe at the crap flung from both sides… I still vote.
I’m an American. Voting is one of the many privileges that my forefathers fought for and I do not take it lightly.
But now in my 40s, I don’t care that I don’t ‘fit’ in a political party. Now, as I watch the swirl around me of angry Americans intolerant of others’ beliefs when some don’t walk lock step with a particular political party, and this goes for both Democrats and Republicans, I feel no need or want to belong to them. I have grown beyond repulsed by both parties and those that stand up and scream for them.
Helen is just the most obvious ‘victim’ (which is not a good word really as there is nothing victim like about Helen, but I lack the right word… and casualty sounds so… dead) in what I am seeing as a real problem in America… intolerance to others beliefs and some sort of feeling of superiority of one American, over another.
It is repulsive.
What occurred to Helen in my mind is Blogosphere Thuggery. A big blogger, who has more readers than any of us can imagine, took umbrage to Helen’s view on something, called her a name and linked it… KNOWING full on well that she would send her thousands of readers over there and KNOWING that they would leave nasty comments at her site. Helen doesn’t troll these sites arguing with these folks, as some bloggers do. She keeps to herself. It is HER BLOG where she writes of her life and expresses her opinion… and rarely does she venture into politics.
And if you think big bloggers don’t ‘know their readers will do this’, wake up. They know damn well. Yet they do it. And in my mind it is an attempt at intimidation. All these people going to Helen’s blog leaving nasty comments, sending hateful e-mail… why? To shut her up of course. Intimidation. Only one voice can be heard in their opinion and that is the voice of THEIR opinion only.
Screw them. That pisses me off. I’m actually more pissed today than I was yesterday, and I was pretty damn pissed yesterday.
Blogospheric Thuggery… the equivalent of jack booted thugs showing up on her door step trying to beat her into blogospheric submission… trying to silence her opinion as it deviates from theirs.
That’s complete crap. All of them should be ashamed of themselves. Every last one of them.
And as I said yesterday, and will repeat again, a pox upon them and their ilk. May they frickin’ rot.
I was going to go to bed, but quite frankly, am so disturbed, I feel certain I would not sleep.
I was over at Eric's where he blasted a narrow minded pin head jerk face moron, who had threatened another blogger... Helen of Everyday Stranger. If you don't read the blogs, then you are confused.
In a nutshell, Helen is one of my favorite bloggers, she's an American, living in the UK. She posted her opinion on the current terrorist plots HERE. In so doing, she was sent ugly e-mail, called names, and... her life was threatened.
By an American.
That's right. Somebody who loves their freedom... freedom of speech and all that comes with it, threatened her life for voicing her opinion.
And I'm just... so... not able to wrap my mind around it. I'm beyond pissed about it. If you go to her follow on post you'll see lists of others who have stood up and voiced their anger. They do so better than I can.
But now... I'm just frickin' depressed. I'm thankful that I've never had Michelle Malkin linked. I'm thankful that Helen has not given up blogging. I'm thankful she has friends that are standing up for her. But I'm really really bummed out that it happened.
It makes me lose hope in humanity... of which I have not much in general.
And to these people who were ugly to her for voicing her opinion, and to the small person who threatened her dog, and to the complete loser who is nothing but a terrorist himself in threatening her life...
A pox upon you and your ilk. May you fucking rot.
Today I embarrassed myself into 9 shades of red, while at work.
Just to give you background, in my little office of cubes, it is all men and ME. And there are four men that are 65+ years old, two in their mid 50s and the other two are my age. Not that age matters, I'm just setting the scene.
And so I sat at my table, working, when Mr. Magoo and another co-worker who I will call Joe, get in a discussion regarding The Nutcracker. And the following discussion ensued, to the best of my recollection… the players being me, my boss, Mr. Magoo and Joe… they are all 65+ years old ...and the rest of the office listening quietly in their cubes.
Mr. Magoo: Ahhh that damn Nutcracker. I’ve seen that thing FIVE times. My granddaughter was in it EVERY Christmas and by the fifth time, it was cracking MY nuts.
(I’m quietly laughing.)
Joe: Yeah, I had to see that one time. I thought there was going to be all this singing… and instead there was this stuff. *he imitates ballet dancing and spinning, which was very funny*
Me: Singing? You thought there was singing in The Nutcracker? How old were you? Five?
Joe: Nah, 57, my girlfriend made me see it.
Me: Wow. Culture ran deep in your family, huh, Joe?
(Joe is laughing and ALL the guys are now laughing and really listening and my boss has now walked up to join.)
Joe: Yeah, I gotta tell you this story about our seeing it though… *he tells his story*
My boss: You know, I saw that play Menopause The Musical the other night with my wife. That was really really funny.
Me: Hey. I’d heard that was good. It got good reviews.
My boss: It was. The women were great.
Joe: Wasn’t there something else along those lines? Something… something Monologues.
Me: *I am sure I did not say it as loud as I remember, but reflecting upon it, I blurted out very loudly* Oh! the VAGINA monologues.
And immediately, my eyes widened, the men fell silent… the entire room fell silent, I gasped, put my hands over my mouth and said, “Wait. Did I just say that?”
I’m starting to laugh in an uncontrollable nervous “OH MY GOD” laugh and I hear my boss say, “Why yes, Bou, you did…” and I replied, “Ack! I can’t believe I said that!” as I’m laughing a little harder and now I’ve noticed that since I blurted it out, that every man in the room has popped out of his cube and is looking at all of us.
And as I turned 9 shades of red, there is great laughter in the room. Lots of it. You’d think we were having a party.
Now. Let me say. That if you work in an OBYN’s office, I’m sure people say that all the time. If you work in a preschool, it comes up often as children often talk about body parts and bad touch/good touch.
BUT. I am here to say, that the word Vagina is not uttered from my mouth very often. Not since Bones asked me what my weenie was called, or lack thereof as it is. Which was last month, in public. Before that… I can’t remember the last time.
And although it is not a bad word, not by any stretch, it is NOT a word one uses in the Aerospace industry.
I have been known as of late to call a guy I work with at Company X, a prick. Not nice. I know. Yes, I kiss my children with this mouth, but his horrible treatment of me this past week, warranted not only that, but my also wishing a pox upon he and his ilk and hoping he would one day rot.
And Mr. Magoo and I, when we get frustrated with a certain woman who sometimes calls us, we have been known to hang up and then shout to the other, “Jennifer… You ignorant slut!” Not nice. I know. But hey, it is what it is. She is lucky however, in that she has yet to have a pox wished upon her and nobody is hoping she will rot. Yet.
Vagina is not something we say though. No, no, no, there are none of those on jets or their propulsion systems. Nope. Not one. And I never call someone that. Oh no. I don't.
And I feel fairly certain that this blurting incident did get brought up when a couple of them went home tonight. Mr. Magoo and I get to laughing so hard at the absurdities around us, that he and I get to crying sometimes. There is NO DOUBT IN MY MIND, that he walked in the door and when Mrs. Magoo said, ‘Honey, how was your day?” he replied, “You ARE NOT going to believe what Bou said today…”
I am #8 in Google for Hamster Euthanasia. Good Lord.
I am #6 for Toxic Fish Tank. You’d think we should not have pets in this home.
And then of course I am #1 for “Male Horse Antomy”… someone having misspelled anatomy. Love that one too. Just goes with this whole animal theme I seem to have with Google today.
#5 for Hamster is sleeping a lot. I seem to be a treasure trove of Hamster health. Or piss poor health.
Oh and I love this one considering I don’t even have a dog, I’m #5 for ‘undescended testicles’+dog. Love that.
Oh! Oh! Oh! I’m #2 for ‘how to get a toilet unclogged toy’. What? They make toys that do this? I can hear it… “Mooooom, I’m bored!” “That’s OK honey, go get your toy and play like your unclogging the toilet!”
Right. By the way, its called a plunger and as much as Bones LOVES the thought of ‘playing with it’, swinging it through my house like a lasso when it needs to be used, running, leaping, shouts of joy, leaving me shuddering and feeling the bile rise in my throat as I’m thinking of commode germs flinging throughout my house, no matter that I bleach the sucker down every time its used, and as much as he LOVES the thought, NO, I do not let my kid plunge the commode. As a matter of fact, he no longer knows where I keep the plunger. I’d have feces all over the walls of my bathroom if he were the ‘plungee’. I joke not.
And although I’m not even in the top 50, someone came to me by googling “How can I find public exposed butt cracks.” Ummm. Hello? That’s a problem? Just go to the mall! It’s summer time. That means every teenager will be there and MANY of them will have their backsides exposed!
Keeping with fashion, I am #6 for Toddler Crocs. I know… there are some of you out there who LOVE your crocs, but I don’t do crocs. I think they’re ugly. I’ll stick with my Birks (aka My Jesus Shoes) or my Naots. I was out the other night and saw a whole family wearing crocs and I txt messaged my sister saying, “someone lied to the masses…” I’ll pass.
I’m #4 on Yahoo for 2 year old early riser and to that I say… Go HERE to ArmyWife, whose son Dash is on farmer time or has aspirations of working for Dunkin’ Doughnuts. “It’s time to make the doughnuts!”.
And then for the more serious, I am #1 for ‘what running shoes are good for people with bad knees”. The answer is NONE. Really. If you have bad knees you should think about switching to the elliptical like I did. And if you refuse, don’t run on pavement. But the answer is really… there is not one brand of shoes. Go see your podiatrist. How do you run? Where is the wear on your shoes? And you may need more foot support as well… orthotics. And what caused your knee problems. Get to the root cause and go from there.
By the way, I am STILL getting repeated searches for Little Boy Haircuts. My kids are trying to give up the whole haircut thing. I'm not the anwer. Trust me.
On the upper left hand corner of my blog, under the American and British flags, I have put up the name of the man I am remembering on 9/11. I heard about this from Sgt. Hook and signed up immediately. (Click on it for it to take you to the page where you can sign your blog up, should you wish. It will assign you a special person to remember.) Everyone has their own way of remembering, there is no way not to, but to me, this is like my Mother’s MIA/POW bracelet that she had during the Vietnam war, that I still keep on my vanity… looking at it every morning and remembering Capt. Clifton Cushman, a man who I know now died while serving this country in that war.
And that is how I look at the blog tag I have on my sidebar. We are all so horrified by what occurred on that day, but it is a collective horror, if you will, and this takes it to a personal level.
Not that I needed that. Although I didn’t know anyone personally who died at The Pentagon or the World Trade Centers or on United flight 93, I know plenty of people who do. There is an invisible umbilical cord between NYC and West Palm Beach… most who settled here are from the North East. There are plenty of people I know who lost friends and family members. The horror is always there.
My husband’s older sister has a brother in law who is a fisherman. He was fishing that day and watched the WTC murders from the water.
I have a good acquaintance who was in NYC on business and watched it with first row seats from his meeting… knowing his best friend was in one of the buildings and died. The story of what he did to get home in the aftermath, to get back to his daughter is a story of great tenacity driven by fear, the fear of never seeing his daughter.
I know people who are filling in for deceased parents… men attending baseball games for kids of their friends who are no longer here and the like.
I had a bridesmaid from my wedding that was in the 2nd building to take a hit in NYC. That morning, I got a call from my dearest friend PFB, the three of us hung around together in high school and she was calling me asking, “Did D. work in the WTC buildings? I think she did. I think I visited her there. She did. I know it…”
And then I scrambled onto the computer, looking at building lay outs of NYC, looking up the name of her company to see where they resided. The panic. The phone calls… she with her Mom, me with mine, she and I calling each other. And then the phone call from my Mom that our friend was fine. And our friend who was in the building, who made it out alive… it is a story of amazement and wonder, but… it is not blog fodder.
It is not my story.
But it is one that many of my friends know, as I will repeat it to my close friends. Not on the blogosphere, though… it’s not right.
The date looms large to me as it does to every American. It is coming closer and I can feel the anxiety starting to build within me. Many people have called it the day that America lost its innocence. It was the day I realized I have limitations… for coping. It didn’t start with 9/11 though; it started with the Oklahoma City bombing with me. The day of 9/11 took it to another horrific level and finished it off.
This rock under which I joke that I reside, it was not always there. It was of course there to some degree with pop culture as it’s not my nature in general to be immersed in society, but the rock became a boulder after 9/11. On 9/11 I glued myself to the TV as did every American, I sat with friends and heard their personal stories of who they had lost, and I just absorbed until I hit a super saturation point, if you will.
After about a week, I could absorb no more. And I started to fray and the nightmares started and the sleeplessness and the smallest little thing would freak me out… I would go on crying jags for no reason, which is not me at all. I had lost my ability to cope. And I have three kids to raise. I had responsibilities and being a basket case was not an option.
So I shut the TV off and other than my watching my little addiction, 24, I don’t watch. I do not watch the news, I read it. I can control what I read… I do not have the visual reality thrust in my face. No audio… no screams, no sounds of terror, reading is safe and controllable. I read from many sources, but I can no longer watch it via visual. It is like my ability to watch things on TV went away... I cannot sit still that long. Pavlov’s dog perhaps? It is the television that delivered to me nearly everything that ultimately led me to be overstressed and unable to cope… so perhaps in my head, it is associated with anxiety and pain.
Our paper did a review of the new Oliver Stone movie. I won’t go. First, I don’t do Oliver Stone. I have issues with the artistic liberties he has taken with much of his work and it bugs the ever living stew out of me that there is a generation of people out there that think this stuff he has created is historically factual. Bah. That annoys me.
But mostly, I won’t go because… I don’t want to see it. The theater is an escape for me. I love going to the movies and being entertained. Watching a movie on the World Trade Center is not entertaining. It is heart breaking. It is gut wrenching. It is mind boggling.
I cannot do it.
I know, people have been talking about the other movie that came out, United 93 and how good it is. And this new movie, I love Nicholas Cage. I really do. There is something very rugged and manly about him… his laid back demeanor, I love to watch him on the big screen. He always seems like the every day Joe in life, who always seems to prevail. But I will not watch him in this movie.
I don’t need it to remind me of what I remember nearly daily. Instead, I will use my little blog tag, to remember one man and to gently bring it to the surface of my consciousness every morning. That is all I need.
And I do believe, that is all I can cope with.
We have thought that our boys may end up at an area Catholic high school. My eldest has already told me that’s where he wants to go. He told me he wants a small school, nothing too big, with people he knows there already.
I told him, “I don’t pay for C’s. If I send you to that school, you best be ready to study because you can make C’s in public school for free…”
My two youngest, however, have told me that they want to go to a high school that offers ‘shop’. They want to take shop classes as their electives. Catholic high schools don’t offer shop. At least the ones I know of don’t.
I said to my husband, “Doesn’t that seem kind of odd that here, Jesus was a carpenter, but the Catholic schools don’t even offer… woodworking?”
Just struck me as funny… “We shall teach you to walk in the ways of the Lord… but not if you want to be a carpenter. You shall go to public high school for shop.”
I have one of my eldest’s friends spending the night tonight. They hang some in school, but not a lot. He’s a good kid. He comes from a GREAT family, a family of three boys I might add. I like him. He has a good heart, a brilliant mind, and more energy than anyone I have ever met in my entire life… It’s Bones times four.
There is so much energy… I am nervous around him. I have to calm myself internally. It’s everything, thought, movement, speech, all of it. He speaks a mile a minute, sometimes not even finishing the sentence before moving on to the next. You can watch him and see his mind is constantly going. There is no rest for his mind. None. It is always thinking. Perpetual motion, walking fast everywhere, running, moving, on and on and on.
He reads constantly or plays video games or talks or something… there is no rest. Reading does not look restful with him; it appears to be an occupation for his mind.
He is brilliant. It is the only thing seeing him through, I can tell. This child MUST have ADHD. He must. He can focus on a book, but other than that, the kid is all over the road.
I picked him up after his football practice today. He’s 11, so it’s full on tackle ball with pads and helmet, the real stuff for middle school kids. Rec league. It was a 2 hour practice this evening and when I picked him up, the rest of the kids on the team were dragging ass to their Mamas. My boy’s friend? He RUNS to his Dad’s truck to get his stuff, talking non stop the entire way, GoGoGoGoGo… he has not stopped since I got him.
I am nervous for him and not just because being with him makes me nervous. I said I like him, right? I do.
I am anxious for him because it was not until I was an adult that I could not turn my mind off. The relentless thinking I have no control over, all night, all day, the inability to shut it off. I run to quell the voice in my head. I get tired of thinking so I crank up the music to drown myself out.
But this is only as an adult. This was not me as a child.
And so I wonder for this child… this child who cannot shut off, who is on the move, whose brain is always working, looking for new things, new stimulations… I wonder what he is going to be like as a teenager or even as an adult?
Will it be worse? Can it be worse?
I don’t know. I guess I’m worried I’m looking at insanity as a child.
I was driving Bones to the pediatrician’s office today for a follow up visit to a long term issue we are dealing with. And as I made the drive I thought to myself, “I’m not blogging tonight. No blog fodder.”
And then the visit came and Voila! Instant blog fodder. Leave it to Bones!
Our visit was scheduled for 4:45. We were not seen until 6:15. Normally this would bug me, but this is not like my pediatrician’s office, it was crazy busy, they were doing the best they could and a big cause of this long wait was a baby with a heart problem and numerous calls with cardiologists. I had no where to go, no place I had to be, and a baby with a heart problem… I will gladly wait in the office for that to be tended to. I cannot even imagine that horror show. How scary.
So we waited and waited, I read and my son played his Gameboy and I have to say up front… I may be in love with my pediatrician. Wow. Did I type that? Yes. A confession on the blogosphere, but I will also say that this doctor has about 2000 women in love with him, so I’m part of a pediatric harem.
There’s just nothing NOT to love about this man. He is gentle and kind, soft spoken, yet he makes himself heard, patient, laughs readily and… this is the MOST important thing… he always listens to what I have to say and takes it into account.
ALWAYS. He has never failed me. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone in there and said, “Something is not right. I can feel it. I see things, but don’t understand… something is not right.” And every time he has looked, talked to me, pried for more information and then made a diagnosis… and I’ve always been right, something has always been wrong and he has NEVER EVER made me feel the fool before he’s diagnosed. NEVER.
And plus he has beautiful deep blue eyes that seem to reach to the depths of his soul… but that is beside the point. Really.
Anyway, we were sitting there and it was our turn and the good doctor was having to go over a lot of information with me. A lot. And I was going into sensory overload as it was the end of the day, I was trying to process everything, Bones was bouncing all over as he is apt to do, in my arms, on the table, on the floor, in my arms, on my hips… and on and on.
Charts are being drawn in pen on the paper that covers the examination table. Graphs drawn. Numbers written. This is goodness for me. I can retain the information if I see it and with the doctor guiding me through at the same time, my retention is even higher and my processing more efficient.
He had to step out to take another call from a cardiologist and that gave me time to digest some of the data. Bones meanwhile is doing the “Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Can we go? Huh. Mom? Can we go? Mom. We’ve been here for three hours. Can we go?”
At that point I resorted to sheer bribery telling him how good he had been and how proud I was of him and we would stop and get him a treat on the way home. And… maybe he’d like to draw?
I searched through my purse and found a pen. Happily, he went to the end of the table, where he commenced drawing.
First came a big circle. Then two big X’s for eyes.
Me: What’s with the X’s for eyes?
Bones: Just watch Mom. You’ll see.
I watched as he drew a tiny thing far from the head, but wasn’t sure what it was, when the doctor came back in. He and I continued to talk as I could see out of the corner of my eye what was starting to transpire.
He was beckoned out of the room once again, to his GREAT frustration. The doctor was aggravated with the cardio office, even though I kept telling him Bones and I were cool.
I took a look at Bones’ final drawing and to my horror he had drawn… a little man holding a gun that had shot this big head with the cross eyes… through the head and the bullet had gone through and killed another little guy on the other side, who was also holding something, perhaps another gun.
I’m not sure. I was too... too... stunned? Mortified? Taken aback... that of all places my son drew this on a piece of paper at a Pediatrician's Office?!
I stood there. Finally I said, “Dude, what are these little things right here?” as I pointed to drawings of what looked like Pringles.
“Mom, those are puddles of blood…”
Luckily that was not identifiable. But… the rest of it, holy crap. I was DYING!
I said, “Bones, you can’t draw things like that at school…” and he replied, “Oh I know Mom. I only draw smiley faces at school. That’s all they want to see…”
The doctor walked in and I looked horrified. I was horrified. I just stood there as Bones made finishing touches. The doctor looked at the picture and then looked at me and said, ‘What? I just see a picture’ and he grinned.
And I thought, “Thank you dear Lord that this man also has three sons…” Not to mention the fact that he was a boy once too.
One day, these pictures my sons draw are going to have us ending up in some counselor’s office. I can feel it.
I was unplugged this weekend and enjoyed it, until blog fodder hit me square in the face and I realized I had to write it lest I lose it. So I took a little note pad the hotel provided and scribbled this down… and three note pages front and back and a ¼ of the fourth and this is what I got… its all about the boys.
If a hotel is to be judged by the lavishness of the bathroom, then the hotel we stayed in would definitely rank in the top 25% of the hotels I’ve ever visited.
I entered to find a wonderfully deep tub, causing me to wish I’d brought bubble bath. A lesson learned, I will always take bubble bath with me on travel… just in case. The shower was grand as well, only missing the one item I consider a must for the *perfect* shower- a bench.
Yes, those that know me well know that if you are to build the *ultimate* shower, in my book it must have a bench. For sex. Of course. No, I don’t have a bench in my shower. I have a standard shower. But, hey, just because I don’t have one doesn’t mean I don’t understand the value. *ahem*
We came back from havng spent all day at the pool and immediately my two younger boys insisted on taking a bath in this grand tub. Bones bath idea was complete with snorkel and mask. (Taken from the day’s previous bath, click to enlarge.)
And as they were scurrying about getting ready for a bath, I decided to go to the gym. As I was getting ready, having put their father in charge of the bathing situation, I could hear much commotion coming from the bathroom as evidently my middle boy was accusing my youngest of… having… peed in the tub.
From Bones: Well! What did you expect me to do?! I was already in!
I am hoping that he eventually truly understands the vast disgustingness of his statement before he is a man in a steady relationship. I hate to feel compelled to pull his girlfriend aside and say quietly on the sly, “Listen to me honey, don’t bathe with the boy. I suspect he may pee in the tub…”
I walked into the bathroom to find my two youngest in the tub, any verbal dissention over pee water having apparently blown over, Bones was in full snorkeling gear while The Professor was just sitting there. Staring at me.
Meanwhile, my eldest had entered the room before me and had decided it was time to… evacuate his bowels.
I could hardly breathe.
My 2nd son looked at me and said, “Mom. Do I *LOOK* like I’m having a good time? I am sitting in a tub that Bones peed in. He farted in it too, so now its butt water. Pee and butt water. I’m disgusted!”
I added, “And in addition your older brother sits but two feet away pooping and this air you breathe must be as disgusting as that water in which you sit.”
I left as my husband came back in to empty the water and refill the tub.
Just a few hours later, as we were dining, from our table we could see three manatees swimming in the intercoastal. Bones said, “Wait. They live in this water? Do people swim in it?”
My Better Half: Well, not this water but people could swim in it. It just has a lot of boat traffic and is pretty dirty. So no, they probably don’t…
Straight faced, Bones: I wouldn’t swim in that water, manatee pee and poop in it…
Upon Bones' declaration, the four of us just stared at him. Finally I said, “…Coming from a boy who had no problems today swimming in bath water, snorkeling in bath water, that he’d PEED in?”
They appear to not have anything other than tourist industry there. I saw nothing that demonstrated a thriving economy reliant on anything other than the influx of Mid-Western snowbirds in the winter months.
Their summer versus winter economy contrast must be much more evident than ours down here in Palm Beach County as… Naples is DEAD during the summer. That is not so here on this coast. We are noticeably slower, but we aren’t frickin’ DEAD.
I mean they were DEAD. How dead? How about ‘we were practically the only ones in a very popular restaurant on a Saturday night’ dead. DEAD. (I'm not saying it was a bad thing... quite the opposite.)
Naples is structured differently than we are. The best way I can describe it is that it is like Gulf Breeze, Florida in the panhandle… at Pensacola Beach. The entire area seemed to be structured on canals. We have those too down here, but the entire feel was much different. It feels like more of a beach community, whereas it doesn’t feel like that here. We are a city and by the way, we happen to be coastal.
Over here on the West Coast, most of our immigrants that work in our hotels and restaurants are from South America or Haiti. Over in Naples, it appears they are from… some Slavic country. That threw me. I’m thinking Romanian, but it could have been Czech. Romanian is the most highly probable. And is it just me, or do young Romanians all look like they stepped in line twice when God was giving out good looks? Holy crap what a beautiful people they are.
Naples appears to close at 8:00. Saturday night, we went to dinner and decided to stroll through a great little outdoor shopping area called The Villages, the goal being to find the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop, that we knew to be open. Ben & Jerry’s was the ONLY place open. Everything else was closed. Even in the summer, that doesn’t happen her in Palm Beach County.
Did I say it was dead? Very. But… very very nice. No hassle, no rush, just laid back. Very nice.
I want everyone to know that Boudicca has a brand new lap top that's capable of accessing the internet anywhere she goes. She doesn't HAVE to be unplugged, she's just practicing for the first hurricane to see if I still remember how to log on and post for her. I do.
The Great Omnipotent One
Political issues vary from state to state. On a daily basis, I have no real concern who the President of Mexico is… I’m aware, but don’t think much of it, while people who live on the Texas or California border to Mexico may think it is a very big deal.
So for us in South Florida, this thing with Fidel Castro and his health, it is big news. We all have friends who are Cuban and have their own stories. The closer you are to Miami, the more news Cuban politics make.
Today on the front page of our paper was a story about one of Miami’s big bloggers, someone some of you may have read or have blogrolled, Val of Babalublog. The article in the Palm Beach Post, HERE, is a really really nice article on Val. And I had no idea from where the haunting eyes on the top of his blog came, but the story is in… the story.
I will be unplugging tonight for the weekend. My husband decided on the spur of the moment to take us to Naples for the weekend.
As in Florida. Not Italy.
He was mailed a special rate for a great hotel, near the beach and with a great water slide, and decided that we would go as a family to just sit and vege out. I’m excited. They supposedly have a great gym too, so I’ll be running.
I have to tell you, if you think you can stand the heat, which I know you can as all of the United States has been experiencing Florida heat, granted not with our humidity, but still our heat, all summer, then you should do Florida in the summer.
Look, we have air-conditioning. Remember that comedian who used to yell about Ethiopia and he’d scream, ‘We have deserts in America! We just don’t live in them!” Well, we have heat too, we just don’t live in it.
Here’s the Florida secret, you get up early and hit the beach or pool from 8-10 and then by 10:30, go back inside… go see a movie, go shopping, clean up and go out for lunch, hang at the mall… until 3:30. So from 10:30 until 3:30 you find something to do not outside.
At 3:30, you start getting ready to go back out and you hang at the pool or beach from 4- dinner time and then after dinner you go out again.
Simple. And there is sunscreen involved, but not repetitive application. And it’s hot, but not scorching.
And our restaurants have no waits as… NOBODY comes here in the summer. And rates for hotels are cheap as they need the business. THIS is the time to come for a cheaper vacation to Florida. Just don’t hang outside from 11-4. Five hours. You can find something to do for five hours.
Oh, and don’t do Disney, Sea World or Universal Studios now… this is heavy tourist season for Orlando. Orlando is exempt from the above post. And the panhandle. The panhandle… this is their tourist season. But South Florida minus Orlando? Yup. This is the time to come.
If you don’t like crowds. And don’t mind the heat. And like the beach…
So I’m off. Y’all be good. I’ll be back on Sunday. Maybe some pictures. You never know…
I have such a hard time with things that are similar. Perhaps its not just faces. But I do think it’s funny. I laugh about it, even if nobody else does.
For instance, a couple months ago, I was finalizing plans to see RSM in Dahlonega with my boys. I wasn’t sure exactly where Dahlonega was located, but I KNEW I’d heard of it.
He tells me it is NE of Atlanta and I’m a bit puzzled as I thought I recalled my sister stopping there for lunch on her way to my Granny’s funeral a few years back. Granny was buried in Birmingham. As in… Alabama.
Dahlonega is not a halfway point between Atlanta and Birmingham.
Or any point for that matter.
So I was left wondering what route she had taken and why. As I’m puzzling over this, he and I are e-mailing back and forth and finally I wrote something like, "Well, I know Morrigan stopped there at a Cracker Barrel for lunch a few years back and some guy from the area tried to pick her up… left her his phone number as she was leaving.”
(Sidenote: No. She had not been talking to him. Never seen him in her life. He was just instantly smitten with her, which is incredibly obvious as to why if you see her as I’ve stated she looks like one of those Faeries from Lord of the Rings. Except not tall. She is tiny.)
RSM sent me a note in return mentioning that that was kind of odd as they don’t have a Cracker Barrel in Dahlonega.
Now I’m really confused and I start feeling my face turn pink as I realize I’ve made some sort of mistake so I start googling…
… ready for this?
I started googling...Southern race tracks... as I KNEW for a FACT that this Cracker Barrel was in the same city as a famous NASCAR track.
Heh. She had been in Talladega. Not Dahlonega.
Honest mistake. Right?
I love babies.
I love them.
Everything about them.
I love how they smell, how they sound, how they feel when they are curled up on your shoulder sleeping. Their little hands and how you have to kind of pry them open at times only to find bits of cotton wedged between their fingers from their little cotton nighties.
I love their little feet that have yet to touch the ground… I love to kiss the bottoms of their feet. So sweet and soft. They never smell.
I love the smell of a clean baby out of the bath. Baby smell combined with the soft smell of baby shampoo.
Their sweet little lips and how when they sleep, their little mouths fall open and they are totally dead to the world. They sleep so soundly you can change their diapers and clothes... and they never stir.
I love to run my nose across the top of their heads and feel the little ducky downy hair, so soft, against my face.
I love the backs of their heads… where their crowns are.
I love kissing the back of their necks, where vomit and spit and any other body fluids or foods never reside.
I just absolutely love them and I remember with each baby I had, knowing I loved that stage and that it would not last forever and I savored every moment.
I remember getting up for a 5AM feeding with my youngest son, my rocking chair facing the back yard, and watching the Red Eye come in from California. My baby, nestled to my breast as I nursed him, I remember thinking as I watched the same plane come in, morning after morning, “I love this. It is just he and I. I love this…”
And I remember realizing that I would not have it one day… that it would end. And early one morning, he slept through that feeding, and it was over.
I loved holding my babies. I could never get enough of them and I carried them everywhere. In my mind, there was never a such thing as spoiling a baby. They are babies. One cannot love a baby enough. And so I perpetually held my babies and TGOO used to joke that he thought that my babies belonged to some ancient tribe where their feet didn’t touch the ground for the first year of their lives.
But he used to also say about my 1st born, the first week of his life when TGOO and Mom came down to help me, “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything but the back of that baby’s head…” as my son seemed to nurse constantly.
I had become the human pacifier.
And I was happy with it. I was like that with all my babies.
I just… love… babies.
And now my boys are growing and I see babies around me, and I want to hold them, to smell them, to hear their baby noises, but I don’t. I typically don’t hold other people’s babies and I will say I have not had an ‘ovarian shift’ since the birth of my last son. There comes a time when you have too many children and NOTHING will make you want another. No matter how many babies I’ve seen or held since my 3rd, I have never wanted another.
He was the last. Until I have grandchildren.
Some nights when I put my boys to bed, they ask me to snuggle with them. Snuggling means I spoon their little bodies into mine, with my holding them close, and they fall asleep in my arms. Sometimes they will fall asleep with their heads on my chest, listening to my heart beat in their final waking moments.
I don’t snuggle with them to sleep often. There are three of them and one of me, and sometimes I fall asleep as well and I have no desire to fall asleep at 8:30. But I do sometimes and even my eldest asks at times. Even at 11, he will occasionally say to me, “Hey Mom, will you snuggle with me tonight?” My boy who is shy about kissing me in public now and is reserved with the hugs, loves for me to rest his head on my arm, and my face against the top of his head, while he falls asleep.
And I know that is going to come to an end soon. My boys will be grown up and they’ll quit asking me to snuggle. But until then, I am savoring it… dreading the day when it is gone. I know deep down in my heart, that as hard as these years are that we are living now, and as hard as some will be that are coming, that these are the best years of my life.
Until I have grandchildren…
Good Lord. I wish I could make this stuff up, but I can’t.
I came home from work yesterday, we’d just had lunch, and I was lying on the couch. Bones and my middle son came walking over and lifted my shirt to see my scars from my gall bladder surgery. There was much discussion about them and then Bones asked me something about a pen-is.
I looked puzzled and said, “I don’t have one of those, remember? I’m a girl…”
He replied, “Oh yeah. That’s right. Well, you’re lucky, because sometimes weenies get in the way.”
My second son looked at him and said, “No way. How would you like to have to sit every time you had to go to the bathroom, especially with people like you who sometimes pee on the seat?!”
Heh. So gross. Yet so true…