July 31, 2008

Healthy Children of the HERE and NOW

T’s x-ray came back that he has pneumonia, but the good news is that it’s not anything like the doctor suspected. When he called me this afternoon, he told me he really was surprised because T sounded SO bad yesterday. He thinks that perhaps there were bronchial spasms on top of the pneumonia.

So the course of treatment right now is to do as we’re doing and not add oral steroids yet, as that was the next for sure plan of action. If anything changes, and I know what to look for, I’m to call immediately, otherwise he’ll do a recheck in a week.

But this has gotten me to thinking…

I play this weird game. It’s “Would I be alive 150 years ago?”, before antibiotics and medicine as we know it now. I was talking to my tech lead about it today, saying, ‘I know you think I’m whack as it is… but I play this game in my head…”

He didn’t say it made me MORE whack in his eyes, as I think I’ve come close to pegging that meter in the 20 years he’s known me, but he definitely had that “Hmm” look as in… he’d never played this morbid game.

The answer for me is… No. I was a pretty sick little kid. I was prone to strep and throat infections and would have probably bit the dust around age 6 when I was hospitalized. I probably would have suffered from rheumatic fever and then progressively into congestive heart failure.

And if one wants to get technical, I’d not have been born anyway, as my Mother in turn, would not have made it through her childhood due to the same type issues.

But assuming Mom did and hence I was born, and I made it through mine, and hence my boys have been born… it goes into the next generation of this game I play… what kind of life would I have led?

Well, I’d have survived childbirth. All three of my children would have survived too, although Ringo MIGHT have been touch and go due to the fact he was mildly meconium… but it was not bad and I’m not sure that would have effected him.

None of my children were sick kids, other than Ringo being mildly asthmatic until age 5 and I wonder sometimes if that was environmental. Yes, they all had antibiotics as children… but you won’t believe this, all of them, have probably only been on antibiotics two or three times in their lives, but it was weird little stuff, nothing ever seriously bad.

So I’ve always chalked it up, that they’d all have made it through their childhoods.

Until today.

Today I realized that there is a very real probability, that I could have lost two of my children within the last month, if this were 150 years ago. That’s been bugging me.

The reality of how sick they’ve been, what we’ve been dealing with, really has been hammered home more in the fact, to me, that without modern medicine, I’d have maybe one child.

Of course until this month, Mr. T might have been all gimpy because he broke his arm when he was 4 and they didn’t set bones the way they do now. They tried… and a compound fracture could mean amputation. So there’s no telling… but the use of that arm and hand probably would not have been complete.

My tech lead told me, if he’d made it through childhood, he’d be a widower with no children as his wife would have died in childbirth, along with the children.

I think about that… how lucky we are to live in the times we live in AND in the country we live in. There are still places around the world where children die of things we could never comprehend… things our medicine so readily cares for.

So here’s to modern medicine, a pediatrician I truly love, and a very big thank you to all who kept my medium sized boy in their good thoughts.

A bigger thank you still to... Alexander Fleming.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:17 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 30, 2008

Don't Call Me Florence

I know I keep posting… “I’ve never seen my children so sick…”, but it just keeps escalating. Its like a bad train ride I can’t stop.

I took Mr. T to the pediatrician. Something just wasn’t sitting right with me. I thought he smelled odd and even though he was acting as he was the previous days, little things like, “Mom, my right lung is starting to hurt” and the fact he fell asleep on the couch at 1PM, kind of set me in motion to make an appointment.

My pediatrician was booked solid… but I told them he told me if my son wasn’t better by Wednesday or Thursday to call, having been on antibiotics for two full days by now, I just wanted him to listen to T’s chest.

He told them to have me come in at 5; his last appointment. He was actually completely booked solid, but told his staff he needed to see me and to just have me come then.

Mr. T was complaining about the wrong lung. His left lung has pneumonia and he has an ear infection in both ears. He never told me he had ear pain. We go for a chest Xray in the morning. I have a nebulizer here in the house, and he’s treating every six hours, which means I’ll be up at 3:30 to give him a treatment. I’m not skipping one… he evidently sounds that bad. I’m also doing a PT treatment on him, where I cup my hand and beat on his back, just over the left lung, after every treatment, in an effort to get him to cough up all the crap in his lungs.

So.

He is in worse shape than his brother, and I never expected this. Never. His brother was lethargic and sleeping all the time. I said this to our doctor and T looked at us both and said, “PUlease, all he EVER does is sleep. That is nothing new…”

Well, there is a difference between needing 10 hours of sleep and needing 20. Ringo was topping out at 20.

Mr. T was still up every morning at 6AM, usually however, having hacked himself awake. He was eating normally, harassing the stew out of Bones, up and playing like normal.

Here’s to a clear Xray tomorrow. As our doctor put it, “I’m concerned. I just need to know whether I should be worried, in particular with a weekend coming up.”

We’ll see, we’ll see.

The big thing is keeping him out of the hospital. We have to beat this and beat it back fast because… y’all may think I’m all ‘Miss Cope with Anything’, but I’m here to tell you, a hospital stay with a kid with pneumonia is absolutely going to throw me over the ever livin’ edge. The magnitude of how bad it will be… is absolutely incomprehensible, when you throw in the ‘father in law’ factor among others.

So, happy thoughts please. We could use them.

And… he’s not contagious. That’s a bonus.

Oh and while y’all are passing on good vibes, some good vibes to Mr. Magoo would be nice. I got a call from work that he left with chest pains… again. Its two years since his last stent and 15 years since his open heart surgery. He’s one of my closest friends at work… and I’m not ready to let him go.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:31 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

July 29, 2008

Double Takes

Folks, I am taking my kids in February to see snow. I’m working out the details right now.

It is time. Good grief.

At dinner tonight, Mr. T said to me, ‘Mom, skiing, is it that thing you do with things on your feet and pushing off with poles in your hand?”

Me: *blink*

My kids so need to see more of this world… snow is next.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:23 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Striving to be Meek

And so the last night of Shivah was the other night and it was probably one of the most educational ‘services’ I’ve been to. The Rabbi who has been conducting the Shivahs is tremendously educated and has a way about him as he pulls in various parables to teach his lesson.

My husband and I both got so much out of it.

Like the Christian services, where we have homilies or sermons, at the Shivah there was something similar, called Midrashim. I’d love to tell you I remembered this, but alas, I emailed Erica to fill me in on all the words I could not remember.

And so during this Rabbi’s Midrash, he spoke of two men, Abraham and Balaam, the spelling of which I also had to email Erica, because I only remembered the pronunciation… it sounds like Billum.

And Balaam was said to be evil… he had an evil eye, was greedy and was arrogant. Abraham was a good man, he had a good eye (he saw good), was humble and… meek.

I sat there for a minute. Meek.

What does meek mean to you?

Forever we have heard, “The meek shall inherit the Earth.” I have laughed at this. Give me a break. The meek get trod upon and treated like crap. Because to me… meek is more like submissive and unwilling to stand up for what is right or for themselves.

But yet, the way the Rabbi was speaking of this word ‘meek’ in his reading it didn’t have this meaning. It was the opposite of ‘greedy’.

Later there was a small group of us who had cornered this poor Rabbi to ask for clarification in all sorts of things from this word ‘meek’ to the Jewish view of afterlife, purgatory and hell. I have always been taught, to be a good Christian you must first be a good Jew. And my husband and I have always embraced trying to get a better understanding of Jewish beliefs as it is from there that the Christian religion came.

We had an EXCELLENT conversation with him and from this conversation, truly is where I garnered my enormous respect for him. And so we spoke of ‘meek’ and I told him of my issues with the word and he said to me, “Content. Think content. Those who are content in their lives have what they need here and will have what they need in the after.”

And now, yes, I’m OK with the ‘Meek shall inherit the Earth’ because in my mind it now means the ‘content’. The greedy… will not.

I like that.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:20 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

July 28, 2008

Q is for Quarantine

Mr. T is on antibiotics now in an effort to stave on pneumonia. Day six of a 101.5-102 fever was enough for me. This is how it started with Ringo…

And folks, I feel 99.9% certain this is the same stuff that Joan of Argghh! has. It’s kicked her tail too. She, like Ringo, is on the Zpac and inhaler. Ringo is on the inhaler for three weeks and told me today, after day 7, he’s concerned the inhaler, twice a day, a steroid to help keep his lungs open, isn’t really doing anything.

He’s up and around, he’s eating, he feels good, but the clear breathing is not coming back so quickly.

I really don’t know what this is… I don’t know if we caught a tail end of the flu season, some rogue flu as it was thought, or if it’s something that is slowly starting to spread and come school season it’s going to be rampant. I hope that’s not the case. I hope this is isolated because let me tell you… I’ve been a parent for just over 13 years and NEVER in my life have I seen my children so sick.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:27 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Unworthy of Breathing the Same Air

For those of you reading me for a long time, you know that come election years, I WILL blog on it. And as I’ve said in the past… I’m an Independent. I feel certain that both my Conservative and Liberal readers would be somewhat taken back on various views I have on certain topics.

I can’t be pigeon holed.

So.

I can’t stand Obama. For those who think we’ve made great strides because we have a ‘black man’ running, where I think yes that is correct, I think we have a long damn way to go because there are people voting for him ‘just because he’s black’ and not voting for him ‘just because he’s black’.

I would NEVER vote for someone based strictly on something like race, gender or religion.

Never.

Yet, when I tell my black friends, who have asked, that I am in fact NOT voting for Obama, I can’t help but think they are viewing me with new eyes… as if now… I’m a bigot. It’s the silence, the short stare, the ‘vibe’.

That bugs me.

Eight years ago I would have gladly voted for Colin Powell. Color is not an issue in who I vote for or against… yet I feel now that I’m judged.

I’m not voting for Obama for a number of reasons. It’s not because I’m in love with McCain. I’m not. I just think Obama is a lightweight, naïve, and incapable of running this country.

And so starts my rant…

WHO IN THE HELL CARES WHAT THE EUROPEANS THINK CONCERNING WHO WILL GOVERN OUR COUNTRY?

Who?

Why do I give two flying flips what Germans, Italians, French, and anyone else over there… why do I care what THEY think?

I don’t care who runs their country and I’m not the person who is best to say since *I* don’t understand the true goings on within their borders.

All I know is I find it disturbing to watch a man who wants to run my country, go to foreign soil, and bask in the glory of thousands of Non-Americans chanting his name. It bothers me on many levels. Why does he care what they think? He should care what WE think. He should want to convince us WE should vote for him.

It’s not a statement of foreign policy. It’s a statement that he can get on a plane, fly to another country, get an audience, and prove he has excellent public speaking skills.

But really, what pisses me off, what is truly getting my goat right now is that he did not visit our wounded.

He was right there in Germany… Ramstein… and he didn’t go?

WHAT.IS.THAT.ABOUT?

How stupid is this man. Really. That is what has now got me somewhat bewildered. Did he truly think or not see, did he not foresee how offended so many of us would be that he didn’t ‘have the time’ to visit our wounded?

We are a country at war. Whether you support the war or not, you support our troops. You support our Warriors. To not support them harkens back to Vietnam when our returning troops were treated so poorly.

It does.

I said to my husband, “Let me get this straight… he goes to Germany, he basks in the glory of Europeans cheering his name… and he doesn’t take the time to visit our wounded.”

My husband replied, “Well, he didn’t have time and the Press didn’t have access…”

Me: *blink*

This is about the Press? This is about how he looks to the Press? It wasn’t going to be a good Press release? Our wounded Warriors?

And this man could be the Commander in Chief? He could be the big man for all our military? And he doesn’t have the time or doesn’t want to visit for lack of Press?

I’m at a complete loss. And why is this OK? Why is he still the media darling?

I’m sick about it. I’m absolutely sick that someone like this could run our Country. I don’t care what the Europeans think, I don’t care what the Chinese think, I don’t care what South Americans think. The man is not right for the position.

And yet I feel certain he will get it.

Anyone who wants to run this Country, but doesn’t have what it takes to offer the respect to the people who truly deserve it… the men and women who are serving our Country and have been wounded in so doing…does not deserve to breathe the same air as these same men and women and most definitely does not deserve to be Commander in Chief to our military.

His very first thought when he stepped off that plane should have been, “I must first go see our wounded and tell them how much I appreciate what they’ve done.”

Instead he didn’t have time and didn’t bother since he’s not have the proper Press coverage.

It sickens me. It absolutely sickens me…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:17 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

July 27, 2008

Life is Like a Bowlful of Blueberries

All is well here. We're doing fine.

Mr. T is sick, but he doesn't have pneumonia, just a hacky cough and low grade fever, accompanied by chills and aches. Our doctor thinks my kids caught a late case of the flu. It makes sense as Ringo's turned to pneumonia and I know that is a common secondary infection for the flu.

He is on a steriod inhaler with an antibiotic, and was a different person within 12 hours. He's back to giving us a tough time when we rouse him out of bed before 10. When he was sick, if we needed him to get up, he'd just stare at us blankly. TGOO said to me, "Of course he feels better! He can breathe!"

We're back to teenage angst, not something I missed, but a good sign.

The last night of Shivah is tonight and I will be baking a blueberry bread for her to stick in her freezer for a later date. She is being inundated with food, but mine appears to be the only food truly homebaked. The good part is she can save mine. The bad part... is my food isn't kosher, so when the Rabbi is there, the food stays away from his sight. The family has been joking its not all bad as they get the homemade stuff and everyone else gets store bought!

I'm starting to quilt. I'm making one for my niece, in preparation for making one for Morrigan's unborn. I need to get back in the swing before I start the funky stuff I'm planning for the chubba/chubbalina's quilt. I'm thinking of making her offspring's quilt something very tactile... we shall see... we shall see.

And no, I've not finished her damn wedding quilt. I figure the rate we're going, she'll get them both at the same time. This is a word of advice for all you quilters, should you be tempted to make a double wedding ring quilt... don't. Make them a pillow.

A double wedding ring pillow. Damn, a queen sized quilt is a lot of work, add a double wedding ring pattern and you're just ready to stick your jugular under the quilting foot of your machine.

I joke not.

Here's a picture of the almost finished product of her quilt. Currently it is quilted and I'm working on the binding.

Double wedding ring quil two.jpg

Also... in the extended entry is our blueberry bread recipe. I'm just full of information today... we leave out the pecans. My boys think that nuts taste like wood.

And thank you for the comments and email! I'm trying to answer them!

Update: I forgot to add... on the quilt, look at the lower right hand ring. That ring is different than the others because I took fabric that was part of both families and made a separate ring, while trying to stay with the color theme.

The dark red is from a red velvet fabric that my Mom used to make a dress for Morrigan when she was two. Some of the other fabrics are from my cousin... handed down to me, they were feed sack cloth from the 1920s. Interwoven with the fabric from my family is fabric from Flam's childhood. His mother had replications made of the fabrics from his childhood quilts... which was very very cool.

If Mo's cat pees on this quilt... her cat will be turned into a rug.

I promise.

Blueberry Bread

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (crush ½ cup)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
PREPARATION:
Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Make a well in the center and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine beaten egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract; add to the well in dry ingredients. Stir just until batter is moistened.
Fold in lemon peel, blueberries, and chopped pecans. Spoon into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 60 to 75 minutes, (check it at 50 min) until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the loaf. Cool blueberry bread in pan on a rack. For best flavor, wrap and store overnight.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:28 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

July 24, 2008

Life, Questions and Food

This summer has been stressful and its wearing me out. I'm not ready for it to be over because school is so horrible. I hate when my kids are in school, more than they hate going.

I hate the driving, the worrying, the constant strife over studying, grades, classmates and other injustices, all of it. I truly hate the school year.

My children don't know it.

So I'll take summer any day of the week over school.

But this summer is absolutely kicking my ass. I'm struggling to get my work hours in, my kids have been sick all summer (I've not blogged on it), and I'm getting nothing done. I just always feel like I'm... behind.

This week, if we're not at the Shivah house, I'm working at night. My eldest boy has pneumonia. I found out today I need a new air handler.

I don't want a new air handler. I want a new stove... one where all four eyes work ALL the time and that heats evenly in the oven so my chicken cooks all the way through when I bake a hen and my cakes don't finish 10 minutes earlier than the recipe states.

I have no rhyme or reason on how my oven cooks. It just randomly gets hot... in what appears to be sporadic hot spots.

But it is what it is and so we'll get the new air handler and the new stove will wait until next year. I've just been eyeing this stove and a new microwave as my mic has had a broken handle for four years, for the past year. I've been saying for a year, saving the money in the budget, for these two new appliances and now POOF!, its not gonna happen and I'm just kind of disappointed.

I cook a lot. Just kind of disappointed...

Meanwhile, my eldest has been sick as a big dog since... well, 11 days ago, when we arrived at Eric's in TN. I thought he was having an allergy attack... he had something else. It turned into pneumonia. I took him to the pede's office yesterday when he slept 40 of 48 hours two days ago.

That's never a good sign.

He looks waif thin... I half expect some photographer for a men's cologne to show up at my door to have him in some ad... they always seem to pick these skinny little man/boys for their ads. Those boys look like they need to eat a hamburger.

That's what he looks like right now... waif thin with crazy hair and his coal black eyes. He looks like he should have a empty bowl in his hand saying, 'Please, sir, can I have some more?"

Mr. T has caught it too, but it is not pneumonia-like... just hacky. Everyone has had it in the house, but me.

Fingers crossed that I have the superior immune system.

On the up note, Ringo is obviously feeling better as in Publix today, unbeknownst to me, he filled my cart with all sorts of food. He's been eating non-stop since about 4:00. Thank God for antibiotics and inhalers.

He's thanking God for Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

His feet have been hurting because... they are flat. Ringo absolutely has Fred Flintstone feet. I took him to my podiatrist yesterday to see what we could do. I think it will be orthotics as the answer for his tennis shoes. His feet look like they would be perfectly at home in tissue boxes. They are perfectly rectangular and flat.

I took him to my shoe store today as I have to wear expensive sandals with good support because... I have flat feet. I got him his first pair of flip flops... he thought they looked cool.

They were very surfer looking.

My husband is the anti-flip flop. Its too casual a look for him. So when I agreed to the flip flop with arch support I said to Ringo, 'Are you getting these because you like them... or because its going to piss off your Dad?"

He grinned and said, "Both..."

Good enough. We bought them. Or I did. It was my card. The stipulation being, when we go to dinner, flip flops stay home. Flip flops do not go to church. Flip flops are for home and hanging out.

We'll see.

That's life in a nutshell. I'm just feeling kind of down... a down week I guess. We skipped Shivah tonight... and will go Sunday. I like Shivah, but I only know what they're saying when they say 'Israel' or 'Amen'. The rest is completely lost on me... and I meant to ask our friend if the Rabbi has a compass. We face East and on the first night I looked at someone and said, "The sun set! Which way is East?" and she replied, "The Rabbi will tell us..."

I figure he has a Rabbi compass. I need to ask...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:58 PM | Comments (19)

July 23, 2008

Sore Thumbs

I was getting out of my car at the funeral when I noticed dark storm clouds forming. I picked up my big umbrella and made my way to the chapel.

My eldest boy will go to high school at the local Catholic High School next year. A girlfriend of mine already has her kids there. They were selling umbrellas last year to earn money for a trip and I bought one. It’s a big blue umbrella with the high school name written across it in yellow.

When I arrived at the chapel, a line of mourners snaked out the door. Seating was a commodity and they’d run out. I quickly texted my husband to see where he was and having arrived 30 minutes earlier he was already in side, 2nd row from the front, with a seat saved for me.

I made my way inside and sat down next to him, and said, “I brought an umbrella. It’s going to storm. We’ll have some sort of coverage as we go to the graveside.”

He nodded his head as I set it on the floor, and said, “Good idea.”

I looked up at the skylight as the clouds started to gather outside. It was definitely going to rain.

I looked around me, all the men in yarmulkes, including my husband, and many of the women with their heads covered as well. I recognized many mourners as it was a virtual who’s who of the medical community and I recognized others through family events. We were always invited to family gatherings.

Having gathered an understanding of my surroundings, I looked forward, staring at his simple, yet strangely elegant, pine box.

Finally, I whispered to my husband, while still stoically looking ahead, emotionless “Nothing quite screams Gentile as being at a graveside service with the Jewish community and popping out a Catholic high school umbrella in the rain…”

Through the corner of my eye, I saw him grin and he whispered back, “Nope, that pretty much does it…”

Posted by Boudicca at 09:35 PM | Comments (5)

July 22, 2008

Of Life, Death, and Shovels

I helped to bury a man today. I say that in the most literal sense. It wasn’t a token shovel or two of dirt, but shovels upon shovels of dirt.

We got to the funeral and my husband leaned over and said to me, “Evidently he became more devout this last year and more Orthodox. The cemetery doesn’t bury him… the family does.”

And so the service ended and the casket was escorted by the family to the gravesite, which had already been dug, with friends following in procession. We gathered around upon arrival and in the dirt there were four shovels. The Rabbi said some prayers and then explained what we were to do.

I stood in line, my biggest fear being I’d not be able to help. There were SO MANY people in attendance, each taking a turn, some returning in line to help more, that I was afraid they’d run out of dirt by the time we got there.

The back of the shovel was filled with dirt first, and then the dirt poured into the grave, signifying our reluctance. Then we turned the shovel the proper way, filling the front and poured dirt upon his coffin.

It was a plain pine casket and inside he was wrapped in a shroud and not embalmed, from what I was told, as it was not open. He was laid to rest by his family and friends. As I stood in the back of the line, watching the family and Rabbi pour dirt from Israel first and then placing stones upon the pinewood, stones he always kept in his pocket from a trip he took to Israel, his meditation stones, I listened to the first shovels of dirt from the Rabbi and the family, hitting with a thud each time.

The sound of the shovel into dirt, the sound of dirt hitting the box.

It was the sound of finality.

It was closure.

It was 1:30 in the afternoon, a hot muggy South Florida afternoon, and we stood in line all dressed in black, silently waiting our turn, to pay our respects and help bury our friend.

It made me smile inside as halfway through, we had a Rabbi instructing us where to put more dirt, where dirt was lacking. "Put more dirt around the sides..." I looked down into the grave and sure enough, he was right. We were all just shoveling it on top and there needed to be some on the sides. I suspect most of us were novices...

It was something I will never forget, a tradition I found both amazing and comforting and… sad that it is not the tradition of Christian burials.

It does not seem right that we pay people we do not know to bury our loved ones. It did not take us long to fill his grave…

I spent the afternoon baking cookies for the next seven days and making a coffee cake for their morning breakfast as we sat Shivah with the family tonight and I said I’d take food. My husband may be making a big Italian dinner for the family later this week. He will probably be sitting with them all week.

What a good man our friend was, born and died on 17… the number that represents Tov, which means good. We miss him already… the man that always made me feel like I belonged… when no one else did.

Today I cried.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:54 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 21, 2008

You'd THINK There would be a Continuous Flow

I took the boys swimming tonight. Bones got water in his ear and was harassing me about getting it out.

So I told him to tilt his head to the side, water ear facing the ground, bang that side of his head with the palm of his hand and hop on one foot.

Good God, you’d thought I’d asked him to walk and chew gum. Who would have thought so much coordination was required?

After trying and trying, which was trying to get the coordination just right, from banging his head on his hand to kicking the up foot instead of jumping on the down foot, he finally said, “OK, its out.”

Me, feeling in his ear: Umm… typically when the water comes OUT there is water IN the ear. Your ear is dry.

Bones: I know. I knocked it into the other ear.

Me: *blink*

Me: Dude, I know you think that’s possible, and trust me, even I’m astounded as of this very moment that it’s NOT possible, because it so seems like it should be… for you… but… umm… there is not a continuous tube that runs from ear to ear. I can’t shine light and see through to the other side and you can’t take water and knock it into the other ear…

Bones: Oh. Ok. Well it feels better.

Good grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:32 PM | Comments (7)

Not Bendy That Way

TGOO sent this to me today. He calls this “Rotator Cuffs of Iron”. Absolutely fascinating…

I was looking to take Kendo recently, looking for a dojo in my area, but alas one is not to be found. I think learning the art of Kendo would be fascinating. Then again, with the history of rotator cuff issues in my family, along with the fact I’m already having issues with my left rotator cuff, it is probably best, a sign from my universe, that I didn’t find one.

I’ll stick with my planned Marathon in January…

Posted by Boudicca at 08:59 PM | Comments (1)

July 20, 2008

Peace...

Eighteen months ago I wrote about a friend of the family that had been diagnosed with a glioblastoma, a non-curable form of brain cancer. I thought he had nothing more than six months, but he surprised us all and made it for 18. There were many many dark times before the end came. There is nothing nice about dying of brain cancer.

The doctors at Duke did everything they could and I feel certain they were able to prolong him a full year more than if he’d had no treatment at all… a year that enabled him to spend time with his only grandchild, born just months before he was diagnosed. A year that enabled him to hear his grandchild say his first words, begin to walk, and become a toddler. It gave him an extra year… to do and say all he wanted and needed.

The last few months have been hellish at best with trips in and out of the hospital with various near fatal ailments ranging from pneumonia to just plain getting ready to die.

Hospice was as always… the saviors.

My husband was very close with this man. It is hard to explain this, without going into detail and without knowing the culture, but my husband’s business partner is Jewish and this was his brother in law by marriage. My husband, has in sense, become more than just a business partner… he has become part of their family. So although it would be incorrect to say its like losing a brother, it was the next best thing and it’s been hard for him.

Not as hard as it has been on his partner who has had to be the rock in the family.

Eight years ago, my husband had a business trip in Orlando, a convention being held at one of the Disney Resorts and asked if I wanted to attend. I did a ‘HELL YEAH!’ as staying at home with three crazy kids on a weekend was not at the top of my list. I’d rather be at Disney with three crazy kids.

And so while he did his meetings, I schlepped around Disney with a five year old, three year old and one year old. It seemed like a good idea at the time…

That afternoon when we rejoined at the hotel, my husband informed me that he’d invited this gentleman to have dinner with us as he was at the meeting too and was alone. I was a bit aghast that the man said yes, not because I didn’t want him to join, but because WHO in their RIGHT MIND volunteers to eat dinner with a family with three young children, one of them just learning to walk?

Yet, he accepted and seemed excited and I met him at dinner and… he was one of the kindest men I had ever met, playing with my kids, laughing with us at dinner and by the end of the evening, Bones was curled up in his lap, sitting quietly listening to all of us, content.

If children can read people, if they can truly flush out the good from the bad, Bones showed us all that night. Our friend told me later how much he absolutely LOVES kids. Kids loved him as well.

The local paper did an article on him once. A successful business man, they had questions for him, things like, how he got started and… who was his hero. His hero, he stated, was his son, who was a fireman. It was a touching section, showing the love of a father and everything he said, was with the utmost sincerity.

Over the years I got to know him and his wife. The three of us had our private little jokes that circled around the events we attended. Every event we’d attend, my first question was always, “Will they be there and if so, can we sit at their table?” This man and his wife had become my comfort zone for business dinners.

And now he is gone, a man in but his mid-50s, and his wife is a widow.

I’ve not cried about it really. It is not that I’m cold, but that the suffering at the end was so awful, that it was time. It was time he not suffer… it was time his wife not have to sit and watch the man she loved die this horrible prolonged pain riddled death. The sharp mind, once known in the inner circles of his profession, now know longer even to give basic instructions for muscle movement, let alone any deep thought.

Typically the Jewish faith buries their dead within 24 hours, but exceptions have been made, I am sure for the far flung family to be able to attend. The funeral is Tuesday and my husband will be sitting Shivah with the family off and on all week, and I will be sitting on Wednesday night.

May his family know peace… may he finally have peace. He was a good man… and it was an honor for me to know him.


Posted by Boudicca at 08:35 PM | Comments (8)

July 19, 2008

Middle Aged Crazy

I will be 43 in September. I’m comfortable with it… it doesn’t bother me. I like being in my 40s more than any other decade.

I’ve not thought of it as a bad thing at all.

And I have been told many times that I do not look my age. I know I’m struggling to keep the weight off as I just can’t eat the way I used to, due to a tough time finding time to exercise and the fact I’m in my 40s and metabolically, things are just not the same. I know that I’m aging, my skin having taken on a different texture. My hair is slowly graying, although it’s still not so noticeable. I’ve been told mostly I look like late 30s.

So today I went shopping for a baby girl that will be born on 30 July. She is a scheduled C-section as there is a very serious heart defect. (Two chambered heart.) The mother of the little girl works for my husband, a nice young couple, this entire ordeal has us all praying and so very hopeful… and thankful that the doctors at Jackson Memorial think they can fix her little heart over time.

And so I rushed out to get something for the baby as I missed the baby shower while on the Annual Southern Tour.

Keep in mind, I don’t typically shop, however, my favorite store when my kids were young was Gymboree, in particular when they had sales. I only shopped their sales.

Gymboree clothes last. Yes, they are not cheap, but I found clothes we got from K-Mart or Sears or any other store, lasted for one child. All my Gymboree clothes lasted for not only my three boys, heavy wearing and washing, but were passed down to VW’s boys as well. Their clothes are a thick cotton and keep their color and shape… you get what you pay for.

And so I headed down to Gymboree to see what was on sale.

My thoughts? First, what happened to time? There was a time that it was the only store I shopped in for years and yet, this time, I walked in and it was foreign, yet familiar. I love the smell of their clothes and the brightness of the fabrics (it’s my issue with quilting… I love fabric), and around me were new Moms, babies and toddlers. It feels like yesterday when I had my stroller and diaper bag, peering through their sales racks.

Yet it wasn’t.

Now I’m buying shoes for a child in the men’s department and buying surfer clothes for boys whose bodies are soon to be bigger than mine. I will say, a favorite game of my boys to play with their father is go to into Macy’s and my husband will say, “You need shirts… if you can find it on the $5 rack, its yours!” The boys LOVE this game, trying to find the coolest shirts for the least amount of money. They love saying, “See this shirt? We got it for two bucks!”

Times have changed. I blinked and went from shopping for next season’s boys clothes on the sales racks at Gymboree to having them scavenge the $5 sales racks at Macy’s by themselves with parental on looking only.

Second, I’ve not bought many times for a girl. Holy crap. My husband better start praying HARD that Morrigan and Flam have a boy. I went kind of nuts in the girl racks… not the kind of nuts where I wonder if I should brace him before the bill comes… but still, not within the limit we had set. There were SO MANY cute baby clothes for girls! Gah!

And this brings me to my story. I never buy for a baby just 0-3 month clothes. I may get them one outfit, but everyone buys the infant clothes, there is never a shortage of those, so I tend to buy the one year old to 18 month clothes. I try to get a variety.

I went up to the cashier, who looked to be about 10 years older than I, handed her my set of infant clothes and my assortment of 12-18 mo outfits, and the cashier said, “Buying for two granddaughters?”

*blink*

Holy crap. She actually asked me if I was buying for… GRANDCHILDREN!!!

I just smiled and said, “No… a friend’s baby…” and left thinking, ‘Whoa. I am officially middle aged. I really am middle aged.”

Of course the first phone call I made was to my folks. The following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection:

Me: Dad, promise me you will tell this to Mom. Don’t forget. She needs to hear this story…

TGOO: OK, Shoot.

I proceeded to tell him the story and by now he’s laughing so hard, he can’t control it and he says between laughs, “Wait, you have to tell your Mom this story yourself. She’s right here…”

So I told her the story and my Mom says, “You DO NOT look like you could be a grandmother.”

I replied, “Oh well, you’re just saying that because if I’m old enough to be a grandmother, than YOU are old enough to be a GREAT grandmother!”

Heh heh heh…


Posted by Boudicca at 10:16 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 18, 2008

Expanding Beyond Kansas

My kids need to get out more. They live a bit too much in a bubble. It’s not intentional. It’s just how it’s worked out. We have not traveled much as its so expensive to travel with five and I’ve always said that we would wait until the kids were older… if I’m spending money to travel, the kids better be able to remember it!

The public schools in Florida are some of the worst in the nation. We send our kids to a small parish Catholic school. I could give a good long rant as to what is wrong with our schools here, but will not. Just know I firmly believe that although there are always some bad teachers, the teachers are not the issue.

So in going to the school they attend they are in class with mostly white Catholic kids, although we have a good number of children of Latin heritage with a couple children per grade whose parents typically come from the Islands, for instance Jamaica. There aren’t many black children at all.

Additionally, although we have some black families in our neighborhood, I’d say it’s probably only 10% and they don’t send their kids to the same schools mine go to. Oh theirs attend private schools as well, but we have quite a variety to choose from and theirs attend elsewhere. (Actually… I would say probably better schools than my kids attend.)

And so I realized this vacation that Bones, who has never really noticed or said anything about the differences in people when it comes to skin color, really has noticed, but doesn’t… understand… fully that there is no difference because he just doesn’t know any people other than… white people.

The other two boys… this is not the case. When we first moved into this house, Ringo was 18 months old and the man who was building the home next to us was black. My boys call him Mr. Wayne, and he moved when Bones was probably two. But until then, Ringo and Mr. T would wait for him to come home from work as they adored him and played with him whenever they could. Wayne, who was single at the time and therefore had no kids of his own, loved to play with my boys and would chase them around the yard and just play lots of boy games.

Its funny, but it was Wayne that had to explain to Ringo that he was not black. He being… Ringo thought he himself was black. He was in first grade and they had to do a self portrait. I got a picture of a brown child with dark brown hair, black eyes, and very full lips.

That’s Ringo. He has fuller lips than his brothers, he is far darker than his brothers and his eyes can be black as coal, whereas his brothers’ eyes are blue.

But the child looked not like he was from a white family in this picture.

I showed it to Wayne and he could not quit laughing. He finally told Ringo that although Ringo had dark skin, he was not black. He was just… tan.

But in Ringo’s eyes, the shade difference between him and Wayne was not so far off as the shade difference between his brothers and himself. Although Ringo was just very tan with his dark Italian olive skin to Wayne’s beautiful warm brown skin, Ringo’s skin was warm and brown compared to his brothers’ Casper white skin.

They could have renamed the Crayola white crayon after Bones. He was so fair, if he were any fairer he’d have been translucent.

Wayne’s positive impact on Ringo, however, is permanent and although he does not live next door to us anymore (he built a house three doors down and started a family), Ringo still asks about him and loves to see him when we’re in the grocery store.

Meanwhile, Mr. T’s two best friends for the last two years in school have been the only two boys in his class that were black. Great kids, neither coming back next year, leaving Mr. T thoroughly devastated, Mr. T like Ringo… doesn’t see the differences other than shades… he is just a shade or 10 lighter than his two buddies and thinks nothing of it.

There is only one child in Bones’ class that is black and he doesn’t hang out much with Bones and vice versa. It has nothing to do with color of skin or any such nonsense… but strictly that ‘Mark’ is not like Bones. Bones hangs out with his kind.

Bones only hangs out with ADHD kids. And if I were Mark… I’d not!

ADHD kids are frickin’ drawn to each other like a moth to a flame. I’ve posted before that when I get to chaperone my car practically flies down the interstate on field trips as all the energy pent up in my van from Bones’ friends could practically propel it. On the rare occasions that Mark is in my van, he’s a breath of fresh air. Brilliant mind, well spoken, quiet, and thoughtful, he brings a calm to the chaos the rest of the boys bring.

Mark is the great kid his mother is not exasperated with. The other boys are the kids that parents walk in when they’re sleeping and sigh and say, “NOW my child looks so sweet…”

Bones exposure to people who are of African American or Caribbean descent, other than Mark who doesn’t count because he’s still a child, is strictly who is serving at Burger King or when the news talks about the drug infested and crime riddled bad sections of West Palm Beach.

Burger King and Gangs. That’s the extent of Bones’ knowledge and that’s not good. It really isn’t because of me because that’s not MY view, growing up with a childhood that was very multicultural, thanks to the United States Navy. It’s something I LOVE about my childhood.

Bones knows Hispanic and white people… whether Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or any other religious persuasion… but he doesn’t really know the black culture here in the US.

I am hoping that with our travels, my annual Tour of the South, that this will change.

And this was hammered home to me the other day when we were traveling through Atlanta with Morrigan in the asexual Mom-mobile. I think I’ve stated in the past that Mo lives in a ‘transitional neighborhood’ which really equates to the ‘ghetto’. I have been known to say to her, “We have ghettos too… we just don’t live in them.”

And although I say this and have made mention of a couple years ago when I pulled up and found a crack whore sleeping in the front yard of the next door house, I actually love her neighborhood. I’m very comfortable there and I’m slowly getting to know her neighbors. I tool around town, never freaked I’ll get lost (thank you Garmin), feeling more and more comfortable every time I visit.

I will say however, two days ago we were driving around and two streets down I passed this power pole with stuffed animals nailed to it. Twenty or 30 stuffed animals were nailed to this pole.

Said I, “What’s the deal with the stuffed animals?”

Replied Mo, looking stoically out the window, “Oh, that’s where someone was shot and killed. They do that… wherever someone was died.”

Me: *blink*

I can honestly say that in my neighborhood, not only do we not have any stuffed animals nailed to power poles, but we’ve never had anyone shot.

Ever.

Anyway, so we were driving with Morrigan when Bones said, “Why are there so many black people in Atlanta?”

I was a bit taken back and unsure what to say. I never thought of Atlanta having any more black people than anywhere else, but Bones doesn’t know big cities and he doesn’t know much outside of his ‘bubble’.

Mo sat there for a minute thinking and with her teacher’s background, decided to talk to him about the history of Atlanta. She explained the Civil War and slavery and the South and how Atlanta was THE CITY in the South and really, in the true South, it still is.

She explained how Atlanta has offered many people opportunities that other places would not.

And as she spoke of slavery and the War and their being freed, and many coming to Atlanta for jobs that offered them opportunities, she asked the question, “So, after the Civil War ended, what kind of jobs do you think that the black people got?”

There was silence as the boys started to think.

Finally, from the back of the van, I heard Bones say enthusiastically, ‘Burger King?!’

Mo and I looked at each other and did a big *blink* and kind of laughed. She explained the jobs they were able to get and it went from there, but although the boys laughed at him and said, “They didn’t have Burger King back then!”, to me I realized, both laughing and in shock, that this is where Bones’ societal education is lacking.

In our living where we live, having the boys go to school where they do, Bones isn’t understanding society. He doesn’t get that skin color absolutely does not matter.

He knows Burger King and Gangs.

Looking back, there is nothing I would do differently. We live how we live, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work on expanding horizons more. So that’s what I’m doing and I think that our yearly Tour of the South will help. He is seeing Urban living, Southern Living, Country Living, Beach Living… he is seeing a good cross section when we travel.

I just hadn’t realized how much it was needed… and so we will travel more. Through travel there is an education of others and a respect of their cultures and realizing that humans are… humans… and it is time we travel more.

A lottery winning… might help. Heh.

By the way... my children... have never... seen snow. We hope to rectify that in February.


Posted by Boudicca at 10:23 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

July 17, 2008

Blogspawn

The whole blogging thing can be construed as bizarre. The connections we make… it is nothing I would have thought of 10 years ago. I’d not have thought of meeting people on the internet.

If you told me I’d meet people on the ‘net and then actually meet them in person, from all over our nation, I’d have rolled my eyes and said, ‘right’.

But here we are and not only have I met some of these folks, I make sure I get in touch with them when I’m in town.

What has been interesting though, is watching my kids with these various bloggers and as a strange subset that has just recently occurred, watching them with blogger’s children.

They’ve always known VW’s kids. Our relationship stems back to college. But last month, they met Oddybobo's boy and played with him and VW’s kids. (Sidenote: If you do not know what has been going on in Oddy’s life, go HERE. Her boy… he is an amazing child. And he is smoochy in his pictures, my favorite is HERE, but is even smoochier in person. My prayers for continued healing and family strength continue for Oddy and her family.)

Anyway, last summer the boys had breakfast with Holder and Shadowscope’s girls, Pete and Repete. Sweet and funny girls they are, and the boys had a good time over that brief hour. Now they’ve seen them twice this summer and there was hopes we’d see them today as well, but Ringo is sick as a big dog and has been for a few days.

I don’t pay much attention when my kids are hanging with other kids, but it was funny to be in my car and hear the boys talking about these girls and how nice they were. Two days later, I heard Bones say to Mr. T, “You know Repete is such a cute little girl…”

It cracked me up.

It doesn't phase my kids in the least to know I'm introducing people to them that I met on the computer. The new age...

We are off tomorrow to make our way home. Ringo is still pretty sick… having slept the last three days. It should make for a longish trip… as if nine hours is not long enough.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 16, 2008

HB, Flam!

A big shout out, “Happy Birthday!” to my brother in law, Flam, who turned 40 today. He is away on a business trip, so we were unable to celebrate with him. We celebrated before he left.

The boys, with the great assistance of TGOO, made him bird houses, utilizing TGOO’s workshop and woodworking equipment, for Flam and Mo’s very birdy yard. Pictures of the making of said houses will be posted. I’m still fighting big issues here on the computer and have not had the time to download any pix.

Anyway, Happy 40th to Flam!

And lest he worry about his ever lovin’ wife, he need not worry. My boys have been arguing over who gets to sleep on Flam’s side of the bed as the two youngest have decided they are sleeping with Mo while he is gone.

This is something Mo and I used to do. We always shared a bed when she was single and I visited and when she and Flam got married, if he was out, it was like old times with our laughing and talking until the wee hours of the morning until we fell asleep. It’s a sister thing.

As the argument between Mr. T and Bones ensued as to who got to sleep with Mo, Mo looked at me and said, ‘How did this happen? It’s usually you and me when Flam is out and now it’s the boys?”

I just grinned as now I may very well get a big bed all to myself.

This evening Bones said, “Well, I’m DEFINITELY sleeping with Aunt Mo tomorrow night!” to which Mo replied, “Umm, NO. Flam will be back in town. Flam will be sleeping with me tomorrow night.”

Bones looked so sullen. It was pretty funny.

So Flam need not worry about Morrigan being unable to sleep alone in that big bed as it is full of stinky boys. Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:34 PM | Comments (10)

Chubba or Chubbalina?

Morrigan hasn't exactly become public property, but... close. Mr. T cannot keep his hands off her tummy. I even saw Bones do it, going up and rubbing it with his hands and then running his cheek on it.

Ringo so far has resisted, but I'm sure as it gets bigger he will not be able to resist the pull, in particular if a little foot juts out here and there.

My sister is with child. She is due end of January and I have waited until she was 3 months to announce. Consider this official for as of Friday she is 12 weeks.

This is a miracle child and we love it so already.

I've already started buying little things for it here and there. The only hindrance is not knowing whether it carries a XX or XY, so I've not been buying anything that would deal with the pink or blue.

I am beside myself excited. I so love the babies. I cannot wait to nuzzle in its neck and coo happy thoughts to it. I cannot wait to kiss its toes and run my nose over the top of its head, inhaling the warmth and wonderful smell of all that is baby.... sweetness, innocence and hope.

Babies bring me an inner peace. We cannot wait.

I truly believe, if all babies entered this world with as much love as this little baby will... the world would be a far different place. Of that I am certain.

As for that title, that's what I call babies, chubba or chubbalina. We just want healthy... and all parts to spec would be nice too!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:53 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

July 15, 2008

Davey Crocket and the Three Crazy Kids

I am still having horrible computer problems that are about to spool me into orbit. I'm... irritated beyond belief, but hope to have them fixed tomorrow as we just got back from the Straight White House, where I officially have bragging rights as I actually MET Eric's Sainted Mother, aka the Straight White Mom. She's a trip!

More blogging tomorrow... complete with pictures as I need to download. I had lunch with some bloggers I adore this past Sunday and wanted to carry on about that as well as talk about a couple girls my boys have gotten to know and really enjoy hanging with. Blog spawn meet blog spawn. Very cool.

Meanwhile, I leave you with two funny quotes from today. We were at the River with Eric and my boys were carrying on, "Eric, what's this? Eric, what kind of bug is this? Eric, is this plant poisonous? Eric, what kind of animal is that?..." and so on and so on. They even made the poor guy take his bug book with us to the river so he could look up any answers to questions he did not know.

And Eric finally looked over to me and said, "I feel like Davey Crocket when y'all are around." He becomes a regular mountain man 'in the know' with all the surroundings. A mountain man that drives an Audi and wears Polo shirts. Heh.

And as we were driving back we saw some brahman bulls. Eric told the boys about them and I had to turn around and drive back so the boys could get a good look. As Eric was telling them about Brahman bulls and what they looked like (the boys had missed them on the first pass) he said, ""You've never seen one? Sure you have... when you see a rodeo..."

There was silence in the asexual mom-mobile and I took his arm and said, "*ahem* Eric, they've never ever seen a rodeo... we're city folk."

He just stared at me and said, "OH. Well... then..."

It was so daggum funny. The different parts of the country one lives in, kind of dictates what is the norm. My cousin was telling me last week how she thought it fascinating the we can see a Space Shuttle launch from our front yard. I told her how we just run outside and watch. She's never seen one.
'
And people from around the 'country parts' have all been to rodeos or seen them at least... and its never crossed my mind.

Next year... I'm finding a rodeo to take my boys to.

I'm all about the life experience...

More tomorrow...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:35 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Computer Issues

I've had nothing but internet problems for the last week and it all seems to stem from my firewall. I'm not sure if its fixed or not, but all systems appear to finally be working.

If you use ZoneAlarm for your firewall, you may have been experiencing the same issues. Their patch I downloaded last night seems to have fixed the issue, but I haven't had time to blog, only trying to hit a few blogs here and there.

I have stuff in the hopper, for instance a post with proof that I truly am the biggest dork in the world, but they will go in this evening or tomorrow.

As for today, the boys and I are off to the river with Eric. More later...

Posted by Boudicca at 07:59 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 12, 2008

Wait. Did I Say 8 Track?

The boys and I are at Morrigan’s home. Today we went to the World of Coke and bummed around. The plan for tonight was to take the boys to a Drive-In to see Journey to the Center of the Earth. They’d never been to a Drive-In.

So Mo and I made our way to Target this evening to pick up snacks. We had a full order of candy for each boy.

We got to Target when I told Mo I needed to ‘pick up some things I’d not planned for properly’. When you are a woman of pre-menopausal years and you’re going to be gone for three weeks, there is a fairly good probability that certain items *ahem* should be packed. Its not as if I’d not thought about it, but in the chaos that is my life, list upon list for leaving, packing, getting our West Palm Beach life on hold, all of it got left on the bathroom counter or in the drawer… I’ll find out when I get home.

So these ‘products’ made our list of what needed to be purchased during our foray into Target.

I picked up one of those hand baskets in which to carry our items and I picked up the movie candy, chocolate for Ringo, chocolate covered raisins for Bones, and something about Mike and Ike for Mr. T. Reeses Pieces and Milk Duds were thrown in the basket for Mo and me.

Next we made it into the feminine hygiene aisle and I picked up the couple items I needed and threw them in the basket.

I looked at Mo and said, “Good Lord. Does this scream PMS or what? I’ve got a basket full of chocolate and feminine hygiene products! The check out girl is SOOO going to get the wrong idea!”

We both laughed as we made our way through the store, as I picked up a bottle of Advil as Ringo is prone to headaches lately and I’d run out of Advil during Bones seven day fever spree at the beginning of our vacation.

We looked back in the basket and Mo said, “The Advil isn’t helping the situation.”

I replied, “I need something to offset all this PMS/Monthly looking crap…”

Off we went to look for radios. We needed a radio for the Drive-In. All we wanted was a little plain AM/FM radio… that took batteries. No iPods, MP3s, CD capability, video or big speakers to blast one into deafness.

Just… an old fashioned AM/FM radio.

Target doesn’t sell them. Anywhere.

Finally Mo looked at her list and she said, “You said you need to buy socks for Ringo…”

Ringo has worn the same pair of socks for God only knows how long. I swear to you they are stiff and are in the process of taking on a life of their own. It is absolutely disgusting.

We walked through the sock aisle and I threw in a few pairs.

Morrigan looked in the basket and said, “Well, there, that offsets it nicely! Now you have socks!”

I looked back in, fumbled around with our stuff and said, “No… this is screaming, “My feet get cold when I menstruate!!!” This is not good…”

And so we went to check out, my joking that, “Thankfully I am 42 and really don’t give a crap about all this stuff anymore…”

We got to the check out line and I just never expected the check out girl to actually COMMENT on anything I purchased, but oh… she did. She commented on my choice of products.

Mo and I of course did a quick sisterly *blink* at each other and then bantered with her about my choice and how it is evident in our vast selections nowadays that women must be involved in the product development end of the business now. But… she had to continue and she went right on commenting about feminine hygiene commercials and then about douche commercials (and NO, that is not something I purchased!!!)… and wow, folks, I can be pretty uninhibited, but… there are just things I will talk about and things I just don’t feel the need.

You know… that line of TMI.

Of course here I am, not having blogged in nearly a week, and now blogging on feminine hygiene products. I’m just all class, aren’t I?!

But really, as Mo and I left Target we both looked at each other and said, “Oh, was that weird or what?” Good Grief.

And on a side note, we had to go to Best Buy for a radio and ended up buying a small Boom Box. Mo figured she needed a radio anyway in the case of a severe power outage. When we approached the three sales clerks we found in Best Buy, Mo said, “So, can you help us? Do you have some sort of… retro section?”

It is THAT difficult to find an old fashioned radio. You’d think we were looking for 8 track. Interesting…

And Bones declared the Drive-In a huge success with a ‘We have to do this next year!’

Very… very… fun.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:22 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

July 06, 2008

HB, Hubba!

My husband flew back this evening. Mo and Flam left this afternoon. We leave tomorrow afternoon for Alabama.

We’ve spent the better part of the evening watching the last of the Olympic Trials. Bones said when it was over, “You know the swimmers? They just make me want to swim in that pool. I don’t want to verse anyone or anything, but I’d just like to swim in that pool.”

It was funny, but it was very right as watching the Olympics makes you want to be able to take part.

Or at least it does for me.

Today is my Mom’s birthday. We had a big lunch, complete with an Angel Food cake with fudge frosting. We had a wonderful time and the boys absolutely love picking out birthday cards. They crack themselves up as they hunt… and this time Mr. T’s card got the biggest laugh.

I found it on-line here, Hoops and Yo Yo. Per the usual, he just thought it was cute and funny. We just think its damn funny now. Heh.

Happy Birthday to my Mom!!!

We are off tomorrow and I will not have internet access. I’ll be off for the week.

Ciao.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:52 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Secondary Effects of High Gas Prices

I was at the grocery store today when I saw a guy slide on his motorcycle in the near empty parking lot and wipe out. It wasn’t a major wipe out and he was thankfully wearing a helmet or it could have been worse. I’m sure his pride was hurt horribly as he slid out right in front of a parked car that had two women in it. They immediately jumped out and were going through their purses for band aids and what not.

Essentially he had minor road rash and major dent in the ego. In all honesty, I believe he was practicing. I really do.

But it just compounded my thoughts in what I have been seeing lately. More and more people are taking to riding scooters and motorcycles due to gas issues. I get it.

Trust me.

The scooters don’t bother me as long as they’re riding legally on roads they can ride and keep up with traffic.

Scooters piss me off when they can’t go over 40mph and ride on a 55. They hold up traffic and cause problems. And they are a danger to themselves. Anyone with the guts to do that in Palm Beach County where over 50% of the riders are either 16-18 years of age or have blue hair is completely taking their life in their own hands. Its dangerous and stupid.

I cannot stand it when I’m in a long line of traffic in a right lane, trying to get over, finally making it to the next lane, realizing as I’m passing a scooter at 40mph that there is a mile of traffic behind them trying to get to work and… they’re smelling the roses.

It irritates me to no end.

But what really scares me, truly scares me, are these ‘new’ motorcyclists. It used to be the 20 somethings hopped up on testosterone, zig zagging through traffic, popping wheelies at 55 mph down the Boulevard in front of my house. It pisses me off because one day one of them is going to get hit and die IN FRONT OF ME and I don’t deserve to be damaged by their stupidity.

Now, those folks scare me and piss me off, but it is the plethora of new bikers who’ve never had any training or anything in their lives who feel they can handle these bikes on the road, because…. Because? Because they know how to ride a car and a bicycle?

I have no clue.

But I wonder how many new bikers are out there that are completely inexperienced, no formal training, which I know is offered, questionable ability to handle the bikes on wet streets and heavy traffic?

Too many.

And it makes me nervous because in addition 50% of the surrounding automobile drivers we have are… either 16-18 years of age or have blue hair.

Folks… I see Dead People.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:33 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

As TGOO put it on our Ceilidh program:

We offer our gratitude to these people, among many others, who assured our presence here today:

Letitia Hutchison, Robert Plunkett, Charles Plunkett, John Crumley, Richard Copeland, Robert Moseley, William Barnett, James Rabb, and James Turner.

All of the above, contributed in some way during the Revolutionary War. (I've blogged on Letitia... she gave a horse to the cause.)

Happy 4th of July!!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Amazing Women

Dara Torres... ROCKS! At 41, she just qualified for her FIFTH Olympics.

Holy Crap.

And of course I'm not finding it on the web yet. I'm finding Michael Phelps and his WR, which is cool, but what Dara Torres has done today is UNHEARD OF.

The big #5 with the 100 Meter freestyle. Prelims start for the 50 free tomorrow.

You Go Girl!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fast and Funny and the Big O

As I said, we’ve been watching the Olympic trials. By far, the best and to me, the funniest, race has been the men’s 800M. If you’ve not seen it, take a look at this youtube vid. Its long, 9 minutes, but well worth it if you stick through the race and watch to near the end. You don’t have to do the full 9 minutes to see why its so great.

The race actually starts at 3 minutes.

The big tall kid with the big O on his shirt (from Oregon), is my favorite part of the story.

So we’re sitting here watching the race and this kid, Wheating, is sticking out in so many ways. First, he looks 15 years old. Second, he’s just… not like the others.

And so the race starts and Wheating, who I was calling “The Big O” was in dead last. And the announcer comes on and says something like, “His coach told him they had zero expectations of him and just to have a good time…” Watch the video and listen for that… it was something just like that.

Well, I instantly had a soft spot. I mean, how sweet? “Look kid, just have fun and enjoy the moment” is what it was amounting to and he was a hometown fave and so I was basking in his being happy to just ‘be there’.

As I said, he was in dead last and I said to my family, “Oh no! I don’t want him to come in last! If he’s going to enjoy it, let him at least come in second to last!”

I was cheering him and then… holy crap, the last part of the run starts and suddenly Mr. Big O is right up there up front and places SECOND! The boy is going to the Olympics! Mr. “No expectations, have a good time” is on our Men’s 800 M team! It absolutely cracked me up and made me so happy.

Watch his expressions after the race… they are priceless!

And when watching the video, watch Nick Symmonds, who also absolutely stole my heart, after he’s won (watch him come and steal the show in the race, its phenomenal) he leaps over the fence to kiss and hug his Mom and then… trying to leap back over, suddenly that little fence was not so little and its pretty damn funny.

Oh and then there is the kid who places 3rd, Christian Smith, who literally DOVE for the finish line and made his first Olympic qualifying time. Another Oregonian. All three from Oregon. I’ll be watching these boys because they stole my heart.

If you’ve not watched it… take the time. It makes your heart sing. It does.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 03, 2008

Swimmingly Old

We’re an Olympic family as in… we watch the Olympics. We have certain events we like more than others, swimming and track and field are the tops for the Summer.

TN was a competitive swimmer growing up and he was fast. Swimmers World was the magazine of choice for him and the nationally ranked swimmers became household names as well as knowing what Universities had the best swimming programs.

This week has been the Olympic trials and we’ve been watching. I can’t wait for the Summer Olympics. This is just a taste but is still so much fun.

And I’m a BIG Dara Torres fan. I love it when the old ladies win against all odds.

TN found this for us today. For your enjoyment… a little Monty Python.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 02, 2008

Life

Just not motivated or inclined to write.

I will say, however, I'm the lead singer for the boys when they play Rockband. I told them we must rethink the name of our band. I refuse to sing with a band called... Horse Burritos.

Way too many hippy type songs in Rockband, although I completely rock with Blue Oyster Cult and Don't Fear the Reaper. It could be my signature song...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:32 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack