September 29, 2009

Great Knowledge?

I know EVERY state capital. My kids keep spontaneously quizzing me.

My son knows 3/4 of them.

Where this will get either of us in our lives, I have no idea.

THANK YOU animaniacs, who are currently getting us through, same song we learned, just with great animation...

I made it for 44 years without knowing the capitals of all the states. I did OK...

I needed this video in particular to figure out how to pronounce Montpelier for Bones. I kept pronouncing it in French (thank you four years of French class) and he kept saying, "That doesn't sound right..." I needed the video to find out how we pronounce it in English.

And as he and I sing the song... everywhere we go, I now try to pronounce the State's capital with their regional accent. I don't know if it's working... but I'm trying anything to stick.

By the way, if you're from Arkansas, your state is full of little rocks. And as horrified as I was by this one that my husband came up with, it's worked, "Virginia is a girl's name and girls want rich men. Richmond."

Nice.

Bones reply was, with a grin, "Then why did Mom marry you?"

I love my son...

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

The World According to Bones

Tuesdays are one of my craziest days.

In the car today as I was between schools and various events for each of the kids, Ringo was still at school, Bones said to me, "Mom, it's time you teach Ringo how to REALLY cook so he can cook for the family. You're just too busy."

*blink*

That made me laugh...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:47 PM | Comments (6)

September 28, 2009

Why I think My 3rd Son May be a Flake

Let's start with yesterday in the ER. This is after declaring himself feeling like one of those guys from New Mexico. I was actually impressed that he watches the news enough to know that the folks in Mexico were wearing masks. I kind of understood how he got that confused with New Mexico as we're studying states and capitals.

New Mexico is Santa Fe, by the way. I'm quite the expert.

Bones was sitting in the bed flipping through the channels when the UF Kentucky game came on. One of the channels was doing a morning replay for those who had missed it the first time or just flat can't get enough Gator time.

Bones sat up and said, "LOOK! It's UF and Kentucky! They're playing again!"

*blink*

As if it were baseball...

Now flash forward to today. He dashed upstairs to his class to gather the classwork he'd missed today and in so doing, emptied his folder that had all his returned tests, homework and classwork.

He brought it back to me and we went through it in the car.

This is one of those things a teacher would post on the internet... incredibly amazingly stupid answers.

It was RELIGION. He was taking a RELIGION TEST.

He got like... 5 out of 10. Maybe. He obviously rushed through it.

And didn't think.

Because one of the questions was, "What is Salvation?"

It was marked wrong. I looked at his answer and in his crappy 10 year old handwriting he wrote, "Its when your hungry". (Yes, he used the wrong your and the wrong its... but that's beside the point.)

Now I'm lost because I'm fully steeped mentally in Religion and I'm trying to figure out if he thinks you take Communion when you're hungry or what...

And so I said, "Bones. When you're hungry? What does hunger have to do with salvation?"

He said, "Yeah, you know when you're dying of hunger. You're crazy hungry..."

I was thinking, "Salivating?"

And finally Mr. T from the back pipes up, 'That's STARVATION."

Perplexed I said, "Why in the heck would you think your religion teacher would ask you about starvation on a RELIGION test?"

His reply? "Good question. I was wondering that too."

Posted by Boudicca at 09:33 PM | Comments (3)

September 27, 2009

Conversations in the ER

We got to the ER and they made Bones put on a mask.

We were walking back to the room where we waited four hours when Bones said to me, "I feel like one of those guys from New Mexico..."

*blink*

I said, "You mean... Mexico?"

He replied, "Yeah, Yeah, those guys in Mexico wearing all those masks."

I said, "Oh totally. You could pass. That blonde hair, blue eyes, white skin... you could totally pass for one of those Mexicans."

Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:02 PM | Comments (2)

Croup, ERs, Legos, and Hello Kitty... All in One Bonus Post... With Pix!

Today would be described as nothing better than frustrating and I would be described, by the end of the story, as nothing other than a bitch.

It started with my going to the kitchen at 830AM to find Bones with full on croup, the sound I typically hear at 2AM when I wonder if putting his head in the freezer will actually take care of it.

And if he sounds that bad during the DAY, it harkens nothing but seriously bad for the wee hours of the following morning.

I dressed, had him get ready, grabbed a couple breakfast bars and made our way to the ER, my thought being they could handle a child with croup better than the local doc in the box.

We got there at 9AM and the place was empty. "Good for us!" I thought.

Right.

Four hours later, we were diagnosed with the flu, the strep culture came out negative, a chest Xray was clear and we were told we could leave... I never saw a doctor.

In four hours.

That's fine, but when they told me he had the flu I said, "I know that. I knew that. I am here because of the CROUP. What of that..." and the nurse shuffled off, came back and said, "Oh yeah. He does sound bad. Just a cool mist humidifier."

I was so pissed. It is not as if I didn't communicate why I was there EVERY time I saw someone.

I grabbed my book and purse, told Bones it was time, and we left.

I called my pediatrician, something I wanted to avoid as I hate calling him on weekends, it's his weekend, but now my hand had been forced. I don't screw around with breathing issues.

I am afraid of two things: Fire and children who can't breathe.

And roaches.

But that's a whole other issue... roaches won't kill me, unless I have a heart attack. Plus, I'm married. He can kill the roaches. That is written somewhere in our marital vows I think. 'For better, for worse, and he kills all roaches'.

So we got home, I got hold of our Pede's nurse, she was aghast at what we were told because a cool mist wasn't going to do it (something I had conferred with VW about...she was the one who really convinced me I needed to call our own doc), and that he needed to be on something to help keep the airways open.

When our nurse was able to call me back with information on what was being called in, I had just arrived at Kmart, buying rubber cement for a Biology project my freshman is doing... comparing a cell to some sort of structure.

Segue to Science project:

He chose a prison. (A warden is to a prison as a nucleus is to a plant cell...)

All over my table are lego's, lego people, lego police cars, and a Hello Kitty kitchen... because every prison needs a kitchen and a tiny pocket sized Hello Kitty kitchen was the only thing we could find that was lego-man sized. The other oven I found at Toys R Us, my son exclaimed, "Mom, we need to cook FOR the prisoners, not burn the prisoners. That oven could roast 5 lego-men."

And I wonder now what the Mom I did not see standing behind me thought, when I said, "This is ridiculous. Hello Kitty for your Prison?" and later, "This is an expensive Biology project..."

I've got pictures of said project. We converted a nice lego family into a Cafeteria cook, a Janitor, and a couple prisoners.

IMG_1455.JPG
Before He Started- After Brainstorming and Raiding Toys R Us

IMG_1456.JPG
Some Assembly Required

IMG_1463.JPG
Seriously, I think the Hello Kitty Kitchen in the Prison Sets it Off

Segue off.

Anyway, so in line I waited with my ONE bottle of rubber cement at KMart for THIRTY MINUTES because GOD FORBID should they have an express self check out line, and every person in front of me had to argue about some coupon or how they were supposed to save $2 on a pair of jeans, and I was just about... done.

My phone rang in the parking lot and it was the pharmacy assistant that was calling to tell me they were closing in 30 minutes and my doctor had just called a script. I said, "Yes. You cannot fill it in 30 minutes?..." and she said, "But there are 5 people ahead of you..." and I said, "I'll be there" and I hung up, not giving the opportunity to tell me no because now I was OFFICIALLY DONE.

I called my husband and said, "You get in the car right now and get to the pharmacy. DO NOT let them close without giving you his steriods. I'll meet you there..."

I was at a loss. Since when is 30 minutes not enough time to fill a script for something that is premade? It's a PREMADE steroid. Liquid. Stick the label on there and let's go.

I have a friend whose wife is a pharmacist. There is NO WAY IN HELL she'd have had her tech call a Mom and say, "Sorry, we can't fill this. We close in 30 minutes." NO. And especially not a Mom who has been going to this pharmacy for 10 years and has always been polite and respectful.

So the day was just frustrating. I get irritated when doctors treat me like a two dollar tart with low IQ because I'm a patient. Get over the God complex, sorry you had to work on a Sunday, I'm OK with the wait, but take me seriously because quite frankly NOBODY knows a kid like the MOM and I guaran-f***ing-tee you, that without that steroid, I'd have been doing the 'head in the freezer and possibly calling 911' gig at 2AM in the morning.

Now at least I have a shot at the head in the freezer working.

Frickin' pisses me off.

This is why I've carved out a small cadre of doctors I trust.

Next time... I go with the Doc in the Box. I feel certain they would have handled it a helluva lot better than the ER did.

So here's to a good sleep and no heads in freezers. I so hate doing that...

Oh and although you did not ask, here is my stance on the new H1N1 vaccine. First, I've had this brand of flu. (Had it last week, thank.you.very.much.) There is not a reoccurrence noted yet. However, my stance stays the same... I was going to wait until about 1Million Americans had it first and see how many of them had some weird nasty side effects and if 1Million Americans made it through... then I was OK.

I don't play guinea pig.

Posted by Boudicca at 04:56 PM | Comments (16)

September 26, 2009

Listening

Swine Flu was a non-event for Ringo.

It was a hit and run for me... I had it for 24 hours.

Not so for Bones. We're on pneumonia alert for him. I'll more than likely be in the ER or a Doc in the Box tomorrow if things don't sound better.

I don't take chances with breathing issues...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:33 PM | Comments (8)

Saturday Musings

Folks, I'm a Florida football fan. That doesn't mean just Gator Ball. I love FSU ball too, although not as much as my bro and sis, since they actually graduated from there.

I can't like Miami. I can't get past the boorish behavior of the 80s.

I can root for the Gators again now that Spurrier is gone.

It is time for Bobby to retire. Seriously, he needs to go. FSU had their butts handed to them today by University of South Florida. And USF does NOT have a bad team. I'm not dissing them. It's just a newer team.

Evidently an up and coming team.

Meanwhile, looks like Miami didn't even show up with the Hokies.

My family is on some sort of hospital watch since Tebow got injured. You could hear the collective gasp in our home as it occurred. My boys really look up to Tebow... a young man who seems to walk the walk and talk the talk. Not your typical thug playing college ball, by any stretch.

And lastly, my favorite team of the week is a smaller college I'd not heard of before, Miami University. They are currently losing to Lane Kiffin's team and I was truly hoping they'd pull it off and hand Lane his a$$.

Next week's favorite team is... Auburn. See a trend yet?

Posted by Boudicca at 09:10 PM | Comments (2)

September 24, 2009

My Fourth Time in Fifth Grade

The flu medication is making my son sicker than the flu. Tonight will be his last dose. Good grief.

Bones is struggling in 5th grade because... it's 5th grade and because... he's Bones. As my reader Webb commented, this may not have been the best year to go no meds. I expect we'll be back on meds before the end of the year.

Until then, the family is fully immersed in getting him through. They called that show 'Are you smarter than a 5th grader' for a reason. There is a lot of information covered in 5th grade.

As of now, we have some topography project on the dining room table, on the back porch are flowers growing to different types of music from The Beach Boys to Andrew Bucellli, and we're all in the process of learning the states and capitals.

I've printed out some lyrics to a song on capitals and states and have taken to singing it around the house, which is making Ringo NUTS. I don't have a high pitched voice and the song is to the tune of Turkey in the Straw.

By the time this year is over, we'll all be stellar 5th graders and we're dragging Bones with us... whether he likes it or not.

This has the markings to be a very long year. Fortunately he has excellent teachers...

-------------------------

Math... Bones does not live on my same planet.

I got up the other morning and my husband asked me to quickly go over Bones' math homework before they left for school. He'd not had a chance to review it.

I read throught it, and it was nothing difficult. It was adding and subtracting big numbers with decimals.

123.45
+456.23

(This was lined up in preview... you catch my drift.)

He missed EVERY subtraction problem. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.

I looked over it and finally said, 'Dude... you didn't borrow... on any of these. Every one of them..."

His reply? "I hate borrowing, so I decided not to."

*blink*

Decided not to? As if the rules in math are... OPTIONAL?

That is the frickin' BEAUTY of math. Black and white. The answer is the same. The rules always apply. And they get you the RIGHT ANSWER!

I continued, "Borrowing is not an optional gig. Math has rules and you MUST follow them. There's none of this, "Oh, well, la de dah, I don't feel like 7x3 should be 21, today I'll make it 10." NO. The rules are the rules. Always."

He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Fine."

I had him do the problems for me and he KNEW what he was doing. He KNEW how to borrow.

He just didn't feel like it.

As he was packing up his work to go to school I said, "What do you think you were going to do on your test today? Boycott borrowing? And Mrs. P was going to say, 'Oh, it's Bones. He hates borrowing so today, I'll let him do Math his way?'"

Gah!

He shrugged and left.

I picked him up from school and said, "How did your math test go?"

He said, "Fine. Mom, don't worry. I even borrowed."

Thank God.

I am so dreading Algebra with him. If he thinks he can bend the math rules at his whim in 5th grade, what in the hell am I going to be contending with when there are SCADS of rules.

Holy crap.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:54 PM | Comments (8)

September 23, 2009

Oink! Oink!

Long day. I'm beat.

Kids. Work. Swine Flu.

Just a normal day.

My eldest son has the Swine Flu and is home for the rest of the week. He woke up this morning feeling miserable. I had him stay home knowing that something was running around school... 3/4 of his Eastern Western Civ class was out yesterday, 1/2 of one of the Geometry classes was out on Monday.

Two weeks ago one of the local high schools had to cancel the game as the entire team had the swine flu.

So I had him stay home because, "Mom, my throat hurts, I have a headache and my eyes hurt..." with the instructions to call me when he got out of bed.

At 10:00 he called, I had him take his temp, it was 101 and I knew then he had it. I took him in and it was confirmed.

This is the deal... they do not test for swine flu. They test for influenza A and as the swine flu is a subset, they then assume that's what you have.

The test? My son can't imagine who in the hell thinks of these tests. They take this skinny swab and stick it WAY up in your nose, I mean sinus cavity high, I mean makes you sneeze with that one eye watering "HIGH".

He said to me, "Mom! Who?! WHO! For the flu, they jab this thing up your nose. And for strep throat, "Hey, let's stab the guy in the throat". WHO thinks of these tests?"

So now he is 'Swine Boy'. The only reason he's on the flu meds is because he had pneumonia 14 months ago. Respiratory issues are more prevalent with this flu if you have a compromised respiratory system in general... and as the doctor said, "He's borderline. Let's just do it."

KACHING! $85.

I asked the doctor, "What is the probability that this is going to run through my house?"

His answer? "Decent."

I have a frickin' HUGE project that I'm working on that is due on Tuesday. HUGE. BIG. Good Lord BIG.

I'm going in tomorrow to scramble to get it finished or at least in hand off condition in the event I get sick.

Just a normal average day in the House of Bou.

(So far symptoms are low grade fever with cold symptoms, the urge to sleep, thirst... and a craving for brocolli with a side of chocolate chip cookies.)

Posted by Boudicca at 09:28 PM | Comments (7)

September 22, 2009

Set Backs of an Algebraic Kind

I think most of you know, I tutor math on the side. Something happened today that has made me question, I guess that's right. I'm just kind of beside myself.

I LOVE tutoring, in particular Algebra... I or II. I love it. I love Algebra and how everything works out, the balancing, the rules, the manipulation, the puzzle, I absolutely LOVE Algebra and if I could have majored in Algebra, I most certainly would have.

So I did the next best thing and majored in Applied Math.

I love reveling in my student's successes. I don't consider myself a teacher in the sense I don't have a classroom and what teachers do day in and day out... that's hard work.

What I do is not hard work. I just give an assist. As I like to say, "I just shine a flashlight in the dark corners."

I am honest with parents. I had a girl one year that was just flat in the wrong class. I called her Mom and said, "She should not be in that honors class. She's going to fail. Move her."

And she did and I never heard from them again because I think that they truly didn't need me. I think she was just in the WRONG class, with the wrong teacher.

I had a boy one year that had absolutely the worst Algebra II teacher in the North County. I'm not kidding... everyone talks about how bad this teacher is. He went from failing to getting A's.

That was HIS work. HE did that. I was so proud of him.

And so last week I was working with this student I adore. She's smart and fun and energetic. She grasps concepts quickly and can move through the homework after the light comes on.

And on Sunday, it all came together and she was going through the homework and although she didn't know it cold, she knew it well enough to get a B. I can feel these things now. I can tell what they'll get on the test, before they even take it.

I can just feel it through watching their comprehension.

I gave her a plan for studying. Math every day. I tell all my students, if you're going to read a history chapter out loud in class, then read it at home, then discuss it in class, and then read it again at home, take notes on it, review it, and then take a test, why is it that doing homework one time in Math should warrant you an A? Do your math homework as many times as you would reading a History chapter... do it over and over and over... every day when you get your new homework, pick out problems from old homework and do it... again.

So I had different sections for every day. We had a plan and she adhered to it.

And... she failed. I call my students the afternoon of every test. It's like Christmas to me. I want to HEAR in their voices how they did. I want a play by play of how it went... the good, the bad, and the ugly, the highs and lows, what we may need to cover better next time.

I want it THEN before they don't remember.

And when I called... her Mom said she failed.

Folks, when I failed an Alg II test, it means I made a C. (Never happened... I made A's in Alg.) I'm just saying, a C would have been failing.

This was not a C. This was a BOMB of a big order and I saw the test tonight and... I'm at a loss.

She knew it all. There was nothing on that test she'd not done. Nothing.

And I looked at her and said, "Sweetie, you know this. We did this... remember, the slope of a parallel line is the same... the slope of a perpendicular line is the inverse reciprocal..."

And as God as my witness, she looked at me like she had never in her life seen it.

NEVER.

She looked lost... bewildered... stunned... depressed... all of it. It was as if, someone had taken a magnet and just completely wiped her harddrive clean.

I'm not kidding.

She has LITERALLY NEVER seen the information on that test before.

Ever.

In her life.

And I'm at a loss. Truly. I feel like a failure. What should I have done differently? What approach? Did I need to draw more pictures?

I'm left reeling here as she and I are both trying to come to grips with what has just occurred. There was no, 'Oh yeah... I remember that now."

NO.

It was *blank*.

And to make it worse... her teacher wrote COMMENTS ON HER missed work. Comments.

Comments like UGH. Or UGH!

No kidding. She got commentary... negative commentary on her tests. Why did she not just write, "You stupid idiot. What were you thinking?"

Because that's what it just about amounted to.

And so next week when she has some time, I'll go over and we'll go over it again, stress free, to see if I can make sense of what happened.

I actually think it is test anxiety. I really do. And so I will spend the next week giving her pep talks, coaching her mental well being. She made A's in Geometry last year. She should be making A's in this this year.

And I do, I do believe this is not indicative of how the rest of the year will go. I think she'll actually make A's on everything else.

I just have to convince her of that.

Hunh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:34 PM | Comments (17)

September 21, 2009

Mother Son Bonding

So.

How is this for point of reference, generational issues?

A little background info, Ringo has a bit of a moustache coming in. It's dark peach fuzz. It annoys him. One day on the drive to school, I noticed it was... gone.

I said to him, "Did you shave?"

He nodded.

I said, "What did you use?", kind of horrified at the thought he might have used MY razor as his Dad uses an electric.

He replied, "You have a bag of razors in the guest bathroom. I just used one of those."

I have a bag of women's razors in the guest bathroom, in case a visitor needs one, and he used one of those and a BAR OF SOAP. Now I realize that at this age, a bar of soap works, but I felt kind of bad. I mean, I can spring for a little shaving cream.

Really.

So Ringo and I were unloading the car this afternoon after we had arrived home. I looked at his moustache and said, "Do I need to buy you a razor?"

He shook his head no. (He is kind of monosyllabic... if he speaks. Emoting is not his strong suit.)

Staring at him I said, "Dude, I can get you shaving cream. You don't have to use a bar of soap."

He shook his head, shrugged and said, "No thanks. Soap works..."

I leaned over grinning and rubbed the back of my hand against his face. "Do you have whiskers yet?"

He grinned and shook his head no. (It was a quiet day... more quiet than usual for him.)

I continued, "You know, you're just going to be fresh faced one night and wake up the next morning and you'll look like Grizzly Adams."

Ringo stopped, looked at me, and said, "Who's Grizzle Adams?"

ARGH!

Some of you may remember, my favorite ice cream in the whole wide world is something called Moose Tracks. I can't normally keep it in the house. I'd eat the entire half gallon if it would not result in puke fest or some sort of sugar shock.

In a moment of weakness, ice cream being on my grocery list, the boys' addition, I bought MY favorite, instead of theirs. I figured, they'd suffer.

Tonight, I walked into the kitchen to find Ringo hunched over a big bowl of ice cream. I came in and his eyes got wide.

Said me, "Ah. I see you're eating my favorite ice cream in the whole wide world!"

Said he, "Did you know we had this?"

Replied me, "Of course, who did you think BOUGHT it?"

Replied he, "Oh. I wasn't going to tell you. I was afraid you'd eat it all..."

Nice.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:38 PM | Comments (16)

September 20, 2009

Laughter is the Best Medicine

I slept through the game. I frickin' went to take just a short nap, and woke up 3 hours later and the frickin' game was over. (This would be the Gator Vol game.)

Then we went to dinner, and I went back to bed.

I woke up at 7:30 fully refreshed and thought, "Wait. It is Sunday, the only day of the week when I don't have to wake up when it's dark. I'm not moving."

And with that, I stayed in my amazingly comfortable bed for another two hours, hardly sleeping, but relishing in the fact I didn't have to be anywhere. At all. For anyone.

Needless to say, it was a nice Sunday. We saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I get restless in theaters now, thinking of things I should be doing, looking at my watch to see how much time we have left. I hate that. I no longer just sit there and enjoy movies... I time them. But the boys loved it and what I found very funny is we picked up one of Ringo's friends who is also 14, as THEY were the ones who REALLY wanted to see it.

The teenagers wanted to see a kid's movie and were completely unashamed to talk about it. In the car they were very animated going over their favorite characters.

That cracked me up.

So as for laughing, TGOO has been sending me videos on a comic named Danny Bhoy. I think he is not famous here in America yet, but appears to be quite well known across the pond.

The guy is frickin' hysterical. I'm not sure what I love most, his Irish potato jig, or when he starts to quietly laugh at himself as he's telling his stories.

He seems to amuse himself. I can't quit laughing.

I hope he is coming to America. I'd like his take on us, as I think we're probably a great group to poke at. Afterall... there is SO MUCH to poke!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:16 PM | Comments (3)

September 19, 2009

A New Perspective on Tired

I went to bed last night not wanting to get up this morning to train.

I woke up this morning at 4:45, slogging through the bedroom to the bathroom, eyes half closed as I put on my running clothes. The entire time I brushed my hair I thought, "This is the longest season ever. It needs to be over."

Over and over in my head, on the drive down, I thought, "Five more weeks. Five more weeks and I don't have to do this anymore."

My race may be over, but my team has another 4 weeks before the other half does the Nike Women's in San Fran. So I show up every Saturday morning and train with them.

I canceled doing the Jacksonville Marine Corps half because I'm just too damn tired. I'm exhausted.

My days start at 6AM and end at 6PM on some nights, 9:30PM on others and 7PM on yet others... ending meaning I'm home for the night, but not finished with helping kids with homework, projects, or preparation for the next day. I fall into bed emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted from working the hours I'm working (this week was nearly 40 hours), hauling kids around, playing cheerleader, helping with homework, and cooking.

My husband has been able to cook the meals on two of the nights and he has officially taken over for me with the child who is struggling the most in school, Bones. I hit my threshold last week. I can't do it with him anymore. So my husband has stepped up, had meetings with the teachers, and is keeping track of his schedules, homework and tests.

Having a totally pegged ADHD child without meds is draining beyond belief. We may have to look back into meds to get him through school. Failing 5th grade is not an option.

And so it was with my life being what it is, that I drove half asleep to training, thinking, "I know others are doing chemo, but this has got to end. It's too much for me. I'm f***ing tired."

I got to training this morning and saw our Honored Hero's Mom. I love her to pieces, she is funny and engaging. She is blunt about what is going on around her... honest.

She is honest.

He has been in the hospital since 6 September when he started to seize from a medication that someone should not have prescribed for him. I kept track of his progress through his Mother at training and through his Caring Bridge website.

This morning I found out he got home Thursday and I was so happy. And as his mother and I talked, and talked... she told me... he is done. He wants to die now.

He is 21.

I'm probably going to lose some readers here and my stance on this is not up for debate. This is one of the many places I deviate from the Conservative Party line, which is why I'm an Independent.

I'm OK with physician assisted suicide if the patient is terminally ill and doesn't want to live anymore. Nobody should make that decision for the patient, but if the patient doesn't want to live... then they should be allowed to end it pain free.

And that's where he is. He wants to die. His mother told him we're in a 'no die state' and it is what it is. It's a very personal decision, what they are going through, something so awful.

Yet they don't have the choice here.

His choice is to have no more treatment, call in Hospice and wallow in a long deterioration until he finally succumbs to the disease or to continue to fight it, armed with his pain killers, until the disease takes him when his body and science can fight no more.

Neither are options he likes. He is tired. He is done. He hates this. He is ready, even though in reality, his body probably is not.

And I'm sad for them.

I'm sad for what never was, what could never be, what will never be. I'm sad for seven years of hell.

He is tired. The family is tired.

And suddenly... I realize... I'm not.

Posted by Boudicca at 02:46 PM | Comments (9)

September 17, 2009

Avenging the Future

My son wants to go to USC he informed me today.

"USC," I said, "You better make the grades. It's a tough school to get into. Why USC?"

He replied, "I'd like to be in their band. *pause* I'm kind of stuck. What would I play? I play the bass guitar."

I kept driving and finally said, "You could play the tuba. You already read bass clef. You could do that."

He stared out the side window. "I don't see myself playing the tuba, Mom."

I looked over and said, "You play percussion."

"I'll never be good enough for a band like USC."

And I said, "Listen, talk to your drum teacher. Let's talk to him about getting you DCI competitive. If you can be good enough to get into DCI, then you may have a shot at the USC drumline. You have to decide."

He has been thinking, but I think it is just the 'college thought of the day'. Last week he wanted to go to UF. Last month he wanted to go someplace that snowed.

And what spurred this thought? He found on Youtube the USC halftime show where they played a song from his favorite band, Avenged Sevenfold.

Because that's how you choose your future at 14 years old. You pick the college by the band that plays the music you like best... Really.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (8)

If I Were an Oyster, The Pearl Would be Huge

Besides Obama irritating the ever living stew out of me on a daily basis... my current irritation is UT's new coach, Kiffin.

First, this past weekend while my husband and my boys were at the UF game, I watched the last quarter on TV, in hopes one of my kids might be on the Jumbotron. Half paying attention, I noticed a young man they were interviewing from Tennessee. I thought, "Hunh, wonder what position this kid plays?"

Imagine my surprise when in the lower right hand corner the words "Head Coach" came up. My first thought was, "Hunh, when did they start hiring 21 year olds to coach college ball...?"

He's in his early 30s.

So is it a vast immaturity due to his age or a character flaw that would have him talking smack about UF football, accusing Urban of 'cheating' before he had the facts straight, talking about singing Rocky Top in The Swamp? Public apology or not, you don't go accusing someone of cheating, in particular someone of Coach Meyer's caliber, someone who prides himself in having a clean team. Talking smack to the team of Tim Tebow, a man who prides himself on his walking the walk and talking the talk of his deeply rooted religious beliefs.

At first I was stunned by the smack and the boorishness of this new coach's behavior. Now with the game coming up in two days, I'm just pissed. The Gator team may be taking it in stride now, playing it down, but I'm not.

UF used to have a rude coach. His name was Spurrier. I was not a Spurrier fan and so for all those years, I did not root for UF. Sorry, I can't stand behind a team whose leadership I question and I didn't care how many stories I read about the good deeds he did off the field.

It makes me wonder what in the hell this guy Kiffin is going to be like when he wins. If his behavior is so ugly and impulsive before the season even starts, what in the heck is he going to be like if he wins a SEC game?

So on Saturday, I'm hoping UF crushes UT. And I'll quietly grin and turn off the TV. I should be home from work by then to watch...

... which reminds me of work.

I'm working a lot of hours lately. We have a big project we're working on and the drop dead due date is next week.

Last week, we were all working diligently when someone said something about working late. We were all just talking loudly while sitting in our cubes, no prairie dogging.

I said I didn't like working late on Friday nights. I didn't like working late nights in general. I don't like feeling like it's just ME left in the building with everyone else having gone home. Typically that's after 6PM. We don't burn the midnight oil at the company I work for.

Anyway, I said I didn't like it, when it was just me and the janitorial service, who are all men.

The guys kind of laughed it off and said that we were in a secured facility and all of them had had background checks and what not.

I told them I didn't care, I didn't like and it and I avoided it. I'd rather work on a Saturday than an evening.

They blew me off.

Now we have this young woman at Yale murdered in a facility that one has to badge in. I've been watching this entire thing unfold with horror. I said to my husband, "Who is so stupid to murder someone in a facility like that? That traceability is ENORMOUS."

But the bottom line is... someone did. And because of the traceability someone was arrested quickly.

I think that my point has been made about my nervousness about even working alone in a facility like mine, although I'm being told I'm paranoid. The fact remains, the only bonus of being in a secured facility is that they can find the murderer faster if you're killed at work... but, they may have found this guy immediately... but... she's still dead.

It's not bringing her back.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:07 PM | Comments (7)

September 15, 2009

Just Because...

... this popped into my head tonight and I've never posted it...

It is not uncommon when my boys leave my car to go into school in the morning, for me to say loud enough for them to hear, but quietly enough so nobody else overhears, in a sing song cheesy voice,

"Smooches! Have a Happy Heart! Use your Listening Ears!!!"

From Bones I get a "OK! Mom!" with a hop and a skip, he's gone.

From Mr. T I get a rolled eyes.

From Ringo I get rolled eyes and a grin and a shake of the head. Yes, at 14, I still do that to him... "Use your Listening Ears!!!"

Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:40 PM | Comments (9)

I'll Supply the Tin Foil Hats Next Time

Good Grief.

We had a water meeting today in my neighborhood. If you recall, my zipcode is the same as that of a zone that is being examined as a cancer cluster. Water has been the big issue... surely because we're on well water, it must be the water.

And something like this, brings the chicken littles out of the woodwork.

Because... you know... we're all going to die of cancer.

Yesterday.

The meeting was so slanted towards going on public water it wasn't even funny. There was nothing unbiased about it. A guy stood up to speak to all of us, a man who lives IN our neighborhood, who happens to work with the city water department. He gave a 10-15 page powerpoint pitch to all of us on the benefits.

Of course there was the direct quote from the Public Health Director how it was the right thing to do.

Right.

Over the last few years, the city of West Palm Beach has had nothing but problems with their water. I even posted on it here before.

Oh let's see... July 17th 2007 on how the Mayor dumped treated wastewater into the well fields of the public water.... without telling the citizens.

Then there was Oct 3, 2007 where the City of West Palm Beach was on boil water alert due to a fecal water contamination.

The the following day where I expanded on the nasty water problem and how messed up it was.

And here we sat tonight, listening to some guy in a shirt and tie, tell us how this was far superior to what we're all drinking with our carbon filters and RVO systems.

Right.

Sitting on the front row were all the huge proponents of our going to City Water... water controlled by people that constantly make the headlines of our newspaper for their ineptitude.... on so many levels.

I wanted to pass out tinfoil hats to those in the front row. Maybe that will help them all from getting brain cancer. 'Cause... you know... it's coming. Yesterday.

Overall, the meeting was extraordinarily civil, considering how emotional this topic can get. We're not just talking about the safety of our drinking water, of which it is... safe, but we're talking $11,000 per home to run water lines through our 'hood and THEN another $6500 to run it up to your home and THEN there is a fee for a meter and all sorts of other stuff I didn't quite get. (I sat in the back and observed the chicken littles who needed tinfoil hats...)

The $11000 can be funded through a bond. What a bonus. It can get added to our taxes over 20 years so that we can continue to pay on that cash, year after year... until we've probably really paid $15000-$20000. What a frickin' BONUS!

But the other fees? The $6500 to run it to your home and the meter hook ups and all that? That is cash, folks, cold hard cash.

Benh. Wrong answer. I don't have that kind of cash and I don't want to pay on a bond for 20 years and I like my water.

Thank.you.very.much.

However, I will lose. I'm making peace with it, in particular with the fact I'll be paying on the bond because I just don't have the money to hook up to water I trust less than my well water.

Anyway, so the meeting was civil... until the end. I knew it. I KNEW the Queen Chicken Little herself was going to be there and I knew she'd get shrill and I think I went just to see how spooled up and half insane she was going to get.

We made it through 9/10ths of the meeting with a few comments that tickled the edge of her paranoia, but at the end... she finally tripped over that edge and waiting for her was the neighborhood loud mouth.

For 13 years I have lived in this neighborhood and for 13 years, with the exception of 3 or 4 years when he was in prison, we have a neighbor that has consistently interrupted the meetings with boorish behavior. I think he's undiagnosed ADHD at age 70+. He stands through the meetings, paces, and just seems like barely contained energy.

Barely.

He'd kept his mouth shut through the entire meeting, something that surprised me very very much. I wasn't even sure where he stood on this water fence, he was so quiet.

But when Queen Chicken Little said that a waiver was required by her firm to sell a home in our neighborhood, a waiver stating that we were within a potential cancer cluster, all hell broke loose.

There was much murmuring from most in attendance, and not a murmur of shock, but one of anger.

And that's when our neighbor became totally and unequivocally unhinged about how he wasn't going to listen to any scare tactics on this water issue. I looked at my girlfriend and said, "We need popcorn".

Great stuff.

Queen Chicken Little backed down.

The vote is coming. A group is getting together to put something out for the neighborhood... information. My girlfriend, extraordinarily level headed as I would expect any retired Navy Commander to be, stood and asked that the data presented to us be scientific and void of emotion.

I'm surprised she didn't get a standing ovation. I know I wanted to.

Meanwhile, I think I'm on the losing end. Public Poopy Water is coming my way.

You can lead a neighborhood to public water, but you can't make them drink it. I'm not hooking up. Blech.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:01 PM | Comments (10)

September 14, 2009

Absolutely Exhausted

I can't even remember the last time I've been this dead dog tired, constantly.

And I don't even have babies.

Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:21 PM | Comments (5)

September 13, 2009

Life is Like a Box of Hand Picked Chocolate

Everyone came to dinner tonight; it was the weekly Italian family dinner, which alternates between my home and my brother in law's.

I know I post on my father in law sometimes and how he can make me insane. It's the life choices he makes that are tough for me.

I've also posted on his buddy, Joe. The two of them together kind of make me laugh. They tool around town all day, two old Italian men from Jersey.

Sometimes I think someone should make a movie about them. It would have to be spiced up of course, their life is not exciting by any stretch, but they do amuse me and their lives remind me of those feel good 'two old men' buddy movies. Something you'd picture Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in.

OH yeah, they did that. Grumpy Old Men.

Last week, they gave me a box of chocolates for my birthday. They'd purchased it from Hoffman's, a local chocolate shop. They're kind of famous down here. Truly great chocolate. VW has been known to leave me evil little messages after Easter when their chocolate bunnies have gone on sale.

And so I was thankful for Joe and Pop's thoughtfulness at this wonderful box of Hoffman chocolates and I did think they just went to the little store down the street. Afterall, the little store down the street is five minutes from where they reside.

Tonight at dinner I found out, they drove ALL THE WAY DOWN to the main store, which is about 30 minutes away because they wanted to pick out each chocolate individually for me.

Hunh.

They told me this not for me to know what they'd done as in a 'you need to thank us', but in the telling of the stories. They always have some story of what kind of mess they've gotten themselves into or how someone was extraordinarily kind.

And this story they were telling at dinner was how impressed they were with the woman who helped them at Hoffman's... which in turn made me realize what they'd done.

Evidently when they got to the counter the woman informed them they could pick any chocolates they wanted.

Joe looked at her and according to him said, 'Listen, Love, my wife died many years ago. I am not so good at this stuff. We need YOU to pick out the chocolates for her. Just do her right... she does a lot for us and we want it special."

I'm not kidding.

My father in law sat beside him at the table as Joe told the story, nodding his head in affirmation that that's what had occured.

I sat at the other end of the story, so touched I could not breathe.

And so the woman picked out my chocolates, being told firmly by the two old men not to scrimp and that 'weight didn't matter', and she wrote out my card for them, and wrapped it and as Joe said, "She made it all nice-uh-nice-uh'.

I have to admit, as I've eaten through half that box, I've been kind of stunned at how lucky I've been in each chocolate being so damn good. Typically, I poke a hole in the bottom and if some fruity gushy stuff comes out, I stick it back.

That's not happened. At all.

And now I know... the rest of the story.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:44 PM | Comments (7)

Sky King- Crazy Man

I received this today from a buddy of mine. Actually, he's one of my readers and former co-workers, a tremendous runner who does some of the craziest marathons out there, and he's spent way too much time this week talking me off the edge as I was so disappointed in my time last week.

He said something like, 'You're a novice. This is your 3rd race. You're too new to be worrying about times...' I'm trying to keep that in my head.

He's also the one who accused me of being a nut last year as I've never done less than a half marathon. I went directly from not running to doing halves and that one full. Forget the 5Ks and 10Ks. Why not go the big distance? Heh.

Anyway, I thought this was hysterical.

Happy Sunday.

(My kids aren't home yet still. I had leftover oyster stuffing and ice cream cake for lunch. Now we know why I run. Otherwise I'd be as big as a house...)

Update: Seriously go to Jimbo's HERE and watch this frickin' hysterical Facebook video. Good Lord. I'm still LMAO. She frickin' PEGGED one of the big reasons I don't do Facebook.

Posted by Boudicca at 12:48 PM | Comments (4)

September 12, 2009

If I Were Creative, This Would be an Ode to Cheesecake

I don't think I've really posted this often, but my husband is a Gator. He graduated with his doctorates from UF.

He's never been a big football fan. My having grown up with parents into ball, always kept up with it, but having married someone not so into it, I read about it more now than watch. And I have VERY strong opinions regarding SEC ball. People can say anything they want to the contrary and I just turn a deaf ear. (BTW, I want UMich to beat the crap out of Notre Dame today. I do pay attention to other Conferences. My Mom graduated from UMich. M Go Blue!)

Anyway, with Tim Tebow Boy Wonder, my second son has taken an active interest in Gator ball. He's become probably one of the most avid fans, watching it on TV, decorating his room with Tim Tebow quotes, and requesting Gator paraphenalia for decor... like the big ass Gator lamp he has in there now. This has in turn, brought out the inner Gator in my husband, who has now turned into a huge football fan.

And on a sidenote, I find it very funny that as much as Mr. T LOVES the Gators, he wants to go to Georgia Tech. Bones said to me, "Why does he want to go to that Bumble Bee school?" I replied, "Ummm... yellow jackets."

Because this is the last year of Tim Boy Wonder, my husband decided this would be a good year to take the boys to their first college football game... their first Gator game.

He got them tickets to watch UF soundly spank Troy State into last year.

You may ask why this game as opposed to... ohhhh... Tennessee. Well, that would be because to see UF vs. Troy State was actually almost affordable. To see UF vs. UT was going to take a home equity line of credit against the house.

SEC ball is not cheap to watch unless doing so from the comfort of your own home.

The boys have had a great time, from what I gather. Bones was decked out with Gator tattoos on his face. They've seen my husband's old stomping grounds and walked campus. They've now officially been... in the Swamp. From what I understand, the energy was positively electrifying, something Bones would feed off of.

After the game was over, walking through the parking lot, Bones saw his voice teacher. She waved. He was thrilled. This is the woman I've written of, young, blonde, when she sings, squirrels, birds and deer appear out of nowhere to listen. Our own little version of Snow White.

Bones immediately got hold of his Dad's cell phone to call me. 'Mom! Mom! Mom!", he exclaimed. "I saw Kathy! She is here! I don't get it. She has a job down where we are. How does she go to college here and have a job where we are?"

*blink*

I said, "Dude, she isn't a college student. She did what you did... she traveled up there to watch the game."

I thought that was funny. Hey, she's just graduated. She's college student age.

So what does this all mean? It means... I'm home alone.

Aaaaah!

Yes. It is true. I'm sitting here... in absolute quiet. The entire day has been quiet, except for the quiet rumbling of my washing machine as I try to make a dent in last week's laundry.

I got up at 5, met my Team and did 5 miles (they did 8, but I'm having blister issues... still), came home, showered, went to get my car serviced, came back home, and slept, got up, ran some errands, and now I'm cooking dinner.

And... it's all about the food.

My girlfriends have been teasing me about what I was going to eat while the family was gone. Not having family obligations to have to cook, they were conjuring up all sorts of thoughts for me. I declared it, "ICE CREAM CAKE FOR DINNER!"

That's been the joke.

But it is a joke, because instead, I'm cooking a meal only I would enjoy. Nobody else in this home likes steamed green beans. Nobody else in this house likes oysters. Nobody else likes sauteed onions and mushrooms.

And so as I type this, in my oven is a piece of sea bass I found in my freezer, cooking in a white wine, topped with sauteed red onions and mushrooms with garlic and butter. On the side is a homemade oyster stuffing. The meal is rounded out with fresh green beans.

OH! And I stopped by the Cheesecake Factory and picked up a slice of Godiva Chocolate cheesecake.

I will read... in quiet... as I eat. If it weren't for my short excursions out of the house, I could readily have gone the entire day without... saying a word.

Heaven.

Meanwhile, my nephew is at UF now, his college of choice, having turned down many many offers throughout the nation. That is big if you live in Florida as Florida is TOUGH to get into. Not only did he get in, but he's on a full ride.

Smart boy.

I'm already thinking of what I can bake for him when we visit during homecoming. Yes, I am going next time. Through my husband's college, as an alumn, they offered great prices for Homecoming and Gator Growl. With that, my past birthday gifted me Gator clothes so I'll blend. I even have a Gator pad to sit on in the bleachers. I'm ready.

And so with that visit, I'll be taking something to my nephew. He loves my cooking. If we can find a full kitchen, I'll cook him a full meal. I suspect we'll have to settle on dinner out and homemade cookies, however.

He's a good kid.

And today... was a most excellent day.


Posted by Boudicca at 05:55 PM | Comments (6)

September 11, 2009

Eight

theyareforgetting2.jpg

She was around floor 32. She made it. My bridesmaid. She was outside at this moment, already having evac'd. She watched the 2nd plane hit. I remember all of it every year. I pray for a peace within her soul. I hope she is attaining it. I cannot imagine.

theyareforgetting.jpg

We are forgetting. We are becoming complacent. We did not learn.

It is not over.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:50 PM | Comments (8)

September 10, 2009

Bigger than Ourselves

(There is a better post below this. This is just a post... of my thinking of my past.)

I went to high school in a little town in the panhandle called Gonzalez. Unless you're from Pensacola, you've not heard of it.

Most of the families were farming type families, I think. Many of the Dads worked at the local papermill. When Officer and a Gentleman came out, the main lead female character supposedly worked out in that papermill. I was one of the few Navy kids actually. The Navy bases weren't close to this little town, but my folks picked the area so I could attend this high school.

This was back before FCATs and school ratings... my folks did their own research on school districts.

My Mom immediately got me private flute lessons and by my sophomore year, I'd joined the marching band. I knew they were good, but not being into bands much at the time, I didn't realize how good.

They weren't just good. They were the best.

It was country out where we went to school. It was known to be the biggest agricultural school that side of Jacksonville. When I tell folks my high school was country, I tell them, "We were Cuuuntry". Pick up trucks filled the parking lots, boots and cowboy hats were the norm.

And in this bastion of country music, pick 'em up trucks, and gun racks, was the best damn band in the land.

The Showband of the South.

We won the Grand National Championships that year, my first year. We marched nearly 200 kids. We practiced three hours a day every day. Then there was sleep away band camp.

Just a bunch of country kids, ages 14 to 18, but when you put on the band uniforms, put an instrument in their hands, everything was stripped away except for a well oiled marching machine that entertained and people loved.

People would come to our football games to watch the band.

Our band director used to say to us, "Don't be a hot dog band! Don't you be that band where when they come on the field, people go get their hot dog!"

I've been thinking about my old band days a lot tonight. I don't spend a lot of time living in the past, but I had a conversation with my son's band director tonight and it brought back a flood of memories.

We were speaking and he said, "I used to be the asst band director at ABC HS. We were a marching powerhouse in the 90s. We were going to a band competition. You wouldn't know this, but you can win a band competition by 1/10th of a point..."

And I replied, "I know. I was in band. I was in the Tate High School Marching Band..."

And he said, "MBA Grand National Champions..."

I finished, "1980. I was there. We marched under Bill Slayton."

He was quiet a moment and said, "I know the history of that band..."

And so I've spent tonight reflecting on those years. They were good years. I made good friends. My best girlfriend, PFB, and I are still thick as thieves.

So a shoutout to PFB. "I found this on the 'net, girl. Give it a listen. There's no vid, but you can hear us."

I can still remember our drumline. They were the best.

You can hear us country kids playing our hearts out and winning. My boyfriend played the bass drum. My best girlfriend played the sax. I'm back in the back somewhere, playing the flute.

We were part of something bigger than ourselves.

And we were the best. Good times...


Posted by Boudicca at 09:16 PM | Comments (7)

About a Man

My boys had their school pictures taken last week and we got the proofs back today.

I looked at Bones' picture and there he sat grinning back at me, braces, blonde floppy hair, looking 10. His braces are off now, but other than that, nothing was suprising.

I picked up Mr. T's picture and had to blink. His neck and shoulders looked a bit more... shaped, as in he's reaching puberty. His face has thinned out and his real nose has come in. He doesn't look like a little boy.

Ringo's picture was next. I did an absolute double-take. His shoulders broad and more manly, his neck sturdy with testosterone, his face lean, his nose of a man's... I didn't have just school pictures.

I have man pictures.

No kidding, his pictures are man pictures.

I keep looking at it, staring at the young man. A young MAN.

I like to tease him sometimes and say, "Hey, don't you give me crap. If you were in some crappy little 3rd world country, you'd be fighting for your life with a rifle on your shoulder. You'd be soldier age."

He always grins.

Pictures don't lie. He may be 14, but he's just about a man.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:02 PM | Comments (6)

September 09, 2009

It's Been Too Long Since I Last Spoke Chinese

I cannot believe they let me work on the projects I work on sometimes.

Seriously.

Consider this...

My iPod is four years old, a gift from my sister for my 40th birthday. It's been acting up lately, not from overuse, I assure you, as we're not allowed to run with iPods during training. As a matter of fact, they strongly suggest we don't run with them in general when we're out and about for many safety reasons.

So I don't. I run in my head, which can be an extraordinarily scary place to be for that long at times, but it is what it is. Scary but safe. Kind of.

I was in the car yesterday and I heard a Blink 182 song come on the radio. Shortly thereafter the talking heads came on. I hate morning programs. Just play music. So I thought, "Hey, I'll listen to some Blink 182. I haven't run to them in a couple years... maybe I can run to them in the next race."

Fumbling around, I found my iPod. At a stop light, I plugged it in, only to find the battery was completely dead. Finally, as it started to charge, I started to press buttons to find my music.

It was responding too slowly, in particular for my temperament... hopped up on a cup of coffee and next thing I know, I'd converted my iPod to... Chinese.

And now I couldn't fool with it as I had to drive.

In the parking lot at work, I was mashing buttons, the iPod was flaking out on me, doing the whole 'hestitation thing', and I realized, if I could just GET to the music, THAT PART was still in English. So I thought, "Screw it."

I'd resigned myself that I didn't have the time to figure it out, my iPod would just stay in Chinese and over time, I'd recognize which string of 8 characters would take me to the music section.

This morning, my son gets in the car for me to take him to school and the following conversation took place to the best of my recollection:

Me: I accidentally put my iPod in Chinese mode.

Ringo: Nuh uh.

Me: Yah huh.

Ringo: No way. Let me see. *pause* Holy crap. You put your iPod in Chinese.

Me: I think I said that. I'm just leaving it. I don't have the time to fool with it. It's on the fritz and keeps hesitating.

*long pause* He was silent.

Ringo: There. I fixed it. It's in English now.

Me: What? How did you do that?

Ringo: I reset all your settings.

Me: I didn't have any settings.

Ringo: *blink* Well, evidently you had Chinese as a setting...

Me: Oh. Right.

Nice.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:19 PM | Comments (7)

September 08, 2009

From Where Did He Come?

Eleven years ago tomorrow, my third son was conceived. I know, TMI. Some of you are wondering why in the world I would know... but really, it's irrelevent.

I just know.

It was not planned. I have said often I thought we should name him Trojan, something my husband did not find in the least bit funny.

I remember when I realized the rabbit died, I was shocked. My husband was a bit horrified. We were planning on just two, but as I tell women with just two children, "Unless someone made it permanent, there can always be three..."

I had my children very close together, obviously not planned. I was tired already when realizing we were to have a third.

He is nothing like my other two.

He has always been my tiny tornado, the little man full of energy, a quick laugh, and lots of personality.

He has always been the child to push me to my limits, the one that is the least like me, the one who has made me think. I've said from the beginning, "He is here for a reason".

So right now we are torn. I have been told by his voice teacher that he should audition for voice. I was told by his drama teacher today he should audition for theater.

Both say he is talented. Both say he comes across so well.

And I am happy for him. Nervous he will have to choose. Auditions are in five months. He is working hard. He could blow it all, but it is what it is... he must just try hard.

He got none of this from me... he is a child I incubated only.

It is interesting.

Anyway... to see me finish my race, go HERE, and put in my bib number which was 20282.

Funny story, I was talking to VW and she informed me that there was a camera and she wanted to me to do something so she could recognize me. I told her I was wearing a white hat, sunglasses, purple shirt, and black shorts. I'd make a big V as I crossed.

I crossed, she didn't see me, my phone rang and she said, "Everyone was wearing a hat, sunglasses, and making a V..." Everyone was wearing black shorts too.

So we decided next race, I'm going to make a big C, as in YMCA. I'll look like a dope, but nobody else will be making a C. Easy to spot... heh.

BTW, the time on the clock is not my time. That's the gun time, the time the Kenyans took off. My race didn't start until nearly an hour later... I'm not Kenyan.

And I feel nearly 100% today. I'm walking without a problem, the blister is but a huge red ring, my hips are about as bendy as they get, considering I'm so tight, I'm about as bendy as a brick.

During the race, at the end when I was digging so deep, I kept thinking, "What was I thinking about doing another one of these Oct 3?"

Today I'm thinking, 'OK, for my next race on Oct 3rd..." I think it's like childbirth. You forget how bad it sucks...


Posted by Boudicca at 09:37 PM | Comments (5)

September 07, 2009

Big and Bad

My boys think this is nasty. I told Ringo, "I thought for sure it had popped during the race it hurt so damn bad..." and his reply was, "Mom, you'd have known. Look at this nasty thing. You'd have had a puddle in your shoe!"

Yuck.

He said he swears I have the ugliest feet he has ever seen. He was going over all my blisters and calouses and of course this one on the bottom of my foot, that he swears must hold a 1/4 cup of water, probably solidified my award.

The white part was started during last week's 5 mile run with a small pebble in my shoe. The part you see that is circled in black is the new part of the blister.

I am slated for an 8 mile run on Saturday. My event is over, but the other half of my team is running the Nike Women's in October in San Francisco. I'm still planning on doing the Marine Corps half at the beginning of Oct.

As my one reader said and a good friend of mine suggested, I am doing moleskin on Saturday. I'm just not sure how well it will work with a blister this size...

heeling.jpg

Bones took this picture for me. I was struggling as I'm not so bendy, especially not now.

I've slept a lot today. Yesterday I did push it too hard. I finished my race, had to check in with the TNT tent which was a hike, then catch a shuttle back to my car because I had to be checked out of the hotel by 1:00. I got there at 12:30, showered, packed and left... on time. I got to the airport, where I lugged my heavy bag from the car rental to the terminal through security, to my gate... and there were no wheels on the bag and it was HEAVY. Every couple minutes I had to switch hands.

I'd not eaten since 4AM, so I grabbed an overpriced airport sandwich and could only stomach half of it. I got in the plane to find myself seated next to a very chatty, but sweet, woman with serious OCD, something she admitted and expounded upon, profusely. She made the flight go fast.

Into Philly we arrived, where I had to lug the 30 lb bag from terminal to shuttle, to new terminal, to my final gate at the end, where I found myself with a case of the shakes, nausea, and a rumbling stomach... and it wasn't a good rumbling.

I absolutely felt like my body was breaking down.

I stayed hugging myself to keep warm. I got in the plane thankful I could only get a window, me preferring an aisle seat. As soon as I got the heavy bag situated, I put my head against the side of the plane, falling asleep for 40 minutes, finding us airborn.

I was fine after that.

Except I slept until 10 this morning and then slept from 1-3. That's not normal.

Yes, I'd do it again. I just need to keep better tabs on my personal limits. I nearly threw out the thought of doing the Jax Marine Corps Half... but today decided I'm probably going to do it.

I just have to get these blisters under control...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:46 PM | Comments (13)

September 06, 2009

Let Me Go On... Like a Blister in the Sun

I'm home. I'm doing some post race analysis.

First, let me make sure we're on the same page. I am so not... Kenyan. I will never do a race where I finish for money or even finish in the top 50th percentile. I've resigned myself that I will always in the bottom 25% and I'm cool with that.

Would I love to be able to run like the wind? Sure. But I'm not Greek or Kenyan and it's not happening. My body, overall, does not like running.

So. I wanted to do this race about 25 minutes faster than I did. It was 15 minutes slower than my best time.

About mile 10, I was reminded of last weeks 'pebble incident'. We were tapering down, doing an easy 5 mile run. I am known amongst the women I run/walk with, to have a persistent problem with getting small stones in my shoes.

I can tolerate it for awhile and usually the pebble will move off to the side and all is well. Personally, I hate to break our strides to say, 'WAIT! STOP! I have another stone in my shoe..." only to have to take my shoe off, shake it, rub my sock, put it back on and then attempt to hit any type of stride.

So for 2 miles I ran with this stone in my shoe, on the bottom of my heel until finally I said, "I have to stop. I can't take this anymore" except the pain didn't go away. (Sidenote: I have a high threshold to pain.)

That would be because the stone irritated the tissue enough that I gave myself a blister the size of a half dollar, right on the bottom of my heel.

The next day it quit hurting. I forgot about it. I ran on it yesterday (Saturday). Still, nothing, as we only did a couple miles.

Fast forward to today at mile 10. I'm keeping not as good a clip as I want, but pretty steady. And my heel starts to hurt and I think, 'Oh crap..."

By mile 10.5 I knew I was going to be digging deep on this run.

By mile 11.3 (I know this because I had to step on a time pad at this point) I was counting the tenths of the miles until finish, wondering how bad this was going to suck, going approximately 2 more miles on what felt like the largest nastiest blister I ever had.

I finished obviously, but didn't have the time to really sit down and look at the blister until about 15 minutes ago.

The half dollar blister is big, puffy and nasty. The boys are appalled. But surrounding it, is another blister that runs literally my entire heel and then runs up the edge of my foot. It's huge.

To top it off, I have raised blisters on the side of my toes (inside of my foot, where the big toe meets) that are the size of a penny, but raised up full of fluid a good 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch... UNDER callouses.

I have got to figure out what is going on. The heel... I get. I did that to myself. The side of my feet are a constant problem.

So any of you runners out there, I am soliciting advice. I have tried nuskin with baby powder, double socks, aquaphor, powder in my socks and in my shoes... and I have Saucony's that have a big ass toe box. I have WIDE shoes.

Any suggestions will be seriously looked upon, short of human sacrifice.

I've got to fix this. It is seriously effecting my time and it looks like I'm off my feet, no running this week, until this heel blister heals up.

Bonus for todays run: I have all my toenails! Whoo hoo! That's the first thing Bones asked me when I walked in the door tonight, "Mom, how are the toenails? Didya keep 'em?"

It's the little things...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:10 PM | Comments (13)

Finished!

Bou crossed the Race Finish Mark at 10:36:32 EST... with a time of 2 hours, 55 seconds. Well Done Bou! Well Done!

Posted by VWBug at 09:38 AM | Comments (8)

12.3 miles

Bou crossed the 12.3 Mile mark at 10:27:07, with a time of 02:46:21. Yaa team... I talked to her on the phone and asked what she was wearing so I could watch her cross the finish line. White hat, shirt... and was going to do a big V with her arms. Guess what... every 3rd person fit that description. Since it was blurry.. it was really hard to see more than just outlines of people. But I think the boys and I saw her. We watched for a while.... just not sure which one was her! Very cool! Now as long as she takes care of that foot and blister...

Posted by VWBug at 09:33 AM | Comments (1)

11 mile mark

Bou crossed the 11.4 Mile mark at 10:14:14 and her foot hurts... oh man that sucks. Not much further!

Posted by VWBug at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

09:55:32 -- and the race continues

It's getting closer and closer to the end!!! She called me once... yipeee! But now my cell phone has been taken by my youngest to talk to a girlfriend about webkins... I'll still get updates for you!

Posted by VWBug at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)

09:03

Moving right along and keeping that 13 minute pace... Go Team!!!

Posted by VWBug at 08:07 AM | Comments (2)

13 minute pace

She passed the 5k mark at 8:21:25... Yipeeee! Go team!!!

Posted by VWBug at 07:25 AM | Comments (1)

7:40:43

Mark that time. I actually got the 'start' time for her via my cell phone. It gave me the impression I would only get skip marks... which for your information will be at 5k, 10k, 10mi, 11.4mi, 12.3mi and finish. More as time progresses.

Posted by VWBug at 06:55 AM | Comments (0)

Go Go Go!

The race has started. I won't get any more updates until the 5k mark... sigh... she was not very loquacious this morning. At least not to me. Hopefully that is because she is coaching so much and doesn't have time to text to me! I will let you know as the information reaches me! I'm so psyched! What a great cause and a great way to stay in shape for yourself. Stay Healthy and help others! That rocks!

Posted by VWBug at 06:28 AM | Comments (0)

Get Ready, Get Set....

Time for you to set your watches and get yourself up and running... oh wait.. that's Bou that is suppose to get up and running. The race starts at 7am. The weather channel says it is 65F with a mix of clouds and sunshine today. The high will be a whopping 82F. That sounds like magnificent weather!

What a wonderful cause for Bou to be involved... to coach others in running and collecting money so that the her HERO might have a cure one day... along with so many others.

I will be posting little tidbits as the race gets going. Like I found this information...

o The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon course stretches 13.1 seaside miles through one of America’s most scenic beach communities.

o Plenty of water and Citrus flavored Cytomax sports drink will be supplied at the start, finish and at aid stations along the Half Marathon at miles: 1.3, 3.2, 4.9, 6.7, 7.9, 9.6, and 11.3.

o Local high school cheer squads will be located along the course at miles: 0.7, 1.8, 3.2, 3.4, 4.5, 4.9, 5.7, 6.5, 7.1, 7.4, 8.3, 8.5, 9.2, 11, 12, and 12.3.

o Race start times
# 6:40 a.m. Wheelchair Start
# 6:45 a.m. Invitational Women's Start
# 7:00 a.m. Invitational Male/ Race Start

I'm soooooo excited. Go Team!!!!

Posted by VWBug at 05:22 AM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2009

VA is for Runners

So here I am in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach and I love this place. The people are so dang friendly and the weather is beautiful.

It is becoming fall.

I can't believe Virginia doesn't have a problem with everyone and their brother wanting to live here. I can't believe people would grow up here and purposefully move away.

Good Lord, it is beautiful here.

Hey, maybe the weather gets very sucky in the winter.

Anyway, I'm so mellow and relaxed, if I were any more so I'd be a puddle. I've been tooling around the various towns just watching and taking it in. We had an 8AM run this morning on the Board Walk. I said to my running partner, "Life Experience! I've been running through an old graveyard in NC, through Central Park, and now the BoardWalk in VA Beach."

I need to post on my running buddy. She is 36 years old, a mother of two great kids ages 7 and 5, and a widow for 5 years. Her husband died from leukemia when her youngest was an infant.

An amazing story... the people I meet.

And seriously, what is the probability I'd end up running with another female engineer? She hails from this area, a VA Tech grad, as she said this morning, "I'm with MY PEOPLE for tonight's game!" Evidently it's the Hokies vs. Alabama tonight. She was waving and yelling at every obvious Hokie we passed this morning on the boardwalk.

Her family is staying at a room that overlooks the Boardwalk. They'd made signs and as we ran this morning, her two kids hung over the balcony screaming a their Mom while her sister and mother held signs and cheered us on.

Wow. Talk about heart warming.

More on her in another post. She's amazing.

I'm off to grab something very very bad to eat, like a muffin or pastry, take my big bottle of water and a book (Vince Flynn) and go read on the porch because the weather...

... is divine.

Posted by Boudicca at 12:52 PM | Comments (2)

September 04, 2009

Mellowing

I have internet. I'm staying in this little Hyatt Place in a town called Chesapeak and they have little workstations.

From the front, I wasn't sure what I was getting into with this little place. I couldn't afford to stay beach front with the team (since I'm a Non-fundraising mentor, I pay my own way), so I had to leave the beach area for something affordable. Besides, the beach hotel had a 3 night minimum stay and I'm outta here when I'm finished running.

Anyway, I'm loving this place. It's very... cozy? I have no clue what it is... but I'm suddenly very relaxed. The staff is wonderful and the bed is big and looks comfy and there is this great couch and the TV swivels and I could watch TV from the couch or from the big huge bed.

Not that I watch it... but maybe I will the next couple days. Maybe I'll watch movies.

I actually really like Norfolk and Chesapeake. So far, so good. I think the key is... as odd as it sounds... I could live in Virginia. It's like I landed and something in me said, 'I could live here...' There are other places I've intuitively known I could not live.

Virginia is different. Hey, I had ancestors from Virginia fight in the Revolutionary War, so perhaps the whole thing is subconscious knowing I did have kin that lived here.

So I shall be off and on. I have a post brewing on cars and I don't think I like the little car I'm renting. Some Nissan something or other that is neither SUV or car... like someone squashed a SUV.

And now... for the post I wrote in the airplane today on the back of my itinerary:

As if suffering the indignities of flying had not grown enough the airlines had to compound it 100 fold by charging for luggage.

None of us are stupid. They want to be able to say their price is the same, when in reality, if you check a bag, you've just incurred another $30 round trip.

People don't want to pay it. Period. Given a choice, they'll carry a steamer trunk shoved into a bag that rolls to save that $30.

Me? I hate carry on. I'll pay to check my bags.

Overhead bins weren't created for all 200+ passengers to bring in a big rolling bag. They were created for small bags, punctuated by the occasional businessman.

Now everyone is fighting for space. Add to that, where I live in S. FL, where our motto should be "I See Old People", and you have a real mess. As my husband texted me from a business trip as the plane was loading, "Old people and heavy carry ons do not mix."

Today I carried my bag on. Duffle sized, I needed all my running gear with me in the event a bag were to get lost. So I packed light. Still finding a spot amongst what felt like steamer trunks was a sheer stroke of luck.

It matters now where you are in the boarding line. First in gets overhead space. Last in gets forced to check a bag.

Someone is going to get hurt. As heavier bags are brought on board in an effort to keep from paying for checking, bags will fall and people will get hurt.

But, hey, everyone saved $30 and the airlines can say they didn't raise fares.

It's a win-win... right?

Just not for me.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:11 AM | Comments (7)

September 03, 2009

Born to Run... not Really.

I'm ready.

I'm packed, I have every piece of paper printed for my flight and for my race, the Garmin is programmed for every concievable place I will be driving to, I have the bracelets made out for the two women I'm running for (my cousin who has a chronic leukemia and a friend's Mom who has multiple myeloma), and... I'm ready.

Unless there is a computer in my hotel, I'll be unplugged. I never set up my blackberry for internet because... I never intended to. If I get bored, I might try it. Otherwise, who knows about posting.

VW has access to my blog and will be posting my splits. I would have invited all of you to get my splits on your cell phones, because, afterall, you have nothing better to do on your Sunday mornings than wondering what mile I'm running with my running average, but they wanted $1 a piece for everyone I added.

So VW is the stuckee.

This is NOT going to be a fast race for me. It's been hot, I've been busy, and I've been struggling getting my training in. When 10 hours of a day are 90 degrees, it's tough to want to get out there.

No fast times. I hope I don't embarrass myself too badly at the splits... just sayin'.

On different notes... I don't have time to get to all my posts, but a thank you for all those offering support to Ringo and his bass playing. I always read every comment, I laugh a lot (in particular the gun residue on the Nicarguan uniforms), and I smile.

Y'all are the best... it's not lost on me, I'm just not as good as I should be about showing it and I apologize.

The Nicaraguan uniforms DID come in, but, they got the order botched up. Of the six items I ordered, they got two right. I called the store immediately and said to the woman who answered, "You do NOT want to speak to me. You WANT to hand me off to your boss, because YOU DO NOT get PAID enough to deal with what I'm going to throw at you..." and she said, "M'am, I am the manager and I can't believe there would be a reason that I would not want to talk to you..."

And with that... I came un-frickin'-glued. My kids hid.

I should have part of the new uniforms on Saturday and the rest on Tuesday.

Pissed doesn't even start it. She didn't get paid enough today.

Meanwhile, The Thomas, actually researched the island of Tristan, from a comment I made to PT about where I'm going to go live.

His comment was, "What? Six days boat ride from anywhere?

One Pub, no restaurants. 230 other people. Yours is not one of the six family names they have due to inbreeding. You are too fair complected.

And that cold is NOT from the gulf stream."

I was laughing. This island was in Parade magazine this weekend and we saw it and were laughing as we all know a Tristan very well. They are Tristanians and this has brought much joking and carryings on.

So this is where I have said I will escape to, except as Thomas pointed out, I'm not genetically allowed (you have to be one of the seven founding families), the butchering of one's own meat is something I could not do (I'd become a vegetarian), and having to go to Cape Town for serious medical help, by boat, is rather daunting.

Nobody needs a medal for natural childbirth there, because that's all they have.

Anyway, tomorrow morning I'm up at 4:30AM to catch a flight. My husband said, "You have to get up early..." and I replied, "Phht, not as early as I do when I go running on Saturdays!"

Hell, I'm practically sleeping in...

Ciao. I'll be back Sunday night.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:52 PM | Comments (6)

September 02, 2009

Sleepless in WPB

I'm pretty stressed and sleep is not coming anymore. I have come to realize the past few years, when I am stressed, I wake up confused. I wake up looking at the clock, trying to make sense, looking outside as to how much light, looking back at the clock.

It's not uncommon for me to walk the house, trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing. The answer, of course, is sleeping, but in my stressed out subconscious, at 2AM, that answer is not obvious.

It has been getting worse.

I walked the house twice last night, once to look at the kitchen clock in hopes I'd understand more as to how much time I had left to sleep (it was 12:30) and once at 3:30 because I thought I heard someone turn off the alarm, so I checked on the kids.

Part of it is the upcoming race. The logistics of going to a strange city, trying to get to a race alone amongst 20,000 people and wanting to get back home to my family as well. It would be nice if the Tropical Storm stayed off the coast to Wednesday so I can be home with my family.

Part of it is work. I'm working damn close to full time now, trying to meet the needs of my family. The economy is bad and it has had its adverse effects upon my husband's business.

Work is stressful. I'm having to work with one of those personalities that is just... difficult. Difficult, arrogant... the type of person, that when someone in my office is on the phone with him (he works at Company X, our customer), that invariably, the phone is slammed down and a declaration of "A$$hole!" can be heard throughout the office.

Typically I'll chime in dryly from my little corner of the office, "He needs killin'".

Most people who work with him, just scream at him after they've slammed down the phone. That is not my MO.

I'll completely stand up for myself and go toe to toe... and THEN slam down the phone and yell, "A$$hole" although today I said loudly, "I'm so disappointed he didn't get hit by a truck last night."

Jimmy the Greek thinks this is completely awful. I said quietly, "OK, a small truck. Just maim him so he's out of the office for 6 weeks or forever."

So this has upped the stress level considerably at work. Working with such a$$holery makes it harder to want to go in, gearing up for the fight every time.

I hate it. I have no qualms verbally slitting someone's jugular, but it is draining and I'd rather not. Not anymore.

The kids are doing well in school. We are on our 3rd week of 'hope'. It is going well.

We are also on day 24 of the wait for the Nicaraguan uniforms. I will call tomorrow.

Long days. Very long days. Much stress. Headaches. Lack of sleep. I think what worries me, is I don't see a way to quell the stress. I don't see an end in sight.

Let us see if the race being over takes care of it... we'll see.

And a special shout out to Dax, who posted a very cool video that I showed my son tonight. He's been struggling with both his instruments, double and electric bass, a type of struggle and frustration that occurs before big growth. The video opened his eyes to... thinking out of the box. He said, 'He played it like a big guitar..."

I think he has the potential to be good. I really do. He just needs to stick with it and realize... there are going to be days that suck and days of glory. He's just kind of in the weeds of suckage right now... being that freshman with all those juniors and seniors who really know how to play. Compared to him, that is.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:35 PM | Comments (6)

September 01, 2009

When A Case Lasts a Lifetime

We all celebrate lasts... the last tooth a child lost, the last time you walked off your high school campus, the last day of college... something.

We remember the lasts.

Just as we remember the firsts.

But I swear to you, this falls under the whole category of 'you can't make this sh** up'.

It seems my husband opened the back hatch of my father in law's mini van and found a CASE of Lever soap. A CASE.

He and his buddy had gone to Costco.

My husband, looking at it quizzically said, "Dad, what are you doing with a case of Lever soap in your car?"

My father in law replied, 'It was a good deal. It's good soap. That's what I use. I figure if I bought a case, I'll never have to buy soap again. It'll last me the rest of my life."

*blink*

Wow.

Talk about watching the sunset, realizing you don't have so many years, when you buy a case of soap just knowing you'll never have to spend another dime on soap again.

Gives a whole new meaning to lasting a lifetime.

We were laughing about it at dinner tonight, shaking our heads.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:18 PM | Comments (7)

Ghastly Neighbors

No, I'm not going to beat this dead horse.

But let me clarify something from my cancer cluster post. I don't think they're actually ever going to figure out what the problem is in this zip code.

I don't.

The thing is, people dream of that rural life. I get it. I moved out here to get away from the city, get more land for my kids to be able to play on. I could put a nice sized home out here for half the money as in town.

But I live in a subdivision, where we may have well and septic, but we have drainage, we bought fill for our homes, and there are rules... good or bad... we have rules. Most of us have followed the rules of where our wells go with respect to both OUR septic tanks AND that of our neighbors.

We also have deeper wells and... we all have expensive water filtration systems, whether we choose to drink our water or not.

When you go out West where the possible cancer cluster is at its most dense, it is a different lifestyle of living.

Not bad.

Just different.

People felt like they were living the rural farm/horse life and they were. However, the average real farm is acres of land with a septic tank or well.

These folks are acre after acre, one acre lots, each with their own well, their own septic, and many wells placed illegally and HORRIBLE drainage.

So when it rained hard, the rain would come up people's yards, up their pads to their homes and everyone's septic tanks would be under water, and whatever materials were used for fill were now straining water, and the horse poop and pesticides were all under water, and it all ended up somewhere.

The wells are at 30 feet, the most shallow aquifor. I'm not sure what kind of water systems if any were in the homes.

But the thing is... it doesn't have to be the water. We're all in the flight path to the local airport. Hell, I talk about at Christmas when my husband decorates the house, lighting the roof, that PBI uses our home as a flight point for it's pilots flying in. Fuel dumping? I don't know.

Not to mention power lines. Power lines in my neighborhood are underground. They have the big station out there.

So the bottom line is... nobody knows what exactly is causing it and I personally thing... they will never really know.

With all the carcinogens we put in our environment now, really, I think there is no telling.

So, I'm still sitting tight.

And the above was brought to you by a conversation I had with a neighbor today who asked me my opinion as she was accosted last week by a freaked out neighbor who said, 'she was in mourning as cancer is all over the place'. The woman was a lunatic.

Whatever.

She wants to think cancer is 'all over the place', she needs to do a Team in Training marathon with me where EVERYONE has either had a blood born disease or has someone close to them who is fighting it. Talk about feeling like 'cancer is all over'.

I'm here for the long haul. Hopefully she'll get the hell out. I get tired of folks with so much anxiety and negative energy. Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 01:36 PM | Comments (11)