December 29, 2010

All Random at the End of Christmas

We leave tomorrow to make our way back down south, to warmer climate.

We had a wonderful vacation, but it's come to an end. My niece and her parents (heh, my sister and bil) left today. We miss her. She smells sweet and her little antics make us laugh. A lot.

I've gotten back into an exercise routine since I've been here. I'll maintain at home. It was not that it was really so cold, but the wind was biting, giving Chicago a run for it's money. And that's cold, because of all the cold places I've been, Chicago wind will cut through you like a jagged frozen knife, nasty cold biting wind.

I'm all about staying warm, so I had layers on to try to fight it, and wore one of my Dad's ear covers. My ears and hands never get warm, no matter how much I walk or run.

My hair is short now, and with the ear covers on (it's a band that covers your ears), I looked like a bad imitation of a 1920s flapper girl, along with my 20 year old sweat shirt (I think I get bonus points in aging that I can still wear clothes from college), and my scary white muppet legs with running shorts and running shoes.

Mom: You look cute!

Me, to my boys: Any of you want to come with me?

Ringo, looking at me horrified: No way.

Bones, deer in the headlights look: You look like the Village Idiot.

Mr. T: Mom. Are you REALLY going out like that? I wouldn't be caught dead with you.

Me: Heh. I'm warm. Besides, Mim says I look cute.

Mr. T, rolling his eyes, doing a silent NO with his lips, quietly: Moms... are supposed to say stuff like that. Don't believe her...

Heh.

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On any given weekend, I have boys in my house. I mean boys other than mine. Although, they're all becoming mine.

Ringo and his band of merry men make their way from home to home on the weekends, crashing at which ever Mom says, "Sure". These kids come from his middle school, his high school, are friends of other kids he knows from middle school.

So it's not uncommon for me to wake up and find boy bodies sprawled all over my house sleeping... beds, couches, floors... boys. All over.

They are always polite and respectful, my big thing is having enough food for them.

So this last weekend when I awoke to having no less than four extra bodies in the house, some of them 6 feet long and still growing, I cooked up some breakfast to get them started and did a survey of what food MIGHT be left in my pantry and fridge.

When all the boys were in kitchen sitting down to eat, I said, "So, did everyone get enough to eat? What do I need to replenish. Did someone finally finish off that cheesecake for me? And the pumpkin pie? And why do I still see lasagna in there?"

I got random call outs 'I ate cheesecake!" 'Don't worry, Mrs. L, I had meatballs at 2AM!" "Mom, we need more chips. We ended up finishing up even the stale chips."

And then I heard... "There is one piece of cheesecake that we didn't touch. Someone took a bite out of it."

Me: What?

Ringo: Yeah, we could tell you took a bite out of it. It had part of it missing and pink, like lipstick around the bite mark...

Me: I didn't.

Ringo: Mom, you're the only girl...

I opened it up, and sure enough. Now I have been on a pretty strict diet since before Thanksgiving and I assure you that I did NOT take a random bite out of the cheesecake. I think someone must've had juice lips (*ahem* Bones *ahem*) when they took said bite.

After the boys left I said to Ringo, "Dude, I so did not bite that cheesecake..."

And Ringo replied, "It's OK, Mom. They all thought it was funny. Darren actually said, "That's so something I would do... take a bite and put it back." They're cool with it..."

What?! Of course that is something a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD BOY would do! However, I.DID.NOT.

And somehow, I have made it on Darren's ultracool list because not only does he repeatedly say to my son, 'I can't believe that's what your Mom does for a living..." he now also thinks I take bites of cheesecake and then puts it back.

As if... I'd leave evidence?

*sheesh*

Posted by Boudicca at 09:56 PM | Comments (7)

December 27, 2010

Christmas Vacation

Tonight was ham and cheese grits night. It was fantastic... it was.

My parents' home is warm in the kitchen and family room, but the outermost rooms, like appendages, are cool, if not cold. My husband, shaking his head last night, said to me, "I'm sleeping with my clothes on tonight..." Sure enough, when I awoke, I realized he was in jeans and sweater.

As TGOO and I were working the time line for food to be ready all at the same time, he said he was going to have us cook the ham on the back porch.

It was about 40 degrees on the porch outside... maybe 38.

It's one of those portable cookers. I use one often to cook chicken outside when it's so bloody hot I don't want the oven on in my house for extended periods. I use it sometimes as a spare oven when there is just too much to cook and not enough oven space. (I don't have a double oven.)

And that's when I suggested that maybe we could... maybe... cook the ham in the bedroom my husband and I are sleeping in.

Mo thought it was hysterical.

TGOO thought my room would smell too much like fat.

After being on the back porch working on the ham without a jacket, wearing muppet slippers, and no gloves, and still feeling toasty...I think it was still a good idea...

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I gather the Air Force Academy's bowl game was today. I was in the kitchen with my Mom and Mo, when Bones came bounding in.

Said Bones, "Mom! Mom! Mom! The Air Force has some guy with the last name SERVE. And like FIVE GUYS with the last name FREEDOM!"

Puzzled, I said, "Wait. How do you know?"

Replied he, "It's on the back of their jerseys!"

Mom, Mo and I, simultaneously did a *blink*.

I pray he was only joking. I suspect... he was not.

--------------------
For those of you game families, we are liking Konexi. Very fun.

Not so much on some weird magnet game called Yikerz. I can't get into it...
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We've been taking a lot of family pictures this Christmas. I keep looking at them, seeing myself, and thinking, "When did I become a middle aged woman? Where was I when that happened and why didn't I notice the transformation occurring?"

I don't feel... like I look.

Odd...


Posted by Boudicca at 08:44 PM | Comments (6)

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We are gathered at my folks' home. My brother is in from California. My sister, her husband and the Great Flambina are here from Atlanta. Mo is 6 months pregnant with child number two and the boys are taking great pleasure in squishing on her tummy to feel the new cousin kick.

The Great Flambina has been an absolute joy and we cannot get enough of her. She will be two next month and Bones amuses her and loves to be her overseer. Ringo carts her around on his hip like she belongs there. Mr. T can't quit kissing on her cheeks. She is family and we cannot remember life when she wasn't here.

It must've been so empty... and we never even realized it.

I've been on a pretty strict diet since Thanksgiving, having lost a dress size, and today has pretty much been a bust as I've eaten things I have not eaten in... 6 weeks? My goal is just to maintain my weight loss this week... no gains.

My Dad and I went walking sometime today. It's cold and rainy and I was layered... by 1/4 mile I was warm and remembered why I liked running in this weather. The rain I can do without, but there is nothing quite like running in 40 degree weather. The only thing that beats it is taking a good long walk with someone you love. Besides, I needed to walk off... Moose Munch.

The kids had a great morning. Paintball guns, video games, clothes, board games, Nerf guns... the house is crazy.

The hit with the Great Flambina, who absolutely LOVES monkeys, is a Jack in the Box with a sock monkey instead of 'Jack' which is fine, as I always thought Jack was kinda sorta creepy, in that possessed clown kind of way. She still calls Monkeys "Ah Ahs" since that's the sound they make "ah ah, oo oo!" The monkey pops out and she's thrilled.

It makes us laugh.

My brother got her a Mr. Potato head. She walks around wearing the glasses that are 4X too small. Sidenote: Mr. Potato head no longer carries a pipe. Said pipe was eliminated in 1987, much to our surprise... and irritation. It's akin to Disney getting rid of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride... tradition and all that stuff. Makes you stop and say, "Really?" Who knewwww, that Mr. Potato Head was obviously promoting smoking?

Truly is amazing I made it through my childhood unscathed, it is.

Football jerseys were the big request this Christmas; my boys have no loyalty to teams, but to players. Vikings, Broncos, Eagles and the Steelers, Polomalu is a fave. They love to watch him play.

I personally think its funny to see my blonde floppy haired blue eyed casper white skinned boy wanting to be like Polomalu, a very large Hawaiian man with hair that makes me laugh in that commercial. Bones will probably sleep in his Jersey. I'll end up having to peel it off his skin.

The gift of the day for me appeared to be... pajamas! From both my husband and my sister, evidently it's a signal that my grandfather's old flannel shirts need to go... away. Heh.

Great food, family, and good times... we are all content.

I hope your Christmas was a wonderful as ours.

Merry Christmas from My Home... To Yours.

My favorite...


Posted by Boudicca at 03:03 PM | Comments (8)

December 24, 2010

Rejoice...

We arrived at Noon today, CST, to my parents' home in Pensacola. A much needed vacation to start to spool down this old year, a year I'm ready to release.

Time to move on.

I've been counting down the days to get out of West Palm. Sometimes the city closes in on me and it is all I can do to not run. By the time we left, I was there... ready to flee.

Our family tradition is the big meal on Christmas Eve. This keeps the women folk out of the kitchen on Christmas, allowing them to enjoy the holiday for all that it is. My husband's family's tradition is Christmas Day, so when we are here, he cooks on Christmas, starting the sauce (or gravy to the real Italian Americans) on the Eve. We'll have lasagna and eggplant parm tomorrow.

Tonight is some sort of prime rib that I can hardly wait to taste. It is followed by our traditional King Cake that TGOO makes. I know, its a Mardi Gras cake, but we think its more fitting hoping to get the piece with the baby on Christmas Eve... the Eve of His birth as we celebrated it.

My kids are excited, having actively participated in every sense this year, picking and choosing gifts for one another. Bones spurred it... his insisting last month on the 'perfect gift for TGOO that he found as we were out and about one day. He continued searching for everyone... until his excitement and energy about giving had thoroughly infected his brothers.

How excited was Bones? So excited that at the school book fair, just fifty cents in his pocket, he saw a Tim Tebow Bronco poster for sale and had just enough to buy it for his brother, T, the ultimate 'Gator and post Gator player' football fan.

I was personally touched when he bounded in my car one day, poster in hand, hardly able to contain his excitement.

Bones is 11 and he has caught on early as to what it is about... The Spirit of Giving.

I'm off to wrap. My boys are going to Mass with their father, and I'll try to get a handle on all that is not yet ready to set below the tree tonight.

Which reminds me of a funny story...

A few Christmas's ago, my boys received a game called Who Knew? A funny game, everyone gets a couple cards except the one 'who person'. The players sift through their cards, finding a card that is the most appropriate for that person with regard to their likes.

There are cards like, "shopping at the mall", "walking on the beach", "ice skating", "eating ice cream" and then there are cards like, "doing laundry", "eating pickles", "cleaning your room". You get points based on who was the most right and he who has the most points after everyone has been the 'who person' wins.

One game, I was the 'who person'. I flipped through the cards that had been selected for me and found one that said, "doing laundry".

Me: Doing laundry? Who put that?

Ringo: I did.

Me: You didn't have anything better in your hand than "doing laundry"?

Ringo: You don't like doing laundry?

Me: *blink* NO! (Morrigan started to laugh)

Ringo: Oh! I didn't know! You do it ALL THE TIME!"

Me and Mo together: Because there is so much and it has to be done!

So that is our family joke now, about how I must love doing laundry because I do it all the time.

Last week, I was talking to my Mom and she said something like, "We can't wait for you to arrive. All the packages you had shipped here are in your room. They're all ready for you to wrap them on Christmas Eve because I know how you love to wrap on Christmas Eve!"

I started to laugh and said, 'Mom, I wrap on Christmas Eve, not because I like it, but because I finally have time!"

I was telling Mo this story and she said, "Ahh... like doing laundry..."

Heh heh heh.

I'm off to wrap. It's Christmas Eve... and it sort of has become a tradition for me. What else would I do?

I'll end this with my favorite Christmas song, one I've posted before...

Last month, finding a way to get into the Christmas spirit, I found this piece, which I love. Enjoy... and Rejoice.

Posted by Boudicca at 05:32 PM | Comments (9)

December 20, 2010

Don't Run with a Chainsaw

Yet another visit to the orthopedic surgeon today. We're still a bit muddled as to what to do, as this situation is not one he's seen before. So off the films and reports go to UF to some bigwig, where our doc will confer with him and we might be asked to make a drive so said bigwig can see for himself, as to how to proceed next.

To cut or not to cut, that is the question. The doc doesn't want to cut unless he has to. That's cool. We, however, have kind of resigned ourselves to the inevitability.

Would be nice if it didn't happen... but we're prepared mentally if it must.

Sitting in the waiting room... was really dang funny.

We walked in and took our seats in the back of the room, passing by men on both sides. They all looked like honest hardworking men; I'd say laborers.

I was reading when I heard one man say to the other, "Cut 'em all off. I cut off all four fingers with hedgeclippers..."

That made me raise my eyes and look over. Can you frickin' imagine?

He continued, "Yeah, the doc got 'em all reattached and they're good as new. Four months ago. It didn't hurt or anything... must've been the shock your body goes into."

The guy next to him said something I couldn't hear and finger cutting guy replied, "I was on top of a ladder. Instead of hitting stop, I hit the gas. Cut this one clear off... the other three down to the bone."

At this point, I cringed and said, "Oh My God. I think seeing my finger laying in the grass would have pulled me out of shock..."

He laughed and said, 'Nah, it wasn't like that. It was hanging there..." at which point I laughed a horrified laugh and sarcastically said, "Oh yeah. That's TONS better..."

My son was laughing. I was aghast.

The man continued to the guy next to him, "There is this guy who cut his arm with a chainsaw. Came in the same day I did..."

Yet another man across the way was in on the conversation. "My hand after years of abuse had crumpled up into a fist. I couldn't open my fingers. Look at this... look what the doc did..." and he moved his hands open and closed and acted as if he was playing the piano. "This other hand? I used to have to soak it in hot water and pry the fingers open. I give it 6 months... it'll be as good as new..."

The men continued their bonding experience when in walked a very thin man, all of 5'6", probably my age. He walked to the window to check in and I heard 'Fingerless Jose' say, 'That's him! That's the chainsaw guy!"

Chainsaw man walked in, quietly found his chair while fingerless man said, "Hey! How did it go?"

Evidently chainsaw man had literally nearly cut off his arm at the forearm with a chainsaw. He unwrapped his arm, from elbow to hand and showed everyone and said, "Three fingers... I have feeling and movement. I pray for the other two..."

Most of the men in that room? They do not play well with lawn equipment.

I felt like I was watching some weird rendition of that scene in Jaws where they are all under the ship comparing scars and stories.

A lawn man's horror movie... Good Grief

Posted by Boudicca at 09:40 PM | Comments (15)

December 19, 2010

The Christmas Experience

I hate shopping at Walmart. To be honest, it makes me nervous. SOME of the folks who work there can be very low class and don't want to give you the time of day and the shoppers... most have stories I don't want to fathom.

Target? Yes, I go there all the time. Wal-mart? No thanks. Creeps me out.

Yet, I had to go there today to look for a couple items.

Am I the only one who looks closely in the mirror now before walking into Wal-mart? There are huge websites and emails that go on about folks who shop at Wal-mart. I'd die a 1000 deaths if I ever saw myself in one of those photos.

'Look at this chick. She's wearing a red 1980's sweater. She needs to call the Time Warp Machine and ask them to take back into time that hideous Red Forenza Sweater. I suspect she has a sister somewhere that tells her to get rid of it. She should listen...'

I keep the sweater just to irritate my sister. I need to dig it out for Christmas. I won't wear it to Wal-mart.

I tried to stay small and zip in and out. I met one really cute baby, almost 1 according to her Mom, that kept waving to me. Of course I had to respond. It became wave-fest. Happy babies... their moods are infectious.

But on my way through the computer video section, I passed a young boy, probably 10-12 years old, playing a game. I was behind him looking for an item when his mother came up. I swear this was the conversation:

Mom, on cell phone: Derek!!! DEREEEEEK!!!!

Derek: I'm here, Mom... *scrambles to find her*

Mom: Hey.

Derek *resuming his game* : Yeah.

Mom, listening to someone in her earbud: Do you want to see your brother?

Derek, not looking at her, but concentrating on his game: Which one?

Mom: DO YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR BROTHER?

Derek: WHICH ONE?

(It is now obvious to me that she's on the phone with someone, possibly a brother, who Derek may have the opportunity to see, however there appears to also be multiple people who might fit this, 'don't see you very often brother' billet.)

Mom, exasperated: NOT your brothers in Venezuela...

Derek: OK, which one.

Mom: You know... your real brothers...

Derek: yeah, which one...

And at that point, I tried to escape from the family horror show...

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

The boys coerced me into buying a little 'table' tree so that the house might smell like real tree. For awhile, until we got down the fake one from the attic, it acted as our real tree... not decorated.

Now that the house is decorated, I decided we had to do something with it and perhaps it needed to become an 'outside' decoration. Between the two new animated reindeer seemed to be a fun idea.

On a side note about our new lighted 'deer'. Bones still wants to use the old deer with them. One of them has been cannibalized so badly to supply parts to its mate that I think only 1/3 lights up. And even with all the kballing of parts, the good deer still has a butt that doesn't light, so we'd have to do the 'its standing in the bushes' pose.

But the new deer? Every time they bend their head to eat, their necks catch and stall for a second, giving a quick bob. We've taken to calling them the arthritic reindeer. And they're supposed to be fawns. Must be all that inbreeding...

So... with Bones yesterday, fully aware that wind could be a problem and topple the tree, we set out to decorate said little tree, positioned between the inbred arthritic fawns. I bought cheap ornaments for it and some silver garland so it would appear shimmery.

It did look cute. Yesterday was windless.

This morning, not so much.

The boys were out in the yard decorating when I walked out this morning. My husband was bending down, stood up and said, "Hun, you'll have to redecorate your little tree. It's taken a bit of a beating... I staked it down so it won't fall anymore."

Sure enough, he'd spent the time to create a little staking set up to keep it upright.

Ornaments were strewn all over the grass and I could feel the laughter starting to build.

Me: Did this happen last night or this morning?

Hunhead: Today. We witnessed it...

Me *starting to laugh*: You watched it?

Hunhead: Yeah, it rolled all over the damn yard. It was flying... ornaments going with it.

I could not quit laughing. There were ornaments in the ears of the inbred arthritic fawns, bows and balls scattered about.

For some reason the thought of this tree being battered about, ornaments flying all over the yard completely cracked me up.

Funny that it didn't crack me up 6 months ago when my husband put the garbage to the curb in black plastic bags and 100 vultures tore the bags apart strewing eggs shells, chicken bones and coffee grounds all over my yard... and the neighboring five acres.

Ornaments all over? Funny. Trash? Not so much...

Posted by Boudicca at 03:31 PM | Comments (9)

December 17, 2010

When 'Decorating the Tree' Is on the To-Do List

We decorated the tree tonight. With our crazy schedules, it is difficult to have family dinner every night, something I get testy about as I think it's important to keep a family cohesive, let alone get together and decorate a tree...

... especially given the parameters placed by my offspring on such an event.

My own family has this thing about traditions. It's a big joke with my Mom about us, in particular with my brother. Be careful of what you do during a holiday, for if it is liked it suddenly becomes... a tradition.

And you can't stop it or you receive all sorts of flack. "Wait. But it's a TRADITION. We have to do it this way..."

I think that's what happened with the Cheese grits. She made them once with ham for Christmas and after that... she had to make them EVERY year. I think we've even tried to convince her it was an Easter tradition as well.

This 'it's a tradition' thing must be genetic. Or... perhaps just a sign of the love of stability. You know what to expect.

My boys have it, either way. They are big on "TRADITION!"

These are the Christmas Tree decorating rules:

1) It must be done after sunset. One does not decorate our tree during the day.

2) There is ONLY ONE CD that is played. There was this little Christmas CD my eldest son fell in love with when he was two and he'd run around and around in circles listening to it... so excited. That CD gets played over and over and over....

3) Hot chocolate is a MUST. I don't care if it's 95 degrees, they have me make hot chocolate.

4) Russian Tea Cookies... they are the ONLY cookies I can make. This year I tried to convince them of changing and having me make these peanut butter chocolate bars that are to DIE for. NO. Russian Tea Cookies. Bonus, they aren't picky about the recipe and this year I made Emeril's found HERE and they were fantastic.

And that's about it.

This year the boys decided to keep their school made ornaments off the tree. They only wanted the nice ones... and their own personal ornaments. No handprints, popsicle stick and felt, or pictures of grinning kindergardners glued to the top of a canning jar lid.

They did keep my white doves with long tails... they are tradition now since when the kids were small, the last Christmas with my mother in law alive, I dressed the boys and put them in front of the tree with ornaments. I had called her to come to my house to help me. It was sure to be complete pandemonium.

Ages 4, nearly 3, and just a few months, Ringo proceeded to have the sweet Christmas doves dive bomb anything and everything.

It was more like a feathered warzone than a Christmas picture.

It took 50 pictures to take one that worked... it was literally 'snap, snap, snap, snap...' My mother in law, at the end, laughed in exasperation and said, "You do this EVERY year?"

That was the only year with dive bombing Christmas doves.

This year, it's a grown up tree. And it came out beautifully.

It is time for me to replace my angel. I'm on a search for her... the perfect angel. My angel is nearly 25 years old and is looking rather weathered. It is time for her to be a table ornament.

Meanwhile, we can't find our frickin' Christmas tree hangers, so we've resorted to our back up... paperclips. Nothing screams CLASS like beautiful ornaments hanging by coated paperclips.

OH NO... not the plain old silver ones, according to Bones. We have to use the NICE ones, the coated ones.

Right.

Christmas 2010.jpg

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And if you love to hear the little people tell stories from their reality... watch this video of 4 and 5 year olds telling the story of Jesus.


Posted by Boudicca at 07:13 PM | Comments (6)

December 16, 2010

Christmas Songs

The craziness is coming to a close. Holy crap, not soon enough.

Tonight we had Bones' vocal concert (where I heard yet again that he looks just like me!) and it was so fun. If someone ever downloads any of their concerts, I'll link immediately.

Tonight, the top tier choir did their thing, showing us the versatility of their voices... this is MIDDLE SCHOOL... and as always it was impressive. But what I like about this group is that the teachers always make sure that every single class gets to sing something fun.

The top choir group sang this one tonight, complete with gestures. I so wish it was uploaded on the 'net because it was amazing to see 50 kids dressed to the nines doing this song. Funnier still, when you get to the part about King Kong's nose, at the end of that stanza, a little girl pretended to sneeze in her hand and then wipe it on the boy next to her. It was really dang funny and I wish they had that part in here...

So here is another excellent group performing a great little song we heard tonight.

... and yeah, I'm partial to Kazoos. I think its a blogger thing. ;-)

Posted by Boudicca at 10:23 PM | Comments (5)

December 15, 2010

Spinning, but no vomit out the eyes

The nerve damage in my son's hand/wrist is not permanent. I think he may be the only 15 year old with carpal tunnel's syndrome, brought on by the accident. Yes, surgery is next.

Yes, it is time to win the lottery.

Yes, I am also relieved.
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Bones did not do well on the pre-FL diagnostics in reading and has been given an 'invitation' to take after school classes in reading.

He's pissed. "Mom, an INVITATION? They act like its something all special or something and you and I both know... it's NOT". Just like his Mom, calling a spade a spade. But this is why we have him in public school now... to ferret out his weaknesses and to utilize their resources to benefit in the long run.

Bonus, he doesn't need it in Math. Odd that. The child who made an F and a D in last year's math, did fine on the math. Whodathunkit?

Bonus, he LOVES/ADORES his language arts teacher and since he thinks she may have recommended him, he may be OK with it.
---------------------------

I have now had two different people on two different occasions this week tell me that Bones looks EXACTLY like me. *blink* I've NEVER heard that before.

What are they keying in on? The blue eyes?

Odder still, I walked into Bones' school yesterday to go to a presentation one of his classes was having and a boy was standing at the door to great ALL the parents and escort them.

I walked in and his eyes got big and he said, "You must be Bones' Mom. He looks JUST like you". Mutt and Jeff behind me started to snicker.

Better still, at least nobody saw the three of them together and said "Same father?" I frickin' hate it when that happens. (Mr. T still laughs about the time I deadpanned to a woman, "No. I'm a whore..." Not a proud parenting moment, but it still felt good to say it.)
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Ringo had his Algebra II exam yesterday. Please tell me if I'm the only one who thinks his teacher is a lazy dork.

He got a D on his last test. He's a solid A/B student in Honors Alg II. And he got a D.

I said, "Dude? What is up with that?" to which he replied, "I swear she didn't cover this in class. I have NO CLUE where it came from..."

Translation to that was, "Mom, she didn't spoon feed us this information and I did the bare minimum in my book..."

Granted, she didn't assign some of it as homework... that's wrong.

So I sat down with him and went over the D test, knowing the data would be on his Final. We went problem by problem, I showed him how to work it out, he did some examples for me and I made him explain it to me, and he said he was ready.

He came home from the test... and she had LITERALLY copied and pasted those problems from that test onto the final, including all the multiple choice answers in the SAME EXACT order.

As he said, "Remember that problem with the drills? Remember how the answer was C? On my final? It was still C."

Problem Number 1 with me: WHY IN THE HELL is she giving ANY multiple choice tests AT ALL on ANY Algebra II test. EVER. I swear to God, she asks for the factoring of an equation and gives them four answers, so the kids literally work backwards.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

He has passed many of his tests, with A's, because he'll plug in all the answers to see what fits. That doesn't mean he KNOWS the data... NO.

Problem Number 2: My son is like me and has a photo memory to some degree. We can see something in print or on a sheet of paper, and close our eyes and recall what we saw, sometimes including page number.

So... by copying and pasting problems directly from one test onto the final, kids like him don't have to work out the problem. He looked through evey word problem, remembered they'd been on the previous test and literally remembered the answer... he said it was the easiest math final he'd ever taken.

Holy cats. My head may spin....

Guess who is going over Math this summer with their son in preparation for Pre-Cal next year?

Posted by Boudicca at 10:51 PM | Comments (9)

December 14, 2010

Filling a Hole

Work is kicking my ass.

My kids are kicking my ass.

I'm tired.

I'm done.

And it has nothing to do with Christmas... as a matter of fact, I look forward to Christmas.

Finals, MRIs, neurology appointments, bills, field trips, baking for schools, band concerts, voice concerts, work sucks, I can't be everywhere at once, but I'm supposed to be, and I'm cold.

The end.

'Tis the season...

On a sad nasty little note, why in the hell does a band director decide to play at an Alzheimer's facility the last week of school when there are finals, field trips, and parties in the classes? Why? Hell. We could play Christmas songs at EASTER and not one soul there would remember.

Give me a damn break.

Going back under my rock...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:43 PM | Comments (5)

December 11, 2010

Getting All Random on Saturday

I took Bones shopping with me today, Christmas shopping. He wanted to come.

I had an absolute blast. He is THE MOST fun to shop with. I think I laughed dang near the entire time. What a great little kid he is. His take on things is just a riot...

He is officially way creeped out by Santa now. Just last year he was enamored; this year he's creeped out.

Although he did say to me the other day, 'Mom, you and Dad... you always did it right. You made Christmas seem so magical and fun. It was perfect."

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

I went to the tweeny bop store, Justice, today to purchase something for my niece. I have decided if I was her age, I'd not have clothes from there.

I'd have been a Gap Kid.

Something about that stores bugs me...

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

I'm not sure what it is, we all know I don't follow the public spotlight and how I kind of live under a rock, but...

.... I'm really sad about Elizabeth Edwards. I'm trying to figure out why I care or why it's bugging me so much, but I can't and the fact is, her death has bothered me on a very deep level.

It's... not fair.

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

As for Madoff's son... I have two thoughts on this.

If he really knew what was going on, then good riddance.

If he didn't know, I'm sick that he was overcome with such a burden that he felt he had to kill himself. May his father's twisted soul be forever tormented by what he did to his son.


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

My son has been studying for finals, but deep down inside, I think he's going to fail them all.

Keeping that to myself... other than here.

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

His wrist didn't heal properly. He has Zero rotational ability. He had an MRI on Friday *kaCHING!*, and he has an EMG on Wednesday. I'm not telling him what an EMG entails. He'll figure it out when they do it.

No use making him sick before finals.

It appears he needs surgery and possibly a re-break. The bones didn't heal congruently.

No worries. We have no control over this...

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

I'm doing my Christmas cards in July next year.

Seriously.

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

I need to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I'm sick of aerospace...

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


The big huge omelet of the other day reminded me of a story...

Back when we owned Gordon the Ghecko, or were borrowing it, we were researching what to feed it. I called my Dad and was talking to him about it and it went like this...

Me: So it says not to feed it any crickets bigger than its head...

TGOO: Right. Who in the hell would eat food bigger than their head anyway?

Me: Ummm... well... I ate a chocolate chip cookie once bigger than my head.

TGOO: *pause* You ate a COOKIE bigger than your head?

Me: YUP! Chocolate chip. It was GREAT!

I now can say I've eaten an omelet bigger than my head. (although... I didn't eat the whole thing...)

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

Go Navy!! Woot!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:23 PM | Comments (3)

December 09, 2010

Amazing Things and Amazing People

I met VW for breakfast this morning. We try to meet once a week, but my life has been too crazy as has hers. Kids seriously cut into personal time!

I met her at the restaurant we frequent and she had a Christmas gift for me. We never exchange gifts.

I opened it and... it was a calendar... that she had made... for me... with photos of me and and my family throughout.

She got pictures from my sister, from my parents, and she even went so far as to email Eric to get pictures of my kids in the mountains.

I was laughing and nearly crying as I went through the calendar... touched by her amazing thoughtfulness and the pictures were a riot. I did that post on my family doing pictures with various faces? Well some of those pictures MADE IT INTO the calendar!

I saw one and shrieked to her, "It's Monster Face! I just did a post on that! How we make faces in our family pictures!" She laughed and said, "Yeah, I know. I was dying when I read that post."

I still... get choked up when I think of what she did. Folks... it had to take so much time and she sought out people to get her pictures. She had asked me, I was clueless as to why, and I'm so swamped, I'm lucky to blog, let alone download pictures and make them a sendable size. I kept forgetting. (BTW, poinsettia sales are over and it was amazing.)

But she persisted with other avenues and I just have this amazing calendar that I'm hanging at work, but won't write on.

So to VW, Thank you, Girlfriend. It was so sweet and kind. From the bottom of my heart...

And for the funny story:

I am actively trying to lose some weight I've been carrying too long. On the BMI chart I had moved into Overweight. I lost the weight I gained this summer while Pop was sick and I lost the weight I gained when I quit running. I'm back in the normal zone. Now I'd just like to take off the weight I've accrued over the past five years.

I was at a loss as to what I could eat for breakfast and after asking a girlfriend of mine, she said an 'egg white omelet with vegies and feta cheese'. So that's what I ordered, except with cheddar as they didn't have feta. (dang it)

Thirty minutes later, VW and I are waiting and waiting and waiting... and finally she flagged down our waitress and said, "Is our food almost ready?" to which the waitress replied, by looking at ME, "Sweetie, you ordered an omelet..." and she walked away.

VW and I looked at each other, I frowned and said, "What's up with that? Throw a couple eggs in a skillet, throw on some vegies and move on..." We both laughed.

And then... IT arrived.

Behold...

eggs.jpg

Holy cats. We both busted out laughing when we saw it. It was BAKED... and you can't tell here, but not only is that sucker as big as a dinner plate, but it is FOUR INCHES HIGH.

I barely ate half. It was so much dang food. And next time I'm ordering some scrambled eggs with a side of sauteed vegetables.

Good grief. A half hour for an egg white and vegetable souffle!

Yes. It was good.

But the company and conversation were better.


Posted by Boudicca at 10:57 PM | Comments (5)

December 07, 2010

Not Jay Leno's Garage

The plant sale went very very well today. It was so cold... so so cold. My feet, I wore my skiing socks, but my toes were still cold in my running shoes. And my fingers... any text I sent out to anyone (I was texting about trying to get plants picked up) was full of misspellings as my fingers felt gargantuan.

However, I was concerned initially it was going to be a bad day... this is how it started.

I showed up, it was 35 degrees, and I needed to get ready for the truck. As good fortune would have it, they didn't close the road until later! Woot!

I got out of my car and walked into the old building that we use as a staging area. We use the garage.

The house was built in the 60s and was initially a Convent. It's now more of an office with nobody in residence. The garage was probably originally a carport, but has been given an upgrade of a garage door. It's cinderblock as is the rest of the building, but has some sort of window sized funky cinder diagonal design that is very Sixties... that are pretty much holes in the wall. You can actually reach your hand through and touch someone.

If you have a smallish hand.

We call it 'heavily ventilated'.

So I got there early, saw the door was open to the main building, got in and said to the woman working, "I'm just going to open the garage door!" and she waved me on.

I looked around and didn't see an opener, I walked inside and didn't see one next to the door where mine is at home, so I walked to the garage door to see if it was there like it used to be at my in-laws. As I walked to the garage door, *click* the door to the main building closed behind me.

Cold. It was all of 40 degrees in this little garage, although there was no wind.

Up and down the sides of the garage door I looked for the opener and could not find one anywhere.

I walked back to the door, turned the knob... and it was locked. I couldn't open the garage door, I couldn't open the door to the main house.

I looked around and realized, I'd locked myself in the frickin' garage, no one knew I was there but this woman I didn't know in the main building and she was busy selling hoodies to unprepared cold kids.

I looked out the holes in the wall and saw NOT ONE PERSON and suddenly, I could not quit laughing.

The absolute absurdity that I'd locked myself in this dang garage... I couldn't believe it.

I quickly got on the phone with my girlfriend, "Mindy" and asked her where she was as she was supposed to join me. The conversation went like this:

Me: Hey. Where are you?

Mindy: I just dropped my son off and am going to Pineras to get some hot tea. You want some?

Me, finally unable to control it: Bwahahahahahahahaa... well...

Mindy: Why are you laughing?

Me: I bwahahahaha locked bwahahahahaa myself bwhahahaaha in the bwahahahahaa garage...

Mindy: Wait. Stop laughing. I can't understand what you're saying! (she's laughing now, it's contagious) Where are YOU?!

Me: Garage. *laughing* I locked myself in this dang garage *laughing and crying now... not sad*

Mindy: OMG! I"m coming right over to get you out!

Me: No, no, I'll wait for Cyndi to get here!

About 2 minutes later she pulled in and looking through the little holes, I yelled after her, "HEY! I'M IN HERE!" and broke into another fit of laughter.

And I know it's not funny on here, but holy crap, we could not quit laughing. I felt like a stupid cat or varmint. You know how they get caught in people's garages and can't get out?

That was me. How dumb...

Fortunately, it was all great from there.

Offending Garage.jpg
(You can see my little shout out holes against that back wall. This is about 1/10th of our order. We put the ones in here that were small orders and might be picked up late.)

Posted by Boudicca at 10:57 PM | Comments (6)

December 06, 2010

Murphy's Law Tuesday

I'm still running the Poinsettia fundraiser for the band. To date, it is one of the most fun fundraisers I've handled. It's short, its sweet, and in the end, everyone is usually happy.

I get stressed... something always happens that's not planned, like during the Hydrangea delivery, the truck broke down and they showed up 2 hours late... never calling us... or answering the phone when I called.

Little stuff like that.

Tomorrow, is the finale, with our having sold nearly 800 plants, or nearly $15000 worth of poinsettias.

Tomorrow a big huge truck comes and dumps off nearly 750 plants for my crew and I to break down into orders by customer and to prepare for delivery of said plants. (Nearly 70 plants have been previously delivered... custom orders to some estates in town.)

Tomorrow is the day... the County decided to close the road to our high school.

Tomorrow is the day... everyone has to figure out how to take the back roads to find the school and snake their way through to the front of the school, something 99% of the parents/students have never done.

Tomorrow is the day... a semi full of poinsettias has to do the same.

Tomorrow is the day... we are setting a record low of 32 degrees.

We live in Florida. Poinsettias MAY like the cold, we Floridians... do not. And I returned my sister's ski clothes to her. I was going to look for her long johns... it's that dang cold.

Holy crap.

So let me recap, 750 poinsettia plants are arriving tomorrow morning at 8AM with the main road to our high school closed for construction in 32 degree weather.

Nice.

Bonus for us... it's not supposed to rain.

I'll try to remember to take pictures this year. This is more plants than last year.

It promises to be insane...

Posted by Boudicca at 11:17 PM | Comments (10)

December 05, 2010

Older Kids and Christmas

I was informed the other day that they're not sitting on Santa's lap this year. Now that all three of them get it, they said NO.

Dang it. It went like this:

Me: So when we see Santa this year...

Bones: OH NO. We're not going.

Mr. T and Ringo: *sigh of relief*

Me: *startled* What? Are you KIDDING?

Bones: Mom, look, none of us believe anymore. Do you know how weird it is to be our age and sit on a man's lap?

Mr T: Right, Bones. Just think how we felt. Last year, we stood there next to him, not saying a word and you just kept talking and talking...

Bones: I was wondering why I was the only one telling him what I wanted.

Me: *fake sniff* If I'd known last year was the last year, maybe I would have relished it a little more.

Bones: Well, you have a picture somewhere. Treasure it. We're not going to see Santa.

So, there you go. I'm actually relieved. I'm relieved... and incredibly thankful that my two older boys went a long with it as long as they did... for the sake of their younger brother, who they claim bugs the crap out of them.

****************

Buying for teenage boys is tough. I'm struggling. People ask me what they want and I want to say, "How in the heck do I know? I think Ringo wants to be taller. Does that count?"

Seriously, I'm as lost as anyone else. I spend time googling, 'boys gifts age 14'.

I was talking to a friend the other day saying I had to order one of T's gifts on line. He said, "Ordering a jersey?" as in football, to which I replied cheerfully, "NO! A model of a solar powered hopping frog!"

I was met with kind of a blank stare to which I replied, "Didn't see that one coming, did you?!" He definitely had NOT.

******************

I was shopping the other day and my Mom and I were wondering the same question.

Why do department stores put clothes for petites next to clothes for larger women? I don't get it.

Nothing hammers home how small or how big you are, like putting you next to folks who are the polar opposite.

**************************

I had great plans for this year's Christmas card. We have a tradition in my family that when you take a family picture, you have to take series of silly pictures after. These include, but are not limited to, Monster face, scared face, sad face, happy face, and 'pretend you are sleeping' face.

So when you flip through our family reunion photos or even any other family gathering where there is a photo op, you'll see a photo of us all nicely smiling, but as you scroll through, you'll suddenly find a picture of 10 people standing and 'sleeping'.

We laugh hysterically at these. Seriously, it doesn't get old. Funnier still, The Great Flambina doesn't get it, so you'll see this picture of 10 people 'sleeping' and a baby looking around like,"WTF?"

So this year I thought I'd go to Shutterfly and find a card with four boxes for pictures. In the first box I'd have the boys doing some sort of thinking face... contemplative, like with a finger to their lips, staring into space. The next picture I was going to have them all do Monster face, with the claws. And the next picture I was going to have them do some sort of Angelic Face, with hands in prayer, their staring sweetly into the heavens like a "Who? Me?" The last picture would be a normal picture.

I was going to edit the words to something like, "Hope your Christmas is filled with Family Tradition." Like I care if anyone gets it but me. I don't. I'm all about the inside jokes. Besides, I know that MY family would think it was a riot, and my husband's siblings would definitely laugh.

Actually, I think anyone would think it was funny.

Except my 15 year old.

He said, 'Mom. No. Do we have to?"

Me: Well, No, but I thought it would be funny.

Ringo: Let's... not. OK?

Me looking at the little tree they had me buy, all 3 feet of it, in hopes our house will smell piney since I don't do real trees on years we go out of town: Well, how about a picture with the tree, y'all putting a star on top and decorating?

Ringo: You mean that little crappy tree that Mr. T and Bones coerced you into buying?

Me: YES! I could edit the card text to read, "Look how much they've grown!" Bwahahahaha!

Ringo: No.

Me, sad face: What can we do then?

Ringo: Just a normal picture, Mom, ok?

Gone are the days where I could dress them up as Village Idiots.

No Santa. No fun cards.

Just plain. Dammit.

Posted by Boudicca at 05:21 PM | Comments (4)

December 03, 2010

Looking for Jo Bo

I don't think I've posted this before, but we get strange mail for someone named... Jo Bo. It uses OUR address.

This has been going on for a couple years. We're at a loss. However, we have told Bones, this is aimed at him... as his REAL nickname is J-Bones.

Jo Bo. J-Bones? Get it?

I have wondered if someone put it in as a joke.

And... Jo Bo is a girl.

To date, Jo Bo has been accepted into some sort of Who's Who for high school students, has been requested to participate in a beauty pageant, has been hailed for fantastic grades and accomplishments by various societies and as of this afternoon...

... Jo Bo has been asked to become an ambassador exchange student, in particular, France, Spain and Italy, if I recall. (Bones is quite impressed by this Ambassador thing.)

I get the mail as I pull in from getting the kids. I pull up to the mailbox, pull out the mail, throw it to one of my sons, and then make our way up the driveway. When there is mail for Jo Bo, all hell breaks loose in my car.

Laughter. Lots of laughter.

Today, Bones was a bit more reflective. I got the mail, saw something for Jo Bo and threw it back to him saying, "You have mail..." Jo Bo mail goes to Bones.

He got quiet and said, 'You know Mom, I guess it stinks to be Jo Bo. We keep getting her mail and she... really seems to have a lot going for her... I mean, Mom, she was asked to be some sort of AMBASSADOR to a foreign country."

*blink* I can't quit laughing at that. Reality vs. what he hears... two different things.

It never occurred to me that he might think Jo Bo was real. This entire time, I've thought it was a joke or screw up, like the time I was a Senior in high school and someone put my name in for the Army Recruiter and I got a pair of tube socks in the mail. (It didn't help that I scored in like the 98th percentile on the ASVAB. I took it just to take it. I'd take any test offered.)

So I've put Jo Bo in the same league as Army tube socks.

Bones however, thinks there is a brilliant and beautiful girl out there, in high school, missing all these great opportunities, including becoming an Ambassador to France.

Yet another trip to Bones' world. Cracks me up...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:28 PM | Comments (6)