January 31, 2011

Screaming Self Entitlement

So.

Today we went in to see the orthopedic surgeon about my eldest's wrist. The concern is not so much the lack of mobility, as it is getting better... slowly... but the pain. There is pain... still... five months later.

Last we left off, last time we sat in the waiting room, I got to hear all the gorey stories from the laborers sitting around the room about hedging off fingers and chopping off arms with a chainsaw, all of which had been put back on by our extraordinarily skilled doctor, and all parts appeared to be fully functional.

I, personally, find this amazing.

We never wait for less than an hour in the waiting room, we never wait for less than 15 minutes in the back, and guess what? I don't... care.

1) He's fantastic.

2) He spends time with every patient.

3) He cares and is compassionate.

4) He's fantastic and his peers think so too.

5) I bring a book and read. Seriously. What's the rush?

And last...

6) When we were an emergency, which was twice, he saw us immediately, squished people around for us, and I know we increased the wait of others. I'll gladly sit there and read as he sees people who need to be seen more urgently.

For those of us who know this doc, we bring a book and a smile and wait. It truly doesn't bug us. For those that complain, we look at them stoically, biting our tongues and wanting to say, "You can leave. Nobody is making you stay."

That's how much I like this guy.

Today the final outcome was we need to go see a 2nd opinion up at Shands, the hospital affiliated with UF. I call tomorrow to get that squared away.

We saw it coming. We're cool. The thought of plates, pins, etc... the fact there is probably a ligament that's torn and not healed, scoping of the wrist, playing with all sorts of stuff in there... not doing anything for us.

But we have no control. We're hanging on to this crazy ride and seeing where it takes us.

But what this post really is about is... self entitlement.

There my son and I sat, he texting his buddies about this weekend's plans (there is a girl involved! Gah!) and my reading, when in walked a skinny, swaggering gang banger, complete with pants cupping his ass, instead of actually being ON them, cell phone hanging around his neck and a gold tooth or two.

He was hollering to the women in the back and in his finest ghetto 'tude, he yelled, "What you mean I gotta wait? You see all dese people in here? They all be ahead of me! It'll take forever! I'm not waiting for all dese people..."

She said something polite, "I'm sorry sir, but that's where we are..."

He stormed out and then stormed back in, trying to talk over someone standing at the desk and signing in.

"I'm just going to go over to the hospital and let THEM check me out."

She said, "Sir, they aren't going to do that for you..."

And he got loud and nasty and she explained that our doc was only in this office with that appointment today and he yelled, 'WHAT KIND 'O DOCTOR ONLY SEES PATIENTS ONE DAY A WEEK?!" to which she explained his other offices, their hours, etc, etc, etc.

At that point, he turned on his heel, slammed the door open and yelled, "SH!T! F*CK!"

To which I said loud enough for EVERY person in that room to hear, 'His Mama must be so proud..." My son laughed. There were some snickers.

We got back in the exam room and I said to the doc and his asst (another real peach of a person, LOVE HER!), "Wow, saw your gang banger today.... lucky you. You should hear his language..."

Doc: Oh yeah? You should have heard his message on our machine...

Asst: You know how he was so angry? He was FORTY.FIVE.MINUTES late for his appointment and wanted to be seen immediately.

Me: Wow. Talk about a sense of entitlement.

Doc: Better yet, I did his case for free...

Me: Oh, please, that was a given. I knew when he walked in he was a pro bono case....

Doc: Amazing.

Me: Oh he is just going to LOVE socialized medicine. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when he's introduced to that one. His vast self entitlement...

Then I told them that hatchet man was in the waiting room too. Hatchet man is what I call the poor man that cut is arm off with the chainsaw. (I thought it was a hatchet at first, my son corrected me. Too late, the name stuck.) They both perked up. "He's here today?! We didn't see him on the list!"

You could see they were genuinely happy at the thought of seeing this next patient. I smiled and said, "yeah, he looks like he has good mobility. And... he seems like the SWEETEST man... good vibes."

They both smiled and his assistant said, "Yeah, he is a really good guy..."

Chances are hatchet man was also a pro bono case, but he could have been workman's comp. But here's the difference... hatchet man was working hard for a living during his accident. He is appreciative because he works so hard for all he has. It makes you want to do more.

Gang banger potty mouth man... he gets it all for free, including his visit to the hospital ER, his surgery, his care... free to him, but on the backs of the tax payer.

And he DEMANDS more. Truly disheartening. Absolutely... disheartening...

There truly is no justice...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:06 PM | Comments (9)

January 29, 2011

Saturday

Playing in the Middle School band was not so bad. It was actually, kind of fun. I suck, but it was still kind of fun.

The carnival is going well. It's down this year, but I love my little cadre of women. We've been together for seven years now, we know each other's families and we laugh... a lot. We have two replacements and they fell right into the groove like they'd always been with us.

Seven years I've worked this. The women who work the prize room know me as my money women know me.

I had a meeting today that took me out and about for a couple hours, away from the carnival. I was wearing black leggings, black knee high boots, a big black sweater and was ready for anything coming my way.

I walked in to the prize room and this was the conversation:

Women: Woo! Look at you girl! I love those boots!

Me: Me too! My husband got them for me for Christmas! Kohl's!

Women: Those are your superhero boots!

Me: Doncha know it! I feel like I can kick some serious a$$ wearing these boots.

One of the women: Girl. We know you VERY well. YOU don't need boots to kick anyone's a$$. We've seen you in action...

*much laughter in the room*

One of the other women: Seriously, I've never seen so much energy, let alone pissed off energy that can fit into one 5 foot 2 frame.

*much more laughter*

Me, laughing: Hunh. This is after seven years... this assessment.

Women, laughing harder: OH YES!

Heh. They'll miss me. They'll miss laughing AT ME!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 11:44 PM | Comments (4)

January 27, 2011

Lasts

Our annual carnival at school starts tomorrow. I am working it the entire weekend, but this is my last weekend, my last year, my seventh year. And I'm not running anything, I just show up for three days.

I received an email from the middle school band director, asking me if I'd play my flute while the band played on Saturday. He doesn't have one person who plays flute in the band. Not one. And so he wanted me to play.

Right.

I said to some friends of mine, 'I may be the size of a middle school girl, but I'm not one..."

I walked in to the practice with T, who plays the trombone for said band, and said to my son, "If there aren't any other adults, I'm not doing this..."

Seriously. One adult and a bunch of middle school kids. Really?

And I have less than NO desire to do this. There is a guy who has 10 years on me in the back playing the sax. There appeared two more flute players, both very good, one in particular. The band director asked me if I had a good time during practice and I said, "Sure, but that girl you sat me next to? She just graduated from FSU... with her degree in MUSIC... and her instrument was FLUTE. You essentially brought in a pro..."

I play my flute ONCE.A.YEAR. ONCE. Good grief. This kid is like the Flute Queen.

Whatever.

I keep trying to think of a way to weasel out of it and it hasn't happened yet. Actually, the whole thought of it is making me sick. I'm angry I just flat didn't say NO. Now it's a bit late. I'm stuck.

But this is the last year. This is the last year I work the carnival. This is the last year I'll be asked to pull out my flute and perform for anyone... ever.

The last year. I'm so done... I'm ready for my new life.

This is the last year. Thank.GOD.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:23 PM | Comments (4)

January 26, 2011

Today Is Brought To You by the Number TWO!

My niece, the Great Flambina turned two today.

TWO.

Two.

Twooooo.

Gah! I'm trying to figure out how this happened as I remember her being born in what feels like yesterday. Now my sister is due with Baby #2 in April. There will be two babies.

I'm stoked!

It is not really possible to convey here how much we love this little girl. She is sweet and yummy and my boys adore her. They carry her around like she is theirs... an extra three sets of hands to help. Ringo and T will throw her on their hip and go about their business like they always have a baby on their hip. Bones... will actually play with her, like an equal. He gets down to HER level and he will play with her FOR HOURS. It is a gift he has... this ability to relate to people on all levels.

She's saying little words in her sing song voice. She is particular about clothes... she loves clothes. She loves her little purse. She hates to get her hands dirty. She LOVES LOVES LOVES monkeys. Her first word was balloon.

We love her so.

I sent Mo a note today asking for her to pick a picture for me to post. She sent me five... and I'm posting them all.

And so I say to The Great Flambina, on her second birthday, "Happy Birthday sweet baby girl. Should all the children be so blessed to be as loved as you are… for if they were, I suspect the problems of this world would be so very different… We love you so.”

Note all the stuffed animals she shoved around the horse. She has this thing about having to have ALL her stuff. She reminds me of that scene from The Jerk with Steve Martin.
Pookie on horse.JPG

There is something about this picture where I see.... my Mom.
Pookie on blue horse.jpg

Mo is a HUGE FSU fan. Here is Pookie doing the Seminole Chop... or rather, her rendition.
Pookie tomahawk.jpg

I don't know where she is here, but this had to be fun!
Pookie with balls.jpg

And lastly... this is my favorite. She looks so smoochy. This is her nap blanket. She loves to cuddle on the couch with this big white fluffy soft blanket.
Pookie in blanket.jpg

Happy Birthday!

You know what slays me? The baby will be born in April... and Pookie will never remember when she was the only child. WE will all remember it... but sh never will.

OH! And when I was her age? My grandmother was FORTY-TWO. I'm OLDER than my grandmother was when I was Pookies age! Gah!


Posted by Boudicca at 10:13 PM | Comments (7)

January 24, 2011

Landing in Gum

With my new diet, I eat every three hours, religiously. It's a very low glycemic, low fat diet and the physical changes I've seen have been remarkable. My IBS is gone, my face has cleared up, and my energy levels are far better, which to know me is to know that's kind of scary because I can be big energy.

But I don't get all sloggy at 3PM anymore, unless its just flat lack of sleep, which is an issue, but I think is mostly hormonal.

When I'm needing to eat before my three hours, but its not a hunger issue, but a stress/bored/need to chew issue, I get a stick of sugar free gum. And allow me to say, I'm getting just about sick of Mint gum.

And Mint gum... it's never a mild mint. No. You bite and it screams MINT! As my boys liked to say when they were young, "Spicey". They would call mint gum 'Spicey gum'.

So in a snit the other day at work, a stress need to eat, I growled from my cube, "SOMEONE NEEDS TO INVENT SUGARFREE CHOCOLATE GUM!" to which a male voice from the corner replied, much more quietly, "They did. It's on the internet. Look it up."

Well I didn't, but for the last few days, I've been looking. No where I've been has sold "Chocolate gum."

And then this weekend, the bane of my existence happened.

Girl Scouts.

With their Thin Mint cookies. Which I love to freeze. And then eat. And I can't have just one... or two... or three...

And they ended up in my house. I bought a box and the boys with their father bought a box.

Now, it hadn't been a great food weekend anyway. While my husband was away on business Friday night, Bones asked me to make my all time favorite dish... cheese fondue.

And my cheese fondue is nothing but gooey, cheesey, winey, goodness. A cup of dry sauterne, 1 and 3/4 pounds of swiss cheese, cognac, spices and... a big damn loaf of french bread.

I knew I was doomed.

There was NO WAY in hell I wasn't going to participate. It becomes... a quality of life issue. I did, however, have a plan and I ate a HUGE salad before, along with some shrimp for protein so I only had 1/4 of what I would normally eat.

But... OMG... it was good.

So now flash forward to the GS cookies and I was just on a bad track to nowhere.

I got to work this morning and the following conversation occurred between my tech lead (the lone male quiet voice in the corner) and one of my best girl friends. All of us are those engineering minded analytical types.

Me: It's frickin' GS season. I had Thin Mints. I put them in the freezer and ate them. Holy crap.

TL: How many did you have?

Me: Ummm...

TL:

GF:

Me: Six.

GF: *laughing*

TL: Really?

Me: Today.

GF: *laughing* Today?

Me: Yeah.

TL: And?

Me: Umm... maybe I had a couple yesterday...

TL: A couple?

Me: Fine. I had a half a sleeve yesterday and I finished them off today! OK?!

TL and GF broke out laughing.

GF: Well, I think it's fine. I mean, if you're going to pick a sleeve of GS cookies to eat, Thin Mints are for sure the healthiest.

TL: Listen to you being all the best girlfriend any girl could ask for! No way! Rationalizing that Thin Mints might actually be HEALTHY?

GF: *laughing really hard* I didn't say healthy... but hey, we could look and find out.

*take note I'm now a spectator in my falling off the food wagon. It has taken on a life of its own at this point.*

TL: Fine. In the breakroom someone is selling GS cookies. I have to get my lunch. I'll compare.

And with that, he took his healthy lunch to heat up in the microwave and set out to do a caloric, carb, fat comparison of all the cookies in the breakroom.

The answer? I'm completely sworn off Thin Mints. 160 calories for FOUR cookies, 8 grams of fat, 22 carbs.

I ate... 12. In two days. So mulitply all that by THREE. Holy smokes.

I can't ever do that again. Seriously. The thought kind of makes me sick.

He came back telling me I'd have been far better off eating the shortbreads and he was right. Whodathunit with supposedly all that butter?

But Thin Mints did come in second and I flat won't touch some of those other cookies now. I looked up their nutritional value and its... just... none. It's bad. Nearly all the other cookies have the same Thin Mint stats, but for just two.

I'll burn it off, and I know that, but our little analysis today at work really set me off the cookies.

But it made me think about that dang chocolate gum I want.

I was at Target tonight and I found that EXTRA makes a gum called EXTRA Dessert Delights. I bought the chocolate mint chip and the strawberry shortcake.

I called my sister when I had the goods in the car. That's what sisters are for, to catalogue all the weird crap you do... so they can be supportive... or laugh... or maybe say, "DON'T DO IT!"

Mo: Are you going to try it?

Me: Going to? Hell, I bought it!

Mo: I wonder how long the flavor will last...

Me: Give me five and I'll tell you. I'm already testing it.

I felt like Veruca Salt from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory. Was I going to swell up and turn green into a large glob of chocolate chip mint?

It was kind of funky when I put it in my mouth. I think that was mental. Chocolate isn't supposed to be chewy. But... it kind of tastes like Thin Mint cookies and the flavor really lasted for over 15 minutes.

I'm sold.

And Oompa Loompas didn't appear to see if they needed to squeeze the chocolate chip mint ice cream out of me.

Bonus for me.

I'll pass on the three course meal with gravy though. That's pushing it...

Posted by Boudicca at 11:03 PM | Comments (12)

January 23, 2011

Defining Moments

We make decisions in life and wonder often if they are the correct ones. Then something happens, maybe 10-15 years down the road and it confirms you did it right.

One of them was moving into this house.

We live far out of town and it is not uncommon for me to spend hours in the car, schlepping the kids here and there. It has made me wonder if we made the right decision. Should we have moved in town, to the Village my husband's folks lived?

I was adament about not living that close to the water as hurricane time can spell disaster that far to the coast. Growing up in coastal towns, I wanted to live as far inland as possible. Sure enough, all our friends that lived in my in-laws old neighborhood had significant home damage during the years of all those hurricanes.

We did not.

All my kids' friends live in town. It bugs me that they can't just run outside and play with their friends. They play together or we have boys over. I know it's not the same.

Because of this, anytime my sons want their friends over, I say yes, and I cook. A lot. I want kids to WANT to be here.

And on Saturday, Ringo had 9 friends over. They went paintballing and had a blast, using my home as homebase... and at the end, I had 13 boys playing football in my backyard. Ages 11 (Bones) to 16, there were all these boys screaming and laughing and harrassing each other.

I had sandwiches, chips, and homemade brownies on the back porch for them. All food was devoured. The boys were happy and polite and I think they'll come back.

And it was a defining moment. Yes. We made the right decision.

This is a boys' home. I love it.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:22 PM | Comments (2)

January 21, 2011

See No Weevil, Hear No Weevil

Right before Christmas, my husband noticed a bug on the wall of the pantry. Whereas I am of the mindset, "Bugs Happen*" and I take care of them when I can, bugs make him bat crap crazy. (*exception to my rule is roaches. Roaches should absolutely NEVER happen under any circumstances. Ever. And I can't take care of them. That's why I'm married. It's in the contract, "open jars, get things off high shelves, and kill roaches.)

Bugs to my husband are a sign of filth. Bugs to me are a sign that something should not be out or I have a tree touching the house. My house is not filthy, although my floors are currently. I figure if I find the root cause of the bugs, I can take care of it from there, but chances are they aren't going to kill me, so I'll get to it when I can.

And on a sidenote, we RARELY have bugs. If we have anything, it has been ants. And once we had termites. That was scary... in particular as we have wood floors...

So when my husband found this little black bug, I didn't have my glasses on, but immediately thought, "Crap. Not termites!", but then my blood ran a little cold and I thought, "If this is a new brand of baby roach, I'm going to freak..."

But there was no reason for EITHER of those and my husband tore through the pantry with a vengeance.

Day after day, I could hear him in the pantry muttering and cursing under his breath, kind of like that Dad in The Christmas Story, every time he goes into the basement to fix the heater.

I ignored it. The bug thing was his deal, I'd decided it wasn't termites or roaches and I'd get to it when I could. All my food was mostly closed up in tupperware containers. Bugs happen... protect your food.

On Wednesday I was home waiting for a repairman and I got into one of my 'clean/throw it all away' moods and decided to tackle the pantry and also to find the source of my husband's angst.

And that is when I decided... we have a boll weevil problem.

Out went ANYTHING in a box... all pastas, crackers, any old food that has just been sitting there shoved in a corner, I emptied out 1/2 my pantry. Gone.

My husband came home and I said, "We have a boll weevil issue..."

He said, "No. Weevils are tiny little bugs..."

To which I replied, "Fine. Let me show you..." and I went on-line and pulled up a huge picture of a boll weevil to show him... and to prove me right.

He looked at the screen and said, "Wow. I think you're right..."

And I am.

After dinner, as he was in the pantry noticing how it was completely cleaned out and looking for boll weevils, he said, "How in the world did you decide it was boll weevils?"

I just shook my head and said, "Please. I'm from Pensacola, FL. We are but just 2 hours from Enterprise, Alabama, Home of the Boll Weevil Monument..."

I had to explain to him about the monument and then added, "I marched down the streets of Enterprise when I was in band, during some Parade, probably for boll weevils. Once you see that monument, you don't forget what a frickin' boll weevil looks like..."

Maybe it's a Southern thing, this complete understanding not only of what a boll weevil is, but of it's great significance in American history, because my Jersey Boy husband had no idea of exactly what a boll weevil looked like whereas I pretty much new immediately. As soon as I put my glasses on...

Now he knows too.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:42 PM | Comments (8)

January 20, 2011

Mr. T Continues to Age...

Today is my 2nd son's birthday. He is 14. I'm at a bit of a loss as to how these years are speeding by so quickly. One minute I'm looking at a picture thinking, "When did I become a middle aged woman?" and the next minute my 2nd son is turning 14 and preparing for high school.

That 6.5 years when they all fly the coop is coming quickly...

I wonder often what will happen with Mr. T. He is my driven child, rather unforgiving with a profound sense of justice, a perfectionist who can get too caught in everything having to be just right, a son who looks like my family yet does not, an athletic kid who refuses to let his life be ruled by athletics, a rather anti-social child who'd rather hang at home and play catch in the yard any day of the week over going to the mall or anywhere that social.

Of the three, he's the kid who would make the best surgeon with amazing fine motor skills and a sharp mind and determination, yet I would vote him the least likely to go that route.

He wants to be an engineer. He wants to go to Georgia Tech. I wonder if he realizes how much work is in store for him. He always does his homework, but has never had to really study.

He has loathed this school year, absolutely disgusted by more than half the teachers he has. There are days when he comes home that he is so angry and disgusted by things he has witnessed, that he can hardly speak to me. He is counting down the days until graduation.

He will not look back.

He has applied to our local IB high school. He is using Ringo's school as a back up. The thought of his taking the bus and going to a school that's 'free' has me nearly giddy. It's competive however, and I don't know if he'll get it.

But... I know he'll be fine no matter where he goes. I have told him he needs to play a sport in high school, so he's already trying to figure out what he'll do, whether its running track or playing JV Lacrosse. He has to stay well rounded.

It all counts now.

He's a great kid. He really is. He has next to no interest in girls, finding most of them silly at this point. The girls he goes to school with he's known since he was 5. That makes them all like sisters. That makes my life easy. He gets a little quirky, but I think that comes with being in middle school and trying to figure out how to fit into a body that is growing too quickly.

I'm not... worried per se. I am curious. I'm just curious as to how his life will fall out. Will he get into the IB School? If he does, will he be able to withstand the pressure? Will he learn how to test as he's a HORRIBLE test taker and needs to do well on the SATs? Will he get into Georgia Tech?

He's 14 and in our society, already we have to look at these things... at 14. Insane, really.

He's a great kid though. He's a fantastic kid. I could not ask for a better son. He is my child... I have never worried about. The dutiful son. In the end... I suspect, when all is said and done... I will have worried for him just as much. It is just different things for him... his path is different than the other boys.

I love him so much... it hurts.

And so to Mr. T, on his 14th birthday, I say, “Happy Birthday my 2nd son. Should all the children be so blessed to be as loved as you are… for if they were, I suspect the problems of this world would be so very different… We love you so.”

Mr. T over five years ago... I had been blogging for a couple years:

T2007small.JPG

Mr. T today... Age 14.

IMG_1667_2.JPG

Posted by Boudicca at 09:00 PM | Comments (15)

January 19, 2011

For VW

A special post for my gf, VW.

Bwahahahahahahahaaa!!! Heh. Girl, we are guaranteed to make you scream...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:48 PM | Comments (2)

January 18, 2011

Relationships and Bones' World

More on this relationship teenage boys have with food. Good grief.

I went to Publix today to pick up a couple items for dinner. Today was evidently... Sample Day. Every aisle you turned down, there was a sample. The deli had sandwich slices, the seafood area had shrimp and sushi rolls, next to the deli someone was dishing out ice cream.

Everywhere we turned... there was food.

Ringo had stayed in the car, but Bones was with me and he literally ate his way through Publix. It was like being with a termite. Or locus.

"This turkey sandwich is good, but I wish I'd gotten the ham because that one had tomato"

'OOOOHH! Look! SUSHI!!! Mom, Mom, Mom!..." to which I waved him off telling him to go forth and eat.

He came back to me saying, with a mouthfull of rice and fish, "Do you think Publix is losing money? Are they giving away samples to get rid of food?"

I said, "NO! They want you to BUY their food! They're trying to figure out a way for you to try new things!"

He seemed to contemplate that as he stuffed a shrimp in his mouth and mosied down the aisle in search of more food.

We got in the car, where we had a quick in depth conversation about Popeye, and he said to his brother, "Boy, you really missed out! Today was food day! They had samples ALL OVER! Everywhere you walked, you would run into someone handing you food!"

Ringo was suddenly alert, "There was food?! Samples? All over? Mom, swing by the front, drop me off and circle the parking lot. I want a sandwich..."

And... I frickin' did it. I actually swung around for him to run in as Bones is yelling after him, "THE SANDWICHES ARE TO THE RIGHT JUST WHEN YOU WALK IN, NEXT TO THE DELI! THE ICE CREAM IS NEXT TO IT!"

Ringo jumped out, I circled twice and... he came out empty handed.

I looked at him and said, "Where? Where is the food?"

He shrugged and said, "Oh. I already ate it. I had a turkey sandwich. You need to buy more turkey. That was great. And I had strawberry cheesecake ice cream. OMG. It was GREAT. It was the best ice cream I've EVER had! You need to go back and buy some of that ice cream! And the turkey! But the ice cream was fantastic!"

I just sat there, looking in my rearview mirror looking at Bones, who stared back at me with wide eyes. Finally I said to him, "See. It's a Marketing tool..." as we continued to listen to Ringo carry on about the best turkey and the best ice cream and how we should just eat dinner at Publix and what was the probability that maybe Dad could stop by on the way home and pick up both?

Sheesh.

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

Meanwhile, Bones does not really look or read. He only listens, which means he's constantly trying to assimilate what he hears to what he thinks makes sense.

For instance:

At dinner tonight, as we were cleaning the kitchen he said, "And there I was, stuck in the depths of the Marijuana Trench..."

All activity in the kitchen stopped as the four of us looked at him. Finally Ringo said, "You mean... the Mariana Trench..."

I said, 'And what movie did THAT come from?" He replied it didn't come from a movie, but from something he learned in school today.

Evidently his CLASS is studying the Mariana Trench, but not Bones, he's off on his planet studying the Marijuana Trench.

And I asked what movie this was because as he and Ringo were setting the table tonight I heard him say, "The Sayonara Razor Blades are in the glove box, help yourself. bwhahahahahahaa!"

Ringo said, "WHAT? What movie is that from?"

And he repeated, "The Sayonara Razor Blades are in the glove box, help yourself" and he started to laugh again.

Ringo said, "That is not right..."

To which Bones replied, "The Rocker. The best movie EVER." (I hate that movie.)

Ringo said, "Bones. It's not Sayonara Razor Blades. It's CYANIDE and Razor Blades..."

And funnier still, it was confirmed today by Ringo, that his little brother definitely lives on a different planet. The other day he said to his Dad, "I don't think Bones dreams what we dream. I think his dreams are all fluffy clouds and candy..."

Bones didn't know this.

Today, in the kitchen, we were discussing how Ringo's alarm goes off forever. Everyone thinks it's annoying as hell, but him. He needs an alarm clock that will actually get up and grab him.

Says Bones, "You know, I have to tell you my dream, Ringo. I was dreaming about this bunny, and he was talking to me ,and suddenly, out of his mouth came, Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! It was your FRICKIN' ALARM CLOCK!"

I started to laugh, but Ringo... he had this incredulous look. He looked over at me and said, "I knew it! I knew it! I just told Dad he's not like the rest of us. MOM! He dreams of BUNNIES! HE.DREAMS.OF.BUNNIES!"

Bones didn't get it. He kept reiterating, "Yeah, bunnies that talk to me in the sound of an alarm clock. Your alarm clock is intruding on my dreams!"

Ringo and I couldn't quit laughing.

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

And for my last Bones' story of the day, we were walking back to the car from Publix (today was a busy Bones day... he was on a roll) and he started talking about Popeye.

Bones: Mom, they don't show Popeye anymore. That was a pretty cool cartoon. Sometimes, the really old ones were black and white.

Me: Well, I don't remember the black and white, but yeah, they were cool. What was your favorite part?

Bones: Oh I like the part where he eats those beets and he gets all muscular.

Me: *blink* Dude, he didn't eat beets...

Bones: Yup, yup, he sure did. You don't remember? He ate a can of beets and got all strong.

Me: They weren't beets. It was spinach...

And then... he proceeded to frickin' ARGUE with me. He was determined that HE was right.

We got in the car and I looked at Ringo and said, "What did Popeye eat to get strong?" He replied, "Spinach..."

I looked at Bones cockeyed and Ringo said, "What. What did I miss?" to which I replied, "The Popeye YOU and I watched, ate spinach. Bones' Popeye ate beets..." and from there... Bones deftly diverted the conversation to that at the top of this post, "Boy! You really missed out!..."

Posted by Boudicca at 08:46 PM | Comments (15)

January 16, 2011

The Beat Goes On

My sons had a GREAT time at Sikorsky. They saw the new X2 and couldn't believe how small it was.

At the end every camping trip, everyone is asked what they liked best about the camp and what they would change or did not like. Mr. T's best part was the parfait served at lunch (its that teenage boy/connection with food thing again) and for what he wished they could change... he wanted to spend more time looking at the X2 instead of the photo op they received.

First, the parfait was kind of a joke thing amongst the boys and he'd been to Sikorsky a few times. He felt like he needed to say something different than everyone else.. because it was fantastic.

But as for the negative... I said to him later, "Good Lord, son. You actually got to SEE an X2! Just be appreciative of that!"

Holy crap.

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

All the boys got in the car and the first thing I thought was "Dang, they need to bathe." (I had four boys in my car.)

But the oddest thing to me, was when they were situated, I looked at my eldest and the first thing out of my mouth was "You need to shave..." and his reply was an 'I know...'

Ack! How did that happen?
-------------------

I'm so glad the kids have tomorrow off. I live for days they do not have school...

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

And... my eldest has hung up his bow. In great frustration, his wrist not allowing him to play the double bass... he is now... a drummer.

Which fits.

He was always more of a drummer than a double bass player anyway and he played it because he was told he had to, not because he gravitated towards it. He never did love it. (He plays the drums already. We're down to three instruments, the electric bass, the drums and the acoustic guitar.)

So now, I have a percussionist, a happy one at that, that still has a gimp wrist.

It's all good...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2011

Opportunities That Normal Boys Only Dream About

My boys are camping with Boy Scouts this weekend; my two older boys, that is.

Once a year, Sikorsky aircraft allows various Troops from around the county to come in and camp. It's very orderly, with the lawn gridded off for each Troop. There are tours, games, learning events, sometimes badges earned (engineering etc), and all sorts of great things going on for the boys.

Sikorsky is located in... well... the middle of nowhere. It's The Swamp as we call it. If you were to be in one of their choppers and look down upon the earth, you would see marshlands... with a smattering of wild boars and gators. (Our boys are safe. There aren't any gators where they're camping.) I already know what's on their agenda for tomorrow and I'm so excited, I'm beside myself.

In essence... I'm envious.

We pulled in first and slowly a stream of other troops with their trailers came in behind us. Car after car full of excited Boy Scouts. Our boys jumped out and immediately started unloading the trailer, scoping the lay of their land, and setting up camp. Within 30 minutes, every tent was pitched, all the coolers had been put in the designated spots and their equipment was stowed.

No help from adults. It is a boy run Troop and other than parents there to oversee, they're there only to help if asked and to prevent fights... because hey, they're boys, and that will happen. Adults ensure safety. Boys rely on each other.

Sure enough, the tent poles were broken on one of my boys' tents (they don't tent together, they have their own friends) and there was a small gathering of boys trying to figure out how they'd get the tent up. I walked away and when I came back, they'd solved their problem.

I got a quick tour of the place. It was dark so there wasn't much to see. It had been a long time since I'd been out that way. There was a Black Hawk hanging out of hangar. I knew that in one of the lock down areas had to be their new little X2, that if you haven't seen the vid of its run, is very very cool.

And that, my friends, would be my dream job, to work at Sikorsky.

Now... you know... the rest of the story.

My kids are going to have a blast. This weekend... it's good to be them.

And what a great company. I'm so impressed with all that they do for our boys. I'm so... impressed.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:07 PM | Comments (10)

January 12, 2011

Seeing in Color

Do you remember the old Wizard of Oz when it was in black and white until you got to Oz... and then it was color in all its magnificent glory?

That's what it is like living with Bones. All of the world is black and white and you step into HIS world and it is bright bright colors.

Bright.

Case in point.

I was at Ringo's drum lessons today when I saw a Mom from Bone's middle school. Her daughter was there with her and she said to her, "Do you know Bones?"

The little girl looked at me and said, "Are you BONES' MOM?!"

I replied yes and she looked at her Mom and said, "Bones has this pair of pants that are the BRIGHTEST orange..."

And I busted out laughing. She said, 'He wears the brightest clothes to school..."

And he does. For Christmas, more than anything in the entire world, he wanted skinny jeans in THREE colors: Green, Purple and Orange.

Ask and he shall receive, in particular when they are on sale for $4, which could be for various reasons one being they are TACKY!

He also has these hideous red Nikes a buddy gave him. They're big red Nikes with a yellow swoosh. I call them his Wizard of Oz boy shoes.

wizard of oz shoes.jpg

God awful ugly, we hate them.

He loves to wear them, once a week, with his orange skinny jeans, a red tshirt and a burnt sienna colored hoody.

He walked out to go to school one day and I said, "Dude, don't you dare put on that hoody hood. As it is you look like some funky orange/red crayon. Put the hood up and you'll look like a sharpened funky orange crayon."

He is not to be swayed. He is a man of his own style.

He likes bright clothes.

Do you know what runs through my mind a lot? I mean... a lot?

There is some little girl out there right now, around his age, that is completely unsuspecting of her future.

Somewhere out there... resides... his future... wife.

Holy cats.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:44 PM | Comments (7)

January 11, 2011

Planet Bones: Fluff and Bus Rides

Before starting this weight losing venture, I thought to myself, "I'm really going to be bummed when my favorite brown pants don't fit anymore..."

I haven't put on said pants in about four weeks as it's been too cold. I put them on today. They're falling off of me and in 5 more pounds, I'll be able to walk out of them.

They have officially gone from my favorite brown pants to my most annoying brown pants. I can't wait to wash them and get rid of them.

Funnier still, nobody has noticed I have lost weight. I have clothes I'm falling out of, yet its not noticeable. That's why when people hear I'm on track to lose 30 pounds and they say, "OH NO! You'll be too thin!" I reply, "Trust me... you won't notice..."

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

It has been a struggle this school year to get my kids to take their lunches to school, in particular Bones who is excited that public school lunch is so cheap and offers so much variety!

My eldest came home the other day and said to me, "Mom, Son#4 has the best grapes in the entire world. They are ICE cold..." (Sidenote, for those who are new, Son#4 is a Bones' Godmother's son. We were pregnant with Ringo and Son#4 together.)

So I called Son#4's Mom and said, "OK, I need the trick. Ringo now wants to actually take fruit to lunch..."

There these little plastic containers you can buy with snap on freeze packs on the lid. Easy peasy. So off I went to Publix to make the purchase.

Except it has caused quite the furor in the house. Now everyone wanted to take something cold to school.

Mr. T: Mom, why don't you get those organic vegetables anymore?

Me: What? You HATED them!

Mr. T: NO we didn't! We just hated the chard!

Bones: And the squash...

Mr.T: But it was good when she turned it into bread...

Bones: And some of that other funky lettuce

Mr. T: But the REST of it was GREAT!

Me: *blink* Wait. It's the carrots, right?

And so I'm off to Whole Foods to get carrots as my boys swear that the organic produce tastes better. When I go to the Green Market on Sunday I'll get some to last a couple weeks next time.

So now we've made progress. Until... Bones said to me, "Mom, if I'm going to take my lunch, I want a peanut butter and Fluff sandwich."

I nearly hurled.

I replied, "Over my dead body am I feeding you a marshmallow and peanut butter sandwich for lunch..."

After much argument (of course) I said, "Fine. BUT, you have to take carrots too..."

Bingo. Better yet, I researched the calories and carbs and sugars in fluff vs. jelly and believe it or not, it's less in Fluff. So Fluff it is.

The kids are taking pretty healthy lunches now, with the exception of the Fluff, which still nauseates me, but whatever.

Today was Mr. T's first day to take his requested Fluff sandwich to school. I had no idea he'd never had one when he'd said, "Oh! I'll have one too!" (He usually takes PB&J.)

He got in the car today and I said, 'So? Give me the critique of your lunch so we can make it better..."

And he replied, "OK, first, can I have my carrots separate from my fruit? They tasted all fruity. It was good, but that would be great if they can be separate..."

I said, "Sure, sure, but HOW was that sandwich?"

He got an odd look and said, "That was the nastiest sandwich I'd ever had. I was so excited. I took the first bite, and all this white squished out and I thought, "This isn't right". And the texture is funky. Marshmallow doesn't belong on a sandwich. I had to focus on something else while I ate or I was going to vomit."

I thought it was a riot...

And yes, I pack my kids' lunches. I want them to eat healthy. I'm good with it.

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

Lastly, getting in the car today, Bones informed me he had a terrible horrible, no good day, yet he was still in a great mood and couldn't figure it out, whereas the previous day was a good day and yet he was in a frustrated and angry mood. (His words...)

Part of yesterday's mood was also the anticipation of today. Bones has been slated to fail our state standardized test. This will be a post in itself... believe it or not, it's a feel good post.

Bottom line, Bones has never taken that kind of test, he doesn't test well anyway, and he's projected to get a ONE, on a scale of 1-5, one being as low as you can go and 5 being dang close to perfect. (3 is on grade level) Bonus for us, our school has LOTS of tutoring activities to help raise it to a 3.

Today was day 1 of the after school classes to get him ready for the FCAT. (For those who have not caught this... my kid who FAILED math last year, is making A's in math THIS YEAR, is slated to make a three OR a four on the Math. Don't get me started on last year's teacher...) So yesterday he was nervous about this class.

So here is the beginning of his no good rotten day:

He got on the bus and was on his way to school when he started to get car sick. So when the bus driver made the next stop, he asked her to just wait a minute while he got out and caught some air.

He GOT OUT OF THE BUS and knelt down to take a breather when a cop saw him.

The cop got out of his car to make sure he was OK. Bones answered he would be fine, just needed to get some air. The cop escorted him back on the bus and made sure there was no trouble on the bus. (I bet the bus driver was loving that one... not only was this the first kid probably in the history of her driving to say, 'Wait! I need to get off and take a breather!" now one of the city's finest was on said bus making sure all was OK in everyone's world.)

The bus driver then proceeded to call the school and tell them that she had a kid that threw up, even though he didn't, so he had to be the LAST one off the bus and go directly to the nurse's station, where there was vast confusion, "Did you or did you NOT throw up and if NOT, WHY did she send you here?"

And coming from Planet Bones, there is really no telling what he said to try to clear it up, afterall, the whole story is kind of bizarre by itself.

Then his favorite teacher of all time (his language arts teacher) wasn't his primary teacher in tutoring, so he was seriously bummed.

All adding up to a no good rotten day.

Dang. I keep laughing. I'm loving that cop, by the way. What a great guy. "So how was your day?" "Good. It started with me finding this kid who had gotten out of his bus to take a breather..." Heh heh heh

Posted by Boudicca at 06:29 PM | Comments (8)

January 10, 2011

Watch What I Pull Out of this Hat!

On Black Friday, my eldest and his buddies decided they were going to go to the Mall when it opened at 4AM. Actually, they wanted to camp out at the Mall ALL NIGHT, but my husband and I put our collective feet down and said "NO WAY." That's just what Mall security wants... a bunch of 15 year old boys hanging out all night in their parking lot, waiting for the Mall to open.

So they found a friend who lives NEAR the Mall to house them for a couple hours. They went to a midnight movie, walked to their buddy's house, played video games for an hour or so, then walked BACK to the Mall and waited in line with everyone else for the doors to open at Macy's.

And... the boys actually had shopping to do. They had a plan.

They also decided to wear goofy hats.

So let's clarify, a group of 15 year old boys, stay up all night, go to the Mall at the 4AM opening and wear goofy hats while shopping.

Ringo made his goofy hat. He took a purple hat he sometimes performs in while with friends and then went through our pile of missing socks and found long colored soccer socks... without mates. He then stapled the socks, one green, one orange, one blue... to the brim of the hat.

That's what my son went to the Mall in. And... the boys really did Christmas shop. My son spoke to my husband in advance as to what to get me and went to the Mall and purchased a gift FOR ME. In actuality? All the boys bought gifts for their Moms.

Very fun.

So after awhile, the boys got tired. They were tired of being at the Mall, tired of being awake, tired of wearing their... hats. So my son took off the multiple colored mateless soccer socks from the brim of his hat, threw them in his bag that had only a deoderant in it, and bummed around shopping until sure his Mom would rescue him. (My Mom and I ended up taking them home at one point. They were a wreck.)

At some point, my son set down the bag that held the soccer socks and deoderant... and the bag... disappeared.

Someone stole it.

He came home pretty irritated. Someone had stolen something from him when he wasn't paying attention, a lesson learned.

Better still, a lesson learned when all that went missing was three pairs of mateless long colored soccer socks and a stick of deoderant.

This is what I want to know... what ran through the thief's head when he opened his stolen treasure?!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2011

January 21, 1918- January 2, 2011

From all the research I have done on this, seeking it out, it appears it is true. I so hoped it was not...

May Major Dick Winters find eternal peace.

My condolences to his family... and his buddies from Easy Company who remain with us still today, his Band of Brothers.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:52 PM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2011

Are They For Real?

I'm in a national women's organization, very active, I might add. I've been a member for just over 17 years. I'm actually running for State Office this coming March, and although there is a good chance I'll lose, I'm throwing my hat in the ring to see what happens.

Anyway, on a Chapter level, I am VERY active and I do anything the newest President wants. I've had that job, it can suck, I'm always supportive. This new President said to me, 'I need a Conservation Chairman' and I replied, 'Okey doke. I'll do it...'

It's been actually a fun chairmanship. Every month I research on something *I* am interested in and I report about it to the Chapter, using about a minute.

One of the things I was asked to do was to find out how many members had reduced their carbon footprint by... 5000 pounds.

WTF?

I was clueless as to how to find this information, but when I went onto the national website, I found some criteria. I spoke of it during our meeting today and this is pretty much how it went:

"Ladies, as we move on to the next reduction topic, Heating is highlighted. It says here you can reduce your carbon footprint by 1400 pounds, that is FOURTEEN HUNDRED! pounds, if you do the following:

'For heating, set your day temperature to 65 to 68 degrees and add a blanket to your bed and drop your thermostat to 55 to 58 degrees. Furthemore, you can reduce your power bill by 20% by getting a programmable thermostat.'

OK. Let's talk. I hate turning on the heat. I'm kind of a jerk about it at home. Two years ago, my house got down to 55 degrees. My second son's science project was sitting on a window sill and all the meal worms froze. He was able to revive them by thawing them. It appears they went into hibernation. The teacher's idea was 'letting them thaw out' when my son said to her, 'My Mom won't turn on the heat and my meal worms froze...' I began to become concerned my kids were going to shank my in my sleep.

This year, once again I refused mostly, but after my husband came home one day to a freezing cold house and declared, he "Works too hard all day to come home to a house without heat..." we compromised at 68 degrees. This last cold snap I was not afraid of shanking, but instead of a little pillow suffocation in my sleep... any one of my boys... perhaps even my spouse.

So this is my recommendation. We live in Florida. Ignore this one unless you want to be divorced. And by the way, you know your house might be too cold when you turn on the stove top to warm your hands before you continue on about your day..."

And then I moved on to the next topic.

Folks, do ANY OF YOU in the Great White North, keep your thermostats at such frigid temps? I don't think any amount of blankets are going to keep me warm in a 55 degree house. I mean... you still have a FACE!

Good Lord. Can you imagine? I did it once for a week... but day in and day out? I'd go hang out in public buildings to keep warm.

Sheesh.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:19 PM | Comments (24)

January 07, 2011

Planet Bones... Again

I was walking through the house when this conversation occured with the boys.

Bones: Mom. Mom. Do you know anyone who has abuse in their life?

Me:

Bones: Someone who's had to deal with living in a bad situation?

Me: Umm. Yeah. Of course I do. *I continued walking out of the room*

Mr. T: Why in the heck did you ask her THAT question?

Bones: Because I have this 500 word essay I have to write for Social Studies and it has these questions I have to answer. One of them is about dealing with abuse.

Mr. T: I don't get it. So why are you asking Mom?

Bones *said in a sing songy voice*: Because... MY life is full of LOVE and AFFECTION. *normal voice* I can't write on that! I was hoping Mom would know someone and could help.

Ok then. Excellent. There is an awful lot right in that little comment.

However, why is it that even though my boys think they live the life of Love and Affection I think that they're all going to end up in serious therapy???

Posted by Boudicca at 11:54 PM | Comments (4)

January 06, 2011

Searching My Heart

The boys had Scouts today and since my second son is Assistant Patrol Leader, he had to be there an hour early. I drove him as I had errands to run.

We were in the car and out of the blue he said, "Mom, how did Mimie's Mom die, your grandmother?"

I was taken aback as my kids have never really asked about relation they have not met. My children didn't know my maternal grandmother, her having died when they were so young.

She died of gross malpractice. Essentially, a doctor killed her. She was 74.

I explained to him what happened and his being science minded, he had a lot of questions. I... just... wanted him to understand how young she was. So I decided to put it in perspective for him.

Me: Mim is 69. She will be 70 this summer. When you think of her... do you think of a number?

Mr. T: No. Not at all.

Me: What do you think of?

Mr. T: Well... she's young.

Me: So you don't think of her as old?

Mr. T, a bit wide eyed: No. Absolutely not. There is nothing old about her.

Me: Yeah, her Mom was like that too. Nana was big energy. Nana died when she was 74. That would be like Mim dying in four years. What do you think about that?

Mr. T: Mom, that's way too soon... she's way too young.

Me: Yeah, exactly. And that's how I felt when my Nana died. Cheated. She was too young when that guy killed her. She was big energy. She wasn't old at all. It sucked.

We talked about it in greater depth as we made our way down the darkening roads. I'd never really talked about her to them. I think... sometimes... it is still too painful.

He asked me what she was like, and I laughed and told him about how she baked cookies for us, and how she always laughed and had fun with us. That she'd buy little things for us, even if she couldn't really afford it. She didn't have a lot of money and lived on a tight budget that she managed to the penny.

We never thought of her as not having money. She always seemed rich.

I told him about how she was a widow at age 52 and how she grieved for my grandfather every day until she died. He was 55 when he died of cancer. It was a work related cancer. Tragic.

I'm realizing that I need to sit down with them now, all of them, and talk about her love of football and cards. How she loved to play euchre and she liked vodka on the rocks, but would pass it off as a glass of ice water. How her feet smelled for some reason and how she'd try to con one of her grandchildren into smelling her feet. How much she loved children, playing with them and making them laugh. How she could go out and shovel snow in shorts and a sleeveless shirt and never get cold. Her hair was as white as snow and I hope if I gray, I go white like she was. She grayed early. Her legs were amazing. She and my Dad would make bets on football and then find weird ways to pay each other back... so you had to work to get your money. They bet a dollar. I think once we received a bunch of pennies in a cup of yogurt... that obviously went bad. How she had arthritis so badly in her hands and all her remedies and how now I wonder if my hands will go the way of hers. How when my hands swell up, they look like hers. And how she wore the tiniest shoes... she wore a size 5. She was shorter than me. And she loved old black and white movies and I used to stay up and watch them with her. She loved Burt Reynolds.

I loved my grandmother and had never really spoken of her. It's time.

I said to T, "Nana would have loved you kids. She'd have thought you brilliant, would have loved Ringo's music and guitar playing, and would have thought Bones was the funniest pain in the ass she'd ever been around. She would have loved you..."

And it made me so sad inside. I wondered... what made him ask this TODAY?

And then I realized, today it has been 11 years since my mother in law died. It has been 13 and a few days since Nana died.

Two women who would have loved him to pieces... having missed out on so much... how my children missed out on knowing two wonderful women, very different women, but still very loving and wonderful.

Every year on this day I post on my mother in law. Today I'd forgotten what day it was... until T asked about my grandmother.

I don't believe in coincidences.

But today... I miss them both terribly.

There is a question that has been rattling around in my head lately. If you die and nobody misses you, did you really live?

Posted by Boudicca at 10:44 PM | Comments (8)

January 05, 2011

Oddities in the Air

I can evidently be bought. It doesn't mean I'm not still looking... and I'm not still seriously pissed over a bunch of stuff that's occurred. I have a long memory.

'nuff said.

So I was surfing the 'net tonight and I saw that there is a basketball team named the Memphis Grizzlies. Evidently, two players got in a fight while on a chartered flight and so the coach has banned gambling.

1) Am I the only one who had never heard of the Memphis Grizzlies? First thought was "What sport do they play?" Second thought, upon hearing basketball was, "Hunh. Do they have farm leagues?"

2) A fight on an airplane. OK. So you're in this high tech material tube, being hurled through the air at hundreds of knots, at 30,000 feet up and... you get in a fight? Like a fist fight? Two big men? Really?

There is so much wrong with #2 I'm not sure where I'd start? What kind of force from the inside can the structure from one of those chartered planes take? How much jostling around in the cabin can occur before a pilot struggles to control a plane like that?

I don't like to fly, but if I have two gargantuan men come to blows while on the same plane as I... dang... I think I might stroke. Holy cats.

If you're going to fight, keep it on the ground. *sheesh*

Posted by Boudicca at 10:36 PM | Comments (4)

January 04, 2011

Changes in Attitude

It's not going to be some happy cheery post, so if you're looking for that... come back tomorrow.

Something happened at work today that made me realize... I have to find another job. It is easier to look for a job when you have one.

When you work for a company and you see something pretty bad happen, you might at first just raise an eyebrow, and think, "Wow. Did I just see that?"

When you work for a company and you see something pretty bad happen... again, you now realize it probably was not a fluke and if it happens yet again, a pattern has officially merged and you... will lose respect for all those involved.

But it can only continue for so long... before you start to lose respect for yourself and that's where I am now.

By staying, I've lost respect for myself.

It was that bad.

It was bad enough, that many of my co-workers are aghast... aghast at what I witnessed and aghast that now they know I will leave. Members of my team, have already offered to try to find money to make me stay.

I have to have this job. This isn't a fun job. We live on my income. I have kids in private school, I have retirement to save for (my husband is self employed so we provide our own retiremement), and taxes to pay. My money isn't used for cool vacations and fashion trendy clothes. My money, with this economy in particular, is a must have in this house.

So I'm putting my resume together and will start searching. It may take a year, two years or five years for me to find something, but just the fact that I'm actively doing something about it, will make me feel better about myself.

There are people out there who feel that what I witness or what happens to me is deserved because I'm a woman. I'm in a man's business. I don't belong there, so therefore if you can't take it... move on.

I watched as a young engineer, other women, the few and far between, and how they handled some of the things I've come against throughout the years. I have learned, unless someone puts hands on you, you don't report anything. You keep your mouth shut and eliminate yourself from the situation. Otherwise, you get labeled. Nobody wants to work with you.

You are the leper.

The man is very rarely guilty... unless there is black and white proof, such as email and texts and even then, surely the woman did something to lead him on and cause him to act this way.

I need this job... so I have kept my mouth shut.

That's a hard pill to swallow in this American Society, where we love to think we're all equal. But we're not. It's OK to treat a woman poorly, she's a woman. It's OK to underpay her, she's a woman. It's OK to think she's stupid... because... afterall... she's a woman.

The biggest offenders of this are still the over 60 crowd, but they seem to have been able to drag some of the 50+ crowd in with them.

Perpetuating.

I spent most of this morning so angry I couldn't talk. By afternoon, I was able to at least be civil and realize what was next for me.

The bottom line is... I'm not a victim. I never have been, I never will be. And I don't mind change.

This is the deal with change... sure, you could end up with worse... but you can also end up with better.

Life is never a sure thing. You have to take chances to make good things happen. They don't happen to those who wait. They happen to those who MAKE them happen.

I'm banking on better.

It just took today to make me realize... the time has come for me to start looking for change, no matter how much it is going to hurt a certain person very very close to me, someone who I've relied on for 20+ years and has come to rely on me. (Not my husband.)

I have to look out for myself now.

I have to search out alternatives while I still have my self respect.

Even women are entitled to that.

(Sidenote: I don't need advice. This is a vent post. I'm extraordinarily intelligent and have vast experience in the work force... in many capacities. I am where I am. It is what it is.)

Posted by Boudicca at 10:06 PM | Comments (17)

January 02, 2011

Around Town

The y-chromosome yielding people in this house had a fantastic time at yesterday's game. A big shout out to my gf, JD, who allowed us to purchase said tickets from her, as she and her family were unable to attend.

They had a fabulous time and they WON! Surprise!

Sidenote: "War Damn Eagle!" Woot! Gotta root for all SEC teams when it comes to BCS bowl games...

School starts Tuesday and I'm trying to brace myself. The sleeping in will come to an end and back onto the treadmill we return. I love the holidays...

... except undecorating the house. That starts today. That sucks.

I have a bit of a small town story that warmed my heart the other day. There is a village nearby, where my in-laws used to live. When our big library closed for rebuilding, I got myself a library card at the Village's library.

I can't live without a library. I feel about libraries the way some people feel about coffee. Gotta have it.

I'm in the process of running through the Brad Thor series. I looked up at our big library if they had the next book, they did not, but the little Village library, a few further miles away, did.

I don't know what it is about this little library that I love. It has somehow gotten me to read books I would not normally. Out front they have every new Fiction book on a triple shelf, and although I know all libraries have a station of them, its the way they have it set up here, that draws me in, and makes me read the dust covers and walk away with something I'd not normally have given a nod to.

And so I went to the little library, looked for my book... and it wasn't there. I searched the entire TH shelf... nada. I went to Large Print books (I love large print books) to see if it had been mis-shelved... nope. I went back to the computer to see if I'd made a mistake from home... and there it showed they had it.

Finally I walked to the librarian's station and said, "I am so very sorry to have to bother you, but... I absolutely cannot find the book I'm looking for and I was hoping maybe you could help me."

She replied, "OH! It's no bother at all!"

To which I shook my head and said, "No... I'm horrified that I'm about to embarrass myself, that you'll find I am not much better than my own children when it comes to finding things that are right out front."

She laughed and started to look... and look... and look. I told her where I'd been and where I'd searched and she laughed and said, "Oh! You DO know all the tricks!"

When you live at the library, you pick things up.

Finally I said, "I just needed to make sure I wasn't missing it. I SO appreciate your help! I'll find something else to read... "

But, I could tell... she was on a mission.

I heard another librarian yell back to her, "Don't you hate it when you can't find a book?"

The 2nd librarian was now on the search. I thanked them profusely and said I was fine, really, that the book I'd found would suit me perfectly through the weekend. I made a joke about how does one go from Brad Thor to Janet Evanovich in 5 minutes?

I got home and fixed dinner. The phone rang and I noticed on Caller ID that it was the Village.

The librarian was on the other line and she said, "Mrs. L, you were the one looking for Path of the Assassin, right? Did we find the right person?"

I answered to the affirmative and she told me they'd found it and then scrambled through the computer in hopes of finding the right customer.

OK. Did you catch that? AFTER I LEFT, they spent ANOTHER TWO HOURS looking for that book, the two of them I'm sure, and then they TOOK THE TIME to seek me out based on the book I'd checked out (bonus for me making small talk with the 2nd librarian about Janet Evanovich) and then CALLED ME AT HOME to tell me they'd put the book on hold for me.

I'm going today to pick it up.

I told my husband, "I loved that little library before, but now... I absolutely adore it."

Seriously, no big city libraries would EVER have done that? Not the new fangled library down the street that is so cool I have declared I could live there. Not the city library downtown.

NO.

Just this little Village library... that has a friend for life.

I love that.

Speaking of Love... I swiped this from Pamibe. If you've not seen this video... take a watch. Warms my heart, it does.


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

January 01, 2011

New Year, Recap and Goals

It is New Year's Day and I sit here in my home alone, quiet. My boys and their father are off to the UF Penn State game, where they are ever so hopeful that the Gators will pull this one out, where I, being the realist have said to them, "When Penn State is completely kicking their butts at halftime, it's a good time to leave to avoid traffic..."

They agree.

I'm still in my pajamas and muppet slippers, having cleaned the kitchen, started laundry, read my book while eating a quiet lunch, called a couple girlfriends I needed to catch up with, and spent some time reflecting on this past year and what it meant.

In essence, it has been... a very good morning, the perfect start to a new year.

I think what I like about New Year's Day is... the closure. It may just be a date, it may just be 1 January, or day 1, but it gives a perception of being able to start over, clear the slate and begin again. What's old is gone, what's new is coming... move on already.

And I desperately needed that as I will profess with great confidence that never have I had such a horrid wicked year as 2010, other than 2000. The year 2000 sucked sewage laden pond water and 2010 wasn't much better.

I'm looking for 2011 to climb out of the pit and see us onto greener pastures.

I've spent a lot of time mulling over all that went wrong this past year, most of which never made this blog. I do try to harp on the happy, or at least laugh when I can at the more trying times, but if I couldn't find a way to laugh, other than the slow sliding miserable death of my father in law, it didn't make it on here.

I've taken a lot away from 2010, learned more about myself than I thought possible for one year, and am intent to do right by those lessons... if anything to save my own soul and make it through to the end of the race.

That's the goal, is it not?

I think that mostly what 2010 taught me is that life is one huge frickin' roller coaster and it's impossible to steer it, sometimes you just have to hang on for dear life and pray you don't have a heart attack when your little car goes speeding at alarming rates on out of control curves or crazy downhill slopes of which you cannot see the bottom.

Gripping hard, gritting of teeth, and praying seem to go far when faced with obstacles you can't get about.

There was a lot of that this year. Praying being first.

What I'm thankful for this past year?

I'm thankful for our overall health.

That Bones made it into a school where he is thriving.

That Mr. T seems to have had a GREAT year and some light was shed upon what course of action he should take next in high school.

That Ringo seems to be... OK, and even though he has struggles that are not blog fodder, he's going to be a GREAT adult and I really like the man he's becoming.

I'm also thankful it was his wrist he demolished and not his neck.

And I'm thankful I won that huge fight with the head of one of the departments at his school and his grades in her class this year reflect that I was right. (Byotch. It was ugly, I wasn't backing down, and my trump card paid off. I'm not there to win friends... but to get the best education for my son possible.)

I'm thankful I have a job still. (Even if it causes chest pains and there are things that I detest.)

I'm thankful my husband's business finally picked back up. It was scary for awhile. Living out of savings is always disturbing.

I'm thankful we are conservative with our money and we had savings... of which to live. Scary stuff... seriously.

I'm thankful that my younger sister is pregnant with her second child as I'm so in love with her first, I cannot wait to love another.

No use dwelling on all that was wrong... I'll dwell on what to be thankful for an press on to this year's...

Goals

1) I'm down a dress size and have one possibly two more to lose. I hope to be there by April. I'm excited at the change and the overall better way I feel.

2) I'm starting to exercise again, having taken the entire year of 2010 off, due to time constraints. Thirty minutes a day, 5x a week, walking and cycling.

3) Moderation in all that I do is key. No running. Just because I CAN run until I vomit... doesn't mean I should...No matter how great it feels later to have run off all potential stress.

4) I'd like to survive teaching my son to drive. You'll see this goal again in five years when it's time to teach Bones. For now... I just don't want to get obliterated on some highway while Ringo is driving. I have two other kids to turn into adults.

5) I want to figure out this year, or at least start to, what I'd like to be when I grow up... 'cause what I'm doing now for a paycheck ain't it. It'll kill me before my time if I keep it up... so if I'm going to do big stress, I'd rather have a big paycheck to go with it. My paycheck is not currently commensurate with the stress level. I need to figure this out.

6) It's time for me to start learning to be fluent in another language. I have picked French since I've taken so much of it in the past. (I can still read it to some degree, I just can't speak it.) If some things I'm working on right now don't pan out, I may start in the Fall at the local college and pick it back up. It's all based on time... whether I have it or not, and I should get started. I could be fluent in a few years... and I think it would be easier to travel abroad with a European language under my belt. My kids are out of the house in 6.5 years. Planning for the future and all that...

I guess that's it. Nothing too lofty. I'm keeping it simple because I suspect I'll be hanging on for dear life again. 'Tis the way with teenagers in the house.

And to round out the year with two final pictures.

This is of me and my favorite nearly two year old niece, taken on Christmas Eve. We had just finished taking the family photos, an absolute riot I might add, and suddenly there were photo ops with her having donned a Santa hat.

Green Mardi Gras beads are now the jewelry of choice at Christmas. It's all about the accessories. She's a trendsetter. (Don't even think of trying to slip any other color Mardi Gras bead necklace in that beaded mess about her neck. It's not tolerated, as my boys found out.)
pookieandme.jpg

And lastly, our Christmas picture for this year. I won't begin to go into all the drama that occurred during the preparation for this shot, but suffice it to say, my eldest rose to the occasion as I left in a snit telling them in so many words that I really didn't care what they wore or what they did anymore, just show up so I could snap a picture and get them mailed and btw, Merry Frickin' Christmas.

Nice.

He grabbed his younger bro by the neck and got him dressed and pretty much orchestrated the picture. I was done.

A man of few words, he accomplishes what he sets out to do, thankfully.

So from the House of Boudicca to Yours, here's to a Happy New Year for all of us, and good riddance to 2010. I figure I have a 10 year reprieve until we have to do a repeat... or so it seems.

Happy New Year!
Xmas2010picture2.jpg

(To those who have been following me these 6 years... are they getting big or what?!)

Posted by Boudicca at 01:06 PM | Comments (19)