March 29, 2013

Losing that Modicum of Civility

It has recently come to my attention, that a young man I know is receiving nude photos on his cell phone from a young woman for whom he holds a torch.

His Mama is aghast.

She was flipping through his messages. She is thankful... he has not sent some as well.

But that definitely spurred a conversation between my eldest and me.

Me: Son, my goals are not so lofty...

Ringo: Uh oh. I feel it coming...

Me: I don't expect you to wait until you get married. But just wait until you get to college, ok?

Ringo: Where is this coming from...

Me: And if you decide to have sex, make it be with a girl you really care about and not some skank ho', ok?

Ringo: OK. Mom... where are we going with this?

Me: and... there is evidently some software on your phone where you can snap a picture and it disappears...

Ringo: yes, why yes, mom, there is...

Me: That's the app you used on your phone when you snapped the picture of your cake that I put 153 instead of 18, since I didn't have an 8, right? And you got text messages back?

Ringo: Yes. That is what I used.

Me: So... do me a favor and don't send naked pictures of yourself to girls, ok?


Me: Please.

Ringo: *blink*

Me: 'cuz, I don't want you to be a cell phone porn star.

Ringo: Mom... I would never send naked pictures of myself to someone.

Me: Good. I know that's like... the thing now...

Ringo: Not with me.

Me: Or T

Ringo: Or T.





Me: But... it could be with Bones one day...

Ringo: Could be...


Posted by Boudicca at 10:33 PM | Comments (8)

March 28, 2013

Bones Behind the Wheel

Bones informed me today, "Dad and I are going to miss Ringo the most. We're going to be sad..."

He and I were driving for an errand.

Me: Wait. I will be sad. That's not fair to say. But this is what's supposed to happen next...

Bones: Yeah, but not like me and Dad. We're going to be REALLY sad...

Me: And?

Bones: I'm going to miss all those drives.

Me: Oh how he just randomly takes you for ice cream sometimes?

Bones: He doesn't do that...

Me: Oh that's right...

Bones: I'm going to miss all the talks we have in his car. I sit right where I am with you right now... and he drives... and we just have some cool talks.

Me: I had no idea you ever rode with him...

Bones: Sure. Like the time you were stuck in the meeting and you couldn't answer your phone and the bus driver wouldn't take us home because of Hurricane Sandy, and so I called Ringo and he left band practice to come get me and he brought me back to his band practice and then brought me home while you were at work?

Me: Dude... that was like... 6 months ago... that was SEPTEMBER.

Bones: I know. We had the best time. We just laughed the entire time...

You wonder sometimes what your kids will remember, what they will pick out as a favorite memory. Evidently that one hit Bones' memory box.

And that one memory is enough to ensure that Bones will be sadder than T or me when Ringo leaves.

Bones: I wish I drove. If I was older... I'd just drive up there and go to chick-fil-a

Me: Wait. You'd drive 2 and a half hours to go to Chick fil A with your brother?

Bones: Well, maybe I'd drive up in the morning and we'd make a day of it. I'd drive up, maybe we'd catch a game or something. I'd buy the tickets because you know... I'll be working at Publix next year... and I'll be able to afford the tickets since you know... he'll just be a poor college student.

Thank God he's not driving.

1) He insists he is getting a job bagging groceries at Publix when he turns 14.

2) Evidently this is going to make him rich.

3) And if he was driving on top of all of that, he and his big wad of cash, would just swagger on up to Orlando on a whim, catch a football game, and eat Chick Fil A with his older brother.

Cotton candy clouds and rainbows. I want to live in that world. It's good for a laugh as a spectator though...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:26 PM | Comments (10)

March 27, 2013

It Isn't Easy Being Green

I was at a conference a couple weeks ago and received some texts from my husband. Bones has outgrown his clothes... again... so I tasked my husband to take him shopping.

Off to Kohl's they went.

There I was sitting at dinner, formal gown, gloves having already been removed, when in a huge lull as we awaited serving, I decided to take a quick look at my phone to see if I'd gotten any messages from my family.

I had.

From my husband.

In Kohl's.

The first text was this picture saying, "These are the shirts Bones likes".

Bones selections of shirts.jpg

We're a conservative lot, the four of us. The fifth of us... not so much.

So this is Bones' on St. Paddy's Day. Evidently he received MANY comments at church. And he heard one man murmur to his wife, 'Wow. That's a bright shirt..."

Bones st paddy 2.jpg

Note his conservatively dressed brother in the background.

Bones can stop traffic with his clothes. I'll see if I can't get a picture of him in his red shirt.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:29 PM | Comments (7)

March 25, 2013

Spring Break and Trips

We appear to have a kite eating tree in our backyard. The boys have been trying to get it out all day.


It's spring break. We're doing musicals, movies, the beach at dinner, kites, and sleep.

I talked about taking the Tri-rail down to Miami, but was met with a deer in the headlights look. Miami was taken off the list.

For now.

The trip:

We were told to be at the school at 5AM. So at 4, the three of us awoke, took showers, packed the last of the items and loaded the asexual mom-mobile, which is now clocking at 221K miles.

At 430 we were on the road. At 440, a check engine light came on along with a couple others.

I hate it when that happens.

Having just had the oil changed recently, I knew that wasn't it, and remembering that at 120K, I had a sensor go bad with my catalytic converter, I was sickened the lights came on, but not totally freaked out.

Only freaked out enough to awaken my husband and say, 'You may get a call from me in 20 minutes to come get my car from the side of the road if it breaks down'. I'd already created a contingency plan for a friend to come take me the rest of the way. I just had to get the vehicle off the interstate.

It didn't come to that. I made it to the school with plenty of time to spare, but did tell a couple teachers and parents that I hoped that maybe my car would get stolen from the school parking lot while I was gone.

At 221K miles it's not worth much. Who wants to dicker at a dealership with a car that's pretty much been worn out? At least if it got stolen the insurance company would just look in its book and say, "Your POS vehicle is worth $XYZ', cut me a check and it would be done.


It was still there when we got home. My husband, God love him, Friday morning, swapped cars and took it to my mechanic for him to take a quick look. It's a sensor gone bad. Dammit.

Anyway, I was concerned it was an Omen, however, it was not.

Last year's experience with the whacked out bus drivers had our Band Director telling me who to use as a bus company. Shameless plug, we used Horizon Coach Lines, and they provided us with two of the most amazing bus drivers known to man.


In the history of bus drivers.

Professional, competent, funny, smart, charming, wonderful, solid, calm.

There are certain people that make a positive imprint in your life, and these two gentlemen were of that kind.

A bus driver can make or break a trip and I knew we were in a different realm from last year when both had the itineraries I'd created in their hands, had their GPS out, had taken notes, made a list of questions, and before we left we had a mini-huddle up to discuss what we envisioned with what they could provide.

We're asking for them next year. I gather you can do that.

We stopped in St. Augustine and toured Mission Nombre de Dios. The last time I was in St. Augustine, I happened to tell a friend of mine that I was looking for a caterer for our trip. (Shameless Plug #2) Her husband said to me, 'You should try Cap'n Kids Galley, just a couple blocks down...' I wrote down their phone number and got in touch.

I cannot speak highly enough of the gentleman who owns that restaurant. Where in the hell would I begin? We had emailed and spoken on the phone. The price of the food was crazy reasonable. Sandwiches, waters, cookies and chips... all separated out in an individual bag for each student. I'd pre-ordered.

He had put the waters in a cooler the night before so we all got cold water.

I said we'd be ready to eat at 12 and when I stepped outside, there he was with our food, patiently waiting for us to be ready.

And once again... have you ever been in someone's presence and thought, "This is a good person"? That would be Donnie. He owns it. He's amazing. He is kind.

And his sandwiches were great!

We had a big picnic right outside the Mission. And the rain held off, which totally negated the bad vibe of the engine sensors going off in my car at O'dark thirty.

The trip there was uneventful. We took a tour of downtown Charleston, Magnolia Plantation, Patriot's Point, and ate at fun restaurants on the water.

On Thursday we'd had a permit for Charleston since we were touring the area, but I didn't get one for us for Friday. After all, we'd be at Patriot's Point and we only needed the bus to park to drop us off to eat, right?

Coming out of Patriot's Point, the bus drivers stopped me and said, "We need permits for tonight. It's 3:30 and they close at 5..." And so off we dashed, two buses with 73 kids, to downtown, so I could jump off with our bus driver and hunt down where to obtain a permit. I got lost as we wandered the streets, however, I get credit for stumbling on the office. My 6'5" line backer 30 year old bus driver, as wonderful as they come, gets full credit for getting me back to the bus since I couldn't figure out where in the hell I was.

Permit in hand I said, "Hmm. We have to find the buses now..." to which he laughed quietly and said, "Bou... we'll just cross the street..."

He evidently kept tabs on where we were at every minute and was never lost. Only I was lost. Even though we were both together.

It was at Patriot's Point where things got a bit hairy. That would be when the first kid projectile vomited all over the floor after lunch.

Fortunately, the visual wasn't contagious. But by dinnertime, we had two girls in the bathroom of the restaurant. By bed time, I had a kid come find me in the hotel foyer where I was hiding from my psycho roommate. He was ill.

And come Saturday morning, we had probably two more kids not feeling well. I kept saying to the band director, "We just have to get home..."

I was txting my boys, "Don't you dare hug anyone!" Teenagers are like puppies. They're constantly huddling and hugging. And it didn't help that it was 40 degrees and we were freezing.

It was just an excuse for the walking hormones to share body heat.

And yes, there were students that said to each of my boys, "What's up with your Mom? She's in the lounge when we go to bed and when we wake up for breakfast, she's there again..."

They seemed to notice I was avoiding being in my hotel room.

It was worth it. They all had fun and that's what it's about, right? I met some amazing people, from restaurateurs, to bus drivers, to tour guides. When I meet people like these... it gives me hope for America. America is full of some seriously great people.

That said, I'm not attending next year. I think I paid my dues. I have great faith I'm not needed.

It's time to pull away. Even though I love those dang kids...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:02 PM | Comments (3)

March 24, 2013

When You Can't Crack the Nuts, You Walk Away

When I was in 9th grade, we all had to take a test on our interests. We had to answer a series of questions, wait six weeks, and we were to receive results into what we might want to do with our lives.

One question stood out in particular. "Do you want to work with people" struck me hard and I quickly blacked the 'NO' circle with my sharpened number 2 pencil.

My interpretation of the question, was different from the meaning. I thought they meant 'do you want to work with the general public' of which I knew even at that age, I did not, but what they really meant was truly, 'do you want to work with people'.

So when I got the results, I got 'meat cutter', the most isolated job you can probably conjure up.

Whereas I like my steaks just freshly having quit kicking, cutting meat all day, isolated, in a cold room, was not something I had in mind. I suspect my analytical acumen was probably discounted by my also having to circle an F for female back in the late 70s.

I suspect.

Anyway, all I meant was I didn't want to work with the general public, something continually hammered home to me as I waited tables through college.

Don't get me wrong. I CAN do it. I just don't like to do it. My profession was perfect. I don't work with the general public, yet I work with people.

A buddy of mine from company X used to call it 'the womb'. We only worked with people of certain thought processes and of a certain intellect. And I'm not trying to be snobby... we just worked with like minded people. From mechanics, to secretaries, to assistants, to engineers, to senior management... we were in varying degrees, cut from the same cloth. Nobody worked on projects we worked on without already having fit some sort of mold to succeed... we're organized linear thinkers.

We laugh, but in reality, there isn't always a lot of emotion. Certain people gravitate to aerospace and certain people don't.

So it is always a wake up call for any of us when we have to work with the general public. It is a bit of a joke amongst us. We're a boring lot. We're mostly all in stable relationships, we have 2.5 kids, houses and probably a dog. Mostly we don't have any vices.

We're too boring for that.

But we laugh.

Usually at the messes we find ourselves in when we do find ourselves with the general public and struggle to assimilate.

We are often spectators.

Data gatherers.

Why this odd post? I have volunteered to assist in planning next year's band trip. I understand the nuances now. I know what bus company must be used, how bus drivers get comp'd at restaurants, permits need to be pulled for the buses in cities like Charleston (that was a crazy funny story), rest stops need to be planned for (most kids need to stop every couple hours), and so on.

I did a GREAT job planning this trip. The meals were good, the tours were fun, the bus drivers spectacular (that was an fortuitous accident), the hotel was spot on, and it went smoothly.

But this is the second year that I've gone and the second year I've had to contend with someone who needs to be medicated and is not. Last year it was an emotionally disturbed transvestite bus driver and her whacked out Jersey Mafia side kick.

This year it was a teacher that is absolutely bat sh-- crazy. I'm not going to post what happened, because even putting it out here violates my blogging, 'do no harm', credo.

But suffice it to say, I'm stunned by what occurred. I reported it to the proper channels and am now extricating myself from ever being in that type of situation again.

I can handle emotion. I can't handle inexplicable non-linear explosions.

I will help plan it. I will not attend. I cannot put myself in a situation again where I am stuck with someone like that in my space for a prolonged period of time.

So I will help plan. I will not go.

More on the trip later.

I'm still digesting all that occurred.

But... the trip really was fantastic. I need to go back to Charleston. There is so much to see and do. It may be my favorite city.

Posted by Boudicca at 03:23 PM | Comments (8)

March 19, 2013

Put the Lime in the Coconut

The big trip to Charleston is tomorrow. The band is playing at Patriot's Point on the USS Yorktown on Friday morning.

I've been baking for the boys, packing my items, and putting out last minute fires for the trip... as I've planned the entire thing.

Pray for no rain tomorrow. We are eating outside in St. Augustine at the Mission Nombre de Dios. Rain would be bad. The kids are sitting in the grass.

On a side note...

Only in Florida.

Evidently every day after band, one of the taller boys grabs a coconut off one of the trees, another boy takes it from him and throws it against the sidewalk to watch it shatter.

Today was a day like all the others, grab the coconut, pass it off, throw it, watch it shatter.

Except today, another boy walked along and said, "That's as far as you can throw it?" and he grabbed a coconut and winged it as far as he could and it sailed through the air and right through the copy room window of the school.

A closed copy room window.

Fortunately nobody was in the room that we have heard of. I'm not sure what I'd be more afraid of, being pelted with shattered glass or being hit unsuspecting by a coconut.

The boys were telling me the story over dinner tonight.

The school is 47 years old. After they were done, talking about low IQ, impulsiveness and more importantly, what a weak arm the kid had because the copy room window was not really that far away, I mean, if you're going to break a window, go for one a football field away, right?, (run on sentence) I said to them, "Well, I'm sure this is not the first time this has happened. It is S. FL..."

To which the table got quiet, I looked up to find three sets of eyes staring at me, quietly, and then my eldest started to laugh and said, 'Mom. Yes. We're SURE this is the first time someone through a coconut through a window at our school. Who does something like that?"

So that was our dinner conversation today.

I'm taking my computer. If I have time, I will blog. I have pictures to post of Bones on St. Patrick's Day. I gotta get them up...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:09 PM | Comments (5)

March 17, 2013


I've been traveling this week. I just got in. I'm very involved with a women's organization and I put my name in the hat to run for a 3rd tier spot that means I will run the entire State, all 10,000 women, in four years.

It was a tight race and I've been campaigning all over the State. That's what has been consuming any spare time I've had.

I won. I'm excited. I'm very excited. I see potential to make some good change. I see potential to bring a new energy to what works.

We'll see. I need to be what they need me to be, as well as lead them in a direction I think is great.

It's a two way street.

The next two years will be the easy years. These are the years I listen and learn.

There are those that want me to seek national levels on behalf of our state. I just want to lead and survive. It can be a brutal position, the person at the top. People will love me and people will hate me. There will be not much middle ground.

I will also spend the next three years researching scripture that best represents my thoughts. I'll be creating a logo and a slogan for my administration.

I have some thinking to do... it should be interesting.

It will not be blog fodder, however. It is a very private part of my life I don't share readily and I have a policy here that this is my happy place and I'm not mean. So even when things are going poorly, it won't come out here. It'll still be about the happy parts of my life.


The Band trip is Wednesday. I will be out of pocket Wednesday through Saturday night. I'm very stressed about it and the planning of this trip has made me nearly physically ill.

I can't put my finger on it. I think there are too many variables. I'm a bit of an on-time freak and with 100 people, it makes me nervous.

I'll be literally mentally checking off every stop as we arrive places until we're home.


I have some funny pictures about Bones that we're trying to download, but it's not going well. I'll try again tomorrow.

I'm beat.

By the way, I hit 220,000 on my car last week and txt'd the picture of the odometer to my kids.

I'm the only one that thinks its cool. Instead I got responses like, 'The new Consumer Reports about cars came out..."

Posted by Boudicca at 10:14 PM | Comments (5)

March 12, 2013

Derivatives in Music

A couple months ago, Bones received his two songs for his next jury. One is in Italian and the other he has said repeatedly, 'It's a pretty song... but I feel like I know it already.'

For the last six weeks he's said that. He gets in the car and says, "Why is that song so familiar?"

He has said something to his instructor a couple times and she just shrugs her shoulder.

Today he got in the car very animated, and said, "I know it! It's the song from Trading Places!"

He is singing Aura Lee, a Civil War era song, which they spun off in Trading Places as "Constance Fry".

He told his instructor that this afternoon and he said, 'You've seen Trading Places, right?" and her response was, "Sure, *I* have, I'm just surprised YOU have!"

Of course some of you may know it from Elvis and Love Me Tender, but Bones is all about the movies...

Constance Fry

Aura Lee

Posted by Boudicca at 10:37 PM | Comments (4)

March 08, 2013

Middle School Crazy

Bones' middle school, as I've stated previously, is a school for artistic kids. They have to audition.

Every now and then you'll get a kid that is hugely artistic and amazingly athletically inclined.

Every now and then.

But mostly, not. What I'm finding is that the kids that go to school with Bones, are so pegged out artistically that they don't have time for sports. Or, and I've been thinking about this, their parents realized very early on this was the route they should take, and spent all the time on some sort of art lesson (think strings, band, drawing, singing, dancing) over the sports that kids focus on, in particular boys, like basketball and baseball.

So to put it lightly, his middle school isn't known for their mad athletic prowess. They aren't known for their amazing sports teams.


And so Bones came home the other day and said their middle school is now 0-6 in basketball. The conversation went like this:

Bones: Mom, we so suck at sports.

Me: Well, that's not what y'all have chosen to focus your time on.

Bones: No, seriously. We suck. We're like... oh and six. We've not won ONE game in basketball.

Me, quickly glancing over as I'm driving: Interesting. You know... when I'm at your school, I never see any really tall kids... not boys anyway.

Bones: Exactly and today? Today one of the boys on the team said to me, "You should have seen this last team, Bones. They were HUGE" and I said to him, "Well... we aren't tall people here for some reason" and the kid replied, "NO. I mean they DROVE TO THE GAME!""

And this elicited a huge laugh from both Bones and me as he recounted it. The 8th graders were so big, they drove to the game.

I gather the boy continued to expound upon the age of these 8th graders from this inner city school they played.

I remember one of the assistant coaches from a very suburban high school telling me that he'd show up with his baby faced Juniors, to play some inner city school and the players would hand their babies to some young girl before they got on the court. They had full beards, tatts, babies...

Anyway, I laughed really hard at Bones because earlier in the day, my gf was telling me about the middle school down the street from where we work. None of us will send our kids there. I think the private schools in the area stay busy because the locals are dang close to deathly afraid of this middle school.

How bad is it?

I have a friend whose husband is a Jewish Cop and he paid to have his kids sent to the local Baptist school to keep them out.

So my friend said to me, "You know Joan Doe with all those kids? She has always sent her kids to Middle School XYA, but she finally drew the line when they put in student parking last week..."

So, yeah, the times they are a-changin'.


Bones had a competition today. We took my 19 year old nephew. He is a young man of few words. There is thought he might be an Aspie. He has a lot of the tendencies and his Mom, having just become a special Ed teacher five years ago is now fully recognizing that the myriad issues they have had to contend with through the years... alone... may very well have had a reason.

There are people who shun labels. When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, I embraced it. It gave me the ability to research and not feel alone. I could talk to others and they'd totally get it. Before, I just had this crazy big energy impulsive all over the road kid I couldn't relate to. Identifying the 'whys' of it was huge to me.

And I think this has been good for her.

Anyway, he's an awesome kid and really loves Bones like a brother. Bones my extroverted ADHD kid and my nephew the introverted Aspie are like peas and carrots. It seems an odd combo, but my nephew seems to calm Bones down and Bones brings out the best in my nephew.

So there was this performance and we brought my nephew, who didn't really know what to expect except his cousin happens to sing.

When we left, my nephew looked at me wide eyed and said, "THAT was amazing. That is NOT what I expected at all. I'm blown away..."

Their first song was an African song called tshotsholoza, complete with foot stomping. Bones had tried out for the solo, but he is NOT a tenor. He is firmly a baritone now. His voice has settled.

Their rendition was much more animated than this. I'm hoping to find it on the internet...until then, this is close, but not as lively.

We are coming to an end for his Middle School years... years that have single handedly been the best he's had. I know if he gets into the high school, it won't be the same.

But I pray it's positive, because all we've had with him the last three years, exceeded our wildest dreams... and then some.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:48 PM | Comments (4)

March 06, 2013

Limits are Not Just for Integrals

Blogging is light because I overextended myself.

I always do seating for a Fashion Show benefit that goes towards certain projects like Veterans and some schools for disadvantaged children. It's a big event with anywhere from 130-250 people coming and I have done seating for 15 years.

People say, "How in the world do you do it and not stress?" and I reply simply, "EXCEL". It's a piece of cake, although I did send an email to a girlfriend today telling her that I have realized that I do seating to amuse myself (if I find you amusing, I might just sit you at my table to entertain myself) and because I'm mildly sadistic. If you've pissed me off, I'm going to find the most annoying people I know and sit them at your table. And sit back and watch. And amuse myself.

It's probably all tied into my personal amusement.

Somehow I got suckered into doing the centerpieces. My Mom and sister are reading this probably in horror. I'm the black hole of creativity. I will spend tomorrow working on a sample. I have materials and an idea, but what I envision and results can be mutually exclusive.

And once again, I think I said yes for my amusement and to see if I really was capable of doing it...

The band trip is coming up. I've just about finished the logistics for 84 people to go to Charleston, stopping in St. Augustine on the way up, and Savannah on the way home. I've done hotel rooms, bus lists, three dinners including one that is during Lent (pain in the neck), three lunches plus one with a caterer and worked with Tour companies and Museums.

I've had last minute additions where I nearly got in a fight with a teacher and last minute cancellations, leaving me scrambling to call all the places we've put deposits on to change numbers.

I have a spreadsheet with 10 workbooks that feed off each other so that with a press of a button, I can change costs and get an analysis of how much money is spent and where. I actually have two of them, one itinerary related and one cost related.

In the real world, I am what they call a Logistician. I don't put it out there as most people don't really understand what I do and since my title is engineer, it's just easier that way. But in reality, I make things happen... efficiently and effectively.

I've already told them I won't plan the trip next year.

I know I have a lot going on in my life. I have a huge State Conference next week where I have to do a lot of speaking (doesn't stress me out, I speak well in public, I'm very animated), but there are things going on at the Conference that can be interpreted by some as stressful.

Plus I had Ringo's push for Eagle, his project, travel, birthdays, family is in town, the band trip following after this Conference...

... and for the first time, I realize I'm over extended and it's been too much.

I've spent time analyzing the situation, trying to figure out what exactly has pushed me over the edge, and I really think it's the trip.

The perpetual unquantifiables, the constant change when there should not be, the inability for people in the academic industry to meet deadlines, people signing up for things and then not following through... it is more than I can handle.

So I've told them I won't do it next year. I find some of the personalities too difficult to work with. The absolute lack of linear thought astounds me and I live with Bones, so that says a lot.

So it's touch and go here. We did have another birthday party tonight and we had a blast. My niece turned 25 and being as she just moved back in town, I told her we were going to have an old fashioned big family birthday party and my husband made meatballs, I made ziti, and a big chocolate cake. I bought her huge balloons and we laughed and carried on as families do.

My nephew, her youngest brother, asked to spend his spring break with us, rather than travel back home to NJ. I couldn't figure out why in the world he'd want to spend his college spring break here, but his Mom said it was the only place he wanted to be.

He sleeps late, studies during the day (he carries a tough load) and then he goes out and plays basketball with my boys when they get home. They play video games and monopoly and just totally act like broccoli.

Which is probably what he needed.

He's a good kid and I'm happy he picked wanting to spend it with us.

I think the stress levels will come down considerably after the band trip. As I said, it's my last.

I found a limit.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:25 PM | Comments (7)

March 03, 2013

HB Ringo... 18

This has been a crazy week in our home. I think the average person has a kid that turns 18 and it just happens.

We don't do things in a small way in this home.

Oh. No. We. Don't.

About a six weeks ago, my son's Scout Master realized my son was not going to make Eagle. He had two projects fall through, and then school got crazy, and with band, work, college apps, and just life... Ringo suddenly decided he was content to just be a Life Scout. He didn't need Eagle. He got into college. He was fine.

But his SM was not. When he fully realized that all the badges were complete, that Ringo had put in the time, he declared that a project WOULD be found, a meaningful project, as Ringo had thought of his first that didn't work.

And it was found, that the Rosary Garden at the church where my Mother in Law died saying the Rosary on the altar, was not a garden anymore. It was nothing recognizable. The Stones that were to represent the garden were in disrepair. It was... a mess.

A Rosary Garden is a Prayer Garden. There are benches for reflection and each stone represents a part of the Rosary. There are 'Five Decades'. Each of the five parts has 10 stones, each stone is a Hail Mary and each Decade is separated by an Our Father.

The rush was on to get the signatures. My son had to map it out, figure out the logistics of time, lay out, and materials. Signatures had to be gotten. And this was all done... three weeks ago. BSA had to approve the project. That was done within five days.

The guy from BSA told me, "We've had kids cut it close... but this is the closest I've ever experienced."

For those not in the know, your Eagle Scout Application MUST be at BSA HQ by your 18th birthday. His birthday is today. Which means it had to be there Friday. Which means that from the time it was approved until the time Ringo had to get his App in... it was less than two weeks.

An emergency email was sent to every family member explaining the project and how Ringo could not accept cash.

This project resonated deeply with the family.

Immediately my Mom and Dad offered to buy every single stone, in memory of my Mother in Law. Knowing that everyone in the family would participate, they held off, bought 35 of stones, and within 24 hours Ringo had all his stones.

By the time he was ready to start, one of his aunts had purchased all the sand.

We were living up at the church. Blogging has been scant due to this enormous project. I was the one picking up stones and sand from Lowes, while he was at school.

I was part of the support team.

He did a great job pulling it together. He and the Scouts worked tirelessly last weekend, pulling it together, and finishing last Sunday at 4PM before the rains came.

The finished product:


I have scads of pictures of the 'during', but there are scouts all over and I don't want to put their pix on the blog.

But here are a couple.

And here are Ringo and T getting ready to start putting down the sand.

Getting Ready for Sand.jpg

I'll probably blog more pictures of it, taking out faces, at a later time. But that's just the overview.

So he finished it on Sunday and then he got sick, and had tests, and come Wednesday he knew he had to get it all ready to go to BSA, however, he misunderstood something.

He thought that the Eagle Scout Project workbook was due and spent 4 hours on Wednesday putting together a power point on his project, creating an EXCEL spreadsheet regarding cost and materials and filling it out.

On a frickin' FLUKE, I showed up at Thursday night's meeting to see if he had his signatures and to make sure I didn't have any badges to sign off on for other kids. (I'm a badge counselor for Personal Fitness and Family Life.)

He came out at 815 and said, "Mom, there is a separate APPLICATION for Eagle!" So we ran to the library, filled it out on line, got back to Scouts before the meeting ended at 9, had the rest of the signatures finished, and then I turned it in on Friday.

He's happy it's done. I just think he took Screaming Eagle to a whole new level. His brother wants no part of that... he will be finishing next year.

I have pix from his birthday, but haven't downloaded them yet as it's been just too busy. We have family in town so it was a BIG celebration, with my sister in law nearly breaking down in tears that he's going off to college in a few months.

That's supposed to be me crying, right? I'm wondering what's wrong with me. Why am I not wringing my hands?

I would be remiss not to put one current picture up. This was taken last month. His nickname at school for awhile was, "Smile".

Ringo Smile.jpg

He's a good kid. He's coming into his own slowly. He's sick of high school and all the crap and drama that comes with it. He has probably the worst case of senioritis I've ever seen. He truly has low tolerance for the stupid rules and attitudes of teachers.

He sees through the BS and he has grown to hate it all.

He's marking time, graduation being 13 May.

He's ready.

And so... to my son, Ringo, on his 18th I say, "Happy Birthday, Ringo. Should all the young men in this world be loved as much as you... I suspect that there would be far fewer problems and this world would be a much better place."

I love you, son.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:32 PM | Comments (17)