October 31, 2013

Halloween 2014

Bones INSISTED he had to dress up to go to school today. Going to a high school of the arts... this seems to be mandatory. Whereas in regular public schools, maybe a kid here or there might be extroverted enough to dress for Halloween, at an art school, something is seriously wrong if you DON'T dress.

So Bones had a list of morph suits he was interested in and this one was near the top of his list...

Bones Halloween 2013 for School.jpg

Sure enough, I picked him up from school and there were kids in homemade costumes, store bought, and some seriously imaginative. All the teachers dressed up too.

Honestly... there are times I think every day is dress up day at his school.

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And with the pumpkin theme going on... I post them every year. We have this years pumpkin that my husband carved:

Pumpkin 2013.jpg

And when he glows:
Glow pumpkin2.jpg

The boys... really wanted a pumpkin that was vomiting. Well, let me restate... BONES really wanted a pumpkin that was vomiting. Last night they carved it out and saved the innards in a bag, so I essentially had pumpkin vomit in my fridge last night.

They had their dad buy some beer (I made beer bread for dinner to go with chili... sounds great except it's still 80 degrees outside...) and they took an empty bottle and some cans and made Drank Too Much and Threw Up Pumpkin:

Vomit Pumpkin 2013 number 2.jpg

The boys miss going trick or treating, or rather they miss the candy... not all the work to get it.

Bones likes to hide in the bushes and try to scare the bigger kids... but we get fewer and fewer kids every year as the kids all have grown up.

It's odd when a neighborhood ages...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:39 PM | Comments (5)

October 30, 2013

Misty Brain

I picked Bones up from school today and we had this deep philosophical discussion and I remember thinking, "I need to post this... this is amazing..." and now I can't remember.

I'm so irritated.

GRRR.

So Bones has been trying to convince their vocal teacher that the basses should warm up to this song when they sing at Disney in December. Let me know if you're in the area... Epcot... Dec 21. I think 5 or 5:30.

So far she's not budging. She said no. So Bones may learn it on his own as his own warm up and if so... I may tape it and put it up. We'll see...

I frickin' wish I could remember the conversation... so mature and insightful.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:18 PM | Comments (6)

October 28, 2013

Unexpected Blessings

I was coming home from a meeting on Saturday, called home and got Bones.

Me: I'm running late. I won't be home until 3:30ish. Ugh... the meeting lasted too long...

Bones: It's cool, Ma. T is taking me to the Mall. Just for an hour. Just a bit of time to get out...

Immediately I thought, "WTH? T HATES the mall." Then I thought, 'well, Bones has been home, maybe he just wants to drive and it will make them both happy...'

So I replied, "Ok, be careful. I'll see you when you get home!"

I was sitting in the computer nook, making phone calls and answering email when I heard out the front window, a low sometimes throaty voice, with a light low throaty laugh.

It didn't sound like my two younger sons... my ears perked, only one person sounded like that.

I immediately looked outside and saw my eldest son walking up the sidewalk.

I ran to the front door and there stood the three of them grinning, and Ringo walked in and gave me a big hug saying, "Hey, Ma..."

It was so good to see him. His school is only 2.5 hours away, someone was coming down for the night and so he said he'd make the drive.

I said to him, "Did you come home just to do your laundry?" as he brought in two duffle bags? He said, "No, but it did help. I hate their driers..."

The four of us were sitting in the TV room when my son's phone rang. He picked it up and evidently the person on the other side said, "Why are you home?"

To which he replied, 'Because... I can be.'

It's the little things...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:16 PM | Comments (5)

October 25, 2013

Intolerant of the Intolerant

This post has been germinating for awhile. I think it started when I was at work a couple weeks ago and my boss and I both had our chairs at the doors of our cubes and something was said about politics and I just went into this long winded stream of consciousness, not realizing what I was doing, just... venting a sad, when I realized that everyone around me had stopped what they were doing and was listening.

I am sad.

I am sad for our country.

I am sad for our people.

For over 250 years members of my family have been fighting for our freedom in some way.

Every war.

My family came to this country, in some cases in the 1600s and some in the 1700s. I have 15 members in my family tree that participated in the Revolutionary War.

I have a woman in my tree that gave supplies to the Colonists... while her husband was off fighting with the Red Coats. He was permanently exiled. She lived with her father after that... she and her children. Great sadness, great Hope for better.

But they came to this country for a better life, to be able to pray the way they wanted to pray, to be able to be independent in this new great country that was forming.

And our country has prided itself in our immigrants coming from all walks of life, black, white, Asian, Indian... all skin colors and religions.

We are Americans and we have been through some crappy times, the Civil War probably being the worst of the worst, but we have come through. We may be scuffed... but we come through.

And so it breaks my hearts that we Americans are so hateful to each other because of beliefs.

I hate you because you believe in gay marriage.
I hate you because you don't believe in gay marriage.
I hate you because you believe in abortion.
I hate you because you don't believe in abortion.
I hate you because you are conservative.
I hate you because you are liberal.
I hate you because you want to take my guns.
I hate you because you want to have guns.
I hate you because you drive a prius.
I hate you because you drive an SUV.
I hate you because you don't believe in God.
I hate you because you do believe in God.
I hate you because you don't believe in God the way I believe in God.
I hate you because you're on welfare.
I hate you because you're rich.
I hate you because you have more than me.
I hate you because you have less than me.
I hate you because you're a white.
I hate you because you're black.
I hate you because of how you dress.
I hate you because of what you do.
I hate you because of where you live.
I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. And I'm going to call you mean names because I hate you.

Did I leave anything out? I'm sure I did... because there is SO much hatred... SO much intolerance, that there is no way I covered it all.

Everyone has walked in different shoes. I have a friend who has a son that is so developmentally handicapped, he is curled up in a wheelchair and talks through pressing buttons on a computer. I don't have that in my family, her life is not one I could imagine. But I grew up in a military family, work with the military, and have been to places she can't imagine.

Will we vote the same way on the same issue? No. We won't. I will vote based on my personal experiences and what *I* feel are important to me and to my country and she will vote based on her personal experiences and what SHE feels are important to her and to our country.

And I love her dearly.

I don't care how she votes nor does she care how I vote.

My patriots fought for the right for us to vote. Women died for the right for women to vote.

Yet we have come to a place in our country, where people hate each other because of the WAY others vote. There is a constant barrage of name calling that leaves me at a loss.

Why are we labeling people based on their personal beliefs? Why is there a constant condescension?

And it's coming from BOTH sides. My husband has turned on some guy named Moyers. I don't know why he watches it. It has to be one of the most hate filled shows I have ever listened to. I have to leave the room. Mean spirited and hateful to anyone who doesn't see as he does... and then there is this guy named Hannity, that I have to leave as well. Some of the things I hear come from the other room makes me walk in and say, "did I hear that?"

But this is what we have come to.

We Americans are getting off on hating each other. The modicum of civility has been lost.

And it makes me sad.

And I think my 15 Patriots must be rolling in their graves. This isn't what they fought for. This isn't want they supported.

This isn't what they envisioned. I feel certain.

I guess that's my political rant of the year.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:09 PM | Comments (14)

October 24, 2013

The beautiful essence of Bones

Bones thinks we should all collectively move as a family to Australia. He thinks its the only great country left.

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Bones can't do math. Bones is not organized. But what Bones can do is... work with people and make them feel good.

It is a gift.

For the last 3 years he has sung with a young man who has many emotional and neurological issues, the kinds of issues that will never go away. The kinds of issues that require patience, medications, therapy and... prayer.

He has sensory issues... he can be totally overwhelmed with loud noise. He can break into fits of rage over small things that frustrate him. He can withdraw into himself like no other. He is brilliant mathematically, but socially, he will never fit.

He cares so deeply. He cannot handle seeing anything he interprets as an injustice to anyone or any group. It throws him over the edge, thinking of the pain that could be caused.

It is as if he is perpetually raw.

There are many things going on in this young man's head, but he is kind, he is good, he is smart. He would never hurt anyone. It pains me to know of their struggles, but he has AWESOME parents and if any kid is going to make it through the minefield that is in his head... it will be this young man because of the support he has at home.

Yesterday was picture day, which means that the boys all had to take their tuxes to school. (We had to purchase one a couple weeks ago.)

All the boys had changed and were outside waiting and this one young man who I will call, Adam, had not come out from changing.

They were waiting and waiting and finally Bones walked up to the vocal teacher and said, "Mrs. S... would you like me to go check on Adam?" He said she was hesitant and said, "Yes, please, but watch how you phrase things, ok?"

So Bones in a tux, ran over to the changing room and then quietly walked in and gently asked, "Hey, Adam. Looks like your tie is giving you a hard time? Do you mind if I help you?"

Adam was on the brink of a meltdown as he couldn't get it to be the right size and fasten correctly.

Adam looked relieved and said, "Yes, please."

Bones said he stepped over and said, "I'm going to touch your tie and adjust it now, OK?" and Adam nodded. Bones adjusted the tie, got it hooked and stepped away.

He continued, "Adam, look in the mirror. Now take the tips of your shirt and put them like this over your tie and you're going to be set. You look great..." and as Adam finished his shirt, Bones ran out to tell Mrs. S that it was all set and Adam was in a good place.

I think that Bones frustrates Adam at times. Bones is on all the time. There is no off button. But Adam also knows that Bones is kind and would never hurt anyone. They have that in common. Mrs. S realizes she can depend on Bones to help her.

And he feels good knowing... that he can.

Bones is good with people.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:31 PM | Comments (7)

October 23, 2013

Don't Get Thee to a Nunnery

Pulled Bones' 504 for school yesterday. Nicest people I've ever met in my life. It is hard to hear the tough things about your kids. But they were so kind and said so many nice things... I got choked up at the end.

I have hope.

More on that later...

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My husband had a meeting tonight, so this is the dinner conversation between T, Bones and I.

T: I've got a couple classes with Jane. Mom. She is kind of stupid. I'm worried for her. I don't know how she is going to function.

Me: She's going to be fine... she will. She just needs to grow up.

T: No. Mom. I'm very worried... maybe she should not worry about life and join a convent...

Bones: Is she religious?

T: Yeah. She is.

Bones: You don't want her to join a convent. They're not very nice. I watched the Sound of Music.

Me: *blink*

Bones: And Sister Act. I saw Sister Act. She doesn't want to join a convent..

Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 06:32 PM | Comments (3)

October 21, 2013

October Randomness

So Bones' new hero is Trace Atkins. He has the deep voice. Evidently he'll be introducing Bones' group when they sing at Disney in December.

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I was given a Fiat 500 while in the deep south visiting my sister and going to Eric's.

It was like a marshmallow on steroids. It was so tiny, that I was wondering if I could get crushed to death by all those 18 wheelers on I-285.

However, it balanced out when I got gas. I was at a 1/4 of a tank, around the same location I always am, thinking, "I didn't get much further and this car is supposed to be so great..."

And then I filled it up...and it cost $20 because it was only 6 gallons to fill up.

Suh WEEET!

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My nieces are so yummy. I could love on them all day.

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Bones has officially passed the first quarter of school. We thought he was going to fail... English.

Not math, mind you, the class he has a disability in, but ENGLISH.

His teacher did him a big favor, I am indebted, and we try to have the 504 plan pulled tomorrow.

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The anti-Bones is T, who this quarter in Honors Pre-Calc had a 98 average and is pissed off he didn't get a full 100 and made some stupid mistakes.

Upon hearing I was getting his ACT scores sent to various schools he yelled from the other room, "Ma, send them to Vandy! That's my Hail Mary pass!' to which I yelled back, "Who's paying for that?!"

Not that he'd ever get in... but *sheesh*

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If you have NOT seen the Ohio State band from this weekend doing their Michael Jackson tribute, you have missed out. If you watch nothing else... skip to about 4 minutes... that's when it starts.

Good Lord... they are amazing.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:19 PM | Comments (4)

October 15, 2013

Politics

To the representatives of this Country:

ALL OF YOU SUCK.

All of you.

Every single one of you.

A pox upon you and all your offspring from now until the end of time.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:22 PM | Comments (5)

October 13, 2013

Summer School...

... is inevitable.

It is here... my worst fears are being realized. It is the first 9 weeks of school and we are seeing that Bones will have to go to summer school.

I'm having a 504 plan pulled for him Wednesday.

The first nine weeks are the worst as we try to figure out how teachers operate, what they need, how things are posted.

He misses deadlines constantly, misunderstands directions if given verbally and... well... I don't see how he's going to end up with a high school diploma.

I cannot convey to you how stressful this is, to have a kid that has so much to offer, and yet could very well end up without a high school diploma.

You cannot get through life without a HS diploma anymore. You can't.

The crazy thing is... he thinks it's all going to be fine. In his head, it will all work out and I'm looking at the path, at the trajectory, trying to figure out how.

He's going to be on probation this 9 weeks. You're not allowed to fail a class in this school...

So we shall see.

Needless to say, I'm not sleeping much. I have no control over it and I'm very good at compartmentalizing, but even going out today for 30 minutes and walking to burn it off... didn't do it.

It's a day at a time...

Posted by Boudicca at 07:48 PM | Comments (10)

October 10, 2013

Words from a Young Man Growing Up

From Bones yesterday:

"I don't understand people. It's attitude, Ma. If you look at your life, there will always be someone who has it worse. Always. We should be grateful for what we have."

And from Bones today:

"I look back at that time I played Lacrosse in 5th grade. I didn't pay attention at all. I remember feeling like everything was crazy. Being unfocused. Caring more about making friends with the Goalie. I watched some videos. Ma, I was terrible. If I played Lacrosse now... I'd get it. I just feel different inside, like I can focus more... I get it."

Hmm.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:27 PM | Comments (3)

October 09, 2013

The Yin and the Yang

It's obviously been busy here. I'm watching our politics with horror. Our politicians have no shame.

I spent some time this week with some children in the foothills of the Appalachians. You would have thought I was Miss America. That's how they treated me...

It was a school that my organization supports. I walked into a First Grade classroom and was surrounded by little people.

I was asked to put a sticker on my state as there were many of us from out of state who had come to visit. I was the first from Florida.

Sticker in hand, I had the kids find my state based on the shape. I had a pin on that had the shape of Florida.

We talked about Florida. We talked about Disney World and beaches.

I noticed there was a little boy near my feet, getting closer and closer. I don't own any closed toed dress shoes other than my boots. I was in open toed low heels.

I asked them about their favorite books. The little boy got closer to my feet, but I didn't think anything of it. It was peripheral.

A little girl was wearing cowboy boots and I commented on them. Another little girl said her Daddy was going to buy her boots. I told her I loved the shoes she was wearing that day, but boots could be fun.

He was a little closer to my feet.

She said she wanted to read books about cowgirls.

And then I felt his little fingers on my toes, touching my red toenail polish.

The overwhelming urge to see what the glossy read felt like. I wiggled my toes, he looked up, I laughed, he smiled, scooted back and said he wanted to read books about football.

They were such a joy. They made my heart sing.

Days like that... make the times we are going through... so bearable.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:26 PM | Comments (2)

October 04, 2013

Forefathers Rolling in their Graves

Just because Non-Essential federal employees have been furloughed doesn't mean that they don't work with Essential federal employees who still need things from those deemed Non-Essential.

I work with some great men at an air base that shall remain nameless. They were all deemed Non-Essential and have been furloughed.

In a Hail Mary pass on Monday morning I got an email from my main guy out there and it said, "Bou, this is my cell number. I can't work, but keep me abreast. I have to know what's coming and I may be able to find someone who didn't get furloughed to help out."

These are some of the stellar folks we have working for our military as a civilian.

I don't text my job. That's a firing offense. But today I realized that something that he and I work on that is very important to some Essential employees, including those that wear a uniform, was now at a standstill.

I sent him a text that just said, "I sent you 3 .pdfs" knowing he'd know what was going on.

I got a reply back that said, "I know some non-furloughed guys that can do this for me..." and so the guys will get what they need.

I don't save lives. I am not important. But there are jobs that need to be done and there are people that are important that need what some of us have.

This whole thing is so frustrating to me. My counterpart knows I'd never abuse and ask for something that he didn't deem important, hence how I phrased it. His call.

But that's what we're seeing, our furlough guys, thinking about what is coming, the work piling up, trying to sift through it in their heads from home, and finding a way to get any help from the folks still getting paid.

And the guys still getting paid, are trying to prioritize and keep things running as best they can.

The whole thing is sick and makes me angry. I hate them all in Washington right now.

A pox on them. May they all rot.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:46 PM | Comments (6)

October 02, 2013

He May Deliver in Sleet, but Not to MY House

This is a little crazy.

On Monday, I went out to get the mail and I noticed when I flipped down the lid, there was a little tag that said, "No Boudicca".

I have this tag where the mailman can place notes. I don't know if all mailmen do this, but it's what ours does to remind him we're out of town or whatever.

So I picked up the tag and took it to the post office yesterday. I said to her, "Look, this is who I am, this was on my mailbox, I live there, this is my driver's license as proof."

She was puzzled. I continued, "I'm as lost as you are. I said to my husband, "Is there something you're not telling me?""

She paused and then grinned.

She stapled the tag to a note that said, "Why is Boudicca not having her mail delivered when she lives here? It is verified" and she wrote my address.

Today I went to my mailbox and there was a TON of mail for me. The best I can see, this has been going on for two weeks. This explains why my gf sent me something in the mail and I'd not gotten it.

When I sifted through it all, I found a credit card bill in my name that had evidently been delivered to someone else's mailbox and instead of putting the mail BACK in the box to be re-delivered, they'd written, "Not at this address" and drew an arrow pointing to the address on the envelope.

When the mail ended up with all the other mail, it was interpreted that I had moved.

And hence MY personal mail was stopped for two weeks.

The whole thing was so bizarre...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:07 PM | Comments (6)