Friday, December 28, 2007

Doing It Every Day???

As if NaPoBloMo wasn't bad enough (and I will tell you from experience that it was tough to post every day for 30 days)...it seems that there are people who have decided that they want to post every day for a year. They will get a pass on February 29th but are committed to posting the other 365 days in 2008.

Are these people nuts????

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

An Open Letter

Dear Cashier At The Grocery Store Today,

I understand that you are unhappy that you had to work on Christmas Day. Evidently getting triple your salary was not enough for you to 'fake' being in the holiday mood. Instead, you decided to spread your Christmas bah humbug to those of us foolish enough to walk through your check out line.

How about next year you do everyone a favor either call in sick, or sign up to be Scrooge in a local play.

A now grouchy customer

Monday, December 24, 2007

I Held It Together

Have you ever been so extraordinarily exhausted that you cannot think straight, or hold it together for even one more minute? That is how I've been feeling. I guess the stress of my mom having the stomach flu...followed by DH having the stomach flu...followed by Elle having the stomach flu...followed by me not being allowed to have the stomach flu because after all, I am the mom, was just too much for me.

Friday Elle and Sport started their two week vacation from school (yippee...no homework for two weeks...no packing lunches in the morning...did I mention no homework?) I guess with everything winding down, my resistance just gave up. In the morning, I offered to take Elle and Sport to see a movie. Sport then invited his friend, and his friends sister (who happens to go to school with Elle). So I was committed to going...but as the day progressed, I started to feel nauseous. However, I promised that I would take them to see a movie, so I wasn't about to let myself feel sick.

Managed to hold it together to sit throught an afternoon showing of "Nation.al Treas.ure". The kids sat 4 rows in front of me which allowed me to sit by myself, snuggled under my down jacket and fight off nausea throughout the movie. The good news is that we all enjoyed the movie...and I never got 'sick' in the theater.

I've slept for the last three days, and am still recovering. Boy oh boy did I need that sleep!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A 180 Degree Turn

Elle is taking a chorus class at her school, and last night was their performance. There were two things that Elle told me, while on the way to the concert that should have served as red flag warnings, and had I heeded the warnings, I would have turned the car around and driven her straight home. But I didn't, hence this post.

It all started on the long, arduous, 1/2 mile car trip to Elle's school. (We would have walked, but it was pouring...and those of us who ever watched The Wizard of Oz, knows what happens when you get wet...so we drove). Elle turns to me and says "Don't expect me to do any of the dance moves...they're dumb!" and "Don't sit in the first row. You can sit in the second row, but I don't want anyone I know in the first row."

Red Flag alert! Red Flag alert! Warning! Warning!

I had a moment of thinking "Uh, oh." Then chose to ignore it. After all, Elle has been so sweet lately, I thought for sure that we were done with the "Evil Elle". What a fool I was!

Of course she didn't want me in the first row. She did not want to see the look of horror, embarrassment and anger on my face as she chose to stand on the risers, with her hair covering 1/2 of her face, and not move at all...while all of the other students were moving in unison. One lone body on the top right of the riser just standing there while everyone else moved to the left and the right, then raised their hands and nodded their heads, and did a boat-load of choreographed moves. One lone student drawing attention to herself by not moving.

At first I was concerned that Elle was not feeling well. After all, she had thrown up Saturday night on the top floor landing. (thank you so much for missing the bathroom tile by ten feet). I was worried that maybe her stomach was bothering her and she was feeling too sick to move with the rest of the students...poor thing.

But then I watched her demeanor between songs. She smiled at one of the girls standing in her row and did not seem to be in distress at all. My concern turned to embarrassment...not for me, but for her. She looked absolutely stupid up there. Standing out like a sore thumb. Not moving other than to make sure that her hair was covering 1/2 of her face. I was embarrassed for her that her friends and acquaintences at school would see her up there and figure that she was some kind of 'freak'. My heart felt for her.

And then, my embarrassment for her turned to anger. As the concert continued, I realized that I was angry at Elle for disrespecting her chorus teacher, the other students in the chorus, and the audience. She wasn't sick. She wasn't scared. She was being defiant. She was purposely sabotaging the performance.

I don't know what that was all about. I asked her, after the concert, what her behavior was all about...her response was..."I don't know".

Which leaves me here, the morning after, wondering what, as her parent, I am supposed to do.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What A Wonderful World

In the spirit of the season... (I love this song)




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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Lunch Is Over

Survived DH's family coming over for lunch and a holiday celebration. Having gotten to a place of not caring, I was surprisingly relaxed.

O.K. not totally relaxed, because someone (that would be me) had to get the table and chairs set up. Get out the table cloth, dishes, platters, utensils...buy the food, make some food. Buy the presents and wrap the presents. Well you get the idea. Even though it was DH's family I ended up with all of the work.

Having had an exhausting two weeks, part of me was too tired to care. I did what needed to be done, but I certainly didn't look for any judgemental looks going between his family members. They could have all been shuddering at how 'lived-in' my house is, and I was just too damn tired to notice.

This was a first for me. I tend to want everything to be perfect, and I work myself into a tizzy. Bitchy, grouchy, grumpy (and whatever other seven little guys names you can come up with) usually describe my mood pre-company. Tired, listless, not stressing or caring, are adjectives that described me yesterday.

Turned out, I had a good time. Turned out, I believe they all had a good time too. Turned out even if they didn't have a good time, I chose not to care enough to pick up on their unspoken displeasure or judgements.

I'm guessing that next year, they will choose to have the lunch at one of their houses. Works for me:~)

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm Learning

Tomorrow DH's family is coming over for lunch. A few weeks ago I was totally and completely stressed about their impending visit.

Today I am so beyond tired that I really don't give a damn. If they don't like my run down kitchen, clutter, and flooring that has electrical tape on it to keep it down (we're looking for flooring ideas), then they don't have to come over again:~)

How's that for progress!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Birthday DH...and Amber (the dog)

Today is my DH's birthday. It is also our dog, Ambers, birthday too!

Lucky Amber gets to hang around the house. Lay (or is that lie) in the sun. Run around outside and bark at squirrels and other dogs. Go in the car. Go for a walk in the park. I think that Amber will have a wonderful day.

DH, on the other hand, had to go to work today. What's with that? I think that no matter what you do, you should be given your birthday off...with pay. Unfortunately his employer has other ideas.

I need to go pick up a special 'treat' for Amber...and Elle and I will go and get DH his gifts this afternoon (I would have gotten them this weekend, but 'stuff' with my mom, got in the way).

To my DH, and my doggie...Happy, Happy December 12th birthday to you both:~)

Monday, December 10, 2007

He's The Man

After a week of depressing posts, I decided to lighten it up a bit. With out further ado, I give to you...'He's the Man"






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Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Week That's Been

Warning...this post is one big whinefest. Proceed at your own caution!

This has not been a very good week. Last Saturday, my cousin Frank died. Then Friday, after I picked the kids up from school, I came home and my mother was on the sofa sleeping. After a while, when she still hadn't woken up, I woke her up to say 'hi' and she was quite lethargic, and told me that she had been throwing up. Which she had done...all over herself, the sofa, and the floor. Turns out she was 'open both ends' and didn't realize it.

Rather than go into the details, I will just say that I called Joan and we (mom, Joan , and I) spent 4 hours in the Emergency room (per a nurses suggestion). At some point, I bought adult diapers. (which didn't work by the way). The ER MD gave mom a prescription for anti nausea medication, but nothing for the diarrhea.

Yesterday was Sports championship soccer game (which his team lost) and I didn't want to miss the game so Joan came over to be with mom while I was gone. Joan decided to call a pharmacist, give the pharmacist a list of mom's medications, and see if there was something that we could give mom to stop her from 'going'. The pharmacist made a recommendation of a product which I picked up on the way home. This product, so far, has seemed to do the trick. I am hoping that mom doesn't end up with the opposite problem.

One of the things I noticed, and I know that Deb from A Tired Mummy totally understands, is that when someone has diminished cognitive capacity, as in the case of my mother, and they try to be helpful, they end up just making a bigger mess.

I am exhausted beyond belief. Today Sport has basketball picture day and a game. While DH takes Sport to his basketball stuff, I will hang with mom and keep an eye on her. I am praying that it was just a 24 hour bug and that she will be back to her old self today. Oh and did I mention, I have company coming over tonight? Thank goodness it's my family and not DH's family...but still, I need to move a table, set both tables...well you know the drill. sigh

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Happy Birthday...Sport!

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Today is Ten's eleventh birthday. I guess that means I can't really call him Ten anymore. Let's see, his soccer team has a championship game today. He has a basketball game tomorrow, and he just finished "Fall ball" baseball. I guess that means that a good name for him would be "Sport". I ran the name by Ten and Elle and they both liked it...so Sport it is!

I cannot believe that it was eleven years ago today that he was born. I loved him from the moment that he was conceived. I knew that he would definitely be my last child, and I treasured each and every moment of his babyhood, toddlerhood, and childhood. O.K., maybe not every moment...I sure didn't treasure the sleepless nights, but overall as Sport passed each milestone, I remember thinking "This is the last time I will have a baby/toddler/child doing xy or z".

Sport is an amazing young man. He has personality... lots and lots of personality. He loves to talk...and talk and talk and talk. He's loving and cuddly, and he possesses good values (honesty being the first one that comes to mind). He's an all around great kid.

So Sport, on your eleventh birthday I want you to know that I love you, I love your smiles, and I love your sense of humor. I am so grateful to be your mom, and I look forward to watching you grow into the man that you will become.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Moving through Grief

I think that it is possible to not really know somebody until after they die. The task of breaking down that which constituted someones life often reveals things that they compartmentalized, or kept secret while they were living. Without going into details (I'll leave those to Joan and Ina) there are bits of information, that we have learned about Frank, that have helped remind us that he was not a saint.

His death, and it's aftermath have made me think about and focus on just how open our lives become, once we have died. It makes me wonder what 'secrets' I have that my loved ones would uncover if I died (not that I am planning on dying anytime soon). I don't think I have any earth-shattering secrets, I'm the kind of person who tends to be open and honest about myself. (I'm just not confrontational). So I don't think that anyone would be shocked with anything they would learn.

But, if I were to die suddenly, I think after the initial shock, everyone who was left behind would curse me with every breath that they take. I think that they would feel intense anger they would have to sift through all of my excessive papers and clutter. They would moan and groan about how disorganized I really was, and how angry they felt because they would be left with the daunting task of throwing out my cr*p. Sure, they would remember the good things about me, but they would spend quite a bit of time and energy holding on to the anger.

The good news is that if everyone was angry at me and all my clutter, it might help them get over their sadness more quickly. It might help them transition away from the profound sadness and grief to a place of acceptance.

I think that is what has happened with Frank. There are so many details and so much 'stuff' and drama to deal with, that the raw pain and sadness are being pushed aside. I'm hoping the grief doesn't push back.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Grief

It amazes me the impact that grief can have on a person. There are many things that can cause grief, but ultimately it comes from the profound feeling of loss. I am no stranger to grief having lived through it's stages many times. Yet intellectualizing grief doesn't stop the experiencing of it.

Yesterday, my cousin Frank died. Suddenly and unexpectedly. There was no time to prepare for this news, no time to slowly ease my way into wrapping my mind around it, BAM...it was a done deal, and suddenly I had to deal with it...or not.

When my sister told me that Frank had died, I felt absolutely nothing. There was Joan crying and sobbing on the phone and there was me, a cold hearted b*tch feeling absolutely nothing. I know what I was feeling was shock and disbelief. I kept waiting for Joan to tell me it was all a mistake. My mind, my heart, my soul were not ready to absorb the information that my cousin Frank, the man who told such engaging stories, and who made everyone laugh, was gone.

I managed to tell DH that Frank had died, and I was as cool as a cucumber as I told him. It wasn't until I stepped into the shower that I felt the first wave of sadness wash over me, and finally the tears flowed freely.

When someone dies, there are a lot of details to take care of. One of those details was to tell my mother that her beloved nephew was dead. Both Joan and Ina wanted to be with me when I told my mother. Fortunately my mom doesn't come out for breakfast until about 10am, which gave both Joan and Ina plenty of time to get to my house. My moms reaction, was to be expected...shock, disbelief, then tears...lots and lots of tears.

The real bummer for my mother was that as different people came over throughout the day, and they spoke of Franks death, the news of his death was new for her. It didn't matter that I had written all of the details on a piece of paper for her...she would forget, then learn all over again that he had died...and each time she learned of his death was like the first time. Finally last night Franks death moved from no memory to a temporary memory. We'll see what this morning brings for her.

I'm not really sure what, if anything I should do about reminding my mother about Frank's death until the funeral. We really don't know when that will be, since he wants to be cremated and then the ashes will need to be flown out to California from Georgia. Somehow I want to help prepare my mother for the service, so that she can move through the stages of grief. Realistically, once the funeral is over she will not give Frank another thought, unless someone brings him up. Subconsciously she may miss his phone calls but his absence will not be a part of her reality. However, her world will become just a little bit smaller without his phone calls, and the joy that they brought to her.

This saddens me as we start to muddle our way through the five stages of grief.

Rest In Peace

Early this morning, I received a call from my sister informing me that our first cousin, Frank had just died. Joan had received a call from our cousin Ina . Frank was Ina's brother. Frank was only 61 years old. Way too young to die.

To say that we were all surprised, would be an understatement. Ina spoke with the coroner and was told that Frank died of a massive heart attack. He had been living in Georgia for the past few years. Joan, Ina and Frank's, son Brian, are leaving tomorrow morning to fly to Georgia so that they can: make arrangements for his body to be shipped back to California, take care of cleaning out his apartment, his office, and basically to take care of anything else that can be taken care of while they are there.

Frank was my mother's favorite. He called my mother about once a week, just to see how she was doing, and to make her laugh. And boy oh boy did he make her laugh. When Frank was on the phone with my mom, she would giggle and guffaw at the bawdry way that he would speak to her. And while my mother would soon forget that he had called, while she was on the phone with him she was animated and full of joy.

Although my mother won't remember that he has died, and while she won't consciously think to herself that he hasn't called in a while, the laughter and love that he sent through the phone lines will be missed.


I love you Frank...Rest In Peace.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mission Accomplished

There have been times in my life when I have started something, become discouraged, distracted, or I realized it just wasn't for me.. and I quit. There have been other times in my life where I have been willing, determined, and able to see something through to the end...and I have.

I wasn't sure what would happen with NaBloPoMo. I knew when I signed up to participate and posted it on my blog, that if I decided to quit people would know about it (not necessarily care one way or the other, but they would know that I was a quitter). I 'encouraged' my sister, Joan to sign up too, figuring (correctly as it turned out) that if I started to become overwhelmed with the committment, or discouraged with my own lack of creativity, I would be able to turn to her for support and ideas.

It turned out that there were days when my mind just drew a blank. On those days I would call my sister, and she was there for me, offering encouragement, and sometimes an idea or two, to get me through the block in my brain.

I don't know how much I've helped Joan, but I want Joan to know that I really appreciate having her for a sister. So thanks Joan...together we survived NaBloPoMo...or is that Nipomoblomo?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Don't Mess With My Personal Space

Dear Man Standing Practically on Top of me at the Pharmacy,

I realize that this may come as quite a bit of a shock to you, but I did not appreciate you standing so close to me while we were in line. My stepping away from you was not an invitation for you to move even closer to me, and those were not come hither looks that I was giving you.

I realize that being well over 6 feet tall and at least 300 pounds, gives you the sizable (groan, I just couldn't resist) advantage over most people. But, guess what??? I didn't appreciate your overbearing stature, or your breath and body odor. Thank goodness there was that tiny little sign that told you to wait where you were, and you were able to read the sign which afforded me some privacy as I made my pharmaceutical transaction. I'm curious to know, if that sign wasn't there, were you planning on joining me at the counter?

You were quite fortunate that the wait in line wasn't too long. Had you gotten any closer, or had the wait lasted even a few more minutes, you would have felt all of my sizable weight land on your big toe. ooops...sorry

Just thought you'd want to know,
The woman in front of you.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

People Pleasers

I think that the world is made up of two different kinds of people...The Self-Centereds...they're the ones who speak their mind and assume that everyone is going to agree with them, and anyone who doesn't agree with them must be a jerk...and... The People Pleasers...they're the ones who want everyone to like them and they don't like confrontation. Instead, they'd rather remain quiet about what they really think, or feel, so that no one will hate them or think that they're a jerk.



Sometimes, I feel like such a jerk.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

They Call This Progress?

Received this in an email from the Moose Buyer's sister. Being in education I can say for certain that the 2007 senarios certainly ring true. (how sad) Just in case you are wondering, I didn't attend school in 1957 (I'm not THAT old)...not that having been in school in 1957 makes you really old...I'm just saying that I personally wasn't in school in 1957. I better stop now and just let you read this for yourself.

Without further ado...

School in 1957 vs. School in 2007

Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1957 - Assistant principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his own shotgun to show Jack.
2007 - School goes into lockdown, the FBI is called, Jack is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors are called in to assist traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2007 - Police are called, SWAT team arrives and arrests Johnny and Mark. They are charged with assault and both are expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't sit still in class, disrupts other students.
1957 - Jeffrey is sent to the principal's office and given a good paddling. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra state funding because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some Aspirin to school.
1957 - Mark shares Aspirin with the school principal out on the smoking dock.
2007 - Police are called and Mark is expelled from School for drug violations. His car is searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high-school English.
1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by local human rights group. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that making English a requirement for graduation is racist. US Civil Liberties Union files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway, but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak or read English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover Independence Day firecrackers, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up an anthill.
1957 - Ants die.
2007 - Homeland Security and the FBI are called and Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. Teams investigate parents, siblings are removed from the home, computers are confiscated, and Johnny's dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls during recess and scrapes his knee. His teacher, Mary, finds him crying, and gives him a hug to comfort him.
1957 - Johnny soon feels better and goes back to playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in federal prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sometimes It Pays To Make A Stink!

As I've mentioned before, DH bought a new car this past Friday. We decided to purchase a satellite tracking system for the car. We paid the money to the dealership, and an appointment was set for Saturday between 12 noon and 6pm for the system to be installed in the car, at our house. I won't bother you with all of the details, but suffice it to say, after many phone calls back and forth on Saturday, the system was NOT installed. In fact a technician was never sent to our house.

I spent part of Saturday afternoon and evening composing a lovely 2 page letter addressed to the Chairman and CEO of the company. Their corporate headquarters are located in the Eastern portion of the United States, so I woke up early Monday morning and called office of the Chairman and CEO of the company in order to get his email address. I spoke with his "executive assistant", "secretary", I don't really know her title, but she was very helpful and suggested that I send the email directly to the Vice President of Customer Care. Which I did, with a 'cc' to the Chairman/CEO.

When I arrived home this afternoon, I hadn't received any response from Mr V.P., so I decided to call his office directly. Surprise, surprise, surprise...he answered his own phone. I had a lovely conversation with Mr. V.P. He told me that he had received my email that morning, and had been in contact with someone on the West Coast, and he said that they had discussed my email extensively and he was quite surprised to hear that the West Coast person had not called me.

Within 5 minutes of ending my phone call with Mr. V.P., I received a phone call from "West Coaster" (WC). WC apologized for not calling me sooner (we all know she only called me, when she did, because she got chewed out by Mr. V.P.). She told me that they were sorry for the inconvience (lost time, implying that DH and I were liars...you know...minor stuff) they caused us and they wanted to try to make it up to us. She upgraded our system (approximately $100 value), said that she would send us free movie passes, and best of all, she made sure that a technician was at my house by 5pm this evening. In fact, she called me at 4:30pm to tell me that the technician might be a few minutes late, and then called me at 5:00pm on the dot to see if the technician had arrived.

Now that the system is on the car, and working, I hope that we never need it. Both DH and I are satisfied with how Mr. V.P reacted/responded to my letter. I'm thinking between my sister and I, if either of us need to make any extra money, we can always offer our letter writing services.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Post Birthday Rambling

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday. Elle and DH had gone shopping the day before and bought some great presents. (cause it was all about me).

Elle gave me a checkbook cover (from a store that begins with B and rhymes with frighten). Ten gave me a silver eyeglass holder for around my neck from the same store. And then both kids bought me a bright red shirt, because Elle thinks that I look good in that color.

We saw the movie "Enchanted" in the afternoon. It was cute for a Disney movie. I certainly left it smiling (and not just because it was over:~)

For the evening part of the festivities Joan and Rick came over and gave me a lavender scented neck warmer, and two small black purses (that I have been searching for, forever!). We then all drove to a restaurant, where we were met by my cousin The Moose Buyer. Dinner was delicious. Elle ran into some friends from school at the restaurant (which meant we didn't see her for awhile).

All in all, if one has to have a birthday...this one was tops in my book! (even if I never did get that nap)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Put Another Candle On My Birthday Cake...

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Today is my birthday. I am ?? years old today. I'll admit to being 21, or even 31...o.k. fine, I'll admit to being 41...but I won't admit to any more. Let's just say, if you were to put another candle on my birthday cake, you would need to call the fire department first.


My plans for this day definitely do not include waiting for any service people. We'll go to services this morning, then I plan to take a long nap this afternoon. (cause that's what old people do...sigh) This evening I get to open my presents (cause it's all about me) and then we're planning to go out for my birthday dinner. I can hardly wait.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Day After

Things turned out much better yesterday that I could have hoped for. DH and Ten left about 9:30am to go to a friends house for an "After Thanksgiving Day breakfast". As DH was driving, he spotted a telephone company truck down the block, and the repairman working on a huge box (located at ground level). DH asked the repairman if he had an order for our address and he said he did. He added that he would be giving me a call within 15 minutes.
Within 10 minutes the repairman had called to tell me that there were loose wires in the box and that whenever a car went buy it loosened the connection and that is why our phone service to that line had been intermittent. He said that he didn't need to get into our house, because it looked like he had fixed the problem, but that he would call me back in 1 hour to be sure that the problem had been fixed. Which it was.

DH came home from the breakfast around 11am and then he and I went and purchased a new car for him. (I'm thinking that this counts as his birthday present for at least the next 20 years...lol). It's a black on black Acura TSX, and it is a beautiful machine! DH hasn't had a new car in almost 14 years, so he really deserves it. Today the satellite alarm people come to put a tracking device on the car sometime between noon and 6pm.
The waiting begins again. sigh

Friday, November 23, 2007

Calling 611..."Can Anybody Hear Me?"


Why is it that the phone company can set up an appointment to check your line sometime between the hours of 8am and 6pm? How can they "run out of 4 hour window appointments"?

Fortunately, we have two phone lines in our house. Fortunately the computer is hooked up to the phone line that is still working. Fortunately we have cell phones in case of an emergency, (see, I'm still in the Thanksgiving mode:~) Unfortunately, (this is where reality sets in) we actually have things to do today. One of which is to go to a friends house for "Day after Thanksgiving breakfast" and the second thing is to go and buy DH a new car.

Of course the phone company needs someone over the age of 18 to be home at the time that they decide to stroll into our lives and repair the phone line. Leaving my 86 year old mother to deal with the repairman is not an option.

I hate waiting.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007


I just want to take the time today to wish everyone a happy healthy Thanksgiving. I figure that now is a good a time as any to list some things that I am thankful for...

  1. Having the love of my husband, who despite our differences (or maybe because of them) is one heck of a wonderful man.

  2. Having two wonderful healthy children (who sometime drive me crazy, but I love them anyway)

  3. Having a sister who takes on some of the responsibilities for helping to care for our mother.

  4. Having my mom still alive, and able to continue live with me.

  5. Having a roof over our heads and food to fill our bellies. (we may not always have what we want, but we definitely have what we need)

  6. Believing (from experience) that no matter what curves life throws my way, I will survive. (I may be miserable for a while, but the part of me that matters...the essence of me will survive).

That being said, I want to wish you a Happy, healthy Thanksgiving 2007, and to my friends in Canada, a happy healthy November 22nd.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Letter "S"








What we have here are four different kinds of snakes...the Boomslang Snake, the Rat Snake, The Viper Snake and The Car Salesman Snake. I think that when you classify Car Salesmen, they need to be filed under the letter "S"... for "smarmy, slimy, sleezy, slippery, snake". However, that might just insult the snake.

DH and I went to finally test drive the TSX. (Great little car by the way) We had an e-mail from the dealership with a price for the car that we thought was a good deal (based on our research).

The manager "AH" (I'm sure that you can figure out what his initials stand for) at this particular dealership tried to add on some garbage fees. This really pissed me off, because I knew that these fees were 'horsepucky'.

The salesman who had sent us the email quote, was not in last night, so the manager claimed that the salesman gave us the quote without the fees included. Fortunately, DH has been also speaking with someone at a different dealership. We'll go visit that dealership this weekend.
Needless to say, we left without the car.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

These Wedding Dresses Are Made Out of What???

I received an email with these photos. Seems that the dresses are made out of toilet paper. That's right...toilet paper. They were made for a contest. What you see here are the 3rd place winner and the 2nd place winner. (Disclaimer: For some reason, when I post these they are all lined up on the right and not how I set them up...sigh)





This dress won first place.



I sure hope it doesn't rain on her wedding day!




Monday, November 19, 2007

DH and the Car

DH is looking for a new car. He wants to buy an Acura TSX. I've been after him to buy a new car since his last car 'died' (with over 200,000 miles) a year ago, but he wasn't quite ready to commit to a new car at that time. Since then, he's been driving my mother's car, which she hasn't been driving since she moved in with us, four years ago.


All of a sudden, DH has got a bug up his butt, and has decided that he needs to buy a car right now. He seems disappointed that I am not quite as enthuastic as he is about going to a car dealership and taking on the debt of a new car. A year ago, I was excited...now, not so much.


It's a beautiful car, and DH definitely deserves it. I just don't understand why he would decide that he needs a new car when my pay status is still unknown. His logic and timing are beyond me.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Someday I'll Get There

I received these pictures in an email a while ago. They were taken during the Fall at Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C. , Canada. The beauty of all of these colors in nature just takes my breath away. Someday I'll get there!




Saturday, November 17, 2007

What Color Is Your Blog?

Your Blog Should Be Blue


Patti at Late Bloomer Boomer, told me about this test. Being blue evidently doesn't mean being depressed according to this test. No, instead the test tells me that:


  • "Your blog is a peaceful, calming force in the blogosphere."

  • "You tend to avoid conflict - you're more likely to share than rant."

  • "From your social causes to cute pet photos, your life is a (mostly) open book. "

I guess that about sums it up. What color is your blog?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Name that Book...

Joan, the Erstwhile Librarian, tagged me with this meme. She assured me that it was easy and fun. So, here are the rules:
  • Go to the Advanced book search on Amazon
  • Type your first name into the Title field
  • Post the most interesting/amusing cover that shows up
I find that I don't always follow directions, to the letter. ( I had some trouble picking only one book). Not that there are a load of books with the name 'Lynn' in the title. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of writers with the name Lynn, but since this meme isn't called "Finding authors with your name", I searched high and low for books with my name in their title.



This is what I found out...
My name can be associate with either the Victorian Era...
(Lynn In The Victorian Era)






or the not very Victorian age at all... (There were lots of Penthouse Magazines with the name Lynn on their cover)







Then again, this one might refer to the heartburn I've been experiencing.

(it's called "The Great Fires of Lynn")







or this one titled "The Distress of Lynn" could be referring to the angst that I am experiencing regarding my DH's family coming over to celebrate the holiday.





Given my last post... I am confident that book will answer the question..." Where is Lynn? and what is she doing with all of her clutter?"









Of course given the name of my blog 'A Tired Mama', I felt that I needed to include a book titled "Going Like Lynn" which I thought would give some insight into whay I am so tired. (clearly it must be due to all of my comings and goings)







So there you have it. I tag everyone who is currently participating in NaBloPoMo...Let's see if I have this right...Patches, Nancy Dancehall, Sari, Marsha, Shannon...and anyone else who would like to do this. Now I understand that your name might not appear in the title of a book...if that's the case, why don't you just pick a name that you like...or dislike...and give it a try.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

His Family

I was reading Leanne's blog the other day, and was grateful to read that she has come up with a name for "messy house syndrome". She calls it ' walk-in-the-house-and-drop-everything-wherever-you-want-itis'.

I am so happy that this disorder has a name, because my family suffers from this syndrome. In fact, we have a bad case of it...with no remedy in site.

Which brings me to the reason for this post. My DH's family has decided that they want us to host the family holiday get together this year. Mind you, I always host the get together for my family and friends (because they are all normal down to earth people). My DH's family are a different breed.

They all have exquisite taste (as does my DH, which is why he chose me to marry. lol) Fortunately for them, they have the money to match their expensive taste. Each one of their homes is a showcase. From tastefully decorated rooms to beautiful granite, lovely tile, and designer furniture...well I think you get the idea. The thing is, I always feel as if I am walking into a model home, or a museum, when I enter their houses. I can never get totally comfortable. When Elle and Ten were younger, I always worried that they might make a mess and "gasp" possibly spill something on the furniture or floor. Heck I still worry about it. I worry that I will somehow do something that might inadvertently shatter the perfectness of their houses.

My house, on the other hand, is decorated in the "lived-in" style. From our tile which is coming up in places, to carpeting (which needs to be replaced), and furniture that the kids have spilled who knows what on, all the way to the kitchen and bathrooms that need to be remodeled. We live in all of the rooms of our house, and it shows. While I envy, at times, the museum quality of some of DH's relatives homes, I prefer the comfort of mine.

I realize that this all sounds well and good, but here is the catch. Every time that DH's family comes over, I feel like they are turning their noses up, and looking down at us. While their houses are organized and clutter free, my house it a disorganized cluttered mess. No matter how much I try to keep it neat, I just can't. I have what is known at the 'drop and go' syndrome. It's where I come into the house and put things down right before I have to turn around and rush out of the house. My DH always says that I should put things back where they belong, which is easy for him to say since he isn't the one responsible for providing taxi service.

I know that I desperately need someone to come into my house and throw out 85% of the clutter that is there. I need someone to remind me that I don't need to save: old toys, clothes, books, games which we no longer use. For some reason, I find it hard to part with all of this "stuff". Consequently, not everything in my house has a place, hence the DVD's are on top of the T.V. cabinet. There are piles of mail on the kitchen counter. Lest you think it is only me, there are socks that Elle and Ten seem to like to leave lying around on the floor in both the living room and family room.

A few years ago, when we had fires burning right up the street, I loaded up my van at 1:30 in the morning with the stuff that was really important (other than the family and dog):clothes for a few days, medicine, photos, important papers, the tower from our desktop. Nothing else really seemed that important, at the time. So why oh why do I insist on keeping all of this stuff?

Wait a second, this post wasn't going to be about my clutter, it was supposed to be about how worried I am that DH's family is coming over for a holdiay celebration. I am already cringing at the though of their looks of superiority when they come into my house. This weekend, I will try to reduce the clutter downstairs, and pray that they won't want to come and see the upstairs of the house.

I don't know what to do about my feelings of inadequacy. My feelings of embarassment. My worry that they will proclaim our house a 'slum', not in the true sense of the word, but compared to their homes. I worry that their feelings of disdain will come across loud and clear.

Both Elle and Ten have friends who live in beautifully decorated/remodeled homes. They are not blind, and can see the differences for themselves. Elle and Ten know that if I were to work full time we could afford to have our home looking more pristine. They also know that I work part-time so I can pick them up from school and take them to their various activities. The kids know that they are our priority...much more so than having a showcase for a home. I have asked Elle and Ten if they would prefer to have a home with granite countertops and new flooring, or do they prefer having me home for them. Both of them, without hesitation, chose having me at home for them. (yeah for values)

Then why after all of this rambling, am I worried, embarassed, and feeling inadequate about what his family will think?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Five Things Meme


Joan has tagged me with this fun meme.

Five Things...

Found In My Room (I chose the bedroom)
Bed
Books
Desk
Lamp
and a huge pile of who knows what! (I'm too nervous to actually tackle this pile)


I've Always Wanted to Do
Visit Australia (I want to see if the toilets really flush counterclockwise)
Visit Africa (I've heard that there is nothing like going on a safari)
Visit Fiji (some fun on those gorgeous beaches would be nice)
Visit Brazil (DH and I have a friend living there)
Visit Western Canada (I've seen Eastern Canada, love to see Western Canada)


Found In My Bag
Wallet
Glass case
Calendar
Pens
empty gum wrappers (what can I say, Elle takes a piece of gum and throws the wrapper into my purse)


Found In My Wallet
Driver's license
Credit cards
Insurance cards
Prescription for my dogs special food
face mask in case I ever have to do CPR (notice I did not mention money)(see below)


I'm Currently Into
Trying to get my pay check straightened out (like that will ever happen)(hence no $ in the wallet)
Blogging everyday (thanks alot NaBloPoMo)
Decluttering my house (that oughta take a few years)
Writing reports for work (will they ever end?)
Reading a trashy book (helps me escape writing those reports)


So the rules say I get to tag 5 blogging friends. I tag Patches, Nancy Dancehall, Marsha, Leanne, Lynanne, Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Was Once Unfinished is Now Finished

The other day I was talking about an unfinished desk and hutch that I had ordered for Ten. After much delay, said items were picked up by me. I spent this past weekend 'finishing' the two pieces. Now they're done. Here they are...before and after.

















My legs, back and arms are killing me. Clearly I was contorting into various positions in order to stain the sides and bottoms of these pieces. I have just one thing to say about this...I hereby promise myself that I will never-ever, ever, ever, again purchase unfinished furniture again. Yeah, right.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I Am Getting A Swelled Head!

cash advance



I was perusing (notice the intelligent word?) the internet, and came upon this thingy (o.k. so this word isn't so intelligent...let's just ignore my lack of word finding skills, shall we?). As I was saying...I found this thingy and look what it has to say about my blog.


Genius, that's right, my blogs reading level is genius... Sigh... but, I'm a Sagittarian.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day 2007

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Today is Veteran's Day. A day to reflect on those who have selflessly served our country. My father was a veteran of WWII (the war after the war to end all wars). When he died at the ripe old age of 86, a flag was draped upon his coffin and then presented to my mother. On behalf of my family, I want to take the time today to thank all the servicemen and servicewomen who serve our country and protect our freedom. May they come home safe and sound.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

You'll Never Catch Me Doing This!

This is a picture of the Millau viaduct which is part of the A75-A71 expressway. It connects Paris and Beziers. I don't know about you but I don't think that I could ever drive across it unless I was given lots and lots of sedatives and chained to the vehicle. ( Acrophobia anyone?) Just looking at this picture gives me heart palpitations. If you click on the picture, it will bring up a larger photo, and you will see what I am talking about.



Not that I'm going to get to Paris anytime soon. sigh

Friday, November 9, 2007

This Post is Brought To You By The Numbers 2, 6, 13 and 19.















Four years ago, after 'finishing' Ten's entire bedroom set, I promised myself that I would never buy unfinished furniture again. Then, two years ago we bought Elle an unfinished desk and hutch for her room. After 'finishing' those two items, I once again promised myself that I would never buy unfinished furniture again.

Having evidently forgotten my promise to myself, I foolishly ordered an unfinished desk and hutch for Ten back on August 3rd. I was told when I ordered these items that they would be available for pick up in 6 weeks. After just two phone calls to the store in the past 13 weeks I was told that the desk and hutch were finally in the warehouse, and that I could pick them up yesterday. Yeah, right...I bet you know where this story is heading.

So Saturday, Elle and I decided to drive about 20 miles to the warehouse to pick up the items. Although we had been told that someone would be there to meet us, no one was there. I had to call the store and was told that someone would meet us at the warehouse in 20 minutes. I figured after waiting 13 weeks that I could wait 20 more minutes.

Unfortunately, there was a 'small' problem with the desk. Jorge (original salesman) assured me that it was an easy thing to fix, and that the desk would be ready by Monday. Because I have been so patient, he would arrange to have the items delivered to my house...on November 24th. Deciding that I didn't want Ten to have to wait for his desk an additional 19 days, I said that I would pick everything up on Monday. Of course the desk wasn't ready by Monday. I had to wait until Tuesday to pick it up.

Clearly the salesman doesn't know the difference between the numbers 2 and 19 as they pertain to days; or the number 6 and the number 13 as they pertain to weeks. Maybe I should give him some old Sesame Street videos. I think The Count would like to be his friend. Of course if I listened to my own advice, I would not be facing the task of finishing furniture, yet again. I wonder if there is a Sesame Street video about listening to yourself.
At least I know what I will be doing this weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Ubiquity

I don't know what is wrong with my brain, but it doesn't seem to be functioning properly. Last night DH was sitting at the dining room table (after dinner) and looking at the newspaper. He asked "What does 'ubiquity' mean?"

I knew intuitively what the word meant. I understood it's meaning, and could have used it in a sentence, but for the life of me I was unable to state the definition. Fortunately, I was on-line at the time and was able to look up the word and provide DH with the definition. But it bothered me. Not that I had to look up the word for the definition, but that I was unable to fire my brain cells to provide the definition.

I seem to do that a lot. I read words in a book, and I know what they mean without having to look them up. Yet if someone asks me to define a word, even if they provide the sentence for the word so that I understand the context, I find that I am at a loss for words.

I'm not talking about difficult words, I have problems with everyday words too. I think that my brain is going to mush.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Payroll Fiasco

I believe that I've mentioned that I work for a large urban school district. This district rolled out a new payroll program 11 months ago. The payroll program (BTS) is an unmitigated disaster. Thousands of employees have either not been paid, have been underpaid, or in my case have been overpaid.

One would think that being overpaid is a good thing. I can tell you from first hand experience that it isn't. The financial implications, as we approach the end of the 2007 year, are overwhelming. We have been told that we have until December 10th to pay back any overpayments made to us, and we will be able to pay them back at the net rate (because the district will have time to recoup the taxes that they've paid to the gov't). If we don't pay the money back before December 10th, then we will have to pay back the gross amount.

I spent a good portion of yesterday (from 8am-3pm) at the Districts downtown headquarters, trying to get clarification as to exactly how much I've been overpaid. No one was able to give me an amount. Not Michael in payroll. Not Michael's supervisor Julianne. Nor Yvette. Isabelle from Human Resources tried to help me out, under the watchful eye of her supervisor Colleen, but no one could give me any information.

They all told me that I would have to wait until the next 'payroll run' which won't happen until November 15th. I was told that after that run, I will get a letter telling me the amount I owe. Knowing this district, as I do, I figure the letter won't even get to me until after the December 10th deadline.

Guess where I'll be on November 16th.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Are you Stoopid?



Elle asked me to take this test. Turns out I'm not stupid at all, much to Elle's surprise. What about you? Are you up to the challenge? Click here to take the test.

Monday, November 5, 2007

What Makes A Person, Personable?

There must be something in the air relating to words, play on words, and language in general. Patches has been posting about it.

Then last night Elle, my thirteen year old daughter, asked me this question. Maybe you can help me with the answer.

"If a person who eats another person is called a cannibal, then why isn't a person who eats from a can called a personable?".

O.K., clearly she didn't understand the meaning of the word personable, or even how funny what she asked was, but I couldn't stop cracking up.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Spring Ahead...Fall Back

At 2 o'clock this morning those of us who live in areas that participate in Daylight Savings time had to turn our clocks back one hour. Last night before we went to bed DH and I did just that.

Unfortunately, my brain/body is very uncooperative, and didn't get with the program. This meant that I woke up at 5am, with my brain/body thinking that it was 6am. I don't know about you, but I try to sleep in until at least 7:30am on a Sunday morning. Now I knew that there was no way that I would be able to remain sleeping until what had been, just the day before 8:30. But 5am...that just seems unusually cruel!

What stinks is that I know sometime around 11am I will be wanting lunch and that somewhere around 8pm I'm gonna want to close my eyes and fall asleep. This is"jet lag" without the jet or the promise of a vacation. Since we are no longer, for the most part, an agrigarian society, can anyone tell me why we have to go through this two times a year?

Studies indicate that there is a rise in car accidently in the few days following these time changes. You all drive safely!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Take Your Vitamins Please

Today my mother turns 86 and 1/2. I know that it is mostly young children who usually focus on the 1/2 year. Generally, once we turn a certain age most people stop counting it. However, at some point in time, I think that the 1/2 a year becomes important again. Heck at some point, each and every day becomes a day to celebrate wakeing up in the morning.

A little over 6 and 1/2 years ago, my father died. He was 1 week short of turning 86 and 1/2. Now my mother has passed that milestone. I must admit, I didn't actually think of it as a milestone until it dawned on me yesterday that she has lived longer than he did.

There have been times when I have had to fill out forms, at doctor's offices, asking whether or not my parents were still living, and if not at what age they died. When I've listed my mother's current age, and my father's age at death, the doctors have always replied, "You certainly have longevity in your family".

I guess this means that each and every day that my mother lives is one more day on the Longevity Scale. I better go make sure my mother takes her vitamins.

Friday, November 2, 2007

You Are Hereby Excused...

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how both my mother and I each received a summons to serve jury duty on the same day, at the same location. Although Meno suggested that it might be interesting to have my 86 year old mother (who has dementia) show up for jury duty, I figured the justice system might not appreciate having her serve. (just a wild guess on my part).

So instead, I promptly returned the forms (o.k. I waited more than a week to send them back, but don't tell anyone, because the forms clearly stated that they needed to be returned within 5 days) . Evidently the fact that I have a child under the age of 12, and am the primary caregiver for my mother, along with an explanation of my mother's dememtia, and my mother's age, were enough to convince the powers that be, that both my mother and I should be excused from jury duty. At least for THIS TIME.

I'm just a little concerned that both of our excusal post cards said "Good cause having been shown, you are hereby excused from Jury Service. This excusal has no bearing on notices for future jury service." Now, I understand that at some point in the future, when Ten is at least Twelve, and I am no longer the primary caregiver for my mom, that I will once again be eligible for jury service. But I wonder if the courts really think that somehow my mother will miraculously no longer have dementia, and will be able to serve.

One can only hope.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Time Keeps On Slippin'...Into The Future


I can't believe it is already November 1st. It seems like just yesterday, it was summer vacation. Oh who am I kidding, it seems like just yesterday it was Thanksgiving, and yet now the holiday season approaches and it will soon be Thanksgiving once again. I can't figure out where the time has gone, and how it could have gone by so quickly.

They say that as you get older you are more aware of the passage of time. That certainly seems to be the case with me. I remember when I was younger (o.k. lots younger) it seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r for it to be summer vacation. Now that I am older (o.k. lots older) Summers seem to come with greater frequency.

This rapid movement of time and the quick passage of the seasons, scare me. I look around me and I know that life is fleeting, and I fear, at times, that it is slipping through my fingers and that before I know it, I will turn around and be nearing the end of my life.

There are so many things that I want to accomplish, and so many things that I feel I still need to do, what if I run out of time? What if I can't finish it all? I would hate to leave this world with things left undone.

I'm not sure what has brought this awareness of time to the forefront of my consciousness. Maybe it is because I have a birthday coming the end of this month. Maybe it is that I am now the mother of a teenager. Maybe it is that I am feeling overwhelmed at the thought of another holiday season and all that I need to do. All I know is that suddenly I am feeling that time is passing too quickly.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!




You know you are too old to Trick or Treat when:

10. You get winded from knocking on the door.


9. You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.


8. You ask for high fiber candy only.


7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your Balance and fall over.




6. People say: "Great Boris Karloff Mask," And you're not wearing a mask.


5. When the door opens you yell, "Trick or ."
And can't remember the rest.


4. By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.


3. You have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.





2. You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.And the number one reason Seniors should not go Trick Or Treating...***


1. You keep having to go home to pee.




No matter, have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN anyway.