Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The one where I get to do a *GIVEAWAY*

It's spring. You know what that means? Sneezing and itchy eyes. Check. Grass to mow. Check. Rain. Check. That time of year that I look around and realize how much work my house needs. Check. Check. And double check!! (And yes, I do realize my blog could you some spritzing up too. Stop noticing already! There's only so much time in a day...) So as I look around, I realize I have some painting to do, some carpet shampooing to do, and I desperately need new furniture. And of course by "some" I really mean "a shit ton". Seriously, like the whole house. Then I started looking at the rooms individually and realized that the 80's is probably going to call me soon all "Hey! We want our lighting fixtures back!!". Dude. My lighting fixtures are 26 years old. And you can tell. Check out this beauty...

Yeah, it looks like boobs. And yes, it is dusty and dirty, I said I needed to clean! And it's also not centered in the kitchen. Why? The house was built in the 80's, let's not ask questions. Anywho...I have been dreaming online of all the gorgeous lighting ideas with which I could replace it. I'm partial to the chandelier look myself. Like this guy (only for the living room, not the kitchen!)

Any one else ready to do some decorating?? Well here's where I come in! The kind folks at CSNstores have asked me to do a giveaway on my blog!! I want you to know I had the choice of getting myself something pretty and than reviewing it or doing a giveaway and I chose YOU. I know, I'm just a giver. What can I say? So please visit and look around. Find something you like! They have over 200 websites to choose from such as,, and Go crazy! Okay, not too crazy. The giveaway is a promo code that gives you $60 dollars to spend in any of their stores. You can pick out anything you want and use the promo code to get $60 off!! And yes, there are things under $60, which means you can get something for free!! Woot woot!

Now, I know we've all seen giveaways where they asked you to jump through hoops- link to the giveaway blog in your blog, twitter it, facebook it, follow the blog, follow the blogger's twitter, follow them on networked blogs, friend them on facebook, ect. ect. ect. And it was suggested to me that I do this. But, um. NO! That's not me. I want people to follow me because they like my blog. Because I make them laugh. Not because they might win something. So if you would like to do those things...feel free. But it will not get you an extra entry into my giveaway. Sorry. The only way to enter is to visit one or more of the sites and come back and tell me something you might spend the $60 on. You are free to change your mind if you win. That comment will get you one entry. Then read my blogs for the next few days and leave a comment. Again, comments on subsequent blogs will get you another entry. I will be writing the names down on a piece of paper and putting them in a basket. Then, next Wednesday, I will pull out the name of the winner and post it!! After that you have 48 hours to get me your email address and I will send you the code. Simple as pie.

So let's recap: One comment on this or any upcoming blog until next Tuesday will earn you one entry into the drawing. The winner will be sent a promo code in their email to use at any of CSNstores 200 sites. The promo code will give you $60 dollars to spend, but cannot be used on shipping. (This site has a lot of "free shipping" items though!) All entries will be put in a basket and a name will randomly be drawn next Wednesday. I will post the winner on Wednesday, May 5th! You then have 48 hours to shoot me your email addy and I will send you the promo code!! No fuss, no hoops, all win!!

*I want to remind you that I did not receive any compensation for doing the giveaway, only the winner is getting anything. And it's all because I love my readers!*

I wish you could all win (and me too) but best of luck to everyone!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The one where Sean doesn't have an eye tumor but I have crunchy knees...

Sorry to leave you hanging for a few days! I know everyone was waiting to see if Sean had an eye tumor. The answer is no. Sean does not have an eye tumor, brain tumor, or anything seriously wrong with him. And I got super busy, which seems to happen a lot lately. More about that on another blog. Now, back to our story...

As Sean and I were waiting Friday in the Nurse Practitioner's office we were bored. Obviously she's a pediatrician, so her exam rooms are full of toys, children's books and tips for new or young parents. Well, Sean wouldn't let me read him a story, so I started reading out loud the "Tips for Teeth" posted on the bulletin board. They seemed to be common sense. Brush your teeth. Floss. Get sealants. But number four was the best~

Me: "Don't put your child to bed with a bottle". Damn. Okay Sean, you're going to have to start leaving the Jack upstairs when you go to bed at night. I don't want you ruining your teeth.

Sean: Wow. You're the best parent ever.

Me: I know right? I should write a damn book!

After lunch, the expedition to Shopko, and the trip to the library, we headed back to the clinic to check in for Sean's eye appointment. We settled in the waiting room with our books. Fortunately, we didn't wait long. As we got up to follow the nurse, my knee gave a loud pop. Like a "make the people in the waiting room turn around and stare at you" pop. No big deal. Does it all the time. Not very painful, but I did notice it was grinding as I walked back to the exam room. The nurse did the usual, took the history, had him read the eye chart, looked at his eyes. Then she decided to put some drops in his eyes. Let me just explain that Sean is not a wuss. The kid has had two corneal scratches, which are supposed to be excruciatingly painful injuries, and he didn't even tell anyone for hours. I've picked gravel out of his skin and scalp from wipe outs. He's had pneumonia with 103 fever before and told me "he's fine". But he does have sensitive eyes. When he was a toddler, I had to make sure he had sunglasses on all the time. He'd get severe headaches after swimming from the light reflecting at the pool. He has very pale blue eyes and the eye doctor said that the pigment was very light and that's what made them so sensitive. I used to have to sit on him to get eye drops in his eyes. Then he got bigger than me and I gave up.

So this nurse is trying to get drops in his eyes and he's squirming. Finally, she gets them in but his eyes keep watering and watering. Then she tries to check pressure with a blue light she's shining directly in his eyes. Not going so well. So then she sticks some pen looking thing that clicks loudly in his eyes. At last, she manages to get what she needs and leaves the room. Sean is not a happy camper. So~

Me: Give me your hand.

Sean: *sticks out his hands* Why?

I place his hand on my knee, which is stretched out in front of me. Then I bend it.

Sean: *freaking the f*ck out* WTH?!! That's disgusting!!! Why would you do that?

(In Sean's is disgusting. You can feel my bones/cartilage grating when I do that)

Me: Because you aren't thinking about your eye anymore! It's called distraction. You're welcome.

Sean: OMG. I still can't believe you did that. Why didn't you warn me?

Me: Because then you wouldn't have given me your hand. Duh.

Sean: Now my knees feel weird. *he's rubbing them as he speaks*

Me: Hahaha. Mine too.

Sean: I may hate you.

Me: Whatever. You know it was a good distraction. See what a great mom I am??

The doctor comes in and sits and manages to look at Sean's eyes. He says he has cobblestones.

Me: What?

Doctor: They're bumps under his eyelid. They rub on the eye itself and can be quite painful. That's why both his eye itself and the lid were hurting.

Me: Gross. What's it from?

Doctor: It's an allergic reaction. I'm going to give you allergy eye drops and some steroid drops to help the inflammation. Use them until it feels better and then just keep on with the allergy drops. *he leaves*

Me: *giggling*

Sean: Why are you laughing?

Me: Because it's an architectural issue. Stop trying to build streets in your eyes.

Sean: *laughing* Yeah, when he said "cobblestones" I started thinking of old English streets.

Me: I know right? Weird. Guess you aren't going to be on Mystery Diagnosis after all. But hey, maybe HGTV would be interested. *I ducked the punch he aimed my way*

So then I got to go to the doctor. It wasn't really funny. She said my knee was "extra crunchy". She showed me the arthritis on my xray. Said she could do an MRI but she didn't think I'd torn any soft tissue. She told me I'd probably need a knee replacement in the future.

Me: Um. I'm not really big on surgeries. My last one was kind of a fiasco.

Her: Well, if it comes town to being in a wheelchair or having a knee replacement, I'm pretty sure you'll go with the surgery.

Me: Wow. Way to sugarcoat that for me.

She also told me that she'd happily give me a shot in the knee for the pain. Or a shot in the hip if it continued to hurt. And that I definitely needed to get the carpel tunnel surgery on my left wrist before I did permanent nerve damage. And sentenced me to physical therapy 3 freakin times a week. It was not a fun visit.

So I signed up for therapy, picked up meds and ran Sean home so he could get ready for his camp out. And I answered a few emails and then decided to meet friends for drinks and dinner. Grown up style. It was awesome. Sean's eye is pretty much all healed. The eye drops worked wonders and I don't even have to sit on him to get them in his eyes.

I've heard that several of you used our saying "that stripper is off her pole!". Sweet.

That's all for today kiddies. But you are definitely going to want to tune in tomorrow. Tomorrow...I get to offer you something. Something for putting up with me. Because I adore you all...


Saturday, April 24, 2010

The one where I look young and Sean *nearly* starts a zombie apocalypse

Mmmmkkkkay....just to clear up a few things...Lu was NOT serious about being pregnant. That was a total joke and I'm not worried about it because as she said the other day..."I don't want to be stuck here for the rest of my life. I don't mean with you Mom. I like being with you. I just meant HERE. In this tiny little area." I so know what she means. Wish I'd considered that before getting pregnant a month out of my teens. And the threat of running to Vegas to get married? Well that was real. Until I pointed out that if they got married, neither of them would have health insurance. Because you can't be on your parents when you're married. Duh. That put the ixnay on that. Lu can be a very practical girl and when you have a blood disorder, health insurance is a priority. Sorry to intrude on their romance with my dose of reality. And for those of you who thought I remained very calm during the conversation...of course. Not poetic license, I really was that calm. Don't you read my blog?! That kind of crazy happens on a daily basis. I can't endanger my health by getting all worked up. Now on to today's daily dose of insanity...

Yesterday started with a hitch...Sean's eye. He started complaining that his eye was hurting Wednesday night. Something along the lines of "I can't feed the cats, I have a brain tumor". He says it felt like when you get punched in the eye, all bruised in the socket and the lid and the eye. It looked fine to me. Not swollen, not bloodshot, no apparent problem. So I told him to suck it up and take some Ibuprofen. And that it was not a brain tumor. Well it was still hurting Thursday night and the Ibuprofen wasn't helping. And yesterday morning the eyelid was beginning to swell. And he was about to leave on a huge weekend camp out. So yesterday morning I got up and called our NP. She decided to have him come in so she could look at it. The phone call with me and the nurse~

Nurse: Well I have some openings this afternoon.

Me: Um. I have to have him back here early, he's going on a big camp-out.

Nurse: How about a 2:15?

Me: I have an appointment with the orthopedic doctor at 2.

Nurse: Can you be here in 15 minutes?

Me: We live half an hour away.

Nurse: Um...

Me: I hate being a pain in the ass...

Nurse: *laughing hysterically* let me check with the doctor...

Me: Okay. Great!

Nurse: Can you be here in an hour?

Me: Sweet!

Of course this meant that I showered, got ready, stopped for gas and drove like a maniac to make it there in an hour. We were only 10 minutes late. I blame Sean for borrowing the car and bringing it back on "E". Seriously, we were sweating it the 10 minutes to the nearest gas station, the little orange gas pump light was on when I started the car!! But we made it and she did a thorough exam and then set him up an afternoon appointment with the Opthamologist, because she couldn't figure it out. Awesome. Now we have 2 hours to kill between appointments and his is at 1:10, so I might be late to mine. We did what anyone would do in that situation. We ate lunch. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant. The one I always (seriously, always) have a coupon for. We had a fantastic lunch of chicken quesadillas, rice & beans, and huge fountain cokes. Then we went to check out~

Cashier (One of the family that owns the place, maybe about 10 years older than me. Always very friendly. We talked about how "Dora" was teaching American children Spanish and Spanish children English last time I was here. Don't ask. I always talk to stranger.) *to Sean* you have beautiful blue eyes!

Sean: *doing that guy thing where they duck their heads and mumble* thanks.

Me:'re so pretty Sean!

Cashier: Is he your brother?

Me: *laughing* No. He's my son. But thank you. You can be my best friend now.

Cashier: Oh my! Then you must have had him when you were a baby!

Me: Actually he's my youngest.

Sean: She's older than she looks.

Me: *punching him in the arm* Thanks brat.

Cashier: But your mom is so pretty. That must be where you get it from.

Me: Yeah Sean. You better remember that.

At this point I had to use the restroom and since I couldn't locate my keys in the huge bag I call a purse, Sean had to wait in the restaurant for me. When I came out, she had him cornered. He looked distinctly uncomfortable so I rescued him. As we walked out the door, I told him "episodes like that my dear, are why I color my hair!".

Then on the way to the drugstore to drop off some refills and grab up the last 3 bags of leftover Starburst Jelly Beans from Easter, Sean and I had this convo~

Sean: I have stuff to do at home. I did not want to be in town all day.

Me: Um. Ditto. It's not my fault your being a medical mystery.

Sean: It's not a mystery. I have an eye tumor.

Me: You do not have an eye tumor. *but secretly wondering what the hell is wrong with his eye*

Sean: That's what they always say. You're going to feel awful when I do.

Me: Whatever. Hey...maybe you could be on Mystery Diagnosis! (One of our favorite Discovery Health shows).

Sean: *saying it at the same time as me* Mystery Diagnosis! *then we fist bump, because we are so totally cool and in-sync*

Sean: But I don't want to be on there, because they take like years to figure out what's wrong with people. I want it fixed now. I'm going to ask them to test for "yo- antibodies". Then they'll know it's cancer. You know I was thinking...if "yo-antibodies" fight cancer, why can't they harvest those from one person and inject them in another?

Me: I think you might have just come up with a cure for cancer. Or maybe found a way to start the zombie apocalypse. Either way, I say "GENIUS"!

Sean: Well, then you have to get rid of the "yo-antibodies" so it's kind of like curing measles with pneumonia.

Me: That might be a little drastic.

On that note we decided to go to the library because we had an afternoon of doctor's office waiting ahead of us. I got The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom. I'd been going to buy it off Amazon, but free is so much better. Sean got Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer. Don't ask okay? On the way there, this conversation ensued~

Sean: Did you just say "that stripper is off her pole"?

Me: Why would I say that? What does that even mean?

Sean: I don't know. You're the one who said it.

Me: I did not say that. I was talking about my mom.

Sean: Your Mom is off her pole.

Me: *shaking my head in utter defeat*. Maybe that could be a new phrase for crazy. Man, that stripper is off her pole!

Sean: Perfect! I'm going to call Lu and scream that into the phone and hang up.

Me: She hates it when you do that!

Sean: I know. That's why I'm going to use your phone.

Me: Hey! Give that back! She'll know it's you anyway.

So that is our new phrase "That stripper is off her pole!". I think it's catchy. Please feel free to use it in your daily conversations. I think it will totally catch on. Lu thinks we should stop inventing our own sayings. I think secretly she's just jealous.

Well, there are more conversations, parenting advice and why I should probably write a book on parenting coming. But that's enough for today. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion. Does Sean have an eye tumor? Was Abe Lincoln a Vampire Slayer? What the hell is a Birthing House anyway?

Happy weekend! If you're bored, you should probably color your hair (it's like a magic fountain of youth). Or figure out how to work your new favorite saying ("that stripper is off her pole!" (you're welcome)) into conversation.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

18 and NOT pregnant...or the one in which Lu scares the crap out of me...

Hubby's alarm went off this morning at it's usual time...6 AM. I struggled to turn it off, because my hand had somehow managed to fall completely asleep. As I became more conscious, I realized my right hip was screaming with pain. Not twingeing, not aching, but screaming in full blown agony. I realized that I'd slept in the same position all night. Anyone with even a little bit of arthritis (old artie as my Grandma used to call it) in their joints knows that this is a bad thing. So I gingerly negotiated myself into another position on the other hip, with some moderate whimpering. I looked at hubby. He showed no signs of wakefulness. "Get out of my bed." I grumbled crankily. He sighed and sat up. I closed my eyes. I opened them. He was still sitting there.

Me: What are you doing?

Him: Disentangling my socks. (He sets his clothes out by the bed the night before)

Me: Well could you do that in the living room so I can go back to sleep??

He lumbered out of the room. I sank back into grateful oblivion. For fifteen minutes. Then I woke up to the Diesel (one of our youngest kitties) scratching furiously at the door to be let back in. She freaks out if she can't get to me. I put the pillow over my head. We go through this every morning. Two mornings out of seven, hubby hears her and lets her in. The other mornings, I have to get out of bed and do it myself. My hip is still screaming, I'm praying he hears her. Five minutes go by. No luck. I drag myself out of bed and limp to the door, biting my lip. Seriously, my eyes well up with tears by the time I get back into bed. I lay there thinking I will not be able to go back to sleep because of the pain. Diesel purrs and settles by my feet. I debate getting up and taking arthritis medicine. I debate getting up and taking Vicodin. But alas, I have a conference call at 10 AM and do not want to be loopy or groggy for it. I fall back to sleep.

8 AM. I awake to vegetable drawer banging as Lu attempts to open it. Yes, I can tell that's what the noise is from the bedroom. Two months since I asked Hubby to fix it. Still broken and sticks. No point going back to sleep. I limp to bathroom, then kitchen. Kids make fun of my limp. I flip them off (save your parenting advice, it's too late for that) and gimp to my computer. Blessedly, the arthritis meds have kicked in now and the hip is tolerable. Sorry, didn't mean to whine about it. Oh WTH! It's my blog, I'll whine if I want to. Can't wait to talk to orthopedic doc on Friday. Hip is probably hurting from walking funny due to knee. And, in the interest of honesty and keeping it real, I did play some Wii with the kids last night. I'm pretty sure it was the skateboarding that got me. It almost got Lu as well, but in an entirely different way. Let's just say that skateboarding is not my thing. I sucked it up pretty badly. If they gave points for hitting the fence and the walls, well I'd be champion. But they don't. Lu laughed so hard watching me that she couldn't breathe. I kid you not, she turned blue. Screw skateboarding, I'm going back to snowball fighting.

And in the interest of funny~

Lu and I were watching the season finale of "16 & Pregnant". Don't ask. She got addicted and sucked me in. So on this wrap up show, Dr. Drew (trying to look hip in a purplish colored shirt and velvet (maybe) jacket and so not pulling it off) talked to the girls. Throughout this hour and a half they reiterated that teen pregnancy is 100% preventable. They go over birth control options and remind you that condoms also protect against STD's and STI's.

Me: Did he just say STI's?

Lu: yep.

Me: *staring into space, thinking* Infections maybe?

Lu: Maybe. I was totally confused, but I didn't want to ask you because then you're all like 'I'm so much cooler than you'...

Me: *giggling at her* Well, I am.

Lu: whatever.

Anyone who says that these shows glorify teen pregnancy (like my mother, who's never even watched the show) is totally off base. There's no glory here. Just a bunch of whiny teenagers, finally realising that pregnancy is not fun or easy and labor sucks. And then realising that their mother's were right, taking care of a baby not only is exhausting, but totally ruins your social life. It's a fantastic advertisement for birth control.

Which is why I'm completely confused when Lu asks me what I would say if she got pregnant.

Me: Probably something along the lines of "Holy Crap Batman"

Lu: But you wouldn't yell?

Me: That would be pretty hypocritical of me, wouldn't it? No, I wouldn't yell. I'd tell you that I think it's a really bad decision on your part and it would be a decision because you are well versed in birth control. But it's your life so it's your decision.

Lu: Well, I'm not.

Me: Good. I'd also advise you to take a good hard look at my life and decide if that's what you really want. Not that my life is bad, or I regret any of my decisions, but it hasn't been an easy road and every day is still a compromise. And if you guys have a baby before you go to school, your lives will be very similar to ours. That's an uphill struggle that your father and I were fortunate to make it through. So you have to weigh that along with whether or not you think that you and Dexter's relationship is strong enough to weather that and whether or not you think he's mature enough to handle the situation.

Lu: I know, that's why I'm not. But we did almost drive to Vegas the other night to get married.

Me: *blinking owlishly at her in her total shock*

Happy Wednesday...halfway to the weekend...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The one where Sean becomes a dictator...

I know I kept you waiting for two whole days...but I'm back to finish the convo. You know Mondays are like crazy making right?? Wait. What day around here isn't? Well, I guess to be honest, that pretty much every day that ends in "y" is crazy making around here. But today, I eked out some time to blog. So where were we? Oh yes, in the car on the way to town, and Sean was just about to take over Slovakia...

Sean: I'm going to take over Slovakia.

Me: Why there?

Sean: It's small, no one knows much about it. If I need more room, I'll annex the Czech Republic. I mean, they used to be one country anyway.

Me: And you're going to build arms factories to support your country?

Sean: Yes, we'll be the biggest manufacturer in the world. And there are no child labor laws in my country so everybody works! Thus eliminating the need for costly daycare.

Me: Um. What about school?

Sean: Bah! They don't need school. They get hands on training for their careers. I'm letting them skip a few steps.

Me: Wow. You are one benevolent dictator *dripping sarcasm*

Sean: Yeah. I'm a helluva guy. I think we'll sell guns to Somalia.

Me: Somalia? WTH? Dude. That's not cool.

Sean: This is not a popularity contest. It's about being rich, powerful and oppressing a country full of people. I might even expand operations and build a nuclear weapons plant. Then threaten to sell to supremely unstable countries so that the US has to buy at inflated prices just to stop me.

Me: Uhhh. Uhhh. *thinks "where did I go wrong?"*

Sean: I'll sell to places like the "stans".

Me: The "stans"?

Sean: Yeah, there's like 5 of them. Pakistan, Afghanistan...

Me: Uzbekistan.

Sean: Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Me: Do you even know where those are??

Sean: Duh. They're in the middle east. Near Saudi Arabia. Which brings us to Yemen.

Me: Yemen?

Sean: Did you know that like 80% of the population of Yemen is under 15?

Me: For real?? How do you know this?

Sean: Colbert did a thing on it. Apparently there are rumors that the Taliban is doing some recruiting/training there. So we were debating invading.

Me: Well, it would be easy. I mean if they're all fifteen, we could just drop in some skateboards, Jonas Brother & Miley Cyrus Cds and Skittles and they would all be distracted. Heck, we could take that place with no bloodshed!

Sean: Definitely doable.

Me: But you can't sell arms there because they aren't old enough to buy them.

Sean: I do what I want. I'm the dictator.

Me: Hmmm. Okay.

Sean: You're just mad because my life plan is better than yours.

Me: No. I'm slightly concerned that I raised an evil genius who wants to be a ruthless dictator of small countries and possibly bring about the end of the world. I mean, how's that going to look at the reunion? So what do your kids do? Well my daughters got a thriving NeuroMuscular Massage business, my foster son is still going to school for his engineering degree and my youngest just took over Slovakia. You might want to put up a bomb shelter in your back yard. I'm sure there's some of those blueprints from the fifties around here somewhere.

Sean: Maybe you could open an online business selling bomb shelter plans...

Me: Oh! That has possibilities....

And that's how little boys grow up to be dictators...
I'm really hoping he uses his genius for good, but it's not looking good from here. If only evil wasn't so profitable.

Hoping her son doesn't cause the end of the world,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sean and I come up with ways to make money...

Want to know something weird? Ha! I don't even know why I bothered to ask. If you came to my blog, you either love the weird or you didn't know any better. So here you go- my butt hurts. Not in a gross way (my gosh, the places that comment could go...). But no, I meant like the muscles in the fleshy part. And since the Dr. grounded me from all sorts of physical exercise it's obviously not from that. But that's what it feels like. That muscley ache you get when you worked out too hard just enough. The only explanation I can come up with is that I must have compensated for the crazy knee by walking funny. And all that hobbling around (and if you must know, I had to kneel to clean out the fridge) must have overtaxed said sore muscle. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. The arthritis medicine she gave me is actually working quite well and the knee doesn't hurt much until evening. Then it aches, but not too badly. I haven't even needed the vicodin except the first night.

So on to the funny stuff...Sean and I were on our way to town the other day~

Me: (I'm driving, he's riding shotgun) You know what makes me happy?

Sean: Pistachios.

Me: Oh yeah they do! But that's not what I had in mind.

Sean: Fountain Cokes.

Me: Oh gosh yes! But again, not what I was going for.

Sean: A really good scary movie?

Me: Oh definitely. *silence* Sorry, I got distracted.

Sean: A new book, lazy Sundays, vodka?

Me: Wow. I'm really easy to please, aren't I?

Sean: Yes. And distract. But do go on...

Me: Anyway, I was going to say air conditioning.

Sean: that does make you happy.

Me: I know right?! I'm so cranky when I'm hot! Know what my car (yes, the one we're riding in) doesn't have?

Sean: Air conditioning.

Me: Bingo. Know why?

Sean: Because you trusted Dad & Porky to fix something.

Me: Well, to be fair, Porky does have a degree in fixing engines. But yes, that's why. But the reason I trusted them to fix it is because I don't have any extra money. If I had a lot of extra money, I would just take it to a different shop and pay them to fix it because then I'd be guaranteed it was fixed. Otherwise I could take it back and demand that they fix it and presto! It's fixed. So basically, the point of this conversation, in case I lost you with my logic, is money. And how we need more.

Sean: Oddly enough, I was following your train of thought. So do you have a plan to get this money?

Me: Um. No. But I'm working on it. I mean I'm doing the freelance gig, but I'm definitely not going to get rich anytime soon. And because I'm doing the freelancing, I have less time for the fiction, so publishing a bestseller, that will then be optioned for a blockbuster movie, is maybe going to take a while. I need some more immediate cash. I got this email from this guy about this new business venture and the initial investment is pretty low and you get it back relatively quickly.

Sean: Is it legal?

Me: Um. I'm not sure. It looks like a pyramid marketing scheme to me. But there was a video on the website about how it wasn't a pyramid marketing scheme.

Sean: Uh huh. Well that makes it legit. NOT! Do you really think they'd tell you it was an illegal pyramid marketing scheme?

Me: No?

Sean: Of course not genius.

Me: Well, I don't know. Lu watched it too and said she'd sign up. And then I only have to get two more people... and I had my cynical New York friend check it out.

Sean: Hold up! You seriously took Lu's opinion into consideration? Have you lost your mind? Lu! She thinks the world spins faster when the wind blows. Not a reliable source. What did your friend say?

Me: *sigh* that she thought it looked to good to be true. I already knew it did. But I was supposed to start making $4000 dollars a month the first month. That's a lot of money. You know what we could do with that kind of extra money?

Sean: get the air conditioning fixed?

Me: Buy a new car. And go on vacation. Like every month.

Sean: Hmm. That would hamper my job schedule. Wait. If you were making that much money would I still have to get a job?

Me: Of course you would, you slacker. Geez. You owe me money. But just until you were 18, then I'd sign you up to make thousands of dollars a month too.

Sean: I think this is a bad idea. How do you know they aren't the mob?

Me: Why would they be the mob??

Sean: Because the mob has their hands in everything. Maybe they are the mob and the money is from killing people.

Me: Um. Well. If I didn't know that's what it was from I don't think I can be held responsible. So it's okay.

Sean: Nah, I'm going to stick to my plan...

Me: What's your plan?

Sean: I'm going to take over Slovakia. Then I'll have my own country.

Me: Why Slovakia?

Sean: Because it's small and no one really knows much about it. Then if I need more room, I'll annex the Czeck Republic.

Me: Um. It takes money to run a country. Where are you going to get that from?

Sean: I'm building weapons factories. We're going to become the world's largest manufactures of weapons.

Me: Mmmm. I don't know about this plan...

Sean: Doesn't're part of the mob, I'm not letting you in my country.

Me: But can I buy weapons?

Sean: Of course, if you have the money.

To be continued...

Happy Lazy Sunday,

Friday, April 16, 2010

Vampires, cotton hoodies & holy water...

Good Morning! Well, good almost afternoon but whatever. So I have a few things to discuss first before I get to the regularly scheduled (as if!) blog. First off...Brite!! I really like your blog and have not been ignoring you, but every single time I go to your blog, my window says that it cannot display it, gives me an error message and that is that. So I'm not commenting because apparently goblins are eating your blog. That's probably not the technical definition of the problem, but really, that's what's happening. I don't know if anyone else is having this problem, if it's your goblins or mine, but someone needs to fix it because I know that I am missing some funny witty stuff.

Also, look quickly and be quiet lest we scare them...but have you noticed that I now have 51 followers? I know right?! I'm surprised too. That means in the last week, two more people have been lured to the insanity which abounds in my blog. I'm like the pied piper of crazy. No, that's the Bloggess for sure. Maybe I'm the little kazoo girl of crazy. Yeah, that's probably more like it.

Now, today I have to go to the grocery store. Why? Because we are out of important things like sugar and milk. And hubby threatened to divorce me last night. Over the sugar, not the milk. Because heaven forbid the man can't make Kool-aid (I kid you not) and has to drink (gasp!) water. What is he 10? Yep. And yes, you're absolutely right, the Doctor did tell me to stay off my knee. But we have to eat. And you didn't really think anyone else was going to volunteer to do the grocery shopping did you?? Good, because if you had, I'd be worried about you. Sean says I should get one of those Rascals, you know the motorized shopping chairs, and ride it through the store. But I'm pretty sure that would result in injured pedestrians, damaged displays and lawsuits. So no, I will be hobbling around the stores today, gripping my cart fiercely. And Sean is going with to lift the heavy things.

So last night was supposed to be one of my nights where everyone else is gone. Lu went off to Iowa because Dexter is in a play so she's spending the weekend up there. If it's a Thursday night, Sean has Civil Air Patrol. And well, it's that time of year where hubby doesn't come in from working til dark, and sometimes later. But through a snafu, Sean ended up home. So we watched Flash Forward (one of our current addictions) on the big screen in the family room. Then we watched some Animal Planet and finally we both decided to get ready for bed. But before we could exit the couch, another show started. It was one neither of us had seen before called Lost Tapes. And it was about...Vampires!!! Woot woot. We love us some vampires. As long as they don't sparkle.

Well, we watched the show (which was kind of hokey) but about half way through I started questioning~

Me: Why is that thing all hairy? I thought they were vampires not werewolves!

Sean: Whose to say vampires aren't hairy?

Me: Duh. Everyone knows they aren't. Those things look more like rat people than vampires. And what the heck are they doing in the daylight? That's sunlight coming through those windows! They should be scared.

Sean: Maybe sunlight doesn't really affect vampires. I mean it's just a myth like crosses.

Me: What the hell is wrong with you?! Of course sunlight affects them. And crosses and holy water.

Sean: You're not religious so why would you think that crosses and holy water affect them?

Me: Because vampires believe they do. That's why. It's all about belief. Next you'll be saying that cotton hoodies don't work either.

Sean: Oh hell, there you go with the cotton hoodies.

Me: Cotton is God's fabric Sean. It totally protects you. And everyone knows that a super soaker filled with holy water is the ultimate protection. It works on demons too, just so you know.

Sean: How exactly do you know this?

Me: Because in the book I just finished (Summer of Night by Dan Simmons. Excellent and very scary), the boys used holy water and the host to fight the demons. At first, then they used gasoline and fire.

Sean: I still think a Glock would solve everything.

Me: Well, they did use guns to fight the humans that were being controlled. It was very complicated.

Sean: Wait. By host you mean those wafers from communion?

Me: Yep. Hey!! Remember that disk shooting gun I got you at Easter?

Sean: You got that for Dexter. I got an airplane launcher.

Me: Whatever. I wonder if you could load it with wafers and shoot them at vampires? Brilliant!

Sean: I don't know. It wasn't very accurate.

Me: You're right. I'd probably get frustrated and throw the whole damn thing at them.

Sean: Anyway, all your religious paraphernalia won't save you. You need a Glock.

Me: You know what? When you're being attacked by a vampire and I'm holding a super soaker full of holy're going to have to beg, because I'm not saving you until you say "You were totally right Mom!". Just saying...

Sean: *eye roll*

Hoodies and Super Soakers to all,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't drink and Wii...

I have so many posts running through my head that it's not even funny. But I'm going to do this one while it's fresh in my brain because we all know that things get lost inside my head sometimes, never to see the light of day. As many of you know from facebook or twitter or this post, I hurt my knee the week before Easter. Playing with my Wii. Okay, competing heavily with my younger, firmer, thinner, more able bodied children. And boom! There goes my knee. Not much of a surprise, my knees hurt alot of times and make that horrible grinding popping sound anytime they're used much. (As Lu pointed out when we were playing Wii, in the form of "Eeewww...Mom! Your knees sound so gross!") Thank you very much Lu.

Well, with my Grandmother's last days, the details, the visitation, the funeral, ect. I didn't exactly have time to go to the doctor. I slapped a knee brace on it and called it good. I figured it would pass in a couple of days. Well it kept swelling so bad that the knee brace would cut off circulation and I'd have to remove it. So I figured once things settled down and I was off of it for a few days it would go back to normal. So life settled down again and we went back to what passes for normal in our house. I was spending alot of time at my computer desk or watching movies with the kids, trying to stay off the knee. Funny kept getting worse. It was now to the point where it ached and throbbed and had sharp shooting pains when I'm sitting down. Not to mention the pain of walking and heaven forbid I decide to squat, kneel or do the stairs. So my family starts getting on my butt about seeing a doctor. Yesterday I had to go to town so everyone joined forces and pleaded with me to see someone about my knee. I refused to commit.

Well, I spent the afternoon at my Grandma's (now my Uncle's) house going through some of her things with my folks. This was not fun and rates it's own post down the line. After several hours (in which I went up and down her horribly steep stairs), I was tired, sweaty (no air conditioning!), grimy (years of dust), sneezy and in no mood to do anything other than pick up fast food, go home, put on jammies and swallow some Motrin. I made the mistake of calling my hubby. He urged me to go ahead and go to the doctor since I was already in town. So I went to the treat & release at the hospital.

6 pm and the parking lot is so packed I have to park a half a block away and hobble to the building. Off to a good start. Walk in, wait in line. Get signed in and joke with the nurse about how their new "fast care" branch in a local store was supposed to alleviate some of this. But alas, no xrays at the fast care and with warm weather most are injuries requiring xrays, like me. Take a seat in the waiting area where I am accosted by a bored (and kind of grubby) four year old.

4 yr old: What's your name?

Me: Mommy. What's yours?

She stared at me in confusion.

Me: *sigh* Stacey. What's yours?

her: Hailey.

Me: that's a very pretty name. (me wondering why her mother is letting her wander around a hospital waiting room talking to strangers who are possibly ill with something contagious?) Are you sick?

Hailey: yep. I frowed up.

*sigh* I try edging farther from her and finally her mother looks up from her cell phone and calls her back to her seat. The triage nurse calls me and I limp in as a man limps out.

Me: guess you got all the gimps today.

Nurse: I know! Lots of injuries. Did you injure your knee?

Me: I guess.

Nurse: When did this happen?

Me: about two weeks ago.

Nurse: And you're just now coming in??

Me: Um. I've been busy...

Nurse: so how did it happen?

Me: I was playing Wii...

Nurse: I haven't tried it yet. Is it fun?

Me: Well it was until I hurt myself.

She takes my blood pressure, temp and oxygen sats. Really? For a knee injury? Then she says she'll order an xray and there are five people in front of me, I can go have a seat. I limp to the other waiting room and sit down. Oh yay! The Disney channel is on. Whew! NOT. After 5 minutes of some ridiculous show called "Good Luck Charlie", I whip out the novel I was smart enough to throw in my purse. Then the xray tech calls me. I limp along behind her.

I climb awkwardly on to the table and lay down. She starts shoving my jean capris up over my knee and then says~

xray barbie: I'm going to roll your jeans up. Is that okay?

me: (since she's already doing it (none too gently) do I really have a choice? I'm temped to yell "DON'T TOUCH ME!" but I resist) um. sure.

xray barbie: so how did you hurt your knee?

me: playing Wii with my kids

xray barbie: *blank incredulous stare*

me: um. you know the Wii fit?

xray barbie: *looks me up and down* oh.

I think don't you judge me you skinny little bleached blonde, fake nailed barbie doll! But I just smile. Because I know I have more personality in my little finger than she does in her whole perfect body. So there!

After the xray, I limp back to my chair in the waiting room. It's a long wait, they are super busy. Finally a nurse calls my name. Again, she asks how I hurt my knee. Don't they write this stuff down? Or are they wondering if my hubby beats me? I repeat that I hurt it playing Wii. She nods sagely.

Nurse: My son-in-law broke two fingers playing Wii.

Me: Oh my gosh!

Nurse: He was playing tennis and didn't have enough room around him...he hit his fingers on a weight bench with a backswing.

Me: Ouch!! I can totally see that happening. The tennis is intense.

Nurse: My daughter was out of town. I think there was alcohol involved.

Me: Maybe there should be a rule. No Wii-ing under the influence. *me giggling hysterically at my potty humor*

Nurse: *looks at me strangely*

So then I sit in the exam room for forever. Okay, it was only an hour, but it felt like forever. Then a new nurse comes in and asks more questions about how I hurt my knee.

Me: playing Wii.

Nurse: We've seen a few of those.

Me: well, if my kids weren't so competitive...

Off she goes. More waiting. I'm really ready to curl up on the gurney and go to sleep. Instead I read a Better Homes & Gardens. The whole thing. Finally the doctor comes in. It's Dr. S. I've seen her before and I really like her. She tells me it's a problem with my knee cap sliding sideways and the cartilage getting messed up and it's swollen with blood and other fluid. Gross. I'm wincing at the ookiness of her descriptions (which are very good by the way). She shows me some strengthening exercises I'm going to have to start doing. She says she has the same problem and that if I don't do them I'll be looking at knee replacement surgery in about 10 years. She warns me it may be months before my knee is back to what's normal for me. I'm supposed to stay off of it as much as possible, keep it elevated when sitting, absolutely no stairs, no kneeling, bending or squatting. And no Wii. See my doctor in two weeks and he may send me to physical therapy. She prescribes anti-inflammatory and pain meds. Hello Vicodin! I'm kind of surprised at the painkillers, I mean, I've been handling it without for two weeks. But I'm not going to say no. Then she says~

Dr S: I'm carrying some extra weight around and I know that makes it worse. So losing weight would probably help your knees feel better too.

I'm pretty sure that's the nicest way someone's ever told me I need to lose weight.

Me: Um. Yeah. That's what I was trying to do with the Wii.

She nodded sagely and left. And I sat there wondering how exactly I'm supposed to lose weight when she's just grounded me from all physical activity??! Starvation?? Not happening. Magic pills?? I take enough pills thank you very much. A bad case of stomach flu?? Thanks to Hailey in the waiting room, that may be an option. We'll see...

The nurse comes in and gives me my prescriptions. I head to the pharmacy drive thru and wait. And wait. Seriously?! I'm the only one in the drive thru. It's 8:35 pm. I wait for like ten minutes. I seriously consider getting out and knocking on the window. WTH?! I'm not going away peeps. You better come answer the window. Finally a tech comes to the window. I hand her my prescriptions.

P tech: Have you gotten scripts here before?

Me: only about a bazillion.

P tech: is your address and insurance correct in the computer?

Me: hasn't changed in 8 years.

P tech: when do you want these?

Me: before you close? I live out of town.

P tech: *looks grumpy* we'll try.

Seriously? How hard can counting out pills be? How long can it take? There's no one else in line!! So I drive around for 10 minutes, talking to Hildi on the phone. I get back to the drive thru at 5 minutes til and the shades are down and the lights off!!! They closed early to avoid me!! I park and hobble into the store. The pharmacy lights are off, bars pulled down, empty. Sh*t!!

I call hubby. Ask if he and Sean have eaten. No. Apparently they really are incapable of feeding themselves. I offer to get Taco Bell. I go through the drive thru and get food and an extra large fountain cola. Because after all this, I deserve it. Thankfully, Lu works today so she's picking up my meds. But I'm still angry with the pharmacy. I might have to break up with them like I did Blockbuster.

Stay off the Wii if you've been drinking,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pink Flamingos and morning breath

So it happened. I should have known it was going to. I'm not even sure what my poor befuddled brain was doing ignoring a "spidey sense" directive. Will I never learn?? To tell the story, I have to start at the beginning...

I woke up this morning to an odd "thump thump" noise. (Well, OK, really I'd woken up once at 3 to let Lu's cat into her room because he was frantically scratching at the door because he's obsessed with Lu. Which of course meant that I had to go to the bathroom because well, three children used my bladder as a trampoline. Then I woke again briefly at 6 when hubby's alarm went off. Long enough to kick him out of bed anyway.) So I glance at the clock from my warm cocoon under the covers and realize it's 8 am. The sun is shining gloriously in the windows and when I lift my head I see that the "thump thump" is the cats tail furiously smacking the window sill on which she's sitting. Apparently the birds and bees are taunting her.

I roll over and take stock of myself. This is when I realize that the area above my upper lip is crusty. Eeeewww...gross. I'm in possession of an extremely runny nose and watery eyes. Thank you allergy season. Next I realize that while the spinal sensation that was tormenting me last night has eased (thank you hydrocodone, but only one because two makes me have crazy ass dreams) my leg muscles do not seem to want to work right this morning. Well, I'm off to a great start, no? So I haul my carcass out of bed and head to the bathroom. As I sit there, I eye my capri pants from yesterday which I have haphazardly thrown on the floor by the scale. The idea was that I would put them back on this morning, just in case I had to answer the door at any point before I showered. Let me explain: I'm wearing the "vile" pajama shorts. So named by Lu. I'll admit that they are not stylish, but vile may be a little harsh. They are knee length, black w/white stripes that look like paint dribbles, and dancing pink flamingos. I bought them for 75 cents on clearance at Kmart. Really, at that price how could I not buy them?? I mean, they're just to sleep in, so who cares what they look like? Not I. So, I may not be known for my stylish sleepwear- my other pair of sleep shorts are a rather loud orange color with pink flowers. But so?? Anyway, I didn't feel like fighting with my aching muscles and changing pants. I ignored that little niggling "what if?" in the back of my mind.

Eye drops, fibro meds, claritin and an empty bladder later, I stumble to the kitchen for my daily dose of ambition caffeine. Sean says something to me but I'm not coherent yet so I give him a little wave and head to the computer. I read news, do emails, start enjoying bloggy land and am in fact gigglesnorting at Elly Lou's bra woes when it happens. A minivan pulls onto the road in front of my house. Now, when you get to the end of our driveway, you can take a right into the camp itself, or you can go left to our house driveway or my husbands workshop. It hesitates and silently I will it to turn right. But no, it swings left. The problem with this is that I know my hubby is not in his shop or his home office. I've seen his red work truck zipping about all morning- from the shop to camp, from camp to the drive, back and forth. (Why is he always in such a hurry?) I know that Lu is still asleep. And I know that Sean is out somewhere with the dog. Who does that leave to answer the doorbell? Yep, moi. Vile shorts and all. Add to the shorts a purple tshirt (yes, I know I don't match at all), no makeup, my orphan annie hair up in a messy bun, my reading glasses perched firmly on my nose, moving at the speed of a very old and possibly lame turtle, breath. Let's just say I'm nobody's idea of a pretty picture this morning. I'm much more likely to scare people. I wonder if I could open the door, screech in rapid Spanish and convince them I'm the housekeeper?? Horrifiyingly, the only Spanish phrase that springs to mind is "numero nueve con queso por favor", and that's not fooling anyone. "Number nine with cheese please" is all the Spanish my husband knows, it's kind of a joke at our house.

Reluctantly, I limp to the door and try to put on an inviting smile and pleasant tone, hoping that they just concentrate on my face and fail to notice the other discrepancies in my appearance. It's a very nice older gentleman who lets me know that they've just come to get the tractor that their son in law left parked in the field across from my house after doing some volunteer work for hubby on Sunday. "Awesome" I say. And then throw in a "have a nice day!" as an afterthought.

Someday, I will learn to always listen to the nagging voice in my head, to shower first so that I always look presentable. Oh hell, who am I kidding? That's so not happening. I mean, seriously, what would I write about then??

Rockin my mismatched hideous pjs,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Friends, family and revenge...

Everyone who reads this blog rocks my socks. You will never know how much your comments meant to me last week. I could check my email with my cell phone while in town and the constant flow of comments and emails that were sent my way filled with support and comfort really helped. Some of them even made me smile, if only briefly. So thank you to all of you. And thank you for returning even when the blogs have been sad. I just needed to get it out.

One of the few bright spots in the week was getting to see relatives I haven't seen in a while. There aren't many who don't live around here; my aunt, uncle & cousins who live in Ohio near my sister and her family, and my cousin and his wife and baby who live about 3 hours away. And my two youngest cousins who live two hours away. Yes, my family is completely crazy (some certifiable) but I was really proud of the way we all pulled together. I had thought that it would be a clusterf*ck. Because it's a family that loves to argue. And I knew that some of the family hadn't realized that death might come so quickly. And some blamed themselves and others for decisions made. So when we all met at the funeral home, I truly expected it to go badly. I was completely surprised in a good way. Decisions were discussed and made quickly with very little dissent. At one point, angry words were spoken, but they were quickly dispelled with, everyone only concentrating on what they thought Grandma would want. And in the end, it was a beautiful funeral. I think it was exactly as she would have wanted it.

My children were amazing through the whole thing. They made me proud. Not only did they behave in a respectful manner towards everyone, they pitched in with my sister's children. They spent alot of time watching and entertaining their younger cousins to lesson the burden on Hildi & I. Part of it was because their really good kids. And part of it was because, well, who wouldn't rather be swimming at the hotel pool then standing around the last hour and a half of the viewing? I hate that it was for that reason we all pulled together so well, but I'm still proud.

So as not to be a total downer...we did have some fun, mostly of course, before grandma's passing, but some later in the week too. Lu's boyfriend Luke spent most of the week with us so he could help out with the little girls and also to be there for Lu. He'd made the mistake of telling Lu that the last time he spent the week with us he got tired of all the "ur mom" jokes. (so sorry that we have the sense of humor of 13 yr old boys). And she told me. And I told everyone. And we drove him crazy with it this last week. Even my Dad got in on the action. A typical example~

Lu: It's too big.

Sean: Ur mom's too big.

Me: That's what she said.

Dad: Who said?

Hildi: Ur mom.

You have no idea how many times we can work this into a conversation. Trust me, it's an astronomical amount. Poor Luke. And poor my mom, because she totally didn't get it most of the time. And poor Hildi's oldest daughter who still doesn't understand why we think it's funny to say that.

And then there was this conversation with Lu~

Lu: Cousin S's baby is sooo cute!

Me: Yeah he is. He looks just like his Daddy did. (my cousin and I are only 18 months apart in age and spent alot of time together growing up, even living in the same house from time to time).

Lu: Did he have blonde hair when he was little?

Me: No. His hair was always dark. We always had the same color hair. People thought we were brother and sister.

Lu: Well you don't have the same color hair now. He has sooo much gray!

Me: Um. Duh Lu. That's because I dye my hair!

Lu: Oh yeah.

My cousin thought this exchange was hilarious. Although I did point out that even if I didn't dye my hair, I'd still have less gray. And I finished the convo with a "nanny nanny boo boo". I'm still trying to get back at him for this one time...

Apparently, when I was 4 and he was 2 1/2, my mother and aunt heard screaming (me) coming from the bathroom. They rushed in and discovered me on the potty and my cousin standing in front of me with two huge handfuls of my hair. Seeing as how I had to use both hands to keep from falling in, he'd strategically planned his attack for when I was defenseless. Many years later, I felt compelled to pay him back. Being in possession of a photo of him peeing in the public swimming pool (he was like four at the time), I put it in a photo frame that sat atop one of those tabletop fountains. Appropriate, no? Then I gave it to him as a wedding gift. Don't cross me...

Again, thank you all. Have a peaceful Sunday!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm back...sort of...

I'm back. Back to blogland. Back to the Internet. Back to work. Back to life. And yet, some days I'm still feeling like a sleepwalker. Someone who's observing, but not really participating. I think grief does that to you. It creates an insulating wall between you and the rest of the world. I guess that's why they say "numb with grief". It's not all the time, just in those quiet moments when I'm left alone and my mind invariably turns to thoughts of my grandma. Not the way she was near the end, but the way she was in my childhood, early adult years, and until about a year ago. She was feisty. I think that's the one word that sums her up. Others would of course be devoted, determined, and vibrant. Grandma was a feminist, long before feminism was popular. She'd had a hard life, but she was determined to make the best of it. Life gave her lemons, but by God she made some damn fine lemonade. She was a woman to admire and emulate. She was my hero. Way back in fifth grade we had to write a paper about our hero and mine was about grandma.

She was born in 1923 to a Scottish immigrant named Harold Macready and the daughter of German immigrants, Helen Charlotte Schaefer. A year later her mother died in childbirth and Harold had to leave baby Helen (named for her mother) with his wife's parents, August and Minnie Schaefer. They were farmers and were also raising her uncles. When Harold remarried, he came back for her, but August and Minnie refused to give her up. They legally adopted her. I don't know that she ever had much of a relationship with her father after that, but she did have several half sisters that she knew and spent some time with.

She grew up poor and used to hard work. She didn't have many playmates on the farm but she was close to her uncles and grandparents. She dropped out of school after 8th grade. In 1946 she was working for her aunt and uncle who owned a tavern when she met Clyde Graham. They began seeing each other and soon she realized she was pregnant. In 1946 there were few options for unwed mothers; illegal back alley abortions, having the child and being ostracized by everyone, or marrying the father. She ended up marrying even though she didn't want to. Clyde was an abusive alcoholic, who often drank most of his paycheck. They went on to have 7 live births, 1 stillbirth, and one miscarriage that necessitated an emergency hysterectomy. My grandma used to say she got pregnant every time my grandpa laid his pants across the bed. She raised four sons and three daughters on very little money but with a strict sense of right and wrong. She was very short at only 4'11", but she had a fiery temper when crossed.

My grandmother put up with my grandfather's abuse, alcoholism and affairs until her last son was in high school. Then she finally sought a divorce. I was 7 at the time. She got royally shafted in the divorce proceedings, but she didn't care, she just wanted out. After the divorce, she worked hard to get her GED and worked outside the home until she was no longer able to due to health reasons. She rode the bus, never having learned to drive. I offered to teach her once, but she declined, saying she'd made it this far in life without it, she figured she'd make it the rest of the time. She was not a bitter woman, though she had reason to be. She was always full of laughter and she loved a good prank, which is good, because my uncles were serious mischief makers! Often using masks and sneaky techniques to scare the crap out the grandchildren. She stayed close to my grandpa's parents even after the divorce. And shared our grief when great grandma passed and a year later great grandpa followed. She also grieved for my uncle's wife and then my uncle when he passed. We also lost my cousin and his wife several years ago to a car crash. But through it all, Grandma persevered. She was the heart of our family. She kept us coming together for Sunday dinners and holidays, until she was no longer physically able. She was my friend and confidante and I could always count on her for good advice.

When CJ was small and I was pregnant with Lu, if I got lonely, I could always find willing company at grandma's house. She was always proud of me, even when there was no reason to be. She encouraged me and supported me, and often took my side in disputes with my parents. My earliest memories are of grandma's house and grandma's lap. She took care of me when I was only tiny so my parents could both work. My mother says I used to cry when she came to pick me up because I didn't want to leave grandma's. I know I always cried when we would have to leave after visits, later when we'd moved. The four years I spent in England, I missed my Grandma terribly. But she was an amazing pen pal. She wrote me long detailed letters on beautiful stationary that somehow always smelled like her perfume. I lived with her for a year, my freshman year of college. I'm so grateful now to have had that time and those memories. Though looking back, I would spend even more time with her.

I know that I got my fiery temper from her, as well as my optimism. Grandma knew how to find the silver lining. She taught me how to grocery shop on a tight budget. She taught me to go after what I want with determination. It is from her I get my love of animals, she almost always had a canine companion. She taught me that hard work, sacrifice and determination pay off. She taught me that love is unconditional. And regardless of how hard life was, her hugs were sure to make it bearable. And her absence is like a huge gaping hole.

However, I will go on, with the lessons she taught me fresh in my mind. Because, if there is an afterlife, and Grandma had a firm faith that there was, I know that she is still watching and I want to make her proud.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Memories and Tears...

I want to thank everyone for their comments and warm wishes on the last blog. They meant the world to me. I haven't been home much. I've been either at the nursing home, or a hotel in town, or with my family. I can't blog or read blogs on my current phone, but I can check email. I got your comments in email when I had a chance and they made me smile.

We had a good day Saturday. My parents were able to get some rest, Hildi and her family were here. We grilled and I made homemade potato salad and mac & cheese. Lu & Luke dyed Easter eggs with Hildi's girls and helped them make Easter bags. When they were in bed, we all sat around talking, raiding the Easter candy, filling their loot bags and hiding the eggs. Easter morning was fun. Then we had a lovely brunch. Lu, Luke & Sean kept the girls so the rest of us could go to the nursing home. My grandmother was much worse. They were having to give morphine every two hours so she was never really awake. Hildi & her husband drove 4 hours round trip to see to my parents cats and gather more things. My cousin and I spent hours holding grandma's hands and talking about memories. I got some private time to tell my grandmother how much I'd miss her and how much she's meant to me. But that if she needed to go, she should go. That when the light called to her, to follow it home. She didn't need to suffer anymore. I'll never know if she heard me, but I hope she did. Lu, Luke & Sean brought Hildi's girls in to the hotel. I told them to say their goodbyes, because I didn't think she'd make it through the night. Sean and I stayed at a hotel in town that night. My grandmother passed at 3 am. My parents were with her.

Monday, my father, Hildi & I packed up my gran's belongings from the home. We all accompanied my mother to the funeral home to help the family settle arrangements. We went with my parents to order flowers and then we took them to the hotel. Hildi's hubby had taken the girls back to my house that morning and we joined them around supper time. Today has been the first day I've rested. The next two days, visitation and funeral, will be hard. Hopefully on Friday, I'll feel like posting. Thank you for keeping my family and I in your thoughts and prayers. It means alot to me.


RIP Helen Schaefer Graham
January 10, 1923- April 5, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lumps, swollen knees, and breakdowns...

So...if you're looking for a happy funny post, I'd consider going elsewhere today. Like the Bloggess or other funny people. Because today I'm going to vent. Why? Because yesterday was pretty much the worst day in the history of my days. I mean, so far, because I'm pretty sure it might get worse as the week rolls on...

After I wrote my blog post yesterday, my Dad called. Apparently he'd received a call from my Mom saying that Grandma's condition had deteriorated rapidly and she didn't know who anyone was, they'd upped her morphine and she was probably at death's door. I was stunned, because seriously, she wasn't that bad off the day before. He was having a dilemma about weather to call Hildi and tell her to get here quick. So I told him I'd go to the nursing home, assess the sitch and call him back. Well, after that I didn't have the heart to keep reading blogs and commenting. (sorry peeps I missed getting around to.)

About this time, CJ's program coordinator called and I explained that we were facing an imminent death in the family and I wouldn't be able to get CJ as planned for the weekend. Then I burst into tears on the phone because it will be the first Easter EVER that he hasn't been with the family. But I absolutely cannot bring him into this situation or give him only half of my attention. Then I went to get in the shower and realized a cat had peed on the bathroom floor. As I'm cleaning this up (and cursing the cats), my hubby calls per my texted request. The noise in the background is so loud, I almost can't hear him. I have to shout "Grandma's worse and maybe dying today and I have to go to town and I had to cancel bringing CJ home and where the bloody h*ll are you??!" He tells me he's at the quarrry picking up a load of gravel. Seriously, I didn't even know he'd left the property. He can't take 5 seconds to text me and let me know these things?? Anyway, he's no help. So I shower and Sean and I head out. About 5 minutes into the drive, we realize my AC in my car is broken. It was supposed to have been fixed. NO. So now we have to roll down the windows and open the sunroof. Yay! I love the fine layer of gravel dust that coats absolutely everything after driving down the gravel road with the windows open, don't you?? NO. Not too mention, that when I get hot, I get way stabby. I shoot off a massively pissed off text to hubby and oldest adopted son who had supposedly fixed the AC (to the tune of $250 dollars).

We get to the nursing home to realize my mother is half delirious from lack of sleep, my grandmother is asleep finally (thank you mr. morphine), and the opinions of how rapid her decline is vary widely. So I drive my mom to my uncles in her car (to save the lives of all other drivers she may have come in contact with) and Sean follows in my POS, I mean, car. Along the way, my mother tells me that she's very proud that I'm now a paid writer and that I'm truly going after my dreams. I know now that she is beyond delirious. We get her deposited with strong admonitions to GET SOME SLEEP. Then I say screw it and take Sean to a favorite pizza place for lunch. Over extra large Cokes (thank you caffeine, thank you), salads and personal pizzas, I inform him that this moment may indeed be the highlight of my day. He asks what my mom and I were talking about in the car and I tell him. He looks thoughtful for a moment and then~

Sean: I think me and Lu and Dad have held you back quite a bit.

Me: Well, I suppose. But it was my choice to put raising a family and taking care of my home before my professional aspirations. Now, that you guys are older, I can pursue those goals. I don't regret that decision. Ever. Even if I wrote a bestseller and it was made into a blockbuster movie, no five star review will ever compare to the sense of pride I get when someone tells me how great my kids are.

Sean: Do you really feel that way?

Me: Of course. I mean good books are awesome. Good movies are awesome. But good people? They change the world.

Sadly? Lunch really was the highlight of my day. Bless you fountain Coke, bless you. I called my Dad and told him that it was hard to assess the sitch with Grandma asleep so I'd go back later and try to figure it out. But my spidey sense says that she's not going to pass away in the next 48 hours so Hildi could go with her original plan to be here on Saturday. But she might want to pack extra clothes and funeral clothes just in case. Then Sean and I ran a bazillion errands and grocery shopped. Somewhere along the way I began to have difficulty walking. My knee had been bugging me for a few days, but now it had swelled to twice it's normal size and was aching horribly. Thank goodness for carts. They offer support. Sean tried to get me to sit in one of those motorized scooters at the store. No thanks! We got everything done, I dropped him off to meet his ride to Civil Air Patrol and headed home.

Hubby and Lu carried in groceries and we put them away. The house looked great. But I realized the rug in front of the sink was soaked. I smelled it. Nope. Not cat pee (whew!). The sink is still leaking!! Hubby checks it. He's going to have to rip the entire cupboard out to fix it. Sh*t. Lu and I hurry around and head back out, so we can go back to the nursing home. By now it's 7 o'clock. I can barely walk and Lu is complaining that she's starving because she forgot to eat today. (Seriously? How come I never forget to eat??) We head to the nursing home. Two uncles, an aunt, a cousin, and an uncle's wife (she will never be considered an aunt) are there. No sign of my Mom. I call her. No answer. My uncle says she's still at his house sleeping. He and his wife get ready to leave. I ask them to please wake up Mom when they get home. Agreed. My uncle's ex-wife (my aunt) comes by. Grandma is sleeping through most of this, but finally my cousin gets her to eat three bites of strawberry shortcake and I get her to drink some water. She knows who Lu and I are, although she doesn't recognize my aunt. We leave there because it's now 9 and Lu is still whining she's starving. We go to Jimmy John's. They are out of bread and say come back in a half hour. True story. The sub shop ran out of bread.

We run to WalMart, where only 5 lanes are open and we stand in line to pay for our 5 items for 20 minutes. Lu is in a pissy mood and won't talk to me, so I forget the cardinal rule and make eye contact with the person in front of me. Now he's talking to me and he won't stop. Lu is giving me the evil eye. I'm pretty sure the guy is also staring at my cleavage. Creeper. Then he starts talking about hugs. Not happening mister, move along. Finally, we get to check out. Then we hurry back to JJ's with 5 minutes til closing. We grab sandwiches, chips and drinks for us and Sean and hurry to pick him up since we're already late. Oh! And then we almost get hit by two cars on our way out of town. The ride home is filled with giggles so that's good. We get home, congregate in the kitchen, finally eat supper (at 10:45 pm). We are all amazed at how swollen my knee is and how dumb I look limping around. And my nose piercing? Well it's been looking a little funny. So I take it out (which actually hurts worse than the piercing itself) and discover a horrid red lump. I think it looks kind of blisterish, so I sterilize a needle and poke it. It bleeds copiously. That was NOT a good idea.

Hubby: What are you 5??! What's that? I don't know. Let's poke it with a stick.

Hmmm...that was kind of the logic I used. I run in Lu's room to show her and she's completely grossed out. I went to bed. I looked it up on the Internet this morning and apparently it's a keloid, or build up of scar tissue. I'll have to see a doctor about it. But for now, I have a hideously ugly red lump on my nose. Ugh.

I did call my Dad and Hildi and tell her to stick to her original plan. I think my Gran will hold on at least for the weekend. I finally talked to my Mom and she was headed to the nursing home to stay the night. I'm headed back in later today.

I am an eternal optimist, but yesterday? Well, it tested even my powers of finding a silver lining. But it's got to get better, right??


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good News/ Bad News...

First...I've been so busy lately, I meet myself coming and going. This week is out of control. As a result, I'm behind on reading and commenting on other's blogs. I will catch up! Hopefully tomorrow before I head to Springfield to pick up CJ. We got some news on my grandmother yesterday and they've moved her condition to "comfort care". Which means they are only making her comfortable in these last few weeks. And we really are only looking at weeks. I'm spending a lot of time at the nursing home. I'm holding up well with regards to grandma. She's 87 and she's had a long life. At this point, she's not lucid much of the time, and I think she's ready to go. Spending that much time in the vicinity of my family however, is very trying. I may begin drinking heavily. I mean vodka in a Nalgene bottle could pass for water, right? I'm kidding. And then again. I'm not.

My Grandma and I

I wanted to participate in Little Miss Blogger's Rant and Rave Wednesdays, but I'm a day late and a dollar short (story of my life). So today is "Good news/Bad news" Thursday. Enjoy...

The Good News is I've started to find work on the Guru website. The bad news is some of the companies are less than professional.

The Good News is my family will all be here for Easter. Consequently, the bad new is that my family will all be here for Easter.

The Good News is one of my friends got an agent to ask for her novel manuscript, and I am sooo incredibly thrilled for her! Seriously, this is the best news ever. The bad news is I haven't even finished my novel.

The Good News is that puddle I stepped in on the floor of the kitchen and then tracked all over wasn't cat pee. The bad news is it was water from the sink which was leaking profusely. (now fixed)

The Good News is that Lu took me to see the new Nicholas Sparks movie "The Last Song" last night and it was amazing. The bad news is that I bawled my eyes out and have a lingering headache this morning. Not to mention how awful I looked when I walked out of that theatre!

The Good News is Sean had a telephone job interview and they really wanted to hire him. The bad news is they couldn't because of his summer jobs and trip so they told him to call back in the fall. Which means I continue to pay for his gas & insurance...and truck repairs.

The Good News is I started working out on my Wii Fit again with the kids and we are having a load of fun. The bad news is apparently I gained 5 lbs since January and if that thing yells out "obese" one more time I swear to Bob it's getting tossed out the window.

The Good News is I started submitting again. The bad news is I can't quite seem to find the time to write fiction. Darned kids thinking I should spend "family time" with them and all. Aren't they supposed to not like spending time with me by this age??!

The Good News is the weather got sunny and warm. The bad news is we hit a record high of 81 degrees yesterday. For real weather? The hell?! I do not want to go from heat to AC in the same week.

The Good News is Lu is cleaning my house today. The bad news is that I have to go to town to do the grocery shopping, pick up meds, and flea stuff for the cats. (Hello warm weather, please keep your pests outside).

That's pretty much my week in a nutshell! Feel free to play along.

Happy Thursday,