Thursday, December 15, 2011

The one where we adopt a code word...

So Sean's ex-girlfriend (and yet, still my favorite future daughter-in-law) fussed at me about not blogging the other day. So you can pretend that you all gave me a lecture. And here I am, trying to appease you, my faithful audience. It's my birthday and I really want to do one of those sappy "another year older, yet wiser" birthday posts. But I don't have time for that today. So today, you get another funny (hopefully) glimpse into our ridiculous household.

We all know how this Christmas thing goes: we shop, we decorate, we bake (well, some people do anyway), we hand make beautiful gift baskets (or at least I used to, now I have no time), we spend time with people we love and we make merry. That about sums it up in a nutshell. But what about those odd Christmas occasions, here and there, that we have absolutely no desire to attend, yet, feel obligated to? We have a few of those~

Me: Do we have to go?

Mike: I think it's expected.

Me: But I don't wanna...

Mike: Me either.

Me: Okay, so how about that day I'll stand on the porch steps and you push me off, necessitating a trip to the ER, thus giving us the perfect excuse for not being there?

Mike: You're kidding, right?

Me: Um, yes. No. Not really. But don't make me land on my head, because I don't have time for a concussion. And not my arms or wrists or anything, because I have to be able to work...

Mike: I'm pretty sure that's not a good idea.

Me: Um. Fine. But I'm going to start drinking before we go.

Mike: That's probably not a good idea, either. You have a tendency to tell people what you think of them when you drink very much.

Me: Don't be silly. I always tell people what I think of them.

Mike: True. But sober Spot does it with a sweet smile, the hint of an accent and in words so big, that most people don't realize you've insulted them until hours later. Tipsy Spot just tells them, "I don't like you."

Me: Fine. Well how about I still have a drink or two and we develop a code word? Something that you can say that will let me know I'm saying too much.

Mike: Like what?

Me: How about "ur mom"?

Mike: My mom?

Me: No! "Ur mom", kind of as in my mom.

Mike: You want me to say "your mom"?

Me: No. I want you to say "ur mom". It sounds totally different.

Mike: "Ur mom"?

Me: Exactly!

Mike: That's not going to work.

Me: Why not?

Mike: Because I'm pretty sure that no one over the age of 15 actually says "ur mom" and I don't know how I'd work that into a conversation.

Me: I don't know what you're talking about. Me and the kids say it all the time.

Mike: Yeah...

Me: So does my sister.

Mike: Again, yeah...

Me: Whatevs...

Mike: I don't think adults say that either.

Later that day~

Me: So I tried to get your dad to push me off the porch so we wouldn't have to go to "x".

Lu: That might be a bit drastic.

Me: Yeah, my luck I'd break a wrist or something. So I tried to get him to say a code phrase when I was getting too honest. But he wouldn't play along.

Lu: What phrase?

Me: "ur mom". I thought it was perfect. He said he couldn't work it into conversation.

Lu: What? He could totally say "that's what ur mom says!"

Me: Exactly. He's such a killjoy.

So, long story short, Mike did not push me off the porch. Nor did I imbibe heavily before I left the house. And I behaved. And not a single solitary person said "ur mom" all night long...(which might be why I didn't want to go in the first place.)

I hope that everyone is having a fabulous holiday season! May all your occasions be merry!


PS- I'm participating in a blog hop called the "Twelve days of Creepfest" on my other blogs. I'm having contests, so you could win prizes, so stop by either See Spot Read or The Author Spot and enter the contests. Did I mention there were prizes??

Monday, November 28, 2011

The one where charity begins at home...

Right. I know. You're all mad at me and probably no one even reads this blog anymore because I can't be bothered to write it. I'm sorry. *hangs head in shame* But honestly, I'm so busy living...that I don't always have time to write about it. And I don't know whether I can apologize about that.

Anywho, I do owe you guys a blog post about Mike & I's trip to New Orleans, complete with pictures, and I promise that one is coming. But this one is slightly more important.

Lately, I've been feeling ultra-charitable. Don't get me wrong, we've always tried to be charitable, I've tried to raise the kids to appreciate their blessings and give to those less fortunate. I think it worked pretty well, both of them will donate their time to a good cause. Lu cannot pass a Salvation Army bell-ringer without emptying her (and whoever happens to be with her's) pockets of change. We donate old clothes and shoes to the Salvation Army store. We've given away furniture and unused TVs. I recently redecorated the living room and donated all the old decorations.

And in New Orleans? Well, Mike wouldn't let me carry cash because I kept giving it to homeless people. Especially those with dogs. Something about those homeless dogs really got to me. When we got home I started feeling a tug every time a commercial for a non-profit would come on. I started debating the relative merits of donating to UNICEF, ASPCA and the WWF. You've seen the commercials, who can resist those sad eyed children or kittens? And don't even get me started on the tigers... I figured I could spare a little, and there were so many organizations who need help. But then I found a charity closer to home.

I noticed last time that I picked CJ up from his group home that he had some flaky patches on his scalp. We used some head and shoulders shampoo and I bought him a bottle to take back to his house. When I dropped it off, they told me that all the kids had been switched to a body wash/shampoo combo soap. Obviously, it wasn't working for CJ, but I'd bought him new shampoo. When I picked him up this time, I told them I'd bring special shampoo, soap and lotion back for him. We discussed how the new soap wasn't really working for any of them. I couldn't get that out of my head. Some of the boys in CJ's house have toileting issues still. That can't be good for their skin.

When we were driving CJ back to his house after Thanksgiving, I reminded Sean that I had to stop and get CJ some hygiene products. And that while I understood that smaller budgets and dwindling money sources had forced his school into trying to save money where they could, switches like these really bothered me.

"Why don't you buy enough good body wash for all the boys?" Sean asked.

Why didn't I? I talked to one of his aides and asked if that would be a problem or if we'd need special permission for them to use it. She said not as long as it was on the approved list. Whaddya know? Suave body wash for men was on the approved list. And since that's what I buy my guys at home, I figured it's what I'd buy these guys too. She said they'd go through 8-10 bottles a month. I bought one for each boy and got them started. But I'll be sending more their way. Everyone deserves decent soap, shampoo and lotion. Especially those who can't buy it for themselves.

Take a look around you this season and find someone who really needs your help. Pay it forward. I dare you.


PS- Many of the children with disabilities who attend CJ's school have families of their own. Some of those families struggle to send their children to a place where they can receive the special instruction and care that they need. Some of them live far away and don't get to visit often. And some of the children are wards of the state, with no parents. They can always use donations of clothing (all sizes), games, books, dvds, ect for the residential dorms and group houses. We have donated many items over the years and they are always very grateful.

**Update- here is the link to The Hope Institute's Webpage for those of you who would like to donate. They and I thank you.**

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The one with the zombie giraffes...

As you all know, we have some wicked outlandish conversations at my house. Its pretty much the norm, as a matter of fact. Well, while Mike was in the hospital, Sean came to visit every day. As Mike slept a lot, I was glad of the company. While we were watching what passes for TV there, an advertisement for a documentary on the zombie phenomenon in pop culture came on. And this conversation ensued~

Me: I hope we're home by then, because I totally want to watch that.

Sean: Me too. Just to laugh at your generation's ideas about zombies.

Me: 'Scuse me?

Sean: You know, now that my generation has actual fact to support zombies. We were raised with enough knowledge of DNA, genomes and molecular mutation (I must admit that at this point all I heard was blah, blah, blah) that we understand how zombies could happen and why they aren't really dead.

Me: I'm not really sure what you just said, but I think you're full of sh*t.

Sean: I'm not full of sh*t. I'm just smarter than you.

Me: I'll give you that you have a higher IQ, but that means nothing when it comes to zombies, because I'm like a freakin expert here. And zombies are too dead. They're the walking dead. Duh. Everyone knows that. They travel in hordes.

Sean: No they aren't. Zombies are live people who blah blah blah.

Me: (Somehow, my brain has jumped the track and I'm off course) OMG. Do you think sharks could become zombies? I mean if dogs and cats can become zombies, then sharks could right? That's freakin scary. Or alligators! What's scarier than a freakin zombie alligator?!

Sean: Um. Sharks and alligators already attack people so I'm not sure they'd be any scarier as zombies than they already are.

Me: Oh. Well then let's pick something that doesn't already eat people. What about Giraffes? Pretty non-scary to begin with but all of a sudden, wham!! Scary!!

Sean: Giraffes are herbivores, they eat leaves and grass. So they'd just go around attacking trees. Not scary. Extremely goofy.

Me: It doesn't matter what you eat before you become a zombie. The mutation that causes zombiefication would cause a craving for flesh. Therefore, anything that became a zombie would eat flesh.

Sean: Their digestive systems couldn't handle flesh. They'd still eat leaves.

Me: They're dead! Do you think vegan zombies are going to go around eating beans? No! They're going to eat people.

Sean: But human digestive systems are equipped to eat meat. It's not a matter of evolution, its a matter of preference. Giraffes don't prefer leaves, they're genetically programmed to eat them.

Me: (jumping the track once more because its how I roll, peeps) Wait! Do you think if Giraffes "accidentally" ate flesh, they'd develop a craving for it? (I did do air quotes on the "accidentally")

Sean: Zombie giraffes or regular giraffes?

Me: Oh regular. Not zombie, live giraffes.

Sean: How is a giraffe going to "accidentally" ingest flesh?! I think you'd have to practically force feed it to them.

Me: Okay, so say a serial killer works at a zoo and he wants to dispose of a body so he cuts it up and mixes it with the giraffe's food.

Sean: I think if a serial killer worked at the zoo, there are far more likely animals to feed a body to. You know, like Lions or Tigers.

Me: Okay okay, so say he just accidentally gets some in the giraffe's food. Taste for flesh, or no?

Sean: I think it would get very sick, so no.

Me: Whatever. Man eating Giraffes. I think they're scary.

Sean: Nope. Just goofy.

Me: I hope it eats you while you're busy laughing at it.

I'm pretty sure there's a story in there somewhere. And you all might want to look a little closer next time you go to the zoo. Giraffes have really big teeth.

Happy Sunday,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The one where I get angry...

Yep. I'm angry today. I'm angry at my husband. Why? Because I love him, that's why. But he doesn't listen very well, so I'm writing him this letter. And I know he'll see it because he reads my blog.

Dear Mike,

I love you. Do you know that? You should after what we've been through the last year and a half,  the good, the bad and the hideously ugly. I've been right by your side, through it all. Sometimes for days on end.

I can't possibly let you know exactly what it was like to sit by your bedside in the ICU after the accident and wait and worry and make deals with the Universe in my head for your survival. I can't tell you what it was like to try to stay awake, convinced that something bad would happen if I closed my eyes, if for a second, I lost my focus.

I can't tell you what it was like, even after you were doing better, to be afraid to leave the hospital, to leave your side. No one told you how I'd begin to shake if I was gone longer than a half an hour. How great the need to keep you in my sight was.

I can't tell you how hard it was for me to let you out of my sight once we were back home. How scared I was to let you drive anywhere by yourself. How I sat there, staring at my phone, waiting for the text saying that you made it safely.

But I did it. You pulled through and so did I. And gradually, I learned to let it go, that I didn't have to be constantly vigilant, that it was going to be OK.

Then you got really sick in February and we did the hospital thing again. Luckily, it was over quickly and you were better, nearly overnight. And you were cranky. But I stayed there with you and I put up with your crankiness, because I was still so grateful that you were alive. Ok. Little speed bump. No big deal.

Then last weekend you got sick again. At first, I wasn't really that worried. I hated that you were feeling so bad, but I figured a night in the hospital, IV fluids and antibiotics and you'd perk up. Just like February. But it didn't happen that way. You ran a high temp for 3 days. Your white count shot up. The doctor was stumped. I was petrified.

I can't tell you what it was like to be there, again. Doing the bedside vigil and wondering if you were going to kick this thing or if it was something much more serious. You were asleep more than you were awake and you weren't real clear when you were awake. But you never knew how scared I was, because I didn't show it. And when you began to worry, I'm the one who curled up in the bed beside you and gave you a pep talk.

And you pulled through again. And you began to get sarcastic and I knew you were getting better. We came home yesterday and you slept mostly. The kids remarked that when you were awake, you were grumpy. Tell me about it. And yet, I didn't hold it against you.

So why am I angry? Because after all of this, you still refuse to take care of yourself. The doctor said that you still have the pneumonia and you were supposed to go home and rest. I'm pretty sure that didn't mean going immediately back to work this morning. Remember last night when you got up, walked from the living room to the kitchen and had a coughing fit so bad, you doubled over? Remember how you had to sleep sitting up in the chair last night, because you couldn't breathe?

And yet, this morning, you were gone before I got up and didnt' come back in to take a break for four hours. Does that sound like resting to you? Really? And so I fussed at you. And you said you hadn't done anything physical except drive around in your truck and talk to people.

Well, driving isn't resting. And talking to people is what got you into this in the first place. People have a million germs and I know for a fact that you weren't wearing a mask like you should have been. I'm pretty sure you didn't have any hand sanitizer either. You're immune system is already in a seriously weakened state and yet you insist on pushing your luck. So we had words. And I told you that next week when you're in the hospital again, I'm not going to be there. Because its not fair. Its not fair to put me in that position when you can avoid it. I told you I'd hire a babysitter to sit with you. Its an idle threat because you know I wouldn't do that. You know I'll be there.

You insisted that you'd be fine. I wondered when you developed psychic powers and the ability to know the future and why you hadn't shared that with me before. Maybe you will be fine. I hope so.

But for now, as I sit in my office, listening to you cough up a lung in the living room, I'm a tad on the skeptical side. So I'm not speaking to you. Because its not fair to yourself, its not fair to your job, and its damn sure not fair to the people who love you, to take risks with your health. But you don't listen. So I'm saving my breath.


Sorry for the rant peeps, but sometimes people need to know what you're really thinking.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The one where things look up...

Thought I'd blog for those of you who aren't my Facebook friends. Mike has finally rounded the corner and is feeling better. His temp hasn't gone above 100 all day. He's still got a headache and he's still wiped out, but he's feeling better. The doctor has decided to switch him to oral antibiotics and let us go home tomorrow, provided the fever stays down tonight. Fingers crossed. We're both ready to head home.

The doctors still aren't sure exactly what Mike has, but they do know what it's not. It's not cancer. (whew!) His heart is good, no infection, no leaky valves, looks strong. It's not Lyme disease, Lupus, West Nile Virus, or meningitis. *sigh of relief* The best guess? He caught a virus sometime last week, then he was exposed to strep (most likely) last weekend. The two together were too much for his almost non-existent immune system, and quickly ran rampant through his body. While in the hospital, he also developed pneumonia. But after all of the antibiotics and antivirals, he's finally recovering. He won't be up to speed for another several days, (and if he tries to be- I will duct tape him to the couch- for real- I'm not playing around here) but at least he'll be home.

So here are a few funny episodes from our hospital stay:

After we finally get to our room, at 11pm Saturday night~

Me: Boy, the coyotes sure are...*trails off*

Mike: *stares at me*

Me: That's a siren, isn't it?

Mike: Yep.

The nurse asking Mike questions during admin~

Nurse: So how did all this start?

Mike: *mumbles*

Nurse: *looks at me*

Me: *translates* It's cool, I speak mumble.

And after too many days trapped in a tiny room together~

Mike: I'm just going to warn you, I'm feeling really grumpy and whiny today.

Me: And I'm just going to warn you, that if get too bad, they'll be picking linen fibers out of your nose at your autopsy.

Nurse: (who happened to walk in during conversation) *gasps*

Me: Just kidding. I don't get to collect the insurance money if I kill him.

Nurse: *still looking at me like I've lost my mind*

Please keep your collective fingers crossed that all goes well and we are home tomorrow! And thank you for the many good wishes and positive thoughts and prayers. I love you guys.


Monday, October 17, 2011

The one where we're in the hospital again *sigh*

So we're in the hospital again. You'd think by now we'd have a wing of our own, or at least a room, or maybe just a special comfy chair for me. But no, no special treatment. Except that we have the best doctor- Dr. (House) Saeed, the adorable hero of this post.

It started Saturday. Mike had to get up super early, like butt-crack of dawn early, before the sun, at 4am. He says he felt fine when he got up. I wouldn't know because I was doing what all (mostly) sane people do at that time- sleeping. But by the time I woke up, at the much more reasonable time of 8, he had texted me to say he wasn't feeling well. I told him to come up to the house and get some Motrin. He did, I took his temp, no fever, but he said he was cold. Unfortunately, that is usually exactly how him getting very sick starts. In fact, he put on pants (instead of shorts, it really was a lovely day out) and grabbed a jacket. By 2 he was back inside for more Motrin and a stocking cap ( I kid you not). Still no fever. By 3:30, he was down for the count. He could barely make it to the couch and was shivering so bad his teeth were chattering. Fever of 101. I called the Dr. answering service and Dr. Saeed just happened to be the one on call. He said take him to the ER, he was admitting him. I was smart enough to pack a bag!

By the time we got to the ER, his fever was up to 102.9, his headache was killing him and he was miserable. His white count was double what it should be and we were, of course, staying. They finally got his fever to break about 4am, but it kept spiking back up. When the fever was gone, he felt some better, but mostly slept. Not knowing exactly what was wrong they started giving him massive doses of antibiotics. When those didn't seem to be doing it, they added antiviral meds. His white count continued to climb. Nothing seems to be working.

Today, he woke up with 101.9 fever and feeling horrible. They finally got the fever broken, but he's definitely feeling less than well. His white count had dropped a half number. The Dr. said he thought that was mild progress and the fact that his fever was a little less was a good sign. That was at 3pm.

At 4pm his fever spiked back to 102.9. They got it broken again, but still. After so many antibiotics and antivirals that I'm almost positive he's going to glow in the dark, he shouldn't be running such a high fever. They are running two more tests tonight, and I hope that we have some kind of results tomorrow. Today was nothing but waiting and hoping that something would start working.

I don't know how long we will be here. They can't let him go with the fever or the white count this high. We're both frustrated and he's feeling badly. (I know this because he's not complaining about being here. Normally he's begging to go home and stressing about work. He's still stressing a little about work, of course, but only when he's not feverish. Hopefully, tomorrow brings better news, or any news.

Keeping that bedside vigil,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The one where music is useful...

So my husband actually got on me the other day about blogging. No, he wasn't telling me to stop. He was telling me it had been too long in between posts. Apparently, he checks out my blog every couple of days. I found this pretty humorous. I mean, he lives with me, he knows what goes on.

Then he came in yesterday and said that one of the scout ladies (the one who painted the thunder bird sign and did a fantastic job of it) was looking at some pictures someone had tagged on FB of her son and somehow ended up at my blog. He clearly admitted he had no clue how FB worked so I explained how this random occurrence may have happened. Anywho, he said that she started reading this blog and her husband was reading the work on my author blog. So hello new people! I love you. Thank you for reading my ramblings. Of course, if you know Mike and Sean, you know it's all true.

And I know that you guys are still waiting on the wedding post. And I have another post about Sean & I in Ohio, but honestly, I'm swamped with work right now so this has to be just a quick funny post.

We like music. Not unusual I'm sure, except that we have very eclectic tastes and on road trips have to listen to some of every one's music. This makes for some entertaining CDs, let me tell you. Recently, music popped up in a couple of conversations~

On Lu's wedding day, as we were driving to the salon to get her hair done~

Me: So are you excited?

Lu: Yes, very.

Me: Are you super nervous?

Lu: I am. Marriage is a big commitment.

Me: It is. And you come from a long line of very long marriages. And marriage is hard work. But just remember, when times get hard, remember when you were sitting there by the water, he put his arm around you for the first time...

Lu: What?

Me: It works for Tay-tay.

Lu: Are you quoting me Taylor Swift lyrics as marriage advice?

Me: Yes. And also- Love is a battlefield.

And when Sean and I were driving back from Ohio, we were listening to Hot Chelle Rae's "Tonight tonight". At the end of the song, I was singing the "whoa, oh, oh" part.~

Sean: Why are just singing the "whoa, oh, oh" part?

Me: Because I'm good at it. Listen, "whoa, oh, oh"

Sean: You know most people like to picture themselves as the lead singer and sing that part.

Me: Um, I know my limitations. I'm not lead singer material. I'm definitely more of a "whoa, oh, oh" singer. Or maybe a "La, la, la" girl.

Sean: Only you.

Me: I'm comfortable with the back up singer role, because I'm pretty sure that lead singer can't write a story to scare the stuffing out of anyone.

And when my sister, Sean and I were going car shopping~

Me: Sean, you are looking sick and sexified.

Sean: I've got that glitter on my eyes.

Hildi: And your stockings, ripped up the sides?

Me: And his hot pants, on and up.

Hildi: I got Jesus on my neck-a-lus.

Sean: We are who we are.

That's from Key-dollar sign-ha's song "We are who we are" in case you don't listen to Ke$ha. And yes, we're liable to comment with a line from a song at any point in time. No matter the gravity of the situation. Because we really are who we are.

So I hope someone gets a giggle out of this. I will try to post more frequently so my hubby knows what I'm doing. And because you all deserve it.

Happy Sunday,

Monday, September 26, 2011

The one where I went AWOL (again)

I cannot believe its been so long since I posted. But suffice it to say that things have been crazy busy around here. And I know you're all expecting a "Lu got married" post, but its not happening today. Sorry. Its in the works, but I don't have that kind of time today, because you guys will want pics and the whole works.

I will say that it was a Beeyoooteefull wedding and Lu looked amazing and Luke was awestruck by her and the whole thing went off without a hitch because I'm OCD and had a plan "B" setting in case it rained on the outdoor wedding thing (which it did). Getting Lu to plan and committ to anything is like pulling teeth so I was stressed out until the Friday before, when I finally gave up and took care of all the details myself so that I could get some sleep in which I did not grind my teeth and wake up with a headache. So she is now officially Mrs. Flanagan. Yes, that is super weird.

In other important family news: Dylan is growing like we feed him Acme insta-grow. At two months old he has grown 4 inches in length and put on 4 1/2 pounds. He's a big guy. And vocal! I don't remember my kids ever cooing and responding as well as he does. Already, he'll talk your ear off if you let him. I can't wait til he has words, because I am dying to know what the heck he's saying. He loves his bouncy chair, will only stay in the swing if the classical music it plays is turned on, and rarely really cries. He is delightful and I'm completely in love with him. Oh and Lu has decided that he will call me "Mimi" instead of Grandma. And her Dad is "Pawpaw". Don't ask, I didn't.

Sean is an Eagle Scout. He finished his project before his birthday, had his board of review and its all over but the celebrating. We will be having his ceremony sometime in October. He's getting ready to enlist. Can't seem to talk him out of the Marines.

Mike is doing well. His insurance lawsuit over the accident was finally settled satifactorily. He's gearing down from the summer season and getting ready for duck & goose season. Don't go all "hunting's bad" on me. He loves it and will rationally tell you all of the ways in which it helps to control the population AND the conservation methods and ethics. Plus, he makes me cook the kills so it doesn't go to waste. And let me just say-- I HATE Duck. It tastes like liver. But he and Sean eat it. Goose is pretty good.

And me- well you can hop on over to The Author Spot for all my author news. But I'll just say, I love my job. Love love love. We talked about retirement the other day and I said I was pretty sure Editors didn't retire, they just go blind. And I'm super pumped because Mike & I are taking our very first ever vacation without kids or young adults or anybody!! Yep! We are going to New Orleans for a week in November, just the two of us. Super excited. Staying at a fabulous apartment in the Garden District, a couple of blocks from Anne Rice's house! And I got a steal on the price! I'm looking forward to everything about the trip. I mean, for real, do you know how many cemeteries there are in New Orleans?! Yay!

So here are some recent convos-

Laying in bed the other night, there is some amazing howling going on outside-

Me: I just realized that we no longer have a dog. What is all that howling?

Mike: Coyotes

Me: Are you sure? I've never heard them howl quite like that before.

Mike: I'm sure.

Me: You're sure it's not werewolves?

Mike: Could be, I guess. But its probably coyotes. *and he rolled over and went to sleep*

Sean and I while having coffee on our back deck:

Me: Man, its gorgeous out here today. All I want to do is sit here and enjoy the view. I have no motivation.

Sean: Welcome to the club.

Me: There's a "no motivation" club now? So what, are you like the president?

Sean: Yep. And there's an annual fee of $25. It's another $24 if you want the t-shirt.

Me: Ouch. That's pretty steep. Wait...there's a t-shirt?

Sean: Well, there will be once I get the motivation to make it.

The other night when I planned to have spaghetti for dinner, Lu and Sean were complaining. Mind you, Lu loved spaghetti while she was pregnant and it's always been one of Sean's favorites. Well, until he had to eat it nearly every week at camp this summer. Finally, I said if I heard one more complaint, we'd be eating spaghetti every night for a week. I made it my Facebook status so they'd be sure to see it.

Lu: I saw your Facebook status, so I warned Sean.

Me: Good.

Lu: Because I know you are crazy enough to actually do that.

Me: It's not a matter of crazy. Its just good parenting.

Lu: How do you figure that?

Me: The key to parenting is consistency. Don't make a threat you don't intend to keep. Your Dad and I really like spaghetti and its cheap to make so it would be an easy carry through.

Lu: I'm still chalking it up to crazy...

Happy Monday y'all!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The one where my children make me laugh...

Okay, so that's pretty much every post. My children are silly and ridiculous and crazy just like I am and we spend a lot of time laughing at each other. Personally, I'm convinced that's a good thing. I think it works as well as my Oil of Olay to keep me looking and feeling young. So these are some snippets from this week...

Lu had her 6 week check up at the doctor after Dylan's birth. And because she hates to go anywhere and especially to the doctor by herself, she drug me along.

Me: I can't believe you lost 21 pounds already. That's amazing.

Lu: It's not enough. I'm still fat and gross.

Me: You are not fat and gross. Your body just changes when you have a baby and never goes back to quite the same. But you look gorgeous and healthy and amazing.

Lu: My thighs are enormous. They rub together.

Me: Um, no. Your thighs are not enormous. My thighs are enormous and rub together. Yours barely whisper "hello" in passing.

*Huge eye-roll from her*

Me: I'm so blogging this.

And Sean and I went to see the Air Force and Navy Recruiters-

Air force- You'd be really great at special ops. We really need para-rescue, combat control, and combat weather.

Me- what does combat weather do?

Sean- duh. They're weathermen.

Me- but how do you combat the weather? I mean, it just is, there's nothing you can do about it.

Air force- (trying not to laugh) they monitor the weather conditions in the combat zone. If the wind is blowing 300 miles an hour you can't jump out of a plane. Well, you can. You just won't make it to the ground with a parachute.

Me- ohhh...


Navy- So let me ask you this- if you went into infantry in the Marines, what would you do with that when you got out? There's not a lot of call for guys who just know how to kill people.

Sean- well I'd probably start out with bank robbing and depending upon my level of success and degree of enjoyment, I might try out serial killing.

Me- he's a bit of a smart ass. Good luck with that.


Navy- and since you're stuck on the boat for six months and get a little stir crazy, we stop in different ports so you can have some R&R.

Me- and that's how the Navy got their reputation. Shore Leave.

Sean- She's a bit of a smart ass too.

Navy- must be where you get it.

Later in the car, Sean and I were discussing his options. And I asked about search and rescue or being a Navy diver.

Sean: I hate rescuing people.

Me: But you're a lifeguard.

Sean: I know and I hate it. I had to rescue ten kids this summer and I hate it. I just want to say "Listen moron, if you can't swim that well you probably shouldn't be in water over your head."

Me: But you still saved them.

Sean: And you know the stupidest rescue? The one where the kid was wearing a life jacket. For criminy sake! A life jacket! Swim your ass back to shore! And out of ten rescues? Only one kid said "thank you."

Me: Really? That is kind of sucky. I'd totally thank someone if they rescued me.

Sean: Yeah, and that was one I pulled out for hypothermia. Poor kid apologized for having to be rescued and then said thank you. But I still had to get in that cold water and he got my shirt and towel wet also so I was freezing after that.

Me: So rescue of any kind is out for Sean, the reluctant lifeguard. So noted.

See, total ridiculousness. It's what we do. Also, if Lu doesn't stop being so damn picky and find a dress for her wedding soon, I'm going to pull my hair out. She has no clue what she wants. She won't even decide on a flower for the bouquet. We have two weeks left here folks. Two short weeks. Arghhhh...


PS- first I bitch about not getting enough comments and then I hide the comment thingie. Smart, eh? For those of you having trouble- it's invisible until you roll over it with your mouse. It's right by the time stamp. I'll try to get it back....

Monday, August 29, 2011

The one where things change...

The times they are a-changin'. Again. They seem to be constantly doing that lately. I think time speeds up as you age and everything happens at a faster rate of speed. Or maybe we just lose attention span and aren't fully focused. I'm totally blaming this on age. Because I can, that's why.

So the first change is obvious...I changed the design of my blog and went back to the original picture. I love that picture. Being at the ocean makes me happy. Also? I think it defines the "edge". And I almost always feel as if I'm on the edge of something. These days it's usually something exciting. I also simplified the design. I felt it was taking too long to load and had too many distracting elements. So there you go. I hope you like it. I do.

The second change is that I'm about to be a mother-in-law. Yep, you read it right. Lu & Luke are tying the proverbial knot. They got engaged last week. I know- you're dying to hear the story of how he popped the question. And even if you aren't, I'm going to tell you anyway. Luke works nights at a steel factory and comes home covered in black grime. So the first thing he does is shower. But last Tuesday night he came home a little late and Lu was so busy worrying that he was late, she didn't notice that he was clean and had changed clothes. He'd also brought her home a cherry slushie & mozz sticks from Sonic which are two of her very favorite things. On one of the mozz sticks was a gorgeous diamond engagement ring. Cheezy story, huh?

I knew it was coming (I helped pick out the rings) but it was still odd. My little girl has a baby and will soon have a husband. How does this happen so fast? They are getting married in a very small outdoor ceremony on September 18th. Only immediate family and their closest friends will be in attendance. Luke is enlisting in the Air Force that week and they will be having a big wedding and reception after he finishes basic and tech school. Not knowing, exactly when that will be, we will start the dress shopping and wedding planning right away. So exciting!!

Lu & Dylan will stay with us while he's away. Then, they'll join him at his first assignment. I'm excited they are about to start their lives, but sad that they will probably be moving fairly far away. I guess I will be traveling a lot to see my grandbaby!

Sean is back from his travels and has some amazing stories to tell! He met some of the most interesting people. I guess we both know the cool kids. He's applying to work at the steel factory with Luke so that he make some bank. But first on his priority list is talking to the recruiters and enlisting. He's wanted to be a Marine since he was six. To make me happy he's agreed to talk to the Air Force and Navy recruiters as well, before enlisting. Too soon, I may have an empty nest. And again, I'll have to travel to see him. Good thing I can work from anywhere, huh?

And I must apologize- I totally left town without alerting the blogosphere. We went to my sister's in Ohio last week and stayed with a friend in Indy on the way back. Visits to my parents bookended the trip. Lu, Dylan and Sean went with me. I do have some funny stories (and pics) to share next time. But the thing that made me giggle was a text I got, two days into my trip.

J: Did you leave your house without letting the blogosphere know? How can we keep track of you if you do things like that?

So you all have my deepest apologies. I'll try to make it easier to stalk me from now on.


PS- For those of you who wondered (you know who you are), Sean did indeed make a fried egg sandwich his very first morning home from New Mexico.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The one where we pick up a hitchhiker

I know- you're all freaking out, going "You did WHAT?" Settle down now. It's not what you think. I mean I did pick up a hitchhiker, but it was a blind boy. See, you're not so worried now, right? Have you ever heard of a blind serial killer? No, didn't think so.

Friday night Lu and I decided at around 7pm that we needed to eat something for dinner. And we both agreed that DQ sounded amazing. So we put Baby Dylan in his car seat and headed to Hamilton. Hamilton is a tiny town about twenty minutes north of us if you take the back roads. And we always take the back roads. Those roads are the roads my kids learned to drive on. There's hardly ever many cars on them and they wind through sleepy little towns, well if you can call a collection of houses a town. So we drive through the first little town and round a curve when I see a guy waving his arms over his head to flag me down.

Lu: Don't stop!

Me: But it might be important. There might be an accident or something.

Lu: Or he might be a serial killer.

Me: (slowing down) Lu, I'm just going to roll down my window a bit and see what's going on.

Lu: What if he has a gun?

Me: (Almost at a stop and close enough to really see the guy) Lu, it's just a kid.

Lu: So were the children of the corn!!

I stop, roll down my window, and realize that there's something wrong with the kid. He looks about twelve and I realize his eyes aren't focusing and he's blind. So I ask what he needs and he starts walking towards my voice. He runs into the door of my car.

Him: I'm blind.

Me: Yep. I got that. Can I help you?

Him: Well, I'm walking to Tioga and I just wondered how close I was.

Me: You're walking there by yourself?

Him: Yeah, it's okay, I do it alot. I go all over.

Me: Where are your folks? (who lets a blind kid wonder around by themselves??)

Him: Oh the're at home. We don't really get along. My dad's 71. I'm adopted.

Me: (thinking age is no excuse for letting a blind kid walk around by himself) well you don't have any weapons on you, do you?

Him: No. Just cash.

Me: Get in the car, I'll take you back to Tioga. (Lu is frantically shaking her head in the back)

Him: Thanks a lot. I'm going to Mark Foster's. Its a trailer house. Do you know where that is?

Me: No. I'm not from Tioga. Which side of the street will it be on? Do you know what it looks like?

Him: Left side. No. Not really (well of course not, he's blind.)

We drive through the town and I don't see it on the left side. And there are a ton of trailer houses in this town. So we stop to ask a guy on a four wheeler. He says we missed it and to follow him. So we turn around and he leads us to the house. It looks pretty run down and has like a forest full of firewood stacked next to it.

Him: (pulling out money and asking me what each bill is) here's some money for your gas.

Me: No, it's cool. Don't worry about it.

Some really disreputable people come to the window and tell him the guy who lives there isn't home. I tell him to get back in the car. No way I'm leaving a blind kid with them. So I end up taking him back to the intersection where I found him. I did not feel right dropping him off there but he insisted. In the course of the ride I found out that he was fifteen, lived on a farm, his oldest brother is about to turn 50 and he's only been blind for three years. He lost his sight in a four wheeler accident in the winter when he was herding cows. He was lucky to be alive. He had been going to the small high school there but was going to go to the school for the blind in Jacksonville this year. He was a sweet kid. I told him where we lived and and kept saying "we". He probably thought I was crazy because Lu never made a noise the whole time. Nor did Dylan. So he probably didn't even know they were there. After we dropped him off~

Me: You could have said something.

Lu: You were chatting away, doing just fine on your own. Besides, I was being you silent back-up.

Me: What? In case the blind kid attacked me?

Lu: Yes. Now I know why Luke wants me to keep a pocketknife in the diaper bag for protection. You aren't supposed to pick up hitchhikers.

Me: Lu, he tried to pay me for 5 minutes worth of gas. I think he was harmless.

We went to DQ and returned home. We didn't see the blind guy on our way back. Later that night I was working in my office when Lu came in with Dylan.

Lu: Dylan needs a bottle but I'm scared to go into the kitchen.

Me: Why?

Lu: I keep hearing this knocking noise coming from there. And I'm still creeped out from earlier.

Me: You think the blind kid found our house and is waiting outside?

Lu: Well you did tell him where we live...

Me: And what? He's going to make his way through our house, which at the moment has boxes and dressers everywhere, and murder us in our sleep? I'm pretty sure I'd hear him bumping into things. Hell, I can't walk through here without running into things.

Lu: You never know.

Me: You do know the windows are open, right? It's probably a noise from outside.

Lu: I didn't know. Will you get the bottle anyway?

I got the bottle. *sigh* Later I was telling Mike the story and I ended with the fact that maybe we were running late that night for a reason. Maybe we were supposed to help him. The universe gives you all sorts of chances to do good things, you just have to take them.

Mike: was it that house that has all the wood stacked around it?

Me: Yes!

Mike: That's a really seedy looking place. You really need to be careful.

Me: I wasn't going inside. I was just dropping him off. Geez! It was just a good deed.
Me: Maybe, in an alternate universe we didn't stop and someone ran him over. Or maybe in an alternate universe those disreputable people got him when he made it to that house alone.

Lu: Or maybe in an alternate universe he had an accomplice and when you stopped, they whipped out guns and jacked the car with us inside.

Me: Or maybe he got terribly lost and couldn't find his way home and died.

Lu: I think if you die in one alternate reality, you have to die in all of them.

Me: I don't think it works that way.

Lu: I'm pretty sure it does.

Me: And since when are you the alternate reality expert? I just read a book about them.

Lu: whatever. I'm pretty sure I'm right.

Me: We'll ask Sean when he gets home. He'll give us some long drawn out Quantum physics answer that neither of us will understand and will sound like 'blah blah alternate reality blah' but then he'll dumb it down for us.

So we're waiting on Sean. This story makes me laugh but at the same time it makes me sad. I'm sad that my kids have grown up in a world where they  don't trust anyone and can imagine such horrible scenarios. I'm glad they're smart enough to know that not all strangers are the good guys, but mourn for the innocence I'm not sure they ever had.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

The one where things are random...

Life is random. There's no doubt about that. Popularity is random. Everything seems random lately. I've got 226 Twitter followers. I only know a handful of them. I have more Facebook friends than I know what to do with. Again, I only know so many of them. But apparently being an Editor and a Writer makes me a "cool kid". I'm slightly confused, because I already thought I was cool. I guess I'm just "cooler" now. But then again, I'm probably supposed to be spelling it "kewl" to be really cool. And while I am enjoying getting to know all my new friends and followers, I still want to keep my old ones. And some of you seem to be missing.

I didn't start this blog to make friends, but that's what happened. And there for awhile there was a core group of us. I could count on their comments and they could count on mine. I got to know them through their blogs and when I was in one of the darkest times of my life (Mike's accident), they helped pull me through with their constant outpouring of love and support. They reached out to me in real life, not just blogland. I miss you guys. I know I've gotten busy and don't blog nearly as much. I know I don't always make it to your blogs as soon as you post, but I do try to keep up! So, if the absence is because you're busy too- just know that I still value you.

And newbies- I heart you too of course. But leave comments, it's how I get to know you and helps insure that I visit your blog as well.

And now for the random portion of the blog. Because this blog is nothing, if not random.

Me: ugh. My hair has sooo many grays in it! Its definitely time to color it again.

Lu: Maybe you should go with the aunt Vicky style. (Mike's aunt who went through chemo. Her hair grew back this absolutely beautiful salt and pepper. She keeps it short and she looks amazing!)

Me: Um. I don't think I can pull off that short look. She looks so sophisticated now. I think I even like it better than her blonde hair she used to have.

Lu: Yeah. It looks "artsy". I don't think it would work for you.

Me: What the hell? I'm "artsy". So what do you think I'd look like if I let my gray grow out?

Lu: Kind of like a hippie.

Me: Oh great. So aunt Vick's hair says "artsy chic" and mine says "aging hippie". Thanks alot Lu.

Lu: Um. Sorry?

Me: Doesn't matter anyway. I'm going to start calling them silver highlights. That makes it sound like I put them there on purpose.


We were watching TV the other night and saw an advertisement for one of those shows where they show funny clips they find on the web.

Lu: Isn't that what Tosh.0 does?

Mike: yeah. And Web Soup.

Me: Well I do not have all day to comb youtube for funny videos you guys. Frankly, I'm glad someone else does it for me.

Lu: But I just want to see funny cat videos. I think they should have a crazy cat lady who only shows cat videos. And they can film it in her house with her 80 cats. And she can be all "Mr. Tickles found this clip!"

Mike & Me: *silence*

Lu: Well I'd watch it.


Lu & I made a trip to Dairy Queen. The closest one is 20 minutes away in a tiny town if you drive the back roads. So we're driving along and we stop at one of the few intersections. There are stop signs on the road we are on.

Lu: So for the longest time I didn't realize that wasn't a four way stop. And one time I almost got smashed by a semi.

Me: Is this a story where you're such a bad driver you almost died?

Lu: Pretty much. And there was this guy in a pick up truck at the other stop sign and when I went he freaked out. He looked so horrified. Glad that semi missed me. If it hadn't he probably would have told the cops I committed suicide.

Me: And they'd have been all "Ma'am, we think your daughter committed suicide" and I'd have said, "No. She's just stupid."

Lu: I can see you saying that to the cops.

Me: And Sean would be all "I told you she was too stupid to live."

Lu: *giggling* Guess I should pay more attention.

Hope you are all enjoying your week. Mine has been interesting to say the least. More on that later.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The one where I'm someone's favorite...

That's right! I'm some one's favorite blogger of the week. Okay, so my post was her favorite post of the week. But that totally translates into me being her favorite blogger, of the week anyway. So you should totally read Hamlet's Mistress' post!

In other odd news about me- Did any of you watch Bret Michael's Rock of Love show? C'mon, you can admit it, we're all friends here. No one will point and laugh, much. I watched it. All three seasons. Let's face it- Bret is still hott. And those crazy women! The drama, the fights, the boozing all go a long way towards making me happy I'm not them. So anyway, on season 2, there was this chick from Brazil, Marcia. She was the one who threw up and then kissed Brett (he didn't know). Yeah, now you remember her! She started following me on twitter, out of the blue, just randomly. How weird is that? Like I told Sean- I'm famous, yo.

Also, checking my blog stats and where people travel to my blog from, I'm still popular with the Eastern European crowd (shout out to my homies in The Czech Republic!) but also now, I'm popular with the goth crowd. Woot woot! I was wearing black and reading horror before it was a whole subculture. Go me!

Seriously, I don't understand any of this, but I'm thankful that anyone reads my ramblings. And the fam? Well, they are doing well.

Sean was home for just over 24 hours between West Virginia and New Mexico. Drove him to the train station on Monday evening. May have cried a little after he boarded. He may be a "hott guy" to some of you, but he's still my baby. And while I have complete confidence in his ability to take care of himself, it seems like we've graduated to a new era of his independence and I'm feeling a little lost. Plus, I miss him.

And Lu is settling in to being a mom with remarkable aplomb. Sure, she occasionally tries to pass off a dirty diaper to me to change (ain't happening folks, I did my share), she does everything else herself. Although, she will take me up on the offer to watch Dylan so she can get some sleep occasionally. He's an awesome baby but seems to think playtime is from 11pm to 2am. He's obviously a night owl like his mama. Unfortunately he also thinks being awake from 7am to 9 or so is cool. Not so much his mama and daddy.

Being a grandma is great. I get to smoobie the hell out of that baby, but don't have to get up in the night, change diapers or deal with the "after baby" body grossness. Mike is also way thrilled with being a grandpa.

And the editing business is booming, which reminds me that I need to get back to work...

Happy Hump Day!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The one where Lu has a baby and Sean wrecks a car...

Yes, all at the same time. That's so not the phone call you want to get from one child when you're in the delivery room with the other child. But let's start from the beginning.

On Sunday, the 17th of July, Luke and I painted the master bedroom blue w/brown polka dots to match the nursery stuff they'd got for baby Dylan. Lu kind of helped, but mostly just watched. I know we were late getting to it, but if you read this blog regularly- you know things have been crazy busy. We were moving into Lu's old room so they could have the larger room w/space for the crib. (It also has an attached bathroom which enables them to stay in their room at night when the baby wakes up- thus creating less noise and more sleep for grandma & grandpa). It turned out beautifully!

About four o'clock Lu started having contractions. She'd had some off and on for the last week but they never got regular. Well, these ones didn't either. Some were 3 minutes apart, some 10, and so on. So we decided just to go to bed. I told her if it was real labor, they'd wake her up and told her to wake me up if she needed anything in the night. We got up Monday and she said they'd kept her awake most of the night, but they still weren't regular. So we started moving stuff into their room and Luke put the crib and changing table together (let me just say here that the rest of my house looked like a hoarder's paradise because we'd moved our things out, but not into Lu's old room because I wanted to shampoo our disgustingly old carpets. So we had no less than three dressers in the living room along with a king size mattress). At 11am Lu's contractions started coming every 3 minutes. So she took a shower. And then I did. And then she refused to go to the hospital until the room was finished. That's my Lu!

We finally got to the hospital around 3:15 Monday afternoon. She was dilated to a 4 and 75% effaced. They told us that first time mothers have to thin all the way before the dilating really gets going. They hooked her up to monitors, she filled out a million pieces of paperwork and at 5 the doctor came in to break her water. As anyone who's ever had a baby will tell you- that's when the contractions get more painful. Lu had decided she wanted a drug free birth, no painkillers, no epidural. She was getting more and more uncomfortable and having a load of back labor. The nurse showed us a more comfortable position and how I could press on her back to offer some relief. I was in charge of back pain relief while Luke held her hand and tried to help her stay strong and calm.

Breathing through a contraction

About 7pm she got to get into a whirlpool tub (where the hell was that when I was in labor??). It helped with the pain alot and she stayed in there for an hour. By this time, contractions were much stronger and she debated on a painkiller shot. Luke and I both told her it was her decision. The nurse checked again and 8pm she had completely thinned out and dilated to a 6. Things were moving rapidly. Back in bed, the pain was worse, much worse and I called the nurse back in at 8:30. She had dilated to an 8! 2 centimeters in half an hour! The nurse explained that that was why the contractions were so strong and close together, because she was having a lot of rapid movement in the cervix. We asked for a shot of Nubain (a mild painkiller). Lu had debated on an epidural but decided against it and by then it was too late anyway. The next hour and a half were filled with more strong contractions, but thankfully the tiny shot had helped take the edge off. The nurse came in at 10:45 and asked Lu if she was beginning to push during contractions. Lu told her she couldn't help it. The nurse checked and she was dilated to 10 and completely thinned! Time to push! The nurse called the doctor who didn't believe Lu was already ready to push. She thought the pushing would take longer.

Luke decided he'd stay by Lu's head and I'd be the one holding her leg and seeing the birth. And what a sight to see. The doctor barely arrived in time. Lu only pushed for 18 minutes and part of that time was the nurses telling her not to push because we had to wait for the doctor and them trying to keep the baby's head in the canal! Lu was a trooper and baby Dylan was born at 11:16pm on July 18, 2011. He weighed 7lbs 10 oz and was 19 inches long. Lu had no ripping or tearing or bruising. Unbelievable.


Baby Dylan♥

I've never been on that end of the birthing before and it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Luke and I both cried at the absolute awesomeness of the miracle of birth. And I'm so proud of Lu for sticking to her guns and pushing through the pain to have the birth she wanted. The nurses were amazed too and kept praising her.

The very next morning she was up and about, showering and even wearing makeup. That's my Lu!

The very next morning!

Both mother and baby are doing great a week and a half later. In fact Dylan has already surpassed his birth weight and is up to 7lbs 14 oz. He's thriving. And he's a super chill baby that doesn't cry or fuss much at all. He doesn't enjoy diaper changes or being really hungry, but other than that he's a quiet happy baby who seems to really take in his surroundings. He loves to be talked and sung too. And yes, I am a very proud grandma!

Sleepy baby & sleepy mommy

What a cutie, frowny face and all!

Now for the other child...

Sean has been working for Camp Callahan again this year and feels his responsibilities keenly. He knew Lu was in labor but couldn't get away until he'd gotten his campers to bed. So he was headed to the hospital at 10pm that night. We'd told him to drive Lu's car because he had a taillight out on his truck and we didn't want him to get a ticket. He called me at 10:45pm to tell me he'd had an accident and was pretty sure he'd totaled Lu's car. He tried to give me details but he was shaken up and hard to understand and Lu was starting to push! So I told him to call his Dad (who was in the waiting room, not in the thick of things!). It seems he was going way to fast on the little blacktop road that runs from our gravel to the highway. He was trying to make it to the hospital in time. Apparently Lu's headlights aren't that great and it was a dark night. Somehow, he managed to miss the stop sign that is where the blacktop meets the highway. He ended up flying across the highway and up a 5ft embankment, coming to rest in the yard of the house that sits there. 6 inches to the left and he would have hit a tree. Another foot and he'd have hit the water meter. I have no idea how he did it.

In typical Sean fashion though, he knocked on the door and told the girl who answered he'd parked his car in their yard and could he borrow her cell phone? Apparently his was dead. After he called us, he sat on the porch with the girl (the house owner's girlfriend. the house owner wasn't home). He had a first aid kit in his bag which he used to bandage his hand- it had gotten bruised and burned by the airbag. (Thankfully that was his only injury) He also had oatmeal cookies and Gatorade which he shared with her. He ended up getting a ticket for "failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident". He could have ended up with three tickets and a suspended license. We are still waiting to see if the insurance company totals Lu's car or fixes it again. Sean's insurance just went way up, I have no doubt.

Lucky for Sean, we all had something to distract us, so he didn't get in to too much trouble.

Uncle Sean
What a night! Here's a few more of my favorite pictures:

Happy Family♥

Could they be more beautiful?!

Grandpa & Dylan
Isn't life grand?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The one where we grieve...

I was going to blog about the baby's birth, and I still will, but this post is what's on my mind right now. If you are not an animal lover, don't have pets or don't understand how people get so attached to their animals- you should probably stop reading right now and come back another day. This was a sad sad weekend for our furry kids.

On Friday, our old black lab, Maggie, passed quietly in her sleep. We'd known it was coming for awhile, she was sixteen years old, mostly blind and mostly deaf, but she'd still trek off with Sean around camp. She was definitely slower and couldn't go as far, but she was still a trooper. She came to our family when she was seven, she'd been one of Mike's grandpa's duck dogs. She was trained to retrieve and loved to swim. And she loved the kids, especially Sean. She followed them on all of their adventures and I always knew that she'd protect them from any harm that came their way. I remember one time, she even went down the hill on a sled with them! We are sad to see her go, but thankful for a peaceful end.

Some of you already know that Lu's cat, Sparkplug, had been having colon issues and had been in and out of the kitty hospital several times. The last time they told her that the only thing left to try was surgery. The surgery would remove part of his colon and hopefully take care of the problem. It was risky and dangerous but they had no choice. Lu had scheduled the surgery for this Wednesday. On Thursday morning Sparkplug was once again having trouble and the vet said to bring him in, they would give him meds, keep him overnight and she could pick him up on Friday. So we did. Friday they said they were going to have to keep him another night and they were moving the surgery up to Tuesday. An hour later the vet called back and said that his colon wasn't filtering the toxins from his system and it was going to start affecting his liver. And that they were already seeing neurological issues. They had to do the surgery right then, it was an emergency and his last hope. They were rushing him in right away so we didn't even get to see him one last time. They called a couple hours later- he'd made it through surgery and was resting on a heating pad and recovering from the anesthesia. They'd be keeping him the rest of the weekend.

We didn't hear from them Saturday, but I told Lu that no news is good news, they would call if there was a problem. They called Sunday. Sparkplug had passed. Lu was devastated. I honestly think if she didn't have baby Dylan, she'd still be in bed crying. I have never seen a cat and it's owner as close as she was to him. She'd had him since he was tiny and they were inseparable. He often stole items of her clothing and carried them off and hid them; socks, swimsuit tops, jewelry. He was also fond of plastic hangars. Once, he stole Sean's cell phone and hid it beneath the couch. True story- pinky swear. That cat had more personality than any cat I've ever known. And he loved his girl more than anything. He had a super loud purr that you could hear a room away. He loved to chew on her hair and he slept wrapped up in her arms at night.

He was the father of two of our other cats and he was the only male cat I've ever seen be a good daddy. He stayed with the mama cat and babies, he kept them herded in one room and taught them to use the litterbox. After they were older, he still slept with them sometimes. He had more quirky character traits than I can possibly list. But he will be missed greatly. And I'm bawling as I write this- both because I will miss him, and because Lu is still in so much pain at his loss and there's nothing I can do to ease it.

All kitties go to heaven, right?

RIP Maggie & Sparkplug- may you remain friends wherever you are.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The one where I catch you guys up...

It has been a crazy busy week and it's only Wednesday! Sunday I spent the day with my Dad. We went shopping at the new Scheels store in Springfield. That store is amazing! There is a ferris wheel in the store. We were shopping for the rest of Sean's gear for his trips to West Virginia and New Mexico. Poor kid is working so much that he hasn't had time. He has one more half day off before he heads out and we are going to try to celebrate his upcoming birthday on that day. That evening I picked up CJ and brought him home for a quick visit.

Monday, I hung out with CJ all day. We rode along with Mike on a trip to town, but only because there was McDonald's involved. Lol. Then CJ, Lu & I went swimming. We had supper and did some golf cart riding before a trip to DQ for ice cream. It was a perfect summer day!

Yesterday Lu & I both started the day with dr. appts. Hers went great. She's doing well. Dilated to a 2 and 50% effaced. She started her maternity leave so she can get some rest before the big event! My appt got me a steroid shot in my shoulder and strict directions for icing and motrin. If it's no better, then its on to MRIs.

Then we headed to Springfield, took CJ to his house and met up with my Mom & Dad. We did some shopping for CJ, he needed new clothes, and picked up the last few things on Lu's list of baby items. Then dinner at Lonestar. Yum! Lu had contractions the whole two hour drive home. Unfortunately they eased up and we went to bed instead of the hospital. But I'm pretty sure it won't be long now!

I posted updates on what's going on in my life work wise over at The Author Spot if you want to check up on that. Today, I am doing another guest post! I'm over at the wonderful Tyr Kieran's blog. There's another short story. Again, shouldn't be too scary for the faint of heart. It's a tale of revenge. If you want to check it out, I'd be all sorts of appreciative!

Happy Middle of the Week,

Monday, July 11, 2011

The one where I do a guest post!

Hey all! Just wanted to let you know that I am guest posting at my friend Jason's blog today!

If you would like to stop by and read my story that would be awesome. It is suitable for all I think (even you MM!). It's pretty PG and more humor than real horror.

I guess it's a good thing I'm guest posting *looks around*. It's been looking a little empty all up in here lately. My stats are good, so someone is reading this blog, but don't forget how much bloggers love comments, mmmk? Thanks!

Happy Monday,

Friday, July 8, 2011

The one where I try to explain things to Mike...

So it's a rare occasion that Mike and I get to spend time together in the summer. His job is super busy and he usually leaves the house before I get up (don't get all judge-y, 8 am is not that late to sleep) and he returns after dark, showers and generally falls asleep long before me. So if I can sneak a little bit of couple time in there, I take advantage. Last week advantage took the form of dragging him to town for an appointment we had to keep. But we did lunch first.

We went to a local pizza parlor for their buffet lunch. It was packed and there was this guy with, I kid you not, a Mohawk mullet. For real. Mohawk in the front, mullet in the back. Two hairstyles that never looked good to begin with combined to make something frightful. I wanted to tap him on the shoulder and be all "Dude. The 80's called...they want their hairstyles back." but he was a lot bigger than me so I didn't. If a mullet said, business in the front and party in the back, what did his haircut say? My mom cuts my hair?? Oh, and did I mention that she still wears that snakeskin mini skirt and listens to old Whitesnake tapes?

Aside from the awesome scenery, we discussed other things; the kids and if they were ever going to move out, his work, our upcoming appointment, his work, plans for the 4th, our trip to the ER the night before, his work and oh yeah, my work.

Me: I'm so busy, I feel like I'm never going to get everything done. And now this arm thing. How am I supposed to paint?

Mike: So when are you going to be rich and famous?

Me: I'm already famous. Duh.

Mike: Really...?

Me: Yeah. You have no idea. I got asked to do two guest blog posts this week.

Mike: What does that mean?

Me: It means I write something for someone else's blog.

Mike: Why? So your followers will go to their blogs?

Me: Well, kind of. But also their followers will get to know me. It's mutually beneficial and very nice of them. I'm flattered. Also, I got quoted.

Mike: Quoted?

Me: Yes, we had a discussion on Masters of Horror about this old horror movie The Changeling. And then the guy who started the discussion did a review of it on his blog and he quoted me. Because I'm an expert on horror movies and stuff.

Mike: Really? Like he said "Stacey Turner says..."

Me: No. He said, "My new friend Stacey Turner says..." (Read the review here)

Mike: Well that's kind of cool.

Me: Don't look so surprised. I got fans, yo!

Mike: *nearly chokes laughing at me*

Me: It's not like I have my own Wikipedia page like The Bloggess or anything. But someday..."

Mike: So about the rich part...

Me: I'm working on it baby. Don't worry. I got this...

As soon as I know what day I'm doing my guest posting, I'll be sure to share. And it would be very awesome if some of you would stop by those blogs and have a look-see. Some of you (those squeamish types) are totally excused. A friend of mine told me last week that she can't read my work. She tried to read "The Lamp" but had to stop. I scared someone. Those of you who've been here from the beginning know that my main goal was to scare at least one person. Looks like it's goal accomplished! Whew! That's a load off.

Also, I have a poem being considered for an upcoming poetry magazine issue. Its about as far from my usual writing as you can get. I'll let you know if it pans out.

Happy Friday y'all,

PS for those of you not squeamish...please check out today's Flash Friday post at The Author Spot.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The one where we celebrate America's Birthday...

That's right. 4th of July. In honor of this auspicious holiday I've made a list.

Things You Don't Want to Hear on the 4th of July:

1. I may have started a small fire.

2. Run! That one's headed towards you!

3. Just put all the duds in a paper sack and light it on fire. Then run like hell!

4. We didn't need that tree anyway. It gets in the way of my golf swing.

5. Damn that fuse was a lot shorter than I thought!

True story. Never mix a retired ammunition's expert with a boy genius. It's frightening.

Hope you all had fun and stayed safe. I mean, someone should.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The one where I give further proof that the universe is out to get me...

If you've read this blog at all then you know that the universe is conspiring against me. For real. And that the manufacturer of my body used faulty parts. I mean, how else do I end up with knees that look like they belong to an 80 year old? And now, I apparently have spontaneously rupturing muscles. At least with the torn meniscus I had a great story and could call it a "sports injury". This latest thing? Yeah, I got nothing with a capital "N".

It started Wednesday. I drug Mike to town (yeah, seriously drug him. It's boy scout camp time and he's busier than a cranberry farmer at bogging time. And the way it works is once he steps foot off camp property at least one thing breaks.) But we had an appointment we had to keep, we'd already rescheduled three times. And I had to go have some ridiculous ABI test done for my doctor. It was like musical blood pressure cuffs. Arms, legs, all at once, one at a time. Not too bad except I'm not sure why they feel the need to blow those cuffs up all the way when I have relatively low blood pressure. Anywho, we got all that done and we even snuck in lunch beforehand. But of course, on the way home, he gets calls and texts and apparently all hell broke loose at camp while he was gone.

So we get home and he rushes back down into camp. No one else is home so I go to the computer and start working. As I'm working, I notice that its beginning to hurt when I move my right arm a certain way. I really didn't think much about it til I got up at 7 to see about something to eat. Then I noticed that it really hurt to move my arm. It got increasingly worse and when Lu got home from work, I showed her how it hurt to move it certain ways. Her expert advice? "So don't move it like that". Seriously, that girl could be a doctor.

So Mike asks if I want to go to the ER. Who wants to go to the ER at ten o'clock at night? So I say "no". And he goes to his workshop to work on some stuff. But by 11? I can't move my arm without bringing tears to my eyes. And let me just remind you that I am not a wuss when it comes to pain. Walk around on a torn meniscus for 6 months? No prob. Birth a 10lb breech baby with no drugs? Been there, done that. So if I'm in tears, it's serious. So Mike and I proceed to the ER at 11pm.

Cue Twilight Zone music because really? Those people who are at the ER at that time of night? Born in a Walmart if you ask me. There was the pregnant meth head (no lie) who was both scary and pathetic. There was the old lady that they took back immediately even though she appeared in no distress. There was the guy I thought was going to pass out on the floor in front of me. And the whiny chick (who again did not look sick). And the triage nurse from hell. Mike suggested that we bring food some night and just hang out there and people watch. He said it might be fun if I wasn't in so much pain.

But I was in pain. And after sitting in the waiting room for an hour I was highly tempted to take the security guard's firearm and blaze a trail back to a treatment room. And when I heard the meth head say that she should be next, I believe the words that came out of my mouth (quietly so only Mike heard me) were "she better back that crap up because I will cut a b**ch!" Have I explained that extreme pain makes me cranky??

Then the guy comes and gets me for an xray of my shoulder. He informs me I have to remove my shirt and bra and put on a gown. Well, I managed painfully to remove my things and get the gown on but I had to have him tie it. He does the xrays, also painful and then tells me I can get dressed.

Me: Dude, that is so not happening. There's no way I can get that stuff back on by myself.

Him: *mouth open. crickets chirping*

Me: Can I borrow this gown? I'll go out and get my husband to come with me to the restroom and help."

Him: oh yeah, that's fine. (Seriously? Did he really think I was going to ask him to help??)

So I grab my clothes and go get Mike. We go to the ladies restroom and I go in to be sure it's empty. He comes to the handicapped stall with me and I shut the door.

Mike: I'm so going to get arrested. And then I'll be branded a sex offender and lose my job and have to register on a list and...

Me: Um. It's pretty obvious I can't use my arm. I think the security guard will understand.

Finally we see a doctor. And for the third time that night I get the "What did you do to it?" NOTHING! I wasn't skydiving, playing tennis, doing chin-ups or falling down stairs. I was typing when it started. Every time I say this, I am greeted with dubious looks. I'm halfway tempted to tell everyone Sean beats me. I mean, he tells people I beat him so it's only fair, right? The xrays look fine. The doctor has no idea what's wrong. So they give me a shot of dilaudid and a Valium and send me home with a vial of narcotics and instructions to see my doctor the next day. So I'm higher than a kite, but it hasn't even touched the pain. And I have to stay awake on the drive home so I can keep poking Mike, who's falling asleep at the wheel. Because it's now 2 am.

Nothing helped the pain so I went and saw the doctor who was covering for my doctor on Thursday. After moving my arm and watching me tear up he determined that it was my bicep and it's likely ruptured. He gave me a shot of Toradol, which is an anti-inflammatory and a regimen of high dose Motrin round the clock. He also put me in a sling. If it's better by next week, then it's only strained. If it's not, it's likely I separated the tendon from the muscle and will need surgery. You all know how much I love surgery. Like a fat guy loves diet food. So far, it's helped. Whether it's the immobilization or the Motrin, I don't know. I hate the sling with a passion, but if I don't wear it, I forget and use my arm and then it hurts again. Fingers crossed for the strain. I don't have time for anything else.

And this whole episode is the exact reason why I love Mystery Diagnosis so much. It makes me and my medical issues seem normal in comparison!

Have a great forth y'all!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The one where we discuss my new story over dinner...

Last night Sean got to come home for dinner. It was family night at camp (you know, in our front yard). On family night, the families of the scouts come and have dinner in their campsites and there's a big campfire. But Lu and I weren't planning to go this week. We'll pop down next week when Sean's troop is in camp. So Sean had been home briefly earlier in the day, looking for something. And I mentioned that I was making Salmon Fettuccine for dinner and he decided he'd eat here. I did not invite Mike to eat at home because that is not a dinner he would like. So Sean comes home, Lu gets home from work and we sit down to eat.

Sean: Dad told everyone you didn't invite him to dinner.

Me: He wouldn't even like this!

Sean: I'm just telling you what he said.

Me: That man....grrr.

Me: So I wrote a story today for the friday flash on the vamplit blog. Remember that baboon leg lamp we saw on Oddities, Lu?

Lu: Yes. That thing was hideous! You wrote about that?

Me: The theme had to be "terrible taxidermy". Where do you even think you get a severed baboon leg?

Sean: You cut it off a baboon, duh.

Lu: Why would anyone even want that?

Me: Well in the story, the guy's obsessed with Africa...

Sean: Which is really stupid because Baboons are native to South America.

Lu: Mom! I thought you said you were going to research Baboons...

Me: I did Lu. Settle down. Why do you ever believe your brother? He's teasing. He already tried that on me...

Sean: And she was like, I researched it. Her trying to be accurate is really ruining my fun.

Me: I had to research it, I wanted to get the fight scene accurate. Did you know that Baboons are omnivorous? They will actually eat small animals, like small antelope.

Lu: small antelope?

Sean: That's like saying small whales. It's still a big animal. Well thank Bob they don't eat HUGE whales. See? Ridiculous.

Me: And they will sometimes steal babies out of huts because they sound like Baboon babies. They have similar cries.

Lu: That's awful!!

Me: What do you think they do with the babies when they realize they aren't all hairy? And that they aren't baboons?

Sean: They probably eat them.

Lu & Me: gross!

Lu: So they have that whale bath tub I want at Sears.

Sean: Wheel bathtub?

Lu: Whale!

Me: Its a little bathtub shaped like a whale for the baby. But you shouldn't get it Lu, because according to Sean whales attract baboons.

Sean: And then they'll steal your baby.

How do these conversations go so far awry??

Happy Friday,

PS- you can read the story over at The Author Spot. It's not for the squeamish though!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The one where I have random conversations...

This post will just be a jumble of some random conversations.

Me: I don't know how our bed keeps getting so messed up. Every morning the sheet is completely untucked and the comforter is balled up in the middle.

Mike: It's because they aren't flannel sheets.

Me: Duh. Because it's summer.

Mike: It doesn't matter what season it is, it's always arctic in this house.

Me: That's because I'm allergic to heat.

Mike: No one is allergic to heat.

Me: I am. Its probably very rare. I think I can get you a doctor's excuse if that will help.

Mike: How about we just put the flannel sheets back on the bed.

Me: No.

At the Doctor's yesterday~

Me: So obviously something is broken in my body. I need you to fix it. I don't have time to be feeling bad.

Dr: It doesn't work that way.

Me: Why not? I take the car to my mechanic and tell him it's broke and he fixes it. It should totally work the same way.

Dr: *rolls his eyes* I'm going to do these twenty bazillion tests...

Me: And then you better fix it. You went to school for this way longer than my mechanic.

Sean came home briefly yesterday looking for something in his room (which is also my office at the moment). He was talking to me for a few minutes and then~

Sean: You better pay attention. This is important.

Me: *turning from my desk* yes?

Sean: The blackberries are ripe.

Me: That was the important thing?! You've just told me about ten things and that was the important one I needed to pay attention for?

Sean: Blackberries don't pick themselves, you know. And cobblers don't bake themselves. My stomach thinks that makes it very important.

In the waiting room for Lu's dr visit~

Lu: What are you doing?

Me: Being bored

Lu: You're reading a magazine. How can you be bored at the same time?

Me: Because I can multitask.

Happy humpday folks,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The one where we're not in Kansas anymore and we never really were...

Confused yet? Yeah, well welcome to my Saturday. Yesterday I had an Adventure. Yes, it really does deserve capitalization. It started off as a normal day...

I had planned to go to Springfield yesterday to visit at my parent's house because my sister & her girls were in from Ohio. Now, I drive back and forth to Springfield all the time. Its a simple two hour drive on a four lane highway. No big deal. Well, usually that's the case. But yesterday I think I ventured into the Twilight Zone. And the worst part? There was no flippin signpost up ahead.

I was off to a late start due to the fact that it was one of those rare mornings that Mike didn't have to rush off outdoors (an extreme rarity in the summer). So I spent some time in discussion with him. Then I grabbed Lu's keys (I was taking her car because it gets way better gas mileage) and headed out. I went to the closest gas station (ten minutes drive) and filled up her car. After I paid, I walked back to her car and realized one of the tires was really low and possibly going flat. Damn! I took her car back to the house, alerted Mike to the sitch and grabbed my own keys. Back to the gas station (yes, the same one) to fill my tank. You're welcome Lu, for the $30 bucks in gas for your car. I decided to visit the restroom and also grab some Good-n-Plenty candies for the sugar rush in case I got sleepy. The attendant and I laughed about my return visit and she wished me luck on my trip. Little did I know, I'd need it.

At last on the road, I phoned my Dad to let him know I was running late and that I'd be there about noon. Then I popped in a CD and began to enjoy the drive. An hour and a half in I hit a stream of cars completely stopped in the right lane of the highway. Not knowing what was going on, I joined the line. Turns out, the State Police were forcing us all to exit the highway at Jacksonville. WTF? They'd closed down the Interstate. In 24 years of living here, they've only closed that Interstate when there's a bad snow. But this is summer. I got off at the exit and phoned my Dad. How do I get there without using the Interstate? He didn't know for sure. So I figured I'd follow the semi-drivers, surely they knew an alternate route. But as I drove through town, I remembered that I take highway 104. Its how you got there before the Interstate was finished. I moved ahead of the truckers and led the way. I was pretty proud of myself. That is, until two blocks after we turned on Highway 104 and ran into the barricades in the middle of town. Well, what used to be part of town and was now a lake!! Highway 104 was closed due to flooding.

WTH am I supposed to do now?? I pulled into a gas station. A gas station that was full of people just sitting in their cars. I mean this town was overflowing with traffic and people stopped in the middle of their travels. I called Mike while I searched my car for my Road Atlas (never leave home without one! and teach your children to use it.) He said he'd call his step dad because the man knows every back road in this state. He's never liked highways! Meanwhile, I found an alternate route. I'd take 78 to Virginia (a town, not the state) and hit 125. Mike called back and said his step dad said take 67 to Beardstown and then hit 125. As my way cut out about a half hour of time, I told him I'd try my way first. Mike promised to call later and make sure I wasn't lost somewhere in Kentucky.

Off I set, driving through town I wanted to roll down my windows and shout "Follow Me"! I set out on one road to hit 78 and I made the turn. But 78 led me back into town. That couldn't be right! So I got back on 67 and drove a little farther. By this time there are cars pulled over on the side of the road with people on cell phones and banging on GPS units. I mean, alot of people were lost. I came to a sign for "old 67" and I pulled off. Luckily there was a four way stop and I parked and pulled out my atlas again. "Old 67" looked deserted. I've seen Children of the Corn and Jeepers Creepers and no way was I heading down a lonely highway on my own!

While I'm sitting there, a pickup pulls up next to me. Inside are a young (pretty cute) guy and an older guy~

them: you need help hun?

Me: Yeah, how do I get to Beardstown?

Them: Get back on that other road and follow it.

Me: Okay and do you know if 125 to Springfield is closed?

Them: Do you want to go to Springfield or Beardstown?

Me: I want to go to Springfield, but the Interstate is closed and Hwy 104 is flooded.

Them: Yeah, the Interstate is closed because there's water over it too.

Me: Oh! Wow!

Them: I don't think you can get to Springfield today.

*Now, it's become a challenge. Don't ever tell me I can't do something. Our family motto is pretty much "I do what I want".*

Them: Why you gotta go to Springfield?

Me: to visit some family from out of town.

Them: Prolly have to wait for the water to go down over the Interstate.

*Seriously??? Is that what all those other people were doing? How long would that take??*

Them: We're having a BBQ, you want to come while you wait?

*Why yes, I've taken complete leave of my senses and I'm going to go to a BBQ with two strangers in a pick up truck. That's the plot of a Lifetime movie just waiting to happen. Are they crazy??*

Me: No thanks! I'm going to Springfield!

I turned around and got back on the road I was on which did indeed take me to Beardstown. I was driving into some heavy clouds though and whispered to myself "we aren't in Kansas anymore Toto". The water was only inches from the road in several places and there were downed branches and leaves from the previous storm. I had alerted my Dad of my alternate route so they knew I'd be rather late. I also warned them that if 125 was blocked, I'd turn around and head home. But luckily, it went smoothly, if slowly. And I made it to town just ahead of one of those same semis who had pulled off the road at the same time! All in all, it was a four hour trip. I had to pee so bad it hurt by the time I arrived and I was starving!! All I'd had in the car with me was a Gatorade and the Good-n-Plenties.

But seeing my family and dinner at Olive Garden were worth it. Luckily, the Interstate was open on my return trip and it was uneventful. I did find out through the IDOT website that 78 was flooded. So it was fortuitous that I hadn't gotten to use my shortcut after all!

The moral of the story is this:

1. Be prepared. Make sure you have an atlas with you whenever you travel. And something to drink. And Candy.

2. Don't let people tell you what you can't do. Where there's a will, there's a way.

May all your Adventures have good endings,

Friday, June 17, 2011

The one where we examine Sean's motivation...

So we celebrated Father's Day with Mike last night. Because, of course, camp is in session and he is always working on Father's Day. Plus Sean had to leave for the other camp this morning. So the four of us managed to sit down to dinner together and give Mike his cards and present. We got him a new phone. He desperately needed one and this one is "indestructible". Yeah, I went ahead and put insurance on it because at our house "indestructible" just means "try harder". But this is the phone all the cool kids have. And by cool kids, I totally mean other guys who drop, chainsaw, hammer, run over, and generally mistreat their cellular devices. I have it on good testimony from one such cool kid that you can drop it from a ladder and it's still okay. The saleslady asked if I'd like to buy him the handy belt clip for it. I replied "No, he'd much rather drop it out of his truck as he climbs out." She looked at me oddly. Duh, lady. Why do you think I need the indestructible phone? Certainly not because he's careful with it.

This morning I made breakfast for the kids before they headed off to their respective jobs. Lu scarfed hers down because she was running late so basically Sean and I ate breakfast together. We had this conversation~

Sean: I remember going to Cub Scout Camp. Dad didn't love me enough to go with us.

Me: Don't be ridiculous. Of course your Dad loved you enough, he just had to work here at Boy Scout Camp. I came up part of the time.

Sean: Yeah, all the boys thought you were the cool mom.

Me: Duh. Because I was.

Sean: They still think that.

Me: It's because I'm awesome.

Sean: Trevor's Dad sang us some songs each night before we went to bed.

Me: Dave has a great voice. He's a nice guy.

Sean: And once Trevor walked back from the shower house to our tent naked.

Me: *giggling* That must have been quite the sight! Why would he do that?

Sean: He said it was no big deal, his clothes were in the tent. I tried to tell him it was no big deal to bring your clothes with you either. Matt went with us to camp too.

Me: Yeah, he was your Den Chief. He must've been like 14 or so.

Sean: Yeah. I actually hated Cub Camp. And they made us do these swimming tests, and I was a horrible swimmer back then and the water was so cold my lips turned blue. And nobody noticed except Matt. He made me get out of the water and warm up.

Me: So is that why you work Cub Scout Camp Staff? So you can be a great counselor and make sure the kids have fun?

Sean: No. I work there because they pay me. *rolls his eyes at me*

Well, I guess that's as good of a reason as any. And for the record- I don't remember him hating Cub Scout Camp.