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!