Boudicca's Voice

Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Samhain

There are eight days during the year that our Celtic ancestors celebrated. Of course these include the equinoxes and the solstices, but there were four others as well, which have for the most part have been adapted to Christian holidays by the Catholic church. That's how Christianity spread among us Pagans. They had to adopt our customs to get into our societies. Tonight is All Hallow's eve, the eve of All Saint's Day. It corresponds, naturally, to the Celtic celebration of Samhain (pronounced saw-wain). Here's the real scoop on Samhain:

Samhain, October 31:Death, the third of the Harvest holidays, the ending of the cycle, death, but with the hope of rebirth and the New Year.The traditional time for the annual slaughter to ensure food throughout the winter months. Take this time to remember departed ones. In some traditions the end of the year . The separation between this physical world and the spiritworld is thin. Halloween customs are a part of this element of death, the thin line at this cycle and remembering the dead and the hopes of rebirth. On this night Magick is more powerful .
So happy Samhain.

Be Careful in What You Say...

I was doing the assistant PE teacher thing on Friday with Son#3’s kindergarten class… as I always do. It’s funny, but I awaken every Friday morning now thinking, “OOO!!! I have PE today!”

So all the kids are running around and something happened and some kid who I did not see yelled, “Runaway! Runaway!” and I looked up, and said to the PE teacher, “Heh, evidently some kid’s parents quote Monte Python at home” and she replied, “Ummm, D., that was YOUR son that said that.” I look over and he’s running away. Cracked me up.

Genetic Traits are Appearing

While sitting and waiting for the funeral to start yesterday, I was looking at all the women. It occurred to me I have inherited my Mom’s genetic trait of not graying. My Mom is 63 (sorry Mom) and has a smattering of gray… she actually highlights her hair to make it a softer color so the stark dark brown of her hair does not clash with the soft milky white skin of her face.

I know, it’s a weird thing to think of during a funeral, but no matter where I am, I’m always looking for patterns and trends and as I was overlooking the congregation I noticed a lot of blonde women. So then I started looking closer and they were all fake blondes and the one’s that weren’t, you could just tell there was a rinse. I do the rinse thing occasionally when I’m looking for a change. A complete horror to my husband who is always wondering who he is going to come home to: death kitten black or eggplant purple.

I turn 40 in 11 months and I have the same 8 gray hair I had when I was 21. I think that means I’m not going to gray. Actually, graying doesn’t bother me. It’s BALDING that bothers me. I don’t want to be a bald old lady. I’d rather gray than lose my hair. There’s not a man alive who I have ever heard utter the words, “Ohhh, I just LOVE bald headed women.’ On the other hand, there are a ton of us women, who don’t think twice about bald men. Hell, Yul Brynner was on my top 5 free pass list. And if I had a top 7, Ed Harris would have been on there (Johnny Dep was going to be #6). Man, Ed is yummy.


It’s not that I don’t like Halloween… it’s just that… OK, I don’t like Halloween. I said it. I know, I’m in the minority. Everyone loves to dress up, decorate, and do the pumpkin thing, but let me put it to you from my perspective. It's just a whole lotta work.

Living in S. Florida means that we have to buy the pumpkin darn close to Halloween or it will rot. There’s none of that lovely ‘carve the pumpkin in the 2nd week of October and set it out on a stoop full of hay’ like y’all in the Great White North do. None of that at all. Pumpkin shopping happens in the 90 degree heat a few days in advance. You don’t carve the stupid thing until the day before. Otherwise you end up with a caved in pumpkin face fraught with mold and insects. Blech.

And for those of you who think pumpkin hunting is fun, I have three boys that were born with this innate “Bigger is Better” syndrome that turns into… well, we know what it turns into as they become men. Pumpkins are expensive and all three of them want their own pumpkin and they all want the biggest one on the lot. IF I ALLOWED THAT TO HAPPEN, which I never have, that would be $75 in pumpkins. Phht. Yeah, right. So they have a choice, they can each pick a medium sized pumpkin or we can buy 1 pumpkin… the largest on the lot. They have yet to go for the biggest and instead, we buy 3, which means hollowing and carving three. Can you say ‘pain in the butt’?

It’s my fault too. I started this when they were babies. I thought it looked cute with this family of pumpkins…. The Mommy, Daddy, and three baby pumpkins. Well, it is fun no more. That means we are looking at my calendar, which by the way, I have never posted on my calendar before, but I have 5 different color pens, one color for each person’s events. So we have to look at the calendar, figure out what day is best to fight over pumpkins in the sweltering pumpkin patch, then figure out what day we’re actually going to carve them. Some years they get carved on Halloween day… hours before sunset.

As luck would have it, I was too sick yesterday after the funeral, so it fell squarely on my spouse. Even better was the insistence of my 9 year old to do is own, and he did an AWESOME job, and my 7 year old to wanted to paint his, go figure. So we have two carved and one painted pumpkin.

Let’s move on to costumes. I buy their costumes the first Friday of October. It is a tradition. We beat the rush, they get what they want, and we get it out of the way. The bad part is, Son#3 cannot stay out of his costume. I pray the entire month that he can actually wear his costume on Halloween and it hasn’t been reduced to threads. I had to wash his costume today (Halloween) because he was playing with fire ants and they crawled into it. (Yes, do not go there with me and fire ants.) On the plus side, I get my moneys worth from HIS costume. Last year he went as Hulk and then one day a week thereafter he insisted on wearing his Hulk costume. At the end of the year, his preschool teachers handed us each a little memory book of pix they had taken of our kids throughout the year. Half his pictures he’s in a Hulk costume. The classic was when a Mother told me one day her 2 year old came up to her after school and said, “Mom! I got hurt on the playground, but Hulk came and helped me!”

Then of course there is the candy. Do you think I have the self control to have candy sitting in this house?! No! Sure, every now and then they pick things I won’t eat like Skittles or Starburst, but we always end up with some daggum variety pack that has chocolate in it… which means the earlier we buy the bag of candy, the higher the probability I will have to go out and buy more the day of as I will have consumed all the chocolate. It’s one of these… “Oh, I’m feeling tired… must have a piece of chocolate.” or “Blech, what a bad day… must have a piece of chocolate.” or “Off to run more carpools, let me grab a piece of chocolate.” or, as it has been more this year, “I miss my husband, I’ll have some chocolate.” Bad bad bad. It is the start of the ‘fat season’. Halloween candy followed by Thanksgiving, then quickly on its heels is Christmas and all the baking.

Yes… That said, I have the most decorated house on the block with really scary music coming out of my front window. *grin*

Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Final Goodbye

Last night was J.’s wake and today was her funeral. And amongst it all, I’m fighting a nasty head cold that really is trying to kick my butt. My body seems to be giving a most valiant fight, but today I think I started to succumb and in a drug induced fog, I made it through her funeral. I half wondered if I was going to pass out during the internment… that would have been a bad thing.

The wake was lovely. It was at one of our nicer funeral homes and as I’ve said to my husband repeatedly, Father does an excellent wake and funeral. With his thick Irish brogue, there is great comfort in the sound of is voice as he chants and says the prayers. Hearing the 150 or so in unison last night during the wake, give the responses, made me hopeful, if that makes sense. There was of course much crying, but I tried to stay away from it, staying in the back as I do at most of these.

There was a couch off to the side with 8 12-13 year old girls. These girls were in a frenzy of sobbing! They were feeding off one another, one would start, then the other would lose it until all 8 of them would be nothing but sniveling sniffing puddles with wads of Kleenex strewn amongst them. Honestly, I found it annoying. If they had stood and started some sort of self flagellation, I would have had to stand up and say, “OK, enough already, where are your mothers!” I KNOW if they had been sitting with their parents instead of crushed against each other on the couch, they would have been more controlled in their crying and there would not have been this situation that appeared to be a perverse contest on who could honk the loudest into their crumpled tear sodden tissues.

At the internment, I made mention of this to one of my other Mom peers who stayed longer and she said something like, “Believe it or not, those girls were very comforting to the boys. After the wake, the boys only wanted to hang with the girls.” So as annoyed as I was initially, I do believe it served a purpose and if the boys took comfort in being with them in their vast hysteria, then it was a good thing.

I had never been to a Catholic wake where they did the rosary. As I said, Father does an excellent wake. The priest who did my Mother in laws, was a young inexperienced, intense, and emotionally withdrawn priest who actually said the word “Sh1t” instead of some other word during his wake homily... nearly throwing me to the aisle in a peel of laughter. A true live Mr. Bean if I had ever heard one. But Father is wonderful and it was interesting to hear… but I was so lost.

When my husband and I were in the car I said, “And who were all these women he was praying to?' to which he replied, "Hon, it was the Hail Mary. They were all Mary." I asked, "ALL those names were for Mary?!" and then I added, "And did it not seem odd that they were really focusing on Mary’s sexuality when they were praying to Mary? Mother of the Virgins, Mother of he undefiled, Mother of the Immaculate Conception and on and on and on.” He started to laugh and said, “Hon, it was the Hail Mary. Mary was the Mother of Christ and those are all her names.” It was interesting.

I made it through the funeral without much trouble, although I feared the worst when they started with Bridge Over Troubled Waters. That always jerks at my heart. But then as P. and his boys and the family and the Pallbearers, came down the aisle with her casket, I noticed that her casket was draped in the 2nd grade 1st Holy Communion quilt from last year. Every year, our 2nd graders make a quilt. When my kids are in 2nd grade, it is I that sews their squares together. Last year was my year off and seeing that quilt on her casket made me very thankful. I couldn’t have handled it if I had sewn that quilt. Upon finishing the quilt, the 2nd graders always find someone in need of prayer and hope and gift the family the quilt… last year it was J. and so exception was made and instead of the traditional flowers on the casket… it was adorned in a handmade quilt from last years 2nd grade. It was a beautiful touch and sentiment.

A Little Background on My Mom Peer

J. was diagnosed a year ago this past August with a disease called Myelodysplastic Syndrome or MDS. Sometimes referred to as pre-leukemia, a new drug was put on the fast track and approved to treat the disease this past May, but by then it was too late for J. as hers had already turned into Acute Myelogenous Leukemia or AML.

J. started her treatment for MDS here in West Palm at our local hospital, but when she was diagnosed with AML, she chose to receive her treatment in Tampa at the Moffit Center. She received excellent care there and we were all very pleased. She went through chemo and although when we first discovered what was happening, she told me over and over that there was no way in hell she would ever have a bone marrow transplant, as she had seen one done on Discovery Channel and thought it horrific (a good reason I don’t need to watch that stuff), when her doctor’s were able to get her into remission, she started the process of finding a match. It was irrelevant as she stayed in remission less than two weeks, the MDS throwing her back into a leukemic state. The doctors were able to keep it at bay, but I think she was never really back in remission. I am unsure whether in the end the MDS took her life or the leukemia… but it really is irrelevant. All that matters is she is no longer with us and left behind are two boys who miss their Mom and a husband missing his wife.

When she was diagnosed with MDS, I was the Mom tasked with information gathering. It suited me. I have friends in the various professions that I could ask questions of and I knew how to get what I needed out of the internet. The medical jargon doesn’t scare me. Having worked in a statistical field for so long, I could make my way through all the numbers, seeking out the answers she needed. I did my research and was told to wait for her call. She didn’t call and didn’t call and I thought perhaps she had her answers, until that one morning at 7:30 AM, an hour before her flight to Sloan Kettering. And then she asked, “What have YOU found?” and I had to tell her. It was grim, but I was upbeat. I could not bring myself to give her a verbal death sentence. I am not God. Who am I to say? I was very optimistic, but pragmatic and inside I was sick. Typically it is a disease that hits people older than she was, and my reply to her when speaking of survivability was, “Why not you? Why can it not be you that makes it to the end and sees your boys graduate from school and get married?” And then I said, “But you know, if it turns to leukemia… the story changes.” And it did. Within 4 months, she had AML. I knew then her days were numbered. I never expected her to make it to June. She made it to October. She never asked me my opinion on her prognosis. She knew I knew.

Carnival of the Recipes

It is up! SarahK at Moutaineer Musings was the hostess with the mostess recipes this week and she has them HERE.

She says on mine that she hopes that when she is in Florida next that I will make my chicken for her. Well... we all know WHY she will be in Florida next... and I have to say, "SarahK, I live 3 hours south of your sweetie, but I promise you, if you make the 3 hour trip, you will get far more than this Chicken dish! It'll be a wonderful meal with a lavish dessert!"

Go peruse her list of recipes. It appears that once again, everyone has outdone themselves.


Forget that election junk. I'm over it. November 2nd will come and go, and I suspect that the US of A will not spontaneously combust if the guy I'm voting against gets in. Everyone needs to just chill out and vote and let the chips fall where they may.... Because there are so many great things to life... like...

Congratulations to Doug and Jody of Iowa Geek in the birth of their first child... A Baby Girl!

Welcome to this world and to loving parents:
Brenna Clare Halsted!

And to Doug and Jody... I hope you got a lot of sleep in the preceding months as there will be no more sleep for the next 18 years... but it is all so worth it. I promise.

Carnival of the Pajamas

Sticking with the Costume theme of the week, is THIS entry.

I was in the costume shop with my kids a few weeks ago, telling my husband I really really hoped that we didn't get invited to a costume party as I wasn't in the mood... post hurricane and all that jazz. My boys immediately chimed in, telling me if I got invited, they got to pick what I was going to be. Great. I was very afraid; however, pleasantly surprised at how they see me from their eyes.

Luckily there were no parties this year... everyone is feeling the post hurricane stuff and all that jazz, so I didn't have to worry about the fact I am not, tall enough, lean enough, my hair is not short enough, and I don't have those kick ass boots.

They wanted my husband to go as THIS, and although he does not have the height, it would have been easier for him to pull off then their suggestion for me.

Next week... my entry will be a picture of what my 5 year old really thinks I look like. I love that kid.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Chicken Divan

My entry into this week's Carnival of the Recipes... hosted by the Lovely SarahK. Deadline, tonight, midnight. Recipes go to recipes.carnival(at) gmail (dot) com.

This recipe is one of our staples. I serve with rice.

Chicken Divan
1 10 oz pkg frozen broccoli spears
1/4 C butter
1/3 C all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 C milk
1 C chicken broth
1/4 dry white wine (I am more liberal, I confess... I think I go up to 1/3)
1/3 C shredded swiss (Once again... I use more)
4 Chicken breast halfs cooked (I sautee in advance)
1/4 C grated Parm cheese

Steam broccoli spears and drain. Arrange in a 9x13 baking dish.

In a pan, melt butter; stir in flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add milk and broth all at once. Cook and stir till bubbly; continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in wine. Add cheese; stir till melted.

Pour half sauce over broccoli. Top with chicken. Pour remaining sauce over all. Sprinkle Parm cheese and paprika atop. Bake at 350 deg for 20 minutes or until heated through.

A Day in the Life of a Principal

Sometimes things happen around me that are so damn funny, I fear I cannot do them justice with the written word. But I will try with this. Stick with me as this takes a bit.

Our school was destroyed so the kids are in another church’s religious ed rooms. Lovely facility. The problem, however, is there is no playground and there was no place for our principal and his secretary. One of the parents is a builder, so he had a trailer placed for them to use as office space. The trailer is on the back of the classrooms, sitting on the big big parking lot that the kids also use for recess and PE.

When you walk into this trailer, you walk into the secretary’s office. Take a right and you go down this 2 foot hallway into the other half, the principal’s office. Now my treasurey files have been in his office taking space for awhile, so last week, they decided to move them into what I thought was a closet. Assessing the women in the room, it became apparent that I was the only person besides Mr. H. that could move these enormous file cabinets. So with hand truck and leg power, he and I moved them into what I thought was a closet. It is not. It is a bathroom. A non-functioning bathroom as there is no water hook up into this trailer.

My joke has been, “Wow. Thank you so much for providing me a seat while I go through my files!” Every morning I walk in and every morning I tap on his door and ask Mr. H if it’s OK for me to go into my office and get my files. We all laugh. Until this morning…

I walk in and the secretary says to me, “I have something I have to tell you.” It is a grim sound. I said, “Oh please tell me we have not overspent. I am watching that account like a hawk!” (Our finances are in shambles too now that the school was destroyed.) She replies, “No, no, no… nothing like that…” and she waits for the little kids in the office to clear out.

It appears that a little girl went in there a couple days ago… and took a dump…in the non functioning potty…. that is part of the principal’s office. Basically, she took a dump in MY office. Now they are all horrified and I’m laughing so hard, I have tears in my eyes. Apparently, the secretary was hemming the pants for J’s kids for the funeral and when J.'s youngest came in to try on the pants, he came out of the bathroom and said, “Mrs. M, it really really stinks in there,” to which her reply was, “Oh sweetie, I know. This entire trailer stinks” and he said, “No. I mean it REALLY stinks.” That’s when it was found. Within hours the stench was seeping into the principal’s office… to his desk.

I walk in this morning as they are deciding what to do about it. There are buckets, chlorox, paper towels, a disposable commode cleaner, newspapers… you name it. The secretary is completely skeeved out. The principal, who cracks me up, is totally non plussed by the entire situation. Watching them together is comedy in itself. She walks out of the trailer for MORE cleaning supplies, and he walks into the offending closet saying to me, “I don’t see what the big deal is. What is the difference between people poop and dog poop?” And I’m thinking, “Wow. I cannot believe I’m having a poop conversation with the principal of our school.”

She comes back and he has removed 'it' with papertowels and newspapers and he also has buckets of water so they can clean. She’s getting more and more whacked about it, saying, “Don’t flush it! Don’t flush it! We don’t know where the pipe comes out.” She ends with, “I’m going outside with a bucket to find the pipe so we can catch it.” She leaves and he looks at me and says, “We want to catch this?! I don’t want to catch this stuff in a bucket! What is the big deal?” and he goes into his people poop /dog poop comparison…

I’m laughing and saying, “Mr. H, dogs don’t have infectious diseases and AIDS, people do” . He turns and replies, “Mrs. L, my kids do NOT have AIDS, “ and with that, he FLUSHES it. I’m laughing and gasping. SHE comes back in and she’s yelling, “You flushed it!”

We walk outside and that pipe… it juts right out from the trailer, pointing out at the parking lot. There are wads of nasty toilet paper and ick right there in the parking lot. Mr. H. says, “Hmm. I think I shouldn’t have flushed it. Maybe catching it would have been better” as he is using bleach and paper towels to pick up all this nasty toilet paper sewage from next to the trailer.

I am laughing even harder. I can’t figure out what has done it, watching this whole Mars/Venus thing with the excrement or watching the principal roll up his sleeves and take care of it… or the thought of them discovering some kid had taken a dump in his office…

I will tell you… I have enormous respect for this man now. He would not ask anyone to do something he himself would not do.

We now have the lid to the commode duct taped down so nobody else will inadvertently use it.

Coming Out From Under the Rock

Where have I been, folks, oh, where have I been? I believe the answer is ‘I’ve been living under some dang rock.’ Incredible the things I learn. And I pride myself in being oh so observant and really understanding what is going on around me… How could I be so wrong?

I was over at Anita’s… again… and found THIS. She cracks me up. So she is talking about Tupperware parties and all the other home parties and how she hates going. But in her list, I caught the word “s.e.x toy party”. Whaaa??? So I asked in her comment section if it was in fact real, that they have s.e.x. toy parties and their answer was… YES! Hello? Oh.My.God. I am 39 years old and I had never heard of such a thing. I thought someone was pulling my leg.

But is true. I found this site HERE. Holy crap, Lion tours! (It’s an article people, no worries about work safe sites. It is safe. You know me... I'd be putting up all sorts of disclaimers.)

I’m sorry. I could not attend one. No. Not me. Trust me, I am no prude, but in public, no thank you. I could not sit in a room full of people, let alone people I don’t frickin’ KNOW, holding these toys in my hands or go into a bathroom and try out various gels, like I would want people thinking I was having the Big O in their restroom. Oh no no no no. I’m sorry. I just.could.not.

In the article it states that this was perfect for women who would never walk in ‘those stores’. Yeah? Really? Guess, what? I see no difference. If I’m going to go to some show where some woman is going to tell me what I need to do to my extracurricular life, then I might as well walk in the store. It’s the same thing in my mind. YOU’RE STILL BEING PUBLIC WITH IT! Geez.

I’m just picturing too many things in my head. Like some woman saying, “Excuse me? But do you have this in a larger size?” or my Mom asking me what my plans were for the weekend and my replying, “Oh, I’m going to a s.e.x. toy party”. Or groups of women getting too graphic about what their men want or like… stuff I don’t want to know about them. It blows my mind. No pun intended.

I must confess, however, if I were to attend one of these with my sister, we would get kicked out. I’ll say ANYTHING about ANYTHING to my sister. And I can picture us getting so raunchy and my laughing so hard that we would be asked to leave. I have this laugh that can be uncontrollable. My Mom says it’s like shaking up a coke can then opening it. Once it starts, you can’t make it stop. I can get to laughing so hard I’m crying and hyperventilating. I can’t speak. And nobody on this Earth can make me laugh that hard as much as my sister. And I can see us at one of those and it would be a very very bad thing for everyone else involved.

But that is not to be. I will have to pass on this type party. Tsk Tsk. It’s just stepping way way too far out of my sphere of comfort. Knowing my friends, however, I seriously doubt I need worry about being invited to one.

Update: I was wrong. I have one friend that would have one. *ahem* She knows who she is. DO NOT INVITE ME!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Carnival of the Recipes

The Carnival of the Recipes is being hosted this week by the lovely Sarahk of Mountaineer Musings!

If you have a recipe you would like to share, you need not have a blog. Just e-mail it to her at recipes.carnival (at) gmail (dot) com. If you have a blog, you have an instant easy post! Post your recipe and then throw her the permalink via the same gmail address.

So, cook, type, send. Piece of Pie... I mean Cake. And yes... you can submit any type of recipe. Dessert, main course, side dish, you name it. I think they even have a special category for 'mixed drinks'.

Deadline... Thursday at Midnight, EST. Don't be late!

The Mother Lion Comes Out

Me thinks Son#3's teacher did not realize she was messing with the wrong frickin' Mom.

Today I started him with my neighbor the reading specialist. This is what she does... all day long... works with kindergarten and first graders on reading and writing. I picked him up after an hour and she rolled her eyes. She said she was going to do a developmental test on him next, but first blush is that he is fine. Sure, there is some weakness in the tendons in his wrist, something we can work on, but other than that, she said she was kind of impressed by what he knew after 11 weeks of hugely interrupted education.

Oh.. to not tell his teacher to "Bite me!" if she says anything. And that specialist woman... ohhhh.... she is on my major major sh1t list. Major.

I am going to stay focused with him, but it is going to be difficult not to cop an attitude and say to either of them, "I am raising a boy here... not a saint." GRRR!

The parting comment of my neighbor was, "Are you sure you have not gotten one of those teachers that does not like boys?" I just stared at her because I had NEVER given her any indication that this was so... yet this is what goes around school all the time.

"Oh. You got Mrs. K? Good luck this year. She isn't good with boys." HUMPF!

I am keeping an open mind, however. I am not ignoring the possibility that there is not a problem, but as of right now... he is fine and I am thoroughly pissed.

Oh, What to Wear, What to Wear...

My Readers: So, Bou, what did you do today?

Bou: Well, today I sat in my car running carpools, thinking about what I want to wear to MY funeral.

Yes, it is true. See, J. was a mother of boys and a very casual person like me. Where I spend most of my time in shorts and a t-shirt, she spent all her time in stretch pants and big t-shirts. She never looked slovenly, but very casual. Unlike me, however, she was never required to go places nice, nor did she want to. In essence, the old adage, “Oh! But I have nothing to wear” directly applies here. My friends have been going through her closet trying to find something appropriate and have found nothing… so one of them went out and bought her something last night. She went to the mall and purchased J. an outfit to wear to her funeral.

As my Mother said, “How sad that she finally got something new, but has to wear it at her funeral.” Yeah, that about sums it up.

So today my mind has been wandering… do I want to be cremated? If I die young, where do I want my body or ashes? Do I want them sent to The Great Omnipotent One’s family’s plot or here? If they keep my carcass here, nobody will visit as my husband’s family cemetery is way out in the sticks. We’ve been to his Mother’s grave twice in five years. The third will be Saturday as it’s the same cemetery as J. is being buried.

If I were to die young, my husband would remarry. He may think he would not, but he would. You have to meet my husband to understand why. (Think Al Pacino from Godfather Part I. Think Andy Garcia with a very slight dash of George Clooney.) Every woman who is single in Palm Beach County, and maybe some married ones too, would be beating down his door before I was even cold, to get their hands on him. Eventually he would succumb to some woman’s wily ways and then he’d be stuck with this double plot with my body or ashes in it. Then of course his new wife sure as hell wouldn’t want him buried with his old wife, so… that has been my train of thought.

If I die young, I think I need to go to Birmingham. Ashes or body. I can’t decide. But as of now, I am leaning towards ashes.

Can you imagine being an alien from outer space and saying to a human, “So, what do you do with your dead?” and the answer is, “Oh… well… we preserve our dead bodies then we stick them in the ground or in a vault. Forever.” Truly, what an incredibly bizarre ritual we have established. This preserving and keeping of something that is no longer useful.

What I really really want is a big frickin’ floating funeral pyre. Put my body on a big wooden raft, shove it out to sea and light it. A good old fashioned Viking funeral. But I think the EPA would have issues with that, as well as every other governmental group that has an ‘A’ at the end of it.

Eh, so I’m back to square one. I do know that either way, I do not want my girlfriends or mother or sister rummaging through my clothes thinking “Holy crap, lion tours, this girl has NOTHING to wear!” I’ve thought about my Karate gi, but I think my husband would not be happy.

I’m thinking, I’m thinking. I know, it sounds twisted, but I think it is part of my grieving process. Putting me in her shoes and making sure I tie up these loose ends.

Right now I’m leaning towards either my red suit (I look good in red) or my royal blue dress. But I think the royal blue dress may be too clingy. I love black… but that’s what everyone else would be wearing and I don’t want to look like everyone else.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Everything He Needs to Know, He is Learning in Kindergarten

OK, it is time to explain the Parent Teacher Conference.

First let me state that Son#3 is an amazingly cute kid with a very funny personality and the fact he uses adult words such as ‘Isn’t that delightful?’ makes him that much more endearing. His teacher actually loves him. She told me he is so sweet and they LOVE having him in class.

But… we have issues. Personal space issues, fine motor skill issues, not following instructions issues… When I hear the “Well, he is a June birthday, you need to keep in mind that he may not be ready for first grade” I can feel myself shut down and from that point on, she may as well be Charlie Brown’s teacher saying, ‘Wah, wah, wah, waaaaah’.

Personal space issues: he keeps hugging the other kids and is constantly in their face. I view it as impulse problems. We are working on it. I can see it, I’m not blind.

For instance, his first soccer game, he came running up to me right before the game started and said, “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. (because he can never say Mom just once), Zachary is on the other team!” With that, the entire first quarter, he and Zachary were hugging all over each other, playing and messing around. I nearly came unglued. All the parents are laughing. I gave him the Mom evil eye a couple times, but he gave me that impish grin that said, “I’m on the soccer field during a soccer game. Aren’t I cute? You aren’t really going to come out here are you?” Needless to say, there was no more hugging the last 3 quarters after I made my way to the bench. That doesn’t mean he contributed, however. At one point he was goalie. I kept thinking, “Dear God, please don’t let them kick it down that way now” as I watched him step out of the big goalie box and start playing with one of the flags.

In his defense… none of his other 5 year old teammates are any better. Seriously. They all spend their time picking dandelions or grass or staring at the clouds, or day dreaming about whatever 5 year olds day dream about.

The fine motor skill issues… I am getting to the bottom of now. They have a specialist (who I was NOT impressd with) working with him, but I think it is not an occupational therapy thing, but that he just ‘flat out has too much to do and doesn’t have time for silly things like coloring, drawing, or writing his name.’ I’m not kidding. But I am working on it and my next door neighbor is a 1st grade teacher and she’s helping me once a week with him also. I will tell you, I was offended when they told me that ‘they needed to see improvement’ because I saw A LOT of improvement.

August, they had him do a self portrait. I saw two circle blobs with lines jutting out of them… I think maybe the sticks were arms and they were coming out of the head.

September he did another. This time the circle blobs were attached and there was a face and definitive arms and legs and… it.was.anatomically.correct. We had boobs, a belly button… yeah, we had a naked blob person.

October yet another. This time he was not naked, but there were 5 stick fingers and 5stick toes and hair. I was informed we need a neck and that his arms and legs should no longer be sticks but rectangles and that his round body should be square. Whatever. I wanted to say, "Bite me", but I refrained.

Now, if that is not marked improvement in 2 months, 2 weeks of which we DID NOT have school due to hurricanes, then I don’t know what is. If they expect him to be Michelangelo by December, I have a rude awakening for them all. It ain’t happening. I’m happy with his improvement; I refuse to be discouraged.

They carried on about his handwriting. I said, “Have you seen his father’s? His father told me that he didn’t have time to have nice handwriting… he had too many other things to do.” I got a blank stare from the specialist and the teacher.

Then of course we have the 'following directions' issues… which we are working on.

So I’m concerned enough that we are working really hard, but I’m keeping my chin up that we will make it through. He’s a very bright child, it is just a matter of focusing now and teaching him impulse control. It’s all about personal space.

No more kissing Lisa at the Lite Brite.

Children are an Open Book

Every Tuesday after school, Son#1 has band practice. Our routine now is for me to pick up the other two boys and take them to this quaint little French Patisserie I found down the street from the Church/makeshift new school. I get them a quick snack, geting something to go for my trumpet player, and then we go back to school and do homework until Son#1 gets out of band practice. Over the last three weeks, the women in the shop have kind of come to expect to see us on Tuesdays.

Today I am standing there ordering their snack when my 5 year old says, "Mom. If Dad dies you aren't going to remarry. I know that." I'm standing there staring at him. He continues, "You really love my Daddy so I know you won't remarry." Have I mentioned lately that Son#3 does not speak, but only shouts? So I quietly said, "You are right. I would not remarry."

Of course I do not know for sure, never say never and all that, but I feel fairly certain I would not, but pray I am never in the horrible situation to have to find out. My husband and I discuss this a lot as this whole losing a spouse thing has really hit us hard. Three months ago, because of what has happened to J. and P. we went over my our life insurance policies as well as what we would receive in Social Security for the boys... anything helps.

So now I am standing in this little French Pastry Shop with my 5 year old declaring to God and Country... and anyone listening in this shop, that I love my husband and will not remarry should he die. Hmm. I am getting an odd look from the woman behind the counter.

But it does not end there. He continues, "Mom. If you die, you don't have to worry. We can take care of ourselves." Now the woman behind the counter has a mild look of surprise combined with horror. I said, 'You won't have to take care of yourselves. Mommy has made sure that if anything happens to me, there will be people who love you to help Daddy." and then I quietly turned to the woman behind the counter and murmured to her as I handed her payment, "We had a friend die this morning... a Mom." and her looked turned sympathetic and she nodded.

And With the Blink of an Eye...

…and the quiet whisper of a faint breath… she was gone.

I knew it was coming. I’ve known it since December. I’ve been quietly preparing people. I have known. But when you show up at school and you see the Mom who sent you the note last night about the Annointing of the Sick (formerly known as Last Rites) and you see she is wearing no make up and her eyes are swollen… you know. And yet, you are still trying to make sense. How can it be?

And her husband… have I ever in my life watched a man so lost? No. Never. He is roaming this world without a compass. The boat captain he is by profession is now navigating through life, lost in his own sea of grief. He was in denial until the very end. And… I.cannot.blame.him. How does one deal with losing their soul mate; losing the parent of their children? Hospice asked him yesterday what funeral home he wanted to use and he gave them a bewildered look and said, “Oh. Well. I don’t know. I hadn’t thought about it.” And last night, after Father gave J. her Last Rites, P. told my two friends that were sitting with him, “I’m going to take the boys home now. We’ll come back in the morning.” Stricken with the horror of his denial, they told him he could not leave, that it was time and they needed to stay. And just like that… within the hour… she was gone.

The boys heard for the first time yesterday that their mother was dying. Oh they have had counseling, but it has been, “Your Mother Is Sick” counseling, not “Your Mother Is Dying” counseling. That was to start yesterday. And of course it did… but not the way anyone had planned. And today is her youngest’s 10th birthday.

I have been in a fog most of the day. My body is reacting strangely… one minute my throat is closed off and I cannot breathe, my eyes burning with the sting from the salt of my tears. Other times, I can feel the bile rising in my throat as I want to vomit… as if emptying the contents of my stomach will somehow make this all go away like some horrible virus that has invaded my body. But it won’t. Nothing will. It is done.

I have been able to pull myself through this grief stricken fog off and on today. For a couple hours to smooch on VW’s boys and watch her youngest laugh at me… he seems to finally like the Crazy Lady. We started our Christmas shopping this morning. That is what we mothers do. We look after our children. We know what they want, what they love, what makes them laugh. And as I’m picking up the Ninja Turtle squirt gun that feeds off a big shell filled with water that Son#3 can wear on his back, I can hear him laughing. As I pick up the boxes of Harry Potter legos and put them in our cart, I can see Son#2 pulling out the directions and Son#1 dumping them upon the floor. I can see it. I can hear it. That is what we mothers do.

And now there is no mother for those little boys. There is no other woman other than their mother that knows what exactly makes them laugh and what little thing will bring a smile across their faces. But all they really want, all those two little boys want, at ages 10 and 12, is for their Mom to come back and none of us can provide it. And it is breaking my heart. Of all the funeral’s I’ve been to… the thought of seeing those little boys in the suit coats she borrowed for them so they would look nice at her funeral… it is an agony I cannot convey in words.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Happy Blogoversary, Grau

On March 5th, I opened my paper to find this hysterical article on a Retrosexual Code. (If you have not read it, you need to. I love it.) It gave full credit to the owner… a one Graumagus of Frizzensparks and it said it was a blog. I had never heard of a blog. So I jumped on line to the address given and read his Code, then I jumped to the Main page and read damn near everything he wrote. I could not quit laughing.

Every day, I would log on to see what he had come up with. It was way offbeat, he calls it deranged, I just call it funny as hell. And so… I became a loyal reader. After awhile I got the guts to comment. If you look at his stuff from March to June, I commented as –D. I had e-mailed him to let him know who I was… I didn’t want to be a troll, but I didn’t want personal info out there either, so I cleared it with him.

Through his blog I met the nicest man, a man with a big heart who loves his kids, has a cool hobby and a wonderfully wicked sense of humor and a man with some of the best friends I have ever witnessed. Most of Grau’s buddies comment at his place… and the glimpse of the bond he has with these people, completely warms my heart. As funny as he is, sometimes my favorite part is just watching him interact with his friends, they are all such wonderfully awesome people. And through Grau, I got to ‘meet’ them too.

Today is Grau’s 1 year Blogoversary. And as most of you know, he is one of my blog fathers. Through his blogroll I found other blogs, through one of his posts and his commenters, I found my other blog father, Harvey. A girl couldn’t be luckier than with these two gentlemen in her life.

So to Grau I say, “Happy Blogoversary”, with big hugs and kisses! Without you, I would not have found the blogosphere, I would not have found Harvey, and without both of you, I would not have found this cartharsis I have in my blog.

Thank you Big Guy! And may there be many many more.

Sing With Me Now... "Short People..."

I was over at That 1 Guy's and he posted about picking up his Mom's dishwasher and holding it like a boom box. Can you imagine how BIG you have to be to do something like that? Every now and then he posts something that just really hammers home the fact that if I stood next to him, I would look like a hobbit. Did I say I was only 5'2? Yeah. A picture of him is in THIS post. *grin* He's a cutie.

OK, so the post he wrote about the dishwasher reminded me that last week my husband came back from a business trip and said one of the clients he met was 7'5". Yes... read that again. SEVEN FEET, FIVE INCHES tall. Wow. I would That's 2 feet 3 inches bigger than I, in case you can't do to the math. Big.

And all I kept thinking was... I could never be married to someone that big... I would get crushed to death. *ahem* If you know what I mean...

Gut Feelings

It appears my gut feelings were right yesterday. My friend is not coming home. I just received an e-mail that she has received the Last Rites from our Parish priest. Her son's real birthday is tomorrow.

Boorish Behavior

I tell you, I'm ashamed sometimes by a great number of the citizens of this country. Truly ashamed. Blog Father Grau had a post today about how he is concerned about what it will be like on Nov 3rd with the election being so nasty.

If you do not live in Florida, please allow me to tell you what is happening here. It was in our papers today. We have early voting here... something that was brought into legislation due to the fiasco of the 2000 election. The rules of no soliciting by groups or campaign supporters within 50 feet of the entrance of a polling place on voting day DOES NOT apply to early voting. So people are being harassed. It is ugly. Polling places are on public governmental property, such as libraries, not like on voting day where they are at fire stations or churches.

In Orange County, someone took all the magazines at the library where voting was taking place and turned them so their candidates faces were showing. Someone from the opposing side checked them all out. People are being rude to the children in the library as their parents try to take them to read... trying to pass the throngs of voters. Orange County may close down all 8 sites.

In Palm Beach County, polling volunteers have literally walked out due to verbal abuse and harassment. Our Elections Supervisor has said, she cannot replace them. If they walk, she will close down the polling place. Period. One polling volunteer was physically manhandled. I believe I heard she may have already closed down 2 of our 8 early polling places, but I am unsure. As of this morning, she was thinking about it.

What have we come to? We are living in the greatest country in the world... 'a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable;...'

I am appalled and embarrassed... by both sides. Our forefathers must be turning in their graves, for surely they did not sacrifice 'their lives and fortunes' for this boorish single minded behavior. We are not leading other countries by example. We.Are.Not.

You Know Tomorrow May Not Be a Great Day When....

1) You have a Parent Teacher Conference for Son#3 the next day.

2) You get an e-mail from a friend right before you go to bed that you have a Memorial Service to go to the next day.

3) When you get the kid's clothes out for the next day and you realize you can't find Son#3's shoes... they cannot be in the house and it's too dark to search outside.

Yeah. It fully lived up to all expectations.

The Parent Teacher Conference went as poorly as I expected and then some. Not blogging material yet. It still needs to settle in.

The Memorial Service was for a friend of mine's father and although he had been ill for years, it still came as a surprise. But, really, seriously, are we ever really ready for a parent to pass? No. When she saw me, she grabbed on to me and I hugged her as hard as I could as she seemed to be trying to derive sustaining energy from me. I felt awful. But I felt more awful when she grabbed my hand and said, "Oh wait. You have to come see Daddy and see what a great job they did. Doesn't he look wonderful?" I must have said something right as it brought a comforting squeeze to my hand but I was thinking, "Wonderful? I think he looks dead." I think I made a comment about liking his suit.

Son#3's shoes are history. Not salvageable. Better Half found them in the driveway as he was taking Son#3 to school. They had been sitting next to a sprinkler so they were full of puddled rotten egg smelling well water. I put them in the laundry room, thinking nothing of it, only to come back from dropping Sons 1 and 2 off at school, walking back in the house and thinking, "My God! What has died in this room?" only to realize it was his shoes. Luckily we had one spare pair... which is much luck as my kids each typically only own one pair. Sneakers or barefeet... that is all boys need.

So all and all, not a great day. I'm trying to laugh about it all now. A good shoe burning would do it. Not even the Gold Bond Foot Powder can save them this time.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

'Food' Cravings

The hysterically funny Anita at Fighting Inertia was talking about this Se.x Survey, HERE.

OK, so this survey is kind of depressing if you ask me. Go over there and look. Bleh. Only 30% of women always get the big O and 74% of the men. Manomanoman, sounds like to me there are some serious communication problems going on in America. How depressing.

BUT, that is not what this post is about.

Anita asks this hilarious question:

“The poll says that 70% of men think of sex every day and that 43% think about it several times a day. Ok, guys, when exactly are you thinking about this? I mean, if you are in a business meeting, are you thinking about having sex with women in the meeting? Or when you are brushing your teeth in the morning, are you just wondering it maybe your wife or girlfriend is in mood? Or do you see a television ad with a sexy woman, and that sets you off thinking about it?

One of her commenters says, “When you're hungry do you think about a specific type of food or just food in general? I think the latter is kind of the way it is for men. We think about sex in general not so much specifics”

So I am wondering, is this true of all men? When men think of se.x, do they think like, “Hmm. I’m hungry. I would like to find something to eat.” Do all men feel this way or is this an individual thing? Because I’m a specific kind of person. I am more like, “I’m hungry, a grilled cheese sounds really good right about now.” Just sayin’…

I never thought of this as a male vs. female thing. I just assumed everyone was 'specific' when thinking about 'food'. Is it a Mars Venus thing or an individual thought process? Does this even make sense? Ack!

My Potentially New Blue Roof

We have a roof leak. I had to call my insurance company, who btw was great. I’m waiting for the next rain to see if it is an active leak or if it happened only during the hurricane and we just now noticed. If it’s an active leak, I have to call 1888 Roof-Blu (I kid you not) and get a tarp for my roof. Not happy. Not happy at all. I don’t want a blue tarp on my roof. One of the Mom’s at the party said laughingly, “Oh! But that is so ‘in’ right now.” Oh yea? Bite me. I don’t want to be 'in'.

So the sweet young thing insurance woman says to me, “You need to make sure you don’t have an insulation problem… as in wet insulation that will mold. Go in your attic where the leak is and take a rake and fluff up your insulation. Oh, and don’t forget to wear a mask.”

The probability of my going into my attic while wearing a protective mask and ‘fluffing’ up my insulation is exactly… zero.

And I don’t want a frickin’ blue tarp.

Christmas is Coming and I'm Running Away

Every year I put out a funny Christmas letter with a picture of my kids. It’s not one of those set Christmas pictures with my kids dressed sweetly sitting on the beach. Usually I grab them up, throw them in a collared shirt and long pants, wipe the food off their faces and say, “Stand there, dammit. And smile. It’s Christmas.” Then I take 24 pictures assuming one of them will have all three smiling. The other 23 usually have at least one kid whining, one giving another rabbit ears, someone is blinking, or a kid decides to make a face in protest… either thinking it is funny or wondering how far they can push me before I come totally unglued.

A sample of last year’s letter (yes, I replaced my name):

To recap this year, we had a frog commandeer the kid’s commode, an event that provided me with great fodder for my e-mail stories some of you receive, we discovered a hard boiled egg will fit down a bathroom sink drain with enough force applied, and growing a butterfly garden in the Boudicca Family yard only serves the purpose of providing caterpillar breakfast for the early bird. A rat took up residence in my van eating through wiring harnesses and rendering it undriveable. (It took 4 days to kill the rat, that ate the cheese, that took over the van that Boudicca drove. I crack myself up!) We’re currently adding an addition to our home which is throwing me over the edge. I seriously contemplated decorating the Port-O-Let in our front yard with Christmas lights and having this year’s Christmas picture with the kids gathered around, … but decided that it was a bit edgy even for me.

By this time of year I am usually finished with my Christmas shopping. This year I have bought two books. I’m tired, folks. I am tired. And it’s not a ‘tired I need more sleep’ tired, but an 'overwhelmed my bones hurt' tired that all Floridians are feeling. The thought of this holiday season is daunting to me. I am not in a good place.

I’ve been thinking about that damn Christmas letter and the thought of having to send out all those frickin’ cards. Bah! And I KNOW that someone out there has theirs finished and will mail it the day before Thanksgiving so I will receive it the day after. Let me tell you now, if you are one of those people… I hate you. One year I was so late I mailed out New Year’s letters.

I’m writing this year’s letter in my head. I’m thinking of something like this:

Got hit by two hurricanes. 1 Roof leak, lost some trees, but we’re fine. Parents got hit by a hurricane, need a new roof and lost a ton of trees. They are fine. Kids are one year older than last year. Still married. Husband hasn’t left me for someone younger or thinner yet. Life is good. Merry Christmas and Happy Efing New Year.

Hunh. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll wait until I find my happy place and am not feeling quite so edgy.

The Last Birthday Party

Today I participated in a birthday party. I say participated because all the Moms got together and threw a big 10th birthday party for my friend J.’s son. His birthday is actually Tuesday, but we had a bash for him on the sports fields. His Mom always threw him one and we weren’t about to let this be the birthday that wasn’t, so a couple Moms coordinated it and the rest of us brought something. 60 kids were invited… every kid in 4th grade. The Dads stayed too to help with the sports. It was three hours of running, food, cake and balloons.

I was in charge of balloons. I damn near had a heart attack as a couple of them popped on my way to the pavilion. Here I am toodling along the road when BLAM! a balloon pops. I’m lucky I didn’t crash.

We tried to make it a great time. Her husband taped the whole thing and the women folk, we Moms, made complete fools of ourselves on the tape. But I should rephrase… it was as great a time as it could be… with her not there.

They took her to Hospice this morning. And this is where everyone was coming to me. I seem to be the realist of the group so whenever anything happens, all the Moms come to me and say, “What do YOU think?”

When I got there and P. saw me with my bazillion helium balloons he came over and gave me a big hug. He told me that her fluids were low so they took her to Hospice to bring her levels back up, but that she would be back in a couple days. Hmmm.

See, this is our problem. He is off and on in denial, which is perfectly normal, but as outsiders, we.are.not. We are set very firmly in acceptance. His denial is different now. It was ‘she’s not going to die; we will beat this’, but now it is, ‘she’ll be with us for a few more months’, but none of us are so sure that is true either. So when I heard she would be back in a couple days in the same breath with ‘we took her to Hospice this morning’, big warning bells went off in my head. Is it true? Or is he saying it because he cannot bear to think she is not coming back… and it’s his son’s birthday? I just don’t know.

And as the Moms kept coming up to me saying, “What do you think of this?” my standard reply was, “It’s one of two things. Yes, they are bringing her fluid levels up as their goal is to keep her comfortable and they will not let her die of dehydration OR it is bad and this is it. I just don’t know. I don’t have enough information. But I will tell you, she looked good on Friday.”

I am banking on her coming back home and taking it all at face value… it is what he said. But a part of me is bracing myself for the big ‘this is it’.

And her son, he was not happy at the party, which is to be expected. His Mom was NOT there as we had planned. His Mom is dying and although his parents haven’t spoken of it, he KNOWS it. He was distracted. As my Mom said, “He is trying to make sense of his world.” Hospice counseling starts next week, which I have to throttle back my anger as I think it should have started a few weeks ago, but who am I to say? I do not walk in their shoes so I CANNOT judge. It is wrong for me to do so.

Hospice told them last week to tell the boys and they have not. How do you tell your kids you are dying and will not see them at Christmas? How do you tell your kids you will not see them graduate from High School? How do you tell your kids you will not see them marry or hold their children when they are babies? How does one do that?

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Something to Write Home About

I was over at The Cheese Stands alone, and LeeAnn had THIS handwriting quiz. I know, it's kinda odd, but this is how I came out.

You delay the inevitable. OK, maybe. But not really. I got this because I write to the very bottom of the page. I don't have even top and bottom margins. Maybe it means I'm a conservationist, huh! What about people who write notes on their margins? I do that TOO! Humpf!

You are diplomatic, objective, and live in the present. Guess what? My family and good friends are laughing hysterically at this. It's the diplomatic part that has them gasping for air. I got this because I write up and down. No slant.

You are reasonably open, but can be trusted with a secret. I see myself as being more open, but when reading the other answers I realize they mean as in extroverted I think as opposed to societal views. Yeah, I'm only reasonably open then. I can be rather aloof unless I know you. (This was based on loopiness of the letters.)

You are gentle calm and spiritual. Calm, eh? Is THIS calm? Just wondering... (This came from how much pressure I put on a pencil.)

You have a normal sized ego. Yeah, I agree with that. Based on how my signature is. (Nothing big and flowery.)

I'm going to work on changing my handwriting and see if it changes my personality. No more regular signature for me! No! I will get myself a BIG ego!

You NEVER Know!

I have blogged before that I do an awful lot with elderly women. Many of the organizations I volunteer with are comprised of women significantly older than myself. I actually love it. They are hysterical and knowledgeable. The only difference between them and me is their bodies are actually breaking down and mine just feels like it.

Today was a meeting for a group I’m in that does a lot for the blind. We raise money and buy dogs for organizations to be trained as Seeing Eye Dogs. We collect glasses for the various organizations that use them for the indigent. We send children to the Lion’s Club camp for blind children. I love the work we do in this group. And they’re a great group of women… of which, other than 1 or two women in their 50s, I am the youngest by 30 years.

I was talking to one woman today who is 93. I’ve blogged on her before. She’s the woman from THIS (Real Men Plan Their Own Mother's Funerals) post who was talking about the fierce hair. I was asking her how she was doing as she looked pretty darn good. She told me she is not well, that 3 of her heart valves are leaking, so she tries not to fall so her heart doesn’t give out. The woman is no bigger than a minute. Itty bitty thing. Can you imagine ‘trying not to fall’? She still lives alone, but her ‘boys’ took her car keys. Thank God. I do get a kick when she talks about her boys, like they are 20 year old man/boys. The oldest just turned 70.

Anyway, she took my hand and said, ‘The reason I’ve lived so long as I used to walk 9 miles a day. I always took care of myself. They’re paying all these silly people to do these studies on something I knew all along.” It was funny.

So where am I going with this? We have bought an unborn puppy that is to arrive in January and it is planned that it will go through this Seeing Eye Dog training. The trainer is waiting and we get to name it. They’re throwing names around and this 78 year old woman next to me says, “We should name it Veeger”. Blank stares from everyone. She looks at everyone and says, “Obviously I need to explain this… there is this episode in Star Trek…”

I didn’t make it any further than that, nor did the woman across from me. After she finished the woman across from me said, “Let me get this straight… you watch Star Trek.” I cracked up. I’m still laughing. Ahhhh…. Good times.

Slumber Parties

Son#2 is at his first sleepover. It's a slumber party with 4 other boys from his class. The Mom has another son, so there are 6 boys in her house tonight. Good Lord.

Anyway, it is 8:00 and I am awaiting a phone call from the Mom to come pick him up. I don't think he'll make it through the night. Yesterday he was saying, "Mom, what happens if I miss you?" Hmm. It wouldn't be that bad if they lived nearby, but they don't. I live out in the country; NOBODY lives nearby. It's a 30 minute drive. I'm just hoping I get the call by 9PM and not at midnight.

So yesterday we were going over what he was taking. He was distressed as he sleeps in his underwear and I suggested he think about wearing shorts to sleep in. I told him to play it by ear, but chances are the other boys wear pajamas. (None of mine do.) Then he said he was taking Piglet. He still sleeps with his Piglet, who we now call Pigman. (He even took Piglet into surgery with him a few years ago and when he awoke, the orthopedic surgeon had made a little cast for Piglet's arm too.) Son#1 in hearing that he intended to take Pigman said, "Wait! They might SEE it!"

I had to shush him and explain that to a 7 year old, there is still the naivete and that nobody was going to care that he had Pigman. I hope I'm right. I said something to the Mom and she assured me that her son still sleeps with something, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Pigman doesn't become an issue at school.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Karate... The Week in Review

Wow. I haven't done this in a long time. Perhaps because... I'M HORRIBLY OUT OF SHAPE AND DIDN'T TRAIN THE ENTIRE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER AND I SUCK! Yeah. That about sums it up.

I am remotivated today. I knew I had hit my groove again when I was waiting for my dinner to heat up after training tonight and I caught myself trying out various blocks and punches right in the middle of my kitchen.

Anyway... as for how training went tonight... Tonight we did "Circle of Death"

'Nuff said.

A Very Cool Thing

Jack of Random Fate (he lives in France, but I believe at this time he was in London) saw THIS and took a picture FOR ME and posted it on his blog. I thought it was just a super cool thing to do.

The blogosphere is so fun. I'll be out and about and someone will say something or do something and I'll think, "Oh Tammi or Sally would think this is so funny!" or I'll see a girl who fills out a tank top nicely and think of Harvey or John. Or I'll hear of a re-enactment going on and I think of Grau or Contagion.

It's just so funny how the blogosphere has so integrated into my life. I think it's cool.

And thank you, Jack!

Carnival of the Recipes

It's UP! It's UP! This week's Carnival is POSTED! Allan of Inside Allan's Mind has been good enough to be this week's Host with the Most. You can find it HERE!

It looks wonderful so mosey on over and take a look. You may find something new for dinner next week... or dessert... or breakfast...

I Knew Them When...

I had the weirdest thing happen to me today. You’re not going to believe it.

I have many friends I worked with that I keep in touch with… mainly via e-mail and a couple of them they just send me jokes. Only my best friend from work knows I have a blog...the rest do not, most of them no longer live in town, and we don’t run in the same circles nor do we talk about what we read on the internet.

One guy in particular lives in Tampa now. He worked in engineering and he’s a great guy. He’s one that just sends me jokes or e-mails about how much the Vets hate Kerry. We never speak about anything really personal. He has NO CLUE I have a blog; I didn’t even know he knew what a blog was. Then today I got an e-mail from him… I was on a distribution list… it was THIS.

My buddy is a Viet Nam vet as a lot of my buddies from my old place of work were. He was Army. I was floored when I saw it. It specifically says in the title: 'From a blog from'. My eyes popped open as I read… and it was Harvey's posting of one of Peter’s comments. Of course I immediately e-mailed my buddy back as to what a small world it really is.

So to Harvey and Peter… you have now become Internet spam. And I am proud to have seen it first! And don't forget us little people!

Their Last Anniversary Dinner

Today was the day. It was their last anniversary… #15. I did the grocery shopping last night and spent most of the time walking through the aisles of Publix in more of zombie mode, just staring at the food completely horrified at the task before me. I had called them earlier and J. answered. I told I was making Pot Roast, but I could make anything. She chose pork chops. I asked her about dessert and she told me ice cream and gave me the specific brand her husband likes, as she does not eat sweets anymore.

I called my sister about it this morning. I’ve been keeping it together, but the prospect of not knowing what to expect upon seeing her since I’ve not seen her since BEFORE her first Chemo treatment in January, was more than daunting. And before anyone thinks I’ve been some chicken and didn’t have the guts to go see her, that is not it at all. She specifically told all of us that she DID NOT want to see ANY of us. She wouldn’t even let her children come visit. I strictly adhered to all her wishes. Anyway, so I called my sister and was telling her about last night and I started telling her about picking up the ice cream. Something as simple as picking up the family’s favorite ice cream made me a complete puddle.

It just seemed so intrusive. I know. It sounds so odd. But although I know them, I don’t KNOW them. We hung out together at Boy Scouts. J. and I worked on our school Mardi Gras together. We talked at birthday parties and school functions. So I know it sounds so ridiculous, but knowing a family’s eating habits, someone I know, but not REALLY KNOW, seems very personal to me. And I had a difficult time… picking… out… their.. ice cream.

My sister told me I could cry all I wanted then, but when I walked in that house, I needed to have my act together, and I did.

I walked in and felt like Mary Poppins. Her husband, P., met me at the door as she is now bedridden. It took us multiple trips for us to get everything I brought into their home. I brought candles and candlesticks (I am such a spaz. Think Elaine from Seinfeld. As I left the house, I dropped one of the candlesticks and cracked it, so I quickly went to my dining room table and swiped two of mine... that had been lit! P. laughed when I told him), a big bouquet of spring flowers, salad dressing, Pork Chops, homemade gravy, Saffron rice, salad, ice cream, hot fudge sauce, Redi Whip,and brownies. He was laughing at me as I kept saying, “Wait, wait, wait, I’m not finished. I have to unload this bag too” and there would be more stuff.

She let me speak to her from the bedroom doorway. Her hair is short and spikey. It has come back in gray. She is thin. Her voice was stronger than I expected and we talked for a few minutes, until I could hear she was definitely getting tired and then I begged out so she could rest.

He is holding up. He is tired and stressed. I gave him a big hug and told him I would keep bringing food. It is all I can do. He was emotional when talking about all the kind things people are doing. I told him, “P., we can’t make this go away, although we would if we could… doing all of this is the only way we can show you how much we care about you. You have to let us do this for you and for us.” He is appreciative.

At one point he got quiet… he was listening… the look upon his face that we mothers get when we’re listening to the sound of our children’s voice or cry. I was quiet while he was intent. He said, “I thought I heard my name. I hear it now even when she is not calling.” I asked, “Do you hear it in your sleep?” and he said “Yes, even in my sleep.”

Hospice is in and counseling starts for the boys next week. P. is loving the people of Hospice. What a great group of people they are.

I didn’t cry or choke up. I laughed with him and it wasn’t fake. I was able to talk to them and not feel anything was forced. Everything felt so natural. I am numb. It is the calm before the storm.

And I will eventually have to blog my story with her… how I was the one she leaned on… the one she asked to do research on her primary disease (she has a disease that causes leukemia)… I was the one she asked, “Tell me straight up before I see them at Sloan Kettering… what are my chances? Don’t sugar coat it.”

Some things haunt you forever.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Thankfully I'm Not In Charge of the Electronic Voting in FL

We have two phone lines in this house, one business and one personal. My answering machine broke, so I had to buy another ASAP, as that bit of volunteer work I do for the American Cancer Society requires a few people to call me to RSVP for something...beginning tomorrow.

I bought a new machine and even though my husband was beat when he finally got home from work at 9PM, he set it up for me. He was frustrated, it’s a dark cramped corner where the machine is kept, it’s a pain in the neck to get to the phone cords and he just was not thinking clearly, so I sat down and got the message set and set the date and time. But I simply could not get it to answer a call.

Today is the day the rubber meets the road. Invitations are out and my answering machine is still not working. I sat down realizing I am going to devote an hour to this if I had to, to make this damn machine work. People start calling TOMORROW!

The key is, we want both lines functional, we have a two line phone, with a splitter, but we only want the machine to pick up on our personal line.

I’m playing with the cords, figuring he must’ve gotten the cords miswired (which is surprising since he’s a big electronics kinda guy), going over the feeds and the schematic they gave me with the example of a 1 line phone into this machine. Ten minutes go by as I’m switching things around, and I take a deep breath, look down and see a button on the machine that says, “On/Off”. Hmm. I hit “On” and it works.

It’s amazing how things work right when you actually TURN THEM ON!!! GRR!!

Anyway. Life is good.

Bush Wins Florida!

I received this from my brother yesterday! It's very funny. Those of us in Florida have to make fun of ourselves. Especially those of us in Palm Beach County... heh heh heh. Take it for what it is...


Boudicca Draws Her Sword: Scary Terry Kerry

I haven’t drawn my sword in a while. It is overdue. Hat tip to the most lovely SarahK from Mountaineer Musings for the tip for this post.

To Teresa Heinz Kerry… I spit in your face. I have said from the beginning I did not like you. You just solidified it today. You say in THIS article (last paragraph) that you are not sure what real job Laura Bush held. That’s a mighty big thing to say… coming from a woman who came from wealth and who INHERITED her husband’s massive fortune upon his unfortunate and untimely death. Did you work for your money, Teresa, or were you just fortunate enough to both be born and marry into it? Last I read, and perhaps I am misjudging you, you didn’t make your millions. You were handed it. Yes, I give you credit that you haven’t squandered it… but let’s face it you PAY people to make sure things run smoothly. I don’t see you as the woman who made the company what it is or keeps it solvent.

Fortunately for you, someone YOU PAY noticed your faux pas (that is French for mistake, but you know that, don’t you) and you had to suddenly make amends and a public apology that is HERE.

Sorry little rich chicky girl, but I don’t buy it. To ADMIT you FORGOT that Laura Bush was a teacher is actually worse. It insinuates many things… 1) you don’t care about anyone other than yourself to bother to remember important facts, 2) you haven’t been paying attention since EVERYONE knows Mrs. Bush was a teacher in Texas… EVERYONE… even those who live under rocks, or 3) you speak before you think which I think is very scary… Terry. Perhaps you only see the First Lady position as a job where you get to live in the coolest house in the land, hobnob with the rich and famous (which you already do, but not in THE house), a place to go in permanent history, and a great way to get a dress in the Smithsonian… News Flash… it is a much more important job than that and YOU HAVE NOT EXHIBITED TO ME THAT YOU ARE QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB!

You, Heiress Heinz, are LESS qualified for the job of First Lady than you husband is for President... and trust me... I don't see Johnny Boy as qualified.

To make matters worse, you not only dismissed her job as a teacher and librarian as ‘not a real job’… you completely dismissed her job as a Mother to her children! HOW.DARE.YOU. For further reading on how I feel about people like you… GO HERE!

I worked for a Fortune 50 company in the aerospace industry for 12 years in an engineering capacity. I had some great jobs with enormous responsibility and high visibility. I now stay home full time with my kids. As Karen Hughes, and Advisor to President Bush, so rightfully put it: ‘Heinz Kerry's apology made it worse because she left out the very important real job of a mother. Clearly she knows Laura Bush was a mother ... who chose to stay home and rear her family. That's a noble choice that should be celebrated not denigrated.’

Thank you Karen Hughes for jumping all over that one.

I must ask you, Teresa, Did you assist in the raising of your children AT ALL or did you have a staff of Nannies do it for you? That question is just begging to be asked because I can tell you now, any Mother I know that is worth her weight in salt, knows that Mothering is THE MOST IMPORTANT job she will ever have. And I speak for Mothers who stay home full time, stay home part time and work outside the home, and for those that work full time.

Let me make something perfectly clear, ‘oh holier than thou, born with the silver spoon, and who really really WANTS to live in that big white house’…there is NO more important job when you have children than being their Mother. NONE. And for you to forget that… that speaks volumes in itself and tells me more than anything else who and what you are. I do not like you Teresa Heinz Kerry. I do not like you at all.

So, Teresa Heinz Kerry, “A pox upon you and your ilk. May your rot.” You bitch.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Voting with Mr. Big Mouth

Obviously voting is a hot topic on the blogosphere right now. Pam had it HERE and Beth had it HERE. (The nice thing about knowing bloggers throughout your state is you can get other perspectives on state ballot issues. Thank you Pam!) Beth's Post was my inspiration for this one. We’re talking about early voting. So this is my deal:

I want to vote on the day of because it is tradition for me. I take my boys and we vote together and they see what I do. I think it’s important for them to SEE me vote so they understand how important I think it is. This is why I did NOT do the absentee ballot. Some didn’t do it because they were afraid their vote would get lost or not count… not me… I’m not that paranoid. I just want my boys to witness it as they did the last election.

Our vote early places are not going so smoothly so far. I’m keeping a pulse on it to see when things improve and then I MAY do it early… it’s just so traditional to do it on the day! ARRGGHHH!

This is a tight election year. My boys say this is a big topic amongst the kids at school. Kids are saying things like “Well, I’m voting for Bush!” to which I correct my sons and say, “No… they are NOT voting for Bush, THEIR parents are!” Bush seems to be favored in their school (surprise) although I am now very aware of what parents are voting for Kerry. *evil grin* Seriously, though, it makes me feel good knowing all these people really are going to vote.

My boys have asked me about Kerry and I told them that I think that Kerry is a lying undependable weasel and he scares the crap out of me and btw, he’s a scumbag. (I cited reasons.) Now something along those lines gets repeated sometimes when Kerry’s name comes up in the house. (They also know I can’t stand Bush, but I like Kerry less and that I loathe Teresa, but really like Laura. Many many borderline vulgar discussions on what I think of Mrs. Heinz. There is no doubt in their minds what I think of our potential First Lady. Blech.)

Ha! So here is my big concern. With as tight as this race is, I’m concerned I’m going to get to my voting computer (we have those here in Palm Beach County now… no more butterfly ballots or hanging/dangling chads for us!) and Son#3 will SHOUT something like, “MOM, MOM, MOM… DON'T FORGET, DON'T VOTE FOR THAT SCUMBAG KERRY!”

Keeping my fingers crossed on that one, that it doesn’t occur. If I vote on the traditional day, I happen to know that most people in my Precinct are Bush supporters. But if I go to the early vote place… it will be a mix. A quick solution of course is to tell everyone we don’t talk about any of the candidates at the voting place, only in our car, but Son#3 has impulse problems, as in he can’t control them, so you just never know… I’ll be living on the edge on voting day… whichever one that is! *grin*

It Happens to All Of Them...

Eventually a boy falls in love. It has happened. Yes, my friends, Son#1 is in love. OK, maybe it is just a crush, he is smitten, but it is there. Of course I am saying nothing to him about it, but I can tell, and I am just quietly smiling to myself and listening to him as he talks about her.

He is in love with his Math teacher.

How did I find out? Through my MOM! This weekend she was talking to him on the phone and she asked him the simple question of 'what is your favorite subject'. She knew the answer would be reading since he's a reading mad man. But it wasn't. It was Math. But he didn't just say Math. He said something along the lines of, "Math, because I have THE BEST Math teacher" or "Math, because I really like my Math teacher". When I got back on the phone she told me about it and she was saying how good it was to have a teacher that is so excellent in their field that it makes the subject a child's favorite.

I know his teacher. She's a high energy sweet young 26 year old. She's an absolute riot. Very demonstrative and she laughs all the time. She's a cute little blonde. And she's smart and you can tell she's smart. And... she is pregnant. All the kids (4th graders) are watching her body change as she becomes more obviously with child. She is a beautiful pregnant woman. She is looking more womanly.

Now I overhear conversatoins when he talks about this teacher. Wow, he can go on an hour dissertaton on what he loves about this teacher. She is also his writing teacher and he was lecturing my 2nd son on writing techniques and it was 'all about' what Mrs. D. says. "Mrs. D would NEVER pick a topic for us to have to write on! She says we need to use our imaginations and pick our own!" And on and on it went. It was hysterical.

And inside I was thinking...."First teacher crush". *grin*

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

I know I was lamenting on what to fix someone for their last anniversary, so I figured I'd just flat out ask them what they wanted. The way we Moms have worked it is there are a couple of Moms who are points for the rest of us... they're the ones that make the calls. The last thing that family needs is all of us calling, so my friend Michelle coordinates and we work through her. So I gave Michelle a list of my questions and she called.

Ziti is out. EVERYONE is making them ziti. Italian is easy to make and it freezes well. J.'s request was something along the lines of a Pot Roast, so that's what I'm making. It's not exactly what I was thinking, but it is not about me, it is about them. (I had volunteered to come to their home and cook an elaborate gourmet meal.) However, I make a good Pot Roast, so that is what they shall receive.

I am going to call her tomorrow, however. I don't have dessert figured out and although she says she does not eat dessert anymore, I want to know what her husband's favorite is and that is what I'll make. (She keeps saying I should make brownies as that's what the boys like. I'd just as soon make a nice dessert AND brownies.)

I'm going to the store tomorrow and getting them Anniversary balloons and I'll have the dinner complete with candles, candlesticks and matches, and I'm picking up a bouquet of flowers with vase.

So that's the plan. Pot Roast.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Last Anniversary Dinner

There's a woman I know at school, a Mom, who is dying of cancer. I cannot believe how modern medicine combined with her tenacity have gotten her through to where she is now. I haven't blogged on it at all as I have a difficult time with it... I am having a difficult time of it.

She has two boys, 9 and 12. She has a great husband. They have a very traditional home where he works a lot, and she does everything if it concerns the home and kids. From bills, to cooking and cleaning, to the bookkeeping for his business, to volunteering inordinate amounts of time with the school and scouting. If her kids were struggling, she studied their lessons with them. Just a great wife and Mom... the glue and foundation of the family. And now she is dying. And it is the most painful thing I have witnessed and I have witnessed a lot of death.

I tell people I think I am the Grim Reaper's Mistress with all the death that comes across my life. Typically it is not like this though... it's not a Mom and wife... leaving behind a family that is now going to have to find a new path, a harder path, and lonelier path.

I've not cried much about it. I can constantly feel myself choking up, but I am able to suppress it. We are all sad. We're all trying to be strong for the family.

I've been cooking meals for them throughout the year when they needed. Friday night is my night. I've been thinking about asking their youngest what he was hungry for, until I got tonight's note 10 minutes ago.

It is time and they are calling Hospice. The boys know it is bad, but they don't know about Hospice. I will have a hard time seeing the son in the morning knowing I know something that he does not. I feel like a liar or evil. It is hard to describe. It is a dirty feeling.

And their anniversary is Friday. And honestly, I have been completely sobbing since I got the note. What in the hell am I going to fix someone for their last anniversary together? The last anniversary where he holds her? The last anniversary where he tells her that he loves her and she says it in turn? I don't know. I know I'll pull something together, but the grief is so heavy in my heart, I hardly feel functional.

I have turned comments off as I am just processing on my blog.

Things That Make You Go... HMMM *raised eyebrows*

I do a bit of fundraising for the American Cancer Society, so today I went down to their local office here to meet with my new representative and get some items taken care of. As I left the building, there was a small van parked under the overhang. It was painted as a 'company' van. I know y'all have seen them... the cars painted to advertise their corporations... kind of like city buses are painted nowadays.

My sister and I joke about corporate cars all the time. She works for a nice size corporation that has those vehicles. She has had to drive one, not in her permanent possession, from time to time and she says it's awkward. While representing your company you surely don't want to be driving like a jerkface and flipping people off. Road rage while in a company vehicle is a definite NO! NO! Not that she and I are road rage type people, but we can be aggressive when we have to be, zipping in and out of traffic, or cursing at idiots that cut us off. We learned well under the Master... The Great Omnipotent One.

So we laugh how company cars are not necessarily good for people like us... besides I don't want to drive something that is akin to a billboard on wheels. Perhaps it is just me.

I walk out and see this van, painted with corporate logo for the ACS and I look at the aft section of the van, the back 1/3 to be exact... everything but the driver's section and in big green letters on the top 1/2 it says, "Prostate and Colon" and then something about "Get Checked". Now I am doing the big *GASP* can you imagine not only having to drive around in a corporate painted vehicle, but now one that is advertising a public service announcement about Prostates and Colons? No.Thank.You. I'll take a pass on that one. But... it gets better...

As I look to the bottom half it says, "The 19th Hole Club". I busted out laughing. How frickin' humiliating is that? Public service announcement aside... You've now been relegated to have your vehicle remind people about the OTHER Hole... evidently the 19th hole. Cracked me up.

Monday, October 18, 2004

My 5 Men... Free Pass

Harvey had his Top 5 Women… What I’ve heard called, ‘Free Pass’. Basically the top 5 people you could *ahem* get to know, even though you may be married, if they offered themselves up to you. In his comment section, people have contributed their own. Tammi posted hers HERE and there are some added in the comments as well.

So I’ve been going through the men in my list, and keeping all politics and weird personality quirks they seem to have off screen aside, on looks alone, these are my 5. Also as Harvey pointed out to his Blogless Bro, when BB was ribbing him about how OLD some of his women are NOW (Jane Russell is 83), there is a time machine effect. I want them as they were THEN… so I'm either posting the movies or nothing... which means as they are now.

Joaquin Phoenix
Clint Eastwood- Pale Rider, Hang 'em High
Mel Gibson- Mad Max Flicks
Yul Brunner- The King and I
Johnny Depp Hugh Jackman (I completely forgot him. He is way hotter than JD. Thanks, DK!)

Carnival of the Pajamas At Harvey's

Ack! I got distracted last night and I forgot to post this yesterday as I had intended!

Over at Blog Father Harvey’s he has his Carnival of the Pajamas Post up! I do believe there is something for everyone… again. *grin*

Harvey gave us women folk another shot. Wow. We’ve now had a most excellent chest shot, this week we got the back shot… I think I’m scared about any future shots. Not much left...

Anyway, take note that I am making NO requests of anyone. A couple of us made mention of chest shots on someone’s post, then it got into hiking boots, and khaki shorts and next thing I know, we’ve got these great chest shots in last week's Carnival. Yikes! So I am making no requests for fear there may be some secret reciprocity agreement… I’ve gone as far as I can go!

Now I will just lurk and grin and consider anything I see, icing on the cake or rather beef cake!

Still My Secret....

The oddest thing happened to me today. I was at the kid’s school performing my Treasury duties when I saw another member of the board. She’s been organizing some things for the school that has required her to e-mail me frequently… obviously money is involved. I always e-mail her back with my thoughts and suggestions (she asks).

So today she says to me, “I think you are one of the funniest people I know. You completely crack me up with your e-mail. You really need an outlet for it. You really do.”

I said, “Oh… rest assured. I have one.” *grin* If they only knew.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

He did it to Himself

My husband has been gone since Thursday morning. He walks in this evening from his trip and Son#3 greets him at the door with a big hug. My husband scoops him up, my son squeezes him and says, "Daddy, I have something important to tell you. The fart machine isn't working anymore". Buwaahhahahahah! That was his greeting.

So my husband says to him, "Let me take a look" and then answers, "Don't worry, it just needs new batteries."

Needs new batteries?! I was wondering why I was no longer hearing the sounds of electronic farts emanating from every corner of my house, in my car, in my sleep. The batteries had died. Do you realize how much they must've played with that thing for it to quit working? The ONLY place they did not play with it was in school. Otherwise, it was perpetually ON.

Guess what I'm in for this week? Every time they get in the car from school I'll hear, "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, did you get new batteries for our Fart Machine today? Hunh? Didya, Mom? Hunh, Didya? "

Like that should be my #1 priority in life... keeping their fart machine stocked in batteries.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Random Thoughts and Lowlights

Calvin and Hobbes was the best cartoon ever. There has never been one to match up. Sure I have others I like, for instance Foxtrot, but I loved Calvin and Hobbes. It’s a real treat seeing my eldest sit for hours and reading the C&H books at my parent’s house. He laughs as hard as I did and still do.

If the kids want me to read them a story, I always have to fight the urge to say, “how about Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie?” and when in the cereal aisle and they ask for something particularly offensive, I have been known to say, “That’s as bad as Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs. No!” And then there is the transmorgrifier. That was classic.

I remember one day I think I was trying to remember what it was called when the host and wine turn into the body and blood of Christ. (Catholics believe this, Protestants don’t.) It is called transubstantiation, but for some reason I was e-mailing The Great Omnipotent One, who is NOT Catholic, and he was trying to convince me it was called Transmogrifying. I was laughing my fool head off picturing the Pope saying, “And just throw this wafer and wine into this box and Voila!”

Am I going to hell for that? Heh.

Speaking of cartoons, Doonesbury has been pushing web url's to sites of conservatives that think Kerry is a better choice or cannot stand Bush. I don't know why I find it so damn annoying, but I do. I know it's a liberal comic strip, which is why I normally don't look at it anymore, but seriously, do we have people out there that are REALLY going to get their voting information from a frickin' comic strip? Be afraid, my friends... be very afraid.

Yesterday I was taking the kids swimming. Son#3 already has this thing about having to wear underwear under his swim shorts, although he really has nothing he needs to 'keep together'. We don’t own a pool. This is a pool where there are a lot of people coming and going. I pick up their clothes and notice his pair of underwear with his shorts. I asked him if he was wearing underwear, I was confused at which point… he weenied me. As in, right then in there, he pulled down the front of his trunks and showed me his bits and pieces. Lovely.

Later we were in Publix at the checkout line and Son#1 gives Son#3 a wedgie, unbeknownst to me. I look over and Son#3 has his shorts dropped down to the floor, pulling his underwear out of his backside… this is in the supermarket. I was dying.

I consider those lowlights, but I believe the witnesses would consider them highlights. I'm sure it was all very funny to the onlookers.

A Sandy Day

We had beach training today. That means the dojo met at the beach at 9AM, trained for 1-1 ½ hours then had a cookout and played Volleyball or played with the kids.

It was beautiful out today. When its weather like this, my boys play outside from the minute they wake up until they go to bed. I walked outside to gather them up and I was met with the crisp smell of fall. It must’ve been about 60-65 degrees.

I walked up to them and said, “MMMM! Smell that? Know what that’s the smell of?” to which Son#2 says, “Christmas?”

He could be very correct. Christmas is more often than not 60-65 degrees out. Blech.

Anyway, off to the beach we went and as I haven’t been training much, I’ve been worried about how I would hold out. The kids always love it when we do our Kata (form) in the water. There’s nothing quite like kicking, punching and turning while trying to keep your balance in water that is sometimes knee deep, but as the tide rushes back out, ends up ankle deep. It is fun, but challenging.

At the end, we dismiss the kids and then the adults throw one another. If they post pictures on our dojo website, I’ll post a link. Being the only woman, I was pretty much thrown like a ragdoll, while never really getting the entire concept myself. At the end, my Sensei was explaining that tackling my opponent was just not going to work. Throwing my 5’2” frame against a man’s 6’ frame is just not going to do it. So suddenly, I was having to do extra rounds to practice. Kind of humiliating, but I think I have it down now.

Bottom line: I need a gun.