Saturday, June 30, 2007
First the two big dogs, Charlie and Noodle decided to have a poop-off a few days before the guys left.
Since the weather is beautiful, we've had the doors and windows open most days (and some nights). Of course we left the sliding door open, so the good [koff] dogs could have easy access in and out.
That was the week we spent reorganizing the basement, so there wasn't a heck of a lot of canine supervision going on upstairs.
I guess the open doors and windows and the fact that my sinuses are concrete half the time thanks to allergies didn't tip me off that there were turds in the house.
On a good day I can detect a fart three aisles away in the grocery store.
I don't know what the guys' excuse was. Maybe they thought they were smelling their own stink or something. Who knows?
Anyway, Hubby went to the far end of the dining room one night (none of us had been there in days) to get something and stepped on a squishy lump. He jumped back in horror (in his bare feet, no less) and landed on another. He screeched and turned on the light.
There were 8---count 'em---8 piles of medium to large-sized dookie in varying stages of dryness. On his mother's prized Karastan rug, that he had shipped from back east last fall.
My hubby is the mildest of men. But the rant that came out of his mouth that night would have singed Alec Baldwin's ear hairs.
If the dogs hadn't already dumped their loads, they'd have been laying cable all the way down the hall on the way to their crates.
So a new summer plan has been put in place. The bigger dogs are now exclusively outdoor dogs during the day.
During the day, their food and water is outside. They can frolic in the yard and do dog things, like chasing butterflies and eating bark nuggets (at least I think they're bark nuggets). And bark hysterically at good dogs who are walking past our house on leashes.
At night, into the crates they go, just as if they were puppies again. They aren't going to have any unsupervised inside time whatsoever.
Needless to say, they haven't been pleased with the new rules. But that's ok. Management has had enough.
One night, Hubby forgot and left the dogs' food outside. The next morning, when I woke up early, I got to witness the Magpie buffet. I chased the suckers away, but one has been awfully persistent.
Every morning when we lounge on the deck with our coffee, this brazen little Magpie sits on the rail and scolds us. It flies down to where the dog bowls usually are, and hops around trying to find the buffet. Hah!
So last night, at about 2:30am, I woke up choking. Our bedroom deck door was open, and a skunk had let fly in close vicinity. I woke Hubby out of a dead sleep (he was probably dreaming of his frat-house bong days) and made him close the door.
The stank was so bad that I went and slept the rest of the night in Little Guy's room, which has been closed up for the last ten days.
Note to self: Must wash the kid's sheets and open the windows. His room smells like fermented feet and sweaty bed-head.
I woke up at about 5:30am and started the coffee. Then I went on the deck to greet the day.
Wham! Ow! That's my head!!!
Did that squawky little Magpie decide to dive-bomb me?
Nope, it was that freaking woodpecker, back from wherever woodpeckers go in the winter, here just to torment me!
I ran in the house and closed the sliding door. Then I heard a thump against the glass.
Woke Hubby for a second time out of a dead sleep.
Put your glasses on! Look at that!
The little winged monster was perched on a stump just off the deck staring at the door waiting for me to come back out.
I've got my camera ready now, but I'm kind of afraid to go outside. If I can get a pic of it, I'll post it.
Update at 3pm: Since I'm currently a lady of leisure, I took a short nap this afternoon.
When I woke up, Hubby said, "Have you looked out the picture window?"
"I think your bird is out there. It's dead."
Sure enough it was there. It flew into the picture window and kilt itself. I wonder if it had some kind of bird rabies and maybe I should get that peck on my head checked out.
RIP you crazy little thing.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Our family doc has a small practice and has never met a pharmaceutical freebie he didn't like. Hence he has a big clock on his wall in the shape of a flame advertising the drug Cialis. I constantly snicker at it.
This spoof had me rolling on the floor!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Or should I say cheese sandwich?
The Chula Vista school district is the largest elementary school district in California and serves about 18,000 meals a day.
In 2004, the district had a parental lunch debt on the books to the tune of $300,000. They had to find a way to control the rising costs before it started to effect their budgets on equipment and books, because deadbeat parents had no incentive to pay.
Enter the cheese sandwich. The district decided that the children whose parents owed a lunch debt would get only one choice at lunch.
If you guessed it wasn't pizza or burgers, you'd be correct. It was cheese on whole wheat.
And it worked. In 2006, the lunch debt was decreased to $67,000.
But the deadbeat parents are angry about the "sandwich of shame". One girl cried when she couldn't have macaroni and cheese. Another hid in the bathroom to avoid getting one. A boy was upset when a cafeteria worker took away his pizza and told him to pick a sandwich instead.
“The kid was humiliated,” said his father.
Well whose fault is that, ya bonehead? The school district's? Seriously?
Other districts across the nation have implemented similar measures. One district in North Carolina used peanut butter and jelly as their alternative meal, but that didn't seem to work very well. PB & J is usually the meal of choice in that age group. ;-)
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Even though we had moved from suburbia to the highlands, we were still in the same state, so how hard could it be?
What is that old saying? Man plans. God laughs. We didn't just move to another planting zone, we might as well have moved to another planet!
For three years, I doggedly replanted and nurtured lilac bushes and roses, but the poor things never made it through the winters.
Oddly enough, what survived were three peony bushes I planted the first year.
Peonies aren't actually bushes. They're herbaceous perennials that die each fall and come back in the spring. Mine kept coming back, but they never bloomed.
Once in awhile they'd get a few wimpy budlets, but that's all.
Five years ago, in the spring, when I first found my birthmother, an unexpected thing happened.
One of the bushes produced a single, breathtaking, perfect bloom.
Since I was still riding the wave of euphoria over my recent reunion, I named the peony bush after my mother. Let's just call it the XXXXX bush. Every time I contemplated the miracle of finally finding XXXXX after years of searching, I'd go outside and gaze at "her" flower (I was going to say "her bush", but that just sounds so pervy!).
I did it about four or five times a day. I know, it's kind of goofy.
But still nothing from the other two peony bushes.
The next spring, XXXXX's peony had FOUR flowers! It was absolutely gorgeous!
Hubby decided that the weight of the blooms were overwhelming the bush, and the poor thing needed some support. So he decided to stake it.
And stake it he did. Right through the heart of the damn plant.
He killed it deader than Madonna's acting career.
Four years later and it's never grown back. That's when the legend of Fluffy the Peony Slayer was born. Me and the guys give Hubby a little crap about it every spring.
Now it's been nine years with nary a bloom on the other two plants.
Until this year.
One has a humongous bud that looks like it's almost ready to burst.
Keep your fingers crossed!!
As a side note, I planted a bunch of sweat peas in a huge pot on the back deck. I put them around the edges so Hubby could put a support in the middle wrapped with chicken wire for the vines to grow on.
"If they die, you're going to accuse me of being a serial killer!"
If Buffy had been this much of a wussy, we'd be living in a hell dimension by now.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
It's too bad that we live in a system that has to define "norms" with limitations that are so exclusionary, when in truth all of us---you, me, the postman, the lady down the block---are all unique and differently-abled.
Hop on over to Books, Etc and catch the video.
You won't be sorry, I promise.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Big Kid had some fears about flying---and who am I to blame him? That's one of my own phobias. Keeping him out of panic-attack mode (semi-successfully) ratcheted-up my own anxiety level to an almost unbearable degree.
So I'm going to take a couple of days off from posting. It will give me a chance to decompress and catch up on all of YOUR blogs---something I'm woefully behind on.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
When all is said and done, IResQ has a pretty neat deal.
For $29.95, they'll overnight you a padded FedEx box with overnight prepaid shipping, and they'll call you within a day with a diagnosis. You just have to stick your unit in there and call for a pick-up.
It took the Big Kid about 10 days to sit down and write the info on the enclosed card----had to remind him that he was facing 6 weeks of music-less days if he didn't get on the stick.
I called FedEx for pick-up the next day, and gave them an all-day window, since we weren't planning on going anywhere. Also specified that we'd place the box between the screen and master door, because if the Little Guy is outside, Hubby is at work, Big Kid is blasting tunes in his room, and I'm in the basement (still trying to tackle the laundry room), we might not hear a knock at the door.
Put the box out the night before, but Hubby advised that this might be a bad idea.
So I put the box out at 8am the next day before I went down to wrestle with 7 years of outgrown boys clothing.
Came up around 10 and saw the box on the kitchen counter.
What's this? I asked Big Kid.
"I guess it was delivered this morning," he shrugged. "I found it when I went outside."
It's your IPod going out to get fixed!!!!
He put it back out between the screen and front door. I went back downstairs to sort out winter clothes, and to solve the whole fat/skinny clothes conundrum that plagues most of us at some point.
In our big basement purge, I uncovered all the club clothes I wore at 25 that I can no longer fit in. Even if I were the same size now, would I want to wear them all of 15 years later?
I thought about those cheap floozies Kathy Hilton and Dina Lohan and voted no.
Now Hubby fluctuates between a couple of sizes. Most of his clothes are pretty current (like Dockers Khakis). We've stored them big or small over the years. Of course, we still have a few hideous suits (one was a light-blue polyester blend with a red stripe) that many men were sold by clothiers who assured them that they were [gag gag] "timeless", back when he was 20.
I guess it's a guy thing. I had to beat him over the head with a padded hanger to get him to release his death grip on the enormous lapels.
But I digress. It's a bad habit, I know.
Came up around 1pm to make lunch and noticed several packages on the counter. One of them was "The Box".
What's this? I asked Little Guy.
"UPS was here."
No, no no! This box is supposed to be PICKED up by FedEx! So he put it back between the screen and front door.
I was still feeling punchy after my stomach flu stuff, so I convinced the kids to take a nap after lunch. We slept until about 3pm.
Little Guy went out in the front and came in with a box that was delivered while we were sleeping.
But it wasn't "THE BOX". That was still there between the two doors.
No Way! YES way!
Had a couple of phone calls come in that I had to take care of before I could call FedEx and say WTF?
But first Hubby came home early and handed me a box.
"This was outside. It must have come today." It was THE BOX.
Noooooo! Put it back!
About 5 minutes later, the FedEx truck pulled up and a guy ran down to pick the box up.
You know, if women were in charge of the world this stuff wouldn't happen. ;-)
Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there. Here's what I got Hubby, but I'm waiting until the kids are gone on Wednesday to give it to him.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thanks so much for all your kindness and support over my last few posts. It never seems to just rain---it always pours, doesn't it?
My stomach bug was one of those 24-36 hour things, blessedly. Wanna lose 5 lbs real fast? I don't recommend this diet!
This whole week has played out like a really really bad Stooges episode.
Monday afternoon, I was working downstairs (still trying to tackle the laundry room). Big Kid came running in.
"Mom! I think I coughed up some blood!"
Oy, not again. What was it this time? Spaghetti sauce?
Except that it really WAS blood. Eeek! Called the doc who said, "How soon can you get here?" and rushed the kid into town. I white-knuckled it all the way, tried to calm the kid down, and tried not to let him see MY panic.
Turns out the kid was the THIRD patient the doc had seen that day with a particularly nasty form of bronchitis. The Kid had bronchitis a few weeks ago, and although he took the meds and felt fine, apparently the dose didn't do the trick. He prescribed new meds, including prednisone ("will this make my dick shrink?"), new inhaler.
And a chest x-ray. So that the kid wouldn't add lung cancer to his list of obsessions (butt tumors, scalp cancer, aliens laying eggs in his digestive tract, etc).
12 hours later in the wee hours of the morning, I started yarking my guts up. By 6:30am, I woke up the hubby and asked him to get up, because I was falling over and needed to go to bed. I didn't want to breathe any putrid flu germs on him.
That was prolly moot, because I'd been breathing on him before I turned into a puke machine. I just wanted to be considerate. None of the guys seem to have caught it, thank heavens!
Bless Hubby's heart. He stayed home and took care of me. Kept the kids from tearing each other's noses off and kept the dogs from yapping at every butterfly that flew past the window. After I fell into bed, I was dead to the world for about 4 hours.
Then I head a "tap tap tap" on the bedroom door.
"I'm sorry to bother you, but Big Kid doesn't know what pills to take in the morning. I don't know what meds he takes in the morning either!"
Whaaaaaa?? Shit. I forgot to refill the pill dispenser last night.
"I called the doctor's office and XXXXX (the medical assistant) doesn't know!"
Whaaaaaa??? I pulled the pillow off my head and moaned.
Did any of you think to read the directions on the pill bottles?
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
I can't do it. I simply can't do it.
I thought that taking a class or two during the summer semester would be enjoyable and a breeze if I didn't have Big Kid and his assignments to worry about. But now I've decided to withdraw and to take the summer off. I can get my money back, and it won't effect my grade point average. I've got the newest textbook, so I can retake it in the fall.
Making this decision is like lifting a huge weight off my back. Unbelievable!
A month or so ago, I wrote about how our doc took Big Kid off the stimulant meds because although they enabled him to focus for his ADHD, they exacerbated the manic part of his bi-polar disorder. Anybody new coming in, click on the tag at the bottom to catch up. Since the spring semester is over, we've tried different doses of Strattera (a non-stimulant treatment for ADHD) and it simply doesn't work.
It's been one long, hard year since he came home from college with the screaming meemies, and lately I've been called upon to perform duties that are well, frankly, pretty damn distasteful. Not butt-spelunking distasteful, but yucky on a different level.
The kid has little or no impulse control without the meds. He wants things, but in his world they should be delivered upon demand, before he does any actual work to earn them.
When he's on meds for attention and impulse control, you can reason with him intellectually. When he's off, well---it's a crapshoot. The worst part is that it's difficult to tell how much of it is his illness, and how much of it is manipulation.
Seriously, if you haven't been there, you wouldn't believe it. Trying to put it into words is like trying to recite the Bill of Rights backwards. People like my mom, or Big Kid's granddad or his other dad truly believe that if I just said "no" that would nip this in the bud.
There is an endless song and dance that must be performed, and I could do it in my sleep. I could take it on the road to Branson, but my younger brother caught the show when he was here installing the bathroom, and he said it wasn't very entertaining.
Big Kid sees Little Guy getting new stuff and feels that life is unfair. Yet he selectively chooses to ignore the fact that Little Guy works his butt off. LG does extra things beyond his assigned chores----takes out the trash, weeds the garden, feeds the dogs, empties the dishwasher, etc to earn money for the things he wants. Just like in the real world. Big Guy thinks we're favoring Little Guy, and resents it.
So I've had to become the money monitor. I have to make sure there is no visible cash any where in the house, even in my bedroom. If I don't, it will be gone faster than I can say "I don't like Green Eggs and Ham."
He isn't even very smart about it---so it's difficult to tell if he's trying to get caught because he's bored and wants to stir the shit-pot or not.
If Hubby's money clip (which was left on the counter) only has a 20 and a 5 in it, think Hubby isn't going to notice that the 20 is suddenly missing? The kid doesn't go rooting around in my purse or drawers or anything, but if cash is visible, and nobody is around, he feels the impulse to put it in his pocket. When he gets caught he says "I found it."
As if our dining room table is a street corner and some stranger accidentally dropped a bill there next to the invoice for newspaper delivery. heh.
I've also had to become the cigarette police. If the kid has a pack, he will compulsively smoke one after another until they're gone. Then he'll complain of breathing problems, work himself into a panic attack, and REALLY have chest pains. I'll rush him down to the doc, who will point out the evils of smoking and tell me that if I can't get him to quit, I'll have to dole them out to him. WTF?
I've been thrust into the role of cupcake monitor as well. There are 8 cupcakes to a family pack. Kid says, "Can I have a cupcake?" I go to let the dogs in, come back and there are 3 left in the box. I buy a pre-made angel food cake (no fat) to make strawberry shortcake the next day, and when I wake up in the morning 7/8ths of it is gone. He so thoughtfully left one piece for someone else to enjoy.
I realize the other meds he takes make him crave sugar and carbs. He's packed on the weight since he came home last year, which makes him more depressed. His back hurts from carrying all the extra weight, and he doesn't feel like exercising. On the good side, I buy a lot of salad stuff and fruit, and he'll eat it if I put it in front of him. It's at night or early mornings when everyone else is asleep that he'll get up and consume everything and anything with sugar in the kitchen. What am I supposed to do? Put a padlock on the fridge when I go to bed?
He sees the commercials for Trim-spa, and actually thinks if he takes a pill he will wake up slim with no effort on his part (look what it did for Anna Nicole). He sees the commercial for NutraSystem (where Dan Marino basically says he couldn't see his own dick until he lost 30 lbs), and is convinced that if only we would plunk down 300 dollars for that tasty "special food", he will lose weight the quick and easy way. He'll eat two boxes of macaroni and cheese and chase it with a Slimfast shake and wonder why the Slimfast isn't working.
So last week, we went to the doc's to let him know that the Strattera hasn't had the effect we'd hoped. I mention to the doc that the boys are leaving in 2 weeks to go visit their other dad, and he says, "Ok, we'll just keep things as they are and start back when he returns."
What??? Are you kidding me? The kid is actually scheduled to have a job and work out at his dad's this summer.
On one hand, I see the doc's point. The kid is stable (no more screaming in the front yard wearing nothing but his shorts), but I was hoping that he would be beyond simply stable at this point. He did well last semester in school on the stimulant meds, and we stopped because they made him a little more irritable at the end of the day. If he isn't here to be monitored, the doc doesn't want to prescribe anything that could de-stabilize him.
The Kid was disappointed. He hates struggling to maintain attention, and has been looking forward to getting a chance at earning his own money and having a taste of independence. I was disappointed, and had trouble containing tears.
Near the end of the month, the guys are going out to the coast to visit their other dad. Hubby and I desperately need some time alone to rest and recharge and be a couple, and I can't tell you how much we're looking forward to this.
Little Guy will come home after 2 weeks. This has been a rough year for him too, and he deserves to have our undivided attention. Big Kid will come back after another month, hopefully ready to start back with driving school before the fall semester.
And me? I just won't know what to do with myself. But I'm sure I'll get used to it.
Sorry for the whine-fest. Hoping you'll find a much more relaxed Attila in another month. :-)
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I don't let people outside my immediate family in my basement. Ever. When we have company, I pretend that we don't even have a basement.
When they ask what the door leads to, I tell them it's decorative.
If the furnace needs service, I blindfold the repairmen and tell them I'm taking them on a treasure hunt. If they don't run screaming from the house, they're probably disappointed I didn't spank them with the big hairbrush down in my dungeon.
Do I have some kind of mutant child chained up down there? Bodies of brats who've tormented my kid over the years?
The basement is a massive pig sty, and has been since we moved in.
Do you have a room or even a drawer where you toss stuff to get out of your sight, and plan to deal with later?
I did that for 10 years in an entire section of a house! I just never got around to "dealing" with it.
So for this year's spring cleaning, I decided to tackle the basement. I couldn't stand it any more.
And let's just say hubby motivated me by his vow to clean out HIS crap-catching area, the garage.
For the last week, Little Guy and I have been plowing through piles and piles of stuff. Big Kid has been hiding under his bed, just in case we find any mice (this is the kid who left a room knee-high full of food garbage when he went to college and came home to a mouse nest in his underwear drawer which he didn't discover for WEEKS).
Little Guy is fearless. He's earning money for a bigger TV. He'd probably eat rocks for a bigger TV. The prospect of a couple of lil' meeses didn't phase him a bit.
Among the treasures we found?
An entire box of catalogs from about 7 years ago. WTF?
A pair of hubby's light blue satin disco roller shorts from the 70's. he he he
A mystery box full of rusty pots and pans from our previous house. What in the world were we thinking?
Some Time magazines from the Reagan Era.
A bunch of savings bonds my dad bought the boys about 11 years ago. I guess I had an attack of CRS, because I completely forgot about them.
2 mattresses and 3 box springs. How does that happen? Do they multiply in the dark like rabbits? And where's the 3rd matching mattress? Did the others attack it and eat it?
47 pillar candles I bought from Hobby Lobby after Xmas around 12 years ago when they were 25 cents each. Yeah, since we moved into a log house, we don't have much interest in open flames.
A complete bedroom set (even more actually, because there's twin headboards AND the canopy bed) of French Provincial furniture from Sears circa 1974 in lovely condition. What in the world am I going to do with that? It's good solid stuff, but it's not like it's Chippendale. Save it in case I have granddaughters? Eek.
The best find was in the bottom of a box of toys my mom sent over (probably the same time she sent the bedroom furniture). It was some vintage Barbie clothes and accessories---and one fairly hard-to-find dress---in pristine and crisp condition. I don't remember ever playing with them (prolly why they're in such great shape). I admit it! Even though I wear killer bunny slippers, I'm still a girly-girl at heart! I collect vintage Barbies!
We did find some ancient dog poo, but thankfully, no meeses or poops of meeses.
We ended up using 40---I'm serious!---18 gallon tubs to organize the mess. And it looks like we're going to have a huge garage sale sometime this summer. Whew!
Now on to the laundry area.....
Thanks so much for your encouragement during my breakdown. Got my assignments in on time and some of my equilibrium back. You guys are the best!
Monday, June 04, 2007
Although physical classes started on May 27, when I logged into CC Online, it said that my class would start on June 4th at 12pm.
After being traumatized by The Sopranos last night, I logged in to see if my classes were up in the system yet. They weren't, so I logged in through my home college.
AAAAIIGGHHHH!!! My class started on May 27th and I have assignments due tomorrow!
So I've been busting my butt to get my work done (I wrote to the instructor and she graciously gave me 6 extra hours), which includes reading 2 chapters, a question and answer with citation assignment and an essay.
Whack me. Whack me now!
I'll catch up with you guys in a day or so.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
One major thing that drew me most to my husband was his voice. Deep, melodious, and expressive...he could read a column of the most boring crap from The Wall Street Journal and even after 14 years, it will still make my knees weak. He could make a fortune recording books on tape.
What is it about certain sounds that affect us so?
Little Guy can hear a vacuum or car alarms with no problems, but fire alarms completely incapacitate him. When he was in elementary school, the building had an issue and the alarm went off every 15 minutes or so for several hours. He curled up in a ball on the floor and completely shut down.
His para-educator went to the principal and said, "Either you call his mom to come get him, or I am putting him in my car and driving him home myself. This is torturing him." He has much greater control nowadays (mostly because they warn him before fire drills), but he still has a lot of anxiety whenever he sees a fire alarm on a wall anywhere, especially in the hair salon.
I've been a huge fan of Billy Joel for years. I think he's brilliant, or at least he was before he started getting drunk all the time and driving into buildings. And what kind of stupid sh*t would cheat on a Goddess like Christie Brinkley? Like he's going to get something better? He's got the Ethan Hawke disorder. Or maybe Ethan has the Billy Joel disorder. What kind of short, scrawny, pretentious and bad-toofed dood could cheat on Uma Thurman, for pete's sakes?
Whatever, I digress.
Anyway, we have a stack of CD's we listen to whenever we go on long car trips. One of them is "the best of" Billy Joel. Except for one song.
I simply CANNOT listen to "Under Pressure" in the car. Nothing will transport me into the throes of a panic attack quicker than that song. I guess it's part of his musical brilliance, but you know that anything that makes your toes, sphinck and chest clench in a spasm simultaneously can't be a good thing.
I'd rather throw open the car door and hurl myself onto the interstate than listen to that song.
The voices I find incredibly pleasing?
She plays the medical examiner on CSI Miami. I can forgive the stupid dialogue when she pontificates to the faux corpses----"Who did this to you, Sugar?"---just to listen to her talk. If she ever gets tired of the Hollywood rat race and decides to just do voiceover, I think I'd listen to her even if she dubbed Power Rangers 12, The Zord Unleashed XXXX, or even the freaking Farm Report.
I adore Captain Picard. 'Nuff Said.
Oh Baby. I could become a lesbian over that voice. I'm serious. LOL
Unfortunately, the Emmy Award winning actor and narrator of City Confidential passed away in 2004. Listening to him was like drinking a fine aged whiskey without the hangover.
Now don't laugh. Many of you prolly have no idea who this is.
Back when I was a kid, my mom was the Muzak queen. No disco or heavy metal allowed in our house. Instead, we had to listen to the gentle instrumental sounds of KLIR, FM 101. Except on the days when they played Anne Murray, Carpenters and Roger Whittaker marathons.
When I became an adult, I bought his Christmas Carol CD and listen to it every year.
So what voices make your teeth grind or send you into raptures?