Sunday, September 28, 2008


I've been having some problems with my right hip and leg the last few days. Hubby is out of town until later in the week, he's got the laptop, and maneuvering up and down the stairs to my office has been an experience in torture.

Plus I have visions of me falling and laying at the foot of the stairs for hours until Little Guy gets home from school.

So I'm taking off for a few days.

I'm ok, just need to get this taken care of.

Hope you have a great week!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

That's How They Roll...

Well the nephews are back down south safe and sound, and I have to say that it's been a really fun weekend. All three are in their early 30's (two are identical twins), and are avid outdoors and sportsmen. The first day was spent sightseeing and ended at Octoberfest. After a few beers (they like their beer!), the stories they told us just totally cracked me up.

And if they disagreed with each other, it had to be "settled". Right then. Right there.

As one of the nephews said to me in his deep southern accent while throwing his arm around my shoulder, "'Cause that's how we roll, Baby Girl"!

How would they "settle" it?

The first time, it was a putting contest into a coffee cup in my living room. 4 rounds. The second time was wrassling, which I insisted be taken outside, even though it had been raining. No freaking wrassling in my living room, thank you very much. So they wrassled out in the mud at 11pm. And then decided to swim about an hour later. Which, of course, being pretty freaking cold outside, totally sobered them up for another round of beer.

By that time, (I bailed at the wrassling part), I told Hubby---"you're on your own" and ran like hell.

Sunday was spent in Denver attending the Broncos/Saints game. Then they all came rolling in for another round of beer or 6. We ended up spending the wee hours watching South Park reruns and explaining the Coloradoisms that might not be obvious to the out-of-state viewer and laughing our asses off.

Anyhoo, Hubby got them on the plane early yesterday morning. He was back at home around 8am and FELL ASLEEP IN HIS CHAIR with a cup of coffee in his hand! Those boys just wore him out.

'Cause, that's how they roll. ;-)

I spent yesterday with Big Kid, going over his schoolwork that will be due soon, and took him to lunch. We went to Walmart to grab a shower curtain and a mop, as well as a couple of more things he had ran out of and hadn't budgeted for (milk, soda, etc). All in all, we had a really nice relaxing day together.

How's YOUR week looking?


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oh No You Didn't!!

Hubby's three nephews from the south are visiting for a few days for the first time. Between sightseeing and Octoberfest (yes, I know it's September!), we've been pretty busy. Back in a couple of days.

In the meantime, my mind is just boggling over this Asshat. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We Survived the Black Hole...

After 3 days of hard work, Little Guy and I are back in one piece!

Recovered from the Bat Cave:

8 lawn and leaf-sized bags full of garbage
5 tubs fully loaded with sundry crap
6 assorted boxes filled with the same
Hubby's Dress Belt
1 package new and unopened socks buried under stuff
2 packages new and unopened underwear buried under stuff
Miscellaneous tools that have inexplicably gone missing in the last 2 years
3 pairs of my good scissors
1 jar of mystery liquid that looks like pee. No I'm NOT going to open it and smell it.
About 4 days worth of meds scattered on the floor under the mess----some of which haven't been prescribed for at least a year.
2 broken fans
6 petrified dog turds in assorted dog-butt sizes
6 empty Slimfast cans, used as ashtrays
4 forks from our good flatware set
1 Henckels knife
3 spoons from our good set, cemented into 3 empty Haagen Daz cartons.
3 Haagen Daz carton lids, used as ashtrays
2 empty Febreeze spray bottles
3 glasses
2 coffee cups
Pieces from another coffee cup
1 lonely Nike shoe without a match
1 pair of Converse shoes still with the tags on from Xmas last year (the ones he just HAD to have!)
27 burn marks on the log walls and window sills, where the kid put out his cigarettes before throwing dozens of butts on the floor behind his bed

The good news?

No dead bodies
No meese nests


All that's left is to shampoo the carpets and paint the one non-log wall. Oh. And hang new curtains. Then my brand-new office/sewing room/craft space will be complete.

And if the kid ever wants to spend the night again?

He can sleep in the garage. P. I. G. Pig.

I need a nap.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


Ok, I know that I promised and promised to give you a rundown on Cougar Woman, who from now on, I'll just call Kitty.

Thanks for the idea and supportive comments! I like the name, and it fits!

Essentially, Hubby and I have decided that we're just going to go with the flow. I've written countless times about Big Kid and his quest to find companionship and how lonely he's been. You know how we've tried to find social skills groups or workshops to help with this over the last couple of years and come up dry.

He simply doesn't have, or hasn't been able to develop the skills to make and maintain meaningful relationships with females of his own age range. He doesn't "get" the "dance". He is unable to play the "game". He is COMPLETELY unable to interpret the multiple nuances involved with basic dating.

In other words, for example, if his girl asked, "Does my butt look big in these jeans?", he'd honestly say, "Your butt is absolutely enormous no matter what you wear. Are jeans supposed to make a difference?"

After that he won't get the chance to articulate that he adores her big butt and that's one of the things he likes most about her. At that point, he's been kicked to the curb. And has no idea why.

Kitty started growing on me awhile ago. Big Kid took a call from her in my office last month, and either she shouts on the phone or the volume was turned up high, but I could hear both sides.

Of course, I listened in shamelessly while pretending to play Spider Solitaire.

She asked him how his day was going. Asked him how his new meds were working and how he was feeling. Shared with him what she was doing that day. Asked him if he had ideas about what they might like to do/go/see on their next day together (which was in like two days).

No drama. No needy "me me me tell me how important/beautiful/special I am and how you can't live without me" or "I'm going to see a former boyfriend who might be better to ME so I can see how jellus it will make you" bullcrap. She really cares about him and what he's doing/feeling, just the way grown-ups do in a mature relationship.

Then she said, "You know, I've paid for our last couple of outings, and now it's your turn."

He said, "Well, I owe my mom a lot of money."

She said, "How much?"

He turned to me. "Mom, how much money do I owe you?"

18 dollars left from the last date with Kitty that you borrowed from us. 60 dollars from that concert you went to a couple of months ago. 80 dollars from all that crap you broke last week when you had your temper tantrum. But I'm willing to pay 50/50----50 percent towards your bill and 50 percent in cash to spend because we have a lot of stuff that needs to be done right away (had a pool party coming up).

Kitty said to him, "Sounds like you owe your folks a lot of money." No judgement. No, "Boy your parents are harsh and unfeeling cretins to get in the way of young love!"

Glumly, Big Kid replied, "They want me to pull weeds to earn it off." Hoping for a little "your parents are harsh and unfeeling cretins" sympathy support.

"Well it's a beautiful day outside. You better get cracking!"

Bless her heart.

Kitty was with her husband shortly out of high school and they were together for 26 years. They had a child who died of a congenital heart defect. Her husband was ill for the last 5 or so years of his life and they moved in with his elderly mother. Thinking he would get better and back to work, they filed for bankruptcy before the real medical bills started rolling in. She was the sole provider and caregiver for both of them, and has been working 2 jobs (one full, one part-time) to try to cover the remaining debt. Her mother-in-law has no other family (she's in her 80's), so Kitty continues to live with and care for her.

I don't know exactly what Kitty is getting out of this relationship. Before I met her, I had visions of some predatory old broad with a crepey neck looking for some mindless cabana boy ala Mad TV's Dixie Wentworth.

Kitty isn't like that at all. More like a throwback hippie-chick with the same kind of "live and let live" attitude from the era. She doesn't drink or do drugs. Maybe she feels like she wasted a lot of her life taking care of old sick people, and is looking to catch up on some of what she missed, but still has the need to nurture.

Like I said, I don't know.

All I know for sure is that she and Big Kid speak the same language, like the same music, movies and books. He's at ease with her, treats her respectfully, doesn't need a translator to figure out the "girl-speak" because she's absolutely direct in communicating, and she encourages but doesn't enable him.

Her parents don't approve and don't want to meet Big Kid at all. My own mother is quite shocked by it as well. And yeah, I'm not entirely comfortable with any of this, which is something Kitty and I have talked about and agree that this will have to continue to be a work in progress.

If she won't enthusiastically introduce herself as Big Kid's girlfriend to people like the leasing agents at the apartment complex while in my presence, then I won't visibly cringe when they suddenly realize she isn't joking.

I just know that I want my son to be happy, and I don't want to lose him. If we were totally closed off, as her parents are, he would absolutely take this as some dramatic "Romeo and Juliet" thing, because that's the way his mind works. I'm going to take the attitude that if it lasts, it lasts. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

If the world ended tomorrow, I would want my son to be able to say that he loved someone and was loved back. It's not up to me or anybody else to set the parameters of what is acceptable, as long as it's legal in at least 48 states (not talking about the other two where the men are bold and the sheep are scared).

What I like most about Kitty?

She's kind. She's a truly kind person.

After all the tough breaks he's been handed, kindness is something Big Kid needs.

So for right now, we're just going to roll with it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

It's done. Finally done.

Big Kid is installed into his new apartment. My back is all cattywumpus again, and Hubby accidently broke his new cell phone, but it's alllllllll done.

We had to drag Big Kid---kicking and screaming---of course, to the new place, and he refused to help move his stuff. That was left to Hubby, Little Guy, myself and guess who----Cougar Woman. Yep. More on that later.

The squall continued until we jumped in our cars in the apartment parking lot and made a fast getaway.

Seriously. I am NOT kidding.

I spent the last week organizing and packing as much stuff as I could without actually going into that black hole he calls (called) his bedroom. Little Guy brought out all of the clothes and shoes that were piled up on the floor, and we sorted into what fitted, what didn't, what had holes, what still had life in it, etc. Then I handed in two tubs and a box of garbage bags and instructed the Big Kid to get at it. Put the stuff he was taking into one tub, the stuff he wanted stored into the other, and trash in the garbage bags.

Ha. He was "too busy" organizing his CDs. That took 2 days.

So my hourly mantra became, "Everything that is not packed and ready to go on Wednesday doesn't go unless you make your own arrangements to move it. The day after you leave I'm shoveling everything as is---including trash---into leftover tubs and storing them in the basement. If you come hunting for the one remote control or cord that you're missing, then you'll have to dig through the crap on your own."

I made lists of everything he could possibly need in his new place---some of which we could provide---some which would have to be purchased.

"How come you're sending me with the crappy towels (the ones he took to college which are perfectly fine)? How come I don't get to have the nice ones from the guest bathroom? Nobody ever uses those!"

You want nicer towels? Get a %$&*!! job!

He was poking through our flatware drawer. "How many of these do I get to take?"

None. We'll get you a starter set from Walmart.

"Walmart? But that stuff's cheap!"

You want something better? Get a *&%$!! job!

Seems like that turned into my secondary mantra for the week as well.

Sat him down with his budget, the grocery sales circular and the list of things he would need. Some of the stuff we could supplement with all crap I buy in bulk (condiments, salad dressing, cereal, coffee, etc), the rest he'd have to figure out what he could get for the rest of the month that would fit in his budget.

Everything he had left over would be his spending or "entertainment" money for the month, and I made it crystal clear that this well is dry and after paying all his bills for the new place, there would be nothing more coming from us until next month.

So we went shopping. Ground meat was on sale for 50% off, so I caved in and "fronted" him a little extra money from next month's budget. We bought about 30 lbs of ground beef, Italian sausage, ground turkey and ground pork. Cooked it all up with onions and peppers in batches---one for Italian, one for "regular" and one for Mexican (taco seasoning and beans, etc, added). Froze them in one-pound-sized increments flat in zip-locks. That way, if he wants tacos, or pasta, or Hamburger Helper, all he has to do is thaw a bag. Storing half of it in our freezer here, but it should last him for next month as well.

The apartment is surprisingly nice. It's right at the bottom of the mountain, so in a pinch, we could be there for him within 30 minutes barring bad weather and traffic. The complex has some kind of state contract (not section 8) that must provide affordable housing for every income bracket. Since we're only going month-to-month, there are some extra fees added, but I was amazed that it wasn't a sh*thole (like most of the month-to-month places). They have a couple of pools, 24-hour security and maintenance, a business center, rec center, etc.

He's got a one bedroom with a huge walk-in closet, and it comes with a fireplace and a microwave. The place is freshly painted, the carpets are almost brand-new. Only a couple of things to note on the damage report (permanent scuff marks on the linoleum in the kitchen and bath and a dent on the heating register). Unfortunately, the previous tenant must have had cats in the walk-in, because even freshly shampooed, the carpet in there smelt of cat pee. The management is going to pull the carpet out of there early next week and replace it with linoleum.

By the time we got everything moved in, Big Kid was working his way into a state. We had borrowed a truck, and the plan had been to hit all the Goodwill/thrift stores (there's a row of about 6 close by) to grab a couple of end tables, maybe a night-stand, and a small table to put his computer on. Oh, and some glasses and dishes. He refused.

Oh well. Good thing I thought to pack some paper plates and plastic cups.

We said "arrivaderch" and high-tailed it. After lugging an oak kitchen table/chairs, a couch, bed, dresser, computer/stereo/video gaming crap and multiple tubs of stuff up a flight of stairs while he basically sat on his behind, we'd all had enough already. We thanked Cougar Woman for her help and got the hell out of there.

Speaking of Cougar Woman----I have to say she's growing on me. I don't really want to call her CW any more, because it sounds kind of predatory, but I'm not sure how to refer to her in my blog. Any ideas? Will explain more soon.

Took the Kid about a day to realize that he kind of likes having his own place so far. Called to thank us last night.

.....and everything is so quiet.

Except in Little Guy's room. He's in there singing what has been become HIS mantra since yesterday afternoon.

"I'm free---to do what I want---any old time".......

Yikes. Better get that nipped in the bud fast. But he deserves a day or two to sing his head off. He's earned it.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Fugly

Trying to catch up with blogging friends over the weekend...

Big Kid is moving out on Wednesday, so we'll be busy packing him up and getting him settled. More on that soon!

The Good:

Saw a great article about "The Top 25 Downloads for Your Computer", from Switched. A couple I have, many I don't----if you have any experience or reviews, I'd love to hear about them!

The Bad:

I know this is sort of old news, but my mind is still boggling about the kiddie baseball league that insisted that one team pull a 9-year-old pitcher for being "too good". The kid never hit or hurt anyone with his pitching----he just beat the pants off the competition, helping his team achieve a great season. That "scared" the other teams' players.

Whatever happened to teaching your kids that they can't win all the time? Whatever happened to the notion that if someone is better at something than you are---it can/should motivate you to work harder? It seems like everybody expects an award/paycheck/pat on the back just for simply bothering to show up these days.

Don't want to hurt the self-esteem of our little budding sunflowers, now do we? feh

On the other hand, we cheer sports phenom Michael Phelps for kicking ass and taking no prisoners in the swimming competition at the Olympics.

Maybe we should have worried about the self-esteem of the budding sunflowers in countries less fortunate---like say, Venezuela and pulled Phelps from the competition.

Instead of squashing the aspirations of kids who work hard/have true talents in order to make the rest of the average-performing herd feel better about themselves, why not encourage the herd to aspire to excel in their own way?

The Fugly:

AOL subscribers get a "Welcome" screen every time we log on. There is a rotating screen that covers entertainment, sports, national and world news, along with headline links to articles.

I don't know who writes the headlines, but they are obviously designed to catch the eye.

And goes to my previous post about the media "making the news" and not reporting on it. It's really starting to chap my heinie.

The other day, I saw a headline with linky-goodness that said "Selfish" Singer Doesn't Want More Kids.

"Well good for her/him", I thought.

There's already too many people who breed just for the sake of breeding nowadays, and it's refreshing to read about someone who knows their own mind.

And what the heck is so "selfish" about knowing when to stop?

Plus I was feeling a little sensitive about some of the ignorant shitheadedness that's been posted on the web lately about VP Candidate Sarah Palin's "selfish" choice to bring a child who has Down Syndrome into the world instead of aborting after she knew in advance via amniocentesis.

Well duh. I should have known better.

I'm not a fan of J-Lo, but this headline really just took the cake.

Let me repeat it. "Selfish" Singer Doesn't Want More Kids.

What bullcrap.

The actual article doesn't even have that headline. That was something totally made up by the linky media-writers at AOL. The Popeater headline wasn't that accurate either. It said, "J.Lo Probably Won't Have More Kids".

What Ms. Lopez actually was quoted saying to her husband in an interview with Elle Magazine, after coming off of tour and realizing she was pregnant was....

"We came off tour and I said 'I did the Superwoman thing, I finished the tour—now I need you to take care of me. I love doing things for you; if I'm not cooking, then I'm picking out a shirt. But this is the first time in my life where I'm just going to be a little bit selfish. I don't know if I'm going to have kids again, I want it to be a beautiful experience. I don't want to have any drama. I want to just be smiling every day."

Wouldn't actually get that if you went by the headlines, would you?


Thursday, September 04, 2008

ABC and Charles/Charlie/Chuck Gibson Can Kiss My Shiny Heinie

I would have written this sooner, but some dingleberry with a back-hoe dug a little too deep north of town and knocked out eveybody's internet and phone/cell service for a day or so. Don't ask me the particulars, but it seems like no matter who your carrier is, they all share the same fiber-optic doodads up here in the mountains.

Normally I don't blog about politics, except once when I confessed about our mixed marriage and my frustration with having to answer political callers who don't have to abide by the same rules telemarketers do with the "Do Not Call" list.

I don't care what your affiliation is. I'm not going to pontificate on mine. There's already too much divisiveness in the world, and I blog to get away from a lot of that crap especially if it touches my real life. And believe me, I get enough of this crap at home.

So I won't comment, or write about political stuff generally, unless it's a specific issue that's near and dear to my heart. I want to enjoy your blog, want you to enjoy mine, and we can all be lovey dovey together. LOL I'm not dissing you if you write about politics, and it won't change my opinion of you at all---just don't be offended if I don't comment.

That said, Hubby and I watched last week's DNC convention speeches together, and this week's RNC convention speeches as well. As hard as it was, we refrained from ranting about this or that and restrained ourselves to (mostly) polite snorts.

There were a couple of impolite gagging sounds that came from the guy who subsequently got to clean the projectile dog vomit out of the kennel last week if he didn't want to spend the night on the couch instead.

The nights are getting cold. The couch is hard. He paid for his transgression lickety-split. Plus I blew a few foul fluffies in his direction under the blankets and didn't say "excuse me" to furthur illustrate my indignance on his rudity.

We didn't watch any particular station, and skipped all the "after" commentaries, because frankly, Hubby and I may disagree on some things, but we both feel that as somewhat educated, erudite, and informed adults with perfectly adequate hearing, we don't need a ::koff:: media pundit "interpreting" the speeches we just heard "for" us.

We can chew on them and bicker about them by ourselves.

So on opening night of the RNC speeches, we tuned in to ABC by a random flip of the dial to hear Fred Thompson's speech, and then the one from Joe Lieberman.

I'm not a huge fan of Mr. L, not because he changed his party affiliation, but simply because it seems that almost every time I see him on the tube, he's very self-promoting and that bothers me. I understand that it's the nature of the beast in politics, so I'm not singling him out.

Hubby and I were watching---ok, I was watching, Hubby was in the kitchen listening and scooping ice cream---when the speech abruptly ended and we were treated to the desk with Diane Sawyer, Charles Gibson and George Steponallofus (like I'm going to look up the spelling this late at night).

Charles Gibson made some comment about how what a turnaround it was to see Mr. L speaking for the Republicans, when 8 years ago yada yada yada, nothing remotely original----and the three of them smugly chuckled. Then Gibson launched into some commentary, and my hubby said, "Is Lieberman still speaking?"

And yes, yes he the background. So I quickly switched the channel, and he was in the middle of his speech!

Well WTF?

Dear ABC and Charles Gibson,

If you're competing with other networks to cover events like these, please tell your viewers that you're going to cut into them with personal opinions and commentary so that we have an option of changing the channel to one which will let us see everything in its entirety without your worthless "hair-do's" input.

I don't need Chuck to "interpret" anything for me.

And I don't give two shits for his opinion either.

I can read, listen, opine, pay taxes and vote on my own. No training wheels or instruction booklet necessary.

Charles Gibson is a sack of skin with a shiny hair-do that sits in front of a camera. That doesn't make his opinion any more informed, important or relevant than any other person's.

His job is to report the news, not to try to influence it.

Denying your viewers the entirety of an event like this and then offering "your" commentary and interpretation of a fraction of it is misleading and irresponsible. Don't pretend to be journalists.

Won't ever tune into ABC again if I want to get the "facts".

Please feel free to kiss my shiny heinie.