Saturday, June 23, 2012

Funny Guy

My new stepdad, who I call Poppa G, is a real hoot. For those who don't recall, my mom got remarried last year on Valentine's Day to a real sweetheart. She's now 79 and he's 88.

They're just like a couple of teenagers in love.

I got back yesterday, after spending a few days with them. Little Guy and I went up to bask in the parental (and grandparental) adoration. Chicken soup for the soul. ;-)

I brought Poppa G a couple of Father's Day presents. I didn't want to mail them, I wanted to give them in person. As I said before, my brothers are a little wary (still) of the relationship, but I've been delighted with the joy Poppa G has brought into my mom's life.

So the first gift was a book by a fellow blogger. She's a minister's wife and it's a bunch of little stories about her experiences and about her faith. It's called "Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top".

I HAD to have it when I saw the title.

My mom, who's name is Grace, is a retired minister herself.

And I think that EVERYBODY needs two scoops of her. LOL Especially Poppa G.

When I was visiting awhile ago, Poppa G told me about his favorite song. It was on the B side of a Glenn Miller 78---never a greatest hit. He said that over the years he'd request it on the oldies station but nobody would ever play it.

It was actually kind of hard to find on CD, but I did. The internet is a wonderous thing!

When I gave him the presents, he teared up in a big way. It was so---oh I don't know---sweet and poignant. At this point in their lives, they can pretty much buy anything they want, and are in the middle of trying to divest themselves of a myriad of things in order not to leave a mess for their kids to deal with or fight over.

It was nice to be able to find something, even though it was small, that would touch his heart. When we left this morning, he thanked me again, and teared up again. Awww.

While I was there, Poppa G told me a little story about when he was married to his first wife, who passed away about 10 years ago after 50+ years of marriage. For a long time in their early years, she worked the graveyard shift at the phone company. He said that they'd go to sleep together at about 8 (he worked at the crack of dawn), she'd get up at 11pm for her shift, and when she left, all the warmth would leave the room and he'd be cold the rest of the night, even in the summertime.

The point he was making is that now he felt that way with my mom. They have two houses, and when they were first married, sometimes they'd sleep at their own houses depending on what they had going on at the time. That's no longer the case. He can't spend a night away from her, because then the atmosphere is too cold.

Ahhh, young love. :-)

So on to the funny....

When Poppa G was in basic training in WWII, he started having problems with his butt. Yes, his butt.

He had a ton of piles, or external hemerrhoids and went to the doctor. Turns out he had some irregularity with the veins in his anus that he was born with, and ended up having surgery to correct it. He wrote to his girlfriend and told her that he had appendicitis and had it removed.

Fast forward a year. He was in New Guinea and actually had appendicitis. He notified his parents, who uh-oops-told his girlfriend. He spent the next couple of years trying to convince her that he really had TWO appendixes and was some kind of medical miracle or freak.

"I mean", he said, "At 19, how do you tell your girlfriend you had surgery on your a$$hole?"

He cracks me up!  Pun intended!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Life Lessons Learned

Well I told you guys about the Aspiring Adult moving out a few weeks ago, but didn't tell you what motivated it.

There wasn't anything acrimonious, like when I kicked him out a few years ago. When we let him come back, he had learned a lesson, and actually was just a gem for the most part.

One thing I can say about this kid is that he doesn't have to learn a lesson twice.

He's 20 now, and has been living here rent-free, going to college part-time and working full time as a CNA. We were hoping that he'd save as much money as he could (we've been paying for college because we don't want to saddle him with student loans and want to give our kids the best advantages we can afford) while he was here, so that he'd get a good start.

But he hasn't quite managed it because 1) he likes nice things and 2) he has a high-maintenance girlfriend who also likes nice things but doesn't think she should have to pay for any of it.

So when he started talking about finding a place with his BFF, Hubby and I were concerned. Again 1) he already drives 40 minutes farther into the mountains to his job and there is NO housing there, and 2) There are no apartments or trailer parks in our bedroom community aka little affordable housing in our town. If he could find something in his price range, he'd have to go 30 minutes in the other direction to the big city.

Meaning he'd have to drive over an hour to work each way. yikes.

Hubby counseled him to stay home and put away 500.00 a month in savings for 6 months and then think about it. That way he'd have a cushion. I mean we have few rules and he pays no expenses to live here. He pretty much comes and goes as he pleases as long as he isn't noisy when he comes home late or sexes up his gf in our home.

Well trust these boys to be extremely well-connected or really really lucky. LOL They found a guy who had to move out of town for his job but couldn't unload his duplex in this economy, and agreed to rent it to them at a VERY reasonable price. So they signed a year's lease immediately.

And I have to say that the AA's roommate has a really good job so he'll be able to afford his share without issues. He works at the town's only computer repair store and has a side business on his own and he is rolling in work.

So that's the backstory to Lesson's Learned. Thanks for hanging in here thus far. LOL

When the AA signed the lease without telling us, he hadn't actually thought everything through. Like how he and his bud were going to furnish the place.

The AA says to me, "We have the use of a truck for three days. When will the best time for me to come and move my stuff?"

I was a little puzzled. Everything he owned could be moved in a couple of trips in his car. What would he need a big truck for?

"Well for my bedroom furniture and stuff from the basement."

Whoa, hold it right there, buddy. Exactly what did he mean by that?

"Well there's couches and tables and things down there and my bedroom stuff."

Stop. Stop right there.

When the kid moved in with us at the age of 17, we didn't have extra bedrooms. We DID have a guest room that was furnished in family heirlooms and antiques. We also really couldn't afford to outfit him with a new bedroom set, so after talking to him seriously, we decided that he was careful enough to use the stuff (the tops were covered for protection) until the time came that he moved out or we had extra dough to find something else. With all the medical bills and college tuition, and since he took such great care with our things, we just never got around to it.

But for some reason, he assumed that since he had use of it, it was now his to take with him.

A Chippendale Armoire? A dresser that's been in my family for over a hundred years?

I don't think so.

And the stuff in the basement? Things we inherited that we stored until the day we didn't have young rambunctious boys in our home and could enjoy with an empty nest.

So there was a bit of a dust-up about that. He was outraged. LOL It's a parent's JOB to set their kids up with furniture when they moved out. Didn't we know that? All his friends' parents did that!

On what planet? I asked. And do they also carry the full bill for their kids' tuition on top of it? Feeling mighty self-entitled, aren't you?

"Well what am I going to sleep on?", he moaned. "Where am I going to put my clothes?"

Goodwill, Walmart air mattress, and I'm sure your new room has a closet. I got lots of coat hangers that you can have. Roll up your undies and stuff and put them on the top shelf until you can afford a dresser.  If you've got enough money to move out on your own, you need to be able to furnish it yourself!

He got over it. Especially since I DID outfit him with some pretty nifty kitchen gear and appliances.

His first few weeks in his own place has been a true learning experience for him. He's learning what it's like to live with a person who has had somebody to pick up after him and never learned how to do it himself. And other inconsiderations.

His buddy's girlfriend is out of school and spends the day hanging out there since she doesn't have a job or anything. She helps herself to the AA's stuff (the sacred macaroni and cheese for one), only eats two bites to keep her girlish figure, and then leaves it out all day so that it's too dry for anyone else to eat it 8 hours later when they get home from work. Plus he ends up having to clean up her mess, because it doesn't occur to his buddy to make his gf clean it up or clean it up himself. The kid worked the night shift and came home to his bacon and eggs being left on the counter all night. The waste is driving him crazy, since he's paying for it.

Heh. LOL  And yes, he's appreciating us more.

The other thing is that since his buddy gets the master bedroom, the AA gets the one-car garage. That's how they divvied it up and sounds like a plan to me.

Except that last Saturday, roomy and girlfriend took her car to go on an early hike. Roomy's car was in the driveway, blocking the AA in so he couldn't get out to go to work. Roomy left his cell phone, but took his keys. Joy.

Heh. LOL When the AA was living here, we had about 3 go-arounds about him parking in front of MY garage door so I couldn't get out. Karma, baby.  Karma.

Right now, since school is out, he is working 3 jobs. One full time at the nursing home, 2 part time for individual clients.

I am really proud of him. Though I'm chuckling, and kind of poking fun, I know these are lessons he needs to learn.

Thanks to God or the Goddess that he's a kid who DOES learn. I'm sure they'll get things ironed out eventually.

Until then, is it ok if I get a kick out of it?  Or does that make me evil?

Friday, June 08, 2012

Left the Nest? Ha!!

I'm really laughing and shaking my head. We're back from our little getaway and had a fairly good time.

My blog friend Webster called it. Since the Aspiring Adult moved into his own place right before we went away (a duplex) with a roommate, she said we "should expect calls".

Well it wasn't just him. Big Kid and Kitty stayed at our place, taking care of the dogs. We got a few calls from them too.

Here's a recap:

We just pulled into the resort, along with 100 other people, are in the middle of wrangling a cart to unload our crap, deal with the "you have to pay to valet" stuff and Hubby's phone rings.

It's the Aspiring Adult.

AA: Hey! I wanted to ask you about getting renter's insurance!

Hubby: This really isn't a good time.

AA: Well I'm on my break now, and I need to find out how to get it!

Hubby: Can we talk about this later?

AA: I need to get it right away!

Hubby: I tried to talk to you about it last week, but you weren't interested. Now that it's YOUR idea it's an emergency?

AA: Well YEAH!

Click (Hubby closing his phone)

Hubby then goes to an obligatory meet and greet (we were at a conference) and Big Kid calls me.

BK: Charlie (one of our elderly dogs) peed on the floor!

Me: So put her outside! The weather is great, why aren't the dogs outside?

BK: But what are we supposed to do about the pee?

Me: What are you expecting ME to do about it? Mop it up, spray a little windex over the spot and clean it! Duh!

Click (me closing my phone)

Later, after the meet and greet, Hubby and I go to a place to have a romantic meal.

His phone rings. It's the Aspiring Adult. Again.

AA: Me and Tom (his roommate) just bought a charcoal grill. How do we work it?

Hubby: This really isn't a good time.

AA: We invited a bunch of people over to eat and nobody knows how to work the grill!

Hubby: Well since you don't have renter's insurance, I suggest you take it as far away from the deck on the duplex as you can, preferably in the middle of the back yard before you try to light it.

Click (Hubby closing his phone)

A couple of hours later (it was late), while I was trying on the persona of dirty mistress and hubby was chasing me around our room nekkid, the phone rang again. Thought it MUST be some kind of emergency:

Big Kid: We were in bed sleeping and the Aspiring Adult came over and pounded on the door (those who don't live in our house don't get keys)! He came to get a couple of tubs full of monster legos because they were going to build a space station!

Me: @#$%$$@!!!!!!

Click (Me closing my phone)

And that was just our first night.....

Saturday, June 02, 2012


Ever since Christmas when I got sick, my lower back and hips have been just killing me. Not sharp pain, but a dull throb, which then makes my legs ache like the dickens.

Supposedly with Fibro (I'm new to this), the best thing you can get is restorative sleep. But how in the heck can you do that when everything aches or itches and you can't get comfortable? I don't know how people can live with chronic pain, I really don't. It completely wears you down.

The options for treatment are limited. I don't want to take nerve blockers. The potential side effects are unattractive. I don't want to take narcotics. I have to function.

I'd been getting by with aspirin or advil, but that started messing up my digestive system. After not having pooped for 5 days, I broke down and made an appointment with a back center that specializes in patients that have pain from fibro.

Now I'm kicking myself for not having done this sooner. Seriously. I went and had my spine decompressed (my back wasn't "out", I had full range of motion, just that persistent ache).

They strap you tight on a table and it pulls you gently and holds it for about 15 minutes, stretching your spine and taking pressure off your discs. You're sore as all get out afterwards the first couple of times, but boy was it worth it!

I've been pain and advil-free for 10 days now after two visits. The itching is still a problem, but I've had the best sleep that I've been able to have for months.

Hubby and I are running away to a mountain resort on Monday. Little Guy is going away to camp and the Aspiring Adult moved into his own apartment yesterday.

This is the first time in a long while that we've been able to get away alone. He's going for a conference, so his days will be busy, but we'll have the evenings to ourselves. Woohoo! Hope you guys have a wonderful week!