Friday, December 28, 2012

Noodles and the Dumpling

Aren't they just the perfect pair?

P.S.  Actually their names are Matilda and Maddie.  We were going to nickname Maddie the Roni, but she got an enormous butt and Puppy Dumpling stuck.
Maddie has finally reached her adult weight of 12 lbs (versus Matilda's bulk of 80)
They're mesmerized by a piece of cheese.  Behold the power of cheese.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Ho Ho Ho

It's that time of year again! Joanna Jenkins at The Fifty Factor is kindly hosting a giveaway of one of our handcrafted ornaments!

Our mission: Highland Roses Design Collaborative Craft Studio is a privately-funded project that provides individuals who live with disabilities and/or mental illnesses as well as their family caregivers an opportunity to step towards independence through the sale of our own arts and crafts creations. We accept no grants or government funding, and are working to become self-sustaining through our own endeavors.

Every step of this undertaking is a collaborative effort---from design to creation. Each distinctive ornament is produced by several sets of hands---all working together to create something special!

Ornaments are a great low-cost gift for family and friends, as well as for teachers, co-workers or others you'd like to remember with a little something.

Support our crafters by stopping by and finding one or two you can't do without, and go by Joanna's to register for her giveaway!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

People are Weird

Boy has a month just flown by! We just had our first ornament show and spent weeks getting ready for that.

Then last week, my older brother---who is 47---had a freaking heart attack. Oy.

He thought he'd eaten a bad meatball sub the night before. Woke up with horrible "heartburn". When it didn't go away after taking Tums, his girlfriend insisted that they go to the emergency room.

Good thing she did. He had the heart attack right there while they were examining him. He probably wouldn't have survived it if they'd waited. He had two blocked arteries.

No more meatball subs for him!

Now on to the weirdness...

Hubby took me out to this Irish Pub we have in our little mountain burg. I'd never been there, but he'd been there for lunch a few times. We were having a "date", so I wanted to try it.

The place was jumping and we had to wait for about 20 minutes to be seated. The hostess put us in the bar where they had "waiting" chairs. We sat there and people-watched.

About 4 feet away from us was a couple at one of those bar tables---you know, the tall ones with the little round tops and bar stools? The guy went to (presumably) the restroom and their food was served.

There was a salad and a big plate of what I later found out was shepherd's pie (because hubby ordered it). As I idly watched, the woman took a spoon, looked around furtively and shoveled 4 heaping spoonfuls in her mouth before smooshing it around to make it look uneaten.

I was laughing to myself thinking, "damn, she must be so hungry she couldn't wait for him!" Then I looked away and chatted with the Hubs for a sec.

When I looked back, the guy had returned and was digging into his dinner---which was the shepherd's pie!! The waitress had come back with the woman's dinner, and it was a hamburger!!

WTF? Did you ever?

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Burning My Biscuit

Ever since last Christmas, I've been having a lot of lower back and hip problems. I blamed it on fibro, and went to a back clinic for some relief. Like I wrote before, it really helped a lot. I had some x-rays done, and it turns out that my sacrum never fused together on the top, so it's like having an extra vertebrae (which Hubby is enjoying) without a disc to cushion it.
It's not a rare condition, but my tailbone was poking out, and my right hip was quite a bit higher than it was supposed to be. Also, the disc on the vertebrae above my sacrum is 80% deteriorated and all squashed up, causing most of the pain.

Well I got it all fixed up, but somehow a bunch of nerves down there got damaged, causing some kind of neuropathy (nerve issues).
For the last six months or so, the skin on the top third of my butt feels like it's sunburned. When I'm tired or stressed out, the muscles from my heinie straight down to my ankles ache. When I try to sleep, I get electrical "shocks" in my legs or butt or stabbing pains like somebody is jabbing me with a sharpened pencil. Itching along the nerve paths can become unbearable. The worst part is muscle weakness so I don't feel too steady on my feet.

I've been spending the last month having tests done and exploring treatment options with my doc. I nixed the standard nerve blockers because side effects include weight gain and swelling (amongst other nasty-sounding things). We decided to try a migraine medication that isn't normally prescribed for neuropathy, but acts by blocking nerves without all the other stuff.

Which comes to the great Zostrix experiment, or what I call "death in a tube".

Zostrix is a very very strong Capsaicin (chili pepper) ointment which is usually used for arthritis pain and sometimes for neuropathy.

The doc recommended that I try it along the top side of my butt that feels like it's sunburned.

So I bought this little 20 dollar "tube of death". Hubby read the instructions which included, "don't use a heating pad on the affected area", "don't get on your hands, eyes, mucus membranes or injured skin", and "if the dried ointment flakes off, don't inhale it".

Oh, it also said, "apply 2-4 times daily" and "might burn a little bit".

Hubby used the applicator pads and spread it across my hips. My skin sucked it right up, so he couldn't exactly tell where he put it before.  He added some more.

Since I was having sharp jabs to my heinie and my legs hurt, he applied it there too.

"This tube isn't going to go very far", he said skeptically. The sucker was a third of the way gone.

I was pretty much ok for the first couple of hours. It burned a bit on the back of my knees.

Then, the best that I can tell, some of the ointment from my butt flaked off into my panties and migrated somewhere else.

Somewhere very tender.

...and the screaming began.

I ran into the shower to try to get this stuff off of me.

There's a reason why the directions tell you not to use a heating pad.

What it doesn't say is DON'T GET IN A HOT SHOWER!!

The dried ointment liquefied and ran down into my crack, where it hit another tender area. The heat from the water ignited it and I was on fire from my hips to my ankles and every crevice in between. I spent the next ten minutes bent over in an ice cold shower trying to ease the burn.

For three hours I alternated between the cold shower and laying in my bed with my ass in the air facing the fan, shivering, moaning and waiting for death. The only thing keeping me from going to the emergency room was the thought of explaining how I got the crotch of fire.

Ok, now it's a little funny. I went back to my doctor to tell him the tale of my burned biscuit (and butt, and hips and legs), and the poor man turned purple trying not to laugh. Finally he burst out with "Great balls of fire!" and practically fell out of his chair.

Turns out you can actually OD on the stuff, as it's supposed to be used sparingly on an area about the size of your knee.

The only good thing to come out of this is that the skin on my butt feels almost normal now. I think it burned all the nerves to death. LOL

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Puppy Lovin'

As the summer of love is winding down, Little Guy has gone to visit his biological dad in California for a couple of weeks, so Hubby and I truly have an empty nest for a short time.

As you guys who've read here for awhile know, we had 3 yorkies and an Australian Shepherd mix. My little baby, Molly, died almost 2 years ago, and Stinky Pete finally went on to her reward (at the ripe old age of 17) a couple of weeks ago.

Charlie, the yorkie that is left, is 15 and not in good health. When she goes, the Noodle (Aussie) will be absolutely bereft, as she is a pack dog and the yorkies were her peeps.

So for the last 6 months or so, I've been looking for a companion for her. I can't bear the heartbreak of having more yorkies, so I looked at other breeds and contacted a few breeders.

One breed I particularly liked was the toy Australian Shepherds. I'd never heard of them before, but our vet has one, and it is a very beautiful, smart dog. I found a breeder in Western Colorado and started a relationship with her, in anticipation to when we might be looking for a puppy. Told her what I was looking for (female, tri-black).

Well right after Stinky Pete passed away and we realized how precarious Charlie's health is, the breeder had a puppy that was just what we asked for.

Last weekend, Hubby and I took a scenic drive and stayed over in this lovely little town called Montrose, and brought our new baby home!

After a little stink eye from the big dogs, she got over her shyness and she fits right in.  She's about the size of a football, and is such a little love!

Everybody meet Madeline (now known as "the Roni" to go with "the Noodle")!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More Love in the Summer

In my opinion, the mark of a good author is one that can skillfully suspend the disbelief of the reader. That's why I enjoy Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Series, and Diana Galbadon's Outlander series. I can almost believe that Vampires and time travel exist.

On the other hand, badly-written sex can almost ruin a book. I really loved Laurel K. Hamilton's first 5 Anita Blake Vampire Hunter books. Then came the unsexy-sex. Lots of it. There'd be a whole chapter on it, and then two chapters of everybody pissing and moaning about it. So if you figure in 3 chapters of unsexy-sex and whining 3 or 4 times throughout the book (and skip it), you only get about 5 chapters of real story. I could skate through those suckers in an hour.

Hardly worth the trip to the library.

Since this is my summer of love, I've been reading a LOT of romance novels for the first time in years. If it has boobies and bulging crotches on the cover, I'll read it. Hubby and I have formed a book club of two---I'll read excerpts to him, and he'll decide whether he wants to hump me or laugh himself silly.

Most of it is crap. Some of it is quite spectacular. So far, Amanda Quick is the front runner for writing some sexy-sex. Deanna Raybourne doesn't actually write any sexy-sex, but her first Julia Grey novel was so romantic and heartbreaking (and very very good) that it actually made me weep a little.

I went back and read some authors that I hadn't seen in years. Eons ago, I really liked Bertrice Small's Skye O'Malley series. Lots of sexy-sex and a thundering good historical story. I wanted to see what else she'd accomplished over my long romance hiatus.

The woman has lost her damn mind. That's what she's accomplished.

There is just NO WAY on God's Green Earth that you can make butt sex romantic.

NO freaking way.

The heroine, being widowed, has just remarried. Her husband feels a little cheated that the field has been plowed before. So since she has presumably picked her nose and cleaned out her ears over the years, there is only one virgin orifice left to him and he decides he needs a little butt-lovin' to feel that she is truly his.

As he is (like most romance heros) hung like a stallion, you'd think there'd be some pain involved when he buttafuacoed her "little rose hole". But no, in Bertrice's world, virgin anuses are much like other girlie parts---after the first thrust to break the maidenhead (do buttholes have hymens?) all is ecstasy.

No mention of the doody clinging to his throbbing manhood when he's done. He just flips her over, unhygienically pokes it into her old, used orifice and brings her to orgasmic bliss.

As hubby would (and did say):



Friday, August 10, 2012

Attila's Summer of Love

Sorry I haven't been around very much this summer, but there's a reason for it.

After our time away together in June, Hubby and I have been rediscovering each other and why we fell in love.

I don't know why this has happened right now---it could be that he's just had a milestone birthday, or that I've lost 70 lbs and have been feeling really great, or maybe because the Aspiring Adult moved out in June and we have more privacy---but we've been enjoying every second of it.

It's not like we were having problems or anything. But after 20 years together, and all of the crap that's happened in the last 3 years or so (the cruddy economy, my health issues, the Big Kid's illness, etc), there just wasn't an enormous amount of romance or intimacy happening in the Atilla house. Not a lot of time or energy for Hubby and I to be close and giggle and be a couple of kids in love.

So for the last couple of months, instead of being on the computer or busy with other non-important stuff, Hubby and I have been having lots and lots of S.E.X.

Or in other words, we've been makin' more bacon than the IHOP.

The kids are disgusted with us. Not that we've been flaunting it, but they can't help but observe the hand-holding, the cuddling, the quick little kisses....

And when their dad grabs my now-bony ass, they run screaming from the room.

But as in all things Atilla, I always find a way to embarrass myself.

I started reading romance novels again...something I haven't done in years. I've been sampling a variety of authors and each one is worse than the last. LOL I've been saving the most cringe-worthy passages to read to Hubby while we're alone so we can laugh our asses off. One author noted in her afterword that her fans write to her and tell her that they read her sex scenes to each other as foreplay. I tried that.

Hubby fell off the bed, laughing so hard and shouting, "NO! NOT SEXY!!"

Every day for years, I call Hubby at his office around 4pm to see what time he expects to be home and to give him a list if he needs to stop at the grocery.

For the last couple of months, however, I've decided that it was time to give his naughty bits a new name and have been calling him to try out new ones I've read from these horrendous books (or made up) and to remind him he's got a dirty dirty mistress waiting for him at home.

So when he answers his private line, I'll say something like, "Rampant Member" or "Sly and the Family Stones" and he'll start snickering.

Did I mention that he's been enjoying himself immensely?

The other day I read something that tickled my funny bone and decided to try it on my daily call.

I should have known that something was wrong as soon as he answered the phone. "Hello, this is XXXX, may I help you?"

It sounded like he was in a tunnel. But I soldiered on.

"Throbbing Manhood!" I bellowed.

There was silence. And then tittering. Several voices tittering. He had accidentally put us on speakerphone and there were people in his office.

"Uh, I think I have a wrong number," I stammered before hanging up.

He kept up the charade, but as most of his staff know, I call at that time and I don't think they were fooled.

Hubby thinks it's funny as hell, but I don't think I'll be showing my red face at the company picnic next week.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meanwhile, in My Neighborhood

Got a reverse 911 call yesterday.  This is MY neighborhood!  Yikes!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Close to the Burn Zone

Well the last couple of weeks have been truly scary.

We've been on stand-by evacuation until a few days ago because of the Waldo Canyon fire, which has been the worst in Colorado history. Many of our most prized possessions have been packed up and ready to go. The fire is now 80% contained and burning away from our town. Two families we know lost everything.
Big Kid and Kitty made it up the highway 15 minutes before they closed it.  The smoke down in the springs made it almost impossible for him to breathe.  The Aspiring Adult's new place was in the evacuation zone, so he came home too and I had all my ducklings under one roof.

The big piles of boxes (pictures, papers, family heirlooms, etc) sits in our dining room, waiting to be unpacked. And I'm afraid to unpack them.


Because we've got a firebug up here in our little mountain community. 21 fires, many deliberately set (they were put out before all the evidence was destroyed) in 8 days, not including the Waldo Canyon fire. If that was caused by arson, then it makes 22.

It almost feels like we've been under siege. I've been in to town shopping and chatted with others in the community. A lot of people feel shell-shocked.

Blessings to the firefighters and law enforcement who've been working overtime in these dangerous conditions to keep us safe.
Hope you all have a happy 4th!  No fireworks for us, we've had enough!

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!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hey Village--Keep Your Hands Off My Kid!

I was reading an article the other day about a school aide who was distracted by a 10-year-old boy who has autism because he was fiddling with a loose tooth. She took it upon herself to pull it out. The school nurse checked him out and sent a note home (with the tooth) explaining the situation, and apologizing in advance if it bothered the parents.

Well, hell yeah, it bothered them. The aide pulled out the wrong tooth. One that wasn't loose.

Before you ask, "how could that be if the tooth wasn't loose?", let me just say this: Some kids who have disabilities have sensory integration problems (like my son) and don't feel pain the way other neurotypical people do.

And then there's just the whole WTF factor!  They can't give your kid an aspirin, but they can pull his tooth out?

There is that saying, "It takes a village to raise a child". But what of those villagers who overstep their bounds?

Once when Big Kid was in kindergarten, we got a note home from school. "Please send Big Kid to school wearing both socks and underwear daily." WTF? I laid out all of his clothes each morning. Including socks and underwear. There wasn't a plethora of unaccounted-for unmentionables thrown around his room, so where were they?

After some investigating, we discovered that for at least a week the kid had been stuffing both socks and underwear down an unused heating vent that was left when the house was converted from electric to forced air gas (he also stuffed a bunch of spoons down there for some still-unknown reason). Why? "They're too tight!", he whined. So we switched to boxers and footie socks which didn't feel as constricting.

So while on one hand, I appreciate the school bringing this to my attention, I know that eventually I would have noticed the disappearing socks and undies. Like at laundry time. But my first thought was---how do they KNOW he wasn't wearing underwear? Do they have a designated person who peeks down little kids' pants every day?

Little Guy was so sweet and endearing that some aides thought that he was their child:

Like the aides who either took him to the teachers' break room to eat birthday cake or donuts or brought him homemade cookies constantly, even though it clearly stated in his IEP from the 3rd grade on..."do NOT feed him snacks outside of class parties." Why? Because he had sensory integration issues. He never felt full and would eat until he vomited. He was starting to have a real weight problem, which was documented by his doctors. Little Guy would put on his sad, "I'm hungry even though I had lunch a half hour ago" face and they'd stuff him with cupcakes.

One year there was an aide who took it upon herself to cut his hair. Was it long? No. He had four cowlicks (in the exact same place his dad has them), which defied gravity. She thought that they might lay down if she cut his hair down to his scalp. Did she have any barber training? No. He ended up with 4 bald patches on the back of the head. She ended up with a threat of a restraining order (and a royal ass-kicking) if she came near my kid again.

Early on, the school identified a problem that we worked on for 2 years. Little Guy would run up to anyone friendly to get a hug. Sure, some little kids do that, but we as parents try to make them beware of strangers. A kid with a significant delay has a harder time with the concept, so it might take longer to train him out of it. I mean really, how socially appropriate is it for a full-grown man to run around hugging strangers? Knowing him, and knowing his heart, I think it's sweet, but it would probably scare the hell out of people who don't know him.

Anyhoodie, we were able to get him to stop. For awhile. Then inexplicably, a few years later, when he started middle school, he started up again. I asked his coordinator if she had any idea why he might be doing this. She had no clue. Figured it out in the middle of that school year when I brought Little Guy to school late after a dentist appointment. He had a resource period in the self-contained classroom (the special-needs room).

We poked our heads in the door, and as he was putting his coat and backpack in his cubby, the aide-in-charge hollered, "You can't come in here unless you give everybody some sugar!" So he ran in the room and gave everybody a big hug. urk. Apparently, that was her "rule". Every day. Give a hug to whoever's in the room.

Before you think I'm a terrible ogre, you have to realize that some people who have cognitive disabilities are terribly vulnerable. It's not appropriate for them to run up and press themselves up against other people, especially if they can't differentiate who it's appropriate to hug. Some people aren't nice. Some people are horrible beings, and might see this as an opportunity for abuse. It's just the way the world is, and it's our job as parents AND educators to protect our children and teach them to protect themselves.

I think the coup de gras was the day Little Guy came home from the bus stop in his socks in the snow. Where in the HELL were his shoes? I called the bus barn, and since his was the last stop, they were able to intercept the bus as it came in. They talked to the driver, who didn't notice that the kid didn't have shoes on (not that he should have, I'm not blaming him). They searched the bus and found a pair of boots under some seats.

Well, no, I explained. Those aren't his. He doesn't wear boots.

It took until the next day to figure out what happened. His aide just decided that either I was a neglectful mother or too poor to provide my son with boots when it snowed. Guess she didn't notice the extra pair of dry shoes that were in his locker in case his other shoes got wet.

HE. WON'T. WEAR. BOOTS. It's a sensory thing, fully detailed in his IEP.

She bought him a pair of boots, and sent him home in them, instead of giving me a call and telling me of her concerns. He took them off as soon as he got away from her, and ended up walking home from the bus stop in his socks.

I'm all for the concept of "it takes a village" in principle. I honestly believe that the people I listed above thought they were being helpful. But the "village" needs to remember that I'm the mom, and unless they talk to me first, they need to keep their hands off of MY child.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Off With Their Heads!!

I don't know what it's like to have daughters. I'm surrounded by doods. I love them all dearly, but sometimes I want to grab a shovel and beat them on the heads with it.

You'd think that after all of these years, some things would be like second nature to them. I mean, they're ALL adults. And hubby has been an adult longer than the rest of them.

So is it a dood thing? An Attila household thing? I'm pretty darn easygoing, but I have a few simple rules that haven't changed over a gazillion years:

If you didn't buy it, make it, or if I didn't tell you it's for you, it's not yours.  If you're not sure, ask.

Little Guy has got it down. He doesn't open things or help himself unless he knows for sure it's there for him.

Big Kid was really bad about this, but he doesn't live here anymore.

So who does that leave? Hubby and the Aspiring Adult. They are driving me CRAZY!

I'm not a freaking ogre. There's a whole shelf and canister of "everybody eat this" foods and snacks. They ask me to get certain things they like, and I do it.

The problem is that they see food made for someone else, or ingredients I've bought for some big meal and decide that they just HAVE to eat it right then and right there.

For example:

I roasted a chicken for dinner. Everybody had as much as they wanted, and the carcass sat in the fridge for a few days. I deboned what was left, and made myself a chicken salad for lunch. Only had a few bites from my bowl, left the fork in it and threw some foil over it because I had to run to an appointment.

Came back an hour later in anticipation to finishing it, and it was gone.

WTF? Aspiring Adult and girlfriend were hungry, and decided it must have been made just for them. Pointed out that it had my mouth germs all over it because it was MY lunch in a bowl (not a tupperware) and what were they thinking?

Last week I made dinner for everybody, and it was on the stove. I've been sort of dieting and have lost 55 pounds in the last year. Little Guy has lost 25.

Hubby was going to drop by the store and pick up a couple of things after work, including some crackers. I wasn't going to eat the dinner I had prepared for everybody, because I'd made myself a little tuna salad and planned on having that instead. With the crackers. That was the point. I'd wrapped it up and put it in the fridge.

I was reading in bed and fell asleep before he got home. When I woke up, everybody had eaten dinner, and I went to the fridge to grab my tuna salad. It was gone. Hubby had been digging around while warming up his dinner in the microwave and thought I'd made it as an appetizer just for him! Grrr

Ok, I’m not a pushover.  I was pissed at both of the above actions.  When it happened, I made the Aspiring Adult roast a chicken, debone it and make a chicken salad for everybody.  Learning experience for when he was on his own and wanted chicken salad, and for what happens when you help yourself to other people’s stuff.

I also made hubby run back to the store and buy some tuna because there wasn’t any more and dammnit, I wanted my salad!

You’d think that after all this time, they’d “get it”.

Big Kid has been seeing a nutritionist because his weight has become a problem and it’s difficult to control it when he has to take Depakote for his mental illness.

Portion control is a big issue for him, so I’ve been making him meals that are a “no brainer”. 

Yesterday, I made Italian for the family.  Pasta, meat sauce, etc.

And I made 3 pre-made dinners for the Big Kid..  Vegetable pasta, turkey meatballs, and a special-ordered low-sugar sauce, for people who have diabetes, which is not inexpensive.

There were leftovers of the family meal.  Free for everybody to help themselves.

When I got up, Hubby and the Aspiring Adult had already left for work early.  I opened the fridge to get cream for my coffee and had a revolting surprise.

2 of the 3 special pre-made meals for the Big Kid were gone.

I really don’t get it.  And they don’t have answers, other than, “it looked good and I wanted it”.

I made them bring them home.

Yeah, I guess I’m a bitch that way, but the whole thing perplexes me.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Just Wondering...

You know how some TV commercials just bug the crap outta me.  The latest to make me grind my teeth is the one for

Their slogan?  "Find God's match for you!"

How would they know it's God's match?  How would they presume to know His plan?

What if you're single because He thinks you're an asshole?

Just wondering....

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dementia---er I Mean Demented

A long time ago, I wrote about how Big Kid used to needle the crap out of Little Guy, and the end result was sometimes a smackdown of epic proportions.

Well I have to say (somewhat proudly) that Little Guy has finally learned how to use his words.

A few days ago, Big Kid and Kitty were visiting. SOMEBODY (whistling, eyes averted) let out a silent but deadly fart that would curl your hair.

The stench hit everybody at once.

Big Kid: Holy shit! Who did that? Little Guy, was that you?

Little Guy: No, that was YOU!

Big Kid: I'd know if something that nasty flew out of my butt!

Little Guy: No you wouldn't. You have brain damage. You can't remember what you had for breakfast!

I can't stop laughing. This family is demented. Does that mean I'm going to hell?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Warm Fuzzies

Little Guy has this amazing internal clock. I had one too before I got all old-farty.

If we have to go somewhere in the morning, I tell him what time he has to get up. If he has to be up at 6am, he's awake at 5:55. If he has to be up at 7am, he's awake at 6:55. I go to knock on his door, and he's already up and dressed.

He's going to be 22 on Wednesday, and it hasn't failed him yet. Since he finished culinary school last fall and we haven't found him a job so far, he basically sleeps until 10 unless we have something scheduled.

Last week, Hubby had to go out of town for a few days for a conference. He scheduled his day so that he didn't have to hurry to drive there. Of course we let Little Guy know in advance so he would be prepared and wouldn't stress out.

I usually stumble out of bed at 4 or 5am. And since I'm the first one up, I make coffee.

I walked in through the living room on my way to the kitchen, and Little Guy was fully dressed, sitting in the dark. Scared the heck out of me.

"What are you doing?" I asked. "Are you ok?"

"I wanted to be sure to be up and give Dad a hug goodbye. I was sleeping last time he went away."

Could anything be sweeter than that?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Finally Done

Well, after a 4-year ordeal, we finally got a decision on Big Kid's social security case.

I'm exhausted, emotionally and physically. It's been a nightmare.

To recap:

We applied 4 years ago--almost 2 years after Big Kid had his psychotic breakdown in college. He wasn't stable, couldn't maintain an attention span of more than 15 minutes, couldn't take any meds to help with that because it would throw him into a manic spiral. He would rage often and wasn't rational (aliens laying eggs in his digestive tract). They turned him down initially (which is most often the case with applicants) and we appealed.

The judge ruled against him, and actually stated in the ruling that he didn't believe Big Kid would be bipolar if he didn't smoke pot.

1). Big Kid didn't smoke pot with any frequency. It wasn't allowed in my house (I have an allergy and even contact with the clothes of someone who smokes it causes my throat to swell), and the kid didn't have any money. Whatever pot smoking was done happened at his friends' places, and he wasn't invited too often because he didn't have any money. ;-)

2) None of the 3 doctors who have been treating him for most of his life, or the social security doctor who was charged with examining him felt he had a substance abuse problem. Self medicating is not rare for people who have bi-polar disorder. As he told our family doctor---the only time he felt emotionally normal was when he was high. In fact, less than a year after the judge's ruling, it became legal in our state, and Big Kid could have gotten a medical marijuana card for that very disorder.

3). The point of law that we actually appealed this decision on is the fact that the judge is not a doctor and can't make his own medical diagnoses arbitrarily.

While we were waiting for a date for our new appeal in 2009, Big Kid caught the swine flu, and as you all know, our life went to shit.

In May 2010, we filed a second claim based on the kid's new physical impairments. At that time, we found out that his previous case had been closed without notification, denying him all due process. Our advocate hired an outside attorney to deal with the trickiness of the situation, and because of the egregiousness of it, the attorney took it on pro bono.

May 2011, Big Kid was granted social security based on the second claim. By this time, we had spent over $50,000 in securing him a safe place to live, a caregiver, continuing care expenses, etc. This didn't even touch what was left of his hospital bills. Luckily, he had good insurance, but even with that, he had thousands of dollars in deductibles, etc.

A couple of months ago, our appeal to have the case reheard was granted and it was put back into the original judge's court. The one who ruled against us. Why do they do that?

For the hearing, the judge brought in his own expert to examine Big Kid and to go over the case files. He wouldn't allow me in the courtroom to give Big Kid moral support, and the kid was a tearful wreck. With his new impairments, he doesn't process a lot of what's going around him and he was frightened.

Anyhoo, the judge's expert ended up testifying FOR us. He told the judge that he was wrong, which seemed to put the judge in more of a pissy mood.

He told our advocate that he was willing to entertain the claim starting on the date Big Kid was admitted to the ICU for the swine flu. Our advocate demurred---basically said, "Judge, our claim was filed two years before that. Your expert just testified that Big Kid was significantly impaired THEN. We want the whole enchilada."

Well, we didn't get it. However, the claim was backdated to when Big Kid entered the hospital, so we'll be able to get medicaid to pay some of the medical bills that the insurance company didn't cover. We could appeal again, but that could take years to go through the system.

So we're done. Finally finally done. Hallelujah! Now I'm going to sleep for a week to recover. LOL

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Bling

It's time to bring in spring!!

Our collaborative craft studio has made a whole bunch of spring wreaths, and Joanna Jenkins at The Fifty Factor has been kind enough to host a giveaway!

Click on her link to register. Giveaway ends April 5th.



Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Sloppy, sloppy work.

After all these years, I don't know if I ever said what I do in my real life, other than my passion---my work with adults who have disabilities in my collaborative craft studio.

I work as a freelance editor and I proofread legal documents made by court reporters for law firms. You know, depositions, interrogatories, etc. I don't really write about it, simply because it's confidential work, and there's no point to discussing it .

I'm not perfect, and I certainly don't go around correcting the mistakes made by others in blogland, but some things really chap my heinie.

One of those things is the inane headlines written under the guise of "news" on AOL. I've written about it before---my annoyance with the overuse of the word "Icon". Who in the heck edits this stuff?

I've collected a few AOL headlines lately that I want to bitch about/share....Not so much about structure, but about content and---ok, well you'll get it:

How Celebs Stop Sibling Rivalry:

Number one, who the eff cares? Does the fact that they're celebs make them better parents? I imagine them ordering the nannies take the brats to separate wings of the mansion. It's like trusting Tom Cruise to be the expert on mental health (you GO Brooke Shields!), or trusting Spicoli to handle our country's foreign affairs.

Kim Kardashian Spotted in Skintight Dress:

This is news? I thought maybe if she wore a tent designed by Omar it might actually be noteworthy.

Ron Paul: I Subscribed Birth Control:

Uh, as a doctor, he might have PRESCRIBED birth control to his patients, you dorts. You make it sound like he received multi-themed condoms from the "dick of the month club". And IF he prescribed birth control to patients, whose biz is it? Not ours!

How Man Monitored Wife's Sex Life:

Well duh. You'd think he'd notice every time they bumped uglies. Was he unconscious?

I made a vow not to use the word "stupid" in my blog posts a few years ago.

But geez, what else would you call it?