Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Productivity is Overrated

Today was initially annoying. I couldn't access the shipment tracking link for work, so I called the stores I service and learned that the 2 stores east of me had no shipment for me at that point. The two stores south of me however had work for me to do. So, I had already planned that while I worked the stores South of me, Clone was to go to Persnickety's house so she could play with the Punk (the poor kids have been having withdrawals). I got my Christmas present (LOOOOOVE IT - btw imagine the girl dragon on Dragon Tales saying LOOOOVE IT, and that's how I hear myself say it, except less painfully). I ended up hanging out way longer than I should have, but she's fun and we haven't seen each other since one of us got sick like 184 moons ago. I was finally in the same vicinity as the optical place, and not on a time deadline (so to speak), nor was it their lunch break. I took my glasses in because the nosepad broke and it's been a month. My eyeballs don't hurt now. All fixed. Stupid bats I talked to when it first happened didn't instill confidence. ::Bites tongue::
I then harassed Devildog at work since it was right across the street. He left me to do work, as it's key to earning that paycheck since he won't pick the right lottery numbers. I then went to work, waaaay later than I should have. I don't want to work at the end of the week. I've got a house to clean and crafty stuff to do with the kids if they don't torque my last nerve. Then retrieving my Clone resulted in visiting with Persnickety. Clone and Punk were having a blast and I didn't want to go home and be annoyed by the males.
Anytime I get together with Persnickety, it is one large ADD-fest of zig-zagging tangents. We revert back to high school again, making fun of these certain individuals that probably still deserve it. Or at least we make sideways commentary about things that reference experiences from high school. We were the oddballs, or at least a couple of the many at our school. Apparently my quirks are what prompted Persnickety to take an interest in me. The first time I remember seeing her was in 9th grade at the Junior High, because at that point the district had 8th & 9th grade grouped together. Our school had several additions. Oh, food...yea we gotta feed these heathens...let's throw a cafeteria behind the main building. Hm, science wing, sure it can go behind the cafeteria, and behind that we'll build a music building for band and chorus because some of those noises just are disturbing and need to be kept far away from the rest of the school. In any case, the school had some wise plan to transition us OUT of the cafeteria because they needed a brief respite from the sound of our raucous debauchery bouncing off cinderblock walls for just a minute before the next round of hungry hormonal preteens entered. They sent us to the back parking lot that was generally only used by the buses to wait for the bell. One lovely day, Persnickety caught my attention because there were several morons making a fine spectacle of themselves by making a spectacle of her. All I distinctly remember was that she was laying on the ground, on purpose mind you, and wearing these huge honkin hoop earrings (think bigger than Salt N Pepa wore). I remember thinking "a bird could perch there for petes sake", and I may have said as much to whoever was next to me. Anything specific beyond that is lost on my brain that has been scrambled by 15 years of motherhood, 16 if you count the time spent during the first pregnancy. It gets more scrambled the longer I let the oldest child survive his own foolishness. Hers gets more scrambled the more times she croaks on us, and feels a need to deprive herself of oxygen. We all know breathing is overrated right?
I finally pried my Clone from the clutches of her Punk and came home, to be met with requests to use the computer because Devildog didn't know the oldest's login password. So here I sit, exhausted but unable to unwind. And hoping I can do so before the urge to spawn a blog in conjunction with Persnickety takes over my scrambled brain and I actually take the time to do that tonight of all things. Apparently sleep is overrated too in my house. My brain won't shut down unless it crashes. I liken my brain right now to a long electrical brownout that will eventually become a blackout, and the entire power generating station bursting into flames. Yea, that's my brain at night. Let me add that to the growing list of things needing to be fixed...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Confessions, Resolutions, Re-Solutions

Every year I tell myself I am going to get my act together. Every December I look at the months prior and think "um...at what point did I fall off the wagon here?" I live in a tiny house that is all of 1100 square feet with a sum total of 3 closets, unless you count the laundry room as a closet. I call it a dungeon, right along with the den, my bedroom (that used to be a 1-car garage), the boys' bedroom and the girl's closet, and that little alcove in the hallway that used to house an old oil furnace, and has progressed into housing the exposed air handler for the HVAC unit. My whole house is a dumping ground of sorts. I never wanted to invest a lot into things because I wasn't going to be here long. We moved in here with the expectation that it would be a year so we could get out of an apartment full of mold, and help some friends rent out the place before the first mortgage payment came due. Uh yeah. It's been almost 5 years now. We bought a shed, and that's jam full. I just need to declutter, that's first and foremost. We can't possibly move all this *ahem* stuff to another place and think it's going to be any different. FLYLady says "You can't organize clutter" and she's really right about it. I just hate the thought of doing any part of it, because there's so much of it, I get overwhelmed at the mere sight or thought of the situation. At the same time I can't possibly expect that I'll be able to move tuit suit when my current house is not under control or in order.
I did work on some of that today though. I got tired of walking around the rescued dresser, so it's now in my den. I put my beading supplies, the miscellaneous yarn notions and general craft supplies in the drawers. I didn't want to get the yarn full of sawdust, because the dresser isn't refinished, so it's staying under the futon in bins. It's bare wood, and I'm okay with that for now. I just wish the drawers had an extra inch of depth towards the back so I can get my 12x12 scrapbooks in there and out of the big plastic bins. In a couple more years, I'll be able to purge some more old Tupperware files and the school supplies can find a new home in the filing cabinet. Someone remind me next summer NOT to buy notebook paper please. I unearthed part of my desk yesterday. Tomorrow holds some sort of plan, probably involving the kitchen. I was gifted a new-to-me stove today and it's uber nice. I have to call the friend we're renting from to send our old stove to them for storage till we move out. Unless of course they're going to sell or rent this place without appliances when we vacate...which means someone could get our old one. I will miss the stove light that is on the back of the 20 year old bugger, because it was nice to have. But I think I can get over it considering it's a very nice stove that was given to us. I offered to pay for it, since the gifters were trying to sell it. They said that since my husband has been their handyman, they wouldn't allow me to give them a dime for it. Now, I wouldn't have picked this stove out for myself because it's got a stainless front, but I won't whine since it was given to us. Way back 14 years ago when everyone had mauve and blue with ducks geese and cows, I wanted a black and white kitchen with black appliances, and stainless accents (drawer pulls, cookware, toaster etc-small scale stuff). Apparently I was a bit forward thinking because that's what a lot of people now have in their kitchens - black and stainless. Next time I want to redesign something, I'm just keeping my mouth shut till I can market it myself. Because I could've been a bit richer, and could buy all new cookware. And as vintage as my cookware is that my grandmother bought and stashed for me 10 years prior to my needing it, I can still use it on this stove. I've become immune to the brown and orange flowers on the side. The only problem I see with the new stove, is that the drawer in the bottom is vastly shallower (save money on materials perhaps?) so I can't store quite as much in it as the old one. Which means I have to re-configure the storage of other things to accommodate the displaced items. Of course Devildog installing that one last upper cabinet that is in the boys' room is a possible solution. I'm just thankful that I have a functioning MacGuyvered kitchen, instead of no kitchen at all or one that is gutted.
So, I will embark on some additional cognitive journey to come up with solutions for my house as it is, because I honestly can't say how much longer we will live here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Trying

Today is my little brother's birthday. Of course he's taller than I am, but he will ALWAYS be my LITTLE brother. Sadly I didn't get him a birthday gift yet. Being broke sucks like a shop-vac. I got him a stocking (disappointingly empty even) with our favorite college team and he was pleased. He's always so appreciative of the crap I give him. Devildog isn't quite as appreciative, but then again, I give him a different type of crap than I give my brother. Anyway, on to the purpose of my post today...it's a blog about the husband.
Devildog got home from work and apparently needed to download his day with me. There was a very challenging customer who called trying to get something she honestly was not entitled to receive, and attempted to do so with sniping, name calling and lies. Really....that whole karma thing never occurred to her apparently, because it came back to bite her unsunny place. There was another associate in the store who left their assigned department hanging while he took an early lunch break, resulting in a very frazzled associate that was left behind to tend all those customers solo. Sales plan buddy, it's one of those key indicators that the big cheese in corporate offices use to determine how many hours you get to work, and if you even get to KEEP your job. I'm sure this individual simply does not care about that at all. The big puzzle of a store's day is lost on that associate. There were inventory issues needing to be sorted out and remedied. And transfers were arranged, of course I got to hear about how one store never reciprocates and how that just peeves Devildog to no end (among other things I shouldn't repeat).
Then his lunch break was no exception to the Darwinian associations. He went to McDonald's...they know him there and he never deviates from his usual. When I worked at McDonald's (looks at oldest...) 16+ years ago, we had our "usuals". Regina always got a double cheeseburger, small fries and a small coke. She ate all her meals at McDonald's and one time threw me for a complete loop when she ordered a McRib instead, laughing heartily at foiling my attempt to beat her in the door and have her order ready to go for her. There was the hoarding curmudgeon who drove a late 1960's Chevy 4 door loaded to the top with old newspapers. The trunk, back seat, floorboards and front seat were full of papers. I suspect the lack of comfortable space contributed to his crankiness (clutter does that), and he was very terse. My husband is a regular, except he's not all that eccentric as those etched into my memory of my days at the mcjob. He likes his burgers plain, and nothing has changed in all the years we've been together. No condiments please, except cheese. His McPals near the job know this and try to have his food ready for him. Today there were 6 in line, Devildog included. He and another party in line had special orders. Everyone else had stuff they generally have at the ready. This other party ordered twelve (yes a dozen) double cheeseburgers, no ketchup no pickle. This large special order was second in line, Devildog was sixth. These two individuals were getting testy because people in line behind them dared to order food that wasn't a special order, and got their food ahead of them. They were saying things like "our food? anytime soon? like now?" and other insolent things that make the employees move slower just to be spiteful. I wouldn't dream of knowing anything about this, but I've heard things indicating as much. Devildog, having been on a roll with this difficult customer and annoying coworker interjected with his rapier wit. "Oh be patient, grab a chicken and gnaw on the leg to hold you over. They have to go out back and catch the cow and slaughter it for your burgers." The crew was just waiting to see what came next. Impatient Special Ordering people got puzzled and gave quizzical looks. Devildog had to break it down for them, because their apparently excessive grease consumption fried their cognitive abilities. "What do you expect? You come in here and order not just a special order, but a LOT of a special order. It's coming, they're working on it and it will be up in a minute. Geesh." Impatient Special Ordering people were not amused. Further proof that too much grease isn't good, it zaps your humor too. Eat a salad people! The roughage might clear the blockage and you may one day laugh again. However the McCrew was really bemused by Devildog's candid assertion and he became endeared to them that much more for it.

Devildog got back to work and there was more trying of his patience. He was saying to no one in particular "I'm trying to be better. I really am, but it's hard to be nice when they're being stupid." And a nearby coworker was quick on the draw and quoted Ron White. "You can't fix stupid". And it doesn't matter how much you try, that condition is just irreparable beyond any hope.

All appendages and relatives intact

We survived Christmas with family. It was safer because some relatives no-showed at Dad's and we made an exit for the middle of nowhere to visit my husband's former stepmother and her sons. She's my Father-In-Law's former 2nd wife. At the time I sprung forth the first spawn from my high school loins they were married. Then I moved in with Devildog's family the last few months of school. And little did they know, but I had the second spawn on board. My dad hated that his brother's grandchild didn't use Grandpa, but something involving the last name. My parents had to be Grandma and Grandpa. Since we lived with FIL and stepMIL, and my oldest was gaining a talking momentum, I needed a grandparental designation that was simple for him. So, they were dubbed Nana & Papa. The kids still call her Nana, even though FIL and Nana parted ways many years ago. Nana was a large part of Devildog's life as a child and young man. Her sons have always been brothers to Devildog and his sister (but it's hard to say where anyone stands with his sister without absolute clarification from the source herself). FIL and Nana (who also has a few nicknames - OY the confusion!) were together well over 10 years, and at this point Nana's been part of Devildog's life for about 20 years. You don't just walk away from that, without good reason.

Anyway, she wanted to see the kids, and her son has a daughter a few months younger than Beast. Plus they live next to a state forest so there's lots of country life kind of fun to be had. There is a huge pond stocked with fish, and some boats. The kids stayed on the dock and fished for over an hour. Nana's ex-husband (#3 I think), who lives around the corner (at least he isn't NEXT DOOR) cooked enough food for 2 armies (yankee from Maine doesn't do so badly either). We came home with ample leftovers, and yes, I'll shamelessly admit to taking advantage of the hospitality. It was nice to hang out with them, and the boys have mellowed considerably in their 40s. They've got very colorful histories. I felt guilty about jumping ship on my Dad, the brother & his spawn, and the oldest sister. But I also can only tolerate my family in small doses. Devildog's tolerance is even smaller. Which is how we all ended the day with apendages and relatives intact. We didn't overdose on them.

Now if you're still confused, don't worry. It has been 16 years and sometimes I still shake my head vigorously in hopes of something getting a synapse to fire in just the right way to allow me to comprehend some of this stuff. Then again, MY family has its own synaptic challenges too. I still haven't come to any conclusion on why family is so complicated. I'm just happy to understand my dosage limits and adhere to them.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Feliz Navidad

The song was rolling around in my head after the choir sang it at the end of Mass tonight. So there ya go. We trolled a neighborhood that was all lit up, except a few houses. Strangely enough, everyone climbed a ladder and fastened the lights to a limb and dropped it to the ground where it was plugged into an extension cord connected to other strands dropped from trees. Then we went to church, and *gasp* Devildog accompanied us. He pretty much never goes to Mass with us. He's not Catholic, so it assaults his sensibilities. He got irritated with me for saying hi to as many people as I did. He should thank me, because I saved him the need to contend with traffic exiting the parking lot. So I went around to my friends to wish them a Merry Christmas while the choir sang that song..."Feliz Navidad, feliz navidad, feliz navidad, prospero ano nuevo felicidad" It's roughly translated to Merry Christmas, prosperity and a Peaceful New Year. There's a mumbled version of Merry Christmas that is a standing family joke that stems from my sister's work history. She worked in a dry cleaners and one guy NEVER enunciated anything, and mumbled EVERY thing. Which I will be mumbling in the morning because the spawn will be up before the sun, and I'm going to bed just before said bright orb in the sky arrives to announce the day. I'm yawning more than breathing, and I have general symptoms of over-exhaustion. I can't find where I hid a present I bought for myself...and was going to have the Clone wrap it as her contribution. Maybe I'll find it in time for my birthday next month. I'll surely unearth it in an unceremonious fashion. It's too late to keep looking and I can't think lopsided, because straight was gone hours ago. At least the coffee pot is set up, the cinnamon buns are rising and some cookies have been baked. And I won't have to cook after all. We're going to someone else's house and one person there just loves to cook too much food. So we're going to help consume it. Wanna join the redneck fest Persnickety? I promise it will be NOTHING like going to your usual holiday haunts.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Can I borrow your fork?

Because really, somebody stick a fork in me. I'm done. I did not wake up this morning with the goal of being a stark raving lunatic yitch. By 6 PM, I'd worked a few hours of the phone job, been tortured by the 15 year old asking to use the computer (nevermind that he went well over his allotted time last night), annoyed by the 14 year old talking in such a way that was only grating my nerves because his brother strummed the last patient chord I had, and heard "Mommy" from my 6 year old so many times I asked if she realized Daddy was even home, awake and could be found to lend assistance too. While there are glaring exceptions to my next statement.... a penis does not always mean total incompetence. Really, he helped spawn the spawn, and he's capable of being a parent-type, even if he's grumpy. Poor man, he stayed out of my way, but failed to inform the kids. He said it took him 16 years to learn this, and the kids would have to learn the hard way like he did. I had my fill of annoyances by 5:30 when I went outside to seek quiet and discovered half my trash was still sitting BESIDE my trash can, yet the collection trucks had come and gone already. Oh and lovely holiday week that it is, the city one-call line is closed. I just want Waste Management (with their green trucks and 'nifty' WM logo to come back and pick up the trash they seemingly left on purpose. They're not city employees, they're contracted company employees. And one more whiny request begging to use the computer and a "mommy" from the clone for good measure, I grabbed my keys and left with the clone to get away from the chaos. Except, I was JUST as annoyed by the crazy people on the road with their freaking out "omigod-it's-almost-Christmas-Eve-and-I-HAVE-to-go-shopping-NOW-on-my-way-home-from-work" mentality. Road rage plus teen torment equals really mean me.
I forgot to mention Devildog is coming down with the same stuff again that he had at Thanksgiving and didn't want to do anything at all today on his day off, which is part of why he's grouchy. He said we could decorate the tree when he's at work tomorrow. The boys brought the tree out of the attic, so at least it's available now. But seriously, the man fails to realize that if he'd given the kids permission to set up the tree (Charlie Brown model that it is), that they would have been entertained for a while and wouldn't have been strumming those chords with me. I MAY have been less irritated in general and wouldn't feel like a Christmas grinch right now. I still have a tension headache, and the oldest tension-causer is STILL awake and occasionally trying to join the cranky adults to seek entertainment.
Of course, some of the headache is from my eyeglasses breaking last month and the optical place giving me a run-around. So, me being me, I emailed the vendor for clarification because I absolutely KNOW that in March when I ordered them, the guy at the optical place told me they had a one year warranty. When I remove the glasses from my face and the nosepad stays on my nose...seems a little warranty related to me. So I've been a month without full use of my glasses and I miss them terribly. I haven't had time coincide with location so I can go seek a replacement frame for my glasses. We get new insurance at the first of the year. I may be able to get a new pair then, and if so, I'll make sure I find a frame that has a different style nose pad that can be replaced with replacement parts.
I'm just a barrel of monkeys when I'm this kind of compounded cranky huh?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's going on? It's December ya know

Um, it's mere days before Christmas, and the only Christmas decorations we have up are the lights on the front of the house. I kid you not. The tree is in the attic, and packed with it are the little 18 inch individual trees that I got the kids for their rooms, and the garland that normally would reside around my front door...or at least over it. As such, the rest of the decorations are in the green tubs in the hall corner collecting more dusty debris from my 50+ year old house full of dust and other miscellany. I sent out several Christmas cards and got a few from friends (none from those I sent cards to either mind you). I have a small assortment of gifts purchased and hidden. I have a cookie recipe languishing in the kitchen after discovering some EVOL menace in my house consumed the remainder of the package of chocolate & peanut butter chips/morsels/machine created drops. They were peanut butter chips and chocolate chips coexisting nicely in a yellow bag. They were slated for one last run of cookies and I was highly ticked to discover their empty bag abandoned in the garbage. I had to buy more today. At least the bag wasn't abandoned behind the futon like a million Halloween candy wrappers were. I really loved finding that mess. I don't recall spawning an offspring and naming it "Not Me", but apparently this Not Me character has adopted us without my permission, or my obtaining legal counsel. But somehow this being has conspired with my genetic offspring and aided in the little messes that realllllly pile up and annoy the you-know-what out of me. I have my share of the clutter in this house. We also have no storage here, and I refuse to rent a storage unit. Which is part of why we don't have our tree up yet. The clutter won't allow much space for it. Big giant pieces of furniture in the living room leave little place for it. The one spot we have will result in an obstructed path through the living room. I'm seriously giving consideration to using some brown craft paper we have and green paint and painting a tree, taping it to the wall there and leaving the walkway free. Then I'll put a small pile of gifts on the floor in front of the paper tree on Christmas Eve when Devildog and I go to bed. At least this Christmas I have the opportunity to sleep in my own bed, which has happened a total of twice since I married Devildog 14 years ago. We've usually gone to visit his relatives for Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Catching a Breath

OK, so I've been M.I.A. for a few days. I signed back onto AIM and had messages waiting, wondering where I've been. AIM was giving me fits, and I signed off to reboot the program and try again, despite doing so several times. So between frustration, getting distracted by something shiny and realizing just how late it was that day, I didn't log back into it. Then life got busy to the point that getting on AIM was going to derail my travel. I didn't stop moving for several days. I'm putting on the brakes a bit today though. If I don't I'm going to fall ill again and we don't want that. I never did get fully over the last issue, but I think this is all asthma related. I also think it's related to the amount of dust and God-knows-what in my house. It's a mess here. HOWEVER, I wanted to give you the skinny on what we've been doing. You're going to need a beverage and maybe snackage, this is lonnnng. What? I've got catching up to do remember? Don't forget a couple napkins too while you're up.

You back? Ok, good.

Last week was go-get-the-oldest chaos and recovery (don't think I really recovered). This week was busy busy more busy (and I don't know that I'll recover.) None of it was really Christmas related. This was just life. Christmas shopping? HAH! I've been neck-deep in contact with my oldest and I'm stuffed with my fill of him. I now have 2 weeks of ALL THREE children. This will be adventurous to say the least. That bottle of Whaler's might not last till New Year's. Which reminds me, I need to add Dr. Pepper to my shopping list.

A coworker of Devildog's moved to a house, and there was a party last Saturday. The coworker's other half invited friends under the premise of it being the dog's birthday "and come see where he lives now" thing. She's not quite as kooky as I initially thought, but I wouldn't host a gathering under the premise of celebrating an animal's existence. I don't need an excuse other than "Hey! I cleaned my house and you can walk through it! Come see it before it disappears for another 10 years!" Another of Devildog's coworkers gave us tickets to the Jeff Dunham show at the arena Saturday. So we went to the party, went to the show, and went back to the party. We had nosebleed seats but not bad seats. Not normally a problem, except these seats were essentially built into a wall and should only be occupied by people wearing women's shoe size 8 or smaller. My size 10's don't fit there, and Devildog snagged the aisle seat claiming a need to accommodate the manhood parts, and not getting things pinched. The show was awesome nontheless. I laughed so hard, I had an asthma attack. Or at least it was a continuation of the one I was trying to get over after being in the in-law's house where smoking takes place indoors. I also wore layers, and it was a good thing, because I was about to die of overheating from laughing so hard. Thankfully I had the invite to the Devildog's Christmas party from the week before still in my purse, so I could fan myself. I need to clean my purse more often. See a trend here in terms of me cleaning anything?
I love Guitar Guy (his name is Brian Haner), dad to one of the guys in Avenged Sevenfold. I haven't listened to any of their music, but after hearing Senior Haner play, Junior Haner should prove interesting. It's something the oldest likes though. But Senior Haner played an opening set for us that um...kind of made me feel a little old. But he's kick-butt nonetheless. He could do a full show of his own and fill a venue.
Jeff brought out the usuals: Walter the Curmudgeon, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Peanut, and Jose the Jalepeno on a Stick for a show much like Comedy Central's Christmas special. Being a live audience has perks though. It's better than pre-recorded. One of Jeff's characters is Bubba J, a bumpkin who met his wife at the fair, married her in a church and had the reception at Walmart. Bubba J was brought out as an encore, after numerous requests. Jeff didn't understand why, commenting that the requests could be due to where we were. He had to bring out the cheat sheet because he had been doing the holiday set and needed a brush-up on this character. The crowd didn't care. In fact, the crowd (sold out house of about 10,000 people), HELPED with the punchlines. Humility in a comedian is wonderful, and lends to the show. Bubba J turned to Jeff, saying something about how it wasn't good that they knew the punchlines better than he did. There was a comment about it being like a creepy kind of church that the crowd finished the punch lines. I hated to see the show end. I hated more the traffic in the garage with schmuckatelli's being selfish and not letting people merge. I am NOT going to rant anymore about that. Merging doesn't have to be that difficult.

Do you need to use the bathroom? Now's a good time. I'll wait.

You back again? Good. Continuing on now.

Thursday was a gathering at yet another (former) coworker's house. Anyone else notice excessive contact with coworkers? Retail people are certainly a very different breed. This was planned several weeks in advance, complete with a catchphrase imprinted on t-shirts. To save space here and reserve the entertainment for a day when my life is boring again, I'll post that story separately, and with pictures. And no comment about my life being boring again. It's always been mundane, but really...you're about to pee your pants now if you didn't go already when I told you to do that. I will say that I have been drawn into their fold. Apparently they like me for some reason. I suspect it's because I've driven the bus occasionally when someone was being thrown under it. Yes, I've been hit with the bus when someone else took the wheel. But I bounce back. With vengence. For some reason, some members of this crew thought Devildog could "check" me. At any of the gatherings, I couldn't tell you how many times I have heard "check your wife" from his friends. Smart man that he is, Devildog backs away and says "hey, I know better. You are on your OWN with her. You started it. I will warn you to be careful though." I can only suppose the interaction with me is entertainment for the rest of those present. I don't know if I could be considered a breath of fresh air, but I'm a breath of something, if not entertaining at times. That's for sure.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Early Winter break?

Still no word yet on the oldest son's school assignment, and I'm really frustrated by it. At the same time I don't want to be a pesky parent and harass the principal just yet. However, noon Thursday, all bets are off. This whole process has sucked mucho for me. I'm thinking that with two days left till winter break starts, it's going to be January before he sees the inside of another classroom. THIS should be fun. My sanity already suffers, and now it's making me sufferable to those around me. PMS compounds the entire situation.
THEN, while I'm on a service call in the ONE store that blocks cellphone signal, I get a call that went straight to voicemail. This one happened to be from Beast's school. He got suspended for two days over something stupid he did. He didn't even get into a fight for pete's sake. Sometimes I wish he would. Sooo, he's home till January now too. Clone has a class party Thursday and probably a day of fun stuff on Friday. So much for sneaking out to buy socks and underwear while they're at school. It's been a monkey-wrenched month.
Today proved to be a very annoying day and I was quite cranky. Despite my warnings to the children, they were ignored. I can't take all this *expletive* noise. I hope not to be a complete and UTTER shrew by New Year's.
Let me also add that I have a sum total of less than ten minutes left on my cellphone minutes till Thursday night. I love you all. Really. I do. I just can't afford to go over my minutes to talk to you. Catch me after 9PM or the weekend...or Friday even. I'm so glad that my husband has relatives on Verizon so I can call them and wish them well or beg for money, whatever the case may be. Just as long as I stay on their good side. If nothing else I am IN. I'm also IN for some insanity for the next two weeks. Lord, help me keep these offspring busy and entertained, so I don't become the entertainment.......

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Spinning

Right now, the weather here is crazy. It bounces between extremes one day to the next. Saturday was cold, Sunday was balmy. Yesterday was cool. Today was lovely. Maybe we should call this tennis weather - as in it goes back and forth. I feel like I'm in London, minus the rain and English accents (except I can call a couple people and get that). My favorite aunt in Missouri is pretty much snowed in, and schools are closed. They get snow days, we get hurricane days. That concept appeared on the school calendar after a few tropical storms blew through here knocking out power, taking down trees and sending people to shelters - yep - in the schools. So while some people think we're nuts for adding "weather days", it has been needed a few times like this year when Tropical Storm Fay took a vacation here. I was tempted to tell Aunt R to send her child to Florida for a vacation next summer.... .oO(hmm maybe we can coincide it with a home purchase and have extra help moving). Oop, sorry. Anyway, Aunt R told me that her child, A., said something that sounded like I said it. She said tone of voice, inflection, and content amounted to a teenage version of me. They were talking about a stew R made, and A said she didn't like the vegetables. Aunt R told A that she needed to eat them because it would make her *ahem* go to the bathroom. A said "I am already regular", and then pausing for a second, returned with "Have you smelled the bathroom lately?"
This conversation occurred en route to or from the store for metal cookie cutters. R and A sprayed the cookie cutters with cooking spray, set them on parchment on a cookie sheet, then put Jolly Ranchers in the cookie cutters, and put the pans in the warm oven for 6 or 7 minutes till the candy melted. Horse and cow cookie cutters don't work well according to R. I love this idea and hope to get around to doing it with my kids during winter break. I also have some cookie batter in the freezer needing to be baked. And a mixer DYING to be tested (unless someone's giving me a Kitchen-Aid, then they should just tell my husband so he can connive and get me to NOT use the new mixer I just bought so I can return it for the cash). Saturday is a busy day for my crew. I have the Clone who is going to an ice skating party for a couple hours, the oldest going to a longtime friend's house for a few hours out in tim-buk-f'ing-tu from here, and the Beast needing to be entertained and get some quality time with a parent in some way that doesn't involve servitude or beastly work. He's disappeared into middlechilditis again now that the oldest is home. My blog and I miss him. He's clearly not pleased for oldest child to be here again. So, I'm thinking that this weekend will be me and Beast in the kitchen with my MacGuyvered countertops, doing foodcrafty stuff. My challenge is going to be keeping the Clone occupied so that she doesn't make Beast want to leave the kitchen. So, I need to get my kitchen cleaned, and the needed ingredients by Friday.
Right now things are crazy (and it's not really holiday related so much as teenager induced, plus the sprinkling of holiday stuff that I could handle otherwise). And I don't know what it is about things getting scheduled all on the same day or in the same week etc. I've had two dates this month end up with double and triple bookings. This week's wouldn't have been a problem, except we have to make up weather days, so now that one evening with events scheduled is a school night. Somewhere in there I want to go hang out with my friend H, and her baby E. while they're here for Christmas. They leave the day after Christmas and while two weeks seems like a lot of time, I won't really have time to corral kids and visit with her till next week while the spawn are on winter break. Oh yeah, and looking to my right where my Blood Alliance calendar is hanging...I'm due to donate again this month. And there's training for my phone job that needs to be done this weekend before I can resume taking calls. And I need to pick up a bag of individually wrapped candy and a can of vanilla frosting and it was due to the school Wednesday but that page of info was covered by the reminder of tonight's rescheduled entertainment by children at the school. Not easy on the music teacher as she broke her ankle last week on the original date it was to take place.
I don't have my act together and the fact that there are even icicle lights on the front of the house is a mere miracle. I only did that yesterday to combat the urge to sleep at 4PM. The the computer got hijacked by a teenager while I worked on lights, then I had to cook dinner.
So if I seem scarce, it's because I really am that. And to my chat pals, I am not avoiding anyone or ignoring you. I just need to get things done AND sleep too. I'd much rather be chatting with you because it's more entertaining for me that way.

If it can spin, it does. My head, my eyeballs, my wheels (literally and figuratively-especially with this school assignment thing). I was brain fried earlier tonight, and not much has changed since, especially since my glasses broke and I have an issue with the optical place. That's a blog for later. So I'm going to go spin in my bed to get comfortable and get some much needed sleep before I zonk out in this chair at the desk like I did last night. I woke up with a cramp in my calf and it's still there. Not a bad series of days, just full ones all in a row.

Monday, December 15, 2008

footwear or felony?

I was raised in an area that is city with redneck/country mixed in for good measure. My mother was a native of Florida, as was I (rare breed, I know). My father was a good ole Yankee Transplant. But he eats grits, yet refuses to eat oatmeal or cream of wheat after they were his childhood sustenance during the Depression of the 1930s. Along came his children born to a southern native, and I can not tell you how many times I heard the man tell me to "EEE-NUN-SEE-ATE for christsake, don't talk like you have a bunch of crap in your mouth!" As a result, my diction has become fairly well suited for speaking publicly.
Then, this half-Yankee married an all-redneck descendant and allowed him to expose our children to his relatives. I fear I myself am losing my ability to sound like a Southern Yankee. (I'm part Yankee, but more Southern than Yankee-if that makes ANY kind of sense.)
My oldest has spent entirely too much time mingling with those drawly folks up in South Carolina, and my half-yankee ears are vacillating between entertainment and discomfort at the sound of him trying to articulate anything. As it's fast approaching Christmas, decorations start coming out of bins. You know those sock looking things hung by the fireplace for a certain saintly being to fill with goodies? When you think of that description, the word STOCKING comes to mind right? So when you see or hear that word, you think of something resembling this:


To hear my son ask if we're going to "do" them, gets translated by the listener to equate to committing a crime. This criminal inquiry comes about because of his acquired drawl. What comes next is the manner in which my ears HEARD my son ask the question. "Are we gonna do stalkings?"
I was his primary caregiver when he learned to speak. I KNOW for a fact he was not raised with that thick syrup for articulation to attain this:


I am not some psycho, so really, there is no need to stalk anyone. Plus there's that desire to avoid criminal charges. Now in his mind he was thinking footwear inspired decorative items. In my ear arrived a request to commit a felony. I surely hope he doesn't think I'm *THAT* kind of mother.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

sleeping genetics

I talk in my sleep, have awakened MYSELF yelling at people in my dreams (I have issues apparently), and awakened my husband on NUUUUUMEROUS occasions. I make no apologies for it, as my husband snores like the best of the sleep-apnea kind do, complete with sucking drywall off the ceiling. Clone snores a bit, and mumbles in her sleep. Beast snores and makes mumbly-ish noises. Oldest (name yet determined for blog usage) talks in his sleep. Because we haven't gotten the bunk beds back together so there are two beds in the male quarters of the house, Oldest has been sleeping on the futon in the den (THANK YOU Persnickety!!!!), right behind my throne. (that would be the computer chair in case you needed a translation)
I got up to check the thermostat because it's slated to reach Yankee temperatures here tonight. If we had a pet, it would be indoors, it is slated to be that cold. Upon my return to my throne, I found my son's pillow on the floor after he turned over. I picked it up and put it over his head - eyes covered, nose exposed just for the record here. He stirred, and picked up his head to apologize for making noise. "What?"
"We all fell off a cliff"
"Huh?"
"Kingdom Hearts"
::shakes head and returns to glowing box of interactive entertainment::

This is similar to the conversation my mother had with me in 8th grade when she was looking for my sister. I'd totally zonked out after manning the class Hooligan's Dice booth at the church carnival. Prizes were arranged on a shelf according to score level. Apparently my sister could be found on the third shelf that day.

Sleep & lucid conversations don't peacefully coexist at the exact same moments in time. One or the other usually wins that battle.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

If it's a challenge

Apparently the stress of the past week has collided with the onset of PMS and I've become incoherent to my readers. I get mysterious and whiny when I get overly stressed or overwhelmed. You can liken it to rocking in the corner and thumping my head on the wall repetitively. I don't do well with stress in case anyone hadn't noticed. I was utterly exhausted to the point of apparent stupidity yesterday and somehow managed to muddle through the day. Today was a little better but I was only mildly productive. I never seem to attain those grand plans of marvelous theory. I have a full calendar, a messy house, and a week of kids in school remaining. Except right this very moment, the oldest is awaiting an assignment to a school with German so he doesn't lose a semester's credits. I don't think I am capable of surviving the task of homeschooling this child, so I'm willing to drive him to school on special assignment. We'll see how the magnet lottery pans out for next year to get him into the college prep high school. I need to find some sort of music program involving violins since he plays that. In case you hadn't noticed, he seeks a challenge. German, violin, and I'm sure something else will intrigue him somewhere along the way. My challenge is to keep him busy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The only constant in life: Change

This is some of the best advice my oldest sister handed down to me as I entered the 8th grade. I've attempted to impart it to my children. I hope it works.
We're back home. We arrived at like 2-something in the morning. It was a much better drive time coming back than when I went up there to get the oldest male child. It took me something like 7 hours start to finish to get up there. I was tired, stressed, and anxious. I took my time, and two naps along the way. I just didn't want to be doing that under those circumstances, but I also left the house extraordinarily late. I wasn't sure if the in-laws told him he had to move back home, and my timing needed to work with other people's sleep schedules. I didn't say much to anyone. Part of that was utter useless exhaustion. Part was my attempt to keep the vitriol out of it. Part was my passive-aggressive way of saying "you people suck". I caught a couple hours sleep but it wasn't easy with the smell of cigarette smoke permeating every inch of the place, and my inability to get warm. I probably could have slept better in the van. I got up, and changed clothes in the van (to avoid contaminating my stuff with ciggy stink). Then took care of school business, which someone was supposed to go sign ONE paper for the school to stow in my son's file till I arrived to withdraw him - and of course they didn't. I was honestly NOT suprised, considering I didn't get any first hand information in all this. I also caught wind of some other forms of deception from someone involved. Karma's a real wench is all I'm going to say. Later, while the nephew cooked dinner, I took my son to say bye to an aunt and a friend. We got back, ate dinner and loaded his belongings. We then left to say bye to the other aunt, uncle and cousin (personally I like them the most favoritist). We got on the road and got home in 4 hours, and I didn't even speed. Random & Frazzled tolerated my incessant, inane yammering almost the WHOLE way home. I took a shower to get the roadtrip and ciggy stink off me. Then I consumed food and went to sleep. Only, that sleep was interrupted by the Beast oversleeping and needing a ride to catch the shuttle bus to his school, and getting Clone to school. She was excited to see big brother. So today was cranky and sort of useless with some productivity. I'm working on a special assignment for the oldest because of his choice of foreign language...German.
I hate that I had to withdraw him in the middle of the year, not quite at the end of the semester, and uproot him suddenly. It was supposed to be different, but I can't control the other parties in this.
I will say that my son has lofty academic goals, and seems to have a different energy about him than when he went to live with MIL. His perspective has shifted because of his circumstances. I don't expect hunky-dorey and easy transitions. But at least he seems willing to navigate the changes. It is, after all, the only constant in life.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And new challenges await

I am bringing my oldest son home from my Mother-in-law's in another state, 350 miles from me. The situation requires it and looking back, we probably should have never sent him to live there. Nothing changed, and things only spiraled. He was in a much better school than anything this district has to offer, and that's the saddest part for me. He's an incredibly intelligent and creative individual, apparently wired for things that are destructive. So, as I embark on this next challenge, I'll need lots of prayers for my family.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My current crack

Thank you Persnickety.... for telling me I needed to try a certain coffee related product because now my household has a sick fondness for it.
We needed sugar and creamer the other day, because my family goes through those two items like the Marines go through ammunition, except our consumption is on a smaller scale. Went to Publix and found a kick A deal on the plain creamer, making it cheaper than the big container this time. Plus they had the flavored stuff at a good price, and we like flavored creamers sometimes. The kids and I like flavored coffee sometimes too, but this blog is about the additive. I picked up a Peppermint Mocha and let clone choose the other seasonal flavor. She wanted to try Gingerbread, I haven't used it yet, but plan to soon. Clone pronounces it "moh-CHA" and not "mo-kah" like the rest of us. It is cute, and her pronunciations are a blog post all their own really. We're talking about creamer. I made Clone some hot chocolate yesterday morning because there wasn't any more coffee after I got my morning dose of the stuff. I splashed in the peppermint mocha, because really...chocolate and peppermint...*flavorgasm* (ahem, 'scuse me whilst I re-compose myself). Erm...oh yes, um, chocolate and peppermint. They're a good combination. Devildog apparently stole a taste of Clone's hot chocolate after his olfactory nerve was strummed by its wafting scent. I took Clone to school and came back home to get a more relaxing cup of java instead of the "must move now" cup. Devildog called me into the living room to give me some instructions. If I allowed marching orders from him, he'd have issued those instead though. He said "I want you to go to every store and buy every bottle of that stuff and stockpile it" (nevermind there's an expiration date on those things). It's like crack, only it tastes better, smells better, and you're not likely to go to jail for using it.
(edit: And I just realized that I need to reset the time on my camera....it's an hour fast....dern daylight screwing time)

collapse

I went to check on my Clone this evening and found her like this













And upon further investigation, discovered what she was doing with the uncapped marker in her left hand.....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I love my sister

And do not ever want to piss her off. EVER. She would most certainly cause bodily harm to me. I'm a weakling, it wouldn't be difficult for her to do. She's made guys cry before. She recently had a bad day, and shared as much with me.

Sis : not in a good mood. havent left my room all day. gota deal with customers and a hated loud mouth coworker after an 8 hr shift of faking perky while depressed
Sis: if he speaks to me im gona make him cry like a 3 year old girl that just got her pig tails cut off

She has a black belt in verbal assault, and she took tae kwon do for a while. I've seen her take a chop at Devildog. He felt pain and discomfort and the bouncer at the place looked concerned that he'd have to do his job or something.
This commentary comes a few days after a conversation about her search for a mate that meets the prerequisites, one being "doesn't cry easily". I think it's very safe to say that this coworker of hers fails the prequalifications.

Monday, December 1, 2008

How I will store my yarn

Edit: Blogger apparently has been having issues, so all this past week's posts snuck into the readers at once. Feel free to keep yourself busy if you are really that bored.
Several weeks ago, I took down those wire shelf things that contained my yarn. They were unsightly with the other piles of junk collecting in front of them. Out of sheer frustration I dismantled things, put the yarn in some plastic bins I have, and shoved them under the futon. I still have piles of stuff in that location but I've been searching for a dresser to stash my yarn. If there's space, I'll stash scrapbooking supplies, otherwise they'll remain in bins. Well one Saturday I was at a church function and on my way home spied a dresser on the curb, but closer to the sidewalk. I got all the way home, and that mauve dresser was still on my mind, half a mile away. I called Devildog to consult him, and basically got the go-ahead as he briefly relayed plans of stripping, sanding and staining it. Meanwhile ALL I wanted to do was strip it and paint it black. I drove back over and got out of the mom-bus to knock on the door and ask the owner if it was up for grabs. He said the drawer front came off one drawer but it served them well over the years, and it used to be white. He helped me load it, and I came home. It was in the back of the mom-bus, and I would've kept it there till *I* had a plan and the materials to complete the project (and rid myself of that pesky respiratory thing going on). No, the cave-man that is occasionally Devildog dragged the Beast outside to get it out of my mom-bus and begin the carnage. I completely forgot to take before pictures, mostly because things happened in a flash and I was scrambling to see if I could rescue my fantasy football team (a hopeless endeavor). So I have the next best thing, pictures of the dresser in progress.

This is the heinous mauve on the broken drawer front. As it turns out, the drawer probably broke because the support that the drawer slides on is MIA, and another couple slides need replacing.










This is the rainbow of shades in the removal process. Apparently there were about 4 or 5 colors on the body of the dresser and at least 8 or more on the drawer fronts. It clearly was a child's dresser given the palette used. I saw 4 or 5 different layers of white on each drawer, red, dark blue, light blue, seafoam green, pink, black, yellow (awful easter yellow), dark green, and I may have missed some in there. It appears they changed the colors of the drawers for the kids' various decor. Each drawer had a varied layer rainbow of its own. The removal of the rainbow has proved to be rather messy.


Devildog was sanding the dresser and got 99% of it done, till the grooves for grabbing the drawer needed sanding. The dremel wasn't cooperating, it was getting colder as the sun was setting and Devildog was getting hungry. In the midst of him sanding, I went to get Clone from school. I saw the previous owner walking to get his offspring. I yelled out the window "EIGHT layers on the drawers!" and he just laughed. He probably thought "Suckers!" However, I wanted a wood (real wood not the sawdust and glue B.S) dresser with 5 drawers and wanted to keep the price around $50. So far we've gone slightly over budget but that's only because Devildog bought a sander and sanding disks for this and future projects, instead of borrowing a sander. I'm not sure what the final product will be looking like but at least it's not mauve with 8 layers of paint anymore. I bet the dresser is breathing easier.

The task has become way more complicated than I wanted it to be, and we should've had this done by now. Of course both of us getting sick slowed the process, which only served to frustrate many other things in our household.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

OOOH pretty lights - on boats!

There's an annual boat parade on the river here, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We've gone several times in the past several years. It proves to be interesting and sometimes chuckle-worthy to see what is festooned on marine equipment. Some years the weather is nice, like last night was. I seem to recall more cold events though, but honestly it's a total crap shoot. Welcome to Florida. I was talking to Beast and conversation came around to snow. It hasn't done that here since um 1989 I think. I won't say how old I was, but I will say I was a teenager. The redneck neighbors "sledded" down the nearby overpass on a car hood. Looking back, to call them redneck was classing them up a few degrees. Which every boating community also has its rednecks, like the ones who only decorated the side of the boat that faced the riverbank. There was one boat that had a stationary ferris wheel made of lights, with flamingos and the lights blinked to make it look like the wheel was turning. This boat also had palm trees, and Santa in swim trunks. And somebody's son and his friends decided it was a great addition to have a gaggle of teenage boys with no shirts on the bow. When Clone saw this, she shrieked "OMIGOSH! They have NO shirts on!!" to her cousin and two new friends. Iddle Budder was there with his friend and her two girls. My niece and E's daughter were in the same class last year if memory serves me correctly (it's been known to fail). Four girls, a boardwalk, water, and crowds. We were incessantly telling any number of the gaggle to sit down, get off the railing, stay away from the edge, we're not going to jump in after you if you fall in the water, stop tattling, quit fighting over song lyrics, get down off the stairs, no we do not have food you have to wait till we get home, get away from the railing, stop shaking the railing, I can't swim too well, so you better hope someone else can, scoot back away from the edge, whining means we leave, be patient the boats have to circle around from the other side, but you can see them on the other bank from here, yes we heard you yelling at Santa on that boat, sit back down so everyone behind you can see, scoooch over a bit and let so-and-so sit next to you, don't tip over the chair you just fell on that lady now apologize, get down off the railing, get away from the edge, if I have to tell you to get away from the edge one more time I am probably going to just throw you IN the water myself. Then our revelry was thrown to a screeching halt by a certain someone who does everything they can to make life difficult for someone else. Someone was told in nice terms to pee or get off the pot basically. Everyone commented that the diplomatic person was way nicer than any of us would be. And I lost the heel tip on my boot, making that the 2nd pair of shoes needing the same surgery. They're going to a shoe shop tomorrow. I got both of those buggers on the cheap, and repairing them will actually be less expensive than replacing them. Shoe shopping is a blog post all its own, due to the size of my feet. I'm not going there right now. I enjoyed the fireworks too much to lament a shoe. Two bridges, three barges, 30 minutes of explosive choreography. Umpteen number of boats with lights going in a circle twice for everyone's entertainment. It beats cleaning the house.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving at our house

As previously mentioned, we're not sharing the day with others out of consideration for their health. We're having a ham instead of a turkey, and I did it in the crockpot, but I think Devildog is not pleased with that. A couple weeks ago he made a comment about not wanting everything we eat for dinner to come from a crockpot, and he did so with one of those tones that indicate a true disdain. As he made his way back to the bed he asked what was in the crockpot, and when I answered, asked why I didn't do it in the oven. I kind of need that big monster for some other stuff dude. Plus the crockpot uses less electricity. He obviously doesn't sit down to do the household budget at payday, or open the bills when they arrive in the mail. He woke up and I could look at him and tell he was cranky. I tried to stay out of his way, to minimize everyone's misery. He tried helping me with dinner, and at times did indeed come in handy with one minor mishap that was not totally disasterous in the entire thing. It's always puzzled me how people could eat dinner so early in the day. In my lifetime I've been to Thanksgiving meals that started as early as 11:30 in the morning up to 2 or 3. I think the earliest time I've served a holiday dinner I cooked, was maybe 3 PM, and it was a stretch to get it done then. I had dinner ready at a dinner hour, not lunchtime like so many other people do. If I ever invite people over for a holiday, I'll get already semi-comatose guests because they've been elsewhere before the gastronomical consumption at my house. Beast looked at me in utter curiosity as to why I was serving dinner at 5:00 in the afternoon. I told him "I realize you're accustomed to eating dinner much later than this, but just go with it and eat the dinner that is being served at a dinner hour will ya?"
It's common to have dinner later than the rest of civilization here in the Irish House. If we ever find ourselves in a Hispanic country, we might be able to survive the meal times due to the way we eat here.
Now Devildog and I are going to peruse the Black Friday ads. He's eyeballing the Home Depot ad and I want to scope out the stuff the spawn need (like socks and underwear)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

typos for your entertainment

I was off in another part of the house, doing something else that didn't involve my backside being firmly planted in the chair at the desk. I come back to a few IMs and start answering them, just as my clone calls for me. Devildog put her in the tub rather early and she wanted out of there. Not wanting to allow my friend to think I was ignoring her (she thinks that when we haven't conversed much for several days weeks or months), I dashed off a greeting and quasi-apology, complete with lysdexic typing.


"Persnickety" (6:36:48 PM): Happy Day B4 Turkey Day
"Persnickety" (6:37:56 PM): Faa la la la laaa la la la laaaaaa
Feisty (6:48:50 PM): hi
Feisty (6:48:54 PM): was away from copmuter a while
"Persnickety" (6:59:39 PM): copmuter? Can I get one of those in a store?
"Persnickety" (7:00:39 PM): And do they really work? Cuz I can't ever get those damn cops to shut up...

Monday, November 24, 2008

And the Generosity Continues...

I am getting better, and have regained the use of my vocal cords again. I still have bouts of coughing but overall the lungs are returning to their duties, albeit reluctantly. Meanwhile, my husband has something painful. The left side of his face is swollen, and tender. He thinks some food or something may have gotten caught in a crevice and is irritated. He came home from work and went straight to bed. He got up a few hours later and I talked him into going to a doctor (he HATES doctors after many years of painful experiences with them after a childhood injury). However his timing sucked mucho. The doctor's office is 15 minutes away at a minimum, it was half an hour after they take their last patient, and he wasn't willing to wait at the Med-Mill (walk in clinic chain) because he'd likely be there 4 hours just waiting. So, he's making do with what he can and we're going in the morning. He's a big baby and won't go if I don't take him. Maybe I'll tell you about the ER visit sometime. Except this time, he probably needs a translator or something. Even the kids didn't understand him when he was talking. His dad's ex-wife (yes we get along) called to invite us to Thanksgiving dinner, but the germs aren't worth it. I begged off, citing unknown contagions. As much as I'd like to share Thanksgiving with friends like we did last year, I don't see that happening. It was a complete and total blast, and I would need no reason to hang out with them, especially since they won't gripe about how I cook the turkey upside down like a certain nameless fat man complained 2 years ago. Never mind that he piled his plate with it, and didn't leave any on the plate. So as much as I'd like to be generous and invite someone over here for dinner, or offer to share the cooking workload at their house...I'm fighting urges to over commit myself and remember to adhere to the K.I.S.S. principle. I can make those special side dishes anytime, and I don't need a date on the calendar to tell me it's ok to do it. Besides, I am the only one who will eat the darn broccoli casserole and my neighbors might not want any. Then there's the whole germs thing. Devildog has such generous coworkers. I hope to personally thank them in a couple weeks at the Christmas party.

Irish Look-alike Meter

Well I have to apologize. I did post a look alike meter thingy here, but quickly changed my mind about posting the pictures. I toyed with the pictures I used and got varying results, ultimately ending with the one saying Clone looked equally identical to Devildog and to me. It's certainly a means of entertaining yourself if you like. So feel free to go play on myheritage's site and tinker with pictures.

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Genealogy forums - Free genealogy

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's good to know your mother well

There are quirks about me that I inherited from my mother. Most notably is the one relating to first thing in the morning. I'm just like my mother in that regard, except less unpleasant looking. Just give me several minutes to become coherent, and preferably wait till I've had at least half a cup of coffee before talking to me about anything. For instance, my father went with us to my in-laws for Christmas last year. After sleeping on a fold out sofa, I needed some stretching and strong coffee to wake up and deal with well over a dozen humans crammed into a double wide trailer in South Carolina. Granted, that place is larger than my 1100 sq ft but more bodies equals fewer square feet per person. In any case, my father rises before the sun, as gerontological quirks require fewer hours of sleep. I peeled myself out of the bed at what I think is a fairly reasonable hour (8:30ish) and went about my routine for waking. After visiting the water closet, I tottered into the kitchen to get my java, all while my cheery father was repeatedly saying good morning to me, and trying to ask how I slept, and other attempts at conversation. I kept waving him off with a grunt, much like my mother (and his wife for 33+ years) did any time he attempted to talk to her that soon. He either didn't get the hint or didn't recognize the gestures and noise.
My sons tried to tell him. My nephew tried to tell him. It was all to no avail. Finally my oldest said "Grandpa, for everyone's safety, do NOT talk to her until she's had coffee and speaks to you first. Seriously, it's dangerous if you try to talk to her before she is fully awake." My father responded with "ah, ohh-kaaay" with a hint of personal offense taken by my lack of desire to talk to him. The man watched me and as I tipped the mug back for the near-final swig, he tried talking to me again, asking if it was safe to greet me. I shook my head no. The coffee wasn't strong enough, and would require a second one. It made me very grateful that I was able to convey to my children the understanding of my quirks, especially the first-thing-in-the-morning deal. I didn't want to be like that, but in all honesty I just don't move fast in the morning.
Fast forward to today. My neighborhood association had a yard sale last week that was essentially rained out, so they quickly decided to do it again this weekend. I spaced out about it, even though i wanted to go scope it out, if nothing else to look at other people's clutter they were trying to pawn off on the rest of the world. Again I move slow in the morning, and slower when I'm not completely healthy. We ended up going over there as the last 3 people were packing up to go back home. My son the Beast, trailed along after the episode of NCIS he was watching ended, while Clone and I were already done. He snagged himself a couple 1000 piece puzzles (insert motherly eyeroll here) a PS2 game, and a mug. He came to show it to me and upon returning it, the mug's seller saw him with it and told him to just take it. He's excited about free stuff (it's genetic, my apologies). He brought it over to show me and yes, it rather aptly describes me in the mornings. But he's unwilling to let me have this mug, tells me to get my own.

Friday, November 21, 2008

We need more than 2 front teeth for Christmas

My dad has been known to sing "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" whenever a young one loses a tooth. My Clone lost her first tooth earlier this year and proudly stuck the tip of her tongue through the slot in her teeth to show Grandpa the exciting dental news. Of course, he sang this line to her. She said "Grannndpaaa, Santa doesn't bring you TEETH for Christmas! You get toys!" Well she holds fast to Santa=toys, but some of us want a BrewStation, cast iron skillet, Kitchen-Aid mixer, knives that are worth a squat, a new desk, and/or a 4 bedroom/2 bathroom house with a 2 car garage and a fair sized yard.
"Toys" would be a subjective term, because what is a toy to someone, might be useless to another person. Then there are practical gifts. Underwear, socks, sweaters....That's the stuff Mom puts under the tree for you. Santa brings the real stellar goods. I was at the SuperWally yesterday to get a few things. Since I had practically no agenda for the day, and hadn't wandered a store in ages without spawn in tow to annoy me with their cart driving habits, I wandered. I was scoping out stuff for presents, and got a couple things from the clearance selections. I also priced out those necessities like feet and butt covering items. Beast is in need of underwear, and I have seen this fact for myself. He has a typical male regard for underwear, and it has now come to my attention that Devildog has the same trait. This morning, Devildog once again got Clone ready for school for me, and let me laze in bed a bit longer so I can rest. I'm still fighting my lungs for the real estate that oxygen is supposed to occupy in there. It's basically a prolonged asthma attack and I'm just doing nebulizer treatments (that I'm also allergic to) because I'm pretty certain that a doctor is going to tell me to do just that. Plus I'd get a prescription for something like singulair and a z-pack, all of which require copays and I lack resources to cover them right now. I feel ok, except this whole lack of adequate oxygen saturation is making me feel less than energized. So, this morning, while I wasn't 100% yet, I felt rested enough to crawl from the bed and move forward with the day. Devildog took the Clone to school for me, then came home to get ready for work. As he passed me, shirtless, I caught a glimpse of grey elastic (yes this particular pair is supposed to be that color) with skin showing on both sides of it. I haven't done my husband's laundry in over ten years, so I don't know the condition of his drawers till I see them on his person. I asked how long his underwear were like that.... "uhh about two and a half months." When asked why he still wore them..."They still cover my [arse]." So it truly is genetic then. The Beast has underwear that likewise gape at the separation of elastic and fabric, and he doesn't care. The elastic is also too snug on him, but he doesn't care. Obviously a male standard for keeping stains off the interior of pants requires only that the important parts be COVERED, additional exposure elsewhere notwithstanding. Meanwhile I need my parts to be covered, but not riding up my ghetto bootie, show evidence of their location under my clothing, riding high above the waistband of my pants, or losing stitches between elastic and fabric. I suppose by a male standard, I ask too much of my undergarments, because I need for more than my backside to simply be "covered". Life is so much simpler when all you want or need to have for Christmas is dental parts to grow in where they belong. Turkey is easier to chew with them in place, but if you eat too much, you'll wish your elastic would stretch just a little more than it already strains to do.

EDITED to add: As I was making dinner tonight, I was slicing some sharp cheddar with one of my 13 year old steak knives. The age alone explains their inability to do as much. This pretty much eliminates any doubt that I could use new knives about as much as my male people need new drawers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Princess of the Obvious

Recently Devildog was once again frustrated by the disappearance of the remote. He saw the Clone walk by and asked where it was, combined with instruction to aid in the search.

Clone asked Devildog "did you look under the cushion?"
Devildog: "What cushion?" (we have a sum total of two cushioned chairs in the living room btw)
Clone: "uhh, the one you're sitting on?"

It's a good thing I was in the kitchen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

because wasting time is so much fun

I got sucked into Pioneer Woman's blog again (it's soooo incredibly easy to get sucked in, that place is like a shop-vac kind of vortex). She linked to despair.com and they have a nifty DIY feature. So I played with pictures I had on my hard drive and uploaded one, and made this poster. I'm a tad impressed with myself and my snarky bent, and just narcissistic enough to share it with you.















Then I thought more on it, and came up with this one, which is even more demotivating than the first

Sometimes I can relate to my sister

Each peak allergy season, I get sick. My asthma is the kind that is fine till allergens come along and play in my lungs. So, Spring and Fall, I get a lovely lung-fest. It is rather unladylike, and even guys are a little weirded out by the noises emanating from me. Those noises are an attempt to move the yuk out of its nestling spot, and avoid abrading my vocal cords from excessive coughing. Coughing does nothing to clear my airways anyhow. It's utterly futile. Plus it makes people cross the street and walk on the other side, because if I'm coughing, I'm obviously contagious right? Anyway, after several days of coughing, noisemaking etc, sometimes I still get laryngitis and lose my voice completely. Sometimes I can talk one minute and can only muster a whisper or squeak a few minutes later. At those times, I feel for my sister because she has a condition called Spasmodic Dysphonia, which means her vocal cords spasm and freeze up rendering her speechless and frustrated. I've half joked that we need to learn sign language. My hearing is damaged from multiple major ear infections as a child, which I'm sure ruptured my ear drums several times considering the repeated occasions I was writhing in my mother's lap inconsolable with tears and agony from the pain. You know it was bad if I was in my mother's lap. I never really bonded with my mother the way my daughter has bonded with me. Then I spent a number of years with loud music - high school band brass section right next to the bass drums, large speaker box in the trunk of our car blasting WuTang, Fugees, Mary J Blige, Enigma, etc., and the daily din in my house because no one here understands my need for quiet. My sister has been unable to even make a squeak or whisper with her SD sometimes. Those are times pen and paper are flying but it would be easier if we understood sign language. I've joked that we'll be two old ladies on a porch somewhere, fingers and hands flying as we talk, but not a sound comes out of us. While my sister and I are similar in a lot of ways (we like the same foods and condiments), the four years between us makes for some differing perspectives quite often. She also doesn't have kids, nor desires any (they're sticky and loud), and her music tastes are vastly different than mine. She also has some other issues that I just don't share, but I've tried to learn about them for the sake of trying to understand her as a person. But right now, as I try to spare my voice since talking renders me a coughing puddle of frustration, I can relate to my sister. I don't know how much I truly relate, but I have an inkling. And anyone that knows me, knows two things about me: I talk and eat a LOT. If I'm not doing either, something is out of whack with me. Well, there is lots out of whack with me, but we're not going there today, if ever.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Birthdays and Bronchitis

OK, first I wanted to share this with you from GoDaddy.com that came to my inbox a little bit ago. For anyone that doesn't know, the founder and CEO of GoDaddy is Bob Parsons, is a prior service Marine. Every year he posts a tribute to the Corps, including in the monthly newsletters. It's a tad late, but you can see the USMC Birthday Tribute yourself. I will be showing it to Devildog when he gets home from the store of orange.

And the other topic of this zero-dark-thirty post: I think I'm sick. If it was allergies, it has become something upper respiratory and unpleasant. I feel fine, I just feel like my lungs, or at least the entrance to them, is not at full performance. Now ask me in a few days, and I may give you a different answer. This stuff generally becomes bronchitis in short order thanks to my mother smoking while pregnant with me and pretty much all my life, which is probably why I have asthma. I may be breaking out the nebulizer in a bit just to clear that cobwebs that have been crafted in my lungs. And I think I have some grownup form of cough medicine in a pill (name of product purposely withheld) but I don't know how much is in the bottle. I'm drinking warm liquids to aid the loosening of the yuck, including a plan for peppermint tea as soon as I'm done with my coffee. And I don't know what made me think I could get some compassion from my husband. I called Devildog to inform him that I thought I was unwell, and pretty much got a "Suck it up Marine" response from him, but in civilian terms. I'm off to go change my pillowcases too while I'm at it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I see you Mike

I was putzing around when I should have been asleep recently...and found that I'm in someone's blogroll...Thank You Mike
Now, is it because you have far too many links in your blog roll (but you get an A+++ for alphabetizing them) that you haven't commented? Did you initially add me because you thought my picture was worthy of sharing? I could understand what would make you do that. According to some reliable sources not present on the web, I have a certain kind of impact on the male species. I don't entirely see things the same way this source does, so it's all a matter of perspective. Is it because I'm Catholic and I'm not generally all that openly pious or something? I have to keep the hellraiser tendencies in check somehow, or this would be an entirely different blog, I'm sure. Gwendy told me that every time she visits, my pictures scares her. I don't know why. The 9mm's don't do as much damage as .40 cal's do. She really doesn't have as much to worry about. Devildog doesn't let me play with the hollow points. So really, I'm about as harmless as a kitten, unless provoked. It honestly is safer to feed me first to earn my trust...sort of true. If Chris thinks she can trust me, and Shannon or Sunny hasn't dispatched any Mounties, we should be cool. Persnickety has known me since before I was this cool and she never ignored me. Really Mike..I feel unloved just a bit. But I guess you'll have to talk to Carri, because she's able to tolerate my half yankee tendencies, sullied by 16 years of life with my Devildog and his redneck family. Kristin hasn't had to call the Pentagon on me or anything, and believe me, she's got connections like that. Seriously Mike, I'm not that bad. I'm sure Mrs Soersdal prays for me at times, but I don't think it's the kind of fervent prayer that St. Monica did for her son. Tracy hasn't dispatched her son and his platoon to seize me for interrogation or anything. I mean, I could hit the broad side of a barn for the most part but I'm no threat to any security. Nikki is the rocker kind of chick and she hasn't thrown me to the mosh pit. For the love of Pete, Mike, Chrissy even takes my suggestions for repair people and actually allows them in her home. So Mike, since you have me in your blog roll, at least occasionally say Hi or something. I start getting a tad paranoid, but only a tad. I mean I do have the .9mm and I know how to use it. The thing is, Devildog makes me clean it if I do, so I'm not quite as trigger-happy as you might think. I prefer to avoid having to clean much of anything. I'm a bit of a diva like that. I haven't taken the concealed weapons permit class yet, so I can't pack that much heat. I DO have a big mouth and a temper, but it would take a lot for me to unleash the lead. And like I said, Devildog doesn't let me play with the hollow-points. See Mike, you have nothing to worry about really.

*for the record, aside from Mike, the individuals mentioned here are currently listed as following my blog. Please don't take offense for being left out of this post if you read, post or don't post, or follow anonymously. But if you read this, I welcome comments, just be civil.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When opposites attract it becomes entertaining

My husband and I have lots of oppositions in our life. And that's just between the two of us. He was talking to an older customer and his wife (for 45 minutes, which is nothing by comparison to 2 or 3 hours with a customer the day before) about the recessed lighting they were buying when they asked about the different types of compact fluorescent bulbs available and compatible with the fixtures they selected. My husband was telling about the bright daylight type which he prefers, the blue-ish one, and the yellower light that I prefer (because they don't hurt my eyeballs like the other two-but rest assured he did not explain that). The couple sort of smirked. He went on to say that we fight over the kind of lightbulbs we use, but that's really nothing. We're full of differences and we fight all the time, and after 16 years of being with someone, it's definitely interesting. They chuckled. He felt a need to expound on his comments, and went with it. He followed with what would be "my lines" about the differences in workplace (competing locations, although technically I'm a VENDOR, and not an employee of that location), differences in religion (he's Baptist, I'm Catholic), and sports teams (He's a Gator Fan, I'm a Seminole Fan). By this point the couple was well entertained by our story.

Now, we did fight a whole hell of a lot when we were younger. In his mind he was always right and that was all that mattered. In my mind he was seldom, if EVER right, and that was all that mattered. I think, and this is merely a supposition drawn from a really un-sunny place, that we have managed to wise up and see a reasonable (purely subjective form of this word's use by the way) median in which to meet. Either that or we realized not one other single soul on this earth would put up with our crap like we put up with each other's crap and we figured we can live with that.
I realized that he's an utter OX and OAF like his father, and once I figured out a few things that made his dad tick, I used it to my advantage. Call it feminine wiles or guile. I don't care. I think he may have realized what he was up against and thought better of the act he'd been giving. Or maybe someone sat him down and had a come-to-Jesus with him. I don't know, and some things a girl goes to her grave not knowing. I just know that the only thing that has prevented the utter demise of our relationship is the Divine Intervention that brought us together, friends and family, and this really strong will we both have. We are both of Irish descent (me 50%, him probably less), and he's got some Native American tribal ties. He's an Aries, and I'm an Aquarius. So it's a passionate combination. Passionate doesn't always mean in the hormonal sense either. We both have a temper that is a force to be reckoned with when it flares. We're both stubborn and I think that has been the one key ingredient that has kept us together. Because I'm sure as heck not going to let his butt off the hook THAT easily.

I have no life

Therefore I blog.

Or at least I did till I had no life and blog block. ::concocts a colorful visual with words that equates the blockage, and decides to spare my readers since they may have snackage while reading this::

Edit: Devildog came home from work, I asked how his day was, got an answer that wasn't a grunt. I asked what his favorite part of the day was. (got your gag bucket Persnickety?).... he said "now". You can go about your gagging and barf gestures now. He's being sweet and I'm not even emitting those pheromones that tell him I'm ovulating.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday US Marine Corps

You look good for your age ;) This post should have been posted sooner but it didn't happen. Call me distracted by real life and watching Food Network with my kids after dinner while they pined for the remote. I was in a bit of a coma, from making something salisbury steak like (The Devildog ate it, so it must have been safe) and having wine with my dinner. Shhhhh don't tell Devildog that I actually catnapped on the futon while watching Food Network. This after catnapping in the bed while snuggling with the Devildog before I made dinner. I had hamburger meat thawed, so I gave him the option of the meal. The rule in our house is the Birthday Person gets to choose, within reason and family budget. Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Green beans is what he wanted. Southern? Why, yes, what gave you that idea about him? He's caused me a loss of some yankee tendencies over the years, including being stationed at Camp Lejune, NC, where everyone thought I was from New York. Except that those truly FROM New York knew better. I was too Southern to be a Yankee. But to the Southerners, I was too Yankee to be Southern. I will forgive him and the Corps for that move, because ultimately I did a lot of learning at that duty station, and even had ample amounts of stupidity. At Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, I learned much needed basic office skills, and how to crochet from the ladies in the layette room. It just took another 7 years for me to really get the hang of hook and yarn. I learned to cook some of Devildog's favorite recipes, like Catalina Chicken and Pork Chops & Sour Cream, immense thanks to Jessica Torrence from Tennesee. Hilda Muguerza, mother of Laura Torres, of Round Rock, Texas gave me the recipe for her Enchiladas and her Migas. I still have them tucked into the old Good Housekeeping cookbook longtime family friend Janie gave me when I turned 18. I got Peach Cobbler, Hamburger Casserole, Banana Bread, and the value of vinegar in the laundry when dealing with smelly PT gear, potty training children or forgotten loads of wash from Jana Anderson of Salt Lake City, UT. As much as Devildog didn't care for Ladera (last name and hometown withheld), I learned valuable lessons from her experiences as the daughter of a Marine Major and an elevated Federal staffer. I learned how to act confident, even if I wasn't, and I learned what resources to make use of and ask for myself. In the military, the general unwritten rule is "if you didn't ask for it, you didn't rate it", despite what the manual states. I borrowed books from the other Patricia from Indiana in our little corner, and I found Pam & Peggy in a book that sort of understood me, and years later I found another of their students that I follow.
I didn't intend for this post to wax nostalgic about the handful of years at Camp Lejune and while my husband was in the Marines. However, it's part of the sum of my experiences with the Marine Corps. It helped shape who I am now, much of it out of necessity. I was 500 miles from my family with two children and a lot to learn. I didn't learn it all, but I did learn. So, while I did not enter the gates of Parris Island a poolie recruit and leave a Marine, I did benefit from what the Marines as a whole taught me. I became better, stronger, and more confident for having married a Marine and joining the brotherhood as a Marine's Wife.
Semper Fi

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I am interesting

At least according to the Devildog. We were bantering back and forth on one of his afternoons off of work. I teased him about something, and in the course of it all, there was commentary about life insurance benefit amounts for each of us. He replied that he probably wouldn't find anyone that was interesting to burn his food for him. Yes, to clarify, he said that I burn his food but I'm interesting.

I think this comment was in retaliation for the day prior. He was losing a game of Madden on PS2. He said something about resetting the game (in essence-cheating) because he wasn't doing well, and was losing players to injuries on every play. I looked at him and said I think it's a PEBCAC issue.

I was met with a "WTF?" face. He apparently hasn't heard this phrase before, and it's an offshoot of PEBKAC (which tech-inclined folks will probably understand).

So I let him sit on it a few seconds while I fought hard to keep my composure. Then I unleashed it. Problem Exists Between Controller And Chair.

He sort of smirked, shook his head and proclaimed me to be "such a geek." Which, I can't possibly be such a geek because I have too much ADD, misfired synapses, and can't wrap my brain around even a percentage of that stuff. I'm just smart enough to be dangerous...or useful. At least I'm interesting.