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 " 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


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'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'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


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"
"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's an hour fast....dern daylight screwing time)


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.