Wednesday, December 2, 2015

No Drama Momma

I haven't blogged much lately, I guess that's good because I usually turn to writing here when I need a metaphorical screaming session.  I wouldn't say I'm less stressed than normal, just the ups and downs of a daily grind aren't generally entertaining to anyone, including me.

A couple of months ago at Mom's doctor appointment it was time for a colonoscopy.  Both her doctor and I agreed that it should be avoided because frankly she's quite medically fragile.  They did however send her an at home test that checks for blood in the stool (and abnormal DNA I found out later) and of course that came back positive.  Today we go in for a consult to see what the next step is, I assume it will be a colonoscopy but Dr. Google tells me there may be other options but my logical mind thinks might as well do a colonoscopy the first time as if there are any polyps they can rooted out of there right then as opposed to adding another step.  Not sure how Mom will handle anesthesia is my biggest concern as she seems to have a difficult time with stuff like that.  I guess I'll know in a couple of hours.

Thanksgiving turned into Hacksgiving this year.  The weekend before both Hubby and I fell victim to a horrible chest cold.  By Monday a person could hear Hubby's breathing from across the room so he went in to the clinic and was diagnosed with pneumonia.  Nice.  The same day I was simply walking down the hall and I got a pain in my foot.  I thought it was simply a bad toe cramp so I rubbed at it a bit and limped around the rest of the day complaining.  That night when I took off my shoe there was a good sized bruise and swelling on the top of my foot and it still hurt quite moderately even when I had it up.  I went into the clinic and drew the same nurse practitioner that had seen Hubby the day before who X-rayed it and said its not broken, just a bruise.  She was as surprised as I by the X-ray results because it really did look broken.  While I was there she got to experience a nice cough up a lung fit by me and knowing she had treated Hubby the day before gave me antibiotics too.  My foot still hurt of course but at least I knew wasn't doing more damage by hobbling around.  That might the bruise darkened and look like too red/purple lines had been drawn across the base of two toes.  The next day the foot was about half as sore, a day after totally fine with the exception of the bruise which is still there but fading.    I still have no idea what happened to it other than some freak blood vessel rupture as a theory.

With Hubby feeling like death and our coughing rattling through the house every five minutes we postponed Thanksgiving by a day because by then I was starting to get a tad better, Hubby not so much so he went back to the doctor and was told not pneumonia but a really bad case of bronchitis and given another round of drugs.  This finally seems to be doing the trick but both us still have a nasty cough that sounds like we have smoked for 40 years.

Sonny Boy has been busy with wrestling since the beginning of the month.  Just yesterday he managed to make the middle school travel wrestling team.  He's worked hard for it as he had to lose a couple of pounds to make the weight class.  We laid down the law with "cutting weight" though, either was done in a healthy way or he wouldn't wrestle.  So far so good, we've had lots of impromptu nutritional counseling sessions and studied the back of a lot of labels lately and he's learning that he can't constantly eat and maintain his weight.  To be honest he's probably eating way healthier than before because he is aware of what is going into his mouth now.

Igor is plugging away.  He's made a fast friend at school which is great.  He was invited over to play the other day so I drove him out and the family is quite wealthy.  Igor says they live in a mansion and he's not exaggerating by much.  The kid and his mom seem nice though and I'm pretty sure the boy is adopted because he's a rather brown person, his parents are not and the parents are on the older side to have a 9 year old. I think it's a good thing though, nothing like having a bestie who understands exactly where you are coming from.

Well I guess that's my blog post.  Like I said no huge drama for entertainment.  I promise this lull in our lives will end, it always unfortunately does.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Times, they are a changing

Sonny Boy reported the other day that he came out to his friends.  Let me back up and say in no way do I think he's gay, nor does he think he's gay, but evidently a good chunk of his school buds are believing it.

Seems Sonny Boy is catching some flak for being in wrestling as it is a "gay" sport.  Sonny Boy agrees dressing is a singlet and rolling around with another boy is suspect but doesn't really care.  Sonny Boy grinned and let the teasing pass.  Well it seems a girl that likes him has gotten bolder and is writing him "love notes" and this has become general knowledge and is causing gossip.  Sonny Boy in his pragmatic way shrugs and says he doesn't really care because he tells them he's gay to dispel the gossip.  His friends are cool with it.  This in 6 th grade.

Hubby's reaction to this story "if I'd have done that I would have been beaten up."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The maybe post

This morning the alarm clock went off at 7:00.  I have no idea why, I must have set it out of habit when I went to bed last night.  Five minutes later I got a text from Hubby with a picture of Sonny Boy in a ground blind with a pink sunrise behind him.  I was awake.  I debated getting up, coffee sounded fantastic but I had stayed up reading last night and knew that the siren song of a nap would call me, so I forced myself back to sleep to wake up at 11:00 with nice headache going.  I hate that.  Now I'm drinking coffee and hoping the ibuprofen is up to the task because if I take my migraine meds I'm pretty much done being productive today.

Another week of near daily medical appointments has passed.  Monday I took Igor into the orthotics maker guy to be casted for new shoe inserts.  Hopefully insurance will cooperated as the doctor said insurance doesn't like to pay for his specific kind of orthotic anymore.  A work around exist in the form of prescribing a bigger (and probably way more expensive) brace and then cutting it down to only the nest the needs.  I hate when insurance plays doctor,  I think my child's doctor ( who happens to be head or orthopedic surgery at the #3 ranked children's hospital in the country) is capable of determining what he needs.  I digress.   Tuesday I went to the doctor who sent me to a gynecologist on Friday with hopes of managing my night sweats.   Gynecologist played with some meds however they aren't in at the pharmacy so I have to wait till Monday to start them.  Mom had an appointment with a kidney doctor as well.  Doctor appointments are a part time job for me.

I finally ram rodded mom into hiring a cleaning lady.  I brought in three candidates for her meet and for them to give estimates on the mess.  The last service wouldn't do things like a load or two of laundry or dishes so they were ruled out.  I think the place scared them actually.  Hopefully the girl hired will work out.  I have a semi-guilt complex about forcing mom to pay somebody because in actuality I really could do the work, and I probably would if it was just the heavy cleaning but she doesn't even make attempts at cleaning up behind herself, heck my kids at least throw their garbage and recycle away (most of the time).   I also spent a good amount of time digging through a massive paperwork pile that was her dining room table finding items she swore she never got and a mess of bills that make no sense to anyone.  I still have loads of papers to dig through and organize.  I have decided I'm just going to handle all of her bills and such forward and told her that.  Honestly, I think she's so stressed by dealing with daily life it paralyzes her into inaction.  I've really started to see a decline in her cognitive skills in the last few months.  Until recently I think she could mostly pull the wool over a strangers eyes regarding her abilities but more often lately I can see people's expressions of "she's not all there is she?"

The weather has been beyond beautiful the last week.  I managed to get out and mow, and  spent a massive amount of time with the weed eater.  Hopefully today I can get out and prep my flower beds for winter so hopefully they are not too straggly.  For now though I'm going to drink some more coffee, and take an excedrin (probably give myself some caffeine shakes) and hope this damn headache slacks off.

I wrote this like two weeks ago and never posted because I thought it needed more editing that I felt up to at the time.  Now I'm just posting it warts and all because I no longer care.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Neverending list

It seems I'll never catch up with my to do list lately.  I don't really think it's because it's so lengthy (though it grows daily) I just have immense sense of inertia I need to overcome to even start it.  Therefore I decided to write a blog post, procrastination at it's best.

Mom called me yesterday and asked me to come over and sort some of her meds.  She was convinced she suddenly had a new med she had never taken before.  She didn't of course, but she had several duplicate bottles of the same med, and a sorting mess.  I sorted stuff out, and laid all her pills out for the next seven days in the pill sorter she has.  I then took her Rx list, insurance cards and debit card and brought them over and set her up for a new thing I found on line.  It's called Pill Pack.  When I showed it to Hubby he was excited enough to start finding out if he could sink our savings into investing in it.  Basically it takes your prescriptions and sets them up in little baggies for the day on a roll.  In Mom's case she'd have three baggies a day with all the meds she needs to take at each time sorted all ready.  It will be fantastic, the bad part is it will take a bit for everything to pan out and end up in the packs due to prescriptions being refilled at different times etc so  I'm doomed to an even more confusing set up for the next month or so but after that it should be way simpler. 

Hubby came home from his business trip to France on Saturday and promptly packed Sonny Boy, Callie (dog) and himself up and left today to go duck hunting.  I'm not overly amused and have made a severe point that I don't think his planned deer hunting trip should occur due to finances.  I made it clear I find it silly that I worry about scrimping and saving on groceries and household stuff so we can live within our means while he schedules hunting trips.  I think he got the message.

Well I guess I should go do something, it's not like finding something is hard.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Balancing Act

I finally got the Botox injections this week. I tell ya, I didn't think the insurance and then the appointment waiting was ever going to happen.   The actual process was a piece of cake.  The needle was tiny, and while the meds stung a bit it wasn't bad all.  A couple of times it must have hit a particular sore spot or nerve and was more unpleasant, but on the scale of medical stuff it ranked unworthy of a mention.

The doctor said 5 - 7 days for full effect and I'm only two days out now.  I do think I can tell a difference in the tightness of my neck.  The huge knot that lives at the base of my skull seems smaller and not quite as hard and my range of motion seems better with less pulling.   Probably the biggest tell is the amount of neck popping, sounds like popcorn.  When the muscles are very tight my neck doesn't pop at all, I just don't have the range of motion to do it.

I've had some amount of headache unfortunately, nothing utterly miserable but certainly there, I'm hoping this will abate as the effects grow.

The week has been long.  Hubby is in France for work and with the time change and his schedule I don't think we have spoken more than 5 minutes since last Friday.  I miss him.  I don't think I've had more than few minutes of conversation with an adult since he left, my brain is mushy.  All in all the week has gone fairly smooth.  The kids fell into routine easier for this trip than in the past.  I think the kids are finally getting the idea we continue on with normal life when dad is gone.

I'm at a parenting condumdrum.  Sonny Boy is hitting the age where he should start taking more responsibility for his affairs School projects, scout stuff, hygiene, etc.  I do believe he tries pretty hard, but his ADHD brain makes this very difficult for him.   Right now most days are a series of reminders for tasks he needs to do.  Mostly things are greeted with an "oh yeah!" And he'll go do them, but give him an oral list of three things and all bets are off as the dog will wander by and a game of fetch is on.  I try to let the natural consequences of not having his act together play out, however when I do this he gets so overwhelmed and stressed things melt down into even bigger messes and the "I can't do anything right" attitude kicks in.

Damned to play his secretary/wife until he has one, or kick his self esteem to curb.  What a balancing act.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Sitting at a football game waiting on it to start so I'm playing on my phone. I'm not a good phone typist so pictures. 


We've had a rash of birthdays in September.   Pretend it says Igor.

Mom had a birthday too.  It's like looking at a picture of my grandmother. 

The Cub Scouts hired a raptor program to come in for the kids.   It was really cool because we were really close to the birds.  I'm sure I liked it more than the kids. 

First day of school.   6th grade and 3rd grade 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

I Must Be Nuts

They (of the all knowing) say that you can tell a lot about a person from their hands.  I suppose that's true.  My nails are ragged and torn, very short, from a bad habit I've tried to break most of my life of picking at my soft nails. Slight callouses line my palms from yard work and other chores.  Often the skin on my fingertips is stained with paint or food color from some project or another.  The skin on my hands is rough and chapped, usually begging to be greased down with some sort of hand cream.  All these things would be obvious to the casual palm reader, it wouldn't take a 120 year old gypsy to make these out.  I wonder though what people would think of my new callous.  It's the strangest thing, it is on the tips of my middle finger and pointer finger of my left hand, just on the edge of the end of my wicked short fingernail.  The pointer finger callous is less pronounced, the one on the middle finger was so thick I clipped it down with nail clippers.  It took me a bit to figure out what in the heck I was doing to form these strange callouses.  We are not talking a place on your hands where anything seems to rub on a constant basis, then in dawned on me.

I formed them rubbing my own neck.  The pressure of the edge of my fingernail rubbing on my skin while I pressed and manipulated the muscles and tendons that leave me in pain near constantly.  Yes, I rub my neck so much with my left hand I have formed callouses.  Hard to believe I know, then I started noticing just how much I do this.  Pretty much every time  there is a pause I pushing and prodding at the spots on my neck.   Driving, waiting in line, shopping for cereal, poking at the Ipad, reading a book.  Just about anytime I don't actually need two hands to accomplish the task.  Young children that know me must think my arm is surgically attached to my neck.

There is hope for relief in the future. (hopefully very soon)  My doctor referred me to a neurologist saying she though Botox would be beneficial.  Three weeks of waiting on the appointment and I talked to the new doc and she seems to think a round of Botox would do me a world of good.  Yay, that's what I'm here for, let's do it.  Alas, insurance must be consulted, specialty pharmacies get involved and three weeks more I still don't have a firm date for the procedure.  I do see some light as I had phone calls from insurance gathering data and asking me my allergies.

My sanity though is somewhat questionable.  The Botox procedure is something like 30+ shots in my hairline, scalp, neck and shoulders.  I must be the only person the planet actively looking forward to getting shots in my head.  Constant pain will do that a person.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

You never know

Two posts in one day?  I'm disturbed and need to get it off my mind I suppose.

Doing my chores today and be-bopped out to water my potted plants and grabbed the mail.  The local weekly paper arrives on Thursdays so I scanned the headline about the high school football team and tossed it on the counter to read while I ate my lunch.  Below the fold was disturbing news.  An 8 year old child was removed from his home when neighbors flagged down an officer to report he was home alone.  The child allowed the policeman in, who found deplorable living conditions, filth, overflowing litter boxes etc.   The kid told the investigators he hadn't been outside since school was out for the summer.   The kid was taken to a foster home and the mother arrested.

This in itself was disturbing, I often wonder what the hell these people are thinking letting children live like this.  This case is even more so as I was acquainted with this mother and child.  The boy was in Igor's Cub Scout group for a while.  The child's attendance was spotty at best and his mother pulled him citing she couldn't bring him to meetings and didn't have money for the expenses.

Just goes to show you that one never knows what goes on behind closed doors.


Last night while in a dead sleep I hear the dog making retching noises, I sling the covers off of me at the same time as Hubby who had evidently heard it too.  I begin yelling "RUN Callie!" As dog and underwear clad husband trot down the hall to the stairs and toward the outdoors.  Figuring it didn't require both of us to let the dog out to puke I went to the bathroom and crawled back into bed.  Hubby joined me soon and I inquired about the dog's health.  Hubby replied she'd never barfed and said "I think she was just snoring really loud".  What must the dog think?  I bet she thought the house was on fire or something.

School has started, thank the good Lord.  The boys were making a marathon sport of video games and pestering each other until blows were thrown.  Couple that with the fact I somehow acquired two neighborhood kids that find my house way more inviting than their own.  I don't mind one of the boys, he's polite, friendly, and seems to be a pretty good kid.  The other one is more than a little odd, rides over on his bike always carrying a foam sword and uses literally like a comma.

Football is in full force as well, seems several boys from the neighborhood are involved.  The kids had a scrimmage last weekend and kid originally at center was doing worse than poorly at the job. Sonny Boy was put in the position because he'd played the position for one game three years ago.  There wasn't really a game going, just snaps from both teams on each side of the ball facing several teams.  The last team the kid guarding my 85 lb child probably weighed in the 200 lb range and was at least 6 inches taller.  Sonny Boy was shoved aside like a wet Kleenex repeatedly.  Coach tag teamed the guard with Sonny Boy and another larger kid (this kid weighs in at 120) and they still had a hard time.  Thankfully he wasn't an aggressive player, doesn't really need to be I guess.  He must be a third year 6th grader.

I must really get moving.  The last couple of days I've spent painting in an effort to finish kitchen project finally.  Hubby has finished trim so now I'm under the gun to get paint on it.  While painting no other chores have gotten done and the house appears bomb like.  I envy people with maids.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


If you knew my late Father-in-law you totally get the title.  If not I'll explain.  My FIL was the king of Murphy's law with the inevitable thing of of it could go wrong it did with every adventure he tried.  Granted much of his problems arose from poor planning and lack of maintenance on his part but he was dogged with ill luck.  Our recent camping trip followed in Grandpa's footsteps.

The problems began probably two weeks before the trip with a rash of expensive car repairs and the decision to put a hitch on the car so we could take the boat along on the trip.  The last repair had Hubby tinkering just before left and delayed us leaving town by several hours.  $1500.00 later and we thought the car was road worthy, hitched up the boat and ran.

We made it to northern Wisconsin early evening with only a vague plan of where we would camp.  We found a state forest map and plotted a course to check out several campgrounds.  We get to the first campground and as we discussing the merits of a particular campsite the car overheated.  Hubby in blind panic shut off the car and it refused to start again.  We we camping there for the night regardless.  After some redneck shenanigans of hitching and unhitching campers and the boat Sonny Boy and I pushed the car into the campsite. Hubby and I drank a beer and worried about the car engine.

The next morning the car miraculously started so we found a Ford dealership and started towards it about 15 miles away.  I was following Hubby when he swings into a parking lot with the car stalled.  Seems he lost all electrical.  We charged the battery a little with jumper cables and held our breath as we limped it to the repairs shop.  A phone call the next day and the alternator was dead, $600 later and the car was moving but the A/C wasn't blowing too well.

The rest of the trip went well believe it or not.  The boys spent hours playing and fishing from the kayaks.  Hubby fished and played and Sonny Boy and I explored a kayak trail a bit.  We had a good time despite the brutal and expensive beginning of the trip.

Of course all good times must come to and end (and I discovered I only have a week limit of camping with two kids in a very small camper) and we packed up and headed home.  The trip home was going well until about Madison and the traffic was crawling.  We had noticed the Sunday evening exodus south of Madison on our way north and decided to take another route to hopefully avoid all the Ill-anoy license plates.  Less than three miles from our exit the camper blew a tire.  Nothing like changing a camper tire on the side of a VERY busy interstate.  I'm so glad Hubby was behind me and there to do it, I might would have had a breakdown if I would have been alone.

Despite the the crazy and expensive trip, Hubby still declares this wasn't Russ-capade worthy.  Seems we need a car accident, the boat to strand us in the middle of a large lake, and a fairly serious injury to qualify.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Sometimes you just know.  I was just reading my post and got a giggle because I predicted Sonny Boy's return home to include smelly feet.  I'm not going to tell you how bad the kid smelled after a week of no shower, but his friend wandered over today and told me that Sonny Boy took his shoes off in the truck on the way home and nearly killed them.  I'm sure it was bad as he had run out of clean socks at some point.  Pheww.

While we were gone on our epic camping trip (it deserves its own post) Mom got a wild hair and decided to go get a hair cut.  That in its self wasn't bad, I've been harassing her for months to cut her bra strap length hair mainly because she does so little with it and it was straggly.  In my mind I was urging her to say shoulder length.  Mom resisted this like I wanted her to have an arm removed.  I came home to Mom with hair shorter than most men's.  I've never, ever, ever seen her with hair that short in my memory, though there are pictures of it when I was a toddler.  Whatever, my thought is it will be easier for me to take care of the next time she lands in the hospital.

Mom finally moved to the top of the list for the senior housing place.  We went to go look at it, the apartment was small but not really all that bad, honestly I think it would have been good for her as she'd have neighbors to interact with.  Alas she turned it down because they didn't allow smoking in the building.  Imagine that, she'd pay less than half of her current living expenses but still won't give up the damn cigarettes that are causing a good chunk of her health issues that she complains about.  While we were there talking to the manager , Mom looks at her with all honesty and sincerely says "you didn't even notice my hair!"  Ha ha, that has been my tag line the last few days.

My neck is still giving me fits.  Last Friday I called my doctor, she was leaving for the day but called me in some muscle relaxers and made me an appointment for first thing Monday.  I got a referral for a neurologist who will hopefully Botox things into livable states again.  In the meantime I struggle and hang in there.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Cutting the Apron Strings

This week Sonny Boy is off to Boy Scout camp.  It is the first long stay he's ever had away from family.  It's been disturbingly quiet around the house this week with just Igor around, amazing how the absence of one child cuts the noise factor by 98%.
The stranger thing is the wishing we knew what he was up to.  I don't really worry about his safety to be honest, I think (at least I hope) he's got enough sense to not do really stupid things.  But I do fret over stuff like brushing teeth or checking for ticks.  In comparison though I suppose I'm a little less tied to the kid than some of the other parents who are attending camp with their boys, because if that was a requirement I don't think he would get to go.  Spending a week in a tent with 40 or so teenage boys - most of them less than 15- no thanks.
Reports have trickled in from a couple of parents who have kids with phones and a mom who is splitting the camping with another parent.  Sonny Boy is doing well and has been having fun.  He has earned his Swimming merit badge but I don't know the status of his other projects.  I'm pretty sure Hubby and I have worried about him way more than he's worried about us.  As Hubby says he's much like his Grandfather and just goes with the flow.
Sonny Boy returns home tomorrow bringing smelly laundry, smelly feet, and a ton of tales.  I'm ready to hear them.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Again with the crazy

For the most part I've let Mom do her drain circling uninterrupted the last few weeks.  Her last fracture she was so non compliant about wearing her walking boot I simply gave up telling her "when you can't walk you can go to the nursing home".

Today while I was out shuttling children to and fro she flagged down Hubby.  Seems Mom received a letter from the state of Wisconsin because her tax return was an absolute nightmare.  Hubby said she'd checked boxes saying others claimed her as dependent, she was married, and a variety of other stuff.  If you remember she fouled up her federal returns too .  Her regular bills are becoming crazier monthly.  I have her "have to" bills on auto pay, but I'm sure her chaos of medical bills would give a CPA a migraine.  I don't even attempt those.

I totally get she doesn't want to give up her independence on things and ask for help.  I really do, but it makes me so angry she screws things up and then asks for help and it takes twice the effort to straighten things back out.  Things are getting to the point where she really needs more help but she won't accept it or agree to pay for it.  I refuse to spend family money on things like cleaning people (she really needs someone regularly) when I'd dearly love to have a cleaning lady myself.  Sure I'm capable of cleaning her little place, but her lack of effort of keeping even a minimum standard of cleanliness makes me so mad I can't make myself go over there and do jobs she is more than able to do for herself. - I'm talking about throwing away empty soda cans and used paper plates.

I'm really at that juncture of taking over and heading off calamity and risking a huge family blow up or waiting for the calamity and picking up the pieces and saying told you so.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


I can't say there has been any great happenings lately, honestly I'm glad.

My neck symptoms have come back with a vengeance the last two weeks.  Near constant pain has not made me a happy camper.  In desperation last week I went in for a massage which helps some but not nearly enough or long lived.  I booked another appointment before I even left and I am looking forward to it mightily.

 I've also been trying to do some yoga in the hopes of helping the neck.  You Tube has about 10 kajillion videos so I've been sitting on the living room rug giving them a try after everyone goes to bed.  I don't know how therapeutic they are however tonight was quite the fiasco.   I'm sitting cross legged on the floor with my arms in crazy positions, when for some reason Callie (dog) decides I'm really interested in her slimy rawhide and she starts shoving it at me.  I try to ignore her but then she proceeds to clean my glasses with her tongue and pace in between me and the propped up I pad.  I get so tickled with the whole situation I'm giggling and fussing at the dog because really it must be quite the scene when I hear Hubby yell down the stairs "are you OK?"  Needless to say tonight's yoga was a wash.

The next few days have me finish prepping the camper.  I have it cleaned up, exterior washed, and all the mechanicals are good.  Hubby went to the DMV today and purchased tags for it (hasn't left the yard in over a year) now I simply need to stock it with linens and the "stolen" kitchen items that have migrated into the house.  I'm sure to not get everything needed, but I guess that's "roughing it".

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Itchy and Scratchy

In my overgrown perennial beds there is something I am fairly allergic to.  My first hunch is that it is purple coneflower because a) I have a ton of it b) it's fuzzy.  Fuzzy plants don't treat me very well.  Knowing this once the plants get a certain height I don my old lady gardening outfit of pants, long sleeves, and gloves, the only thing I lack is a straw hat.  Still not enough today as the four inches of skin exposed on my arms (the shirt was only a 3/4 length sleeve but an x/large) started itching almost immediately upon beginning to work.  I managed to get the worst of the overgrown offenders out, stake a drooping plant, and trim back a walnut tree before I was forced inside my hives and mosquitos. 
Last week I was out mowing and when I came in my left eye was itchy and I caught myself rubbing at it.  I took a look and it was quite red so I put some tears in it and then fell asleep on the couch.  When I woke up my eye was twice as red and quite swollen.  I theorized it was allergy and took a couple of Benadryl to hopefully knock it back.  The next day it was still pretty angry so I went to the doc and was told maybe pink eye, maybe allergy, I'm not sure.  So she called in a Rx for eye drops and told me to use them if no improvement by the next day.  That afternoon the swelling  and redness all but disappeared.
It's strange, as a kid I wasn't allergic to a thing.  I could run through any plant material, poison ivy and oak included, without a hint of rash.  I did suffer from some hay fever from time to time but it was never anything that slowed me down.  Now though my immune system seems to think everything odd is an alien invader.  In the last ten years I've developed allergy to mystery plants I come in contact with, a couple of different antibiotics, and the minor hay fever occasionally morphs into misery.  One would think with age allergic reactions would diminish but I was never one do things logically.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Simple Things

Sometimes in my crazy life I start to realize that it's the simplest things that bring me the most peace. Sitting on the front porch next to Hubby in our rocking chairs (sounds like we are 80 doesn't it?) watching the hummingbird feeder is my escape from real life.

Unfortunately real life intrudes.  The boys start fighting, time ticks away, the dryer buzzes and I can see a wilting plant that needs some TLC.  Ugh

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Don't mess with me

I was right, Mom did break her foot again.  Friday morning bright and early I called her and asked "how's your foot" she started in rambling about how it might be a bit better but I just cut her off and said "your going to the doctor" hung up and called to wheedle an appointment with her MD.  When it was time for her appointment, I went over and her house was bordering on health hazard status so I then declared she was going to hire a cleaning lady and put an ad on the local Facebook page for one.  The girl I chose was just fine and able to come that afternoon.  Mom paid her.  Today Mom had a doctor appointment when I went to pick her up she fell over in the yard because she had her hands full of a giant purse, a bag of library books, and no cane.  When I got her into the truck I discovered she did not have her phone so I went in her house to get it, and rummaged through her old purses until I found one with a long strap that could be worn cross body and grabbed her cane.  I gave her the purse and told her to put her crap in it.

I'm tired of trying to be nice and suggesting she do x, y or z.  From now on I'm not going to give her a choice.  This is how it's going to be because I have to take care of you, you WILL make reasonable attempts at preventing injury etc.  I'm sure she thinks I'm a bossy bitch but I don't really care, she can find somebody else to do for her if she doesn't like it anymore.  I don't see a line forming.

In other news the kids out of school are driving me bat shit crazy.  Between the fighting, and constantly dragging them from the video games there is always some minor crisis happening.

I haven't had a meltdown yet.  Thank God the kids are old enough to go to the pool without me and Mom sits over there in crazy alone contentedly.  I get a break, though it usually ends with wet rear ends on my couch and towels thrown around.  I'm spent I tell ya.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Really, Again

It appears Mom has broken her foot again.  She refuses to go to the doctor but I think I'm going to force her tomorrow as she's unable to put weight on it all.  If they put her on crutches I'm lost as to what to do.

I'll update more later, just tired and stressed tonight.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Progress!...With a dash of Oh Sh...

Image result for disability images free
Today was Mom's disability hearing.  At this point it frankly just a formality and basically that's what we attended.  I was prepared to testify but I didn't do anything but go in and give my name.  Mom rattled on and on completely lost, however it didn't seem to matter as the court appointed "vocational expert" did his thing and said "nope she can't work" and the judge says "OK".  It will be a few weeks before we get things finalized and she gets her back pay and an increase in her social security check.  The biggest plus is she is now eligible for Medicare.  I have no idea how to begin navigating that but I'll look into it in the next few days.  I can't do anything till the paperwork is processed anyway.
While we were waiting around (if you've ever dealt with the SS admin it's some sort of law to wait around a lot) there was a Hmong family in the row of chairs in front of us.  An older woman, her daughter in her late 20's, and two small granddaughters, one about 3, the other an infant.  Mom in her creepy fashion of always playing with small children begins talking to the little girl.  Not so bad, one could tell the little girl wasn't exactly thrilled but wasn't upset.  Then Mom notices her mother's hair, stands up and starts playing with the mother's pony tail and commenting on her highlights!  OMG!  I glance at the paralegal trainee that was with the lawyer and she has an amazed look on her face, all I could do was roll my eyes that I did not approve.  Props to the girl having her hair handled by a crazy lady she didn't respond badly at all.  Personally I'd have had a fit if somebody I didn't know was running her hands through my hair.  About this same time the movie Grand Torino with Clint Eastwood came to mind when Clint was instructed not to touch the children on the head (a Hmong cultural taboo)  I googled later to double check, yep.
After the hearing we are walking back to the truck and mom fell in the middle of Wisconsin Ave in downtown Milwaukee.  Nice.  A truck driver jumped out of his truck to help but I managed to get her hoisted up pretty quickly and to the sidewalk.  She wasn't hurt but was rattled.  I guess she needed to prove she really was eligible for the disability.  Tonight she hobbled over and had me tape her wrist.  I have a hunch it's hurt and we will be going for an x-ray in the next few days.
Tomorrow is the last day of school.  Kids are thrilled, me not so much.  We are going to go up to the in-laws for a few days as well.  It will be good to get away from all the needy chores staring me in the face for a while.  Then again they will still be waiting on me when I get back.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

By a thousand cuts

I can't say that anything huge is brewing around here lately.  No major issues but honestly I feel like I'm being slowly killed by one pin prick at a time.  I'm hoping that with school ending next week whoever has my voodoo doll will quit having time to torture me.

No real change with Mom.  For a couple of weeks she seemed to make a slight effort to walk some but not really.  I don't think she's gone outside or gotten dressed in four days.  I call or buzz over there to make sure she isn't on the floor at least once a day but that is all I'm willing to do.  Frankly I'm just waiting for the event that hospitalized her and forces her into long term care.  I have told her several times that she cannot live with me if she becomes more dependent.  I don't think it has really occurred to her that the line is so close to her feet.

Last week we met with her disability lawyer to go over information for her hearing.  The lawyer really didn't prep her much citing she won't remember it anyway.  When Mom proudly said she lived alone the layer asked me "Is that an adventure?" he knew full well the answer because he is privy to all her medical records.  Next week we will haul up to Milwaukee for the hearing, the lawyer will have me testify as well as mom because it is clear she doesn't really understand her medical issues in the least.    The lawyer doubts she will be turned down but it's been a three year wait to get this far so I'm a little stressed about it.  There won't be a large influx of cash from getting her declared disabled but it will make her eligible for other programs.

Sonny Boy has overnight turned into the adolescent you are always warned about.  I honestly would send him off to a long summer camp if there was money in the hopes some of the hormone crazies might resolve before the end of summer.  Alas only a week of scout camp is going to happen and seeing his general disorganization it worries me greatly, since neither Hubby or I are going to attend to keep him regulated.  I do plan on calling a mom that is attending and asking her to keep a special eye on Sonny Boy.  I'm not worried about safety but his inability to plan things out.

A special aspect of my new son is his attitude.  This weekend he attended a weekend camp out.  The weather was beyond miserable and it was ended early.  To make a long story short I told him Monday morning to unpack his bag so I could wash the clothes (everything had gotten soaked) and he replied "that's your job".  I do really wish I could put the dog training collar on him.

Igor has thankfully been pretty mild lately though fighting with his prickly brother has increased.  He even fights in his sleep as I heard him in the middle of the night let out his famous whine "Sonny Boy".  I doubled over giggling in bed.  I do sense a nervousness in him with school ending, he really likes his teacher and doesn't want to leave her.  He's bummed because the teacher is moving up a grade next year but he won't be in her class.  It's probably a good thing really, I don't think she's a bad teacher but I think he needs a change.

Hubby and I are trudging along.  Chores, lawn, small house projects and putting out fires.  Hubby is consumed by the boat and fishing (wish the boat would sink).  I've been doing lots of yard work.

Think I'm going to watch for liquor sales, I'm going to need a lot with school ending.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I sometimes think if Hubby wasn't around to talk me down I'd just get in my truck and drive away -maybe I'd come back after a while.

I often feel like I'm trapped doing, running, and begging for people (mostly my mother, and often my children) who don't acknowledge that I do a thing for them.  In fairness at least two are children.

Sonny Boy had me so mad this afternoon I could have pinched his head off.  Hubby has gotten him an arrangement to mow a friend's lawn.  Great, except Sonny Boy has never really mown due to the fact our lawn is a witch due to it being on a hill (I'm scared he'll lose a toe). Needless to say he's inexperienced so I try to show him how to mow and he charges through without so much as trying to do what I said, leaving patches of grass all over.  I explain a 100 times he will lose his job if he does a poor job of it, but that doesn't seem to sink in, and he throws a temper tantrum when I make him back up and go over missed areas.  It got so bad I had him get in the truck and I muscled the lawn mower into the bed alone before the lawn was finished.  Hubby went out with him to finish.  I think I should get paid for the lawn because I ended up walking every inch of it.  Kid has no pride in his work, be it mowing, schoolwork, or chores.  Frustrating.

My other gripe today was trying once again to get my mother to actually DO something.  Same story, different day.  I'm stupid for even bothering I suppose, but she has actually gone out and walked some though getting her to do it with any regularity is impossible.  I'm at a loss.  Just waiting on the next disaster I suppose.  Nothing like expecting to find her at the bottom of the basement stairs, or sprawled in the shower daily.  It wears on a person.

So just some advice to the whole 7 or 8 people who may read this.  Take care of yourself at least somewhat.  Once you get into a position that someone else is taking care of you, you are no longer just hurting yourself.  Every injury, hospitalization, or issue becomes theirs.  Don't be selfish.  Oh, and if you can at all afford it buy long term care insurance so you can go to an assisted living when you need to and your children don't resent you.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Squirrel War

Something about our neighborhood makes it a squirrell Mecca.  I suppose the numerous mature trees, a few of which are walnut and the fact there are several bird feeders available to raid help.  I also don't see many cats or dogs running free ever.

In all honestly they are kind of cute, big brown eyes, bushy tails, their little paws holding food to their mouth.  Don't let their cute looks fool you, they are a menace first class and I've declared war!

In the last year or two I've started setting up bird feeders.  I enjoy watching the variety of little birds come and go and that is when I started hating the squirrels.  The blasted animals would shimmy up the pole, sit on the feeder and gorge like a fat man pulling up his chair to a buffet.  Couple this with the fact that the neighbor on either side of our house has had some house damage and they dang things eat my tulips so I declared war!

My first act of squirrel terrorism was to simply scare them off the feeders, I'd open the window and sometimes yell.  They got used to that pretty soon.  I then started letting the dog after them, that works but I'm not always at the window and my feeders were being decimated.  It didn't take me long to figure I needed a permanent solution.  I purchased a live trap.  Game on!  The first week I caught 5 squirrels.   Husband got in the act and started sneaking around with a pellet gun as well sending several to meet their maker.  Between the two of us relocating and killing we thinned the population down to a level not reminiscent of New York rat population.  Even with all this we still have raiding squirrels near daily.

Frankly I get tired of fooling with the trap sometimes.  One morning the trap had a capture, Hubby didn't realize it until the dog had rolled the trap several times and basically terrorized the creature to no end.  It happened on a day I just didn't feel like taking a drive, so in an experiment I spray painted big red blob on the squirrel and set it free.  I figured if it had a brain, the trauma of capture and nearly being eaten would keep it away.  Nope two days later there was Red Rear on my feeder.  I opened the window and yelled and he sat there. I sent the dog after him.   Twenty minutes later he was back.  Hubby practiced his marksmanship on this none too bright member of the animal kingdom.

I do use deterent methods as well. I have the poles of my feeders heavily greased with Vaseline.  It helps.  Just this morning I watched a bugger jump, grap the pole a couple of feet up and slide down it like a fireman.  He wisely ran off after that.  I happened to read in a magazine just yesterday to mix cayenne in with the seed.  Supposedly birds don't care so I tried that.  I was kind of hoping to see a squirrell get a mouthful of that.  Wonder if I mix cayenne with the Vaseline?  That could be fun.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Stop Thief!

I haven't posted any pictures in a while.  I don't really take that many, even with a phone in my pocket I'm just not a shutterbug - I leave that task to Hubby.

 Last weekend we piled into the boat for a little fishing.  The rest of us might as well have been in the Dead Sea, Igor on the other hand pulled in this whopper a real trophy fish.  He was so proud!
 Callie thought she was going to have a heat stroke after chasing a tennis ball today - read story later in post.
 We went down to Chicago a few weeks ago and took the kids to the Museum of Science and Industry and also wandered down to see the shiny bean.
 Me standing on Marie Antoinette's staircase in the la Pettite Trianon .  All the France pictures look like I never changed clothes because I was always in that coat with a blue scarf.
Hubby kidding around in the Louvre.  Honestly I made him pose for this picture as he'd zoomed by this guy to look at naked lady across the room.  He was like walking around with a 12 year old pointing out all the naked boobs - they are everywhere - I have a feeling French boys aren't too interested by the time they get that age.

Today I picked up a tennis ball thrower for the dog.  You've probably seen them, a ladle like thing that allows even weak armed me to really fling it a long way.  Callie has been gaining weight right along with me all winter and we both need exercise.  The difference she kind of likes it.  I get home and take her down to the park that is right behind our house.  Callie chases the ball a couple of times and then a neighbor dog comes bounding out of his yard.  Callie and the neighbor dog chase each other a little, snarl, and do what dogs do.  After their meet and greet Callie pretty much seemed uninterested in the dog and he in her.  I throw the ball again and Callie refused to go get it.  By this time neighbor dog starts eyeing the ball.  I'm edging toward it, urging Callie to fetch while the little weasel is sneaking toward it as well.  He got there first, picks up the ball and starts walking home.  The whole time I'm calling him (I don't know the dog's name) but he wasn't having any part of it.  I followed him back up into his backyard to find a young guy on the upper deck of a duplex standing around with his shirt off.  I asked if the dog was his, and it was, and then tattled.  Guy apologized, introduced the dog as "Mack" - probably good to know if I meet him again since he only lives four houses down - and tosses me the tennis ball.  Through all of this Callie just follows me around panting like I had ran her 150 miles. 

After collaring the ball thief and getting our property back, I take Callie home and she proceeds to pant for what seemed for ever.  I texted Hubby, and he suggested taking her swimming.  I load her into the back of the truck to go to the river for a few minutes before picking up the kids at school.  Callie jumped in because she loves to ride.  Take her to the river and she swims and retrieves a stick a few times.  I called her load up, and she tried, but suffering from middle age and fat (much like her masters) the tailgate was a difficult leap, and she bounced off and landed on her back.  I felt bad for her, it was pretty dramatic though I don't think she was really hurt.  Then I couldn't get her to even jump again.  Nothing like partially lifting a river water soaked 110 pound Labrador into the bed of a truck.  Nasty.  I will remember to take some sort of step for her next time.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


I've been in a exhausted state the last few days, every chore takes every bit of gumption I have just to get the old body in motion.  I'm really tired of forcing myself to do things.

Since the weather finally changed I've started the yard work.  I got a pick-up truck load of mulch the other day and spent the afternoon spreading it.  I've had bulk mulch delivered before but having it loaded into the truck seems somewhat easier as I drive up next to the beds and shovel it in without the use of a wheelbarrow.  I probably need to purchase two more truck loads to finish the beds but it took me two days to work the soreness out after the first round so I'm not too excited to be so stiff again but I will probably do it again tomorrow because I'd like to get it down while the plants are still pretty small and easy to work around.

Mom has had a round of doctor appointments this week and I'm exhausted from them.  One Monday, two on Tuesday, and a miserable one with a doctor running over an hour late on Wednesday.  No unexpected news from any of the doctors.  She did see a doctor concerning her osteoporosis and the only med available to her to help is a daily injectable.  This set up more teeth gnashing than you could imagine, honestly I think she'd have been calmer if she was told her left leg needed to be amputated.  Frankly I don't know if the drug is worthy of the money and time commitment or the nightmare that would be mom crying over getting a tiny little shot daily.  I'm researching as the doctor contacts insurance to see if it would even be paid for.  Of course this led to a huge fight because she's adamant she "just can't" take a shot every day.  Frankly the "can't" attitude pisses me off to no end.  Basically I told her she either has to change her lifestyle or she's going to be in a nursing home within a year and that I am DONE taking care of her when she won't do for herself.  I'm sure it went in one ear and out the other and I'm the evil bitch of a daughter who just doesn't understand.

SCREAM!  The boys just came in from school and Sonny Boy is being a little jerk because I won't let him vegetate in front of the video games.  The house rule is no video games through the week because they rush through homework in order to get to games.  Sonny Boy proclaims that I said video games are OK on early release days.  Maybe I let them play one time but it has never been a rule change and I never told them it would happen today.  I just had a good dose of no respect from the kid and I sent him to his room.  He might be 30 before I let him near one again.  Tempted to just through the damn things on the curb and delete off the computer they cause so much strife around here.

Anyway gotta do something productive.

Edited:  I should have really proofread this more thoroughly.  But I'm not going to correct it because I want to serve as an example of very poor grammar.😀

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eating Machine

Suddenly it seemed liked everything was running low in the household at once.  Household staples such as toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and the like were all hitting critical stages.  Time for a Sam's club run.

I loaded my cart down with industrial sized bottles of detergent, a massive bag of dog food, and a few  basic grocery items.  I also purchased a 2 lb package of cherry tomatoes.  Pushing my cart up to the registers and  I tried not to flinch noticeably when my total was announced, it was breathtaking.  Oh well, I won't have to purchase toilet paper a couple of months or more.

When the kids came home and discovered the giant packages of paper goods they were amazed.  We'll never need paper towels again!  Igor then proceeded to eyeball the cherry tomatoes.

Cherry tomatoes are a weird thing in our house.  My kids will actually pass up treats to eat them.  Not a bad thing most of the time, but frustrating when they are purchased with a specific use in mind.  These tomatoes had a purpose.  I allowed Igor four tomatoes.

Despite the fact I had just spent an enormous amount of money on essentially groceries I still needed to go to the grocery store.  The tomatoes purpose required other ingredients and a birthday party gift was needed so Igor and I go to Sam's cousin Wal Mart.  I left Sonny Boy at home with my tomatoes, big mistake.

I came home to find at least a third maybe more of the tomatoes gone.  So frustrating, particularly when I now have to go back to the store today and buy more tomatoes so I can make the dish.

It's not just tomatoes though, for supper last night he ate a serving and a half of meatloaf, a serving of vegetables, a large salad (this would have easily filled most adults) then was still hungry so he ate a banana and a pb&j.  I cannot cook enough for this child anymore.   Every meal I add more to the pot thinking this will be enough, we'll have leftovers, etc.  nope.  It's like trying to fill the Grand Canyon with a spoon.

Does anyone have advice on how to economically fill a pit?  Pasta, potatoes, etc I suppose?  Seems like starches are the cheapest but in the end empty calories for the most part.  I know he's growing and that's what concerns me, this is eating at 85 lbs.  What happens at man size?  I may have to go SAMs once a week.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Literally, not figuratively or any other -ly but real, honest, excrement.

Last night after I finally wandered up to bed around 1:00 a.m Callie the obese Labrador came up as usual.  Typically she snores as equally as loud as Hubby through the night only punctuated with an occasional snarl or yip as she dreams of renegade squirrels in the yard.  - between the two of them I've seriously considered the guest bed.  I finally nod off and do my nightly battle of too hot, too cold, too sweaty to have it interrupted by Callie hauling herself downstairs.  OK, unusual but since I was in the middle of a hot flash and we are both middle aged non-reproducing females I figured she was too.  A little while later she comes back and starts panting like its 100 degrees.  I'm fairly awake by now and figure she's gotta "go" so I take my sweaty damp self to the door to shiver while she circles a few times in the yard.  Callie finishes her business and we all return to bed upstairs.  I spend a couple of hours tossing, turning, dreaming to have Hubby's alarm go off and Callie's pacing and panting begin again.  Sonny Boy is disturbed and he is sent to the door with her and the morning routine begins.  

Needless to say the dog has tummy troubles.  The dog continues to want out and poops about every two hours.  Other than an amazing amount of urgent and frequent bathroom trips she doesn't have any other ill effects so I wasn't too concerned.  Time to get the kids from school rolled around so I ran a quick errand and picked up the boys, was gone exactly one hour.  When we got home  Callie darted out the door and Hubby met us all perturbed because she'd had an accident in the living room.  He had just came in the front door in a miracle of crazy timing.  In the land of animal accidents it wasn't a big deal, wasn't even on the rug but gee whiz did it smell bad.

I must say that Callie is the queen of house trained animals.  I am pretty sure she has not pooped or peed in the house since she was three or four months old.  Even when left for very long periods of time we have always come home to cleanliness.  (Now she has killed a few toys in her puppy years though). Knowing this Hubby called the vet and we were instructed to feed her chicken and rice and give her some Pepcid.  So I cooked the dog chicken and rice, - before I cooked our supper.

She seems to be on the mend, but she is hungry as I wanted to keep her stomach a little settled until morning.  It's not like she doesn't have a little extra blubber to live off of in those extra 30 lbs.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Which Cliche'?

I don't know which is a better description.  Either I'm waiting on the other shoe to drop, or I'm stuck on the tracks (or in reality so one else is) and the train is in sight.

I've done my best to foster a hands off approach to dealing with Mom and her crazy lately.  Mostly it works.  She is still toppling over more often than a one legged duck but so far no further injury.  Currently she is due to go on a trip Monday with just about the only person she hasn't alienated in the world -why he still puts up her crazy I don't know.   From the get go I have declared I did not think it a good idea.  It started out a fiasco and I have a hunch it will end as one too.  From the moment it was  planned things went south when I was volunteered to have Mom at Midway in Chicago for 8:30 a.m. on a Monday flight.  Midway is at least two hours from home.  I frankly declared it wasn't going to happen and the flight needed to be changed, preferably to Milwaukee.  Instead they just changed it to a different time.  Dumb me should have said nope, not doing it, if you can't handle changing planes you don't need to fly (that was the explanation given as to why the flight was booked out of Midway).   I went along with it.  Then all this toppling over business started and her foot broke in a couple of different places.   To skip to the crazy part is she purchased herself some flip flops for her trip!  Flip flops, sounds like her typical walking pattern.  I warned her I didn't think this was such a good idea to wear flip flops at any time.  She doesn't see the problem.

When we went south for the class reunion I pondered the idea of turning off my WiFi because I knew she was getting antsy to do her taxes.  I had pushed her to wait on Hubby to help her with them but he had been busy and hadn't had a chance not to mention she hadn't gathered the figures I had told her to yet.  When I got back she told me she had tried to do her taxes but she thought she could do them for free and when she got to the end they wanted credit card numbers and the like so she quit.  Will teach me to disable the WiFi when she's antsy.  Hubby later found time and sat down with her when they got to the end he got up to the bathroom and when he came out she said "all done" so he figured ok.  Last week I asked her if she got her refund back yet and she hadn't and I figured there was a problem because ours came back lickty split.  I nagged Hubby to check on it but you know how those kind of things get pushed to the side.  Mom came over April 16 saying "I think we better check on this" and sure enough it hadn't gone through.  Hubby got it corrected with a look of wonder on his face.

I did check into assisted living.  43 K a year.  That's at the minimum level of care.  Yeah not in our budget anytime soon.  Thing is if she'd just do even half of what she should she would feel better, be healthier, and happier.

But here I am again,  fretting when I said I wouldn't.  Do you think it's possible to just buy a plane ticket for the inevitable medical emergency that is going to happen while she is on her trip?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Insomnia Channels

I'm plagued by sleeplessness.  I've tried all the stuff they tell you on the internet and short of tranquilizers, (tried those too) sleep is elusive to me.  Long gone are the days when I would fall asleep in the middle of a sentence and sleep deeply for  eight hours.  Now if I fall asleep within two hours of going to bed, wake up only three or four times, get up twice, turn the fan on, turn the fan off, turn the heating pad on, then off it's an OK night.  All that tossing and turning and my mind spins through thoughts like Hubby when he can't find a TV show that suits him.

Lists Channel- everybody watches this channel sometimes. Grocery lists, to do lists, Christmas lists.  I even have a running mind tally of stuff to google the next time I'm in front of the computer.  I think list stuff is somewhat productive as it helps organize the day and wipes the slate for the next.  The longer the list is, more stressed I am about an event.

SelfDefense Channel -  this is some daydream drama scenario of how I would handle an intruder, house fire, earthquake or possibly some other large scary disaster.  These things always occur while I'm in bed in my pajamas and barefoot without my glasses of course. I seem to have these more when Hubby is traveling for work. Think Lifetime network with me as the star in every movie!  These don't help the insomnia a bit.

What If Channel- I don't think I do this one much, mostly when I am very melancholy.  What if I'd married that old boyfriend?  What if I'd taken that job?  What if ...  Not my style on a normal day.  Only the commercials are in color.

HGTV - I redecorate /remodel my house without a budget!  Yeah only in my imagination.  Generally leaves me disappointed in the morning to find my 17 year old couches still in the living room.

Blog Post - I write eloquent, witty, posts that make people want to come hang out with my sleep deprived self.  (Then I get in front of a keyboard and this drivel comes out). Ever see Book TV?  Even more boring than c-span.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Work Ethic

I've been reading Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  This is her auto- biography she based her series of Little House books on.   I have to say the book as a historical work is detailed, so many footnotes your head spins.  I give Pamela Smith Hill all the kudos in the world for her work on the book.

The story its self isn't anything too surprising, yes, it deviates in some significant points from the books we all know and love, but no one ever claimed those books were non-fiction.  The spirit of Laura that we all grew up with is in this story alive and well.

Perhaps the most striking part of Ms. Wilder's story and the point I've dwelled on the most in the last few days while reading it is the amount of work the children were expected to do.  Not just simple chores that take a whopping 15 minutes of the day but actual work at 5 years old and younger that was simply taken for granted they were to do.  I'm not nieve enough to believe that Ma and Pa never had to send Laura back to wash a dirty dish she missed a spot on, or sweep the kitchen floor again but somehow I got the distinct impression it wasn't often and when it happened she simply corrected her mistake and took care to avoid it in the future.

What a stark contrast from children today.  My boys do chores on a mostly regular basis, when they proclaim they should get paid I usually start requesting payment for every trip to the fridge and that nonsense stops.  The problems I can't seem to find a solution for is the 1) the attitude and 2) the poor quality of work.  Generally I just ignore the attitude, I don't really care if you are angry about picking up the dog poop, just get it done and be quiet about it.  What gets my goat -milks it and shaves it too- is the quality of the work.  I don't even realistically think they won't miss a pile here and there in the yard, but when I find six piles of fresh poo in a 20 foot radius in the dog's favorite poop zone sort of tells me they weren't really working too hard.  Sure I do inspections, but when I point out the six piles I generally get excuses and even more attitude on top of the previous bad one.  All of the arguing, inspection, and such I'd really just rather spend 15 minutes in the yard with the poop scooper myself.

When I think of the poor quality of my children's labor I can't imagine how in the world factories actually found it cheaper to hire children than adults.  Sure, they could hire 10 kids for the price of one adult but I can't see getting anywhere near the same amount or quality of work as an adult unless we loop back around to children like Laura Ingalls Wilder who had done consistent amounts of hard and important work since she was preschool age.

With Laura Ingalls Wilder in mind I hope to start demanding quality work from my children,  I hope to stiffen my backbone and plug my ears to their whining and make them come back and do the job until it is done well.  I hope to make better use of the two short sources of labor in my house to a reasonable amount (I'm not gone work them like its 1880 for Goodness sake).

I better check the booze and make sure it is well stocked.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dare I say It?

Dare I say it?  I'm really kind of scared to say it because if I do for sure it will here and go away again  but since the daffodils by the back door bloomed (and then were promptly beaten down by hail) I'll say it - Spring is finally knocking on the door.

I will say some sunshine has helped my late winter funk.  I've been more than crotchety lately not able focus on much and just really blah.  I have forced sunshine sat a couple of days and honestly that has helped some mood improvement.  Things are not sunshine and lollipops, but at least not blizzards.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Winding down

Finally, I settle down.  1:30 a.m. and I'm starting to actually feel like bed.  Night owl tendencies, coupled with insomnia, compounded with a strange new anxiety thing I'm blaming on my new migraine med and sleep is earned not fallen into.

Anxiety seems to be flooded around lately here though.   Just before we traveled south for the class reunion Sonny Boy had what I would loosely describe as a panic attack one evening.  Seems it all stemmed from viewing a few minutes of a silly computer game at school.  I talked him down from that event but he has since viewed the game and reimagined his fears again.  This game has suddenly turned my almost 12 year old into a kid who is scared of the dark.  Not just disliking a dark room and prefers a little night light, but full on needs a bright light.  More than a couple of times in the last few weeks I've woken up to his bedroom light flipped on  and it never being turned back off until I get up to do it myself.   I had to broker a regular treaty of Versailles the other night to convince him it was better to keep the closet light on instead of the hall light.   Next week he is excited to go on a scout camp out, he will be in a tent with another boy roughly his age and I certainly worry.  While I know the creatures from the video game are make believe, and his rational brain does too, I certainly don't want him to have a full blown panic attack without a parent there and there won't be the handy thing of a light switch in a tent.

The game that fired up Sonny boy's imagination does sound creepy.  I haven't checked it, but Hubby has.  It frankly sounds pretty benign, not really even something I would ban him from playing but I guess it hits the right nerve with him.  How do you know though?  I have a common sense thing, I'm pretty sure it's not a good idea to let him watch Nightmare on Elm Street, or play some realistic army shooting game but to shield him from all questionable media is impossible and or extreme.

These are new questions for this generation of parents.  The good Lord knows if my Mom didn't want me to see something she simply didn't let me see it at home.  If I didn't have a friend with permissive parents it didn't happen.  Now if I say I don't want to see /play a game the next time he is near a kid with a tablet all bets are off and the lights are on in the middle of the night.

Well I'm finally really groggy, I'm off to bed.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Campaign

When Hubby and I first married we combined our thrift store / garage sale finds and had two couches, neither of which was fit for a dumpster.  One was a HUGE behemoth with busted springs that even our twenty something year old bodies had a hard time climbing out of, and the other was a brown plaid sleeper circa 1974.  Several months of coaxing, whining, pleading, and finance juggling I finally talked him into purchasing the couch and loveseat we are currently sitting on.

One would think that after enduring 17 years, five moves, two large dogs, two growing boys,  and Lord only knows how many "oops" Hubby would agree that it is time to replace the furniture that we sit our rear ends on the most.  Not my husband.

So my campaign begins.  I start by internet shopping.  Finding styles and colors I like etc in a reasonable price range and showing them to him and touting how wonderful they are.  Hubby grunts " We don't need a new couch, these are fine"  I ignore.  I keep shopping.  I find something else.  Standard reply of " The kids will just tear up something new" and you see where this is going.  It has for a few weeks now.  I'm not deterred.

My campaign is a long slog, not a quick sprint.  Eventually I will get him into a furniture store to "just look"  When we get here it will be a fast sprint to the finish line as then it will simply be finding a style and price we can agree on.

I will continue with the picture show for a while yet.  We still have quite a bit of work to complete the kitchen.  Worn couches are hardly noticeable when you have raw sheetrock around the kitchen window, no baseboards, and the exterior of your house is several different colors (and not by design).  The final countdown will begin when the kitchen work starts getting pulled together and the living room starts looking very shabby in comparison. I have a hunch he will cave then.

Vote for NEW COUCHES IN '15!

Friday, March 20, 2015


That's about what I feel like lately.  I'm just going through the motions the last week.  I can't seem to shake the complete funk I'm in.  I keep blaming weather and the need to get outside but really it's not that.  I'm just tired.

Tired from the whirlwind trip south for the high school reunion.  It was a lot of fun.  I saw people I haven't seen in 25+ years.  My class had a good showing as well.  I didn't get to speak to many, caught up with a few unusual folks.  (my 6th grade teacher) and met spouses and children of classmates.  Hubby blended right in with the boys from my class - my class was mostly boys for some reason - and they have all friended him on FB and are planning a "man trip" for the summer.  Oddly enough one of my classmates has the same  career as Hubby which is really odd because there just aren't that many people out there in the world doing that.

Sonny Boy's illness passed as quick as it appeared and he was as right as rain by morning eating the breakfast in the morning like there would never be "free" breakfast again.  My theory that he ate fast food and swallowed too much pool water was probably correct.

Tired is the key word when dealing with Mom's shenanigans lately.  About three weeks ago she fell in her kitchen and must have landed directly on her chin and blackened her chin.  I've never seen a bruise so purple.  It looked like someone drew a purple goatee on her.  One week later I took her to Sonny Boy's band concert and for some crazy reason she insisted she wear heals.  I don't know why I didn't put a stop to that right there before she left the house, but I didn't and of course she rolled her foot walking into the gym.  From her reaction I knew immediately she had broken another bone in her foot so I exchanged shoes with her and crammed my foot into her too small shoe and gave her my sensible rubber soled loafers.  She refused to go the doctor the next day and she had doctor appointment on Monday anyway, so I didn't push but I said she needed to wear her "boot" which of course she didn't.   Monday this week I take her to the doctor and she's hobbling so I drop her at the door of the doctor's office and go park.  When I walked through the doors I hear the intercom "Medical Emergency, 1st floor Lobby" my first thought in a laughing manner is I bet that's Mom - it was.  She somehow lost her balance and sprawled in front of the elevators.  Three hours later we left.  She has "numerous" fractures in her foot in various stages of healing and will go see a podiatrist next week.  The primary care doctor said she may be casted.  God help me.

I KNOW what angers me most in this whole nightmare is the fact is that she does so little to help herself.  Her ability to even try is gone.  She begs doctors every trip "Take me off some of these meds" and they say you have to quit smoking first but she doesn't put out the first cigarette.  She complains about being weak but never tries to exercise.  Mom's diet is worse than an 18 year old frat boy's. 

I am going to call some assisted living places this afternoon and get some pricing.  Hopefully I can have Hubby run some numbers (he's really good at that kind of stuff) and see if even feasible.  We could probably bring in home health cheaper but honestly she needs more structure.

Friday, March 13, 2015

on the road

Forgive the horrible grammar,  spelling etc please.   I'm sure it's even worse than usual since I'm typing on my phone.   Driving down to Arkansas to my class reunion and I'm suffering from insomnia in a hotel room while the children are not.   Not much else I can do in the dark.

I'm excited for the reunion,  it should be fun.   It is an all classes reunion so seeing people who graduated years ahead and behind me too.  600 people are scheduled to attend which is massive for a school that only graduated 60 or so kids a year.   After the big reunion my class is getting together at a local Mexican joint.

Perusing the listing of attending I'm struck by who is not attending.   It seems many of the people who didn't leave are not coming.   It also striking that those who were the hot shots in school,  the jocks, the homecoming court are not on the list.   Not all of them of but at least my class and those classes closest to mine.

Things that make you wonder. .I guess I'll see.

Fun times.   Sonny Boy just woke up and said " I puked in the bed"   after a flurry of cleaning I'm watching him hug the toilet wondering what the hell I'm supposed to do with a puking kid in a strange town in a hotel room in the middle of the night alone.   Motherhood makes us warriors.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Oh Facebook...

Say the above with a disappointed tone.

Some days I get so annoyed with Facebook.  I honestly don't know why I read the drivel but like a bad car accident I scan through the newsfeed a few times a day.  I post occasionally, but unless I can come up with a snide remark on the general human condition or report some happy or big news I don't say much.  The exception is that lately I've been posting a few articles here and there concerning the mess over in Ukraine as several of my FB friends are also fellow adoptive parents that are following the news.

Today though has really gotten my goat.  My news feed is filled with no less than the following:

2 different people angry at another for slights either real or imagined in their lives.  Both are serial drama queens who seem to be stuck living a version of Jr. High.

1 spreading the gospel of essential oils

1 proclaiming how fantastic home school is

3 daily bible verses - one from the book of Mormon

1 update on the newest recipe that happens to be gluten free ( I don't think that many people are medically in need of gluten free)

4 or 5 copy and paste status that start out "With let me see how this turns out.." 

2 recipes ( hasn't anyone heard of pinterest?)

15 southern friends playing in the 1/4 inch of snow in their backyards, wondering if there will be school tomorrow and freaked out over 0 degrees.

Don't get me wrong.  I like seeing that your kid made honor roll, you shot a monster deer and even a couple of your vacation photos.   What I don't like is pushing your agenda (even if I agree with it - I do admit to being guilty sometimes) Relationship drama of any kind. 

I think I need to whittle my friends list.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

School is squashing reading

My eldest son was a rather precocious reader.  Sonny Boy was starting to sound out words before kindergarten, and reading picture books fluently by the end of kindergarten. His early ability translated to a love of the written word and a reading ability well above his age.

First grade brought with it the emergence of the reading log.  This dreaded requirement to read 20 minutes a day and log it down was a pain.  To be honest I didn't push it and simply signed off on it.  Sonny Boy may not read the required 20 minutes on Mon -Thurs but I knew he would more than make up for it when he settled with a book for four hours on Saturday afternoon.  The reading logs through 4th grade were much the same and while I didn't theoretically approve of them it wasn't really an issue and I didn't feel bad when I signed the logs.

Fifth grade has thrown a wrench in the system.  This year the reading logs have become more detailed, not only requiring that he log down how long he read but what he read, which pages and a weekly summary of the material.  This is also signed by yours truly.  This log is turned in the first of the month and is graded on the amount of time he logs.  Needless to say this log is a monthly battle.  Sonny Boy reads well above the required amount of reading time but forcing him to record it takes all the joy out of it.  What was once an enjoyable pass time that mom not only approves of but actually urges him to do has become just another homework chore.

I have seriously thought about telling the teacher to stuff her reading log but of course I can't do that. I fill Sonny Boy with platitudes about buckling down and doing work that you don't really want to do, etc etc but it breaks my heart to watch him put off reading because he will have to remember what  pages he read instead of just enjoying the story.

Reading logs are evil.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Life in the fast lane

Minor annoyances are chipping at my sanity lately.  Not one of them is a big deal in and of its self, but add it all up and I need a good stiff drink at the end of the day.

Monday I busted through Mom's yard in order to give her car a jump. ( doctor said she could drive though I still don't think it's wise, sure is easier on me though). I did this in an effort to save hubby the hassle and keep Mom from calling a tow truck and save her a buck.  I dragged out the jumper cables and handily got her car started -I'm awesome like that.  Mom backed out and went to the auto parts store to purchase a new battery.  I then was handily stuck fast in Mom's yard.  I was spinning all four tires on the truck.  I cussed a little, grabbed a shovel and Sonny Boy and we shoveled the snow out from behind the tires.  Spin.  Stuff some yard debris under tires and spin again.  I let fly a string of expletives and sent to the kids home while I threw a little fit in the truck before going home to leave the mess to Hubby.  Hubby comes home and has the same issues (isn't wasn't my lack of snow experience at least) and had to get a buddy to bring his truck over and give the truck a tug.  It amounted to the fact the truck tires are trash but both Hubby and I have been loathe to part with the several hundred dollars needed to replace them.  I suppose we really do have to get on the ball with this soon though.

Sonny Boy will officially leave Cub Scouts next week.  He will receive the Arrow of Light Award.  It's kind of a big deal, not an Eagle rank honor of course but it is an award he can wear on his uniform forever.  Igor and I will remain behind in the Cub Scout pack.  I hold a couple of leadership positions and frankly I've hit scout burn out.  I'm having a small crisis with what to do for Igor's day camp this year.  Previous years of day camp I have attended with Sonny Boy I was pretty happy with how it was ran.  Last year I attended as a chaperone and was not at all happy with how the camp was run.  This year I'm not sure I want to spend money on it this year, though Igor had fun.  I'm debating sending him to a local Y day camp that has roughly the same activities, smaller group sizes but does not have his scout buddies.

After 20 years of glasses I have made the leap to contact lenses.  So far so good though it is a little unnerving taking them in and out.  My left lens is a toric lens which is proving a little more difficult to adjust to but I think it will get there.  The strange part is how totally naked I feel moving around without my glasses.  Honestly I feel like I've forgotten an important article of clothing.  

Life in a nutshell.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fun in Paris

Lots and lots of walking.   Dogs are barking loudly.

Monday, January 5, 2015

...and A Happy New Year

                On the way to a recent scout event after a morning at a wrestling tournament.

I can't say life has been boring, but compared to the wild ride our family has been on the last couple of years it's super calm.  I'll take it.

Christmas went off with little disaster.  We went north to the in-laws for the holidays.  Three hours or so into a 9+ hour drive I remembered that Santa's gifts were tucked neatly in my bedroom closet.  I promise that will give you a nauseous feeling quickly.  In coded language Hubby and I made the decision there wasn't much we could do about it and continued on with a plan to go shopping and replace the gifts when we got to our destination.  Thankfully stubborness to outlive video game begging and a benign gift wish list from the kids made the gifts easy to replace and I returned the original gifts (after I unwrapped them) to WalMart today.  Honestly I think we could have come to clean to the kids, after all they are 11 and 8.  I can't really believe Sonny Boy thinks there is such thing as Santa and I'm pretty sure Igor isn't fooled anymore either.  The two play the game well, so I suppose we will too.

Hubby in some grandiose need to plan for the kids decided the family should do it's own Santa Lucia ceremony.  Hubby's grandmother is Swede and Hubby and his sister were part of the local town festival as children.  So we dressed up the youngest three boys as Star Boys and the only girl as Santa Lucia.  I spent a day or two sewing and crafting those dunce hats (see picture previous post) and Mother-in-law planned the doings and baked Lucia buns.  Things went well, kids played along with little fuss and even the wild card niece playing Santa Lucia was cooperative, something we had all held our breaths for.  It was such a hit that Mother-in-law proclaimed next year we do Ukrainian Christmas, potatoes and vodka, I can do that. 

I'm getting antsy, in a couple of weeks I will join Hubby for a week in Paris, France.  I'm really excited and have been haunting travel sites and have no less than four guidebooks beside my easy chair.  The middle of January may not be the world's best time to see the city of light, but at least the crowds will be mild and compared to the well below 0 wind chills forecasts for this week it will be balmy in France.  I just hope my fat rear end can keep up with the massive amount of walking I'm sure we will be doing.  The weather cooperated for a few hours on Saturday so I logged 1.8 miles at a decent clip and my bum ankle let me know about my lack of exercise.  I'd sure like to get out and do more but I refuse to risk frostbite and I no longer have a gym membership.  No, we haven't won the lottery or anything.  Hubby's company has him going to meetings the week before and the week after my trip in France so he'll just stay between.  Easier and cheaper on the company anyway.  I cashed in all his frequent flier miles to boot.

The next couple of weeks I'll spend getting things in order.  You know a mom can't leave without a to do list being a mile long before she can go.  Mother-in-law is planning on coming to managed the kids for the week so I must have things smoothly running for her.

Can't complain, only kid logistics to manage..knock on wood.