Monday, December 29, 2008

Too Bad We Couldn't Keep Him

Oh yeah, Santa dropped off another little present on Christmas morning. Here's #1 Son with the ecstatic younger brothers, who have been interrupted here in their attempt to impersonate clone troopers. I think they're a little excited.
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Ho Ho Ho-lidays

Guess what Santa brought to our house this Christmas?

I also want to note that there's nothing quite like cold air to bring out Punkin Boy's natural redheadedness. (How's that for a triple word score?)
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Not What I Ordered

I was going to post a few days ago about my back surgery. Specifically, that what I expected was to have a day or so to recover afterward, but life had other plans. Or, rather, my kids did. At about 3 a.m., I heard them shuffling down the hall with comments like "Aim for the toilet" from Pirate Boy and distressed whimpering from the Punkin. I struggled out of bed to find out what was going on; I hadn't seen them all day anyway. When I reached the bathroom, the Punkin was being sick to his stomach and Pirate Jones was-- not exactly holding his hair, since he hasn't got much, but definitely hovering solicitously. Adorably parental, that boy. We all spent the next 2 hours changing sheets/blankets/pillows/stuffed animals, running to the bathroom, and generally feeling miserable before Punkin Boy finally passed out and the rest of us were able to sleep. It wasn't what I expected, but it helped me to feel less sorry for myself as I focused on other people's problems.

Likewise today. I had expected to spend some time finishing up and turning in my Medicaid paperwork, then writing and revising a couple of articles for work, baking brownies for my friend who takes care of me when I'm recovering from surgery, and generally working my tail off. But no. The Man (TM) woke me with a phone call at 7:30. He was panicking over a call he'd gotten earlier that morning from a social worker who had decided that, due to his lack of sufficient income to provide for his child (at least to the degree that the boy would gain a prescribed amount of weight in X time), TM would no longer have the privilege of attempting to do so. In other words, #1 Son would no longer be living with his father, effective immediately. And if TM had a quibble with it, he could pay a lawyer and go to court-- and THEN have custody taken away officially. The boy didn't even get time to pack. Or say goodbye.

Suddenly my own immediate problems don't seem so big anymore. I'm betting that TM suddenly stopped worrying about his finals. And I wish so much that I could be there to give my husband a big, long hug.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Love a Llama

This photo needs a little explanation. First, what my kids are making with their hands are not the "devil horns" of the headbanger, but various types of llama faces. (I think what we've got here are the "excited llama" and "crying llama," but I can't be sure.) My mom is, of course, making the ASL sign for "I love you." She was confused by the llamas, but after I explained, she got a twinkle in her eye. Holding up her hand with fingers parted in the middle, she quipped, "Vulcan llama."

((Snerk!)) No, I still can't think about it without giggling.
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Home for the Holidays

Hooray! Picasa's working again! Oh yeah, and my kids are super cute (when they're not making silly faces). This is the gingerbread house they (and I) made with The Man when he (TM) came out here for Thanksgiving weekend. It was pretty fun. And these guys have been really proud of themselves over it. They've even managed not to eat it yet, because they want to show it off to everyone. They really are growing up.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Writing Quote of the Day

...stopping a piece of work just because it's hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just Like Jen

... I'm stopping in to say three words:

"Bad fibro day."

But now it has a name...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Wanderer

TM called tonight after I put the kids to bed. For once, he led with the big story:

"#1 Son ran away today."

I don't remember what I said. I do remember our whole life together flashing before my eyes. And the dead certainty that TM was doomed from this point forward.

He hastened to explain that the boy was not currently missing, and that nothing truly awful had happened during his little outing.

But he ran away.

He didn't even say why, except that "It felt like the right thing to do" ("Oh, that's ALL you," I told TM) and "I want to get a degree in mythology at Berkeley." Say what? That's all TM, too, but don't tell him that. And you simply cannot tell #1 Son that a guy who's currently repeating the seventh grade is not currently a candidate for any degree at Berkeley. Or any college worth its salt.

Not that I think much of it as an excuse, really. But it's interesting. If you ignore what he said and look only at what he did... the boy was walking west. You do the map.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Up to What Good?

At 11/01/2008 4:12 PM, Jen said...

The concept always fascinates me, but I've never tried it. You'll have to tell us how it goes!

You know I will. I always do. I leave you with this quote from Vladimir Nabokov:
The pages are still blank, but there is the miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.
It's true. Now to get on with it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

And So It Begins Again...

National Novel Writing Month, of course. Well, if you're me, it's "of course." Certain events this week have irrevocably confirmed that I am at heart a storyteller. It's just my nature, as the scorpion said. (Everyone who got that reference, pretend you didn't.)

After taking the kids 'treating tonight, I went to counseling and discussed this topic (the storytelling, not the scorpion) with my therapist. She said, "Well, that explains some things..." Then I went to a NaNoWriMo kickoff party and talked to some people who really understood what I was talking about. One of them had gotten her gown stuck in the car door on the way in, and we spent some time figuring out how she could work that little episode into her novel. It's what we do.

I love spending time with people who "get it." The rest of you, I apologize, but this next month is going to be all NaNo, all the time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pieces of Me

I apologize for neglecting my dear blog friends lately. You all know about the ongoing chaos that brought me to where I am, and can probably guess how busy things are for me as a disabled single mom these days. Fortunately, I'm not alone in this; my folks have been awesome to step in and help when I'm incapacitated by the latest migraine or whatever.

Recent weeks have been full of trips to doctors and other specialists (courtesy of my dad, who is determined to get me cured somehow), so I've been pretty busy. Days like today, when I take "dizzy pills" and go in for medical procedures involving several needles, generally knock me down for the count. I am still loopy, but somehow I haven't got the message that I shouldn't try to work in this condition. (You would not believe the number of edits I've made in this post already. At least I still recognize errors when I see them.)

One of the docs I saw this week suspects I have fibromyalgia (I always wanted to be just like Jen!) and gave me some new meds to try. So I'm trying them. As invested as I am in this SS Disability case, I'd much rather have my health back. After all, like Count Rugen said, "If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything." More fun and games to follow, I have no doubt.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Long-Distance Love

...going out to #1 Son tonight. It was his birthday today, but we weren't able to get hold of him. TM didn't answer his cell phone and hasn't given me his new home phone. Not sure we have the right address for them, either.

If you hear something, it's the sound of my heart breaking as I realize I've lost yet another son.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Scholar Mom

I just need to brag for a minute:

Punkin Boy got Student of the Month his very first month in school!

That's gotta be a record or something.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Old Things Are New Again

Maybe it was out of new-in-town loneliness, maybe it was boredom, or maybe it was the spam I got, but whatever the reason, I recently popped on over to Most people have done it at some point or other, but I, at least, used to get pretty disgusted and bored within the first 5 minutes because you couldn't actually communicate with your friends. I mean, what's the point of knowing they're out there somewhere if you have to pay $30 to just send an email to see if they remember you? Come on... Even the new Facebook is WAY better than that.

Well, they've changed some things, and I'm starting to feel a little better about Classmates. You can leave messages on your own page, though you still can't see your own guest book or tell anyone how to contact you... well, not openly. Not if they catch you. But I digress.

I've been spending some time on Facebook lately, too. And I've found a few of my old friends on both sites. Some people I barely remembered, but the names rang a bell or two. As I've looked at their photos and other things they've posted, the memories have begun trickling back to me. With some people more than others. And it's interesting to see what's happened in their lives over the (many, many) years. (The swaggering Casanova got his master's degree? The obsessive knitter became a computer programmer? Who'd'a thought?)

As I pondered all this, wondering at times why I even bothered, I started to smile. It occurred to me that I was refreshing myself in the spring of my creativity. Writers know what I mean: every person and place and thing that we've ever known is stored in memory, waiting to come out to populate and furnish our stories. I have plenty of material. And now I have the tools to reach it. Can hardly wait for November.

Monday, September 08, 2008

In Retrospect: One Year

One year ago this weekend, my beloved husband, the man of my dreams, the light of my life, broke my heart into bits and turned my life upside-down. Because I loved him so much and wanted so much for our family to stay together, I responded with compassion and forgiveness. I tried extra hard to be the best wife I could be; I obviously had plenty of flaws.

In response to my efforts, my husband closed himself off from me. I cried. A lot.

Weeks went by, and I started to wonder why I kept trying when he seemed so uninterested. I still wonder.

One night he slept in the basement and I found a note in a woman's handwriting giving directions to another woman's house. It could have been innocent. He says it might have been. He doesn't really know, though. Apparently, he's given up rational thought.

That was only the beginning of what I found. In the next 12 hours, I had enough to start divorce proceedings. But I didn't. I threw the bum out, and when he called later, I chewed him out, too.

And then I took him back. Well, he'd confessed and said sorry, he'd gotten medical and psychological treatment, and he'd actually taken some steps to return to being the man I loved. I thought he meant it. I really wanted it to work.

It's not that I don't know that wishing doesn't make it so. I do. But it was more than wishing, I thought.

We started marriage counseling in January, and he started experimenting with his meds. I could tell instantly when he wasn't taking them, but he didn't see the difference. Therapy went poorly as he remained uncommunicative and unapologetic. "It's in the past!" he'd say, "Can't we just move on?"

I hear that's a typical cry of unfaithful husbands. I hate that I had to hear it from mine.

But I kept trying. My beautiful little boys kept me trying to hold the marriage together, no matter what. Seeing what #1 Son has gone through with his divorced parents over the past 11 years kept me resolutely opposed to putting my babies in that position, ever. I'd suffer if I had to, but I couldn't let that happen to them.

Finally, I realized that I couldn't shield them anymore. For starters, I overheard Pirate Boy saying to his little brother, "Daddy's a little crazy." More than once. And my husband was neglecting not only his family, but his work and school. When he did work, half the time the money never saw our bank account. It was getting desperate.

But you know what? I could have dealt with all that if only...

...if only my husband still loved me.

But he doesn't, and I can't take it anymore. I just can't.

And yet... like a hopelessly romantic idiot, I'm giving him one last chance. He has one year. One year to become the man the children and I need him to be. One year to be a decent husband and father. One more year.

Think it'll happen?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Real Life Adventures

It doesn't seem like it's been that long since I last wrote. But in the last 10 days or so, my little Punkin has had a great beginning to kindergarten-- and I think has learned that he does not actually ride the bus home from school. Pirate Jones is having a terrific time in 3rd grade-- not only learning cursive (which he's doing great at), but going beyond the keyboard's home row. They have typing class every day. And he loves it. Cool.

As a bonus, we got to experience serious small-town life over Labor Day weekend. Every year, this little town (much bigger now than it was when my grandparents lived here) has this agricultural celebration whose name I'd tell you but it pops right up on Google, so never mind. But there's a parade, a carnival, fireworks, a floral show, an art contest (in which this year my dad usurped his brother for the Honorable Mention prize), and all manner of very serious silliness. I don't have to tell you, the kids loved it. And I really enjoyed being able to sit out on the back steps in the cool evening air and watch the brilliant fireworks explode over the town park. Awesome stuff.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep up with my weekly deadlines, which isn't too hard given the slowdown in one project and the slacking writers on the other one. (OK, I need to get the whip cracking on them; I'm slacking, too.) I got my car registered on Wednesday (with both kids in tow, which ought to earn me a medal the way they were acting) and am feeling pretty good about that.

Thursday was an adventure. I walked the kids to school like I usually do, enjoying the cool weather and the sunshine, and was most of the way back when-- it sounds melodramatic-- I was attacked by a pack of dogs. Now, it wasn't a huge deal. I mean, they were small dogs and it was a small pack of them. I basically ignored them until a little Doberman-thing bit me. At that point, I had to face them down. "What the ---- do you think you're doing?" My next thought was how glad I was that the kids were at school. If they'd been around, I'd have had to wring some little dog necks, and I'd hate to have my boys see that.

I'd just barely showered and changed into less hole-y pants when I heard my phone go off and discovered a voice mail rejecting me for the condo I wanted up on the hill. Well, rats. Now, it's still possible that I can get into the (low-income) apartment that my cousin's just moving out of, less than a mile from my folks' place. That would be sweet. Here, the "low income" housing is well cared-for and gorgeous. Three bedrooms, three baths, manicured lawns and all. I'll let you know how that turns out. I am on a waiting list, after all.

When I went back to the school to take Pirate Jones some clean clothes (don't even ask), I mentioned the dog situation to the front office people, and maybe they passed it along, I don't know. Today I drove the kids to school and noticed several moms walking their kids and (leashed but alert) dogs along the route. I've been tempted to tell my kids what a cool thing happened just around the corner, but I don't want them to be afraid to walk in this neighborhood too. I'll just stick with them... and maybe take a stick with me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Passing Time

(That one's for you, Nyssa.)

For those of you who were wondering, we're here. ("We are here, we are here, we are HERE!" to quote a Seuss.) We've been here for, oh, 10 days or so; no troubles making the trip, and only a few of them trying to fit all our worldly possessions into my parents' garage.

"We," by the way, is three: the Pirate, the Punkin, and me. TM and #1 Son remained behind to sabotage any hope of us getting our house sold (you only think I'm kidding). And this week, #1 Son is left behind almost all the time as TM goes to work and school. Child Protective Services have already stopped by, of course.

Strangely, out of all this, I find that having my children settled in school is the most important thing to me. Pirate Boy (who's really more interested in Indiana Jones these days) started 3rd grade last week and is loving it. His teacher is awesome.

And the big news of course is that my (not so) little Punkin is off to kindergarten in less than 9 hours. His teacher is already bragging about him. He's fine; I'm a little nervous. Guess I'd better take my own advice and get some sleep before the big day.

More later.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Busy as...

Holy cow. Not only have I been madly cleaning and (when it's not raining) painting the house, but now I'm packing frantically. A week from today, I'll be heading west with my children to our new home in time for them to start school. Meanwhile, I've got a lot to do.

Once this is all over, I'll probably check into a hospital for the pain I'm inflicting on my back. Don't have time now, though. Life is nothing if not interesting.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

This Time... really wouldn't believe it. The thing I came home to. Really, truly, oh-my-gosh-what-happened-to-my-house time. The exterior I'm not going to mention, except that what wasn't dead (lawn) was overgrown (mostly weeds). I've spent today working on painting the trim, which was supposed to be taken care of, watering the lawn and battling the rosebushes. BUT...

...when I came through the door last night after my trip through the nothing of Wyoming, the inside of the house looked like a tornado had hit it. (It still mostly does, since I mostly worked outside today.) Seriously, there was barely any room for one person to walk in here. And the beds and other surfaces were covered with... stuff. Junk, toys, old clothes that were in the basement... just stuff.

So here we are, at bedtime, greeted by TM wearing a bathrobe and offering the kids cupcakes, while I try to clear space for them to sleep. The month's mail was on the dining table, unopened. Including our utility bill, which is 10 days overdue, and all our other bills. There was something unidentifiable in the kitchen sink; it had obviously been rotting there for at least a couple of weeks. And the only milk in the fridge was long past its date.

Here's what you really won't believe. Even when I looked around at the disaster, smelled the atrociousness, and had to fight for a place to step, I did not actually turn around and say, "I cannot live in this filth!"

But I did think it really loud.

It's like he wants me to leave him for good next time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

As Time Goes By

Now it has really been a week, and I'm feeling a little sad that so much of our vacation is over. Feeling a little annoyed, too, that I can't get Picasa to let me log in and post pics on here. 'Cause boy, my kids are cute, and they have been having so much fun lately.

Getting into a world of trouble, too, some days. We still don't know what bit Pirate Boy on our last day of camping (Saturday), but whatever it was, it made his eye swell shut and his arm swell up like a balloon, and it was pretty sad to see. Once again my wonderful dad came to the rescue, taking care of him so well and then taking him to a doctor (who said we'd been doing all the right things anyway).

So now Pirate Boy is well again and going a mile a minute for more hours of the day than normal. Did you know the sun stays up later here? Well, there aren't all those pesky mountains to block its light here. Not so many, anyway. So we stay up late, eat lots of good stuff (pizza and ice cream tonight), play and swim and explore and visit... My kids had their first visit to a movie theater today-- Kung Fu Panda, I'm sorry to say. But they enjoyed it, so it was worth the trip.

And somehow, I made my deadline today and am more or less keeping current on my work. Which is good because we have lots more planned for the next couple weeks. After that, I have no plans at all, and that's kind of scary. I guess I'll cross that narrow, rickety bridge when I come to it.

Meanwhile, the phone at my house hasn't been ringing this week, according to TM. And even the answering machine isn't giving him clues about when we're calling. At least, he's not answering tonight. Well, we've always got email...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wild Boys

Hmm, first day of our vacation, and it feels like it's already been a week. I'd say "You would not believe the day I've had," but you probably would. It started... well, really, it started last night when we finally rolled into town (the one my folks live in) sometime after 10 p.m. after a wild and wet trek across Wyoming and a pause to run shrieking around the yard with my tiniest niece, Little Cat, who was thrilled to have her mama cat home after 3 days.

To my boys, who had spent the day in Grandpa's car, Grandma's house was "paradise." Apparently paradise is a place with big fluffy beds to jump on and a computer in your room. Possibly to use in your sleep. So after locating jammies and calling to tell Daddy (TM) goodnight, my kids hit the sheets around midnight. Not to say they actually fell asleep then. Pah.

Well, I agree about the fluffy beds, though I did more of a pass out than anything else on it. And good thing, too, 'cause just after 6:30 this morning, I heard Pirate Boy's sweet voice floating through the bedroom door: "Mama, somebody threw up in my bed last night!" Oh joy. "OK, I'm up." They slept in, after all.

Apparently long car trips, lots of junk food, and late nights in combination really don't agree with my Punkin. He was a sick little man most of the day. Between cleaning up after that and dealing with the various plumbing and medical emergencies we managed to inflict during the day, my poor dad didn't accomplish much else today. Fortunately, he likes to feel needed.

Also fortunately, Pirate Boy entertains himself pretty well. Before my folks were even out of bed this morning, he had created a new user account for himself on the den computer and installed his LEGO Indiana Jones game on it. Before dinner, he had played all the way through Raiders of the Lost Ark. And run around like a monkey with his cousin Darla. And eaten my folks out of house and home. And played outside on the swingset for hours on end.

I called TM this evening to tell him about our amazing day, but first I asked how he was doing. "What a day!" he exclaimed. "You, too, huh?" Yeah, he'd shown up for the first day of a 4-week job only to be told "Oops, we changed our mind. Didn't anyone call you?" Um, no. So he spent most of the day job-hunting and being sick to his stomach. (He & the Punkin are psychically linked, I tell you.)

As I was talking to him, I was dressing the boys for bed (multi-taskers unite-- when we can get a minute). It went OK for a minute or two, then I got Punkin's shirt off him. What the heck is he doing covered with red welts? Looks like an allergic reaction, though my folks first thought it was measles. ("No way, he's had all his shots!") Yeah. So I handed the phone to Pirate Boy and ran off to deal with that.

Sigh. Just another day with the Wild Bunch.

So now everyone's gone to bed except me. I'm up editing and doing laundry like a good responsible mama. (Yes, I already have a whole batch--more, actually-- of laundry to do on our first day here. And yes, that's after we washed the sheets and blanket from the wild boys' bed.)

It's not exactly what I expected, but I'm glad I'm here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Keeping You Posted

Just a couple of quick items. First (and most important), my Pirate Boy has turned 8 and will be baptized this Saturday by his grandpa. For reasons most of you are familiar with, this is a really painful situation for me, but I'm trying to keep a joyful perspective for the sake of my darling boy. It may be painful for him, too. He certainly looked pained when he asked, "But why can't Daddy baptize me?" He'd been really looking forward to the experience.

Second, the kids and I will be leaving town the next day for a longish stay with my family. We're very much hoping that our home and at least some of our life will still be here for us when we return. But there's no way to know at this point.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Little Announcement

... on behalf of my dear sister Sylvia, who has (you may have noticed) been missing from blogland for the past several months. I haven't heard from her much myself, what with her crazy schedule and my crazy everything, but...

She called tonight to announce the birth of the newest denizen of Neverland: a healthy baby boy delivered (finally!) by c-section, much to the relief and pride of all involved. And there was much rejoicing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

She's So Darn Predictable

Well, Satan did exactly what I said she would, within a few hours of hearing about her boy flunking. Down to saying the school was too hard and rejecting the notion that it was just as possible for her boy to pass as it is for mine. (Well, you know, it's not as hard for second-graders as for seventh-graders! No, um, comparatively, it is. Exactly as hard.)

So she's got a lawyer on the case, and she's outlined her demands, which she (and probably everyone she knows, except us) thinks are completely reasonable. And she's reminded TM that he has no money to fight her on it. I hate that woman. She's completely predictable, like the vulture that came and ate Prometheus' liver every day. And there's just as little that we can do about her.

I asked TM what he thinks we can do. I'm all for putting our house up for sale, as-is, cheap, and getting what cash we can from it before the bank takes it away. The potential lawsuit is just another reason we need to. TM doesn't think so, so we're not. His plan is to get the transcript from our last court battle, which, as some people may remember, turned out so very well.

Then he asked me, "Do you remember what year that was?"

Ummm... yeah. Right down to the date and the hour. It was the turning point of my whole life, and you're asking me? Right.

Just don't ask me to do it again.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Lasting Impressions

OK, I've had a chance to do some analysis on the kids' report cards ('cause that's what I do; I can't help myself) and some reflection on our life. Pirate Boy does have overall great grades, and #1 Son does have overall lousy ones. But the year's worth of grades tell a sad story.

Even accounting for the week of strep they both had this spring that set them back in their homework, both kids' grades slipped after last fall. More specifically, after the relationship between TM and me went to hell last fall. And kept slipping.

Dang. Maybe #1 Son would be better off with Mommy dearest after all.

I'm gonna cry.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Miracle of Miracles

Got the kids' report cards today. Finally, someone has done the necessary yet unpleasant deed: #1 Son will be repeating seventh grade next year. Hallelujah. Now of course Satan will be militantly trying to get him transferred to her obviously superior care because the school we've had him in is simply not teaching him.

It's inconceivable that he's simply not learning what they're trying to teach, or-- as is painfully apparent to everyone in this area-- that he's learning but not bothering to do the assignments that would allow him to pass. After all, the other schools he's been to have passed him every year whether he does anything or not.

And why do we not have him in those schools anymore? Anyone?

Think the current school is too hard? Well, it has been in the top 3 ranked schools in the state since its inception, and it does have rigorous standards of academics and behavior. But it's certainly not impossible to do well there. (Says Pirate Boy's proud mama, looking at all those A's on his report card.)

Several of the 7th grade teachers bothered to write notes on the grade sheet, along these lines: "#1 Son does well on tests but doesn't turn in homework." One goes so far as to say he gets A's on every test, participates well in class, obviously knows his stuff, but has turned in only one assignment for the year. So.... it's fail time.

And it's about time, too.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

My So-Called Life

Got an email today from my long-lost friend MJ, who's currently in transit from Budapest to Bangkok; it made me smile. We went to spy school together ages ago when we were both young and ... not exactly naive, but much less experienced than we are now. And with less gray in our hair. (Sigh.)

MJ asked me to send the URL for my blog again, so I did, but then I realized it had been a while since I updated. Well, I thought, that will give her a chance to catch up on the last few major catastrophes in my life. But I couldn't do that to her. So here's a short update. Well, that was most of it, honestly. ;-)

In other news, I've got some new clothes! Well, OK, I got these clothes last fall from my dear sister Sylvia, in a care package she sent when my life was falling apart. Most of the clothes fit fine, but a few of them (mostly jeans) were just too tight. So I set them aside wistfully and had a great time wearing the other stuff. But just lately the other stuff (including things I've been wearing since before Pirate Boy was born) has gotten too big. As in, falling off me, big. And I'm plenty big myself. So I decided, what the heck. I got out the "small" stuff. Zipped up those jeans on the first try. That was a couple weeks back. Now the "small" jeans are getting big on me, too.

Can someone please tell me why? Bizarro world is my new life.

Which reminds me, the marriage counselor doesn't want to see both of us together anymore until we're "on the same page" about why we're going to therapy. Although I agree with her diagnosis, I'm not sure about her methods. Maybe a new counselor.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bloody Weather

Yeah, it's been a weird weather day, as you may have heard. Twisters everywhere, power outages, school lockdowns, hail-battered cars. One of the guys TM's working with this week heard the following from a friend in a bit of a quandary: "I tried to go to work, but when I got there the building was gone. So I went home-- well, I tried to..." You guessed it, that was gone, too.

On the other hand, TM got out of work early. And our therapist canceled our appointment tonight. ("Marriage Counseling Called on Account of Tornadoes" makes an awesome headline, don't you think?) But since we had a sitter already, we got to have a date-- a REAL date. We saw Indiana Jones 4 and it was heaven. (Me: "Cate Blanchett?! Really?!") And the kids had fun, too. So it was good for us.

[P.S. I totally wanna be Cate Blanchett.]

Friday, May 09, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Feeling Weird

I am in such a bad mood; I shouldn't even be writing in public, though writing is what I need to do when I feel this rotten. I've already played several pieces on the piano, and I think my family is about ready for me to be done. I'd go for a walk but there's a thunderstorm out there. Bleah.

We were supposed to go to counseling tonight, but... well, things fell through as they are wont to do when we have no sitter. That's OK; we were scheduled to evaluate our options at tonight's session, which promised to be ugly, ugly, ugly.

TM's been passed out for most of the day/evening. The doc gave him a muscle relaxant and apparently he got a little too relaxed. Looks like I'm going to be the only functioning adult in this house for a while. (...Comment deleted...)

Cool news from my cousin, though. (No, not that cousin-- my other cousin.) Ryan's got a new movie coming out this summer (made by some guys I went to school with). Maybe he'll get his own IMDb page now, too. Sweet!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Is It Spring Yet?

I feel like one of those poor plants outside, starting to put my head up just slightly, then getting beaten down by the torrents or frozen solid by the snow. Half of last month, I had this nasty migraine, but I started to feel better eventually, and the weather was turning nice. Then one by one, the kids and I got struck down by some disease or other. There was coughing, aching, tummy yucks-- a lot like we had earlier in the winter.

I could tell the time by when the little Punkin would start screaming in pain as the medicine wore off. When that stage hit me, I understood. I wanted to scream, too. Probably would have if I'd had any of my voice left. But no, Punkin and I had laryngitis for most of the month. He's still got it, in fact, though he'll tell you (hoarsely) that he's got his "full voice back." Sweet thing.

Eventually, it got so incredibly bad that we went to the doctor. (Lack of insurance does awful things to people, doesn't it?) Well, doctors. Three doctors, five strep tests, four rounds of antibiotics: $300. Being able to actually swallow again: priceless.

Well, at least there's the tax rebate coming. That ought to cover it.

Did I mention yesterday? TM crashed our car-- or, more accurately, someone else crashed into it, and him. The cost of that is forthcoming. I wished they'd total the darn thing. It needs new brakes and tires, and we can't afford either, and we can't afford to be without them. Sigh.

I think I'll just stay down here in the dirt. It's comfortable here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mixed Blessings

Ha, what was I thinking? The migraine's on day 11, with a dollop of sinus pressure thrown in. We were supposed to go to marriage counseling again tonight, and again we have no sitter and I'm sick. The kids are well now, though, so I sent TM by himself. We'll see if he actually tells the counselor anything pertinent (like what we were fighting about last night, for instance). Or, rather, I'll never know. Sigh.

But there are other things to care about. Last night, my little sis and her family stopped by on their way back from house-hunting in the Midwest. (They caught a beauty, too!) Within an hour of their arrival at our house, before I could even get some dinner into them, Little Cat had taken a nose-dive off my boys' pirate bed and broken her tiny little arm. It didn't seem like it was that bad at first, and really it could have been a lot worse. Fortunately for Little Cat, her daddy's a vet-in-training, so he had control of the situation right away.

I still felt horrible. The poor little thing cried for hours even after getting the splint and sling on. Even after they got some of the codeine into her. Even after she should have long since exhausted all her energy and her voice. She was so frustrated that she couldn't use her right hand-- especially to suck her thumb for comfort. Sigh. I don't think either of her parents got a wink of sleep all night in our freezing-cold basement (because of course it snowed again).

I sound like such a whiner. I really am glad it wasn't worse, and that we were able to get her some medical care and medicine before everything closed for the night. Mama Cat just called to say they got home safely, which I'm very thankful for. More later, when the blue spots go away...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I have 3 days' worth of work stacked up. I'm also just finishing/finished (I hope) a 3-day migraine and a 3+-day root canal. I feel like I've got a 72-hour virus. So instead of working, I'm goofing off. Go ahead, call me a slacker. I'll slap you when I can see straight again.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I Will Not...

...allow the phrase "brains God gave a flea" to escape my lips. No matter how tempted...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bloody Hell

OK, it's not quite that bad, but you remember that root canal? Oh yeah. Went in Monday, spent 90 minutes in the chair, got what seemed like 90 shots to keep me numb ('cause I react badly to novocaine, as some of you may recall), and had a gallon of liquid sodium spilled in my mouth (ACK!), only to have the doc say, "I can't finish this in one session; you'll have to come back." Right.

So I left, my aching tooth stuffed with cotton and my twisted mouth unable to even sip through a straw. I scheduled the rest of my procedure for Wednesday and put off the appointment for getting a crown until later. Much later.

Wednesday, I only spent an hour in the chair, still got a lot of shots, but at least didn't end up gagging on sodium. The doc jabbed and poked and drilled and finally said, "I can't do this one; I'm sending you to a specialist." Argh.

Once again, numb face, twisted mouth, aching tooth full of cotton-- and no resolution.

Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like our marriage counseling sessions.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Darkest Before the Dawn

This is what it's looking like here, the night before Easter:

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lessons Learned

We're on Spring Break here. Which means that most of us are home most of the time, and that's cool. Mostly. With some actual time and resources (i.e., tax refund that came in) on hand, I finally called the dentist. I finally got sick of this aching hole in my upper jaw and thought maybe I could get it fixed this week. Yeah.

Well, since the cavity had been festering for over 2 years while I had no insurance, it's not going to be a quick fix after all. Turns out that it's abscessing and will need a root canal and a crown now. Not to mention a week or 10 days' worth of nasty antibiotics to keep it from getting worse until they can fix it. Oh joy.

I'm not sure we have that much money after all. I am certain it would have been better to spend the $85 or $100 a couple years ago to get the small filling it would have taken to keep this from happening. So the lesson we take away from this week is, don't hesitate to look something ugly in the face as soon as you know it needs it. Because it will only get uglier if you wait. OK, that's also the lesson for the past 6 months, too.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Dashing Through...

... the snow, yes, and a lot of other muck. So much going on lately. So much I want to write about. No time. Cold cold cold. Sick kids, sick husband, sick self. Over and over. Lots of work to do, no money to pay any bills at all. Creditors calling. Maybe help will come in time. Borrowing medicine from the neighbors. Finding out that I'm not crazy after all. Having writers yell at me and bosses praise me. Realizing that I'm actually better off than some people. Feeling guilty about being so miserable. Whatever whatever. Goodnight. More later.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stepping Out

So The Man and I are going out every week now. For marriage counseling. At the college. With a cute young thing named "HAHnnah" (well, that's how she says it). It might work. Anyone got a babysitter I can borrow?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Midnight Musings

Yes, I am still here. This time of year is always mentally draining for me. I usually stop and review where I've been, where I am and generally whether I'm on the right path.

This past year of course was... hard. Extra hard. And the news from last time didn't help. It represented a little bell ringing from my past life. And a nagging fear that I should have been there. I shouldn't have given up my old career in favor of my family. I could have helped. I should have... maybe.

But then I remember things like the recent escape of a dangerous criminal from a hospital in my former town back east. Apparently it's not uncommon there these days. And there was the sniper a few years ago, same area.

I really thought I had resolved all these second thoughts after 9/11. Eventually. It was another case of "I should have been there... I could have been there..." Then of course, I realized that if I had been there, I could have been dead.

So let's say we're OK where we are. At least I'm alive to be impoverished, crippled and unemployed. And I have some awesome people in my life. And who knows, maybe things will be OK after all.

More later.