Sunday, March 31, 2013

Why must we make this an epic conversation???

Our 17 year old daughter is a junior in high school. Let's name her LaVern because she really is pretty dingy some days.

Every day LaVern calls me from school for something. Usually it's to come home for the afternoon seeing how all of her classes end at 12:50. From 12:50 until 3pm she sits in study halls. Sounds mighty boring even to me. Personally, I'd just go to sleep. LaVern is kind of on that same page, so she calls me.

Every time I answer the phone she says the typical "hi, mom." To which I would reply something like "hey, what's up?" Not that I don't already know-we repeat this every. single. day. This is where I expect to hear "will you call and let me come home?" But why would one of MY children make life simple and do the logical?

I think they know they have to give me fodder for my ramblings.

Instead of stating what she wants (while she is in the office on the office phone) she thinks she needs to have this casual conversation with me. "What ya' doin?" Do you REALLY want to know what I am doing? Because if I tell you we'll be here for hours and I am pretty sure Phyllis (the secretary) would like her phone back. She has a JOB to do AND she has to answer all of the phone calls coming in to the school. On the phone you have in your hand. If you've read to this point in this blog we all know that I don't actually SAY this, it's just what is running through my head.

I've gotten tired of this routine. But it wasn't always so. Once upon a time I'd have said "Working on yesterday's work for CA(my business), payroll for RGF(Ragnar's business), several sales for CC(dad's business) and then I am going to tackle the mess you left in the bathroom this morning. What you doin'?" To which LaVern would have answered "OH."


"Can I help you?"
Which is where LaVern would remember that she really did call me because she wanted something and reply "yeah. Well, can you call Phyllis (who is sitting there listening to the whole conversation. WHY she can't just hand the phone to Phyllis is beyond my comprehension) and let me come home instead of sitting in study hall?"

Here is where you get to see how the kids all got this stupid gene...
I'd ask her "WHY?" I REALLY did that-many times.
Well, DUH! Because she has 2 hours of study hall and nothing to do. Would you want to sit in study hall for 2 hours when you could come home and do your homework in your own room with all of your favorite creature comforts and great junk food to snack on? NO. I didn't think so. But me? NO!! I have to ask her" WHY." I'll bet I did that 50 times before I quit. And it's not that I didn't know why. I did. From day 1 I knew WHY and totally understood it. I guess I just felt I had to answer a question with a question.

WAIT... let's take this backward one more step beyond my own Stupid Gene.
Miss LaVern is one of THOSE students. The one all of the teachers just love-and not because she's the straight A, goody-two-shoes type either. She's full of common sense and pith. God only knows where she got that from. She says things how they are and the teachers find her charming, hilarious and absolutely a joy to be around. Glad I did something right!
However, seeing how the teachers love Miss LaVern so much they let her get away with MURDER. If she wants to go wander about and visit her favorite teachers? OK, go right ahead! When the hall monitors find her without a pass? She simply tells them she's in So-and-So's class and So-and-So said she could go see Whose-it's-bod down the hall. AND THEY LET HER GO!

She's also 'special.' Seeing how she has 2 hours of study hall and they know she doesn't have anything to do SHE'S ALLOWED TO HAVE HER PHONE! In our school they are SUPPOSED to keep their phones in the lockers. Not my kid. Noooooo, she'd be bored so she can have her phone. Of course, all of her friends don't have this luxury privilege so they are in classes without their phones. LaVern has no one to text. Except me! Because we all know I am at home eating bon bon's and just pining away for someone to text me.

Did you ever notice that it takes a half hour to have a text conversation that would take 2 minutes if they'd just call? And NOTHING else gets done in that 30 minutes. Ooops! I forgot. I don't have anything else to do besides wait on her texts.

Twelve text messages later (when I finally figure out that she's not going to quit bugging and I have gotten NOTHING done) I FINALLY tell her that I've really got to go get something accomplished. This is when she goes to Phyllis' office to call me.

Which leads us back to the actual topic of this post: The Phone Conversation. See paragraphs # 1-4 if you have lost track of what I am rambling about today.
She calls and we go through the hello routine and she asks "what ya doin?" I've quit answering that. C'mon. You want something, get to the point here. Instead of the expected "nothing" or actually telling her what I am doing I now answer with "what do you want?"

I know this sounds rude, but really. I know if she is calling from Phyllis' office she wants something and USUALLY I know exactly what it is. There have been times when she's called for something else. It's rare, but it does happen. So, c'mon now, you're tying up Phyllis' phone and we're not here to chat and catch up on my day. Spit it out and tell me what you NEEEEEED me to do now.

LaVern's answer to that? "Well, if you are in a bad mood then I guess nothing." Then silence. Not "goodbye" or even getting huffy and hanging up. She waits. What the heck is she waiting for? Me to tell her what I am doing? Because frankly, she doesn't give a damn what I am doing, she just wants to come home. So, SPIT IT OUT for God's sake! Noooo, she waits until I respond with my very soft, quiet sing-song voice of "La-veeerneeee, what do you need?"

Usually when that voice comes out they KNOW. If I am yelling I am harmless, but when I am dead quiet, calm? RUN LIKE HELL. Not LaVern. In her 17 year old wisdom she knows she's out of reach of the hairy eyeball and my talons. In her happy voice she finally spits it out. We can just cut and paste most of paragraph 8 right here: "Well, can you call Phyllis (who is sitting there listening to the whole conversation. WHY she can't just hand the phone to Phyllis is beyond my comprehension) and let me come home instead of sitting in study hall?"
To which I reply "OK." She says "goodbye." And I have to call Phyllis back-with LaVern standing right there. Could she hand the phone to Phyllis? NOPE. Gotta hang up and have me call. I have Phyllis on speed dial.

So, what I want to know today is this: WHY can't we have a simple conversation that goes something like this:
L: "hey, Mom"
M: "Hey, LaVern, what's up?"
L: "I'm in Phyllis' office, can you tell her to let me sign out so I can come home?"
M: "Sure, hand the phone to Phyllis..."  <insert conversation with Phyllis>
LaVern gets in her little red hoopty car and comes home. The end. Less than 5 minutes.

Why must this be so complicated? I know I work in a LOT of spare time in my days, but it's MY time. If no one is home? It's more precious than gold and diamonds!! Don't you DARE try to take it!!! This is my mini vacation that gets me through the rest of the day! Say what you have to say and get it over with!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

On-line Safety and Bubbles.

I've just realized I live in a bubble. Well, maybe not JUST realized, but... I am realizing that it really does show how much I live in this little 2000 square foot bubble.

I am a member of several forums from photography to mom's to DIY and construction and a few odd bits in between for excitement. I do know that this is the INTERNET. People can be as stupid as they please here and no one will ever know.
In the immortal words of Brad Paisley: "I'm so much cooler on-line."

I really do love Brad Paisley. He's got a great sense of irony and sarcasm! We're kindred spirits.

Back to my bubble.

As I was perusing the forums this morning I ran across some posts that really got me to thinking that "people really should get out more."
Then I looked at where I was sitting. AND what I was wearing.
Which prompted me to thinking: if I am thinking that these people on-line really should get out more-as I sit here in my pajamas, looking like day old sushi with NO plans to get dressed (if I don't get dressed I don't have to go outside my house)-there might just be a problem. "Those People" must NEVER leave their homes! That got me to worrying about Those People.

A lot.

They must not ever be allowed to leave their homes to get out into the real world!


Which is totally not the topic of this post. Of course, if you have read any of my other posts before this one you already know that I must be an attention deficit child because I tend to go off on a LOT of tangents. But, in each one of my posts I really do (eventually) get back to the topic at hand: The posts that got me to thinking to begin with and the bubble.

Today's post was in a mom forum and it was one of those ones that could, plausibly, be a real person. So off I go to help said person who is just distraught and needs help, guidance and support from all of us worldly wise mom's who actually get out of our houses once in a while. Do you see the irony there? If you are posting in an on-line forum of mom's who are answering you on a daily basis the chances that they are OUTSIDE their bubble? Slim. Just look at where I am. And what I am wearing AND why I am wearing what I am wearing-I don't WANT to leave my bubble to see the real world. It's scary out there!

Did I ever mention that I have a problem with run on sentences? If you could hear me TALK those run on sentences are great. Maybe a bit funny even. In writing? Not so much.
I have REALLY got to see the doctor about that ADD thing.

Back to helping this poor, distraught mom who has been wronged by the world. Did I stop to think that Poor Mom's story was a little "itchy?" Nope. Not at all-because I live in a bubble. From my bubble I am saving MomKind everywhere with my wisdom, compassion, caring and guidance.

What is  an "itchy" story, you might ask. Well, it's the story that is just enough of plausible that you can believe it, but then again it's just enough of outside the norm that it makes you say "hmmmm"

But, you give the original poster the benefit of the doubt. After all, MOST people on the internet are real, honest people. You only run into those few once or twice in a lifetime, right? 

I also ran across a troll yesterday, so this one can't possibly be one of THEM. I've met my quota.

So, I answer her back with compassion, empathy, firm advice, a dose of common sense with a personal life lesson to let her know that she's not the only one who has been wronged by the world. In my defense I do have to mention that I am not the only one who answered as if it were a real live person on the other end of the computer. Some of us even answered her a couple of times

OK... it is live person behind that computer; just not one that needed the advice she was asking for.
Not that I've figured that out at this point. NOOOOOO! I am still concerned about her and ready to help her slay dragons!

Then she comes back with some more suspicious, but plausible claims. Hmmmmmm... itchy.  As she answers those of us who are ALL real, worldly people, those claims get even more bizarre. And grotesque. And really really really outlandish. Even predators, abused women and children and those living in that kind of environment know not to say that shit. Ever. Anywhere. Not even online. Anonymously. This is where it finally dawns on me: she is a TROLL!

Here is where we actually get to the "got me to thinking" part of this...

WHY do people troll? WHY? What the heck can you get out of that? AND!!! Don't you have anything better to do? What is the point?

I am an idiot. Slow witted and all. It hasn't even dawned on me yet that this isn't a mom at all. My sheltered little brain is STILL thinking LOGICALLY. We are in a forum that you have to be a MOM to be a member of. She MUST be a mom, right? She MUST have children and she must be female. Or at least he feminine part of a gay couple. Though I am not so sure a feminine gay guy would join a mom's forum, but I'd still be OK with that.

Do you know that it took me until someone else said "... there do seem to be a shit ton of trolls this week. Lots of kids on spring break."
DUH??? She doesn't have to be a mom or an adult or have children or even a woman! "She" is probably some pimply and plump 13 year old boy who had sex ed last semester and is on spring break.

The point or the why of trolling would be to get idiots like me to answer. Then to laugh at how stupid I am. I bit and swallowed that one hook, line, sinker, pole, reel and right up that little troll's short, fat, little, pimply arm. {insert huge face palm}

Now that I have rambled on through this story, as I always do, you might be wondering what the moral of the story is. I am not sure there is a MORAL to be had here, but I do need to wrap all of this up in my closing paragraph. Somehow... Without leaving you hanging for the end and scratching your head saying "hmmmmmm, that 'lady' is a nut job." I've never claimed total sanity so, that may well be true. BUT...

Closing this story: I live in a bubble. I really do. I am sheltered and I really kind of like it that way. No one needs to come rescue me. Besides, if you did come rescue me you'd probably be scared shitless when I answer the door in my Scottie dog PJ's that say Jingle All The Way looking like yesterday's sushi. Hopefully I don't smell like yesterday's sushi, but it's not a pretty sight. Not sure why my husband even comes home if he has to see THAT every day. I am not always this slovenly and lazy. Spring supposedly started 8 days ago and this is the view out of my living room today.

Back to the moral of the story and all that: Being the "oh-so-worldly and wise" mom that I am I harp on my children about those troll people constantly. They've been educated 7 ways to Sunday about how people aren't who they say they are on the internet; the dangers of internet friendships and all of that. I am the one who has educated them in this!!! Yet I can't even manage to figure it out for myself!
I have GOT to get out of my bubble more often and see REAL people-not those cool on-line people. I've also put a nice little sticker on my monitor to remind me that people are "so much cooler online."

You can't fix stupid. I've tried.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lesson #1 If you want a clean and sanitary home: don't have children.

They are not conducive to clean or sanitary in any way. In fact, neither are men, but they can be trained better and easier than children.

I've figured out why kids dorm rooms are messy and, well, just plain gross. Low and behold:
It's all their parents fault!

This epiphany came to me as I was cleaning the kitchen sink today. I discovered all this ICK around the little handle thingy on the faucet. WHAT IS THAT SHIT? OH. MY. GOD! I was horrified!
Then I decided the faucet was running like crap and had to take it apart to fix it. Guess what? It wasn't broken at all! I Just needed to clean it!
No one ever taught me that you had to clean in THERE. It is NOT in the Wiki either. I checked

She didn't tell me that I had to do this stuff! Actually, I am pretty sure she never did this stuff. WHY didn't she have sink crud? Who cleaned that stuff out of there?
Never once in my life did I ever see my mother cleaning IN THERE. I never saw her take the faucet apart. I never saw her soak the shower head when she cleaned the bathroom. She didn't have to do these things!

The sink is just the tip of this iceberg. I've discovered a whole plethora of things I KNOW my mother never touched.

I never knew you had to clean inside the seal on the refrigerator. Did you know this? Have you done that lately? If you haven't, go lift it  up... You'll be SHOCKED.
While we are on the subject of the refrigerator, I am pretty sure my mother never had to clean footprints out of the bottom of  her refrigerator either. HOW do footprints get in the bottom of my refrigerator? WHY does anyone in my house feel the need to STAND in the bottom of the fridge? There are no small children here. The smallest is 13 and 5'3" tall. He can see the top shelf in the fridge. Believe me, there isn't enough there that he  has to look over and around anything to find what he's looking for either, so let's just not even go there.
How about UNDER the refrigerator? DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN. My mother never taught me that you have to clean under there!! And I am pretty sure SHE never did that. Where does that sticky gooey nasty stuff come from?

I will admit, I am not the neatest housekeeper by FAR. I believe in sanitary (for the most part) but clutter is a fact of life around here. On any given day there are 3 teens still living at home as well as one overgrown male child/husband. I will admit he's pretty well trained and it's only taken me 20 years!!! In the immortal words of my mother "dog hair is a condiment" around here and cat hair is part of the charming decor. I can't keep it gone. Feathers are another of those quirky things that are a fact of life around here. I can't keep up with them and I've allowed myself to let them become a part of "normal." I am OK with that. I am not OK with gross, crud, slime, grime or anything with creepy crawlies in it.

Speaking of gross, that brings me to the toilet. What gets under the toilet seat on a daily basis? I am NOT OK with this. How does THAT get there? I can see how boys could pee up under the seat, but it seems to me that they'd then have a wet seat on their britches so they'd have to make sure it's 'tucked' down in there right. Don't forget that I don't have little boys either. I have 3/4 to full  grown men/children living here.  How do they poop up on the underside of the seat? That boggles my mind. No wonder there is never any toilet paper at 3 am when stumble in there to pee. They've had to use it all to wipe all of that poop off their bizarrely misshapen butts. I just find this to be nearly impossible. Yet every day or so when I wipe down the toilet there's poop back there. I can almost conceive of how this might happen if you were grotesquely fat and... well, that image is not one that I really want to have in my brain, let alone share with anyone. No one here is grotesquely fat. I'll admit I am over weight, but at a size 12 I am not grotesquely fat. Or at least I like to think so.

Then there is the dishwasher. OH. MY. LORD. Clean that seal once in a while. Heck, just clean the inside of the dishwasher. This WASHES my dishes. WHY do I have to wash it? It doesn't make sense.
The washing machine and dryer too! Those are the bane of my existence!!! The well trained husband does almost every stitch of laundry in our house. I do the occasional load but, it's not often. The one time a week that I might use them they are covered in dirt and crud and and and... I don't know what that stuff is!! Low and behold, you also have to clean out the drum and innards of the washer. This does make a LITTLE sense to me. Think soap scum ring in the bath tub after a day of making mud pies. Did you know there are products specifically made to clean your washer?

Speaking of cleaning products... WHAT THE HECK??? Thankfully I have learned the error of my very expensive cleaning habits since adding parrots to our home. They're a bit on the delicate side and therefore I have switched to using white vinegar for my main cleaning 'chemical.' Vinegar however, doesn't smell so good so every once in a while I get the urge for something to smell pretty and buy one of those cleaners. I don't understand WHY people continue to clean with them. They leave more residue than the dirt layer I was trying to clean up. And that residue seems to suck dirt to it like glue so you have to clean again-only faster! Which just lays down ANOTHER layer of the residue. Not only do they leave a buildup, they also work like crap. I can soak bird poop in a little vinegar, water, lemon juice and peroxide and it wipes right out of the cage. Not so easy with Mr. Clean, Pine Sol or the other myriad of cleaning products I've tried. Short of oven cleaner (which I haven't tried because of the delicate birds) there isn't anything that works as well as good ol' vinegar.  The smell can be dealt with if you mix it with lemon juice, peroxide and water. T Throw a little baking soda in there and you can clean everything and anything. Like Sink Crud. And bird poop will put ANY cleaner to the test. That stuff is the consistency of tar with the sticking power of super glue.

I feel betrayed and let down. I can't believe my mother didn't teach me these things. I really think she secretly had some cleaning lady who came in when I was at school and did these nasty jobs. My mother refuses to cop to a plea on that one and insists that SHE was the queen of clean and that she DID do these things. I don't believe her for a minute.

I wonder what it will cost to have a cleaning lady come in and do these things?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Trade School Rep comes to visit.

Last week, during one of Gulliver's required appointments to job search for the welfare program, he met up with a representative from Wyo-Tech. After which he came back and announced to me that he was going back to school. 
SCHOOL???? Inside I was saying "there goes a few grand a semester of taxpayer dollars so he can sit on his ass and not even go to class..." But at this point? I'll take anything. Whatever, Gulliver. Just tell me what you want. 
Yesterday the rep from Wyo-Tech came (to my house-Gulliver couldn't have any human being show up at the disgust where he lives.) Naturally that meant some inconvenience on my part. I have 2 dogs and 3 parrots. One dog is blind and mostly deaf so he bites when things are out of his norm. The other one THINKS she's a lap dog at 85lbs. They had to be tortured into our bedroom for the visit where the 85+lb English Bulldog sat at the door crying these great sobs and aligator tears the whole time. The parrots think if someone talks they need to talk. The Meyers parrot lets out an ear piercing screeeeech to which the African Grey answers with her own squeak or a woop that is designed to get you to STOP talking and pay attention to her. Which only starts the Macaw to SCREAMING at decibles that don't even register on any man made test. NONE of these birds-even the little Meyers is the size of a parakeet. And they are residents here with LARGE aviaries in my common rooms. I can't just move them all that easily.  
Gulliver couldn't have Wyo-Rep come during the day when everyone is at work or school either. NOOOOOOO, that would have been common sense. Instead we'll make the appointment for precisely the time that EVERYONE is arriving home. And they don't arrive all at once off one bus either. That would be too easy. 
If you had stood in my living room during Wyo-Rep's hour plus visit it was worse than standing in downtown Manhattan during a traffic jam. I am pretty sure when the towers fell there was less noise. Wyo-Rep had a DVD with music that played while you waited between segments. It was supposed to be light background music for Wyo-Rep's speech in between segments. The music on that DVD alone was enough to make me want ear plugs-but that's was the least of my problems. The music set Bailey (the ear piercing Meyer's Parrot) to screeching. Lilly the African Grey MUST answer Bailey EVERY TIME he screeches. She gives out a great screech of her own or a woop that reminds me of a low tuning fork-amplified. She truly hates Bailey and has to use EVERY opportunity to tell him so. At full Volume. Times A LOT.  After about 5 minutes of that Harley the Macaw had just about had enough. She started SCREAMING at full volume. Have you ever been to the zoo and heard a large parrot scream? It will peel the paint off a wall.
BUT WAIT! That's not all!!! At the same time I have 3 teenagers who come barreling in the door all full of happy sauce seeing how they're out of school. Every one of them shouting over the parrot noise to be sure that I heard with all of the things they want and need-RIGHT. DAMN. NOW!!! In the background there is Bell the Bulldog sobbing uncontrollably because her people have locked her in only TWO rooms-how dare they. 
You would think an adult make would be able to come through the house and not add to the problems. I mean he can clearly see and hear what is going on. Not to mention that my texting fingers were fast at work warning him that Gulliver would be having Wyo-Rep at the house when he got home. Nope. Evidently Raknar the caveman thought that Wyo-Rep would be here for all of five minutes. Does that man REALLY have so little common sense??? HOLY DUH??? Do you think Raknar can come home and take his boots off quietly and either sit and listen quietly? OR... Better yet maybe go console Bell the Bulldog's sobbing? OH HELL NO. He has to charge through with his club, grunting and generally adding to the cacophony of noise already at decibiles off the chart. But hey, what's one more noise to add to this symphony we were creating?
While all of this is going on and Wyo-rep is droning on about how he has the greatest opportunity of Gulliver's lifetime.
I am trying to scurry around unnoticed to keep the noise level to at least a bearable level. All 200 lbs of me with absolutely no grace at all. Think Bull in a china shop.  Armed with a spray bottle and treats for the parrots, my sternest MOM look and a bone for Bell the Bulldog, I am running from critter to creature to child to caveman trying to mute everyone.
That's when Wyo-Rep felt the need to include me in this conversation RIGHT. THEN. Um... excuse me? Gulliver has been on his own since he was 16 and if you think ANYTHING I say to that child is going to make a difference in his stupid decisions you are truly delusional. Now, could you please let me TRY  play zoo keeper?
Is there still a zoo tycoon game out? I'd be an amazing zoo keeper. 
I kid you not. Right in the middle of all of that noise the ice and snow on the top roof of the house gave way. I thought the roof was going to cave in. The thunder was so loud you'd swear that lightning struck dead center in the living room.
And all was silent.
For a second.
I was dumbfounded. Struck utterly mute. I couldn't even laugh it was so pathetic. And all of the children who had been shooed off to their respective corners came clamoring down the stairs at full tilt. The thunder wasn't quite as loud as the ice, but imagine 3 mostly grown teenagers charging down the stairs at full tilt. No carpet to muffle any of that noise. Oh, no... with that may animals in the house we do NOT have carpet. All 3 of them want to know (full volume) "WHAT WAS THAT???" Now, I really do want to know this... Why couldn't they send ONE representative from the pack? 
At this point I am pretty sure Wyo-dude was fearing for his life. BUT! He's a professional and kept right on-a-going! I can only imagine him telling his wife about the afternoon's appointments. He's probably standing in the unemployment line after yesterday. I know I'd have quit my job and run for the hills if I were him. He was truly a professional and kept going till the end.
Of course this wasn't really all that comical as it was happening. I was pretty sure I was going to cry at one point and the level of embarrassment was off the charts. I have confidence that Wyo-Dude (now DEAF Wyo-dude) completely understands why I need a very long vacation somewhere tropical. Where there are no children. Or parrots. 
Just wait till I tell you about the Gulliver part of this travesty. The kid really isn't so bright you know... I think I might have mentioned that somewhere in my ramblings about him. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What to do, what to do??

I'll bet you didn't know I am HUGE trash to treasure junkie, did you?

I'd like to show you my latest find:

It's a crib, in case you can't tell.
Brand new, but broken. VERY broken on the actual front side of that piece.
So, what shall I do? Got any suggestions? I have the side rails too, they're just not in that picture.
Whadya think?

Dear Mother Nature, we need to have a little talk with Jack Frost.

It is March 27. We are now SEVEN days into spring. Not winter. Spring. SPRING. Ess-pee-rrr-eye-en-gee S-P-R-I-N-G.  
The view out my window?

We need to adjust things a little bit here. And don't go playing the "northern climate" card on me. 
I do not live in Alaska. 
I do not live in the northern reaches of Maine. 
I don't even live in the southern parts of Maine-or anywhere near it! 
I live in New York. I am about half way between 40 and 45 degrees latitude. 


I am glad you want us to know that you have some power over that nasty Global Warming. It really is a deep concern. However, you don't need to prove your point now
Christmas was in December. We didn't have snow for Christmas this year. Do you think maybe we could re-arrange things a little bit? I'd actually be OK if we only had snow for the Christmas holiday, but I know that is asking a bit much. So, I will suck it up and deal until spring. Every dog has it's day and all that jazz. 
Notice that I didn't call you up and ask you to cut it short seeing how I am not a winter fan? I have been patient and understanding. After all, winter is the time for snow and I don't live at the equator Or even at the 35th parallel. My fault. I take responsibility for that and I'll hibernate for those winter months I hate so much so you can have your time. 
I am sorry, but your time is up on March 20th. I am not even overly fond of early spring with all of it's mud and muck. I am more a fan of the blooming things part of it, but I'm eagerly awaiting the mud and muck after this winter. If I am actually looking forward to it there has got to be something wrong. 
Or hell has frozen over-and I am pretty sure it has. Just look at my back yard. There's a foot of snow there and it's coming down by the bucket. 
So, I'd really appreciate it if Jack could give some courtesy to the OTHER seasons and get the hell out.  
Thanks so much for listening! 


Do you hear that? NO??? You don't hear anything out of the ordinary??? Well, that would be because it's PEACEFUL here!


BUT WAIT!!! THE KIDS ARE HOME! And it's still peaceful!!! Well, Gulliver is at Gulliver's home, so that helps a little. I do have the 3 who live here, the daughter's girlfriend and the husband and it's STILL QUIET! I don't know what to do with myself!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In my last post I was worried about Bertha actually being pregnant. Wellllll, let's back that bus up and run over this dead horse all over again.

I might just have jumped the gun in believing this story. In fact, I am really thinking I should be concerned about her mental state. Really. This morning I am very confident there is no pregnancy of any sort going on in that... cavity. And all pithy remarks aside? I think there really is something not right in the cerebellum.

This is a soap opera, isn't it? Am I on candid camera somewhere? This is going to be a colossal joke eventually. Right? Today's tidbits make me think twice-and I am sure you'll agree.

After I typed yesterday's novel I realized that I hadn't asked Gulliver and Bertha about the sonogram they had on Friday. Which, naturally, I have to give even more back story on... A couple of weeks ago Gulliver and Bertha decided she should be roughly 4 or 5 months pregnant. Skip forward a couple of sentences in that same conversation and someone must have realized that they'd told me she had a hysterectomy and they said that it must be in her tubes or an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic is a mighty big word for her-really. I am serious. I was shocked she knew that word. I am surprised she can grasp the concept that a pregnancy could possibly root outside the uterus at all. ANYWAY... THEN they say that they're feeling this baby move. {Beano will fix that} Well, make up your mind here. Because if it's an ectopic or tubal preganancy it's NOT viable and would have burst or could have even killed HER by this point. Probably wouldn't feel movement so much as PAIN??? Not that I've ever had one. I really am guessing at the pain part.

Back to this sonogram on Friday. Gulliver had a doctor's appointment at 9:30 and Bertha had to be at the hospital for the ultrasound at 9:15. HE DROPPED HER OFF (is that bell going DING DING DING yet?) Bertha had the ultrasound and then blood work done. Gulliver went to the doc appointment. Then a reverse loop was made from the doc to hospital to pick them up. I didn't go on this trip. I let Gulliver take my truck. When they brought the truck back I didn't see them.

Yesterday I realized that I hadn't asked how the ultrasound went. So I asked. This is the response I got (verbaitm):
Bertha: Dont know anything yet waitin for the results
To which I asked: Didn't you see the ultrasound?
Bertha: No they wouldnt let me i know for sure they checked my gull bladder

{{{{insert huge face palm}}}}

Really??? I'll add that she's picking out crib sets and posting all about this baby's wish list on Facebook, and to my mother, Gulliver's sister-in-law, the family in general...

So, you go in for an ultrasound on your 5 month pregnancy and they won't let you see it. They don't ask you if you want to know the gender or give you pictures or show you your baby's heart beat or... Well, ANYTHING??? Uh huh...

Now, I realize I had my babies back in the stone age. I mean, after all, my youngest is FIFTEEN! That's a lot of technology change. Did I mention sarcasm? HOWEVER, when I have had an ultrasound for ANYTHING-and I have had ultrasounds done in that hospital by the very same tech that did hers-they showed me what they were looking at. They don't give the 'diagnosis' but they show you that this is your parts and all that. If there is a baby in there they show you it's hands, feet, head, heartbeat... And if there were a 5 month ectopic or tubal pregnancy they'd have called the doc and had her into surgery like yesterday. Gulliver has no children. Never been there done that. No ultrasound picture or due date to him? OK. Me? Sorry, 15 years isn't THAT much of a leap in time and if anything the technology has IMPROVED instead of heading back to the stone age. Hell, Gulliver is 21 and his older brother 24. Even then I got due dates and pictures of them. And I saw them. Of course, someone had to pound the image out on a stone tablet and carrying it home was a real b*tch, but I got the due date and keepsake photos.

Which leads me to a very REAL dilemma. Not that I won't sprinkle that with my own brand of sarcasm and pithy remarks. You know I will. How do I tell Gulliver-whom I have tried very hard to be positive and encouraging to-that his girlfriend is full of BS (and possibly mentally f'd up)? I have detested this 32 year old woman.. THING since the day I laid eyes on her. Gulliver and Bertha don't know that. Really, maybe I shouldn't have taken my own advice and flat out told him she's a piece of sh*t. I really am at the end of my tether this morning with those two HER. Well, mostly her. He's not without issue here.

Sarcasm aside, I really am wondering if there is some mental issue at play. She's really carrying this farce a looong way to keep him from telling her to take the high road. hit the road. There is no high road for that one... She's going to wallow right down that dirt road during monsoon season, in the mud.

Did you ever think while reading this that it might just be a VC Andrews novel? I could become the next writer for the family and just use all of Gulliver's travels.

Letter to my Coffee Pot.

I love you, coffee pot.
You make my life complete.
You ARE the reason I get up in the mornings.
If it weren't for you the world would be a dismal place,
seen through these micro sized slits of my eyeballs.
Thanks to you, however I can see the world with my eyes wide open.
You make the world a beautiful place to be.

I've made a promise to not let the important things in life go unsaid.
ANY life can be ended in the blink of an eye.
I learned that when the microwave died an unexpected death..
There was so much left unsaid between the microwave and I.
I need to be sure to tell you how I feel.
Just in case.
We've been together for several years.
I know your getting tired out.
You have been the most loyal and giving of friends.
I am honored to be your owner and master.
I promise only to give you the best of blends for the rest of your days.
I will polish you and make you shine every day of your life.
You will get the best of care I can give to you.
Thank you for being my friend and companion.
I love you, coffee pot
with every fiber of my heart.

The story of Gulliver and Bertha

In every family there seems to be that one child who is completely different than the rest. Kind of like the Ugly Duckling-only in personality and everything BUT looks. Mine definitely looks like me. There's no getting out of claiming him genetically. The #2 son is that child for us.
I had thought to name the 6 kids after The Chipmunks and The Three Stooges, but I've decided to call this one Gulliver. It just fits him so well and I can't seem to let it go. So, he's Gulliver.

Why does the name Gulliver fit him, you ask? Well, he's pretty gullible, goofy, funny... He has a knack for making you laugh by making himself look like a goofy oaf. He's really VERY intelligent, but doesn't seem to use it at all. Dumber than a rock. OK, Captain Obvious k. "Here's your sign" kind of dumb. Not an ounce of common sense to be had.
Let me tell you a bit about "Gulliver" and our current comedy from him. Or maybe it's tragedy. That sounds more like it

When he was 15 he got a job in a restaurant. We thought they'd fire him within a week. Lazy, zero work ethic and all that. He turned out to be an amazing employee and I was really proud of him. We thought maybe that was what he needed to realize his potential. Yeah, no. That backfired on me too... He had $ that other kids didn't have and could do things other kids couldn't. He thought he was doing so fantabulous that he quit school and moved out. He's since quit or lost the job. Can't remember which now. And the OLD work ethic is back. He's done NOTHING for probably 3 or 4 years now.
He met this "girl" who is actually 11 years older in YEARS but about 5 years younger in maturity and intelligence. Yes, she is 32 years old and started dating him when he was 17 or 18. She at the time was 28 or 29. That's a story for another day.
Back to the topic at hand here: We'll call the girlfriend Bertha because it kinda fits... Just picture Honey Boo Boo's mom as 5' tall in a wife beater and sweats with a chicken leg in one hand and a rolling pin in the other. Bra is optional.
Bertha has 2 children from a previous marriage. The ex-husband has those kids because she has the same work ethic as my kid-NONE-and no sense of responsibility. Welfare city. In fact they are living in what is lovingy referred to as "food stamp camp." Trailer park full of welfare recipients. BUT!!! They aren't paying any rent or anything, they're living with others of their kind. Gulliver and Bertha have been together for the most part for probably 3 years now.
The responsibility level between them is non-existent. Respect for society and/or laws? Well, we HOPE that is developing. Drugs-not heavy, just pot and what the kids consider to be the minor things. OF COURSE they don't seem to think that it actually does anything beyond getting you high for now and shouldn't be a problem. After all, there is no lasting effect and you can do your job just as well as the guy who isn't toking up. Did I mention dumb in there somewhere? Thought so.
He's done 6 months or near to it in the county jail for following a kid who broke into the firehall. They had the whole thing on video. Gulliver sat on a picnic table. The other went to "pee" and broke in. Then he came and got my kid and said "hey, the door is open!!!" and my dumbass son went on in. Brilliance and common sense are not his strong point. THEN he SWORE TO GOD that it wasn't him on the video. It was. I watched it. He stood there looking at his stupid mug on the screen and SWORE it was someone else. After he had admitted he was outside the firehall. So, your dopple ganger showed up when Bozo the Clown broke into the firehall while you were sitting outside blissfully ignorant of what was going on? I wasn't even born in the dark and it sure as hell wasn't last night.
Now, if I were Bertha I'd have smacked him stupid-not that it would take much. When they had her kids here he acted like a friggin 2 year old and would flat out be an ass so he could go off to smoke pot or play video games with a friend for the whole time. I was embarrassed by his behavior for her. That left her and her kids with us while he sailed along with his dope head buddies and played Call of Duty all weekend.

I refer to the whole lot of them as termites when they come to my house. EVERYTHING disappears They consume EVERYTHING IN SIGHT. I swear that soap and shampoo gets poured down the drain. They can eat a whole box of cereal in about 30 seconds flat. Laundry soap disappears like there's no tomorrow. The list is endless. I cannot afford them. One weekend with them is HUNDREDS of dollars.

Neither one of them feels that fidelity is a virture to be cultivated and they've both screwed around. Bertha decided to go spend a month or two with one of their friends a few months back. The ex husband won't let her see her other kids unless I am responsible because he knows I will actually get the kids back-she won't. She intends to, but failure to plan doesn't exactly work when the kids live an hour and a half away. Can't walk them to the corner!  SO... she wanted to see her kids and came back to Gulliver.

A year or two ago Bertha supposedly had a partial hysterectomy. VERY good thing, she should be spayed. I thanked my lucky stars on that day. Well... you know where I am leading here.

So, now Bertha is pregnant. Not sure how that happens when she supposedly had a partial hysterectomy, but... I thought for sure when I heard this it was a sympathy thing to get Gulliver to take her back after she got bored sleeping with the friend. I remembered the partial hysterectomy story. An Elephant never forgets! Yeah, well... Evidently I didn't hit the lottery this week because it turns out the hysterectomy story is the lie and she is pregnant.

Which leaves me with a million thoughts and feelings and worries swirling about within me. The first two kids were taken for good reason. This won't be any different. She TRULY doesn't see what she's done that isn't in her children's best intrests or it's all someone else's fault. Never hers. Same with good ol' Gulliver. And frankly? He sucks as a parent and would prefer to rule by force. Bertha's little girl is 7 and still has bed wetting issues at night. I threw him out of my house over punishing her for that one. 1. it's normal up to and even beyond age 10 and 2. HE had no right to punish her.  AND where the hell did he learn that? Because he was a bed wetter and never was he punished for it. Nor was he ruled over with an iron fist.
I digress... back to topic. So I can see this train wreck coming. We already have a "foster" of sorts here. He's 13. My own kids range from 15 to 24. They're grown long past baby, terrible twos, potty training, kindergarten and all of that crap. I know I'll not have much choice in the matter when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan.
THEN my logical mind thinks WAIT... that baby may well not even be his. In fact the dates indicate that it's a DAMN GOOD CHANCE. Logic, however, should never figure into this pair. And the other prospective father is even worse than Gulliver. Heavy drug dealer, abusive...

OF COURSE, Bertha and Gulliver have NOTHING. They've no clue how to care for anything and everything is disposable. They consume everything they touch. The trailer they are in had carpet. They've destroyed it and now they  have plywood floors. I bought them sofas about a year ago at a thrift store. Very nice, newer in really great condition. I would have even put them in my house. They needed them more. One sits on their front porch with the stuffing spread from here to Christmas and back. The other they ended up hacking up and using for firewood after it went to the same fate.

Back to the owning nothing. They need everything for a baby. I did TONS for my older son when their babies were born and I'll do the same for the rest of the kids. It's a grandma's right to do those things! I WANT to do it for this one. But, I also know that everything I buy will get ruined and tossed out. IF the baby gets to use anything more than once I'll be shocked. I am torn here. I am ready to go shopping in the baby section and have a ball!! But I don't want to because it's not going to get to the baby anyway.

And while we're going BACK to things here there's the whole custody thing. I know what's going to happen and I wish I knew what to think or feel. IF it's my grand baby I will gladly take it and deal. Then again how am I ever going to know and really? If its not I wouldn't turn a baby away anyway, so why the heck is this even rattling around in my head? Yet, I still want to know and I REALLY want to slap the stupid out of her. Hell, out of both of them!

Now that you've read my novel... got any words of wisdom for the mom who is usually the one full of words? There is sooooooooo much more I could add here. I have done everything I can from trying to help them find work to them living here to letting them destroy my camper living it it, transporting them everywhere... Lordy, you name it.

I am thinking a vacation in a warmer climate might fix everything instead of worrying about it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

I am Mom! Hear me ROAR!

I've always thought it'd be fun to write. I have tons to say. And-BONUS-I can type really fast!
My life is probably not that different from any other wife, mom, working adult living and breathing in the United States of America today. Well, I suppose everyone is a little unique, but the idea is all pretty much the same. Life is crazy at the best of times and scary as hell most of the time.

I live in New York with my husband, a few of our children, couple dogs, a couple cats and three parrots. Notice I didn't mention HOW MANY children? There's a reason for that: I never know how many live here on any one day. Now when I say I live in New York-NO! That does not mean the city. There is a WHOLE state up there, not just NYC. In fact, I live as far as you can get from NYC and still be in the state of NY. In fact, it's about an 8 hour drive to get to NYC from my house.

Let's discuss those children a little. I've GIVEN BIRTH to four. Now, I am sure you realize that if I have to say that, there's a hitch there. We've taken in a couple of strays over the years, so we consider ourselves to have 6 children. They are as follows: Son #1, 24 years old, married with two children. Stray #1, 24 years old with a girlfriend. Son #2, 21 years old with a girlfriend who has two children. Daughter #1 and only, 17 junior in high school. No, she has no children, thank the heavens. She does have a girlfriend. Son #3, 15 years old. Freshman in high school. No kids-hopefully not for a long time. Spare #2, 13 years old and in the 8th grade.

To complete the family dynamic there is my husband. What can I say? He's been around for 20 years now so I guess he's a keeper. After all, he's almost trained and he has a lot of smiley face days lately. Once in a while he gets the mister yuck face, but after 20 years he's figured out how to navigate around my moods pretty well without stepping in the poop. It's just a bonus that he hasn't wanted to bump off any of our offspring yet. Well, maybe he's WANTED to, but he's never acted on that desire so I think we're pretty good. Lord knows I've wanted to bump all of them off at one time or another. They have made him bald, poor guy.

Here's where I have to give you the disclaimer. Life is crazy, hectic and at times downright hell. I use sarcasm and humor because, frankly, what else can you do? If you let it get to you this would be a mighty depressing world to live in. I figure if I can laugh at it, the world hasn't beat me yet. That doesn't mean I am heartless and that I actually SAY these things to my kids. This is just the reel that runs through my head. In fact I think we'll change the names to protect the innocent in this blog. It might be pretty scary if they ever heard the thoughts rattling around up there.
I like to think of it as a combination of Jeff Dunham's Walter, Peanut, Si Robertson with some George Carlin and Bill Engvall thrown in for spice playing along in my brain. Damn I love those guys!
In short if you find my pithy comments, wit(less) replies and sarcasm offensive? Well, I guess you should move on along because this isn't the place for you. If you want the snuggly, motherly side of me? Come over and visit-maybe, on a good day. If you want to know what's going on inside my head as I smile and pretend to be super mom on the outside? Grab a cup of coffee. It's going to be a long and interesting ride.