Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My little girls are growing up...

I have never been afraid of change. In fact most of the time I quite enjoy it, even welcome it into my life…change has never been a huge issue for me. At 17 I chose to go to a university 15 hours from where I had lived my whole life. Change. I changed my major at least 14,000 times; in fact I remember a slightly terse conversation with my father where he indicated that perhaps I should declare in order to have my next semester paid for…I quickly decided, a lot of change there. Then after I graduated I changed my entire focus, and went to graduate school in something…somewhat related…but really? Not so much. Change again. I had kids, which at one point I was really adamant about not doing … and it changed my entire life, my entire being really. So as you see, I kind of look at change as just another adventure. Change isn’t what trips me up…it’s the moving on part.

I said I went to college 15 hour from home, but I cried until Late September missing my friends. I LOVED my school, and my new friends mind you, but I felt like I was leaving something major behind. When I got engaged, and it looked like Jamie was actually going to go through with marrying me and not run away arms flailing and screaming, I had this over whelming sense of sorrow… (Jamie is shaking his head saying NICE, Leia) Not over the getting married part, but how my relationship with my parents was going to be totally different. I believe that I actually grieved over that. Every time I see another stage of my life coming to an end… it seems to me, I have a hard time letting go. I literally mourn the loss. It isn’t that I am not looking forward to the new adventures coming my way, or the change of events, it's just that I loved the adventures that I have had, and I have a hard time letting go of them. People close to me just placate me by saying I am "passionate" about life...everything is BIG.

So you say, “WHY is she torturing me with this stupidness?” Well, here is why. I was watching my girls wave to me as they rode off on the bus this morning, and it hit me…holy crap, they aren’t little anymore. I mean they are still under my care for better or worse until 18 do we part…But they are in a new stage now. It occurs to me that I have been so preoccupied with the boy being a prominent 2…and my little girls started to grow up right under my nose!

The saddest part? I cannot even remember their chubby little faces at 2. I vaguely can, but it is like a word on the tip of your tongue that you just can’t quite say…I can remember it, but it is so fuzzy that it is hard to actually picture it…

I walked up stairs to get the diaper bag, and at the top of my stairs, I see a poem that my mother had framed for me when I graduated from college…and I cried…

And since misery loves company, here it is:
A Red Shirt- Margaret Atwood

You really should read it, it is good...not sad really, but a wonderful poem....and today, I feel lucky to be raising two beautiful girls, and how lucky they are to have such a long line of strong women to look to in their world.

Fudgey Biscuits on Barbies

On our trip my daughter brought Barbie’s to play with. Henry sat in the same row as she did, and so, reluctantly, Caroline resorted to playing Barbie’s with him. This soon erupted into fighting as Henry seemed to strip all the Barbie’s and then stare at them. My daughter, understanding that this was…well…awkward, got distressed.

“Henry don’t take their clothes off!”
…to which he would violently scream back...
Which of course was followed by the very predictable fight of “yes”… “no.” After about 2 minutes of that banter I followed up with yelling “DO I NEED TO PULL THE CAR OVER?” This worked once or twice, but I had to stop saying that when Henry answered me, yelling in his loudest possible voice, “YES! YOU DO!”

I thought that the Barbie stripping was a thing of the past, a thing of the trip…alas, no, I came in the den today and saw him playing….

ME: “Were you just looking at the Barbie’s butt?

Henry: Sly smile “Yesss” (I fussed at him for saying yeah, so now he OVER pronounces his S to sound snakeish…ahhhh the buttons he pushes!)

ME: “Why were you looking at the Barbie’s bottom?”

Henry: “Because I like her fudgey biscuits*”

ME: Restraining a laugh “why?”

Henry: “Because they are cute…like mine”

Hmmmmmmm Should I be disturbed?????? Perhaps, perhaps not….I will tell you in about 16 years.

* The origination of Fudgey Biscuits: Biscuits were always butts around here. You know, "cutie bisuits" "Sassy Biscuits" etc... and well it just popped out of my mouth one day to him when I patted him on his butt…and it stuck….so there you go…my poor children when they take anatomy are going to fail.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Vacation is Definitely Over

Our trek across the Eastern Seaboard has come to an end. I am pretty sure that my pants, that seem to be straining at the button, like a secret that has to be told, are fairly happy that it is.

In general I am not one to obsess too much about my diet...which is odd, because I do obsess over my ever growing ass, and one would think that I may have made that connection by now. (I never said I was overly bright!)

I tend to be of the mind set, "maybe if I run for a whole hour I can have Ho Ho's and Wine today." But none the less...I obsess even LESS (if possible) when I am on vacation. So my week of Smorgasbording, indulging, and complete laziness has come to an end, and what an end it is (as I look over my shoulder at my butt in the mirror.)

I found all sorts of excuses, "It is too hot to run in this beautiful 70 degree weather." "Southern Dogs are mean and I will get attacked."* "The people here drive too fast and I will get run over"** "I am on vacation, what am I supposed to eat squirrel?" and not the least of which was, "My body could use some rest time from so much exercise." Because I was like, you know, running marathons everyday before I left***, and because, yeah, rest from exercise does mean sitting on the couch with spinach dip and crackers resting on my belly and a beer on the side table...Doesn't that sound like rest from exercising to you??? To be honest, I think that the most exercise I got, was getting out of the car to walk to Cold Stone Creamery with purpose, to get first in line, and at least one push up should count since I pushed my husband out of the way to get to the counter. (The ice cream was DELISH by the way!)

So this morning, I got up at 5:15 (Not on purpose...but I live in Maine, and during this time of year, it gets light at like, 4 in the freaking morning, and the birds outside my window seem to think it is funny to chirp as loud as they can, so they sound like they are in my head, producing Alfred Hitchcock like dreams.) I stumble downstairs and get on the treadmill to run, (because it is only flipping 45 degrees outside here, clearly Maine hasn't gotten the call that it is time to turn Spring on.) I turn on my TEVO to the finale of "The Biggest Loser" and start my slow walk to hell.

The more I watched the finale, the more I could feel the roll above my butt shaking, and I wasn't sure, but I could swear that I may have developed a new roll that was shaking on my knees...but that could have just been the swelling from being old, and "resting" from exercise for a week. The more I felt all those bulges bubbling, the more resentful I was feeling at all those damn big losers...

But all ended well...I came up and had my coffee, with a cup of cream and a cup of sugar...because, I ran right????? and then I found this on the Onion, which I thought was kind of there you go...other people have the same Health IQ that I do!

* No offense to my Southern friends and relatives, but y'all got some mean ole dogs! and in my defense, I did almost get attacked by one near my parents house 4 years ago.
** The drivers in Greensboro NC could give NYC cab drivers a safety complex.
***Note: That was dripping sarcasm.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Disturbing conversations you really didn't need to hear

In a conversation about the squirrels that seem to be eating my parents house, we had a lovely revelation.

Side Note: Yes, squirrels are eating my parents house. I have never seen anything like it. They live in a brick house, yet the squirrels seem to have waged a war against the wood trim around the windows and the door frames. Having not seen them, I can only imagine what these demented squirrels must look like.

There has to be some kind of explanation for this. Perhaps they are into hallucinogens and think that their house is some kind of giant nut house... (I really shouldn't have typed that because that is leaving my parents wide open for some of my in a nut house....but I am feeling somewhat nice today, and well, I need a place to sleep tonight!)

Me: "So what are you going to do?" (about the possessed squirrels)
Mom: "I don't know."
Dad: "I am going to shoot the sons of bitches!"
Me: "NO, seriously dad, what are you going to do?"
Dad: again with the shooting of the squirrels....
Me: Feeling a little protective of the wood rats, "Well if you are going to shoot them you had better eat them." Now, why I thought that this was going to deter him I don't know.
Dad: "I wouldn't eat those things for anything."
Me: "Come on, you are from foot hills of Appalachia, isn't that in your blood or something?"
(Now mind you, I said this tongue in cheek. I am not insulting people from that area, as my family is from that area. I was only teasing....I would not condone the eating of squirrels, which is why I was a little floored to hear: )
Mom: "Well your mother would....she loves squirrel"
(me sitting there horrified picturing my grandmother turning a little squirrel on a spit)
Dad: "No not anymore, she ate 5 of them in one sitting when she was pregnant and got sick, so she can't eat them anymore."

Me: look of disgust on my face, mouth hanging open...and silence falls over the table...
Jamie: (to the rescue) "What about Rabbit?"

This was when I just said "awwwww come ON!" and everyone laughed.

*I would like to note that this is WHY I was a vegetarian for so you blame me?
**I would also like to discourage anyone from getting upset at this conversation....I love animals, so there is no malice here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hotel Stays with Children

I think that I may still be twitching a tiny bit after having spent two nights in a hotel with my three kids and my husband. I believe that I was unable to post about it yesterday because I may have blocked it out. But remembered abruptly when last night while I was dreaming I sat straight up in bed and yelled at everyone in the family. I don't think that I was screaming obscenities, but pretty sure that Jamie may have gotten a few whacks from my flailing arms.

Hotel stays with children should only be done in a suite where you can lock them in on one side, and relax and watch your finale of "Rock of Love" on the other. Otherwise you are telling them to shhhh, and oh wait put your head under the pillow, I think you shouldn't see this part. (no, really I am just kidding...kind of.)

We stayed all five of us in a hotel on Sunday night when we were on our way to NC. Somehow the thought of this sounded fine...OH yeah, the girls can sleep in one bed and Henry can get a roll away, and we can have the other bed...sounds OK right? Well yes, if you are not cheap like we are.

In our search for the cheapest possible hotel room that would not leave us with bed bug welts and unnamed DNA in our beds, we found a place. It actually was a fairly a decent place; however, because of our cheapness, we had two double beds.

Hmmmm, my husband is 6'4"...let me tell you, he doesn't FIT in a double least not the way that he should. So he lays down diagonally on the bed, and because of his tiredness and allergies, begins to snore. And we aren't talking just the little snorting now and again, or even the rhythmic big bird type of snore. We are talking b-52 bomber landing on my head snoring. So I am curled up in this little ball in the one corner of the bed that my husband is not inhabiting, trying to drown out the jet engine burning next to me, wondering how in the world the kids are sleeping...but they are, to some extent.

Exhausted, I concentrate on going to sleep...this was not the time that I needed to find out that my 2 year old son...talks in his sleep. Being true to his two years of experience, I was jerked awake periodically in the night to "NO IT IS MINE" and "STOP TAKING THAT FROM ME"

Which really wasn't that bad until the teeth grinder joined with her addition to this hellish concert I was being given... not long after that the lip smacker started her serenade. So imagine the chorus that I was trying to sleep to. It was about 4:30 in the morning when I delivered the final blow to my husbands midsection, that I finally fell asleep.

The four of them awoke clearly refreshed for a day full of activity while I was trying to pry my eyes open with my hands which I couldn't seem to function on such little sleep. I tried to just keep my eyes shut and stay very still so that I would be a wild animal trying to avoid the kill. This lasted about two seconds, then the girls started fighting over the TV remote and my two year old jumped on my head.

My husband still is wondering what my "crabby ass problem was." And I am pretty sure that my kids are still flinching when I make quick movements around them!* But I have now learned an important lesson...We created houses with more than one room for lots of reasons, not the least of which is, there are some crazy ass sleepers out there. And I have now decided that I will never again, unless I bring Valium for the kids, a muzzle for my husband, and bourbon and a sledge hammer for me, spend the night all of us in one room.**

So I learned my lesson, and I am hoping that getting it out on paper will prevent me from having further night terrors of my nights in the hotels. But I am still twitching a little!

*No need to file any reports, I did not beat them. I didn't say I didn't think about it, I just didn't do it...see how mature and restrained I am?

**Of course I know that this really is not a promise that I can keep, but I can stand on my mountain today damn it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

World wind tour of the East Coast

OK so my 30 seconds of fame are over, I am back to my regular readers, don't worry I didn't let it go to my head, and I am pretty sure that the head shots that I sent People Magazine will be returned soon.  But it was fun while it lasted!

Well we are here, mostly in one thumb is still growing back.  (However, this does concern me.  Does that mean that I am part starfish or something?  Maybe I should be concerned about the preservatives that I am ingesting?)

We have had a crazy route thus not writing yesterday.  We went to North Carolina via northern Maine...yeah I know, that just makes SOOOOO much sense you say.  Well it was all for good reason.  Let us break for a brief moment of parental bragging.  Just give me this, because while my parenting skills are not winning me any awards, my offspring seem to be thriving.  Kind of like Dung Beetles, they may live in bad conditions but they really thrive in them.  hmmm...I am pretty sure that I just compared my children to Dung Beetles that's going to cost me in therapy later isn't it?

My moms spirit is looking over my shoulder and saying stop rambling... soooo here is my bragging:  My daughter's DI team had gotten second in regional, and went to states, where they again got second.  (She was not happy with this, WE  on the other hand were, well, totally OK with it!)  For many reasons, mostly because it is pretty awesome to come in second in the state in something like DI when you are in fourth grade, but if I am really honest, also a little because first place meant going to global's in Knoxville in 3 weeks... After sitting in a car for 3 hours Friday, 3 hours Saturday, 10 hours Sunday and 4 hours Monday, my butt is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and is starting to atrophy.  I think that if I confronted it and said to sit in a car for another 16 hours in three weeks, it would break free of me and run for the border... this might not be bad, but considering my butt while it may be wide, is already flat, so being assless is not the most attractive vision I have of myself.

I know I know, this is nothing compared with the world travels of many of you*.  But let me tell you I have been in the trenches.  It isn't easy to juggle snacks, changing movies, yelling, fighting, throwing, developing life threatening consequences to smooshing food on the fabric of car seats, phone calls from concerned parents and the thoughtful responses to questions like:  "Why is NC so far away?"  "When are we going to stop again I have to pee?"  and "Why are you not answering me?" 

But we are here, my mother didn't damn me to the garage, and I am sure that there will be something insightful that will happen while I am here that will keep me torturing you with my blog.  But for now, I am going to go out side and enjoy the freaking cold weather that NC has chosen to have this week, while in Maine, it is beautiful....I would just love if Murphy would quit enforcing his laws on me!

* A funny blog that I have been reading and living vicariously through certainly would laugh at my little petty drive in the car...but I am going to whine anyway!

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Mom still thinks I should learn to spell!

I just want you to know that I was so excited the other day when I was mentioned on another blog*...other than Leila's...(because if I am really honest, it was all because of her that it was even mentioned) I called my mom.

My mom is an English teacher, the consummate instructor of literature and well...just plain old good English in general. She was very happy for me, but suggested that I might ought to quit saying "freaking" in my posts, and perhaps tighten up my writing if other people are going to start reading it.

I did the typical teenager response, because somehow I cannot seem to loose that tone with her no matter how old I get, "OH MOOOOMM, it is just my is how I talk, I am just being sarcastic and snarky"

This really came as no surprise to her, as she had many a meal with me that ended in either laughter or expulsion from the all depended on how well the jokes or teasing went over. But I think secretly, as much as she loves me, there still is that English teacher looking up to the heavens and saying "Are you serious? Could you just give me one that likes to write, AND can do it in proper form????"

It is so unfortunate for her to have me as a daughter, because if you read my profile, you have realized that, well, I can't spell...and even worse, if you have read my blog you may notice that I have a real problem with run-on sentences. You know the ones that go on and on and on with little ...'s to keep them going longer. I use caps when I shouldn't, and I put commas where they shouldn't go, and forget them where they should.

I am surprised that Leila, who has a thing about punctuation, hasn't felt the urge to stab me through the eye with The Merriam-Webster Concise Handbook for Writers. Which believe it or not, sits at my computer along with the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage, The Stylebook and Libel Manual, and the Basic English Revisited: A student Handbook. All of which were much loved presents at various times from my mom, in an attempt to make my writing better...

I am not bashing my mom, I really am not...those of you who know me, know, I am one of her biggest fans. I am just feeling sort of bad for her. I mean here she has this wonderful grasp of the English language, great at Literature, and way too smart to be my mom.

To add insult to injury, I force her to read my blog. If she doesn't, I confront her with analytics data, (which is how I know when she doesn't, because up until recently she was the only Greensboro resident reading my blog,) and quiz her on the most recent entries to see if she knows what I am talking about. And just like a mom, she faithfully tortures her self through my "freakings" and "OK's" and the thousands of ...'s, because she is a dutiful mom.

However, after writing this, I remember her saying "OH great, now you are going to make fun of me on your blog," and worrying about it...of course the teenager in me said "OH MOOOOMMM, I will not."

So now, I will say that I have a little fear a little going to her house this week, because after she reads this, I may be greeted with "I want my freaking books back and ...." But I doubt it.

So heres to you mom i am sorry that i rambel so much about nothing and i promise that i will try harder to not run on my sentences and i will try to spell a little better and i may even reference all those wonderful books you gave me because i know that you believe in me and damn it...oops i mean and goodness gracious that means a freaking lot to me...and i love you and thank you for reading my blog even though i think that it pains you as you recognize that i am no erma bombeck but just remember that you did break me of having the maine accent so at least you have one thing in your corner love you see you on monday if you will let me in the door.

(after reading that, her head is going to pop off...and Leila's might too! BAD pie BAD BAD pie.)

*if you click on the blog link to Fusenews and go about half way down, you will find the entry about pie. I now have this one on my reader, because well, I am just so ... freaking excited!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The backpack was nothing...

We are headed out for holiday. This week is spring vacation and since Maine seems to be just starting to bud, we are going to see my folks in North Carolina where we thought surely spring has flung. But, when I looked at the weather, it seems that in Maine we are going to have pretty, in the 60's days, and in NC we are going to have thunder storms and yucky weather...So now I'm all "Oh great, going down south for freaking vacation! yeeeehaaaw"

I should already know this, but it seems to take me by surprise every time...taking a trip with 5 people, is much like preparing a bomb shelter you intend on living in for the next 6 months.

It can't be as easy as just getting the kids clothes into a bag...because you know, that would be easy. Since I live in the freaking Arctic, and it decided to snow into flipping April, I had to venture up into our attic to pull down all their summer clothes (which we have yet to even dream about wearing.) Then all those clothes have to be tried on, because apparently, I am part HUN and my children are ginormous and grow like 40 inches a year...(OK so maybe that is a tiny exaggeration, but seriously, my budget can barely keep up with their leg and foot growth!)

After many bribes, tears and beat downs, we finally figured out what will and won't fit. And having to convince my 9 year old that the shorts she wore last year have to go to her sister, other wise she will be offered money at street corners, and, no, that was not a good thing, was not easy. Being the eldest, she really does not like to share, and definitely NOT with her little sister.

But we managed, and only with one side my younger daughter has decided that since we got out all the spring/summer clothes, she should be wearing them to school already. You know? There are only so many battles that I can stand to have with them, so I just smirk to myself as my 6 year old stands shivering in her sandals and shorts waiting for me to scrape the ice off my windshield. Now, don't get all "that is so mean," we won't have ice much longer....Consequences, I am teaching her about Consequences I tell you!

Henry on the other hand, cries if you put short sleeves on him, because, being the creature of habit that he is, he has grown accustom to long sleeves. So he just cries and pulls at the short sleeves and asks where the rest of the shirt is...I seriously wonder about him.

ANYWAY, I am in the midst of piles of lovey bears, snacks, clothes and bags, and cleaning all the growing things out of the Hopefully we will be able to have a good know, after the 15 hour drive full of "I have to pee." "How much longer?" "Caroline is touching me, tell her she can't touch me." "Can we listen to Hannah Montana one more time?"

and "Wait, are you leaving us here on the side of the road for good? Or are you coming back to get us later???"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A quiet day of reflection

Last year on this day I was stopped in a museum while I was on vacation in Virginia with my kids and in laws, because I had a Virginia Tech shirt on.

"What is going on? Have you heard?" A frantic teacher on a field trip with his kids, said to me.

"What are you talking about?" I had no idea that what I was about to hear, would absolutely break my heart.

"32 are dead, it came over my Blackberry... 32 are dead at Tech, something bad happened" He too was an alumni searching for any information he could.

My first thoughts were, a collapsed building, a bomb... many things, but I never imagined on MY campus, a person would go on a shooting rampage that would forever link a place so close to my heart, to a tragedy...and that never again would I be able to say where I went to school, wear my shirts, hats, or have people see the stickers on my car, with out first linking it to that horrific event. All I wanted to do was call my Dad. A fellow Hokie, he surely would know what was happening.

I ran into the shop where my family was, "I need to get out to the car, I need to call my dad, something is happening at Tech, people are dead...I have to get out to the car"

I called my father, and the minute I heard his voice, I knew it was bad. I knew it was bad because my father sounded like he was going to cry.

Let me just say, I understand this may sound strange, to feel this way about your college. Yes I do understand, but if you have ever met someone who went to Virginia Tech, or if you have gone there yourself, you know. You know what it is like to be a part of that institution. You know what it means to be a part of Hokie Nation.

I cannot explain it in any other way other than to say, I knew Hokie Triumph as a kid, I knew "Hokie Hokie Hokie Hi," I always thought that Maroon and Orange together was a fine combination, (growing up with an Alumni Father has its effects.) And I can say the minute I saw that campus for the first time, my blood changed to Maroon and Orange. That is MY school, that is My heritage, and at that moment, with my fathers wavering voice, and the sinking feeling in my gut, my heart bled.

I spent the rest of my vacation glued to the TV. Watching, and then saying "I can't watch anymore," only to find my self in front of the coverage again. The pictures flashing by on the TV seemed surreal. Those were places I had lived, places I had taken classes, professors I knew...It was too much to really believe.

In the end, 32 people were killed, 33 if you count Cho, who should be counted as he died too. One of my husbands professors was killed, and a historical building that we both took classes in will be forever haunted by these events.

In the end I was thankful for many things, as we all are when we reflect on a tragedy that touches our lives.

I was thankful that my school, that I held so dear, was able to pull together in a moment when many would have been torn apart. They defended their school, they prayed together, they showed mercy and forgiveness, and in the end the word that kept coming to my mind was grace. Virginia Tech showed true grace.

I was thankful for the outpouring from other schools, even our rivals. The support of the country, and even the media's ability to leave the students alone after they had their stories.

I was thankful for having been in VA when this happened. I was able to attend memorials, and convocations. I was able to mourn with people who truly understood what I was mourning, and were mourning with me. And I was comforted by hearing the masses chant:

"We Are Virginia Tech"

Transcript of Nikki Giovanni's Convocation address
Delivered April 17, 2007

We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.
We will prevail.
We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.

**These Pictures were from friends, some I took, and some were on the web

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just a Question

If you were going to get all mad at someone and get the balls to call them and yell at them....wouldn't you make sure you had the right person before you started your tirade on humanity?

Better yet, when they told you that you had not called the "Ho-bag" you intended, but rather the town library, wouldn't you stop and think it through?

Nope, that would just make too much sense. Last night while working my little shift at the town library, all innocently doing statistics and checking out books, minding my own business, doing the "stamping 2 weeks" thing...I get a phone call.

I say (in my ever so perky library phone voice) "Good Evening, Kennebunk Free Library, this is Leia speaking, can I help you?"

An apparently, violently jilted, patron started talking over me: "OH yeah right, I don't want to hear it, I don't want to hear it from you..."

I clear my throat, obviously taken aback by the seemingly angry patron, who must be pissed about having to renew a book or something, who is currently still exploding on the phone with various expletives and insults..."Excuse me? Um...this is the library..."

Violent Ho lady: "You know he told me you have been flashing it all over town, I don't want to hear it from you..."

Me: " you know you called the library?"

Phone line goes dead.

2 minutes later same person calls, Leila jumps to the phone,

Seemingly calm patron asks "Do you have a notary at your library?"

Leila: "Nope"

woman hangs up....I can only assume to go drown herself further in her Bourbon after realizing that she just yelled at a librarian for "flashing it all over town"...and then, face burning with the acknowledgment that they have caller ID....

We did not hear from her again last night.....

Monday, April 14, 2008

I finished a book!!!!!

I know I know, it IS totally awesome huh? amongst the death trips of my son, the fighting of my girls, the mounds of laundry and dishes...I finally finished "The Book Thief" -Markus Zusak Recommended by Leila.

I just want to say, it was just a great read. A wonderful heart filling book. I am not a good book reviewer, it ain't my thing, but I can say that it was kind of a cool perspective. The book is written by Death. But I have to say, no one else could have been the voice of this book. It read beautifully, and even though you kind of know where it is going...because you is DEATH writing, it was gripping and lovely. If you click on the link to the Book Thief above, you can read the had me from hello!

So anyway, good read, if you are up for it.

An acknowlegement of my real age.

I do believe that I am not 25 anymore...I know this because after I put my contacts in I have to remold the shape of my eye, where my skin has lost all its elasticity and stays all crumpled up where I pull it down otherwise.

I know this because the much in-style tube top has made me have to jump off the fashion train. If I wore one of these, it would be so low that people would wonder how I injured my knees, and why I have them wrapped together like that....

I know this because I can watch touching shows, or adds, or info-mercials, or sporting events, or boxing matches...and get choked up at the beauty of it all. (I do believe that sappiness must come with age...what up wit that?????)

I know this because even though I had a sick desire to watch "Rock of Love" I was so disgusted that I felt I needed a shower after watching it for 10 minutes (This feeling was validated by my other not-25 year old friend Dana) And I will never admit to watching it, but last night, I was TOTALLY pulling for the "old" lady to win...instead of crazy Daisy with her silicone body and GINORMOUS lips, and she did. NOT that I watched it or anything....

I know I am not 25 because now, If I have too much wine, I can no longer get up in the morning and know that the bags under my eyes (large enough now for a substantial vacation packing) don't disappear by noon, but instead grow darker and bigger as the day goes on... and I am hoping that after Saturday night, (when I thought I was still 25,) they will disappear this decade sometime.

But alas, not all is lost, I can still read the YA books that Leila recommends and feel that I have something in common with these characters, we are both searching for something. They are searching for their future self...I am searching for my past self...but, we are both searching... Granted they are searching on the World Wide Web and through their I-pods, and I am flipping through newspapers and 45's but hey, who is keeping track?

Well, with that, I will get on with my old self and eat something soft, like soup for lunch! Have a good old day y'all.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Gotta Love it!

And.....There's the cherry on top!

So, this week has been just stellar...and by stellar, I really mean sucked.

This week solidified my disqualification for "Wicked Awesome Parent of the Year", you know, since my son seems to have a death wish. Kids can be challenging, OK fine, I get it...but I was not prepared for the world of the Y chromosome. I had these two girls. While not perfect albeit...they were relatively safe...meaning that I didn't fear their lives in their own hands.

Henry on the other hand...well, he is a whole other animal. At 1 year old, he tried to crawl out a window in our den, thankfully on the first floor. I was in the kitchen and hear him yelling "HI". It sounded like it was coming from the outside, so I frantically ran out side only to find him smooshed between the screen and the window standing on the sill yelling "Hi" to the birds in the yard...yeah I should have been sufficiently warned at that point...I know. But clearly I am more dense than that.

I have thankfully gotten him to 3 with only minor visits to the Dr. But yesterday alone, He fell top to bottom down the stairs...I came flying around the corner to see him tumbling head over heal and bouncing to the bottom of the stairs only to land on my exercise ball (which he had thrown down the stairs just before he threw himself down) which then bounced him into the living room like a projectile doll. Now you are saying to comes the, not yet. He was fine, cried about his chin that had apparently hit something on the way down, but all in all was unscathed, and I think got some joy out of being bounced on the ball.

I put him down in his room, after I made sure that his pupils were still straight and there was no irregular drooling or anything. Only to hear a huge collateral BANG about 20 minutes into his "nap." I ran up stairs to find his dresser collapsed onto the floor with the drawers out. He had pulled them out to use them as steps to getup to the top to get something...thankfully he escaped being crushed under large furniture, and was standing there looking at me, like "did you see that??? that was soooo cool."

I know that you child proofing gurus are shaking your head and wagging your finger at me..but you know what? GIRLS DON'T DO THAT STUFF...How was I supposed to know that the Y chromosome makes 2-3 year old's have brilliant ideas like "lets see if this 400 pound chunk of wood will sustain my balancing act and jumping routine!"!?!?!

THEN... yes folks, the story is just not over yet, I went to pick my girls up at the bus stop. We live on a long dirt road that walks by a little waterfall/pond/death trap, what ever you want to call it. Every day the girls and Henry want to stop and throw stones in the pond. I am always lecturing them on pond etiquette and stream safety...I really am. (my sister knows how weird I am about that!) Henry wants to throw stones in, so I am holding his hand on the low bank, I let go to put my hood up, and SPLASH. Yup you guessed it, my little man falls IN the stream...which is probably 20 below zero because at this point it is flowing with newly melted ice and snow...I yank him up carry him home and put him in a warm bath.

All is well, but some how, I am feeling a little beat up and just done. I have to tell you it was a 2 glass night! (of wine that is)

But the cherry on top? I cut the tip of my thumb OFF cutting my apple. Now I know that I have a tendency to exaggeration, so I can see you all rolling your eyes and saying...oh pie, you are so funny....OK, NOT FUNNY. The top of my thumb now has a divot in what happens when I try to drive off the tee golfing with my mom...yup that is my thumb. It hurts like hell, but I am pretty sure that I didn't mix any thumb with I guess that is the bright spot.

I am glad that it is Friday and Jamie will be home, because I am going to need help inflating the bubble that I am putting Henry in until he is 25, and searching for thumb pieces on the floor......

Have a good weekend all....signing off to bolt all loose objects down.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Since we are all serious and stuff today...

Here are a few pictures that someone sent me via email...had to laugh...but it hurt to laugh...because I just finished bending over a the gas pump myself this morning!
Those of you who know my Agriculture Educating, Gardening, Farm Loving, bad self, may wonder why I haven't already thought of those sheep....I think my new neighbors would be pissed! LOL

Did we need MORE reason to Hate Wal-Mart???

Okay, so most of the time I am a fairly go lucky person, live and let live I say. But I tend to get really pissed off when the normal, trying to survive person gets hammered by a fortune 500.

Now, I do understand that this seems to be the new precedent in this country, but I don't have to like it. This story totally blew me out of the water.

The problem is, I get that Wal-Mart is very inexpensive... It is hard during these economic times not to go for the best price.... I can't say that I don't darken the sliding doors to hell either but seriously, This after they tried to amputate our feet with their poison flip flops???

Although it should come as no surprise that Wal-Mart will out live the mosquito's, after the whole Life insurance scandal thingy. (Which I was sure was true until I read this.)

So, I know that I have just had you binging all over the Internet reading incredibly boring articles on the evils of Wal-Mart...but doesn't it make you mad that a company that we support with our hard earned dollars is doing what ever they can to take even more of them in dishonesty and greed??? And I don't want to hear that damned...well that's Capitalism for you. Lets just not go there, But lets not go somewhere else either....WAL-MART.*

OOOOH look at me all political and everything....hmmm I am going to have to sit on a whoopy cushion in the library or something now to make up for the seriousness! Have a good one, and remember, don't wear toxic flip flops it could ruin your day.

*I would love to say that I will never go there again, and I know that I have cut down a great deal since the fear of my feet falling off, but I have to be IS hard to stop when you have to make our incredibly weak dollar go a whole lot further.....SUCH A QUANDARY.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Things that make you go HMMMMM

I have to admit it, I have had a book on my list as being in my bathroom...which it really isn't anymore, it is in my workout bag. because frankly, going to the bathroom was more interesting to me than the book was. I decided that when I was on the bike at the Y, and trying to think of anything other than if my fat butt was falling over the edges of the bike seat and the fact that sleazy screaming weight lifting guy* was checking out my fat butt very conspicuously and smiling in the mirror, was a better time to try and digest Eat Pray Love.

It isn't that the book itself is all that bad. Except for the fact that it is someone who was paid to be incredibly self absorbed and all, you know, "my life is so horrible because I left my husband, and got paid to go on this big trip to really cool places and whine incessantly about how horrific it all is, when there are people starving and living in squalor, in the countries that I am visiting."

I don't begrudge her, her heart felt journey through the torment of men. I believe that we have all been there. You know, begging at the feet of the biggest ass in the world (Gary), and thinking that maybe, just maybe, you could degrade yourself a little more and he would love you for it (he didn't). (Not that I like to admit that, but there have been times of weakness in my past too...don't tell)

But I had to draw the line of bathroom reading material and change to exercise reading material when I just couldn't take that book more than 2 times a week. (Now you know why my butt is falling over the edges of the bike seat...only 2 times a week does it sit on it!)

I mean who can write about their menial life almost every day. The boring ins and outs of every emotion and know, who is that self absorbed that they could do that and think that anyone would find it remotely entertaining....HMMMMMMMM Kind of like a BLOG??????? Perhaps I should give it another chance and put it back in my bathroom...and stop being so judgemental! LOL

* There will be more on SSWLG later, because, you know? He just needs some writing.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Survival Tips for Grannys Dr. Trips

So here I am, another day of drudgery that I have decided to have you go through with me! At least the sun is shining and my bulbs are coming up. That sounds dirty, but it isn' perennials really are coming up...through the 8 feet of snow and everything! (OK so I am exaggerating a bit again, only 2 feet)

So, I am IMing with my sister, we are figuring out who is going to take the next trip out to NH, to take our grandmother to the Dr. It is only an hour away, but with a two year old, it can be a little bit of an adventure, and we both have one of those. (two year old that is)

You have to pack as though you are going on a month vacation...
1. Change of clothes: Because if you don't have them, they WILL pee all over you , the car, passers by, what have you. (Of course Murphy's Law, if you do have them, they will be complete potty trained delights...)

2. Many toys: As Many toys as your "mom purse" can handle. This prevents the inevitable bad situation where someone is pouring their heart out recounting the terrible day a bus ran them over, and how now they can't see buses with out having a panic attack, and seconds later a bored two year old comes barreling in singing "The Wheels on the Bus." Which leads to mass chaos, screaming people, wet pants, and well, that could really set someone back a few years...And all because you forget to bring enough freaking toys to the office. This scenario however, still ends a little better than if you forget to bring toys to the OBGYN that is just bad all the way around!

3. Food: Because when all else fails, you can bribe and cajole with food....Yeah? What of it? Yes I do realize that my kids are probably going to grow up associating food with all sorts of things... rewards and bribes mostly...nutrition? Not so much. And yes they probably will be sitting on the same couches, pouring their hearts out, and not being able to figure out why they have an uncontrollable desire for Dunkin Doughnuts every time they enter a Dr. office, or pronounce a word correctly. But you know? We all do the best we can with what we have...and Maine has a Ton of Dunkin Doughnuts.

4. Dress them up really cute: Most people have a really hard time getting irritated with the kid that is all dressed up in a sweater vest or a cute dress....I know that sounds mean, but it is true. When my kids go out in their normal attire of Peanut Butter smudges and Jelly stains, people look at them, more with the "who is this little Nit?" disapproval, then the "oh how cute they are"look. But let me tell ya, smooth down the sticking up hair, and put on a sweater vest, and Henry can charm the crabbiest of them!

If all else fails,

5. A parenting book: Preferably one called "How to Be a Great Aunt to a Bad Kid" That way when your kid starts acting really bad, you can just point to the book and shrug your shoulders. You get all the kudos for trying to be a great aunt to the problem child of your sibling, and none of the blame for their terrible behavior! (My sister right now, is going, Damn, why didn't I think of that!) If you can't find a book like that I guess you could always just to ask around if anyone knows where this kids mother is....

So there you have it, my survival tips for the day at the Dr. in NH. We haven't hammered out who is going, but with a plan in place, we will both survive no matter who gets the short straw! (Not that we MIND going to the Dr for our grandmother!)

Friday, April 4, 2008


Is it fair for me to have books out of the library for a month or more at a time? Keeping them from other readers who might take a gander at the cover and say ahhhh that book looks interesting… Maybe, Maybe not. But let me ask you this… Is it fair that I was given the gift of reading so slowly that I could fall asleep between sentences?

Or perhaps I should ask is it fair that I get interrupted between each word with “Mom, she’s hitting me,” “Mom can I have something to eat?” “Mom, I am hungry,” “Mom, Henry peed in his pants and locked himself in the closet” “Mom my head is stuck in the banister” “Mom I think I need to go to the hospital here is my finger, can they sew those back on?”*

I mean really,….can’t a person read?

Thank goodness I work at the library and am fine free….I would have added a wing on. But I still do get haunted by the “Thursday Overdue” calls. Maybe I should tell them when they check out a book to me that they should just take it out of circulation until I return it, because it may take me a year to read the freaking thing!

I know I know….It is only a moment in time, and someday I am going to wish I had a medical emergency to interrupt my reading…Maybe.

*No children were harmed in the writing of this blog. All references to maiming and blood were fictitious so please stop calling CDS on me, thank you.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Dreaded Backpack

I have discovered a new black hole. I know it seems hard to believe, but it has been in my house for some time, and I never noticed it. My daughters Backpack.

I have noticed it being a little odoriferous lately, but I wrote it off to mud puddles and that gross winter school smell know the one, of peculiar cafeteria meat product, wet boots and kids that don't shower regularly? I will admit to mine being one of the delinquent bathers but seriously, who wants that battle? I write it off as our water conservation methods.

THEN the other day I was forced to retrieve something from the dreaded backpack. Now I am concerned that a missing cat from down the road might be nesting in there or something. It was nasty. And if her backpack is any indication of future pocketbook storage, she is going to be in for some serious chiropractic bills.

I found shoes, lip gloss, papers, crayons, stuffed animals, books, barbies, tissues (which I used tongs to dispose of because it was very unclear whether they were used or not.) There were a few unidentified things too, that may have been petrified art projects...or lunch... or friends she brought home to play, I am not sure, but they got trashed too, and if a parent calls looking for someone, I am just playing innocent.

Somewhere between the rolled up papers, the still wet, smelly mittens, and the unidentified sticky stuff on the inside of her bag, I simply just got too scared to continue. I am not sure all that has been lost to that backpack, but I am waiting for it to grow legs and start attacking family members.

I do realize that this is probably another indication of my Wicked Awesome Parenting skills. I realize that there are those of you shaking your head as you read this, because you regularly wash out the back pack and clean the kids and stuff...well...sorry. I feel pretty good when I wash their jackets. And that is usually only when we are out and I get the real pity looks from people as though they believe that we have just crawled out from under a bridge to go shopping for some more duct tape to repair our beds.

I am sure however, that my mother will read this and laugh at me, because I am pretty sure that my backpacks were the same way... I did not receive the title of "pack rat" for no reason at all and perhaps that is where our family pets and friends came from, they too got sucked into the black hole of my backpack as a kid....BUT COME ON, DOES KARMA ALWAYS HAVE TO WIN???????

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Not for young viewers

Hopefully this doesn't offend any ones sensibilities. My uncle sent me this picture titled "Snorkeling in Maine" earlier today, and I just had to laugh...This totally was a bunch of guys after a party one night...

"Hey Bob..I dare you...Double dog Dare you....awwwwww you wussss (nicer language used here)...Who would we tell?????"

And here we are folks, a few weeks later on the Internet and now in a blog....POOR BOB

Redneck Maine gardening at its best

Someone sent this to me, and I don't' know whether to laugh or look on the neighboring road to make sure that it isn't them! I swear, I am going to do a calendar someday of beautiful gardening equipment like this. We had someone down the road use their old heart shaped tub as a planter last year....thankfully this year they have sold it...lets just hope they don't have any fancy urinals in their house or something.
Although this year, we won't be planting until July when the snow melts so maybe I will be in luck. LOL
Have a good day everyone!