Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wisdom, Schmisdom!

The best part about my older two children having birthdays is the shopping.

Inevitably, the subject of my children’s ages will come up sometime during the transaction. Mostly because I will have made some purposeful and obvious mention of the fact that I am shopping for my daughter or son.

"How old is your daughter?" the unsuspecting cashier will politely ask. Not that she cares, but it’s her job to pretend.

"She’s 20," I reply in the most disinterested, un-smug, voice I can muster.

And now she’s interested for real. "Twenty?!," she’ll exclaim. "You don’t look old enough to have a 20 year old!"

And there it is, folks. That right there is the sole reason I voluntarily gave birth at 18 and again at 20--so that twenty years later I could have a happy little pick-me-up twice a year.

Ahhhhh . . . satisfaction.

I still haven’t come to like this ‘being 40’ thing. I’d probably best get a grip on it soon, because eventually, I’m not even going to have 40 to cling to.

Happily--I have one great genetic thing going for me. We are not a beautiful people. We aren’t overly blessed with great talent of any sort nor with Nobel Prize worthy intellect. But much of my family looks far younger than they really are. I got a little of that. Hallelujah!

Upon meeting most people, I am thought to still be somewhere in the mid to late 30’s range. I like this very much. And some poor fools actually place me in the early 30’s region. Please bless these liars and flatterers during their time here on Earth, for they are surely on their way to hell.

But now, in my new job, I am seeing things that are worrying me. A lot.

Many of our customers are older folks. They look old. They sound old. They smell old. And they take lots of medication to combat old type infirmities. It is beyond me how they could possibly let themselves go like that.

I’m not going there.

Hearing aids and canes? No thank you. High blood pressure, failing eyesight, declining bone density--keep your distance.

I haven’t yet formulated a plan, but I’m working on it. Old isn’t for me. I’ve decided. And that’s that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Secret Life of Huckleberry

Our dog is beloved. The entire neighborhood adores this dog. People stop by on an unvaried schedule to visit with her and give her treats. Several folks have actually offered, "If you ever have to move and you can’t take your dog, we’d love to have her."

But she’s not fooling me. I know she’s mischievous and ill-mannered. I know the real Huckleberry.

My hubby allows her in the house in the evening. I do not. She does, after all, have a dry, warm place to sleep on our covered porch.

Her hair is too long and gets everywhere (and does outrageous things to my allergies,) she doesn’t stay in the dog bed Hubby has provided her, she sneaks into the garbage and generally does whatsoever pleases her puppy heart.

Hubby, however, is a softie and looks at me with sad eyes and tells me how cold it is outside for poor little Huckleberry. So the dog is allowed in.

This morning when the alarm went off at 7, I got up and made my way through the still dark house to the kitchen. On my way, I stepped on the warm furry tail which was nowhere near the doggy bed. Huckleberry, disdainful of the house rules, had settled herself comfortably in front of Youngest’s bedroom door.

Knowing she was in trouble since I was the one to find her, she scurried over to the door which leads out to her pen--as though she had been waiting in the hallway so I would notice her and let her out. She had been doing me a favor . . .

Later, after breakfast and a shower, I went to the living room to put my shoes on just before leaving the house. That’s when I smelled it.

By then, it was light enough for me to see The Nastiness Which I Could Smell. But this wasn’t just one little doggie pile. This was a freaking trail of upset puppy tummy--upset because of the garbage she had snacked on all night . . .

The Nastiness Which I Could Smell turned out to be several small, loose-ish piles all over the living room carpet. And a wet spot near the couch. And speaking of the couch--is that? Could that be? NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Dog crap puppy prints all over the white couch.

"Sweetie," I softly spoke into my sleeping hubby’s ear, "the dog that you allow in the house has left you some gifts all over the living room. Have fun cleaning that up."

And off I went to work.

Just see if he lets the dog in at night anymore : )

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Value of a Dollar

Beautiful is learning the for-real costs of being a grown-up. She recently moved out on her own again--rent, groceries, utilities, deposits . . .

And for some time now she has paid her own vehicle and medical insurance costs.

Life is expensive.

She came to the pharmacy to have lunch with me today. She was there for less than an hour. In that small span of time she saw a whole lot of how our operation works--including the location and contents of the safe where the controlled drugs are.

When she left, she had but one request for me: "Hey, Mom, if you ever turn to a life of crime--snag me an asthma inhaler? Refills are just so expensive!"

Now there’s a practical girl!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


almost 24 hours
I can make it to 24
just 24

push for 48
48 hours
leave it alone
one more day

42 hours
I couldn’t bear a moment longer than 42
it was almost 48 . . .

start over again
just go for 24 hours

think of it like a long trek
like the Iditarod
don’t think of the 1150 miles
don’t think of the brutal terrain
the unforgiving elements
just try to get to one more sunset

but . . .
the race has a finish line
the pride of accomplishment
my goal is nothingness
an unbidden agreement with loss and void

the alternative?

pain ebbs
humiliation morphs into a less hideous memory
but rejection . . .
f***ing rejection

I have nothing tangible
nothing to show for it
I ache for something to hold on to
to look at
proof it really was

it’s best that no object exists
else it would become worn with constant remembrance
it would become a talisman
it would become something it never was
it would keep me hopelessly tethered

another grueling 24 hours have passed
push for 48

something occurs . . .
why isn’t the stabbing pain as sharp?
why doesn’t the hailstorm of moments carry the same sting?
is this healing?
is this growth?
is this resignation?
or is this recognition that it never really was as important as I allowed that other me to believe . . .

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

big news

Yesterday we celebrated a fun milestone:

We have no more teenagers!

Yesterday was Beautiful’s 20th birthday. Number One will be 22 soon and Youngest is still 12. For another 10 months--no teenagers.

It’s not really that big a deal. I enjoyed having teens. I deeply appreciated my relationships with both older kids once they hit 14 or so. The separation portion near the end of the teen years was a bitch. But overall, teens were great.

I’ve mentioned before that Youngest is a young 12. Not matured yet in mind or body. Which is kind of nice since he’s "the baby."

So it just figures that last night while getting ready for bed, he made an important announcement.

He came out of the bathroom and told me, "Hey, Mom--I think I’m hitting puberty!"

Are you asking the same question that Mister and I asked each other? "What was he doing in the bathroom that he suddenly realized the joy of oncoming puberty?"

I calmly asked him, "Oh? How can you tell?"

I know, I know! It was a stupid question! But I was so concerned with keeping a nonchalant exterior that I couldn’t form a coherent (and non-dumbass) question.

"Umm . . . " he hesitated a bit, "Just changes."

"Cool!" I happily replied.

He continued, "And yesterday I noticed my armpits really smelled bad for the first time!"

I gave him a hearty thumbs up on that one. We had a good laugh and discussed deodorant.

My ‘No Teens and Their Attendant Issues’ celebration sure was short lived . . .

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

a tip

I'm sharing my wisdom. Please take thorough notes:

So. If you rush home from work and change quickly for your kickboxing class, make sure not to forget the sports bra . . .

There are no accompanying pictures for this post. You're welcome.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

show and tell

I am too bitterly sad and disappointed right now to write anything fun. Maybe someday I'll manage to make a story out of my disappointment and mourning. Maybe not . . .
In the meantime, here are some photos from July when Number One Son summited Mount Rainier with some friends.
From left to right:
A dude, another dude, a different dude, Number One.
He does not share his sister's fashion sense.
Let us not speak of it:
I'm not sure who originally sold this activity as "fun,"
but my son bought into it hook, line and sinker . . .

Confab at somethousand feet:

My boy has seen many sunrises from atop many different mountains,

he says this one was the most breathtaking:

Sometimes there just aren't words to describe the beauty:

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Aftermath

Here is my sweet baby girl before the time of my last post:

And this photo was taken after the Ozzy exposure:

About a week after that photo was taken, we called a Priest. The exorcism went fairly well, although it wasn't 100% successful. Looking carefully at the following photo, you'll notice the lip ring and a black wash over her natural red hair. I swear I didn't realize I was doing permanent damage!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Inspiration to a Beautiful Life

Beautiful’s soul could not survive without music. She understands and connects with music in an esoteric, unique way. And I have this guy to thank for that:

When my older two kids were little, I listened to rock stations in the car. I was very careful about certain songs ("Cocaine") and a few select artists (particularly metal bands) so as not to overwhelm their immature sensibilities.

There was one song, however, that I really liked from Ozzy Osbourne’s solo period. "Mama I’m Coming Home" was popular when Beautiful was about 4. I liked it so much, I turned it up to hum along with every time it came on.

One day, while listening to my favorite song, I looked into the rearview mirror to say something to my innocent cherub when I noticed her soulfully singing along to the song on the radio. My angelic little sweetheart was pouring her heart into the lyrics of a song by the front man of Black Sabbath. Oh dear God--I felt like the worst mother on the planet!

From that moment in 1992 until sometime in 2006, I never listened to any other than classical music when my children were present.

The kids went on to take piano lessons (studying a mostly classical repertoire,) sang traditional hymns in the church choir, belonged to the local youth symphony, and studied music theory with their homeschool band. Darn if I didn’t make sure all the rock n’ roll from their formative years was brainwashed straight out of their skulls! Even the music Beautiful danced to during her first 10 years of ballet was almost exclusively of the structured, rigid, classical variety.

Thanks to that background, she has facility with the language of music. She understands why it works the way it does. She gets what a composer of any genre is trying to say with their particular arrangement of notes and dynamics. And all this she translates with profundity into her choreography--choreography that reduces grown men and women to tears. And we owe all that to The Prince of Darkness himself. Great.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

An Update

This is a blog update.

Happy, Rick?

heh heh . . .

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yes, Kuckie, this stuff seriously does happen to me . . .

A huge proportion of pharmacy customers are elderly folks. They’re (mostly) friendly and cheerful and they talk to me like I’m one of their grandchildren. They aren’t in a hurry and like to visit and I enjoy them very much. But it’s frequently difficult to understand them.

Sometimes they’re a little mumbly, or their voices have that gravelly, wavering quality that happens with age. Plus, there is a whole lot of background noise from the busy store we’re in.

When they come to the counter to ask for their prescriptions by their last name, it can be hard to decipher what they’ve said. "Anderson" can easily be confused with "Amundson" or "Henderson." So I’ve made a habit of asking the first 2 letters of the last name, "Was that A N?" I ask. That eliminates any confusion.

Problem is, I’m in the habit of doing it with EVERY customer, no matter their age or whether I clearly understood the name.

Yesterday, a woman was picking up a script with the last name of "Furnby." I asked, "Was that F U?"

Now I ask the first 3 letters . . .