Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two or three more years of this, tops, right?

Back in August, Youngest turned 13. But he's a young 13 and at the time it was more like still having a 10 year old boy. Maybe 11.

Lately, however, he is 13.

Very 13.

The attitude is all there. The grumpy, disagreeable, sour attitude of a teenager. Intact.

There is nothing I say now that can't engender an argument.

This is my 3rd time through the teens though, so I don't take it personally. It will pass. It always does. Only to be repeated during the late teens/early 20's when children once again feel the need to stake out the border between themselves and their families.

Today Youngest and I were at Barnes & Noble. I managed to piss him off somehow. It's easy. All I have to do is exist and that's enough to irritate the young man.

We walked up to get in line for the cash registers--only not quite together. He walked a few paces behind me with a studied "I am so not with her" expression on his face. He, of course, has no idea that I *invented* that expression 30 years ago in the presence of my own mother.

Letting go of the current argument (which was over his clothing--how classic and cliche' is that?) I tried to engage him by pointing out something I thought would be of interest to him. His answer was, "grmmmph." Which anyone could have predicted.

On the way out of the store, he instinctively held the door open for me and for the older gentleman walking behind us. The man, in his mid 60's, thanked Youngest and gave me a smile. That one expression and the twinkle in his eye conveyed silent moral support. He was telling me in one look that he'd been there, he'd had teens himself, and that my boy--the one who had been raised to be polite to other people and even to his contemptable mother--was going to be fine.

Thank you for the confirmation, unknown older dude. I needed that : )

Monday, December 29, 2008

Yes, math *does* apply to real life.

I watched Lord Of War with the guys tonight.

It's about a gunrunner's climb to the top and all that it costs him. It's about small countries and big countries and their roles in arming the world's poorest militia forces. It's about cover ups on high levels. It's about dirty money and blood diamonds and selling one's soul for material wealth.

But really? It's about the math.

It's a basic equation.

In its simplest terms:

Jared Leto = Yummy

There will be a quiz : )

Sunday, December 28, 2008

car parts figured in prominently, part II

Thought maybe I'd finally finish this story.

Back to the dinner with Beautiful and her fiance, Dan, plus Dan's mother (who Beautiful was meeting for the first time) and his mother's new husband who Dan was meeting for the first time.

Little Guy was also there. He is 3-1/2. He is high spirited and a-freaking-dorable.

Among other things, Beautiful has, with consistent effort, taught Little Guy to say "excuse me" when he burps.

I mentioned that he's 3-1/2? And that he's a boy? Burping--or making burping noises--is a delightful pastime for a boy of any age. Adhering carefully to his new training, whenever he burps he gets the most impish expression on his face and proudly announces, "Excuse me! I burped!"

At dinner that night, instead of his usual exhibition of belching prowess, he leaned forward in his booster seat and made a different noise.

Beautiful looked him in the eye--concealing the amusement that was creeping onto her face--and said, "Say 'excuse me.' "

"But 'excuse me' is for burps," he reasoned with her, "I farted!"

If the whole restaurant hadn't heard the act itself, they certainly were caught up with the details by now . . .

Beautiful and I had to look away so Little Guy wouldn't see us giggling. After all, he was making a sensible argument.

Grandma Robin didn't miss a beat. "You're right, Honey, 'excuse me' is for burps. When you pass gas you say 'pardon me.' "

Little Guy bought it hook, line and sinker. Gotta admire a woman who can outwit an irresistible 3-1/2 year old and keep a straight face about it!


Meanwhile, Hubby and I were sitting at opposite ends of the table. I wanted Hubby to make a toast, but I didn't want to give him instructions in front of everyone. I wanted it to look like he came up with it on his own.

From my end of the table I made eye contact. I lifted my glass and mouthed "a toast?" to him. He nodded. And then went on with his conversation.

Fifteen minutes later I was certain he had forgotten what I asked him to do. Certain because all the guys were knee deep in a discussion about original and reproduction car parts--the only subject they all have in common.

Once again I caught Hubby's eye, pointed to my nearly empty glass and pantomimed "toast." He nodded in agreement again. And then I saw him nod at the wait staff. It suddenly made sense to me. He didn't realize I was asking him to propose a toast, he thought I was asking him to order me a Coke.

Giving up, I walked to his end of the table and whispered to him, "I hoped you'd make a toast. Something about joining families maybe?"

"Already thought of it!" he crowed. Loudly. So that now everyone at the table knew I had been attempting to tell him what to do . . .

I sat back down and my sweet Hubby started. It was long-winded because once Hubby gets going it's hard to stop him. And he often forgets his roadmap. And he detours . . .

It began well: he mentioned how pleased he was that Dan and Little Guy are joining our family. And how wonderful an addition Lily is. He said something about Dan's mom visiting and about her new husband also joining the family. And the new husband's affinity for classic cars. Then there was some meandering, and finally hubby ended by toasting Dan's mother's new husband's connection with someone who can get a discount on reconditioned car parts . . .

We all raised our glasses and drank a toast to, "discounts on reconditioned car parts!"

clink, clink

Monday, December 22, 2008

until then . . . .

I'll get around to finishing some unattended stories sometime soon. But right now I'm busy. Aren't we all?

In the meantime, merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

speaking of all in a day's work . . .

Pharmacist Greg is building a new house. Recently, he and his son-in-law dug the foundation. And then, being western WA, it rained like a sonofabitch and his pit became a pool.

That was over a week ago.

In an unrelated story, yesterday a woman came in to the pharmacy pick up her bowel prep kit for her upcoming colonoscopy. She talked it over with Greg--who himself had one a month or so ago--and he advised her that it's much easier than it used to be. The volume of liquid required is about half what it was in 'the old days' and the results come quickly. The procedure itself isn't bad and likely won't be remembered anyway due to the drugs administered.

The customer is having this colonoscopy as a baseline for future reference after recently undergoing a virtual colonoscopy which garnered negative results. She didn't elaborate, but she said that the virtual colonoscopy is a terrible procedure and advised never having one if it's at all avoidable.

After she left, I asked Greg what a virtual colonoscopy was. He explained it and boy does it sound hideous! And uncomfortable. And unforgettable. The regular colonoscopy that Greg recently had is a virtual walk in the park by comparison.

A few minutes later I remembered that I had wanted to ask Greg about the progress on his house. And I was curious whether the "pool" that was his foundation was now an ice rink.

"Hey, Greg," I called to the other end of the pharmacy, "how's your hole?"

Greg paused for a long, long time while trying to figure out how to answer that question. When he realized I was referring to his foundation--not his colonoscopy--he erupted in laughter. And I turned a liiiiitle bit red . . .

Monday, December 15, 2008

A photo essay . . . bursting with pride : )

Beneath his name in the program it reads "Summa Cum Laude."
Hell to the yes!

For the boy who was only walking because his mother wanted him to,
he sure has a big ole grin on!

with his very pleased father

a moment with mom

and here with his girl--who resembles mom a lot : )

Youngest, sliding in the parking lot.

You okay, Youngest?

Yep. All in a day's work!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

the continuation of 'car parts' is to be continued . . . or something redundant like that . . .

I'll finish up the story I started, but it will have to wait until early next week.

Right now we're getting ready to head over the mountains for Number One Son's graduation! The boy has done well. Summa Cum Laud well. Gold cords wearing well.

I might have a photo or two when we come back : )

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

car parts figured in prominently, part I

What a difference a day makes. Okay, more like a year. Well, 14 months and a grandbaby if we're going to be accurate : )

In 2007, Hubby and I took our daughter out to dinner for her 20th birthday. We asked her if she would like to bring the new guy she was seeing. We regretted that decision later.

It was too much pressure. We thought she was just sort of "hanging out" with the new guy. We didn't realize they were an exclusively dating couple. Meeting him for the first time would have been so much better under more casual circumstances. Not at a restaurant over her birthday dinner.

Her boyfriend, Dan, was nervous. And he tends to come off as arrogant and a bit know-it-all when he's nervous. The worst part was when the subject of Beautiful's car came up. Dan knows a lot about cars, but my dear hubby has a lifetime of experience fixing, researching, restoring, buying and selling cars. Dan was in over his head. He accidentally said things that were insulting to Hubby.

It was not the best of beginnings.

A few months later, Beautiful discovered that she was pregnant. Hubby and I were reconciled to the fact that this relationship wasn't casual.

Since then, we have had occasion to observe that Dan treats our daughter with respect. He values her. They are equal partners in their relationship. What more could parents want for their child?

And things with Hubby and Dan got much better over time. In fact, so much better, that it appears that Hubby is just about as close to being a surrogate father to Dan (whose father died when he was 15) as one can imagine.

Fourteen months after that prickly first meeting, we had another dinner together at the same restaurant. This time it wasn't just us with Beautiful and Dan. Dan's 3 1/2 year old, Little Guy, was there. As was Lily, of course : ) And Dan's mom, Robin, was visiting from Tennessee. With her new husband who Dan had never met.

While talking to his beloved mom's new husband, Marty, I noticed Dan had turned his chair and was sitting next to Hubby as though they were on the same team, as though Hubby was in Dan's corner and had Dan's back. It was an interesting change from a little over a year ago.

The good part--the funny part--in the next edition . . . .

Friday, December 5, 2008

bah humbug

I'm tired of people. Certain people get on my nerves this time of year. Christmas tends to bring out the worst in our fellow man, doesn't it?

Right now I can't stand people who want everybody else to know how wonderful they are. And I say this as one of those people who used to do that.

If you ever find yourself on the verge of saying or doing something to make yourself look good to strangers, stop and remind yourself that nobody f***ing cares.

In the checkout line at a store and feel the need to inform the clerk that your purchases are for charity? Keep it to yourself. NFC. Telling strangers about your donations of time/money/goods to a noble cause negates the good will and makes the act entirely self serving. And when it becomes self serving, NFC.

I hear this at the pharmacy at least once a week:

Pharmacist: "While you're taking this medication, you want to avoid alcohol."

Customer: "Oh, that's not a problem, I never drink alcohol."

Know what, dear customer? NFC. Least of all the pharmacist. He just wants to fulfil his legal obligation to give you the necessary information and to get back to his work. He really doesn't want to hear about how you think you're better than anyone who imbibes once in awhile.

In a public area with your small, adorable children who are saying precocious, adorable things? Resist the temptation to answer them in a voice just loud enough to be overheard and then look around to be sure other people are chuckling and smiling with approval not only at your clever youngling but also at your enviable buddy/parent relationship. You phony. NFC.

You're a vegan who eats only organic vegetables from local farms? That's great. And I'll bet you're healthy and our environment is better off for you. But I don't want to hear about it as I stand in the checkout line with my box of Twinkies. And it's not just me. NFC.

You're a greenie and are hand crafting all of your Christmas decorations and gifts out of recycled goods that originally came only from sustainable materials? Fantastic. Your family and fellow green pals will surely applaud you. But the rest of us? NFC, baby.

Your dogs are your "children" and any time a normal person brings up the subject of their actual children you feel the need to regale them with the antics of your precious pups? Seriously--take this to heart--NFC. And I do mean nobody.

Your daughter is in the local production of Nutcracker and is an hour late to dress rehearsal and you have a whole litany of excuses and reasons why she shouldn't have had to be at that rehearsal in the first place even though you agreed to get her to all of them two months ago? NFC. Get her in costume, in make-up, warmed up and on the stage. And you, mom, you go somewhere else--anywhere else--other than the wings because you have "stage mom" written all over you.

In public in the middle of a weekday with your school aged children and you feel it's your duty to enlighten the surrounding simpletons that your offspring are not in school because they don't go to "government" schools because you're better than that--you home school? Trying to cram it down everyone else's throat that you're willing to sacrifice money and time because you are a parent who really puts your kids first--inferring that anyone who makes a different decision is practically negligent? Listen closely: NFC. Do what you think is best for your own and leave everybody else out of it.

I could go on and on with this, but by now I think I've pretty much offended everyone so I'll stop. And I should probably 'fess up: I've been guilty of at least half of these offences. I hate people like me.

I'll bet you all have experienced some outstanding NFC moments. Please, feel free to share--I really do care about that : )

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I think she gets cuter every day. She's been smiling for some time, but now she smiles at faces she recognizes--like mine : ) And she talks and coos and gurgles. It's enough to make my heart burst with joy.

If you don't have one of these yet--run out and get one right now!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bulls*it e-mail . . .

After months of nothing but problems, I've opted to jump ship rather than try to solve : ) So I've just changed the e-mail account associated with this blog. I'm reluctant to just print it right here in the body of a post though . . .

If you've e-mailed me at the hotmail address any time over the last 6 or 8 months and I haven't replied, I swear it isn't because I'm inconsiderate : ) Try me at my new address if you'd like to reach me.

*smooches* kittens! (Okay, I totally stole that from vuboq . . . and I can't pull it off like he can : )

Monday, November 24, 2008


This morning before the pharmacy opened we were talking about Christmas shopping.

"I'm just about done," reported Pharmacist Greg, "but I'm not sure what to get for the woman I'm seeing. She's not really a girlfriend yet. What do you women think?"

Robin answered sagely, "Whatever you give her, be careful about what meaning you want her to take from it."

"And whatever you give her," I added helpfully, "she will take some sort of meaning. Women take meaning from everything."

"So you're saying I shouldn't give her a can opener?" Greg quipped.

What do you think ladies? Any ideas? My advice to Greg was that you really can't go wrong with chocolate.

And what about you guys? Any thoughts?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How to annihilate a child's dreams in one easy step

In the car a couple nights ago Youngest was making me crazy. It had been a long day with him. We were coming back from Aikido, he was chatty, I was tired and couldn't listen any longer to the constant prattling of a 13 year old who is half little boy and half teenager.

He flipped through radio stations as he droned on and on about one thing and another. One local station is already playing continuous Christmas songs and as Youngest accidentally stumbled over it I recognized the beginning of Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne."

"Oooh, I used to love this song," I mentioned, "I'd like to listen to it, please." Translation: Please, please, please shut it so I can enjoy this song.

He was quiet for at least 10 seconds and then started in again. He talked about small things at first--things I could easily dispatch with an intuitively placed "uh huh." But then he got more detailed. Something to do with a boat he wants to build for fishing at church camp next summer when his grandparents take him.

I completely lost my patience. As well as all sense of consideration. "Look, Youngest, first of all, you manage to catch plenty of fish at camp without a boat. Secondly, you know for a fact that Grandpa isn't going to let you drag along anything heavy that will cut down on his fuel efficiency. Third--didn't I tell you I wanted to listen to this song? Why have you talked all the way through it????"

Youngest didn't answer. Youngest was crushed. And he did something that I remember doing probably a thousand times when I was an emotional young teenager in the car with my mother: he turned his whole body toward his window and ignored me for the rest of the drive home.

I felt guilty. And I felt relief at the quiet.

I tried to remember what it was I wanted my mom to know, and what action I wanted her to take, from my body language when I was Youngest's age. But part of me just didn't effing care--as I'm sure my mom didn't--because in truth there is no rational thought--no perspective--in the case of an injured 13 year old.

And then it occurred to me that the bittersweet song on the radio--an accurate depiction of the pensive reality that is meeting someone who you loved in the distant past--would never hold the same meaning for my son as it holds for me. For him it would be a bad memory of a car ride with his killjoy mother.

And one more family experiences the generation gap . . .

Thursday, November 20, 2008

gratuitous . . .

In which Countrymouse ventures into a political subject

At the gym this morning (and thanks for the inspiration, Captain : ) I was halfheartedly reading the script at the bottom of the muted TV screen tuned in to one of the news networks. The talk was about the hotly debated Big 3 bailout request.

On the subject of whether the executives would sell their company jets and fly home coach, one of the anchors mentioned that the news network was getting unusually high input through facebook, myspace and twitter.


Is it me or does twittering one's political ideas trivialize the whole process? It doesn't leave time for reflection. For research. For weighing and examining. For serious thought.

Of course popular feedback to media sources doesn't have a direct correlation to public policy. Yet. But one wonders, how close are we to no longer having a government based on the will of the people? Rather seeing it reduced to the whim of the people.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Someone unloaded the dishwasher today and did a really bad job putting corning ware casserole dishes in the cupboard. In fact, Someone knew as she stacked them rather haphazardly and closed the door with hope that all would be well that in fact, all wasn't going to be well. Someone pretty much crossed her fingers that the teetering, irresponsible pile of cook ware wouldn't go all downhill slidy and fall out of the cupboard and break.

Before Someone was even finished unloading the dishwasher, there was a sound. A downhill slidy sound. Followed by a bump into the cupboard door. Followed by a rather loud crash as the dishes hit the floor. And one shattered.

Someone was standing in the kitchen with bare feet thinking she should probably clean that up. Trying to fend off the urge to say "meh" and let someone else do it. Someone's kinda lazy. And sloppy. And lackadaisical.

Which is weird, because at work, that same Someone is known as not only industrious--always busy--but also as anal. Completely, totally, inexcusably, bugs-the-everloving-stuffing-out-of-everybody-else anal.

A week ago, Pharmacist Greg noticed me loading the printer near him--a task which I do every day, multiple times a day. Because I'm efficient. Or obsessive. Whatever. Greg asked, "So . . . do you do that on a time schedule? Do you say to yourself, 'It's 10:45 a.m., time to fill the printer.'?" [ummm, yeah--I'm not sure how to punctuate that . . . ]

The next day when I filled it, I looked at him and asked his permission. "It's not quite 10:45--is it okay if I fill it now?" We both laughed. At me.

Friday afternoon during the slow time I was doing what I normally do. I was tabulating all the items I needed to stock for the pharmacy. Garbage bags, pens, distilled water. As I was writing them down on a scrap of paper, Katrina asked me, "Making one of your little lists?"

Evidently, I'm well known for my "little lists."

When I make copies of refill slips there is an unused 1.5" margin of the paper that I slice off so the refill slips fit more neatly into their assigned baskets. If I've made 100 copies, that's 100 1.5 x 11.5" strips of paper. Seems wasteful to throw them away, so I slice them in thirds and put them in a bin near the cash register. They come in handy all the time! Handy for customers, handy for us. We all use them. Everybody appreciates them but nobody has ever thanked me for making them available. But when I use them to make my daily "little lists" it seems to be noticed. And chuckled over.

That's the work me. Always on time. Always busy. Always finding more efficient, tidy ways to organize and keep track of things. Always cleaning things up and dusting and arranging. Always.

But at home I stand in the kitchen and try to talk myself into cleaning up the glass shards on the floor and not walking away from them for someone else to worry about.

There are two of me. And we don't get along well with each other : )

Oh--and off the subject, but what do you call the surgery a man gets so he can't have any more children? A misterectomy. heh heh

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feet Friday

I don't know from where Feet Friday originated. All I know is she does it. So does she. And her too.

I don't usually do what everybody else does. I won't Nablopomo. I don't Blogher. It's just not in my nature. But the feet thing? I can't help it. Everything about this baby--everything--is cute to me. Especially her tiny pink feet : )

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the apple really *doesn't* fall far from the tree . . .

A phone call from an hour ago:

Beautiful: "I'm the worst mother in the world!"

Me: "Worse than me?"

Beautiful: "Yes. Even worse than you."

Me: "Why? What could you have done that's so bad?"

Beautiful: "You know how when Lily's tummy is upset or she's super tired I rock her and sing and it calms her down?"

Me: "Yes . . . "

Beautiful: "Well, today I sank to a new low. I was out of lullabies and couldn't remember all your funky old 60's hippie songs, so I turned on the radio and danced with her in my arms to soothe her."

Me: "Yeah . . . so? Sounds fine to me."

Beautiful: "Mom, you don't understand. A Pink song was playing."

Me: "Pink? That's not so horrible."

Beautiful: "It was Pink's latest song."

Me: "Oh. Yeah, that's pretty awful. What have you done to my lovely granddaughter????"

Beautiful: "It gets worse . . . "

Me: "How is that possible?"

Beautiful: "After the Pink song, a Britney Spears song came on and I kept dancing with the baby in my arms. She heard a Britney song! I think that makes me a worse mother than Britney herself."

Me: "Yeah. Pretty much does. I'm sorry, sweetie, I thought you'd be a better mother than I am."

Beautiful: "I know, right? And you didn't even set the bar all that high!"

Me: "Well, you might as well get Lily a tattoo and Disney contract now."

Beautiful: "And a pair of those shoes . . . " *

*Isn't our ability to speak in embedded links and photographs astounding?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's okay--go ahead and let the bastards get you down

When I arrived at work on Friday morning at 11:00, Alicia looked up with a relieved expression and said, "Oh good! You're here!"

"Uh oh," I answered, "it's been that bad already?"

"I don't know if it's just me," she explained, "but it seems that customers are really grumpy today."

Two hours later she asked me, "So, is it just me or are people out of sorts?"

I confirmed her theory. "Yeah--just 5 minutes ago one of the customers was so appalled when I explained there were no refills left on his prescription that he threw a pen at me. THREW A PEN AT ME!"

And that's when Alicia and I mixed up a pitcher of Margaritas and told all the rude people to elf off.

Okay. We didn't actually do that. But we sure did want to : )

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Autumn Corners

My friend Angie reminded me that I haven't done "corners" in quite some time. And she's right. And I have writer's block, so "corners" seemed like the way to go : )

Once again, we visit my living room. This photo makes it look kinda cozy. And as I took this picture there was a toasty fire in the hearth and that candle you see burning gave off a warm, inviting vanilla ambiance.

That's where the coziness ends. Because if you look closely, or not even all that closely, you'll see evidence that a real family lives here. House Beautiful we are not . . .

Speaking of that homey vanilla candle?

It, and its accompaniments, are only placed there to hide this:

. . . the telltale blue stain of the Windex bottle . . . placed there all leaky when somebody was helping me out by cleaning the windows. I love that the somebody cleaned the windows for me! And hey, a few carefully placed apples and a candle is a small price to pay!

I didn't even bother to get the piano in the picture. Because the top of the piano looks like this:

Yes, that's an antique mirror with clean, nice lines . . . and die cast model cars. Notice how the hoods are up so everyone visiting my house can admire the plastic engines? That was Youngest's idea. An idea encouraged by his father.

This used to be a nice leather chair. And then we bought it. And lived with it. And stained it a few thousand times with food and wet hair from the shower and salt-water-logged swim trunks . . . It's impossible to keep anything nice in my house.

Next to the chair is a cute little end table on which I keep my latest sewing projects. The one currently sitting there is a quilt . . . for a baby . . . who was born nearly 6 weeks ago . . . Shhh--don't tell!

Next to the unfinished quilt is yet more evidence that I live with boys:

Electrical tape and candy wrappers.
Don't ask . . .

This is my couch. What's left of it, anyway. It was a hand-me-down. And it used to be a nice shade of off white. Now its color is sort of brownish grayish indescribable boyish.
I keep the lap blanket and throw pillows on the couch not for the punch of seasonal color, but for the camouflage effect:

Beneath that cuddly blanky is this--black dye from Arnold Schwarzenegger Halloween hair. Hair about which I recall expressly telling a certain Youngster, "DO NOT sit on the couch until you've shampooed that stuff out!"
What do the throw pillows hide, you ask?

Just more stains. Stains from people eating in this room. Stains from house guests and grown children who sleep on this couch. Stains from just about anything you can think of.

And why don't I just flip the cushions over, you ask?

Maybe it's because the backside of the cushion looks like this:

Families. Who needs 'em?
And look what special treat I found when I lifted the cushion to take a picture:

Halloween candy.
Very nice.
Get the vacuum, Youngest. You've got work to do.
Most of the time, though, my couch issues aren't noticeable because these days it's usually covered with this:

Which is usually covered with this:

Wasn't that a clever way for me to post yet another grandbaby picture while making you think it was a real post?
heh heh

beyond my powers

Hey, y'all, just a quick post to tell you that my e-mail is hit and miss and has been for months and it's way beyond my powers to do anything about it. So if you've tried to e-mail me privately and I haven't responded? It's not because I'm such a snob that it's beneath me to acknowledge the little people, it's because I'm technically challenged . . .

Also, I have the flu. And evidently I need your sympathy to recover, otherwise why would I have told you about it?

: )

And I do plan on blogging again . . . sometime . . . in the future . . . but right now when I'm not at work my arms are generally full of sweet baby and with helping to plan a wedding--things I'm happy to be doing. In the meantime, how 'bout if I just throw in a cute Lily photo or two to distract you from the fact that this isn't really a post so much as a bucket full o' excuses : )

almost smile . . .


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Indluge me, please.

Like I leave much choice, right?
The sweet thing about the Halloween costume for the baby is how it got finished.
We were getting ready to go to a party this morning with Youngest's home school group. Baby Lily was coming with us and I was trying to finish up her outfit but was running out of time. Uncle Youngest, wearing his "Terminator" costume, sat on the couch and patiently sewed pearl beads onto the baby's T-shirt. Wish I had a picture of that : )

what the 13 year old boy tried to look like . . .


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

File under: "I should probably post something."

I'm super busy right now. A million things to do. All with right-this-very-minute deadlines. Which explains why I'm stopping to do a silly meme : ) Stolen, naturally, from ajooja.

The A to Z Meme. Could I be any more dull?????

Accent: I'm from Seattle. So that would be no.

Breakfast or no breakfast: Breakfast. Usually healthy. Translation: boooooring!

Chore I don’t care for: Dishes.

Dog or Cat: Dog. Kittens are awfully cute, but they become cantankerous, anti-social creatures. There's only room for one of those in this house!

Essential Electronics: Not so much.

Favorite Cologne: Doesn't matter what kind. How I do love a good smelling man . . .

Gold or Silver: Either.

Handbag I carry most often: The cutest red bag I just got a couple weeks ago!

Insomnia: Nope.

Job Title: Flunky Bitch.

Kids: Three. Plus that one sort of adopted one . . .

Living Arrangements: Cramped house. But cozy. And filled with people I love.

Most Admirable Trait: Compassion?

Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: Stealing. From a church . . .

Overnight hospital stays: Five.

Phobias: Used to have a mild case of agoraphobia. Also used to be afraid to open my car trunk and find a dead body.

Quote: "That's what she said!" ~ Michael Scott. And yes, I really should grow up.

Reason to smile: Grandbaby!

Siblings: One older brother who I look exactly like.

Time I wake up: 7:00 a.m. on a workday. Later on a day off : )

Unusual Talent or Skill: I've shared this before--I can throw pizza dough. I can also still do the splits and cartwheels.

Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: Sea cucumber.

Worst Habit: Coca Cola.

X-rays: Most recent was my ankle last January. And it still doesn't feel right . . .

Yummy Stuff: Dark chocolate. And maple bars. And Red Vines. OK--busted--anything sweet : )

Zoo Animal I Like Most: Otters.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

looking FLABulous!

Okay. What is it about being over 40 that makes it freaking impossible to lose weight or keep it off once lost?

No. It is not all the Coke I drink.

Nor is it the cookies.

Or the chips.

Shut up! Why are you asking so many questions?

Anyway . . . I have gained back 10 pounds. And lucky me, when I gain weight, it's evenly dispersed over my entire body.

And I'm short. So an extra 10 pounds on me is like an extra 50 pounds on a normal sized, non Oompa Loompa type person.

I can't wear skirts to accentuate my thin legs and take the focus of my tummy. Or don low cut blouses to highlight my long, slender neck and full cleavage, thereby distracting from hips. Nope. I'm pudgy everywhere.

My hair follicles are chubby.

As are my heels.


Hubby continues to have back problems. From his neck to his tailbone.

Oh--and he has always had shoulder, hip, knee, ankle and feet problems. Especially feet. He stepped into a truck the other day and heard--and felt--a pop in his left foot. He can barely walk.

He is a sturdily built man. All muscle. Hard, ripply, muscle . . . sinewy, solid muscle . . . gleaming, powerful, manly . . .

wha? What were we talking about?

Ummm. So anyway. He's built big. And now he can't exercise. And his family has a history of heart disease. I'm a little concerned.

Since his health is on my mind and the prospect of appearing in wedding photos scares the Beelzebub out of me, I've decided we're doing something about this. Right now. Today.

I have declared that hubby shall take up lap swimming. He has declared I can kiss his ass.

I have also decreed that we will both join Weight Watchers On-Line. In fact, I signed us both up today.

But I'm having a bit of trouble with it. Already.

I signed hubby up for the Core Plan option and me for the Flex Plan option. My problem is that I can't find a straightforward list for hubby outlining what food is allowed and I can't find a list for me detailing how many POINTS! common foods have.

There is a "table" for hubby's food, but it's a series of icons that need to be clicked on individually to show that category's acceptable food. [Side note: why is Canadian bacon listed under cereals and grains? WTH?]

Long story short: the site is set up to disallow simple printing or copying and pasting.

With both of our options, we are expected to eat something, plug it into the food calculator and see whether it falls within the limits. This makes very little sense to me.

I do, however, like the Activity Calculator. You enter an activity (say, walking,) the length of time (let's try 20 minutes,) the intensity, (I'm going with low since I was intently listening to my iPod . . . ) and it tells you how many POINTS! said activity is good for (1.)

I plugged in the coordinates for a 30 minute, intense elliptical workout--5 POINTS! Woot!

And then I got to thinking . . .

Turns out that moderately intense sex for 10 minutes is worth, count 'em, 3 POINTS! Brace yourself, hubby--I have a Coke to work off.

And some cookies.

And chips . . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

new photos

I have a couple posts swimming around in my head, but that's all the progress they've made so far.

Instead of writing something entertaining (?) I'll comply with Captain Whitenoise's request for more baby photos : )

uncle is quite fond of this sweet little bundle

This baby is *so* strong! She's already rolling halfway over--it's unbelievable!

lovin her mama

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

and now some happy news . . .

this little guy gave a sparkly diamond ring to Beautiful

technically speaking, it was his father who provided the ring, but Little Guy made the delivery

yes, it means what you think it means

they'll work hard and make a good family

and I'm happy for them

Monday, October 13, 2008

It makes me so mad I just want to throw rocks!

I went to Party City today to pick up a latex "appliance," as the box reads, for Youngest's 'Terminator' Halloween costume.

They had the perfect item for his costume, but nonetheless, I hate going to Party City in October. Because every time I do, it's a guarantee that I'll see insensitive, freaking stupid ass parents with frightened small children.

A couple years ago I saw a mom with a 4 or 5 year old child who did not want to walk down the aisle where the scariest costumes were. "Oh come on," the mother chided.

Stupid damn mother.

Today a little girl pulled away from mom's hand as mom began to walk through the aisles. "Why don't you want to look at costumes?" the mother asked, clearly befuddled--not an idea in her squishy head as to what the problem could be. "Because it's scary," the girl answered timidly. "Oh, no it isn't!" mother insisted. "Look, there's Freddy and Jason and . . . " she rattled off horror movie characters as though that would comfort a kindergartner!!!!


That scene was followed by a boy--no more than 2, maybe 2 1/2--in his dad's arms turning away from what must be shocking sights and whimpering. Dad chuckled. Chuckled!!! As though there was anything even remotely funny about putting terrifying thoughts into his child's head.


Of course these little ones are afraid. Those masks with the gore and disfigured faces hanging next to bloody stumps of dismembered body parts are scary. Horrifying to someone small without much experience or perspective to draw from.

And they should be scary. Tender children shouldn't be so jaded that they can handle nightmare images without concern.

Freaking dumb ass parents.

Yeah. I'm completely judgemental on this subject. I won't even attempt to be diplomatic, understanding or unbiased.

Vacuous, weak-minded, witless douche bag parents . . .

Friday, October 10, 2008

more creative cursing

Since she was 16ish Beautiful has been adept at expressing her frustration through her own creative made-up swear words.

Youngest carries on the tradition.

Knowing I'm not fond of hearing children swear, he has come up with a few replacement words. Like "get your donkey in the car and let's go already!" Clever, no?

Yesterday I was trying to tell him something but he wasn't buying my explanation.

*cough* bell's palsy *cough* was his response.

I'm actually kind of impressed. A perfectly acceptable way to tell mom you think she's full of bullshit without being profane.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

shopping with a boy is a *whole* different thing

Youngest finally got a little of my attention today.

Baby Lily is 10 days old now and because her daddy has been gone for work and Beautiful's roommate accidentally burned the porch off her house while she was in the hospital and then decided it was best if he moved out and Beautiful lives in a bit of a sketchy neighborhood and doesn't like to be there alone, I've been staying with her. A lot. Much to Youngest's dismay.

Today Youngest and I had a chance to go school shopping together.

Yeah, I know. You don't have to tell me that we're well into October and I'm a bit late for school shopping. You don't have to tell me because Youngest has already mentioned it. A lot.

Youngest is 13 now and has some definite ideas about his clothing. He's not too cool yet to be offended at the idea of shopping with his mother, but I have much less sway over what he wears than I used to.

If left entirely to his own, he would wear these. All. The. Time . . .

Shoes are important. Only board shoes or work boots are considered acceptable to the discerning 13 year old boy. Other shoes just aren't cool. Who can argue with that logic?

He's equally choosy about style and color combinations of socks and underwear. He has his reasons. And they're convincing. And I don't argue.

"I will not wear pre-distressed jeans." He informs me. Emphatically.

"Oh? Why is that?" I ask. Naively.

"They're for city boys." He answers. Emphatically.

"Ummmm . . . how do you mean?"

"City boys," he sighs with disgust, "they're not outside working on stuff that gets their jeans dirty and torn. They have to buy them that way. It's fake. I am not a city boy."

I see.

"What about this?" I ask, pointing out what I thought was a hip, non "city boy" jacket. Naively.

"No, Mom," he answers. Emphatically.

"Why not? Just try it on--humor me."

"Mom," he takes the lecturing tone, "it's too fashion-y. I wouldn't be seen in that. No."

All righty then.

He settled on 2 pair of pants and a shirt that fit his stringent criteria. Nobody will ever mistake my son for a city boy, for a boy concerned with fashion or for anything remotely metro.

As long as he's happy.

And not wearing the Carharts . . .

In other news--Lily finally met her daddy tonight. It was a sweet reunion and I left them alone very quickly after he arrived. No pictures of that event. It can wait : )

But these pictures--these are just too cute and must be shared immediately!

sweet, sweet baby

Lily, amongst the lilies

okay, so maybe we got a liiiiittle carried away . . .

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm shameless--I know!

I can't help it. This baby is just so precious--as all babies are : )

I can't stop looking at her.

I can't stop making you all look at her : )

Day Four

What sick, twisted bastard would design a baby wipe box with wipes that are perforated and require two hands to tear each wipe free when it's 3:30 in the morning and I can't even see let alone change a poopy diaper and keep her feet out of it and comfort her????

Oh . . . wait . . . is that an opening in the lid allowing me to pull one wipe out at a time one handed?

You are forgiven, O Wipe Box Engineer . . .

But just barely!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

That lulling thing . . .

Sleep deprivation!

Beautiful was in prodromal labor for 3 or 4 days before finally getting to active labor. Neither she nor I had slept much during those days. By the time baby was finally born, we had both been up for the better part of 48 hours--with very little in the way of rest before that.

You could say my thinking wasn't quite crystal clear. You could say my thinking had the clarity of chocolate pudding . . .

I was holding Lily in the hospital, trying to comfort her while her mama filled out a ream of paperwork, and thought maybe I should sing to her like I used to sing to my own babies.

I knew there was a special kind of song. Songs just for babies. Songs to lull them to sleep. But I couldn't remember what they were called. The nearest I could remember was nursery rhymes. But that wasn't quite it.

After singing to Lily "Hush Little Baby" (which was Beautiful's special song) my mind went blank. I just could not recall the other "baby songs" I knew.

Number One Son used to have a teddy bear that, when squeezed, hummed out the tunes of several children's songs. The first one was "Ten Little Indians." That was the only ditty I could come up with.

"One little, two little, three little Indians . . . " I began. And then realized that was somewhat unPC. "Four little, five little, six little Native Americans . . . " That didn't have a good flow. I gave up.

But the song about ten small members of the indigenous population reminded me of a different counting song. I began:

"One bottle of . . . . ummmm . . . . milk? on the wall?"

Beautiful looked sideways at me. "Mom, how about we don't teach my daughter any beer drinking songs just yet, k?"

Fine. But still I couldn't come up with any "baby songs." Nor the term for them. So I thought perhaps some mellow, cheerful '60s folk songs would be acceptable.

"I love the flower girl," I started, "something, something, something, something, la la, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm . . . "

D'oh! Stupid unrememberable lyrics!

"Hello, lamppost, what cha knowin'? I've come to . . . something about flowers growin. Ain't cha got no . . . something for me? Doot 'n doo doo. Feelin' groovy!"

Close. But no cigar.

This went on intermittently until 4:30 this morning when I was rocking her back to sleep.

Think . . . think . . . think . . . 60s folk songs . . .

"War! Good gawd, y'all! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'! Say it again!"

Not quite.

Baby songs . . . baby songs . . .

My instinct was to sing her the ABC song. I knew that wasn't quite what I was looking for, but it sounded kinda close.

Then "This Land Is Your Land" floated through my head. Again, I knew it wasn't exactly the song I wanted, but it was almost like something I remembered . . .

Finally my brain was able to make the connection it had been trying for since Sunday afternoon. The songs I wanted to sing that are for children and are especially for the purpose of lulling them to sleep are lullabies. Yes! That's the term!

And once I remembered the term, I suddenly remembered all the songs. Including "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" (the ABC song with different lyrics) and "You Are My Sunshine" (sorta close to "This Land Is Your Land.")

Oh yes, and I remembered "Rock-a-bye Baby." The granddaddy--and most obvious--of all lullabies.

By that time, Lily was fast asleep and didn't care.

But she knows a few things now. Like what to sing with her mates in a pub. And a bit about protesting the war. And that this land was made for her and her grammy.

bonding with grandpa

Sunday, September 28, 2008

no title needed : )

Just. Too. Exhausted.
Let's go with minimal information and a few photos, shall we?

A perfect Northwest autumn day for a birthday!

This being born thing is a tough gig.

Tired, happy mama. Sleepy baby.

Pleased uncle.

Proud grandpa.*

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am thrilled to introduce you to

Lily Kristin** Athena.

My granddaughter.

*Not posting a photo of me with Lily because, as usual, all the pictures of me suck. A lot.
**Isn't that a sweet coincidence that the first of Lily's two middle names is Kristin--just like me! And it's even spelled the same!