Monday, November 30, 2009

Was that window open?

Belated Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  We are just past Turkey Day and a mere 3 and a half weeks away from Christmas.  My, how time flies.  We had a nice Thanksgiving here. Again, a very low key day.  No dressing up, no good china, just enough food.  The turkey was picture perfect, very tasty, and just the right size.  Minimal leftovers for the first time ever, woohoo!  I think we were all so excited to get to Friday that Thursday was just another day.  Yep, we're weird like that.
Friday arrived, crisp and cool.  Very cool.  Remember, this is Florida, so a 40 degree temp is only cold when it was 75 or 80 earlier the same day.  At 40 degrees I need a jacket, preferably with a hood.  Gloves would be smart, since my hands do not do well in cold temps, but unfortunately I don't have any.  So anyway, we load up for the 150 mile drive to Ft. Meade and the impending Ghost Hunt.  No, we are not professional ghost hunters.  No, we are not auditioning for Paranormal State.  No, we aren't off our rockers.  We are functionally dysfunctional people who scare ourselves silly, ghost hunting is right up our alley.
Laurie's BFF Stacy managed to make arrangements with a Ft. Meade business owner who says his property is haunted, and was more than willing to give us a key, and a tour, so we could ghost hunt after dark.  He had 2 parting comments for us: 1 - if you show up here after dark you're more of a woman than I am a man, and 2-if I hear an ambulance heading out here I'm leaving town, and you're trespassing.  Great, I feel MUCH better now.  The business is an old munitions plant, and a manufacturing site.  It was severely damaged in Hurricane Charley.  Some of the buildings date back to the 1800s and some are just dilapidated offices.  The place was used in commercials a few years back to promote Universal's Halloween Horror Nights.  Ugh!  There is also an old Mercedes tucked away in one of the bays that the previous owner used to commit suicide in, method unknown. His family couldn't part with the car so they stored it out there. Well, we all arrive after dark and it's creepy as hell.  Our family has never been ghost hunting so we had to learn the ground rules.  Make lots of noise, if you're Jordan - fall through the floor almost to the floor below, shriek and laugh and act like a dork.  Check, I've got that.  (BTW, only Jordan's pride was injured in his fall).
The hole we pulled Jordan from.

Well we tromp through, take lots of pictures in total darkness, and then approach the car.  The car is coated in really thick dust, it's fairly certain no one has touched it in a long time, so of course several of us wipe the dust off and try to peek in the windows.  RIP after we gawk sir.

Load up and move along...first stop an old bridge in the middle of nowhere darkness.  What the hell do we do here?  Oh, get out of the vehicle, walk to the bridge, take lots of random pictures in total darkness, load back up and head to another bridge.  Jordan & Phoenix & "friend".

Repeat this action at two additional bridge stops, and then head to a very, very old cemetery.  The church buildings here are in very good shape, but apparently no longer used as a church.  The cemetery itself dates back to the 1700s.  The older grave sites are behind a wall of some sort and we did not venture in.  We really didn't venture in to the cemetery at all.  A few of us entered in only one or two rows, and then headed back toward the car.

Stacy's son decided to videotape the windows of one of the buildings the entire time we were there.  He was waiting to see if something would happen.  The skeptics among you would scoff at what we have on video, but we were there, and we know.  Phoenix not only captured the image of someone walking through the building, past the window, but we all saw the windows when we got there, and they were closed.  As we were all rapidly heading back to the car after the figure walked past, someone asked, "hey, was that window open?" No was the resounding reply, and then I shined the maglite across the window, and I'll be damned if it wasn't open.  OPEN.  OPEN.  Yep, jump in the cars, race toward home, laughing and wondering and freezing.  Repeatedly asking if that window was open.  Repeatedly asking "did you see that guy walk by?"  Disbelieving, skeptical and convinced.  We have pictures, and video.  We know what we saw and heard.  We know who took what photos and from where.  We know and we believe.  And we're still shaking our heads, asking the questions, and totally amazed at what we saw.  Ghost hunting was a blast!  I can't wait to do it again...but no more suicide cars for me.  Nope, not doing that again.  Here's some photos.  I'll explain if you have questions.
Happy Merry In=between.

This is what Kathryn & I look like if you could see in the dark.  :o)

                                                                 Who you gonna call?  Ghost Hunters!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's in a name?

I can picture it so clearly....the clue reads "Teeth or tentacles.  On this detour teams have a choice of "Teeth", where they have to assemble a scale model of the Eiffel Tower using only their teeth and 10,000 toothpicks; or, Tentacles, where teams will be submerged in salt water, to their chins, with 10,000 octopi.  The second task will probably be quicker, but teams will likely suffer from nightmares of sea creature suckers for the rest of their lives"
Cut to the living room....I say, "yep we'd lose, right here.  Damn, made it to the final three teams only to be beaten by a damn octopus."  LOL.  This is just a sample of the Sunday evening conversations you'd hear in our wacky household.  We are HUGE fans of "The Amazing Race."  It's probably the only TV show I routinely ask to have taped, DVRd or recounted, moment by moment.  I've been a fan since the first episode, and I'm happy to say this show has been a family viewing event quite often.  We enjoy the brief geography / history lessons, watching how teams relate to each other, and loudly proclaiming when, and why, Laurie & I would lose.  
Our kids would love for us to apply.  We've kicked the idea around half-seriously before, but then there's always "that" challenge.  Eat something still moving; jump off a perfectly good bridge; ride the train in Bhopal and get your ass grabbed; somewhere during the race, that challenge ALWAYS shows itself.  That challenge is the deal breaker for Laurie, me, or both of us.  
In addition to the deal breaker, there are also the tough decisions that would have to be made.  Some decisions are obvious, Laurie would be the driver, I'd read maps.    I'd try to speak whatever language presents itself, and carry all money and passports.  Laurie would be the cheerleader.  We both suck at things like swimming, and paddling.  Heights are an issue, but we might be able to get by some of that.  Laurie hates flying.  That could be a big problem in a race around the world.  I'm completely arachniphobic, and that could present problems along the way too.  But the really tough decisions....what would we use for a team name, and what would our "signature" color be?  See?  These are the questions that keep us from applying.  No, really, that's all it is.  Having a camera person follow us and tape our every complaint, compliment, argument, flaw and foible...and broadcast that all over the country?  Nah, no big deal.  It's definitely the team name.  
I wish they'd do an all gay Amazing Race.  Just picture it....16 teams, more queens than in all of Europe combined.  The arguments would be fierce; the fashion undeniably awesome.  The bitchiness and sneaky game play would be top notch!  Yep, that's a competition we'd enter...and probably win.  Okay, maybe not, but at least we'd fail with style, and be complimented for it!
Laurie & Pearl, I'm sorry to tell you, you are the last team to arrive.  But you looked FABULOUS doing it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I am stuck on bandaids....

Holy Monday Batman! I wish I was a superhero. You know, the golden Wonder Woman bangles that could deflect bullets and bullshit. Or maybe a femme fatale like Poison Ivy....kiss me and die you fool. Ha, I could be a Power Puff Girl with baby dyke snarkiness worn like a shield. Bite me big boy. :::sigh::: Nah, I'm just Mom. Not Wonder Mom or Bat Mom, not even Super Mom. Just mom. Although most of you know this, in case a stranger wanders in unawares, I have 1 biological daughter, and 2 sons-by-acquisition. 3 kids. Once upon a time, when I was 18 and still relatively naive, I wanted 5 kids. Bahahahahahaha, Thank God for unanswered prayers. Part of being just mom, is doling out bandaids and Magic Mommy Kisses. Now bandaids are the stuff of magic, putting one on can instantly cure even a compound fracture for a 4 or 5 year old. They are truly magical, and they stay on even in hurricane conditions! Sometimes, the bandaid design is a measure not only of the severity of the injury, but the potency of super healing power contained within it's magic wrapper. Add to this the magic mommy kisses and healing is almost instantaneous! Woohoo!
Every Christmas, Santa Claus is wise enough to include a package of bandaids in every stocking hung with care here. He's brought camoflauge designs for when AJ & Jordan were still small enough to venture outside on wheels of some sort to play; neon colors to clash or accessorize the myriad of bumps, bruises and blisters that Kathryn might suffer. Hello Kitty bandaids have appeared for those fashionable and flirty booboos. Plain old beige bandaids appear when times are tough, but they have the same magic mommy medicine within their adhesive and gauze. The really cool thing about bandaids is that we never outgrow them, not really. We may not have direct access to the mommy kisses as we grow, but we know, in our hearts that mommy kisses are included in every bandaid we ever apply.
I think Fridays and Saturdays are the workweek bandaids. Mondays are like the small papercut or torn cuticle we might suffer, you know, not really life threatening but annoying as hell and oh that sting! So we get our paper cut on Monday and we work through the week until we get our magic bandaid on Friday and Saturday; apply mommy kiss magic on Sunday and start all over Monday. Not a bad way to cycle through a 40 hour work week.
Some people I know use Budweiser, Patron, or Wild Turkey as their bandaid design. Others use herbal themes, like cannabis. Others still, Nap Time Themes; sun, surf and sand themes; big honking trucks; Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Wii, xBox, PSP, name your video console. Add a bandaid, mommy magic kisses and voila, you are healed.
What is your bandaid of choice? Do you have a design you prefer? Does mommy magic come into play? Inquiring minds want to know!
I am stuck on bandaid, cuz bandaid's stuck on me. :o)

Friday, November 13, 2009

My body is 47 years 5 months and a few days old, as of today. I suppose that isn't really all that old. Having said that, the joints in my fingers are a bit stiff and painful most mornings now, my feet ache, and they cramp a lot, my knees have their own library of ringtones, and every sprain, twist, and fracture is letting me know where it is so that I can remember how it got there. Aging gracefully is not really a challenge, it's sort of a learned skill. I'm trying to learn.
I had a serious injury to my right wrist and hand almost 12 years ago that led to developing a rather bothersome nerve disorder called RSD or CRPS. While trying to recover use of my right hand, following surgery, I was treated with a long list of drugs including short stints on lithium, elavil, and a long time association with very high doses of something called Neurontin. This last drug turned out to be a Godsend. I was on it for almost 5 years, and then lack of money made continuing the regimen impossible. By that time, thank God, I had developed close to 50% function in my right hand. The surgeon initially told me I would be lucky to get 10 - 20% function back. Anyway, this RSD is a fickle and painful mistress. My family had to live with the ups and downs of my chronic, sometimes debilitating pain, and they did so with great patience and love. I've had several years of something resembling remission and count each of those days as a miracle. Recently, as my 47 year old body begins to settle and give in to gravity, RSD has reared its ugly head, or hand. Things that have been bearable for years are once again becoming difficult. This is creating a HUGE psychological dilemma for me. I'm not very good at focusing on me. I have a spouse who is wrapped to the knee in a fiberglass cast. She's on crutches from now til who knows when. I have a child / young adult in college, working hard at making the transition from high school to college under sometimes difficult family circumstances. I have a teenage son who struggles daily in the academic world. Things that come so easy to so many are sometimes a monumental task for him, and yet he perseveres. My 22 yr old son has just paid off his vehicle and, after losing a very good job, has relocated to McDonald's and made it look easy. My children make me very proud, and sometimes very frustrated. They have so many needs and wants, and I don't have time to slow down and deal with any kind of chronic pain. Their success should be my focus, and yet this pain thing seems to want to get in the way. I don't have time for this. I've fought this fight before, and I was able to get past round 1. This round needs to not even start.
As for the rest of things, well aging and gravity have a way of making my body look its age (I hope no older), and with that comes hard work at minimizing the impact. I don't think I'm terribly vain, but I do try to at least look nice most days. Apparently as time passes I am becoming less feminine. I'm not sure exactly what is meant by that but I've been giving it a great deal of thought. I still wear makeup, hopefully it doesn't settle in my facial lines and crevices making me look like Maxine or something. I've altered the way I wear eye makeup, and I think I've made age appropriate adjustments. I'm no longer wearing short skirts and high heels, (thank goodness!). I do wear some dressier clothes to work, with sensible, professional pumps, but no fuck me pumps for these feet anymore. I've sold most of my gold jewelry so I'm left with a few pieces of silver that are fairly simple in design. I hope I don't look like Maxine. I hope I don't look like Grandma Moses either. I hope I look 47 years 5 months and a few days. I can handle that. In the next few weeks I'll be returning to the South Beach Regimen to reset my insulin metabolism, and hopefully shed the 6 pounds I've reacquired in the past year. I don't want to be a toothpick, I just want to lose those few pounds and lose the snack cravings that seem to have returned.
Days like these past few make me miss my Mom. I miss my biggest cheerleader. I could have come out of my room with black raccoon eyes, holes in my pants, hair standing on end and my mom would have had a big smile for me, and she would have said oh you look so pretty. She would have seen the inside Pearl. The soul, although it's an old one, would have felt like a kid again. She would have known without asking, that my RSD was back. She might not have said anything, but she would have given me great reassurance, and soothed my increasing anxiety about it. Don't misunderstand me, Laurie is aware, she has seen the signs and the anxiety, she has been there to offer comfort and support. She's working hard to calm my fear. She's been here before, and she understands all too well what this flare means. I'm very lucky for that. My ex- wasn't as understanding the first time, I'd bet he'd be oblivious to this flare now, and resent me for its return when he found out. That explains a lot of the ex- part there.
So this is my maudlin blog for the week. The holidays are approaching, my daughter is growing up and needs me less and less, and I miss my mom. Life happens. This is mine. I wouldn't trade any of it for any reason.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday is Ladies Day

WooHoo! Ladies Day. Truth be told, you don't really have to be a "lady", just a female. Who knew that gun ranges offered free ladies days? I didn't. I never thought I'd have to. I am gun phobic. I was victimized in a rather cruel and unusual way many years ago, and since then the mere touch of gun metal makes me break out in a sweat. I've gotten used to it, and because I'm a caregiver by nature, the need to know how to shoot things was never an issue, until now. We have a stalker. He's really more of a punk ass, but he's dangerous, has a violent history, and he has been nice enough to add my entire family to his dance card. Woohoo, I'm a lucky girl. I've become rather well acquainted with our local police dept. Yay. After having been a law enforcement wife for 10 + years, I am REALLY excited about this. But...I digress. This evening a very nice Sargeant with our local PD arrived at our chateau. After banging loudly on the door, and wading through the barking dogapalooza that is my house, I met him on the walkway. We had a lovely chat and he then asked me if I can shoot. Shoot? Pool? Heroin? Hoops? Hmmm, no, he meant a gun. Weapon, sidearm, revolver, piece. No. Laurie, of course, is an expert marksman. He said unless she weighs 8 pounds and I want to carry her everywhere with me, that wouldn't be sufficient. He said it again ~ learn to shoot, get a gun, use it. Holy shit. This is the third time in less than a month that I've had someone say that to me. Use it. Point it and pull the trigger. Make it count. My dad actually then added the sage advice to find a good therapist to assist me with the PTSD that would certainly be the result of point and shoot. Use it. Make it count. This morning, as Laurie and I exited the garage and walked to the car to go to work we found a note on the hood of our car. It was in a ziplock bag, and it was a threat from our friendly neighborhood stalker, Wesley. It was full of the same bullshit rhetoric we've heard before, but this time the motherfucker FOUND MY HOUSE. Learn to shoot, get a gun, use it, make it count. Sweet mother of God, make it count? After years and years of praying, treating, caring for, worrying about, fearing and fighting guns.....I need to get one. Wow, has my life changed? And here I thought coming out of the closet was the biggest change I'd face. :::sigh::: What a crazy, mixed up world this is. I know that somewhere in all of this chaos and fear and anger there is a valuable lesson to be learned. I'm paying attention. In fact I'm on hyper-alert. I'm in pissed off mama-bear mode. My world has changed. My attention has shifted, my priorities are altered. I heard the nice officer. The policeman, who is my friend. He told me... learn to shoot, get a gun, use it, make it count. I'm going to, I will, I hope I can, I hope it does. The word of the day is strength. Yeah, I've got that.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No

No No No No

Ok, well maybe, if it's what you all want. It's fine with me. I don't really have a preference. I'll leave it up to you. Will it make you happy? Is that what you want? It doesn't matter to me. I'm okay with whatever you decide.

Have any of you heard this before? Said any of this before? I've said them all. Usually with an "I'm sorry" on one side or the other. I am, of course, single-handedly responsible for world hunger, so my frequent apologies should come as no surprise. I blame it on cold cream corn and a 6 year old appetite for vegetables, but it was my cream corn, so yes, it's my fault.

Having said that, I am a people pleaser. I like to make, and keep people happy. I'll gladly change my mind about almost anything, if it will make Laurie, or Kathryn, or anyone happy. I'll change my choice of take out for dinner, my choice of TV show, my time to take a shower or bath. Yep, that waffle person is me. I suck.

My ex-husband was a long-term beneficiary of this flaw. We always vacationed in one of two climates ~ beach or snow. Nowhere else. Since he hated cruising (which I love) it took 8 years for me to persuade him to take a cruise. I wanted to go places like Niagra Falls, Yellowstone, Las Vegas. No beach. No go. I wanted a "traditional mattress" so of course we had a water bed for 6 years. I like prime rib and steak so we ate at seafood restaurants several times a month.

After 26 years of living with my mom, she came to live with us/me for the next 20 years. I wanted to go away to college, and in fact was accepted to Tennessee Technical University, but my mom and grandmother were so distressed by my leaving, that I stayed home and went to community college.

Now I find myself in a place where I want to scream from the rafters but don't know how. No no no no. It should be so easy. It isn't. We have a young lady and her infant daughter living with us. Back in February she was pushed by her then boyfriend, and had no where to go. Since Kathryn had known her since 6th grade, she asked if she could stay here. Laurie and I had a big long conversation about this. We aren't equipped to care for an infant. We both work, we have 1 car, we have 2 teenagers in school. We agreed that this was a safe, and viable temporary solution. It's hard enough raising our own kids. Now we have a 19 year old who is neither mine or Laurie's, and her daughter. So, how exactly do the mom's house mom's rules settle with her? She's 19. Her mom works for the same City we do. But she's out of the picture for the most part. It's a convoluted situation, but we have a reputation for taking in strays and falling into this web.

The confusion, and frustration now comes with the "former" boyfriend and his loudmouth, punk ass threats. He continues to threaten my whole family, and his former girlfriend and baby. The police have been to my office, and my home several times in the past few weeks. It's like living in a minefield. It's the same place you've always been, but you know that one wrong turn could blow you out of the water. We have worked so very hard to keep our own kids away from the system, and having been married to law enforcement officers, we'd like to avoid the police all together.

So that's my dilemma. I recently read that a good guest is one who makes you feel at home in your house. Man, I haven't had one of those in years. I don't have a solution. I feel like we got played a little by our kids, just like we did once before with a houseguest from hell. They conspired to make this happen, and it has. Now what? no no no. It should be so easy.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pearls before H1N1

Our news media, be it TV, newspaper, magazine...all outlets relaying alleged "news" should be ashamed of themselves. This media-induced H1N1 panic is ridiculous. 10s of thousands of people, in the United States alone, die from influenza every year. 10s of thousands people!. 1 person, who was brought across the border for treatment of H1N1 has died. 1. People are wearing masks, bathing in GermX, staying out of crowds, cancelling travel plans, and basically acting like the sky is falling. All of a sudden people are washing their hands, covering their mouths when they sneeze or cough, and staying home from work if they have a fever or cough. Wow. If people took these basic precautions ALL the time, we'd have fewer outbreaks of the traditional flu. I've told my co-workers I'm more concerned about getting Tuberculosis from the person behind me at Publix than I am of H1N1. :::sigh:::
The county I live in has distinction of having the "first confirmed case of H1N1" in the whole state. Yep. An elementary school student is the first case. The school is closed all next week, and those students with symptoms, or at risk due to other medical conditions, are receiving TamiFlu as a preventive measure. Smart stuff this plan. Break the cycle of exposure, treat proactively, and go on with life. It's the flu folks. It's a nasty flu, but it really is just the flu.
Did you read that Egypt has called for ALL pigs in the country to be killed? Egypt has no confirmed, or even suspected cases of N1H1, and muslims don't eat pork....why do they even have pigs? People who stopped eating chicken and turkey after Bird Flu, and beef after mad cow are now adding pork to their list. They'll all be vegan before too much longer. My daughter has said "what's next? The monarch butterfly flu?"
Actually it will be Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Or maybe Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis ~ especially since the Federal Gov't is missing 3 vials from one of our allegedly secure infectious disease labs. Read this: http://http//
So, maybe we should add horses to the list of soon-to-be endangered animals. It's almost encephalitis watch and see.
Yes, our news media has much to be proud of. They've created a state of fear where none existed. They have people afraid of leaving the house for fear of contracting or transmitting this fatal flu. In this economy, and after 8 years of a Bush State of Fear, this is wrong. At least Washington isn't supporting the frenzy. (Okay, so Joe Biden might have been a little more tactful when telling his family not to take the train, lol) So far, Congress is still in session, sporting events are still scheduled, work is still work. Some things, at least, seem to have risen above the fray. Now, if any of those Washington people begin to oink, or their curly tails show, we may need to revisit the congress thing...but politicians have been swine for years. ;o)
So, to wrap things up, here's the mantra for the next few weeks: "wash your hands, try not to touch your face, don't let anyone use your phone." Just repeat it, and follow it, and you should be fine.
And for your reading pleasure, while your home hiding from H1N1, read Michael Crichton's State of Fear. It's one of the most frightening books I've ever read.
The word of the day is: hysteria

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The dog ate my soy nuts

He did. Well, I'm sure they did, but none the less, the soy nuts are gone. I asked them if they felt more hormonally balanced, and while there was no immediate response, somewhere in the middle of the night Toby regurgitated the entire box of undigested, no longer honey roasted coated soy beans. After removing the entire mess, I decided that my co-worker was correct, I did feel much better....and I laughed my ass off. So yes, soy beans did, after I cleaned up the mess, make me feel much less irritable. :o) Bahahahaha. We've had another busy weekend here. I can't really recall the last time we had a weekend to lounge around in our jammies, go nowhere, see no one. I sort of had the misconception that once children were old enough to drive that they wouldn't be home on the weekends. Then I remembered that our house is the cool house. Dammit, not only do our kids hang here, but they bring reinforcements. Oy! It's ok if I don't have to be in 5 places and on the move all damn day. What happened to nap time? We've moved dog school from Thursday night to Friday. Laurie & I have been taking Caeser & Toby to dog school for a month now. They are both learning the basics of good dog manners & hopefully we will no longer have to worry about Caeser running away or Toby snarling at people & other dogs. This round of school is 6 weeks. We may add another 6 after this as well. The young lady who runs the school is one of the kindest people I've ever met. She truly is a lover of all fur babies. She has learned what makes them "tick" and works with their strengths to overcome their weakness. Toby has become much more relaxed and less reactive in the short time we've been going. Caeser is the suck up teacher's pet and he plays on that like his life depends on it. Toby is the class clown. Dog school is fun and exhausting for Laurie & I, but we wouldn't miss it. We are still working on being able to take our motorcycles to work. My bike runs well, but does need some minor work, like new plugs and a serious de-greasing. We both need new front tires too. Mine has a slow leak, Laurie's leaks overnight. Details. :::sigh::: Last night we were finally able to find the time to take a ride. We both gear up, big fans of All The Gear, All The Time, or ATGATT. Off we go and then, about a mile later Laurie's bike has to have an attitude problem. Actually, it seemed like her front brake locked up, and when she tried to accelerate from an intersection it looked as if the bike was trying to buck her off. Damn. We were about a mile and a half from the house. That's a long way when you're trying to push a locked up bike that outweighs you by 3 or 4 times. Thank goodness for cell phones. Laurie called the boys, and then the guy she bought the bike from, and his son came by and he and our boys got the bike into the back of his truck, and then home again. Yep, a fun ride. Woohoo! We're both looking forward to being able to take a ride in the evening after work, or on the weekends. It's shouldn't be long now. :o) We have a child suffering from a very serious case of senioritis. Graduation is a tad over a month away. The symptoms vary, but include wide grins, a distinct lack of interest in homework, and a constant countdown to graduation. Yay! A job well done if I do say so myself. :o) To show you just what I'm talking about, let me share with you some of Kathryn's senior pictures.
I'm so proud of her that I could burst. Not to mention, as a totally unbiased mom, I think she's incredibly beautiful ~ in spirit and looks.
Ok, I've rambled enough. I still feel like I have nothing worthy of writing, but will continue to do so. At some point, if my life ever returns to boring, sedate, tranquil, then maybe I'll be able to blog on the endless philosophical questions that run through my mind. For now, all I want to know is when someone will load the dishwasher and take out the pizza boxes. :::sigh:::
Enjoy the journey kids, life is too short but the journey is awesome.
The word of the day is: quixotic.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Watch for falling ears

Am I having a mid-life crisis? Anything's possible. Statistically speaking, I am at the "mid-life" point. That's a sobering thought, mid-life, apparently half way between cradle and grave. They say the uphill part is much more difficult than the downhill slide, but at least going uphill, parts don't usually break, or fall off, or squeak too loudly. I can't tattoo my ass to read "honk if parts fall off", because Laurie and my doctor are the only ones to regularly see my ass. If I lost a part and they weren't nearby, no one would know to honk and I could end up losing something forever. And you just know it would be an important part, like an ear or something. Oy. Anyway, the topic of mid-life crises came up during a conversation I had with my boss the other day. My boss is a biker, and he frequently rides his Harley in to work. He's been very encouraging to me during my recent motorcycle safety class and buying my '87 Honda Rebel. Now, some people I work with (and possibly one I live with) may think I'm having a crisis. If you read the soy nut story you know that some just think I'm getting old and parts are soon to be falling out or off or something. Bah humbug! In all honesty, while I've thought about riding a motorcycle for some time, the only reason I've done it all now is because Kathryn will need the car to get back and forth to college in the fall. So, sooner rather than later, I have a motorcycle and the endorsement to go with it. Of course, I'm still too fearful to drive it 7 miles each way to work. I'm hoping to be able to pass that hurdle in the next 2 weeks. So, I'm taking the motorcycle out of the "crisis" column. Last summer when mom was diagnosed with cancer, Laurie and I shaved our heads. We did this because mom's biggest concern at the time was losing her hair and people staring at her. So, we shaved ours and made it a non-issue. Having no hair is quite liberating. It was quite a learning experience. People stared, my head got tan, the stubble was prickly, and getting showered was a 2 minute process. Now that my hair has grown back, in all its graying glory, people are asking when I'm going to color it. So...this coming weekend my friend Neil will lighten my hair. I haven't been blonde since I was 13, so I don't want to do that. I'm thinking maybe some bold chunky highlights. Since Neil is the expert I'll follow his advice but my thought is "hair today...blonde tomorrow." Heeeee. Ok, I'll leave this in the "crisis" column. In the past 2 years I've joined the online gaming crowd. For a while I played daily and found myself caught up in the virtual world where my characters roamed. I find this past time to be very relaxing, and somewhat cathartic. It's a good way to let stress fall by the wayside. Since almost everyone in my household played the same game, and we frequently met up in this world and worked on quests and missions together, I don't consider this a crisis, as much as a modern twist on family game night. Gaming comes out of the "crisis" column. Since I can't afford to be a slave to fashion, and I weigh a wee bit more than my petite daughter, I haven't been going around wearing her clothes or shoes. Therefore, I'd like to believe I've been dressing in a manner that is age appropriate. So, wardrobe can come out of the "crisis" column. Tattoos and piercings? Hmmmm, well I have lots of tattoos, but I started getting them slightly before the "mid-life" mark, so they aren't crisis material. Piercings? Well I've had my ears done since I was 5, my belly button since I was 38 (I think), and I just had my conch pierced. Since I did that on the spur of the moment, in weird support of a great co-worker, I won't count it as "crisis" driven. More a moment of what the hell was I thinking? , even though I really like it. :o) (By the way, should I ever get my hoohaw pierced, that would DEFINITELY fall into the crisis column. Eeeeew.) After adding up the ins and outs, I am left with only 1 crisis item. Hair. Damn, I can't even have a mid-life crisis! I think what I'm having is a mid-life. Life. Yep, I'm living it. Wild, crazy, responsible, stressful, twisted, sad, loving, amazing and BLESSED. In my living up the hill to mid-life I've gained some wonderful friends, added to my version of family, learned some painful and valuable lessons, lost some very special people, learned that I am stronger than I ever thought possible, and grown closer to God. If everyone could have a mid-life like this one, I think society might be a little more laid back. Ok, maybe not, but a girl can dream. So, until next time, ponder your own life crisis. Where are you on the climb or the slide? How's the view? I hope for all of you that it's amazing. Enjoy the journey, and if you see any parts fall off, please honk. The word of the day is: wend

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Here, have a soy nut.

This morning, one of my cubie quad-mates called me over and told me she'd gotten me a "little something". Hmmmm. A little what? Rat poison? Gum? Breath mints? GermX? No...none of the above. She got me a 3/4 lb box of honey roasted soy nuts. Who knew soy had nuts! Anyway, in the course of presenting me with my gift, and in the true spirit of friendship and love, she asked if I was "going through my change" and went on to tell me the benefits of soy during menopause. She then added that she really thinks I'm going through "the change" because I've been extremely nasty and mean lately. Ouch. I'm thinking if I've been mean and nasty I should call my doctor and have him alter or add more happy pills, I don't think soy nuts are going to be the difference. Nuts tend to make me ummm a little irritable...especially if they are still attached to a living breathing nut-case, er man. Well, those who know me know that I first apologized for my bad behavior. And I've spent the majority of time since the conversation analyzing my recent behavior and moods to try and see where, and possibly why, I've been behaving badly. I thought I'd share my list of reasons (not excuses) with all of you. I'm only going back 7 months, since including the past year may send me over the edge. I'm thinking that after actually listing my reasons (not excuses) I may think I haven't been nasty enough! To begin, 12 weeks after being diagnosed with breast cancer, 4 weeks after a bilateral radical mastectomy, 2 weeks after being declared cancer free and 4 days after her first chemotherapy treatment, my mother unexpectedly and suddenly died. Thankfully she died in her sleep, unfortunately I found her as I was heading out the door to work. The afternoon before my mother passed away, Wells Fargo sent a nice man to repossess my car. Due to the unforeseen expenses related to my mom's passing, all our bills backed up a bit until I could get things settled and caught up. Needless to say, the holiday season from November through January was difficult. Somewhere around mid-December the boobilage mass was discovered, and the whole circus with that began. Add to that, my mom's birthday is December 18th, so is Laurie's. It was the first birthday that Laurie had all to herself in her entire life. (Her biological mother's birthday is December 17th.) In early January I was lucky enough to be called to family court to have my child support payments extended from February 21st to June 7th, when Kathryn graduates from high school. My divorce decree did not include this provision, but Florida Statute does, and the family court division supports the extension. Steve, of course, objected. So a half day off from work to enjoy the floor show that is family court. Ugh. In February my niece and great-niece, (she just had her 1st birthday) arrived rather suddenly. That made 7 adults and 2 small children, our 3 dogs and 2 cats, and my sister's 2 dogs, all crammed in to a 4 bedroom home, approx. 2,400 sq ft. Yep, small. Add to that the difficulty of 5 moms and their children in such a small space, and you get a sense of how tense all the mama bears were feeling. No wonder tensions escalated, and bubbled over, with the outcome being the King family relocated to a place of their own. Shortly after that, on the day before her 18th birthday, my daughter had a car accident in the alleyway behind my office building. Thankfully she only suffered bruising and friction burns to her forearms from the air bag deploying. The only car we have sustained some ugly damage, but is still driveable. The seatbelt needs to be fixed (Kathryn is the only one it now fits around), and we need a new airbag, but my insurance company is dragging its feet. Next up, a court ordered invitation on behalf of my ex-husband challenging the rather large child support arrearage that he'd rather not pay. He filed this several weeks after the January hearing. He appears "by phone" which means he's sitting in his own kitchen, probably in sweat pants sipping coffee and smoking, and I have to take another day off from work and spend it in family court which is an experience that makes me slightly queasy. The upside is that the Special Magistrate basically told Steve to pound sand. My quad mate Tracy, has been faced with the imminent passing of her beloved MIL, who has been battling cancer for over a year, and March began the rather rapid decline in her health. The stress of that has been shared amongst our quad, as we try to support Tracy through the pain and impending loss. Sadly, but blessedly, Tracy's MIL passed away this week. Her suffering is over, but the family's grief is deep. March also brought a new round of lay-off rumors, and a lot of name calling by our local city council members. When you work for a city, you expect the general citizenry to be less than happy with you, but your own city council is expected to be on your side. Lately ours has been less than complimentary to city employees as a whole. Work has become tense, and stressful. As much as I love my job, and my co-workers, lately things have become difficult and sometimes overwhelming. I know I'm not handling that piece of my life as easily as I used to. I'm hoping that I can get my doctor to tweak my medication a little bit and help decrease the impact that the escalating stress is having. So, I think this about covers it all. Oh, unless you include my apparent membership in the menopause club. It's difficult to be certain because I had a procedure called uterine ablation back in November, so the monthly curse is no more, but all the pieces and parts are right where they started. Only the hormones will change, and apparently have. I guess I'll try to put a cap on my Linda Blair moments and see if I can become kinder and gentler at work. It embarasses me to think that I have been difficult to work with and created stress and unhappiness for my quad mates. I guess I'll have to be more aware, and more careful in the coming months. My mom has been gone 7 months now. It doesn't seem that long, and yet it seems like forever since I last heard, saw, hugged her. I miss her immensely. I know that the loss will never heal, but the grief comes less often now. However, when it comes, it comes fast, hits hard, and lasts a long time. Menopause huh? Yes, I guess that is a plausible explanation. I hope that those of you who know me can be a little patient while I try to work this out, but please, if I'm behaving badly, please tell me. Friends are too precious, and life far too short, to use any time behaving badly. Hugs to all of you, I think I'm having a HOT flash. Pearl The word of the day is: labile.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I love staff meetings. We have ours every two weeks, and we have two sessions so we always have coverage for each customer service area. My manager is a really cool guy, so I think our meetings are fun. They're held in our main conference room around a really big table with far too many chairs in the room. Each meeting has its own personality or ambience. In my area we pretty much stick to an "assigned" or "preferred" time slot. After having attended both time slots I prefer the later meeting. The regular crowd at this meeting seems a bit more relaxed, we laugh more, we seem less antagonistic for the most part. The early meetings always feel too defensive or combative for me. I feel like I've had to box my way out just to get through it. Anyway, today we learned some new stuff. We learned how much of our customer base is using the electronic bill format we've made available, we learned that the fate of our location for the next 3 years should be decided next Monday, and we learned that we are all facing mandatory training on our new Identity Fraud Protection program. WooHoo! Some good times are definitely ahead for us. :o) We also celebrated several service anniversaries. One for 23 years, several for 2 years. Our boss makes special certificates, has all the supervisors sign them, and hands them out at the meeting before your service anniversary date. It's a very nice 'atta boy. Wednesday staff meetings seem to set the day up to be full of discontent through the building. There hasn't been a meeting thus far that someone hasn't come away griping about something. I even fall into that category, although I'm usually griping about everyone else's griping. :::sigh::: Now I ask you, how stupid am I? Anyway, I think the meetings are, for the most part, fun. We hear the latest mandates, listen to the latest & loudest opinion, learn about upcoming raffles, training, or events, and have a chance to try and share ideas and concerns. Bahahahahaha. Okay, the altruistic side of me believes that....the side that sat in the meeting can't believe I said it. amazing waste of time? a chance to brainstorm, vent and maybe learn something? What are your experiences? Your best meeting? Your nightmare meeting? Inquiring minds want to know. And for the record, my cubie neighbor Scott, asked our manager if he could divorce me today. He wants a realllly high wall put up between us so I can't annoy him anymore. Yeah right. Our manager told Scott he has no idea how lucky he is that I'm his cubie neighbor. Hmmmph. That ought to teach him. :o) Unitl next time boys and girls. The word of the day is sycophant. Bahahahahaha!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I'll have what she's having

You know what it's like when you hear only part of a conversation, and a totally benign word or phrase takes on a meaning totally unintended, and slightly ummm perverse? You don't? Damn, that's too bad. My workdays are full of this sort of twisted, laugh-til-you-cry episodes. The absolute champion of the double entendre retired last September. She's a teeny tiny woman who is somewhere in her 60s. She could barely talk without saying something that definitely had 2 meanings ~ and one of them was definitely mind-in-the-gutter funny. Unfortunately, in this politically correct, overly fearful society, it's very risky to acknowledge the more perverse aspect of conversation. We do it anyway. My friends and loved ones will tell you that I play a good prude. The truth is I'm not a prude, but sometimes the perverse side of conversation embarrasses me while it makes me laugh out loud. I'm not sure what that's called, but it's me. So, while the statement recently heard at my office "...It just won't fit. and the second person said maybe if you turn it this way it will...." raised my eyebrows and made me laugh, it also made me cringe. My cubie neighbor, Scott, is in the same gutter I am. So is my cubie-quad, across the aisle co-worker Tracy. We may, one day, get ourselves into a world of trouble. Scott and I don't care. There's a lot to be said for being well past 40. After 40 life is way2short to ignore the gutter stuff. It's funny dammit, and I need to laugh as much as I can. This morning, Scott's supervisor gave him a cupcake, with a bunny ring, as an Easter treat. (Yes it was for Easter because there's no such thing as an unleavened cupcake.) Before I realized the bunny was a ring, Scott was talking about a ring and I made a comment about there being all sorts of rings...then Scott walked around to my cubie and showed me the was unbelievably bunny-like and very small. I asked where Scott was going to wear it, and he replied he didn't know, but he did know where he wouldn't be wearing it. He meant it as it sounded and I knew it. I laughed and so did Scott. My quad-mates yelled "ENOUGH!" I guess that was today's line for sexual harassment. :::sigh::: Too bad, because sexual innuendo makes the day fly by. The ability to laugh, in the midst of all the number crunching and nasty phone calls we deal with, is truly a blessing. Gutter mind is a learned skill. While Scott and I are very good at it, our co-worker Lorenzo is the reigning CHAMPION. Lorenzo can find innuendo in just about everything. In fact, he used to keep a journal with the date, time and statement, as well as who said it. He could probably write a bestseller with it. The co-champ is my friend Melissa. She and I had "unusual ear piercings" done during lunch one day. Melissa had her tragus done, I had my conch. Bahahahaha. Anyway, this led to an ongoing discussion about who may have a pierced hoohaw or hoohoo, and how one might tell, without asking. We've agreed that likely candidates wear a lot of black, have "unusual" and/or multiple piercings, and tattoos. Interestingly enough, I fall into this category, so does Melissa, and Tracy. Factually, none of us have pierced our hoohaws. OUCH and EWWWWW are two of the main reasons. Nonetheless, the innunedo laden conversations are hilarious and sometimes downright creepy. If you could see some of the "candidates" we work with, you'd better understand this. The EWWWWW factor in some cases carries a dual meaning....we can't imagine piercing a hoohaw, and their having a pierced hoohaw, or hoohoo, is completely disgusting. BAHAHAHAHA. Okay, I'm rambling. I almost never do that. Heeeeeeee. Well that's what's on my gutter mind today kids. This wasn't as hard as I expected it to be. I'll just stick it in here and see what happens. It's time for me to go, I'm feeling hot. I hope this makes you feel as good as it made me feel. Until next time you know what they say....if you can't say anything nice, sit next to me and we'll compare notes. See ya in the gutter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Am I wherever "there" is yet?

I just finished reading Garret's latest blog entry ( and the title for this entry came to me. It's time to blog. So here's the "Reader's Digest Condensed Version" of the recent past here, in no logical order. It's my oyster, I'll recall it any way I want. Hmmmph. My breast mass miraculously disappeared. After months of talking to it, feeling like I had a passenger or invader, of wondering if I was going to face the same surgery - chemo battle my mom did, it's gone. Whew. That God, well He rocks out loud. Now I'm left with my 2 aging breastses and an unbelievable feeling of relief. Thank you to all who sent up prayers, sent positive energy, and just let me know that I matter. You matter. It all made a difference. The first week of February my niece, and her baby girl arrived. My sister had about a week of lead time to prepare for their arrival, and of course I have a house that is teenager friendly, and therefore NOT baby-proof. In addition to the obvious space crunch (7 adults and 2 babies in a 4 bedroom house), there was the constant worry with a very mobile and curious 11 month old. My sister and niece were able to locate a 2 bedroom duplex in the area at a reasonable rent, and moved March 1st. They seem to be doing okay. My niece is still looking for work, so handling the day to day expenses are all on my sister right now, and I know how stressful that can be. I hope things settle for them soon. Somewhere in that time frame Garret arrived "home" to help care for his mom, who was hospitalized, and quite ill, as well as to spend time with his beloved Uncle, who was too quickly passing from our midst. We were able to visit with Garret and friends, and share an amazing lasagna dinner a la Laurie, and some way too good chocolate everything compliments of Tim, Carl and Garret. It was a great evening, and we caught up a little, laughed a lot, and ate too much. :o) (Laurie's lasagna has that effect on us.) In between the beginning and now...well lots of little drama, some BIG drama, and a few stolen moments of serenity. In our chaotic zoo we are painting bedrooms, cleaning carpets, rearranging furniture, spring cleaning, tossing piles of junk, and living life. There are so many minute things that make me happy, and help me realize just how blessed I am. There are a few things that make me feel tired, and old....and a handful of things that show me how much fun life as a grownup is! I've recently taken a Motorcycle Safety Class and obtained my motorcycle endorsement for my license. I've bought a 1987 Honda Rebel that runs great but needs some cosmetic surgery. :o) I'm looking forward to taking an occasional weekend ride (with a full face helmet and all the safety gear) to clear my mind, and savor being the mom of an amazing 18 yr old who no longer needs me in the same ways she once did. Life is amazing kids. It really is about the journey, and mine has been filled with side trips and scenic rides. I can't wait to see what's around the next bend. Until next time.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Just shut up and vote!

I watch our weekly City Council Meetings as often as possible. (This means when I remember, and when my family lets me take the TV.) I watch these meetings for a multitude of reasons; a sense of civic duty, a voyeuristic nature, it's the best free entertainment in town, and mostly because so many of the Council's decisions have a direct impact on my career and my family's security. Having said that, some of these people are RIDICULOUS! One would think that a Council meeting, especially a weekly meeting, would only last 1-2 hours. Tonight's circus is currently in it's 6th hour, and they aren't even half way through the damn agenda. Secondly, we have a small cast of supporting players, frequent fliers, repeat offenders, standup comediens. These folks are important, and annoying as nails on a chalkboard. Most of them speak each week, for too much time, in a boring and annoying monotone. In fact, many of them are so annoying that we've come up with fantasy storylines about them. Many of my bizarre co-workers share my sick obsession with watching council. Every Tuesday morning, before we clock in, we share a few minutes eagerly dissecting every public speaker, council faux pas, and what we perceive to be blatant acts of stupidity. I think we thrive on it in a sick way. Of course, we work for the City, so that probably explains a lot of the problem with us. Tonight's epic meeting contains an agenda item that has a direct, and possibly devastating effect on my job. People are very passionate about this issue, whether they are for or against it. If the project is approved it will increase my monthly expenses quite a bit, but it will also secure my job for a little longer. Can you say mixed feelings? I've been hollering at the TV for 5 hours now. (I got home an hour into the meeting.) Sometimes I want to knock heads together, and sometimes I stomp my feet and aaaaaaaaaaaargh at the room. Tonight I'll go to bed with a headache and a prayer. The difference, for me, is sadly I can see both sides of the issue, quite clearly. In a situation like this one, would you go with your budget, or your job? It's quite a decision. One is easily contingent upon the other, isn't it? I'm a team player, so for me, I'm with the job. My co-workers and I have already invested a tremendous amount of time and effort into this project. We take a small amount of pride in watching the projects unfold and become a tangible pain in the ass as opposed to one on paper only. Knowing this project may, or may not be coming forward, Laurie and I will revise our sad budget and begin saving for the impending increase. I hope most of my neighbors will too. We have a year or so to put money aside so we aren't caught financially short. The sad truth is, most of our neighbors will ignore this project and then call my office when the money is due and scream at us. That's when my name will be changed to "You F****** people" and I will come home sad and tired everyday. :::sigh::: Those will be the days I'll wish I'd picked budget over job...and hide my City ID card when I go out to lunch. The thought makes my head hurt....maybe I should have a glass of wine. that will help! Actually, City Council just voted to move forward with the project. This means I'll have 8-10 hours of non-existent overtime this month, and be prepared for my impending name change. I hope you'll all listen to me whine in July when my name changes. :o) That's all folks, the word for today is ~ insinuation. Did you ever notice the word sin located amidst this word? Hmmm, makes me wonder.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mass x anger = Pearl

Some of my friends will tell you that I am a nice person. Some of my friends will tell you I'm annoying and bossy and dramatic. Today I will tell you that I am pissed off and over ALL OF IT! Ugh. I was scheduled for a bilateral boobilage MRI tomorrow. This lovely and pleasant exam was ordered by my cutie baby boobilage surgeon to get a good look at my Left Breast Mass. Today, thre self-serving, self-righteous, arrogant, bloody ignorant boobless Dr for BlueCross / BlueShield DENIED MY MRI. Not only did he deny it, he said the insurancee company will IN NO WAY APPROVE IT! I think it's because it isn't HIS breast mass, or his wife's, or his mother's, thank God. Well the next step is up to the surgeon. I told him today, I don't care what we do, as long as we do SOMETHING, and do it SOON. I hate insurance companies. The word of the day is ~ obtuse

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Ringmaster says "Now in the Center Ring..."

A few people have inquired about my boobilage reference, so I thought I'd elaborate. Breasts, boobs, tits, tatas, rack, knockers, hooters, the girls; there are a lot of words used to refer to the anatomical feature that so much of advertising, and fantasy revolve around. I prefer tatas, or boobilage, or the girls. I have a pretty nice "set" from what I've heard. You'd think they had eyes or something the way so many people speak directly to them. Hmmm. Anyway, until the middle of 2008 I considered them "there". Nothing special, just there. I think some women will understand that. Last year my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and a few months later, after beating cancer, died from complications related to the preventive chemotherapy she was receiving. Needless to say, tatas took on a bigger role in our family. (Ha, no pun intended.) :o) So this past Friday I had to see Dr. Kammerlocher, my favorite surgeon. Dr. K. is the man who I allowed to cut my throat open in April '07 to remove half of my thryroid. He's a cutie baby. He's funny, and kind, and an excellent surgeon. He's also the surgeon of choice for the "thing" in my left breast. He had all my mammogram films, and the ultrasound report and sat next to me to read them to me, like a medical bedtime story. As we discussed the parenchymal breast tissue and the density of breast tissue, he smiled and said he was the smart guy necessary for Blue Cross / Blue Shield to allow me to have a breast MRI. As he examines my 46 yr old saggy left boob he says "yeah, I feel a mass." Not a thing, or a lump, or a shadow ~ he felt a mass. To add to the surreality (is that a word?) of the moment, he calls Laurie over to the exam table and teaches her how to do the exam he's doing, and explains that partners / husbands / best friends should be performing this exam on one another monthly. And with that, he gave me a ticket for admittance to the medical circus that is now my left breast, boob, tata, hooter. The show includes an MRI, biopsy, and possible surgery, lumpectomy, removal at a later date. The ticket is also good for admission for as many family members, friends, and complete strangers as my oyster can hold. No one, except me, has to attend. Mine is the only mandatory attendance. The MRI is this coming Wednesday, and they may or may not do the biopsy then. I see Dr. K on Feb. 6th to discuss the results. Then, who knows? So that's the story of the boobilage, tatas, hooters, tits, rack, set, udders, tub toys, the girls. I'll let you all know how it goes, as it goes. In the meantime, check your breasts, and your friend's, daughter's, sister's too. Make it an event. Laugh, cry, talk, but do it. Did I ever tell you I HATE the circus? :o) Oh yeah - the word of the day is acerbic. Edited 04/26/09 because my lovely daughter pointed out I'd spelled acerbic incorrectly. WooT!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The World is My Oyster

Do you have a blog, or website, where I can get to know you? Ummm, no. It was an interesting question. Why would anyone want to read about me, my thoughts, my ordinary day-to-day stuff? I wouldn't. Oh wait, that's because I'm in it. My life is boring, ordinary, unremarkable. Except that it really isn't. Nothing about my Oyster is even close to ordinary. Bahahaha, what a concept "ordinary" is. To begin with, I can't even type it correctly. Oh, I know how to spell it, I just can't seem to get my typing brain to get it right. Not once in this paragraph have I typed it correctly the first time. (Maybe that's because I spent too much time laughing in Ms. Hamilton's typing class back in the day.) To get on with things, after being asked that question last week, I have given blogging a great deal of consideration. Garret blogs, and makes me laugh, sympathize, and mostly miss him. His blog is a work of creative insanity. He makes videos, and slide shows, and it's incredible. His blog has become a daily activity for me, as important as brushing my teeth twice a day. But I can't blog like that. I don't have the know-how to make videos, and I'm not travelling the country in an RV like a crazy person. My Oyster involves a growing city in SWFL, which I affectionately refer to as The Face of the Sun. I've lived here for 10 years with my best friend, and partner, Laurie, and our 3 amazing and exasperating kids. We have a menagerie which consists of 3 dogs, 2 cats and a brine shrimp in a bioquarium. My sister, and her 2 dogs have lived with us for the past year. See? Not ordinary. Laurie and I are fortunate to work for our City Government in different divisions doing very different jobs. We both work with great friends, and really like what we do. These 2 factors make that Monday - Friday 8 hour sentence not only bearable, but frequently laugh til you cry fun. 1 of our 3 offspring has left our house (can't say I blame him) and moved in with his dad, step-mom, 4 of his 6 step-siblings, 3 step-nieces and nephews, and something like 6 dogs, snakes, and who knows what else. He says it's quieter there...I believe him. We have a large circle of "acquired" children. My daughter's friends wander in and out regularly, and most of them consider us their "other" moms. They talk to us about their lives, dreams, hurts, and allow us to tease, comfort, guide and love them. God has been very gracious in granting us this gift. I love these kids. Don't get me wrong - they make me crazy but they make me laugh too. I can't imagine life without the ebb and flow of teenage chaos that surrounds me. Well, I guess this is boring enough. I have a lot to say, about everything. My director at work says I'm loquacious. Look it up. I, of course, believe he meant it as a compliment. Those of you who know me, think what you want. :o) As usual, there's a lot going on in my Oyster ~ Laurie's ankle mis-adventure; Kathryn working toward Graduation; my never-say-die EX-factor (ugh); my boobilage and "thing" in the left side; and don't even get me started on the vortex that is Jordan. Oy, my head hurts just writing that. Anyway, I'll be back to write more. I hope that you find some of it entertaining, enlightening, or maybe just the thing to make you appreciate the ordinariness of your own lives. Until then ~ the word of the day is: Hope Oh, by the way, not once did I type ORDINARY correctly the first time. Not even this time. :::sigh:::