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.