Filed under: Uncategorized
So much for being the most civilized country in the world. Have you read about the looting and general thuggery going on in New Orleans? God. It’s bad enough so many have lost everything, then human hyenas come in and pillage.
I heard a guy on NPR blame it on Social Oppression, that folks are just getting back at an unjust system. Give me a break. It’s greed. Nothing more.
I wonder how long it will take for those arbiters of Social Justice, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton et al to find a way to blame Whitey for the whole mess.
The whole thing just makes me sick. Hyenas, jackals, buzzards all. Hundreds of thousands of people are hurting, displaced, homeless, yet folk find a way to blame the destruction of an idol to pride on one segment of society or another.
Look, New Orleans was a geographical stroke waiting to happen. It was built in a flippen BOWL with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Mississippi River on the other. Levees held the water back. It was disaster waiting to happen and man’s pride made us think that we could fool with Nature and make Her behave. Even 4th grade rednecks know better than to build in a floodplain.
How arrogant are we, that we think we can change the wind, the tides, or the river’s flow. We are small. Nature is Big. Learn this.
Learn also that humankind has the capacity for great evil, and greater good. One person can’t change the world in one day, but one person can make another person’s world better in a minute. One person can cause a tragedy, or heal a wound.
Good night, and God bless, and may you never face the loss of everything you have.
Filed under: Uncategorized
#1 son, child-o-mine, I feel your pain, even if you don’t. Your life parallels mine in so many ways it’s spooky. So, while i realize your desire for complete independence, and I respect that, I can look back and see what havoc can come from independence.
When I was a child, growing up in Illinois and Georgia, I sought to be Good. I was what everyone wanted me to be, dependable, honest, trustworthy, kind. You were like that- a people pleaser. Everyone who knew you praised you forbeing so grown-up, so dependable honest,
trustworthy, and kind.
When I was in my mid-teens, I got fed up with all that. Sick of being Perfectly Perfect in Every Way. I realized the kids at Church Youth Group were as obnoxious as the kids at school, and if that was the face of Christ, I didn’t want to see it. I remember when that happened to you.I didn’t quit believing in God, I just didn’t care for a relationship with Him. I can see that happening to you.
So I put God in a box and stuffed the box in the back of the closet, and Did My Own Thing. I can see you doing that.I see you doing what you want to do, what you think is best for you. I can understand that. For years, I did my own thing. I did what felt good to me, and to hell with the consequences. There are no consequences when you are 19. Those come later.
I found a man I loved, who loved me back, got married and started having babies. I still kept God in a box. ThenI decided that the babies needed church, for no other reason than allowing them to make an informed decision about God.
Then I went crazy. In the aftermath of losing sanity, I realized I needed God, that even tho it felt like Hehad abandoned me, the reality was that I had left Him. He invited me back home,and I went.
The hardest part of the whole situation has been the regret. Regret for lost time, for things I didn’t do. I know it’s hard to wrap your mind around the idea right now, that you’ll have Regret one day. Right now the things you are doing feel right. I can understand that. I am not going to condemn you.
I want you to keep a mental envelope with a note in it. The note says: “I love you, I’m here, come home when you’re ready. Sincerely, God” p.s. your mother will make you a pot roast when you do.
So, as I watch you get ready to jump from the nest, I will close my eyes and let you go even though every instinct in me screams “NO”. I will tell myself that you are an intelligent and capable (if hardheaded and selfish) individual who will learn from mistakes and Do Just Fine.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Please contribute to the Red Cross for disaster relief.
The Deep South has been devastated by this hurricane, and will take a very long time to recover.
It really is as bad as the pictures.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I’m sick. Not deathly sick, I’m in no danger of keeling over or erupting bodily fluids on the walls and carpet. I’m not sprouting extra limbs and my tongue isn’t coated. I’m just aching, with sinus pressure and general feeling-sorryness. Unfortunately, so are 2 of my kids, so I can’t simply dope up on night time cold meds and crawl in bed. Kids, when they get sick, have no idea how they’re supposed to behave. They see it as a mini-vacation, an opportunity to watch movie after movie or (in the case of #4) go to the PBS Kids website and molest the boo-bahs. I suppose I could try doping them up as well, but my children have that unfortunate (for me) constitution that makes them hyperactive on cold meds, rather than Sleepy, Dopey, or Grumpy.
So I sit here in my powder blue bathrobe with the white lace trim, hot tea with lemon nearby, and computer warming my lap. I can’t say I feel like shit-on-a-stick, more like…hm…5-week-old-compost-with-eggshells-and-banana-peels-in-a-bucket. You know, unpleasant but not offensively so. Maybe, if by some miraculous event I feel better in a bit, I’ll fold laundry, then take a nap. #4 will remain engrossed in Boobahs and Magic School Bus indefinitely.
What! you say, What!! You’ll leave a 6 year old child unsupervised on the internet?! How irresponsible! No, not really, as the squishy chair I’ll nap in is in the same room as the computer. Even asleep I’ll recognize the pornographic moans of Jenna Jameson and be able to hit the kill switch before he realizes she’s not moaning because she dropped a skillet on her toe.
I feel for Sweet Daddio when I’m sick, because he winds up shouldering all the burden that I ignore. Yesterday (when I started feeling puny) he asked what was for supper. I said “chicken soup with garlic and pepper.” This is my standard remedy for a cold. homemade chicken soup with copious amounts of onion, garlic, and cracked black pepper. If you want the recipe I’ll send it to you. Anyway, when he heard my answer he said (I thought this was very insensitive of him, especially since I am supposed to have the monopoly on insensitivity in this house) “So…you’re sick so we all have to eat chicken soup.” “Yes,” I said,”Because I want chicken soup and i don’t feel up to fixing 2 meals.” So he brought home some tasty cheese rolls and by the time supper rolled around, I just wanted to go to bed. I didn’t even eat any of the chicken soup, so carefully prepared by #2 with some instruction from me. All that fuss, but I just wasn’t up to it.
Another of my favorite cold remedies is gin. I know, you’re all thinking ‘yeah right…like she needs yet another excuse’. Honestly, tho. If I am feeling the beginnings of a cold, a couple of really stiff gin-based drinks sometimes can kick it right in the butt and out the door. So last night, as I was supervising the soup project, I had a gin and tonic with lots and lots of lemon. I don’t know if I really felt better, or if I just quit caring that I felt bad. It’s hard to tell sometimes.
I know I don’t feel better this morning, so it must not have worked.
One of my favorite parts of a cold is the hour after taking a stiff dose of something with an antihistamine in it. It’s that floaty feeling, hovering about the bed slightly, wrapped in cotton batting so the world outside is muffled and dim. All the pressures, the multitudinous loads of unfolded laundry, the half-painted flames on #3′s wall, they all just fade softly into the background, somewhere behind a dim memory or the Jim Brickman CD playing to dampen the roar from the air conditioner. It’s even better at night, like 2 am, when it’s completely dark and you can pretend you’re in space, or one of those zero-gravity flotation tanks that’s supposed to mimic being in the womb. Of course, if Something Happens, if someone severs a limb or chokes on a marble or electrocutes himself with a Water-Pik, it’s a struggle to crawl out of the dim chemical cave and act all grown up. Wiping away the cobwebbing and unraveling the batting whilst stopping blood or starting hearts is multitasking at it’s most elemental. It’s the fear of that…that’s what’s keeping the cold medicine in the cabinet. Save for a tylenol or two, and a large canister of black tea.
Mercy. While #4 is participating in a computer game involving circus tents and cute robots, #4 has decided to indulge in a Lord of the Rings Movie Marathon. Orcses and Trollses and a really nasty spider. Care to take bets if I can get him to fold laundry while he’s at it? He’s 14, and capable.
You know, I am really starting to feel cruddy. Someone added coffee grounds to the compost-in-a-bucket that is my malady. They stirred it up and now it’s really icky. I must get better, as Thursday I have an appointment with the Volkswagen people to fix the top on Little Martha. I’ve gone over a month now without being able to put the top down. Not a terrible thing, really, because it’s been so hot, but Fall is approaching and I want to mess my hair up.
So…do YOU have any favorite non-standard cold/flu remedies?
Filed under: Uncategorized
done for the day. The ceiling is white, the walls are dark charcoal grey, the fan is in the window and I can’t do no more ’til the paint dries 24 hours.
Now. On one wall goes these flames. They are scarlet red, bright orange, and Hey-Look-At-Me-yellow. What color do I paint the trim? Red, orange or yellow? I have a door, a window, and crown molding to paint. I believe painting each thing a different color would be twee, so don’t suggest that. I am leaning toward the yellow, because it’s the yellow of road signs, of which #3 has 2 of those long rectangular bridge warning signs- the ones with the diagonal black stripes. He found them in a creek bed, and wants to hang them ‘longside his window like a pair of shutters. He also has a “Do Not Park Here Or You Will Be Castrated” sign he got from the local presbyterian church when they replaced it with something more polite, and a “Caution Do Not Enter Without A Confined Space Permit” that Sweet Daddio stole from the Chicago Board of Trade when he worked there eons ago. Apparently it was hanging on the door of the men’s private Lounge and Girly Magazine Viewing Station. #3 has hopes for a selection of signs to enhance his collection: Men’s Bathroom, No Trespassing, No Smoking (we’ll snitch that from #1, he’s obviously not using it). I am thinking a border of yellow caution tape “Crime Scene” or “Stench Zone”.
But for now, I have to wait for the paint to dry, and I am considering the possibility that #4, SD and I can do just fine getting our clothes out of the basket unfolded. At least for the day.
SD said something a couple of days ago, as we were pondering the approach of Hurricane Katrina toward New Orleans. He said ” If something doesn’t happen to New Orleans then God owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology!”
Filed under: Uncategorized
“as boring as watching paint dry” Have you ever done that? Watch paint dry… Whether it’s boring or not depend wholly on your frame of mind. For example, when I am in the hypo-manic phase of my bipolar disorder, not only is watching paint dry dull, flying in an f-22 at Mach 3 (do they go that fast?) is only mildly stimulating. On the other hand, when I am under the attack of a cold virus, and on a nice dose of Day-Quil, watching paint dry becomes a Zen-like experience. It’s peaceful and the fumes contribute to the sensation of floating several inches off the floor.
We are deep in the throes of redecorating #3′s bedroom. It was, in a former life, an office/den sort of room replete with dark ugly cabinets and questionable clothing stuffed in the air vents. “Hm,” wondered #1,” I wonder what this room was used for.” “Sex, lies, and videotapes,” I opined. Based on the amount of TV, Cable, and electrical cordage, and the layout of the very ugly cabinetry, added to the reputation of the former owner, I surmised that it was his Den of Iniquity. Plus the womens panties stuffed in the air vent.
Anyway, we are Redecorating. #3 requested an Industrial Theme with lots of galvanized metal and OSHA hazard signs. We purchased furniture and paint yesterday. The walls will be a charcoal grey with one wall (where the dresser, desk, and locker style closet will be) painted in flames a’ la Hot Rod style. Sweet Daddio is going to construct a headboard and footboard out of galvanized pipe, flanges, and t-joints, the curtain rod is the same, and the furniture is Coleman steel toolboxes and lockers. The 3 drawer units will support a brushed nickel countertop with a kneehole between to serve as a desk. The units are charcoal grey with galvanized steel corners and hardware. We are going to make brackets for him to hang his guitar, a shelf for the amplifier, and shelves on the wall for skateboards etc.
So today, I am supposed to paint. Except that I have a cold and am heavily under the influence of Day-Quil. I realize the reason it’s called Day-Quil is so you can take it during the day and not get all weird like Nyquil. I’m not really any weirder than normal, I’m just trying involuntarily to do an astral projection onto the bed. So I am going to break the job up into 45 minute segment, since that seems to be all my poor, disease racked body can stand. I just painted the ceiling, and feel enormously fortunate that I didn’t simply fall over backward into the paint pan. I guess next I’ll do a wall. At least I don’t have to tape or mask anything, since it’s ALL getting a fresh coat, and the ugly avocado green carpet is coming up, to be replaced by a nice coat of black porch paint.
Now, I realize the whole get-up sounds very grim and goth. Understand that #3 is as far from a goth as Fozzie Bear. He just likes to feel cocooned. He always has. Even in the heights of summer, you can go to wake him up and he’ll be completely swaddled (except for a foot) in a thick comforter. I don’t mind doing the work on his room, because he’s going to be with us at least 4 more years. Plus he trusts me to paint the flames, and I think that will be very cool. When the whole project is done, I’ll be sure to post before-and-after photos.
In other news, #1 announced this weekend that one of his teachers (Computer Lab) enjoys veiwing naughty photos on the school computer, and during class. The CL computers are on a separate and independent server, so one can’t go in from elsewhere in the school at catch him. The history clears itself automatically every couple of hours, so that option is out. So, #1, desirous of catching the man doing something he’d like to do but isn’t allowed so no one else should be either, has taken his little video camera to school and plans to record this man’s heinous and irresponsible behavior. How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Filed under: Uncategorized
MY personal day of rest. No laundry, minimal cooking, no cleaning…just sitting on my dead ass doing whatever I want. This morning, that meant catching up on the many blogs I follow. This afternoon it will mean reading, maybe pulling the monkey grass out of the flower boxes. Maybe not. That sounds like it would take effort. I highly recommend that every single person take a personal day of rest. Sunday doesn’t work for me, because i have to get everyone spiffy for church plus cook a grand noon meal. So I do it on Friday. I think God would appreciate and understand my logic. Besides, the calender is Roman, not Hebrew.
Many years ago, when Sweet Daddio and I were young and skinny and newly married, we started eating Friday lunch together. Back then that meant sandwiches and iced tea. Then kids came along and,reluctant to give up Friday Lunch, we got them signed up in a daycare one day a week. Thus begat Friday Is My Day Off.
Funny how kids remember things differently. Not long ago #1 asked why we put them in daycare all week since I wasn’t working. “All WEEK!” I screeched! “Try 1 day a week!” He said “I remember it being all day every day” Dang, thinks I. If that’s how they remember it then that’s what i should have done. I could have had a career. I could have been fabulous. I’d probably be a smoker and still be thin.
Anyway, back to Friday. Now the kids are all in school, no one is forced against his will into a social situation requiring him to eat chicken and dumplings from a can or sleep on an army cot.
SD and I have resumed our Friday Lunches after a year’s hiatus. His last job (that lasted a year) had him on the road all the time, and he was entertaining clients for lunch instead of his wife. This wasn’t really a bad thing, because it meant he took me to Friday Dinner instead, which involved stuff like wine and scallops.
The dynamic is different, though. Friday Lunch is relaxed, a pleasant break in the middle of the day with food ranging from liver and onions to pork barbeque and brunswick stew. It involves iced tea and people at the next table discussing telephone wires or how to pour a basement. People expect you to have work stains on your shirt. Dinner is…dressing up a little. Loafers instead of sneaks, polite conversation instead of whining about the flies. Lunch is paper towels ripped off the roll, dinner is cloth napkins. You don’t have to wait as long for lunch, either. 7 hours, if you get up at 5 like I do, instead of 13+ hours for dinner.
I am happy to resume Friday Lunch. It kicks off the weekend for me. I can come home and plan something fun for supper (tonight:tacos).
I like to fix up a little for Friday Lunch (and it carries over to later in the day)…you know, primp a bit. Shower with good smelling soap (B&BW Moonlight Path), shave the legs, fix the hair some other way than a bandanna or ponytail, be clean and sweet smelling. Then Friday evening, I’ll fix him a glass of glenlivet and I’ll have a g&t. It’s cooler now, so sitting on the patio is a definite go. We’ll eat supper late, relax and enjoy each others company with the kids. This is what is is to be married (almost) 20 years to someone you really, genuinely like.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I love to watch people, to sit on a bench at the park or mall, and quietly observe. I possess that wonderful(to me) quality of being utterly anonymous. I have absolutely no outstanding physical qualities, and therefore enjoy a level of invisibility/anonymity. It’s great for people watching because no one notices that I am looking at them!
The other day, Sweet Daddio and I met at the courthouse to get new car tags. As I was standing in line, chatting idly with SD, I took notice of the people in line. At the clerk’s window was a very large, beefy dude, sporting the whole Bad Biker Look: shaved head, long shaggy goatee, ominous tattoos scrolling up his leg, little gold earring. I tuned in to his conversation, mentally forming expectations of a biker guy. He said “uh….yeah…..uh….I need to license my bike…” “Do you have a title or lein paper and insurance binder?” says the clerk. “Uh….yeah….uh..here..it’s….uh…a HD Fatboy custom…” *ding* I was right, this man was NOT the owner of a new Volvo station wagon or a Chrysler minivan.
Then I noticed a kind of withered little woman, of the indeterminate age commonly seen in long time heavy smokers. She had a remarkable head full of Big Hair. She approached the clerk and, in a deep raspy voice punctuated with a scary cough, she made her request. I thought to myself “It’s either a ’78 Buick or a housetrailer.” She said (very thick Southern Accent of the Uneducated variety) “Hey Ah wanna get me a lah-sense fer m’ housetrailer”. *ding*
Then there is our wonderful and competent insurance agent, RaDonna S. It’s hard to figure out how old she is. She could be 40, or she could be 50 or more, but she has long supple hair she tosses over her shoulder, and a competancy that is stunning and refreshing. There is a big bowl of Jolly Ranchers on her desk, and she whacks away at the keyboard as if it were an extension of herself. She also looks at our records, says things like “That’s crazy! Alabama laws are ridiculous!” and expunges the record of the offending notation. good woman.
At Stuff Mart this morning, I heard the voice of a child, 8 or 9 ish, chattering happily and intelligently with an older woman (grandmother, maybe). I wondered to myself why he wasn’t in school, but only idly. Then as I came out of an aisle, he was there and he grinned up at me, and motioned me to pass in from of him. I grinned back and said thanks, and noted to myself Ok, that’s why…He honestly looked as tho his face had been violently thrown through the windshield and thoroughly rearranged. God bless you, I thought, you and your happy attitude and your grandmother who treats you normally.
People watching reassures me, that people are basically decent, and generally too fixated on their own lives to be worried about the size of my thighs or why I don’t look more like Sharon Stone. Since people don’t stare at me, or throw up if I walk in the room, I must not be as odd as I feel. Yes, I’d like to be a size 12, have a great tan and cooperative hair, but since I don’t judge people harshly for not being perfect, and in fact i am much more comfortable if they aren’t, I can assume people aren’t judging me.
This is one of those baby steps I am making toward a healthy self esteem. Kudos to Dr. Hamblin and his cognitive therapy for giving me the tools, and to SD for his unrelenting compliments.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Today, for the first time, I actually felt like I belong here. I did normal things. I mopped. I went to the local meat market and bought enough meat and frozen veggies to last a month- for less than $110! Good meat, too- a smoked ham, a lean roast, chickens, ground chuck..good stuff! Now the formerly sad and empty freezer, the one that mocked me every time I opened it, it’s full, and that is good.
I went to the Methodist church and signed up for a Bible Study. This makes me a member of a small community and I think that was part of my angst, the feeling of not belonging. I had a rollicking yak with the secretary, who has a 17 yr old son also. I found things out, good things like there is a Wednesday Night congregational supper, and after school programs for middle schoolers (#3 qualifies).
Oh I feel SO much better. The whole drifting-alone-cast-out-to-sea bit just wasn’t cutting it. I’ve run out of boxes to unpack (for now…we Must Aquire Bookcases and soon).
Supper tonight was a feast of the Ellis Meat Market bounty. Pork chops smothered in onions and tomatoes, field peas w/snaps cooked in beef broth…even #4, who won’t eat anything he can’t readily identify as chicken fingers or french fries, went back for seconds. This wasn’t the quasi-gourmet food I normally cook. It was Kuntry Kookin’, and they liked it. Alrighty then…I guess I’ll smother stuff and cook stuff to oblivion more often. I may have to, I can’t find an Asian market anywhere.
#1 is diligently working on getting his car stereo functional. Sweet Daddio is assisting as requested. #1 seems to be happy, right now. he has a car, he got paid, he’s got a productive project and 2 nights off to work on it. I’ll take it.
So right now, today, I’m content. Maybe even happy.
Now if our house in the Old Town would just sell, life would be exactly as I want it.
Filed under: Uncategorized
As of late, my eldest child has been on a Campaign for Independence. Yah ok that’s fine. He bought himself a car, which is good. Suddenly, tho, he finds he needs us. Namely, he needs us to procure insurance and some gas and oil for said car. Well. I also find he becomes sweet and compliant when he needs something. When he has what he needs, such as a recent paycheck and a carton of nasty cheap cigarettes, he can be as disrespectful and (dare I say it) downright spiteful as he pleases, because he knows he’s a minor and we can’t do squat about it.
Well. In about 5 months he’ll be 18. I went to the insurance agency to get numbers. He informed me at one point that he wanted to be completely independent. I interpret that to mean he isn’t on our insurance anymore. So I got the agent to crunch some numbers. If he gets his own policy when he turns 18, as long as he has no violations, on his ’84 Blazer liability will cost $225/month. If he remains on our policy until 19, it will stay at $67/month, then go to $115/month at 19. So, if he goes it alone, independent and singular, he will spend essentially one entire paycheck a month just on insurance. I plan on showing him all these figures soon.
I understand the desire for independence, I felt it. I don’t understand the pleasure in making the people who care for him the most absolutely miserable in his presence. What is the value in telling someone that you loathe and despise them, and everything they are about? What’s the point? These are the same people he asks for a loan until payday, or help figuring out why on something. Admittedly, these are the same people who are willing to give a loan or help whenever it’s asked for.
I resent feeling used, but I have the desire to make sure he is taken care of in the best way possible. I want him to be independent, a man in every sense of the word, but I’m his mother, and I care about it, and I can’t just blow him off and pretend he doesn’t exists. That’s what he wants from me, but I might as well give up breathing.
I guess the best thing I can do is ride out the storm. He’ll either get better or go away permanently.
I know he would shit a brick if he knew I was putting all this down. I’ve got to vent it somehow. Lord knows he vents enough at me.