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#4 has a love of jokes. Well, joke. He knows 1 joke and loves to tell it. Endlessly. He’ll tell it when his audience is captive, such as in the car going too fast to legally throw him out the window for telling The Joke yet again. Here’s how it goes:
knock knock…no.. waitaminit…I gotit wrong..
WHO IS THERE?!
orange you glad I didn’t say banana!!
(cue screams of laughter and groans of resignation)
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Yesterday evening I had the overwhelming sensation that my oldest child was a rotting corpse in a Screven County ditch. I tried getting busy to distract my mind, but it only got worse. I knew, in my head, that he was riding rollercoasters and eating free food at 6-Flags in Atlanta (school trip), but I hadn’t seen him in 5 days and was therefore convinced of his most untimely demise.
Sweet Daddio, bless him and the horse he rode in on, asked if he could take me to #1′s apartment (actually, someone elses apartment who’s letting #1 use the couch until he gets a place of his own in a couple of weeks)to see if his car was there. I also called the apartment and left a cryptic and panicked message which was comfortingly returned with assurances that #1 was, indeed, alive and well. After all that I felt much better (I left a note in his car as well) and was able to watch 24 and revel in the relative simplicity of my life compared to Jack Bauer’s.
#3′s leg is MUCH better. Still swollen, he still limps but is able to eschew the crutches in favor of a cane. He is, of course, milking it all somewhat, wallowing in the comfort of a recliner ad smiling happily when I bring him another ice pack. I wonder at his ability to get into situations requiring many and varied visits to medical professionals. Back in the Old Town, the ER people knew him by name : “Well hey #1, it’s been 6 weeks since we’ve seen you! How’ve you been? Whadja do this time?” They don’t know us so well here, but then it’s only been 8 months.
#4 is getting a new bedroom today! He had the smallest room, and is moving into #1′s old room, with a fresh coat of bright blue paint and a refurbishment of his furniture. Lest you recoil in horror that we aren’t keeping #1′s room as some sort of shrine…We’d have been doing this June 2 anyway. The timetable was just moved up a bit, that’s all. #4 wanted to have his room painted Atomic Orange, his favorite color, but I vetoed that most strenuously, and suggested a blue of some sort, with orange accents (pillows). He picked Brain Blast Blue- a Jimmy Neutron color from Lowes. I am waiting for the first coat to dry right now.
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Circle I Limbo
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind
college kids in $60,000 SUV’s
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow
people who bring small children to expensive restaurants
Circle IV Rolling Weights
the inventor of pantyhose
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled
Circle VI Buried for Eternity
Circle VII Burning Sands
Osama bin Laden
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement
Circle IX Frozen in Ice
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What a week.
Yesterday, I got a call from the school nurse, panic in her voice, telling me #3′s leg was swollen, cold to the touch, and likely to just drop off any minute.
Here’s the story. Tuesday evening, I got a call from #3, obvious strain in his voice, telling me a mule had rolled over on his leg. “WHAT?? A MULE???” I calmly replied, “WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING ON A MULE??? DID IT KICK YOU???”
“Mom, would you please come get me, I am on Cypress Pond Road where the dirt road turns off and follows the swamp.”
“I’LL BE RIGHT THERE!!!” I’m calm. I’m good. He’s obviously breathing or else he wouldn’t be able to talk. I am still really puzzled by the mule issue.
5 minutes later (I never knew Little Martha could take corners at that speed), I find #3 and 2 of his friends, sitting in the dirt and #3′s friends are patting him on the head and trying to calm him down. He struggles to his foot, is gently helped into the car by his friends, and shakily tells me the story.
“Mom, we were coming from the pond on the mule and Ricky was going too fast and hit a ditch he didn’t see and the mule flipped over and I was wearing my seatbelt so I didn’t fly out and the roll bar landed on my leg and…”
“WAIT” I said,”SINCE WHEN DO MULES HAVE SEATBELTS AND ROLLBARS??” I am massively confused.
“No, Mom.” says he, “no, it was a Mule, like a Gator, you know, a 4 x 4 golf cart with a dump bed”
Ok…the light goes on. “tell me about your leg”
When we get home his leg is starting to swell, so I give him motrin and an ice pack. I do a vascular and nerve check, everything seems to be working.
Next day, his leg was not as swollen as I thought it would be, so I sed him to school with a set of ill-fitting crutches (left over from his last orthopedic adventure) and an admonition to keep it elevated.
Thursday morning, still no problem.
Then, I get a call from The Nurse. I Must Take Him To The Doctor Immediately.
But…but…I just ate 2 bites of soup and a cracker and I’m hungry..(whine)
Ok, I tell her, I’ll be right there. On the way to the school I call the doctor’s office and inform them that we are coming whether they want me to or not.
When we get there, the nurse pokes his leg a bit and gets a panicked look on her face. She tells #3 to lay down and DON’T MOVE. Oh Lord, I think…his leg is about to fall off and his spare in the freezer just expired and I don’t think we’ll be done in time to meet #4′s bus.
The nurse practitioner comes in (you know, a nurse with more education than a regular nurse, widely used in the south and able to prescribe meds). She pokes his leg and asks a few questions, and tells us to go right out the back door to the imaging center and get radiographs. We do, he does, and there’s no breaks. That’s good, in a way, because it means no cast for the hot summer. It’s bad, in a way, because some soft tissue injuries are harder to fix than a break.
So we go back to the doctor’s office. Bev (the NP) says “no break…hm…the swelling worries me, so does the coolness of his skin. Go back to the imaging center. My husband’s the sonogram tech, I’ll call him and ask him to stay late and do #3′s leg.” Bless her, I love living in a small town.
We go out the back door once again, and Stan meets us at the door. He performs this way cool Doppler ultrasound on #3′s leg from mid-thigh to ankle. We see arteries and veins, listen to the dulcet sounds of #3′s blood flow, peruse the depths of musculature and study bone. I now know precisely what the inside of #3′s leg looks like. The good news is: no serious damage, no blood clots (that was our greatest fear), just plenty of bruising.
Bev instructs us: Keep off it for 2 weeks. Take motrin as needed for pain, keep elevated and use ice packs when you can.
So I spent 4 hours yesterday in fear for my son’s life. I know what a blood clot can do to a body, especially if it breaks loose. One can die from such things. It’s hard feeling such fear, and keeping it under wraps so as not to frighten the child involved.
When we got home, Sweet Daddio (who came home from work early in order to catch #4 off the bus) said he needed to call the father of the boy who was driving the Mule. I said I wanted a drink but wouldn’t have one because I don’t want to be driven to drink by stress.
I think I could have handled the whole situation fine if it weren’t compounding issues from earlier in the week. One or the other, I’d have been fine, but now I am feeling an overwhelming need to hire a beefy German named Ingrid to do deep tissue massage on my back.
I tell you what, tho, and I told this to Sweet Daddio last night, I’ll take physical crisis over psychological/relational ANY day.
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Don’t you hate it when you spend half an hour thinking and creating a witty post, guarenteed to offend no one, to give others the ability to feel intellectually and morally superior, and that post disappears into the ether? I imagine it floating around, causing confusion in China. Maybe some innocent communist farmer will feel compelled to toast a pop tart, not even knowing what a pop tart is. Maybe some woman struggling with the confusion caused by issues entering her conciousness will fashion a tin foil hat as an effort to block the thoughts. Perhaps some communist-pajama’d young person will be compelled to wear pantyhose and a pair of Manholo Blahnik’s (however you spell that) whilst planting rice. That would be quite a trick.
What if a disapearing post showed up in an email account? I mean…what if some coffee broker in Seattle suddenly got a missive outlining a middle-aged housewife’s daily schedule? Would be be alarmed to discover someone out there has issues with pantyhose? Would he feel a strong desire to send her pounds and pounds of high quality dark-roasted beans? Would he want to send them to 1234 Country Club Estates, East BumFart, Georgia, 30012? Of course he would.
I love it when weird and random things like that happen to me. I like to perpetrate my own brand of weird randomness, harmless, of course, but weird. Like the time I paid for college girl’s half dozen eggs no no reason other than it was just faster that way. Yesterday at the doctor’s office, this older guy, probably 70-ish, walked up to where I was sitting and dropped a double handful of peppermint candies in my lap, then wandered off. I love peppermints, especially these as they were the soft kind. I hollered “thank you!” as he went out the door, and he waved. I have no idea who he was. Maybe he’s one of these empaths, who can tell what kind of day you’ve had by the way your hair is standing up. I’d had a rough several days. The mints were tasty.
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Ok. I’ve deleted everything from the past few days. I was wrong to put something so personal on such a public forum. I realize I am trying to put the genie back in the bottle. The whole situation is tearing this family apart. For everyone affected (you know who you are) please accept my deepest apologies for my posts here. I was wrong. Please forgive my careless words. I am sorry, more than you can know.
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ok I was trying to cram as many blog-cliche’s as I could into one sentence. I’m going to break it down for you. Starting now.
“Just” is just about the most overused word in the Southern Christian Public Pray-er lexicon there is. I’m sick of it. Seriously. If I hear one more swoop-coiffed young man with his sweaty eyes squeezed shut saying “OH LAWD! We just thank you for just looking down on us Good Christians who are just so unworthy of your love but not as unworthy as those cross dressing heathens in that modern day Sodom we call San Fran, we just thank You so much for just loving us enough to make us just want to fall on our faces in the dirt and just wallow in your name! Praise de LAWD and Pass the plate!” Spare me. It’s abundantly clear (to me, anyway) that Jesus Christ knows exactly who we are and where we stand and doesn’t need it clarified just so…(whatever the opposite of eloquent might be). Ok. I realize that those folk fall short of deserving His grace as much as cross dressing heathens or female truck drivers, it’s just that, when people seem unaware of that, when they think that, because they are (insert Southern Denomination of Choice here), then they get to sit in First Class on the way to heaven, instead of in the cargo hold with everyone else. Irritating. Then to try and diminish what they are saying by putting a ‘just’ in front of it, well, to me, that is contrived and the worst sort of false humility. So there. Don’t ask me what started that rant.
“few random musings” How many times have you seen that statement in the title or description of a blog? To those people, I say this: Take pride in your work! Own it! I have learned more random shit offa blogs than I ever would have learned without them. I have learned that people in Kansas put lemons in their beer! Who knew?! I have learned other people have the same thoughts about their children being demon possessed (or actual demons in their own right). I have also learned that It’s OK to use Round-up occasionally, and that the Organo-Police won’t come and revoke my gardeners license or curse my roses.
*random interjection* #4 just came up to me with a dirty x-box disc and said “there is a lip mark on this disc but I DID NOT KISS THIS DISC” no? said I. “NO. BUT I DID KISS A FISH YESTERDAY WHEN #3 DARED ME TO.”
I have an interesting and varied life, if quiet and thoroughly middle-class.
“diffident Southern Housewife” this is a phrase similar to the word”just” in that it is designed to make you think I am humble and dull and how could you possibly want to read my random musings. Did you know that, in the book, Rhett Butler didn’t say “Frankly, my dear…etc”. Nope. He said “My dear, I don’t give a damn.” Shocking at the time, as people had better manners in the 30′s when the book was written and cursing was reserved for times when it was necessary. Unlike what I overheard at the grocery store when a young man was telling his girlfriend that he wasn’t buyinghernofuckin’juiceshe’dbetterjustgetherselfsomefuckin’waterbecausethat’sall shewasfuckin’worth. Man. Talk about gratuitous use of foul language. I wanted to tell him to get himself a fuckin’ bar of octagon soap so I could wash his fuckin’ mouth out. Heathen.
Ok that last paragraph totally digressed, but since it’s just my lil ol’ blog I’ll just say whatever I just feel like. Blah.
Now. “who loves her family too much”. If I read one more blog by a Mommy Who Loves Her Adorable Child More Than Life Or Even A Good Bottle Of Gin, I am going to commit some violent act of…something. I don’t know what but you can bet it will be spectacular. LordaMercy, people, when will folks wake up and realize their children are little pagans with no common sense and an overdeveloped concept of their own worth? Don’t get me wrong, I love my children very much, and would miss each one of them terribly if something ever happened to take them out of my life, but I harbor no illusions about their character or motives. My children have free will. It is my job to mold their personalities so their free will chooses a path that is healthy and condusive to their wellbeing. Once they get of a certain age, my job is over and theirs begins. My children are heathens, I know this. I have one child that, for all his inherent intelligence, is masterful at getting caught up in situations he can’t (or won’t) extricate himself. In the past, we’ve done the extrications (or excavation, as he is good at digging very deep holes for himself), in the hope that he’d learn from the experience, but he never has. Now that he’s Of Age, we are going to remove the safety net and let him go. Painful, but better than hobbling ourselves by teaching him a parasitic lifestyle. One website I love, because she obviously loves her child to distraction but clearly understands herself well enough to take the Mommy job with an occasional grain of salt:
http://www.Dooce.com ANyone who’s every read any blog has read hers, but by golly, she’s right.
Ok. Enough. The roundup should be dry on the poison ivy now, screams of agony are eminating from the TV as Sweet Daddio watches the 1957 version of Sinbad. Removing the lipmarks from the disc has restored #4′s Lego StarWars gaming ability, and I am hungry. #3 is fishing with 3 of his friends at 2 of his friend’s farm. How DOES he do it? Twin girls, 13 and very attractive in that 13 yr old coltish way, they ride up to the car on the back of a camo-painted 4-wheeler, and #3 says “Act like you’re not here with me”. Um. Ok. So I shout “I LOVE YOU WATCH OUT FOR SNAKES AND REMEMBER TO THANK THEIR MOTHER AND REMEMBER THAT I POSITIVELY REFUSE TO CLEAN ANY FISH SO YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN OK! I LOVE YOU!! SMOOCHYSMOOCHY!” I love doing that.
Sweet Daddio too #4 and me to Dairy Queen for lunch. #2 is working there now, as the fry cook. A better little tray of fries I haven’t had in a long time. Now he is NOT embarrassed to be seen with us, he looking spiffy in his black pants and shoes and his black and grey herringbone polo shirt. He said the one thing he’s learned so far (this is his second day) is where the term “blue haired old lady” came from, as he is working with one. I explained to him about blueing, and how using too much of it will make hair blue or purple, instead of gleaming silvery white. A Hamburger and cookie dough blizzard later, we came home and indulged in aggressively dull middle-class-on-Saturday behavior. SD laid concrete pavers on a small walkway, and I sprayed Round-Up on dandelions, Virginia Creeper, and poison ivy. I may just change my name to Madge.
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5. I didn’t think you really meant it.
4. Ow, I think my knee hurts.
3. Can I help it if you weren’t listening?
2. When I saw that truck go by I completely forgot everything you said.
1. I’m on my period.
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10. The little pill container with a box for each day of the week.
8. thermal wraps- the kind you heat in the microwave then velcro in place
7. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
6. gas grills
5. doggie chew bones
1. sun visors
The next time you go through a day, doing ordinary activities and using ordinary objects, think about what you’re doing and how your life would change if those things didn’t exist. Looking at my list, I can honestly say my life wouldn’t end if those things went away. I mean, really, doggie bones? However, each item improves the quality of my life enough to make me grateful they exist.
The pill box allows the process of taking my handful of pills every night to be simplified down to a single dumping of the pills into my hand. Without it, I would forget to take my pills, would foam at the mouth and throw things, and generally make everyone around me very unhappy.
I have a big metal colander that I can take to the garden and put fresh picked vegetables in, wash and drain said veggies, drain pasta, rinse aquarium gravel, or wear as a hat to ward off martian radio waves.
I just bought a thermal wrap and I am blissfully in love. I warm it up in the microwave, strap it on my knee or around my back, and do what needs doing without the tether of an electrical cord.
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are miraculous little things that will get anything off everything, even highly resistant hardwater soapscum that the normal suspects just run away to the library and hide behind mysteries to avoid. Get some.
I used to be an absolute purist when it came to grilling. I didn’t even use charcoal. No. I used WOOD. GOOD WOOD like cherry, plum, and pear. The only problem with that is that I had to start the fire by 3 if we were going to eat by 6. Then, Sweet Daddio let me have the proceeds from the sale of a car, and I purchased a big-arsed 5 burner stainless steel gas grill that weighed 1100 pounds and forced him to reinforce the foundation of our deck. And I’ve never looked back. I can decide at 5:30 that I want to grill something, and it’s ready by 6. Ok…I’m over it. I still have the charcoal grill, for smoking, which I haven’t done ina LONG time, but it’s there just in case.
With 4 dogs, who chew things, rawhide chew bones saved our furniture, and caused many an altercation when one dog decides to try and hog them all. We go through an average 6 chew bones (the ones with the knots on the ends) a week.
Without bleach, my white shirts would be riddled with little mysterious stains, the boys socks would be scuzzy and gross, and Sweet Daddio would have almost nothing to yell at me about.
I don’t think anything needs to be said about vodka.
Earplugs allow me to sleep. I am a ridiculously light sleeper, even when drugged into a stupor by powerful antipsychotics and tranquilizers. Without earplugs Sweet Daddio and I would sleep in different rooms. Even though it feels like someone is sticking their big toes in my ears, I require them.
Sun visors make me look like a Nancy Lopez wanna-be, or a line-dancing retiree at The Villages Florida’s Friendliest Hometown, but they keep the sun out of my eyes whilst driving Little Martha, without causing hathead. When a person has graduated to paying $50 for a haircut, keeping the hair looking artfully windblown rather than mashed down like a $6/hour burger chef is important.
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My childhood memories are little video clips, 30 seconds of this, a few minutes of that, disconnected and discreet.
My earliest memory is of sitting on the gravel covered yard of my grandparent’s. In front of me was a concrete birdbath filled with small blue tiles. I had a rubber-doober (our family name for what normal people call a rubber spatula) and an empty grape juice concentrate can. I remember stacking the tiles, filling the can, and stirring it all up with the doober. I don’t remember how old I was, but when I told my mother of this memory, she was amazed and astounded, for apparently I was about 2-1/2.
Next I remember dragging myself across the living room floor to the black metal railing delineating the floor from the stairs to the door. I remember pulling myself up to a quasi-standing position. I had braces on my legs, with a bar between my thighs to keep them seperated, and it was not possible to stand with both feet on the ground, yet I was determined to stand. I remember being so happy I shouted when I got upright. My mother was, once again, amazed, because I was around 3 yrs old. I got the braces off when I was about 3-1/2, so I know it was before then.
I remember Mrs Ousley, my kindergarten teacher, and her remarkable beehive hair. I remember Rebeccah and Amy, 2 first grade aspiring Small Nosed Sorority Girl Bitch-Princesses who were my first introduction to the instinctual cruelty of the entitlement generation. I met many Rebeccahs and Amys through my life. I reckon we all have.
When I was 9 we moved from Illinois to Georgia. My first memory of Georgia is our graduate student driver helper pulling into the carport and raking all 4 bicycles off the top of our white Ford Fairlane station wagon. It was quite an introduction to the neighborhood, since most everyone was standing in their driveway, wondering about the huge U-Haul truck and what kind of people came to North Georgia in cars bearing Illinois tags.
There were 2000 acres of old growth forest behind our house, repleat with ancient oak groves, a beaver swamp, and a beautiful river. When I discovered the oak grove, my fertile imagination conjured brown-cloaked Druids and Elven princesses. I found a Civil War ammunitions bunker, a pair of granite wedges, about a foot long, that I was told were used to split wood. I still have one of them. One afternoon I sat on the hill with Mr. Ivey, as he used 2 sticks of dynamite to perform his annual ritual of “Blow Up The Beaver Dam and Drain The Swamp.” Everyone knows blowing up a dam doesn’t work. Beavers hate the sound of running water, and will rebuild the dam ASAP. Thus the annual ritual. It usually took the beavers 2 weeks to rebuild.
Middle school was 3 years of unmitigated hell. The Rebeccahs and Amys of middle school decided that, because I had all the wrong clothes, shoes, haircuts, and probably stuffed my bra because my boobs were bigger than theirs, I was obviously a Lesbian. This rumor caused me to be spit on, have my lunch stolen, be tripped up (I walked with a cane occasionally, due to the aformentioned orthopedic issues from early childhood), mocked, ridiculed and mistreated. No amount of anything would convince them that I was straight. Consequently, I didn’t have my first date until we moved my senior year of high school. By then, my bitter cynicism was deeply entrenched, and my sarcasm was an art form perfected.
There are little blips of memory through high school: band, All State Chorus, the frustrations of AP math, and a Civics teacher who totally got me. I love her to this day. As an interesting aside, her niece is #3′s Civics teacher. The South is indeed a small town.
Senior year and the 3 years post graduation were one long party. I was, after all, an undiagnosed manic-depressive, heavy on the mania. For 4 years I didn’t sleep, I dressed in Medieval clothing and (sort of) learned how to defend myself with a broadsword and a dirk. I exhausted everyone I was around, and I met Sweet Daddio, who filled out a suit of leather brigandine with heart-pounding results. I waited tables, changed diapers in a nursing home, scraped motorcycle accident victims off the pavement with a putty knife, ate about once a week, and slept whenever there was nothing better to do. I got incapacitatingly drunk one time, and cooked a Renaissance Feast for 150 people. I flirted with a state patrolman and talked him out of giving me a ticket.
I got married, bought a $3 Christmas tree, aquired 2 pet ducks (the landlord told us “no dogs or cats, birds and fish only”, then accused us of following the letter of the law, but not the spirit),got pregnant, moved away from my parents, lived in a hovel, had a baby, moved to a 30 yr old housetrailer at the edge of a South Georgia peanut patch (you think I’m kidding, don’t you), had another baby, moved again, had another baby, had a nervous breakdown and was summarily diagnosed with a life long mental illness, moved again, this time into a fabulous large and (relatively) modern house, had another baby and got my tubes tied, then moved to where we are now.
Each move was a step up from the previous place. as it should be. As I have gotten older, I have learned to forgive all the Rebeccahs and Amys in my life. The bitter alternative to forgiveness would spill over into the rest of my life, and that’s not fair to them. I have learned to appreciate what I have as the gifts they are. I don’t feel entitled to any of it, but feel grateful for all of it, even the bad stuff. If Rebeccah and Amy hadn’t chipped away at my psyche for so many years, I wouldn’t have the compassion I feel for people, or the realization that everyone has baggage.
There’s a verse in the Bible that says “All things work for the good of those who love the Lord, and according to His purpose.” (Rm 8:28). That has become the handle I hold on to when things scare me, or people misunderstand me, or life kicks me in the teeth.