Because it really is personal…


February 21, 2008, 12:29 pm
Filed under: family

I am thinking about loading the kids into the car and heading toward Tybee Island. It’s exactly this sort of spontaneous thing I never ever do.

In fact, right now this very minute, my mind is saying things like “Oh~ the cost of gas!” and “You have all that laundry to do!” and “You’d have to buy lunch and that would cost money you could spend somewhere else!” You know, the usual justifications I use for talking myself out of some harmless fun.

See, that’s the story of my life. It’s the Calvinist in me. Frivolity for it’s own sake is suspect. Even if it involves nothing more sinister than a 1 hour drive to the beach. For cryin’ out loud, I even have bottled water so I wouldn’t have to shell out the *gasp* $3 for some sodas! I have crackers for snacks! Oranges even! I could make sandwiches! In fact, if I’m careful, the only expense would be 1/4 tank of gas and the parking fee.

I’m feeling like telling Mr. Calvin to take a flying leap.

If I make sure Molly is outside (she’s the cat who will soon be taking up residence at Plant 2 as their Chief Mouser), I can get some stew meat int the crockpot, to convert to Stroganoff when we get home. Sounds like a plan.

I’m going to get dressed. Then I’m going to wake everyone up.



Compartmentalization
February 20, 2008, 7:42 pm
Filed under: family

I do it so well. Maybe it’s on the multi-tasking housewife gene.

Anyway, today, I got #3 to dig me some holes, as there are roses a-comin’! We also moved a smallish tree to a better spot, and then all 3 boys helped get the patio cleaned up of the winter (and pine tree) debris, got the chairs washed up nice (and 2 cars, for when one washes, why not wash everything in reach?)

Now the patio is all set up and ready for eating supper, and leisurely conversation with an after-dinner drink, and I am content.

I am ready now, for blooming things and late evenings, for warm breezes and laughter about the days events. I am ready for people to act like they’re happy to be here, instead of anxious to leave.

I ready to feel at ease with myself, and my family.



February 19, 2008, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

loldog, kitteh, lolcat, sitting, smash
see more loldogs are funny dog pictures!



February 19, 2008, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Dewicate feewings, family, kids, spouse

So, #3 and I had a “come to Jesus” meeting, after a Dwamatic Conversation involving the ruts in my yard and pinecones.. I let him air his greivances, and I aired a few of my own. He agreed to be more obedient and I agreed to treat him with more respect, less like a little kid and more like the adult he’s learning to be.

I admit to having a caustic tongue. Sarcasm slips out of my mouth without even thinking. He does not respond well to that sort of treatment, and reacts by treating me with contempt, which leads to more sarcasm, and the wheel goes round and round and the wheel goes round and round.

I think the lack of respect is endemic in our household. #2 is stellar at being condescending, especially to me and to #3. #3 salves his ego by being more mechanically inclined, and by wearing his pride like a suit of armor. I am so used to being held in contempt that I also wear a suit of armor, one made of thick scales of sarcasm. I don’t know if the lack of respect is something of “familiarity breeds contempt”, or a gender-based thing. Sweet Daddio doesn’t treat me like that, so I know the boys didn’t learn it from him. SD is so used to being The Man of the House that anything besides unquestioned authority isn’t to be considered. I am so used to going along with him, even when I disagree, that I do, because it’s easier than trying to explain what I’m thinking.

Maybe it’s internal, something I set myself up for because I am lacking in self-respect to some degree. Sometimes I wonder if my lack of education and career contribute to their opinion of me, the “little woman”, some kind of drone here to make the household run smoothly and see to it they all have clean shorts and a supper on the table.



February 19, 2008, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Each one of my kids has his own distinct personality, and his own way of causing us problems. #1 misbehaved because he would do exactly what we’d forbid, just to piss us off. #2 is well behaved, but arrogant to a fault. #3 misbehaves because what he does is so much fun he loses his head and “Mom, I just can’t help myself”. #4 is still young enough that is it more desirable to please us than it is to willfully disobey.

#3 is the issue today. Yesterday, he came in from a friend’s and (somewhat cagily) said he was going to work. This was suspicious because he almost never works on a Monday. “Ok,” I said, “have a good evening.” Then I called SD. “Drive by the Dairy Queen and see if #3′s truck is there.” It wasn’t. Turns out #3 was at a friend’s, not the one he’d spent the weekend with, but the one who’d dropped out of school and gotten into trouble with the law, the one who’s “supervisory” parent wasn’t very supervisory. We’d told him time and again that his friend could come here, but he was not to go there.

And that tight feeling behind my eyes, the one that became so familiar over the 3 years of dealing with #1 and his shenanigans, that feeling returned. I got MAD. I’m still mad, even after a comfortably medicated nights sleep and a cup of good coffee.

Unlike #1, who got defensive and hostile when confronted with his misbehavior, #3 was all “Yes, ma’am, no sir, I’m sorry” saying all the right things and even conjuring up a tear or two.

Oh, and apparently he was nervous enough when he got home that he forgot to put his truck in gear, and it rolled into the (very wet from 3 inches of rain) front yard, where in sank into the bog and now I have to get it out, undoubtedly leaving ruts and a mess. Thanks, buddy, ‘prishate that.

Well, I don’t know how exactly this will be handled. I do know this: he has no car keys, no driver’s license, no cell phone, and no job. He will have to do enough work around the house and yard to pay for his car insurance (including filling in a set of ruts). This condition will remain so until school is out. He is grounded as well, no friends, no fun, no nothing, until my disposition improves and I return to feeling benevolent. And heaven help him if he gives me an attitude about it.

The glimmer of hope in all this is that our experience with #1 gives us a bit of perspective on how to handle #3. They are very different people, with different motives and all, but the patterns of behavior are similar. With #1 we tended to bury our heads in the sand, to tell ourselves that he wasn’t a bad kid, doing bad things, he was just…oh, I don’t know…a night owl, who prefered his fun after 10 pm. We are trying not to to bury our heads with this one, even if it means having a surly teenager in the house. I have 27 years experience on him, and will show him surly if he tries to give me an attitude.

The truth is, I love him dearly, and want to make sure he’s heading down a path that will lead him to a productive and healthy adulthood. Sure, he will experiment, and have friends I’m not so sure of. That’s expected, but I am not going to tolerate sneaking around, lying to me about where he is and what he is doing, and the like. Not as long as he is in my jurisdiction. If he doesn’t like it, he is free (like #1) to move out as soon as he’s 18, and try to make it on his own. But as long as he lives in this household, he will live by our rules.

Is it too early for vodka? What if I put it in grapefruit juice? I really don’t feel like going through this second verse of the song.



The yellow dust of doom
February 18, 2008, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s spring in the Southland! I know this is true because every single horizontal surface, from cars to the dining table to my weinerdogs, is covered with a thick coat of yellow pine pollen.

When the wind blows, clouds of pollen billow from the trees, like alien spore or some sort of nuclear snow. I’ve seen it every year for the past 34 years, and it never fails to amaze me.

It’s a charteusey yellow, not a buttery yellow. Yellow like the sneeze of a Anteleucodorean. And it covers the Low Country.

The good news is, we had a stout rain last night, with wind and a constant heavy downpour. So now, instead of the world being covered all over, at least until the pine blooms dry out, the yellow doom is in rivulets across driveways and in gutters, and pawprints where dogs walk through them and then track them into the house. I am beyond thankful that we have no carpet. Pine pollen and carpet…not pretty.

I wish I could get a picture of the billowing clouds coming off our (56 in this yard, countless around us) pine trees. If you’ve never seen it, it is a sight to behold.

So is the vision of all your menfolk picking glowing yellow boogers out of their noses. Everyone does it, but women tend to use tissues or do it in private.

This is the time of year I put dust covers and tablecloths on everything. In a couple of weeks I can take them down and give them a good wash, and be done with it until next year.

This is also the time SD just finished up with a humongous wall unit with 30 shelves, and assorted Objets d’ Art which will require dusting. Aren’t I special. And of course, the Objets I chose are all cobalt glass, or some other substrate which will serve nicely to highlight my lack of housekeeping abilities.

Except that everyone else in this town has the same problem. We all go around with a greenish yellow hue, surreptitiously picking our noses and and gently commenting on the breeze. It’s the Southland, it’s what we do this time of year.



February 18, 2008, 4:03 pm
Filed under: home and hearth, La de da, spouse

We spent Sunday working hard on the entertainment wall unit behemoth in the living room. The doors are made (sans hinges, because I’m too picky to settle for “alright”), and shelves are all up. It didn’t hit me just how MANY shelves there are- 30 0f them- and how empty they look. The next job in line is to get in the attic, go through boxes, and find stuff to put up there.

A poll question: I have a nice collection of cocktail glasses, all sorts from antique to quite modern. Should I put them on the new shelves? Is it silly to have cocktail glasses in the living room?

Should I put that weird chunk of uranium ore on the shelf next to the Richard Rhodes books about building the atom bomb?\

I’m all about relevancy when it comes to item placement. For instance, I have a jar full of rocks (not random ones, but ones that mean something, found at meaningful places and all) with a photo of the place i found many of them (a panoramic shot of the Palo Dura Canyon) and a granite maul discovered in the woods behind the house where I lived most of my childhood. Rocks, with rocks, being rocks. I like rocks. They make great souveniers plus they’re free, usually. There’s another box of rocks up in the attic, with some funky norwegian volcanic crystals and some red agates. I need to get them down.

The norwegian thing is almost exactly the colors of a bowl my aunt made, that’s black dichroic glass. I like to put them together.

I’ll take a picture of it all when the doors are finished and mounted. First we have to get Just The Right Hinges. That’s SD’s job. Bless him, he is accepting my wish for hidden hinges.

He has enjoyed building this thing, and I’ve had fun finishing it. Next item on the construction agenda is a shelf unit for #4′s closet- one of those wonderfully efficient things that makes use of all the vertical space. Right now, all #4′s stuff is just piled in the closet floor. Will this make him more inclined to keep his room clean? not likely, but it will possibly make the house easier to sell later in the future. I can see putting something in the guest room closet at sell. Right now it stores Christmas stuff, neatly, but not elegantly.

Then…I want a shelf unit on my enormous desk, something I can keep paints and rolls of ribbon and tools all at fingertip reach. Yes indeed.



Paranoia
February 16, 2008, 3:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We all have it. You know you do. It’s part of our survival instinct, held over from the days when the other guy in the cave may actually *be* planning to bash our heads in and steal our body parts.

Fortunately for me, I live in a calm and pastoral little burg where someone is more likely to help you carry your bags than steal them from you.

But that doesn’t stop me from being paranoid.

Last night, Sweet Daddio and I went to Savannah to pick up a new toy he’d ordered.

*an aside* Savannah Drivers SUCK. If you’re a Savannah Driver and take umbrage to this statement, go drive on Abercorn at 8 pm on a Friday and then tell me Savannah drivers don’t suck. Can’t do it? I didn’t think so.

/end aside

On the way home, the box o stuff we’d picked up started squeaking. He had opened the box, you see, and it contained bits of styrofoam, and you know how they are when they rub together. Very irritating. So, just on I-16 as we were leaving, he pulled into the El Cheapo (you think I’m kidding. I’ll get you a picture one day) gas station, and got out to adjust the styrofoam (by hurling it long distances) and eliminate the annoying squeak. As he was getting out of the car I was nearly overcome with a send of panic and impending doom. I envisioned a snarling pack of heavily armed people boiling out of the white stretch Hummer limousine and riddling my dearly beloved husband with large caliber bullets, killing him dead and leaving me a grieving widow. It was a brief flash of an image, just enough to make me close my eyes and practice visualizing daisies. A large pack of people did indeed emerge from the stretch-Hummer, but they all appeared to be sober, casually dressed college students, sipping gatorade and munching peanuts

Well, that was a relief.

So, the rest of the way home I pondered this propensity of mine, for calling up the Worst Possible Thing in my mind, and half expecting it. It has never happened. I mean, my *grandparents* haven’t even died yet, and when they do it will be of simple old age, and not of violence. But I still do it. When my child gets in his car and drives off, I hear screeching brakes and ripping metal, and the agonized wails of someone dying alone, painfully. SD wants a motorcycle, a Goldwing…well, a Harley, actually, but then who doesn’t. He knows he has a better chance with me with a Goldwing. And yet, I can’t bring myself to approve, because I have seen firsthand what can happen to a person in a motocycle accident. 70 mph and nothing between you and the road. He assures me he’d be careful, and I don’t doubt that, what I doubt is the good sense of everyone else on the road. SD says motorcycle and I see that man in the Emergency room, my first exposure to a motorcycle accident, him with his face peeled off and the surgeon trying desperately to insert a carotid IV. This guy was enormous, every bit of 350 pounds of solid muscle, and they wanted me to hold his legs down by laying across them. Me. 120 pounds of 19 yr old Southern White Female. This guy squirting blood, his face bunched up on his forehead and people shouting “We’re losing him!” This is what I see when SD says “Wow that’s a nice bike” at an intersection. I’d feel much better if he got the Truck of his Dreams instead.

So, I know I am paranoid. I know my mind conjurs up the Worst Possible Thing. It’s a defense mechanism. I figure, if I expect the worst, and it happens, I’m prepared for it. If it doesn’t happen, I am pleasantly surprised. I have very rarely been caught off-guard by any circumstance, and I see this as a good thing. Maybe it prevents me from being an optimist, so be it. Even when I was told I was mentally ill and would be forever and ever, I was prepared. Because I had considered that option and was, honestly, relieved when told because I was also told it could be managed. I have been told to expect another mental disruption sometime in my 40′s, and to expect a medication change and perhaps even a stay in the local Private Spa-Like Institution. That’s ok. I can handle it, because I have thought about it. My babies are grown, my husband is true, and I can deal with what comes. It may not ever come, but if it does, I can deal with it.

So call me paranoid. I call it being ready for what comes.



The book meme!
February 15, 2008, 7:47 pm
Filed under: Another Silly Meme

It’s back! and I have conveniently rearranged the bookcase since the last time, so you get the pleasure of something NEW!

1. Pick up the book nearest you with at least 123 pages.
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Count the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five other bloggers.

This type of synaptic transmission has been recognized only in the past few years. Actually, the mechanism of action was first determined for hormones and then for neurotransmitters. These slower chemical actions work by way of what are called second-messenger systems.
The Brain, a Neuroscience Primer by Richard F. Thompson.

I tag anyone who want to do this, just leave a note in the comments that you are. Tho I am tempted to tag Crazy Trace just to make her do it twice.



beware of cavities, it’s that sweet.
February 15, 2008, 3:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

phleud-n-kitten-005.jpg




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