Friday, February 29, 2008

Leaping Lizards

The snot creatures have invaded my head and chest. There has been some nasty bug going around for the past few months and I finally got the bastard. My head feels like it is going to explode. I can actually hear all the crap in my sinuses moving around. My chest is sore from coughing. Today is the first day the aching all over my body is tolerable. I hope this means I am getting better. Taking care of Robby has been a challenge and I would not have made it through this week without The Papa's help.

I wanted to let everyone know that I am still alive and will try to post more often in the month of March. I'm looking forward to all the great things happening next month! St. Patrick's Day! Easter! Bruce Springsteen! Oh My!

I hope everyone enjoyed their extra day and put it to good use. I worked for 5 whole hours and blew my nose a lot.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Red River Valley of the Shadow of Death

When I was a child, my great grandmother had a stroke and was confined to her bed. She and my great grandfather lived with us after this happened. They were married over 50 years and one of my earliest memories is driving with my family back to Arkansas to their golden anniversary party. My great grandmother and I never missed Little House on the Prairie. We watched it together every single week.

I remember the first time I saw the episode where Ma Ingalls finds out she is going through the change. I remember her crying and saying that she felt useless to Pa because she could not bear him any more children. She was afraid he would not want her anymore; her purpose on this earth was gone. I thought she was crazy then, in the 70's as a girl who had not yet met her Aunt Flow. I still do.

I can understand her feeling a little sad at the thought of not having another baby. I've felt that. The "because one is enough" byline of this blog is not only referring to Robby's dimple. It also reminds me that he will be my only child and to make it enough. I imagine in real prairie life though, Ma would have been thrilled.

They had no television and the sun went down early on the prairie. Doc Baker had no birth control to offer and she couldn't get a pack of Trojans at the mercantile. She had to be tired too. She did all the cooking, cleaning, childcare and still had to substitute at the school every now and then. She worked as hard as Pa did; maybe even a little more at times. I think my great grandmother could relate to her though. She was a farmer's wife with seven children of her own. I like to think that she respects the different choices I have made. And I also hope she knows how much respect and admiration I have for the strength, sense of family and abundant love she lavished on everyone she met. Thanks, grandma. I miss you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Brilliant Disguise





This is The Mama's senior picture from high school. Doesn't she look like a normal teenage girl in 1984? There are a lot of things you can't see in this picture. Although the photographer can see her fine, she cannot see him or even his camera for that matter. Lasik was still 16 years away when this was taken and normally her face would be hidden by very large, very thick plastic-framed glasses. You remember the frames where the ear pieces attached to the bottom of the frames and not the middle? Yeah, those. They were great for peripheral vision, if you weren't too nearsighted to have peripheral vision. Let's talk about the hair. I want to reach into the photo and change her hair. It looks like she slept on it wrong and then curled it the best she could. She has these ears that stick out and spent countless hours trying to cover them up with her hair. I find it quite shocking that I see this girl of 17 so much differently today. I hated this picture when it was taken, and it was the best pose. When I look at it now, I see such a young face with no scars or wrinkles. Her neck isn't really that fat. It was insane for her to worry about it so much. Her eyes haven't bulged out yet. That won't happen for another 7 years with the Graves Disease. I want to tell her that she has the most beautiful eyes.

If I could go back in time and talk to her for just a few minutes, I would tell her a lot of things. I'd start off by telling her how beautiful she is. I know she wouldn't believe me though. She'd think I saw her differently than the rest of the world. She had a big wall up around her heart when it came to a lot of things, including her self-image. I'd tell her that she was about to face one of the toughest years of her life. A year full of choices to be made by a girl who is out of her comfort zone and has no tools in her arsenal to help her make better choices. I'd tell her that she will survive, as she always has, but this time the price for that survival will be high. I'd tell her that she will meet another young girl this year, when she goes off into that big scary world, and this girl will be a life long friend. I'd tell her that one day the two of them will hold each other's children and feel pure joy. I'd tell her not to push her roommate up against the wall by her throat. I'd tell her that although she will feel alone at times, she really is not alone at all.

I would like to shake her out of the obsessive behaviors and feelings. She is so infactuated with that 17 year old boy though, she can't see anything else. She will sing to him on his doorstep for christsake! She has this loyalty, for lack of a better word, for anyone she loves. Loyalty is an admirable quality, but not when given when it's not wanted or deserved. When her love isn't returned by this boy her heart will break. She will do what she did when it happened the first time someone she loved let her down. She will pretend. She will live in fantasy and not reality. She will make excuses for him. She will spend every waking minute trying to figure out what she can do to make it right; to make her right, so she will be loved in return.

I'd tell her that he will turn out to be someone she doesn't even like or respect one day. I'd tell her that one day she will thank God for unanswered prayers.

I'd tell her to put herself first. I'd tell her to love herself first.

If I could make her listen, could I really change the course of her life? Would I want to?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Loose Change

The sun is actually shining right now. I don't know how long I will be able to sit here and type before the urge to run outside and scream with joy overtakes me. I moved to the Pacific Northwest in August of 1992. Winter here can be rainy for those of you who may not know. (Who am I kidding, everyone watched Frasier!) At least once every winter the rain gets to me. Today was the day it got to me in 2008.
I'm a desert chick born and raised. From Phoenix and the Mojave Desert to Washington State is like night and day. I love that everything here is green and clean. Logically, it makes sense that rain just facilitates what I love, but today I want to jump a plane for Phoenix and sit on my mom's lanai in the 85 degree sunshine and eat grapefruit off her tree.
Valentine's Day looms on horizon just in case I'm not feeling gloomy enough. Who the hell thought up this holiday? See's Candies? Hallmark? If I catch another Zale's commercial with that annoying music I will go insane. This will be the first VD since The Papa and I separated and then divorced. I wasn't expecting it to be an easy time, but I didn't think I would be so pissy about the whole thing. Heartbroken? Yeah, understandable. But pissy? Robby and I made VD cards for family and friends. I admit that was a lot of fun. We also addressed VD cards for his classmates last night. We had a parent sign-up sheet for treats to bring to the big party for the kids. I signed up for cheese. See? Pissy!

Anyway, if you look at VD as a day to be with someone you love and loves you back, it should be a great day for me.
Hope you spend it with someone as wonderful!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Shameless Exploitation

Anyone who has ever had dinner at my house knows to expect a choice of at least 5 different salad dressings for their salad. They also know that all 5 will be Newman's Own. All of his products are not only wonderful tasting (unless you are like me and do not like black pepper. Then avoid his ranch dressing and salsa) and always made with a lot of love. As you probably know, Newman's Own has donated over $200 million to charity to date from the sales of its products. My plea to you, Gentle Reader, is that the next time you are in the market and have a choice to buy Newman's Own, please do so. You won't be disappointed with the taste and you can be a part of something that makes a difference in the lives of so many.

I've been obsessed with Newman's Own products for many years now. I've tried them all; salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, lemonade, limeade, popcorn, salsa, marinade, steak sauce... ice cream. True fans will remember the ice cream. The ice cream disappeared off the shelves several years ago despite my constant letters and emails begging for its return. Obscene. Vanilla. Bean. I cry for you. The Papa even included Newmans Own references in his love letters to me when we first started dating.

How Paul Newman and his partner A.E. Hotchner started this endeavor is a great story and one I recommend. Most will remember Mr. Newman for his acting; a few for his racing. I think his is one of the greatest stories of someone making a difference with their lives. He's one of my heros.

Since there is no ice cream to be had, I will just have to take some Fig Newmans (from his organic line) and milk to bed tonight. God bless you, Mr. Newman, wherever you are.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Stir Crazy

Well another Groundog's Day has come and gone. It looks like we will be stuck with 6 more weeks of this cold, wet and miserable weather. Due to the global warming going on outside, we spent most of the weekend indoors. We got an early start on our Valentine's Day cards and did a little house cleaning. He was in a good mood for most of the weekend and when he wasn't I just sent him to his room for an attitude adjustment....

...works everytime. He ate constantly this weekend so he must be starting another growth spurt.

I ran across yet another article about the over the counter cold medications not being safe for kids. As a parent, I really don't know what to think about all of this. So far, they have only "officially" issued a warning for children under 2, but they are still researching the 2 - 6 age group. I think that news is enough for any parent to call it "official". I know I am not going to reach for a bottle at the first sign of a sniffle. I know I am going to do some research and write a few letters and encourage the powers that be to make it a priority for the CDC and FDA to figure this out. I won't even get started about the vaccine vs autism controversy. That's another post.