Whooo, doggies…

Sunday I spent the day doing yard work. 

It was about time, as I’d let things pile up, weeds were starting to seed out, the hedges were towering WAY over my head, and my lawn was finally starting to green up & grow, since we’d gotten a little bit of rain.

So, I plugged my ear buds in, pulled on my garden gloves, & got to work.

After mowing the front lawn, & a little of the back (my battery-powered mower’s battery gave out), I plugged the battery into the charger, hoisted my hedge trimmer, & decided to tackle the beast-mode hedges, starting from the back end near OnlySon’s bedroom.

Well…until the hornets decided they didn’t want me messing with their nest.


Drop the hedge trimmer in my tracks & hightail it to the house, making sure the damned hell beasts don’t follow me inside, I raced for the bathroom to ice down my wounded self with cold water.

I’ve never run so fast in my ever-lovin’ life as I did after that first sting!

Holy Mother of Gods!

Luckily, the little winged bastard only nailed me through my glove, on my knuckle, so he really didn’t get me all that bad, but Holy Cheezits, it stung like a muther.

Yeah, I stayed inside the house for a while, laugh it up, Chuckles. I watched that front screen door like the NSA, waiting for those little pricks to stop swarming my porch, knowing they were there, mocking me, jeering & marking my front door with their angry little pheromones.

Screw them.

After getting a drink of water, & wiping the fear-stink off…

I went back outside to retrieve my property.

My hedge trimmer lay there in the grass like a lost orphan…

So I gingerly tiptoed over & gently pucked that poor baby up & cradled it in my arms.

Went to the other end of the hedge & started hacking.

Damn straight.

Of course, I only got halfway down the hedge before I started seeing the hazardous, little, yellow bouncers dancing gleefully in the leaves again.




To the backyard.

Plenty of trimming to do back there, too.

And, as I’m happily zipping along, cutting through the Queen Anne bush next to OnlySon’s bedroom window…


Aw, shit.

I sliced halfway through my old extension cord, that someone had tossed into the bush.

*many, many bad words inserted here as the outlet goes dead*

Ok…Lucky for me, I’m a well grounded kind of gal.

No electrocution.

Yay me.

And, I have a backup extension cord that reaches around to the driveway outlet, which allows me to finish up, not only trimming the wayward bushes in the backyard, but use my electric chainsaw to get through a piece of the neighbor’s hedge that has made its way through my fence & is too big for the hedge trimmer.

And what do I find while trimming? 

A rogue plum tree… With plums hanging from it.


We used to have a plum tree, but it died years ago, & we cut it down, to the ground. This…has to be from one of the plums that fell off at some point, or got dropped by one of the kids, or some other weird coincidence. 

Anyway… I have a plum tree? I guess?

Okey dokey…

Oh yeah, Sunday bitch-slapped me, hard. 

Yes, indeed.

But, like the badass mofo that I am, I bounced back & kept right on diggin’ til I’d had my fill.

And that was right about the time I went in the house & realized that by cutting that extension cord, I’d blown a fuse in the house, cutting power to the kitchen, the living room, and the hallway…


I Don’t Think That’s What They Meant

I’ve always known that reading to my kids was good for them.

Expanding their horizons, showing them different worlds, different people, cultures, ideas, crammed in the pages of a bound book.

And there are books on all sorts of topics for kids now.

Books just for the pleasure of reading an entertaining story, books for education.

There are books for potty-training, for bed-time, for learning to deal with siblings, leaning to cope with the death of a pet, learning how to be better at this or that, for learning everything from alphabets to zydeco music playing.

I know that reading – reading almost anything – broadens anyone’s mind, not just a child’s.

But – the other night, I added a twist.

OnlySon is 16.  And he and I both understand that he’s far more esoterically knowledgeable than most people think.  We talk to each other in a manner most wouldn’t expect a parent to talk to a 16 yr. old.

I talk to him more as I would another adult.  Well, at least, another adult who just so happens to be my 16 yr. old child.  There are still some subjects we both agree are not appropriate, not – ugh – comfortable for either of us.  And our agreement works.

He can handle it – and he respects me for respecting that about him.

So, the other night, I was reading a new book I’d picked up at the book store – Augusten Burrough’s “Magical Thinking”.

It’s a hilarious set of stories about things that have happened to him in his own life.  And he freely admits that he’s “emotionally damaged goods”, so, even while I can feel bad about the fucked up things he’s had to experience growing up, and since, I can laugh along with him as he laughs at himself.

I sat and chuckled, snickered, and gut-busted laughed for 2 hours straight after bringing this home and immediately sitting down to enjoy it.

Of course, OnlySon had to know what was so funny.

So – I read a chapter – out loud – to him.

All about how Augusten had found a “rat/thing” in his bathroom, and proceeded to destroy it, then to go on to practically destroy his bathroom in order to rid himself of the taint of the rat/thing’s infestation of his life.

It’s funnier in the book.

And, after hearing the story, my son proceeded to tell me about a story he’d read – about a man who’d chugged half a soda, only to find a ground up frog in the can…..

The things we do to one another for the sake of a good story. *urp*

Later than night, I was standing in the bathroom, contemplating the meaning of life (brushing my teeth, actually, but close enough), when I heard EldestDaughter downstairs.  The cadence and rhythm of her voice told me she was reading a new story to the ToddlerTornado.

And I was struck by the coincidence, and the slight difference of the subject matter we’d each chosen to read to our sons.

At least… well, leaning out of the bathroom, I was pretty sure my new book was still sitting by my chair.

I don’t think that’s what they meant when the “experts” said “Read to Your Children”.


In the Interim

I took a pause.

Went off on a tangent.

Started another blog, dropped it, started yet another one, and dropped that one too – started a third… and a fourth… dropped the third, kept the fourth.

And I came home – here – to where my WordPress adventures all started.

There have been a lot of changes in my life… and a lot that stayed the same.

I don’t really want to rehash it here, so I’m simply having a GRAND RE-OPENING, now under old management.


Come for the ribbon cutting… stay for the emergency alcohol preps!

Anyhoo… I’m going to be posting whenever I damn well feel like it, so hang on!

And – tomorrow?  There might even be fiction.




Fiddly Little Bits

My brain’s spinning at about 98 RPM right now.

I have a list a mile long of things that still have to get done for graduation, and only a couple of them crossed off.

I lost my mind on my children last night.  There is a list of someof the things that need to be accomplished before the end of the week up near the kitchen.  Just some of the things, mind you.  And I told the children about the list, and that I needed help getting them done.

I didn’t put the list up there for my benefit.  I know what needs to be done, and have been carrying lists around with me for a couple of weeks now.

The list was for them. 

And they knew it.

Yet, last night, when I got home from work, both of my girls were sitting on their butts.  Doing nothing.

List un-accomplished. 


And I lost all the fiddly little bits of my brain that deal with stress in a calm, rational manner.

They fell right out of my ears, and smashed on the floor.

I flipped out.

Told the girls that the list I’d posted was only about half of the stuff that needed doing, and that I was tired of getting on bended knee and begging them to help me get ready for YOUNGERDAUGHTER’s graduation.  In a house that they ALL live in.  Not just me.

Told them that “Whatever doesn’t get done by Sunday, willremainundone on Sunday, and THEY can explain to guests why the floor is filthy, or there are dandelions eating their children in the front yard. 

Mom’s going to be tucked away in a corner, rocking back and forth, with a drink in one hand, and a vacant smile – humming tunelessly.

All my fiddly little bits of sanity, lying on the floor next to me.

Countdown to Blastoff

I have 1 week in which to prepare for the high school graduation of YoungerDaughter.


My internet connection at home has been spotty – at best.  The modem is dying, and has begun its last gasps of hot, tainted air.  The cable company told me they’d be out “somewhere between 8am and 5pm”.   So… that means Tuesday, the 12th of never, right?

A couple of days ago, my youngest child, OnlySon – broke his left arm.  Both bones.

The one on the bottom, is a 50% displacement fracture (according to the orthopedic doctor).

The top one, the ulna, is a slight “greenstick” break, near his wrist.  It just shows up on the x-ray as a “fuzzy line” (official radiology terminology, I assure you.) 

This x-ray was taken after they casted his arm.  Nope, they don’t re-set the bones on kids for this type of break.  Surprised me too.  There’s a long, complicated reason, the doctor explained and assured me about.  However, if the bones shift any more within the next 3 weeks, OnlySon may have to have pins and plates surgically inserted into his arm to correct this. 


To top it off, he has to wear his new appendage accessory for at least 6 weeks, with a possibility of a separate, shorter cast for another 3 weeks after that – depending on how it heals.

He was overjoyed at this pronouncement.

So, this means no swimming. For the whole summer.  Or at least, most of it.

The one physical activity that OnlySon really gets into, and he isn’t going to be able to even splash around in a baby pool.

Last summer, we had most of our city flooded, including the public pool.

No swimming last year.

No swimming this year.

This also happened to occur 10 days before the end of his school year.

He had to stay out for the last 2 days, due to pain, and the effects of the pain medication the doctor put him on. 

The end of this school year is looming over all of our heads like a vicious, man-eating hydra, snarling, dripping and horrible.

See, with the dripping?

And every time you take care of one problem, cut off one of the heads – 2 more sprout and take its place.

Gotta love that Greek mythology.

So, I’m making lists, checking them – not twice, I’m not Santa Claus – but constantly, throughout the day, everyday.

Planning, re-planning, re-drawing my battle plans and lists.

Counting down to blastoff.

Graduation Day.

Where the hell are my cap and gown?

I should be graduating with honors for my multitasking abilities and for keeping my sanity.

That is – if I still have it at the end of next week.


Z – and the End

Little Buddha, we have finally reached the end of the alphabet.

But, this does not mean that we’ve reached the end of things that your Gramma is going to teach you – not by a long shot! 

There are years and years of lessons ahead, my precious grandson, so let’s just get this part of the teaching out of the way, shall we?

Z – is for Zoo.  You’re quickly learning – our family is rather one of these.  Full of wild animals of all kinds and quirks, our family is definitely varied and can be fun. 

Just make sure you don’t stick your fingers between the bars, or attempt to feed them by hand.

You’ll lose the fingers, and possibly your sanity.

Of course, with this family – sanity is optional, so it’s not like anyone around here will notice the difference or make an issue of it!  We’re all one, big happy family of wild critters!

Z – is for Zero.  This is how many times you’ll have to wonder if Gramma loves you.

Never doubt.

Gramma loves you, and always will.

And Zero is the times you’ll ever go a day without hearing it.

And, for theGrande Finale…..

Z – is for ZOMBIES!!!

Of course it is.  Everything these days is about zombies – right?

This is the latest and strangest trend I’ve seen in a long time, Little Buddha.  People everywhere are “getting on board” and joining the “Zombie Extermination Crews”, because, supposedly, the Zombie Apocalypse is just around the corner.

There are t-shirts, posters, and even decorations (not just for bumperstickers, anymore!) for your vehicle to identify you to other Zombie-Slayers.

Weird, I know, but this is true.

We’re gonna have to get you one of these, just so you can be prepared.


Of course, by the time the apocalypse actually happens… you’ll be older, wiser, and probably ready to drive… so maybe we can trick out Gramma’s van like some of the other kids these days.


There we go.  Now we’re ready to roll, Little Buddha.

Just let Gramma get her gear.

Y is for…

Little Buddha, we are done with another week, and almost done with the alphabet.

Part of me is glad, as that means we can move on to other, more exciting possibilities…

Part of me is sad, as this means it’s almost over, and Gramma hates goodbyes, even if it’s just of the meme variety.

BUT.  Let’s kick this pony, shall we?

Y – is for Yawn.  Big and open, yawning mouths seem to abound around you when you are sleepy, Little Buddha!  There’s this thing, you see… called “Baby Coma”, which, when held, a little one will induce a strong need for sleep in the person holding on.  You are such a warm, soft, comforting little bundle while you sleep, it’s hard to put you down in your bassinet, instead of just having you curl up on someone’s chest, right over the heartbeat, and nap together…. yaaaaaawn…. sleepy now…

Y – is for Yummy!  I want you to have a wide palate of what you like to eat, Little Buddha, so we’re going to have to work on your choices of food.  There are 4 basic food groups we’ll focus on…. Salt, grease, carbonation… and chocolate.

No, seriously, I do want you to be able to eat more than just chicken nuggets and toast (don’t talk to your Uncle, OnlySon, he doesn’t know what’s good for him!).  Your Mama’s got a pretty good range of foods she likes, so she’ll help you out with the “healthy” stuff… but Gramma is going to help you pick the bestest of the bestest of the so-called junk foods.

Strawberry pastry pirate ship & chocolate treasure chest? Oh, definitely!

Hey, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure, right? 

So… as soon as you are old enough to nom down the solid stuff… we’ll get started – with strawberries and chocolate.

Hey, I know strawberries are considered healthy because they’re fruit… but we can make them so that the possible gains are outweighed by the sweetness and yumminess of the dessert!

Y – is for Young.  You are this right now, Little Buddha, and will be for some time to come.  This is ok.  You don’t have to grow up too fast.  Take it easy.

I mean it. 

The older you get, the older Gramma gets.

Stop it.

Now, come here and give Gramma a kiss and a hug.


X is for…

Honestly, Little Buddha, when I started this alphabet for you, it was going to be more joking and a little less serious than it actually has ended up.  But, I guess there really is a serious side to yer ole grinning Gramma, little one.  On with it, shall we?

X – is for Xylophone.  Yes, you will have one of these, and yes

I'm sure your Mama couldn't object to a "Turtle" xylophone...

 – your Mama and Daddy will hate it.  It is, however, a rite of passage for every child to have at least 1 super-annoying noisy toy that Mama and Daddy aren’t allowed to get rid of.    You need to learn about music, and what better way than to be able to bang out a tune on small strips of metal with a wooden stick and ball? 

I can’t help but wonder, though, if you wouldn’t do better to have something a little more… complete – shall we say? 

Maybe something along the lines of …..this?

We do want to make sure you can get to ALL of the notes, after all… right??

I thought so.

I tell you - a coupla pieces of cotton - and I can HARDLY HEAR A THING. It's like a miracle for my ears!

X – is for Xanax. 

After a long day of musical experimentation, I’m sure your Mama will be most likely wishing for one of these.  You don’t need to worry, however, Little Buddha.  Your music will be beautiful, and Mama can wear cotton balls in her ears if it gets just a little too “enthusiastic”. 

X – is for “X Marks the spot”.

I think Gramma’s going to put a big X in her front yard – so you always know where the spot is that you can find me. 

Gramma would never want you to get lost on your way to her house, so here you go!

This is the spot where you don’t have to worry if someone’s going to be mad if you’re a little late getting there – I’ll be glad to see you anytime.

This is the spot where you will always have a warm hug, a smile, and a willing ear to listen to all your troubles, or a shoulder to cry on. 

This is the spot – where you can escape the whole wide world if you need to.  Gramma will make you a safe place to rest, to talk, and to regain what you need to get back out there. 

Gramma’s here for you, Little Buddha.  Always.

W is for…

Another week, and you are already a month old, Little Buddha!  Time is slipping by so quickly, it’s amazing to me how much you’ve changed.  You’ve started “talking” to people you see, cooing and squeaking like a little dolphin!

Speaking of the aquatic…

W – is for Water.  You love the water already, Little Buddha.  And you come by it naturally.  Your Mama has always loved the water, and your astrological sign is Pisces, the fish, so it’s not unexpected that you would be a natural little swimmer!

Water is a wonderful thing, Little Buddha.  It will keep you clean (which you like – for now), and it goes into everything we eat and drink to keep us healthy.  But, mostly, I know you’re going to enjoy playing in it!  Swimming, splashing and just playing in it will be one of your favorite pastimes, I’m sure.  And your Mama will make sure you have plenty of opportunity! 

Of course… there’s always the possibility that you might need some water guns… or squirty toys… you know… just for the heck of it… hmmm… Gramma needs to go shopping…

W – is for Want.  You’re going to want a lot of things as you grow up, Little Buddha… but there’s a BIG difference between wanting and needing.  Mama and Daddy will make sure that you have what you need.  They love you very much and will give you all the things that every child has to have to grow up big and strong, in body, mind and heart.

You will NOT be like this child. Please?

But.  For those things you want, you’re going to have to come up with a darn good reason why you should have them. Not just because it’s Tuesday, and you’re cute (although that reason might work with Gramma… sometimes).  Wanting means needing to work for the prize.  You should have toearn the things you simply want, but don’t really need.  This will teach you the value of everything, and that’s a big lesson to learn.  A lot of people never quite get that lesson down.  Here’s to you being smarter than that!

W – is for Words.  I am going to make sure that you have a love of these.  We will read together every chance I get, because I want you to know all the worlds that can exist for you, outside of the television.  Books are precious, and words even more so, because they teach us how to communicate with one another on a level that is far more intelligent than some these days.  (OMG! WTH? IDK…LOL, Orly?)  Sure, text-speak has its place… on the phone, when you’re actually texting.  But these are NOT words.  I want you to know real words like “magical”, and “fantastic”, and “obnoxious” and “loquacious”… I want you to be able to speak to people, and when someone speaks back to you, to have the words at your advantage.  You are not going to grow up to be a dumb blonde, Little Buddha.  You are going to stun the world with your intelligence and adaptability.  For that, you need words.

I can teach you some doozies…

Flash Fiction ~ Friday the 13th Edition

It’s been a while…


Genna’s chai tea was cold.  And chai was not improved through cooling off.  It was always better when it was scalding hot, with just a touch of honey in with the milk and spices.  If you could gulp it down, it wasn’t right.  It should be sipped slowly, almost painfully, in order to really be good.

But it had been sitting too long.

Just like Genna.  And she was rapidly moving in the opposite temperature direction from her tea.  From cool, calm and collected – to scalding hot and ready to blow up.

Jerks,”  Genna blurted in a loud exhalation of breath,  “They’re superstitious jerks, both of them.” 

Grabbing her bag and her tea, she stood abruptly, making the chair protest by squealing against the tile as it was pushed out.

Just because it was Friday the 13th, the world had to stop? 

Genna had set up this coffee date with 2 of her best friends, Naomi and Mark.  Both had said yes, but obviously they hadn’t noticed the date on the calendar when they’d done so.  Genna knew what day it was, and that usually everyone stayed behind closed doors on Friday the 13th.  It was silly, really.  It was just another day, after all.

I mean, really.

Nothing was going on here.  She was the only person in the coffee shop, except the coffee dude.  He was back there, busily mixing potions for coffees and teas behind the counter, frothing milk and…. putting hot dogs in the microwave?  Wait… what?  They didn’t serve hot dogs here. 

As he wandered into the back part of the shop, Genna moved up to the counter to put her tray down, and snuck a glance at what was on the other tray sitting in front of the small microwave.  The coffee shop used it to heat up things like cookies and specialty sandwiches, but they didn’t serve things as mundane as hot dogs. 

Hot dogs…no… hot dogs don’t come with fingernails.

The hair stood up on the back of Genna’s neck, and a shiver ran down her arms as she realized what was going on.  Taking a step back, she bumped into another person.  The coffee guy, whose breath was hot on her neck. 

“You should have stayed home today, ma’am.  Most people are bright enough to be afraid and stay out of our way on the 13th.  But I guess you’re just not that smart.”

The coffee shop opened bright and early on Saturday the 14th.  The floor, spotless, not even really showing where the blood had stained the grout between the tiles.

Jerry, the coffee guy, smiled as he watched the customers meandering in for their morning caffeine fix.  Yesterday was over, and it was a new day.  Time to make the coffee.