November Rain

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Otherwise known as SNOW in North Dakota, this November has rained down all manner of craptasticness.

So much, all crammed into just a short space of time.

Geezus, it’s not even the 15th of the month, yet, and I’ve already broken my ankle, had more unwarranted legal drama with EldestDaughter (she has to go to court for something that the legal system didn’t update, and prove that she actually took care of something – luckily, she has all the paperwork backing her up – BUT, she still has to follow their timeline, put up with their bullshit, and probably be out the money for the lawyer because THEY CAN’T UPDATE THEIR SYSTEM) *ok, mini rant over*, and had yet another serious allergy attack due to a coworker who thinks that the office-wide emails going out about not wearing scented lotions and strong perfumes couldn’t possibly be about her. *ok, so rant just changed trains… (deep breath)*

It’s only November 13, and I’ve had it.

I’m tired of all this crap that this gawd-awful month is dishing out.  I’m through with dissolving into the exhausted tears that always seem to herald yet another THING that is kicking me in my gimp foot while I’m down.

I want a RECALL on that vote to leave this freaking month in the calendar year.

Rename the damn thing; take a few days from the month and spread them out to those that don’t have as many as the others… February could use a whole extra freaking WEEK for all I care.


Can I start a Kickstarter project for this?  Raise the money and have people sign a petition?

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO to make this awful travesty of a man-made “month” go away??

*drops mic and hobbles off stage*



It’s Just Nuts

imagesL259ZCWIIt’s crazy, I say.

Why are so many male human beings so overly-attached to their male dogs genitalia being intact?

EldestDaughter’s boyfriend tonight was asking about the dog that he had given up not long ago, that one of my co-workers had decided to adopt from him.

I told him that the dog had been neutered.

He immediately became depressed.

As though his right to ever procreate had been stolen from him.  (Don’t get me started on that topic…I’m not even going there.)

What is the deal with some of these male human beings?

Spaying and neutering your pets is only responsible pet-ownership.

Go here if you don’t know – get edu-ma-cated.

I’ve owned enough animals in my life, both fixed and intact, to know that spayed, neutered, is the best way to go.  I’m not a dog or cat breeder, never will be.  So, there’s no other reason to ever have a pet who lives in my house that is NOT spayed/neutered.

And that young man’s imagined “insult” to his ex-dog’s dignity…?  Ended when he gave the care of the animal up to someone else.

Spay or neuter your pets.

It’s just downright nuts to be irresponsible pet owners.



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.


In The Eye of the Beholder

My YoungerDaughter is a talented artist.  I’ve said this before.  She can do things with pencil, paint and brush… that frankly, blow me away.

Her vision of the world is unique, and refreshingly honest and open and, for the most part, lighthearted.

A couple of days ago, YoungerDaughter and the rest of her class, had a senior art show at the high school she attends.  Here are the results of her hard work and passion.

The pictures I was able to take do show all the lights glaring from above and behind, due to the fact that most of the artwork was behind protective glass or plastic, however, you can still see them.  Blame me for any glitches in the view!

This one is a high-contrast painting she did using a photograph of a rubber ducky she took some time earlier.  I wish she hadn’t sold it to a friend soon after she finished it, or I would have hung it in my house until she found her own place.  I find this one stunning.

This painting is an abstract heart, but it has millions of tiny “gesso” beads mixed in with the paint, which give it a rough, bumpy texture.  I’ve often wondered if it had a “hidden meaning” written in braille that YoungerDaughter won’t tell me!

This one is a very large, textured painting, using the paint itself as the texturing medium.  YD chose certain flowers representing the emotions of affection and unrequited love.  (Her first really big crush – that crushed her in return)

This exhibit is one that is titled “You Look Better In The Dark”. I think she was speaking to the bottles with the title, because it’s kind of a “plain-Jane” exhibit in the light, but when you turn off the overheads, it’s dramatic and lovely.

And now, for my 2 personal favorites. These next pictures are pencil portraits that YD did of my other two children, based off of photos taken of them at different ages. These were my Christmas presents from YD, and they will hang in honor along with the one that she did of herself and gave to me a couple of years ago.

EldestDaughter – Age 2.


OnlySon – approximately age 7. And one of the LAST times he smiled for a picture.

YoungerDaughter.  Talented, passionate, and quirky.  Truly an original in the eye of ANY beholder.


M is for…

Little Buddha, how quickly life moves when you’re only about 20 inches tall, hunh?  Well, it doesn’t really get any slower, bud, but you do learn to step out of the stream of traffic once in a while – and let it flow without you for a little bit so you can catch your breath.  Now, let’s get back to paddling, shall we?

M – is for Monday.  There.  I said it.  The bad word that starts us down a slippery slope for a whole week. 

Appropriate Monday Face.

Mondays are not everyone’s favorite days, Little Buddha, and I’m giving you this “heads-up” early, so you know to not be one of those overly-chipper “Happy Monday, Everyone!” kind of people. You’ll have troubles if you are.  Take Gramma’s word on it.

Mondays do have their uses, though I guess.  It gives everyone something to blame for the grouchy way they feel once their weekends are over.  Something good in everything bad, hunh, little guy?

Sure.  We’ll go with that.

M – is for March.  This is the month you were born in, Little Buddha.

Happy March, you adorable little leprechaun!

  This is also the same month your Mommy was born in, and her birthday is just 3 days before yours!  March is usually a cold, windy month, bud, but this year, your arrival saw blue skies, warm weather, and sunshine like nobody’s business.  I see this as a foretelling for your life.  You will bring blue skies, warm weather, and sunshine everywhere you go, Little Buddha.  You already have, in so many ways!

And of course, M – is for Mommy.

Little Buddha, your Mommy was my first baby, just as you are her first baby.  There is a special bond with the firsties, as you will learn.  Mommys learn so much from their firsties, and sometimes make mistakes, too.  There’s a learning curve for everyone the first time around, so don’t give up on her, she’ll figure it out.  She’s doing a pretty good job already!  You just went for your first doctor’s visit, and the doc was happy to report that you are healthy, and growing like a little weed!  Just remember, your Mommy is going to be the most important person in your universe for a while, along with your Daddy, and they both love you like crazy.  Just like I love your Mommy – my firstie baby.

My firstie, my Peanut

That IS How it Goes

You know that moment? 

That moment, when as a parent, you realize that your child is pulling away, growing distant and pushing the boundaries of independence?

That moment when you look down, realize that she’s no longer your “little girl”, but a full-grown human being, and she is looking you square in the eye, without being picked up.  That moment when the pain lodges itself just under your ribcage, squeezing your heart into a massive knot of “I don’t wanna let her grow up!”

That moment when you’ve had enough of the attitude and smart-mouth combination.  That moment when you say quietly to yourself “Get this kid out of the house before we both go completely around-the-bend-insane and we commit hari-kari on each other!” 

That moment, when you are totally at a loss for words, because you find out something that they’ve been keeping from you, either because they don’t know how to tell you, they don’t want to tell you, or they simply forget to tell you.  That moment when, just for a split second, your brain hiccups and can’t think – at all. 

That moment when you realise that your child, that baby that you held in your arms just yesterday– has a whole life to which you are not privy.  Not just what happens at school, but out in the world at large, you are not a player, and are barely a spectator because your star athlete has put you in the nose-bleed section – behind a pole. 

And then, there’s that moment when you realise that, in fact, this is something that’s been building for a long time.  It started the day you had a child handed to you in the hospital, and people started calling you a “parent”.  From that moment on, your darling angel worked toward that moment of separation.  Baby steps to begin with, then the tentative jog of a pre-teen, until it reached a full-out run for their life – as a teenager ready to graduate.

This is natural.  This is normal.  Children grow up – they get lives of their own – and they leave their parents to fend for themselves.  Often, the struggle for freedom is just that – a struggle.  While we as parents see this?

Our children are seeing something completely different.  Their perception of the world around them, and their bid for freedom from tyranny looks something a little more like this —->

My YoungerDaughter has hit this moment.  Like a brick wall.

And while I wish her the all the best in her endeavors as an adult – I still have trouble cutting the ties.  It’s hard to let them go.

So, I tell her, “I knew this was coming from the moment you were born.  I’ve thought about it, planned for it, and both dreamed and dreaded it through the years.  And while I’m happy and proud that you are confidently taking this moment to declare yourself……

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.”

But this is how it goes.

Sliced and Diced

I feel pulled in about a million different directions lately.

There are a lot of things going on, but it’s hard to pin just one of them down long enough to finish what needs to be done.

So I’m slicing and dicing this week.  A little here, a little there, and hope I end up with something that resembles a cohesive whole instead of something that ends up being fed to the dog.

I'll take the mess - no problem!

Here’s a little bit of what’s been going on:
*I’m trying to get the house ready for when the grand-baby gets here.  We have to clean the basement (which is difficult with Future-Son-In-Law leaving his stuff all over the floor, chairs, tv, tables, couch, etc.)  I also need to clean up the spare bedroom down there so we can get EldestDaughter’s and FSIL’s stuff in there.  Is it too late to call the reality show that helps people organize their homes and lives?  Yeah… I thought so.  They’d call it a “fail” anyway, I think. 
*Went out with some co-workers on Friday night.  It was fun – but I felt too old for the crowd.  I think I’m supposed to be having some kind of “mid-life crisis” over this?  Well, I’m not.  I like hanging out and laughing occasionally, but the party-girl era has passed.  I’d rather sit in a quieter restaraunt or bar and be able to actually have a chat with someone than be in a place that’s so crowded that taking a deep breath causes you to get accused of sexual harassment. I no longer remember where the fun is in attempting to stand still in a room jam-packed full of sweaty, drunken people who think screaming at the top of your lungs to be heard is the sign of a “good time”.
*And on that same tangent… I’m tired of people who think I should be on one side of the fence or the other when it comes to being friendly with others.
I can get along with a lot of different types of people, and I don’t have to bad-mouth either side to do it.  If others want to play the “my side/their side” game, count me out.   I had a friend who was extremely jealous of anyone I spent time with outside of that friendship.  Just because I talk to other people and can get along, doesn’t mean I’m any less of a friend.  I’m just not getting in the middle of the dispute.
*I want ED home.  She’s been away for almost a whole month, and I’m worried that she’s all alone at the end of her pregnancy.  There’s supposedly a winter storm coming on the day I’m supposed to be bringing her home, and she’s 2 hours away.  I’m praying as hard as I can that the weather holds out until we get her through my front door.  Then we can all relax a bit.
*OnlySon and I need to do something together again.  I feel like I’ve been neglecting him, even though he’s with his father a lot, and isn’t even home most weekends.  We need to do something – baking, book-shopping, something fun.  He has been getting along really well with A lately, though.  They’ve been talking “dude-stuff”, and OnlySon has been having a blast, giggling so hard he almost has a seizure.  I’m so glad they’re getting along – and fear that I’ve created a testosterone monster dynamic in which I end up out-numbered and getting the “It’s a guy thing” speech, complete with the rolling eyes and conspiratorial glances at each other.
*YoungerDaughter is having a rough time with her crush.  I’m trying to be as understanding as I can, but I’m truly not comfortable with her contemplating dating this guy.  He’s a decade older than her, they’re in completely different stages of their lives, and… did I mention he’s a decade older than her?  I know I can’t be hypocritical about this, because my brother and sister-in-law are 12 years apart, but at least they were both adults when they met.  YD is still just a teenager.  It does make a difference now, even if it won’t in a few years.
*I’m working on trying to get things ready for YD’s graduation in May.  There’s so much that has to be done, it’s a daunting task.  And, since the divorce, I have to organize it by myself, plus still keep the household running – with the addition of 2 more people (ED and FSIL), and the promise of another one (grand-baby) on the way next month.  Daunting, indeed. May is a lot closer than it appears at first glance.  I’m feeling a little like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, and wondering what I did with my pocketwatch – and my sanity?
But… as a wise man once said…
Well said, Mr. Bueller… well said.

Runaway Train

Lately my life has felt somewhat like this:

  The train is barreling down the track, and I haven’t been able to decide where I am in relation to the train.

Am I on the train?  Am I driving it, and haven’t figured out that the brakes work?  Am I in front of the train, and have no hope of getting off the tracks in time…

Or am I standing on the platform in the station, watching it as it speeds past?

Everything’s been moving at light-speed, barely giving me a moment to catch my breath from one stop to the next.  And while I’m moving as fast as I can, just to keep up… I’m not sure I have the brain power to keep moving this fast and furiously forever.

Not that all of it’s been bad.

Why do you have a problem with HappyMom?

There have definitely been some good things going on, and I’m happy about them.  Getting to know A better has absolutely been a good thing.  Being able to spend time with him, getting to know his kids, it’s been a whilrwind – but one I’m glad to be caught up in.  I wouldn’t change that, because it’s been a lot of fun, and I’m smiling more, giggling, even… it’s enough to make YoungerDaughter comment “Geez, Mom – you’re worse than a teenager!” 

To which I say “And that’s bad, why?”

And the anticipation time for the new grand-baby coming is growing.  We’re only a couple of weeks away from EldestDaughter’s due date, and she’s getting ever more impatient.  I’ve almost resigned myself to the fact that she’s going to find a way to get on the back of a motorcycle on a bumpy country road, just to be done with this already!

I laugh about it, but I remember that same feeling – oh so very well. 

But there have been other things, not-so-happy things, that have been zooming past, daring me to keep up or be left behind.  The situation with EldestDaughter has been a difficult one, and there are still some unresolved issues.  I know that we’ll work them out, get her life back on track and going in a healthy direction.  It’s just hard – knowing that I can’t actually do anything to catalyze the change.  ED has to do that herself.  I’m just here as support staff.

So, where does that leave me in relation to the train?  Hell if I know.

Somedays, I’m on it, watching the scenery slide past in a watercolor blur, not knowing which station I’ll get spat out at.

Some days – I’m driving the train – blowing the whistle and laughing my head off at the sheer exhiliration of the speed we’re travelling.  Hair blowing around my face, and my eyes shining, I look forward in anticipation of what’s going to appear seconds away just up over that ridge.  I’m strong, and ready for it.

Some days…. I feel more like this:

I guess – it’s all just a matter of perspective?

To Which I Say NOOOOOoooo….

My little girl is growing up way too quickly.

YoungerDaughter – my little Haus Frau, my Haus Maus baby-girl who used to sit with me for hours on end when she was little….

has a crush on an older boy  young man some dude who is actually older than EldestDaughter.

So now, she’s taking great pains with her hair, makeup and clothes every day, striving to look older, more sophisticated, than her formerly happily-scrunched 17-year old self.

And while I haven’t met this guy, I’ve seen his picture, and he doesn’t look much older than YD, so that makes it more difficult.  Trying to reconcile the actual age he is, with the age he looks, coupled with the fact that he works at the same restaurant that YD does, which is normally a young-person’s type of job. (He just finished school – college – as an “older student”, with my sister-in-law, another “older student”…. *sob*

Yeah, he’s over 21.  By a couple few years.

Yeah, once YD hits 18 this summer, it won’t make that big of a difference.

I know that “age is just a number” and that once you reach a certain number, it really doesn’t matter how many years separate 2 people that care about one another.  My brother and sister-in-law are 12 years apart, and they do just fine.

But it makes a difference now. 

And I’m not ready for it.

I’m not sure YD’s ready for it.

So far, this guy doesn’t know that YD likes him this much.

And I’m hoping (read desperately praying) that this is just a crush, and that it will blow over by graduation, or shortly after.