Sunday, September 29, 2013

More Funder

I was sitting there, you know, inflagrante whatevero in my bathroom this morning and the errant thought crossed my mind, "I love listening to the rain!" The thought had 0.00000000000237 seconds to envelope me in its cozy, comfy arms before that mommy thing went off and I flew through my business and launched myself into the office to stand there at the door panting--well, panting and contemplating the fact that Squib would have to make his usual trek from his new room in the Big Red House to the Hobbit Hole in THE RAIN. Yes, the rain.

As we all know, rain begats funder. Funder begats stark-raving terror and irrational behavior in the Squiblet. It's actual fact that he can leap a quarter-mile without touching the ground to wrap his tentacular arms and legs around my body if he even whiffs an abundance of ozone. So, I had a dilemma.

Paranoid, over-mothering choice number one: Wake him up at 5:30 a.m. and carry him over to the Hobbit Hole in the (pseudo...never tell him it's pseudo until this passes) safety of my strong, caring embrace and tuck him in my bed before I started to get ready so that I'd not miss him if he called or came through the door and needed me. I'm pretty sure every one of my nine googleplex and ten cells voted this way.

Yes, moms have that many cells. It's a lot. More than average. It's why we get so d***** up in a huff when your dust hits our offspring. When you have that many cells hollering directions at you....well, you listen!!!

Laid back, nurturing, but not paranoid choice number two: Go about business as usual. Buddy and Mimi and Baba are in the Big Red House. I'm out here. The door is now unlocked. If he wants to come out here, then there are several options for him to choose from. Have confidence in his ability to overcome his fear of thunder and, well, precipitation in general.

So, like most mothers, I got in the tub and worried about the whole thing. I was toweling off when I heard the front door fly open and a little white blur landed in my bed buried by my comforter before the door had even stopped slamming.

You see, when I was little, my dad (Buddy) would put lawn chairs out in the front of the garage or on the porch and take me out there with him and we would watch the storm. Yes, I was scared, but I loved the lightning. I liked counting the distance between the flash and the thunder. Of course, most of that time we lived in Oklahoma. If I was going to be anywhere it was going to be attached bodily to my dad. Not everyone has hidey-holes in Oklahoma. In fact, a large number of people don't. We also used to go watch planes take off at the end of the runway...the VERY END...the tarmac Hobby Airport back when there was just a wooden reflective fence to warn the planes. We sat on that. So maybe I have a skewed perspective of safety.

So, dad and I had Squib with us out on the porch of the Big Red House one day while watching a storm roll in over the lake. We were talking about the lightning and counting from the "flash" to the "boom." Then the flash hit right smack in front of us. Squib burst into tears instantly and I scooped him up to take him inside just as fast as my little feet could carry us. Just for motivation, two near strikes seemed to follow us into the Hobbit Hole. He threw back the covers on my bed and dove beneath them and then yanked them over his head. I have to admit....that never happened in all our storm watching years when I was young. Even dad and I were rattled. Dad was screaming from the porch for me to run faster and get inside. So....yeah....I helped create this little funder monster. Squib had gotten over his thunder issues from early childhood. This? Very different.

Later this morning we were all in our various Bible Study classes when the avalanche of rain let loose. It truly was a beautiful thing to hear. I wasn't going to go out and watch it or anything...even I'm not ready to do that again yet. As I left, though, and stood under the car port with Sassy (new person!) a brilliant flash preceded a ground-rattling boom by only a hair of a second. My mommy radar had been pinging for about ten or fifteen minutes already (some of those cells, they do that kind of thing). I knew instantly he'd be fried by that one. About thirty seconds after that hit, my phone rang.

My littlest boy was huddled in his little booster seat in the Toyota with Buddy and Baba with his jacket (fleece for crying out loud, but better for hiding from funder apparently, so he'd chosen it to wear over his t-shirt and shorts) over his head and synched up. He was calling from Buddy's phone to see when exactly I was going to be home so he would know how long he'd have to be under the covers alone. Apparently the only safe spot is my bed. I have to agree with him there, but for entirely different reasons altogether. When I got home, his saucer-sized eyes peeked over the comforter at me and he said, in his typical all-or-nothing style, "I do not wike dis day."

After we agreed we liked donuts (they serve them at church...not the best reason to go, but hey, he's eight), friends, the freedom to write books about dinosaurs, and iPads, then he renegotiated.

"Fine. I wike dis day, but you can not make me wike da funder."

I'll take what I can get.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Because I'm His Mother

Squib and I have a twice yearly tradition. We pack up in the car and go to the Grand Theatre to view the newest 3D kids' movie. Sometimes it's thrice yearly, but more often than not it's about every six months. With regard to our budget, it's an extravagant expenditure. However, there are some things that are just worth it. Squib just loves it and he gets so excited that it makes me so excited that I just can't stand it.

We pack up our devices (my phone with earphones and a charger pack for me and his iPad with headphones for him) for the drive and my jacket and hop in the car and head west to the theater to see the newest 3D flick that Squib is ecstatic about. Today it was Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, II.

A huge bank of clouds built up and met us about fifteen minutes into our journey. I lost my jacket to Squib's fear of thunder as he huddled beneath it in his booster seat in the back. I made a mental note to pack two jackets the next time we went to the theater together. He asked a lot of questions about the thunder (that I didn't hear) and whether or not there were to be storms during the movie (which I didn't know based on my weather check before I left). It was dry weather with overcast skies when we arrive and we made it into the theater with not a drop of rain on us.

As usual, the film was really good. I enjoyed it a lot. I thought our last one--Monsters University-- was a better pick, but this one was deep into the creative side. I've not seen Despicable Me, II...I wanted to...and I suspect it would have been the best of the three. However, today's film was great.
(whinging alert)

The only thing lacking was my jacket which Squib needed due to cold temperatures. It's a mother's job to sacrifice, right? And I did. Also, he wanted the adult 3D glasses, so I had the tiny blue kids' glasses instead. It was 3D, but felt like a strain on my eyes so I had to take a pill for my eyes. 

I am complaining!!!! I'm stopping right now.

He laughed a lot and so did I. We shared our favorite parts. We giggled and had a few outbursts (silently) and, in general, had a fabulously wonderful time.

It isn't often that you find moments with your eight-year-old son where you identify and talk and share interests and likes, but this was one of those events. I like sharing brain time with Squib and making connections like this with him. He's growing up so fast and it won't be so long before he'd rather do that with his peers.

I'm a very, very lucky mommy. Cold or not.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

lEt'S taLk AntS

The varying lower and upper cases in the title have nothing to do with anything other than my continuing efforts to understand my youngest little Squiblet. If he were sitting here, then I would ask, "Is that what you mean about using the capital letters to make the word look a certain way?" I'm convinced he wouldn't even take a breath before emitting a cotton-candy lead-brick, "no." I sooooo appreciate his honesty. To me, "AntS" has one effect and "aNTs" has another effect altogether and since we can't agree on which we prefer, then we need to use a convention....a ha!...I love it when I have exciting ideas about how to explain "Whhhhhhyyyyyeeeeeyyyyyyy?????" to him. We use conventional rules in order to understand each other.

I'm glad we can understand each other. With Beanstalk, sometimes it's an instantly explosive smile. You may also get his inspiring laugh. You won't be able to do anything else but stop and enjoy the world with him for a bit. He makes life more enjoyable. If you've totally scored, then you'll hear him say in his tiny voice, "Tryyyyyy mooo-ooore." Life is what it is, though, so with higher highs come lower lows. Beanstalk not liking something ranges from him plugging his good ear with his finger (My personal favorite. Totally not my fault if people haven't picked that up by now) to meltdowns that take every ounce of strength I have to prevent him from clonking himself in the head or banging his head on the floor. I don't know how I got here, but clearly I did. When I am in that moment with him I don't dwell on the why's. After, though, it guts me to know that my baby, my first born can't tell me how he feels and I can tell him until I'm blue in the face, but I'm not sure if I'll ever know if he heard me.

Now, about the ants. I think I wrote at some point about the incredible sinking house. It happens to be my house, too. How a single bedroom/bath (that's the only portion on piers) is making piers sink is beyond me unless they're just too heavy. In that case, it's simple physics and we're going to lose that battle no matter how many times we jack them up and fix them. Greater density sinks. So there are places where you can see daylight between the walls and where they should be tacked to the floor.

Don't panic. I have a hard time thinking of this as anything more than "the lake." It has its own dress code. No one bats an eyelash. I still walk down to the pier (not the one under the house) and throw in rocks and stand on the railing by the light where I used to stand with my dad. I still want to shut my eyes and dive into the water from that very place. I would, no doubt find the one tree that's six inches under the surface. I also like to go crashing around in the woods where attrition and I used to take the dirt bikes and go hiking. We sneak over to the big house using the trail and hike over to the airfield.

Of course, we also drive donuts in the front yard and where the pond used to be, so thus endeth the romanticized ideal of life lived full of meaningful experiences in the country. Don't even ask about the things I've done on our ZT mower including pulling down a tree. Heh.

So file this next issue under things that detract from my slice of Americana: The ants are coming inside. This is not knew. They've been coming inside since July. I've been sucking them up, cleaning them up, and generally overdoing it in an effort to exterminate what seems to be the entire population of Texas fire ants. We sprayed around the house outside. I went on a rampage and got everything up off the floor and swept. I've been anal about every single crumb or drop of water,'s weird...they haven't gone for that in the longest time.

I think tonight I found their hidey-hole. I was getting out a t-shirt for tomorrow and it was covered with them! I looked down on the floor and they were trucking everybody in like they were setting up shop in there. And they were! So the scenario here is that it's after nine which (as much as I fight it) is the time I turn into a pumpkin upon the last strike of the hour. I'm hurriedly picking some clothes out to wear. I can do this task in the morning, I do know this. It's passed on from habit into tradition, so just kiss my grits. I'll likely not wear any of it in the morning, either. You may deal with that, too.

Several ant bites, a very full load of ant-infested clothing out in the driveway, and a pile of drawers on the driveway as well finds me more tired than usual. Well, so did the Benedryl. I'm becoming downright homicidal about these crazy ants. What in the blue freak do they want with my t-shirt drawer? Some of my lingerie was in there...maybe they liked the view better. I don't know. I do know that they totally miss that part of the Dr. Pepper spill that I missed when I wiped up. They also gave no thought to the cheesy powder Michael left sprinkled around after he fixed himself some macaroni and cheese. So, I'm thinkin' that they're going to ignore my "peanut flavor" ant traps.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I'm probably not supposed to discuss this "in public" or say the actual word, so I didn't. I mean, really, what's a century or so of European art and architecture among perfect strangers on the Internet? Because even back then you might tell everyone over the dinner table that you were down to a few pounds (the curly L sort that I can't locate on my keyboard), whatever the hens lay, and maybe a goat for emergencies. Then, you would go to bed secure in your knowledge that everyone is aware of the "era" you're living at the moment.

They most definitely would NOT go straight out to the market the very next day and spend all the pounds and a few more (even then I'm sure the, ummm, "establishment" understood cash flow or had some method of causing the family accountant to fall over dead, revive, fall over dead, revive, etc. wash, rinse, repeat) commit the hens to some serious egg-laying, and paint a bulls eye on the goat that has just become your sole source of food.

That was yesterday. The day we entered the Baroque period. Today, as is typical of Baroque periods, the carriages have started to mutiny. I came home at lunch to get better footwear. The Baroque librarian had her one pair of nice heels on and it was stupid. Not as stupid as some things, but still stupid. Needless to say, my carriage lost at least one horse and most of the leather whatever-you-call-it that connects the horses to the carriage. I shall have to ask a student what all of that is. The real name, anyway. Around here there are some who will know.

At my house, we'd say it lost a squirrel and half the rubber bands. I took a look at where the alternator is supposed to be and I already know this repair involves me because a) we are Baroque and, b) I have the smallest hands in the family and even I have to perform hangar tricks to get belts back on. That Honda is put together tighter than sardines in a can. Alternator repair apparently involves removing part of the exhaust...a special length made to come out just in this special case. The compressor replacement is starting to sound rosy. But we are waiting for the Age of Enlightenment (at the very least) for this repair

Meanwhile...thus continueth the 17th century. People keep handing me receipts and bills that need paying to which I keep replying (in order) "that's not doing a thing for me" and "there is nothing I can do about that." I'm the sort of person who naturally worries about where THE FREAKING HELL is the money going to come from. I don't chew my fingers off or occupy my mind with it, but I think some people just have a brain that thinks a certain way. Mine is detailed. It's back there crunching numbers. So far, it's concluded that by the time all these people are dead (and I'm not) I'll be living in a box.

My brain also just naturally intuits random things like the one job I have isn't going to be enough. It's making a huge difference, but it hasn't been long enough to tell that. I'm not patient when it comes to results sometimes. However, in my defense, we can go from modern day whatever to Baroque just while I'm at work for the day.

Maybe we should stop using debit cards! :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

So It's Like This...

There are capital letters and there are lower case letters. You are supposed to use capital letters at beginnings of sentences and at the beginnings of proper nouns. EtC. In Squib's classroom, there is a copy of all the lower and upper case letters on his desk and on the wall.


He has a different concept of the use of capitalization. The artiste believes each word should be crafted or sculpted to look just so. That includes random capitalization. Grammar, syntax, style manuals be d*****, that child writes with great emotion and "big" versus "small" letters are all a part of what I can only say is the Squib Manual of Style. And to anyone who believes they can change him, I say...

Good flipping luck.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I've been sitting here in my sweet, isolated, mommy-of-special-kids cocoon contemplating when it's time to not let my children see me naked. (mostly only in bathing situations) It only happens on occasion (well...) and only because we live in a house the size of a postage stamp. They are 8 and 11. Boys. Boys have a different relationship to nakedness than girls. I realize this. However, they still need to learn. This isn't an issue for Beanstalk for several reasons. He can shed his pants in one-quarter of a blink. He'd never think mom was doing anything weird or giving a personal anatomy lesson. Also, he never sees me naked.

Squib, however, being the scientific-creative-whimsical-curious-contemplative one is not just interested, but deeply interested in anatomical parts. Also, he is carrying on this 24-7 narrative of "important stuff" that cannot under any circumstances be interrupted by anything ever never ever. Not even shaving. He's not doing any of this in any sort of malicious or inappropriate way. He studies everything's anatomy and can't understand what the difference is here. The psychology is pretty much lost on him still. I tried to explain nakedness and the fact that we don't share it with anyone unless mom says ok (you know as in he shouldn't let anyone touch him--not even a doctor--unless mommy or daddy is there). He knows that, but it's academic. If he has a question and I'm shaving my bikini line, then so be it. Then on the other hand, I had to be clear that he shouldn't be sneaking around trying to solve the mystery of how you pee without a penis. There. Now you know. That's what he wants to see. So I've banned him (politely and with all the proper mommy-explanations) from the bathroom when I'm using it or bathing. So he still comes in (he forgets...he says) and he still peeks around the curtain (then slams it shut). There is no door except the one that divides the house in half, so it's been a bit frustrating and I was wondering if I was being picky for no reason.

Shortly after all this business, I was with a friend at her house and we were bathing the kids to get them all ready for the next day. Babies/girls, then boys style. This is the country and they are used to all this. This is how I was raised with all my cousins. Most of these kids are related or believe they are anyway because everyone here is your "Aunt." Or...she will be some day...I guess. Anyway, I went to grab one of the babies (we don't separate babies out by gender and when it comes to the bath mill they are pretty compliant) and was carrying him back into the bathroom just as my son had his hand on the knob of the door where, on the other side was a bathtub full of nine-year-old girl about to get out of the tub.


He was only trying to ask me a question and he thought I was in there with all the babies. However, the close call made me understand clearly that what he experiences at home needs to prepare him for possible situations outside of home. So, things need to change.

Like, knocking!!!, for crying out loud! Of course, no one here knocks. After they don't knock, they don't observe any other sorts of manners, either. This is why you can sit on the toilet in your very own bathroom while your father discusses disbursements of your grandmother's annuity at seven o'clock in the morning with barely a curtain between you. Yes, you heard me right. That was the tame example for the media. Everyone here has seen everyone else naked. And not just because we were somebody's baby. We're talking in the last three years. Baba and I try to limit exposure to only necessary events like hospital stays and recovery therefrom. Dad and Squib have no limits...on anything...including the areas they dedicate to momentary outdoor urinal conversion. When they have to pee, apparently it's NOW. Mimi generally escapes the wrath via a strict use of lock and key combined with growling and some sort of unknown communication. When I discover her methods I intend to patent them and put them to use, but there again I need another couple sets of doors. I use locks, too, but they're on the front door and office door. Then the pounding on the doors (and windows because they assume I'm dead if I don't come running and answer my phone) makes me absolutely irate and I can't relax and do my thing. So. It's basically like a monkey house over here. Only Beanstalk doesn't throw any poo anymore.

Thank heavens for that.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Being a grown-up...

Sometimes being a grown-up really blows.

6:00 a.m. last Saturday morning, Squib asked me the same question he always asks me on mornings when he gets up, but doesn't have to: "Can I be awake, Mama?" I always say the same thing: "You ca-an." This time I attempted to depart with some serious advice.

[Correction: Usually, when he asks if he can be awake, I say no and he gets up anyway. This time I answered as above/below.]

"Look, bud, seriously...every other day and even on some Saturdays you have no choice about waking up before you want to and you complain. "Too bright!" One day, you'll be grown up and you'll have less than no choice about waking up early and you'll wish on every object that isn't nailed down that you had layed in your bed as long as you were allowed to do so. Why not lay around a bit?"

He looked at me like I had horns, asked if I was going to use some discarded piece of trash that he wanted for his next sculpture, and padded off into the office to otherwise destroy the planet in under an hour.

Right now it's 9:43 p.m. on Thursday. I left the house at 6:45 a.m. and I am just now back at home and sitting down for the last time. I am supposed to be balancing the books. My parents and grandmother have dutifully saved all the bills for me to pay and receipts to put in the ledger. All I really want to do is kick my legs and scream and thrash and howl.

But that would take energy that I desperately need to use for sleep.

I have a job that I love. I can't imagine getting to the bottom of the workload anytime within the next couple of years. I can imagine nodding on occasion (the place gets hap-hazardly quiet on occasion regardless of our efforts to the contrary), but there are active things to do as well. I get to work with a supervisor I get along with. In every way (except the hourly rate...just being honest) it's ideal. Considering the break I get now that I have benefits, the hourly rate is tolerable (certainly preferable to nothing!!) what with my medical, vision, and dental expenses over past years.

It's just the normal issues of being an active adult added to work hours that begin to chip away at my sanity. Get up (at 4:30...I know, right??!?), do my normal hours of study and writing, exercise, errands, volunteer, chores, church activities, kid stuff, be at work around 7:00 a.m. and leave around 4:00 p.m. (-ish). That's all. I've been a good little grown-up for almost two weeks now. Mostly.


Ok, not really.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

For Realz

Anyone who knows me knows I obviously did not make my 40 by 40 list. Things being what they are, life intervened. To be honest, that 40 by 40 "challenge" really seems self-centered to me as I look back on it. It may not be, but to me--since everything I do is so embedded in my family life--listing things that I want for me that are so exorbitant is, well, selfish. Even my time spent away from tasks, people, is exorbitant at times.

So, here is a more realistic list of things that I want to do by the time I'm 45. 45 sounds good, right? Truthfully, I picked the age arbitrarily. These things are real goals of mine and I make this list because it is doable, difficult, and I'll be proud of myself for accomplishing them. Some are like resolutions and most are not bizarre and "out there" things, but so what:

1. Get back in my goal weight range. Dr. J would like me in the 120's. I'm in the 130's now, but keeping yourself inside your goal weight range is easier on your joints.

2. Start walking for exercise. The running was fun, but the knees they built me 20 years ago definitely do not like the running.

3. Hike the entire Lone Star trail. I've wanted to do this for years. I believe this was on my 40 by 40 list. It's still a good goal and lots of fun. So why not?

4. Take the kayak out on the lake regularly. This requires me to be able to turn it upside down and put it over the truck. It's inflatable and unwieldy, so I need to get the hang of that so I can do that myself. Not to mention how susceptible it is to wind. Talk about a spongy ride. But fun!

5. Get certified in secondary 8-12 science, then secondary 8-12 mathematics. I'm definitely working at something that isn't what my target when I was in college, but considering the family issues and the major employers in town, Teaching here is a good fit. And I really enjoy teaching and meeting the kids.

6. Finish all the unfinished remodeling jobs in the house. This includes light fixtures instead of dangling light bulbs.

7. Write that stupid book that's been nagging me for so long. I've started it and am working on it, but need to make some hard decisions about characters and where to start.

8. Work with Squib to develop some of his art skills. He goes to "art" at school, but it's nothing like what he's truly ready for. He's already building sculpture and only lacking technique.

9. Write more. This is separate from the book. I'd like to blog more. I'd like my journal to be more consistent. I'm in an unusual situation where I can record four generations of our family and I want to record it for later generations.

10. Learn more. I'm 41. Buddy is 64. We're the two that "do stuff" and he does a lot of things that I don't know how to do. Not because I can't. It's because I haven't ever done it. So, I need to tag along and make sure I can do the things he does with various stuff around the property in case he can't do it. It's not morbid. When you live together like this, it's just what you do.

11. Have more lunch and dinner parties. Life is short. You should share life with everyone you can.

12. Sing more. Think less.

13. Get rid of all the things I don't need or haven't touched for the last six years.

14. Listen to more music.

15. Get into a regular routine so that I feel better.

16. Encourage, support, enjoy, and be in awe of my boys more.

17. Talk to my grandmother more. She's a saint and there's so much she's been through so much. Someone should carry the family history.

18. Teach my children to enjoy the outdoors. They've been inside so much due to medical issues, but that's not an issue now. It's time to explore! It's time to slide on our butts down into the gully!!

19. Get comfortable being me. As is. And for crying out loud--pitch the make up!!!!

20. Keep an even keel and laugh as often as possible.

So there. My 20 by 45. More realistic and refreshing. I can do this!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Whump Whump Whump

There's a wheel missing off my metaphorical buggy. I know for certain that the brakes are toast. The only way to stop is to run into a large stand of brush and then pick my way out. Again...metaphorically speaking. It gets me where I want to go. It carries what I need to carry. However, lately it's been "whumping" a lot and I fear the left rear tire is...well...missing.

I knew something was off. I felt the odd bumping when I got in the buggy this morning, but it was early. I wasn't inspired to investigate. I had to get up, get out, and get going. I thought maybe I could have a slow, clingy, huggy Saturday morning with Beanstalk.

But no.

Beanstalk turned a viewing of Despicable Me into a national sporting event. His whole body was hopping up and down in my lap, swinging his long arms as wide and strong as he could. He delivered every line, some of the soundtrack, and added his own emphasis vocally when he thought it was needed. When something good happened, he cheered like it was the Super Bowl. I love it when he is so excited. It requires all your strength and muscles you never thought you had just to sit with him in your lap.

It never fails that the day before we have a big Beanstalk day, Buddy has a big outdoor project that has to be done That. Very. Day. So we attacked some brush that was surrounding some bushes and trees on the south side of our lots.

OFF TOPIC: I hate defoliating our land. However, it makes my Dad happy. I have no idea what we're going to do when we run out of "brush" to clear (yes, by hand) but if we start felling trees again I may loose my marbles and the remaining wheels on my buggy altogether.

Mostly what we try to do is clear vines (trumpet vine!!!!! ack!!). That's the company line. Personally, I think Dad likes to use his electric chain saw. Nevertheless, gathering it all up, putting it in the truck, and putting it on the fire while it's burning is some serious work. When I quit for the day, I did my buggy check and all I got was a light that said "engine check." Right.

So this morning, Beanstalk wanted to watch movies. He wanted to watch movies like someone who is a died in the wool fan of some sort of football team and if you are not participating in the joyous frivolity, then he will take your arms in his and swing them for you.

We went outside to play and he walked around behind me and hugged me around the neck and climbed me like a long, noodle-shaped monkey. Without any other available option, I carried him around on my back. It was like Mutt riding piggy-back on Jeff. Arms and legs everywhere. Not to mention my buggy phoned in with "check engine" again and "check oil" and every other light it could possibly throw out.

We got on the swing which means Mutt sits on Jeff's lap and he Never. Holds. On. So, I hold on to his waist by wrapping my arm around his waist and hanging on to the chain on the other side. Then I hang on the the swing with the remaining hand. He totally eclipses me. After a minute or two, the buggy up and quit. My legs cramped, my hand was locked in a grip around him. I was stuck. He was perfectly happy. So we stopped, he ran off alone and I was stuck. He couldn't step down over the rail that keeps the little wood chips in the swing area, so I got the famous call:


Mom dragged her carcass to the edge of the swing area, helped him over the rail and attempted to keep up with him when he took off running (yay! he runs now! This is actually good, but you know, now so do we. All. The. Time.) Finally, he wore himself out and we could cave in on our blanket for a few minutes.

With the ants.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lists Are Good For People

10 Things I No Longer Give a Flying Rat's Ass About

1. Separating laundry loads by white versus colored (blue or red). Suffice it to say that I don't wear red or blue and even if I did, my general theory is that if it can't be washed in the same load, on the same temperature, at the same agitation speed, and dried on the same setting....then forget about it. I'll give it to Squib and he'll make something out of it. Dry clean fabric included.

2. Beauty products. Any of them. This is not to say that I don't have them because I do. It's just that preening yourself for thirty minutes (or more) in a mirror everyday is primarily a waste of time and secondarily...fake. Also, all the shampoos and conditioners and crap has never really done much for me except for Phomollient from Aveda. So I have shampoo (I forget what kind), Dawn, and my Phomollient. Oh, and Lubriderm and a razor. Dawn because I get very, very, very dirty. Drain the tub and start over dirty. Lubriderm because I'm in the sun a lot. I don't want to look like a prune by the end of the year. There was a time in my life when I actually shopped at a makeup counter instead of the shampoo and cleaning products aisles at Walmart. However, things change.

3. Schedules. Over the last ten years, the lives of my children have rocked everything I ever knew, thought, wanted, and didn't want down to the bedrock and beyond. But with t18p and nf1 kids comes a life of total chaos. You can be IN the shower with the soap on your body and the shampoo in your hair and have to get out RIGHT. THEN. PERIOD. Yes, I've rinsed my hair in the sink in the ER at Texas Children's Hospital. Then, my life expanded to include my mother (Lupus and Crohn's disease) and my grandparents (Cancer x6. Seriously. Six different kinds between them. Or was it five? They all run together.) Point is, about all you can try to do is sketch out a rough diagram of who should drive which car the next day. Dad and I manage that rather well. The last time we scheduled anything was the winter of 2012 and the night before we were to leave I spent the night on my bathroom floor with the worst stomach virus of my life. We had been trying desperately to plan all sorts of things. After Dad dragged me (literally) into the Big Red House to stay, we pretty much resolved to forget the planning stuff. When friends plan things, I say "sure, I'd love to come" and enter it into my calendar and then laugh like a hyena.

4. This one is hard to find a name for. People expect you to believe a certain way in certain situations. I just came to a place in life where I no longer really care what's expected if a better option is available that is just as good. For example, no I didn't report some kids for introducing a local student as recently immigrated from Russia. I just assigned a writing assignment that was due at the end of the hour and told him he could write in Cyrillic. At least this way I got to enjoy the class period, too. I also got them situated with a laptop so they could talk via Google translate. They were squirming. It was the best day I've ever had in a classroom (non-educationally speaking).

5. Language. When everyone else stops saying, "Gosh darn it my stupid elbow freaking hurts," then I'll stop saying, "My fucking elbow hurts, dammit!" The physicist--who argues against profanity--cannot logically argue that "crap" and "shit" are any different at all when you get right down to it...biblically I guess. You should refrain from the action (anger, loss of self control, etc.) more so than the word itself. However, there are times to avoid certain profanity as "fuck" is not so acceptable in public as, say, "darn." Of course I know all that and I'm not standing on the roof of the high school screaming profanities. I'm just bumping my elbow in my own house when there are no kids around. Beanstalk knows the "F word" only because they told us there was no really good way to know if he was completely deaf. We thought employing a little Murphy's Law would be advantageous. Well....he hears just fine with his one good ear.

6. "The Way Things Are Done." You know, if you've got a bee in your bonnet to take on the laundry room and wash everything and clean it up? More power to ya. Or tackle the hall/guest bathroom? More power to ya. Want to clear out some clutter? You do not need my permission. I will hunt happily in peace for whatever gooferdangle was so darn important that I don't even know where it is now. People are always asking, "Where do you want this?" I simply have no answer other than "down" or "away." And we are always having to adapt our ways of doing things. So, there is no such thing around here as "the way things are done." When I help out in the kitchen at church they're always taking things away from me or bodily shoving me away from the sink or the stove with wide eyes. "She doesn't know how we do things!" "Just get a plate and take a seat, honey. Enjoy!" You know it's bad when they start handling you. LOL.

7. The toilet seat being left up. Frankly, if any woman in her right mind gave it one iota of thought, leaving the seat up is your best defense to what is truly the nastiest thing on earth and that's sitting down on a seat that hasn't been wiped clean after your 7-yr-old has been playing target practice with something that wasn't even inside the toilet. Srsly. It's pretty easy to train them to leave it up. If you put it up when you are done, then....viola! They just have to do their thing and wipe up (most of the time).

8. That stupid concept that I will A). become independently wealthy and move into my own monstrous home again and B). that prince charming will find me. Finally. The slow poke. I'm not giving up on the bare bones of these concepts, but when I say bare bones I'm talking about making enough money to get by and maybe getting involved with someone I (and my family) won't kill inside six months. The job thing I am actively working on. Actually making money again is surprising after so long. Just some hoops to clear still. Defined, doable hoops. Step one, two, three, etc. kind of thing. The other thing? Attrition may actually shoot him first just to see his exact level of commitment. I was thinking a first date cleaning out the chicken coop would be less traumatic. Well, unless dad is his date. Either way, that's labeled "B" for "back burner." It's going to have to fall out of the sky. As for the monstrous house? No thank you. Just forget that. I don't want to clean it.

9. Hairdresser, fingernail, toenail people/places......mani/pedi haircut stuff. The people are all very nice. It's really the whole idea that the weekly ritual is necessary that I just can't chew on. No, I do not have my hair professionally cut by anyone. So far, I get lots of compliments. Always have. I used to get my nails done regularly and besides the money (and OUCH there) it was a huge waste of time. Where we live now, I don't understand how people that have the financial worries we do and they do can even afford to do all that. Besides, I'd give my manicure about five minutes of outdoor work and I'd need another one. If I was trying to repair something, I might clip the darn things off because they were in my way.

10. Fear. Yeah! Surprise! A meaningful entry in this litany of mostly useless crap. Fear just up and ruined my life. Yes, I allowed it to. And that was my fault. I thought if I just told someone that I needed help that they'd help me and I'd be fine. That isn't how it works. You eventually have to fight your own battles. I didn't know how to fight. I'd never been taught. I was unequipped. I tried anyway. I didn't know what that thing I was battling was. I was definitely fighting. I just didn't know what with. So yes, I'm done with fear, TYVM. Don't let the door hit ya on the way out.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013


"Oh, for fuck sake!"

Probably not the best thing to say out loud in my grandmother's living room the one day all the deaf people had their ears on and were really listening.

But no one commented. This requires more testing. ;)


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Day In The Life

6:00 am

I wake up. I'm in the Big Red House sleeping in the guest bedroom b/c the AC is out in my house. Again. Again in the same month. Brain declares this to be an unholy hour of the morning despite the crashing and other noises that indicate total destruction and I desperately attempt to go back to my dreams that would cause the romance novel genre readers to pale should they ever see them.

7:00 am

The noise from the kitchen is escalating. Resistance is futile. I get up and get ready. I think I got lost flossing. Morning is not good for me. Especially when there are no littles running about. I must have flossed for a good fifteen minutes. Shuffled laundry. Everyone's laundry is now done together b/c we are somewhat wiped out after the hospital stint w/gma. I am more of a multitasker and I'm short on undies so I pay better attention and all that rot. I fold all the clean clothes and vow to eat breakfast, like, in the morning so I grab a banana to remind myself.

8:00 am

More laundry arrives from the depths of my father's room. I shall save the description of his laundry. Suffice it to say he gets very, very dirty. And sweaty. Handle with tongs. 'Nuff said. I shuffle loads again and fold more. There are enough people here to create a million loads a day. Baba mentions that she needs to talk to me privately some time this morning. I don't know about you, but if you have had my upbringing that sort of request can still strike fear in your heart even if you're 41. I know I haven't done anything. My brain asks me what horrific violation I've committed now. I don't answer. It's still before noon. I have no thoughts before noon. Strike that. Of late, I've had to think a smidgen in order to make sure gma takes the right medicine at the right time. So I check that out and perform other nursely duties including moving the broken hip hazard out of the middle of her bathroom. I feel I'm constantly looking for things to trip over.

9:00 am

I get dressed. You know, the kind of dressed that people outside the family can see...which means I put on a bra. I changed clothes, too (you're welcome), but often I don't mind filing things and doing paperwork in my jammies. I've earned the right to file and do all of our records and financial business in my PJ's I think. I carry all the file boxes I'd generated in the office into the Big Red House. There's just more room in here. I got a "holy cow" from Buddy who was just sitting there reading the news on his Samsung Note. #geethanksforthehelpdad :) I put away all the laundry I'd cleaned. This is quite an exercise on a compound. It's not like you can just stay in one house, you know. I also get everything read to work on the bank books and continue the frontal attack on the "files." The files are a whole other entry. Files/taxes. Not even funny. Or maybe hysterical.

10:00 am

I started working on the books. Reconciling the ledger versus the bank statement, etc. Then I remembered the "private talk" gma wanted to have. So...I went and had it. I was not in trouble. That was the most important part. Maybe. However, her portable DVD player that she takes to chemo was/is broken, so she wanted me to lay hands on it. (Contrary to popular opinion, I cannot fix everything). It proved to have a "take apart" problem. In all likelihood I'll kill it trying to fix it. I ended up groveling around for a CD player and cord, etc. so she could listen to a book on CD. Somewhere in there, she mentioned (after SIX YEARS) that she can't unbutton her shirts or jeans that I've folded or hung. So I went through the whole lot and had a mass unbuttoning party. Then, of course, there was more laundry to shuffle and a load to fold.

11:00 am

While I'm still standing, I make gma's bed. She likes it made. The rest of us are slobs. I like mine made, too, actually, but with everything going on I rarely get that far down on the totem pole. Usually people are already talking to me and requesting things before I get out of the darn thing. Finally, I sit down and open up all the software and crap to work on the bank books. AND I get to eat my banana/breakfast. I log onto the online banking to find that the gerbils and squirrels they have employed to maintain the thing have been fast at work. Yesterday the bank statement ended with 6/28 and today it ends with 6/27. Then on one view they show a slough of transactions that I have receipts for, but on the statement view, they aren't shown at all. A good .22 can fix this problem. However, the buzz from the dryer made me put my keys down and fold laundry instead. This would suck more if there were no gerbils and squirrels running the place at all. Don't laugh. It's literally a stand alone bank in the middle of nowhere. I'm certain they make them use the back entrance, but it's gerbils and squirrels...the new alternative to child labor, people!

I do the best I can to rearrange things and finish out my month using the rodent version of online banking. I didn't do too badly. I can right things when the statement arrives. IN TWO WEEKS. More laundry. More things to fiddle with before gma goes to chemo. Some sort of brain alarm goes off at 11:50 and I remember that Dad wanted me to go get him at 11:45 so he could shower and eat lunch before the chemo jaunt, so I dropped the laundry I was passing into the dryer and lit out for the front acre hollering his name like a lunatic. NOTE: He is totally deaf. Almost. For example, him deaf and me wearing headphones at decent volume are relatively equivalent. So I figure if he won't go to get his (FREE) hearing aids, then I won't take out my headphones and we'll just scream at each other. This is how we get along when working outside together.

12:00 pm

It is noon. You must eat. This is a family belief. Somewhere in there with Adam and Even and baby Jesus. Breakfast by 7:30, lunch at noon, dinner at 6:00 (it used to be 5:00, but...whatever). I tend to eat when I'm hungry. You when your car needs gas you fill up. You wouldn't fill up a full car. Anyway. I was asked no less than four times what I wanted. My last answer was "anesthesia" and that ended that. I did settle down for my ten minutes help on the family crossword puzzle as I'm the regular-to-funky science fact/ pop culture authority. When done with that, I snagged a Dr. Pepper and slinked back to my roost in the living room and continue reconciling ledgers like a regular accountant. I put my headphones in both ears this time, though. Even though I can hear everyone clearly, they look at me and assume that I can't hear for beans and go about their merry way. Don't think I haven't perfected this art.

1:00 pm

No idea where this hour went. I was working, though. I meant to start this falderal around 8:00 a.m. so a bit of lag on today's schedule. I had to have music to put a little zip in my step. Mimi must not have approved b/c she chose suffering in the stuffiness of her (not the greatest circulation) room over the possibility she might hear my music. It's campy '80's throwbacks! What's not to love? I am ignoring the laundry.

2:00 pm

Still ignoring the laundry despite my chronic need to move around. I'm [] this close to being done with the monthly ugly bank funk. Next is attacking all the filing that needs to be done. Yay. I'll have to fold something...anything...or my brains will leak out my ears. There are all kinds of things to work on outside and the weather is just gorgeous. I feel the pull.....

3:00 pm

When I say I'm handling money junk, I mean I'm handling money junk for the whole compound. If it were just my money this would all end in two minutes flat. What really happens is they spend it and I take the receipts and online bank statements and iron it all out. I also get handed the bills. Paying the bills is like spinning plates. No one in Barnum&Bailey's has anything on me for plate spinning. Sometimes, though, I have to do quite a bit of extortion to make sure I know what everyone else has been doing with the family pot. Which brings me to...

4:00 pm

I must fold something or my tail end is never going to come to life again. Not to mention the callouses on my wrists. Have I filed anything? The dryer has saw fit not to dry anything, so I grabbed envelopes and such to get rid of the checks that I wrote and prepared for....wait for it...filing!!! Dad texted me (texted...I can't believe that's even a word) to ask if I was asleep. I'd love nothing more, but I'm actually awake. Not wide awake, but awake. Side note: Everyone around here is always asking me if I'm awake. Or, they say something like, "You're awake!" with great astonishment. W.T.H. already? I get up with Squib who likes to rise pre-dawn and go to sleep when everyone else has already sacked out. Sheesh. Anyway, folded, filed, and generally got down to the business of being a boring houseperson. I'm not a housewife, so...they call me the houseperson.

5:00 pm

Would you believe I was still doing laundry? Ack! Then I got hungry and laid waste to some macaroni casserole. Then all the chemo sojourners came back from their travels and occupied my time with things I can't even remember.

6:00 pm

Laundry. Filing.

7:00 pm

Thus endeth the formal portion of today with a phone call from Squib to tell me that he is doing nothing. Nothing at all. Not reading, watching movies, or playing with any toys according to my prompts. What he was doing was hiding out in his room with his dad's cell phone. 7 years of age.


Sunday, June 30, 2013


Yesterday, Squib told me he didn't want to go to a friend's swim party because of his scar. (Leave it to my chitlins to skip all things laparoscopic and go straight for the scalpel...and other...things). It was the first time either one of them expressed a desire to hide any of their scars for any reason.

Squib's chest was cracked to reach his heart and repair it. He has a rather impressive "zipper" from stem to sternum, not to be too silly about it. Then there are all the puncture-type wounds for drains, etc. Beanstalk has a similar "zipper" from sternum to lower abdomen used to place his g-tube and explore what was thought to be a malrotation of the intestines. Beanstalk had to one-up every one by adding a scar for a subclavian line (the poor child inherited my veins) and two scars where--essentially-- his feet were cut off, the bones resculpted to correct the clubbing, and then were reattached. Obviously, Beanstalk "wins" if this was a contest.

But they are still here!!!!

How do you teach your children that those scars are battle scars from battles fought hard and won?! I walked them down the grey hallway and placed them in the hands of an anesthesiologist for each one of these battles. We nibbled our fingernails to the quick. We watched the clock. We feared. We prayed. We didn't care how they came out of it as long as they came out alive.

And they did! Each time I see those scars, I think, "We did it!....He did it!....We won!" "This kid is a fighter and he has a bad a** scar to prove it." Be ashamed of it? Oh, heck no!
I realize, though, that they want to fit in. They want to be like kids that have no "zippers." If it wasn't zippers, then it would be hair or clothes or shoes or things. But scars?

Those are signs of a warrior, kids. Few have made it through those and lived to tell. Be proud!

Monday, June 24, 2013

No wookin'!

Well, it's that time, now. At 7 and 10 (a few weeks shy of 8 and 11) the weebles are starting to talk! (Talk legibly is the only way we can describe it). There were times when I thought I'd never understand Squib and he'd continue to try repeating the same word again and again and again until I understood him the 40th time. Beanstalk was just eeking words out every third month (or so) if he needed to and not before.

Frankly, now that Squib talks, there are days I want to say, "would you please shut. up. now. please. thank. you." Oy! He even talks in his sleep. Talking wasn't really his speech issue. It was that he had trouble pronouncing things. Now I can understand him. It's fabulous! Really!

Along with all this, Squib is having a privacy streak. He tries to lock doors all the time. He's never used a door lock since there are all of two doors in our house, so he fumbles it all the time. He leaves it locked when the door is open and tries to slam it shut with the deadbolt out screaming, "no wookeen'!!!!" as loud as he can.

Beanstalk is using a lot more words. Lap, mama (I heard that 3 years ago), race, dance, cookies, water, please, thank you, etc. Also...the entire script of Despicable Me. Who knew? Apparently he watches that a lot at his Dad's. I put it on for the first time on Saturday and he could recite every character's lines w/inflection a hair of a second before they did. It was a little weird. We stared. Sad, but true. He did not notice because he was fairly swimming in vanilla wafers and water.

It sure is good to have kids that actually speak! In English!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Old Grey Mare

I was twenty-one when I had my first knee surgery (in February). It was on my right knee. The first surgeon scoped it to remove arthritic tissue and something called a plica that was supposed to have gone its merry way after I stopped crawling as a toddler. After I started falling all over the place and swelling and running a high fever and blacking out with pain during physical therapy it seemed to "people" that maybe something went wrong.

So we went to a second surgeon who's first question was, "Did it ever occur to him that the plica may still be there because it was still doing its job?"

Well, then.

That led to surgery number two (in July) and surgery number three (in December). 1993 flat out sucked. Mostly, it sucked doing the full semesters of college courses to keep my insurance (yay). The surgeon was rather appalled at what he found in there when he went to clean the back side of my knee caps off. "It was a hellish disaster area in there. I'll be shocked if she doesn't need new knees by the time she's forty! I'll give her a 30% chance of walking like she did before. What the **** did she do to screw them up this badly?" My parents had no idea. There was no accident or particular sports injury, so they suggested the only thing they knew.


Needless to say, I went to a new physical therapist as well. He did torture me. It was his job. He also knew what he was doing and in a relatively short time for someone destined to not walk again, I was up and moving around. It took a longer while to get a lot of my mobility back. Years. But, after I turned forty last year, I did run my mile. It was just something I told myself I was going to do when I got there with my very own knees (what's left of them).

I'll tell you what, though. They are starting to complain! I've fallen a few times. Stupid stuff. Moving chairs at the library. Caught my boot heel on the DishTV cable when it came loose from its hangers on the steps to the back yard. If my knees took that particular hit as personally as my face did, then...they are well and truly miffed.

So when Buddy asked me to do the spider monkey thing and rock climb over the stuff crammed into our storage unit to see if the mattresses were at the back, I realized three-quarters of the way into it that I was having more difficulty than usual and that maybe it was time to start training a new generation of spider monkeys. Since the trip involved climbing and lifting, there is more pain than just from hiking...and the old knees...

...just ain't what they used to be.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Phone Etiquette

This used to be a lot easier, I think. First, the phone was attached to the wall. When it rang you were inevitably unable to answer it a certain percentage of the time, so you gradually taught your children to talk on the phone. They just picked it up and spoke. No swiping or selecting FaceTime or speakerphone. No voicemail or answering machines. You had to learn a certain amount of etiquette like not telling people someone was in the bathroom or that your parents just left you alone at home or that you were all about to go out for a few hours.

Now, it's so much more complicated. Children (on average) are also so much more tech-saavy. Even Beanstalk, though he doesn't necessarily intend to utter a word, knows the touch buttons "do things" so he smiles and whispers under his breath and starts reaching out to poke things. My last conversation went something like this.

Me: Hello, Alex! Happy Birthday!

(Meep! Meeeeeeeep! Giggle...)

Beanstack: He's smiling and trying to mess with the phone. Just keep talking.

Me: I love you, sugar. I just wanted to call on your birthday and say I love you and I'm proud of you!

(Wrestling noises and stray beeping. More whispering in Klingon and the odd Beanstalk noise).

Beanstack: Oooohhhkay. I think he's done.

Me: Alrighty, you guys have a good night.

The phone call ends amidst somewhat of a din. Animal noises would not have surprised me. Now, Squib has this whole thing figured out and we have actually practiced good ways to decide what to say and how to remember them. Once. This was his latest attempt.

Me: Hello?

Squib: Hi, Mom!

(In the background I hear jostling like there is running going on. Pad, pad, pad, pad, etc.)

Squib: I miss you.

Me: Well, I miss you, too! What are you up to?

Squib: Nothing. (he sounds like I'm accusing him of a federal crime)

(He always says "nothing." We have yet to work on this part of conversation in general. If he were sitting right here, he'd say something like, "I've been making mutant ninjas out of baby turtles and they've been attacking the Earth in exchange for watermelons." Or something).

Me: Have you seen any good movies lately?

Squib: Yes. (but they, too, are state secrets)

(Sometimes I do beat my phone on my forehead. This is also when I hear his dad enter the room and say, "Where did you run off to with my phone?" Oh, oops. I sit here patiently and listen to the discussion about how Squib wanted to make the phone call in private, etc. But he's lost his train of thought, so he's done now).

Squib: I love you mom, bye! (like it's all one word)

The phone is already in his dad's hand and up to his dad's ear before I can tell him I love him, too. So I clamp my mouth shut. Nothing is weirder than telling your ex you love him by accident. Even if he knows it's not for him.

On Squib's part, he's counting the fact that he said approximately five things and isn't counting what they were, exactly. I don't know what he had on his list, but I'd be interested to know. He probably got totally derailed by the fact that he snuck off to have the conversation practice and didn't exactly tell his dad what was up and then felt like he got caught (which he did) and lost track of things totally.

So we are still in Phone Etiquette 101, it seems.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Height of the Beanstalk

The Saturday ritual of Andrea Bocelli's Sacred Arias DVD at 9:00 a.m. has, of course, already been discussed here. As has Beanstalk's ability (and now mine) to sing every word in the original language and direct every beat of the accompaniment. 9:00 a.m., people!

Something else has happened, though, over the last year. Slowly, but surely, I've lost track of the goings on in front of me all together. The secondary ritual to the viewing is that Beanstalk sits in my lap for the entire thing. He directs and sings vigorously, his sharp little butt bones jabbing me in the legs with every energetic hop to the tempo.

I lost my perspective on the world because my very first baby stopped growing and started spurting. The boy went and got TALLER.

Instead of being able to lean his head back on my chest or my shoulder and instead of me leaning on his shoulder to spy on the screen as I usually do....shoulder blades! That's all I see. Two scrawny little razor sharp shoulder blades and a similarly boney little (ok, not so little) spine. If he's feeling particularly magnanimous, he likes to sit cross-legged on my lap and let me watch as he throws a gangly arm around my shoulders and leans his head on mine. Kinda like when he's making sure his Curious George stuffed animal can see everything, too.

Welcome to Smallville.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Have A Plan

Plans are good. They make us feel like we have some sort of control over the world around us. The majority of people in my life outside my family, of course, have plans. They actually plan their lives and things sometimes actually go according to plan. We stand amazed at those folks. We also stand bored.

It seems as though the Scat family has always been destined to exist just past the edge of all things plannable. We are always far enough into the unknown to become somewhat comfortable with the idea of complete uncertainty from one moment to the next. Learning to be 'somewhat comfortable' with that takes a very, very long time for some people.

When you exist out there, you are constantly bombarded by problems that need solving and often you have to solve them in new and unique ways. It's not just that you have to think outside the box. There is no box.

I try to instill the basics of problem solving in my kids.

Squib called to me from the kitchen last night. "Mom! I need your help!" He had gone in there to get some ginger ale.

I replied along the lines of "get your stool out of the bathroom" and/or "try to find a way, kiddo" or some such constructive advice. Yes, he's height challenge, but he's feisty and smart. I've seen him climb the pantry shelves like a monkey. He can do this.

"I already have a plan!" He hollered back. "I need you in order to do it!"

So I went into the kitchen and there he was. He had both refrigerator doors open wide. He was evenly spaced between them. He was crouched like a spring-loaded, angry, little bear cub--claws and everything--boring a hole in a ginger ale can on the very top shelf. He was totally ignoring the ones in reach, of course. The reason for this is that the cans on the top shelf get a little slushy. They are, admittedly, the best. So I can't argue. I go top shelf myself.

"What's the plan?" I asked. I was still thinking step stool or bar stool.

"I'm ready!" He growled. "Just throw me at it."

He had such a wild, committed look on his face. He was obviously dead serious.

"No." I said. He deflated like a balloon.

"What?!" He even stomped a foot. "I had a plan!"

"Have you thought through what could really happen?" I asked.

He looked at the refrigerator and back at me.

"I'm just going to grab the can and fall back. I'm not going to knock anything else over. I promise." Pitiful, pleading eyes. The monkey could probably do it.

"Step stool? Bar stool?" I asked.

"Not at all fun." True.

I handed him the can of ginger ale and he shuffled along his depressed path on this earth. One plan less for this world.

Hopefully they figure out solutions that don't cause more problems. ;)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

How To Recognize an Emergency

Earlier this week, I had one mother of a migraine. I have a spectacular supervisor, so I took my meds and emailed her and said I was going to sleep off the yuck and come in for a half day later that day. She emailed back saying they were stalking me to do sub work so perhaps I'd like to have a longer headache, LOL.

This meant I was actually there when Dad waltzed in and casually announced that Baba was gushing blood out her ear and they had been told by the doctor to go to the emergency room as soon as possible. So they both were showering and getting ready and then going.

**she was not gushing blood out her ear, but I'm bound by not exactly tell 'stuff'**

Dad stood in my bedroom as he said, "Well, her brain keeps coming out her ear. Normally she pokes it back in, but it's not staying in there this time."

I had to take several long blinks. He said it like it was normal, for one. He also wasn't acting emergent at all, for two.

"I think you should go to the ER." I added some emphasis. It flopped on the floor like a dead minnow regardless of the fact that her doc had said to get the h-e-double-hockey-sticks to the ER without stopping.

They went. The ER doc, bless his malpractory socks, proceeded to cram it back in (Hmmm...let me see here..has this been tried yet? Then there's the blood.) and send her home. And they were blissfully headed out the door despite my screaming via text about the potential harms of brain twisting and hemorrhage, etc. Then, Baba stood up to go and her brain flopped out again. Duh. So they did cram it back in, but with strict orders not to move her again and to bed she went and there to stay in the lovely hospital.

Needless to say, he called a surgeon at that point who determined (over the phone, heh) that a surgical fix was necessary and now it's 24 hours later and the fix is fixed and we're sleeping away the morphine. Well, not 'we' but her.

So just a helpful hint to you. Innards belong in the innards.

Monday, June 3, 2013

What It All Comes Down To... that I haven't got it all figured out just yet.

I haven't really had time. You see, around here we do crisis like pros. It's been that way since I first remember anything at all. One of my first memories, in fact, was my mother walking down a long hallway at a church toward me. I was at a bible camp. She came to tell me they were putting her in the hospital and someone else would be there to pick me up other than her or dad. Truthfully, it's been that way--one medical emergency after another--ever since.

Baba picked me up that day and took me home to get some things I needed and then took me to her house. My mother struggled with her health ever since then with multiple hospitalizations. I learned to sleep in chairs, forge her signature to pay bills (give dad a break...someone had to earn the insurance), clean, take care of my brother, and once I even attended a "parent" conference. I'd alternate nights at the hospital with dad except for that week or so that he and attrition got the raging flu and were banished. That week I made my home at the hospital. I did relief duty several years later on Thanksgiving break from college when everyone was spent. It was just something we learned to do. There's a rhythm to it. A way of life. We each dug our foxholes and learned how to make a life there.

In every way it was like a war. There was the battle we watched tediously whether or not we wanted to. Then there was the time we filled like any soldier between skirmishes. Card games. Music. Reading. Sleeping, etc. We'd dream of meals eaten on actual plates and nights slept in real beds and silence. Pure, smooth, unbeeping silence. We'd pray.

The war on illness is also waged in the soul. This is not to say that all illness is the result of sin in the sense that, for example, you contracted a cold because you lied to someone. Illness exists because we're in a broken world. If you think it isn't broken, then you aren't hanging out in the right places. Or the wrong places. I don't know. But when the hour gets quiet, there is only you alone with your soul's aching. Pleading for this to be the last of it. The end of all life lived out of a back pack and a duffel. The desire to feel completely clean and rested. The desire for the pain of your loved to stop.

After so long, you begin to see the benefits to things you knew nothing about before. The same woman that picked me up the day this all got started almost forty years ago had surgery on Friday. Was I worried? No. You want to know why? If she died during surgery, then she got what she wished for. Go ahead and think me crude. She's ready, people. Losing her mind in bits and pieces and suffering through various surgeries and chemotherapies isn't something I can hope for her. She's got a better place to go to. I'll favor that over most treatments almost any day in her case.

When Beanstalk was born, we refurbished our foxholes and made room for more. Same with Squib. Talk about difficult things to pray for. Suddenly, even the foxholes weren't safe anymore. We proceeded like usual, but with a child? They don't make walls to protect you from the damage of watching them struggle. How those two have emerged as the happiest two kids on the planet is a miracle of epic proportions.

Now Baba is in the hospital and we are back in foxhole mode. Perhaps that's our learning experience. Maybe it's just a safety zone. Whatever it is, I know that this sort of emergent disaster is something I'm more used to than anything else. I want it to end, but I just don't know what I would do with myself if it did. Perhaps we're not supposed to live any other way. No big, comfy, uneventful lives. It's just possible that we are to be taking care of each other like this. It's hard. Brutal. Exhausting.'s THE thing that matters to them at the time. THE thing that matters, period.

You aren't living life if you don't get it on you.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Which is to say...we are tired...

Dad: Um...hey...

Me: Didn't you just leave here?

Dad: Yeah. Well, no. I'm still here. Just not there.

Time passes. Things evolve. Humans acquire ESP, but Dad's never been much for adaptation and I'm not feeling like naturally selecting him out of the population given that his genes are pretty much already in the pool and done with in so many ways.

Dad: Listen, I forgot to give you the truck keys.

Me: So?

I can't think of where I'd go since my job is to stay with grandma in the hospital. The whole point of the truck was to get me here so the use of the Civic as the house to hospital shuttle could begin. So?

Dad: Ok, well, then I think I'll just leave them here in the Civic so they're with us wherever we are when we're there.

Me: (I forfeited my turn here. That last statement pretty much covered, well, everything. Everything and so much more.)

Dad: I'm going home.

Me: Oh, good.

After all, that was the whole point. If he's too tired to ride the elevator up a floor to give me the keys or carry on a coherent conversation, then he doesn't really need to be driving. I didn't argue that point since I was in that same car driving here under the same conditions just fifteen minutes earlier.

Dear God, get him home.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Did you know?

Spiders lay eggs in their brains!! Says Squib...

Really? I'm definitely looking this one up. He's been obsessed with spiders of late. However, I know better than to doubt the short one. He has a nasty habit of being freakishly right. Frankly, if any species of spider does this, then good riddance regardless of beneficial effects of spiders in the biosphere. Sorry. Spider-haters here. There are enough spiders I've had to pay detailed attention to, though, for me to believe this is part of the life cycle of ALL spiders. They lay a gadzillion eggs, so even if it's true, what's one dead spider if it's laying a bazillion eggs in its brain? Pardon my counting measures.

Thing #2: Do not bother with those widgets that plug into the wall sockets and emit high frequencies to eliminate the influx of bugs, spiders, and whatnot. At least out here in the boonies, all that happens is this:


Bug/Spider I: What the hell is that racket? This is just going to make crawling in there to bite the kid that much worse. I think I'll bite him twice.

Bug/Spider II: I think I'll go with you. He's juicy. Besides, we have to listen to that ever-flipping screeching no matter where we are around this place. We should recruit the ants.

Bug/Spider I: Perfect idea!

Thing #3:

Today we stood in Radio Shack for two hours upgrading Buddy's phone. He didn't want to do it because he "wasn't sure he would get it right." Granted, there were a few details they needed to keep up with, but seriously, he's smart. Former telecom executive, etc. Not sure he was going to get it right?

I took Squib with me to Radio Shack thinking this would be a thirty minute thing and--hey!--we'd be in Radio Shack! The store with so much electronic goodness that it's hard to focus your eyes until you've been there for almost thirty minutes. We'd explore the bits-n-pieces section of the store and talk about how to "make stuff" and maybe talk about a radio or a speaker set.


It was a knock down, drag out session with smart phones, the AT&T rep, the store manager, and one of the lesser store peons trying to get the deal done. I simply stood there stewing in my juices and taking deep, relaxing breaths. Squib, however, complained--out loud, legit complaints--whenever he thought he had an audience. When he reached one hour, thirty minutes and screamed, "My mom stole this other phone!" well...I don't have to tell you I was ready to clobber him.

He ran away from home at least twice, decided he was going to go live "with the people in that blue car" once, pledged to duct tape himself to a store employee named "Daniel," accused me of shoplifting several times, tortured the staff for a minute-to-minute ETA, and generally tyrannized Radio Shack. This was after his usual forty minutes to an hour of good behavior. And he was still very, very good. Just a total ham.

Tomorrow, we aren't going anywhere for anyone else who isn't sure they'd get something the least bit wrong. Nope, sorry. It's a lazy Memorial Day weekend. Church, flowers for grave, lunch, nap, and...well that's it.


Friday, May 24, 2013

My New Weekend's Resolutions

Don't hate. Some of us can only plan for, like, an hour. I can actually dream of what a one-year plan nested inside a five-year plan would be like. But, seriously, at Green Acres it's like running triage and trauma surgery 24-7. Yes, that does include actual medical crapola or else I'd not use the analogy. Chickens don't have emergencies. We've gone from 5 to 4 adults, 2 to 1 child, 2 to 5 cancers, and I'm not even going to total inflammatory diseases, and two chromosomal abnormalities. NOT S****ING YOU.

And by S***, I mean SNARF. Squib asked, so there you go. **ahem**

So, when you make plans to have dinner with friends who are going to be in town on any given day, you probably put it in your calendar and look forward to said event and find a babysitter, etc. I put my events in my calendar--laugh hysterically--ask Buddy to babysit--laugh hysterically--wait and see. There's a 10% chance I'll go. There's a 5% chance I'll be rested enough to stay awake. srsly.

1. Clean the office and my bedroom. Because...dang, woman.

2. The bathtub. All the paint peelies from the handy dandy tub refinishing kit are, well, peeling. So sterilize it within an inch of its life. It just looks nasty. Peace of mind. All that.

3. Sort out the laptop situation. Data transfers etc. blah blah blah.

4. Try not to fall asleep during the movie. This is the little Mr.'s request. I will need toothpicks.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bathroom Monitor

I think I got it on me.

Seriously. Someone went in and judging from what came out I'm pretty sure he's in a bad way. I'm surprised he's not leaving a slime trail...somewhere. Holy mother of all stench. My job today is bathroom patrol for state testing. So, I'm three feet from the bathroom door. Actually, there is no door. Just a cement block opening from which emanates...

This isn't going to just wash out of my clothes.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And the sign says...

...long haired freaky people need not apply.

So, I cut my hair. Short haired freaky people are still getting in under the wire. Barely.

You would think that after a while the household in general wouldn't be surprise, shocked or amazed at the fact that on occasion I brandish my dull shears and prune my head. This is a rare occurrence, but it happens enough to make make me appear unstable or just plain crazy.

Of course, the shearing met with high complement from the elder family members. The shorter it gets, they happier they are. If we apply this rule over time from now to infinity, then I should just shave my head bald to make them as happy as they can be until they croak. Squib has a thing for my hair being pulled back and up into a top knot or bun or something like that. However, it took him two days to realize that I hadn't, in fact, just pulled it back for eternity...I had actually maimed a good french twist. Tragedy, I tell you.

Forget hair for a moment. I'm trying to remember a song. One I really, really like. I can remember the main strain that is part of the chorus and I'm working it over in my head, but I can't come up with a title or anything at all! I've tried to sing things into the musicID app on my iPhone, but that piece of junk doesn't know good singing from a hole in the ground. Right?'s gone.

Migraine today. When I looked outside, I understood why. We were totally socked in. I drove through the migrainous fog. Soupy, hazy yuck muffins. I half expected to find Whitey dripping with gray slime when I exited the car. Do note: I turned the headlights OFF when I exited the car. And thank Frank I did. We managed to go a whole day without jumping a car. Between the mower, the van, and my truck, we have a circle jerk of car jumping going on.(the mower is a vehicle...rawr). A veritable gang..I'll stop. You see my point. Batteries are expensive and we are going to drain these suckers dry before we are forced to replace them.

I managed to escape without subbing. (HALLLELUJAH!!! **angels**) However, I had to get calculators counted out into boxes to give to the teachers giving tests today. Simple, right?


Short version is that we didn't have enough. So I stomped around chasing some we seem to be missing. After my tour of the campus (helpful, actually), I decided this was not the best use of my time. I accosted  one of our teachers who has some of these sacred items by intercepting his path from his off-period hidey hole on his way to his classroom. He probably thought I was the library mafia.

I ended up with packing boxes full of calculators heaped up on my desk and the COW (Computers On Wheels) next to me. So....

...I put a box on my head and lay it down on the only empty spot left and disappeared.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Just Stop It, Already!!!


  [wur-ee, wuhr-ee]  to torment oneself with cares, anxieties, etc. troubles; plagues.

I never do this. Nope. Never. At all. I mean never ever never would I over concern myself about anything at all.

In the spring of 2009, my ancient Thinkpad died in a spectacular and nauseating way. As a result--and since "we" had the money at the time--"we" bought my ASUS who I affectionately call Ella. Ella has lasted four years. She's not dead yet, but her battery won't charge, her mouse buttons don't work. She's got some issues with components that just stop working. A good restart sets her right, but you can't always convince her to do that. So...

I worried.

I don't do brain surgery or rocket science or rocket surgery. I just love to write and use my computer to do everything I do, practically, and I am without phone ever since my iPhone 4S's LCD decided to fade into a very comfortably numb place...

**sucking in my breath**

So, I was floored when my brother was sitting here next to me and just asked if I wanted a laptop. I thought *clunker, battered, limpie* but what I was handed is nicer than what anyone in our household has. That may not say much, but it means tons to me!!

I feel like I'm flying an SR-71 (probably not a relevant comparison to most people, but to me it's pretty darn slick)! I've even petted it several times because the slight scoring--decorative only--makes it feel neat.

It was just a momentary thought in my head, though! A concern I had last week about the fact my computer was giving up the ghost slowly and there wouldn't be anything to do about it! And I never gave it another thought. There wasn't a thought to give...

How much more so would he also with him freely give us all things? So just stop it already. The worry, that is.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Small Things

Whatever happened to perforation? If you're paying the bills for a giant household of people--ok, sick people for lack of a better category--you pay a ton of bills. Now, though, you are told to "detach this section for best delivery" or some such rot and get a little scissor icon. Puh.

I love perforation! It's the bubble wrap of the bill paying world! It makes me happy. Heck, it's the only good part of bill paying at all. A little "zip" sound and you've got the stub in your hand. No struggling with whatever pair of scissors your seven year old has decided you are capable of using safely.

Back to the grind.

Monday, May 6, 2013

An Alternative Theory

Sometimes the pressure really is too much. Human psyches, like the bodies that house them, can only take so much before they start doing...things. You know, "stuff." I'm not talking about daydreaming or a fit of the giggles, either. Those are 'normal' responses to being tired or overstimulated or just, plain human. I'm talking about a dulling of the senses. Like, the ability to sleep next to a freight train or with a crying infant or through the honking of an alarm clock. Also, a dulling of feelings and emotions. Suddenly you don't know how you feel or how things are. The "feelings and emotions" portion of your brain has been stripped so completely that you look at anyone asking you how you are or how your day is going--especially if they have any emotional uptick to their step at all--like you've been stricken dumb. You have. Not so much because you are as because the answers to questions suddenly became too tricky.

"Is your little boy sick?" Innocent question.

Technically, yes, compared to some but they're doing well at this very second, so maybe no? Which one is he asking about? I mean, really, there's a spectrum here. Technically Beanstalk is winning. Winning? Or is it losing? I don't know. We were all fine until someone asked. They're at school and have no broken bones. And now even Squib is going for the orthopedic gold. I'm relatively certain they both are walking mostly. But, I don't know that either after this past Monday. Does that mean they're good/fine/well? Forget it. Incoming nebulous answer.

"He has been, yes." Half smile. It's confusing to people because I must look like I'm very unsure of what they're expecting. Or I must look lost or devoid of a home planet. Raise antennae. Uncover pointy ears.

"Oh, well I had read on thus-and-such about this-or-that and wanted to check in on him." Oooooooh that.

"Yes he's doing better with that." Pat answer ensues. Smile like you have answered the question. Phew.

I could, if I wanted, play another conversational game of "Exactly How Bad Is It?" but really, who needs that? Even more, who wants that? Not I. You can see whole people vanish before your eyes as the story spills out before you. Health issues and concomitant financial ruin. They slowly start circling the drain and right before they go down, they ask, "How do you do it?" I simply say, "I don't." Then, they lose their grip and slide into the darkness. And that's why we don't talk about it completely. You know, the whole enchilada. "It" doesn't get better. Until gene therapy gets SO GOOD that whole extra chromosomes can be zapped and hunks (visible to the naked eye through a microscope hunks) moved and/or removed. Then there are all those body parts brains maybe or some kinda something we....hummmm."

Oh and by the way, I can juggle money like a freaking Cirque de Soleil center ring act. 

Between the money issues, health issues, know I can see why some of these students might be disenchanted already. Other than substituting, I was very close to getting a job--or trying--that some of them would probably steal right out from under me. Or out from over me. They'd be my boss. At the end of the day I understand completely why a parent like myself might see a note from a teacher and think, "good grief already! What on earth is so bad about talking out loud during class? He made it! Clothed! In the clean clothes! Screw it, he talked! Out loud! Hallelujah! And we slept at our own house last night, etc. etc. blah. blah. blah." It's not right, but I can see it from here.

And that dead in the eyes look? It comes from two things. Either you follow a path that robs you of your soul. OR--life wears you down. Way, way, way down.

For a child to be that far down is a tragedy. But, I'll be honest. I see a lot of tragedies around here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Keep Reaching For My Drink...

...and it isn't there.

I'm not drinking in the sense that there is anything alcoholic in there, but maybe I should be. I've done three loads of laundry, taken out a jillion loads of trash (you would NOT believe what Squib can generate in a single weekend), ejected a giant box of chicks (HALLELUJAH!), and ironed my outfit for tomorrow. I keep reaching for my cherry Dr. Pepper and every time I do that it isn't there.

I'm trying to enforce consistency and all that rot. I always reach for it in it's usual spot on my blue and white tile table whereupon many drinks have been placed over the last years. So, where is the hiccup? It's possible my brain missed a step or two. Perhaps it erased a memory or two it thought to be insignificant.

Friday was to be the day I went to K Elementary to watch Squib throw his body on the fields of Field Day with all the verve of the runt of the litter chick. And thus he did. After last Monday's scary brush with leg breakage he certainly bounced back and had a great time. I didn't make it as I had to take the icky migraine meds and rendered myself unfit to drive heavy machinery. Buddy had too much to juggle so we had to wave off. Fortunately, Squid could go and all was right with the world. I have pics and will insert them once I transfer them from one device to another device to my email to here. phone's LCD croaked. **sigh** If it's not one thing, then it truly is another. Or fifty others. Monday certainly was the Monday of all Mondays. HOLY SHEESH.  And there was much moaning and gnashing of teeth. Even the holy hot tub of wonderfulness could not wash away all these ills. I tried. It didn't work.

There isn't much to say about the week that I haven't covered already except that there is a lot of work cut out for teachers in this school system. Anyone teaching in this school system needs cajones the size of soccer balls. Due to the level of cheating, all assignments need to be done written or verbally. Do I want to do that? It's something to ponder. At length. I'm a good teacher, but are there good students? I argue yes. But then, I always argue yes.

As for the weekend, my entire purpose was basic R&R in addition to a return to normal things. However, I got sucked into some serious bed gravity a couple times and very nearly didn't make it out. Friday, Squib and I started watching The Odd Life of Timothy Green-very good movie-and had to finish it after our visit after we saw Beanstalk on Saturday.

Beanstalk was on a roll, as is usual. He waltzed in demanding "memouse" which is Fantasia. The original version. So, we started and got from Tocatta and Fugue which he directs and sings through Sorcerer's Apprentice which he mostly just directs. Then he demanded "Andre the SINGER!!!!" Andrea Bocceli's Sacred Aria's DVD has been a favorite for years, now. He sang along to Andrea until we went outside and then picked it up right after we came back in.

He was fiesty this weekend! He wanted cookies, of course. So I asked for him to use three words to ask me for a cookie. He was being a ham on vacation and strung me out. "Cookie..." "Pleeeeease..." "Mooooom...." The only thing he'd say all together was "Cookie, cookie, cookie?" He was so funny.

By Saturday night, Squib and I were laying around here like bumps on a pickle. We sacked out in plenty of time to get up and do our thing on Sunday morning, but at 6:45a, there was a heavy, thumping knock on the door and Buddy shoved two Sumatriptan shot packs through the door at me and said something about Ben. I blinked at least once. I went right back to bed and Squib asked, "who was that?" I said, "It was Buddy." And I promptly went back to sleep with a warm little Squib snuggled up to me. I dreamed about Sumatriptan shots, even.

Then the pounding again and a blearly-eyed Squib sat up asking indignantly, "What IS IT?"

It was 8:00am, that's what it was. Well....hell-o. Too late for me. Just enough time for Squiblet. Holy Mackerel we were slammed. When everyone came home, we ate, and went right on sleeping again like we were made to that one thing and that only. Maybe it's the lack of cheeping, pecking, and general mayhem from the other room? Will I be unable to get up in the a.m.?

Good Lord, I hope so.

Monday, April 29, 2013

They Just Cheat


That was the list. I knew anemometer, descant, succinct, and...yeah...those for sure. Meaning, I could give you an exact definition right now verbatim. There are a few I knew I could figure out if I had definitions. All the "meter" words measure things, etc. So, when I handed the list out to a colleague's class for them to match with definitions I thought it would take longer than .08 seconds for them to turn it in. These are all kids from a school that we've been struggling to push over the hump achievement test-wise.

They forgot to turn it in in staggered intervals, though, so I gave them another exercise involving a scale and figuring out which combinations of different shaped blocks always balance a scale. They practically raced to turn it in as a unit. Identically answered. Puh.

And this is what they did. They stacked up all the papers and gave them to a couple kids. Just perfunctorily handed them over like it was SOP. The kid worked the first one then started copying the answer to the other sheets like a human Xerox. Kid passes them back out. Everyone puts their names at the top and lines up to turn them back in. Thus endeth the day and age of Ms. Scat's exercises that summarily end with A, B, C, D, or E. Writing from here on out.

So cheating is ok? It's alright? We're fine with that?

Apparently so. They expect it. I moved them around from their usual cheating groups and you'd have thought I was removing organs without anesthesia. "Why you got to mess with me like this?" "This sucks!" "Damn, _____!" Oh, yes. Everything including one student apparently sprouted a hand ailment that necessitated his current seating arrangement next to a particular girl. That was almost funny enough to make me crack a smile.

I could send them to ISS or the office, but why? Nothing is enforced. They get away with this everywhere. I don't suppose anyone wonders why they have so much difficulty with larger infractions, but guys. It starts here. And elsewhere. Last week they did this while taking a test. It was next to impossible to keep their eyes on their same table much less their same paper. Then there was the use of devices to search for answers, etc.

So, note to self. Keep a nice, juicy writing assignment ready for fourth period law since it most likely will come around again and I really want to see the group paragraph that is produced.

Disenchanted with current generation and their custodians.

Friday, April 26, 2013

I'll Say It Again...

I just don't get it. Or maybe I've got it and I need to pass it around.

I live in Radiator Springs. We've discussed this. It's not the poorest town/county in Texas. I checked. Still. The line for free fresh produce at Care Share is seriously long. I wait in that line. It's no big deal we just do everything we can to live, basically.

One of those things I've been doing is substituting in the local school district. The technology, the verbiage, and the attitude have changed. However, most things have not. Kids don't like to work. The do like to complain. They don't like to read (Mostly...there are a fair few, though. I weep, I tell you. I weep.). They like sports. They love games. They love music. And on those last points I agree. I especially love music. They've played me music I still have in my iPod and music I won't allow past the bounds of our property. Yes, I will too know when it happens. The iTunes password will be pried from my cold, dead fingers. If you possess a device in my house, then I have the right to listen to your music and check your pictures know. "Stuff." That's how one student put it and I'll drop it right there.

Off topic as usual. Topics are for English majors.

**door slams**

I had been noticing the headphones all the kids are walking around wearing. They have little "b" logo's on the ears and thick, audiophile cords (something about the thickness of cord/cable implies robustness to...ppl...somewhere). So I asked to try them and plugged into my iPhone and picked something from the Black Eyed Peas and then Deadmau5. I wanted to really tickle the insides of my eardrums. Not the surface exposed to the elements. I want good, solid acoustic impact here. I'm certain there is something on the market just as good, but I darn near stuffed the kid in my desk drawer and walked away with his "beatsbydre" headphones. I've been searching for certain wavelengths in headphones and I found them. Oh my goodness yes.

I drove home thinking I wanted to get my hands on a pair of those. I sat in my tub listening to my VM PC speakers (they're not "by" anyone so no need to run off and Google) and thinking how much so so so so much better those headphones were than, well, anything I had. But just like every other night I had enough energy to feed a bunch of chickens, fix an iPod or two, and collapse. So I did.

I saw some other girls in the library today wearing a decidedly tricked out pair (This is my lingo. Love me or leave me.) and asked her about hers. It went like this:

The Scat: So you have those beats by dre headphones, too.

Girl: Yes ma'am.

The Scat: I tried a pair yesterday. They sound wonderful! About how much are they?

Girl: Depends. These were about three.


Holy cats! I had to Google them just to prove that it was actually three hundred dollars of headphones I had my hands on yesterday. It was! I should really take my own advice and stuff kids in desk drawers more often. I can't even sell a car to buy those crazy things. I had to breathe for a second when I looked at them on the head of a teenager writhing through the halls. Don't they keep that shizmet locked up? And before you slap me with the hypocrite did not buy my much-touted iDevices for retail prices. I have friends who sell them to me for $50 when they upgrade or stuff like that. Good, good friends. Pretty sure headphones don't fall in this category.

The thing I've got is this...why, oh why, are kids walking around using headphones and devices that cost more than my car when some of them don't eat over the weekend?

**mind blown**