Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Legend of Bat Girl

If you are new to my blog you may not be familiar yet with my oldest daughter Biggest who was a problem teenager.  It took some time but we have reached the point where we can look back at some of those times and find the humor in them. I wouldn't have believed that then, but feel very blessed that it is true.

The one thing Biggest never managed to do was get arrested. Even at her worst she never resorted to actually being a criminal though she was sometimes in situations that brought her in to contact with the police. She did however have a special relationship with the local police department. My town is about 3 square miles so this is a small force. Because of the way we are set up there are actually 4 different towns and police departments within a 4 mile radius and she had run ins with all of them but this story concerns our towns officers.

Halfway through ninth grade we took Biggest out of school in an attempt to separate her from the people she had fallen in with. After a short unsuccessful stint at a small private school I began to home school her.

One morning I woke to "one of those days". Both the little girls had become sick over night and were stuffed up and running fevers. I had enough Motrin left for one dose. I had to head to the store but it was kind of nice because Biggest was going on 15 and I could leave the girls with her for a few minutes instead of dragging them out sick. I was gone a total of about 15 minutes at most.

As I pulled in to the driveway I noticed that all three girls were on the front porch in their pajamas. I immediately was annoyed, what were they doing outside? I got out of the car to see 5 year old Littlest holding a stick of bamboo, 7 year old Middlest clutching a mop handle and Biggest resplendent in pink plaid pajamas with her unbrushed hair flowing wildly, a look of pure murder in her eyes, wielding a baseball bat...and a steak knife. My eyes fell to the driveway and the twisted carcass of a fallen and bludgeoned purple bike.

What was going on here!

  Bike thieves. They picked the wrong seemingly empty house on the wrong morning. She saw them sneak on to the back porch from the windows. They had been surprised by Biggest who chased them from the back yard and halfway down the street with her baseball bat. They were lucky she didn't catch up. She had a lethal swing. Biggest explained that they had gotten away with my sister in laws bike that was parked out front but had abandoned one of their bikes in the hurry to escape her. She informed me that she had killed it. The tires were suffering from multiple stab wounds so that if they tried to come back for it they couldn't get away fast. She had her army on the porch waiting to launch an offensive. Her eyes were narrowed and her nostrils flared. She may have been hanging out with a bad crowd but how dare another bad bunch come to her home and attempt to steal. I could only imagine the look on the boys faces when this unexpected vision came blowing out the door headed in their direction.

I called the police and  proceeded to lecture Biggest about bringing her sisters outside much less going out herself in that situation. She informed me they were just middle school aged kids, 12 or 13 and she could have took them all out. An officer came and I told the story from my end and then he questioned Biggest. "You chased them with a bat, he asked?" I thought I saw the corners of his mouth turn up. She told him everything and led him to the abandoned bike. "It's probably stolen too" he told us. "I'll take it and see if it's been reported." As he lifted it up to roll away he said "the tires are flat".  Biggest explained how she had attacked the tires with the steak knife to sabotage any rescue attempts. I thought I saw a struggle going on in his face as he took this in and then repeated my warnings about not confronting people. After she went in he actually did smile with an expression of pure admiration and told me "Well, I bet they weren't expecting that. She's a brave girl."

Crazy was what I was thinking but didn't say it, I was kind of tickled at her too.

It was some time later I realized that I had given birth to a Local Legend.

The first time Biggest ran away my husband went to the station to report it.  The officer who had come about the bikes began to take the report. He looked at the address and asked my husband, "This isn't Bat Girl is it?" My husband was confused for a minute and the policeman explained, "the one who chased the bike thieves with the bat."  He told him yes. My husband said he seemed very disappointed and told him that was a shame.

Over the next few years things with Biggest deteriorated and more than once we needed the assistance of the police. One time after she had disappeared for a few days she called to say she had a place to stay and was coming by for some things we wouldn't be a problem right? Because she wasn't going to stay. "Yeah. Right. Come on honey and just get your stuff that would be fine."  In this case it was the "mother" of a "friend" who had been harboring her. While she waited out side for My Child my husband went out and told her Biggest would not be going anywhere, please leave or he would contact the police. She was drunk and started screaming and cussing him and then tried to run him over with her car.  After she took off,  Biggest started having a fit and we called the cops anyway to report the whole situation. When one arrived he told my husband there wasn't much they could do but he would talk to her. As they walked in the room where she sat he paused for a minute and whispered something to my husband and my husband answered "yes". The policeman talked to her, telling her she was a lucky girl to have a nice home and a family that cared about her but it fell on deaf ears at that time.

Afterwards I asked what he had whispered. My husband answered, " he was asking how old she was and then he asked "Is it Bat Girl?"

Then there was the night I have written about before that was very bad. It was 2 A.M. She was extremely impaired, had physically attacked her father and was threatening to kill herself and us. We needed to call them in for an emergency Baker Act. When they arrived Bat Girl had disappeared. She got out the door and we weren't sure where she went but she wasn't capable of getting far. They began searching our property and then called my husband to "look at this" trying to stifle their mirth. Bat Girl may be able to navigate in total darkness while mere humans need light but as she crouched hidden deep in the trees she had forgotten something. A tiny red beacon flashed in the underbrush to point the way. She was smoking a cigarette. Bat Girl was Busted. One warned the other they were dealing with Bat Girl, be ready. She proceeded to fight them and make things as difficult as possible but her kicking and screaming and calling them names didn't thwart them. They knew Bat Girl was tough and they had sent two who were tougher, and very kind to her as well. I think even they were surprised though at how bad she looked at that time.
From time to time if they saw my husband out somewhere they would ask how she was doing.

In time things had calmed down considerably and the last time Bat Girl put in a public appearance was when she was 17 and we got a call at 11:30 PM that she had been with a group who had gone to a strip club for someones 21st birthday and the guys had been involved in a brawl. She was sober, but some of her friends were going to jail,  did we want to just come pick her up? Well sure we did, this was an episode of Little House on the Prairie compared to just a year before. I had to laugh at the idiots who ran the club and had let her in, they were in more trouble than anyone.

Bat Girl grew up and went into semi retirement. I sometimes wonder if the police recognize her. The lovely young woman walking down the street in her work scrubs going to lunch. The very personable and efficient professional with the incredible smile if they happen to be clients at her place of business. She is in disguise and has been laying low but.....

  Bat Girl has a mission in life. To be the savior of all animals. She now lives in her own small bat cave that is a haven for all creatures great and small. An unseen watchful eye on the lookout for speeding and careless drivers on her street. Recently she found an injured squirrel in her yard. It had been shot. There have been sightings lately of a pack of  tween aged boys who  have been seen strutting around, scouring her neighborhood with their BB guns.
Unbeknownst to them, at a sunny little house, beyond a neat and cared for little yard bursting with flowers and greenery, hidden from view on a tiny screen shaded porch hung with cheerful hanging plants...she sits.....
..... quietly..... patiently.... she watches.......and.......she waits.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Click A1 To Choose Awesome.

I think that everyone deserves a Special Treat. Please push A1 below to choose a Parenting Ad Absurdum Post. Everyone should have some Peryl on their Blog-Roll. If you already do then have some Seconds because you know you can Never Have Too Much!!!!!!!!


Always Awesomey Goodness!

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Great Small Kindness

There are many ways that we can show kindness. We can do great and grand things. Give away huge sums to charity. Give up everything and devote our lives to helping others in the many areas where help is desperately needed. Some are able to do less but do not shine less brightly for more modest sacrifice. And there are small kindnesses anyone can perform at any time.
Holding a door for someone, lending a quick hand, you know what I mean, even these are a flash of spiritual light. The other day I let an older woman cut in front of me at the grocery and she said she would say 5 Hail Mary's for me which was so sweet I am feeling very blessed.
  When I think of the ways we as humans can show kindness to each other I always remember one of the kindest things I've ever heard of someone doing. It was an Act of Great Small Kindness. Something that does not create a huge ripple of change in the world but in it's generosity is no less powerful for being small.  When I heard this story as a child I was so impressed. It was about a person who was not very demonstrative.  She would always call me over for a kiss when I was with her but was not one of those people who made a big fuss over children. Her manner was usually reserved and that may be why it made such an impact on me.

My grandmother was a flapper. She was a wild girl who bobbed her gorgeous auburn hair, wore her skirts too short and rolled down her stockings as soon as she was away from her house. Her strict Irish father and staid German mother probably despaired of her. I guess you could say she was "The Original Perpetually Grounded". She frequented dance halls and speakeasies. She once went on a date with a gangster and as they were coming down the stairs to leave a club someone shot him. At least that's the story I was told and I have no reason to doubt it. Her Big Love was to dance. She was part of the rage for dance contests in that decade and in her early twenties was part of a winning of course she married him. And then she got pregnant. And then he got mad. And he beat her up and pushed her down the stairs. And she had a miscarriage. And she got a divorce. Things were pretty wild and loose in the roaring twenties but divorce was still a touchy subject in some places. So I guess to some people she may have been a fallen woman. I never heard that her family was harsh with her for this but apparently the decision was reached that she should leave St. Louis. She went to live with her sister in another state.

She found work in the Sunbeam bread factory and while there she met the foreman. A widower. An older man in his 30's with two children, a son and daughter. The boy the oldest they were aged around 10 and 12 at that time if I remember correctly. They were living with family members while he had needed to leave them behind to travel and find work. His first wife had been ill a long time and I'm not really sure how long it had been since she passed away. But I do know that he and my grandmother were married and moved  to New York to become a family.
I don't know how the children accepted her at first. She didn't say whether they were excited or dismayed to have a new Mom but I do know this.
My grandmother was put in a position where it would be difficult to know how to respond. " Um maybe" thinking inside, oh Lord what do I do about this, or "we will see if it can be worked in somehow." Or maybe some people would feel very uncomfortable and ask the father to intervene and say no. But...

When my grandmother became pregnant the little girl came to her pretty young stepmother and asked.
"If the baby is a girl would you name it after my mother?"
And my Grandmother, said Yes. And she did. Not just added as a middle or extra but made it the given and called name of her firstborn child. That is how my mother got her name.

We know what our thoughts are when we are expecting a child. We plan every aspect of what we wish for this new life. A name is such a personal and important choice. Whatever my Grandmothers thoughts were for this most special of events in her life she set them aside for this child who had suffered such a huge loss in her own. She sacrificed her own wishes for the sake of another. She named her daughter after her husbands first wife.  Was this at all weird for her? Or was it no problem at all? I don't know.  But to me it seems a truly selfless act of love.

On the face of the whole world this is just a tiny blip of history. Not even on the radar of Great events.  Ultimately much of her life was hard work and hardship. A plain and simple regular life lived without fanfare, fame or fortune.  But to me the Generosity of her Spirit in committing this Great Small Kindness is a Blinding Star of Spiritual Beauty.

I am on my way out of town to work again for a couple days. If I don't answer comments it's not because I don't adore you. You know I do.  It is because my Almost Amish self will be out of contact. In the meantime, do you know of any Acts of Great Small Kindness? They can't be too small to be great.
Tell me about them. I will visit when I get back.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 20, 2010

OMG! It Was Awful!

So every morning I get up at 5 AM and I have some tea and watch the news and prepare myself to wake the girls up at 5:30. Well  I got up and there was No Cable. Well alright I'll wait a few minutes it's no big deal because I never remember what they said this early anyway. But...Nothing. So I think, well, maybe I'll just go in the office and use the computer for a little while. Nothing. No phone either. So my Technologically Unneedy Almost Amish self panics and calls the cable company and this woman with a lovely musical voice informed me that their technicians were aware of the problem in my area. She was kind of rude though because when I said "alright thank you" she just kept talking over me about pushing 1 or 2. I wasn't planning on pushing anybody, just get it fixed, ok. So what am I to do? I already read yesterdays paper. But, Oh look it's the crossword puzzle. I hate crossword puzzles because I really suck at them. But I did it anyway. And I got 22 out of 107 words in 17 minutes. Some were a breeze because it involved nursery rhymes and I know Mussolini came from Italy but then they started throwing in football and basketball related questions. I know that 16 across is either began or begun but I'm not sure which because 4 down is  "bane of a a pirates life" and it might be "plans" but I can't be sure because 23 across is "Set, as in supplies needed to build something." which to me would be "stuff" but it's only 3 letters and throws off the "plans" so whatever. And what the heck is "a ball on a string" ?
Finally I get back from dropping the girls at 7:15 and it's time to get in the office and go to work. But No. Still nothing. So I had to clean the kitchen.
 7:45, Now they have brought  our business to a screeching halt, we can't get anything accomplished. No emails, no phone, no fax. This is No Way to Run a Business but who really cares because...
I Can't Get To My Blog!
 Even if I am caught up on my reading and don't have anything in particular to write I sometimes take a break from my work to pull it up for a few minutes during the day just to gaze at it lovingly for awhile. Because It Is Mine! All Mine!  My place where if I am obnoxious or annoy anyone it doesn't really matter because if I passed you in the grocery store you wouldn't know it's me. My place where I can let my thoughts run free with no inhibitions...except for what the kids will read when they go snooping on it.  And no one is in control of it but Me....until now.

So I start aimlessly wandering around the house. Then I start to get all paranoid and think it could be WW III or Armageddon and I would never know because I am cut off from all contact with the outside world....except my neighbors and what do they know, they don't have their cable either. I fantasize for awhile about terrorists waiting at my daughters schools and taking them hostage and I couldn't rush to save them because obviously they would confiscate the cell phones and they couldn't contact me. Biggest could be riding to work and the Aliens come and zap her and DecentGuy and I wouldn't know that all my four legged grandchildren were orphaned and waiting alone at home.  I think about calling my sister in the next county to see if she has cable but either she does and it doesn't matter or it's Armageddon and she won't be there anyway, so.. I call the cable company and listen to their recording again. They are still very sorry at 9:30.

I finally figure that even though I don't have Internet I can still do some Important Work on my computer. So I decide to work on making another button I've been thinking of. I like to make my own stuff.  My template is a gift from Blogger God and Josh Peterson down there in the footer made it and I don't want to steal from Blogger God or Josh Peterson to advertise myself with because they might smite me...or sue me.... or something....I don't really I like to make my own little button.  I don't use any fancy software (because I don't have any).... I just do it on plain old Microsoft paint, because.....well because I'm lame, but still.
I suck at this too but it keeps me busy for two hours...because I suck at it....but in the end I had another button. I already asked Littlest to make me this button. She is a pro at paint. She has been using it since she was  two and can do almost anything on it. She did draw one that I actually liked a lot but she got all power trippy on me and wouldn't let me pick my own colors. She kept saying I needed contrast and what she was doing looked better. Even though I said minty green was pukey and I didn't want it I prefer that really tastefully understated neon lime green.  When she was finished we discovered she hadn't changed the pixels first and we couldn't use it anyway, so I fired her ; )
Really I waited till she got  home to ask her opinion on my sucky little button and whether she wants to make another. She says go with my lame one because she really doesn't care it's pretty awesome and that's fine with me because I do it for my own amusement. I don't expect anyone to be impressed with my Super (Lame) paint with a mouse skills.

So Anyway....It was lunch time so I called and listened to the cable recording again just in case they changed the message to "Hey, it's Armageddon, run for your lives" but they hadn't,  so what's a Technologically Unneedy Almost Amish gal like myself to do. Something Wholesome of course. Wait...there was something I used to do.....what was that...? Oh, yeah Reading a book might be edifying. So I put on my Almost Amish bikini and went and laid in the sun and read for an hour. And kept my ears open for the phone ringing with the message from the cable company that My Life was back on.
Then I took a shower and afterwards quickly ran  nonchalantly walked to check the phone lines to see if I missed anything. Nope. So I ate some lunch and then just as it was time to walk out the door and pick up Middlest the.... phone rang. So I rushed out the door to get her and once she was safely in the car told her "do not even think about getting on that computer when we get home, it just came back on"...."I mean I have a lot of work to do so no facebook  right now."
It was out nearly All Day. So now that I am back online and have finished emptying the 50,000 spam mail messages that have accumulated in my company email I will have spent the afternoon trying to remember how my Technologically Unneedy Almost Amish Self made that button last time so that that I can post it on my sidebar next to my other button in My Technologically Unneedy Almost Amish Hall Of Lame.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Cup Ovary Floweth

Duck,  It's a Mood Swing!

Living in a house full of females can be trying. The hormones have been flowing like a river here the past few weeks. We could probably bottle and sell our own brand of estrogen....but then again it would probably be recalled by the FDA.

When Biggest lived at home the PMS around here was staggering. I've discussed before that she actually has PM DD. Now she has her own home but makes sure I don't miss any of it by phone. You never know if she is going to be sick of her job, her pets,  her house or her husband. The best way to deal with it is to plan trips. If she thinks she is going somewhere it keeps her distracted and she may not start throwing things.
We seem to have PMS. DMS(during) and AMS(after) lately. Every one seems to be stressed out in general already.

The other two have been been up and down like a see saw with the boy thing which is about to drive me out of my mind. They have been swinging back and forth from euphoria to murderous all on the basis of detailed analysis of the last cryptic facebook chat, innocuous texts and whether or not he just waved hi or came up to talk in school, or God forbid, didn't acknowledge them at all.  I keep getting completely caught up in these "what does he mean by that" sessions and at some point I think, wait a minute, I am getting way to involved in this. I should be counseling you about the sucky grades, not whether he just thinks you're a friend (then why is he flirting with you) or why he was talking to that other girl in the hall. There are only a few weeks of school left and we need to concentrate on that. But still one moment they are dancing around the house like it's their birthday the next they are stomping, slamming things around and refusing to look up and acknowledge anyone.
Some of this even resulted in Middlest having a fit, shoving a desk and locking herself in the bathroom of her science class. It takes a great deal to make Middlest snap. She is adept at letting things flow over her without getting to her. Not lately though. She was crying and a girl in class was picking at her about it. My girls burst in to tears in stressful situations. It is a mechanism. By that evening her opinion was "well, I bet they never mess with me again." I don't know how many times over the years I've had phone calls from teachers concerned that there was a problem at home. The kids actually find this amusing. They will come home and say, Oh yeah, lost it in English today, my teacher wanted to know if I'm having emotional problems, just in case you get a call." Then they laugh. Ha.Ha. In this case though the poor science teacher seemed to think it was something he did. He called and asked if she didn't like his class and would she rather move to another. That was a first. This teacher is pretty cool though. He suggests that all the parents should home school their kids because the system doesn't allow for individuality. This is true but strange from a public school employee. I have done it once and I have to say I just don't have it in me to do it again.

The most enthralling time is when they will be sitting talking together or singing together which I love and then in a split second they will be calling each other names and slapping each other. Choruses of "she's a Freak", "she's a Psycho" ringing throughout the house. Now I have noticed that this fight often seems to start the moment I say it is time to do a chore. Dishes for instance. They will be fine but then it begins and they are able to procrastinate the chore by having an all out brawl. Then one always stomps out and says I'm not doing this with her. And the other says, I'm not doing it unless she helps. I'm just like ? you are both doing it and you know it so why are you wasting time.

Having his "Good Morning" and "How was your day?" met with mumbles and glares The Surfer has fled to the bedroom to hide.  He sticks his head out  gingerly sometimes to see what the response is. Then he snaps his head back in like a turtle and hides some more. He is outnumbered the poor thing. Then at the end of the day he looks forward to having a little quiet time. He watches tv, I usually read.
And then, the Hot Flashes start.
I've been a little swingy myself.
If they snap at me they are likely to get snapped back. I'm perfectly capable at the moment of giggling with them one moment about the boys, lecturing them the next about focusing in school and not worrying about boys and bursting into tears the next because they won't.

I'm only running on one ovary and I think it's starting to kick it.
I have mentioned before that I had all of my kids in my twenties. In the 80's and  90's when I had my kids this was becoming more unusual. Even considered trapping yourself. The experts and articles expounded the importance of career and fulfilling yourself before committing to family. I was nearly always the youngest mom at play group and school. It could be hard socially going to play dates with Pediatricians and Teachers and to have mostly only been a "mom" so far. Despite my pity party awhile back about spending my twenties caring for others it's a good thing I did.

I do believe that there is One who knows best. In my profiles I explain that we weren't planning children when we got married. Biggest came anyway. So did Littlest. Both during times when it was really a struggle to take on a child. Middlest was the only one we planned. And that wasn't exactly a plan. It was more like my husband went out for a couple of beers with his friend whose wife was expecting and came home all emotional about babies and lets stop using protection because we should have another.
And he got one. That night.
If I had waited. If I had been able to make a decision about my future. If I had an overwhelming dream and passion to fulfill while I was young. We would be childless.
At 24 they caught a very early stage cervical carcinoma. Part of my cervix was removed and they said I might have trouble carrying more children. Then scar tissue grew over it and they thought I might have trouble conceiving. Nope. The scar tissue actually helped with the carrying. And then, I had to have a hysterectomy at 31 due to Endometrioma of the uterus and ovaries. They were able to keep one ovary that I just have to go in every few years and get the cysts popped off of and that way I didn't need hormone replacement.

There is no doubt in my mind they were all three meant to be here and have a purpose. They are meant for something. That is was my job to get them here.
I don't know what I would do without my girls. I am so Thankful they are here and part of my life. At the same time I have to admit that I'm relieved I'm almost finished. Living in the crazy house I believe my husband is to.  At this point I am almost done with ovaries. Every Ones.  I am about half way through life and maybe past that to insanity. Only time will tell. So I can look up and catch a glimpse into the future and my next destination. In the meantime. One of my top 5 faves.

What Is Going On In My Head?
Monday Music

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

What's Going On In My Kids Heads!

I have mentioned recently that both of my girls are having "love life drama". We have been having ongoing angst and euphoria over long known boys. They are about to drive me nuts. They are driving each other and themselves nuts. Apparently they are driving their friends nuts too.

Their friends sent them this video saying it looks like what is going on inside their heads. It is exactly right.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My String Theory

What are the childhood memories our children will carry in to adulthood? Will it be the year they finally got that game system for Christmas that they had been longing for? That super awesome robotic "thing", that was all the rage and  everyone had to have and that could do Everything on it's own? The special doll and her accessories  that express your the kids great taste in creative play?  The really cool science stuff including the telescope that mom and dad they thought was so cool?  Parents often talk about how kids would rather play in a cardboard box than with fancy toys and I have found this to be true. I call it My String Theory. (not nearly as intriguing as the authentic string theory but in mom world pretty close)

  I was pretty strict about what the kids were exposed to when they were small.  I have to say that when they were little we kept TV to a minimum and we didn't have video games until Littlest was around 10.  I tried to be very careful about them being exposed to "mind rot". So of course they craved it like chocolate and in middle school became addicted to Anime and Manga which is a plot to drive me in to a straight jacket holding my hands over my ears and screaming, Beatrix Potter, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder over and over again in terror.  Anyway..... We did have computer games like Zoo Tycoon. Which I thought would be very educational until I heard hysterical laughter and came to find my darlings feeding the zoo guest's to the lions.  When it came to TV and  movies I had very set ideas about quality content. The really good Disney stuff, Free Willy and classics like Little Women and The Little Princess were favorites and when they got a little older I did allow them to watch Lord of the Rings, I figured if they were capable of reading it they were mature enough to watch it, so that said, I am a big advocate for Play. Whether this has any bearing on my children's resistance to living in reality I have no clue.
   We were lucky in living with neighbors to the left of us, wilderness to the right and I would look out in the yard and find all 3 of my girls adorned with flowers and foliage. Armed with bamboo and carrying buckets of "food" (clover, bamboo shoots, air potatoes). Acting out pirate productions, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or most often,  their own brand of adventure which could be anywhere and usually involved sticks (swords or spears) and taking people prisoner. The neighborhood children were afraid to come in our yard but sometimes I would see them peering through the fence, watching one daughter splash in the pool during the phase when she preferred speaking in ‘Orca’, while another prowled about bellowing like a T Rex and the oldest calmly cooked up a bucket of clover and coerced her sisters into eating it.  We had a black flag hanging from the big oak tree in the yard alongside the rope swing for years to strike fear in the hearts of cowering neighbors. It pretty much looked like Peter and The Lost Boys had gone co-ed.
  Now the fact is that I loved having girls and mine are flexible so we also absolutely lived in a Barbie World.  I am still finding Barbie's shoes around my house. American Girl had a hot line number just for me and the dress up box was chock full of Princess fashions. Being my girls though we also had a ready supply of trucks, Lego's, some swords and well, action figures. Hence Aragorn and Legolas which I figured would be alright seeing as they were literary. They were getting older and these came in the last couple years of really playing with toys.
  Aragorn was for Middlest. Littlest actually had a crush on Legolas which I understood because who wouldn't have a crush on Orlando Bloom... but then I realized she actually had a crush.... on Legolas. She was born with very pointed ears and the way I figured it,  thought she had found her people. I had dithered that Christmas and suddenly found...there was not a Legolas to be found. I dug through every character at the closest Kmart. In the end I went to a total of 8 stores. I devoted a whole week and realized I was screwed. It was ALL she wanted. She kept saying , "you found one right"?   "Um can't tell," I'd answer all the while thinking, I am So Screwed. Anyway a week before Christmas I was at the Kmart where I had started to begin with and out of desperation decided to look again. I Knew it wasn't there. But beneath a full peg of other characters, there he was. I had looked through every action character at this store multiple times.
That absolutely was a Christmas miracle, there is no doubt in my mind. Anyway, Aragorn and Legolas are part of the family and this has nothing to do with the story I'm telling. So...

  While their rooms were a little girls dream come true the majority of  the indoor games the two younger girls played revolved around two 6 inch stuffed characters. A dog and cat named Rusty and Scat. These were convoluted Saga's that actually never ended. They played this for Years. Littlest even began writing down stories about them. They looked divine in Kens t'shirts and Barbies skirts. Sometimes the American Girls; Molly and Felicity and if they felt daring their older sisters Samantha came out to reign at a tea party but they were from too vast a time distance to make it really work. They tended to take these out when quietly playing by themselves.

   One time we had ordered a sample selection of colored plastic lanyard string  that we used in our business.
We had a good amount of it that wouldn't be used and I brought it in to the girls and thought I'd show them how to make a lanyard key chain, which enthralled them for about 10 seconds and then they just asked if they could have the string.
  They found 1001 uses for that string. It came in handy for hostage taking situations in stuffed animal land, lassoing Rusty and Scats arch enemies,  fishing from the top bunk of the indoor pirate ship, or racing around the house at top speed with a cat in close pursuit. You never knew when you would find Barbie bungee jumping by her ankles from a ceiling fan and endless toyland ne'er do well's were hung from the gallows of the stairwell. It lasted for years and supported more games than any toy of any price they ever received. Littlest even created a song for it sang to the tune of I'm proud to be an American that involved lyrics like, "If tomorrow all the strings were gone" and "at least I know there's string." Which may have been some kind of blaspheme but she meant every word of it.

  So one day as we were sitting on the porch Littlest began the Remember game. They were thinking back on all of their favorite toys. They started with what they remembered from being very small. FisherPrice houses, Winnie the Pooh and Barney. Then on to Middlests' toy Orca whale collection (another obsession for another story) Littlests' Lego's and Magnet builders. The endless stream of Barbies were mentioned but in the context of Barbie's espionage episodes and the fights they would get in over outfits. Then they were on to the subject of Rusty and Scat. Rusty and Scat are still here safe, but they have retired. Sometimes they meet for coffee and talk about their rheumatism and the good old days but anyway...The girls talked long of the adventures of these two rascals, including the time period when Scat turned evil and Rusty had to take him on. Which reminded them of taking prisoners and all of the games that involved ........String.

There is a trunk. It is carefully packed with uber expensive American Girls and their paraphernalia as well as Angelia Ballerina and all of her furniture and the books for these characters. There are Special Edition Barbies, China tea sets and porcelain beauties wearing lace and velvet. Carefully packed away Treasured examples of  memories of Happy Childhood games that maybe one day we will take out and show the Grandchildren and tell them about their moms and pass them down as heirlooms for the young women who sat on my porch reminiscing ..........

Middlest kind of scrunched up her face thinking hard. 
"Oh wow, I remember we had that box full and we used it for everything? Whatever happened to all that string?
And Littlest, her eyes far away, answered  in a voice low and full of reverence,
"Yeah, that String...... was Awesome....."

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Because I'm Feeling Bored.....

But not very ambitious. Or maybe it's ambitious but not very creative...
Here is a little something I wrote for my daughters one day awhile back when they were all being particularly lovely and that I just re-found stuck in the back of my little blue book.

Whiner Whiner
Tongues on fire
Hanging from your hearts desire
Can't find where
Your peace all went
Scorched with words
Of discontent
The smoke of want
Blinds you to
The haves that are
In front of you

They didn't like it.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 10, 2010

What Grounded Teens Do For Entertainment.

Watch The Grass Grow Of Course

This is a photo of Middlest taken by Middlest. It's one I figured I could get away with so if you recognize those dirty feet let me know because I'll have to take it off!

The problem with grounding Middlest is that Middlest doesn't usually seem to have a problem with it. She is perfectly content to roll around in the yard by herself. She has always been able to amuse herself with few resources.
She has no learning or attention disorders.  She has tested out as gifted. She has been barely passing in school for years. She is what is known as a gifted underachiever. She has 1 year and 1 month left before graduation.

So what do you do when grounding doesn't work? When explaining falls on deaf ears. When pleading is pointless and nagging is a no no. What do you do when you not only point them in the right direction but hand them the arrows, give them the tool box,  pack a healthy lunch,  screw the wheels on tight and set them firmly on the right track. Nudge them forward or if necessary give them a kick in the butt. And still....
They start to roll backwards
Or tip over
Or just stand there and watch the grass grow under their feet?

   For most of elementary school I would have to let her teachers know that her work was probably crammed somewhere in her school desk, along with the socks and whale drawings and whatever book she was reading instead of doing her work until you caught her. By the time she started 5th grade I had to step back and let her take responsibility for herself on some level or she would never learn. I couldn't always bail her out. When her grades were falling they called me in for a conference.
I explained. No, she is not struggling. I have to let her take some knocks or she will never learn to fend for herself. She is grounded. But the problem is she does not care. The only thing left to take from her would be her books but I didn't feel that was the way to go. Her math teacher actually suggested maybe I should do that, "her mother had". I said, "I don't know" I thought, "Maybe that's whats wrong with you". She was a screamer. That is one thing my kids can't abide, a screaming teacher.
    They worried about her keeping to herself. They were afraid she might be antisocial. No, she is not antisocial. She has friends, she just doesn't Need them. When they are there she is happy. If they are not she is still happy. What she is is a control freak. A quiet one. Under the radar so to speak.
I told them I hoped she would straighten up because she wanted to play basketball and I told  her she could not unless her grades came up. Their faces were actually stunned. Mid has always been a quiet bookworm. Her teachers seemed shocked when I told them she had  played softball for 4 years. And also that she had been surfing since she was very small. One actually said, "I can't believe it." Yes, she did all of things. But only when she enjoyed them. Her life never revolved around them.
I told them she also was a girl scout and had been playing cello for 2 years. That she would be auditioning for orchestra in the middle school for the arts.
Their reaction was, sounds like a very good idea....ok...never mind.

She played for 5 years and added string bass for one of the years to try it out. She came to us when she was 9 and asked if she could try it. Then she set it down at the end of 8th grade and hasn't picked up the instrument since. I have to admit I miss the music in the house. But it was her choice to begin and therefore her choice to end.

She writes very well. She began to be very "in to" writing  in 6th grade. She filled endless pages and when it was time for the  high school for the arts auditioned as a writer and was accepted. At the end of 9th grade she put down her pen. She still occasionally writes but only for her own amusement. Her highest achievements in school were always language related. For a long time she wanted to be a language arts teacher. She is in an AP or college level/credit language arts class. She was put there because of the skill level she was at. She is in danger of failing the class this semester. It is not to hard. She is tired of Language Arts. She is saturated. She does not want to do it anymore.
She has not listened to me, other family members,  teachers,  counselors or even friends.
She has been grounded for her grades for 7 years now ; )

Middlest always has a A+ in Art.
This is her latest work.

It blows me away.
It is her friend and a perfect likeness ( They also have known each other since 3rd grade &  I just started hearing giggling when they talk.....every day...numerous times....hmm...might explain why they are both failing German...) Anyway...
I am terrified of this talent going to waste.

In all of these years she has still not learned to take responsibility for herself.  She does what it pleases her to do and lets the chips fall where they may.
She has never seemed to comprehend the reality that things won't magically fall into place. When they don't she just shrugs and moves on. I ground her because I feel I should do Something. It is pointless but I have to take a stand somewhere. I am beating my head against a brick wall but trying not to complain about it too much while I do. If you try to talk to her about it you can physically see her dig in her heels and turn off her ears.
I have written about this somewhat before. I am trying to get a grip on it because honestly I just don't know what to do any more.  I am growing weary of worrying about her future.

I know there are many people who become successful by unconventional routes. I am praying that I don't have a stroke trying to keep my mouth shut and that she will find her way.

There is a saying and when I was little I loved the song my mother would sing to me. (Ok, yes we were big Doris Day fans too)

Que Sera Sera.

I think it may be tattooed somewhere into Middlest's DNA

I need it tattooed on my heart.

To help me remember that I have learned it is simply true.

what will be...will be....

I have a need to listen to my favorite song this morning, over and over again.
Join me if you like. (yes I know that ever since I realized my blog wouldn't explode if I embedded code in it I have been inflicting video's on you. This one is always worth the time: )....It's not Que Sera Sera...

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mothers Day Moms!

Here are your instructions for tomorrow:

  1. Feet up
  2. Pillow placed.
  3. Remote to the left.
  4. Bon Bons to the right.
  5. Reading in lap.
  6. Trays should arrive and disappear at convenient intervals.
  7. Whether you require a party or peace and quiet is entirely at your discretion.
  8. All other decisions, questions, disputes and inquiries may be directed elsewhere.
  9. Damn the laundry.
  10. Wear your noodle necklace with pride, you earned it!
Have A Wonderful Mothers Day!

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Mom Could Roller Skate

I once devastated my mother by telling her that my friends mother was "a real mom." She had asked me what my new best friends mom "did".
What do you mean a real mom? she had that funny little vertical line thing on her forehead between her eyes thing happening as she asked this. You know, I answered, she stays home and takes care of the kids and her house.
Uh Oh,.... wrong answer. She never forgave me for that comment. She would bring it up years later. After her Alzheimer's had set in I would sometimes catch her looking at me with that same look. She may not have known why but I sometimes thought, she's thinking that she doesn't like me much, she must be getting the vibe from that memory.

She had her first 4 children one after another.  My four older brothers and sisters had a stay at home mom. Four small children at home and at the time no car and a husband away at war.That that may be why I had what in the 1960's and 70's was not an unheard of thing but was much less common than today,  A Working Mom,  and 4 older brothers and sisters plus a stay at home Aunt. Collectively, I personally think they all did an excellent job: )

I was an afterthought. I also had an older Mom than my siblings, she had me at 39. When I was little she would sing the song "Close To You" to me every time it came on the radio. I never had any doubt I was a loved child. Also, as the child of older parents I was a hostage to Sunday drives and know all the lyrics to all of Burt Bacharach's songs. There was a time in my life when I wouldn't have discussed that. Now that I am older I know that he truly is Awesomeness.

  Anyway, though my mom was gone during the day  the evenings and weekends were all ours. We had a hell of a good time. I remember a period when my father worked nights for a long time. I would climb up in the big bed with her and we would watch our shows. We never missed Mary Tyler Moore.
   My mother was a late driver but once she had that license we were off! We visited her friends and my Grandmother. I grew up loving to sit quietly and listen to the sound of their voices as they chatted. I was great a disappearing and knew everybodies business. We shopped. We sometimes participated in the theatre. We went to the hairdresser. I loved it there. They had a style manikin just for me to play with. "Maybe that's were I actually got started on my almost career." The lady who owned the shop's mother in law was the receptionist and one day she taught me to crochet. Basically I hung out with my mom a lot when I was kid and I enjoyed it. When I was a teenager that didn't really change too much. I still preferred going shopping with my mom to my friends and we still had a lot of fun. Though of course she sometimes drove me nuts.

  At the age of 13 my life began to revolve around a place. The Skating Rink. I loved to skate and I spent about 3 nights a week going from that time until I was married. We don't have a decent rink here anymore and I still miss it so much. Sometimes I dream about it. My skates are still in the closet.
  I was surprised when my mom was so willing to drive me the 1st time I asked. She smiled. You want to go skating? Alright, that would be fine. And then I heard the story. My Mom loved to roller skate. She not only went almost Every Night during her teens and 20's, she met my Dad at a skating rink!
  It's funny, back then she told me she sometimes dreamed about it .

One of my favorite memories of my mom was when I was around 15. During one of the many times she smiled wistfully and said she sure missed roller skating. She was around 54 at the time. So I told her. You should go. ""No I can't." Ultimately....I talked her into it.
  When we arrived at the rink she came in. My friends asked, "what is your mom doing here? I proudly told them. She is going to skate. You should have seen their faces. Way short of being embarrassed I was excited, this was something I had to see. I don't think she had been on skates much since her 20's but that didn't matter. She laced up and  hit the floor.
   She was Awesome, my Mom rocked and I was so proud of her I couldn't believe it! That was My Mom and she was out there keeping up with the best of them. OMG she was "rubber legging"! "Where did you learn that, I asked her amazed?" She looked at me confused and said "What? It's the 2 step."  Another case of teens being surprised they haven't invented everything. She wasn't kidding, she was a Master Roller Skater.  And so Cool she could do it AC/DC. She only lasted about an hour and was ready to hand my hangout back to me but in that time I really became her biggest fan. The funnest part, my friends thought she was the coolest thing on earth. They were properly awed by her skills and bravery. I can't count how many times I heard that night," your mom is great, mine could/would never do that." Yes...she was!

So to describe my mom I would say

In her profession she was a great, highly organized and dedicated  professional and very respected at work. She tried to retire in her sixties but couldn't stand it and went back to work. They were pleased for her to come back.

Her house was a mess.

Once when she was sick of mess and I was being a pain about cleaning my way out of control room, She  took a push broom and pushed the entire contents from the floor of my room down the hall through the house and out the front door. I was shocked! And rather impressed.

She was not afraid of being silly and loved fun. She knew any number of silly songs and, like myself, performed them in the kitchen. She would make a funny face anywhere. She was known to secretly stick her tongue out at people if she thought they were being ugly. After she had Alzheimer's she forgot it was supposed to be secret which I have to admit I enjoyed the hell out of.

She had amazing good taste and really knew how to dress. All the way into her 70's elastic waist pants were Ok around the house but I would pick her up for church and she would be wearing the most beautiful outfits. I was always so proud of her. When she wore the color magenta her skin would glow and her eyes would explode with color. Even at 80 her skin was only lightly lined, her hair was thick and luxurious and she was damned gorgeous.

She wore Chanel # 5

I guess she was the kind of woman you would see walk in to a room and the words Elegant and Lovely might come to mind. And then she would look at you with a kind smile, cross her eyes and thumb her nose at you.

She loved to take car rides and travel. She always wanted to go somewhere. God help my Dad if it was football season : )

She had a Mean temper......and a big Soft squishy heart.

Whenever she held a baby her face would get the most peaceful, blissful look. Near the end she was always looking for her baby and she had a doll to hold and take care of.

She loved her family. Her favorite thing was when all her kids and their families were home at once and we would sing and cut up. We had a blast !

She cried at some point every holiday.

She loved my Dad. She missed him terribly. One day she had been looking for him all day which was a touchy subject. I was trying to keep her busy and suggested she play the piano which she had forgotten she could do but in little miracles sometimes did anyway. She told me"I don't know how".
Oh, just try for fun, I suggested. She sat down, reached out and felt the keys. Her eyes looked far away.
The notes began and the lyrics filled my head.
 Let me call you Sweetheart......I'm in love with you.......
I sat on the stairs and listened in the other room. When she finally stopped my eyes were full of tears and I peeked into the room to see she was staring out for a moment through another time.
Please, I asked, play some more.
"I can't" she said. "I don't know how."

I was always a  private person. My mother was very respectful of that.  She never pushed or pried and I appreciated that so much as a young person. I knew that I could trust her if I needed to. And when I needed her to, she came through.

Once when I was in my thirties we were walking through a grocery store when I glanced down and noticed something. I stopped and pointed out, look at this, like mother like daughter. We were both wearing jeans and Keds and I pulled up my pants leg to show her, socks that matched our shirts. We stood in the middle of the store looking at each others socks and cracking up. The picture was so obvious the store manager walked by and looked at us and started cracking up too.

I have to say that even if she had not been my mom she would have been the friend of a lifetime. I feel sometimes that I let her down by not being able to manage near the end. This is the second year that flowers are the Only option I have to give for Mothers Day. But I can offer this tribute that I feel she would like best.

Over the years I gave her many mothers day gifts.  Perfume, books, address books a scarf or pretty pin. Maybe a special lunch out.

It all seems so inadequate for a woman who was

Beautiful, Creative, Loving, Funny, Smart. Tough, Loyal.......

And Could Really Rock on Roller Skates.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Dance 100!

Celebration Time!

I just got home and found 100 followers!  I think that more accurately it might be about 15 but Hey,
Sounds like a Reason to Celebrate to me!

Come on All You Awesome!!!!!People...Dance with Me!!!!!!!

Thank you to The Vlog Brothers for helping me celebrate.

Whew, that wore me out I'm going to bed.
Hope no one leaves the party.....that would suck......

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I'm Too Scrappy For My Blog!

I have been Honored with an award that I have been coveting quietly since my earliest days of wandering blindly along through the Blogosphere! I started blogging with the intention of being mostly serious but have not been able to keep my impulsive goofiness in check. So whether I'm blogging my Honest reflections or being Honestly ridiculous I am very proud for it to be considered Honest Scrap...or Crap, whichever the case may be!

Not only that but I have been honored by Two Wonderful Bloggers who I have found more recently and I enjoy their blogs So much that I wish I was giving the award to them!
In the order in which they awarded me...

First  a Huge Thank You to The Mayor of Crazy Town  If you ever feel like your day was too busy or was just too long, head over to her world and you'll feel like you've been feet up with the bon bons all week! You also will get a Great belly laugh from her outrageously funny outlook!

And another Huge Thank You to the not second but equally Awesome Empress @  Good Day, Regular People.  Head to her Court for creativity, wonderful wit and truly lovely writing.

For this award you list 10 things about yourself and I decided to list some of my Honest Scraps that are more my quirky side. Some of which is not quite Amish but I could manage.

1. I actually watch very little TV and don't care how big the set is or how well defined the picture is as long as I can see & hear it. I think the funniest tv character I have ever seen is Alice Tinker and the actress ( initials are EC)  who plays her is the funniest woman on earth. 500 be my friend brownie points if you can tell me what show and who it is. (without googling).

2. I have a cell phone & love to text, hate to talk. That's all my phone does. No net, no camera, nothing but phone. I dropped it off the 2cd floor balcony last week and it is still alive and that works for me.

3.I do not use a laptop even though there are a couple around here and when I travel I do not check my emails or the internet at all. That is why when I leave I am really gone and miss everything in blog world.

4. I love music of all kinds but I do not own an Ipod or mp3 of any kind. If I find I love something that I know I will never tire of I buy a CD and only listen to it in my car.

5. I am totally incapable of folding sheets.

6. I hate coffee. I do not own a coffee maker. I have Never been in a Starbucks...Don't faint.

7. I have no boys and no longer any young children. There are 2 small action figures of Aragorn & Legolas from Lord of the Rings hanging from the chandelier over my stairs. Aragorn is held together with scotch tape.(maybe someday I will tell you that story)

8. "I" collect rocks and cat stuff. Somehow I also have a collection of cows. They are hidden throughout my house in cabinets and closets and drawers to surprise you when you open them. (maybe someday I will tell you that story too)

9.I sometimes go on weird food binges that involve eating nothing but either chili dogs or brownies for breakfast, lunch and dinner for about 2 days. Sometimes 3 with the chili dogs.

10. If asked to describe myself the best way I can think of to say it is... I feel like a Yankee soul trapped in a Southern body with a British/Canadian sense of humour.......and some relatives in California.

.I have been trying to expand my blog reading without taking on more than I have time to handle. I am loyal and like to make sure I can visit all my favorites. Now I had a backlog of Awards not to long ago and so threw an Award Extravaganza and hit most of my favorite blogs. So for this one I decided to list some new favorites I have found  more recently and have been enjoying. Their Honest Scrap suits all of my moods! Please be sure to check them out if you haven't before, they are all well worth it!

Ladies of the list, You are All Awesomeness! My policy is No Strings, participate if you like! Some of you have the award already or if you just aren't in to that, I am satisfied with enjoying your blog. If you can't wait, neither can I! I look forward to reading Your list and seeing who you pass on to : )

 Diary of a Mad Bathroom
 The Unperfect Mom
 bright autumn sun
My Mercurial Nature
 a belle, a bean, and a chicago dog
The Mombshelter
Capital Mom
Love Imagine Create
My Perspective
The Girl Next Door Grows Up

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Search This Blog