Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...Except Not..

Since my theme this week seems to be pointless I decided to continue on. I can't show you myself but I can show you a little bit of my world. The fact is that I am a  bad phtographer. But I don't really care. I don't put my name on my pictures because I think they are a work of art someone might steal. It's  because they are well...mine. I mean, how can you live without seeing this stuff. These are some things I like, or collect and some I have blogged about and some ...I haven't. See, the theme IS pointless. Ok.

This is my favorite tree. Or part of it anyway.

What has my Summer Vacation been up to and what does
 Big Dog actually think of him?
He's up to about 52 lbs. at 5 months and well....yeah : )

My "cat stuff" collection is spread all over the house and
I can't find my favorite cat so here is a picture
of Littlests' favorite cat.

This is inside my house. No kidding! It's a skink. He's been in for months. The dogs hardly pay attention to him so he hangs out with them. Because he's hanging with the dogs, the cats haven't found him.
He may stay. He eats bugs. I dislike indoor bugs.

What are Aragorn and Legolas up to?
 Actually this was what they were up to last week.
 Today they are in my fridge. Yes that's a very dusty shutter.
I have a good excuse too.

I bragged about my broom somewhere and now I have to prove it.
 I collect Ogle Brooms
( because I'm a tourist like that. This one is my Cadillac ;  )

These are some of  my Closet Cows.
 I do not like cows. That is why they are in the closet.
But I love my cows. That is why they are in the closet ; )

And last but not least, yep, it's


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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Slovenly Sunday

Hello. It's just me, Ms. G. It's 2:45 P.M. and do you know what? I'm still not dressed yet. I don't see the point at this point because I'm not going anywhere today except back to bed later. I ate 6 Sweet Sixteen powdered donuts for breakfast and chocolate cake for lunch. I've drank approximately 15 cups of tea but it hasn't done much for my energy level. I did some laundry but that consisted of getting up from the computer for 5 minute switches and getting back on it again. I wanted to catch up on my blog reading because I haven't had much time. Friday I worked out of town and yesterday I decided to bring all three of my daughters to the mall in an attempt to make them stop crying. That appears to have worked for 2 out of 3 of them. I had Biggest do my housework on Friday and  paid her for it since she didn't work this week and yesterday we bought her new work uniforms...because her daddy said to because her Dad thought it might perk her up and get her back to work. He might be afraid they ( and their 3 dogs and 5 cats) will lose their house and move in with us. I went with her to buy them because she would end up spending the money on something like cat food. Anyway the mall trip went well considering it was my daughters. Though they did spend some time speculating about the woman in her 40's in Hot Topic wearing short shorts and a tight Hawaiian Punch T-shirt buying bra' Hot Topic. There was the "buying them for her daughter" faction and the "no, did you see how she was dressed" faction. I really didn't want to think about it myself. So I distracted them with neon green suspenders before one of them decided to ask her themselves and got the heck out of there. I still am not caught up on my blog reading because it has been going very slowly. I wear multifocal lenses and for some reason lately my glasses make me feel like I'm carrying bricks on my face and I keep trying to wipe them off so I decided to try multifocal contacts. And do you know what? I can't see a damn thing but I refuse to give up! I still have a lot of blogs I need to catch but it is taking me so long to read them that my back hurts and laying around on the couch is starting to sound good. I think I will.

What? No, I didn't brush my hair either. I put it up in a knotty thingy.

Anyone do anything worthwhile and productive with their Sunday? Tell me about it. Make me feel useless or this might become a habit.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

A Better Illustration/Harvest Moon Part 2

In reference to my previous post.
This picure of Middlest at age 5 may illustrate her better than her Junior year picture did.

Don't ask what was up with that room.....I don't know.....; )

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reaping The Harvest Moon

I posted my moon music early because my family started celebrating the full moon last week. They have been crying for 10 days straight. Sometimes taking turns. Sometimes in groups. Reaching their peak on Monday, which is when all of them cried. By 8:30 am I was picking up two daughters. One who walked out on her job and the other from school. At the end of the day Littlest came home and said "oh, I cried today too. But they're used to me at my school." What are they crying about? Let's see.

Biggest: Just can't stop crying. She said everything was making her cry. She left work early twice last week and on Monday she walked in to work and noticed her schedule had changed and became hysterical. She doesn't really know why. Maybe it's because she's reached the ripe old age of 23 and hasn't been to Africa yet. This has been a dream of hers since she was around 9 and wanted to be Jane Goodall when she grew up.  Luckily her employers are the kindest, most understanding people I can imagine and they love her. They said come back when you're ok. They are awesome.

Littlest: Is over stressed at her school. She says she started crying because she had to write an essay on a life changing event and she just couldn't think of anything to write. Obliviously she hasn't been to Africa either.  Her day begins at 5:30 am. She is on a bus at 7. She steps off the bus at 4:30 in the afternoon. She has 5 core courses and 3 intensive writing courses that expect written work at the same time. She hysterically told me that the school was killing her and she just couldn't do it. I said, "You can leave. It's ok. Your sister left and you can go to the same school as her." But No. She refuses to go to the regular high school because it "sucks". She hates the people that go there. So apparently there is no solution. Why does she hate the idea of that school so much? Here's why.

Middlest: Cried because the dog ripped a hole in her jeans and because she tried to get a water out of the machine at school and got an orange juice instead. She cried because like every year she was anxious for school to start. She was ready to start fresh and she didn't even have to go to Africa. She bought brightly colored pretty clothes. She had a very positive attitude.

Middlest tends to be a target. It doesn't make much sense. I'm going to be straight up about the things kids pick on each other for. She looks like an average teen girl. I think she is an attractive girl. She wears decent clothes and nothing that stands out for attention. She is very smart but not at all a geeky I love my A's type. She is very talented, but humble about it and acknowledges and admires students who are more skilled than herself. What is it? Possibly this.
She is willing to be herself and that person is not afraid to be goofy. She is not embarrassed to be herself even when she is breaking out, or wearing her glasses, or feels like singing out of tune out loud or dancing in the rain in the school courtyard. She does not conform to the mold." And that is unforgivable. I don't know why she let's them intimidate her but they do.
Last week it was time for school clubs to begin. Middlest has avoided the clubs because she never felt comfortable with the kids in them. This year they started a club that is based on Challenge Day. Check the link if you aren't familiar with it. It's about trying to teach teens to be more understanding of each others differences. Build a bridge so to speak. You don't have to cross it but at least respect it. Middlest has always thought Challenge Day was kind of cool and she thought she would check out the club and that it would be interesting to help organize the event this year. When she came home I asked her how it went.

"I didn't go to that one"

"Why not, I think you would be good at it?"

"I looked in the door and it was all the people who have been picking on me and making my life miserable for the past two years."

"Well, that seems like people who need to be involved with it. You should go and give it a chance. Isn't that the whole purpose?"

" I don't want to be around them. They are all the girls who don't like me. They talk about me and make fun of me"

"If they are there maybe they are growing up a little bit and are making changes in their lives. Wouldn't this be the perfect opportunity to fix this problem and maybe make some new friends?"

"They don't really care about it Mom. They are only there because it looks good on their college apps."

Yes. I see. I feel a little bit like crying too.

P.S. I am completely aware that this post is rambling and kind of pointless but I am under a busy schedule and big work load right now with about 5 minutes of free time each day. Between that and navigating the puddles from the meltdowns, I simply needed a vent.

This post has been edited. If the early comments seem strange it is because I posted a photo of Middlest with the question "can you see the target painted on this girl?" for a few hours but didn't want to leave it up very long as it breaks my blogging rules. I just couldn't resist the temptation ; )

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Meanwhile...Back At The Cardboard Box.

My family is playing stomach flu dominoes and we are down 3 out of 4 with a possible alternate in Biggest because she spent a lot of time here this week. As the last one standing I am hoping to keep up my visiting/reading the next few days in between Gatorade refills and before I go down but I'm not feeling very promising at the moment so if I seem to have disappeared SEND GATORADE!....

If you are new here or missed my: Ms. G. is Grounded post, In September I thought that since I chronicle my teenagers here it would only be fair to share a little bit about myself as a teen back in the renaissance. You remember the Renaissance right? As I dug threw my cardboard box I came upon this brilliant gem that I penned in March 1982 when I was 16.  So here is a second installment filed under Pack Rat/ Me As A Teenager. The Poetry Edition.

At this mid point in my life, I again peruse these lines that bear my profound young soul and emerging self knowledge and I realize something.
I really haven't changed too much.


Rising out of the ocean
Golden skin glistening in the sun
This is how I first  saw you
The unbelievably perfect one

If I were Aphrodite
You'd be my Adonis
And I'd hide us away
So no one could find us

Perfectly carved features
Almost painful to see
I couldn't believe you
Would really want me

And I was right
You walked right past
I knew something that good
Just wouldn't last.

By Miss G. aged 16 but probably telling people she was 18 ...or maybe 20.
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Not a full moon but might as well be

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Circle Of Stupid.

I have been besieged by Stupidity.

My drivers license is getting ready to expire. No big deal till now. I have had it 27 years. They haven't even updated the picture in about 12 years. I used to have to go in  when it was time and say Hi! I'm still alive. I look the same. Same height, eye color, hair color. Yeah those carvings in my forehead are newer.... but if you look at the pic on my current license you see the day I came in with my 10, 4 and 2 year old children with me and had to wait an hour and a half for my turn. Yep. See that face? That's where the lines came from.
Ok, suffice it to say I was perfectly happy to look 33 forever, at least on that little card... even if I also looked  like I was on the verge of Snapping like a rubber band in the hands of a ten year old boy sitting behind a snotty girl who just told on him for letting one in class....anyway.....

I am me. Always have been. Including when my mother took me in to the license office at the age of 15 to get my learners permit.. The year I came in with my fresh new marriage license proclaiming me to now be me but "different" and even when I showed up with 3 napless hooligans because I had a change of address. I have moved 4 whole times since I started driving. All places within 10 minutes of each other and the place I was born and grew up. OMG. I married someone who was born in Maryland and lived there till he was 3. That is suspect behavior of course. Anyway.....

 One year they just gave me a renewal sticker and last time around they just sent me a license in the mail without  request or warning which to be honest I thought was KINDA STUPID,  because I truly am concerned about national security and identity theft, But not as STUPID as THIS. I get a card telling me it's time to renew and....I have to prove who I am. What? You know who I am it's...well...on my license. But NO. They want a birth certificate and marriage license and SS and mail and a blood sample proving I really am O negative...well not that last one but practically.

Ok. I have NEVER SEEN my birth certificate. I don't know what my parents did with it or if they ever even had a copy. They had a red metal box where they kept important papers that we were warned to never get in to and so of course we hit it every opportunity we got. I remember my brother N's infant foot prints were in there and a letter from the navy saying my dad had gone AWOL when he was 18 and got kicked out of the navy which he never told us and I couldn't ask because we weren't supposed to be getting into the red box. I was pretty sure he served in the navy for a long time, unless my family were sneaking onto Navy bases and living in the houses but that was before I was born and I only heard stories, so... what? Was their entire life a lie? Were we actually in witness protection and I never knew?  Eventually I did ask and he said he accidentally overslept and missed the boat but it was just a formality because they let him reenlist immediately. I also asked where my birth certificate was and my mom said, "I don't know, I guess we should get a copy sometime"...The End.

Anyway...My marriage certificate. This is a hot button. I have always been in charge of paperwork. I have a system. It looks insane but I know where everything is and it is in order. Which is why when my still relatively new husband decided to look for something in my desk....and then decided it was messy....and then decided to Clean it out.....and Threw Away Our Marriage License because it was in an envelope with some old bills used as other proof of identity and address that I used to Get My Name Changed On My License.... possibly a year or so before but still...I knew it was there... anyway.... He only luckily remained my husband...even though there was no proof...because he was cute....He never touched my papers again.....yep....anyway......I didn't see the need to replace it right away....about 23 years ago.

So..Just in case I missed something I did ask my sister, "hey do you have the red box and do you remember ever seeing my birth certificate in it?" She didn't have it. I think my brother had it last, but she said, "Yours wasn't in there. I have never seen your birth certificate."
I know, me either and I know it's not in there. I asked her if she was sure my parents really had me and didn't just grab me off the street somewhere and she said "yes"....then paused for a couple minutes...."I remember mom being pregnant." Ok.  That's a relief....I guess. Anyway....

I look up the state vital statistics office to figure out what I was going to need to prove who I am and get the forms to fill out. My parents are dead. Would they accept affidavits from my siblings? My husband could sign something saying I was the one standing next to him at the altar...but he's from can they trust him? Would I have to make footprints to see if they match hospital records? Would I have to request DNA samples from my moms sister in California? I have a dogeared social security card which I have to present to get my license but it doesn't prove my birth or marriage.

So I look it up and I think, WHAT? This info must not be updated like our highly efficient Department of Motor Vehicles. So I do something I just adore doing even more than making regular phone calls.  Calling a Government Agency. But it was surprisingly easy.  I only had to wait through 3 minutes of options before I contacted a real person.

"What", I asked,  (besides my credit card, money order or check made payable to The State of Stupidity Bureau of Holding Stats Hostage, to pay for copies of my proof of existing info that I need in order to get a new license. ) "do I need to bring to Prove My Identity", (after I drive all the way downtown and take a number.) How can I show you that I am truly who I have claimed to be for nearly 45 years?

No problem said the calm and actually cheerful voice on the other end of the line.

All you need to bring is .....


Yep. There you go....Full Circle.

Not that it was terribly expensive but the way I figure it, my parents owe me 9 dollars and my husband owes me 5. $14.00 could go a long way toward a contribution to a jar of OLAY. And here's some creepy.  I knew the law had changed but I didn't give it much thought till my renewal came up which is where I wasn't thinking. I was renewing. If my license had been lost or stolen.....I would have been screwed. I would no longer have an identity. I would be invalid. There is No Solution to this glitch yet. The Bureau of Bureacracy didn't think it through that far. I suggest everyone double check their red boxes and old envelopes.

When I get my new license pic I will appear to have Snapped like a punk on the way to a brawl in West Side Story .....and a little like hieroglyphics.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

For Mom

Some Sunday Music.

Because I still don't have the words......

All I have is.....Row Row Row Your Boat......Gently Down The Stream......: )

"Amazing Grace," Chris Tomlin
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Talk About The Weather.

For me the new year always begins in September. A school days throwback. With the angle of the suns rays, bending calendar days strive for a change. In the schedule. In the priorities. In the weather. I am an October birth. Is that why this season is when I begin to feel alive? My beginning coinciding with what is traditionally known as the end. When all begins to fade and wither. When in some places it appears barren but is only sleeping. Hibernating. Cocooning the future against the elements of  harshness in the season. I could thrive in this simplified environment. I have to search for it in my life's location. My spot on the map refuses to surrender. It clings to lushness. Life sinks it's nails into the flesh of leaves and transfuses moisture into their veins. They will not die. They will not fall. They will not go out in a blaze of glory. I bleed boredom on the view. Once in a very great while the elements fight back. Last year the winter had built it's strength. Ate it's Wheaties in the North and ran the marathon. Breaking through the ribbon on the finish line it hit the bottom tip of the state. It blew past my world like a loved one running the race to save my life. Raising awareness to cure hot flashes. I cheered it on. Dismayed by the crunching Hibiscus I swallowed my glee momentarily. They were lovely. But. Oh well. The simple fact is that it was worth the exchange. While others were buried in whiteness and driven insane by it's apparently never ending unmarked page I dotted my eyes with hearts and doodled in margins. I love Winter. Winter + Me. Wrapped up in blankets drinking tea that seemed just right, not just a formality. I clung to every bone chilling breeze like a lover. A climatic relationship that lasted a little while this time around. It hung in there for the long run. It's head never turned when the Camellia's bloomed in February. They are sturdy and benign. We could all be friends without jealousy or tension getting in the way. But in time it began to withdraw. Spring would insist on budding in. Flamboyant it returned well rested and with a makeover. Winter retraced it's steps. Backed away from me with a rueful smile and promised to return. I know it loves me too. I rejected summer and refused to dance. I sat and tapped my foot impatiently waiting for a song I liked. I am watching out the window. As though searching for head lights on the road that signal a homecoming that is running late. Waiting as if to see a childs head with hair flying backward running past the neighbors yards.  Feet pumping fast to hit the drive before curfew. There will be no warning sign. I will not read the letter sent by way of the daily news. It is an unreliable courier. Has let me down before. It is only September. I might have to wait until the end of October or even November. But one morning I will rise early and step outside and it will be there. Waiting for me in the yard. I will open my arms wide and embrace it. Lifting it up off it's feet I will spin it around and laugh wildly with joy. You are back! You are here!
Come. Let's have a cup of tea.

P.S. I will be leaving on a business trip Monday so if I don't answer comments or come by to visit I will be checking in as soon as I get back ! Tell me, are you looking forward to the change in season?

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

U R Gounded....Ms. G. The Wisdom of Mothers..

I am heading towards 45 years old in October. Since I spend a lot of time picking on my teenagers here I thought it might be fun...and only fair... during the upcoming month to spend some time revisiting myself as a teen. Do I remember being a teenager? Yes I do. Vividly. And I have some help with that. Being a pack rat can sometimes be useful. Having a mother who was one also can be useful. I took a little visit to my cardboard box where I have my teen years recorded in poetry.... and the beginning of a (really bad) historical novel that I began when I was 17 and was going to be a writer...or an artist....or a Broadway/rock star....or make a career out of drycleaning...anyway.....

When Biggest was 14 and was starting to go wild she was grounded and of course gave me the line that I "didn't understand."
You know how it're a fuddy duddy and probably was one of those girls who volunteered to scrape gum off the bottom of the desks for teachers. Yep, that was me....volunteering.....ok

This was my answer to her.
My Dear Biggest,
You have more in common with you're mother than you want to believe. One thing is being a pack rat. This is one time that it has come in handy for me. When you think I don't understand or know exactly what & how you're feeling you are wrong. When you tell me Grandma didn't treat me this way you are wrong. I have proof. Before you read these you must know that I would have said anything to go skating again. Most of it is manipulation to get my own way. It didn't work. Thank God. I am older and wiser now as Grandma was then. We do know where you are coming from. I love you.

I didn't get my response until 5 years later and it is very personal but I shared a very tiny part of it here.

Somewhere around the time I was freaking out because I couldn't believe my child was making such poor decisions my mother gave me these reminders of THE BIG GROUNDING. This would be the one when I was 14 and left the skating rink and went to a party and drank some beer with an unapproved boy. And got Busted by a tipped off, ticked off mother when I returned to the parking lot.

A  Letter From My Mother
Dear Miss G,
If you do not stop talking to Unapproved Boy on the phone and write him off -I am afraid you will never again be allowed to go skating and I will never again trust you. I really don't want that to happen. This would make me unhappy and make you not only unhappy but but might possibly cause you to cheat and lie and cheapen yourself by sneaking around behind my back. You are a beautiful and smart girl. You do not need to waste time on someone who has no regard for your safety or reputation. You deserve better and should aim higher. I love you very much, though you don't seem to think I do - and I'm not an old senile lady who has forgotten what it is like to be young. I AM old enough to have learned  a lot. Some of the things I have learned should help you make the right decisions now. When you are a little older you will have plenty of time to learn things for yourself first hand. You said something about "not being able to handle much beer at your age" ( This is a digression to explain that I believe I had explained that I only drank a tiny amount of beer before I realized my mistake because I was afraid it would hit me me too hard--A' La Richie Cunningham) This is true of many things besides beer. Don't try to be tough and hard. Stay soft and sweet for as long as you can. I love you very much. I will not always be around to watch over you and you won't always need me to. But for now that is how it is. So relax and enjoy life while you can without the complications that come from rushing everything.
Love Mom

My mother was very wise and of course she was right as I realized when I was older.

I also possess my answer to this missive.

Dear Mrs. Mom, ( I actually addressed it to her surname!)
I am afraid you are sadly mistaken. I have not been talking to 'Unapproved boy' and have written him off as you put it. I had not stopped liking him but he has moved away to live with his dad so I figured it was not worth the trouble of fretting over him. I am now in the process of liking: 'different boy' an amazingly adorable hunk that goes to my school. I have even put him above "approved boy" (who was the one that called my house and got me busted) since whenever I go out with him I am just practicing for my hopeful future as an actress. Because all I'm doing is playing a role. Being mature, stiff, fake. Not all the time but most of it.
Skating is the ONLY (I had it underlined) thing I enjoy doing. I love it to such an extent that if I ever went back I wouldn't step foot off the curb in front of the door. For not wanting to keep me from skating and stop trusting me you're doing a pretty good job of making yourself miserable. I don't think I'd readily sneak behind your back because every time I have ventured to do so I've been caught. ( yeah right) Don't you think if I ad left the rink other times somebody would have called? Even though I've almost completely put " unapproved boy' out of my mind I don't appreciate you degrading him. What I did was my own sorry, poor judgement. He was probably a little bit to blame but I am equally responsible and a little bit more so. I realize I don't always do the right things but I can tell for myself when what I did wasn't smart and know better than to do it again. I have made my own decisions in these areas before, successfully for that matter.
Shouldn't I learn something now to be a responsible adult. How will I ever get anywhere being naive? I'm not saying you should let me do what I want or that I was right doing what I did. If you thought that I'd be disappointed in you. (The nerve). I'd be even sadder than I am now because I'd get in alot of trouble (hear the violins?) I'm just like everyone else my age curious and confused (isn't that what the film at school said?) You say someday I won't need you but if you try to keep me from the bad things in life I'll always be here. Always coming to you with everything! (The clincher along with a thinly veiled threat)
I'm trying to enjoy life now but there are complications now too. There's no hiding me from that. I'm not rushing anything. It's all coming at it's own pace.The good and the bad are there. I try to do right. Sometimes I slip. Everyone does. It's only human and punishing someone for being human isn't.

Ms. Very Grounded (age 14)

Recognize me in there? ; )

I'm pretty sure my Mom laughed her ass off when she read this. And yes it is just about the biggest bunch of hooey ever written. Except for one thing. When I went skating, I never stepped off the curb in front of that skating rink and went somewhere else behind her back again.

I would say I was going to the movies.

This knowledge of myself as a teen has made me a wiser parent. It also leads to some of my mistakes as a parent. We have to point them in the right direction. We have to be watchful and aware because we may need to step in. But we can't always prevent them from making mistakes. They do have to learn to make the right choices on their own.

"I am old enough to have learned a lot. Some of the things I have learned should help you make the right decisions now. When you are a little older you will have plenty of time to learn things for yourself first hand."
My mother was right.

"I'm trying to enjoy life now but there are complications now too. There's no hiding me from that"
So was I.

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