Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks By The Light Of The Moon

I have not been around much lately thanks to a large workload that seems to descend every year about this time. My presence has been required on some projects outside the office lately as well as a mountain of paperwork when I am in. I'm very tickled today because I was supposed to work but we are ahead on the project so my husband said I could have the Day Off! To ...do the grocery shopping...and there is the fact that the state of my house Finally Got To Me and I've been putting in some time doing damage control. After all, I noticed the holidays are coming and I inherited a system from my mother that consists of having a hissy the week before Thanksgiving and forcing a grumbling household to scrub the house from top to bottom because, though I may overlook A Lot, I refuse to decorate for Christmas on top of dirt. I cleaned everything including my dusty chandelier...maybe ; )

When we were finished I went to the kitchen and found that the Seamonkey and Middlest someone had attempted some repositioning techniques.

By the way...My Kitchen Artwork is provided by

My Brother J.
Fixture provided by Home Depot..or Lowe's..I don't remember.
And also by

My Mom and my Sister the Mighty Ms. K.
   I kind of like it this way. I'm leaving it.

 The moon was obviously doing it's thing this week.
Biggest called and said she decided she wants to be an anthropologist...or something like that.

I said, "Ok"

Then her phone was cut off because she didn't budget well this month. However she does know where we live and they used their gas to drive to our house on Sunday to borrow money till she got paid on Monday because they needed gas. I didn't have any cash.

The moon seemed to be keeping the girls busy with dreams.

Middlest woke up the other morning and came directly to me. She had an important message.
She said the moment she woke up she had the thought that:
"Noah's Ark was actually a spaceship and that's why we can't find it."

I said, Ok.

Speaking of dreams...
Littlest seems like a tough cookie in so many ways and has so many interest's that I can only imagine the things she will do and be one day but, there is one thing I'm pretty sure of ...

Littlest: I had a dream and when I woke up I was so sad I wanted to cry.
I dreamed I was a mommy and I had a little girl. Her hair was blonde and her eyes were grayish. It was Christmas and she was wearing purple plaid pajamas and her hair was messy and she was all excited because it was Christmas and sitting in my lap opening presents and calling me Mommy and I was
 So Happy!

I was a little puzzled.
Me: Well what was wrong? What happened that made you want to cry!

Lit: I woke up and it wasn't true.

Me: (I said nothing, I couldn't speak...because my throat felt all funny...and stuff...)

Speaking of Littlest,
Overheard on the way to school.

We stopped at a light and there was a sign like this.

This is what followed.
Lit: ( In an outraged voice) I find that sexist! They show the woman in a skirt and it looks like she's holding a purse.

Me: No, it's an equal opportunity sign. They are both on it. See, I think he is holding a purse too. And look, it's really very touching. He's holding her arm to gently guide her across.

Lit: No! She is not capable of crossing the road alone. She can only can get across because The Man is Leading her across the street. Like she isn't able to figure it out by herself.

Me: Ok. ( thinking: is she going militant feminist on me..?)

Mid. ( In an outraged voice) Are you Serious?! Do you Really find that sexist?

Lit: No.

Speaking of the moon.

My husband has been losing some weight. ( Digression to deny that my husband is losing weight because since I have been blogging I have stopped providing food. I can prove this is not a legitimate charge. In my defense, I have gained 8lbs. since I started blogging. I rest my case.) The other day he came home and took his belt off to get more comfortable. Then he decided to go outside and turn on the sprinklers. We don't use a sprinkler system. Just good old fashioned hose and spinner. He turned it on and then decided to move it. Somehow it became out of control and was flailing wildly around his head and as he was struggling with it to keep it from whacking him- his pants fell down..to his knees...in the front yard.

Yeah....we are very popular....anyway...

With Thanksgiving approaching I am thinking of what I have to be Thankful for....that I haven't been blogging about.

1. A Big Deal. My father-in-Law collapsed at the movies a couple weeks ago. He has had heart problems as well as other health problems for awhile and had heart by-pass surgery a few years ago. He was in the hospital a few days while they did tests and they decided to put in a pacemaker. He is recovering nicely and is already showing a marked improvement over the way he has been feeling and functioning lately!

2.Though work has been keeping me from spending as much time as I would like visiting in blog world recently, I have to be Thankful that we had  a pretty decent business year and we did ok.  I feel incredibly blessed to have made it through another year. Next year is never a sure thing but for now we have survived. Amen.

3. I am Thankful for my dusty messy house. Even though it has to be cleaned.

4. I am Thankful that Biggest is around to give me nutty phone calls and borrow money from me and introduce my dog to people as her brother when I bring him in where she works. I am Thankful that her spot at the table will be filled on Thursday with a beautiful young woman who has not stopped dreaming.
 And I love her.

 5. I am Thankful that Middlest is a good girl. She is frustrating but kind. And that she has learned to make Hamburger Helper and eggs so I know she will be able to feed herself someday. And she Got A Job this week, Woo Hoo! I am so proud! She is almost grown.  I am thankful that last night as I was sitting in bed reading she came and sat on the step to my bed and rested her head against me without speaking and we just sat silently for a few minutes while I stroked her hair before she rose and went to bed.
And I love her.

6.I am Thankful for my Littlest who provides my life with so much humor and tenderness. And that when I didn't have cash, she had twenty bucks and on her own, she lent it to Biggest when she came over. Because she is an awesome sister and daughter and she knows how to bake a cake. Because last night in the kitchen she stopped and rested her head on my shoulder and said "I Loves You."
 Because I loves her too.

7.I am Thankful for my husband who works hard and worries and does everything he can to take care of his family.  And because I still think he is a Hottie even though he's all weird about getting gray but I think it is adorable. Because we earned our gray together.
 Plus who needs cable with him puttering around in the yard and I can see the full moon whenever I want ; )
And I Love Him.

8. I am Thankful for my family. I am thankful we can sit around the dinner table and really have a good time. Like the other night when it was "eat what you find" night and our conversation involved everyone's leftover choices which included,  chicken Lo Mien, sauerkraut and hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, broccoli, and half a pork chop.  I won't repeat this conversation but Middlest outdid herself by actually snorting out sauerkraut which just made the day worth while.
 I Love My family.

9. I am thankful for finding blogging and the world of good it has done me and also for the Awesome people I have encountered through it.
I Love Blogging.

10. I am Thankful to be here and able to give thanks. And for Turkey and all that goes with it. Because it is one of my Favorite meals. And I have been so busy I haven't gone shopping for it yet. And I am terrified they will be out of those little brown and serve rolls because ....
I Love Those!

I'm getting hungry.
I'm starting to think about food. I need 1. Turkey 2. Rolls 3.Veggies....veggies?

Hey,...Middlest and Littlest...I was always so careful with what they were exposed to when they were little. It always surprises me how they behave with each other. It always drives me crazy because the way they have always related to each other reminds me of something but I can never quite put my finger on it..but....wait a minute....

Moon Music

I am off to battle for Rolls!!!

Have A Happy And Blessed Thanksgiving Everyone!

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Note From My Sister

This is a guest post written by my Big Sister. We are recognizing National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month here at Mom of the Perpetually Grounded. My sister took on living with my mom after my father passed away and was the closest witness to her decline for several years. She took on this job while maintaining a career as a police detective. Two of the most stressful jobs on the face of the earth.
 She has done Tremendous work in both jobs.

So I bring you: The Most Awesome Big Sister;  the Mighty Ms.K. (the one with the really cool suede boots)

In Memory of our Mom

I was the strong one and the one with no husband, or children. The one who helped when Daddy died, the one who took you back into my life after living alone for so many years. The last couple of years were the hardest….and I broke.

I was the nice stranger who cared for you, I was your sister you grew up with, but somehow never your daughter. You would look at me with those blue eyes and study my face, looking for some clue of who I was, looking for someone or something familiar. Tears would well up in your eyes as you realized you did not know where you were, or when, or how you were got there. Today it was 1942 and you were looking for your mom. Ten minutes later, it was 1983 and you were looking for my Daddy. It was then 1968 and you were looking for Johnny, “where is he, he should be home by now from school”.

We had more visitors from deceased family members than the ones who were living. They were not able to cope with what had happen to you. Alzheimer's. 8 years of sometimes slow, sometimes rapid decline. Then you would just sit and your eyes told me you were now somewhere else, another time and place I did not know. You no longer played the piano, playing the same song over and over again. You could not read a book, you could not even have a conversation anymore that made any sense.

Then sometimes, suddenly like a breeze across my face, you would look at me, know who I was and seemed to say…..I am still in here somewhere, I love you, thank you for still being here with me. Then just as suddenly you were gone again.

You were like a child. You would get so scared. I would hold you while you cried and it made me cry. I tried to make you feel safe. All the sleepless nights, finding you dressed, packed and ready to go, the searches for people who were no longer with us. The terror of suddenly finding yourself in a place and time you did not recognize.

I did as much as I could, but I was getting broken and I had to let you go. It broke my heart to leave you where they could care of you in ways I could not do any more. You died 4 months later.

I still grieve you. I miss you.

If you are a caregiver to a parent or family member with Alzheimers…not matter how strong you are, you can not do it alone. Don’t believe that you will be able to. You will break.

To the Mom of the Perpetually Grounded……Thank you for helping me get fixed again. I love you.

Luv Ya Back Mighty Ms. K.
If you are a Caregiver for an Alzheimers's patient you can visit alz.org to take the Caregiver Stress Check or find Caregiver Support  in your area.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life In A Box


The other night we were sitting around the dinner table and having a discussion about whether college keeps you "in the box" and whether not going may encourage more creative thinking "outside the box" and lead to creation of ideas rather than insertion of ideas. I do want my kids to go to college for the experience and for the opportunities it can point them towards. I want them to be exposed to many ideas as long as they don't lose sight of their own. We discussed examples of people who became successful without a college degree, often by thinking outside the box and also the merits of making the box work for you without sacrificing your integrity or individualism and also the financial aspects when making a choice for, or against college. There is a very interesting article about that here washingtonpost.com .

What is best? Our school systems are "in a box" for the most part due to necessity. Funds and manpower can only be stretched so far. There are programs in some places that offer more individualized learning but they are not the norm. Should we all just sit quietly listening to the same tune over and over, then all pop up at the same time like Jacks in a box? Like a perfectly reproduced pop tart? In order to keep things functioning and compete in the world shouldn't everyone be prepared in the same way? Or should we all follow only a course that feels natural to us? That brings us fulfillment. What would happen to the world? To commerce? To service and government? What if we all decided to become ballet dancers? I have mixed feelings about this. I think it is really important to nurture natural gifts and talents and offer opportunities to those who wish to become skilled no matter what their area of interest. At the same time I worry very much about my children being able to compete for plain old survival in the real world.

My kids were in a gifted program through elementary school that was a part time, two day a week creative thinking/experimental environment type of class. In middle school the gifted program switched to merely an academic performance machine. Ready to turn out highly efficient workers that would proceed to Advanced Placement courses in high school and be college bound and credited before graduation.  One of Middlest life long friends just skipped his senior year. It is cutthroat to get in state college. My girls aren't cutthroat kind of people. Well except Biggest if you make her mad enough but..beside the point.

When Biggest was a child she felt secure in this box. She liked knowing what was expected of her and enjoyed the challenge of "measuring up". She never came out of that box unless she was sure the song was complete and she would shine in the light. She conscientiously strove to meet or beat the criteria and come out on top. She thrived in a systematic learning environment until she died in it. When she couldn't meet her own expectations. When she began to be suffocated in the box she busted out with a bazooka. Unfortunately she blasted a hole in the bottom and fell into a black box. Full of monsters. When we reached in to pull her out she slapped our hands away. She had to bounce off the walls and fight her way through it herself. She found the ladder and came out battered, bruised and behind, but alive. She is just now awakening completely to the possibilities she may have by-passed. She has been outside the box for a long time and quite honestly has done well for herself but with great self awareness she is ready to face it again with the strength to use it to her advantage and not be used up by it.

I think Middlest was conceived outside the box like an ectopic pregnancy on the womb of standardized learning. She has been doing her own thing since day one. She is more like a Jack who escaped on it's spring and bounces from one wall to another constantly springing in a new direction. When she wants to learn she immerses herself and then moves on and has no interest in repeating herself. Year after year I have the same reports. When she does her work she does great work. The problem has always been that she is reading, writing or drawing instead of doing her work. She only does what she wants to do. She is inflexible. Common sense would say that this child could breeze her way to a teaching degree specializing in reading. The experts say that this is a highly needed profession and a good choice for the future. She wants to be an artist. She is very good. Will her creativity feed her? It's hard to say. Will college allow her creativity to flourish or stifle it? Will she be splashed across galleries someday or  in a box designing a shoe box so that she can eat? Will it make her legitimate?  Should she skip college and set up shop on a street corner? Will she have to hold up a sign saying, "Will paint you for food?" Littlest could stand next to her with one that says, "Will insult you for food."
I seriously don't know. And at this point, if she doesn't pray for the gift to speak in tongues, Middlest may be in danger of not graduating in time because of German. Who does that happen to? Why did she even take German, which would come in handy to be a Lutheran  minister ( We are LCMS so only men allowed), an opera singer ( she can't carry a tune) or maybe work at Epcot? Though she once expressed an interest in working at Disney- as a Disney Princess. The kind that only ride the floats and waves so that singing wasn't required....anyway...so why German instead of Spanish or French like 98% of her class. Well, because Spanish and French are taken by 98% of the class...and ...well...there you go....

So far Littlest has been the one best able to balance. She can climb in and out of the box at will. When the tune finishes what pops out depends on what the tune was. When necessary she is diligent about conforming to expected standards. She likes to know the rules so that she can follow them to the letter. She wants everything pointed out in minute detail so that she does not vary from the correct course. She does not like it. She finds it boring and pointless and complains about it endlessly but she does it. At the same time, when it comes to her free time and personal thought she not only gets outside the box, she twists the lines to the extreme. She is more "out there" than any of us which in some ways makes her the most "well rounded".

Which is why when we were talking about "the box" she stayed relatively quiet while the SeaMonkey discussed the truth that higher education is not always requisite to success and  Middlest espoused the benefits of going against the grain until a pause in the conversation left Littlest the opportunity to cheerfully pipe up in a moment of silence with

"I Think Inside The Circle"


Whereupon our intellectual conversation culminated with Middlest snorting milk out her nose.

So, I don't know. I want my kids to be able to thrive in the modern world and be self sufficient. But I want them to pop up to a tune they composed themselves.

Is this even possible?
Should schools strive to accommodate a variety of learning styles?
Or is it more important to be disciplined and 'standards' based  to compete on a global scale?
Are some people more cut out to work their way up than learn their way out?

Or will my daughters end up in a creatively decorated Cardboard Box?

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 8, 2010

Doing Some Pre -Shopping Shopping

Before I begin you may be asking, Ms. G. What's up with all the picture posts lately? Have you been short on free time? Have you been distracted by business and family matters? Did you just figure out how to upload the photo's from the camera on to the computer without Middlest helping you?
The answer to all of the above would be yes. So here is yet another picture post.

Now though I have been trying to avoid it and have put it off multiple times, (with valid excuses like "I haven't done my toe nail polish and "not today there is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer Marathon on") The fact is the weather has finally done a downward turn and the girls are shivering to school in tank tops and a hoodie with a broken zipper. Plus, I finally wracked up enough credit card points for a cash gift certificate and that means it is time to go shopping...again.

Now some of you may ask, Why, Oh why Ms. G. do you put yourself through this? Why do you subject yourself to this punishment? Besides slipping in a little something for yourself since it's free money. Those girls are in high school. Why don't you give them the money and let them shop for themselves, the little heathens?
Well, there is a very good reason. Left to their own devices they make some God Awful interesting purchases. For example:

The last time Littlest left the house with her own money burning a hole in her pocket she came home with


Cute? Yes. Warm or Useful? No.

Last week Middlest was out shopping with her boyfriend and they decided to go to Goodwill and she came home with


Warm? Yes. Absolutely Authentic? Yes. And...and....yeah, my daughter wears Army Boots....Anyway...

As I was saying. If the money is coming out of my wallet...or my free credit card points....the shopping is going to be supervised.

If you have been around here for awhile you may be familiar with the fun filled shopping trips I take with my daughters. Awhile back we went on our World Famous (with Internet creepers) Bra Shopping Trip.
And then there was Our Most Recent Shopping Trip which was a very emotional and colorful experience. (especially in the language department)  

Now due to my last shopping experience with the girls, I have decided to be prepared and this morning I did  some pre-shopping shopping. We have a four day weekend and on Thursday I will be ready to hit the stores with my 15 and 17 year old daughters well prepared because I have purchased supplies.

For Middlest

For Littlest
  And most important of all....

 For Myself

Let the shopping begin! 

 © 2010 All Rights Reserved
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Friday, November 5, 2010


It was report card time here this week so I pretty much have had a migraine since Tuesday and I don't want to write about the kids. Because that migraine needs to stay away. It was a memorable one. Woke up at 4 A.M. and continued thru Wednesday  in the kind of pain that makes you google aneurysm and brain tumor just to make sure.

Anyway. I'm a little wore out, have unfinished chores piled as high as my dusty chandelier and I have to work away from home over the weekend. One of those out of town but not far enough to warrant staying over jobs so I get to hit the highway and sit till my legs fall asleep and then have to work.

On the bright side, we will have a high of 65 today so I did a happy dance in my Real Shoes and now I'm literally and figuratively chilling out for a little while. I'm taking my weekend today. Which means I'm taking a nap.

If you haven't been by yet and feel like reading a serious post I have one below or you can kick your real shoes off, grab your cup of tea and listen along with me to one of my personal top 10. My all time favorite Eagles song. And then maybe take a nap.

I'll take it to the limit tomorrow.

I decided to include 2 versions just as an example that real talent and skill never fades. It just gains some weight and gets a haircut.

Eagles-Take It to the Limit-Houston 1976
  Explore more music videos.

What's your favorite Eagles song? You know you have one.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Note to Self....

There is no guarantee either way. It might happen. It might not.

Just in case it happens someday..

This is you. These are your babies beyond the scrapbooks. These are the words that you did not always speak but chose to share. This is who you were and those you love at this period of time. I hope you are not desperately searching for them without seeing them in front of your eyes. Your parents are not here. It is most likely your brothers and sisters are gone too. Don't worry, you will see them soon.
Everyone is right, you shouldn't be driving. Those are your pills and you are supposed to take them. Take your shower and listen to them. They love you.

Your mother and your grandmother are not there now. But they were where you are now. Confused. A little lost. Sometimes really pissed off. 

Your grandmothers cheek was like a silk cased feather pillow, dusted with powdered sugar when you rested against it. She used Ponds her whole life. Her voice was a river you floated along in a daydream as a child and you liked the way it sounded when she voiced the name of her sister so much that you named your youngest child the same so that you would continue to hear the voice. When she was young she was a flapper! She was really something. You weren't her favorite. She liked the brown eyed cousins best but that was ok. She lived with them and helped raise them. When this happened to her she had hallucinations of bugs. She would ask people if they could see them.  Her grandmother had spoke German to her as a small child and she had forgotten most of it. One night she woke your uncle's family in the middle of the night yelling at them in fluent German. The mind is a very strange thing. Then she began to wander away from home. She got lost. They had no choice.
You saw what it did to your mom when this happened to your grandmother. You watched as she worked all day and then rushed to the nursing home almost every night. The attendants were washing your grandmothers face with soap. The silk was turning to linen. Coarse and wrinkled, when it began to peel your mother cried. She bought Ponds and would sit on the edge of the bed. Gently, lovingly rubbing the cream into your grandmothers face. Desperately trying to save ....something. Some part of her mother.

Your mother had more lines in her face but not a lot. She took some care. She loved to keep busy. Working, volunteering,  just going somewhere. She was your friend. At first it was ok when it began to happen. You could tell her your favorite stories over and over and she never tired of them.  Everyone joked the first time she put bologna in the freezer and then couldn't find it. It was years before these episodes began to show a consistent pattern. Long before it was obvious she once called, angry at your father because he had given away a special box. Did you have it? No, you don't remember ever seeing it. He just told her she was wrong. He didn't point out that it never existed. He just let her rant it out. After he was gone the problems at work became apparent. This new boss was undermining her. Plotting against her. She should retire. Then she began  searching for the missing little boy. Where did he go? You felt sad because you thought she was missing your brother. He had been a grown man but he was her boy. She knew someone was missing that should not be. More people became missing. Ones who were long gone and the ones in front of her face.
The dead were waited for patiently, with purse in her lap. The family in front of her face, kind strangers. She enjoyed her visit very much but was ready to go home now. My husband and kids are waiting for me. Have you seen my mother?

You saw what it did to all of you when this happened to your mom.

So just in case
you are waiting for your mom right now, just relax. There will be time for that before you know it. Your face will have the most lines. It already does. You did not have the most difficult life. You stayed out in the sun too much. Dummy. Is there a cute old guy around? I bet he'll kiss you if you ask.
Your husband and children have said that if it happens they will keep you home and take care of you. You told them to please put you in a nice facility. This is a personal choice.  You never want to be that kind of burden. You never want your grandchildren to remember a person who was not aware of their love. They can explain it to them all day long. It does not stop the pain.

Read. If you can't remember it is alright. You won't notice the difference.

Feel free to burst into song in public. I insist on it.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.
Here are some ways you can help.
Visit the Alzheimer's Association Website
Join or start a Memory Walk  in your area.
Or read for more information on Alzheimer's Disease and ways to help further the search for a cure.
The memory you save may be your own....or possibly mine ; )

Equally Important:
If you know someone who is a Caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer's, Reach Out. Support. Listen.

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