Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm Recovering From Christmas

I'm recovering from Christmas
And mostly can be found
Reclining on my sofa
With a cat and a hound

Watching old movies
Perusing my new book
Playing Guitar Hero
And refusing to cook

I'm enjoying my last glimpses
Of our ornaments glowing
Before the huge haul job
Of packing and stowing

I'm feeling pretty lazy
And too tired out to write or talk
I'm napping in the afternoon
And hitting bed a eight o'clock

We had a lovely season
And to all of you So Dear
I hope your Holidays were Brilliant!
And even Brighter your New Year.



I'll be back around when I don't feel like I was delivered by FedEx.


© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 23, 2011

Extra Merry!!!!!!!!!!!

BIGGEST FOUND THE CAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

And Merry The Twain Shall Meet



I Wish You Joy


I Wish You Peace.

I Wish You A Merry Christmas!

and/or

Happy Hanukkah!

too. If that's what you do.

And
Much Happiness
in the
New Year


The Christmas lights on my bookcase display exploded and one of the toilet flushers is busted. I now feel relaxed and perfectly safe commencing with celebration.

For more Christmas fun please visit Really Bad Hokey Christmas Poetry on my other blog.

The Week Before Christmas


or listen to Miss Judy.
There is a commercial but it's the Holiday Season so I guess it can't be escaped.
But, Nobody does it better : )


Judy Garland - a merry little Christmas
Uploaded by Alexander_Band. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more. © 2011 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Peace and Joy...

Tuesday 7:38 PM

Earlier this evening The SeaMonkey was visiting Biggest. He had a meeting set up with Decent Guy who has a fresh shrimp connection and had made a deal for 40 lbs.

Anyway...he had just walked in the door when Biggest called....She said....
Da Droov ahh wi maaa caaa  on hes ruuuf anwahh Sobb sobb  ...Decen guuyyy follwwahhh hiimmm buh Da whaa wasn payiinnn attteennnttiiooonn annn sheee juuummmppppeeed an III cannnn finnnn herrrr  iiii  waaas weeeowww whaaaa...

Which translated was:
Dad drove off with my cat on his roof and Decent Guy followed him but dad wasn't paying attention and she jumped off and I can't find her. It was Willow!

Decent Guy was following flashing his lights and honking and there was a cat on the roof and The SeaMonkey noticed None of This. Now he's devastated and feels horrible.

But not as horrible as me because in the middle of all this I walked in the family room and found a half eaten decomposing squirrel laying in the middle of the carpet.

A little treat the dog found in the yard and snuck past the door without us noticing.  

I'm so glad we don't allow the hustle and bustle of the holidays to distract us from the little everyday things that make life worthwhile.


© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Peace It Together

It can be hard to find.

How do we achieve it? What is it to you?

Quiet? Tranquility? Stability?A Goal for the world? 

Peace of Mind? Peace at Heart?

Peace.

On a regular Wednesday afternoon.

I suddenly have nothing important to do. My knees hurt and I'm a little tired. No one is around. How peaceful. A perfect occasion for a nap. I stretch out full length, a luxury at my house, a couch to yourself. I tuck my plush throw snugly around  my legs and set the pillows up 'just right.' I turn the TV on and flip through the channels. I can't rest in total quiet. I need some background noise to still my thoughts and keep them from running riot and disturbing my peace. I find "How To Make An American Quilt." Hmm, that was a good book. I don't go out of my way to watch movies from books I've enjoyed because of possible frustration but if I happen on one I might give it a try. Besides, I like Winona Rider and trust her judgement and interpretations of some others I enjoyed without disappointment. So I settle in and close my eyes occasionally popping them open when something piques my curiosity. This is nice.
  Then I hear footsteps approaching and inwardly groan. Crud. I peek from the corner of my eye as Middlest settles in to the easy chair and pulls up the coffee table to set down a bowl of soup. She's not supposed to be eating in here but she is going out of her way to be quiet so I let it be. Relax. She isn't going to bother me. So I rest,  listening to the dialogue of the movie and the gentle tink of Mids spoon rhythmically hitting the bowl. But after a time she breaks the silence. "What are you watching?"

"How To Make An American Quilt." It's a good story. The book's downstairs on my shelf. Fourth row."

I hear her get up and pad her dishes to the kitchen and then she is back.

"Scoot over. I should be finishing some things before work but this is good."

"Sigh". I bend my knees.  Oh well. I've lost a third of the couch but at least she doesn't want to change the channel. I hear more steps entering the room and Littlest plops on a stool beside the table with a bag of chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk. I slit my eyes open, watching as she throws the cookie in the milk then eats it with a spoon. Disgusting and also forbidden in here but I'm sleeping so I don't see it.  I drift on sound waves from the movie, in and out. "What is this?" Littlest asks.

"How to Make An American Quilt. It's a good book too. I have it downstairs in my bookcase if you want it."

"Scoot over."

"No", whines Middlest. "There isn't enough room. I'm comfortable."

"Sigh". I bend at the waist and pull myself up to a sitting position.

"Move over Mid. There is plenty of room."

So we sit. The semi silence of the room broken now by questions brought on by the parts they missed. "Who is that? Why is she doing that?" It's a good story. About stories. About women. I sit with my two young women and fill in where I can. Wonder out loud myself on the parts I can't remember. The room is no longer still and quiet but it is peaceful. When the movie is over Littlest asks, "Where did you say the book was?" Middlest follows with, "I want to read it too."

It's in my bookcase. It's been there for years. Waiting. Waiting to share. Unsuspecting I set it there waiting for this moment of Peace of Mind. They are smart and remarkable young women. Peace in my girls because,  though they aren't always peaceful, they are so truly mine and nothing in this world can change that. As I sit in my kitten pile of daughters I know these moments are fleeting and precious. My family and my love for them are My Heart.

I Wish You Peace.

Do you think it can't be found? That it is so big and huge an undertaking that it never lasts,
 at least not for long. We may not always see it. There is work and school and mess in the house and strife in the world. Where do we find it?

Peace at Heart.

Let It Be and it Will Be.



© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Just Joy With It

It's just there.

I don't know why. Bubbling up while I vacuum. Snuggling into my blanket while I relax. Swelling to a crescendo when I walk across a room. It can't be stopped.

There is no exact reason for it. When you look at the big picture there would seem to be every reason for it to not be present at all. True, though there have been the usual share of stresses, lately things have not been a train wreck for me personally.  I imagine that helps.  All the petty worries that chip away slowly are there as usual. All the huge worries than can overwhelm are present as always and conspire to make us lose hope. But the joy overtakes them like a tidal wave drowning them in delicious tingles of content and ripples of laughter.

I have habitually distrusted joy, always waiting for the event that crushes it.  Felt guilty with joy. Why should I have joy when there is such a lack of it for others? Felt foolish for joy. This world is a serious place with serious problems. Do I not see the trouble everywhere starting from right next door and spreading across the world? Yes I do.

Yet I feel Joy. Unbounded all consuming Joy.

And
maybe events might crush it.
I try to find ways to bring it to others.
I am aware and do what I can and what I think best.

So I have decided,

To Have My Joy and Be Joyful Too.

I Wish You Joy!

Will you stick it in a drawer and wait for a better time to use it?

Don't do that.


© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Listen........

There IS NOTHING going on at my house. Not a thing. Not a peep.

and Biggests' phone isn't working ; )


Turn off the news. Turn off the screen. Turn off the phone. Set that list aside.

It's a dim down. Just breathe.

Moon Music









Sunday, December 4, 2011

Time Capsule

Back in October I decided to chance the deep dark depths of the closet under the stairs. I took some pictures while I was doing it and in keeping with the system by which I created my time capsule I'm just getting around to organizing this into a post. If this is the first time you are visiting my blog let me recap that my daughters are 24, 18 and 16 years old. We moved into this house when they were 2,4 and 10. At that time there was only one thing in the closet and it's still there. This was a very emotional experience. I am sentimental and so are my daughters. I have tried to do this before and they prevented me so I finally waited till they were not here and dove in. The SeaMonkey has been complaining and threatening to throw it all away for years.

Let's start with what I would find when I opened the door. Don't ask why there are blinding blue walls with big white splotches all over them. It was a family project. That's all. See that pile of stuff to the left? Middlest left these things when she moved in with Biggest-in September-and back in- last month- and has been asked to move them to the shed or back in her room.


Want to know where they are now? Just a second, let me turn around.



That's right. In my office.

So anyway. Beyond the norm like luggage and sleeping bags,
 I find more of my most recent child to reach adulthood.



Mid practices painting using old cardboard to save money so I had a whole lot of cardboard
 and also canvas in there.



More Mid. wth? Seriously.



This is a box of stuff left from when my mom lived with us in 2007
 and it's all junk but I didn't want to deal with it at the time.




Then a little further back to when Biggest moved out.
 This is a really nice pair of handmade cowboy boots that she says she has no place to wear. She admired a pair a regular customer was wearing when she was about 18 and working at a sandwich shop. The next week they brought her a pair.
 Because that kind of stuff happens to Biggest.
I put them in Mids room.



Ah, and then I hit the dress up bag. Oh boy. The mommy hormones started to hit about that time but I persevered. The doll is gone. The costumes? Ok yeah, They're still there.



Are you kidding Ms. G.?
GONE!



This is Ouchy.
Ouchy belongs to Littlest. There is not much of her stuff in there because there is yet another big closet upstairs and it is still full. But Ouchy?
Ouchy stays.



This was one of my dads hats. He died 11 years ago.




This? Oh yes! This IS a totally Awesome purse from  the 80's.
What do you mean? Where do You THINK it is? : )





Mm Hmm. Doesn't fit a single toilet in the house. But! You never know.




 Then we hit another clean the kids rooms out session. Thomas the train, cars and a naked Barbie.
I was going to dispose of these. Guess who saw them in the trash pile and asked me to put them back? The Seamonkey. Mr. "Just throw it all out." Mm hmm.



 And whales. Of course there where whales. And there still are.



Pooh and boxing gloves. The story of my children in one photo.


Yes. That is exactly what it looks like.
Feel feel to use the photo to confound the children on family trivia game night.



Alright. Sometimes being a pack rat is very cool. No these have not been under the stairs since World War II ended.


 But they had been under there so long I forgot I owned them.


Do you know what all this is?

Neither do I, so I just put it back in the box and left it under there.




Back a few more years to Pooh.


 And Grumpy




At the very back a box of Biggest. The first one. Softball trophies and Birthday Barbie.
You know those stayed too.


Last of all was our crib comforter. My parents bought it for us when I was pregnant with Biggest. Yes. It stays.


All in all I sorted thru 7 large bags of stuffed animals to be donated or disposed of.
There are two left. (One entirely filled with whales). I was troubled by the lack of apes and when questioned by Biggest realized she doesn't have them either. The monkeys have escaped!
God help us if we don't find them somewhere. You should have seen her face.

I also threw away a few boxes of junk and am proud to say you can now walk five feet into the closet. Or at least you could until The Seamonkey said, "Look at all that space"and put his stuff in it.

But while it was empty I saw something I haven't seen in many years. At the very back the closet takes a left turn and reduces to three feet high. Just the right size for a young child to sit and play Barbies in the Barbie house their mother contorted herself to create and stenciled and hand painted the walls of. There are actually six rooms but my knees didn't allow me to stay in there long.



I still refuse to concede that, as my children claim, "they are screwed up because I kept them in a closet under the stairs when they were little. "

Ingrates.
I even let all three of them paint the clouds all over that blue sky.


And no, this will never be repainted as long as I live.


Do you have trouble saying goodbye to pieces of the past? Or are you a ruthless clutter killer?


© 2011 All Rights Reserved
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shout Outs ...cause I'm..um..busy.. like that.

I recently was awarded my 19th blog award. Now I haven't actively participated in the awards in a very long time because I'm bad at keeping up with them and agonise over who to give them to. So I took my award page down, though sometimes I gaze at it privately and glow all over, but I have always tried to do some shout outs for the people who gave them. I'm behind on a couple of those too.

Because I've been decorating my house for Christmas since Friday and because it is a three day project at my house...and that's just the living room...and I have 2 full time work projects next week and I haven't thought of an actual post I am doing my shout outs. It also means I won't answer my comments consistently and I hate it when I don't.  The past couple months have been the least amount of time I have ever spent at my blog and I'm starting to feel guilty for not visiting everyone more often. But anyway, what better time for you to visit someone else instead. Below are a list of Bloggers who have given me an award and a couple who I have found more recently and I would give an award to, if I wasn't so lazy busy, and that I have met since my last award ceremony---about 2 templates ago.

I like them all. Go visit! ...or you're grounded.

Mommie Dearest Strikes Again.  Who is terrific! I love her blog and we discovered we have something in common. But I'm not going to tell you what it is.

Gene Pool Diva from Diminishing Gene Pool She is funny, with a dry wit,  and I love that. I also suspect that, we too, have a couple things in common.

Daphne at My Distant Husband. Who, besides having one of those terrific names I am envious of, is living in a separate state from her husband for work reasons and handling this difficult situation with grace and wisdom.

Ms. A from Sarcastic Granny: Because she is one of those wonderful people that you fall right in comfortably with, as though you have always known them And I love that too.

Fi from Inspiration To Dream: Because I like Fi. And I think you might too. She is introspective and strong and has boys -like I have girls-so- she deserves a hug as well as a shout out ; )

And last of all Charlotte from Charlotte's Web.  A young woman I call my 'blog daughter' because I tease her that she was meant to be one of my girls and would have fit nicely in the gap between Biggest and Mid, but during that time we were poor as dirt and taking care of my husbands elderly grandfather, so fate sent her to a terrific and lucky mom (who I suspect I would also like very much) in England. I adore her and if you like my girls you will adore her too because she is like them in some ways, only Not Awful. She recently started a new blog after a hiatus, so go say hi : )

Or, as always, visit someone from my blog roll. Worth a visit,  Every. One.

I had better go now. Especially since I have repeatedly erased the same random hyphen from multiple words before I realized it was a spot on my screen. Have a great week! I'll visit whenever I can escape.


© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 21, 2011

Now, Where Was I....

Oh. Yes. After harassing Bleeps department store I left on my trip.  Now that I returned last night and made a mad dash to the store for turkey and stuff,  alleviating  my anxiety that they would be out of those little white heat and serve rolls, and am under the influence of over a weeks worth of laundry, I can take a moment between cycles to catch up.

I left just at the moment of the full moon and so was not able to give my monthly report. However, being away did not stop the lunacy at all and I can now share Novembers events.

First, and simplest of all, the night before I left,

Biggest called.

And told me I have a new grandchild.


His name is Eugene. He is approximately 7 to 8 weeks old. We weren't home an hour before she was calling to see if she could bring him over. Apparently Eugene's Mama was carrying him across a road when a jerk in a truck almost hit her and she dropped Eugene and ran into the woods. A nice lady saw this and stopped to get him out of the road but Eugene's mama never came back so she scooped him up and the natural magnetism of the earth aided by the full moon brought her in the direction of Biggest.
Now Eugene has a new Mama.

We also had some teenage drama in the week before I left. The night before I left , a Thursday, was Homecoming week at Littlests' school. She and her boyfriend had mutually decided that wasn't their bag. However Lits' boyfriend has a female friend that Littlest just barely abides, because she doesn't trust her. So. This young lady kept lamenting the fact that she was not going to Homecoming so pitifully, and pathetically, and constantly that a few days before Homecoming Lits boyfriend took pity on her and volunteered to take her and sent Littlest a message letting her know and asking if since he was going anyway did she want to tag along too.

Yeah.

The sequence of reactions from both Littlests' friends and family went some thing like this:

What? Dump him. Can he really be that dense? He can't be that dense?

Yes. He. Can.

So she dumped. They both cried. Then he must have performed some kind of desperate gesture because within 24 hours He was not going to Homecoming and Thursday night he was hanging out at our house with Littlest,  watching movies. Wait...wait...this is the full moon part...During the course of the evening...

I Heard Her GIGGLE- I've been sworn to secrecy but that's why I'm anonymous.

Last of all. I may have mentioned Middlests' singing before. Mid has a full rich voice that could grace a mezzo soprano diva. And the pitch of....a toddler with a wiffle ball.  If she sings along with someone she does ok but otherwise it is something akin to a cat fight.  She was able to tune her instruments by ear with no problem. Maybe playing in bass clef all those years confused her brain. I bought the girl an Irish whistle on our trip and in less than 24 hours she has worked out,  Oh Danny Boy and part of the theme song to Lord of the Rings. I don't know what the disconnect is with her vocal cords but one of the things I love about her is that it doesn't stop her. She sings her heart out. It doesn't matter where either. She often sings while walking or riding her bike down the road. Which leads me to the phone call I received from her while I  was gone. It went like this.

Mom. I'm walking home from work and first that stray cat started following me again and I was walking along with him and was singing and was halfway thru the cut through neighborhood and three police cars suddenly came tearing up and stopped to question me because someone reported I was walking down the road threatening to kill myself.

What?! What did they say?

They said someone called and then they asked if I was alright and where I was coming from and where I was going and made me show them my ID.  I told them I was perfectly happy I was just going home and singing. Then they asked if that was my cat and I said no.

What on earth were you singing?

Nothing really. Just some Rancid ........

and The Hare Krishna Song.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As for The SeaMonkey and I we had a wonderful time. It has been over two years since we went on a vacation and visited the mountains. And though we do get to travel for business and spend some time together we realized it had actually been ten years since we have been able to go on a vacation trip together. Just us. That was way overdue and though we missed our girls at certain landmarks it was nice We really needed it.


We drove to Virginia where there were still a few pockets of gorgeous fall color and then followed the Blue Ridge Parkway down to North Carolina and across to Tennessee where we played in The Smokies for several days. We had some lovely cold weather and I sat on my rock.

This is my rock.

And I could play with all the smaller rocks to my hearts content.


We had a couple days of really good rain and the rivers swelled and were raging. And then best of all, up in the mountains of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, It Snowed!  I know many of you live in places where the trees become bare and it snows tons so winter isn't a big deal but to people who don't get a serious winter it can be very exciting. That morning it snowed for four hours leaving about a 1/4 inch on the ground and getting drifts of maybe 1/2 inch! ; ) Snow does something to natural born Floridians and others from warmer climates. For four hours we played around in the snow and watched others do the same. All ages, young and old, acting silly, taking pictures, throwing snow, catching snow, dancing around in snow and just watching in wonder as it fell on us. It was as much fun as playing in it to drive past and watch a group of people with cameras and looks of pure delight on their faces jumping around in ecstasy and joy. We craned our necks to check as we passed. Yep. Florida tags : ) 

The next morning there were still a few pockets in the shaded places and I did what any good Southerner would do with a wealth of half inch of snow






Made the worlds smallest snowman!

I had my fall and winter all in one week and it was wonderful : )

I told The SeaMonkey I was going to have all the snow pictures blown up, paste them to the windows and have my own personal white Christmas. But even if it ends up being 80 I am feeling Refreshed and Blessed and Thankful beyond words. Bring on The Holidays! I'm ready.

 HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

and if you're one of my friends from outside the US, have a Wonderful Week in general and eat some turkey anyway, just cause it's Awesome ; )



Then Sings My Soul. Those might be the words.



© 2011 All Rights Reserved
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Am I Quibbling?

Want to know how I used to amuse myself before I began blogging? Here is an example.

 The following are a series of emails I have been exchanging with Bleeps Department Store.
If you sign up for their sale alert emails they offered to give you a 10% online or $5.00 in store discount on your next purchase. So I went for it. Why not?

First I got this:

Thank you for signing up to receive Bleep.com Sale Alerts!

To welcome you to Sale Alerts, you will receive two special offers:

- A $5 coupon to use in our stores
- A 10% off Promo Code to use online

THESE SPECIAL OFFERS WILL ARRIVE IN A SEPARATE E-MAIL WITHIN 10 DAYS
. As a subscriber to our e-mail Sale Alerts, you'll hear about our biggest sales, shipping deals, credit offers and so much more! Every week, we'll send you up-to-the-minute info on our great sale prices. And, you'll periodically receive other great savings offers, like these:

- FREE Standard Shipping on your order (with a minimum purchase)
- EXTRA SAVINGS when you Checkout with your Bleep Charge Card
- NEW Markdowns in our Clearance Department
- BIG savings in every department

Plus, every e-mail includes an easy opt-out feature, so you can choose to unsubscribe* at any time. Please note, you may receive a sale alert before your welcome offer.

Thanks again for subscribing to Bleeps Sale Alerts! Stay tuned for more great savings, coming your way soon!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Then on November 8th, I sent this:
Hello,

I signed up for email alerts on October 21 and was supposed to receive an online discount or $5.00 off coupon for in store by email within ten days but have never received anything.  Can you give me any info? Thank you.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Then I received this:
Dear Ms. G,
Thank you for contacting Bleeps regarding our Sale Alerts promotion. I appreciate the opportunity to review your concern.

I regret that you did not receive an e-mail containing your $5 coupon and 10% promo code. Please allow 7-10 business days for these offers to arrive. To ensure timely delivery of our e-mails, please add Bleeps.com to your list of approved senders and check your spam blocker. We are unable to send a duplicate e-mail or issue physical coupons.

If the designated timeframe passes and you still do not receive these offers, we have the following alternatives:-You may place an online order and we will be happy to credit 10% off the order and honor free standard shipping when you e-mail us the order number.

-You may make a purchase in-store using your Bleeps Charge and we will credit $5 to your account when you e-mail us the numbers at the top of your purchase receipt (beginning with the purchase date). Please also include your billing address so we can locate your account.

The $5 coupon and the 10% promo code are not valid on the purchase of Bleeps Gift Cards. E-mail addresses previously signed up for e-mail Sale Alerts are not eligible to receive the $5 coupon and the 10% promo code. Also, the $5 coupon and the 10% promo code cannot be used together. If you choose to place a Bleeps.com order, priority shipping and the shipping surcharges are excluded from this offer. We are unable to process credits to credit cards other than Bleeps for in-store purchases.I hope these options are suitable and I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you experienced because the offers were not received.

We appreciate the time you took to contact us and look forward to serving you again at Bleeps.com.
Sincerely,
****** S.
eService Advocate
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------So I answered with this:

Hi ***** S,

 Thank you for responding. As I mentioned in my original email, I registered for email alerts on October 21. That would be 13 business days, not including the 21st which was a Friday.  Not to mention the offer said nothing about business days, but no big deal. The email is not in my Spam filter.  I was able to check it because I always forget to empty it. The Advertising Alerts somehow managed to get through just fine. Perhaps they will be directed to my Spam box in the future.  I do not have a Bleeps Charge nor do I wish to get one. I also only rarely shop online as there is a Bleeps store only 10 minutes from my house. I was planning on doing some shopping there this morning. Perhaps my car will be directed somewhere else in the future.

I appreciate your taking the time to contact me in return.

Sincerely,
 Ms. G
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 And Got This:

I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your $5 coupon. I can certainly see why you want to take advantage of this great offer. I know saving money is important for all of us, and shopping with Bleeps is a great way to stretch those dollars.

To ensure timely delivery of our e-mails, please add Bleeps.com to your list of approved senders and check your spam blocker. We are unable to send a duplicate e-mail or issue physical coupons.
While it may be difficult to receive negative information about our services, it is important for us to become aware of the recent challenges you experienced. We make every effort to ensure that your online shopping experience is a pleasant one. I regret this was not the case for you.

Your disappointment is understandable. Please know that your comments have been heard at our corporate office and that we are dedicated to improving our website.
Mrs. G, you are a valued customer and we appreciate the time you took to contact us. We hope that you will allow us another opportunity to provide you with the excellence in service that you truly deserve.

We appreciate the time you took to contact us and look forward to serving you again at Bleep.com.


****** W.
eService Advocate
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ok. In my draft box I have this reply:
Hello ***W,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me over $5.00.
I'm sorry if I seem grumpy, I know it's not a huge issue but considering I have spent nearly $343.94 at Bleeps during the past month and approximately $600.00 since August, I did find it rather annoying. After all just think how much that $5.00 coupon could have stretched those dollars.That $5.00 might pay for half a pair of socks or the lining in some underpants at your store.

I quote myself from the previous email, "The email is not in my Spam filter.  I was able to check it because I always forget to empty it. " My email client sends Spam directly to a folder, if it even catches it, which it usually doesn't. The only specific filters I have created would go into effect if Bleeps was trying to date me or Love Me Long Time. Which they obviously don't intend to do. But that's ok. Don't worry yourself. I'll get over it eventually. After all I know it's not me. It's you.

Luv Your Friend,
 Ms. G
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What do you think?
Should I send it?
Am I Quibbling? ; )

I am leaving tomorrow on my Obviously Much Needed Vacation! I will not be taking any media devices with me...which is probably a swell idea too. If I miss you today I'll catch ya when I get back! For now I better get busy ( Driving back to Bleeps Dept. Store because the Associate forgot to take the alarm tag off the coat I bought yesterday) because I have just spent about $50.00 worth of my time on $5.00


I've used this one before but it fits...

Moon Music


© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lessons Learned

This week ended up being way more eventful than I planned so I haven't been around much after all.

Some unexpected work projects came up where my presence was required but that is a good thing because it means money and money is good. Other than that....

I may have mentioned before that I have been driving since I was 18 and have never been involved in a car accident. Not even a fender bender. Until Tuesday. Since it has been getting light later, I have been driving Littlest to school. Because my kids don't drive and possibly never will...anyway..I may have also mentioned HOW I have been driving them for twenty years. No, not in my pajama's. I get up and change from my pajamas into something much worse. Most recently that would be my cool weather uniform of faded yoga pants-with a hole, old green chenille sweater-with two holes, over giant t shirt (no bra), flip flops and hair that may or may not have been brushed. Every morning I pray that I don't get in a fender bender or get a flat and become a mockery on the side of the road. Does that stop me? No. I get up at 5:30 and leave the house at seven and the school is only 5 minutes away. Getting dressed for that is not worth the trouble. Particularly if I'm coming straight home to blog work at the house for a few hours. So. Tuesday Lit and I are approaching her school when "what the hell are you doing?!" a truck turned Right In Front Of Me! But I am an excellent driver and I stopped before I was eating airbag for breakfast. The lovely teenage driver behind me? Well she stopped in time too ( though later when I mentioned it was my first accident she cheerfully told me she had been in three!)  I had just started to move forward again, when the teacher behind her-slammed the the back end of her Mercedes with his ten year old Ford Ranger and I said, "Oh Lord that didn't sound good and then I said, "Are you serious?" Because, she was suddenly forced forward too and I was involved in an accident. We all pulled over and as far as I could see I had no damage. The Mercedes and Ranger were not looking as good. But I stayed anyway. I have never done this and we did get jolted pretty hard. I wasn't sure what to do. But by the time the cop came, I just told him what happened, said I was fine and asked if I could leave. Then I did.  Do you recall Middlest graduating in the spring? This was HER math teacher. End of Story.

 Oh Wait. Did I mention that it was one of the 1 out of every 500 times, in the past twenty years,  that I had to go to work directly after dropping kids off and was fully dressed?
There is a God.

In other news...

Middlest moved out two months ago and she's had a bit of a rough time. First, as soon as she moved out her manager at work cut her down to about 6 hours a week at work. This guy is a first class jerk in many ways and this was just the latest. So she had to find a second job. And she did. At a different sub shop. Which is when the jerk at the first place fired her for working at the second place. But the manager at the new job was understanding and they gave her a lot of hours. So she was doing ok.
Then. A few weeks ago we get a knock at the door. Surprise,  it was a detective! With photo's. Of our beautiful daughter with the most unsavory characters I have ever seen since Biggest was 15. Now it's been a long time since the police showed up concerning one of my children and the previous times I was the one who called them. I have only recently come to a place where I thought I could breathe easy. Can you feel the panic? Yeah. Me too. The detective wanted to question her about these fellas. Seems they had some questionable tattoo's that alerted someone in McDonald's to call the police. They were asked to leave the restaurant and Middlest Went With Them. They were walking down the road when they were stopped and questioned as to why they were in the area. Along with my child. They said they were just passing through and the police began keeping an eye on them. They lost track of them and they wanted to find out if Mid knew their whereabouts. What was my daughter doing associating with these people? She was being an idiot she was sketching them because she likes painting unusual or freaky looking people. These were not just unusual people.  This girl has no common sense. Thankfully, she hadn't seen them again. Biggest and DecentGuy were both Livid. Not only because they felt responsible for her but also because she was putting them in danger by treating these people as acceptable. I reminded Biggest that she has romanticized street figures in her stories and her sister does not have the experience to tell the difference between 'regular' street and criminal. They were about fed up with her at that point but were giving her another chance. At the time we had a talk with her about what would be expected if they told her to leave and she came home. Her Dad listed her responsibilities and the rules. He pointed out that she still would not have to pay rent but would have to supply her own snacks and personal supplies. Then for some reason he randomly threw in,
 "Except toilet paper. We buy it in bulk and we have plenty. So you don't have to provide your own TP."
In the end Middlest weighed the options. They were almost identical, the only differences being she paid rent with Biggest and we had an earlier weekend curfew. She decided to pay for the curfew and stay where she was. Common sense people. Seriously. I must have missed some kind of essential nutrient when I was pregnant with her. So anyway.

 A few days later Middlest called to chat on her way to work. She was in a good mood. She had just cashed her paycheck, gave Biggest her rent and was looking forward to going to the store after work to get some food because she was out. Of Food.  A few hours later at 7 PM I get a phone call.  All I hear is sobbing. Finally I am able to make out that it's Mid and she cries,

"I lost my wallet! It Had All Of My Money In It!"

What!!!?

 "I'm so hungry. I just wanted to get my food and I needed to get toilet paper! She burst into heavy sobs again. "I Dooon't haave aaannnny Toiiiiilet PaaaPerrrr!"

God has a sense of humor.

I finally got her to calm down. Then I told her, "I know that sucks honey and I'm sorry. You have to be super careful and not carry that much with you. The first thing you need to do is call the bank right away and tell them your debit card is gone before someone gets that money too." To which I received the answer, "There isn't any money in it." Yep. She cleaned out her account in two months. There wasn't a huge amount in it but there was more than enough to carry an emergency like this. So what did we do? Well the next day The SeaMonkey took her to the store and bought her some groceries- and toilet paper. Biggest gave her some of the rent money back so that she could ride the bus and have something extra in case she needed it. But she grumbled over it because Middlest had wasted her money on stuff like a new camera and unnecessary clothing items. I would remind her that Middlest did have to learn more about responsibility and appeared to be learning but just turned 18 two months ago and she shouldn't expect miracles. Over the past two weeks she has learned to live with no money and owing people on top of it.  Biggest continued to call me a million times to complain about how irresponsible she was. When I talked to Middlest I would get the other side of the story and find the most likely reality somewhere in the middle.

I finally have the answers to the questions I was wondering about not long ago. No. There is no money left in that account. Yes! She dumped the Douche (Who was 21 and wasn't going to college and also had no car, no job,  lived with his mother and was cheating on her). Some Good News. She likes the shift manager at her new job. Ok. She is actually dating the shift manager at her new job, (Who is 25 but has two jobs and goes to school too- !)  so I don't think she will get fired anytime soon.  She has learned a lot of hard lessons in a very short time. All lessons that she absolutely needed to learn and may not have if she hadn't been on her own.

Biggest called:  the other day and was on a tirade about Mid and how she was always off with her friends. I said as long as she was keeping up with what was asked of her I didn't think what she did with her time was Biggests business. But she still wasn't satisfied with how she kept up with things. Middlest had mentioned what Biggest considered, 'keeping up with things.' When she was finished I called Mid and asked if she wanted to visit me after work. I offered to pick her up and came up on her from behind in the car and noticed that she getting so skinny that her skinny jeans were loose. I brought her home and her dad and I had a little chat with her.

The night before last I was reading in bed and someone came scurrying into the room and sat on the steps to my bed and snuggled their head on my arm. I asked, "What's wrong?" The sniffling answer was,

 "Nothing, I just haven't been able to do this in a long time." Sniffle.

Ms. G, you know you baby that Mama's girl don't you?

Yeah. I know.

While Littlest found a whole lot of reasons to not miss Middlest she also realized she had no one to call in when she found something funny on YouTube, borrow boots from and worst of all- burst into song with.

I spent the first evening Mid was back doing something I missed: Being serenaded by an impromptu duet performance of various musical numbers from Cats, Disney and Avenue Q.

When Biggest came home and saw that Middlests' things were gone she cried.

Lessons learned.

I would like to go do my blog visiting now but I will have to catch up on my reading (AGAIN) later. My back is pretty sore and I could barely finish this. I think I need to go lay down with a heating pad.

But that's ok. I'm feeling thankful anyway.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where'd I Go?


Well. Shopping mostly. Which was great fun and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the um....'assets'? I have aquired from my blogging experience over the past two years. I also cleaned out some closets ( more on that later), including massive amounts of stuffed animals my daughters have hoarded. I let them choose what they wanted most. Middlest has her whales of course, Littlest rescued Pooh and his friends, and Biggest has a special Disney Friend that she doesn't want at her house but refuses to let me throw away. It's now hanging out in my office. Painted the inside of my house, replaced my kitchen cabinet knobs and all the door knobs ( Or my husband would say he did all that), whatever, supervision is very taxing. We are still working on refinishing the floors. We had a visit from some detectives (more on that later too). Why I was chosen to have this kind of mess follow me throughout my life I have no clue. There better be presents somewhere along the line. I attempted to get back in the habit of finding some new books to read and actually reading them with some success. This can be a difficult occupation in my house because my husband is not a big reader and doesn't get that interrupting me every five minutes is not conducive to following a story. All I can say is, Thank God For Football Season! Anyway.

I learned that blogging is indeed addictive and it took a couple days to wean myself off lurking and Stay Away! But I did so and also learned that taking a break does not necessarily clear my head for focus but might actually clear my head completely and make it hard to restart.  I found that for the miniscule amount that I get accomplished in blog world I take a vast amount of time to do it and actually found myself wandering through finished work of all kinds with ample time left over. Which might also explain the shopping. Might give my husband a whole new perspective on the time I spend blogging ; ) I also learned that, rather than a blog break, what I actually needed was a real vacation. So I am taking one. In two weeks, YAY!!!! Can you feel the joy? I'm upward bound as soon as possible. Shining up my hiking stick. Giddy. Giddy. Giddy. Yep.

And last of all, Am I ready for Halloween?

Well of course I am. My new office assistant and I are ready to go.


I am well prepared. See?



What Butterfingers? I have no recollection of buying a bag of Butterfingers too......


Our credit card statements and I can't wait for me to get over and visit your blogs!
See You Soon : )


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Saturday, October 15, 2011

That Was Fast

I started this blog two years ago today. I'm amazed at how time has flown. When I began I had a just turned 14 year old, a just turned 16 year old and an engaged 22 year old. Now they are 16, 18 and 24 + married. Wow! My kids are growing out of my blog : ) But that's ok. When I started I was worried and  frustrated with the girls and bored with my routine. Now I am worried, frustrated, and suffering from a lack of focus on any routine. I still have many stories I want to tell. I also love to read your blogs as much as I enjoy creating mine. But I need some time to gather my thoughts. So I'm giving myself a Blogcation. Not for long.  Are you kidding? I'll probably be back next week. But for the moment I just want to say to those who have stopped by to read and comment and particularly those that have actually stuck around, You Guys Are The Best : )

THANK YOU FOR HUMORING ME!

It means the world to me truly : )


© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It'S OCTubular


Yeah. I know. I have no idea.Whatever.

I was trying to think of a title and my husband came in and told me he was going surfing. However it is Most Awesome October! The moon kind of snuck up on me this month. But it's Bitchin!

Anyway....

Biggest called.

At least three times to say she was gonna kill Middlest but so far she hasn't kicked her out.

Middlest celebrated by bringing home a flea ridden kitten she found at the bus stop. This is almost a pre-requisite to living at Biggests' house but I don't think she was expecting it.  I'm not going to remind her that once the kitty litter makes it through the front door you are committed. Not to the cat. To the sister. Although she should know this because every time she wants to kill DecentGuy and move home, I ask what she is going to do with all those animals. He owes me big time for keeping his marriage intact. Oh wait. He's putting up with TWO of my daughters. hee hee.

Yeah. I know. How did he fall for this idea? Whatever was he thinking?

Maybe he should take up surfing with the SeaMonkey. Excellent place to hide. Anyway....

Littlest has been kicking butts left and right and getting stripes on her belt at Jiu Jitsu (Pardon me) BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU because apparently the world will end if you don't differentiate between the different types. She is not kicking butt in school which may mean she will be kicking her own butt which will be firmly planted on the GROUND. At Home. For quite some time if she doesn't get past worrying about breaking up with the poor boy she's been going out with and focus on school. The weekend of her birthday she came up and asked if she could go to the movies with ----. I said, 'yes' and she said she wasn't sure and I said,  "You are 16 years old. GO On A Date and Have Some Fun." So she did but now he doesn't know enough about BRAZILIAN Jiu Jitsu and she doesn't know enough about playing guitar and apparently this is grounds for dating annulment.

She keeps following me around asking, "How do you break up with a boy?"

I told her I have no idea. I honestly can't remember. She would not let up and I told her to ask her dad. After all,  he's a boy. He asked what was going on and I said, "Would you please tell her how to break up with someone?" To which he helpfully called out,

"I used to just tell them I was dating another girl but I don't know if you want to try that one!"

Yeah. I know : ) What a great idea. Whatever would I do without him? He So deserves to go surfing.


Anyway.....

Octubular Moon Music









UPDATE! Littlest informed me at dinner that she was giving the boy another chance because he started working out. He said he was tired of his girlfriend being stronger than him. Apparently this is cute. ; )

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Monday, October 10, 2011

I Ain't Missin Pooh At All ; )

Middlest has been gone over a month. I have to say it has been strange but not as strange as I expected. You may wonder, "don't you miss her?"  I have to say, No. Not really.

In my everyday life of getting through the day I actually do not miss her at all. I hardly notice she's gone except that it's quieter and cleaner around here and that doesn't seem to be concerning me. I would say that we have made a smooth and seamless transition. Part of it may be that I am very good at removing troublesome thoughts and thinking of something else. ( As I have said before, Any resemblance to my Middle Daughter is purely a coincidence and means nothing ; ) Another part may be that I seldom miss my children much when I am not with them. In the 24 years I have been a parent I have never sent my kids away. They didn't go to summer camp. I never packed them off on a trip to grandparents who lived far away. We had a lot of togetherness in our family and even with the two whole trips my husband and I took alone, up until the past couple years, I think all the time I spent away from my girls would equal less than a month. So no. I don't really miss her presence all that much.

It's also true that she isn't far away and I can see her or call her as often as I would like. That makes it easier, I guess.  But I don't. I've seen her three times. I don't call her and check on her and see what she is up to and what's going on. (Biggest gives me reports) She needed to escape from mothering and do things on her own. I find it hard after so many years to break that pattern and when I talk to her it's habitual for things to slip out. Like,
 "How much money do you have left in your account?" And, "Why are you still dating that douche?"

So I remain silent and aloof. I do what I do every day with hardly a ripple of change disturbing my pattern.
The answer is no. On a day to day routine basis, I do not miss Middlest.

We are having a Nor' Easter where we live. The wind is kicking up a fuss and it has been Blustery and blowing like...well wind. Really wild, out of control,  gusty wind.

Middlest called.
She said, "I had to call and tell you this. Biggest is still asleep and I don't have anyone else to tell."
I braced myself. Oh Lord. What has happened. What is wrong.

Mid: I woke up this morning and I thought , "It's 'Windsday'! I feel like going outside and dancing around and shouting to everyone,  It's Windsday!  It's Windsday!".  Like from Pooh Bear.

Me: That's because it is 'Windsday'. I thought the same thing.

Mid: Oh Good. I thought it was just me.

And that. That is when I missed her.






© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Getting My Grooves On

Happy Birthday they say, you are Forty Six!
Sometimes I'd rather they just threw some sticks

because rocks might break my hip and then I'd die of pneumonia

The years carved in my forehead, rings in the tree
The passing of years has strengthened me

unless the wind blows too hard because I'm starting to lose balance

I have obtained wisdom I would never return
To the innocent girl with a whole lot to learn

cause these knees might go with it and she had a whole lot of roller skating to do

You can also read Joy in the fine lines I wear
Written from neck line to graying hair

at least I can with some 2.75 readers

So I've tipped the balance in the middle of where
If I live to be ninety it's all down hill from there

which is good cause I'm really out of breath

I would not trade a trade a thing I've learned
I would not take back a moment I've earned

except maybe when my boobs disappeared...

And I really don't mind that I've grown to middle age
Gone through the mill I like being this page

cause even though it's been crumpled up it will smooth right out with some Olay,  Right?

; )


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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gotta Go!

Time to travel. I knew I had a business trip but it just came a day earlier than I expected. I had planned on some sort of post before I leave but now there is no time. And this was a pretty eventful week too! But today I was given 12 hours to do 36 worth of what has to be done before I leave. If you stop by you can play in my archives or maybe visit some of the cool people in my blogroll. Oh! And next week is a very exciting week for me. I get older. My blog gets older. It Will be October!!!!!! I'll be back in a few days. Have a lovely weekend people. I will catch up with you when I get back : )

Traveling Music.....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Through No Glass Darkly


It is nearly dusk. I lift my glasses like kicking a pair of tight shoes off at the end of a day. My face feels the same relief as my feet, suddenly light and unencumbered.  As I lift my eyes my world becomes a Monet painting. Blurred edges and radiating light. Clumps of color and texture forming images that are recognizable but indistinct. Detail fades into light and shade. Green and greener, brown and black the oak tree limbs in their frozen game of Twister. I notice constant movement traversing the trunks. The traffic of chattering housewives stocking up for their families. A question mark standing out against a patch of blue light. The fig rustles in the wind like a dust mop shaken on a back porch. A flash of red,  I know it by it's size and vibrance. No need to wait for the staccato tapping on a knot hole. Another red flash that appears to be the same size but closer in. I know this too. I don't need to see it's partner almost blended away in a a patch of dirt, a blob on the grass, to know it's species. A swooping flash of gray could be anything. But I know it by it's mocking shouts of warning. I search the ground to find the danger. A patch of color that does not grow in the garden. I find the golden victim of this outrage glowing motionless in the sun. There. Though the stripes cannot be ascertained and the tail wrapped neatly at the base does not twitch to give it away I know what it is, I think. It might just be a jug of chlorine forgotten beside the pool.


© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Didn't Write This Week

I heard that sigh of relief all the way over here thank you ; )

Anyway, What have I been doing instead?

Well.

I'd like to say reading a good book. But I read a really lame one. Even more annoying,  I spent money on it which I normally don't do unless I already love it. But I grabbed it anyway when it caught my eye at the grocery store even though  I Know When It Says: New York Times Best Seller on it And it's At The Grocery Store there is a 90% chance it's going to be crap but all the FREE books I am hoping to read are checked out at the library and I'm on a waiting list so....I'm not going to say what book it was because the day I write a great novel I might have some ground to criticize.

Let's just say you could question the quality when you are so involved you stop reading in the middle of a paragraph in a Suspense Novel because you find an advertisement in the middle of the book and read it instead to see if it's one of those Free Books but then we keep sending you more to pay for scams...and it is...yeah....

I'm sure it has nothing to do with my Internet going out for a couple hours and being bored and noticing, Hey, this computer has some games on it with free trials and trying something called Black Hawk Striker 2 and becoming hopelessly addicted to it and after the internet is back up, paying for something called Wildcoins to continue to play it because Ms. G. likes to shoot at things and blow stuff up. Come on now. Be Serious.

 I have no idea who the person on the high score list called MOM is.......a total stranger .... maybe.... but her score actually moved up two slots last night after she defeated level 3 and she changed her name to The Mom. I forgot to update the picture before I she someone turned it off....


Perhaps I was inspired, because though I love my middle daughter, I was so pleased that when she moved she actually got all that mess of hers out of here and the absence of her stuff spread through every room in the house and the energy consumed in nagging her about it, galvanized me into action and I not only gutted 5 trash bags worth of crap I'd been hoarding in some cabinets, my entire house has been dusted, vacuumed, mopped, polished and scrubbed, including base boards, bed made and laundry caught up, Every. Day.

Oh Yes I Did!

Of course when I looked in the hall closet.....



 I realized by the stack of boxes shoved in that she didn't actually get Everything out of here and left behind this special box of treasures for safekeeping.

No. I didn't write a post even though I've been working from home this week and going to great lengths to not actually get dressed and leave the house, but I did spend some time in the yard.

 Look what my husband found.

Isn't that just the cutest thing?

I Did Not Say Aww! Can We Keep Him?...maybe...

i named him ed
Did we then carefully place him on the edge of the woods and stand over him for fifteen minutes waiting for him to move and discuss how worried we were about him and we hoped nothing would eat him and that he would have a long happy life and grow up to be a big strong turtle and start his own turtle family?
What do you think? ; )


Last of all it would not be a Ms. G random picture post without some FUNGI!!!




This is one of those times when I wish I was a better photographer or had a better camera



The rain left me this precious tiny gift. I don't think I've ever found one is this pale yellow shade before. It makes me think of a fancy yellow party skirt. It was tiny and fragile as tissue paper and wilted away before noon. But there were some new ones this morning : )


We also celebrated my sweet SeaMonkeys birthday!  I can't show any pictures from that but he wasn't thrilled and said he was getting old.  I told him he was getting just right because I'm coming up right behind him so he will always be just the right age for me. He said that made it worth it and I say, That's why I keep him : ) That and he shares his birthday brownies with me.

See Ya Later...!

I have some aliens to blow up Important paperwork to do.

Wandering off in the middle of typing to eat a brownie now........


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Friday, September 16, 2011

Life Is But A Dream

Sometimes we are given little gifts in this life.  Tiny stitches looped far apart are pulled together and the fabric of our lives gathers around us in a snug finished piece. A gift homemade with memories and still warm from the arms of a loved one,  pressed into our hand as we say goodbye as a token to remember them by.

My mother loved a sing along. My closest brother in age was nine years older than me and the brother that I lived with at home the longest. We were the ones who sang. A recurrent theme through my childhood was my mother asking us to sing for her and with her. And we did. From my earliest memories I can see her, mostly in the kitchen, dancing and singing away. Old songs, War songs, Children's songs, Silly songs most of all. When I was still very young, I remember her stopping and saying to me, "Come on, I'll teach you to sing a round." "Sing, Row Row Row Your Boat", she instructed. I began and shortly after she followed. It took me awhile to get it. But before I knew it we were singing a round and having a grand time. The first of many times we would do so. Any chance she got she would ask me to 'round' Row Your Boat, with her. No matter how old I was I never tired of hearing her repertoire and joining in too as we would happily

Row Row Row...


September 2008
She never had any idea who we were when we visited but she was always happy to see us. She was eighty years old. She would smile and chat nonsense with all of her social graces intact. She had come to the point where most of the time it was a string of words rather than actual sentences. But one day, when I came in she was sitting motionless in a chair. Lethargic. This was unusual. I braced myself for reaching the next level. It was just so sudden. Then the nurse called me over and told me she had been getting ready to contact us. Something was wrong. Physically. This was the cause of the change, not the Alzheimer's. After tests were done we found she was having internal bleeding from the colon. My mother had a "No Heroic Measures" Directive but the gastrointerologist said they would check it out. There was no cancer. A small tear. It was repaired. It went very well they said. No problem but they couldn't be sure it wouldn't happen again.  But when I visited her back at the nursing home the next day,  she was lying in bed and did not wake at all during my visit. She was so pale and still. You could barely see her breath rise and fall. Her arm was swollen. The skin stretched tight. She had developed a blood clot. She was being given blood thinner but we were told to be prepared. I realized then I might never see her up again. Might possibly never see her open her eyes. It could be over at any time. They told my brother he needed to sign some papers. Even with my mothers instructions already in place they wanted back up paperwork showing that the directives were understood by the family. I could tell he did not not like this job. All I could do was be there with him for support.

The next morning I met with my brother in the lobby. After he  finished the paperwork we climbed on the elevator to go check on our mom. At the end of the hall I entered the room, expecting to see my mother lying there, much like the day before. There was no one in the room. Panic immediately set in. I turned to my brother, "She's not here!" Where is our mother? We hurried down the hall to the nurses station with frightened thoughts flashing through my brain. Had it already happened? Did they forget to tell us? What did they do with our mom?

"Mrs. --?, said the attendant, she's right over there in the common room, we got her up today."

You What?

I turned and my eyes frantically searched the room. There she was. My brother and I looked at each other in confusion and disbelief. What the heck was going on here?  Our mother was dangerously ill.

 "Hey mom", we came to see you".  She seemed perfectly fine physically. There was no swelling visible in her arm at all. The clot was not there. I don't know who we were that day, but she was glad we came. Her bright blue eyes were shining and clear. Her smile quick. We did the usual, asking how she was, telling her what was going on with us and she answered politely even though she had no idea what we were talking about. Her hair was a mess. My mother was always extremely picky about her hair and I couldn't stand to see it that way, knowing how upset she would have been if she was aware of it. I  stood, pulling my brush out of my bag to try to smooth it down. She loved having her hair brushed and now she did as she always had, closing her eyes and leaning her head back to enjoy it.  My brother and I kept exchanging glances of bewilderment.
  This was an Alzheimer's unit and the elderly people who were still mobile began to congregate near the front of the room where a young woman with a camp counselor voice boomed out that it was time for everyone to gather around. My mother was distracted from our visit. It had been a very long time since I had seen the mother I loved and the woman who was my dear friend. She had been confused, sometimes incoherent, angry, in tears, like a child and serenely polite, but never my mom anymore.
  My brother and I whispered that it would be a good time to go. We both had kids to pick up from school soon. The camp counselor for the aged called out in a rousing tone, come on everyone, it's time for sing along! My mother looked toward the others lined up in their chairs ready to clap and sing.  Her eyes lit up and she smiled, " Oh Boy!" We told her, "I guess we will go now,  mom. You go have fun."  She turned to us her eyes alight, No, you don't have to go yet do you?  Come on! You sing too! I flashed through the years to our old kitchen. "Come on. You sing too."  My brother and I shrugged and sat back down. Just like a preschool class the gray haired children around us clapped their hands and raised their voices. Children's songs. They all still knew the words. "Okay, it's time for Row Your Boat" their leader cried.
I watched my brother, the one who all our lives had been lively and musical and full of fun. I watched him change from the posture of stress and sadness, and grin. My mother sang, she tapped her feet. We laughed. We sang. Loud and clear we joined the boisterous choir rowing in our chairs. We rowed along our mirth and our mothers joy and memories and miracles.

Merrily Merrily Merrily......

It was time to go. "You have to go now?" my mother asked politely but cheerfully as we rose. "Yes. Do you want to move up closer to the others?"  "No. I'm fine here."  Hugs and kisses. I love you. I love you. I love you too. I will see you soon. She forgot we were there before we even reached the end of the room. We got on the elevator and as we waited for the doors to close, I turned to watch my mother. Framed in the opening, she sat erect in her straight back chair. For a moment she frowned,  rubbing her hands together nervously. She looked lost. I felt as strong a pull as I have ever felt in my life. I want to go back. I want to stay. I want my mother. The doors began to close and I almost reached to push the button and get off again but at that moment the next song began and she perked up with a smile. As the doors closed over my view she once again began to sing along. I decided to let it be. We had a nice afternoon.  And my children would be waiting soon, for their mother.
 It had been a very long time since the three of us sang together. I have no clear memory of how the room around us looked. It was full of people who are a background blur. I hear the voices. Like when we were children, our world in that hour revolved around our mother. We sang with our mother that day. We had a good time with her.  Best of all, so did she.

When we reached the parking lot my brother and I were fit to be tied. She was doing great! We were totally confused. We could not believe what had just happened. He would need to call the doctors and see what was going on. "I don't know what to do," he said. Our sister had moved to England and had already purchased her plane tickets to hurry home and see our mom.  "I don't think she can get a refund, he said, and I don't know whether she should still come back now or wait." I didn't know either. But it looked like maybe we had all been granted a reprieve. We had certainly been granted a lovely visit with mom.  My sister decided to come home anyway in the end. That was good. I was glad she did. Perhaps my mother could sense somehow that all of her children were close by. Because in the middle of the next night, shortly after my sisters plane landed , with barely a ripple my mother peacefully drifted away in her dreams.

Gently down the stream.


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