Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Got A Nice Patina

Next week will be My and the SeaMonkey's Silver Wedding Anniversary.

Back when we were first married 25 years seemed like A LONG TIME. Now I look at it and think, where did it go? That was fast.  I could get all mushy and write a post about how much we still love each other. Because we do.
Or I could write about what it takes to make a marriage last,  but....the fact is,  that marriage can be hard and having arrived at this milestone I have no easy, simple or anything not approaching endless, answers as to why we've made it this far.
 Except we still love each other. Because we do.

 So I thought it would be easiest to tell the story of my wedding. It had it's ups and downs and could be a vignette representing how things go in our lives.

One evening we were planning on going out and I was ironing the Seamonkey's shirt because I was being all "wifely" and stuff as a*hint *hint,  when the SeaMonkey came in and set a box on the ironing board and said, "Will you marry me?" and kind of walked off a few feet like he thought I would throw it at him. I said, yes, of course, why else would I be doing all that ironing and called my mom and best friend and then we went out. We met in December, moved in together around February and this was around April, I think. You see we had already talked about getting married so even though the moment was a surprise the concept wasn't. After much thought we settled on the following February. Valentines day of course.

Ok, disorganised young people with no money plan a wedding.

My parents were of the "You've been living together and you want a what" old school of parents who were not going to pay a huge amount for a wedding for people who already lived together. I think they were still paying for my oldest sisters wedding 15 years earlier. Anyway, they would pitch in but it would be small. One day at work my mom called and said there was an antique show at the mall and she saw the cutest dress. After work she and I went to see it. Now my fantasy wedding dress would have been  Maria's in Sound of Music. This was a WW2 era dress but the resemblance stopped there. It was hand made. Custom sewn for someone. It was beautifully made. Top to bottom cream lace.  Princess style. It wasn't what I envisioned but it was lovely. And the price was right. We shlumped across the mall with it to the food court restrooms where I tried it on. With an audience of about 10 other young women in the restroom, it was packed! By some miracle it fit like it was sewn for me. "Are you getting married?" "Oh, that's so pretty." "You should get it!" All sweet comments from my new friends. I had a helpful peanut gallery of people I'd never seen before. So I bought it. For $150.00.

We would have one attendant each. I went to JC Penney to get a veil and let my Maid of Honor/BFF/Otherwise known as 57ChevyBug/ pick out a red dress. I bought it for her because her budget was even tighter than mine. This gave me the go ahead to harrass her that I was dressing her as a scarlet woman to offset my virginal purity.  Then the bridal shop lady let me know she had a side thing going on and could make my veil, the cake, topper and silk flowers really cheap! Now BFF the Bridesmaid worked for a florist but we didn't need very much and being me I liked the idea of keeping them forever, so silk it was!!

Now I won't get into the long story of church but it was yet another miracle when I found out my husbands family were members of a Lutheran church that I had often attended with friends as a child and had always loved even though my family were Catholics. We both loved the pastor. That was easy : )

 My favorite color at the time was red. A large portion of my clothing and my car were red and we thought Valentines day would be perfect because we were so romantic and stuff, right? And I already bought a red bridesmaid dress and found cream tuxes with red cummerbunds to rent! Except we really didn't know what we were doing and by the time we got to it,  February 14th was booked up at church. So we moved it back a couple weeks to March. Thank God we realized we needed to do this before invitations, which we also barely did in time. We splurged on those. Because my parents paid for it.  I still have half a box of them because I messed up and counted how many people were coming instead of couples or families.

My bachelorette party was me, my BFF/Bridesmaid/57ChevyBug and my mom and two aunts and my moms friend who was like an aunt, drinking hot tea and talking. It was Perfect : )

Oh yeah, My family gave me a shower. A family shower where I was given a lovely negligee and my brother N remarked ;

"Oh yeah, wrap it in a pretty package and make him think he's getting something new."
Sweet, Huh?

Finally it was The Day.

We lived in a very warm climate. I woke early that morning just before light and peeked out the window to witness the dawn of my wedding day and:
It Was Snowing! Amazing and Beautiful. What could be a more perfect sign!
My husbands friends said it was a sign Hell froze over because he was getting married ; )

My BFF and I had spent the night at my moms even though she was already married. We needed one more night of giggle on the couch before we were both officially grown ups. We began our day by driving into town to the JC Penny Side Job Ladies house to get the supplies. She actually did an incredible job. My stuff was truly beautiful! My BFF did the driving. She was the worst driver in the world. We had a huge shared copy of East of Eden we passed back and forth for years, that I stole from the library when we were 14. (Hey,  at least  my juvenile delinquent self was limited to stealing good literature from the library. I paid for it later, truly, I swear! With overdue library fines. ) Anyway, the book was on her dashboard and she took a corner like Richard Petty and I watched as it slid all the way across the dash and plummeted toward the cake. Which was in my lap. I let go with one hand a caught it just in the nick of time. Well almost. Just in time for it to only nick a tiny spot on the cake. That Was Close!

Ok, later at my moms we were fixing our hair. I had very long straight hair. My mom just wouldn't have that . My long hair had been driving her crazy for years. She was so upset that I had gone all fashiony for a few years and wore it styled and then regressed, when I met my surfer dude,  into Malibu Barbie again so she sent the BFF and I to a salon. As I sat down I realized the chick in the next chair was the bar waitress who constantly flirted with my future husband and would bring him drinks without being asked and pointedly did not bring them to me. We made sure we loudly discussed what we were getting dolled up for. I didn't scratch her eyes out because I had just done my nails and besides I was getting Married-LOUDLY. The stylist then turned my hair into a wild mass of cork screw curls that stuck out from my head kind of like a fair haired Roseanne Roseannadanna. Maybe she was friends with the other chick. Who knows! The SeaMonkey said he liked it later.
Maybe it made him feel like he was getting something new...; )

Finally the BFF and I arrive at Church and are directed to the children's Sunday School room to get ready. We dressed in our gowns and realized we were still early so we sat at the piano and banged out Heart and Soul together repeatedly. Which is something we had been doing since we were thirteen and it really is one of my favorite memories of my wedding. Then everyone else showed up.
My dress was old.  My shoes were new. My garter was blue. Something borrowed? Well, close enough. My mom came in and started screwing with my hair because, just think, she didn't like it. Then almost at the last minute we realized the comb from my veil was missing. At that moment the Pastor came by to say "Hi, are we ready to start" saw our panic and then ran all over the church, wearing his surplice,  lobbying for bobby pins. Something borrowed. There you go.

What was the SeaMonkey up too? Well.  As I mentioned,  my wedding was cream colored with red accents. The Seamonkey had a cream colored tux. The Seamonkey was known for going commando and didn't think ahead. He put on the cream tux and realized Uh Oh! But his brother came to the rescue so he was wearing something borrowed too ; )

The rest is a huge blur that cleared momentarily at the reception but then fogged over again near the punch bowl ; )

According to the photo's everything was lovely and we had a wonderful time.

The next day we set off on our honeymoon. We didn't have reservations because part of our plan revolved around how much cash was in our wedding cards so we counted it the next morning. We took all our wedding gift money and what we had been able to save and thought we'd be able to travel a little bit and check out the night life in Atlanta and maybe continue on to the mountains for a couple days. That was all the time we had and all we could afford. We hopped in our pick-up truck with the giant mud tires and were off. Just my new husband and I and.....the dog because we didn't have anyone to take care of him. It was also freezing out so let me phrase that as: Just me, my new husband and a doberman squeezed into the cab of the truck.

(Customary Digression to say that if you think it's weird to bring a dog on your honeymoon, when my BFF 57 ChevyBug got married I bought her honeymoon. Not much, just a cabin in the woods for a weekend because they wouldn't have had one otherwise. At the time another friend (a girl) was living with them and ChevyBug kept complaining about her always being around. So I rented them a cabin so they could have some time alone and then when they went on their honeymoon they Brought the Girlfriend With Them! Now that was weird. But maybe that's why we were BFF's for so long. We didn't ask personal questions, like, " if I spent money to send you somewhere why the hell did you bring Debbie? " Girl wore bright red nail polish and earrings with a pale pink floral dress to my wedding. Clashed up several snapshots.)


We roared along the freeway until we hit the outskirts of Macon Georgia. Quite the Metropolis in 1986. I think they had 2 stop lights ; ) Which is when we heard the loud bang....of one of the tires popping. The SeaMonkey put on the spare and we hobbled along on a tilt and just hit town before another tire blew out. So we went directly to a tire shop. Where they took most of our money. Big mud tires cost a lot more than normal tires. Then again,  it's lucky we were in that truck because otherwise we would have stood out like sore thumbs and someone may have noticed when we snuck the dog into the Holiday Inn. (All we were missing was a gun rack but the truck was pretty new and it wasn't hunting season so they probably figured we hadn't put it up yet) Luckily we still had enough money for a Holiday Inn and that they actually had a Holiday Inn and there was a Steak and Ale within walking distance. We could have a nice meal and A Drink for sure. Except it was Sunday and a dry county so we had a soda instead. Then we went back to the room and hung out with the dog. And came home Monday.

For years I thought I would like to throw a party for our 25th Anniversary. Invite all the people that were at our wedding. Most of them are still around with the exception of my parents and my husbands best friend from that time who have passed away and sadly my BFF/57ChevyBug who now belongs to a religious cult in another state and thinks I'm Satan. Seriously. So some important people are missing and we don't see the others socially anymore. And.  Despite our fuzzy beginnings we aren't much for the parties these days. Having thrown another wedding just over a year ago that kind of fills my party tolerance quota for a good while. Though I sometimes joke,  we actually rarely drink and don't go out much. We are simple folk. And Luckily, we had the chance to sneak in some fun on our recent trip because, How WILL We Be Spending Our Silver Anniversary?

Well, I will be spending it at the hospital with my sister while she has bi-pass surgery on her femoral artery.   I really don't mind at all. You see, one thing we did learn in 25 years is that the things that seem to be constant are US and Family.  Being there for each other is what really matters. (besides, who wouldn't be there for a woman who says, "I don't know about the surgery. Maybe if I lose my leg Paul McCartney will marry me after all!" ; ) I need to make sure she gets on that table. Plus,  we are also in the middle of a big project and wouldn't have had time for a "Ta Do".

We have had many Wonderful and Blessed times. We have had Troubles and Heartaches to spare. I guess you could say this silver has some tarnish. In the corners and crevices it has settled in but it makes the shiny bits gleam more brightly. I find it so much more beautiful that way. More depth. More character. This 25 years has been used and used well. It has withstood everyday use as well as fancy, formal and solemn occasions. Taken it's bumps and falls and scratches and it's glow still shows through.  I wouldn't want it back shiny new and polished for anything in the world.

I think it has a Wonderful Patina. One that makes it More Valuable in my eyes.

When I was about fifteen I heard a song. I would sometimes get tears in my eyes when I heard it. It was a simple little song but I remember thinking it was one of the sweetest songs I ever heard and really described all I ever wantedTo be loved and needed in a way that was lasting and strong. I hoped that someday someone would feel that way about me. And that I would feel the same way about him.

I didn't imagine as far as being middle aged and driving down the road and having the song come on the radio and that he would still turn to me and say, "this makes me think of you." Or that I would still get tears in my eyes because it was all I ever wanted.

But you know what?

I got that. All I ever wanted.

And he still treats me like he's getting something new ; )

oops...wait...did I just get all mushy....; )

Maybe we'll throw a Kegger for the 50th......; )

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Boys In My House

With the exception of the SeaMonkey..and some pets, we are a female household. This leads to a certain comfort zone that it can be hard to lift out of. When you have spent years wandering about in your pajama's and skipping that bra as long as you are in the house it can be disconcerting to have the sudden appearance of BOYS at the door. At least if you are modest like Littlest and me. Middlest is an exception to this. She flings bras about the house like Marti Gras beads, so there is usually one at hand in case of an emergency. On the couch. On the kitchen counter. Sometimes the pantry...

With Biggest married and Mid dating we had to come up with a system to deal with this inconvenience which consists of looking out the window when we hear a knock and then all sprinting to our rooms to change. Biggest knows to call first if they are coming by so I can get dressed. We are all pretty much stay in jammies until we have to leave the house kind of people.
However we do not feel comfortable sharing our ...jammi-ness with others.

Truly the fact is that we don't know what to do with boys. We don't know what to say to them. We don't know how to entertain them. We don't know what to feed them. And of course with each new one we have to learn to 'read' them. We first met my son in law 9 years ago and I'm just getting used to him. We are not very comfortable when it comes to company in general. We never rarely invite people over. We all feel like we have to be on our toes, even if the girl's friends are just over hanging out , because we are all such  introverted socially retarded dorks gracious hosts. Honestly, the SeaMonkey and I often just say hello to their friends and then go hide.

Over the years many boys have come by. They are rated in a system. Littlest used to rate them by whether they would play Lego's. Now it's whether they make fun of Anime when she turns it on TV and how they respond to her cheerful greeting of

"Why are there people here?"

I ask the girls to do something, say carry groceries upstairs. I see if the boys help without being asked. Most of them don't. My husband tends to be stand-offish at first and the girls say he is scary. The boys tend to avoid him...if he isn't already avoiding them.  If it looks like they will be around for awhile we drag out the scrapbooks and see how they act. Are they interested and think the girls elementary school memories are sweet? Or do they act like this is the stupidest thing they ever saw? This is one of Littlest's favorite tests as well.

Mid has been dating someone new for about a month. So it was scrapbook time but....he doesn't need to look. He was there. All through elementary school. He's actually in the book. But do you know what? He looked. At every page. Carefully.

He's carried groceries. Twice.

 I have to admit I found it hilarious recently that he stopped by one evening without notice and caught Mid, not just in pajama's makeup-her glasses-something kind of sideways happening with her pony tail-a very old paint splattered t shirt-and bright green pajama bottoms with Mountain Dew logo's on them. He acted like nothing was unusual at all. But when she ran to her room for a quick change I glanced at him and he was it was the cutest thing he's ever seen.

The other day he came by and Littlest had Anime on. She greeted him with a grumble and her best evil death glare as he sat down. And stayed there. He watched and made no negative comment. We were getting some Krystal burgers and Littlest had said she didn't want any. Then after we brought them home she changed her mind. She had one and then there was only one left and she went for it. I stopped her saying that she should offer it to our guest first since we didn't order with her in mind. She held it out to him, I'm sure thinking he would say, "no, you can have it". And then..... he ate it ; )

My husband and I are early people. Most nights 8PM we are in our bed reading and watching tv. Not ready for sleep but ready to relax and the girls are welcome to hang with us if they wish or not. Last Friday night before we left town The SeaMonkey and I were lounging about in bed. In our jammies. Mid's boyfriend had a jazz band performance and she was home. She came in and asked if it would be ok to go out when he was done. I said, sure, as long as she was home on time.

At 9:30 I heard Mid call "Mom" and she came to the door. I figured she was letting me know she was leaving.
She said "Um"...and then another head appeared behind her.

My husband and I sat frozen in bed in our jammies not sure what to do and trying to act natural. I had already done a panicked check to make sure the blanket was pulled up enough to modestly cover the thick green hooded chenille sweater I was wearing over my jammies because I was in between hot flashes. The young man hung back for just a moment before he walked on in to the middle of the bedroom and addressed my husband:

"Hey I have my trombone in the car. I was wondering if you wanted to try it?"

My husband said something like "thanks, but it's been a long time. The boy said something about having a certain kind of mouth piece and then hopefully,

"I have my Jazz music with me too? Are you sure?"

My husband begged off politely. But, you see, my husband used to play trombone and he loves Jazz.
The rest of us do not love jazz. I think the boy was hoping to play for us and maybe impress the SeaMonkey. I guess we could have had him get it and play a concert for us in our room weird even for us. The kids wandered out of the room and I turned to my husband and said,

"Well, that was different."

It was more than different,  it was The Most Blatant Effort from one of their boyfriends that I have Ever Seen.

Later I told Mid to make sure he knew we would love to hear him play soon. Maybe just with more warning.


We Kinda Like Him.

Moon Music

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heard You Were Good!

And I promised a present from my trip. Sometimes business can be a pleasure. Though this trip involved work, my husband and I did get to spend some wonderful down time. We have an anniversary coming up and it was fortuitous that business brought us somewhere we could enjoy together as a treat.  Even if after you get there the horrible hacking respiratory infection your daughter has had for 3 weeks hits you a few hours after you arrive. And even if you completely zoned out and forgot to bring your mediocre good camera. So you had to run to Walmart because where there's a will there's a Walmart...and a digital camera for twenty bucks that holds all of 12 pictures and doesn't zoom plus uses an amazing 2 mega pixels that can't be blown up.

But as promised. Here is a present. The best I could manage from tourist Walmart.

A lovely place for a stroll if you aren't hiding in your room with impacted sinuses.

You might even dip your toes in if it weren't actually really cold outside.

But, you never turn down a lovely dinner (Yay Shrimp!)
With your lovely husband ( Yay Husband!)
And A Really Incredible View Of The Sunset

Even if you can't zoom the camera or get closer.
Because you're wearing a really nice pair of boots.
And you won't wear them down on the beach.

But *SIGH*, it is Lovely
And you do your best to very carefully choose the perfect twelve photo's
 your new piece of crap camera can hold.
So I give you this sky so beautiful that even I and my cheap camera could not completely ruin it.

And A Deer Butt.
; )

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mess With Your Head

The other day Littlest and I watched  NOVA, Science NOW: How The Brain Works.Episode 5, on PBS. If you haven't seen it, I suggest it. Very fascinating. But when we saw/heard this it totally blew our minds.
 Give it a try. It's fun!...and short.

Whoa.... Dude! Right? How cool is that?

Except I heard Fa Fa Fa  sooo what does that say about my brain? ; )

I am OUTA HERE This Weekend thru Tuesday so be sure and have a Happy Valentines Day while I'm gone. Post me something sweet to read when I get back!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Car Smells Like Cat Pee and other neat stuff that happened last week.

I LOve Cats! I really do. I always have and for the most part the more the long as there is room for me in my bed. But. It appears someone has decided my house is a good place to dispose of kitties. Either that or they figure out I'm related to Biggest and think this is close enough. At least the last one was courteous enough to drop off a neutered cat but not so the most recent. Then again he is so shy he may be feral but he looks well cared for so I don't know. He may belong to someone around here but I've never seen him before. I have neighbors whose names I don't know but I know what their pets are called. Anyway, it's a pretty tuxedo, he has been skulking about the bushes and challenging my cats, who are spayed and neutered and don't really care as long as he stays out of their food pile. So the other morning I start the car and crank up the heat and a little way down the road we are treated to a warm blast of Eau De Attitude. Do you know what can be done to get the reek of cat spray out of your car when they mark your  front end as their own? NOTHING. You drive along with Middlest smelling her jacket and asking if it's her and Littlest saying "yes". Anyway, I'm not bringing this one indoors. He's free to steal cat food with the raccoons or Biggest can come and get'em.

My in-laws were looking for a house to rent for awhile in town because of my FIL's health problems. They live out in the boonies about 3 hours away and they stayed with us for several days while they searched and waited for the place they found to be ready. I LOVE MY MIL. I really do. She has been awesome to me since day one. She is kind of like Marie on Everybody Loves Raymond without the deliberate underhanded insults.  And she always takes my side. She overheard my husband and I having a disagreement over something I did not finish in our business,  when he thought I should have. Even though he was wrong...but anyway..A few days later at dinner he mentioned he hadn't finished some work on our website that I Really Needed Done and she said, "Oh Really !!! You didn't finish it? : ) Sometimes she rocks. She Is HELPFUL. VERY HELPFUL. She has been a life saver when we have to work out of town. My dishes don't sit in the sink more than half an hour. She hand washes them even though I have a screwy house and s it takes at least 5 minutes to get hot water in the sink upstairs. It's ok, she doesn't mind waiting while it runs down the drain until it gets hot. Before they lived so far away we didn't get to see them much but from time to time we would hear a knock and surprise! They would stop by for a visit.

Now they are only 5 minutes away so they can stop by more often.

Did I mention my septic tank backed up last weekend so we couldn't take showers? That's ok though, my in laws stayed over at my SIL's till we got it cleared up.

I got to call the Marine Corp. this week. Littlest went online and asked for more information about attending college and become a Marine through their programs. I got a letter asking me if I knew my 15 year old was looking into the Marines. She asked if I would call and ask them to please send her information. I called and said, "why yes I do know and she likes to plan ahead." They said they aren't allowed to pursue her yet but when she was a junior she could have at it. I guess she is even too purposeful for them.

Middlest came home the other day and said:

"I had a test in German and my teacher let me draw a picture too as extra credit. "
"Do you want to see it?"

I Got A "C"

Did I mention it was Report Card Week!!!!

Middlest's report card IS: A THING OF BEAUTY & She is NOT GROUNDED.

Apparently this is what Littlest has been doing in History.

She Did Not Get a "C"

Littlest takes all the fun out of it by starting to warn me a couple weeks in advance. " My report card isn't going to be good". "I'm Failing everything." "They are probably going to kick me out." **Note: To Littlest anything lower than a C is total and complete failure. There are 3 D's on her report card. The rest are C's and one B. She is not grounded by me. She wants to live up to her own standards.

Last Monday we went to the Writers Reading performance at Littlest's school. She was last to read. I sat in the audience and watched her from a perspective I haven't since the last reading she was chosen for in 7th grade.  She sat with her face at an angle to me and I had a glimpse of the woman she will become. She looked so much older sitting up there. I thought," Look at that. She is growing into herself. This one is beautiful too."
When she walked across the stage I knew she was nervous but she stood straight and she spoke clear. Her words which are powerful and fine filled the room. She had one moment of fluster. Rushed a line but caught it up. She finished to applause and ended the performance. And I had tears in my eyes not just because she is growing and lovely and awesome but because I knew. It really was the end.

When Littlest was making her decision about  not staying at the school she said something to me.

"If I leave you have to take the sticker off your car"

It seems like a simple enough thing. How many of us have those school stickers. "Honor Student", "Varsity Whatever" Or just the name of the school itself.  I joked when she made the statement,
"I don't really have to".
 But at that moment I really knew.
She said "Yes, you do."
I said, "I know that. And it's Ok. Really. "

This decision had to be hers. As easy as it would have been to insist she do one thing or another that statement said it all. She shouldn't be stressed and unhappy and not reaching her own goals because she is afraid of not pleasing me.  She also has the maturity to realize that her grades are important to her future and she doesn't feel capable of handling this school any longer. Not even to the end of the year. Of course the cartoon I found of a girl with her head on a desk with the grim reaper behind her with a bubble saying "please get me out of here" helped me know she made the right decision too. So. Littlest will be leaving her school next week. She has goals that she feels she can't fulfill there. This gives her both more study time and down time to relax. And her teachers told her that if she hated the other school, to call them and they would get her back in. I think that removed a HUGE weight from her shoulders and I love them for that.

I am Very Proud of her performance. I am Hugely Proud and Impressed by her writing. I am Deeply Proud of her for making such a difficult decision with such maturity and foresight. She is an incredible girl.

Meanwhile I started crying at the hearing aid commercial with the old Grandpa wandering around the park All Alone because he couldn't hear. That on top of the hot flashes and such was just enough  so I went to the doctor and Got me Some ESTROGEN!! Oh yes I did. I figured trying to get it to rub off the girls wasn't working too well. I can't wait till my boobs grow back, my hair turns all gold and shiny and my skin smooths out.

That's what happens, right? ; )

I have a busy week coming up. I'll be transferring Littlest, helping my sister out with some stuff and working on an out of office project and then I will be getting my house in order for the MIL because I will be traveling for business next weekend. We are going to throw in a little fun too. If you're good maybe I'll bring you a present! I don't check my blog when I'm away so I might be responding and visiting....even less than I usually do...but I will try to check in whenever possible next week.

Does anyone know where I can get a good deal on a GPS tracker ; )

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