Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wrapping Up Summer

But only in a lightweight shawl because it's still 95 degrees here.

We have reached the end of another summer and this week was the beginning of our 19th consecutive school year. When I think of that it blows my mind. I have been doing this for a looong time. What's really strange is only getting one child ready for school. The biggest change since the 'awesome' two years I had 3 kids in 3 different schools. I was thrilled when that was over and I have to say I will be thrilled in 2013 when I never have to do this again.  And yes, I mean that. :  )If even one of my kids had been excited about being there I might feel differently. As it is the youngest regularly states that she is ready for high school to be over so she can move on with her life. Ditto.

So, how are we ending our summer....?

Biggest called.  She said:

"Decent Guy and I went to- 'the historical town nearby'. We wanted to go for a quiet nighttime bike ride. It was horrible!  The place was crawling with packs of  juvenile delinquents roaming the streets and drunks pouring out of the bars. It was ridiculous! It used to be such a quiet, peaceful place! Now it's out of control. We went down the street where 'a landmark cemetary' is and it used to be a nice ride. Now they have some bar right next to it blaring techno music! It was disgusting! It's disrespectful! The whole place was full of drunks and punk ass teenagers and the cops aren't doing anything! and more....and more.....

I said:

"You are completely right! That is ridiculous! You just put it very well. As a visitor you should let the city know how you feel. They depend on tourism. You should write a letter to the City Council, their local Newspaper and their Chamber of Commerce!... I'm not laughing. What do you mean laughing?
Why would I be laughing? No I'm not.... ; )"

Middlest finally wore me out. She applied to a few different colleges. Dithered..procrastinated...hemmed and hawed.  Then she decided not to go anywhere and to postpone school for awhile and work full time at the sub shop she's been working at since November and do art festivals. Yeah. Ok....I surrender. But. Her ideas for her future career took an interesting and actually very appropriate twist. She isn't old enough to do what she's interested in yet and I decided not to blog about it yet because every time I post about something that I think is great and I think it will go well, it immediately falls apart. (Digression)- As witnessed by Americas Got Talent sending home one of the best performers ever on the show in favor of a dance troupe who were very talented - exactly like the other half dozen dance troups this year with the exception that they were dressed like zombies. Really? REALLY????
So anyway, more on Mids new idea next year if she follows through. In the meantime... a nearby college sent her a welcome letter for her enrollment and a Parking Pass yesterday. I told her it was a sign. "Apparently God enrolled you in college so you better call and find out what classes he signed you up for."
"Oh, and he wants you to get a drivers license."

This is a year for landmark birthdays at our house and Littlest will be ending the summer by turning 16 next week. She already has her gifts in the form of a heavy bag, gloves and shin guards and it has been determined that a big Sweet Sixteen party is not on the agenda. Her scraped knuckles and bruised shins will not be accessorizing any formal gowns and that is fine with her because as she says, "I don't actually like any of my friends anyway." Which is interesting because this morning she was commenting on three different groups of friends she has been dividing her time with. She stopped for a moment and pondered, "When exactly did I become a social butterfly?" When indeed.
And when exactly are you getting your drivers license?

Cause I'm as over being a taxi as I am high school. She doesn't even have a learners permit yet. But there's hope. After all, Middlest at least got her learners permit...  two years ago.

And what about my goals? What have I accomplished this summer?

I did not clean out the closet under the stairs. I did not do any gardening. (Magic pumpkin vines not withstanding)  I did not read as many books as I wanted to. I did not get much of a tan. I did not go on vacation (Again) but I also did not bring home any giant dogs to make up for it. 
And last but not least,  I obviously did not teach anyone to drive.

So for now,

TheSeaMonkey is beside himself with joy because he has a brand new surfboard and something to ride it on but I am feeling thankful that it appears (so far) I will not be eating canned beans by flashlight and awaiting the arrival of a free skylight on my roof this week. But my thoughts and prayers go out to all those that may find themselves in that predicament in the next few days.

I still have a week of August to get through and even longer until it feels like summer is actually gone but I am ready to get the hell out of here now. Let's send it out with MacNeice.

August is nearly over, the people
Back from holiday are tanned
With blistered thumbs and a wallet of snaps and a little
Joie de vivre which is contraband;
Whose stamina is enough to face the annual
Wait for the annual spree,
Whose memories are stamped with specks of sunshine
Like faded fleurs de lys.
Now the till and the typewriter call the fingers,
The workman gathers his tools
For the eight-hour day but after that the solace
Of films or football pools
Or of the gossip or cuddle, the moments of self-glory
Or self-indulgence, blinkers on the eyes of doubt,
The blue smoke rising and the brown lace sinking
In the empty glass of stout.
Most are accepters, born and bred to harness,
And take things as they come,
But some refusing harness and more who are refused it
Would pray that another and a better Kingdom
Which now is sketched in the air or travestied in slogans
Written in chalk or tar on stucco or plaster-board

- Louis MacNeice, "Autumn Journal" 1939

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Who Are You?

She was the mother of my mothers half sister. The woman my mother was named for in a moment of kindness. My grandmothers generosity to her young stepdaughter still astounds me.
The first time I went to upstate New York, in my twenties, I called my mom and told her how beautiful I thought it was. She said that she knew. Her sister used to take her camping. She took her canoeing. My mom camping? Paddling a canoe? She never told me this before. I remember being told that after my grandparents married they moved to New York to be with the children my grandfather had left behind. My mother lived in Brooklyn for several years before they moved back here. After the older boy and girl were well grown. I look out for the lake as my husband and I travel. I feel excited as we approach, like I am visiting a well loved and missed location. As we pass the lakes I imagine my mom for a moment. A tall and skinny girl of ten, top heavy with thick hair. Her grown sister paddling them along the water free and happy. My mom said her half sister seemed happy there. She wasn't usually happy. She was an alcoholic like their father. She died young, like her mother. My mom always told me I look a lot like her..
  I imagined her mother, my grandfathers first wife, as a delicate invalid. She died so young she must have had a congenital problem of some sort, I thought. I saw her in floaty lace shifts drifting through her day. Touching her daughters head gently before collapsing to her bed in the afternoon for a rest.

My half cousin sat in my mothers house with a stack of photo's. Old black and whites. My mom as a young woman. My grandmother. Many pictures of people I never met, my grandfather, her mother and father and then last, a tall young woman. It is an outdoor scene in soft tones of varying grays. From the nineteen twenties. Her hair is dark and thick. Cut in a chin length bob full with rich waves. She is wearing a mans shirt and pants! The pants legs shoved into heavy boots. One leg is slightly raised, bent at the knee and a shotgun stock rests against her hip. The double barrel pointing skyward casually in her grip. Her torso is bisected by a side slung shell belt, shoulder to waist, fully loaded.  She faces the camera dead straight her expression forthright with a hint of challenge. Just the faintest touch of humor sparks at the corners of her eyes and mouth. She looks strong and healthy and jubilant. Fiery. I feel an instant tug of recognition. The kind that draws you to others and makes you wish to claim them.
Who is this wonderful woman? This strong rebellious nature in our past?
"This", says my half cousin, " is my grandmother, my mothers mom."
My grandfathers first wife.
My heart sinks. She isn't related to me at all.
I feel like something was snatched away from me.
I wish she were mine.

My parents weren't storytellers. My dad remained close mouthed. Facts would drop out of my mother like accidents. Slips of paper snatched by wind out of a notebook. I think I was probably nine when she said, "I learned to roller skate when I was living in New York with my sister D. My brother H bought them for me for Christmas."

 "When you were living where? With WHO?

My family history is like a filing cabinet full of Missing Persons Reports.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Please Pass the Nitroglycerin

This morning my husband got up earlier than me and left to work on one of our projects. I woke up a little later and did my usual cup of tea and check my blog and looked at my company bills. I did a little straightening up. Littlest was awake and I had promised to take her school shopping. It seemed strange to not be shopping for both of them and I thought I'd ask Mid to come along just for old times sake. About 8:30 and I popped into her room and called out, "Do you want to go with us today?" Nothing. She Was Not There. It was possible we had missed crossing paths so I yelled out her name. Nothing. I checked the porch. Nothing. I went back in her room. Her comforter was draped over her desk chair. The last place I saw her was at her desk last night around 10:30. Her bag was open on her bed. Pens and crumpled papers littered her sheets. This was not unusual. But her wallet was on the floor. I opened it. There was no ID and no money. That was unusual. I called up to Lit. Have you seen your sister? No. When did you see her last? Last night. Lit asks, "Is her bike here?"  Good question. I run out to the shed in my pajama's, certain that it would be gone and that she had undertaken some foolish journey in the middle of the night. Recently she dropped her MP3 player after work and had tried to ride up to look for it at 12:30 at night. On that occasion Littlest put her in a headlock and when she made a break for it she followed her out and locked her in the shed. Sometimes it's nice to have Littlest around because I don't lose much sleep. But Mid wasn't 18 yet when that happened. We don't have the power to tell her what to do but I do expect the respect of letting me know where she is and if she won't be home if she is living here. We were both puzzled. I start calling her phone. No answer. Someone had to have picked her up. But who? Dial- No answer. Sometimes she likes to wander outside at night. I have asked her not to because it is so secluded and random strangers have a habit of parking and partying at the end of the road. What if some creep grabbed her? Dial-No answer. What if that new guy she just met and barely knows and that I think is a Total Loser picked her up and has done something to her? Dial-No answer. What if she was hit by a car? Dial-No answer.What if she slipped out to a late party? Dial-no answer. I'll kill her! How could she be so stupid! Dial-No answer. But what if she got wasted and violated and murdered or killed in a car accident? Dial- No answer. Oh God, she's 18 now! I can't even report her missing for 24 hours! Dial-No answer. I don't want to call my husband because he is working on an important project and I don't want to get him all upset if she's just at a friends or something and didn't leave a note. I'll kill her! Dial-No answer. But I will have to tell him if I don't find her soon because something might have happened to her. Dial-No answer. "Lit, hack her FaceBook, see if there are any clues. I'm going to check our cell phone website and see what numbers she has contacted." Dial-No answer. My heart is racing a thousand miles an hour and my mind is racing between panic and enraged. I'm not sure which to pick. Dial-Answer. "Hello?"  Enraged, ok that's the one. I said a lot of Really Bad words within my inquiry into where the bleepity bleeping bleep she was. She Laughed. SHE WHAT? She bleepity bleeping thought it was bleeping FUNNY? She laughed again. I hear a GUY laughing too. Hello Space Station? That strange reading you just picked up was my blood pressure! Oh, you DO think it's funny?!

"Yes. Dads laughing too. We just came out to the car and I told him I have 12 missed phone calls from you. You were pissed. "

You think?

Apparently it occurred to my husband that he could use a hand on this job today and she is old enough to work for us now and she needed to make more money. So. She was working for us. That way I didn't have to be on site today. Wasn't that nice.  And they both forgot to tell me.

They were both bleepity bleeping A#$holes

It doesn't matter how old they are. A certain day may make you a legal adult but it doesn't make you any less someones child. At least to your mom. I'm in this for life. Right up until the moment they finally kill me.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 13, 2011

And She Was.

You are of course the prettiest, sweetest, smartest, strongest baby on earth
 and we love you very much.

                                                                         The Middlest Baby Book, August 1993

My Moonbeam. Is. All. Grown. Up. When Middlest was very small she asked if she could sleep with the moon in her bed. Being nothing if not indulgent parents we set about to take care of that. I drew a template on poster board. Her dad bought wood and we traced the crescent moon and he sawed the piece. 1/2 inch pine. None of that flimsy pressed board for my baby. I bought glow in the dark paint and covered the piece thoroughly. You can always see the moon in Middlests room.
My Mid
How appropriate that your moment of rising to adulthood coincides with the rising of a spotlight. The moon full of itself and glowing in all her glory just for You. I am sure of it. The gentle light reflects your gentle nature. Why just look at these definitions I found for 'mooning' in my editor dictionary.

 Behave or move in a listless and aimless manner
     lying in bed eating candy, mooning around
Act in a dreamily infatuated manner
of course we won't count that other definition of mooning because I know you would never do that. least not since you turned 5...and only once in a McDonalds play maze...that I know of...but anyway.....

Happy 18th Birthday to My Middlest- My Moonlight. Because my Moonshine don't sound quite right ; )

 I know you will light your own path. I know that when you seem like you have nothing left at all that you will regenerate and come back again. I have seen it over and over.  Now it is time to let go. You can't really hold the moon on earth can you? It has to rise and fall on it's own. It has to grow in its own time and if it loses some of itself along the way there is nothing to prevent it. It has its own magic and always returns to the fullness of being. It always shines through the darkness. And it's very likely that it is Swiss Cheese. Or can live on Swiss Cheese...or something like that.....
I LOVE YOU. And thank you for deciding to put put that damn tattoo where I will never see it unless you're in a bikini and I'm glad that at least it's that beautiful orca you drew and not a skull or something. ok.? still hope you chicken out....

There comes a time when these things are out of our hands. These moments are starting to rush up on me. This is now out of my control. Breathe deep. It's time to step back and just watch her rise on her own.

 She can't be Grounded anymore.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved 

Twisting the meaning just a bit to suit ourselves but..

Middlest Moon Music.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Test Your Vacuum Cleaner Savvy!!!!!

Are you a savvy vaccumer? Are you conscious of the role your vaccum plays in your life? A vacuum cleaner has myriad excuses uses. If you learn the rules of proper vacuum excuse use
you may even find you never have to use one again they come in handy for more than just carpets.

Here is a little quiz to test your vaccum savvy.

1. When you wash a floor mat without bothering to shake it out and then realize you  have dog hair in the washer, the most efficient way to clean it is:

A. A damp cloth.

B. Your husbands sock

C. Duct tape

D. A vacuum cleaner

2. When your children insist on leaving tiny toys throughout the house the best way to teach them to pick up after themselves is:

A. Call them over immediately to put their things away.

B. Sit down and build your own spaceship or look around for Barbie to see if this shoe works
     with her current ensemble.

C. Leave it there and ignore it until you step on it barefoot and then yell out a curse word.

D. The vacuum Cleaner

3. It is time to empty the canister/bag. You______:

A. Spread newspaper and slowly tilt into the trash to avoid dust.

B. Would rather eat cake than empty the vacuum cleaner

C. Would rather eat dirt than empty the vacuum.

D. Throw away the vacuum cleaner.

4. When your back is in a spasm and your shoulder is cramped, you explain to your husband that it is most likely caused by: 

A. Sitting up in bed late reading a great book you can't put down.

B. Showing your kids how to dance to Devo authentically.

C. Spending way too much time on the computer Blogging.

D. The vacuum cleaner

If you mostly answered A: Nozzle Novice- You have a little more to learn about the vacuum cleaner but practice makes perfect.  Practice This Chant: " *I* don't see any dust on the floor."

If you mostly answered B: Fuzzy Filter - You...  don't actually know where your vacuum is right now. You can take your vacuum or leave it...or possibly forget about it. You are also...kind of Awesome!

If you mostly answered C: Anti Attachment- You run your vacuum it doesn't run you. You will vacuum when and if it suits you. You priorities are straight.

If you mostly answered D: VacuuGuru-  Congratulations! You are a Master of vacuum Cleaner Excuses Uses. This takes great strength and is a highest level of Vacuum Cleaner Unconsciousness.

In Next Weeks Issue....

Proper Care and Cleaning of Table Linens!

So how did you do? What is your best excuse for use of your vacuuming skills? Anymore tips?

© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 5, 2011

Anonymom. Like Not Existing Except In Your Own Head.

Sometimes blogging anonymously can be kind of creepy. I don't mean troll creepy but maybe that's where I get the feeling. Of course I've never had a troll. I usually put that down to not being worth the trouble to harass.

I know there are a lot of anonymous bloggers who choose to do so for privacy and safety reasons. I knew I had to be anonymous when I started my blog because of the personal nature of some of my content. I had to go through a whole lot of trouble to protect my writing, for what it's worth, by making sure everything is registered in my real name so that I can prove it's mine but keep my identity from being publicly accessible. Just in case I ever need to claim it. You know, when I start getting tons of offers for book deals and Hollywood asks me to create a sitcom or even More Likely, we find out that we are descendants of Edward the V, who actually escaped from the tower and Richard III, and grew up as a sheep herder, starting a family who eventually immigrated to the colonies and that we are his descendants and therefore the actual British Royal Family and are being returned to the throne and they want to make a Reality Series out of it. They will film us moving our Lazy Boys into Windsor and setting up our charcoal grill out on the balcony. We would still be nice to the current usurpers though. The Queen can keep her hats and the guys can still wear their fancy uniforms if they want to and maybe they can all hang out sometimes......what? Where was I? Oh....So I'm covered in the legal sense but on a personal level it kind of bites. At the same time for the most part this blog is often an open account of our lives and I have three daughters' privacy to protect as well as the fact that we are company owners and our business associates don't need to know our personal...well business.

My husband is rabid with worry about weirdo's and it's true, they are out there. We don't know who is reading and watching. Any blog can have a name and even photo's but how do you know they are real? How do we know what kind of people are peeking into our lives. Which brings me to the thought,

 'How do you know who I really am?' How do you know I'm what I say I am and not a weirdo.'

You don't. Which is kinda creepy. I promise I'm not but there is no way for anyone to know that. And that sometimes sucks. It makes me feel a little unfair to read blogs where I am given names and faces and have people come to mine and get a silly cartoon my daughter drew.

Then again, it can sometimes be like a transcendental experience. Ms. G and her rowdy daughters are wandering the planet without being seen. I'm flowing through the grocery aisles looking for dumplings and no one in the physical world knows what I'm thinking. But you, my dear ones, you read my thoughts and I in turn, know exactly how many of you are wearing yoga pants.

I have power in my invisible force field. I can say Anything I Want.  So I share. I share my wisdom. We explore the deep truth of bra shopping with teenagers and the magic of tomato red toenail polish. I reach deep withing the nucleus of my rhyming vocabulary to spread the gift of Really Bad Hokey Poetry and when the world is full of crisis and strife I hope you know that you can come to me and find solace in my insubstantial posts but honest existence. It's a good feeling to have your thoughts acknowleged  outside your own mind.

There is a theory in physics that basically states that nothing is real unless it is seen by another.

If that's the case, there would be no Mom of the Perpetually Grounded if it weren't for you.

I'm so thankful for all the great people that visit here.
The lovely commenter's willing to take me at No Face value.

I just want to say that I truly am a basically normal middle aged woman with a semi normal life and I hope it isn't creepy that I can't prove it. And when I read your blogs and you visit mine, anonymous or not,  I believe in you : )

© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 1, 2011

Have I been Lazy? or just having too much fun?

 No actual real new post last week? Sporadic visiting and commenting?
Yes. That's me.
What have I been up to? Got another whole month to read it all? I lost track of everything that has been going on that I might write about because there is just so much of it. And then I had a migraine over the weekend. That was awesome fun.

Truly. It has nothing to do with my husband upping the cable service for the summer.
I promise.

I watched the best movie the other day. My Best friend. The link is to a pretty good review of it that I agreed with because I doubt I would have liked this movie if it had been made in America. It was in french. I don't speak a lick of french but it went slow so it was easy to keep up with the subtitles.  I loved it. Oh, and did you know a movie can scare the pants off you even if it's in Korean and you don't speak Korean?

Those Walton's sure were some cute kids weren't they? I always wanted to be one of them when I was a kid.....what? oh. anyway....

Here are some things I've been doing.

1. Taking the dog to the vet because something bit him and his face swelled up in a frightening manner which is apparently an allergic reaction and then spending a week making him take pills. One was prednisone. Do you know what it does to dogs? It makes them pee. ALOT. And suddenly. Do you have an idea how much a 125 lb dog can pee? Guess what I woke up to, next to my bed, one morning last week?  I thought I had been transported to Niagara Falls in my sleep. At first I thought my husband was running the faucet in the bathroom at full blast, but why did it sound like it was right next to the bed? Yeah. That was fun.

2. Taking the kids to the doctor for a check-up. They behaved rather well. Until they told Middlest she had to have routine blood work. And then she cried. Which was an improvement. Last year she cried and hid in the restroom. She is terrified of needles after a surgery a few years ago and multiple tests that involved needles. And then they had Littlest bend over to check her spine. Every year they give it a second glance and then say, "uh, has she ever been checked by orthopedics?" And I say no, and they kind of blow it off. This is a new doctor. He looked at it and asked if anyone had ever checked it and then he said, "I'm going to do an x ray." Which is when Littlest came unglued. Because scoliosis can disqualify you for the Marines. And she continued to unravel as they took her out. After she left I explained to the doctor and told him she was probably close to hysterical. He went out to check on it and when they came back her face was red and her eyes were swollen and the doctor looked embarrassed. He kind of shuffled his papers around and said, "it was only about 2 % down near the base. They probably will never notice. I'm not even going to put it in her records."
Thank you Doc. And Yeah. That was fun.

3. Giving my house a serious cleaning. Because we are looking for a refinance and appraisers would be coming thru. Everything looked great except for Mid who was dragged out of bed earlier than she wished and ensconced herself on the couch wrapped up in a blanket, without even brushing her hair, and pretty much looked like she would bite anyone who came near her and didn't even acknowledge they were in the room as they tried to snap pictures all around her without getting her in one. I couldn't decide whether I was annoyed or if it was fun. Maybe a little of both.

4. Oh and all three girls wanted a haircut. The two oldest, both with the long long dark hair wanted bangs. And they didn't know the other asked. So I did it. And then I told them they looked like the Bobsey Twins. And now the 24 year old looks 13 and the almost 18 year old actually looks well...almost 18, which is kind of a relief. And youngest one with the short light hair wanted to go even shorter. And then she said she looked like a guy. Even though she said a very nasty thing to Mid when she told her she would look like a guy if she cut it shorter. But she also said she liked it and No One Cried! Even Biggest.
Which is also a relief and it was kind of fun.

5. I decided to quit complaining about the heat and everything else and actually go outside and look out for some of my blessings that I don't always appreciate. Because I actually walked outside yesterday and blurted the words: "Oh God it's hot. I live in Hell."  So I better cover myself just in case the Lord decides I need to learn a lesson about the difference.
 I am blessed.

I have some lovely views if I take the time to look at them.
 Like this cool naturally framed composition.

And what I fell in love with the moment I first saw this house.

I Have Kitties!!!

This is Voo ( Not the french vous of course because I don't speak french)
Just Voo like Boo..except not.
 who is 12 and still going strong. He's my favorite ; )

And this is my magical 6 toed kitty that was left at my house last fall by the faeries.

And this is Lits cat that was born under her bed and is the youngest
but thinks that he can boss everyone else.
 Hm. Just noticed something...
(and yes that is totally dead grass)

And this one who is responsible for the one above because Biggest brought her home when she was 16 and didn't get her fixed in time like she promised and we ended up with her because the Seamonkey couldn't bear to give her away because she did such a great job as a momma.
(and we ended up paying for her spay ourselves.)
She also didn't want her picture taken because she is in her summer coat and it's not as pretty but I chased her around the porch until I got one anyway.

And of course, Serena Miserina who is not serene at all but tried to take my leg off the other day because she thought I was putting her on the porch. I was.

Now my yard is in tough shape this year. We had a hard winter and a scorcher summer so far and not much is thriving. I didn't plant anything at all.
But the other day I noticed a new plant growing in my front yard.

It's a pumpkin vine!

Maybe a little gift to remind me that summer isn't forever.
My favorite- fall is coming. It always does.

Now I think I will go back inside and watch some tv visit somemore blogs today!

Yeah. Now that really does sound like fun : )

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