Monday, March 31, 2008

OOOO! AAAHHHH!! AWWW.


When Piglet and I got home from ball practice today, there was an Iphone laying on my table. OOOO! I know! I was so excited. Then, not being one to jump the gun, I viewed it with a little more suspicion. Hmmm, it was dirty. A little banged up, for sure. Hesitantly, I picked it up and turned it on. It didn't explode, so I proceeded to make lots of international calls explore the options. AAAHHHH!! Him came into the room then and told me he found it this morning at a gas station laying on the pump. AWWW Disappointment. Not for me then. So I threw it on the floor and stomped it, the end.
No really, I played with it trying to figure out who it belonged to so we could call them. I am now officially in awe of this contraption. I must have one. Now. Thanks. Email me for my address so you can send it to me.
I have been a loyal customer of Sprint for over 10 years, a fact which I do not hesitate to remind them of monthly when haggling over my bill, but I think I could be seduced to give up my crackberry for this wonder.
Ok, enough about the Iphone, it's not like they're paying me. The purpose of this missive is to caution everyone about their phones. Firstly, don't leave them lay on the gas pump. But if you do, use caution about the information in them.
Just from going through the contacts in this man's phone to try to find a home number so I could return it, I discovered the following:
His name, home address, work place and address, profession, name of every family member in household, and his Visa number, expiration date and security code. And this was without even snooping! Imagine what I might have found if I knew how to work the thing and if I had wanted to dig.
So, I called the guy and returned the phone. He was appropriately grateful and offered a reward, but shucks, that furniture that's getting delivered next week? courtesy of his visa? That's thanks enough!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The 10th time's a charm or How I got pregnant

Well, see, when a man and a woman love each other, they hug and kiss and....

No really, my first three children were born when I was too young and dumb to deserve them, but I had them none the less. I didn't appreciate them for the true gifts they were and subsequently missed a good deal of their childhoods. Thank the stars for grandmothers. While my own mother sorely lacked in several areas of motherhood, she excelled at grand motherhood.

After meeting and marrying Him, and settling into domestic bliss (I can't even type that without rolling my eyes) he decided (cue ominous music) it was TIME. For him to be have a child. I pointed to the three currently sitting slack jawed and bug eyed staring at the idiot box. Oh, those were fine, he says, but he wants a baybee. A widdle, itty bitty, baaybeee. In all fairness, he had been upfront from our first date (??) about wanting to have a child. When we married,the Dude was 11, Apples 9, SweetieDarling 6. He was only 23 himself to my 28. I thought he'd get over it. I was Wrong.

I had my tubes tied after SweetieDarling because? I was done. with the childrens. My uterus was closed for business. Shut off the nursery, but the playground's still open. So I thought maybe the $15,000 it would cost to reverse the ligation would deter him. Wrong. Again.

So we consulted with the fertility doctor and scheduled the surgery. I was in NO WAY prepared for what that meant. Sure, I was told it was a six hour surgery and that I would be hospitalized overnight. I was told it was a six week recovery. But being told that and getting sliced open hipbone to hipbone are two different things.

After the surgery and the hideous, horrible recovery...btw, any of you out there who've had a C-Section? Huzzah's to ya girlfriend. Recovering from that and having a newborn? Good grief, I can't imagine.

After I recovered, we began to actively try to get pregnant. Which meant sex every two days. Why not every day? every man in the world asks. Because you have to let the sperm rest and regroup for a day. So on the second cycle, success! When you have a tubal reversed, you are monitored very closely because ectopic pregnancies are more common. So, at three days late, you are summoned to the lab for vial after vial of blood withdrawal. Levels of this and levels of that are checked and then the doctor will call and tell you that you are indeed pregnant. What said doctor does not tell you is what he means when he says "don't have a party yet". Look, either I'm pregnant or I'm not. Even I know you can't be a little bit pregnant. Well, poppets, apparently, you can.

Not knowing what the cryptic message meant, we go off for a celebratory weekend. A baby, whee! This is fun. I had never had a baby with someone who wanted to have a baby before. The first three's father (yes, just one) was reluctant, to say the least. And here I was, all growed up and married, and having a baby. Until I wasn't. Having a baby, that is.

What the doctor didn't tell me was that my baby growing levels were low and that I would probably miscarry. That would have been handy information to have. I had never had any problem carrying a pregnancy before (obviously). This was just a fluke, if we weren't monitoring so closely, it would have just been a late period. So, we keep trying.

And we keep getting pregnant. And we keep miscarrying. We never last long enough to get a heartbeat. I still don't know if that is a good thing or not. We have genetic testing done. I tell Him that his low class DNA just won't mix with my fancy stuff. I'm only partially kidding. Our DNA is fine. I'm fine, he's fine, we're all fine except for the NINE babies we've lost.

So we quit trying. and caring. I didn't want any dumb baby in the first place. You know they're pains in the ass, right? And all those little tramps out there who don't want or deserve their babies and don't know how good they've got it? They can just kiss my non baby carrying ass. And the smug asshats who oh so kindly offer that "they'd be happy to carry a baby for me", all the while feeling just a little superior to be able to offer? I hope they die a thousand deaths being ripped apart by the hounds of hell. Angry? Me? What gives you that idea?

So I go about my business, fat, dumb and happy. I go to my office and take my anger out on my staff do my work, and you know? I've got like killer heartburn. I really think all this stress gave me an ulcer. Great. More joy. Finally, I can't take it anymore. Off to urgent care I go. Just give me some antacid, make sure my ulcer isn't eating through my intestines and send me home.

My ulcer? He was born September 3, 2003.



Friday, March 28, 2008

Things I learned from my father


This should probably be titled "things my father tried to teach me". Some took, some didn't.


Measure twice, cut once. Trust me, this applies to a WHOLE lot more than lumber.


There is nothing you can't learn. Proved this by teaching me to break down and rebuild an engine.


Someone is always watching you. Paranoid much? Actually, his way of telling me to comport myself in such a way as to be respected. This one didn't take until my 20's.


You have to work hard to have nice things. This one I got when the National Bank of Daddy closed its wallet.


Don't be afraid to tell people how good you are. Got this one a little TOO good.


The less you say, the more people want you to talk. Epic fail.


There is nothing you can't do alone. Gotta disagree with this one.


Let your kids make their mistakes. Yeah, about that? Wish I had had more guidance.


If you can't see the mirrors, he can't see you. Check.


People will judge you by who you are with. Yeah, buddy.


Always keep $20 hidden somewhere in your car. Still do, to this day. Never know when I might need ONE GALLON of gas!


If you're going to illegally run electric to your garage, have someone stand by with a wooden board to break the current if you get shocked. Haven't had use for this one.


And my all time favorite.


When you fall off the roof, you can make yourself pass out before you hit the ground. WTF???








Monday, March 24, 2008

I feel so luurved!

I got tagged! My first meme! Woo hoo! I hope I don't run out of exclamation points!!! Sorry all ya'll that wanted to be my first, but my honor went to Ree at the Hotfessional. She's engaged to Candy, but apparently they have an open relationship. Now, on with the matter at hand:


Three books I've always meant to read, but haven't:


Stephen King, The Dark Tower VII



It's not that I just haven't read this book, it's that I don't want to. I don't want the Gunslinger's search for the tower to end. After investing 26 years, thousands of pages, and weeks if not months of reading about Roland and his ka-tet, I just don't want it to end. And if I don't read the last book, it won't. And if you're trying to tell me how it ends, I'm not listening, la la la la la.....








Beautiful Boy, David Sheff


Being the grand daughter of four alcoholic grandparents, and the daughter of an alcoholic father, my genes have polluted and corrupted my children. My heritage has made them more susceptible to the hell that is addiction. Anything I can read that will help me guide them away from that path is on my to read list.






The One Page Business Plan, Jim Horan

Because I need a plan and one page sounds about right.



Two books that changed my life:






Reviving Ophelia: Saving the selves of adolescent girls, Mary Pipher and Ruth Ross; and




Trees make the best mobiles, Jessica Teich and Brandel France de Bravo

These two books taught me so much about how to protect and nurture those fragile beings that are children. Of course, should you ask any of my brood, I'm dumb as a rock.

One book I've talked about since I've read it:





My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult.

This is the one of the few books I've read that got me engaged and invested enough in the story and characters that I threw the book across the room at the end. I was so angry and disappointed and sad. But I read it again. It made me remember that everything isn't always as it seems, that there is always another point of view, and another set of beliefs.

There you have it. And I had to think about it too.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Take me out to the ballfield



Piglet's first day of T-Ball was Saturday. He's four. We're lucky if he can walk from the bathroom to the sofa without a monty pythonesque montage of pratfalls.

It was 45 degrees and windy, but none of the kids complained. The parents however, we cried like newborns, huddled in the dugout over a small fire of trash we foraged out of the bleachers.

I personally had envisioned two quiet hours lounging in the truck reading. Piglet had different ideas. My attention was required every 2.8 seconds. "Mom, did you see me run? Mom, did you see me hit? Mom, watch this, watch this, watch this." After 20 minutes of muttering "who is that kid, why's he calling me mom?" I gave in and left the relative shelter of the dugout to stand in the tornadic winds and shout encouragement. This consisted of "wrong direction, run the other way, don't hit people with the bat, put your mitt on your hand not your head, and get that ball out of your pants".

After an hour of watching eight four year olds run amok, we called it a practice, congratulated ourselves on being the best parents ever, and passed around the Hennessy. Good times.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Welcome Home: an Update


Thank you all so much for your concern. Being a solitary sort, I've never been one to share anything private, not even with family, so to put something out there and have actual support is thrilling. I have followed up on my eviction dilemma (like at 7am on Thursday) and am pleased to report that the mortgage company has no idea what could have happened, their records indicate all is well, blah, blah, etc... I won't bore you with the excruciating details, but tracking down the culprit involved trips to the county courthouse, sheriff's office, police station, and finally, law firm where the idiotattorney who did this worksworked.

A brief history: When I practiced law, I tried a case against "Lawyer A (for asshat*)". I won the case and Lawyer A took exception to some of the things I said against his client who was also his sister. He has held a grudge since (over ten years). He has done various small things in the past to try to upset me, but has never managed to do more than make me feel sorry for him. This time, he went too far in that he actually broke the law that he is sworn to uphold. You think he would've known I wouldn't let something like this slide, but he didn't even try to cover up his trail. His signature is there on the affidavit for the eviction!

I requested a meeting with the senior partner of the law firm, and with funky patterned folder full of proof, showed him what his associate did. In exchange for agreeing to hold the firm non-liable, they fired him on the spot. Yay! More reason for the nutjob to stalk me. He will also be sanctioned by the Bar and may (should) lose his license. I think he should go work with these guys. It sounds like he'd fit right in, and without his license, it'll be about all he can do.


I truly do hate to see someone lose their job, but he just went too far. If he would do that to me, over some imagined slight a decade ago, what else is he capable of doing? I shudder to imagine. I have a hearing on Monday for the restraining order, which his firm is handling for me. Can you say "salt in the wound"?


Revenge is a dish best served in a courtroom.


*for the life of me, I cannot remember where I first read the term asshat, but I would credit if I knew

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You got served! Or GTFO...


So I'm standing in my kitchen last night, loading my dishwasher, minding my own biddness when guess who pulls up in my driveway? Yeah, the Sheriff. Now, I'm fairly hard to rattle, and I do tend to keep my cool at all times, but I'm pretty sure that a police car in the drive is never good news. Thankfully, Him and SweetieDarling were both home, so I didn't have that fear. (You know, the one where they take off their hat and say "Ma'am, I've got some bad news). Officer Fife spends a good ten hoursminutes shuffling papers and saying important stuff on his radio, while I'm in an agony of suspense. Finally, he comes to the door and, like he doesn't know I'm hovering on the other side (waiting to see if his gun is out) does his official policeman knock. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of the Official knock, it goes a lil somethin like this:


BAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAM!!!!!!!!


I answer the door all nonchalant, cause I'm cool like that and he verifies who I am and hands me a....wait for it......five day eviction notice!!!!! FIVE DAYS to get out of the house I've lived in for TEN years. Well, good folks of the internets, lets get one thing clear on the frontside: I'm not late with my mortgage. I haven't violated my agreement with my mortgage company in any way. I know that this is a mistake, a clerical error, the wrong account number transposed, any number of things. I know that, even if this summons is somehow legit, that I can fight it (I do have a bit of a legal background), but even knowing these things, I was more scared than I have been in a looooonnng time. And I don't like to be scared.


Because I got served in the evening, I had all night to worry about this. No one I could call to straighten it out, no one to reassure me that of course it was a mistake, that I wouldn't have to find a place to rent, pack up my house, uproot my children, board the dogs I have left, all in FIVE DAYS. It was one of the longest, scariest, most alone nights I've had for a while.


I had all night to ponder the sweat equity I've put into this house. How I bought it at an auction for $50k and made it worth many times that. How I gutted it down to the bones and rebuilt it the way I wanted it to be. How everything is geared to my height of only 5'. All the cabinets, shelves, anything I need to reach, I can. How the pool is located right up against the east deck, like another room in the house and how I would miss laying under the 80' oak tree in the front yard even though I curse it and wish blight on it when I'm cleaning up leaves and acorns. How the frogs just started singing in the pond last week, and the koi are just now waking, and how piglet's room gets flooded with the morning son and how DARE someone try to take my home. HOW DARE THEY? And then I got mad, good and goddamned pissed off is what I got. Who in the hell has the right to make someone feel vulnerable in their own home? How could someone be so careless as to go through all of the motions of filing an eviction order and not verify that their information is correct? Yes, law is boring and tedious, but it's a very detailed profession. DETAILS, like who you are seeking to evict, are very important.


I spent a night in hell because an under(if at all)paid intern at the law firm picked up the wrong file. I did my time as an intern and I know how easy it is to make a mistake, but I trained my share of interns too, and it was my job to catch their mistakes. Somebody didn't do his job. I know who, and why, and girlfriends, me and him's gonna have us a face to face reeeaal soon. Like Monday. I know what you're thinking, it was a mistake, they happen. Which is true and I admire your live and let live thinking. But a few too many mistakes have happened with this particular attorney for it to be coincidence anymore. He got bested by me a hundred years ago, in another lifetime, and just.can't.let it go. I'll let you know if there are any survivors.


But on a more positive note, I'm really appreciating my house right now. And I'll get that "breathe" tattoo next week.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mama needs some new ink

SweetieDarling will be 18 in a few weeks. She wants a tattoo. *sniff* I'm so proud. I've been pondering a new tattoo for myself for a few months. I want the word "BREATHE" on the inside of my right wrist, because, you know, sometimes I forget. To stop and just breathe. My right hand is my dominant. It's the one I see when I reach out stroke my sons' cheek, or when I clip the leash on the puppy. It's what I see when I'm reaching out in anger or gesturing to make a point. It's the one that leads in throwing a punch or snatching someone bald. If I'm about to fire off an angry e-mail, or throw something in frustration, perhaps I'll see it there "breathe" and stop for a second, and breathe, and think about it. Maybe in the mad rush that is life, instead of shoving piglet's backpack and snack into his hand and hustling him out the door, I'll see it and stop for a hug and a smile. Maybe it will remind me to slow down, calm down, sit down. Perchance even to breathe.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My life as an excavator, or How I became a ditch digger

Ree, over at the hotfessional, asked how I came to own an excavating company. When you wake from your boredom induced coma, you can go tell her to stop asking questions you don't wanna know the answers to. Once upon a time, a long, looooong, time ago, a little girl wanted to be a lawyer when she grew up. This little girl never lost an argument, a master debater she grew up to be (make sure you put the de in there). So the little girl grew up, went wild, had babies, figured out what caused the babies, calmed down, went back to college and then law school. The young lady, at 28 years old, with three chilluns, got her law degree. Yay!! Then, while dating Him (who will become her husband, much to his dismay) started practicing law. Practicing is the key word here. Because, guess what? Law stuff is hard! And boring! And tedious! No one tells you this in law school. Unless you go into trial law, and unless you actually try the trials, it's one big ole snoozefest.

So the young (rapidly getting older at an alarming rate) lady marries Him and they settle down into domestic bliss (har!). The young lady ponders what she wants to be when she grows up. She decides she'll simply never grow up, problem solved, the end. That worked until the young lady realized that she really liked having the finer things in life, like food, and needed some money. At this point the young lady switches back to speaking about herself in the first person, because this is exhausting. She simply doesn't know how Bossy does it.

My father in law was ready to retire and wanted to sell his business contracts and equipment. I thought Hey! I've got eleventy gazillion dollars out in school loans and no income! I should borrow a hundredy million more and buy an excavating company! So I did. Did I mention that law school doesn't teach common sense?

So here I am with my brand new, shiny, excavating company. Off I go into the wilds of construction. Did you know that to work on a construction site you must have a penis? Me neither. Oh, but girlfriend, I quickly got schooled. Yes indeedy. Not only was this told to me, but also shown to me. Sadly, some things just can't be unseen. I have been told to get home and tend my house. That I should stay behind my desk and leave the field operations to the men. That "I don't take no orders from no wimmin". Never mind that this woman signs your paycheck.

But, using my charm, wit, and litigious nature, I slowly won these neanderthals gentlemen over. Once they figured out that I could deliver what I promised, that I was fair, and that I knew what I was doing, they did give me a fighting chance. I think the most important thing I did was to ask questions if I didn't know something, instead of following my first instinct, which is to try to huff and puff my way through (something they do teach in law school).

So I've been at it for ten years now. I guess I know what I want to be when I grow up. A ditch digger.



My other ride is a beast!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hoof trimmin' time

Well folks, spring is in the air. I have pulled myself out of my pit of despair (that's not to say that I won't crawl back in) long enough to determine that a few things need to be tended to 'round heyah. Hoof trimming being numero uno on the list. After a long, cold, dark winter in boots and trainers, my feet tend to look like this:



Those aren't really my feet, but close enough.


With piglet off with Him doing manly things that involve much spitting, hitching up of overalls, and mud, Sweetie Darling and I are off to the salon (pronounced SAL-lon) for a mani-pedi. Cosmos for me, bat blood for her (she's one of those dark, broody creatures who peer out from under a fringe of black hair long enough for you to see the Alice Cooper makeup) yeah, more on that later. Hopefully, I shall return fluffed and buffed, and good as new.



Rest in Peace



It is done. I am knackered.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Do you want to know if your kid is "THAT kid"?

Piglet goes to preschool three mornings a week. In general, I am extremely happy with the school, staff, and students. But...there's that kid. The one that sneaks a punch as piglet runs by, that makes sure teacher isn't looking then wrestles the toy out of his hands, that pushes, pinches, and terrorizes. Piglet has been at this school since his 2nd birthday. He has never had any problems with any other children. He's never even been in time out.


But this year about three weeks in, I started to hear about how Tony is bad at school, Tony got in trouble, Tony hit so and so. Then I started hearing about not wanting to go to school. That had never happened before. Piglet is very excited to get away from me for three hours go to see his friends and his beloved Miss Aura. It broke my heart to see his joy and eagerness offset by trepidation and hesitation (and maybe even a little fear). I gave him different options for how to handle the situation from asking Tony to stop (duh) to asking the teacher to intervene. After several more weeks, I spoke with the teacher myself and she promised to keep an eye on them. I probably should have let piglet handle it himself, but for the king's ransom I pay them, and the fact that there's only five students per adult, I thought the kid could use a little help. He's a very gentle soul, my piglet, who would never think of retaliation. I'm working on that. We start boxing next week. I kid...they won't let him start til he's five.


I had a chance to observe Tony in action at a birthday party. The third time he ran by my kid and hit him in the chest, mama bear got up on her hind legs and did a little roaring. I got down to his level, shot lazer beams of death looked him in the eye and told him if he did it again, he and I were going to have a talk with his mama. I explained that some kids don't like to play like that and that piglet would like for him to stop hitting, like he's asked him eleventy hundred times.


The boys' mother is nice enough. She's got a one year old in addition to Tony, along with older children. She's obviously overwhelmed and at her wits end. My question to you wise folks on the interwebs is this: Do you think she wants to know her kid is THAT kid? Or do you think she knows and doesn't know what to do about it? Would you want to know? And lest you may be thinking piglet is a sniveling snissy who needs to man up and handle his own ;) the other seven boys in the class have the same problem. The girls seem to be safe...for now.

Who's fancy? I'm fancy!

Do you see the awsomeness that is my counter? I put it on there all by myself! I promise I won't do the endzone dance everytime I learn something new, but it is kinda fun. These days, I hafta take my fun where I can, what with scaring children when I leave the house. (See scary hair post)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gene Simmons is in da HOWSE ya'll!!






So my hair is 90% gray. OK, who am I kidding, white. It has been since I was 19. This would be fine and dandy if it looked like Emmylou's. It doesn't. It looks like Emmylou's if Emmylou took a comb and dropped it in a mudpuddle and then picked it up and used it and then, oops! she dropped it again in a pile of dog doo and picked it up and used it and you get the picture. So I have colored my hair for years. With the exception of the great lucy ricardo red debacle of '91, I've pretty much stuck to dark brown and black (my "natural" color if my "natural" color wasn't WHITE). Having recently strayed from my overly pompass, overly priced, overly full of himself but damned good stylist, I now look like this: OK, pretend Gene's pic is here, I'm new to this stuff. HA HA see how funny it would be if his pic were here? Notice the lovely flat, drab, no depth, no shine texture of his (our) hair? Yes, I know. You want to know where you can achieve such a milestone in hair color. Find someone who smokes and ask them if you can empty their ashtrays on your head and rub them in. Trust me, it's a lot cheaper, you'll get the same results and yours will wash out.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Maximus, Best dog ever.


How do you repay a lifetime of loyalty? As I type this, I lay here beside my Mastiff, Maximus. He's 9 years old and he has bone cancer. He is wasting away and he looks to me to ease his pain. I carried this dog around like I birthed him until he was too big to carry. I have seldom gone anywhere without him. I've had him twice as long as I've had my son. He is a two hundred pound lap dog that has slept in the bed with us since we got him (king size, natch). When I was pregnant with piglet and had hyperemesis and didn't think I would survive, he comforted me. He laid his huge head on my huge belly and he snored. Piglet would instantly calm and still. After piglet was born, when he would cry, laying him on the dog would always relax and comfort him.

How do I explain to my four year old that his buddy, playmate, brother, is gone and will never be back? I know that there are people who have more serious issues, who have to explain why a father, mother, human brother aren't coming back, and I understand that's harder. But right now, in my grief, I can't imagine how anything could be harder. I don't know how to answer the questions that he will ask. I don't know how to soften the blow. So, in my uncertainty, Maximus waits, in pain, for me to gather my courage and help him like he has helped me for so long.