Thursday, May 29, 2008

Just get out, already!

Does anyone else like to pressure wash as much as I do? Can anyone else possibly find it as cathartic, even therapeutic, as I do? I have washed the entire front deck, most of the pool deck, the privacy fence around the pool, and am taking orders. Need something washed? I'm your woman. I'm sure the neighbors are ready to kill me, though. (Hi, neighbor! I'll be done soon. Got anything you want washed?)

Anyway, this is supposed to be for Sam ( She's about six months past due and Karen Surgarpants is kind enough to host a bloggy shower to share late baby stories. What? Trust me, it feels like six months to her. (Hi Sam! Hope you're holding a wee biddy babe by now!)

I don't have much to contribute from the first two. The Dude was my first child. I was eighteen, and I knew everything. Except what labor felt like. Did not know that a backache could be considered labor. Long story short, got to the hospital twenty minutes before he was born. On his due date. Snore.

Now Lucy Apples is a bit more interesting. I had a doctor's appointment the first week of July. They did a sonogram and told me they had the dates wrong, that I wasn't due until the end of August, she was just too small. I alternated between rage and despondency. I was sooooo sick and soooo hot. I simply couldn't last another month. (This was the kind of abnormal "morning" sickness that can kill you and the baby) (And almost did) Because I thought I had another two years months, I thought it was false labor, when, in the third week of July, I felt contractions. Plus, I really wanted to get my hair done and it was almost time for my appointment . Cutting to the end, 6 lbs 3 oz, born in the hallway of the hospital. And yeah, they did still try to charge me for the delivery room, even though I never saw the inside of it.

SweetieDarling was the problem child. An uneventful first two trimesters led to the horror of the third. I'm only 5' tall. This child was giant. There simply wasn't room in there for her. She compressed everything. I couldn't breathe, walk, sleep, eat, or move. The week she was due, I tried it all. Driving down a bumpy road fast, jumping jacks (highly entertaining for anyone watching, I'm sure), and anything else you can possibly think of. Finally, I couldn't take anymore. I called my doctor, at home, at 5 pm on a Saturday night. I made threats I don't care to repeat in polite company. He met me at the hospital at 7 (I was kind enough to let him finish his dinner) and broke my water. One hour later we started pitocin and she was born at two minutes before midnight. She was a toddler. 24" long, 10 lbs, 14oz. See, I told you there wasn't any room!

You can find the story of Piglet's birth here. He was early, no waiting involved.

I hope Sam has an easy labor and birth. She certainly deserves it after waiting this long!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My little grandma

My paternal grand-mother was a very influential figure in my life. It is because of her that I know the value of a hard days' work. It is because of her that I never drink alcohol (even though I occasionally joke that I like the gin)(because if I tried the gin? I would like the gin. It's genetically proven). It is because of her that I didn't marry until 31 years of age. She taught me more just by being than I can ever articulate.

Born in 1925 to a homemaker and a soldier, one of five children, she lived a hard life. Put to work at 10 years old, she would walk the dirt roads to be a maid/nanny/housekeeper to one of the wealthy families in town.

At 18 years old, she found herself in "a delicate situation" as it was referred to then. She put the baby up for adoption. Obviously not figuring out what caused the first "situation", she had another. This baby went to adoption also. We never spoke of these babies, her and I. I don't know if I have great aunts, uncles, or both that are unknown to me.

Married to a soldier at 22 years old, she chose poorly. Frank (we never called him by any other name) was a mean drunk. He didn't work and drank away any money she brought in. He abused her horribly, putting her in the hospital many times. These are stories that my father has told me. When he tells me these things, I picture him as a little boy, scared, hiding in a corner and I want to scoop him up and make it better. I want to protect him from the horrors that he sees. I don't want him to know that his father doused his mother with a kettle of boiling tea in a drunken rage, leaving her burned from waist to knees. I don't want him to see her on the kitchen floor with his father towering over her, one foot on her thigh while he twists her lower leg to break it. I don't want him to have to rush in with a bat at seven years old and try to save her, or put himself in the way thinking maybe he can take the blows meant for his mother.

After 1 year of marriage, Grandma gave birth to a son. He had a cleft palate, and was slightly mentally retarded. When this son was only two months old, she became pregnant with my father. Two years later came another son, a year after that, a daughter.

My grandmother ran a diner for an old Greek man. Her entire life was spent there, from 5am until 10pm every day. After work was drinking time. Any days off were drinking time. While Frank was a mean drunk, Grandma was a sad drunk. I learned at a very young age that if I came in the door and they were sitting around the table with their cards and beer and I didn't get away quick enough, I would be subjected to endless apologies and cries of regret. To this day I cannot stand a drunk. I don't drink because I'm terrified I'll become one. When one has four alcoholic grandparents, I'd say the odds are fairly stacked.

I'd like to add a caveat here for my friends who drink. When I say a drunk, I mean that person who has no desire to live differently, who is a slave to the drink. That person who takes and never gives back and expects more. The one who gets too close and hangs on you and gives you all of their problems so they don't have them anymore. I don't mean anyone who drinks socially or who is in recovery.

Later, I'd guess around 50 years old, she finally quit drinking. With Frank dead, her sons married and her daughter at home with her, she found some semblance of peace. She still worked every day, but a normal eight hours. When the diner closed for good and she had nothing to do with her time, I think she broke. After having no time to yourself your entire life, she didn't quite know what to do. I know the medical term is senile dementia. I know that the scans showed significant decrease in brain size and uncountable small strokes most likely attributable to the years of alcohol toxicity. But I think she just broke.

I was the first grandchild. The adored one. The moment she didn't recognize me will forever be the most heartbreaking of my life.

This little woman, with every odd in the world stacked against her, did the impossible. She raised four kind, caring, responsible contributing members of society. She bought and paid for land and a home by herself while supporting her children and husband. She never turned anyone away who needed something, even if she didn't have it to give. She made sure that her first and only granddaughter knew to respect herself enough to never tolerate being treated any less than she deserved, and then made sure that I knew I deserved the best. She made sure I knew to get an education, no matter what, so I wouldn't have to work like she did. And she told me that, for us, one drink is too many, a million never enough.

I miss her.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What's in your wallet?

Well, not that anyone asked, but yes, I am a bit bored today. I've got a sick kid all doped up on dextromethorphan so when he's not rambling around the house in a fugue muttering, he's asleep. I've managed to clean most of the house, except for the kitchen. SweetieDarling and I are having a battle of the wills over that one. It's her only chore and she can't keep it up. So the dishes are towering in the sink, clean ones are languishing in the dishwasher, ants are threatening to carry the lot off, and I'm not touching it. I will order take out and eat off paper plates for the rest of the summer, but I am not cleaning that kitchen. So! I feel better now that we've gotten that established.

I do have a point to this post, truly. I'm doing the "whats in your purse" meme. That's right! Your wait is over! No, I wasn't tagged for it. Why? Who let you in here anyway?

Gather round poppets, and behold:

This is my briefcase and purse. I have to do both because they are both surgically attached to my body. And, despite the fantastic color quality of the photo, they are both red. The black and white spots at the top of the pic are a puppy, sleeping on my pillow, waiting for something to pounce on and chew.

In the briefcase we have a variety of boring items. Trade partner training materials (snore), company brochures (that I designed. Yay me!) brag book, bluetooth, ginormous paper clip, and parts diagram for backhoe part. I have to research and print the diagram because when I go to the John Deere store to order the part? Since I don't have a penis? They don't think I know what I need. Grrr. OOh, and my darling little Coach wristlet. Toss in a lipstick, some money and the phone and I can leave the rest in the truck.

The purse was better than I expected. Notebook that goes everywhere with me and gets lots of stuff written down in it that never gets done; pad of paper for piglet to record his deepest thoughts on (no, he can't write! Again, who let you in?); old lady reading glasses with rhinestones on the corners, woot!; wallet, very empty, moths circling above it are not pictured; purell wipes; lipsticks; earrings I have never seen before; palm pilot and blackberry. I know the blackberry is supposed to eliminate the palm pilot but that would entail my actually installing blackberry software and transferring stuff and all kinds of techy things that I don't want to think about. The business cards are ones I picked up at the gym for local personal trainers.

Not to be snarky, well, ok lets, but don't you think she could've at least proofed her cards? Whats that? I should've proofed my blurry pictures? Thats it, I'm throwing you out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oh Ralph, who art thou?

If it doesn't quit raining soon, I may be posting from the county lock up. I'm sure that's where they'll take me after I kill my husband, right? He's been leaving late, coming in early, staying home and generally just messin' up my mojo. Today, in a fit of helpfulness (a rare and precious occurrence, lemme tell ya) he decided to help put up all of the winter clothes and....clean my office. Yes. He. Did.

I keep an office at home so I don't have to go in to the company office unless absolutely necessary because I'm lazy for some reason, the less my employees see me, the more productive they are. And noooo, my mandatory office chair races do not factor in to that unproductivity.

While making it so I'll never find anything again straightening my desk, he came across a slip of paper with several phone numbers on it. Ralph's number was circled. With a check mark by it. And there may have been a star with an exclamation point. Apparently, Ralph's the fashizzle. Of course, I have no idea because I don't remember Ralph, why I have his number, or why he's the fashizzle. But the husband, being of the male persuasion, finds this explanation a bit suspect. After making a genuine effort to remember Ralph and why I have his number, I admit my curiosity was piqued as well.

Now, let me elaborate that this number is written on my personal calendar out of my daytimer. There would have been no questions asked if it had been business related (even with the stars) because, good grief, all I have are men's numbers. So anyway, get to the point, you say. To solve the mystery, I called Ralph to ask why I thought he was so great that not only do I still have his number on a calendar page from 1999, but it's on my desk (which really has been cleaned since 1999, truly).

Ralph turned out to be Ralph Stanley of "Oh Brother, Where art thou?" fame. And my 64th cousin 28 times removed, or something like that. The number was from when I took a trip to southwestern Virginia for genealogy research. What I forgot was that I had gone through an old box of my genealogy records last week. It must have fallen out then.

So even though Ralph is kinfolk, and older than Methuselah, it was nice to have the husband all "het up" over another man's number. Maybe I'll hide a few others around. That'll teach him to clean my office.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's a hairy situation

A decision has been made. An agonizing, mind searing, life changing decision.

I'm going au naturel. (You totally thought I was leaving my husband, didn't you?)

I'm growing out the grey, shaking out the salt, letting the silver fox out to play. Embracing my inner old lady, if you please. Really, I'm just cheap. The $300 per month I'm spending on covering my grey could be better spent elsewhere. Things like shoes college fund, new clothes paying down the mortgage, personal trainer gas.

My natural color, before it became white, was Indian black. Not dark brown, or just black, but blue black. They tell me there's Cherokee on my mother's side since they're all dark. Cherokee my ass. My son looks like Sayid on Lost and they're claiming Cherokee? But it is board straight and now it's about 3 inches long. I cut it all off today. Shortest it's ever been since I was but a wee babe. Since there is no graceful way to grow white roots out of "mocha honey express with caramel highlights" hair, I'm just going for it. For your viewing pleasure, I'm including a picture of my roots.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to frighten you. But be forewarned; it's only going to get worse. I'm going to post one of these every month until it's grown out. Then I'm going to ask opinions, carefully weigh all options, and run screaming back to my hairdresser begging him to make it go away for the love of god and all that is holy COVER IT UP! But I really want to know what it looks like. And although it's unlikely, I may like it.

And at least while I'm not coloring it, I'll avoid another one of these debacles.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Who is this man living in my house? He's being nice and it's such a change from his usual behavior that I'm convinced he's been possessed.
On Sunday he let me lie in bed all day. Literally all day. I have strep again and feel miserable. He cleaned the house, kept Piglet occupied, did laundry, went to the market, and detailed my truck. On Monday, we woke to yet another flood downstairs. He wet vacced all the water himself, cleaned the house again, and then mopped the downstairs with bleach water. He kept Piglet with him all day, then bathed him and put him in bed.
He's called twice today to see how I feel and to ask if I need him to bring anything home.
If any of you know where my husband went, leave him there. I like this new guy.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I could only hope to be this brave

This man right here? Now, there's a hero. We all have people we look up to, who we want to emulate. This man is now one of mine. I cannot imagine a more heroic way to die. Holding your child above your head to avoid the weight of the car crushing you against the fence. To see the car coming toward you and instinctively raising your daughter to safety above while you bear the brunt of the impact. To die knowing that at least you saved her.

Of course his children won't care how heroic he was, they will only want their daddy. I'm sure his family would prefer he hadn't had to die a hero, or die at all. I'm fairly confident that they wish the driver of the car hadn't chosen to get behind the wheel. But the pride they'll have! The stories that will be told. I can't imagine it will be any comfort.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

If I didn't have Piglet...

Most people say "I just don't know what I'd do without him/her/them", meaning their child/ren.
Or "I just can't imagine life without..." While I love my son with all of my heart, I can, and often do, imagine my life without him. I'm glad I had him, and I enjoy his being here, but poppets? I was done! Kids grown and gone, no more t-ball, first day of school, trick or treat, temper trantrums, playdates, park politics, all the fun that comes with a small child.

If I didn't have Piglet, I would:

*leave this shiteous marriage

*sell my company

*move to England

*disappear into my inner world with my books, and gardening and internet and not have to be so present all the time.

*be gloriously alone

*be miserably alone

Why can't I do these things with Piglet, you ask? Well, a myriad of reasons, really. He needs his father and his mother to be together like he's always known. He needs some type of legacy. If I sell the company, what will I leave him?

I could go on, but I wonder if perhaps having Piglet isn't my excuse for not taking responsibility for my own life?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Circus, Part Deux

Circus time finally arrived, after repeated cries of "is it time to go?" all day. Piglet left the field in the middle of his t-ball game to ask if it was time to go yet. Finally, 6:00. We drive 30 minutes to Winchester, park at the mall, and get into a line approximately one quarter to one half a mile long. I know it's supposedly the largest show in the world under the bigtop, but come on! I immediately upgraded our tickets to VIP, lest we have to sit up with the acrobats.

After a delightful forty five minutes in line, I see my former new husband. He's not as nearly as dashing or european without the scarf. He tries to lure me with treats:

When that doesn't work, he tries the sexy pose:

Alas, Piglet has picked out a new daddy:

But, being the picky ho that I am, I leave him for Reynaldo:

Seriously, anyone want to go halfsies on a circus? I am talking money machine.

$44 to get in, and that's with Piglet being free.

$5 popcorn

$5 cold, half raw hot dog that was immediately trashed

$5 small cup soda (flat)

$10!! funnel cake

$15 stoopid light up gun that's driving me insane

Potential business partners, please e-mail me.

Friday, May 2, 2008

It's a circus around here!

Piglet and I went to the raising of the circus bigtop this morning at the ungodly hour of 7:00.
He rode a pony:

Got his face painted:

And I met my new husband:

He's very European and stylish. Unfortunately, he has a significant other:

So we are sad:

We go home and distract ourselves with mindless computer drivel to mend our broken heart.

The actual circus is tomorrow. Our heads may very well explode before then.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Maybe it should say "INbred"

Do you see the blurry "I" there? Yesterday it was an "E". Yep, that car sat there for two weeks with "HYBRED" written on the windscreen. I go back to take the pic and someone fixed it.
Such is my luck.