Saturday, September 30, 2006

Empty Nest coming too fast

It is quiet this morning. The house is empty except for the dog and me. Daredevil and Chowhound had a lock-in after the football game last night and then band practice until 8 tonight. I see a quiet evening too. They will hit the rack as soon as they get home.

It's quiet mornings like this that make me reflect. I think about how quickly the years are flying by. I know that soon I won't be laughing and "fussing" about the boys wrestling in the house. They won't be leaving their dirty clothes lying in the bathroom floor. Their rooms will stay clean. Their beds will be untouched. I know this day will be here before I know it.

improviser has already left. He has officially moved out. He took his bed. He didn't go far. He moved in with his Dad. He's 20. I guess I can handle that now. He has wanted to live with his Dad since we split up almost 15 years ago. I remember him talking to Daredevil. He told him he wanted to live with Dad and Daredevil replied that he wanted to stay with Mom. They were 4 and 6. They didn't realize they didn't have the choice. But, they discussed it anyway. When Daredevil said he wanted to live with me, Improviser goes, "But, then I won't have anyone to fight with. (Chowhound's) too little."

I joke around about being able to have a life when they move out. Finally, being able to figure out what I want to be when they/I grow up. But, the truth is, I'm scared. For over 20 years they have been my life. When I was tired and depressed and didn't think life was worth it, a pair of little arms would hug me and I knew I could do another tomorrow. I have needed my children as much if not more than they have needed me. They have been my friends as well as my children. I loved snuggling up at night reading books. Wrestling in the living room. Playing in the park in the rain. Jumping over waves at the beach. And now they have their own things to do and I have to find my interests. I believe that is one of the reasons I don't do everything with them now. I have to wean myself and get my own life.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blogger Bug Battle

There's seems to be a sort of unofficial battle of the bug stories going through the blogdom. Bou and Sissy and T1Guy have all contributed. Bou cringed when one crawled on her in the middle of the night. Sissy actually smashed one in the back of her knee while sleeping. And T1G had a bug crawl in his ear.

My story is so disgusting; I gag just thinking about it. And I really can't believe I am posting this for all to see. But, considering my vast readership, I guess I am safe against total public humiliation.

A few years ago, I was over some friends' house shooting skeet and drinking. Yes, wonderful combination I know. But, it was a blast and believe it or not we saved most of the drinking for after dark around the bon fire. I think the drinking is what saved me from losing my mind later. Anyway, it hit the time of day to put away the guns and the lite alcohol and bring out the strong stuff. My boyfriend at the time, was actually being sweet and went in these friend's house to find me a cup and fix a white Russian for me. The first one and the second one went down smooth. It wasn't until the ice melted good and the third drink that I finally got to the bottom of the glass. I felt something in my mouth. I spit out a frickin German cock roach. Bleh. Absolutely disgusting. I am surprised I didn't heave my guts to the ground. A gallon of mouthwash did not make me feel any better. Needless to say, I always took my own cup no matter where I went after that.

I think I'll go throw up now and down another gallon of mouthwash.

Minority thinking

I found myself in the minority today.

One of the moms I know was complaining about her son's teacher. Her son who is 11 and in the 6th grade failed a spelling test. It wasn't because of his spelling. He failed because of capitalization (putting it when it didn't belong) and sloppy or unreadable answers (letters written on top of other letters). She raised hell with the Principal. She did not go to the teacher and ask her for her explanation. The principal sided with the parent and made the teacher change the grade.

I felt that this was wrong of the parent and the principal. I feel that they are undermining the teacher's authority. She is trying to establish a precedent and make the students concentrate on their penmenship as well as spelling. If she can't read it, how does she know it is right?

Now, this child has the opinion that the teacher is wrong. And if he disagrees with her rules all he has to do is cry to momma and she will fix it. This child has already had two rounds of in-school suspension due to behavior problems. I see a correlation here.

But, I was the only one out of five people in on this discussion that saw that point of view. Everyone else sided with the Mom. Is my thinking off base? Am I missing something? Or was I just raised differently?

I can remember words being marked wrong or at least points taken off if it was unreadable. Maybe my opinion just comes from my own personal experience. I know that there are some inept teachers but I truly believe they are far and few between. If you have a problem with the teacher or don't understand why she did something, I think she should be confronted first. Don't go over her head without giving her the benefit of discussion.

What is your opinion?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Head and Body not in synch

It's hell to get old. Once I hit 40, that was it. My body went on strike. Everything started hurting and reminding me I wasn't a teenager any more. But, some where down the line my mind didn't get the memo. In my head, I still invincible. Because of these two not being in synch, I'm limping around today going, "What the hell was I thinking?"

Daredevil had a few friends over for his birthday party yesterday. They were all out in the front yard kicking the soccer ball around. Yeah, What the hell was I thinking is correct. I had a blast with them playing keep away from me. Occasionally, I'd get lucky and snag the ball. One time Daredevil tried to steal the ball back from me and I successfully blocked his kick with my ankle. Holy Crap. Now, I understand the need for shin guards.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006

Power Color

Your Power Color Is Lime Green
At Your Highest:
You are adventurous, witty, and a visionary.
At Your Lowest:
You feel misunderstood, like you don't fit in.
In Love:
You have a tough exterior, but can be very dedicated.
How You're Attractive:
Your self-awareness and confidence lights up a room.
Your Eternal Question:
"What else do I need in my life?"


I'll agree with this and I love that color.

It's funny, though, how my taste in colors has changed throughout the years. I remember as a child I loved yellow. My sisters and I all had different colored mugs when we were little. Mine was yellow. I'm sure mom did it so we didn't argue and whine, "she's gooooooooooot myyyyyyyy cuuuuuppppp." And being the youngest, I probably got stuck with what was left over. But, still yellow was my color. I have a picture of me when I was about 8 wearing a bright, solid yellow shirt with bright green pants. Yeah, I was big into fashion. I loved the brightness. It was clean and fresh like sunshine. It represented goodness and love. Hope.

I don't remember having a favorite color when I was a teenager. I remember my wardrobe was all bright, cheery colors. I do remember hating black. I would not buy nor wear anything black. I'm not sure why but I know I detested it. Maybe it seemed sinister and evil. When I foolishly got married at 18, I made him wear a white tux because I hated black that much. And as much as I hated black, he loved it. I should have known that wouldn't last.

In my mid-twenties when my life seemed to be falling apart, red was my power color. It made me feel strong and confident. I wore a red dress to court when I testified against my step-father. I don't know if red was a great color for a witness but it empowered me. It gave me the strength to walk into a room full of strangers with all ears and eyes focused on me. Red stayed my color for years.

Somewhere along the way, green slipped in and replaced the boldness of red. It is still strong but in a quiet way. Maybe green is the mature color of the rainbow. The color of life. The first sign of a new beginning like the grass and leaves in spring.

As I write this post, I am reminded of the song Something in Red by Lorrie Morgan


I'm looking for something in red
Something that's shocking to turn someone's head
Strapless and sequined and cut down to there
Stockings and garters and lace underwear
The guaranteed number to knock the men dead
I'm looking for something in red

I'm looking for something in green
something to out do an ex-high school queen
Jealousy comes in the color of jade
Do you have some pumps and a purse in this shade
And a perfume that whispers "Please come back to me"
I'm looking for something in green

I'm looking for something in white
Something that shimmers in soft candlelight
Everyone calls us the most perfect pair
Should I wear a veil or a rose in my hair
Well, the train must be long and the waist must be tight
I'm looking for something in white

I'm looking for something in blue
Something real tiny, the baby's brand new
He has his father's nose and his chin
We once were hot lovers-Now we're more like friends
Don't tell me that's just what old married folk do
I'm looking for something in blue

I'm looking for something in red
Like the one that wore when I first turned his head
Strapless and sequined and cut down to there
Just a size larger than I wore last year
The guaranteed number to knock the man dead

I'm looking for something
I've gotta have something
I'm looking for something in red.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Male alterations

I walked out into the garage this morning and caught Chowhound and Daredevil mending Chowhound's shirt. With a stapler! Anyone want to buy a sewing machine? I obviously don't need it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

There's nothin' to Plunder

Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years (and a day) too late
The cannons don't thunder, there's nothin' to plunder
I'm an over-forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late.

Well, I'm on top of things as usual. So, much for pirates day. But, I did find a cool name thanks to my blog sister, Tink.

Your Pirate Name Is...
Skull Crusher Busty Bertha

Monday, September 18, 2006

Homecoming Week

This ought to be an interesting week. It's homecoming. Today is Pajama Day. I am so glad I am not a teacher at my kids' school. Whoever thought this was a good idea was out of their friggin mind.

At first, Daredevil wasn't going to participate in this. Notice I said, "At First." My intitial thoughts were, "Thank goodness. I guess the boy does have some sense." You see, he doesn't own pajamas. He wears boxers. I guess. I don't ask. I don't want to know. He is almost 19. But, then he decided on an outfit. He wore his bathrobe over his regular clothes. That's fine. I can deal with it. I guess. He has been practicing flashing. And the fact that he is wearing tennis shoes with them makes this a fantastic outfit (in his eyes). Ack.

Now, we get to Chowhound and his warped sense of humor. Chowhound is the only one of my boys who likes wearing pajama pants and owns a pair. He intends on wearing them to school today. I never in my life thought they would be worn outside this house. If I had, I probably wouldn't not have let him get them. They are "Beer Nut" pajama pants that say "Sweet and Salty". I can so see this getting perverted in the teenage world. Double Ack.

I better check and see what the other dress up days are this week. I can see blog fodder coming my way in droves. I sure hope I don't get any phones calls today.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hotel vs Motel

Chowhound wanted to know the difference between a Hotel and a Motel. But, before I had a chance to say anything he offered his opinion. "I think a HOtel is where the Ho's go and a MOtel is where MOst other people go." Holy Crap. I about spit my lemonade out. I should know better than to have dinner conversations with my kids.

Breaking Resolutions

I'm off to break one of my New Year's Resolutions: to procrastinate. Yes, I'm dreadfully ashamed that I can not bear it any longer. I have kept my promise long enough today I have to break it.

I have been doing an online management program. Yes, it is as boring as it sounds. Five of the six courses in the program have been completed. One remains taunting and teasing me. I have done about half of it. It is a fine and uplifting course in Inventory Management and Control. It isn't that controlling inventory is difficult but on paper they sure want you think you need to know more than pluses and minuses. I'm sure it was someone with about a dozen letters after their name.

Today, I am bound and determined to put this nagging course behind me. So, that tomorrow I have a clean conscience and can start on the other 5 million half-finished projects I have. I love jumping into something and getting the bulk done but when it comes to the fine, boring, tedious details I have a slight tendency to get distracted and move on to something more exciting. I probably need to delve into that more because I think it applies to my relationships as well.

Oh, well. I'm off to the library so I can pretend to concentrate without the laundry, cooking, kids, dogs, and blogs interrupting and tempting me.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Book Meme

I leave town for R &R and I get hit with homework while I'm gone. Thanks "Mom".

1) A book that changed my life:

The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis

2) A book I've read more than once:

The Little Prince. This is my favorite book. It is a reminder to never grow up entirely.

Other books I've read over and over and over: children's books (I think I've read every Dr. Suess book about a million times)

Anything else I've read more than once was by accident because I didn't remember I read it or because I didn't have anything new to read.

3) A book I'd take to a desert island:

How to build a boat from nothing.

4) A book that made me laugh:

Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
Don't Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk

5) A book that made me cry:

I know there are some but I can't immediately recall which ones.

6) A book I wish had been written:

Children's Remote Control Operator's manual.

7) A book that should never have been written:

Help me Be Good series. A series of children's books that should have been named "Help me be Bad". They gave my boys ideas of things to do to get into trouble instead of teaching them what not to do. I promptly threw these books out.

8) A book I'm currently reading:

Just finished Dark Harbor by Stuart Woods.

9) A book I'm planning to read:

Not sure. I'm searching. Any suggestions.

10) Five people I'll send these questions on to: Volunteers only.

Somebody's 40

My BGGD (BlogGreatGrandDaddy) Harvey is 40. Happy Birthday. Last year, he requested "boobies" for his birthday. This year his requested theme is blue. So, I tried very hard to incorporate the two.

So, I googled "blue boobies" and got these cute little fellows:



While technically it's correct, it's just not what I picture Harvey chasing around the backyard.

So, then I tried "blue knockers"



Well. That "ain't quite right." Back to the Google board. Let's just quit playing with words and go for the gusto.

Let's try "blue tits".



Apparently, the person who named birds was away from home a little too much. He was probably thinking about THIS. Oh, well sorry BGGD. I couldn't find you a gift this year. But, I tried. Happy birthday anyway.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Patrick O'Keefe


Patrick O'Keefe, of Oakdale, New York is one of 2,966 that are being remembered today. He was one of the firefighters who was just doing his job that day. He was only 44.

Shortly after that tragic day, GermanTown Academy held a Middle School Dance and donated the proceeds to FDNY Rescue 1 and particularly in honor of Patrick. His sister-in-law wrote a letter to the class and included a wonderful tribute by Patrick's niece.

The part of the tribute that captured my heart the most said, "Pat, was a giver. He gave us all the gift of laughter. He gave us the gift of family and true friendship. Blue waters, blue skies, seen through those blue eyes-he subconsciously taught so many the true meaning of 'smooth sailing'.

It's not what lies before us and it's not what lays ahead, but more that lies within us that truly matters in our lifetime. You are within us Pat--in our hearts and souls as we endeavor to live as you did -filled with life, love, and laughter. We miss you, Pat."

Patrick was one of the everyday heros who put his life second to all those he was sent to rescue. I'm sure it never occurred to him to turn back or not to do his job. There are probably some people who are at home with their families today because of him. This act of courage demonstrates his selflessness. He gave his life so that others could live. He fought and died in a war against terror without realizing he was a soldier.

Thank you, Patrick. We will not forget.

*I am not an offical participant of the 2,996 project. But, As I scrolled through randomly picking names, I came across Patrick. While the person who was chosen to pay tribute to him wrote a wonderful piece on that day, she did not mention Patrick (or had not posted it at the time I checked). So, I felt compelled to pay tribute to him. I didn't have a lot of time to research and find out about his life, but what I did find out was moving especially since he was one of the firefighters. I didn't want Patrick left out.

Virtual Memorial

If you would like to light a candle and leave a message this is an awesome site.

Virtual Memorial

NEVER FORGET

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Urgent Request

I have a special request for everyone. Please help. As you know, my nephew is away at Paris Island completing Marine bootcamp. He only has a few more weeks to go but it is getting tough. He sent a letter to his mom and begged her to please have everyone send him letters of encouragement. He says it will help to have something to take his mind off things there. He says it is a "crazy place".

So, please, if you could jot down a few words of encouragement for Recruit Gene and e-mail the letters to me at chaos.2.serendipity@gmail.com I will print them and send them to him. I thought it would be encouraging to know that people who don't even know him support what he is doing. I know that some of you out there have endured bootcamp and can empathize. I appreciate anything. Words of encouragement. Jokes. Bootcamp horror stories. Anything to help get him through. Thank you.

Memorable movies--obviously not

My memory is getting worse by the day. I hate this. I realize it more and more. The other night I rented some movies. I don't do this on a regular basis because my attention span is poor and I either don't sit still and end up puttering around the house during the movie and missing parts of it or I fall asleep. It has to be a very intriguing plot to keep my attention. There are very few movies that fall into this category.

So, Daredevil, Chowhound and I went to the video store and each chose a movie. I picked Inside Man. The shop owner recommended the movie. I read the jacket and thought it sounded good. We get home. Daredevil opens the DVD player. Pulls out a disc and says, "Hey, Mom. Guess what was in the DVD player?" Yep. You guessed it. Inside Man. We own the stupid movie. It was the last movie I watched. Improviser bought it. I have watched it twice. Yet, I couldn't remember it at the time. I felt so stupid. I went back to the video store and sheepishly asked if I could trade it for something else. I admitted to her that I owned a copy. She got a good chuckle out of it. But, I sure felt like an idiot.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

I had to take the Personality Test too.

Your Five Factor Personality Profile

Extroversion:

You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.

Conscientiousness:

You have low conscientiousness.
Impulsive and off the wall, you don't take life too seriously.
Unfortunately, you sometimes end up regretting your snap decisions.
Overall, you tend to lack focus, and it's difficult for you to get important things done.

Agreeableness:

You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.

Neuroticism:

You have medium neuroticism.
You're generally cool and collected, but sometimes you do panic.
Little worries or problems can consume you, draining your energy.
Your life is pretty smooth, but there's a few emotional bumps you'd like to get rid of.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is low.
You're a pretty conservative person, and you favor what's socially acceptable.
You think that change for novelty's sake is a very bad idea.
While some may see this as boring, many see you as dependable and wise.


It's pretty accurate. Although, I am a very conscientious person. Too much for my own good sometimes. It really gets in the way. But, other than that the test describes me.

Winners

Chowhound had a cross country meet this weekend. It was a huge invitational. There must have been well over 1000 high school kids competing in all the events combined (girls, boys, JV and Varsity). I was amazed at the turn out. Some parents gripe about their teenagers sleeping all weekend and here were all these kids choosing to run 3.1 miles at 8 am on a Saturday. I was the one wanted to sleep in.

These kids are amazing. I am not a runner. I have tried it but my body revolts. I stick with roller blades, bicycles or elliptical machines. Anything to ease the impact on my joints. So, to see these teenagers volunteering to sweat profusely and push their bodies at that time of morning is simply amazing. I congratulate each and everyone of them just for showing up. They are all winners in my book.

However, there were a few that stuck out from the crowd yesterday. Two that struck a cord in my heart and made me want to cry. They weren't the leaders of the pack. They both went in knowing that they wouldn't come in first. They weren't competing against others. Their opponent were much tougher. They fought against themselves.

One girl fought against her weight. I admire her strength and determination. Physically, she was obviously not a runner like the rest of the kids. But, she was there. She sweated. She struggled. She finished. She is a winner. It takes great guts and determination to do something when you know that you will stick out of the crowd. But, she chose to do it anyhow. What courage! The other parent I was talking to commented that she would never have put herself in that position. She couldn't face the humiliation of coming in last and standing out from the crowd because of her weight. That my friends, is what is going to make the difference in this young girl's life. She choose to do what others are embarrassed to do. I applaud her. She will go far in life.

The other big winner of the day took me by surprise. Chowhound had finished his run and we were heading back to our tent. We stopped at the track to wait on a few runners. We waited at the final turn in the track. Just one turn and one straight away to go. As we waited and watched, I heard a few kids start cheering for one particular boy. He was a little bitty boy. He didn't look like an athlete. He was walking. He was fighting back tears. I just wanted to go hug him. I felt so bad for him. His chest was heaving for air. You could see the anguish and grief in his face. He didn't want to cry in front of all these people. The other kids from his team kept cheering him on and then slowly everyone around us starting cheering for this kid. He kept walking. As he walked around the bend of the track I noticed what made him so special. He had an inhaler in his hand. This kid had asthma or something and yet he still competed in an event that requires a great deal of something he couldn't get. Oxygen. Wow. What a trouper! He started a slow jog and finished the race. Just Wow. I really fought back the tears.

These two are truly winners. Their prizes won't be a trophy or anything they can pin to their chest or wear around their necks. But, something far greater in value. Self respect. Honor. These kids have guts. They have what it takes to go against the odds. They have courage.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Home again, home again

I'm alive and well. I'll start posting adventures as soon as I beat them out of the boys. I'm sure they created all kinds of blog fodder while I was gone, now I just have to find out what it was. Details soon.

Saturday, September 02, 2006