Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Beer Can Appreciation Day

Yep. You read that correctly. Today is officially Beer Can Appreciation Day. It's also compliment day. So compliment your beer can so it knows you appreciate it. If you don't drink, I'm sure it would be okay to compliment your significant other or even your kids if it would embarrass them. If you compliment kids without embarrassing them they think they are wonderful and then they have to do something to disprove you. So, don't take a chance on them letting you down, embarrass them.

I took this picture at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Mrs. Who has an excellent rant about the idiots belittling the boys that were recently rescued from their abductor. If you haven't read it, go now. I'll wait.

OK. Now that you have read the post and the comments, you should understand that I am continuing my comment here instead of taking up her blog space for my rant. This story struck a nerve. A whole wad of them.

If you have never been in an abusive situation DO NOT CONDEMN OTHERS. You cannot truly understand the psychological effects and defensive mechanisms that are employed unless you have been there done that.

I've been there. I've done that. I can speak. "Why doesn't a child speak out when someone is doing something wrong to them?" There are several reasons. First and most importantly, self-preservation. Usually in an abusive situation violence and fear are the first things the abuser uses as control. It may not be directed at you. But, it is implied and is usually demonstrated on someone or something. In my situation, my step-father would beat the hell out of my mother anytime she stood up to him. If he would do that to an adult then what the hell would he do to a child that was disrespectful. And that is how you see it. Children are taught to respect adults. Adults are in charge. Children get in trouble if they speak up to an adult. Also, children love unconditionally. They think if they just keep trying harder to please this person then they will eventually love them. The adult shifts all of their shame to the child. The child carries this heavy shame. They take the blame. That's what we are taught as kids. Adults are right. Children are wrong. A child will then do anything to appease the person. They will do anything to not make them mad.

I carried around guilt and shame for over 25 years. I did not tell anyone about the molestation until 2 years after it had stopped and I had moved away. I was 19 when I finally broke down and told someone. When I was 25 my step-father was arrested for abusing the little girl next door. It was then I spoke up and told my story to the investigators. During the depositions, the defense attorneys' wanted to know why I never told anyone. After all, in their eyes I had been old enough to tell. I was first abused at age 8 and it continued until I was 17. But, they didn't look at the big picture. They said I had opportunity to tell someone and I didn't. Just because there is an opportunity in "real time" doesn't mean that you can see it. Fear is powerful. Shame is excruciatingly powerful. All I knew was that I was doing something wrong. I didn't want to get in trouble. That is how children see it.

My step-father sent me a letter while he was in prison. In it he apologized for making me have such an unhappy childhood. I replied that it wasn't all unhappy; that it was inconsistent. It was the worst and the best. That is what was so confusing. As I child, I couldn't figure out how to love and hate someone at the same time. It had to be either/or. And since I was taught in Sunday School to forgive and forget, I tried. Then I condemned myself when I couldn't tell him I loved him and I couldn't walk away. Again, I took the blame. Abusers are usually not mean 100% of the time. They reel you in with love. It is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde life. You walk on eggshells never knowing what or when they might be set off again.

I imagine that boy went through some of the same things. He needs love, support, and understanding right now not condemnation. He needs to know he is not alone anymore. That we are standing not just behind him but around him providing him with whatever he needs to get his life back.

Mr. Jingles Escapes

Mr. Jingles has come to Florida and has decided that this is a circus house. I have been battling this nasty rodent. He is a smart and crafty SOB. He avoids the zillion glue traps I have. I'm having a heck of a time catching this critter. My trusty companion, Remington (my dog not the gun-although I am getting close to shooting the critter-the mouse not the dog-although that crossed my mind at 4 am) has been helping track him. Yes, I'm rambling. It's 5:30am and I have been up since 4am when the dog chased the mouse into my bedroom. I awaken to a 110 lb dog trying to squeeze under the dresser next to my bed. I stand on my bed which is a mattress and box spring sitting directly on the floor, clean off the top of the dresser and then tilt it over. The mouse comes running out, sees the dog and dashes back under the dresser. I then took all the drawers out of the dresser and turned the dresser over. Houdini mouse is gone. I'm still standing on the bed through all of this.

I named the mouse, Jingles, after the mouse from The Green Mile because this story actually started yesterday morning when my great tracker dog chased the mouse into the living room closet. I have a bunch of boxes full of crafts and such in there. So, one by one I'm pulling the boxes out of the closet. It looked like that scene from the Green Mile. Lo and behold Houdini Jingles was gone. Now he did another disappearing act.

I am about to lose my mind. I will not be able to get any sleep until this critter is captured.

S.x Hair

I'm thinking of getting my hair done in a new style. So, I'm looking at different hairstyles on the computer when Chowhound breezes through and peeks over my shoulder. I was looking at this picture and laughing. He glances at it and comments...

"Sex hair."

"What do you know about sex hair?"

"I see it all the time at school."


What the heck is going on at the school? I think I need to go see the Band Director and Principal.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom

A wonderful lady turned 73 today.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Why I don't mind working OT

I get to play with new toys. It drives like a dream.

Don't be Jealous




I think I have finally gotten some apparently much needed rest.

I have been sluggish the last couple of weeks. Absolutely no energy. Coming home from work and napping for a few hours in the evening didn't help any at all. There's nothing but crap on TV at Midnight. I've been so tired I haven't even felt like blogging. Now, that's tired.

I think I have it all worked out now. Yesterday, I came home from work at 3pm, ate and then had my nap attack. I work up at 6:48 trying to figure out if it was Sunday evening or Monday morning. I hate that feeling. It was still Sunday. I fell back asleep before 8:30 and only woke up once around 10pm to do a head count. I sleep better when I know where my children are.

I think I needed some rest. Maybe, I can get back on track again.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Confrontation time postponed

I didn't do it. I didn't talk with my co-worker today. Not because I was scared but because I have compassion. You see, I was waiting for a proper moment. A time when I could quietly pull her to the side and talk. I didn't want to be interrupted or do this around people. I just think that is the way to do things. Anyway, I figured the afternoon when it was slower and just she and I there would be the best time. As I waited for an opportunity, I saw my boss quietly talking to her and she was wiping away tears. I don't think this had anything to do with my situation as I did not go to the Boss about it and he wasn't around when it happened. I don't know if someone else said something to him about it or that maybe this was totally unrelated. I will wait and see if it happens again. If it does, I will be more prepared as I have practiced my speech over and over to myself. I have to remember, just because she thinks I am wrong doesn't mean I am.

UPDATE: She came up to me yesterday and apologized. She muttered something about one of those days. We hugged. She really is a sweet girl. I hated that there was friction between us. So, for now, there is peace. However, I will still be cautious and have my guard up and I hate that.

New Recuiting Slogan?

A Marine Recruiter called Daredevil tonight. Interesting conversation. They talked for quite a while and then the recruiter says, "Wait. Wait. Wait, I don't even know if you're qualified yet. I need to ask you some questions."

"Have you ever been in the back of a police car?"

"Yeah. I was 10."

I imagine there was an audible *gulp* on the other end.

Yes, folks. I have stories I have not told. There is nothing like opening your door at 2am to find a Policeman standing there. I can't recall the exact conversation but more or less "Do you know your children are out running the streets at 2am?" I was stunned. They were in bed when I went to bed at 10:30. Holy Crap they were only in Elementary School. I never dreamed that I would have to deal with the police when they had just hit double digits.

I was married at this time and had 3 step-children, 2 boys and a girl, as well as my own 3 boys. Yes, I was mother to six children each a year apart. Chowhound was the youngest at 8. His daughter was 9. Daredevil 10. His youngest son was 11. Improviser 12. And, his oldest was 13. I should have been committed at this point. But, soft-hearted me also had taken in 2 girls who were 16 and 17 and being molested by their adoptive father. And if that weren't enough, I was hosting a 16 year old exchange student from Bulgaria. Yeah, what the hell was I thinking. Nine fricken kids under one roof.

So, initially, when the policeman said he had my children in the back of his car I wasn't sure which ones it would be. After all, there were 9 to choose from. I was horrified that this was happening to me. He had caught up with them on the roof of the elementary school about a mile away. They had been seen playing in the construction equipment and drainage pipes next to the six lane highway that was under re-construction.

So, I stood there with my heart pounding, hugging my bathrobe tight around me as the Policeman opened the backdoor of the squad car. The first of the culprits start to climb out. My X2B's youngest boy. No surprise, he was my problem child. He is wearing camouflaged shirt and pants, combat boots and his face is painted for war. (left over Halloween paint) Yeah, this is getting better by the minute. Then delinquent number two comes crawling out. Matching outfit. It is Daredevil. I believe this was his first caper. And, I might be mistaken, but I think I remember his arm being in a cast at the time. Mother of the year, here I come. The third criminal was hiding in the darkness. I expected to see X2B's oldest son. Finally, after prodding by the Police Officer, Chowhound, who is only 8, sheepishly comes out. My baby! I was in utter disbelief and embarrassment. I wanted to kill the three of them. But, I was so grateful that they had been returned safely I just hugged them. Sentencing and Punishment would come in the morning. The Officer just turned them over to me and left. Thankfully. (I have no idea how come I am not in the loony-bin).

Now, I don't think the recruiter got the full version of this story from Daredevil just that he was 10 and didn't get arrested or put in juvie.

Question #2.

"Have you ever smoked Marijuana?"

Daredevil took the Politician approach. "Once." I don't think whether or not he inhaled was challenged. He claimed it was over a year ago so the recruiter wasn't concerned.

Boys are so much fun to raise!

The conversation finally went around to careers. Daredevil explained he wants to be an Engineer. To which the Marine Recruiter replied, "Well, we don't just kill babies. We do have other things." I was floored when Daredevil told me what he said. It was said in a joking context as we started off the conversation very jovially. And, I admit that we did laugh about it. But, the more I think about it, what a thing for a Marine to say even as a joke.

I read the mil-blogs all the time and I am proud of the wonderful men and women who sacrifice so much for us. I have seen pictures and read stories of the love and compassion they have shown the innocent children in other countries. Especially in Iraq. It bothers me that this recruiter thinks that is the imagine people have of Marines. Where is his pride? Where is his loyalty? I feel like he was selling out his brothers and sisters by making that comment. Maybe, I'm too sensitive or thinking too much into it. But, I just don't think a Marine recruiter should joke about such a thing. Am I wrong?

Confrontation time

I'm confronting the work bully today. I'm not going to walk around on eggshells at work because someone has an attitude problem and wants me to think I'm the one with the problem. I've worked long and hard to get comfortable around people and I'm not letting one little socialite set me back years.

Wish me luck and strength and no tears.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Frogs get in the darndest places

VWBug posted about finding a froggie in a strange place. I, too, have encountered one of these curious little creatures in an odd place. Silly frog startled me when I went to plug the extension cord into my electric weed eater.

I had a difficult time trying to get him out. He did not want to leave his cozy little home. Silly Frogs.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

What a horrible, humiliating day I had today. I was at work just minding my own business trying to solve an issue when a co-worker jumped my shit. She starting yelling at me from the other room, asking me what MY problem was. Crap. I about died. I am not a confrontational person. I was completely caught off-guard. She accused me of making a smart ass comment to her which I did not. I was totally humiliated. I ended up retreating to the bathroom trying to keep from crying. It didn't work. I feel like such a stupid idiot. I'm 42 frickin years old and here I was hiding in the bathroom crying like I was in grade school again. Then, I spent the next hour and half trying to keep from crying just trying to make it until the end of the day. Meanwhile, she is in the other room laughing like nothing happened. I'm such a stupid wimp. I try to get along with people. Evidently, I'm doing something wrong because I never seem to fit in anywhere.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

"I'm sorry" how long does it work

I was talking with a fellow blogger the other day, Her young son was acting up and he knew he was doing wrong. He quickly said I'm sorry as soon as time out was mentioned. She said that he uses "I'm sorry" all the time now thinking it will get him out of trouble. This reminded me of a piece by Erma Bombeck that I clipped out and tucked away many, many years ago. It is one of my favorites. Just think of this the next time someone says, "I'm sorry."

Asking forgiveness is harder than forgiving

"I'm sorry."

It starts as two little words a child puts together when he has broken a toy or wet his pants.

But the two little words have a great effect on Mama. Her eyes soften, her lips part into a smile and she envelopes him with her arms in a show of forgiveness.

To a child, "I'm sorry" is the miracle phrase of the century.

"I'm sorry I pulled up all of Grandma's flowers by the roots." Mama shakes her head and smiles. Grandma even snickers. It's still working.

"I'm sorry I took a candy bar without paying and hid it under my coat." Mama's smile fades. In fact, she insists the child walk right into the store and say those two little words to Mrs. Musselman who doesn't smile at all.

"I'm sorry I didn't clean my room today." "I'm sorry I got an F in geography." "I'm sorry I lost my sweater." "I'm sorry about the TV knob. It just came off in my hand." "I'm sorry I don't like cauliflower." "I'm sorry I forgot to say I'm sorry."

Mama responds numbly to it now. Occasionally she mumbles, "You should be."

"I'm sorry I wrecked the car." "I'm sorry I took the money from your purse." "I'm sorry I lied to you."

Mama has now had it with "I'm sorry." She says, "You think it solves everything. Well, it doesn't. You've said it too many times before." It isn't working. What happened?

Most of the mothers who write me wonder how they can tell when a child says, "I'm sorry," and means it.

There was the daughter who ran away from home to live with her boyfriend in the home of his parents who were really "neat." She was sorry. There was the son who lied to his grandmother to get money to have this truck fixed and used it for an abortion for his girlfriend. He was sorry.

Maybe I'm naive, but I believe every time they say, "I'm sorry," they mean it. It's the only phrase they've got to try and recapture that wonderful moment when our eyes soften, our lips part in a smile and we take them in our arms and forgive them.

It isn't easy to forgive. Never underestimate how tough it is for parents to go back to square one and start trusting them again. They've been hurt, lied to, humiliated and emotionally ripped off.

I have to remember there's only one thing harder in this world than forgiving.

It's to ask for forgiveness armed only with, "I'm sorry."


Ever have those weeks when you just don't have anything to add to the conversation?