Monthly Archives: April 2015

no pain no gain….

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The Yin and the Yang. Karma, insult to injury, cause, and effect: apt descriptions of my day yesterday…

I thought I was having a great day yesterday. While sore from the prior day’s workout regimen, I nonetheless pushed through and completed the workout designated for the day. All the while chanting to myself, “I AM STRONGER THAN MY EXCUSES!!” which coincidently sounded an awful lot like “I AM WOMAN! HEAR ME ROAR!!” in my head, but I digress.  Somewhere, however, throughout the day, my legs began to tighten making walking, bending down and even standing up from a seated position more and more difficult to do. By mid-day, I  began to notice, life was a cruel joke, as everything I touched fell to the ground, meaning, I’d have to bend down to pick the darn things up; inducing even more pain.

I wondered why my body had forsaken me.

But then I remembered the oft said exercise mission statement:

No pain no gain, right?

In addition, the day was still young. Something good could happen…

Mary Alice and I went shopping out to one of those mega superstores across town,  so I could get her some extra exercise walking up and down the aisles pushing the cart. I decided while there, I’d buy a 12pk of beer. At the checkout, the cashier paused and looked me over. “I already swiped my card…” I said believing that’s why she was looking so intently at me. “I know, but, I need to see your ID,” She said. “What? Seriously?” I replied with an incredulous look on my face. “If you don’t mind. I mean if I can’t tell, it’s always better to ask than get caught not…” She explained. “No, I don’t mind!” I said almost too happy, and then rooted around in my wallet looking for my license. When all was said and done, I placed the beer on the bottom of the cart and together, Mary Alice and I pushed the cart to the car.

My first order of business, when we reached the car was to have Mary Alice “help” me by taking my purse and sitting in the front seat. This way I could unload the cart quickly. Once she was safely in my car, still kind of high from being carded, I unloaded the cart, closed the hatch on the car, pushed the cart into the cart corral, climbed in my car and drove away. “Can you believe that Mary Alice?” I began, “They asked for my identification to buy beer. Makes this day that much better, wouldn’t you say?” “They did? You gotta me kidding me!” she replied and we both laughed.

On our way back to Mary Alice’s, I stopped the car at my house, to unload the groceries for the kids to put away. But when I opened the back hatch, there was one giant glaring omission. No beer. “Huh?” I thought to myself before taking a gander into the back seat. Again, nothing, nada, zip. “What the…?” I thought to myself before realizing. due to my very sore legs and my aversion to bending down yesterday afternoon, in addition to my giddy high mood at having been carded,  I must have accidently left the beer on the bottom rack of the cart.

“You gotta be kidding me….” I said to no one in particular. “Lot’s of pain with no trade off gain” I whimpered.

Well hopefully, while I’m out ten bucks, I hope whoever found the beer kept it, but the odds are they did not or they turned it back in–which is just really really sad.

Mean mommy goes to a dance…

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If you recall, last week the doll was sick and unable to attend a school dance. I had volunteered to be one of the parent chaperones and decided to go ahead and honor my commitment while the doll wallowed in self-pity at home. “Doll, I made a commitment….” I said to her. “I know. But you have to admit it’s weird that my mom is going to a 7th/8th-grade dance and I’m not”. She replied. “I’ll tell you what…if I get there and they don’t need me, then I’ll come back home, okay?” She nodded her head before adding, “Do me a favor and tell everyone I’m in the hospital”. “Yeah, like I would be at a school dance while you were “dying” in the hospital” I replied to my dramatic girl. Smiling back at me, she said, “Dad’s with me”.  “Is this to make me look bad or for them to feel sorry for you?” I asked. “Maybe a little of both…” She replied. Thankfully before I left the house she stopped me and said, “You know I was joking right? Please don’t tell anyone I’m in the hospital”. Looking back I replied, “Well at least I know you’re feeling better–your sense of humor has returned.

When I arrived at the dance I was inundated with questions from her friends, “Is she coming? Is she okay? I really wish she had come. Will she be in school next week?” One little girl told me she was surprised the doll hadn’t fought harder to come, considering it was Kellin’s birthday. “Who’s Kellin?” I wondered. One parent looked at me and said, “Let me get this straight, your daughter is home sick, yet you’re still here to chaperone?” Smiling back I said, “Well, I have a couple of reasons to be here… First of all I made a commitment to chaperone and the doll has been fever free for most of the day today.” “Not me, if my daughter was sick I’d have a get out of jail free card…” the parent said. “Well, the other reason is more for me,” I said and received a curious look in return. “Two simple words” I began and then held up my right index and middle finger, to form the number two, illustrating the two words as I said them, “Adult Conversation”.

“Oh…” The parent replied immediately recognizing just how important adult conversation is in all of our lives. “Yes. I spent today with Mrs. K who repeatedly asked me what day today is or tells me the same story over and over again. Actually carrying a conversation with someone that has a beginning, middle and end makes so much difference. In addition, with the doll sick, we’ve been hanging pretty close to home. God knows I love my husband, but I need some variety in my life, conversation wise.” The other parent laughed and agreed. “I called Mary and begged her to help tonight, just so I could have someone to talk to while here”. “Yes,  adult conversation is key to keeping mom’s sane.” I laughed.

After an hour and a half of laughing, talking and a little chaperoning, I said my goodbyes and walked on home. The doll met me at the door, wanting to know all that had happened. After giving her the highlights, she decided she wanted to talk a little more about being thirteen and the “problems” of 7th grade, so we did. “By the way, Nicole was surprised you didn’t fight harder to come and celebrate Kellin’s birthday. Who is Kellin?” I asked.

Giving me the “You’re sooo cluelessly dumb” look she replied quietly, “Lead singer from Sleeping with Sirens Mom”. “Oh, the screaming dude…?” I asked and received an eye roll in return. I began to laugh and said, “Yep, I can tell you feel better…” Which resulted in another eye roll, which made me laugh harder.

Finders fee….

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I’ve been determined as of late, to clean my house. That does not mean, however, that I’ve succeeded. After all, I still have not found where I hid my purse or checkbook before we left for Punta Cana. But I digress. On Sunday, the hubby and I arose early and went for a long walk (meant to be 2.2 miles but turned into 4.2 after a couple of wrong turns here and there) and I reflected on numerous things… The people of Nepal, the friends I know who are struggling, the everyday issues we all face and where the heck did I put that checkbook and purse? By the time we returned home, I was ready to get busy.

The hubby and I went on a scavenger hunt of sorts, looking for every piece of failed electronic components we’ve ever owned but didn’t know how to throw out. Two hours later, we collected two old computers with missing hard drives, three monitors, three VCRs, a PlayStation 2 and Nintendo game system, a subwoofer with integrated speakers, a Techinics component tuner among many other small devices; to be recycled at an area grocery store.

What was cool about this was all the other cool stuff we found… A Christmas card, a random piece of paper, a thank you, letter list and a child’s money card from our trip there in 2010. You may not find these particularly important and they really aren’t except for the memories they evoke.

Not a bad Finder’s fee if you ask me…

Though, I still haven’t found my checkbook or purse.

A Xmas card from my friend Twitter friend Sami in TX

A Xmas card from my twitter friend Sami, whom I met “in person” while in LA last August

The long list of "Thank Yous" needed from our wedding. Thankfully they were all checked off.

The long list of “Thank Yous” needed from our wedding. Thankfully they were all checked off.

 

 

 

My mom's handwriting looking for someone's address.

My mom’s handwriting looking for someone’s address.

Yes doll, we did take you to Disney World.

Yes doll, we did take you to Disney World.For all the cleaning, these a pretty nice finder’s fee.

Yep, it’s Monday, sigh…

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As I mentioned in Friday’s blog, the doll attended school on Monday and then didn’t go back for the week. This morning before leaving she said, “On one hand I’m excited to go back and see my friends, but on the other, it is school…” I smiled and replied, and you’ll have four days of homework to make up”. “Wow, jeez mom, way to really make Monday worse than it already is…” She replied which I said in return, “Your welcome!”

******

I overheard my hubby and son this morning arguing. Actually that’s not true. I overheard my hubby complaining to himself about the boy this morning which pulled me from my slumber. The old story holds true, boys are gross. My boy decided twenty minutes to shower and dress prior to school was not enough time, so chose to dress. The hubby complained to him but did not force the issue. Enter MOM.

“Bay get up here and into the shower now!” I said through heavy-lidded eyes. “OH, now you’ve done it!” My hubby remarked loudly. “I don’t have time”. The boy replied. “GET YOUR ___ up here right now!” I shouted. “Mom, there isn’t enough time and I’m already dressed for the day.” He said trying not to get angry that his parents weren’t letting him off the hook. “Listen, mister, even if you’re going to be an hour late, you ARE taking a shower right this minute. Get in, rinse, wash the nasty bits, hair and face, rinse off, get out and go to school” I said pointedly.

Unhappily he did what I asked though not without some grousing. In the meantime, I went back to bed for a few more minutes of shut-eye.  Five minutes later he emerged from the shower, complaining, but clean. He dressed, grabbed his stuff and left for school with his father. I in turn got up as well, making sure the doll was getting dressed for school. When my hubby returned fifteen minutes later I complained, “Why am I always the bad guy? Why do you make me the bitch to get him to do these things? Step up man!”

Looking back at me he replied, “I did. Why do you think I woke you up?”

Grrr.

sick of being sick…

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The doll has had a difficult time staying healthy this Spring. In late March, she went to the doctor for fatigue and after taking several medical tests, they determined she was 13. Whoa, really? Who would have guessed? Thinking back on the equation, I remembered being put on Iron for fatigue when was her age. So like mother like daughter, she now takes iron pills to try and level out her imbalance. Two weeks ago she had a gastrointestinal 24-hour bug that wiped her out for two days, but she recovered. Then on Tuesday of this week, she came down with another issue, a high-grade fever. Believe me when I tell you, she (along with the rest of us) is not a happy camper.

In tears last night she asked, “Why is this happening to me? Why am I getting sick all the time?” How do I answer what I do not know? “Doll, Spring is in full bloom…this could be allergies or any number of different things” I tried to console. “Do you think I’ll be able to make it to the dance Friday?” She asked. “I know it sounds stupid! But my friends and I have been planning this for a while…” She explained while wiping away her tears. “Doll, we’ll have to play this by ear…” I explained.

Yesterday her fever finally broke for good. Unfortunately, what’s left is a fatigued girl who still looks “messed” around. This morning I put an offer on the table. “You’re fever free. Do you want to go to school? Get up, move around, see how you feel.” Then left to take the boy to school. I arrived home in plenty of time to spare but found the doll wrapped in a blanket on the couch, still wearing her pajamas.”Mom, I have an idea…? She began, “Maybe I could go back after lunch…?” She offered. “Doll…” I said shaking my head. “Mom, do you think they’ll let me go to the dance since I’m fever free?” She asked in a hopeful voice”. “I can ask….but don’t get your hopes up…” I replied.

I emailed the teacher in charge and asked what to do and she replied, “I’d leave her at home”. Drat! “Doll, your teacher said no,” I said into the phone receiver. “Okay,” She replied quietly. “I’m sorry baby. Better that you feel 100% than spread this to any of your classmates…” I said trying to reason with her sensibility side. “Whatever” she replied before hanging up the phone.

******

Home for lunch, you can tell she’s feeling better; her sense of humor has returned as has her bitchiness. “Doll I’m sorry about the dance…” I offered again. “It’s okay. It’s just a STUPID dance anyway”. She said. I smiled back at her and agreed. “Yes, one dance in a long line of dances ahead in your future…” I remarked. “Mom, do you mind…?” She asked, Having had enough about the subject altogether. “Oh, yeah, sure. Sorry” I replied, before changing subjects and making us lunch.

Contrary to what she’s projecting to the world, she’s very disappointed and I can’t say as I blame her.

a change of scenery…

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The way the schedule goes, on Wednesday nights, my eldest sister Terri eats dinner with our father and the rest of the week is divided up between my older siblings. However, if she or any of them for that matter, is out of town or has a scheduling conflict, I’m called to fill in. Living down the street from him, offers me the opportunity to stop by more often–which doesn’t necessarily happen as often as we’d both like; but puts me in the unique position to be the “swing” personnel who fills in when others are busy. For the last two weeks, my sister has been in Florida, soaking up the rays, leaving me in charge of feeding him.

There have been times when all of us have shown up to eat with him, you know, the boy, hub, doll and me; but this can be overwhelming for my (almost) 94-year-old father. He has told me on more than one occasion that he feels as if he needs to entertain the kids. In reality, my kids feel the same way about hanging out with him. As the result, the last few times I’ve shared dinner with my father, I’ve been the only one in attendance.

Last Wednesday, following dinner, he and I played on YouTube in what he called a “Concert”. Last night, I took him to a real concert at the University of Toledo, to watch his grandson Ben, perform in his final Senior Jazz Recital. Only this time, I invited the boy to come along with us. “Mom…” The boy began voicing his objection. “Bay, this will be a good experience for you” I replied, clamping shut any opening the boy sought to exploit. Together, the three of us ate dinner before leaving for the show.

IMG_0183One of the reasons I wanted the boy to come with us was simply because I thought he might enjoy the music, even though his loyalties lie in classic rock at the moment. Other reasons include spending an evening with his grandfather and I, away from home. But perhaps my biggest reason to bring him along had more to do with disconnecting from the internet for an evening–and surviving. But the boy wouldn’t be who he is without something interesting to post. When we all first arrived, my father sat up front, so he could see the piano play more clearly. I sat a few rows back, hoping to record some of the show while the boy sat off to the side with cousin Nole.IMG_0185 I made a great DP, filming the show and snapping a few fun shots of the boy “enjoying” the show. On the ride home, he complained “Those chairs hurt my back” when I asked why he was lying back. He also added, “I like to examine ceilings while listening to music. They lend a blank sheet for my imagination to roam”.

Okay then…

All in all, we had a very entertaining night of jazz music. My dad hummed one song he found particularly mesmerizing, all the way home and vowed to learn how to play the song himself in the upcoming weeks. The boy was happy to be away from chairs that apparently were too small for him (go figure) and I was happy with the jazz music I listened to and the fact the boy looked at something other than a video screen for the evening. Win-Win-Win for all of us.

*****

If you’d like to listen to some of Ben’s music, feel free to click the links below. Also, if you’re looking to hire him… let me know, and I’ll hook you two up… lol.

The first link is an original composition, collaboration with Ben and William Strickler: Fatty Stroll.  Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/CJf5TWC2Z5c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7xS02UFTDA

Summer lovin’

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Driving the boy to school the other day, I asked him what his summer plans were. “I think I’d like to get a job”. He said matter-of-factly. “Oh really? Where?” I asked trying not to laugh at my lazy kid”. “Oh, I don’t know, the library or the post office”. “The post office?” I asked. “Yeah, that seems like a cool place to work…” He supposed. “Um–if you can get in. They don’t hire sixteen-year-old boys” I said. “Oh, well then the library it is…” He replied. 

Later when I informed my hubby of our conversation, he noted, “I’d rather he have three or four other jobs to get fired from first before he goes into the Library. At least by then hopefully, he’ll have a grasp on what he’s supposed to do to not get fired by then. “Now we just have to find him those three other jobs…” I said and we both groaned at he prospect.

*******

“What are your plans for the summer?” I asked the doll. “I think I want to make some money…” She said pressing me to enroll her in an online babysitting course sponsored by the Red Cross. “Sounds good to me..” I replied, remembering how much I babysat when I was thirteen.

On Sunday, she woke up early and after I paid for the program, talked with Red Cross IT and fought with internet explorer and Chrome’s pop up blocker for over an hour, began taking the test. Three hours into the four-hour course, our shockwave player shut down. When she reloaded the test, all her data was lost. Starting over, she made it all the way to the final ten questions before the shockwave player shut down again. I called Red Cross IT. They could not save the data and she had to begin again. “Mom, I’m going to take a break. Maybe the shockwave player needs a break too…” She said and I agreed.

When she came back to the test, the shockwave player crashed a third time. A call back to Red Cross IT and some odd suggestions later, we tried it one more time, closing out after each completed section, so her data would be stored. Fourth times the charm and today, she is Red Cross certified to babysit. The cool thing is…she already has two job possibilities.

*******

The other night, when the hubby and I could not agree on what movie to rent, I turned on Netflix and found Grease. Ordinarily I scan past, but because my hubby was being of so little help, I decided for the both of us. “What is this?” He asked. “Grease…” I said and began singing along to the opening song. “I have never ever seen this…” He said looking on skeptically. I continued to sing away…

We take the pressure and we throw away
Conventionality belongs to yesterday
There is a chance that we can make it so far
We start believing now that we can be who we are

Grease is the word…”

Needless to say, he made it through Summer Lovin’ before disappearing upstairs. After a few minutes I yelled up the steps “Babe, you’re going to miss Hopelessly Devoted to You if you don’t hurry back. “No, that’s okay…” He yelled back down. “I can pause the movie for you…” I offered. “No, that’s okay. I’ve seen enough”.

But I have to admit to his credit, he did come back and watch again from the hand jive dance off through to the end of the movie with me. “I can’t believe you paid to see this…” He said when the movie ended. “Are you kidding me? I saw it three times at the theater when it was released and Danny had the soundtrack. I know all of these songs by heart”. I relayed. “Sounds to me like I had the better childhood” He offered and received a swat on his arm from me, in return.