Monthly Archives: August 2015

Garbage day…

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Emotional blackmail. Teenage angst. Money woes. Anger. Entitlement-What’s that?Sleepless nights. Being right and being wrong. Love. Hate. Misery loves company. Wants. Desires. Needs. Hot flashes. Day in and day out. Teeth pulls. Braces. Breaks in the clouds. Sunlight. Beer. Super moons. Disappointments. Evening walks. Breathing in and out. Feeling put upon. Contentment. Overwork. Burdened. Underwork. My time. Wine. No time. Not getting it. Wonder. Hugs. Shake my head. Long winded explanations. Often. Supernatural. Free time. Service hours. Helping others. Argumentative behavior. Exercise Helping yourself. Being selfish. Get out of your own way. Complimentary. Frustrating. Loud voices. Quiet tones. Ticking clocks.

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Have you ever laid in bed at night while crap like the above ran through your head? If so, welcome to my world. Last night I fell asleep before 10 pm, awoke a short time before 11pm and laid staring at the ceiling in my bedroom until God knows what time this morning. All the garbage in and out of the last few weeks playing over and over in my head. Consequently I didn’t get much sleep.

Being a parent in this day and age is so hard. The kids are exposed to so much garbage and I’m helpless to stop it. Day in and day out I’m confronted by the “what if’s” or “if only’s?” Concepts that could have changed an outcome of a past event or mood of my children. Of course, also being a parent who was raised during the Stone Age (before computers, cellphones, the Internet)  certainly doesn’t help or seem to garner much support either. 

Last night my Twitter feed was filled with images from the MTV MVAs and I had to wonder what possesses these kids to dress like fools, get high and call one another out in front of the world? Are ya trying to get our attention or just Get us to change the channel quicker? 

You see I don’t get this stuff. I don’t see how others can find this entertainment. Yet my children are drawn to this garbage because it influences more garbage to be produced and more garbage for them to consume via the Internet and streaming videos. And all I can do is try to limit what they see and participate in, which we all know is easier said than done. The other night I told someone via Twitter I consider myself as having a pretty open mind and like to think I’m raising my children as such. But there is a limit to how much garbage can stack up and block that openess. Right now, today the garbage is piled sky high, with no end in sight. Which means more sleepless nights while I try to find a way to clear this mess out of our lives. 

Perhaps a change in the wifi code is the first start…

Round up

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Super duper late blog…but a girls gotta work sometimes. Enjoy!

Tomorrow the doll and I will be watching my High School Alma Mater play a football game featured on ESPN. The boy who attends the same school is planning on hanging out with his Grandmother, walking and playing video games. “Mom, football isn’t my thing…” He explains every time I ask. “You know I have to ask, on the outside chance you’ll change your mind,” I replied. “I will never change my mind, so you can stop asking now”. He explained. The doll, on the other hand, wasn’t sure she wanted to attend the game either, that is until I explained a few things. “The game is going to be on national television,” I said. “Wha?” She looked at me stunned. “Yes, ESPN is broadcasting…” and before I could finish she jumped in and said, “OKAY!”

Since then, she’s driving me nuts. “What time is the game? When are we going? You need to find out the color scheme. You need to give me an idea of how long we will be at the game…” and on and on and on.  “Game is at 4, the theme is a red out–which means where a red shirt.” I began. “Can I wear the sweatshirt Aunt Ann gave me?” She asked.  “I don’t care,” I replied. “I may not be wearing red”. “Yeah, well that’s you. Remind me not to sit next to you”. She snidely replied.  “To continue, we’ll get there around 2 pm to tailgate. “Mom you’re not allowed to drink any beer”. “Doll, tell you what, we’ll look for your friends to hang out with, that way I won’t embarrass you”. “Mom, regardless whether you drink or not, you always embarrass me. I just want to keep the embarrassment level at a minimum.” “I see. So tell me, what will you do to reciprocate?” “Be my usual awesome self” she replied.

Dear God! and she’s not even a Freshman yet…

However the thought of embarrassing her on national television is intriguing…

 

 

observations…

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There is a tried and true method when you can’t think of anything to write or say, called fudging it. As is the case today, I’m fudging this blog by using my cell phone camera. Please be aware the pictures is only as good as the photographer, namely me.

1) I always knew there was something wrong with Michigan. Why they don’t even know there’s a difference between apples and cantaloupes.


2) Ordinarily the boy DOES NOT have a natural lean (right or left) to his neck and head except when he doesn’t want to be the main focus of a photograph where he was NEVER going to be, the main focus.

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 3)What you find while cleaning can be more important than the clean room itself. Painting the boy’s bedroom would have been simple enough had it not been for the boy appropriately leaving his room a filthy mess. Therefore, I had to clean his room first, before I could actually paint. Tucked away on the top shelf of his bookcase, behind some long forgotten puzzles, I found a lace “pocket” containing the locks of hair from the boy’s first hair cut. I can guarantee he was unaware they were up there or he would have tossed them away long ago. Today they have a new home in my keepsake box until someone else comes to clean and finds them worthless (Though, I don’t see that happening anytime soon considering no one cleans much around here anyhow).

4) It’s extremely important when telling someone about your past weekend, they understand just what you are telling them. Last Friday night, I accompanied my brother Chris and his wife, Jean, to a downtown club, to see our second cousin Katie sing with her group The Tinkled Pinks, a swing era band, for a one night engagement. Chris made a point of telling our father about the fun night when he saw him Monday for lunch. When I stopped by Monday evening my dad began, “Marsh, Chris was telling me you went with them to see the Andrew Sisters Friday night”. I smiled and nodded at his apt description because that was the type of music they sang. “Where was this club? How old are the Andrew Sisters now? Boy, they’ve got to be right up there. How were their voices? Did they still sound good?”

Stifling a laugh, I replied, “No, dad, no, Patty Andrews passed away a few years ago. We went down and saw Katie Sland–you know Colleen’s daughter..? You know, she and her friends sang music from the Andrew Sisters catalogue.” “Oh,  I should say so. I was going to say, they had to be too old to still be touring”. “You’re only as old you feel dad…” I reminded to which he replied, “Yes and Patty Andrews feels dead.”

formatting…

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A few months back, the doll took and passed the Red Cross babysitting course, hoping to make some much-needed money this past summer, but has yet to have one job offer. There was a chance for a brief job last June, watching a teacher’s grade school children until their brother arrived, but due to circumstances beyond her control, that job fell through. All summer long she kept asking me, “Mom have you told so and so I can babysit now?” My response was always the same, “Yes.”

The other day a friend sent me a text wondering if she would be interested in walking her kids home from school and sitting with them until she arrived an hour later. “YES!!!” she immediately replied. So now, my little girl has a job. “Mom this will give me good experience too,” she explained, “Not to mention a few bucks in your back pocket…” I added. She smiled and said, “Yes. This will help me save money for the concert, so I can buy t-shirts and other souvenirs.” she added. “Um…and pay me for your ticket?” I asked.

If you want a smile, this is what I'm gonna give you...

If you want a smile, this is what I’m gonna give you…

Smiling, a little embarrassed by her excitement at having some spending money, she replied, “Oh yeah, sure”. “Your response doesn’t sound all that enthusiastic doll…” I replied with a laugh. She in turn shrugged her shoulders, tilted her head and gave me her “If you want a smile, you’re going to get this instead” look, before walking away.

So be it…

Now on to getting the boy motivated in making some money too…

breaking black…

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I broke one of my most tightly held golden rules last night. I didn’t want to, but the boy offered me no choice. The doll stood back horrified at what I was doing and then consoled her brother afterward while I instructed what needed to be done. It was hard, going against my self-imposed rules, but in the end, everyone was better because of it.

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When I was a teenager, my mother used to corner and attack me, or rather attack my zits and blackheads with her fingernails whenever I ventured too close to her.  I made a promise to myself right then and there that I would never do this to my children–ever! And for the better part of my children’s teenage years I’ve kept my word, though I have to admit, at times it has been a struggle.

“Mom would you just pop them?” The doll begged when she had some rather large blackheads on her nose. Approaching her, my thumbs at the ready I moved in and cried, “I can’t, I just can’t! I’m sorry!” But to my credit, the next day I bought her some rather expensive acne medication that helped clear them up without invasive picking from me. Only later did she inform, “Uh no mom, I picked them myself. They were gross!” “Better you than me…” I replied.  My husband lovingly calls me a wimp, for my inability to push the waxy build up from my children’s pores, but I don’t care. I never want them to experience getting cornered and then attacked by me. I mean there are so many other memories they are making, my picking their zits should not be one of them.

But then last night, the boy entered the bathroom and I noticed the fairly enormous black head on the side of his nose that looked angry and begging to be popped. I knew it wouldn’t take much pressure, but couldn’t bring myself to do the deed. “Oh bay, that blackhead is screaming to be popped. You need to pop it” I said to him. “I don’t know how.” He replied.

Overhearing my conversation with her brother, the doll joined us in the bathroom and said “But you have the perfect fingernails to do the trick” The boy paused for a moment, looking down at his nails before saying “What?” “Just put your nails under the blackhead and push” I instructed, but watched as he couldn’t figure out the correct angle needed. “Hang on”, I said turning his head for a better angle, “You may want to use your index fingers instead”. He lifted his fingers and made an attempt, but couldn’t bring himself to apply the necessary pressure to expell the junk. “Bay you need to push harder. You realize you can push harder without pain to yourself than I can…” I tried to explain. After failing to extract the comedo, he looked at me and begged, “Can’t you just do it, please?

“I’d prefer not to” I replied.  Taking a quick glance toward his sister she objected before even he could even muster the courage to ask, “I’m not touching his oily face!” He then turned on his secret weapon, the puppy dog look, back to me. “Dear God!!” I said before mustering up the courage to attack his face. Lifting my thumbs to his nose I said dramatically, “I hope you know how much this is hurting me!” and then pressed, releasing the gunk from his pore, using a piece of toilet paper to remove it before declaring myself finished.

To the boy’s credit, he withstood the pressure of the extraction with grace and even thanked me for my sacrifice. In addition, he then did everything I instructed him to do afterward, to help keep the pore from becoming infected. Then all of us went to bed. Exhausted by our late evening ordeal.

As of this morning, no infection and the boy looked no worse for wear. Whew!

it’s absurd…

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A friend of mine is a Pure Romance consultant, which if you’re not familiar, sells adult sex toys, along with perfumes and other “bedroom” stuff. Usually, her parties are hosted by friends seeking a discount on product, based on a percentage of sales that evening and while she’s asked me several times to host a party for her, I never have. My primary reason is because no one in my family would be caught dead buying her product (in front of one another). I have however attended friend’s parties in the past.

After taking the month of July off, she rented a hall and threw herself a jumpstart party for sales in August. Her hook? She invited a local psychic medium to attend and do readings on her guests. Intrigued I asked her about the event.  “Marsh, you know how you keep small details to yourself about your family–I mean stuff no one should know?” I nodded. “Well, she knew mine…I don’t know how she knew, she just did”. Intrigued I decided to go and invited my sister Ann Marie to come along, not as a new customer for my friend, but rather because she has a stronger memory as well as being my father’s main caregiver. If my mom were to come through, more than likely she would come to Ann Mare more readily than me.

Having attended a “toy” party in the past, I had an idea what to expect, Ann Marie, however, walked in blind. We were seated with three other women at the VIP table, which simply meant we were guaranteed a chance to be read by the psychic. After a few introductions, the psychic came into the hall, introduced and described herself as an empath, clairvoyant psychic medium then did a few on the spot readings for people around the room, before departing and allowing the “party” to begin. Then my friend introduced one of the sponsors, but cautioned, “No judgments” ladies. Which, of course, instigated them.

“Hello, I’m Nancy from ‘Ecstatic’, NW Ohio’s premier swinger club!” Just then, Ann looked over at me and said, “I don’t want any of our loved ones to come through and see where we are”, which made me laugh. “You are a prude, Ann Marie,” I said and she agreed. Truth be told, we both are. Blame it on being raised by two very devout Catholics and my mother’s high moral code. Some things, like “swinging” are just not in our wheelhouses. Once Nancy finished talking about her club, the medium gave us a signal and the readings began.

Four of us who were led into a back room and seated at a round table while the psychic moved/shuffled back and forth in front of us. Finally, she spoke and said, “I have an uncle here. He’s identifying himself as an uncle and he has three people behind/with him. He comes across and very good natured but, somethings wrong with his foot. His foot. Oh now I’m getting a tingling up my legs to my knees” She stopped and lifted her leg to the chair demonstrating what was going on with her leg. “Oh, kind of nauseous too”. She added. “Does this belong to anyone here?” She asked and all four of us looked like deers in the headlights. “C’mon, this has to belong to someone here…” She reiterated. “Okay, well I see a cross on a chain. Very religious. A cross on a chain, very religious person.” The woman next to me said, “Does this sound like anyone you know?” I looked at her, and then to the psychic and said, ‘Yes, it sounds like it could be us”.

“Well, I get the feeling this is a woman whom I’m talking with now. Very religious, high moral code. What happened elsewhere didn’t matter, but while you lived in her house, you had to live under her code”. I looked over at Ann Marie as she wiped tears from her eyes. “Could be our mom” she admitted. “Well, I get the impression that she was a very well-liked, very much loved, very sweet person here on earth.” And this time we both nodded in agreement. The psychic danced around a few other things, some we agreed with, others we didn’t, but I enjoyed hoping that mom was there with us. “Do you have any questions for her?” She asked. Ann Marie immediately offered the worst question in the history of psychic medium questions (I can say this because I’m her sister), “Is she in any pain?” “What? she’s not in pain, she’s dead!” I wanted to shout but the psychic took my place, “No, she’s not in any pain, she’s dead.” before adding, “She’s got a good sense of humor….” and began to laugh. “She’s telling me, the only pain she’s in….is in your neck when you do something she doesn’t approve of…” I laughed and thought to myself, “This explains why my neck and right shoulder hurt so much lately.” Before I could ask another question, she turned her attention toward another person seated with us, and our “reading” came to a close.

Ann Marie and I returned to our VIP table kind of in a daze wondering if this medium was real or if we heard what we wanted to hear. After a little while, I informed my friend that we were leaving, forfeiting our chance to win tickets to the “swinger party”. “Thanks for putting this on…” I told her. “Did your mom come through?” She asked. “Maybe…hard to tell,” I replied, giving her a hug before leaving.

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So was my mom present? Some things sounded plausible. The foot thing…My mom’s youngest brother lost both big toes due to diabetes. The leg tingling, my grandfather lost both legs to his knees from diabetes. My mom also had polio in both legs when she was younger and my father was a podiatrist. Ann Marie, who works for a podiatrist is convinced my friend gave the psychic our names a head of time and she went onto our facebook page looking for clues. Who knows…

She said the woman was sorry she didn’t get to talk with everyone before she passed away, which isn’t totally true. After encouragement from me, she talked with my siblings and some inlaws, cousins, and her sisters, but she and I never reconnected to talk one more time–something I always wished we had.

She said there was some confusion when she died–and the description of who my mother was–very sweet, well-loved, high morals, etc could have been a good guess on her part, based on our conservative dress in contrast to the others in attendance.

Was my mother present? Who knows. Frankly the important takeaway from this whole experience wasn’t whether or not she was there, but rather how enjoyable those moments felt when we thought maybe, perhaps, she was present with us.

However, if I ever choose to see a psychic again, I think for the sake of my sore neck, it shouldn’t be at a sex toy party.

a nice reprieve…

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The boy and I have not been getting along lately. I call him on his bullshit and he does not appreciate this. At dinner he decided to tell me that what I had made wasn’t up to his par of excellence (hotdogs, pb&j sandwiches and pizza) and decided to let me know exactly what he thought of our pork chop and zuchetti dinner. “It tastes like a brick. This pork is tasteless and has the texture of a brick”. “Considering the rest of us had no issue eating the said brick, you shouldn’t either” I retorted. “And this….green spaghetti has no flavor either, it’s just there”. “Try salt and pepper then…” I tried–while trying not to get upset with his insults. Holding up a piece of pork at the end of his fork he said, “If you notice I AM eating this brick of pork with no flavor”. “Bay, shut your mouth, chew the food and swallow. I don’t need to hear your whacked out ideas on the food. Now finish your dinner!” I said exiting the room.

Later I walked into his room and said, “How about you and I take a cooking course together? That way you can learn to make dinner and I can learn to make food you like. What do you say?” Looking up from the device he gave me a dirty look. I wasn’t sure if it was because I interrupted his video or because he’s 16 and I’m his mom–probably a bit of both. Regardless, he said, “I already have too much on my plate”. “Like what?” I asked. “Stuff…” he said narrowing his eyes at me “Like…?” I asked already knowing the answer. That’s when he let me have it…and I gave it back to him.

“You’ve been riding me hard all summer?” He said pointedly. “Yes, I’ve been riding you to do your chores. We made a deal at the start of summer that your job would be to cut the grass, front and back. You alone. However, 90% of the time your father has done half the work, after working all day at his real job. When did you ever take the initiative to mow the lawn on your own? In fact, it needs to me mowed right now, yet where are you? Sitting on the bed watching something on that device”. I replied and then added,”When I come home from work tomorrow will I find that you have cut it or will you be right here, ignoring it again?”

“It never occurs to me that it needs to be done”. He replied matter of factly. “No of course not, because mowing the grass–doing your chore to help pay your school tuition isn’t as important as sitting on your ass, watching garbage on the internet”. I followed. As you might imagine he didn’t appreciate that comment too well and hit me with a string of offensive obscenities. His father came in to “break up” the disagreement and I exited the room, knowing nothing was solved, only more discord between the two of us.

Last night when I arrived home from “meet the teachers” night at his high school, I was exhausted. A long day, followed by the need to do laundry, or face today without any clean clothes to wear. As I worked up the strength to descend the basement stairs, the boy walked out and said, “Hey Mom, who loves you?” “I don’t know bay…” I said too tired to argue with him. “Well, that would be me…” He replied. “Really? Because the way you’ve been treating me lately makes me not believe you”. I said as I walked into the kitchen. Following me he said, “Yeah, I’m sorry about that. I think this new school year has overwhelmed me some…” “Okay, fine. But I have feelings too. Being your verbal punching bag isn’t much fun. I only want what’s best for you…and following through on jobs teaches responsibility. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got laundry to change before bed.” I said but before I made it to the stairs, he came up behind me and said, “And I’m going to help you…”

Together we changed loads and then he carried up the dry clothes. “Mom, sweet dreams, ” he said enveloping me in a hug. “You too bay…” I said, then went up to bed.

I know this rocky road between us isn’t over, not by a long shot, but last night was a nice reprieve.